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The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today's World

The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today's World

4.9 43
by Susan Merrill

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Motherhood is full of uncertainty. What do my children really need? Why are they doing that? Is this normal?  What can I do to help them? How can I know for certain that I am doing this right?

The logistics are easy. Anybody can do laundry and carpool. But what makes a mother the best mom she can be?



Motherhood is full of uncertainty. What do my children really need? Why are they doing that? Is this normal?  What can I do to help them? How can I know for certain that I am doing this right?

The logistics are easy. Anybody can do laundry and carpool. But what makes a mother the best mom she can be?

It’s not better scheduling. Or more activities. Or less.

It is passion—the passion to teach, protect, study, and prepare her children for the future.

Great, but how?

Susan Merrill, the mother of five incredibly different children, has asked that question countless times. And she has read countless answers specific to a certain child’s temperament, age, or situation. But nothing she read offered an overall approach to parenting that would enable her to say with confidence, “I am doing this right.” She never guessed she would find a foundational plan—a reliable, universal parenting approach in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.

In The Passionate Mom, Susan takes you on a journey through Nehemiah and into the heart of parenting. Her stories and confessions in every chapter reveal what she has learned: no mom can control her child’s future, but every mom can parent well. There is a plan—a roadmap for how a passionate mom can parent almost any child, confidently.

"...This book reaches mothers like me at both the heart level and the head level, showing us how to guide our children passionately and practically..."
--Shaunti  Feldhahn, social researcher, national speaker and best-selling author of "For Women Only"

“Being a mother is the greatest joy of my life. My friend Susan Merrill regularly inspires me in my role as a Mother. In her book, she will inspire you!"
--Denise Jonas, Mother of Kevin, Joe, Nick and Frankie Jonas

"Every mother's goal is to see her children fully blossom. In 'The Passionate Mom' Susan Merrill not only outlines the qualities women need to be successful moms, but also lays out a practical, biblical plan to help develop those qualities.  She provides sound advice to help in the difficult task of raising children." --Lauren and Tony Dungy

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The Passionate MOM

Dare to Parent in Today's World

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2013 Susan B. Merrill
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59555-510-6

Chapter One


Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. —Nehemiah 1:3

Nehemiah was born in exile but possessed the enviable position of cupbearer to a powerful king. At first, this job seems menial and possibly dangerous. After all, the cupbearer's job was to ensure that the king's wine wasn't poisoned—by drinking it himself. But the cupbearer had important advantages, including constant access to the king. It was common for a cupbearer to acquire influence and intimacy with the king.

So what was Nehemiah thinking at this point in his life? I picture him as a man of good standing, content with his productivity and position, and probably not looking to make a move. But, of course, God is always on the move.

One day Nehemiah received a visit from his brother, Hanani, and some friends. Nehemiah questioned his visitors, in search of news about their people who had survived the Babylonian exile and returned to Jerusalem. The news was not good: "Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire" (Neh. 1:3).

And then the waitress brought Nehemiah and his guests some dessert, and they discussed their upcoming holiday and vacation plans.

I'm kidding. But isn't that the way it usually goes with visits from our friends? How many times have I sat having coffee with a friend or phoned my sister and discussed the news? We talk about the lives of others, but do we really care?

When you hear of a broken marriage, a rebellious teen, or a financial misfortune, do you respond with interest, concern, and caring, shaking your head sadly over the tragic news? And what about bad news from your own kids' lives? Do you give them your undivided attention and respond with genuine empathy? Or do you thank goodness that the waitress came around again and allowed you to change the topic?

Could this possibly be the way it goes with your after-school discussions with your child?

"Mom, I saw something really weird on the computer today."

"Mom, my friend is having a slumber party, but I don't like spending the night there."

"Mom, my teacher said I make my nines and sixes wrong."

"Mom, I saw a girl picking on Sissy in the lunch room."

And then you pull in the drive and tell the kids to grab their stuff for ballet and baseball while you prepare a quick snack. Families are busy, and sometimes the providential hints about deeper issues get glossed over as we race through life.

Nehemiah did not gloss over what he heard from his brother. The city and the walls surrounding and protecting Nehemiah's people were a mess, but he did not move on to more pleasant topics. He listened. He perceived. The Bible says he questioned his visitors (Neh. 1:2). He assimilated and processed the information; he thought about what it meant to the safety and welfare of the people. He grieved their danger and their future.

The Israelites were in trouble, and what they needed was for someone to notice. They needed someone to rightly perceive the situation and take action. They had their man in Nehemiah. Do your children have their mom in you? Is there something going on in your child's life that she really needs you to perceive? Is she attempting to navigate some difficult waters without guidance because you haven't been listening?

Nehemiah had developed something every mom needs: depth perception. Perception is the vital ability to listen and process what is really happening in someone's life. It is not easy to force yourself to fully comprehend difficulties and to feel concern and even anguish, but for a mom it is necessary. So here is the first brick in building your own wall:

Brick #1 Perception

a Passionate Mom must perceive what is happening in her child's world.

My daughter Emily loved school until third grade. Then, out of the blue, she became increasingly distracted, grumpy, unorganized, and frustrated when she came home from school. Her grades were slipping. I jumped around a lot in my conclusions. Mostly, I blamed her. I thought she was goofing off because I had found lots of notes in her backpack that were being passed around in class.

The situation did not improve, and she was really getting frustrated with me getting frustrated with her. Then one day I learned that her teacher's health had been failing for months, and the teacher was leaving the class. Because the teacher didn't have the energy to teach, the class had gotten out of control. My daughter does not function well in chaos; she is easily distracted. The result was sketchy performance and irritability that were not her fault.

I had neglected to question her, listen to her, and assimilate the information I received. In other words, I had failed to perceive the situation and take appropriate action. Fortunately for my daughter, several other parents had better depth perception than I and had made the principal aware of the problem.


Nehemiah was miles away from his people when he heard the bad news, but he still cared about them and made it his business to know their world. He was alert to the cares of those he loved. Nehemiah was a very busy man, with a job that easily could have gone to his head and made him selfish, but it didn't. He was available to listen to his friends. Nehemiah put aside his busy concerns and inquired intently about the Israelites' welfare. He was attentive. Because Nehemiah was alert, available, and attentive, he got it. He fully understood the magnitude of the danger his people were in without a wall to protect them.

Children spend hours away from their moms—eight hours at school, two or three more hours in activities. They live a vast majority of their day in a world different from ours. How is your perception? Do you know this world well? Are you alert to the dangers present there? Are you available to talk when your kids are in the mood to share? Do you have an open rapport with them so you'll have the opportunity to hear about what transpires in their daily lives?

And what about others who live their lives in your children's world? Are you attentive to all who may be a source of information about your kids? Do you take opportunities to seek news from teachers, other parents, and coaches?

Alertness, availability, and attentiveness are traits that a mom must possess. They are necessary ingredients in the mortar that will hold the brick of perception in the wall.

When my nephew and niece were just two and four, my sister, Kathie, started using a new babysitter. The sitter was highly recommended, and Kathie was thankful to have a regular sitter for Saturday nights.

Neither of the children had ever fussed when my sister and brother-in-law left them with previous sitters, but after just one occasion with the new sitter, four-year-old Maggie, who is normally very independent and outgoing, became shy and clingy when the sitter arrived. By the third Saturday night, Kathie had a feeling something was not right. There were subtle changes in my niece's personality and sleeping habits. There weren't any bruises or other signs of mistreatment, and the kids responded well to the sitter when they saw her in public, but Kathie's "Mommy senses" were on alert. Her husband told her she was being paranoid and attributed the changes to a "mommy phase," but Kathie could not let it go and set up a hidden video camera.

The video explained everything. The sitter and the children watched television the entire night—graphic, crime-solving TV shows that were frighteningly inappropriate for a two- and a four-year-old. The video also showed the sitter having dinner, but she never fed the children. Instead, she put them to bed and ignored their cries. Needless to say, this sitter never returned, and my sister learned to stay alert to those subtle changes in her children's personalities.

Do you have a chatty child? I have some who chat and some who don't. The former require that you make yourself available for hours. For every five thousand words they speak, there will be those fifty that you really need to hear—but you only hear them if you make yourself available to listen. Some time ago my most romantic child wrote this about the countless hours she needed my availability:

Then there is the subject of L.O.V.E. Love can mean so many different things. But young love can be confusing. I, unfortunately, am the kind who falls in and out of "love" as fast as you take on and off your shoes. I like to think I'm a lover, not a liker. I couldn't begin to count the times I cried to my mother, swearing that this guy was the one of my dreams! I realize it could have gotten a tad bit annoying, but one thing I am so grateful to my mother for was her patience. She gave me her time and allowed me to grieve. After all, it is a tough world out there—especially for impressionable girls like me. We meet a boy, then like the boy, then—whoa—we suddenly love the boy! It just happens—we can't help it. Unfortunately, it most often doesn't work out the way we want, and our heart gets broken. My mother gave me the best gift when this happened to me. She let me grieve. She let me have feelings and let me express them to her. She didn't scold me and tell me to get over it! No, she just held me and explained, "Honey, it happens ... I had to wait a long time until I found your daddy. And when I finally did find him, I had to wait a lot longer until we were together." Love takes patience, and I thank God that my mom was patiently there for me.

A lot of little children just babble about their days, and most multitasking moms can listen while still executing a few little tasks. It can become a dangerous habit, though, and may result in you tuning out your children. Nancy, a friend and coworker, is wonderful about putting everything else aside and listening to her children (and me) because she values people. She has made it a commitment to sit down with her children at the table after school during their snack to fully participate in conversation that usually evolves into a length of time because she is engaged.

For me, attentiveness means staying up until my children come home—following them into their rooms and hanging up clothes as they change and brush their teeth. It may sound as though I am catering to my children, but having small tasks to do is a natural reason for me to be with them, and they will often open up and chat about the night while I'm helping out.


Perception can be both offensive and defensive. Let me explain.

Offensive Perception

Sometimes perception can be used offensively to help us encourage our children. For example, you may perceive through observation that your child has a gift. Offensive perception can further help you assimilate information about that child's abilities and giftedness and how best to foster them.

When our first two children were very young, they went to a wonderful, very structured school. Our firstborn, Megan, fit right into the structure and did very well. We loved the program.

Two years later Emily started school there too. After her fourth day, she jumped into the car and announced that she had been sent "to the wall." The wall is where you had to stand if you were in trouble. Megan had never been sent to the wall in two years, but Emily was sent there after just four days. I was alarmed.

"Why were you sent to the wall?" I asked.

"Ariel Mermaid was playing in my head, and I just had to sing her out," she proudly exclaimed.

One week later Emily informed me—a bit more hesitantly because she now knew that I would not be excited about her announcement—that she had been sent to the wall again. Yikes. "Why?" I asked.

"I ate some Play-Doh," she sheepishly answered.

I reminded her that we had already explored Play-Doh and that it was not flavored; every color tasted the same.

"But, Mommy," she said, "it was a new color, and I wanted to be sure."

I made an "offensive perception" about Emily at that point. Based on her first few weeks at school, I perceived that this child had a creative bent, and I had better find an outlet for it so she could control her creativity in school! Offensive perception can give a mom vision about her child and help her take action to encourage that child in his or her area of giftedness.

Defensive Perception

Other times perception can be used defensively to protect our children. You may perceive that your child is making unwise choices and getting into trouble. Defensive perception can help you protect and redirect that child. This is particularly true during the middle school and high school years. These are times of extreme flux for a child, and you never know exactly what may happen.

One of our children spent the first twelve years of life in an impoverished country. When we adopted her, she had a hard time with food. Its abundance and availability were a distraction for her and invoked the early signs of a potential eating disorder.

She started her education here in a tiny private school where everyone brought his lunch and there were only five children in her grade. The school was the perfect fit for her, and because she was extremely bright, she quickly caught up to her grade level. Then she moved to a much larger middle school.

It was a big jump, but not academically. She was up for the challenge in that category. What overwhelmed her was going from the lone picnic table at her little school to what equated to a food court at her new school. There were too many choices of food to buy, and too many people to share food with or receive leftovers from.

As we chatted during the first few weeks, I focused on her social adjustment because the school was much bigger, and I was concerned about her adjusting to life there. She had a new friend whom I asked about often. The girl was quite small and shy, but so was my daughter, so I thought they might forge a unique and empathetic bond. But from bits of conversation here and there, I learned that the new friend was very thin and was required by her teachers to leave class to eat snacks at certain times. She had a disorder, and I was troubled to realize that my daughter was enjoying far too much of the food that her friend desperately needed to eat but didn't want.

I made a "defensive perception" about my daughter. She was tempted by food and was not, at that point, able to withstand the temptation. Her friendship was not healthy for her or for her friend. She was happily overeating food that was meant for a child who needed to eat it. Defensive perception helps us see situations that require action to protect our children from temptations that they are not mature enough to handle and to train them in ways to overcome weaknesses.

These two forms of perception work together. When we adopted our son, he was already nine years old. Grant had lived in a village in Siberia, where he had never gone to school and pretty much had always done what he wanted, when he wanted. This meant that he was used to bouncing around like a Ping-Pong ball at every hour of the day and night.

The overactive Grant hit the limit at about month three into the adoption. It was Christmas break. All the kids were home all day. In Florida, that means playing outside. Grant was out of control, and my kids weren't the only ones complaining. He was driving the neighborhood kids crazy. He was so out of control that he hit our neighbor in the face with a broom. The neighbor was a high school football player three times Grant's size. When the mother of a defensive lineman politely mentions to you that your son is being rough, you can't help perceiving you have a serious problem.

My defensive perception: Grant had a problem with self-control that stemmed from too much energy. So I had Grant get out my bike; then I hopped on and pedaled away. "Come with me," I yelled over my shoulder.

He happily ran after me, and we continued for about half a mile before he said (and I wish you could have heard it in his little Russian accent), "Mom, what are we doing?"

I explained that from that day forward he had to run around the block whenever he did something wrong. I then told him that he had seven blocks to run for the seven misdemeanors so far that day.

"Okay," he said, "what is this block for?"

"This block is for knocking your sister over."

And around and around we went. He chattered for 3.5 miles. He hopped on and off the curb, leapt over puddles, and jumped to swat tree branches. He wasn't even remotely out of breath. He was only nine. After that he usually had to run almost every day.

Months later I had an offensive perception: I could use Grant's energy problem as an opportunity. It was a week before the Gasparilla 15K, an annual nine-mile race in Tampa. I asked a friend of ours who was running in the race if he would let Grant pace behind him. He was fascinated with Grant's story and agreed.

At mile eight in the race, my friend, amazed that Grant did not even seem winded, cut him loose. He pointed to the finish line ahead and said, "Run, Grant, run!" Grant bolted for the entire remaining mile and won the race for his age group.

To this day Grant is still running, but not as a consequence for disobedience. He is running for pleasure in high school and winning at state competitions.

I perceived that Grant had a problem behaving because he had too much energy. Defensively, I had to do something to help him so he wouldn't get in trouble or fail in life. So I required him to run. Then I perceived that Grant was good at it and that his problem could be used offensively as an opportunity. I had to help him use his gift of unlimited energy to succeed.


Excerpted from The Passionate MOM by SUSAN MERRILL Copyright © 2013 by Susan B. Merrill. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Susan Merrill is a wife, mother of five, director of iMOM.com, want-to-be blogger, and the very imperfect Merrill family manager. Susan lives in Tampa, Florida, with her handsome hubby, author Mark Merrill, and two or, depending on the day, up to five of her children ages 16 to 22. On those days she happily forsakes all other responsibilities to run a bed and breakfast / Laundromat for college students.

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The Passionate Mom: Dare to Parent in Today's World 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
LEMommy More than 1 year ago
What an amazing journey this book has been able to take me on! I constantly struggle with guilt and how I make mistakes in my parenting. I mean, who doesn't want to be the perfect parent right? I read, and read, and READ every parenting book I can get my hands on, and before I know it I am more confused and more frustrated about what I am actually supposed to do, or NOT do. My children are miserable, my husband is miserable, I am beyond miserable and this downward spiral just keeps happening. Then I read The Passionate Mom- this is real folks. Real life. It's a gentle, forgiving and uplifting guide that will help you to be the very best parent you can be! Simply put, raw emotion and real-life expierence from the author reminds us that we are not alone in this parenting journey and that we all have struggles. Although I am not a religious person, Susan has taken simple religious teachings to give us a easy reminder of how to get back to the simple basics. She talks mostly about being passionate but there is such a much bigger lesson to be learned here. Each chapter made me want to go back and read it again, just in case I missed something. It's that good, get this book. You won't be disappointed!
NMahoney More than 1 year ago
Wow. The Passionate Mom is truly a life changing book. I was hesitant when I began reading. Wondering if I would be able to apply any takeaways in a timely fashion.I could not have been more wrong!! This book hits home from page 1. I have been recommending it to other moms since the moment I started reading. This is a must read for any Mom. Love it!
MrsDehn More than 1 year ago
Wow. I have been telling other moms about this book since the moment I picked it up. This is so much more than a parenting book. The 10 P's can be applied to anything one is passionate about. Definitely, a book you need in hard copy to reference and remember all the amazing lessons. Thanks Susan for getting your great ideas out to the masses!
knowltonnest More than 1 year ago
The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill is a book written for moms who are passionate to parent their children in purposeful ways. Susan's practical and biblical building blocks come from the book of Nehemiah in the Bible. There are ten ways a mother needs to cultivate as parent well: perception, pondering, passion, prayer, patience, preparation, purpose, planning, problem solving and perseverance. Each chapter outlines solid principles with Susan's real life examples, confessions and powerful encouragement to inspire moms to dare to be the parent that God has desired for them. I thought I was a passionate mom, but after reading this book I feel like I've been given the tools to really be the passionate mom I want to be. I was very intrigued with Susan's connection of how to be a mom with the story of Nehemiah. She strategically wrote step by step exactly how to embrace the high calling of a mom and rely totally on God for all that is needed. She identified so many areas that I need to work on and also addressed areas I hadn't even thought of yet like dating, computers, cell phones and social media (my kids are still very young). I was very impressed, encouraged and inspired to pursue being a passionate mom. This book is a definite must have for moms who need biblical, practical and honest truth to pursue God's desire for motherhood in their lives.
KRubio More than 1 year ago
Whether you are religious or not, this book really hits home for all moms. I don't think I've ever read a single parenting book from which I was able to use every tip, pointer, piece of advice. This book is so different. It really doesn't matter how old your kids are, it applies to all! I am a working mommy of 3 kids (8, 6 and 3). This book has made me feel like I can handle it all with PASSION!!
Godly-wifey More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely life changing and eye opening when it comes to parenting! I am new to parenting and I'm glad I found this book early. I recommend this book for anyone struggling to be more passionate at being a mom.
momof2g More than 1 year ago
I love, love, LOVE this book!!!  It is WONDERFUL and made me take a look at my parenting style.  It's full of great ideas that I started implementing right away that my kids have been receptive to.  Susan Merrill is a fantastic writer and I would buy and read any book she puts out.  It's an easy read (and being a full time working Mom - I don't have a ton of time to read) but I zipped right through this and it was ENGAGING!    DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS BOOK!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a mother to three wonderful children (ages 4, 8 and 18) and also work full-time outside of the home. I know time is precious and I have to say this is one of those books you will want to pick up each time you have that extra time. This book has been such an eye-opener for me in so many ways!!! The Passionate Mom will be changing lives...April 16 can't come soon enough. Feeling very blessed to be a part of this!
S-Shadowen1 More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! I started making notes within the first chapter and immediately putting into practice some of the suggestions. My boys responded positively! I highly recommend this book!
Kyannap More than 1 year ago
Are you a parent? Are you expecting? Read this book. Then next year, read it again. This book echoes my hope for my children & reassures me that I’m not alone. We are constantly questionning ourselves as moms whether it be our style of raising a child, discipline techniques, or our relationship with each child. This book does an amazing job of touching on so many aspects of parenting and then giving real life examples. You will find yourself shaking your head yes or saying “exactly” chapter after chapter. The author has 5 children of her own, drawing the reader in providing first hand accounts of her experiences. You’ll learn about building your own “wall” for your children. The first brick described is perhaps the most important and a true testament to Susan’s abilities as a mom. Brick #1 is Perception, “A passionate mom must perceive what is happening in her child’s world”. As you read thru the remaining 7 “bricks” you will be captivated with how you relate to each. Regardless of the age of your child or children, you will be able to relate to the content in this book. I will be purchasing this book for my closest girlfriends and I’m hopeful they will pass the book on to other great moms.
Mom_of_four0 More than 1 year ago
Susan Merrill did an excellent job writing a book relevant to parenting today. She validated many of my maternal feelings and intuitions. I love how she not only validates motherhood today, but she also relates it back to biblical principles. This book will help reveal areas of weakness and give practical advice on being a better mother. It’s easy to get into a routine of habit and miss opportunities with our children simply because we are too busy to notice. As Susan says, you must have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Plan). Susan’s words will inspire you to see past your present struggles in a positive mother and your children will thank you for perfecting her 10 P’s! Love, Love, Love this book and author!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down!!! Love this book so much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a lot of books on parenting, especially since I was/am a young mom and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t messing anything up. After all, children don’t come with a book that tells you how to raise them even if some of us wish they did! Everyone has different opinions on how to properly raise a child and you’ll even get opinions from complete strangers. An elderly woman in a store once walked up, plucked my daughters pacifier from her mouth and said in her most matter of fact tone “Babies don’t need these nasty things.” She refused to give it back and it took a manager and two police for the woman to return the item she had yanked from my now screaming infants mouth. There are people who say spankings work best and others say time out, even more say love and positive reinforcement and I’ll  be honest when I hear positive reinforcement it makes me think of dogs but I can understand the concept. With so many theories, how do you know which book will give you the right advice? Well because the right book will jump out at you, keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to read until it’s done. That’s what this book did for me. The Passionate Mom gives amazing advice and spiritual guidance as well. So if you’re looking for an amazing parenting book then this is the one I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so thankful to have found this book shortly after the birth of my daughter. It has been a blessing and encouragement to me as I enter into motherhood. I highly recommend it to all of my expecting friends.
ReadWorm More than 1 year ago
The Passionate Mom – Dare to parent in today’s world – Susan Merrill There are many parenting books out there aimed at mom’s in today’s world – how to cope with the frantic pace of life that we all lead and to stay on top of raising well adjusted moral children. I must admit that the idea of Nehemiah being the basis for a book about mom’s seemed somewhat out there for me but I was pleasantly surprised. Using for P’s as the framework and structure for her book, Susan Merrill fleshes out what it means to be a Christian mom raising children in a world that does not support the efforts of these champions. Perception, Pondering, Passion and Prayer is the framework for the walls that we build protecting ad providing for our children. A well written book. Very good and highly recommended to anybody wanting to really get to grips firstly with the big job of raising Godly children and secondly a deeper understanding of the book of Nehemiah. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let’s face it being a mother is the best job in the world, but it can also be an isolating and very hard job as well.  This book gives many real world examples that make you realize that as a mother you are not alone! When you have a newborn, there is a plan for everything, a plan for sleeping, a plan for eating, etc.  As your child grows, things change and a different kind of plan is needed, but what kind of plan and where do you find this plan?  The Passionate Mom gives you a plan and gives you encouragement!! In this book, a step by step plan is outlined based on the book of Nehemiah.  It is a very helpful and easy read.  I highly recommend this book to any Mom!
JamieLynnT More than 1 year ago
Wow! What an incredible book. The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill is a fantastic book for every mother. This book has to be the most refreshing, honest, thought provoking books on motherhood that I've ever read. She uses the book of Nehemiah from the Bible to draw out wisdom, advice and guidance for being a mom in today's world. She's honest about the trials as well as the joys of motherhood and you feel like you're right in the trenches with her not just reading about a mom who has it all together telling you how to do/be better. Every mother NEEDS to read this book!
amanjules More than 1 year ago
The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill is a positive book that focuses on the influence of mothers. I wanted to see if this book was any different than all my other "Mom" instruction books, and I found it really was refreshing! The theme is practical with the "bricks" we need for building being qualities we must work on in ourselves. The author is just so REAL in this book about her imperfections as a mom, so when she is handing you these "bricks", you do not feel judged or discouraged. After reading it, you feel positive about being a mom, and you feel like you have some new tools to handle the variety of situations that arise for a mom. I came away being spiritually encouraged and would recommend this book to moms of all ages and even expecting moms as a definite must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 I have read many self help, religious, and parenting books in the past. The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill is just different than anything else that I have ever read. As the mother of three wonderful children, I am constantly searching for the right balance in life. I want to raise my children to be Faithful, Successful, and Independent adults. This book provides an awesome outline with the 10 P's! It is a MUST read...whether you are a brand new Mom or you have been one for years like me!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As any parent, I question my parenting.  "Am I doing the right thing?"  "How do I know what the right thing is?"  "What do I do next?"  I find it particularly difficult as a single mother, because there are times when I have no one to bounce ideas and problems off of.  The Passionate Mom:  Dare to Parent in Today's World lays down steps on how to parent based off one of the books of the bible, Nehemiah.  This book helped me in several ways: It helped me to see that I need to involve God more in my parenting.  It encouraged me to delve into my bible more and learn about a book of the bible that I had never given much time or thought to.  And it led me me grow more confident in my parenting plan.  This is a great new tool for my Mom Toolbox!  
MrsYoder More than 1 year ago
I have a stack of "helpful" books that I want to read, someday. This book falls into the "helpful" category. However, I am glad I picked it to read TODAY! Moms, be encouraged! Susan Merrill offers hope, support, and practical, realistic advice for parents AND fills this book with enough interesting personal stories to keep you reading. Susan has the experience of a veteran mom and the heart and humor to share it. I love getting the iMOM "Espresso Minute" emails and through these I was introduced to Susan. When I heard that she wrote a whole book, I knew it was a must-read. Pick up this book and don't put it down until you finish it! Moms, take heart! It can be done!
LBateman More than 1 year ago
So much practical, yet incredibly insightful information, packed into this book. I love the way the author shares her own parenting stories and even her "confessions." She's transparent about parenting her five children (two adopted at an older age) who have a range of temperaments. She does not pretend to be the perfect mom - but she provides all of us moms with a vision for parenting our children. She believes that a passionate mom can parent well AND with confidence; and her book provides a plan. "A passionate mom has a plan for parenting her children from birth to adulthood." Although that may sound daunting, Merrill's approach is not. As I stated earlier, the book is insightful and inspiring, yet practical. I would highly recommend this book for moms with children of any age.
JScarboro More than 1 year ago
The Passionate MOM by Susan Merrill This is book was a great read for this mother of four. It challenged me to use the bricks and mortar that make a strong wall through parenting with passion and open gates with a plan to raise wise children to become independent adults.