Title: Hula Hoop Girl
Author: September McCarthy
Publication Date: 2012
Place Acquired: Homemaking Bundle
About the author: September lives nestled in the rural hills of the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York. She has been married to her husband for twenty-three years and they have ten children. She home schools, writes on her web-site, and serves the Lord through sharing her life-story, while striving to raise the next generation with virtue. If you were to stop in for a visit, you would find a child (or two): on her lap, books strewn across the couch, a collection of pet frogs in a canning jar on her table, and a row of rain boots by the door.
Describe: This book was written to the people who have so much going on in their lives that they have trouble keeping up with it all. So many people living in Western cultures have gotten used to feeling the need to accomplish and commit to more than is possible, or even healthy. September’s goal is to let her readers know that our identity isn’t tied to our to do lists. She gives some practical steps to help you identify your “hula hoops” and choose which ones are worth continuing to spin and which ones could be put on the shelf, either temporarily or permanently.
Analyze: She dives right in with her hula hoop analogy and keeps that theme running throughout the book. It felt like she overdid it a little bit on the analogy use but I can see how many moms could relate to that constant motion. I did relate very much to her desire to learn to find “balance, flexibility, and acceptance to keep a focus on what is truly important.” She mentions walking through seasons of exhaustion and defeat and how these seasons can affect our physical, emotional, and spiritual state. Since I have just come through one of those seasons and walked into a season of peace, I was intrigued enough to keep reading. I was curious to know how another mother (and one of 10 children at that!) found her way through that season, and I’m always looking for help on finding ways to stay centered on the One who gives me rest.
Evaluate: The book was written in a very easy to follow format. I really liked her step-by-step chapter sequence: Step 1: Find your Center/Purpose. Step 2: Figure out what’s is causing your stress. Step 3: Encouragement and reminders that it is worth it to move forward through this season and so on. (That’s my own paraphrase/interpretation of her first few chapter titles.) It is a very similar process that I have taught in business enrichment seminars in the past and it is great to see it applied to the whole of living life. The very first note that I wrote down while reading this book was to pray to God to reveal my unique gifts and how me how to use them. Another challenging thought was the sin of coveting. McCarthy put out the challenge that when we compare ourselves to those who seem to have it all, we are not focusing on who God created us to be. She also stated the humbling truth that this line of thinking sends God the message that you think He forgot something when he created you – the very something that you are coveting. Her final chapters are about prioritizing your relationship with God, your health, and discovering which hula hoops He wants you to spin.
Recommendation: Mothers, all people nowadays actually, are held to an unreasonable and unhealthy standard of busyness and we live in a perpetual state of fatigue. McCarthy writes to those who are feeling the burden of wanting to keep up with everything and everyone. I think that we could all use a reminder on the importance of rest and how to get more of it. If you’re looking for advice on how to choose which hula hoops are meant for you and which ones you can (and, dare I say, should) put on the shelf, this book is worth a read.Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link. This means that, if you purchase and item through a link above, I will make a commission. I was not compensated in any way for this review and purchased, read, and reviewed the book on my own accord. I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own.