Mitten Strings for God: Reflections  for Mothers in a Hurry
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Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  953 ratings  ·  255 reviews
As mothers today we are faced with a daunting list of responsibilities. How easy it is to simply rush headlong through our lives, slaves to our daily obligations, and in the process race our children through their childhood. But there is a better way... In Mitten Strings for God, Katrina Kenison shares her own search for a more satisfying balance in her life. The result is...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2000)
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Melanie
Sep 24, 2009 Melanie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: moms
Recommended to Melanie by: Karen Barnes
This was a quick read for moms. (Don't let the title deter you - what the crap? Who names a book using the words "mitten strings???") My aunt recommended it when she saw I had read "I Am a Mother." This one was more of a reprimand to moms who don't spend enough time and energy being moms. But in a good way. It just makes you realize how much value there is in just being present in your kids' lives. This book was a little more of a how-to book than "I Am a Mother" was. Parts of it were a little w...more
Mandy
When I first heard of Katrina Kenison's book, Mitten Strings for God: Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry, I mentally brushed it off. With such a title, I expected the book to proselytize religious beliefs. When the book showed up in my mailbox from the publisher, I picked it up with apprehension, and found I was pleasantly surpirsed.

There are a handful of religious references in the book, but Kenison mentions them only in context to her life and never comes out and says anything definitive about...more
Megan
I must say that I really didn't like this book. I felt it was VERY self righteous and incredibley unrealistic. She acts like she prances after her children, playing a flute and showering them with flowers. She never mentions the fact that she works so they are likely in daycare, never mentions the laundry or the million other things to get done. She talks about all their activities and then says you shouldn't have them in too many activities. I felt it was hypocritical by omission. In our family...more
Alicia
As a mother of children the same age as Ms. Kenison's I was interested to see what she had to say. I was captivated. Ms. Kenison said so much that resonated with me concerning raising your children. Don't get me wrong this is not a parenting book so much as a gentle suggestion book. This is a bit like a gentle conversation filled with musings from a good friend over coffee. I highly reccommend this book to any parent witha spiritual bent.
Emily (emjoy20)
This book was a relaxing, peaceful read. Excellent example to work constantly to prioritize and have our lives reflect what we want and believe in. I've heard some that thought that this book was too "idealistic" and I see what they mean. The author paints a very rosy picture of family life. But I loved that it gave a glimpse of how important the choices we make as mothers are for our kids and homes. Great mothering pick-me-up.
Becky
A dear, dear friend sent me a copy of this and I loved every beautifully written chapter. Such great reminders to slow down and enjoy every last minute with my kids while they are young. It also stresses how much my own attitude permeates the attitudes of those around me - if I am at peace, the house will be more peaceful. I'd recommend this to any busy mom out there. Five stars!
Emily
I read this and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother at the same time and it was such a stark contrast! I read Tiger Mother in about 24 hours and this one took me a few weeks, which is appropriate because Mitten Strings is about taking time to enjoy the day, noticing the little things, appreciating the quiet, being still, meditating and appreciating. Tiger Mother is Go! Go! Go!
If you like Anne Morrow Lindbergh, or feel overscheduled, or could just use a reminder of the beauties of motherhood, I reco...more
Sanz
This book is outstanding. I read it in two nights and an early morning. I dog-eared so many pages and marked so many passages. It is easily my favorite parenting book. (Simplicity Parenting is now my second favorite.)

"Sometimes, it seems, there are discernible changes overnight. The boy who meets my gaze at the breakfast table is not the same one whose cheek I kissed the night before. And even as I marvel at the latest incarnation, I grieve for yesterday's child, already a memory. To love them...more
Wendy
This is a book that I started reading as we were trying to choose our church Mom's group book for a book discussion (I am co-leader). While we didn't choose this one, I still wanted to finish reading it. This is a book about embracing our children while they are young because they grow up so fast. I enjoyed all of the topics author Katrina Kenison touched on and many points she made were points I can truly identify with.
Jen
I am going to return this to the library and pick up a copy for myself. Just after reading the first few chapters, I knew it was a book I would want to come back to. It is one of those books to read every few months just to slow down your mind, bring your focus back to what is important and really get some warm-and-fuzzies about being a mommy and the blessings of having a family.
Diane
Loved this book. Although I'm not in 100% agreement with her logic w/no tv, we have scaled back dramatically and it has made a huge difference in the quality of our lives since computers, ipods, television in general tends to take over our lives. Highly recommend it, especially to busy, working mothers who want a reminder to slow down and cherish every moment.
Juli
I learned to slow down and not try to do everything that we can possibly do for our children. They do not need to be in every imaginable activity to have a good childhood. They also need time to slow down and take in the marvelous world around them. It's nice for them to have time to make their own discoveries instead of having everything fed to them.
Cheryl
A lovely gem of a book. So much wisdom about choosing our priorities as a Mother. I learned so much, it spoke to my soul an answered actual prayers. It is about being an intentional parent an slowing down in this crazy life. Probably my favorite parenting book I've ever read
Jenn
This book has the lamest title in the history of books, but I really enjoyed her thoughts on motherhood and slowing down so you can authentically enjoy it. She reminds you to find joy in the simple and mundane tasks that are a necessary part of motherhood.
Brynn
This book really made me reevaluate my life and what is important each day. It helped me to take a step back and contemplate what is really important in the day-to-day for my children. It was excellent--I highly recommend it.
Rose
It's amazing how much I relate to this book. In this day and age I have taught my children to live simply and to entertain themselves with the arts. We really don't watch a lot of TV...we probably could live without it!
Kristen
I read this book, then reread it, then reread it. Katrina is a beautiful writer and much of her subject matter here resonated with me as the mother of two young children.
Gaynell
Love! Katrina Kenison understands the moments in mothering that matter. The moments in mothering that are pearls which we string on a string and store in our hearts.
Sarah Evans
Great for any mother to glean great things to apply in ones life as a mother. Loved it!
Michelle
Beautiful book, I reference it a lot. Especially the pretzel recipe....
Michelle
I thought this was going to be corny, but it is very well-written and thought-provoking. Ideally I would have read it when my children were younger (preschool - early elementary), but it still gave me some great perspective. What do I want our family culture to be? How do I want my children to remember their childhood? How exactly does one go about creating peace and space when our culture is to fill every spare moment with activities? Anyway, I do recommend it especially for young mothers who c...more
Ashley
Memoir? Check.
Musings on motherhood? Check.
Final chapter that made me cry? Check.

My oldest is closing in on 4 years old, and I already feel like he's too grown up! I found this book at the right time - the last week or so, my 3-year-old and I have spent several afternoons laying on the hammock, sometimes reading and sometimes just listening. That hour of time with his mommy makes him happier than any new toy, TV show, or sports lesson ever could. This book assures mothers of what we already know...more
Kerstin Olcott
This book is another book club book. It's completely perfect for where I am in my life right now. Kenison is a working Mom, raised during the feminist movement, who has chosen to slow her life down and really be mindful of the fleeting time she has with two sweet little spirits. Kenison has re-prioritized her life around finding joy, simplicity, and peace while nurturing her children and her own inner spirit. The book reminds me a bit of The Creative Family although it is focused more on finding...more
Patriciahoperose
"I've learned that even a small shift in my own thinking usually has a more powerful effect on my day-to-day life than any full-scale attempt at self-improvement.

"This is one thing motherhood has taught me: Living according to my values does not necessarily mean being rigid in my convictions about what's 'right.' Sometimes our children's needs do not coincide neatly with our own beliefs. And therein lies a challenge. Do I try to control every aspect of our family environments, or do I allow oth...more
Emilie
Wow! This book was recommended by a friend and it will now be my new highly recommended read for all Moms. This book is beautifully written, with rich, colorful words and visions into the life of the writer that make you yearn to slow your pace, as she has. Despite the many gorgeously written paragraphs of scenes her family has experienced since simplifying her life, she never once comes of as preachy or unattainable. In fact, the many far-from-perfect experiences she shares fro her own mistake...more
Sarah
I loved this book! She painted a beautiful picture of what a home/family can be. I was tempted to knock the rating down. At times I felt some animosity towards the author and her seemingly "perfect" family, ideas, and ability to put it all into action,etc. I fully realize that this was due to jealousy on my part because her pretty little picture doesn't seem possible at this point in my life. I have to take into account the atmosphere that my brother is trying to provide for his children and the...more
Janene
Picture a thoughtful and deliberate mommy, putting her blog into a book (only this was written before blogs were invented. I think.) It was a read that solidified my commitment to what I want family life to be like -- for myself, my husband, and my children.

Kenison shares her personal experiences and insights on making her home one of simplicity, peace, safety, and true joy. Lots of great points on what is truly needful (less than you might think) and what just plain isn't.

I felt a little guilty...more
Carolyn
This wonderful woman is a great advocate for motherhood. Her writing style just makes you feel like you're cozying up in her home by a warm fire with a chocolate chip cookie in your hand. :-) She doesn't hide the challenges of raising children, but she gives great ideas at enabling you to be a better parent yourself. It's divided in many small chapters with titles such as "Simplicity, Wants & Needs, and Secret Places." I would be happy to read more of her books.
Becky
I liked it in that she made me think about what I wanted my own home to "feel" like. I appreciated her chapter on quiet. She says to not be afraid of quiet and for some reason that was a fear of mine ,that somehow Brady won't grow up to be smart unless words are being thrown at him all the time. On Saturday I tested her theory out. Brady and I got into the car and I immediately turned off the radio. After a couple minutes, Brady started to jabber away! (Brady hardly every speaks). Perhaps, Brady...more
Beth
The chapters of this book read a little like blog entries, and had I read it as a blog, I probably would have read it, enjoyed it, and subscribed to the feed. Yes, I rather liked many of these chapters alone. But put it all in a book -- and it's a little much. I guess that my biggest complaint is that somehow the author came off as a little too perfect. Most of her positive examples came from her personal experience while the negative ones came from friends. I guess I would have liked it more if...more
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"I write to remind myself of how I want to live and who I want to be," says KATRINA KENISON, author of three beloved memoirs that, together, chart the seasons of a woman's life.
Her first book, MITTEN STRINGS FOR GOD: REFLECTIONS FOR MOTHERS IN A HURRY, now a classic for parents of young children, is a compelling invitation to do less and enjoy life more -- in a culture that urges "bigger, better...more
More about Katrina Kenison...
The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment The Best American Short Stories 1992 Mothers: Twenty Stories of Contemporary Motherhood The Best American Short Stories 2005

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“we can learn to trust our maternal selves and to have faith in the innate goodness and purity of our children - even when we feel overwhelmed and the kids are pushing all our buttons. we can support one another....we can be understanding of each other and easier on ourselves.” 11 likes
“We are the windows through which our children first see the world. Let us be conscious of the view.” 5 likes
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