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Mother's Milk: Poems in Search of Heavenly Mother

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  439 ratings  ·  140 reviews
In this stunning new collection of poems, Rachel Hunt Steenblik (Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings) explores the deep, human longing for a divine mother to complement the male God that has long dominated our culture. Lovingly illustrated by Ashley Mae Hoiland (One Hundred Birds Taught Me to Fly).

Praise for Mother's Milk

“In these brief and moving poems, Rachel Hunt

Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published August 1st 2017
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Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
This book had my whole heart.
Liz VanDerwerken
This collection of poems is meditative, piercing, poignant, wonderful, lovely. I love poetry for its ability to say so much with so little—to act as a springboard or starting point for introspection and exploring one's own feelings. This book of "poems in search of Heavenly Mother" does just that with the merest of suggestions and musings, coming from Rachel's experiences and stories, and those of others around her. The reframing of familiar scriptural language, the imagery of mothers and ...more
Feisty Harriet
There were several of these (*very*) short poems I really enjoyed, themes and ideas that very much resonated with me. However I think mothers of young children (infants and toddlers) will relate to this book much more than I did. I became a mother when my kids were 6 and 8, and adopted my own mother figures when I was in my twenties. I am not and will not be a biological mother, and have zero relationship with my own biological mother. Am I an outlier, yes. But am I completely unique in my ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The belief in a feminine divine has long been one of my deepest spiritual hopes. If a Father in Heaven, then certainly a Mother too. I can only believe in one if I can hope for both.

This collections of poems about the feminine divine was written shortly after Rachel Hung Steenblik gave birth, which means it draws heavy inspiration from the roles of child bearing and nursing as sources of closeness to Heavenly Mother. As my life has not included child bearing, my closeness to Her isn't based on
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
These poems were beautiful, delicate and thought-provoking.
Kristin Perkins
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I have a lot of mixed feelings and confused thoughts about the Mormon doctrine of Heavenly Mother. (Part of me likes the idea of a divine feminine. Part of me dislikes the reinscription of heterosexuality. It's all well-worn.) As such, I didn't relate to some of these poems, but some of them sucker punched my heart. I was definitely crying in the car over this book before work this morning.
Exponent II
Rachel Hunt Steenblik has stepped into a great Mormon spiritual-theological gap and filled it with a gentle, yet thunderous, sound. The tiny poems of Mother’s Milk reach into the cosmos to deliver a message about the nature of our spiritual-developmental origins as children of a Heavenly Mother. These poems occupy a distinguished place as a uniquely Mormon book of wisdom literature, and as such they map a path for our spiritual seeking that contains the guiding hope of one day healing the wounds ...more
Emily January
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These poems, though tiny, are powerful, amplifying the voices of so many women, named and unnamed, who remind me that I am not alone. This synthesis of theology about Heavenly Mother and yearnings to know more about her is the book I have spent time in my closet crying for, when I asked in prayer, "Where is my Mother?"
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely collection. A few favorites:

She can sleep
without her Mother,
but she doesn't want to.

Desiree was born
with a hole in her heart,
the size of an eye.
My heart has a hole,
the size of my Mother.

She is what I mean,
when I say, I want
to go home.

The work and glory
of the Mother
is to bring to pass the
immortality and
eternal life of
Her children.

The work and glory
of the Mother
is to love.

Creation is
more than
It is snow,
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
A beautiful, difficult read for me.
Kelly Weed
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this while in the process of weaning my baby, which made some of the poems even more hard hitting. It has been a long time since I’ve read a collection of poems, and I loved how much meaning was packed into so few words (but also how much room was still left for me to fill in my own perspective). I read this all in one sitting and I will definitely go back for a closer reading in the future.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious-lds
I really loved this collection of poems about Heavenly Mother. Many of the poems drew parallels between earthly mothering and Heavenly Mother's possible role. As a current mother of a young child, they really touched me in a raw and emotional place. Can we explain the "sacred" silence about Heavenly Mother by explaining that she's using the bathroom by herself and taking a long shower? Can we demand to hear more about Heavenly Mother through the mouth of a toddler screaming "I want my Mommy! I ...more
Conor Hilton
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Hunt Steenblik+Ashley Mae Hoiland

A beautiful, poignant collection of poems. Frequently brought tears to my eyes with its longing and reaching for Heavenly Mother and the divine feminine. There's a personal and intimate connection with the divine present here that may not always be what my connection is or hopes to be, but is unabashedly Rachel's, modeling one path to strive towards the divine feminine. Ashmae's illustrations are a perfect accompaniment for Rachel's poetry—
A personal and emotional approach to the unique doctrine of Heavenly Mother. It is theology of the heart rather than the head. I recommend everyone read this book whether you accept the author’s comments in whole, in part, or not at all. It’s not always easy for me to read these books. I feel strongly about equality of men and women in the church. I feel strongly about expanding and seeking more understanding about the doctrine of heavenly mother. My friends are mostly progressives. I consider ...more
Holli Keel
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a lovely collection of tiny poems about searching for and connecting with a heavenly mother. Many of the poems resonated with me, though some felt very personal, making it harder to relate.

I wish this book had been published and widely shared years ago, when I was still in search of a Mormon heavenly mother. This book would have been very healing and given me hope. At this point in my life, reading the book brought up feelings of sadness, loss, and anger. I'm very glad this book exists
Lindsay Merrill
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful collection of poems that represents well the Latter-day Saint belief in a Heavenly Mother, as well as the innately human yearning to be loved, nurtured, and mothered by the Divine.

As with any collection of poems or art, I didn't love every single piece and some resonated with me much better than others. I had tears in my eyes many times and loved the experience of reading this book. I love that it exists.

One last thought: I love Ashley Mae Hoiland's art and felt that her
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My only criticism is that I'd like to see the artwork in color.

In this book of poems I recognized my own aching to know the Mother in Heaven. I also found ways to discover her. I felt the power and truth of femininity and motherhood. I felt the Holy Ghost.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lds
Rachel's small poems are beautiful, weaving together her experience as a woman and a mother with scripture, song, and other sources to explore the presence and absence of Heavenly Mother in LDS and human experience. Heartfelt, grace-full, and touching.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
some lovely original thoughts-however, also a lot of switching father/man to mother/woman from other writings which felt repetitive, boring & even a bit plagiaristic after awhile...
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rachel seeks and finds and shares her Heavenly Mother.

I want my momma, too.
Tiffany Freeman
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The poems are incredibly short. I read the whole collection in a half hour like I was starving for words. Then I spent a few months pouring over them and annotating and letting them just sit in my mind/heart or lead me down a rabbit hole of study. There are some I’m not sure how I ever lived without so clearly did the school me or speak words to feelings I have always had but couldn’t articulate. The illustrations are tops and my 5 year-old boy often watched me read just to look at them. It was ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the many weird things about Mormonism (my religion), the taboo nature of Heavenly Mother ranks up there as one of the weirdest to me. So I really appreciated this effort to explore the concept, idea, doctrine, etc. of Heavenly Mother. I think it helps re-envision and familiarize what is mostly an undiscussed issue within the church, and I hope it serves as a step toward demystifying and more fully integrating the idea of a Heavenly Mother into our culture.
Rebekah Weaver
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"These are the poems that I could write with my questions, my hurt, my hope, and my reaching. Others could write other poems with theirs. I hope that they will. We need them all."

Cried the whole way through. One of those things that you don't realize how much you need until you have it.
Sara B.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Quite of few poems really resonated. Beautiful.
Lisa Guzman
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend passed a copy to me to read and share my thoughts, to be passed to another after me. I like sharing it with women who wonder, too.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't work for me poetically, emotionally, or theologically. But I gave 2 stars because I did like some of them and I appreciate the exploration.
Kaitlyn Adams
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poems to be treasured and meditated on one-by-one. They should be read aloud over cribs and from pulpits. So beautiful, so necessary.
Calvin Olsen
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm mentioned in this book. Automatic ten-star rating. Oh, yeah, the poems are beautiful, too. Simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching (just like poetry should be).
Marie Palmer
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that I needed this book but I needed this book more than I imagined. It was a treasure for a woman raised in patriarchy & looking for a more familiar image in God.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, mormon
"It is difficult to say now
if She was created in
my image, or I in Hers.
What is easy to say now is
when I look inside a mirror,
I see God. "

This was a brave and beautiful collection of poems, with lovely illustrations. Poetry was an excellent format for this exploration of the divine feminine. For me, poetry is less about certainty, and more a place of exploration, interesting questions, and emotional response. If I had been exposed to these ideas as a persuasive essay, I would have been constantly
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“What Joseph Taught Me If women do not comprehend the character of God the Mother, they do not comprehend themselves.” 0 likes
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