5 Minutes for Books – This week’s review and contest: Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God

Welcome to “5 Minutes for Books” – our newest column at 5 Minutes for Mom. Here we will feature both children’s books and books for Mom, usually with a copy to giveaway.

At 5 Minutes for Mom, we love to review and giveaway books. So, we thought, why not organize it all into a regular weekly feature? To help us out with the new column, (Susan and I just don’t have enough time to read and review all the books we want to!) we have enlisted the help of book lover and blogger, Jennifer Donovan, from Snapshot.

Jennifer, who is also one of our regular contributors at Faith Lifts, regularly reviews books on her blog Snapshot. So when I was thinking of bloggers to call on for this assignment, Jennifer immediately came to mind. Susan and I will still review books for “5 Minutes for Books,” (we love reviewing books and can’t give it up!) but Jennifer will be the main reviewer. Thanks Jennifer – we are looking forward to reading your thoughts, insights and opinions.

This week’s review and contest: Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God by Mary E. Demuth

5M4Bsidebar.jpg I am so pleased to introduce the new “5 Minutes for Books” column. Janice and Susan have made 5 Minutes for Mom a great resource for all sorts of products of interest to moms. When they decided to create a regular column about books and they asked me to help, I was thrilled. I couldn’t wait to share my love of books with all of you here.

Even though I have an eight year old daughter who is in school and a three year old son who is home all day with me, I make time to read. I read for escape, losing myself in a great novel or memoir; I read for instruction, gleaning wisdom from other experts or moms like me about parenting and marriage and housekeeping; I read for encouragement, discovering others who have failed just as I have, but have lived to tell about it and to share secrets of their success.

Reading about others helps me to understand who I am. As I admire strengths in fictional heroines or real-life moms sharing their stories, I realize that I want to possess those strengths myself (and at times I realize that I already do.) I am also confronted with weaknesses that I want to change, and sometimes an example of how to do so.

In Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God, Mary E. DeMuth shares her reflections on motherhood in exactly this way. Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God meets all of the reasons I read that I listed above. It is simply the best book on motherhood that I’ve ever read. The subtitle is “encouragement to refresh your soul,” and that it does. There is no 5 step plan to become a better mom or to transform you children into angels. This book is so effective because it speaks to moms, by offering personal thoughts about how we can:
Ordinary mom.jpg

  • connect with other moms
  • stop the whining (and stop our whining)
  • seek forgiveness from our kids
  • offer it to them freely
  • learn from our children while trying to teach them

In almost every chapter, Mary shares how mothering helps her to understand God more or to lean on Him in the times that she fails. She writes honestly, with real-life, often humorous examples. Each of the 60 short chapters could easily be read as a devotional, but I dare you to stop at just one each day!

To underscore my appreciation of this book, let me tell you that I have ordered no less than five copies of this book. It’s a favorite birthday gift for friends who are in the trenches of motherhood as I am.

You can read an excerpt from Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God on her blog pioneer parenting. We will also host Mary for an interview in July coordinating with the release of her new book. You can keep up with Mary at her main blog, Relevant Prose.

And of course – one of you is going to win a copy of Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God, generously donated by the author. We will draw a winner from the comments on this post and announce her name Monday, May 14th, at our next weekly installment of “5 Minutes for books.” So make sure you leave your comment for your chance to win!

Also, to let us know what you want to hear about in the future, in the comments you can share what your favorite type of book to read is, or what kinds of books you would like more information on.

Every Monday, Janice, Susan, or I will be sharing a book recommendation or an author interview, and we will most often have a giveaway as well! Feel free to put the button in your sidebar to let your readers know that you are taking time for books, and that there are books to be won each Monday here at 5 Minutes for Mom. (If you want the code, go to read more at the end of this post.)

I look forward to enjoying our ordinary lives and extraordinary books together each week.


Jennifer Donovan

edited to add: Canadians may enter, but please remember that there may be duties or taxes you need to pay when the item crosses the border.

For the button code,

Banner Code:

To include this button in your sidebar, copy and paste this code:


  1. says

    I’m always interested in books that give guidelines on how to balance it all! (motherhood, wife, sister, friend, etc..)

    I really want to jump start my reading again. Please enter my name into the book giveaway. Thanks Ladies :)

  2. says

    Jennifer how nice to see you here. I enjoyed your review so much I was all set to order the book! I’ll wait though to see if I win it first..lol. That is if this is open to us Canadians.


  3. Janice says

    Hi Laura – I am so sorry!!! We forgot to check with the author! We will check with her and I will edit the post to let you know. But if you are eligible, consider yourself entered! :)

  4. Brooke says

    What a wonderful idea! Love that you’ve included a book review into this blog. This first book sounds like a great read. No matter what I will have to pick it up. Thanks ladies!

  5. says

    hooray for book reviews. One of my favorite classes in college had a book review due every single week. tough work, but SO worth it.

  6. says

    This sounds like a great read! Thanks for offering it to us in a contest. My favorite type of books to read are bible based books, like books that bring me closer to God, and I also like fiction books, written by Christian authors like Beverly Lewis, Francine Rivers, Staci Wilder…to name a few.

  7. says

    Wow as a total book worm I am so excited about this column! I am always looking for new reads. This book sounds awesome.


  8. says

    HORRAY!!!! I love a good review – and great recommendations … and an opportunity to win one!! Sounds like a great book! – This is going on my ‘to read book’ whether I win or not :)


  9. says

    This sounds like an excellent book! I really appreciate when people review books because there are soooo many out there it is hard to really know which ones are worthwhile..but of, course, ya’ll know this! lol!!

  10. says

    I enjoy reading books that make me feel normal. I will put a button on my blog. thanks, you all always have the coolest things to give away.

  11. qbyrnes says

    I just found this site and both the books and getting 5 minutes for me sound wonderful. I have recently become a SAHM mom and have struggled with if I am doing the right thing as a mom sometimes. I would love to read this. Is it open to APO boxes? Still offically part of the US and the mailing is the same. Just wondering

  12. says

    I just discovered 5 Minutes for Mom last week. I have really enjoyed it! I love to read so this new article about books is so exciting. I appreciate reviews because I know before I begin a book if it is worth reading. I look forward to spending 5 minutes with mothers here everyday!

  13. SaraR says

    I definitely came across this site at the right time. I’m excited to learn about more good books out there!

  14. says

    a much needed read. I mostly read non-fiction. I see the author as a teacher, and I read like I’m having a conversation with that author. I have sooooo much to learn about parenting and marriage…and the Lord usually uses books to teach me.
    I’ve also started reading chic-lit (like Sharon Hink’s novels), which I didn’t think I’d love until I read it!

  15. says

    Thanks for sharing about this book with us. Sounds like a winner! I will also be purchasing it if I don’t win the drawing. :o) Nina

  16. says

    This book sounds great! Include me in the drawing. Thanks! I will look forward to stopping by on Mondays to hear your reviews.

  17. says

    Wow. It’s so great to see all these comments! Yes, I would ship to Canada or an APO. I wrote this book as an ordinary mom–full of doubts and weakness and neediness–who has encountered God’s strength. I’m thrilled you all may buy the book. I pray that it blesses you much.

    Mary E. DeMuth

  18. says

    What a wonderful book!
    It sounds incredible.
    The review is absolutely fantastic.
    I can’t think of any mom that wouldn’t lOVE this book!
    Thank you for letting us know about the book and for the FANTATIC review!
    Every blessing, your sister in Christ,

  19. says

    I’ve read Mrs. Demuth’s book on pioneer parenting (Building the Christian Family You Never Had) – it was great! I’m sure this one would touch my soul as well. Whether I win it here (which would be great! 😉 ) or not, I do plan to read it!
    Great review!

  20. says

    Hi Jennifer! I’m so glad you will be doing this column and I am totally looking forward to reading this book. In fact, I have been looking for a book for my every-time-I-go-to-a-baby shower gift, this sounds like it could be a contender.

  21. says

    I enjoyed reading your review. Sounds like a great book. Please enter me in this contest. Thanks!

    I would love to see reviews on inspirational books for moms/homeschool moms and books about character building for kids.

  22. Dianne says

    Sounds like a great book. I keep hearing wonderful things about Mary DeMuth’s writing, but haven’t had an opportunity to get any of her books yet. It would be super to win this one! 😀

  23. says

    Sounds like a great book, I’m excited that you’ll be reviewing books each week. Since I don’t have much time for reading I like it when a book is refered by someone else!!!!

  24. says

    Sounds like a wonderful book! I am always on the lookout for new things to read… thanks for the inspiration, and I look forward to future columns too.

  25. says

    I know you’re not supposed to “judge a book by it’s cover”, but I love the cover of this book! The review sounds great. Count me in to win! Thank you!

  26. Kim says

    I would love to be in the drawing. I recently read Mary’s “Pioneer Parenting” book and it REALLY ministered to me. As a first generation Christian, longing to teach my girls about what a great God they have, I am full of doubts and second guesses. It’s hard to do something you’ve never seen done (in a healthy, Christlike way) before. Mary’s writing is very personal, very authentic and made me realize I’m not crazy or alone in my journey. I finished the book feeling understood and hopeful. This book sounds like more encouragement for my soul. Who doesn’t need that? :)

  27. Caryn says

    I’m a first time mom to be and I’m always looking for books on raising children. Excited about this one. Please enter me!!!!

  28. says

    This is exactly the kind of books I currently enjoy reading. I would love to see more reviews on encouragement/self-help for mothers or stay-at-home moms. Please enter me in your contest.

  29. Laurie says

    This is so great! I recently started reading Mary’s book, “Building the Christian Family You Never Had.” I am loving it! (It feels like it was written just for me!) Anyway, this has gotten me interested in her other book so I’m so excited about this contest! Thank you entering me!

  30. says

    I’m so happy I was directed here by Mary. This sounds great! Count me in too! Mary Demuth is a friend of a friend – I think that’s called one degree of separation! 😉 Read her stuff!! It’s amazing!!

  31. Heather says

    I have recently begun to regularly read Mary’s blog and have enjoyed that. I am eager to add her books to my “to read” list.

  32. says

    I would love to be entered for the contest. I enjoy reading some Christian fiction but especially nonfiction books that really let me relate to the author — whether it be about motherhood or my faith.

  33. Jeannine says

    This book is actually on my Amazon wish list! Now that I’ve read your recommendation, I will be ordering it if I do not win. Thank you!

  34. says

    I love reading; and always have a list of “Books I Want to Read”. Thanks for adding another one to the list!
    Awesome prize for the winner!

  35. says

    Reading has always been a passion for me. A way to escape and refresh myself. I am looking forward to Mondays now and the juicy treasures you ladies will be sharing with us all. Great book I can’t wait to read it.


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