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

by Jennifer Donovan

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,

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

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 101 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tanyetta May 7, 2007 at 12:55 am

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 Laura May 7, 2007 at 12:57 am

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 May 7, 2007 at 1:03 am

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 Trista May 7, 2007 at 1:17 am

I’m in! :D


5 Jennifer May 7, 2007 at 1:20 am

This looks like a very interesting and much needed book! Thanks for the chance to win it!


6 Brooke May 7, 2007 at 1:36 am

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!


7 Atasha May 7, 2007 at 1:48 am

Please enter me in this contest. I need it so badly.


8 mira May 7, 2007 at 4:29 am

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.


9 Carey May 7, 2007 at 6:39 am

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.


10 Alexis May 7, 2007 at 6:43 am

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



11 Lu May 7, 2007 at 6:50 am

Please enter me in the contest! The book sounds great! Thanks!


12 Ruth :) May 7, 2007 at 6:53 am

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 :)



13 Jana May 7, 2007 at 7:15 am

Sounds good; count me in! I look forward to more reviews in the weeks to come; what a great new column!


14 Dirkey May 7, 2007 at 7:27 am

Sounds great, I’m in! :)


15 Meg May 7, 2007 at 7:56 am

Book reviews are a great idea! So is the contest :)


16 Alyson May 7, 2007 at 8:05 am

This book sounds simply wonderful! oh please pick me! pick me ! :)


17 Adventures In Babywearing May 7, 2007 at 8:16 am

Wow- this is so awesome! Putting it in my sidebar now!!



18 mama k May 7, 2007 at 8:29 am

enter me too please! sounds like a great book.


19 Lauren S. May 7, 2007 at 8:34 am

What a wonderful idea! I look forward to reading the reviews. Please count me in for the drawing!


20 Heather May 7, 2007 at 8:49 am

Great review. I’d love to win the book. If I don’t it is going on my to buy list.


21 Heather (Heather's reality show) May 7, 2007 at 9:18 am

Sounds really great! I love all the new stuff you guys are doing. Now I know when I hear from you Janice why you say you are always busy! It all makes sense now! :)


22 Kari May 7, 2007 at 9:34 am

Wow, that book looks fantastic…and what a GREAT idea for a new column…you guys ROCK! God bless!


23 Jessica May 7, 2007 at 9:37 am

I love this new column! The book sounds fabulous!!


24 Cindy May 7, 2007 at 10:06 am

Great review. Count me in!


25 BeckyB May 7, 2007 at 10:07 am

This sounds WONDERFUL – I would love to win it, but if I don’t you can be sure I will buy it!! Thanks for the review.


26 Jenny-up the hill May 7, 2007 at 10:13 am

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!!


27 Tessa May 7, 2007 at 10:20 am

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.


28 lifeasamama May 7, 2007 at 10:37 am

great review! this ordinary mom wants in…


29 qbyrnes May 7, 2007 at 10:55 am

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


30 Leslie May 7, 2007 at 10:59 am

Her perspective seems really interesting. Count me in!


31 Pattie May 7, 2007 at 11:38 am

What a great column! I also put it over on the Dot Com Women book blog. (www.dcwblogs.com/books)


32 Katrine May 7, 2007 at 11:51 am

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!


33 SaraR May 7, 2007 at 12:07 pm

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


34 Deb May 7, 2007 at 12:20 pm

Please enter me for this book, thanks.


35 Kari K May 7, 2007 at 12:21 pm

Looks like a great book! I would love to win it!


36 melody May 7, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Wonderful review. If I’m not fortunate to win, I’ll be purchasing this one.


37 anna May 7, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Great review…can’t wait to read it…I will be purchasing if I don’t win:-)


38 Tonja May 7, 2007 at 1:23 pm

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!


39 Nina May 7, 2007 at 1:41 pm

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


40 Chris May 7, 2007 at 1:52 pm

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


41 relevantgirl May 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm

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


42 Nancy Mleczko May 7, 2007 at 2:31 pm

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,


43 Jodi May 7, 2007 at 3:26 pm

What a great book!! *fingers crossed* I win!


44 Heather May 7, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I am all for anything bookish. :)


45 Ginny Parker May 7, 2007 at 3:39 pm

Sounds like a great book. I would love to be entered to win it.


46 YoungMommy May 7, 2007 at 3:50 pm

The weekly book reviews sound great…
Count me in for the drawing! Thanks :)


47 Susanne May 7, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Sounds like a wonderful book! Throw my name in for it please!

This is a great idea!


48 Laura May 7, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Sounds like a great book! Add me to the drawing!


49 monica - books are our friends May 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm

the odds are against it, but if the Lord wills…


50 Sarah May 7, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Sounds like a book I could really use right now!


51 JessicaB May 7, 2007 at 4:49 pm

Sounds like a great book. Enter me please.


52 Karla May 7, 2007 at 4:51 pm

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!


53 Rebecca May 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm

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.


54 Mrs Pear May 7, 2007 at 5:13 pm

This book sounds wonderful!

And I love the column, I will definitely be adding it to my blog!


55 Lani May 7, 2007 at 7:09 pm

Awesome! Please enter me too. :-)


56 Jenny May 7, 2007 at 7:12 pm

Sounds like a great book! I’d love to win!


57 melissa May 7, 2007 at 7:33 pm

sounds like one i want to read.


58 Melody May 7, 2007 at 7:53 pm

Wow, we read for the EXACT! SAME! REASONS! I love this idea, and the book sounds great! Thanks for starting this.


59 Charis May 7, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Count me in!


60 oh amanda May 7, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Sounds awesome!


61 LivingforGod May 7, 2007 at 9:46 pm

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.


62 leah belle May 7, 2007 at 11:04 pm

I’d love to read it. Hope I win!


63 Dianne May 7, 2007 at 11:04 pm

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! :D


64 bee May 7, 2007 at 11:08 pm

Sounds like a great book! I’m putting it on my “to read” list even if I don’t win it!


65 Heidi May 7, 2007 at 11:32 pm

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!!!!


66 dawnz:) May 8, 2007 at 12:12 am

This looks like a book I could really use! Please enter me!:)


67 Melinda May 8, 2007 at 3:17 am

OOO! OOO! OOO! I love books. I’m always reading. This is a GREAT contest and a wonderful column. THANK YOU.


68 Susan May 8, 2007 at 7:14 am

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.


69 purebillow May 8, 2007 at 8:42 am

Here via Mommylife… great column idea!


70 kardel May 8, 2007 at 8:48 am

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!


71 CPA Mom and Soccer Mom Angela May 8, 2007 at 8:53 am

also cpamomva.blogspot.com

What a great idea for a new column. I’ll put the button up today. This book sounds wonderful too!


72 CPA Mom and Soccer Mom Angela May 8, 2007 at 8:57 am

Do you have a smaller button? This one is too big for my sidebar. Thanks!


73 Krista Ratley May 8, 2007 at 9:47 am

That sounds like the book for me. If I dont win-can I buy this book at the Bible Store? or do I get it online?


74 Shauna May 8, 2007 at 10:31 am

I’d like to be entered to win the book!


75 Missy Kemp May 8, 2007 at 10:56 am

I would LOVE to win this book!


76 Kim May 8, 2007 at 11:48 am

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? :)


77 Aimee May 8, 2007 at 12:02 pm

Sounds like a great boo! I would love to read it! Thanks for sharing this book!


78 Caryn May 8, 2007 at 12:17 pm

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!!!!


79 Tammy May 8, 2007 at 8:22 pm

I love books and enjoy hearing about what others are reading. Please enter me!


80 Beth Carpenter May 8, 2007 at 8:53 pm

I love the Author/ Christian Comedian Anita Renfroe she has a few books under her belt check her out at http://www.anitarenfroe.com..

Please enter me!


81 blondeblogger May 8, 2007 at 9:10 pm

The book sounds wonderful! Please enter me. :) Thank you!


82 amber May 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm

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.


83 Laurie May 8, 2007 at 9:32 pm

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!


84 Llama Momma May 8, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Pick me, pick me! I so need this book!


85 Jill H. May 8, 2007 at 11:56 pm

Sounds like a wonderful read, off to add it to my “I want” list….


86 Jessica May 9, 2007 at 12:58 am

If I don’t win – I’m going to have to buy it and I think the big sale at Celebration was tonight! Missed it!


87 Monkey Giggles May 9, 2007 at 9:36 am

I’m in….But that okay if I don’t win. I am going to buy this book. Sounds really good


88 IRENE May 9, 2007 at 9:58 am

This sounds a very interesting book! Please enter my name!
Thank you.


89 Niki Nowell May 9, 2007 at 12:21 pm

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!!


90 Julie D. May 9, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Goodness… all of these contests are so fun! Thanks! I’m in.


91 Heather May 9, 2007 at 1:25 pm

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.


92 Sandi May 9, 2007 at 4:02 pm

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.


93 Emily May 9, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Oh, I would love this book!


94 Karen May 9, 2007 at 11:30 pm

I would love this book!

I am also excited about the weekly column:-)


95 Jeannine May 10, 2007 at 1:15 pm

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!


96 Karla May 10, 2007 at 10:57 pm

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!


97 Kimberly May 11, 2007 at 10:10 am

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.


98 Kerry Keating May 11, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Sounds like a great book!


99 Kim May 12, 2007 at 10:05 pm

Thia book sounds like just what the doctor ordered! If I don’t win it I plan on buying it.


100 Erica Johns May 13, 2007 at 11:05 am

This book sounds great!


101 Jody May 18, 2007 at 2:44 am

Looking forward to reading this book.
Sign me up!


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