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Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters

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“An amazing resource for anyone who desires to deepen their mother-daughter relationship in a biblical, healthy, and healed way.” —Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries   You can be restored even when your relationship is frayed   Ever wonder why mothers and daughters can be so different and even seem to speak different la “An amazing resource for anyone who desires to deepen their mother-daughter relationship in a biblical, healthy, and healed way.” —Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries   You can be restored even when your relationship is frayed   Ever wonder why mothers and daughters can be so different and even seem to speak different languages?   Mended gives you conversation starters to speak life into your relationship with your mother or daughter. Discover powerful words that usher in healing for wounded hearts and rebuild, restore, and reconcile your connection.   Set new patterns going forward as you… find common ground and put your relationship ahead of your differences learn what to say when you don’t know what to say grow closer when you do hard things together If you have a difficult history with your mother or daughter, you don’t have to continue patterns of brokenness. No matter how worn you feel, you don’t have to become unthreaded. God wants to mend your heart to His and to hers.


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“An amazing resource for anyone who desires to deepen their mother-daughter relationship in a biblical, healthy, and healed way.” —Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries   You can be restored even when your relationship is frayed   Ever wonder why mothers and daughters can be so different and even seem to speak different la “An amazing resource for anyone who desires to deepen their mother-daughter relationship in a biblical, healthy, and healed way.” —Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries   You can be restored even when your relationship is frayed   Ever wonder why mothers and daughters can be so different and even seem to speak different languages?   Mended gives you conversation starters to speak life into your relationship with your mother or daughter. Discover powerful words that usher in healing for wounded hearts and rebuild, restore, and reconcile your connection.   Set new patterns going forward as you… find common ground and put your relationship ahead of your differences learn what to say when you don’t know what to say grow closer when you do hard things together If you have a difficult history with your mother or daughter, you don’t have to continue patterns of brokenness. No matter how worn you feel, you don’t have to become unthreaded. God wants to mend your heart to His and to hers.

30 review for Mended: Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Henderson

    A most beautiful book written with heartfelt love and devotion. As I read each page, I recalled the special relationship my Mother and I experienced. I recall times of turmoil and most of all, times we shared love and compassion for each other. Although this is a Mother/Daughter book, I thought about my son while reading. The child and parent dynamic is unique and extraordinary. This book is a blessing to everyone who reads it. I received a complimentary copy. No review was required.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Great for any mothers and daughter sitation. Very informative. Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robin Dix

    This book has given me much needed hope as my youngest daughter has chosen not to have a relationship with me. It's my painful reality, and Blythe and Helen have truly sorry to my heart in this incredible, timely book. I highly recommend it for mothers and daughters who are struggling in their relationship to each other. This book has given me much needed hope as my youngest daughter has chosen not to have a relationship with me. It's my painful reality, and Blythe and Helen have truly sorry to my heart in this incredible, timely book. I highly recommend it for mothers and daughters who are struggling in their relationship to each other.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

    As both a daughter and mom to 3 young girls, this book tugged at me hard. Blythe and Helen do a great job offering practical solutions to begin restoring a relationship with moms or daughters, as well as tips/thought processes/perspectives to take in order to maintain and strengthen the relationships already there. I particularly like the “Mending Thread” and “Making it Personal” sections at the end of each chapter. This will be a book I keep on my shelf to refer to again and again as my girls g As both a daughter and mom to 3 young girls, this book tugged at me hard. Blythe and Helen do a great job offering practical solutions to begin restoring a relationship with moms or daughters, as well as tips/thought processes/perspectives to take in order to maintain and strengthen the relationships already there. I particularly like the “Mending Thread” and “Making it Personal” sections at the end of each chapter. This will be a book I keep on my shelf to refer to again and again as my girls grow.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Smith

    This book will add two new bff’s to your life. Blythe and Helen share their hearts to strengthen and build all mother/daughter relationships through both personal story and practical tips. Whether your mother/daughter is your closest friend or you long for more closeness, this book is for you. Even if you’ve lost a mother and that relationship stayed broken, you can find hope in this book! I loved the organization and relatable style of the book. This information is easily applied and referred b This book will add two new bff’s to your life. Blythe and Helen share their hearts to strengthen and build all mother/daughter relationships through both personal story and practical tips. Whether your mother/daughter is your closest friend or you long for more closeness, this book is for you. Even if you’ve lost a mother and that relationship stayed broken, you can find hope in this book! I loved the organization and relatable style of the book. This information is easily applied and referred back to for reference. Every mother or daughter will be encouraged when they pick up this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    A well-written book by a mom/daughter team! Helen and Blythe (mom and daughter) do an excellent job relaying their alternating ideas and life-lessons throughout the book. The fact that it is co-written adds so much depth and breadth to the conversation. I enjoy hearing their alternating perspectives about raising children, engaging in conversations with one another, and how they've relied on God in the middle of it all! I loved this encouragement in Chapter 2, "We know you may not be friends wit A well-written book by a mom/daughter team! Helen and Blythe (mom and daughter) do an excellent job relaying their alternating ideas and life-lessons throughout the book. The fact that it is co-written adds so much depth and breadth to the conversation. I enjoy hearing their alternating perspectives about raising children, engaging in conversations with one another, and how they've relied on God in the middle of it all! I loved this encouragement in Chapter 2, "We know you may not be friends with your mother or daughter right now. It may be so strained you don't see the closeness with her. But we see how the relationship with a mother or daughter can be invested in over time like a good ally. Our prayer for you would be that you look to experience this closeness with her that God desires for us to have and provides for us even when connectedness feels off in a distant land." Wow. Amen to that! While I don't have a tense relationship with my mother, our relationship is very distant...we talk, but not in depth. Spending time together can be awkward. Honestly, I had started to accept that this is just the way things will always be, but after reading this book I feel like there might be something more...This reminder that God has MORE for my relationship between me and my mom has really turned my perspective around and has got me thinking about how I can be proactive to engage the relationship more intentionally (rather than avoid it like I often have!). An excellent book for all mothers and daughters. Honestly, this book, and it's suggestions, will help you in your relationships across the board!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hayley

    This book is a treasure. For mothers and daughters of any generation - I highly recommend it. As I read I could relate to feelings I felt as a child, adolescent, and now as an adult- things I can and could have worked on with my own mother. And especially noted all of the ideas I want to cue in on with my own daughters. If you are hurting, confused or struggling this book would be an amazing asset for ladies as they work on healing a bond that is one for a lifetime. I also love the idea of proac This book is a treasure. For mothers and daughters of any generation - I highly recommend it. As I read I could relate to feelings I felt as a child, adolescent, and now as an adult- things I can and could have worked on with my own mother. And especially noted all of the ideas I want to cue in on with my own daughters. If you are hurting, confused or struggling this book would be an amazing asset for ladies as they work on healing a bond that is one for a lifetime. I also love the idea of proactively using this to keep a strong and meaningful relationship going with my young daughters into adulthood. I was offered an ARC of this book and this is my honest opinion.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy Villarreal

    Currently reading

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Debrucque

    Loving this beautiful book. It is so relevant to mothers and daughters looking for healing. I cant wait to finish it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brenda McDearmon

    There was so much encouragement for mothers and daughters in this book. I loved how the authors wrote in a back and forth style. Being able to read their unique perspective as I went through the book encouraged me to see things through my daughter’s eyes. It also felt warm and kind and conversational. Which might have been part of the goal. Blythe and her mom Helen want mothers and daughters to talk about what’s going on in their relationship. Not too much. But not too little either. Having been There was so much encouragement for mothers and daughters in this book. I loved how the authors wrote in a back and forth style. Being able to read their unique perspective as I went through the book encouraged me to see things through my daughter’s eyes. It also felt warm and kind and conversational. Which might have been part of the goal. Blythe and her mom Helen want mothers and daughters to talk about what’s going on in their relationship. Not too much. But not too little either. Having been at a place of skirting around the issues with both my mother and daughter, I came away with a fresh desire to ask better questions and keep putting forth the effort. Mended is a wonderful read for anyone who has struggled or is in the midst of a mother/daughter dilemma of any kind. However, I also think it’s a great resource (and good gift choice) for moms who are entering the preteen phase of parenting. Well, okay, actually it’s even a great book for the mom whose baby girl is still in diapers. Never mind. This is a helpful book for moms at any stage and any age!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    People used to tell my mom and I that we looked alike. As we have gotten older, we don't hear that a much. But while we may look alike, we don't always think alike or act alike. That can create some problems. Maybe you have similar struggles with your mom or daughter. Mended by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh was written to help mothers and daughters have a relationship of restoration and healing. Mended is co-written by a mother daughter team. Blythe is the daughter and Helen is the mother. Thr People used to tell my mom and I that we looked alike. As we have gotten older, we don't hear that a much. But while we may look alike, we don't always think alike or act alike. That can create some problems. Maybe you have similar struggles with your mom or daughter. Mended by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh was written to help mothers and daughters have a relationship of restoration and healing. Mended is co-written by a mother daughter team. Blythe is the daughter and Helen is the mother. Throughout the book, there are perspectives written by each woman. At the front of the book there is a forward by ministry leader and author Stasi Eldridge. In each chapter, there is a mix of advice and personal stories from both Helen and Blythe. Helen has a degree in counseling psychology. At the end of each chapter there is an area called Mending Thread with questions to ask and prompts to help you think about how to make your mother-daughter relationship better. There is another short section after that called Making It Personal where there is an action that you can take to make your relationship better. Mended concludes with two appendixes to give further resources from Ransomed Heart Ministries and a selection of helpful Bible verses. Honestly, I felt like God wanted me to read Mended but there was a part of me that was dreading it. I am a lot like Helen and my relationship with my mother shares similarities to her story. I could relate to her story quite well. I am a person who has learned to distance myself from the hard things I feel from my mother. I wasn't anxious to plunge into facing those feelings and making changes. I still have work to do but I am glad that I read Mended. It has given me a lot to think about as a daughter. I don't know if my mother would read this book but the book would be especially helpful if both parties would read it. At the same time, it isn't necessary for some healing to take place. For me, it is a good reference book that I will keep on my shelf and use when I know I need to work on some healing changes. I especially appreciated how each woman was not preachy and came across as truly wanting to help and humble themselves in this work. This book is grounded in God's word and would be most meaningful to a Christian woman. I would recommend Mended to either party of the mother-daughter relationship who needs restoration and heart healing from a Christian perspective. I received this book from the authors/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marie Bungard

    Through reading Mended I've come to understand a bit more of the person my mother was. This book contained some of the most healing words I've ever read. Most importantly, we are only responsible for the words we've said and the things we've done. We cannot and should not let ourselves think we can fix everything. Nor should we make ourselves totally responsible for the healing that must take place. We can only handle what is ours. Forgiveness is a huge part of mending any relationship. We can a Through reading Mended I've come to understand a bit more of the person my mother was. This book contained some of the most healing words I've ever read. Most importantly, we are only responsible for the words we've said and the things we've done. We cannot and should not let ourselves think we can fix everything. Nor should we make ourselves totally responsible for the healing that must take place. We can only handle what is ours. Forgiveness is a huge part of mending any relationship. We can always choose to forgive even if they don't deserve it. Jesus did! For me, this book was worth every word. Did I regress into the bad memories? Sometimes? Did I have moments of clarity when I started to understand? Yes! Can I move on and begin to understand the person behind words and actions? Yes! Can I forgive? I have to! There's really no other choice. Thank you, Blythe and Helen, for these incredible words! I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to rebuild (or build up) any relationship. It's truly powerful and worth the time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    S.G. Willoughby

    When I saw the topic of this book, I got so excited. This was the book I'd been looking for! Desperate to strengthen my own relationship with my mom, but not knowing how or where to begin healing, I dove into this book. And . . . I'm still processing it. I think it's because of where I am in grieving some other things in life, but my emotions were all over the board with this book. From wondering if they suggested actions would even help or how at all they could be applied to everyday life to hig When I saw the topic of this book, I got so excited. This was the book I'd been looking for! Desperate to strengthen my own relationship with my mom, but not knowing how or where to begin healing, I dove into this book. And . . . I'm still processing it. I think it's because of where I am in grieving some other things in life, but my emotions were all over the board with this book. From wondering if they suggested actions would even help or how at all they could be applied to everyday life to highlighting stuff on every page that I wanted to remember. There were a few points where I was unsure about the theology, and I know the writing has a lot of potential to be even stronger, but I'm looking forward (though slightly nervous) to put into action some of the suggestions presented in this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Aimeebird

    What an honest and timely book on restoring relationships between mothers and daughters! Unfortunately, the mother/daughter relationship can be one of the most strained of all. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start on the road to restoration when you don't know what to say. This book will give you insight into how to begin conversation, to realize the relationship is more valuable than being a "right fighter," to put aside differences and find common ground, and to breathe hope into a seem What an honest and timely book on restoring relationships between mothers and daughters! Unfortunately, the mother/daughter relationship can be one of the most strained of all. Sometimes it is hard to know where to start on the road to restoration when you don't know what to say. This book will give you insight into how to begin conversation, to realize the relationship is more valuable than being a "right fighter," to put aside differences and find common ground, and to breathe hope into a seemingly hopeless situation. With God's help and a willing spirit, you too can be on the road to recovery with your mother or daughter as you seek rich counsel by reading this well-written book crafted by a mother and her daughter who have done the hard work to overcome the difficulties within their own relationship and are now successfully mended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin Bishop

    So often as mothers we parent through the lens of our own experiences and brokenness, leaving us, and our daughters, with more pain, and even more brokenness. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I have had the privilege of reading an advance copy of what I consider to be a must read book for moms and daughters, regardless of the state of your relationship. Mended addresses many common issues between moms and daughters, and provides tools for communicating and honoring each other in a Biblical, t So often as mothers we parent through the lens of our own experiences and brokenness, leaving us, and our daughters, with more pain, and even more brokenness. But it doesn’t have to be that way! I have had the privilege of reading an advance copy of what I consider to be a must read book for moms and daughters, regardless of the state of your relationship. Mended addresses many common issues between moms and daughters, and provides tools for communicating and honoring each other in a Biblical, tender, and nurturing way. Mended will now be a recommended resource I share with the moms and daughters I work with.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Kang

    Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh Brown both speak and write in such a tender way—their relationship is breathtaking to watch unfold in the pages of Mended, and it is inspiring and reviving to glean from the journey of their relationship. Their beautiful book is filled with honest stories and practical advice for both mothers and daughters that seek to initiate restoration and depth between each other. Blythe and Dr. Helen write in such an easy-to-understand way, as they navigate the realitie Blythe Daniel and Dr. Helen McIntosh Brown both speak and write in such a tender way—their relationship is breathtaking to watch unfold in the pages of Mended, and it is inspiring and reviving to glean from the journey of their relationship. Their beautiful book is filled with honest stories and practical advice for both mothers and daughters that seek to initiate restoration and depth between each other. Blythe and Dr. Helen write in such an easy-to-understand way, as they navigate the realities and complexities that often exist between mother and daughter. This is a light, but life-giving read. And it’s refreshing to have two different perspectives in one book—one that represents where most of us are, and one that represents the generations that came before us. Makes a great gift or bible study/small group read!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    Mended is a book for mothers and daughters alike and offers valuable, practical suggestions to encourage restoration in the mother/daughter relationship. If your mother/daughter relationship is already a healthy one and doesn't necessarily require restoration, even still Mended will bless you with insight on how to make it even better or how to break the cycle of generational hurts. This book is written with such a relatable and transparent style, I highly recommend it to any mother or daughter. Mended is a book for mothers and daughters alike and offers valuable, practical suggestions to encourage restoration in the mother/daughter relationship. If your mother/daughter relationship is already a healthy one and doesn't necessarily require restoration, even still Mended will bless you with insight on how to make it even better or how to break the cycle of generational hurts. This book is written with such a relatable and transparent style, I highly recommend it to any mother or daughter. I'm so thankful for the honesty and transparency of these writers who were bold enough to dig deep into some difficult topics. Their words opened my eyes to some current behaviors that I need to change in my own relationship with my preteen daughter. I am not only grateful for the awareness, but also that I have an opportunity to change and be a healthier mother to my daughter.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brandi (Rambles of a SAHM)

    If you are a mother or a daughter you would benefit from reading this book. The mother/daughter relationship is complicated and can easily be strained. Mended looks at that relationship from both perspectives and gives wonderful words of wisdom to both the mother and the daughter. My copy is highlighted all over the place. This is a keeper to be referred to again and again. I won't be loaning my copy out, instead I'll be purchasing more copies to give away. If you are a mother or a daughter you would benefit from reading this book. The mother/daughter relationship is complicated and can easily be strained. Mended looks at that relationship from both perspectives and gives wonderful words of wisdom to both the mother and the daughter. My copy is highlighted all over the place. This is a keeper to be referred to again and again. I won't be loaning my copy out, instead I'll be purchasing more copies to give away.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Sparks

    #7 of 2019. Raising a teenage girl is hard. There's something about the relationship between a mother and daughter, and the beautiful, loving words of this mother/daughter author team have inspired me to pour as much energy into this relationship as I can. But the book provides solid advice for all relationships. One of my favorite quotes: "The key is knowing and resting in the fact that God created her and God can hold her up - you don't have to." I was generously gifted a copy of this book and #7 of 2019. Raising a teenage girl is hard. There's something about the relationship between a mother and daughter, and the beautiful, loving words of this mother/daughter author team have inspired me to pour as much energy into this relationship as I can. But the book provides solid advice for all relationships. One of my favorite quotes: "The key is knowing and resting in the fact that God created her and God can hold her up - you don't have to." I was generously gifted a copy of this book and I have gifted it to others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Steimling

    Mended is an incredible read full of encouragement and hope for a relationship restored. The way Blythe and Helen write is real and conversational. I tend to read with a mug of coffee in my hands, and I felt like they were right there with me, sipping on coffee and talking about the beauty of restoration in the unique gift we have in a mother-daughter relationship. This was a great read and a perfect way to kick off a spring of summer reading list!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Tyree

    A must-read for all moms and daughters! The relationship dance between mothers and daughters can be tough. I love how this mother daughter duo delicately teaches how to navigate the relationship and provides tools for how to grow together rather than apart.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    When it comes to books, I either read fast when I am not that interested or I take my time when it really grabs my attention. And, for the first time in a while, I was able to sit back and read with enjoyment and learning. The way the book was written was from the authors' hearts to ours rather than a "random reader." The mother daughter writers put a lot of thought into what potential mothers and daughters would be reading, and it was important to them that what they wrote helped. When it comes to books, I either read fast when I am not that interested or I take my time when it really grabs my attention. And, for the first time in a while, I was able to sit back and read with enjoyment and learning. The way the book was written was from the authors' hearts to ours rather than a "random reader." The mother daughter writers put a lot of thought into what potential mothers and daughters would be reading, and it was important to them that what they wrote helped.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Denise Pass

    Mended does not just encourage you in your relationships. It is a much needed resource that reveals a plan for reconciling and healing toward healthy, thriving relationships. A highly recommended read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maria C.

    This book is what has been missing for a long time. It’s an excellent resource for anyone looking to grow. It specifically looks at the mother-daughter relationship and provides such a beautiful, healing perspective.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Gardner

    A book for healing your heart This is one amazing book. The authors did a remarkable job with making me feel that there is hope out there. I didn't gave a real good relationship with my mom at the end of her life. I always struggled to find some type of closure to let her know that I'm sorry for any harm I cause. This book had opened my heart so I could find closures. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who might be searching to help with their relationship with their daughter are mothe A book for healing your heart This is one amazing book. The authors did a remarkable job with making me feel that there is hope out there. I didn't gave a real good relationship with my mom at the end of her life. I always struggled to find some type of closure to let her know that I'm sorry for any harm I cause. This book had opened my heart so I could find closures. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who might be searching to help with their relationship with their daughter are mother. I'm forever grateful for this book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annie Boyd

    Mended gives so much hope for struggling mother/daughter relationships. I love the practical ideas that the two authors give, such as conversation starters and steps to forgive. I love the personal stories that the two authors share about overcoming difficulties in the mother/daughter relationships in their own lives. They also share accounts from friends who have found freedom, restoration, and a lightening of burden with their moms or their daughters. If you are thinking, "there is no hope for Mended gives so much hope for struggling mother/daughter relationships. I love the practical ideas that the two authors give, such as conversation starters and steps to forgive. I love the personal stories that the two authors share about overcoming difficulties in the mother/daughter relationships in their own lives. They also share accounts from friends who have found freedom, restoration, and a lightening of burden with their moms or their daughters. If you are thinking, "there is no hope for a healthy relationship with my mom or my daughter," I gently encourage you to pick up this book. You will find hope and inspiration to try again with some fresh ideas and biblical inspiration. Something really special about this book is that it is written by a mother/daughter team. Blythe and Helen go back in forth in each chapter in a warm, conversation style that perfectly exemplifies the sweet relationship that mothers and daughters can have.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Linda Bumba

    Mended is written by a mom and her daughter, for moms and/or daughters. It's good to know we're doing things right, but there's always room for improvement. Thank you Blythe and Helen for pouring so much of yourselves into this book! Mended is written by a mom and her daughter, for moms and/or daughters. It's good to know we're doing things right, but there's always room for improvement. Thank you Blythe and Helen for pouring so much of yourselves into this book!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    If you desire restoration with your mother or daughter, this is the book you MUST read. Through story, scripture and well-spoken, wisdom Blythe and her mom have given a plan reconnect with your loved one. This book has given me great hope for my relationships and encouragement to not resign my efforts for healing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erendira

    The Psalmist wrote: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Whether you have a rocky relationship with your mother, or daughter, or have found circumstances in your lives that have deepened the relationship for the better, as believers, we are called to forgive. Can we forgive a daughter or a mother who has wounded us d The Psalmist wrote: “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Whether you have a rocky relationship with your mother, or daughter, or have found circumstances in your lives that have deepened the relationship for the better, as believers, we are called to forgive. Can we forgive a daughter or a mother who has wounded us deeply? Healing from hurt may take time, but when we initiate it, the return can be incredible. This is the message in Blythe Daniel’s recent book, Mended, which she co-authored with her mother, Helen McIntosh. When relationships between a mother and a daughter become toxic, finding common ground may appear like the antidote to build a bridge of restoration. And it may not even seem possible that you can have a relationship with your mother or daughter because of the life lived between you. you may be in a season where one of you has detached from the other and there is little hope of reconciling. Or there’s been an offense so great you don’t feel like your relationship can ever be restored. Helen—Blythe’s mother—retells an incident from her childhood between her and her mother. She tries to please her mother by helping her wash lettuce but instead of this act alone bringing them together, it tore them apart. She would rage at the way I washed lettuce, which caused me to wonder how we could be so different that I couldn’t even wash lettuce correctly. We understand how petty things could turn into thorns that afflict for a lifetime, and how coping becomes the first line of defense. Her anger always surfaced. It seemed to me that Mom cared more about being right than how we related to each other. Because my mom was dealing with illness, addiction, and personal issues that had nothing to do with me, and because of her inability to handle life in those days…she projected them onto me in many ways. One of the ways we cope with mothers who suffocate us with their critical spirit is to shift the perspective. One key to handling differences is to value people over problems. That is, honor the relationship despite the desire to measure whether the other person deserves it or not. In a sentiment calling to mind an occasion in which I had to initiate a difficult conversation with a relative, McIntosh states: If a discussion between you [and another individual] is going south, it may be wise and protective to say, Our relationship is more important than our differences of opinion on what is right, so we might want to pause this discussion for now. It’s not cowardice; it’s wisdom to protect and leave the discussion there if need be. We have permission to walk away, pause the conversation, or put space between you and the other person; however, it is not an excuse not to talk, but an invitation to return to the conversation at a better time. God values relationships. Jesus gave up His life on Calvary for sinners. He died for people. Can we also be brave enough to start forgiving those who have wronged us, especially those we call a mother or those we call our daughters, no matter the stage in life we find ourselves in? How we demonstrate our desire to put the relationship first above our desire to be right is significant to building peace with those who have hurt us. But we still need to know where the land mines are in the field. We know that Jesus directs our mothering with the simple act of knowing how he is characterized throughout the Bible. He was humble. As mothers, we need to practice this with great care, and as daughters of aging mothers, even more. We can admit our faults, admit there is wrongdoing and hurt. Talk openly about the elephant in the room and help your mother look at her past. It could be a way to bring up her painful history and give her a chance to talk about the women in your family lineage. And perhaps it would bring some understanding to your own relationship. Talking and tagging or addressing issues are huge gifts to relationships if we do them well. Mended is not a sentimental book. It is courageous in its form and intention. Every chapter culminates with a summation of the principle illustrated therein as well as an actionable idea which is sure to make it personal for the reader to consider practicing. There are enough examples here to glean from—warnings, cautionary tales, recommendations, and courageous pep-talks—which fit well in the context of this book. This read defies the martyr syndrome that so many books of this nature seem to be known for. Mended, on the contrary, encourages mothers and daughters to take ownership of their faults, but also to not assume responsibility for the response of others. In toxic relationships we need to learn to say to ourselves, Your behavior has nothing to do with me, and I don’t need to take responsibility for it. A mother or daughter doesn’t need to own the behavior of the other. We are warned in Mended not to take responsibility for the behavior of others, to not succumb as arbiters of that catchphrase, “Look what you made me do.” Self-control, as a fruit of the Spirit, is the proper response to any dissenting argument or infraction. Helen writes about her realization regarding her mother’s behavior: I was liberated, and that continued to help me love Mom through her issues. Because I no longer felt responsible for her and was free, I was able to see her differently. My trying to help didn’t work for her, but at least I didn’t feel responsible. I could have been angry with her, but I had more compassion for her. So you see, we can shift our perspective. The hurt and the behavior of others isn’t always about us. It is so empowering to realize that the way others behave towards us isn’t always about us but more about their own issues in life and their unresolved, unreconciled traumas. People act in their pathological manner because they have a specific need. When our children say, you made me mad, we remind them, I didn’t cause you to get mad. You felt the emotion of anger and then you acted on it. But I’m not responsible for the way you behaved. Also, “We’re not responsible for the other person or their response to us. But we are not to incite hurt on the other in the process of defending our words in the relationship. I’ve learned to take responsibility for my words, not what I meant to say.” Our relationships should magnify the Father and as we demonstrate our love for Him, we are placed in the lives of others for the purpose of edifying His name. We are called to love those who are most unlovable, as Christ did on the cross for us when He bore the sins of the world, seeking forgiveness as we take stock of our own wrong choices. Mended reminds daughters not to place expectations on their mothers, for they are very likely not able to live up to them. Allowing our own insecurities about appearances to flourish impacts the expectations we have about our mothers. Blythe writes: Something had to change, and I had to let go of the expectations I had of what I would look like and the way I wanted others to perceive me, including my mom. As daughters, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves for how our mother will respond to us and how we like or don’t like ourselves, which can then cause us to think our mother couldn’t possibly like something about us if we don’t. So then we ostracize our moms. It’s a vicious cycle. When expectations fail, relationships gets poisoned. It becomes a silent killer of the relationship, creating distance and setting up the relationship to depend only on performance for viability. That is, the cycle is this: you create expectations that cannot be met, you project insecurity and believe that you need to be a certain way, “sitting up straight, doing this and that,” and then you realize you are projecting this pattern onto your own daughter. Mended is an honest look into the unspoken between mothers and daughters. It is a glowing treasure of lessons learned between a mother and a daughter, specifically those lessons that have been tested in the valleys of growing in the Lord, growing into motherhood, and growing old, where self-examination is the right response to mending hearts. Read the full review here.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tandy Hogate

    I really really enjoyed this book. I have a wonderful relationship with my sweet mama and both daughters so I wasn’t entirely sure I would clean much from it but it was oh-so-good! I felt like I gained friends as I read the words - and it helped give me insight on areas I can improve all female relationships, not just maternal. A very very good book. 💕

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