Mere Motherhood – Encouragement on this Perilous Journey

Do you ever wonder about the lives behind ideas? I have been a long time fan of morning time in my homeschool. I first learned about it at a CiRCE Conference when I heard Cindy Rollins speak. She had been having morning meetings for over twenty years, and the idea both intrigued me and intimidated me. What did her time look like? It had to be perfect and magical right? If you're going to stay with something for that long, you must be super-human. Her latest book Mere Motherhood gives her readers the behind the scenes tour of life raising nine children, and as you can imagine, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows.

Mere Motherhood


Yet, she set out to tell her story with humility and humor that we might learn from her successes and mistakes. Aside from being a brilliant writer, Cindy Rollins shares a perspective on motherhood that moms in the trenches need to hear. I was hooked at the author's note. Who reads the author's note? Every morsel was packed with wisdom and humility and made me want to read more. {Keep reading...I loved this book so much, that I bought a second copy to share with a friend...the giveaway is at the end}

Mere Motherhood

Never Trust Bad Advice

I once read a blog post that detailed all of the reasons why you should stop following homeschool blogs. Her number one reason to unfollow a blogger was if they claimed to not have it all together. Her reasoning was that if they're not an expert, don't listen to their advice. It will be bad.

If that's true, then you really shouldn't read Mere MotherhoodIt's dripping with humility, honesty, and confessions of selfish motives. That is where I found beauty. I related to her struggles. In the times when I'm desperate to throw in the towel, it is wonderful to read the experiences of others who have encountered the same types of struggles and made it through...and can laugh about it along the way.

So I ignore the advice, and listen to the humble. This book is a treasure trove of wise counsel.

 Mere Motherhood

Mere Motherhood Is Sanctification

Undoubtedly, one of the best themes that runs through Mere Motherhood is the idea that our own lives are refined through motherhood. There are episodes in all of our lives that bring us to our knees; the perfect place to be before the Lord. For Cindy Rollins, that episode included a 1800s farm house, dashed expectations, and a photo-bombing rat. You'll just have to read it for the whole story!

It's not just sanctification in mini episodes separated by years of calm and tranquility. I'm pretty sure that was my expectation. Sanctification through motherhood is an ongoing process, and it doesn't stop when your children leave the house. We're sinners, and God will keep working on refining us as long as we are on this earth.

Mere Motherhood

Philosophy of Education Is Priority

Cindy continually encourages her readers to work out their philosophy of education before jumping from curriculum to curriculum. You can't take someone else's beautiful idea and shove it into your homeschool and get similar results if you haven't considered how it lines up with your philosophy.

Some great books to read that Cindy recommends:

I have to be careful when reading books like this that are so inspiring that I don't lose myself in the process. It's easy to glorify her philosophy, methods, and results, while belittling all that you have done for your own family. When comparing, your goal should be to glean wisdom, not rob you of your joy. This is not the heart of her book. She just wants to join mothers in the trenches and walk with them along the way.

I don't know what it's like to raise nine kids in a 1800s farm house. God gives us each different skills and abilities, along with different humans to raise. As we grow in grace from the Lord, we walk the path He's designed for us. In doing so, we become better humans, and the sanctification process is furthered. I only hope to make it to the other side of my journey with the grace, humility, and wisdom that I read in the pages of Cindy's book.


Merely a Giveaway

I really loved this book, so I bought an extra copy to give away. You can find it in the CiRCE bookstore if you want to get your hands on it. Click below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. jennie on September 2, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Cindy Rollins is awesome, love listening to her podcasts.

    • Betsy on September 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm

      I need to check those out. I’ve only recently gotten into listening to podcasts. I’ll add hers to my list!

  2. Rachel on September 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I’m inspired by how she kept up a morning time routine with all her boys!

    • Betsy on September 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      I know right! The stories she tells are hilarious!

  3. Christine on September 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Cindy Rollins inspires and encourages me … Totally awesome!

    • Betsy on September 2, 2016 at 6:53 pm


  4. Kate on September 2, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I haven’t read anything by Cindy Rollins but definitely in the trenches of motherhood. Thanks for this giveaway.

    • Betsy on September 2, 2016 at 11:00 pm

      You will love this book then. She’s so humble!

    • Mary on September 6, 2016 at 2:21 am

      I know. This book sounds amazing!

  5. Samantha on September 3, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I am amazed that someone who has 9 children, can also make the time to sit down and share her
    joys and struggles with others in a book! I can’t imagine the amount of time that it takes. As a homeschooling mom of 4, finding time to cultivate my own interests is something that I have to force myself to do without feeling guilty, and it is the first thing that gets replaced in my daily schedule when life happens….and yet, I know in my heart that the best way to instill that desire to cultivate in the hearts of my own children would be for them to see me working on something other than home schooling them!

    • Betsy on September 3, 2016 at 9:05 am

      I know! I think all but one have left the nest, so she’s got a little more time on her hands. You’d love this book though. The stories about living on the farm alone are worth reading!

  6. Tamra Lewis on September 3, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Thank you for this wonderful review. I’m more excited than ever to read it!

    • Betsy on September 3, 2016 at 9:05 am

      You’re welcome! You will really enjoy it!

  7. Danielle Hull on September 3, 2016 at 9:25 am

    The encouragement!

  8. Alisa on September 3, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I’m not new to homeschooling, but I am new to Cindy Rollins and a recent subscriber to your fantastic blog. I just read (at your recommendation) “Teaching from Rest” and wow!–this is exactly the answer to prayers I’ve recently prayed as I re-evaluate what and why we’re doing all over again–such a beautiful exposition on the ‘heart’ of the homeschooling path. I haven’t underlined that much in a book in a long while. I’m looking forward to reading Rollins’ book, too. Thanks for sharing your recommendations. 🙂

  9. Salina Fedrick on September 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

    I have been homeschooling for 17 years and I like to read about others who have been on this journey for a long time.

  10. Robin W on September 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Every time I listen to Cindy on a podcast I am encouraged and inspired in my own homeschool journey. I can only imagine the wisdom to be found in a whole book!

  11. Joanne Knipmeyer on September 3, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Cindy is such an encouragement to moms and to those who homeschool. This was the priority book on my Circe conference book list for this year. So bummed I got sick and couldn’t go, and still haven’t gotten it yet.

    • Betsy on September 3, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      I love the Circe conference! That is really sad that you missed it. I heard it was a great one.

  12. Sherri on September 3, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Need to put this book on my list

  13. Amy Marshall on September 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Several people have recommended it so it must be good! Plus, Im in the trenches and would love some wisdom from a veteran homeschool mom.

  14. Judith Martinez on September 3, 2016 at 8:26 pm

    I love the focus on our sanctification and how God uses motherhood to do that.

  15. Wendi S on September 3, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I enjoy listening to Cindy Rollins {podcasts}, she is full of wisdom.

  16. Susan G on September 3, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Thanks for a great giveaway! I recently heard about this book and added it to my to-read list – sounds great!

  17. Jane on September 4, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I’m super curious to hear more nuggets of wisdom from her!

  18. Bethany on September 5, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Cindy inspired me to start a morning time routine and if I don’t win the giveaway, I’m planning on buying it myself!

    • Betsy on September 5, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      You won’t be disappointed!

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