• Stephannie Bramlett

Mommy Book Club

A little over a year ago, my best friend, Jennifer, mentioned she would love to host a “book club”. She would pick a book, all of the guests would read, and we would sit around and discuss the book with all of our wisdom and insights. Oh, and there would be food. She would cook a grand meal for us all to share while we talked over every bit of emotion we felt. I LOVED the idea. A night away from kids, adult conversation, food, new friends, wine. What else could a mom ask for? She proceeded to carve away at the details of a perfect evening for all of the guests, and I...well, I proceeded to put off reading the book.

If you know me or my type A personality at all, you know this is totally not me. I don’t procrastinate. I have school supplies sorted and organized weeks before the kids go back to school. I have my to-do lists, all ranking in perfect order. In my college days, I was prepared days in advance for exams. But, this book… I just couldn’t fit it in to my schedule. Even my husband, Cab, kept asking, “Babe, are you going to read your book for book club?” I would always have the perfect excuse about when I planned to do it. The day of book club snuck right up on me, and I hadn’t even read the first page!

The morning of book club, I woke up and felt SO discouraged. I didn’t need to go. I shouldn’t have thought I could fit something fun like that into my schedule. How could I be selfish and spend a night away from my kids? Clearly, I wasn’t even prepared to go. I was certain all of the other incredible women at book club had it all together. They would totally judge me. What is this woman thinking coming to book club and not even reading the book? Satan attacked my mommy-heart with jab after jab.

Cab came to me first thing. “Babe, I have the kids covered. You go ahead and dive into that book for tonight.” He knew just what my heart needed: a patch for those arrows Satan was tossing my way. Luckily, I am a speed reader, of sorts. So, guilt-free, I zoomed through those pages as if my life depended on it. I had just enough time to shower and put on a little makeup to show up to book club well versed in the characters.

I did not plan on telling the ladies that I had JUST read the book that very day. However, one of the ladies shared she hadn’t even finished the story. One read it so many months prior that she had forgotten the characters and details of the story. These women...they are AMAZING women. They had shown up excited about the night, even knowing they were not perfectly prepared. So, I shared that I had started and finished the book in one day. We all enjoyed many laughs about our imperfectly perfect stories that brought us together for the evening.

Fast forward to the start of this summer: Jennifer announced another book club date. She had picked two books this time. I hopped on Amazon and ordered them right away. Vacation came and went, summer projects ensued, the weeks went by, and there my books sat unread….AGAIN! I did start one of the stories and made it about a quarter of the way through. I hadn’t even read one page of the second book. I showed up to book club this time and admitted my defeat. Jennifer, in all of her perfect teacher ways, had these handmade little cards with phrases from the title of each chapter. This spawned a wonderful evening around the table. Though, it launched something more for me. I came home that night and picked up the book. Why had I not allowed myself some “me” time to read the books? God had told me so many times how I needed time for myself. This time, I listened. I read and followed the prompts the author wanted me to. I remembered our conversations from around the table. I knew He was stirring something in me.

A few days later, as the book had prompted me to do, I shared my dreams with Jennifer, as she had done during book club. It was unnerving and marvelous all at the same time. We both knew what we needed to do, and here you have it: Our Blog- “That’s the way we see it.” I hope you enjoy some of the tidbits about our crazy life we share. But, more than just that, I hope you use this story as a launching platform for yourself.

*Read the book you have been wanting to read!

*Start the dinner club you have thought about!

*Begin the diet or do the workout you you want to try!

Spend some time exploring some of your needs. I had been so consumed with my to-do lists for my house, my job, my kids, that I did not put myself on the priority list at all. So, as silly as it seems: I challenge you to put yourself on your list. I promise, you are the most important part of your to-do lists! At least, that’s the way I see it.

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