Last night, I eagerly crawled into bed with a cup of tea and started reading Annalisa Boyd‘s new book The Ascetic Lives of Mothers: A Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms and then an English translation by Thomas Carroll of Saint Nectarios’ work Mothers and the Upbringing of Children. It’s in those moments late in the evening, when my house is hushed in peaceful silence, that I can reflect on my day and take a moment to rejuvenate with a book in hand.
I sought out Annalisa after reading her book Special Agents of Christ almost two years ago. She is the first and only author I’ve ever researched because I felt such a connection to her writing. As I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but feel as though she had written the book for my sons. She was phrasing the text in such a way that it was addressing some struggles my boys have dealt with after having been in foster care. There was a good reason I was drawn to seek her out – she wrote it for her foster/adopted sons! I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was when I read the first email response from her after I sent her an email. To give you a hint, my daughter calls Annalisa my sister whenever we talk about her. I am so incredibly blessed to have this amazing mama in my life and I hope to one day be able to sit down and share a cup of tea with her. I have mothered seven beautiful children. She has mothered more than 30 – I have much I can learn from her.
Her newest book is not just for moms. It’s for grandmas, aunts, godparents, foster/adoptive parents, women struggling with infertility, and teachers. She shares some of her stories throughout the book in addition to quotes and a variety of prayers.
If you’re wanting to give this book on Mother’s Day but there’s not enough time to have it arrive before May 11th, print out a picture of the book and write a note that you’ve ordered this book and it’s on its way. I’ve marked several prayers for myself and look forward to returning to this book over and over again. She has prayers for aspects of motherhood that I have not seen in any other Orthodox prayer book.
I received an email over the weekend from Thomas Carroll. He offered to share the text he translated from Greek to English of Saint Nectarios’ work Mothers and the Upbringing of Children. It is available as a pdf and you can download it here for free. He is eager to share it with anyone who could benefit from it.
Saint Nectarios discusses the necessity of developing both the heart and mind. He references Saint Basil the Great and Saint John Chrysostom in his short essay as he explains the importance of mothers and the life-long impact they have on their children.
You can print out the essay here and give it as a gift to your mom, wife, grandmother, godmother, or any other woman who has made an impact on your life.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who strive to educate and lead through example for young and old alike. May God continue to guide and strengthen you always!