Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: Hiding from the Kinds in My Prayer Closet

Hiding from the Kids in My Prayer Closet
By Jessica Kastner
David C. Cook, 2017


Finding grace and laughter when motherhood gets real

Soon after Jessica Kastner became a mother, she wondered if she was the only mom who found pretend play more boring than watching playdough harden and who dreaded yet another friend's Instagram post of homemade deliciousness.

In Hiding from My Kids in the Prayer Closet, Kastner shares her experience as an "unmom"-a mom who loves her kids more than she loves the daily experience of mothering. She helps readers laugh at the ridiculous, delight in the unpredictable, and enjoy being the mothers God made them to be.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

My thoughts

This book captured my attention when I saw the word “unmom” in the description, maybe because that term hits a little too close to home when it comes to me? And maybe I saw myself a few times within its pages … okay, more than a few. I found it to be funny, hilarious at times, but a book that would benefit young moms everywhere. My children are grown, but I wish Jessica Kastner had written this book 40 years ago … and that’s all I’ll say about that!

I’m an only child who never babysat as a teenager, so my son was literally the first baby I had ever held or been around. Moms all around me seemed to have their act together quite nicely, and while I kept up a brave front, I was quaking inside. Just like Ms. Kastner, I loved him with everything in me, yet didn’t quite know what to do.

I think that’s where this book shines. We’re all wired in different ways and there’s no one “proper” way to be a successful mom. And that’s okay. I love Kastner’s irreverence when it comes to tradition and society’s expectations. While thoroughly entertaining and keeping you laughing, she hits home with relevant spiritual truths. Will readers relate to all that she says? Probably not, but that’s true of any book. Bottom line: Kastner shares a lot of wisdom gained from experience and walking with God, while allaying your fears and helping you laugh at yourself.

I could go on and on with quotes, but here's a few that I loved …

Regarding grandparents: “There is a seldom-discussed phenomenon that occurs when your parents become grandparents, and it’s mind-boggling. They’re twice as protective and concerned about things that wouldn’t have caused an eye to bat during your own childhood.”

On joining a Mom’s Club: “When I was a new Christian, I kind of assumed the fact that we’d all been saved from hell and granted eternal life would be enough to bond us, and make us relatable. Anyone saved for more than a year knows this just ain’t the truth.”

Teens: “Having a teen is God’s way of forcing us to trust him in ways we never thought possible.”

This is a great book to share with young moms, especially new or expecting moms … and it would make a wonderful baby shower gift.


I was provided a free copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist and a contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network's,, and the Huffington Post's Christianity blog. As Connecticut's coordinator for Straight Ahead Ministries, she shares God's message of hope by leading Bible studies in juvenile detention centers. When she's not on the trampoline with her three boys in Connecticut, Jessica shares her unapologetically "real" commentary on the Christian life at


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