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I initially read this book from sheer curiosity.  Why would a couple choose to have 18 children, and how do they possibly survive each day?  I expected a crazy family, and instead, I was privileged to read a heartfelt testimony of how God has and is working in their family.

This book is a combination autobiography, Q&A, testimony, parenting tips and organizational hints.  The Duggars are strong Christians, with firm convictions in many areas.  However, they are quick to note that their convictions about birth control, style of dress, homeschooling, etc. are not for everyone.  Each family should discern for themselves how God is calling them to act in those areas.

I think the sections of the book I enjoyed the most were the ones about the Duggar’s parenting philosophy.  They have a well thought out approach to Christian parenting and discipline.  Michelle also shared some organizational tips, one of which I’ve already put into practice to organize our mass of toys.

The contrast between this book and Mommywood, which I read a few weeks ago, was striking.  Tori Spelling is trying desperately to provide a “normal” childhood for her children, by giving her kids physical things:  parties, trips, homes, friends, experiences.  The tone of her book overall is one of “It will never be enough.”  The Duggars don’t care about “normal.”  They are providing for their children’s hearts by teaching them what is important: worshiping God, following His will, and spending time with God and family.  The tone of their book is one of peace, trust and contentment.