Saturday, September 3, 2016

Motherhood Expert Encourages Moms to Rest and Refresh as Children Head Back to School

With summer winding down and children readying to go back to school, internationally known motherhood and relationship expert Mandy Arioto is offering weary moms words of wisdom and grace to inspire and refresh their souls. Arioto provides a humorous, yet deeply insightful look into motherhood and offers hope for women everywhere in her debut book, Starry-Eyed: Seeing Grace in the Unfolding Constellation of Life and Motherhood (Zondervan, ISBN: 0310340403, MSRP: $16.99, Format: Paperback, 224 pages). {Book provided for review/feature consideration}

Arioto is President and CEO of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International, a global organization that encourages and equips moms to realize their potential as mothers, women and leaders. Founded in 1973, today MOPS serves millions of moms in more than 40 countries.

As a mother of three young children, Arioto knows all too well the trials mothers face. Throughout Starry-Eyed, she challenges women to welcome the light and darkness of every season, to embrace the dichotomies of motherhood, to confront the "ghosts" in their past, accept their failures, relinquish control and ultimately recognize that perfection is the epitome of boring. She acknowledges the grueling, exhausting pace of motherhood, intertwined with the feeling that they aren't doing enough. Ultimately, Arioto calls for women to give themselves a break.

"It feels to me like we, as a generation of sisters who are raising the world together, might need to call a time-out. To bring everyone in for a huddle and find more life-giving ways to move through the world," said Arioto in Starry-Eyed.

Starry-Eyed is filled with personal stories of hope. In the book, Arioto shares universal truths all women have to navigate. Arioto recognizes that far too often moms feel exhausted, like they have lost themselves in the journey of motherhood, and therefore when life gets busy, especially as moms get ready to send their children back to school this season, women need to remember to take time to rest, to enjoy their families and friends, and relish in the gifts that God has given them.

"There are too many of us who are waking up at three o'clock in the morning and abusing ourselves for everything we aren't doing or aren't being," Arioto says in Starry-Eyed. "We are so busy that we are losing the ability to be human – to live at a sane pace, to have long conversations with pregnant pauses where no one feels rushed to fill the silence, to linger enough to appreciate the smell of orange blossoms blooming in the spring. It seems to me like we need less striving and more life."

Starry-Eyed will remind moms of things they have forgotten along the way and will draw those who are weary to the holy. It contains conversations about motherhood and how tender, beautiful and sweet it can be, but also touches on the loneliness all mothers experience at times. Starry-Eyed contains stories ranging from intimacy and relationships to courage and freedom – things that encompass all aspects of being a woman and especially a mother.

Readers will find camaraderie and comfort in Arioto's ethereal, and heartbreaking attention to the things that really matter. Perfectly balancing difficult and raw issues, with tender and thoughtful insight, Starry-Eyed offers honesty, hope and direction; and encourages women to join together, and support one another in the calling that is motherhood.

About the Author: Mandy Arioto currently serves as the President and CEO of Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) International where she represents the voice of millions of mothers all over the world. She regularly speaks to national and international audiences on the topics of mothering, spirituality and cultural trends. She has been featured in national media including outlets such as msn.com, theknot.com, thenest.com and FoxNews.com. Arioto and her husband Joe live in Denver, Colorado and are raising three young children, Joseph, Ellie and Charlotte.

Zondervan is a world-leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. Zondervan, as part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., delivers transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources and digital products. The company's products are sold worldwide and translated into nearly 200 languages. Zondervan offices are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For additional information, please visit zondervan.com.

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