A New Voice7:30 AM
"Jasmine, Jasmine, Jasmine," my mama teased me, after witnessing another rambling praise of Jasmine Baucham's genius. She was a household name for me. She embodied everything I imagined a daughter of God ought to be. Intelligent. Articulate. Convicted. Winsome.
So I was a little obsessed. And when she announced that she was writing a book...yes, I did. I screamed. And when she announced her exit from the blog world...yes, I cried. Inside, at least. Her magnum opus was my Christmas wish, and I had to live life seeing my present under the tree, knowing it was there under wrapped paper.
Just a little disclaimer to get you as pumped about this amazing young lady as I am. What's not to love about a passionate Christian interested in To Kill a Mockingbird?
But to start the review.
"Stay-at-home daughterhood," says Jasmine, "[is] a different context for using the gifts, talents, abilities, and passions that the Lord has already given you, not stifling them or casting them aside, but reevaluating the way that we are using them and finding creative ways to employ them using the home as a springboard ... ."
The last chapter is worth the price of the entire book. And that quote sums up her passion - if it could be contained in one sentence.
Jasmine's been on both sides of the divide, so to speak: a self-driven young woman with an aspiration for a History/English double major (or a screenwriting degree as her ticket to Shyamalan-esque fame) and then a God-driven young woman with a context and a purpose to pursue her dreams...in the home.
Instead of offering a cookie-cutter approach to home ministry and stay-at-home daughterhood, Jasmine sticks to the principles of Scripture and a vision based in God's will and gives more of an encouragement to search out the truth for oneself. She doesn't claim special insight or experience, but her anecdotes and personal lessons (told with a quick wit and a sharp pen) inspire one to seek her own adventures in Christian life.
In four parts, Jasmine shatters the stereotypes of a stay-at-home daughter and pushes for a bigger vision. Stay-at-home daughterhood Jasmine-style is more than sitting at home and running an Etsy shop. She makes the case that all girls should own their opinions, articulate them with grace and love and learn to view everything through a Biblical lens (Part 3). Family life becomes more than allowing a patriarchal father to micromanage his daughter's life: it's a place to minister, to bless siblings, to study beside mothers as the biggest mentors and to be a competent, joyful daughter in order to honor her father (Part 1). Far from filling a hope chest with deferred dreams and unrealistic expectations, Jasmine sets the proper view of marriage as a ministry in its place and gives a purpose to singleness as yet another context to glorify God (Part 2).
Glorifying God. That's her main goal. And in Part 4, she shares her heart in becoming intercontinental ballistic missiles for Christ - redefining mission work, redefining home, redefining how we approach friendships, and using everything we've got to impact the culture.
The more the book progresses, the more her vision becomes clear: life's not about stay-at-home daughterhood. It's about Christ. And she encourages girls to reevaluate their lives in regard to that. Not once does she impose a "there's not really a Bible verse to back it up, but here's how I think you should live" - no. She gives us the tools and she forces us to make our own conclusions.
My favorite parts? I love her empathy in regards to relating to sisters in Christ. I love her love for her brother. I love how she describes furthering our fathers' visions as using all we have for Christ. I love how she talks about setting a schedule and disciplining herself to it. I love how she doesn't stray from the Bible and impose a stereotype.
I love how the book is less a treatise and a resource than a personal tale of conviction, with as much appeal as the best of literary heroines.
If you want to introduce yourself to the heart of stay-at-home daughterhood, Joyfully at Home is the way to go. If you want to be challenged and stretched to pattern your convictions to scripture alone, read this book. If you need a friend who can speak both wisely and winsomely, tap into Jasmine's heart. You won't go away unchanged.