A New Voice

7:30 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.

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14 impressions

  1. May I borrow your book? I guess I need to read it myself! ( <3 mom)

  2. I also got Jasmine's book for Christmas, and I loved it! I read it before the weekend was finished!

  3. Sounds like a great book, I think I shall look into it!

  4. My sweet sister gave me the book, and I just gobbled it up! I loved her blog, too, and was really sad to find it deleted. But I'm glad to have the book. It really inspired me. I would love to meet Jasmine, and it's possible, since we live in the same state. ;)

  5. Aemi - hurray for your sister!

    Now, if you ever meet Jasmine in person, be sure to mention that Bailey says hi too. *wink*

    We had a lot of fun over at Jasmine's blog. Good times, they were. Good times.

  6. Oh, I LOVED, LOVED this book!! It helped me so much! I had the pleasure to meet Jasmine in person last (2009) December. She was just as charming and interesting in person as she was on her blog and also her book.

    By the way, thank you for commenting on my blog. :)


  7. Incidentally, I gave "Joyfully at Home" (IS the A capitalized? I never have gone and checked, lazy me!) to my two older sisters - they have both already finished it and loved it. I've only gotten into the introduction and first chapter. It seems to be everything you say.
    Again, I haven't really read it, but I get the impression from the snippets I've heard and read that Jasmine views marriage with a bit of that dreamy, oh-maybe-someday view. Is that true?


  8. Gabrielle - *trying hard not to be jealous* :o)

    Natalie - my grammar geek is quick to point out that only verbs and nouns and something else that I've forgotten are capitalized in titles...you're safe.

    As to Jasmine and marriage...she's a self-professed, hardcore romantic. But at the same time, she's very down-to-earth in regards to both singleness and marriage. She views both as a context to be used to God's glory, and constantly points out to other dreamy souls (*cough*me*cough*) that we will marry sinners and live a life far different from a fairy tale. So no, I would definitely say she's got her head on straight about love and marriage. :o)

    Ironically, though her blogging insight on emotional purity was what saved my teenage years from self-destruction, by the time I got to that section I was so pumped about pursuing Christ in these single years that I was content to remain unmarried for decades.

    Or, uh, maybe not as long as that. Twenty-five instead of eighteen. ;o)

    Thanks so much for commenting, ladies! *free hugs*

  9. By the way, Bailey, I'm looking forward to reading YOUR first book.
    I'm trying to write one, too, and my sweet sister and I are thinking about writing one together.

  10. :o) You're very sweet, Aemi. But I never was very good at long term relationships with books.

    We'll see if there's a cure this summer. ;o)

    I'd be very interested in your book if you finish it. Did I mention I love editing? *crosses fingers and sighs*

  11. About the Jasmine/marriage/singleness thing - I don't think I phrased my question exactly right. I don't mean to ask whether or not she views marriage as a perfect earthly happiness (I seemed to be saying that). What I meant was this: It seems to me that she views marriage as a faint maybe-someday dream ... almost as if it probably won't happen, but "just in case," she's going to be pure for her husband; that staying at home and NOT marrying is, hmm, more important or more glorifying to God.
    Of course all this is subtle, if it's there at all.


  12. Now I get what you're saying. Huh. Yeah, I guess there is sort of that "maybe-somedayness" - mainly personal, though. It depends on the topic she's talking about and the mood she's in when she writes it.

    I know she thinks that neither marriage nor singleness "one-ups" the other...God knows best. (But she'll add that purposefully putting off marriage is bad exegesis.)

    But I guess you're right. I've noticed it a bit, but never thought about it really. Finish the book and let me know what you think. I might have to re-read. :o)

  13. I'm enjoying perusing your blog (directed here from Raising Homemakers)...

    I LOVE your review of Jasmine's book! (And her book, too, of course!) I had to wait for it under the tree as well! I think my reaction to her book-appearance & blog-exit were the same as yours! =) In fact, I'm still not happy about her blog being deleted...so I guess I'll have to content (ha!) myself with reading her book over and over and over..... =)


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