Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood


By Jamie Sumner

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“Jamie Sumner’s book is wonderful. The story she tells is so honest and encouraging and her writing is terrific. I love it and I am happy for her and the release of such a wonderful book. I know God’s going to do great things with it, and with her.” —Rory Feek, singer/songwriter

In UNBOUND, JAMIE SUMNER helps women who are struggling with the pressures of motherhood find comfort, hope and companionship by detailing her own difficult journey and highlighting women of the Bible who triumphed in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Women, especially Christian women, do not talk enough about the reality of motherhood: the enormous struggles it takes to get there, the loneliness of it, the unspoken or unmet expectations. We are often too afraid, ashamed, or unwilling to share our stories of disillusionment or pain. We quietly absorb the posts of sonograms and happily messy houses on Facebook as we inwardly wonder what’s the matter with us. We listen to friends coo about their child’s latest success as we watch our own terrorize their sibling or scream for an hour. We struggle to raise kids with special needs, physical disabilities, and social challenges, caught by surprise that this is what motherhood looks like.

With honesty and vulnerability, JAMIE SUMNER walks readers through each chapter of her own journey to motherhood through infertility and special needs parenting and pairs it with that of a woman in the Bible so that readers can find comfort, hope, companionship and honesty rooted in biblical truths.

The book is broken into four parts: The Wanting, The Waiting, The Getting and The Appreciating. UNBOUND will share the heartbreak of infertility and offer encouragement from someone who has had to wait for the fulfillment of motherhood; detail the specifics of infertility treatments, miscarriage, and raising special needs children through a Christian lens; honestly discuss the expectations versus the reality of being a mother; and highlight specific biblical women in each chapter who did not fit the expectations of their times through verses, scriptural anecdotes and guiding questions.

UNBOUND shows you through Scripture how to be thankful for each step wherever it leads. Happiness is found as we release into His hands our own well-laid plans for His better, and more beautiful one, no matter how different it may look from what we first imagined.



“The Honeymoon” and Paul’s Benediction

What can I say about the honeymoon phase, other than it should be bliss. Should be. I so wish someone had encouraged me to take a breather before embarking on the baby journey. Although to be totally honest, if a neighbor or friend had told me to enjoy that newly wedded era in a well-meaning over-the-fence conversation, I wouldn’t have listened. Stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine. There are too many voices from too many sides offering advice at that stage of life. Your married friends tell you to hold off and enjoy the freedom. Meanwhile, parents and anyone over fifty whisper, “So when are we going to have some little ones running around?” wink wink, nudge nudge. It’s advice overload. Soon enough, the system shuts down and reboots, wiped clean of anything but your own agenda.

I was twenty-five when I got married and not ready for the question about kids or the answer that would come years later. However, as a girl with a zesty obsessive-compulsive bent, I let the idea of babies infiltrate the early days of wedded bliss. I had one foot on the baby train even on the honeymoon. The Mai Tai cocktail hour had nothing on the future bliss that I thought was motherhood. It was the life upgrade I’d been waiting for. Cue the imaginary shopping at Pottery Barn Kids. I knew I wasn’t ready yet. “We” weren’t ready yet, but I’m not great at treading water. Sink or swim. “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is my most underlined verse in the Bible for a reason. This, if you ask my husband, Jody, is a continual source of both excitement and irritation in our marriage. I want to live in the moment, but deep down, I feel like I can do it better if I’m also allowed to plan ahead just a bit. Cultivate my spontaneity, like Mario busting through walls and aiming for the next magical coin.

God shows himself best in hindsight. I wish I had enjoyed those early years of marriage when I was learning how to be a grown-up living with another grown-up. It was a season ripe for learning. We ate large quantities of peanut butter and jelly on Wheat Thins, because who has time for knives and bread those first few years? We saw a lot of live music, eardrums buzzing for days. We slept in and went out to our favorite local coffee shop, sitting in the sun on their porch, sipping Americanos and competing at crossword puzzles. We learned how to work full-time jobs and still be nice to each other. We combined finances and CDs (back when those still existed) and furniture as best we could. We met up with friends and traveled aimlessly as only unencumbered twenty-somethings could. And we joined a Sunday school class for those newly married, admission to a club of other confused and fumbling people with an excess of unreturnable wedding gifts. God bless the married veterans who took us all on for that season of life. Because despite all of these newly married happenings, I could not stop thinking about the next “happening.” After two years the honeymoon finally ended and the “process of trying” began.

Here’s what got that train in motion. Jody and I were driving back from his parents’ home a few hours away, where we had gone to tailgate and attend a football game. His was a college town, do or die by school pride. Autumn was just beginning to make itself known—the time of year all the ladies whip out scarves and boots, despite the weather, and the men live the life of fantasy football stats, despite reality and limited funds. This, for me as a high school English teacher, has always been the season of anticipation. Pens are still full of ink. Post-its reach towering heights, a spectrum of possibility. And I’m finding the different rhythm with each of my classes. It’s soothing when the blinding light of summer mellows and the first round of essays and football games begin.

Jody drove. And while I graded with feet propped up, I felt it in a corner of my mind, a gentle tapping. The conversation we had only just tiptoed around had finally come knocking, like a Girl Scout with cookies.

Jody is a warmer-upper. He’s the kind of man who likes to get used to an idea, see it from every angle, read all the reviews, before tentatively clicking “Purchase.” I knew this by now and had already done the priming: “Can you believe we’ve already been married two years?” I’d say over a dinner that involved actual utensils, just a tiny question slipped in every now and then to make sure he noted where we fell on the timeline. “Did you know so-and-so is pregnant?” I’d say when we passed the Pottery Barn Kids at the mall, tiny little nautical quilts hanging in the window. Hear me when I say I did try to temper my expectations. I didn’t want him to think I was desperate. I can be a tsunami of need if I’m not careful.

But on this particular fall day, I felt the moment ripen. And so, we had “the talk.” He later admitted I was not the cool cat I thought I was. I scream loudly, even in the pauses. Isn’t that always the way in marriage and with God? We’re never as sly as we think we are.

Wilco was on the radio and our team had won and we had made good time getting home. All was well. I plunged in: “When do you think we should start trying?” And before he could answer, I added, “You know, if we started now, we could have the baby in the summer and I wouldn’t have to take time off from work.” This was to prove I was being practical, had thought it through, and was not the crazy lady who already, and secretly, owned a baby-naming book. He let a moment pass and I stopped breathing, afraid to break the moment and watch it tilt away from me. But as we pulled into our driveway on that Sunday afternoon, he parked the car, nodded, still not quite looking at me, and said, “Now sounds like the perfect time.”

And then we had a baby.

Oh wait, no, that’s someone else’s story. Ours is much longer.

When Paul was ending his letter to the Thessalonians, he did what he always did and gave them one last nugget of wisdom as a farewell. A benediction: Adieu, my good men and women, and remember, always do X and don’t forget Y. It’s the parting instructions as the students rush out the door, the final reminder before real life resumes. Paul told those Thessalonians, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). I like this reminder. It feels like a task, and I’m good at those. This is how I approached motherhood. I would be thankful for all the bumps along the road and would present all my anxiety to God, assuming the bumps were small and the anxiety only the two-minute wait for the pregnancy test.

I had been on birth control pills for over a decade due to irregular periods. Yet somehow, I expected to be functioning like a well-oiled 1950s baby-making machine. I wanted my 2.4 kids and I wanted them now!

When a few months went by and nothing happened, a mild panic set in, like a low-grade fever. I tried to live joyfully in the moment. I lit lavender-scented candles and took the dog on long walks and thanked God for the ability to sleep in on a Saturday and have a glass of wine with dinner. And I really tried not to Google herbal remedies for encouraging menstruation and femoral massage. I aimed for giving thanks “in all circumstances,” hoping to nail that lesson so we could move on. Level 2 in the video game of life. But God is not Player 1, and you are not Player 2. He is the creator. He doesn’t gamble with your feelings and He doesn’t barter, as much as we wish He did.

Hindsight would show me that staying in the present was the only way to stay sane in those early years, and all the ones to follow. It’s the lesson I needed to learn even as we sat on the black sands in Saint Lucia on our honeymoon, and the lesson I needed to learn when it was September and I began the countdown to Christmas, and it’s the lesson I still need to learn when I wish myself past this house, this hair length, this episode of This Is Us.

I don’t have to love the moment I’m in… I’m too much a realist for that, but God does call me to be present in it. That is my prayer and benediction for you as you juggle your expectations of motherhood. As disorienting as it might seem, may you remember to stay present, be still, and take notice of the moment you are in. That is what the women of the Bible learned to do in each of their impossible situations, and that is why they are included in each chapter of this book. I hope you will learn from their stories and mine. You do not need to “do” anything. Just be willing to be. That is, for better or worse, what trusting God looks like most of the time. It’s a lot of waiting and seeing and then taking the step He lights up… even if it’s tiny, even if it’s a step backward over a cliff into a new territory. Because ultimately, He sees forward and backward and always will lead you in the right direction.

The Wanting

Chapter 1

“The Trying” and Hannah

It felt comfortable stepping into the gently flowing river of couples who were trying to conceive. Many of our friends already had babies and were on to their second or third, like a round of drinks. We felt like part of the gang, Cheers-style, where everybody knows your name—and your business. But I didn’t mind the questions at first. I wanted to talk about cycle length and ovulation days and the days that Jody needed to move heaven and earth to avoid being sent out of town for work so that this baby magic could happen. A few friends even started pawning off their kids’ outgrown shoes, baby hats, Melissa and Doug puzzles. It was like we had cruised right into pregnancy and babyhood without the conception part. Because that’s what happens. People take it for granted that you’ll get pregnant. I mean, if teenagers can look at each other and make a baby, and movies like Knocked Up and Nine Months exist, then surely a nice Christian married couple can follow in good stead.

But if there was a secret to this particular parlor trick, we weren’t in on it. No amount of smoke and mirrors was going to make that pregnancy test show two lines. This was the part I did not share with friends. I barely spoke it to myself.

You remember Hannah, mother of Samuel, right? She was married to a man named Elkanah, who never gets much screen time in this story. Elkanah was also married to Peninnah. She was a vending machine of fertility. She had lots and lots of babies. Hannah had none. Peninnah was the kid in the cafeteria who always had the best lunch, the fun stuff, like psychedelic Goldfish and two desserts. That’s also the kid who always lines it all up on the table so everyone can see but no one can touch. Peninnah tormented Hannah year after year, the bully in the lunchroom. Every time Hannah walked into the house, Penninah “kept provoking her in order to irritate her” (1 Samuel 1:6) and brought her to tears, prodding her into more of a weepy hormonal mess than she already was.

Poor Hannah, she, too, probably knew that stress was bad for conception. There’s nothing less conducive to a calm uterus than stressing about stress. Elkanah wasn’t much help. “Why are you weeping?” he asked her. “Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8). He could not understand why she wouldn’t just be happy with him, sans kids. “Aren’t I good enough?”

Yes and no, I wanted to say every time Jody and I had a variation of the same conversation. How do you explain a part of you that can be filled only by a child? Hannah couldn’t explain it; but she took her wishes to the Lord and prayed, “If you would only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life” (I Samuel 1:11). We all know how that went. Baby Samuel.

In that first year, I thought about Hannah often. I wept and prayed. I prayed and wept. I thought up deals in my head: Dear God, please just let me ovulate this month and I’ll rest and spend more time reading Scripture and do my daily gratitudes. Dear God, please let this cycle be a normal twenty-eight days and I’ll make a home-cooked meal every night and not skip community group at church. Dear God… I offered bargain after bargain. I prayed with my hands on the Bible as if it were a Ouija board. Please spell out B-A-B-Y. And with every month that passed without success, I slowly lowered the dimmer switch on my view of God’s goodness. Clearly, He didn’t care whether I got pregnant or not. Clearly, I wasn’t that important to Him. I wasn’t Hannah, or any of the teeming millions of pregnant women who suddenly seemed to live within a five-mile radius of my house. This menacing train of thought made a station stop in every part of my life. I issued demerits to my high school students one second after the bell rang to begin class. Grace period was for elementary school. I refused to allow Jody to have any issues other than conception. Trouble with work? I did not even pretend to listen, because it seemed so small in comparison. Even the poor dog was too needy. “What, you need to go out again?”

The only surprising thing about this time was that I was not perpetually depressed. I had my ups as well as downs. I am, if nothing else, a roller coaster of emotions. I will always spend too long trying to pick an emoticon. During the long wait, I still laughed when we watched The Office and I still took the dog for walks. I still lost myself in teaching The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies, kids gone wild, a Freudian curriculum slip. But it all felt a bit hollow. Or I was hollow and none of it was doing the trick to fill me up. Jody did not know whom he would be coming home to at the end of each day. He waited, watching my face as he walked in the door before assembling his own. I do not envy him those few seconds.

The thing I didn’t realize at the time was that a baby wasn’t going to fill that hollowness either, or at least not in the eternally satisfying way that you picture getting the thing you currently want. If anything worked that way, commercialism would be out the window. We buy new clothes and new phones in the hope that the satisfaction will stick like a supersized value meal. Somehow, I had tacked the “baby” label on to “fulfillment” and could not see a Plan B. That was my one heart’s desire. Period.

Though I knew Hannah’s story well during that time, the thing about her situation that I did not care to notice until years later was the order of events. She didn’t ask God for a baby, have a baby, and then walk away happy. She asked God for a baby and immediately walked away happy: “Her face was no longer downcast” (1 Samuel 1:18). This was before the positive pregnancy test, my friends, before she got the “yes” to her request. She found a peace just in the naming of her desire and holding it up for God to inspect. She did not know the end point of her path, but she felt better in letting someone else walk it for a while, because now it was out of her hands.

Does that get you the way it gets me? Placing my hopes, desires, needs in God’s hands has never been my strong suit, or even a middling one. I always feel like there is a part of my life’s journey that is still under my operating instructions. Desperate to control my way to motherhood, I was playing life’s version of the Claw, the arcade game where you steer the dangling robot hand, cross your fingers, and aim for the biggest stuffed duck. If I could just maneuver my life a tad up and to the left, I’d be able to win the prize. Hannah’s lesson was not to guess God’s price for a baby and offer it, but to let it go and walk away from the levers. She knew there was someone whose plan was greater than hers, and who would answer her prayer in His time and in His way.

But for me, in that first year, as “It’s a girl/boy” Facebook posts increased exponentially as if someone were buying up Google Ads for babies, and I trudged along empty, I had not yet learned the lesson of unburdening. It was maddening to even consider. Instead, I took matters into my own hands. I went to see my general practitioner, who sent me to an OB-GYN, who put me on Clomid, the standard Phase 1 baby-inducing medicine. Here, take these pills; come back for a blood test. We’ll see if you’re ovulating and then get that baby on board. It usually works like a charm. Three months of this with no success and I became one of those “difficult cases.” They referred me to a RE (reproductive endocrinologist), saying I was outside the realm of their expertise. How terrifying. These people had gone to medical school and had helped thousands of women get and stay pregnant, yet I was beyond their abilities. But also, how exciting: a new option I hadn’t thought of. This RE person would fix it all! She would hold the litmus test to determine what I’d been missing all along. I couldn’t give the control to God, but giving it to an expert whom I could see and touch and hear explain all the ways she was going to fix it seemed easy. I became excited and hopeful again. This last year was really just a bump in the road, I told myself. I’m so glad I weathered that so well, I said, even as the water pooled around my psyche. The power of delusion is strong in me.

The doctor’s office tower was a nondescript concrete building downtown surrounded by other nondescript medical complexes. It was all a gray maze of one-way streets and no-parking signs and the elderly in wheelchairs waiting at intersections like abandoned shopping carts while police officers directed traffic. Jody and I drove together and talked of anything but what was coming. It was the one and only time I actually turned up the volume to Car Talk on NPR. It was autumn again. Another new beginning.

The office was on the top floor, and the elevator opened directly in front of the fertility clinic’s doors, their glass windows frosted and etched with the silhouette of a baby. It looked peaceful, asleep, waiting for the stork to drop it into my cage. Despite the fact that I had filled out reams of paperwork before the appointment, I had no clue how this was going to play out. After signing in, we received our matching wristbands. Jody’s stuck to his arm hair. It would happen each time we returned to the clinic and is the reason he still has a bald spot on his wrist.

And then, the awkward wait with all the other empty vessels. No magazine could have been engaging enough to make that wait go any faster. I would later come to learn the Rules of the Waiting Room: (1) No eye contact. Ever. (2) No small talk (that’s what support groups are for). (3) No talking loudly to your partner (we don’t want to know if you are in love or fighting or your plans for lunch). (4) And absolutely no children (this is an actual rule posted at the front desk). Please don’t parade your progeny in front of the needy.

That first initial meeting went smoothly. We discussed and dismissed Clomid (silly useless drug) in favor of stronger, more precise remedies. I would take a different oral medication to induce ovulation, and if that didn’t work, try injections, and if that didn’t work, try injections plus IUIs (intrauterine insemination), and if three to six cycles of those didn’t work, we would move on to the biggie: IVF (in vitro fertilization). So many ifs! But that was, of course, a last resort, our petite and precise RE amended. We also skirted over the costs of these methods. Doctors do not deal in numbers other than mls and ccs. We would not find out until later that insurance and barrenness weren’t friendly in our state. They did not play well together. But before all that, our RE said, standing and smoothing her skirt, “Let’s just do some blood tests to determine the root cause of the infertility.” Because this was now my initial diagnosis. I was “infertile.” Truth: It felt good to name it. Slap a label on me and mark for resale. I was ready to move on. My land was parched, and now the doctor could begin the process of irrigation.

We left that day with Band-Aids on our arms and just a small skip in our step. I love a plan, and this plan had so many parts, and most likely we wouldn’t even need most of those parts, but it was so nice to know that they were there just in case and isn’t the sky a lovely blue today? Jody was sweet and calm and tentative in his hopes (the rational winner in our partnership), but because he gets me, he let me revel in this burst of sanguinity. Our journey to parenthood would look a bit different than others, but hey, at least we’d get there.

Remember Hannah? Yeah, I forgot about her too. Her approach of waiting in peacefulness, stillness, and joy sat with me about as well as late-night Taco Bell. I kept burping up her passivity. She was clearly not a kindred spirit. Isn’t it so easy to parcel out the parts of the Bible you don’t need? What was vital one day was forgotten the next. Hannah got lost in a swirl of test results and cycle charts and high-speed interstate trips to the clinic during my planning periods. My days were marked by hormone surges and sperm counts and follicle measurements and Explanations of Benefits.

My dear friends, the benediction you receive at church is no joke. It is a weekly reminder to “stay rooted and established in love” (Ephesians 3:18) and to always acknowledge “Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). Because I had a well-pressed medical professional sitting in front of me predicting my future, I placed my hope at her feet. Sure, I thanked God for bringing this option into our lives, but it was a sidebar gratefulness. No one but me could tell the difference. In my heart, I was still saving up the big “thank you” for delivery of services rendered. I still refused to live in the present because the present hurt too much, and God was in the present and He seemed to be ignoring me. We sat in opposite corners. It would take years to be thankful for the hard stuff. But years are better than never. And though practice doesn’t make perfect, it does make for a gentler pace.

So, practice the stillness even if you don’t feel it. Breathe deeply and sit with God even if you can’t pray a word. The Claw will eat your money and offer promises it can’t give. I wish I’d know that then.

Guiding Questions

1. How do you distract yourself from your needs with action?

2. Outline your agenda for your life here for the next year.

3. How could you give over each piece of this to God, Hannah-style?


• 1 Samuel 1:1–20

• Ephesians 3:14–21

Chapter 2

“The First Step” and Miriam

This little pill was different from the others. It was not the small round yellow of birth control or the fat round white of Clomid. This little pill was blue and tiny. So tiny I always checked to make sure I’d swallowed it. My biggest fear was that I’d be flossing later and find it stuck in my teeth, an ineffectual sesame seed. It had zero side effects, except perhaps it was laced with a mild dose of cocaine. I felt energized in a way I had never experienced, jittery with hope. I cranked up the radio and rolled down my windows in November. I cooked and shopped and graded and walked with more bounce because life felt recognizable again. I had faith in “the plan.” I nestled myself deeply in the soft, hand-knit protection of the future as patterned by my doctor. This is what research and foresight get you, I was sure: a Monopoly pass to motherhood.

Does anyone ever stop to think of Miriam, Moses’ sister? You’d remember her if you saw the film The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston. She’s the one who hides in the reeds after pudgy baby Moses is placed in the basket by his mother. She’s older, seven years older than her baby brother, and street-smart. She’s the sister who would tell you to skip the skinny jeans in middle school and which teachers to tune out, Charlie Brown style. She’d help you survive.

Miriam’s tale is not a tale of infertility; if anything, the Jewish community at this time had the polar opposite problem: They “were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous and the land was filled with them” (Exodus 1:7). “What’s the problem?” you say from your mother’s heart. “The more the merrier.”

But it wasn’t their land and the king wasn’t too keen on filling up space with the help. Excess, it seems, is just as much a problem as dearth. Hence the horrific command that makes any mother or want-to-be mother seize up with the rigor mortis of righteous anger: “If you see that the baby is a boy, kill him” (Exodus 1:16). No fertility clinics for the Israelites. And no plan either. Merely survival. This is the world into which Moses was born and Miriam was witness.


  • "Jamie Sumner's book is wonderful. The story she tells is so honest and encouraging and her writing is terrific. I love it and I am happy for her and the release of such a wonderful book. I know God's going to do great things with it, and with her."—Rory Feek, singer/songwriter
  • "Feeling imperfect? There are mom-books for that - offering solace in faith and welcome infusions of humor as well. Jamie Sumner, in Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations of Motherhood (FaithWords, April 10) describes her journey through infertility and special needs parenting. Her trip has not been easy, but Sumner found in the Bible stories of women who show her comfort, hope, companionship and triumph in releasing herself in God's hands."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Jamie takes us all on her journey of faith, hope, determination, and courage. Her personal stories, interwoven with women from the Bible, allow us to understand how our own 'paths' and struggles are similar to theirs. She does so with quick wit, clever insight, and a true sense of understanding that, at the heart of it all, God is in control. She reminds us to stay in the present and appreciate the moments of our lives. I love her quote: 'There was a reason. I didn't see any of that in the moment, but I see it now. I see the tangled mess that turned into a safety net which brought our son into this world.'"—Chantai Snellgrove, Founder/Publisher, Parenting Special Needs Magazine
  • "When the body suddenly betrays expectation, Jamie Sumner pitches into doubt and action, asking God and science to bring her the child she yearns for. The author invites us into the exclusive world of fertility treatments and NICUs, shattering ultrasounds and difficult phone calls. Funny, self-deprecating and familiar as a gal pal, she is as likely to casually mention Sarah and Hagar as Care Bears and "Lost". Sumner uses her own story as an allegory to illuminate both faith and its conjoined sister, doubt. She draws readers in with guided meditations, making the book part memoir, part interactive study, all engaging and bittersweet."—Camille-Yvette Welsch, Reviews editor at Literary Mama, author of Full
  • "As a woman who's struggled with infertility for over four years, I felt such a connection to Jamie and her story through reading this work of love. There's something crazy about this world of trying-to-conceive that no one tells you about: the friendships you make through sharing the mutually exhaustive trials and tribulations of infertility. I believe there's a reason for everything in my heart of hearts, and as I come off my second FET with no bump yet to show, I know there is a reason God brought me to Jamie to review this book-to remind me as she so eloquently put, 'God has a plan He's already stitched it together for you and it is masterful and, lucky for all of us, already complete.'
So, to my fellow #ttcsisters, if you're looking for a friend on this bumpy ride, I would definitely recommend cozying up with UNBOUND to laugh, cry, and seek that friend who gets you during this trying time. You are not alone, and Jamie will remind you of that!"—Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, Fertility Nutrition Expert, writer for Self and Fit Pregnancy, founder of BumpstoBaby.com, Co-Author Fertility Foods Cookbook
  • "Eloquent and inspiring, UNBOUND connects modern-day motherhood with the stories of women found throughout scripture. Jamie Sumner peels back the outer layers of her own journey though infertility and raising children with special needs, and exposes heart-warming and relatable accounts of hardship, perseverance, and growth. Sumner sings truth and encouragement, grounded in biblical verses, reminding us all to stay present through this beautifully complicated season of raising tiny humans."—Kristin M. Helms, author of From Boardroom to Baby: A Roadmap for Career Women Transitioning to Stay-At-Home Moms
  • "Jamie Sumner approaches the ups and downs of motherhood with honesty and wit, making us all feel a little better about the job we're doing...while at the same time inspiring us through the fact that we're not alone. Women through history -- from the ancient Old Testament to now -- have all struggled to find the balance of their identity in Christ and as mothers. This book is balm for our souls."—p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 11.0px Times}span.s1 {font-kerning: none}Kate Etue, co-author of The Essential Five: A Grown-Up Girl's Handbook for Everything
  • "With grace, honesty, humor, and an uncanny ability to braid her story seamlessly with biblical examples, Jamie Sumner shares a deeply personal, tender, and yet arduous journey into motherhood. Hers isn't a straight, freshly paved path. No. There are pot holes and U-turns, road blocks and red lights. But these obstacles are only part of the story. UNBOUND is really about yielding to a plan different than one's own. It's about yielding to a God who knows us and loves us, and leads us on the path everlasting. This isn't just Jamie's story. It's everyone's. I cried at the end of this book."—Gillian Marchenko, author of Sun Shine Down: A Memoir and Still Life: A Memoir of Living Fully with Depression
  • "Jamie Sumner is a writer of words women need to read.Women will joyfully cheer that in Unbound, Sumner talks about the little--discussed realities of infertility and miscarriage. She then takes us forward through the getting and the appreciation of motherhood. Brilliantly, she ties together her stories with those of biblical females and makes all of us moms find freedom from our unrealistic expectations as we claim our God-given strength. This is a joy of a read."—Sarah Philpott, PhD, author of Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss (connect with her at allamericanmom.net)
  • On Sale
    Apr 10, 2018
    Page Count
    224 pages

    Jamie Sumner

    Jamie Sumner

    About the Author

    Jamie Sumner is a writer for Parenting Special Needs magazine as well as a regular contributor to Scary Mommy, Mom.me, Parent.co Magazine, Her View From Home magazine, Tribe magazine, Mamalode magazine, and Complex Child Magazine. Her IVF journey has also been featured on Fox 17 News. She and her husband fought infertility for two years before seeking medical intervention. She has a son, Charlie, diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome and cerebral palsy, and boy/girl twins, Jonas and Cora. She blogs regularly at http://www.mom-gene.com.

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