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The Duggars: 20 And Counting




The Advocate



The Duggers: 20 And Counting
by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar

Reviewed by Melissa J. Carswell

"...answered a lot of questions and raised even more. The book needs a sequel - something the Duggars are pros at delivering! ;-)"

I first heard of the Duggars several years ago in the context of a swirl of criticism. One to stay silent and process through something before offering an opinion, I gleaned all I could about them, whenever I could. I eventually became fascinated and then, a staunch supporter of their decision to allow God to decide to bless then with as many children as He chose. To date (January 1, 2009) God has chosen to give them eighteen children!

In their book The Duggars, 20 and Counting, Jim Bob and Michelle share the story of their romance, family, and business lives with a candidness that is rare in today’s world. In fact, they share far more than what they “owe” to us, the general public who enjoy following their family - whether as they appear on different news shows, or as we watch their reality show on TLC. If I respected them before, my respect deepened even more as Michelle especially, shared details that most of us women would rather the public not know about – from her menses to breastfeeding issues!

Jim Bob and Michelle felt they could not tell the story of their family without also telling about their business and financial decisions. For those of us that just wanted to read about the family, sometimes the figures and numbers listed were hard to read and seemed impersonal. Yet, at the same time, it helped round out their story and also provided insight into how they got to a place where they can live debt-free and be financially self-sufficient.

The book includes chapters on the Duggar’s view on parenting their little ones and how they help their older children prepare for adulthood. My favorite chapter was the chapter on how Michelle manages scheduling and organization. It was downright inspiring!

Throughout the book there are favorite family recipes and comments from the children on various topics, as well as pictures from daily life. Emails from viewers (of the show) are also answered here and there throughout the book.

The book covered a lot and yet, I still found myself wondering things like, “Do you [Michelle] ever get alone time?” “How do you get your devotions in?” “Are there ever days you think, I simply cannot do this anymore?” “Have you ever had a positive pregnancy test and felt overwhelmed at the thought of another one?” “Aren’t your emotions out of control with all those pregnancies, births, and breastfeeding years?”

The Duggars, 20 and Counting answered a lot of questions and raised even more. The book needs a sequel - something the Duggars are pros at delivering! ;-)

Melissa J. CarswellMelissa J. Carswell: Melissa is a Board Certified Christian Counselor. However, due to the appearance of a little bundle of Miracle in the past year, the counseling practice is now on indefinite hold. Instead, Melissa has entered the world of freelance writing from home. She is currently one of the content writers for TotallyHer.com (to be launched in September of 2008). Melissa has a passion for mentoring teen girls and young women and does so whenever possible. Her heart longing, along with her husband, is to use her education and credentials someday to have a home full of abandoned, abused, and terminally ill childen. They are still waiting for God's hand to unfold that particular chapter of their lives. When Melissa isn't changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking meals, mentoring the afore-mentioned young women, tending to her garden, being her husband's biggest fan, and soaking in every cuddly moment with her daughter, she reads and she writes. It is not unusual to see 2-3 books laying around the house at any given time and the hard drive to her computer houses several partially-written manuscripts to the secret dreamed-of-published books Melissa hopes for in the future. You can check out A Weak Rose here.