This heartfelt collection of essays will strike a chord with any mother whose response to the ""arrythmic"" pace of modern life is a yearning to ""shut the door, stop the noise, and tune in to our own inner lives."" Drawing on hard-won insights from her own struggle to achieve balance (she gave up a successful career in book publishing to work from home and raise her two young sons) and to infuse her family's days with meaning, Kenison's richly anecdotal musings on such diverse topics as ""peace,"" ""simplicity,"" ""play,"" ""Sabbath"" and ""discipline"" resonate with honesty and wisdom. Though this is not a religious book in the traditional sense, Kenison's contemplations are suffused with a spirituality that thrives on connecting with others and with nature and finding the sacred in the everyday. Rendering an intimate portrait of family life with grace and a lively sense of humor, Kenison, who for the past 10 years has edited The Best American Short Stories, is most impassioned and enlightening when she shares ""moments in which we were bathed in grace, moments when we were astonished by the simple joy of our togetherness."" Though each essay ends with a pat homily, some of which are jarringly treacly (""Someplace deep within me, I carry every story I have ever heard, every story I have ever lived, every story I will ever need""), readers will be left feeling refreshed and encouraged by the generosity of spirit that prompted these thoughtful reflections. (Apr.) FYI: For more on Mitten Strings for God, see Book News, Mar. 20.