Caryn Rivadeneira has had her struggles as a mother of three. She's been short-tempered, locked herself in a room to avoid the kids, and stood by and watched while her child had a major meltdown. Haven't we all?
This mom has a heart for other moms and shares it in her newest book, Known and Loved: 52 Devotions from the Psalms (Revell, May). The collection of weekly readings will get ready-made promotion under the Mothers of Preschoolers brand; MOPS is a resource organization with a Web site, magazine, annual convention, and associated books, now being published by Revell, including Known and Loved. The book's theme is identity and takes readers through 10 principles that define Christian motherhood, such as "You are held by God" and "You are given fresh starts."
"For the first time in my career a project came to me via my agent. MOPS was looking for a devotional project with the theme of identity. My first book was on motherhood and identity, so I thought it would be cool to revisit that," says Rivadeneira, who works part-time at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Illinois. Her first book was Mama's Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All That Mom (WaterBrook, 2009).
In Known and Loved, Rivadeneira uses the biblical book of Psalms to frame her collection of short devotionals—perfect for moms chasing young children—and offers a study guide, Scripture index, and writing exercise for readers to create their own psalms.
"The takeaway for the book is knowing that we are not only loved by God, but are known by God, which makes us worth knowing," says Rivadeneira. "We are worth knowing to those around us and our families, but it's humbling and amazing to know that God peeks into our souls and loves us, especially when we're doing those tasks that seem so mundane."
One of Rivadeneira's goals is to be honest and transparent about her experiences as a mother, some of them beautiful and others not so pretty.
Of her devotional, Rivadeneira says, "Sometimes you come to a book and it can be off-putting if the author is an expert. But this is one struggling mom writing to another struggling mom. I try to be honest about my experiences, and in being known by God."
Rivadeneira has a novel, Shades of Mercy, co-written with Anita Lustrea, releasing from Moody's River North Fiction imprint in September, and a nonfiction book tentatively titled Live on the Lookout coming out with InterVarsity Press in 2014.