Look, ma, no hands

June 20th, 2009

Offered as a prayer of love and thanksgiving on this, what would have been my mother’s seventy-sixth birthday. Her silent ovation never ends.

Dear Karen,

Thank you so much for writing Momma Zen, or as the title is in Dutch: Zen Mama! I enjoyed every minute of it. You helped me so much with all kinds of struggles that I have had as a mother. Your book inspired me to look at life differently, to see all the beauty that is around me, in my children, in my marriage, in my work. I am kind of a hyperactive person some times and after the birth of my youngest daughter, I lost all my flexibility in life. I could no longer look at the bright side of life, felt so guilty towards my daughter at not being able to solve her problems and really fought hard to get myself back on track. Then I read about your book, ran to the bookstore, started reading and could not stop for a couple of hours. I think I never quoted a book so many times in conversations with my husband because you used the words in your book that I was looking for.

You have no idea what you did for me and my family. I am so happy at the moment, enjoying every minute of my two beautiful girls without doubting if I am a good mother. Thanks Karen for everything!

Every friend of mine that celebrates her birthday will receive your book for the coming years.


I have 27 pages of emails like this, 9500 words, from four continents. They are the world to me.

Now, give yourself two chances to win a signed copy of Momma Zen at the wishstudio or at Elissa Elliott’s Living the Questions blog. Visit both and be greedy! It’s a birthday.

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  1. Wow! This is beautiful!

    How fortunate you are to have such a treasure that remains in her memory.

    Comment by Lisa — June 21, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

  2. Timeless gifts are priceless. They resonate energy and lessons to enrich everyone forever.

    Comment by Liara Covert — June 22, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  3. "you used the words in your book that I was looking for" – i love this.

    and what author doesn't love to hear this??

    "Every friend of mine that celebrates her birthday will receive your book for the coming years."

    fans are a beautiful thing. look forward to reading your book once i get pregnant.


    Comment by Allison — June 23, 2009 @ 4:01 am

  4. It's funny. People might think letters like this would stroke the ego, but the reverse is true.

    I have been out of the classroom, by choice, since February, and one of the things I have done is organize my SMC file cabinet folder. In it are two thick display books from the art store that I bought just for all the letters and cards students have given me through the years. After 13 years, there are no more sleeves left, and they are collecting loosely now in the folder. I cherish them.

    Recently, with the space to reread them, I could only smile with the genuine joy that comes from connecting, truly connecting, and touching someone, and am humbled by the great responsibility that I've fortunately been able to meet, but rather than taking it for granted, it inspires me to keep doing better.

    I might post about it someday soon.

    Beautiful. Life is beautiful. The letter is beautiful.

    Comment by DQ's Windmill — June 23, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

  5. This letter is truly wonderful. And your book is really great. I found it at a time in my life and marriage where I thought everything would come apart and the wisdom in your book helped me not only keep it together but to also do it with a deeper appreciation for and awareness of the joy of motherhood.

    Thank you so much for your reading tonight, it really was inspiring to meet you! And, like the person in your letter, I can't wait to pass the book I got along to my best friend for her birthday. (She might actually get it a month early because it's such a great source of help and hope.)

    I'm so happy that so many people have been able to benefit from your book!

    Comment by Katie — June 24, 2009 @ 5:36 am

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