Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I Have (Had) Enough: Memoirs of Abundance in Fatherhood, Friendship, and Faith - Jeff Jacobson

Summary:  Here's a good place to start... I'm new to marriage and the first Bush is president. Pretty soon there's a child: my son.  Then there's infertility and I'm supposed to be learning about God's timing.  After five years of this, there are two more boys, at the same time.  People as us if twins run in our family, and we say they do now.  Then there's a fourth: a girl.  But right before she's born, my best childhood friend dies when planes fly into the Twin Towers.  I write a lot about all of this.  These are my stories.  (Summary from back of book - Image from amazon.com - Book given to me for free in exchange for an honest review)

My Review:   I Have (Had) Enough is a heartwarming, faith-filled memoir and compilation of essays, short stories, and letters from one man to (and about) the family and friends that have meant so much to him.  It is separated into six sections and, within those sections, chapters, that are usually only a few pages in length, perfect for a busy parent who might not have a lot of time to sit down and read.  I don't know about you, but that's the definition of me right now.

Jacobson's tender vignettes of his beautiful, exhausting, joyful, and chaotic family life, will likely resonate with most parents in one way or another, but there were some sections that spoke to me more than others.  The first section was a collection of insightful essays and short stories; the second through fourth, deeply personal letters written to each of his children; the fifth, a series of letters to his late friend, Jimmy; and the sixth, which offered a spiritually compelling perspective on Jesus Christ.  When Jacobson effusively sang his wife's praises in the very first essay, I was hooked.  I mean, he had me at 'hello' with that one.  He follows it up with a touching tribute to a friend that sent me into fits of tears and nostalgia, and then went on to melt my heart with the simple story of a father's love for his baby girl and the safety she found in his embrace. There is more to the first section than those three essays, but  I'll let you uncover the rest for yourself.  While the sections dedicated to his children and close friend were were eloquently written, full of sound advice, and clearly heartfelt, I frequently felt like a snoopy intruder in private moments, and didn't connect with those sections quite as much as I did the first and last sections of the book.  In the last section of the book, Jacobson draws modern-day parallels with familiar Bible stories and invites the reader to imagine how Jesus would behave were He popping up in our communities today.  Who would He visit?  Where would He spend his time?  I felt this section was of particular worth because it inspired me to look inward and reflect on how I might try to be more Christlike in my own life.

I especially loved how, throughout the book, Jacobson's faith infused his experiences and gave him a wonderful perspective on fatherhood and family life.  He managed to not only see the extraordinary moments in ordinary life, but find spiritual meaning in them and share it in ways that really hit home. Who would have thought a story about a four-year-old frantically fishing for a urinal penny could have spiritual applications in my life (the mother of only daughters), but, I promise you, it does!  I also realized that the book's title, I Have (Had) Enough, means something a little deeper at the end of the book than it does at the beginning...and that's just kind of cool.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone in the midst of all that is family life, who is looking for a little hope, a little insight, and a little spiritual boost.

My Rating: 4 Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  You should be fine.

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