No one shapes our heritage or affects our legacy like our mother. Most
people know Leonard Sweet, one of the world’s most influential
evangelicals, as a sharp cultural critic who helps us see how to get in
front of the future rather than be bowled over by it. One of his
greatest influences was his mother, a groundbreaking (and sometimes
controversial) minister who defied convention while honoring tradition.
In this exceptionally personal work, Len Sweet opens his mother’s memory
box, and in the process he helps us all embrace the future with
confidence while tethering us to a faith that transcends time. Through
Len’s experience, we all will better understand and process how our own
heritage affects our legacy.
An ideal resource for mothers, adult children, and families seeking resources to set up their kids to flourish.
Table of Contents 1. Ma’s Wedding Ring, Dad’s Hellevision 2. The Yellow-Painted Pot-Metal Boudoir Light 3. Rocks 4. The Dreaded Four-Way 5. The Family Bible at Family Prayer 6. Upright Piano and Soundtrack for the Soul 7. Polio Braces 8. Yellow Cheese 9. Sweet’s Liniment 10. Lye Soap 11. Mounds, Mars Bars, and the County Home 12. The Mystery Bag and the Curiosity Cabinet 13. Extra Plate at the Table 14. Dad’s Rolltop Desk and His Secret Compartment 15. Gramma’s Green Porcelain Wood Stove 16. The Doctor’s Script 17. Nautical Door 18. Grandfather’s Chair 19. Glover’s Mange Cure 20. Potlucks 21. Chocolate Éclairs 22. The Wringer 23. Matchboxes and Sawdust 24. Lumps in the Mattress
Endorsements "Len Sweet knows the power of the phrase, “Once upon a time . . .” When people hear these words they awake from their slumber, come to the edge of their seats, tuck the palms of their hands under their chins, and listen. This book did that for me. I was drawn into the wonderful, unique story of Len’s mother and family without the expectation of there being anything in it for me. Boy was I wrong." ---RANDY FRAZEE Author of The Heart of the Story
"Leonard Sweet has long been one of my favorite people, and now I know why. Mabel Boggs Sweet. Mother Tongue, a spoken portrait of his mother—a woman of simple faith met with the strength, resiliency, and closeness to nature her mountain upbringing provided—is beautifully written, resounding with love and gratitude." ---LISA SAMSON Novelist and artist
"If anyone ever wondered about the sacred and sacrificial art of Christian mothering joined with the divine calling to put Christ first in all things, meet Mabel Boggs Sweet. The stark stories of her life as a mother, shunned and poor, are contrasts to her extraordinary ability to live her life all for Christ. Thank you, Len Sweet, for telling us about your mother. She surely did cast a long shadow, and now we can sit in it, be encouraged, and learn." ---MARYKATE MORSE Professor of leadership and spiritual formation, George Fox Evangelical Seminary