Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Review The Duggars: 20 and Counting. Raising One of American's Largest Families- How They Do it. by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar

Publisher: Howard Books 
Pages: 228 
Source: Personal Copy 

Jim Bob and Michelle currently have 19 children. At the time this book was written, they had 17 Children. This family completely amazes me. I have a large extended family as well, and I honestly love having many aunts, uncles and cousins. I have comfort in knowing I have many people who lovingly surround me. My husband has a huge family as well. I firmly believe that extended family is very important. I first began watching 17 Kids and Counting on TLC, and thought wow! I honestly thought this family was strange, and Jim Bob and Michelle must be out of their minds to have 17 children. As I watched a few episodes, I quickly fell in love with this family. I loved how close the children were, how they function as a family, their morals, and their confidence. I love how Michelle and Jim Bob have taught their children to be strong individuals. They are not afraid to pray in front of others, they wear what they are comfortable with and I love how logical their responses are when people question or judge their 'strange' behaviour. Jim Bob and Michelle are constantly reiterate that their choices are for them. They do not push their ideas on others, they do not judge others. 

While reading 20 Kids and Counting, I was truly inspired. Michelle and Jim Bob write about their trials and tribulations as a young married couple. When they chose to leave God decide their future regarding children. They had close family question, judge and firmly state that they were doing the wrong thing. Jim Bob and Michelle stuck to their decision and didn't allow others to influence their decisions. I believe many people in today's society are influenced by others. Everyone wants to be accepted by their peers and I commend them for their strength. I love how they have instilled confidence in their children. When strangers laugh at them and call them Amish, they laugh and continue on with their day. They do not allow others to bring them down. During this book I learned a lot about the Duggars. 

Jim Bob and Michelle were robbed one night at their home. Jim Bob was held at gun point, while Michelle pregnant with Jana and John David slept in the next room with Josh. Jim Bob prayed she would stay asleep. Jim Bob, was bound and gagged while the thieves were furious with him for having a paltry eleven dollars on him. They settled with stealing some cars from their used car lot. Jim Bob was afraid, but told the man that his life was in God's hands. He was not afraid to die. Once the thief was caught, Jim Bob went to jail intending to meet with the man who held a gun to his head. Unable to meet with him, he went to a Christian Bookstore, and bought a bible to give to him. He handed it to one of the workers, who passed along the bible. This story really amazed me, because I don't think I would have the strength to do that. It's not the bible that amazes me, it's Jim Bob's ability to forgive and want to do good for others. 

Another story that I loved was 'The Pink Blanket Miracle.' Jill, their fourth child was asking her parents for a pink blanket like her sister's. She really, really wanted a pink blanket, but her parents were not doing very well financially and could not afford to buy Jill a blanket. Michelle told Jill, that she wasn't sure if a pink blanket was in her future. At this time, money was scarce and it would have been a frivolous purchase their couldn't afford. She asked Jill to pay for a pink blanket. A few days later, Jim Bob acquired a new car for the used car lot. While he was cleaning it out, he looked in the backseat and found a little pink blanket. When he brought this blanket to Jill, she was very excited! This story made me think... 

This book is filled with uplifting stories. Michelle explains how her family functions with jurisdictions, routine, patience and faith. Jim Bob and Michelle struggled, made mistakes and moved on. I'm not a devout religious person. I am catholic, I do go to church and I do not intend on having 19 children. What I took away from this book was encouragement. I tend to flip through the pages and read parts over and over again. This book really stuck with me. It's a quick read, and I'm happy to have this book. 

This book may not be for you, but I honestly loved it. I love the Duggars!

I've reread this one a few times, and I can't wait to read there newest book. 


  1. I've never watched the show but I have seen them in interviews. I must give them credit for having so many children who seem to be well cared for and much loved.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the book so much. I have mixed feelings about the Duggars, though. It just seems to me that the older kids are really the ones raising the younger kids. I also wonder what kind of options their kids will have in their lives.

  3. I know how much you love the Duggars :) Hmmm I have to admit she blows my mind for her patience. Loved the review back then... love it again :)

  4. TLC waters down many of their beliefs. The Duggars are Independent Baptists Fundamentalist who embrace the Christian patriarchal lifestyle. Girls are keepers of home managing kids and helping mom home school. The boys do 'man' stuff like look after rental properties and running a tow truck service. It is really unclear what the boys do. On one of the latest episodes, a pop up said Joseph and Josiah spend 7 hours a week working on rental properties. I believe it pales in comparison to the girls. In the winter, you dont mow the yard. I think thy mean well but so many things disturb me about them.

  5. O this sounds great. I'm fascinated by the Duggars.