Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman
Crossway Books (March 15, 2014) 160 pages
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Mercy, this was just the friendly, gentle slap in my face needed to knock me out of the dreary pity party of selfishness I'd created. There is so much wisdom packed in this little book, and it finally lifted my eyes where they needed to be...on Christ.
"The gospel stands above and beyond all the most practical, family-friendly, or cost-effective philosophies of mothering. The good news of Jesus Christ is superior to our to-do lists and metaphorical mother-of-the-year trophies. This is because the greatest problem a mother has is not a lack of creativity, accomplishment, or skill, but her inability to love God and others as Jesus loves her(John 13:34)."
It's easy to say I depend on the Lord, and I'm thankful for His blessings and His grace, but reading this book made me realize how little I actually live that out. I try too often to live in "me-ville".
"When I view motherhood not as a gift from God to make me holy but rather a role with tasks that get in my way, I am missing out on one of God's ordained means of spiritual growth in my life. Not only that, but I am missing out on enjoying God. No amount of mommy angst can compare to the misery that comes from a life devoid of the comforting, encouraging, guarding, providing, satisfying presence of our holy God."
Gloria writes this book with honestly and passion. I'm grateful she gets the message across with humility and gentleness. I'm the type of person that turns to anger and excuses if a person "disciplines" me with arrogance. Yes, a short browse through the book of Proverbs lets me know how wrong my attitude is there. I'm far from perfect! ;) A "holier than thou" attitude never works with me, though. I'm grateful that Gloria's attitude throughout this book was the perfect "discipline" method for me.
I really can't imagine a mother out there that couldn't benefit from this book! It covers the moms, like me, that struggle with feeling unimportant and "not good enough" to the moms who think they have the fictitious "mother of the year" award on its way to them(Ha! So not me!). Judging other mothers is covered, too, which I appreciate. I've been on both sides of that train, and I don't like either side!
"By God's grace we are to put off the old self, which instinctively prefers to lord over other mothers, and we put on the new self, which loves holiness(Eph. 4:20-24). We put away falsehoods, and we speak truth to other mothers, for we are members of one another. We don't angrily sin against each other and hold grudges for the Devil to use in his wicked work of causing division. We speak words to one another that are good for building up and giving grace to our hearers. We throw away all bitterness, slander, and malice that we feel toward other moms. Instead, we are kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven us(Eph. 4:25-32)."
"Perhaps the most pertinent correction I've received in light of this temptation is what Jesus told Paul about boasting: "He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Cor. 12:9) Do I want the power of Christ to rest on me as I mother my children? Yes, please! Then I need Jesus to free me from my craving to be worshiped for my mothering. I need to own up to my weaknesses so that I can prize Christ's power."
There are *lots* of Bible verses used throughout this book! As I got to the end(on my kindle), I flipped through page after page of Bible verses listed in the "Scripture Index". I turned to Jonathan, while showing him the pages, and said, "THIS is what I expect!" While there are many references to what other people have said, there are more Bible verses. Though others' thoughts are important for encouragement and reproof, God's Word is ALWAYS more important, and I appreciate this book. I appreciate the friendly reminder that my eyes were focused on myself and worldly things.
"I want to hope in God when my kids wake me up before my alarm. I want to love God's Word all day when I'm entrenched in the mundane work around my house. I want to meditate on God's promises and praise him and remember him when I'm up with the baby at midnight and at 3 a.m.(and 10 p.m., 2 a.m., and 5 a.m. during growth spurts). According to Psalm 119, there is no time of the day or night when God's Word is not relevant to our lives. Even as we're more preoccupied with getting school lunches made and outfits chosen for family pictures, God's Word can raise our gaze to the horizon of eternity."
I read this book on my kindle, but it's definitely a book I'd love to eventually get in paper form, so I can highlight and mark up, and turn to when I need a "friend" to lift my eyes back where they belong. There's no filler in this book. It's all good stuff! I highly, highly, highly recommend it to all of you mommies out there!