About four weeks ago, I was in a discouraging place as a mom. All I saw in myself were my failures to shepherd my kids well, and my heart was steeped in guilt over the times I’d recently lost my patience or kindness with them. It had been too many, and these feelings were suffocating me.
What delight I found in reading Gloria Furman’s newest book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full. Its grace-filled message resuscitated my heart right when I desperately needed to breathe. The premise of the book is that what moms need most is a stronger dose of the gospel – the good news of Jesus’ accomplishments for us – rather than more advice on how to be better moms. It’s not the first time this message has gripped my mom-heart, but I’m grateful God spoke yet again on the importance of resting in gospel grace and I pray he continues. It’s a lesson I’m sure I’ll be learning and re-learning my entire life!
I’d say most of us understand mom-guilt to be a negative thing. I think we know it’s a problem and we need to be freed from it, but so often the suggested remedies (even within the church) tell us only to work harder to DO more, rather than work to lean harder on Jesus. I love how Furman spoke to that on page 64:
“At some point we will fail, and sometimes we will fall hard. Then we must boast in the gospel, because in it God mercifully gives us Christ to be our valued treasure. Things like ‘mommy guilt’ cannot crush us because Christ was crushed in the cross in our stead.”
Whether that resonates with you or perhaps confuses you, I think you’ll appreciate the refreshment this book offers a grace-starved heart.
This isn’t a book meant to solve your problems. Reading it didn’t jerk me out of my pit of discouragement. Very simply, this book directed my gaze toward Jesus. Beautiful descriptions of both gospel and motherhood realities emerged from the pages, and while reading I had to often pause and consider Christ. With eyes turned toward the beauty of His sacrifice for me, I was drawn to spending time in His presence, and that is always where transformation occurs.
It was in meeting with Jesus that I was refreshed by his love, able to see once again the power of the cross for my everyday parenting, and this book was a gift to redirect my gaze toward the Savior who doesn’t need me to perform well for Him to accept me. Prayers of both confession and celebration plunged my heart into deeper reliance on His grace for parenting my babies.
And I love when he takes me there. It’s true I often go fighting, but once I’m in that place of brokenness, He nurtures my fragile heart with the assurance that I’m his child. Forgiven and freed to go and sin no more.
Embracing The Lord IN my weak places – facing my failure in the light of his love – fills me with confidence that his grace is greater, and freedom follows.
But because it’s so hard remaining in that place, we need to grab whatever will preach to us this gospel of Jesus and anything that shows us how it works in everyday life. For that reason, I’m recommending that you get your hands on a copy of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full and soak in its truths! This book isn’t only for the overwhelmed mom; it’s for EVERY mom. Gift it to your friends for their birthdays or baby showers or just for fun. Chat about it over coffee with a girlfriend. Moms need this good news!
There are no to-do lists to serve as your measure of accomplishment.
No Supermom portrayals to inspire you or make you envious.
And there isn’t any parenting advice aimed to gain you control over your kids’ behavior.
You’ll just hear the good news that Jesus paid it all and because of that, He is our Sufficiency in all things. The gift of motherhood is an incredible teacher of these things, and I think this book will encourage your heart to cling tightly to The Lord, embracing the joys and challenges of mothering as avenues to savor more of God’s grace.