Sometimes authors compare their books to babies. The subject at hand is conceived in their heart. Then it grows, kicks you in the ribs, and steps on your bladder until it is time for the book to be born. A host of helpers preside by the author as the book is born-- editors, publishers, agents, cheering friends, and if you're lucky, an anesthesiologist. :) Sometimes there’s the random groups of interns standing in the delivery room taking notes. Finally... the author holds the book in their hands for a moment, and then instinctively passes it along to share with others.
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full turns one year old this week. Instead of renting a bouncy house, I thought I’d jot down a brief reflection. (And maybe eat a piece of cake?)
Perhaps the dominant theme of the conversations I’ve had with moms this past year is that they are not alone. Two reasons come to mind:
- We have fellowship with other moms. What do you do when you think your child may have stuck a Lego in their sinus? If you ask another mom (or ten), you’re sure to find the help you need. As odd as you feel your circumstances may be and as isolated as you feel, you are not alone. Here's an example: One common confession I heard from moms was this-- they are tempted to think of their children as obstacles to their joy, even their joy in God. (Where’s my quiet time?) The more I heard from other mothers the more obvious it became that our struggles aren’t weird or uncommon. For every little anecdote I shared in the book about my own insecurity as a mother, the weariness I feel in my body, and the anxiety that creeps into my heart, I heard from scores of mothers who feel the same way. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man...”
- We have fellowship with God. Over and above all the camaraderie that mothers can have with one another, God is with us. He is with us in our fight against sin. “...God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). And he is with us as we serve his disciple-making purposes. Jesus said in his Great Commission that he would be with us to the end of the age. I’ve read and heard testimonies from moms all over the world that Christ’s presence in their lives is the sum and goal of all their hope and peace. They’re convinced that if he is with us to the end of the age, then he is with us to the end of a stack of adoption paperwork, to the end of a noisy carpool, to the end of a difficult third trimester, to the end of a grocery store tantrum, to the end of a thin budget month, and to every end between now and the end of the age. Christ is our sum and goal; our motherhood is worship.
I’m thankful for these reflections because they build my faith and remind me that I’m not alone. It’s all too easy for me to look to the world for hope and peace when my hands are full. But the world’s cliche encouragements really are like cheap diapers. Only the gospel can persevere your faith through a spiritual blowout.