I want to be obsessed with what I’m going to be obsessed with three zillion years from now—seeing and savoring Jesus.
Writing helps me keep my thoughts organized as I consider what it means to have an eternal perspective. Augustine said what my heart feels, “I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.” Plus, if I don’t write down a train of thought it will leave the station and end up buried in the dust bunnies under the couch along with other sundry items.
When my husband Dave and I got married in 2002, we knew that we wanted to serve in cross-cultural ministry. But we didn’t know any of the “w’s”—where, what, when. While we prepared for the “w’s” we completed seminary degrees and the details began to fall into place. A month before graduation our first child was born, and the next year the three of us stepped off the plane and onto the sizzling tarmac of an airport in the Middle East. In 2010, Redeemer Church of Dubai was planted. In our years here in the desert the Lord graciously blessed us with three more children. Life anywhere is a challenging, tremendous gift from God, and life in Arabia is no different.
Q & A with Gloria Furman
Q: You have four children, you live in a foreign country, and your husband is a busy pastor (who is also physically disabled). What has been the most difficult thing about motherhood for you?
A: When you ask it that way, getting the whole family in and out of the car comes to mind. So does restoring order to the chaos in the kitchen at the end of the day. Physically, motherhood is exhausting! But I don't think that's the most difficult thing. Loving my children sacrificially is the biggest challenge. Without hesitating, I would fight a bear with my bare hands in order to defend my babies. But share my peanut butter banana smoothie? Gently correct tantrums? Count my stretch marks as worth it? Patiently supervise homework? Use my gifts to serve them? Let my coffee go cold so I can... [you name it]? I have to give those things some serious thought. And every day I have to ask the Lord to strengthen me with his love as I lay my life down sacrificially in a thousand little ways.
Q: What does it mean to have an “eternal perspective”?
A: Great question—it has to do with holding the horizon of heaven in our gaze while we live in the already/not yet of God’s kingdom. I think Richard Sibbes was on to something when he compared our faith in Christ to an eagle flying high in the sky. Faith looks up to see Christ on his throne in heaven, and faith scans the earth to see Jesus ruling over all things for his glory and our good.
Q: What is Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home about?
A: Glimpses of Grace was borne out of a desire to remind myself (and others) of the governing reality in our lives when we belong to Jesus. I need those gospel reminders to land right smack in the middle of where I live. It isn’t a book about homemaking, but rather how the good news of Jesus makes a way for us to live as citizens of heaven.
Q: What is Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full about?
A: This book is a collection of gospel meditations written specifically for busy mothers. It isn’t a book about parenting, but rather how through the cross our heavenly Father has adopted us into his family. The circumstantial spirit-lifter, “Don’t worry, Mom, because this, too, shall pass,” is decidedly exchanged for the faith-strengthening, hope-anchoring, “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (1 Chron. 16:34). Read more on the subject in this interview on Radical's "Secret Church" blog. Also, Crossway is giving away free downloads of a study guide for Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full.
Q: Can I read these books with a small group?
A: Please read and discuss with your friends! God has saved us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and he’s designed us to need one another as we walk in his light. I know I need my friends to sweep the sand off my feet so I can see that the rock I am standing on is Christ and him alone. And then on other days, I’m the one holding the broom of gracious gospel reminders and I can help my friends brush away the false hopes and lies that we think we should stand on.