Saturday, April 5

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full - a review

I received my copy of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full (written by Gloria Furman) from Crossway Publishers & the author in exchange for my honest review.

For the past five weeks this pregnant mama has been battling non-stop flu with my three littles (mama and daddy, too!). I have been weary and grumpy and it's truths have been a balm to my exausted heart (when I had a moment to pick it up and read!). I'm so thankful for the words from another mom who understands what life is like, and also understands how necessary it is amidst it all to have every thought and interaction drip of God's infinite grace - both for others and for ourselves!

In this book, Gloria draws our focus away from our schedules, weariness, and constant demands to a focus of solely looking to Jesus. I need that! She writes, "When the mundane looms larger than eternal life, we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are. We tend to forget about tomorrow and eternity when our day is filled with the tyranny of the urgent...When we have eternity in view, we respond to motherhood differently than if we lived just for the moment." Throughout the chapters she comforts us mamas with truths of our justification, In Christ. What a difference that perspective makes! When the gospel shapes our home, discouragement over our inadequacies - or the opposite, priding ourselves on the delusion of how much we are accomplishing - has no room for growth or even ground to take root, because we are driven and fed by the realization that everything we face is met through His grace, and it is always available in our time of need. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

She also reminds us afresh of God's sovereignty, even as our days are shaken and tipsy-turvy with unknowns - 2 Corinthians 9:8: "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." In every good work - this includes wiping little bodies, reading their favorite book yet again, and even disciplining when necessary (which seems is always some days!).

God's grace also rescues us from idolizing motherhood. It allows us to come weary to Him to find our daily needed rest. We need His word. I need it in these flu-filled, cuddle and whine filled days when I just want to take a Tylenol and sleep!  I appreciated Gloria sharing this following quote by Jerry Bridges: "Don't believe everything you think. You cannot be trusted to tell yourself the truth. Stay in the word."

Thank you Crossway for sending this book to me. It has encouraged me from the moment I opened it straight out of the mailbox - cried for joy actually! :-) As I've been weary and clinging to God's grace it has been like a compassionate and understanding friend - loving me enough to steer my selfish thought from myself to focus squarely on Christ. I definitely will be recommending this title to others.

Two additional quotes that have stuck with me from this book are:

"Resist the urge to reduce God's Word to nice tips for nice living: give them the Gospel" - Gloria Furman

"Contentment is a sweet, inward heart-thing. It is a work of the Spirit indoors." -Jeremiah Burroughs

Wednesday, April 10

Ella is 1!

It is crazy to think that our munchkins are now 3, 2 & 1! Life with kids that close in age is wonderful and altogether insane. ;-)

Our home is a zoo sometimes! But I pray it is a happy one. ;-)

Ella's 1st birthday was April 1! It was fun dressing her up in the special birthday dress and taking pictures like we did the others. :-) She is such a sweetheart and her happy giggles make us laugh. She adores her big sister and brother and grins when daddy gets home. She loves to sing, explore outside, snuggle, and eat chalk. (blah.) Oh, and she looooves chocolate.


Chloe: "Mum, we are going to sit here and watch the flowers grow."

Zachary: "Yes mum! We is."


Thursday, January 3

Goals for 2013

This is my overarching desire for 2013...whether worshipping, cleaning, changing diapers, or playing with our littles. :-)

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

- Saint Patrick of Ireland


Some of the books I want to read in 2013 ( in no particular order):

1) One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Vaskomp
2) The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson
3) The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson
4) Desperate, by Sally Mae and Sally Clarkson
5) Fit to Burst, by Rachel Jankovic
6) Transforming Grace, by Jerry Bridges
7) Idols of the heart, by Elyse Fitzpatrick

{I'll be back to finish up later...!}

Tuesday, December 11

Grace for Today

My children are sweet vivacious in-my-face-or-hanging-from-my-leg-ALL-day children. I love them desperately but there are days when the temptation to treat them like obstacles looms and tries to entangle me. It's days like today where I really begin to learn what true grace is.

I'm thankful for God's unconditional love. His affection for me, His daughter, is not dependent upon what I do or even what I do not do. Regardless of my actions, His demeanor isn't cool towards me, rather He eagerly awaits my seeking His face and even reaches out to me, reassuring me of His love. He isn't annoyed by me! He doesn't collect up the times I've offended Him or brought Him pain and then lash out at me in anger when I do it once again! Such love is hard for me to understand some times. It's much easier for me to think I have to be next thing to perfect, and then just maybe - if He is having a good day - it will be okay. But that isn't Grace! That isn't my Lord. :-)

There are moments where I am tempted to ignore my babies, to send them off to another room away from me, even for just a minute. Anything for SOME quiet! But God does not hide His face from me. Instead, He treasures me. There are moments when I'm tempted to react in anger rather than responding in love. After all...look what they did! Again! :-P But that isn't grace. That isn't love. That isn't treasuring.

So today, my babies, I treasure you. It doesn't matter that I have a disgusting toilet, a dinner party to prepare for, packages to send off, or laundry to do (well, maybe you can come with me to put the diapers in...those ARE necessary!). It doesn't matter that you are being whiny, smeared lipstick all over the couch and your sister's Bitty Baby that she hasn't even seen yet (aka Christmas present), that you are evading nap time once again, that you disobeyed me, that I'm exhausted, that my hair turned orange, etc. You are mine. I'm going to choose to extend grace (albeit pathetic in comparison to His!) to you. Why? You are mine. I love you.

That doesn't mean I won't correct you. There is a reason Mr. Pow-Pow is kept accessible. :-P But I'm not going to keep you from me. Our relationship is far more important than any wrong done. Our relationship (and the depiction it is of God's relationship with us all) is far more valuable that my to-do list or me-time. But after briefly correcting you, I'm going to hold you and remind you of how much I love you, how God has a special plan for you, how precious you are to Him and to Daddy and to me. And I'm going to tell you to go get that blankie and pillow of can have your quiet time nearby mum today.

Friday, October 21

Time for some *PINK* cake!

Well, we enjoyed a fun surprise on Tuesday that caused me to go out and hurriedly make a pink cake before Dwight got home from work. The reason? Well... we found out we are having another little girlie in March, and that is how Daddy was going to find out! :-) (That was the plan anyway, I accidentally blurted it out when Dwight was teasing me... so hopeless at hiding reactions!) I had no preference for either a boy or girl - since I already know how fun and unique each can be! I guess I just didn't want to wait this time until the birth - impatient, impatient!

We are so thankful for God's preservation of this lil' one's life! At the appointment (which was my first for this pregnancy) we discovered that I was 17 weeks along instead of the supposed 12. She was so big and cute - with really long legs and arms! We didn't realize I was so far along because I had severe 1st trimester bleeding during the time we were packing and moving (must have been more stressed out than I realized). I didn't know there was a baby, so I didn't think anything of it (figured it was confirmation that I wasn't expecting!), but looking back now we can only thank Him for protecting her. And extra thankful for the friends and family who came and did the heavy lifting with Dwight! Guess it makes sense now why I was so tired and nauseous during that time... I just chalked it up to being a wimp (which I am). ;-) They did a quick anatomy scan and she looks healthy as can be!

She is such a little wiggleworm (just like big brother and sister). It is fun to feel her moving about! During the ultrasound, she waved her little hand at us. Zachary and Chloe enjoyed that! She is beautiful. :-)

Thank you for our children, Lord! We sure love them! :-)