Sunday, May 12, 2013

For the Moms

And above all, I need to remember that "good" motherliness has nothing to do with how God sees me. Nothing. I am pleasing to Him on my good days and my bad days. His love for me never wavers...and never will. Because I am His.
Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe, Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson

Littles, happy to be home with Trig-Dog
We're home! And I have been duly celebrated with orange-pink tulips, fried chicken, and a freshly vacuumed car. Plus, Tiny shared a grapefruit with me on the couch today. So, there may be dog hair and dust everywhere, more laundry that needs to be done, and a to do list a mile long, but there is a new nest in my now dead hanging baskets, and the Man cooked brinner and cleaned up the kitchen for me while I read to the boys from the stack of hand-me-down books their Aunt sent home with us.

Anyway, in honour of Mother's Day, I would like to give a tip of my hat to my two wonderful mothers who love me and encourage me and challenge me in the Lord. I am spoiled to have not one but two wise women pouring into my life (and that's not even counting all the other great ladies, with or without children, who have taken time to "mother" me in their own ways--you know who you are--thank you).

As a tribute to them, I'd like to share with you a book that I read this last month, Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. I've spent a lot of time talking about this book with my mom, and the Man's mom asked me to mail my copy to her once I finished writing about it, so I feel that it's appropriate to talk about today. Plus, it's about mothers. Obviously.

This book has been on my wish list for a while. The Man's mom introduced me to Sally Clarkson after we discovered our first in utero surprise (and Littles sure was an unexpected blessing), and I kept running up against positive reviews of Desperate. So when I found a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card that I had completely forgotten about, I put it to good use. And it didn't disappoint.

Tiny, making my Buster Daddy laugh
There was a lot in this book that was both applicable and encouraging. The authors don't try to provide legalistic, you-must-do-it-our-way parenting advice. Instead, they give general principles that gently lead a mom and her kids into Christ's presence. The book is written as a dialogue between a young mom and an older, more experienced one; it gives insight into the short term struggles and the long term end game.

My favourite quotation was when Sarah Mae is talking to her child and says, "Mommy needs help just like you. I need Jesus every day because I mess up, but He is gracious to love and help, and He will help you too. We're in this together." So often it feels like it's me against the kids as I try to mold and shape their behaviour and hearts. Really, though, we are a team as we mutually fight against the sin that desires to control us and instead stand firm in the presence of Christ.

There are so many other great quotes I could share with you (my mom sent me an email full of them as she was reading through the book), but what I would leave you with is this: if you are a young mom, find older, wiser women who want to pour into you--you don't need to do this on your own. And if you are an older mom, please don't forget what it was like to be unshowered for days, covered in someone else's excretions, and completely exhausted--take the time to mentor us, to walk beside us, and to remind us that it gets better.

As I read Desperate, I wanted to buy six dozen more copies and hand them out to all the moms I know. That's how strongly I feel about this book. I was crying in the first chapter, and you guys know I don't cry. Well, not that often. But, warning, if you are like me, Sarah Mae's incessant need to refer to her children as "babes" will get on your nerves--resist the urge to let it ruin the book for you and instead blame the editor who should've delicately suggested that she choose a less archaic and awkward term. I'm just being honest.

And now I'm going to go hang out with the Man, who somehow talked me into letting him bring his mounted squirrel home from his parents and thinks he's going to hang it on a wall where people will actually see it. Only if I get to put a little Security Forces beret on its tiny rodent head... Obviously, pre-deployment is getting to me.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Thank you for this post, Mare Bear. I need to write more posts with vibes like this - I often feel like some may criticize my blog for focusing too much on the good in my life, and I don't acknowledge that it all comes with struggles and patience and prayer as well. I love how honest you are with your words, and you are such an amazing woman. Happy Mother's Day!!

    Also, thank you for the reading suggestion. It's definitely going on my list!