Moms are busy people. And we’re tired. We are often the primary caregivers for our little ones. We work all day, whether in the home or out of the home; then we often prepare dinner, clean up, get everyone into bed, and then get things ready for the next day. Our hands are truly full—with blessings and worries, with joys and sorrow, with hope and fear. Where should we go with these full hands? Author Gloria Furman offers an answer in her book Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full. According to Furman, we must go to Christ with our full hands, for resting in Christ is what is means to treasure Him. We must abide with him, constantly acknowledging His abundance in light of our lack. Furman’s book is an honest and easy read saturated with Scripture and sprinkled with personal anecdotes, making the reader feel at home in her own skin. I’ve offered three key takeaways from my perspective below.
Grace is something I can be slow to give but am always quick to desire. When I am offended, I want justice. When I am the offender, I want grace, just or not, and I want it immediately. Sometimes I feel like a failure. In that moment, I recognize my need for grace. Other times I am fooled into thinking I have it all together. Even then, I need grace. According to Furman, “If we want to give grace to our children, we must first be willing to receive it ourselves from God” (42). Receiving grace from God requires that we first acknowledge and confess our sin. In doing so in front of our children, we can be powerful examples to them of repentance and restoration. We can teach them that making mistakes is okay, as long as we own up to our mistakes, acknowledge our need for a savior and accept the sacrifice that has already been made on our behalf. I pray that my children will be comfortable repenting of their sins and accepting grace because of my example and not in spite of it.
MOTHERHOOD AS WORSHIP
In the daily grind of changing diapers, wiping mouths and noses, folding laundry and doing dishes, helping with homework, driving to school or soccer practice or piano lessons, it is easy to see our role as mothers as a task list instead of an opportunity to worship. It can be easy to see changes to our schedule as interruptions. As a mom with two little ones under the age of three, I long for peaceful early mornings with my Bible and journal and coffee on the porch, and hours to ponder what the Lord is saying to me. Furman reminds us that “The Lord is just as near to you when you are using a bulb sucker on a tiny, congested nose and as you’re summoning the wisdom of Solomon to settle a spat over a disputed toy” (73). What I have to remember in these days when the reality of early mornings involves cups of milk and combing hair and changing diapers and infant feedings is that these things aren’t distractions from the space the Lord can interact with me in. No, He can and wants to meet us in the chaos of our everyday. My two-year-old reminds me to thank the Lord for the joy I have in Him as I watch her twirl and jump around our living room in her Cinderella dress and pink tutu. If I’m so distracted with my to-do list, I can view her dancing as a distraction instead of an invitation to give thanks for the gift of Joy. To meet God in our everyday, we need only to have the right perspective, to be open to hear whenever and however he speaks.
WE’RE ALL TRYING, AND FAILING, AND TRYING AGAIN
None of us are perfect, as mothers or as believers. We are doing the best we can, but our best will never be good enough. And lest any of us think we have it all together—pride is one of the nastiest sins of all. That is precisely why we need grace, for ourselves and each other. But before we become too consumed with our fears and overwhelmed with our sinfulness, “The gospel changes how we view our failures, and we see how God redeems our flaws for his own glory” (117). Praise God for the gospel. Because of the gospel we don’t have to pretend to be perfect. We don’t have to hide our struggles from the Lord. Because of the gospel we can proudly boast in our weakness, for his power is made perfect in our weakness.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day. Whether you are a mother, want to be a mother, have a mother, or know a mother we’d invite you to come out and be encouraged by a message from Proverbs 31. You can join us at our Vintage Jefferson location at 9 & 11 am or at our Vintage Orleans location at 11 am & 5 pm. Our Vintage Women will have a gift for all you amazing women. The Resource Center will also have copies of Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full available for purchase.