"Treasuring the gospel in your home."
These are the words that follow the title on Gloria Furman's book cover. They struck a cord with me in my initial viewing of it over on Amazon and I knew this had to be on my wishlist. And am I ever glad it did. This is my second read by her and I was not disappointed.
Gloria, the author, leads no "simple" or "normal" life. Her husband, a pastor, has an extreme chronic pain disorder and the family resides in the Middle East. She's raising 4 kids and is an honest soul.
This book is divided into two sections. The first is on the fundamentals of the Gospel and what she means by "mundane". Here she shows how the two align and don't have to leave us stay-at-home parents in a heap of feeling "less than" or like our job doesn't matter. She talks about how we can feel lost in our life at home and how it is so hard to carry on a meaningful relationship with Christ when we constantly have the next thing piling up against us. She speaks of our attitudes and how we can choose God in them every time because each challenge is another way to serve our family and in turn serve God. It's so much about our heart's attitude in Christ.
"So grace reminds me to live in reality of the gospel and the future promised to me. Because of what Christ has already done on my behalf and will do for me in the future, I can reject guilty loathing and prideful gloating." Her words have left me in moment after moment of "That's me!!! THAT IS ME!!!!" and I am finding I have a better harmony in my mind of how God and being a Mom go hand in hand. I need to take the grace that I have been given and stop beating up on myself.
One section in Chapter 1 that really hooked me into this book was "Jesus Died for Me; I Can Trust Him" on page 32. "This grace humbles me. That Jesus would allow himself to be led like a lamb to slaughter and not answer those who reviled him-it takes my breath away....The joy of the Lord motivates and strengthens my time to serve others in washing their dishes while looking forward in faith to hear my Savior say to me, "Well done, good and faithful servant." As I joyfully and humbly give my time and energy to do the dirty dishes my husband left behind, I lose nothing and gain everything." The sacrifice of Christ promises us who accept His gift of salvation a long and joyful life with him in heaven. We have eternity and this is simply a moment in a much longer timeline. But it's these moments that matter; that we can choose to live our lives at home doing mundane things in our days with a joyful heart, that it's our faith working through love. BUT, we need to remember that when we don't, God's grace is standing there waiting to be accepted, His mercy gifting us the opportunity to dust it off and try, try again. I don't know about you, but I truly need a lot of do-overs!
Section two was entitled, "The Miraculous in the Mundane" for a very good reason! Gloria gets down to the "how-to" in this section but is careful to not stray from God's word in her points and really ladies - there are some zingers in here! Her own life examples are honest and relatable. I kept seeing myself in them over and over. The ones where she looses her mind over being overwhelmed and bogged down in life. I am there more than I'd like to admit. In the moments where all we can say is "God-help me" because we are lacking any other self control or rational thought.
She discusses at length how it's easy to glorify ourselves in this life at home. To make ourselves feel better about the jobs we feel so insecure about, we puff ourselves up and when we control our surroundings we feel powerful and in charge. But do you notice how quickly that balloon of self-righteousness pops and deflates? It's because we haven't really a leg to stand on! There is SO much in her second section that I could write a book about her book haha, and honestly I don't have enough time for that, as my "real life mommy show" is also in the works as I write this, so I will leave you with an overview.
We can get caught up in ourselves, our wishes, our desires and think that if we can control every aspect of our lives, we will be okay. But thats the lie that Satan so longs for us to believe. We can't do it on our own. Thankfully we have God's grace. Gloria says it best, "Through God's grace, an entirely different dynamic is at work when we look to Jesus for strength and hope. This is faith working through love (Gal.5:5-6). God in his grace transforms us into those who are steadfast, immovable, always abounding in his work, knowing that in him our labor is not in vain (1 Cor.15:58)."
If I may, I'd like to pray with you who are reading this.
Thank-you for being enough. For gifting us the salvation of life through your Son. Thank-you, that we can know how this story ends.
I pray for the people who are reading this, that they would seek you first in everything they do. In the mundane and the beautiful that they would thank-you and praise you for whatever comes their way. That they would know that they are gifted this beautiful grace and that the heavy weight the world hands us is not Your way. That Your ways are better ways. That you are trustworthy. I pray they they would know in their struggles of mommy-life, they are not alone. Thank-you for gifting us community with one another and give us all the strength to speak up and speak out to one another of our struggles so that we can support each other in our everyday walk with you. Thank-you Jesus,