“Not long ago I spoke to a group of Christian women about the importance of keeping prayer and time with God a high priority, even if that means that we must get less sleep or skip certain social and leisure activities to do so. Many responded enthusiastically to this reminder, but some balked. One woman remarked, ‘Sometimes we just need to let go of these “unrealistic spiritual expectations” and take a nap!’
Many Christian today have this attitude. anytime someone starts talking about having tireless spiritual passion and pursuing Christ with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, we are tempted to reason, Oh, that’s completely unrealistic. No one can be that passionate about Christ at all times. If we try, we’ll only end up putting unhealthy pressure upon ourselves and getting exhausted. It can’t be done.
…In a culture that promotes busyness and self-indulgence, many of us have adopted a lackadaisical mind-set toward our relationship with Christ. few of us possess any lasting spiritual passion. And we don’t pursue it, because we don’t think it is possible to find it.
In Romans 12:11 Paul said, ‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord’ )(NIV), I have often read that verse and wondered, How is it possible to never lose my zeal for God and to always keep my spiritual fervor? Certainly it is possible, or God would not have put it in the Bible.
When I think of set-apart Christian women who have live out this command, I remember the lives of many heroic women…whose example of relentless, unwavering spiritual passion never ceases to amaze and inspire me…When I study the lives of these women who pursed Jesus Christ amid some of the greatest difficulties and trials imaginable, I realize I have no excuse for spiritual slothfulness.
…It is only when we choose to live by the ‘too busy not to pray’ principle that we will experience a thriving walk with Christ and, thus, a life that really works.”
-Leslie Ludy, “The Set Apart Woman”
“Motherhood is not just a job, it is an identity. More importantly, it is an identity that begins and ends with giving. ” -Rachel Jankovic
I just recently finished the book “Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood” by Rachel Jankovic and let me tell you it is a MUST read for any mom! It was such an encouragement and exactly what I needed after a challenging week.
This is Rachel’s second book and the thing I love about her books is not only are they small (about 120 pages) but she is real in them. She talks about the struggles that she has and practical ways to be the mom that God wants you to be.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the book (I have many and you’ll probably see them from time to time on the here ;))…
“The hardest part about this is that we have trained ourselves to be people who think in snapshots. We look at a photo of a dreamy home-and extrapolate a while dreamy life from that one picture. We see calm, clean, simple. We see life without trouble, without endless piles of shoes by the door. We imagine that everything that happens there is calm, clean, and simple. We want that for ourselves-a life that could be summed up in one little picture of happiness.
The problem with pictures is that they have no direction. They have no goals. There are no obstacles in that life of a photograph. And that is the reason that are so appealing. We look at them and yearn for life with no growth, a life of arrival. He made us to need to eat all the time. He made us to need to sleep at regular and long intervals. He made us to need to breathe constantly.
You never look at a picture of a beautiful living room and picture yourself in it sleep-deprived with a bad headache and needing to go to the bathroom. You do not envision that Cape Cod getaway as the place the whole family would get the stomach flu.
Oftentimes mothers want this for this real lives. We always want everything to look as if we have arrived, all the time. That is like focusing entirely on the victory moment. Like a football player who never trains, but only practices his touchdown dance. Like a woman who sets beautiful tables for a living, but never feeds anyone. Real life is messy because it is going somewhere. Things constantly need to be done because people are constantly growing. Repetition should not be discouraging to us, it should be challenging.
When we buy into this kind of idealism, we start seeing things as failures that are anything but. Practice drills are not a waste of time. Having another chance to work on things is not a sign of failure. Having room to improve is not something to be sad about, it is something that should encourage and inspire us. God keeps giving me this to do, because this is what He wants me doing. If this is what He want me doing, then I will do it with my whole being. He gave me this work; I will not back away from it and say it isn’t important. I will not sit on the sidelines of this drill and fuss about it. …
Christian woman who seek to honor God as they work through the mundane, repetitive tasks that are given to them will be used for bigger things. We will not be mothers of little children forever. Lord willing, our work will grow with out children. Our challenges will change. Be a faithful student. God is not training you for no reason. Practice. Practice. Practice. But practice with thanksgiving. Practice with joy. Practice with gratitude. Practice with hope.
Our lives do not culminate in a moment. We should not be hoping for one great photo shoot, because that is not what God is doing with us. Our lives are story-they are interwoven with the next generation in a way that is impossible for us to understand…
Why do you rejoice in making dinner again? Because God rejoices in your doing it cheerfully, and doing it well. Why can you rejoice in cleaning the bathroom, doing the laundry, running the errands, ]making the beds? Because God delights in a willing and eager student.
Cheerfully embracing the mundane work in your life. diving into the challenges, working harder than you would think was possible at the little. at the trivial, at the boring-theses are all ways to say, “Use me Lord; I am your servant.”
If you’re looking for a smaller book on motherhood that is full of truth and encouraging, this is the book for you!
I have a confession to make…I’m not really a fan of marriage books. Most to me are so self-focused, all about how to change your husband, and just very discouraging on having the kind of marriage that I wanted. What kind of marriage do I want? A strong, passionate, exciting, romantic, everyday falling in love type marriage! So I stayed away from any marriage book and just stuck to the Bible (which is an awesome place to find all you need to know about marriage!).
There has only been one marriage book that I loved that my husband and I read when we were first married. It caused us even more to have a vision for a amazing romance we wanted to have. It’s called “The First 90 days of Marriage” by Eric and Leslie Ludy (definitely a must read for newlyweds and a great encouragement for couples who’ve been marriage a while!).
See I want to read a book that spurs me on in falling more and more in love with my husband! I want a book that the authors don’t talk about how a few years (or months) into marriage you’ll wonder what life would have been like if you would have married someone else. I want a book that talks about praying for you husband, not to change him, but for the Lord to spur him on, encourage him, challenge him. And how I, as a his wife, can best encourage him. Which is exactly what we found in the Ludy’s book and so much more! They even have you write a marriage mission statement that we now have hanging on our wall with our wedding pictures as a reminder of the different things we promised to each other. It was such an encouragement when we first were married and a great building block!
My husband and I have been married for 4 1/2 years now and have 3 wonderful little ones. I am MORE in love with my husband today than the day I married him! And I have NEVER regretted for a moment marrying him, but its been the BEST 4 1/2 years of my life! We also talk about how sad in a way it will be when we get to heaven since there isn’t marriage in heaven, and how we’re going to follow each other around everywhere! 😉 I hate being apart from him while he’s at work and can’t wait to see him when he gets home!
I’ve heard people say, “Just wait til your 7 years…10 years…20 years into marriage then you’ll wont feel like that.”. How depressing! Don’t we want to build up and speak life and love into our Christian couples, not tear down and bring defeat and despair?!
But even though I said I wasn’t going to read anymore marriage books a while back, I decided to give them one more try. 😉 And I was in for a great surprise with one of the first I read! It’s “Romancing Your Husband: Enjoying a Passionate Life Together” by Debra White Smith. It’s exactly what the title says and it is such a great book!
Smith’s book was such a refreshment and encouragement! She talked of having a passionate marriage and how we can best serve our husbands and keep our marriage alive and vibrate! Another great thing about her book is that she also gives practical examples to romance your husband at the end of each chapter and devotes a whole chapter to it as well.
Here’s some quotes from it:
“…that works for the wives too. If romance is what you need, then you pour romantic energies into your marriage. Instead of thinking, Husband, romance me! Why not do what your husband does regarding his needs-model your needs? This will change you from a woman who is yearning to be romanced into a woman who is finding fulfillment through romancing her husband. Pour as much energy into the romance of your relationship as your husband does into the sexuality of it. You sweep him away from a private weekend. You give him love notes. You make candlelit dinners just for him. I am not talking about planning something special once a year. Many people are able to do something romantic on their anniversaries and have a week or so of “warm fuzzies” for their spouses. I’m referring to building a continual aura of romance exmitement, and expectation into a marriage-regardless of how long you’ve been married. This kind of romance flows from unconditional love and gets deeper, richer, and more fulfilling as the years go by.”
“No matter what the problem, one of my solutions remains the same: Spend time with God every day…Plug in that worship music, plop onto your couch close your eyes, and sit in His presence for at least 30 minutes to an hour a day. Don’t ask Him for a thing. Don’t request that He change your husband or anybody else…Simply turn your heart toward Him, think about Him, and ask Him to permeate your being, to carve you into His image, to show you how to love your husband.”
There is so much more in her book than I have don’t have time to write out or share on! But it’s definitely a must read for wives, whether you’re a newlywed or been married 20 years!
I love to read! When I was a teenage I’d read through a 400 page book in a day sometimes! But with having kids my time to read has gone down a lot. So recently I’ve been trying to put in a set time to read into our schedule. But then its so hard to know what books are going to be worth my time to read and which aren’t. That’s where I’d like to be able to help my readers who struggle with the same thing! I’m going to commit to trying to read at least 2 books a month, ranging from motherhood to eating healthy. And I’ll be doing book reviews when I’m done with it and sharing some quotes from them, so that you can know if the book is worth your small amount of time that you have to read. The first book I’m starting now is Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage and so far its been great! Jill Savage’s point in the book is to say that Motherhood isn’t a second rate job but how we should make it a career, giving our full attention to it! “The truth is clear: You’re a professional in one of the most dignified, demanding, and rewarding fields any woman can find.” (Jill Savage) I wanted to share with you a quote from the book that really encouraged me this past week!
“Raising children needs a different “measuring stick” to determine our level of accomplishment. We can’t listen to the cries of our culture that say accomplishment comes from a paycheck, an award, or a position or title. We can’t buy into the belief that accomplishment is measured by something that stays finished. Success in this profession of motherhood comes from redefining out goals. It comes from changing our vision from short term to long-term, and it comes from adjusting our concept of just what our ‘to do’ list should look like. It takes a change in perspective…The profession of motherhood has one primary goal-to see a child grow into a mature, godly, respectful, and loving adult. This is a task that takes an investment of more than eighteen years for each child. And that is an incredibly long long-term goal! With a goal like that, we are not often going to see results that closely follow the effort we have put forth. We may be pursuing a result that we will only see decades from now, but let’s not lost sight, over time, of our extremely important goal. Motherhood is vitally important and a worthy profession to commit ourselves to.” -Professionalizing Motherhood by Jill Savage, pg. 29
Be on the look out for more quotes from the book and a full review on it when I’m done! Blessings, Erin