“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!