Updated: Apr 5
Hello Beautiful Mamas!
This week we are kicking off in our virtual book club. Our group meets virtually every Tuesday at 8pm CST. Hubs made the suggestion to share my personal reviews on each week and allow you to join in as well. So I figured I'd give it a whirl and we will see how this pans out.
I will still plan to release the reviews on Tuesday as that is just my book club day and where I have time budgeted for it. So here we go, a review and internal discussion for chapters one and two of Abbie Halberstadt's book "M is for Mama; A Rebellion Against Mediocre Motherhood"
This chapter debunks our societal norms that have come to echo at a deafening volume that surviving our children, our husbands, our duties until wine o'clock is in no way bringing glory to God in our motherhood.
Abbie jumps straight in with both feet, in the most loving way, to address the heartbreaking general consensus amongst Western World mamas that screams I need to survive mothering. That the only joy to be found in motherhood is when we get the kids in bed to to sleep because they are such an inconvenience to the 'me' time we DESERVE as women. She makes not that while yes, there are rough days and days where you end it feeling the weight of all that pulls on you and you do in fact NEED a break.... living in this mindset day after day isn't healthy and it isn't glorifying the Lord who calls these children gifts. Nothing of this mentality reminds us of the splendid treasures sitting under our roofs.
She begins to address what motherhood could look like if we addressed it with biblical practices and a Christo-Centric mindset that says, this too (dirty nose and clothes, sticky fingers and toddler demeanors) is worship when done "as unto the Lord". She also reveals the great invitation to cultivate the Fruit of the Spirit not only in our own hearts and minds, but in those of our kiddos as well as they watch us love them as Christ does and raise them without any selfish ambitions. There is a secondary invitation daily for our sweet little naval gazers to see and learn that there is more than just them in this world.
This is a brief summary of what you'll read in Chapter one. But honestly, this book is so life changing (truly not an exaggeration) because of how Abbie ends each chapter (I find myself wanting to call them sessions!). See, at the end of each chapter you'll find introspective questions that not only encourage and possibly convict you some area or another, they also call you up! And that is BEAUTIFUL. So here we go, a venerable peek into my thoughts regarding all she shares and how it translates in my personal life and motherhood journey.
Q: Am I using Scripture as my standard of excellence in motherhood?
A: Whew. Talk about a loaded question! No. If it is to be the highest measure of excellence (as it is the written expression of Christ) then no. Because far too often, I find comparison creeps in and I am able to internally justify my motives or failures/successes. This is most definitely an area for growth in my personal life. I do use Scripture as our basis of discipline, praising our children, ect. But to call it my standard of excellent motherhood- that is found wanting in my motherhood journey.
Q: Do I feel validated in seeing others struggle (and failing) in the same areas I am?
A: I would have called it solidarity or sisterhood prior to reading this book..... but now, unfortunately I can see where I have had the tendency to write off short comings in myself as a woman and mother because "so and so" also go through this. That should really only gauge the amount of extra grace that is needed, not the degree to which I back up and roll over. And that does not echo Christ in any capacity.
Q: Am I willing to make changes in my attitude and behavior when Holy Spirit convicts me?
A: ABSOLUTELY. There is never growth without this. But more importantly, if I am unwilling to yield to the impulses of the Spirit, then I am unable to draw nearer to Him. And ultimately, motherhood is a grand invitation to do just that. And that I desire more than anything; to be close to His heart always!
Q: Up until this point, what has been your definition of a good mama?
A: A woman who is able to raise good human beings who love. But boy is that evolving into something MUCH deeper.
Q: In what areas of motherhood do you struggle most to not compare yourself unfavorably to other moms?
A: Oh goodness, I am NOT a 'Pinterest mom'! In any way, shape or form. And I have tried. But when it comes to crafts, fun/imaginative play or birthday parties/holiday celebrations.... I have to tap out and I feel like crud because "so and so" has this extravagant thing planned and curated and their child's memories of a birthday or holiday or school experience will exceed that of my child's by leaps and bounds. To add insult to injury, I homeschool. So it is always ASSUMED I am that way.... NOPE. Not I. And if you can't tell from my response, I struggle with this horribly. I have to remind myself that while Little Suzzie's mama may have created the best birthday party imaginable... My children will have all the little moments full of me and undivided attention. And that is really special too!
Q: How can our weaknesses help us conform to the image of Christ?
A: According to Scripture, it is in our weakness that His strength is made perfect. So understanding that when I am able to lay my perceived short comings and failures at His feet, I premise Him to become the area of strength in that situation for me to lean into. I can essentially give away or burry that weakness in His presence, and in exchange (because anytime we give something to Him, there is something He gives us in return) I receive not only His strength, but also His perspective and desires and encouragements. That is a glorious thing! These areas are also grand invitation for growth!
If you're reading along too, leave your answers in the comments or contact me to join the FB group that meets weekly! We would love to hear from you, too!