Books, Faith, Mommy Advice

Book Review – Hope For the Weary Mom

I don’t know about you, but this Mom job is a lot harder than I anticipated it would be.  I envisioned time snuggled up reading books.  And pushing joyful kids on swings.  Tucking little ones into bed before going to a restful, full night of sleep.  And making nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from scratch every day.

While I wouldn’t trade this job for the world, it’s infinitely more difficult than I had imagined.  Instead of long, restful nights of sleep you’re up at least once a week because someone’s scared or had an accident or just needed their Momma.  Some days it’s terrifying to realize that I’m in charge of keeping two little people safe and healthy and teach them everything they need to know.  And my grand plans of doing all these things for myself during nap times and after bedtimes and in all my — insert sarcastic laugh here — free time — turned out to be a negative amount of time to do things I want to do.
A few weeks ago on Twitter I saw a tweet about a book that was free that day (October 23, 2012) on Amazon.  It was called Hope for the Weary Mom
 and it sounded like just what I needed to be reading.  Written by two Mom bloggers, I figured that I was definitely weary and, since it was free, it was worth giving it a shot.  Even if it had cost so much more money, what I learned from this book would be worth every penny.
A few days later I started reading it while I waited in carpool line to pick up Charlotte.  Almost as soon as I started reading it, I started making notes and highlighting on my phone.  The premise that we are all weary Mom’s and the ones who look like they have it all together are as much in a mess as I am, made me feel so much better.  I don’t want to be that person where everyone else has to be miserable (or in this case, overwhelmed) in order to feel better, but knowing that there were other Mom’s out there who were desperate and living messy lives like I am was such a relief.
No one else has it all together all the time!  
No matter what kind of impression they give off!
And I kind of laughed at myself because I would bet that I give off that impression too.  I am an organized, perfectionist who likes to have everything in a structured format and know what’s going to happen at all times.  And I possibly look from the outside that I have everything under control more than I would like (unless you saw me at pre-school drop off, then you would never feel like I had it all together!).  I never want anyone else to feel like I think that I have it more together than them, because I definitely don’t.  But I also can’t go around waving my problems like a banner for every stranger I’ve never met to look at and judge.  So I walk a fine line and probably err on the side of closing myself off to avoid rejection.
This book taught me that maybe by closing myself off and trying to protect my tender heart from ridicule and judgment and non-acceptance, that maybe other Mom’s feel like I have it all together and am looking down on them.  By acting like my life is going just fine and I’m on top of everything that’s going on, maybe I’m closing myself off to letting God work in my life to help me handle it better.
Brooke and Stacey said, “So boast, mom.  Boast in the fact that you’re not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough.  NOT ENOUGH to be a good mom.  And watch what God does.  Boast.  Be honest about where you are, who you are, and who you’re not.  Wiggle out of that straight jacket as Jesus turns the key with HIS mighty right hand and let Him be strong for you.”
Am I trusting in myself too much? Am I trying to rely on my own merits to raise my children and win their hearts for Jesus that I’m forgetting that, while I will play an important part in their story, I am not the one who will draw them to Christ, only He will do that?  Am I getting discouraged and overwhelmed because I’m not relying on God to meet my needs and am, instead, feeling forgotten by Him because I feel so overwhelmed and alone?
I loved the way Brooke and Stacey put it when they said, “If God never answered another prayer for me, if He never met another need, would His gift of Jesus and my salvation be enough?”
Well, yes, yes it would.  And I would do well to remember that instead of dwelling on my perceived needs that I feel like God isn’t meeting.  
Brooke and Stacey say, “[Jesus] says [in John 6:26], “Why are you following me? Is it because of what I can do for you, how I can meet your needs, or provide what you want? Or do you really love me for who I AM?” …… I follow Jesus not because of what He can do for me, but because of what He’s already done for me on the cross.”
Oh Lord, forgive me.  Forgive my self-centeredness and discontent in just being your daughter.  Father, help me remember that you have done more for me than I could ever repay and infinitely more than I could ever deserve.  You love me so much and you want me to succeed at being a mom.  You see me on those days when I feel like no one is listening to me and that I’m failing to teach them what they need to know.
I could continue to quote passages that I loved from this book for days.  I highlighted a ridiculous amount of it and can’t wait to re-read it learn even more from it the second time.  This book rocked my world and, I pray, that it changes the way that I mother and the way that I relate to the other mother’s in my life.
We are in this together.  We are all doing the best we can.  None of us are perfect and God doesn’t expect us to be so we don’t need to expect us to be.  Mothering will be easier if we’re transparent with each other in our struggles and encourage one another instead of portraying that we’ve got it all together and don’t need any help.
Mothering (at least for me) is full of fear that you’re going to mess up your kids.  Fear that you’re the only one who doesn’t know what she’s doing.  Fear that something will happen to you, your spouse, or your kids.  Fear that God won’t love your child as much as you do.  
I loved the way that Brooke and Stacey started wrapping the book up.  This passage especially spoke to me: “But in the same way that He loves you, the same way He’ll move all of heaven to chase your heart and make it His, He also loves your children.  When they break your heart, they break His.  When they run away from you, they run away from Him.  When they reject your love, they reject His.  When they refuse to walk in obedience to you, they refuse to walk in obedience to Him.  He hurts with you.  But His plans for you, and your children, are good.”
Brooke and Stacey ask their readers to make “a covenant with the Lord that we will never give up on His ability to move in the hearts of our children, in spite of us (emphasis mine).”  I’m making that covenant today.  A covenant to trust God to fill me up and meet my children’s needs when I fail.  Because I will, daily.  A covenant to trust that God wants things even better for my children than I do, even though that thought is pretty unfathomable.  A covenant to let God move in our family to lead us where He wants us to go and direct our steps and our paths.
If you’re a weary Mom like me, I’d love to hear from you.  And I’d especially encourage you to go out and get a copy of Hope for the Weary Mom
.  It will change your life and help you increase your stamina and energy towards the most important job that we will ever have, being a mother.
*Note: I got the book for free on Amazon like anyone who downloaded it that day and wasn’t asked to write a review.  All thought and opinions are my own.

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