Today we are starting section 3- “The Redeeming”. That means we are almost done. Only 3 weeks left including this week. How are you doing? Are you enjoying the book? Let me know what you would change about the series and how I could make it better. I really mean that. I can't write a blog for you if I don't know what is working and what is not. So please let me know!
Motherhood is all about figuring it out. How it works for your family and how your child function. And I almost hate to tell you this but as soon as you get it figured out it will change. Because “with each season comes change, a new set of challenges, and many blessings.... Each age has new challenges, but I'm learning the ways of motherhood as I go, and I'm also gaining tremendous perspective and even wisdom.” (SM pg 120) But those constant changes will also cause you to grow along with your child. Have you ever noticed that when you teach a class that you will always learn something new, it is the same age with each child in each different stage. That is the way it works. Each child is different, so even the veteran mom of 3 kids will have a new experience with the 4th. All these changes also brings up the statement that “it is truly a myth to think that any woman can do it all.” (SC pg 121). I have 4 boys and have actually been called supermom by some friends. And while that makes me feel good I also feel like if they ever saw the behind the scenes and what doesn't get done or what I let slide they wouldn't really think that anymore. But by letting some things slide (like wearing socks with shoes when you are already running late) and not always getting everything on the to do list done is how I survive. And since I love my children to the point that I would give my life for them, I think that they will survive the house not always being clean. “If you inhabit the role as a mother primarily from love, you will see God's hand moving in every part of your life. … If you love well, you will influence your children, and your love will cover over many inadequacies” (SC pg 122). And that is true. If you love your children unconditionally they will forgive a lot of mistakes that you make. They will probably always remember the burnt cookies but they will turn it into a fun memory and not make you feel bad about it.
Here is where I kind of got mad at the author Sally Clarkson. She says on page 122 “The ability to last in motherhood requires giving up expectations for our own lives, deciding that sacrificing our desires and wants for the sake of our family is our gift of worship to our heavenly father.” Yes I believe that motherhood takes sacrifice and it takes it everyday. But you also have to remember that there will be a day when all your children are all grown up and not living with you. You have to have an identity. I know a couple who threw themselves into being parents so much that when all their children were gone they seperated. They eventually got back together but they had to learn who they were again. They didn't have an identity outside of mom and dad. So I believe that you have to keep some of your desires going. You have to have an identity. Some desires may have to be put on hold but don't ever lose them completely. Your children can also learn from your dreaming.
That being said, Sally Clarkson goes on to say that “following the example of Jesus in submitting our own will to God's doesn't mean we are called to live miserable lives where we punish our selves through denial of anything good” (pg 123). “When I am in the prescence of someone who really walks with God, there is evidence of life, joy, goodness, well-being, grace, and faith. When one is washed with the unconditional love, grace, and mercy of God, the resul is peace and thankfulness of heart” (SC pg 123). We can love like Christ and we can follow his example without being completely miserable. Because we are more likely to drive others away from Christ by being miserable than we are to draw them closer because we are happy and content and living for him everyday. Sally Clarkson ends the chapter by saying “I have learned that if I sow love, I will reap love, and it will be a blessing to me in return” (pg 126). If you love, you will be loved, and you will be happy through it. The scriptures for this chapter are 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Isaiah 43:18-19
This chapter is titled “All the Voices That Influence Us”. This chapter actually came at an interesting point during my God Sized Dream journey (tune in Tuesdays!). I have a lot of people, including myself, with a lot of opinions around me, and it was getting very discouraging. So to come up on this chapter right then was great timing. They really only mention 3 types of voices but all are relevant to everyone. The are the “whispers of lies” (SM pg 129). “These are the hissings of the age-old garden snake trying to distact you from the truth” (SM pg 130). There are the “voices of expectation” (SM pg 130). “The 'I expect' voice is the killer of joy and true contentment” (SM pg 132). And then “there is only one voice that matters, and that is God's” (SM pg 133). Sally Clarkson gives 4 ways to listen to the one voice who matters and ignore the others on pages 138 and 139. They are:
1. “Follow the voice of Jesus”
1. “Follow the voice of Jesus”
2.“Study God's word and ponder Jesus' behavior”
3.Give yourself “Freedom to be yourself”
4.”Live and Love by Faith”
The scriptures for this chapter are Proverbs 29:25 and Romans 12:21.