Book Review: The Gospel-Centered Mom

11.19.2017


Hey, guess what? I finished a book! 

It only took me three months, but that's not the point here. 

A few months after J was born, I picked up The Gospel-Centered Mom from Blogging for Books. As I've mentioned before, I've started listening to the Risen Motherhood podcast and been so encouraged and challenged to think about motherhood in light of the Gospel. This book was the perfect companion to what I've already been learning lately. If you are a mom who desires to explore how the Gospel impacts and connects with our parenting, I think you would enjoy this book.

It didn't feel particularly dense as far as difficulty of getting through it. Even though it took me a while, that is only because I'm having a hard time finding concentrated time to read (and not fall right asleep). The author's tone is pretty conversational, and I would consider it an easy read. Sometimes I found the author's tone a bit too conversational and it annoyed me, and some of her personal stories were either hard to relate to or just kind of odd. But her overall message about how the Gospel applies to motherhood was great and gave me some things to think about. 

I just wish they had included a hyphen to make the cover grammatically correct. 

BUT ANYWAY.

My favorite part of the book was the chapter where she talks about a few lessons she learned from reading George Muller's autobiography and the connection she makes to motherhood. I definitely want to go check out Muller's book now! I also loved the last chapter, where she recaps the book in a short paragraph form, because she shares the basic truths of each chapter. There is also a discussion section with questions that a leader could use for a book club or group study.

I marked a couple of places and wanted to share one of my favorite takeaways with you, which kind of sums up the book's subtitle: The freeing truth about what your kids really need. 

"Enough will always be out of reach. We never arrive or quit needing Jesus. What's more, the effort of living up to what the world calls enough is exhausting, impossible, constantly changing. It sets us up for failure over and over again. We cannot be enough for our kids. Instead, we must rely on God to meet our needs 'according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus' (Phil. 4:19). When we do this, we're living as an accurate representation of the glorious God who created us and highlighting His glory and power to a watching world." (pg. 197)


As I've done in the past with some of my Blogging for Books books, I would like to mail my copy of The Gospel-Centered Mom to someone who is interested reading it. If you would like to check it out, leave a comment on this post, and I will randomly choose a winner in a couple of days!

I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are mine.

Matte Finish

11.16.2017

After church last week (before lunch and naps, etc., but before the meltdowns), I forced Jordan to go with me and the kids to a field across the street from our neighborhood so I could take some pictures of the three of them. I wanted to bring my tripod and get one of the four of us, but it was windy and cold and also the post-nursery meltdowns were looming, so I just took some of my crew, and (in my opinion) they turned out really lovely.
It's been years since I saved up and bought my DSLR and taught myself how to use Photoshop, and I still don't think I've settled on one type of editing that I really love as my "style." I like to try out different things with different photos, and sometimes I see something online that someone else has done that looks really cool, but when I try it myself I don't like it at all. 

I used more of a matte finish than I normally do in a few photos I took of R, and I'm a little obsessed with them. And to be honest, I'm kind of obsessed with her too.
Sometimes she'll wake up while I'm still sleeping. She'll open her door and come across the hall to our room. She'll climb up in bed and say, "Oh hello," like she's surprised to find me there. "Dada at work," she says. "Mama wake." If she hears J babbling, she'll say, "J wake." Then she climbs down, goes to the side of the bassinet, and reaches in to grab one of his hands. Then she holds out her other hand for me to take. 

And just for a few seconds, the three of us make a chain of hands. Then the morning rush begins, and at some point one of both of them is crying and I'm running around like crazy. But man, those few seconds melt me.
My days have been absolutely flying lately, and J turns 5 months this week. I can barely stand it. Jordan asked me the other day if I realized that I will have spent almost half of his first year with him full time, and to be honest I hadn't thought about it that way before, but, friends, what a blessing. I can honestly say it's been a grand privilege of my life to have been able to spend so much time with both of my babies during their first few months of life.
Would you believe I sat down to write a Confessions or a Currently post, and this is what came out? I had one of those hand-holding moments this morning and just over two weeks left until I go back to the office, so I think I'm feeling sentimental. 

Okay I know I'm feeling sentimental.

Insert a moment of silence for my emotions.

Now then.

As I said, J turns 5 months old in just a few days. He's rolling over (from to back) but still not even sort of sleeping through the night. I suppose you win some, lose some. Jordan and I were both (me moreso for obvious reasons) frustrated and a little bitter about the fact that I'm still only getting 2-3 hours of sleep at a time, but then J had an ear infection plus what we think was RSV and a truly terrible two weeks of sleep, and now that he's back to his regular sleep pattern, I've decided it really isn't so bad. Perspective!
I have a few other things to talk about, but I'll save those for the confession session post I'm working on. At the rate I'm going, it will be finished sometime in 2023. 

I don't remember just wanting to sit around holding R like I do with J, but I honestly can't get enough of his chunky, dimpled self. He's up to 16 pounds, 10 ounces, and I'm officially moving all the 3-6 sizes out and the 6-9 month sizes in. Once you hit adulthood and stay the same size forever, your closet gets boring. I literally have shirts and pants from a decade ago. But babies size up every few months, and it's so fun to get to open up boxes and find an entirely new set of clothes! Although somehow, R is fitting into most of her winter stuff from last year, and it's nice because I don't have to buy her new winter coats or jackets! She's not small for her age, so I don't get how it's happening, but I'm not complaining. 

And speaking of clothes, I mentioned on Instagram that I decided to completely stop eating dessert in November until Thanksgiving. I was in a bad habit of eating a cookie or ice cream or chocolate chips after dinner almost every single night, and so I'm detoxing a bit this month, and it's been actually really nice! I was telling Jordan a few days ago that while I don't have any hard evidence like measurements or numbers on a scale, I feel like I've slimmed down a bit in the post-baby stomach flab area. I can wear pretty much all my pre-pregnancy pants now! Hurrah! I have no idea if it's related to the dessert thing, but I'm telling myself that it is. If nothing else, I've learned that I don't, in fact, need cookies after dinner to make life worth living. But sometimes after a long day I feel like I deserve them, you feel me?

On a semi-related note, this might need to be an entirely separate post of its own, but the short story is that I basically hate my entire closet right now. It's not that things don't fit, but I just feel so uninspired and blah about all the clothes I own. I strongly suspect it's a postpartum thing, because normally I don't care about clothes all that much, but I'm having a hard time finding outfits that I feel really good in. I'm not a fashion blogger AT ALL (don't look so shocked), but if I had a place in my house where I could actually take well-lit, full-length photos of myself, I might actually share some outfits with you guys and ask for help. But I don't, so never mind. I just feel like everyone is cuter than me and I actually want to do something about it, but I don't know what. 

I still say StitchFix is outrageously expensive (and I don't understand how people get box after box like they do!), but I almost think something like that would be fun and necessary for me right now. Collecting donations! 
Okay that's all I've got for now. If you survived my rambling and have arrived safely at the bottom of this post, hello! I hope you have a great rest of the week and a weekend filled with all the fun things and possibly definitely hopefully a nap.
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