The first chapter smacked me right in the face (in the best way possible) as she explained the paradox of sacrifice, reminding me that Scripture promises when we give we will be given to. We don’t pour ourselves out to be left empty, but rather the Father fills us fuller than we could ever be living for self.
As it is so easy to cave in to “all this sacrifice”– fatigue, feeling pulled at, called for and depended on 24 hours a day, there’s a great mystery–a secret that we miss.
“There is a difference between giving something and having it taken from you. If you still count the things that you lost with resentment, then you did not give them….If you find yourself in bed at night tallying what has been lost to you, you need to let go of that list…Give them freely. Don’t count them as stolen.”
Then she reminded me of a verse in Philippians where we are instructed to “let each esteem others better than themselves”, looking not just out for our own needs, but for others’ also. Why? Because we are to be imitators of Christ, starting in our homes.
And yet, nothing we can conjure up in the way of our sacrifice comes close to comparing with His. He gave all so we could give some.
As Christians and as we live out motherhood, it is our aim to “live out Christ” and Christ was the ultimate servant. When we desire to be identified with Him, we can glory in sacrifice, not as martyrs, but as women who know the secret: when we empty ourselves He fills us up with the joys and peace this world could never offer.
And though I enjoyed every page of the book, the other big take-away for me was a word about discontentment.
Rachel poignantly explained how the feminist agenda was so effective, even on those of us who have embraced motherhood as a good thing. They said the work of staying home and caring for children is the work of unambitious and boring women. But strangely, many of us who willingly choose it have “conflicting complaining.” We say our job is “both too hard and too easy.”
“Discontentment will never change the world. If you want your work to have a lasting impact on the world, define yourself with gratitude. Be thankful over the laundry. Be thankful when you find yourself nursing a baby in a carload of hungry children….Give thanks for the sticky juice rings on the counter. Give thanks for the milk spill, the stomach virus, for the pants that are too tight after that last baby.”
She didn’t write that because we are superhuman. Her point was profound: “Gratitude transforms.” Gratitude makes us “at peace with God’s will in our lives.” It sets our attitude straight and enables us to deal with the very real, hard work in front of us.
What I so appreciate about Rachel’s perspective is her tenacity and ability to pass that on to other moms, empathizing, without sugar-coating the job of motherhood, and without allowing us to wallow in self-pity. She has such a balanced view of “this is hard but this is good” and “this is what we were created for, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
I closed the book better equipped, having my perspective renewed and my energy refreshed.
It’s not just a good book, it’s an important book that might just change the way you view your job.
Rachel is giving away a copy to one of you so I hope you’ll sign up to win! (Give away ends Sat. 19th)
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