When you just need some encouragement to keep trusting… {Book Review}

Do you ever read something from an author that just breaks you and yet leaves you wanting more of his or her words?  Where you just can’t get enough?  Whose book leaves you longing to meet in real life, to sit down and chat over coffee… to just listen to the wisdom that seems to always be spilled out in every word they write.

Katie Davis Majors is one of those authors for me.  After I read her first book Kisses from Katie, my heart broke for orphans in deeper ways.  But it also was challenged to surrender to my Savior in deeper ways.  So when the opportunity arose for me to apply to be a part of the launch team for Katie’s new book, Daring to Hope, I jumped at the chance.  And boy, did I celebrate when I found out I was chosen.

DaringHope_FeatImages_828x315

I devoured this book from the day it arrived.  Its words were a treasure for me that I savored long after I put it down.  And yes, when I was finished, I longed even more to meet Katie in person someday.   Her words were raw, honest and vulnerable.   And as that’s been what I’ve been craving more of in my relationships these days, they ministered to me in ways that a single blog post can’t fully describe.

DaringtoHope_meme_05

Katie Davis Majors would say she is just a young woman from Tennessee who answered God’s call to uproot her life to Uganda.  Who just said a simple “yes” to what she knew her Savior was leading her to.  But most see her differently.  This amazing woman has become a mother to thirteen precious girls.  She works for a ministry called Amazima that helps to educate children in Uganda, provide medical care in their communities, and empower women to help provide for their families.

In her new book, Katie shares her continuing story of surrender, with her honest struggle to keep trusting God through the difficult days of striving to serve Him faithfully through grief and loss.  Of course, this was something I could identify with as well.  This inward struggle of constantly believing that He can heal, but choosing to trust His plan is best when He doesn’t heal here on earth.  This struggle to continually dig into His Word, pray it back to Him and believe it to be enough, when everything else in us fights to believe what we cannot yet see.

Katie says in the book, “He was growing in me a fervent, all-surpassing desire for quiet, secret places with Him.  He met me in my mess and even in my doubt and assured me that He still desired my obedience and a relationship with me.  I learned anew that He loved me truly, not because of who I was or what I did, but because of Christ and who He was.  

‘I will give you treasured in the darkness,’ He whispered, ‘riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel who summons you by name.’  He summoned me.  He called me to come and find rest in Him alone.”

Over and over, Katie has put her wavering, fragile heart in His hands, and He has proved, as He always does, to be faithful.  And when the storms had passed… beauty.  Such rich beauty, displayed through the ways He has worked in her life and woven such a beautiful story that only He could write – so that everyone reading this book can only say, “Wow.  That had to be God.”

I won’t give away any of the ending, because you must go get a copy of this book and read it for yourself.  You will be challenged, encouraged, and be left with a sense of awe over what God is doing in Katie’s life, and what He can do through yours.

All through a simple – yet not so simple – “yes.” 

christydsiggy2013

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Never enough…

I get asked this one question all the time… How do you do it all?  Working three part-time jobs… homeschooling my kids a couple days a week… trying to care for a house that seems to always have some issue that needs fixing (that I usually don’t know how to fix)… trying to be physically and emotionally healthy myself… and most importantly – making sure my kids are well taken care of, nurtured, and loved.  And I’m not going to lie.  It’s a lot.  It was never God’s original design for this to be a one parent job, and it sure runs more smoothly and beautifully with two loving parents working together as a team.  But then sin entered the world, of course, and with it, sickness and death – and here I am.  Flying solo.  And most days, in all honesty, “flying” is way too lively of a word.  (Who came up with that phrase anyway?) Maybe “walking”, perhaps?  Or even “plodding”?

But the truth is, I don’t do it all.  I state that with emphasis all the time when asked, and I’m saying it here and now to anyone and everyone out in cyberspace who might care to stumble across this blog post.   Because, quite honestly, there is no earthly way I could do it all.  I am just one person, and as I tell my kids at times, I’m not an octopus and I can’t be omnipresent.  I only have two arms and two legs, and I can only juggle so much.

That’s why this time of the year gets pretty rough.  School starts up and the kids’ fall schedules come in, and every year as they get older, it gets more challenging trying to figure out how to get them all where they need to go.   It truly takes a village.  I’ve had a few overwhelming days this week where I’ve tried to figure it all out, and in the end, I just decided not to think about it yet.  I told the kids that these are their unique passions and giftings that God has placed on their hearts, and if they want to keep pursuing them, they need to pray, along with me, that the Lord will provide the resources.  He knows them best, and He is also well aware that He created me with the inability to be in more than one place at a time.

The phrase “You are enough” is quite the current trendy statement right now, and is so often said in a well-meaning way as an encouragement to mamas out there.   But the truth is, when we all stop and think about what this really means, none of us are ever truly enough.  And no one should know that better than you mamas out there who juggle many hats on any given day.   Instead, the beautiful, life saving truth of the Gospel changes our understanding that we will never ever be enough on our own – but Jesus always will be.

20429742_10103652134121298_6955525886738130024_n

Brooke McGlothlin’s new book Gospel Centered Mom drove that truth home for me recently more than any other book I’ve read in a while.  This whole concept of doing enough and being enough is so easy to get sucked into due to our addiction to social media, where it’s easy to compare our lives with others and try to measure up to everyone else we follow.   We fall prey to what McGlothlin calls the “ME Gospel,” where God exists for us instead of Him, and Bible verses are even taken out of context so that we can apply them to our earthly happiness rather than His eternal holiness.   We want our children to obey because we care more about what their obedience says about us than we do about discipling their hearts.

As Gospel centered moms, we have to step back from that ever-increasing mindset, and remind ourselves of the truth.

-I will never ever be enough, no matter how hard I try.  But God is always enough in my desperate lack.  (Philippians 4:19)

-I don’t need to act like I have everything together, because God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

-Humility pushes me out of the way, even when I don’t want it to, and allows me to do what’s best for someone else instead. (Philippians 2:3)

-God may not give me everything I want, but if I delight myself in Him, He will change my desires to match His desires. (Psalm 37:4)

20476138_10103653077261238_8727220351185686045_n

There is nothing that has made me see my weakness and frailty more than trying to parent these precious children on my own.  It constantly brings me to my knees, and honestly, often to tears.  But God, in His tender loving care for me, sweeps me up and strengthens me for the tasks the lie ahead, helping me all the while to remember that it is HIM doing all this, and not me.  Sometimes I can’t even explain how, but He always makes a way for us.  These are His kids, and He is writing His story.  He will continue to work His plan in their lives, and in mine, in spite of our mess and my frequent inability to trust Him fully.  And as I choose to arm myself with truth from His Word each day instead of spending time scrolling social media, I remember that motherhood is not about perfection, but about pursuit.

51YZRRdQd4L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

If you need these same reminders, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Gospel Centered Mom.   This book brings home this powerful message that every mom needs to be reminded of and offers practical ways to live it out every day of this motherhood journey…

You are not enough.  But that’s ok.  Because He always is.  

christydsiggy2013

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

Book Review – Under a Summer Sky

Ever heard of Melody Carlson?  She is a well accomplished fiction writer with many published books, and when I saw that she had a new book out for review, I snagged the opportunity to get a copy and be one of the first to read it.  I’ve reviewed other books of hers and have found them to be sweet and lighthearted.  Under a Summer Sky was much of the same. In this book, art teacher … {…Read More}

Book Review… Sacred Privilege

As soon as I saw that Revell had Kay Warren’s new book Sacred Privilege available for review, I had to hurry up and sign up for a copy, and I couldn’t wait to start reading when it arrived.  Although this book was written for pastors’ wives and I am currently not one, I admire Kay so much and have enjoyed and learned from every book she’s written.  Sure enough, this is a book that I … {…Read More}

If you’re needing a little happiness today…

Man, I do not know where the summer has gone!  But it surely has flown by, and now we are starting to look ahead to fall and an even busier schedule.  The good part about that is that I should have more time for writing, which I dearly miss right now.  I’m hopping on here this week though, in the middle of an Olympics watching marathon and a lot of work going on around here… … {…Read More}

Some good summer reads…

We are thick into summer, which really does seem to bring out some “lazy days” around here.  This is the time of year that I challenge my kids with summer reading programs, and I also immerse my own self in a ton of fiction of all different kinds.  Recently I had the chance to review two sweet inspirational fiction books that are new releases, just in time for some relaxing summer reading. I read All … {…Read More}

Book Review… Brave Girls: Beautiful You

I am constantly trying to find ways to encourage my daughter to grow in her faith and let her relationship with God help her navigate the ups and downs of these transitional tween years.  So when I saw that there was a new devotional book out for tweens that will help them grow in knowledge and confidence as the beautiful girls they  are in Christ, I snatched it up quickly. This devotional book, Brave Girls: … {…Read More}

Book review – The Prophetess

Whew… it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know that the silent periods on here are usually when God is doing a great work in my heart.  This time is no different.  I’ll try to find the words to share more soon, but for today, I’m back sharing about a book I recently had the chance to review and just finished over spring break. Have you … {…Read More}

A call to gratitude (and a book review)

My least favorite time of year, when it comes to parenting my kids, is when the toy catalogs come out.  Right around when the holiday decorations start being seen around town, our mailbox starts overflowing with its own décor – catalogs galore.  And not just any catalogs, but catalogs that appeal to little people with big eyes.  Eyes that are prone to see all that they don’t have, that their friends do. We are blessed … {…Read More}

Book Review – Prayers that Changed History

Every once in awhile, the Lord connects somewhere I’m being challenged with a similar concept on a level my kids can relate to.  Lately, I’ve been convicted a lot about prayer… the importance of it, the power of it, and my need to do more of it.  I’ve been challenged to make prayer such a priority in my family that it becomes a habit my children see as vitally important in their own lives.  So when … {…Read More}