Saturday, January 14, 2012

a mother's heart

One of the books on my reading list for 2012 is this book, A Mother's Heart by Jean Fleming.  
I'm reading it with the my Mom's group from church and it is so good!  It's painting such a great picture 
for me for what I should be doing as a mother.  

Sometimes the chapters are a slap across the face though and this last one definitely was for me.  Oh man it broke me.  The chapter was on love.  

Here are a couple excerpts from it....

"If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating,
but do not show love in my family - I'm just another housewife.

If I'm always producing lovely things - sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently,  
but am not loving to my family - I am nothing.

If I'm busy in community affairs, teach Sunday schoo, and drive in the carpool,
but fail to give adequate love to my family - I gain nothing.

Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes - over and over again.

Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.

Love doesn't envy another wife - one whose children are "spaced" better, or in school 
so she has time to pursue her own interests.

Love doesn't try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.

Love doesn't scream at the kids.

Love doesn't feel cheated because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do today - 
sew, read, soak in a hot tub.

Love doesn't lose my temper easily.

Love doesn't assume that my children are being naughty just because
their noise level is irritating.

Love doesn't rejoice when other people's children misbehave and make mine look good.
Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children."

-a paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13, on mothering by Jean Fleming in "A Mother's Heart"

A Mother's Rights?

"Our society does not easily identify with Jesus' example of giving up His rights.  Instead we assert our rights: 'women's rights, children's rights, gay rights, minority rights.'  New categories are constantly being added to the list.
Mothers, too, can grasp for their rights, but sometimes they find their capacity to love is dissipated by their firm resolve to protect those rights.  A mother in one cartoon is seen tacking up a sign: 'Mother goes off duty at 8 p.m.' That seems fair enough, doesn't it?  After all, who has longer hours than a mother?  Should we perhaps organize or unionize to ensure our right to some time off?
The world urges us, 'Assert yourself,'  'Fulfill yourself,' 'Liberate yourself,' 'Please yourself.'  It seems like a step backwards.  Our lives are to be sacrificed for others, not in some sort of melodramatic martyr complex, but in following the daily challenge of Christ's example.  Listen to Jesus' words:

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
John 12:24-25

A lot of times I can be so selfish.  My attitude while serving my children sometimes needs adjusting.  It was such a good reminder for me and I need to constantly be working on this and reminded that "it's not about me."  I want to be the best mom for my boys, that I can be and this book is a really great resource!

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