What? You never feel that way?
I’m sure this will come as a complete surprise to long-time readers, but I’m not the self-help or advice-seeking type. I don’t, as a rule, do devotionals. For my personal devotion time, I have a Bible. I read it, then I pray. I read other religious works, too, of course. I don’t flatter myself that I can figure everything out on my own. I just prefer to keep the “guidance” to a minimum during my morning time with God.
This is why I didn’t know any better than to consume Kelly Crawford’s little book Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard in one sitting. Having done that, I can now tell you that it is a) very encouraging and helpful and b) not meant to be read in one sitting. Each of the thirty-one (meant-to-be) daily readings contains enough wisdom, encouragement, and advice to do any mama for a whole day. If you do what I did, and read it all at once, you will enjoy it.
If you read it the right way, each chapter will serve as a springboard to one really GOOD day. I found in these pages much encouragement, some challenging truths, and some sorely needed attitude adjustments.
I recall one day last November when all the lessons had gone horribly, the kids were sick of me and of each other, and Get Along Husband went to bed with another migraine as soon as he came home from work. We had just finished dinner, and my kitchen was a mess. I stood in the middle of that disaster, hands helplessly dropped to my side, so heavy I could barely will myself to lift them, and gazed blankly into another disaster in the dining room, and yet another in the living room. I just listened as the noise level (and I TOLD them to be quiet because Daddy has a headache) became louder and louder.
I was lonely, because the headaches take my husband away from me (in a good month) 25 days out of 30. I was tired, because 5 kids–one of whom doesn’t sleep through the night yet—will do that to you no matter how much you like them. I admit, I was also feeling slightly rebellious, because there were about a million things I’d rather be doing than dishes, especially after the amount of mothering I’d already done that day.
I honestly had no idea how I was going to make it until the kids’ bedtime, so I cried out to God. I said, out loud, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle even one more tiny thing right now.” And then my three year old brought her dishes to the kitchen to put in the sink, and dropped her unfinished cup of milk in the floor. It was like God was saying “Well, Cindy, there’s your ‘one more tiny thing’. Now what do you think you can handle?”
What I found out was that I can handle an awful lot more than I feel like I can, if I keep the right attitude about it. I got down on my knees and cleaned up that spilled milk, and while I was down there, I had a chance to pray and gather strength for the rest of the evening.
This little book offers the kind of encouragement that a day like the one I just described requires. I probably would have been a wee bit better off if I’d had Kelly’s book back then. It has certainly helped my perspective this week!
Written by a mom who has been in that same flurry of desperate activity, trying to keep up with a houseful of people who seem bent on destroying her last shred of sanity, Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard, is a healthy, encouraging way to get every day of mothering started in a Christ-focused way. There is no hint in this book of the kind of “woe-is-me” mothering that is so destructive to the joy that can be found in motherhood, and I love Kelly for that! Seriously, I want to hug her neck for not descending into the self-pity to which it is all too easy for young mothers to succumb. I also note the complete lack of breathless, purple prose, summoned solely to torture every possible shred of emotion from the reader, that so many women seem to enjoy in their spiritual reading. This is just good common sense, sweet wisdom, and sometimes a little kick in the pants to get your day started.
Connect: If you’re not already reading Kelly’s blog, Generation Cedar, now is a very good time to start!
Buy: You can get a copy of Devotions, Advice, & Renewal for when Motherhood Feels Too Hard in paperback for $8.99, or ebook format for PDF for $4.97.
Win: Now I’m going to go back and read this book the right way next month, and I’d like one of my readers to join me. Kelly has generously offered a free paperback copy of her book to one Get Along Home reader.
How to enter: You know the drill. Just leave a comment and your name will be in the hat!
Details: This giveaway is open to anyone in the US. This giveaway will be open until midnight, February 15, 2013. The winner will be chosen by And the Winner Is… WordPress plugin. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email. If there is no response after 48 hours, I’ll have to choose another winner. Please use a valid email address in your comments so that I can contact you if you win! Please use one email address per entrant, per household, per IP address. The giveaway provider (not Get Along Home) will be responsible for prize fulfillment. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. I wasn’t otherwise compensated, nor are there any affiliate links in this post. Here’s your mommy blogger grain of salt.