I’m not even sure how I stumbled upon her writings. It may have been through my friend, Jenn. But ever since I did, it has made a huge impact on my life. Brooke McGlothlin is the author of Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most, How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You: A Mom’s Guide to Overcoming, and Co-Author of Hope for the Weary Mom. I have read all of these. God always uses Brooke to speak directly to my heart.
I’m thrilled to say Brooke has a new book, Gospel-Centered Mom: The Freeing Truth About What Your Kids Really Need. I am also honored to say I am a part of her Gospel Centered Mom book tour! This post was inspired by the book. To join us and learn more about being a part of it, click here: http://gospelcenteredmombook.com/for-bloggers/
Of course I jumped at the chance to grab her new book. I knew it would be God-inspired and relatable. I wasn’t really counting on it knocking me on my rear. As much as I THINK I am keeping the Gospel on my heart and mind, I clearly realized I can get caught up in some un-biblical …. well, lies. I want to share a couple parts that cut deep for me, in the hope that we can shed the light of Truth on some of these tough aspects of our lives as moms.
One of the first things Brooke talks about is the ME Gospel:
“At its best it’s the ‘good news’ that God is all about meeting our needs, giving us what we want, and closing the gap of all our physical and emotional shortcomings. At its worst it’s not really ‘good news’ at all. It trips us up because it forces us to always be looking out for number one and forgetting we’re here to serve God and others.”
A lot of Christians today (myself included) get caught up in “What is God doing for me?” That may initially not sound too bad, but there is a problem there. A better question would be “How can God use my life for His Glory?” It actually reminds me of the famous John F. Kennedy quote, “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” In this case though, I would substitute God for country. Have I been using God as a way to the life I want, or am I letting God use me for the plans He has?
That’s a tough question. How far am I willing to go with that? What if I don’t like the idea of laying down my plans? I think on the surface I have said, “Yes, Lord. I want your plans for my life.” But what if God wants to use hard, gut-wrenching things to bring me closer to Him? What if what I need isn’t everything I ever wanted, but something I never wanted? I am not saying God does bad things to us. However, what we NEED is to need Jesus more. And sometimes the only way to see that, is to have nothing else to lean on. Ouch. I really don’t like that concept, but that is what Scripture says. To quote something Brooke says on multiple occasions, “If what I feel and what the Bible says is true are two different things, I’m wrong.”
Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
When it comes down to it, I really haven’t let myself be crucified. Yes, I follow Jesus. Yes, I read my Bible, attend church, encourage others to seek the Lord, and raise my children in the Lord. Those are all great things. However, when I really get honest with myself, am I really dead to my own desires and plans? I don’t mean that God can’t use passions and gifts for His glory, but it’s like I’ve unknowingly given Him conditions.
“Sure, Lord, use my writing gift for your glory. Oh, but can you let that be an income for me? And, I’d like to be successful at it. And yes, my children are yours. Oh but I still want to control what happens with them. And of course, you can use me to draw others to you, but just don’t make it too painful, m’kay?”
And just like that, I’m on my knees.
Am I really living out Jesus’ words?
In Chapter 7, Brooke says:
“…Jesus never asked us to follow Him and have all our dreams come true. He never said, ‘Come and I’ll help you toward self-actualization or help you realized your potential.’ He never said, ‘Come follow me, and I’ll automatically make your children easy little blessings.’ He didn’t even say, ‘Come, let me validate you and bring you happiness in this life.’
What He said was, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’ (Luke 9:23). In other words, ‘Come, and die.’ I think we forget that all too often, especially as moms.”
This is what I love about this book and the way that God is using Brooke. It’s not flowery and fluffy, feel-good writing. It’s meaty, and challenging and tough to swallow. It’s what we NEED, not just entertainment and making us feel better about who we are.
Come, and die.
Am I willing to let God use my life with my children as a way to reach others? What if that includes pain and suffering? We always pray for God to heal, restore, take away our pain.
“God has a greater purpose in our suffering that we ought to search for and learn from- even allow Him the freedom to use so that others might know Him- instead of just trying to get out.”
She uses the example of the story of Hosea. Over and over again Hosea chases after his unfaithful wife, and she keeps running away. He is hurt time and time again. His pain and humiliation on display for all to see, and for us to now read about. What if God want to use me in that way? I am I open to that?
It’s truths and tough concepts like this that I will be going back to, and letting the Lord use this to refine me. I thank God for using Brooke to speak with brutal honesty so that we are drawn closer to Him and used for His purpose.
I have the Kindle version of the book, but I am going to have to grab the print copy as well. I’ve highlighted in the digital one, but there is something about taking a highlighter or pen to paper that burns words into my heart.
Not only are we getting biblical truths and concepts, but what I admire is that Brooke gives me practical ways to apply those soul-piercing revelations to MY life. I read the stories of this fellow boy-mom, and they could easily be something that happened to me. The camaraderie of being a boy-mom draws me to her writing, and speaks to me in a relatable way. I know I can use the methods she lines out, because she is doing it herself.
With these hard truths, Brooke also offers how when I have the Gospel at the center of my life, I will be filled with His peace and joy. There is no one like Jesus. He is the only way to truly have these things. If I am filled up with His Word and His love, I will be overflowing with joy and peace in all aspects of my life.
If you want to be challenged, broken, and yet encouraged with useable methods, grab this book now. But be warned, you will be changed!
As you learn to anchor your life in the Gospel, you’ll find increased freedom, purpose, and joy in motherhood. Get Brooke McGlothlin’s new book at www.gospelcenteredmombook.com!