Tuesday, March 5, 2013

fit to burst - a book review.

How about a little book review on a random, cloudy Tuesday morning?  This book has quickly shot to the top of my list as the book I will recommend to mamas.  It was perfect for the stage of motherhood I am in but I am sure that it will continue to be relevant throughout the time my kids are young.  

I read Fit to Burst in the course of a few days because I honestly could not put it down.  As soon as the boys would go down for a nap I would sit down and start reading, I stayed up way later than I should have until I could no longer hold my eyelids open and I would even try to sneak in a few pages while I was sitting in line at the bank or a drive thru.  It was just that good.

As I read this book, I felt like I was sitting down over coffee with the author.  I  love a book written like this.  One that is easy to read because it's not full of flowery language that I have to decipher.  Rachel is also in the trenches of motherhood which I think helps.  She isn't looking back over all the lessons she learned through the years.  Instead, she is writing lessons as she learns them and as she works through difficult or frustrating or beautiful times.  There were multiple times that I would read a chapter and by that night, I would find myself in the same predicament she had talked about.  I was able to put her advice into practice immediately not just store it away for a future time when my life wasn't as chaotic.  She teaches lessons you should use in the chaos.  

She also discusses different issues in each chapter.  I get so fed up with the books where you read the first few chapters and get the main jest of the book and the remaining fifteen (or more!) chapters are just examples of the points made in the first few chapters.  This does not happen in this book.  She hits on so many different areas of motherhood.  And she manages to step on your toes in every area!

And all of her lessons?  They point to Jesus.  He is the main theme.  It's not a book full of all kinds of tricks and ways to become a good mother and then be able to serve Him once you've figured out the mom thing.  It's serving Him through being a mom.  Honoring Him when you're cleaning a high chair for the sixth time (no, really.) or rewashing the load of clothes your left in the washing machine overnight.  It was such a sweet, sweet reminder of where my heart should be in this process of raising these little munchkins.  And where Jesus should be.  In the forefront.  Not pushed to the side until I have a minutes peace to do my bible study.   But instead, He should be praised and honored through the blowout diaper and the days when you get nothing done except hold your babies because they aren't content anywhere else.  

I could go on and on about this book.  Honestly.  

I have to share a part in the forward the sucked me in.  It made me know this book was for me.  Because she was not just stepping on my toes, she was  about this:
"I don't pull punches or hold back in this book, because I am writing to myself as much as to you.  I know that as mothers we face very similar temptations, and we have a unique opportunity to sympathize with each other over those challenges.  We have a common bond.  We are the sisterhood of the people who know about long days.  That is true.  But the fact that we all face the same temptations should give us a burning desire to conquer them, not to wallow in them.  I write hardhitting things to myself, because I want to grow in grace.  And I'm sharing them with you in the hopes that they will strengthen your faith and encourage you to mother in a way that honors Christ."

Okay, for real.  Go buy the book.  Like, now.  Download it on your iPad or your Kindle (I had to download the Kindle app on my iPad because it's not offered through iBooks - I know the Nook App has it too but you have to search the whole title - including the subtitle - not just "Fit To Burst").

But, in case you're still not sold (is that possible, really?) here are a few of my other highlights in the book.  And I say a few because if I were to give you all of my highlights it would probably equal two-thirds of the book.  And I don't think Rachel would be super appreciative of me typing almost her entire book out on my blog.

"The more we are steeped in the language of the Bible, the more we will recognize when things from the world are slipping in"
"Motherhood is not just a job, it is an identity. More importantly, it is an identity that begins and ends with giving."
"Christ's life given up for others is the centerpiece of our faith.  Our lives given up for others is the centerpiece of our faithfulness."
"It is about growing in Christ in the mundane.  It is about seeing the gospel in the work you are doing.  It is about joy and faith and laughter beyond the sacrifice."
"They should see us laboring hard to make a beautiful life for them while not losing sight of them in it." 
"We should not be correcting our children in the interest of making our lives easier (although it almost certainly will).  Correct them in the interest of making their lives richer." 
"Christian women who seek to honor God as they work through the mundane, repetitive tasks that are given to them will be used for bigger things." 
"Cheerfully embracing the mundane work in your life, diving into the challenges, working harder than you would think we possible at the little, at the trivial, at the boring - these are all ways to say, 'Use me Lord; I am your servant." 
"If we want to be doing things like this for our kids (she's referring to all the dreams we have of what being a mom will look like - craft days and fort building are two of mine), we need to be doing them.  The time is now.  We need to be now who we want to be then.  The future is happening right now." 
"It is a mother's job to communicate the love that the father has towards his children...When we take the work that our husband does and turn it into fellowship around the table, he is able to enjoy both the fruit of his work and the enjoyment of his love.  He provided for us, and we are rejoicing in that." 
"Honor and respect him specifically as you raise your children, because having a right relationship to the father of your children is one of the greatest gifts that you can give your children." 
On cooking:  "It is a very simple way for me to dig my hands into blessing my family in a super-tangible way...Preparing and serving food isn't just one of the most repetitive jobs that we have, it is also one of the most powerful." 
"There is a way to use your faith to strengthen theirs, and there is a way to use your faith to weaken theirs.  Our faith should be a shield to protect our children's faith." 
"We have nothing to fear in the opinion of others if we are right with God."

Okay, go buy it!  And come back and tell me how awesome it is when you finish it on Friday :)

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