Friday, March 8, 2013

Desperate: Introduction & Chapter 1

In this post from last week, I recommended the book, Desperate: Hope for Moms Who Need to Breathe.  I have been reading a chapter a day and my cup is being filled.  This book is challenging, painful, and encouraging. My routine is to read a chapter on my Kindle app, watch the video link, then go over to Martha Street to join her discussion, and, finally, read the posts about the chapter on Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson's sites.

There is so much on the internet already about this book, so why should I bother posting?  There's so much being written because there is so much to write about.  This book is speaking to women where we are as moms.  So, though I've never done this before, I am going to attempt a bit of a discussion right here on this site.  It will overflow from my own notes on how God is speaking directly to me, so feel free to check the other ladies' sites, as well.  There is so much to glean from those in the trenches with you.

I knew this was going to be a fabulous book when I was being convicted and blessed in the Introduction!  Sarah Mae is obviously a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of woman.  She is REAL and that is refreshing.  There are times in this book where I think I must be genetically linked to her....we have the same thoughts and feelings.  She is still in the stage of young motherhood, helping some of us to remember what it was like to have a bunch of little ones who still couldn't get themselves dressed, fed, or even to the bathroom.  She feels inept as a mom...don't we all?

My favorite quote from the Introduction:

"We moms don't need an instruction manual.  We need physical help."

Therein lies the premise of this book.  We don't need one more "how-to" book.  We don't need to be living up to the expectations of one more person.  We need rest.  We need companionship.  We need wisdom and advice from a real-life friend.  We need a meal cooked for us once in a while.  We need a maid.  Some of those things are obtainable while others are not depending on your circumstance.  When we don't get the help we need, we can become desperate.  I love the fact that in this book, desperation leads us to God.  The authors write about how we can get spiritual help, as well as practical physical help.

In Chapter 1, we see the ideals both Sarah and Sally had as they entered into motherhood.  Don't we all have ideals? Do you remember yours?  I had ideals of married life, then I had ideals of motherhood.  I thought for sure that when I got married, I would LOVE to clean house even though I detested it growing up.  After all, it would be my very own home...of course I would love to clean it.  I was right.  I did love it....the very first time I cleaned it.  After that, I realized that cleaning is cleaning and I still hate dislike it.  

My mother-fantasy was just as ridiculous, if not even more so.  I was going to be the beautiful woman in the flowing dress walking hand in hand with my clean and sweet children in the meadow picking daisies.  Life would be sweet and peaceful.  Yes, there would be a stinky diaper here and there, but, really....I would be so serene.

Enter my first child and pop that dream-bubble.

First of all, I am NOT serene!  I am out-going, somewhat loud, and intense.  I look ridiculous in flowing dresses and I don't know of any meadows nearby with daisies.  Ok...we have a dirt lane on our farm where, on the edges, wild daisies can be found for a few weeks out of the year; but, the kids would rather collect the stones out of the dirt to throw into the pond.

But I digress.

Sally says it best:

"Becoming a mother is a role that most women are ill-prepared for or ill-trained to understand, yet is has such vast consequences in the course and direction of history."

Motherhood is not an ideal.  Our ideals only set us up for disappointment.  We need to set them aside and look at motherhood for what it really is...a journey - a difficult journey, at that.  When we realize motherhood does not meet our pie-in-the-sky expectations, when we realize that we fall short of our dream of being the perfect mom, where do we go?  There is only ONE place to go...the feet of Christ.

Isaiah 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee:  be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen they; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

This verse is in the Your Turn section of Chapter 1 (btw - I highly encourage you to answer the questions honestly at the end of each chapter.  This is where I am probably the most fed).  I have seen this verse often in my years as a Christian, but I do not know if I have ever read it in light of motherhood.  Read it again.  Powerful, isn't it?  

You failed.  You aren't the "ideal" mother.  You are making the same mistakes your mom made and you vowed you never would make!  You just know your 6 month old is messed up for life.  "Fear thou not."  

You are diapering a toddler while the infant is screaming to be fed.  In the meantime, your 5 year old just spilled his milk all over the floor and dinner is burning and your husband has to work over-time...again.  You feel very much alone.  "I am with thee.  Be not dismayed."

You haven't slept more than 3-hour stretches in months. You doubt you can get out of bed this morning. "I will strengthen thee."

Your child is lying and you've tried everything to break him of this sin.  "I will help thee."

Your child was just diagnosed with a major medical problem.  "I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  

God is with you every step of this journey.  He knows where you are and how you are feeling.  The last question in the Your Turn section is, "Where is your source of strength?"  I hope it is God.  You may not have time or energy to read chapters of His Word, but read one verse.  I recommend Isaiah 41:10.  Then, cry out to Him.  Weep.  Beg Him for help.  He is with you and He hears you.  

Please, tell me if you are reading this book.  Let me know your thoughts - on chapter one or on this post.  I would love to encourage you, young mother.  I would love to glean from your wisdom, older and wiser mother.  Let's build each other up!

1 comment:

Tina said...

I am ordering it now.

Tina R