Friday, March 6, 2009

SMB Book Club: Ministry of Motherhood, Intro

Welcome to Stephanie's Mommy Brain Book Club!

For the next 6 weeks we will be discussing The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson each Friday.

I hope you will join me in reading the book but even if you haven't read it, feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.

This week we are discussing Introduction: Discovering the Ministry of Motherhood.

Have you ever thought of your role as mom as being a ministry? It's kind of a different view of ourselves and what we do, isn't it?

After all, seminaries don't give out degrees for the Motherhood Ministry. Preaching? Yes. Music? Yes. Missions? You betcha! Mothering? Huh?

IS what we do "ministry?" defines ministry as:
1. The act of serving; ministration.
2. One that serves as a means; an instrumentality.
I think that accurately describes us moms! Cooking supper is definitely an act of serving. And as Christian moms teaching our children the Lord's Prayer makes us an instrument of God.

Sally Clarkson believes being a mom is a ministry. Here are a few quotes from her that really struck me:
Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned.
In other words, if I want my Ministry of Motherhood to be successful, I can't wing it. Sadly, I've been winging it for a while and the atmosphere of my home shows it! Sharp words, rough hands and scowling faces are all too frequent around here.
Keeping the GIFTS idea in mind as I went about my daily tasks helped me a lot.
For those without books, GIFTS is an acronym for: Grace, Inspiration, Faith, Training, and Service. It's the plan Sally developed for ministering to her children. Each section of the book discusses one of these gifts so I'll wait to talk about them in detail.

I will say that having a plan of action will help keep me on track when my emotions (and hormones!) start making me a little crazy. I need to write and use that plan to help me look for teaching opportunities and keep me from reacting instead of responding.
Jesus was the model I was looking for.

A big part of his ministry, after all, was teaching his disciples - just as I ... was trying to teach my children. He ministered to them, and he prepared them for ministry. He taught them with his words, and he taught them with his actions. Jesus gave his disciples ... the very gifts Clay and I wanted to give our children.
He's really our model for everything, isn't he? You don't read about Jesus getting angry with his disciples. Frustrated? Yes. But not angry. And he certainly doesn't yell at them because of their sin. {guilty hand raised here!}

I think we all know the areas that we're failing in. As moms were pretty good at focusing on those areas and piling up the guilt.

Instead of doing that, this week let's focus on turning our failures into successes:
  • Watch the Passion video to gain inspiration from Jesus.
  • Pray and think about how he modeled Grace to the disciples.
  • Finally, think and pray about actions you can take to give Grace to your children; specifically in the areas of Time Together, Encouraging Words, and Forgiveness in Action.
You know, it really is too bad seminaries don't give out degrees for motherhood. It would be nice to have a something to hang on the wall next to my "Mother of the Year" award. :)


stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

Your comment about winging it struck a chord with me. When I used to organize and lead worship at my church I never went into the week without serious time spent in planning and praying. Just today, I realized that I needed to get back in the mommy game in just this area. I look around and see things that aren't getting done and wonder why.

(And, oh my, my husband ordered me this book yesterday so I *do* get to read with you! Woohoo!)

ibeeeg said...

I have been convicted this week with needing to show grace to my children and others in my life. I was glad to read that the Clarksons developed a plan...I look forward to reading more of GIFTS.

I blogged about this week's reading.

Marya said...

I love Sally Clarkson. I have so little time to read these days, though :( I need to make more time for non-business reading!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...


Yah!! I'm so glad you will join us!!

It's funny how we will spend so much time planning, praying and preparing for activities outside our home but rarely plan for inside our homes.

I'm coming off a really difficult week (discipline issues) with my kids so I'm feeling super convicted that I need to step back and take a look at how I'm doing things around here.

Stephanie said...

I just found out that you are doing this today and I am excited to join in! I'll have to catch up and join you next week though. I have had this book sitting on my bookshelf for several months now!

Thanks for hosting!

Kat said...

I am really excited about this book. A lot of the lessons will be useful later when I have kids, but I can also see the areas where I can apply these lessons now.
Thank you for hosting this book club.

wherever HE leads we'll go said...

Sounds like a great book.

Carrie said...

What a FANTASTIC introductory post! Now that I'm back in town I'll be tracking down a copy of the book! I'm excited!

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