Friday, March 13, 2009

SMB Book Club: Ministry of Motherhood - Grace

Edited March 14. Thank you for extending me grace to post my thoughts late.

This week the SMB Book Club reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson focused on Part One: The Gift of Grace.

Section One is divided into 4 chapters:
Out of the Boat - a Model for Grace
The Grace of Time Together
The Grace of Encouraging Words
The Grace of Forgiveness in Action

What is grace? Sally describes grace this way:
"[Grace is] the kind of undeserved but freely given love and favor that comes from God. We model grace by extending it to our children but also by insisting that they learn to extend it to others. Practically speaking, the gift of grace is all about relationships. It's the desire and ability to relate personally and lovingly to God and people."
Section One really gave me food for thought. It shone a light on the lack of grace in my home. I learned long ago that the mom sets the atmosphere of a home so if my home has a lack it's because I have a lack. That means I need to do some work on me.

To begin with I need to work on receiving grace from God.

It's hard for me to receive anything from Him when I'm not spending time with Him. I confess this is an area I am REALLY struggling with right now. I have so many tasks to do each day that a quiet time with God frequently gets pushed aside. And yet, that's what I need the most. Why do I do that?

Next I need to work on being available to my family.

Don't misunderstand, I am in my home 24/7. My children are always with me. But I'm not always available to them. My body is here but my mind is miles away, specifically on the World Wide Web. Then when they demand my full attention I become frustrated and annoyed.

I remember feeling frustrated growing up when I talked to my mom and she only half-listened. I hated it! But I find myself doing the same thing.

Jesus didn't half-listened to the disciples. He gave them all of himself at that moment. I need to work on doing the same thing.

I also need to work on speaking encouraging and affirming words to my family.

I spend so much of my day (re)instructing and (re)training my children that my words and tone are frequently sharp and demanding. If I, a grown woman, need gentle and encouraging words then it stands to reason my small children do, too.

Now that you know what I need to work on let me move into the practical of what I'm going to do.
  • I am committing to have a quiet time with Jesus every day. For me the best time is during afternoon naps. I (usually) have one whole hour of quiet in my home. During that time I will pray, read my Bible and meditate on scriptures.
  • I am committing to setting boundaries on my computer time. I won't turn my computer on until after I've had my quiet time. AND I will be in bed by 11 PM each night. That means some computer related activities are not going to get done.
  • I am committing to slowing down, using a gentle tone, and speaking affirming words to my children.
It is my hope that by doing these three things the atmosphere and relationships of my home will be filled with grace.

Do you struggle with some of these issues also? How do you maintain grace in your home and teach your children to exhibit grace?

Feel free to post your answers on your own blog and leave the link in the comments. Or just tell us your thoughts about The Gift of Grace in the comments.

I'll close with this Amazing Grace video by Il Divo.


Amy said...

Sounds like you've had a week full of opportunity to practice the MINISTRY of motherhood in special ways! I totally understand that is of greater importance! :) Praying for you today in this way!

ibeeeg said...

I hear you on the busy week. I am so glad that you put your post up without your thoughts for Part One. It is great that you did not feel that pressure....or at least acted upon " the need to post about Part One".

Here is my post in re: Part One

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Thanks you, ladies. My type A personality had a hard time putting up a post about not being ready but... On the other hand, I'm wondering if we can count watching the electric crews move power lines from one pole to another outside our house as a home school day. :)

Flamingo Mama said...

wow. im so glad i'm not reading this book. sounds like there is nothing in it that i would identify with! lol

wonderful goals!! i need to regoal myself!

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