One of my favorite movies of all times is Steel Magnolias. A particularly powerful scene is after Shelby’s funeral, M’Lynn is describing to her community of friends the final moments of Shelby’s life. M’Lynn talked about the precious gift of being there when her daughter entered this world and being there as she left, and as a woman, just how lucky she was.
As women, we are blessed. God has given us amazing strength, strength to withstand physical and emotional pain to care for those we share life with. One of the most amazing gifts God has given us is the gift of motherhood. And let me just say this….If God has not given you children by birth, you can still be a mother to someone. There is someone looking to you right now to show them the type of love that only comes from a mother. There are young children and older children in our communities and in far off places that need the love and shelter of a mother. Every woman can give that gift.
And as we talk about this gift of motherhood, we have to be honest and say each moment doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy. As moms, I think we can go from warm and fuzzy to red hot and singed in 2 seconds flat! It’s not a beautiful image, but it is truth, and honestly, there is beauty in truth.
I love how in Steel Magnolias that M’Lynn had her community, women that stood by her no matter what. And as women in real life, we need that too. That’s why I teach Sunday school. That’s why I write. That’s why I try to lead within the church. I feel like we all have a story that God has called us to share, and in doing so, we build community.
And that brings us to this book study. As moms we don’t want to admit that we yell at our kids…..You know why….You’ve seen that mom in Wal-Mart or at the park just screaming her head off. We don’t want to admit that we do that same thing in our homes, in our cars on the way to school, or in the church parking lot. So, what do we do? We pretend that we’ve got it together, that our kids are perfect, we are perfect, and everything is fine and dandy. And it will be until the next time and the time after that.
One of the most powerful things we can do is call out to God and say, “I need help! I can’t do this on my own.” God is faithful. And if we ask anything in His name, according to His will, He will answer our prayers. And y’all, I believe this book study is an answer to prayer.
As I read the Forward, I was like, “Hold up! I could have written this!” I totally related and felt as if those words poured from my heart. And I’d like to share just a few quotes from Brooke McGlothlin that really touched me……
“By leaving our anger unchecked, un-submitted to the cross of Christ, are we leaving our children’s hearts, minds, and spirits to a danger that could hurt them just as deeply” as physical danger? And it made me think….You know, I don’t beat my kids, they are not physically abused. Yet, is there something in my criticizing, in my angry outbursts, that will damage their hearts, minds, and spirits? As moms, we would never intentionally hurt our children. But our angry reactions can cause damage that isn’t visible to the eye.
“I’m an emotional person. I feel things deeply, and I happen to be a reactor.” Yes, my emotions get the best of me. I can cry at the drop of a hat. Commercials, songs, memories…..I can be a weepy mess full of either sorrow or happiness. When I’m hurt by someone, I feel it deeply; it penetrates my core. And when I’m angry, I can lash out, yelling at those I love. I react, for better or for worse….usually worse.
And when I came to the realization that something needed to change, that as hard as it is to say, “I don’t have control over my children,” I know deep within that I can not change on my own. “Conquering this anger is an ongoing act of God in my life.” This book isn’t a cure all, no book is. The only thing that can cure me of my anger is God. I have to understand that anger is a sin, a sin that I deal with personally and it will take me depending on God each and every day to conquer this sin in my life.
And then there is this…..Author Amber Lia said:
“You can take your mothering from heated to holy.”
And isn’t that why we are joining together? To become holy mothers by studying God’s word? Yes! There is hope……ALWAYS with God. There is hope.
That’s why great things are about to happen. As women, we’ve admitted our weakness, our sins to God our Father, and we are praying for Him to lead us and guide us through this journey, to make us the mothers he has designed us to be.