I’m so excited to be a part of Brooke McGlothlin’s Gospel Centered Mom book tour! This post was inspired by the book. To join us and learn more about being a part of it, click here: gospelcenteredmombook.com/for-bloggers.
As I read the book, Gospel Centered Mom, I had a unique take on it. Of course, I thought of the way I should parent my OWN children (You know, the ones I actually gave birth to), but it was impossible not to read the book with my “other” kids in the back of my mind – the ones I teach each day. While this book is PERFECT for us moms, I believe it encompasses every facet of our lives – anywhere we lead.
I have students from various walks of life, but each and every one of them is searching for love and acceptance within our classroom. Occasionally, I lose sight of this, and I forget that they are “mine” during that short window of time that I have them. I will begin to treat them in a way that is not “gospel-centered.” Now, hear me out, this in no way means that I am disrespectful to them or unfair (in general – I do make mistakes). Quite the opposite, I may become “too easy”, distant, or lower my expectations of them. I begin trying to rely on my self because I want complete control of the situation. I feel like I need to be enough for the kids, and I rob them of something so powerful – God’s love and presence in my home and in my classroom.
In the book, Brooke shares the story of Moses in Exodus 3:11-12.
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this Mountain?”
Moses asked God, “Who am I?”
Daily, I ask God the very same, “Who am I that I can actually do what you’ve called me to do? I’m not enough! There is better than me, God. I can’t handle what you ask of me.”
But, Brooke shares so eloquently that, “God promised Moses His presence, nothing else. Not courage, not resources, not skill. Just His presence.” God promises me each and every day that He is with me. He promises that he is never away from me and will always be with me. God is in my every conversation with my children (all of them). He is in every single moment, and I don’t have the burden of exhausting myself to be enough for any of them.
But, why, do we feel that we must be “enough”? Perhaps it lies in the illusion of control. “Believing we’re enough brings us peace, satisfaction, pleasure, and intense relief – not to mention a heady sense of being in control.” (McGlothlin) I struggle so much with control. I need it. I yearn for it. I desire it. But, it is not Gospel-centered. Each time I crave control, I can begin feeling things spiraling out of control. It’s amazing how that happens. But God promises us that “Peace comes only from trusting God to be ALL we need. Peace isn’t something we can manufacture but something He manifests.” (McGlothlin). God is where I should seek my peace.
Occasionally, I will find myself being an “unfair” teacher. Last year, I was sharing an important lesson. A student raised her hand to request to use the restroom. Instantly, I said, “No. I’m in the middle of the lesson. It can wait.” Minutes later, another student raised her hand with the same question. I replied with the same. She proceeded to tell me , “But it’s an emergency.” to which I, of course, replied, “Fine. Go…” I looked to the other student and saw it – disappointment. In one beat, I lost her trust and hurt her deeply.
After she left, I was deeply disturbed. I knew I handled the situation inappropriately, and I felt a nagging dread deep in the pit of my stomach that could only have been God. I knew He was gently correcting me, “Casey, you did not show My love to that child today, and you did not reveal My character in those moments.” The following day, I knew it was time for me to approach things with a more Godly perspective. I asked to speak with her. She reluctantly agreed. I brought her in my office and asked for her forgiveness. I did not provide excuses for my behavior. I simply told her I had not been very thoughtful of her, and I was unfair. I should have lead the classroom with love, and I did not. In that moment, I trusted that God would guide me, and He made that girl feel so loved and full.
Brooke shares “Your children are the story God has given you to live so others can see Him in you. How will you live it?”
I always want to be the Mommy and the “Ms.” who makes my kids feel loved. I have always said of my own children that I want to fill their bucket so full of love that when others try to poke holes in them, the bucket remains overflowing. I can’t do this on my own power. The only way this will ever happen is through my very own, “I AM.” My God will always shine through me if I allow him to be the focus in my life. I also MUST remember to refocus in the times where I lose focus.
As you learn to anchor your life in the Gospel, you’ll find increased freedom, purpose, and joy in motherhood. Get Brooke McGlothlin’s new book at www.gospelcenteredmombook.com!