Today I am so excited to share with you the new resource, Hope for the Weary Mom, by my friends Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin. Let me share a taste of this great new book…as well as a give away too!
Stacey, you have all girls, and Brooke has all boys. How does that combination serve weary moms?
Brooke – Between us, Stacey and I currently cover an age range of 5 to 15. There are boys and girls of all ages represented in there, and it gives us the ability to speak with compassion and very real life experience to a variety of moms in a variety of situations. The book wouldn’t be as meaty or full if only one sex was represented. Every mom can find herself in Hope for the Weary Mom.
Stacey – Brooke and I seem to live in opposite worlds but we are more alike than we are different. We get each other. Sure, there are particulars to raising girls vs. boys, but our stories connect because we are moms. Weariness visits both our houses and we need Jesus equally in the trenches of everyday mothering.
The subtitle of this book, Let God Meet You in the Mess, is significant. Why?
Brooke – As Christians, we know we serve a God who is able, at the snap of His fingers, to change our circumstances. But more often than not, that’s not the way He chooses to work in our lives. Sometimes He does, but mostly He doesn’t, preferring instead of get down in our messes with us, helping us to find our way out one day at a time, and finding more of Him in the process.
I find the knowledge of that encouraging and frustrating all at the same time. It’s hard at times to know that God has the ability to do something, but won’t. When we’re in the middle of the mess, all we really want is to get out. Because He can see the bigger picture, God knows that walking us through the mess is better for us in the long run, but it never really feels that way in the thick of it. We have to choose to let God meet us in our weak places. We have to choose to stop fighting what He allows in our lives, whining to get out of it, and embrace it instead. If we chose to look at all of life as an opportunity to make His name great, and believe that our responses to the things of life really matter, it would change the way we live.
I’m not saying I’ve arrived in this area. I still fuss and whine to God a lot, but I believe in this process, and know God is moving me closer and closer to it with every choice I make to let Him meet me in the mess.
Stacey – Everyone of us has a mess somewhere in our lives. I know I do. I think we do our best to hide it from our friends, the women at church, and even God. We do this because we believe the lie that we are the only ones who have messy lives and dirty floors. Honestly I’ve learned two very important things through Hope for the Weary Mom regarding the messes we hide: (1) God is not afraid of our mess. He came to a messy world, walked with messy people, and offered hope time and time again to those he met—right in the middle of their messy lives. He does the same for us today because he has not changed. (2) The women we are hiding our mess from have messes in their homes, too. We think they are sitting in their kitchens judging us, but really they are worried we will find out the truth about them as well. It is so much better for us to wave our white flags, invite God into our mess, let him change us, and then share our stories with other women. This is what brings freedom and connects us deeply with others. It is so much better than hiding!
Weariness in moms seems to be an epidemic, with more and more moms falling into that category everyday. Why do you think this is?
Brooke – I think moms have always been weary, but there are a few things unique to the world we live in today that make the issue more pronounced. Moms today feel we must be able to do everything well. If we can’t, we’re a failure. Not doing one thing well makes us feel like a complete failure, because we’ve bought the lie that success means being able to keep a thousand plates spinning without ever having one break. Moms 200 years ago were more focused on survival. It was a good day if they could put food on the table, and they taught their children to work hard because family survival depended on it. Even in higher societies, women weren’t expected to be able to do everything. No one expected them to raise their families, clean the house, cook dinner, AND hold down a full time job.
The world we live in now demeans a woman if she can’t do all of those things, and do them well. Advertising, media, social media…all of them paint a picture of how things should be in our lives, and whether we like to believe it’s true or not, they affect how we interpret our world, and the place we hold in it. Reality says we can’t possible do it all. But reality doesn’t change the fact that we think we should be able to. So what we see as failures to keep the plates spinning, I think maybe should never have been on our plates to begin with.
I’m not saying women shouldn’t work. I’m just saying that when we do, whether by choice, by calling, or by sheer necessity, something else has to be sacrificed to compensate. Maybe it’s family. Maybe it’s deep friendships. Maybe it’s the ability to serve the way we want to outside of work. It might look different for everyone, but there will be something that suffers.
If we could lower our expectations some, to realize that as moms, we’re trying to keep more plates spinning at one time than moms ever have before, we might be able to give ourselves more grace.
Stacey – I believe everyone is weary in some way. Moms included. I think we feel weariness deeply because we have so many people depending on us. I agree, social media does not seem to help in many ways and often contributes to the pressure we feel to have perfect homes and families. I’m praying through this book that women begin to have honest conversations about the places in their lives they are most weary and hope is stirred in their hearts. I’d love moms understand that weariness is reminder to run to Jesus and find true rest.
What is one thing a mom could do right now to fight weariness and find hope? In your own lives, what is the one thing you can do that brings you out of a weary state?
Brooke – One of the most important things for me as I’ve battled weariness is remembering the very real presence of God in my life. When we’re in our weary places, God seems far away. But the truth is, He’s always with us. We know this because His word promises it. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last 10 years is that I get to choose how I feel. I don’t always get to choose my gut reactions to things, and my feelings about life aren’t always bad, but weariness is a feeling. Hope is a choice to believe what I can’t see over what I can.
Stacey – Spend time every day in the Bible. This by far is the most important thing I do to fight weariness. When my girls were babies, I might only have time to write down one verse and think about it. Sometimes, I read a short devotional if I’m short on time. I also love to hang Scripture on my walls all over my house. The point is, to make sure you are focusing on hope filled truth. This will truly change your outlook. I know it does for me.
I can laugh about it now, but in the moment, I thought I might die. It was really the moment I admitted to myself that I didn’t have what it took to be the kind of mom I wanted to be. I needed an intervention. Thankfully, God had one planned for me.
How can weariness be good?
Brooke – My weariness as a mom is literally what has kept me on my knees before Jesus for the last 10 years. I had no idea how sinful I was until I had my boys. They bring out the worst in me. I know that seems a terrible thing to say, but I think if we’re honest, most of us would agree that our children have the ability to pull out all the sin hiding in our hearts. It isn’t a pretty thing, but it’s a good thing. I’m beginning to realize that it’s God’s grace to me to reveal my sin. Because I can’t repent of it, can’t ask Him to change me and heal me of it if I don’t know it’s there.
The good news is that my boys also bring out the best in me, and they’re being used by God to make me into the best me…the version of me God intended when He created me. That’s powerful. That’s hope.
Stacey – I’ve been learning recently that we were made to need Jesus. Our weariness is not a failure. It is a reminder that we don’t function well in our own strength for long. As the old hymn says, “Every hour I need thee. . . ” and true blessing comes when we lean into him in our weakness.
Stacey Thacker is a wife and the mother of four vibrant girls. Creator of the popular blog Mothers of Daughters, she is a writer and speaker who loves God’s Word. Her passion is to connect with women and encourage them in their walks with God. You can find her blogging at staceythacker.com
Brooke McGlothlin is Co-founder of Raising Boys Ministries, where parents of boys are equipped and encouraged to raise godly men. You can find her writing about fighting for the hearts of her sons at the MOB Society blog. A normal day finds Brooke homeschooling her two boys, wrangling two large Labs, Toby and Siri, writing to bring hope to the messes of life (in the midst of her own messy life), and falling more and more in love with the man she’s had a crush on since the third grade (who just happens to be her husband).