Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full is written by Gloria Furman (MACE, Dallas Theological Seminary) a wife, mother of four young children, doula, and a blogger. This book is full of gospel meditations for busy moms. Below are major themes, quotes and thoughts from Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full.
There’s A Greater Reality of Motherhood
As a mom, you know motherhood is hard! Multiple times a day, do you find yourself throwing your hands up in frustration and crying out to God for help? Have you asked yourself, “is this all I was made for?” “Does it ever get better than this?” “Will I ever get a break?” Well, good news! There is a greater reality of motherhood.
Motherhood is more than just taking on the role of “being a mom”. The greater reality that we all can appreciate and rest in is the work that Jesus has already done for us on the cross.
Eyes On Eternity
Your job is more than feeding, bathing, clothing, and educating. These are all meaningful tasks; however, as a Christian mom, God calls you to live with eternity in sight. With eternity in sight, you realize that your children are much more than potential adults. Your children are people made in the image of God, and they have eternal souls, which gives their lives value. Your work in nurturing your children in the fear of the Lord is your privileged participation in God’s work in uniting all things in Jesus.
To help set your eyes on eternity, start by reading and meditating on his Word.
I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law
- Psalm 119:55
At midnight I rise to praise you, because of your righteous rules
- Psalm 119:62
Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
- Psalm 119:97
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words
- Psalm 119:147
My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise
- Psalm 119:148
According to Psalm 119, there is no time of the day or night when God’s Word is not relevant in your life.
- hope in God when your kids wake you up before your alarm?
- love God’s Word all day when you’re drowning in perpetual, mundane house work?
- meditate on God’s promises and praise him and remember him when you’re up with the baby at midnight and at 3am?
- feel God’s peace in the midst of a two-year old’s public outburst?
Don’t Miss The Point
When that public outburst happens and someone tells you that you have your hands full, go ahead and agree with them for two reasons:
- Yes, your hands are literally full
- And they are overflowing with blessings, true gifts from God
It’s easy to feel that your hands are full of inconvenience, thankless and pointless work, and it can be a real struggle to maintain the perspective that God has abundantly blessed you. Though with this perspective, you can find yourself enjoying the gift of your children and the gift of motherhood, and yet finding that your joy terminates in those gifts. Why? Because you have missed the point.
The gift of motherhood points you to treasure Jesus Christ as he transforms your heart from the inside out. Because of the gospel, you can rejoice in your work by
- allowing God’s peace to rule your motherhood
- living each day by grace through faith
- living out the gospel
Where Do You Find Your Hope?
I am guilty of sometimes finding my hope in my ever-changing circumstances. I say things such as, “I really need this baby to take a nap,” which is fine to say and to look forward to; however, if the nap doesn’t happen, and I’m emotionally wasted by it that it ruins my day, then I’ve probably put more faith in that nap than in the never-changing circumstances of the gospel.
By God’s grace, I can resist the temptation to treat my children as interruptions and instead, God enables me to treat my children as precious gifts.
We love because he first loved us
- 1 John 4:19
I can speak kindly to my children even when they are screaming or don’t speak kindly back all thanks to Christ’s love overflowing from my heart.
I can also find myself having a "me first" attitude. For example, everyone seems to be screaming and calling out for my help and attention, including my husband, all at the same time, plus the dog is barking like crazy in the background. I just want everyone to leave me alone.
Why is my attitude so hostile toward the people I love the most? Because I have a deep craving to satisfy my own needs before the needs of others. Sometimes I think, if I could
- just make it through another day, then I could fall asleep again and no one would bother me until morning (maybe).
- figure out the perfect chore chart then everything would be clean and organized.
- find better parenting tricks then my children could have better behavior.
This list goes on. With this attitude, I have forgotten the Lord.
To love like Jesus, I have to die to myself a thousand times a day. Quite frequently I am not motivated by the love of Christ, and I fume at everyone not because they break God's law but because they break mine. I can easily escalate petty wrongdoings and pointless arguments.
I need to remember to submit to my Savior who is the only one that can break the bondage of serving and worshiping myself.
Do I want the power of Christ to rest on me during these times? Yes, please! Then I need Jesus to free me from my craving to be worshiped, acknowledged and praised for my mothering. I need to own up my weaknesses so that I can prize Christ’s power.
The gospel reminds me that my plans are not ultimate; God’s are. God is the one who created my children, and he has a far greater purpose and plans for them to glorify himself than I could ever imagine or hope for. A truth to hold on tight to is that God made my children for himself - for his name's sake!
I need to choose to respond to my children in a way that honors God. There is no thing or situation or circumstance that is more powerful than God. God’s grace
- is greater than any frustration.
- trumps prideful self-delusions of I’ve got-everything-under-control.
The circumstances of motherhood can be difficult, troublesome, and confusing, but it’s refreshing to remember that Jesus has authority over all things. This truth allows me to joyfully humble myself, serve him and appropriately confess and ask my children to forgive me when I fall into sin.
Even in the Noise, God is Near
When you became a mother your lifestyle indeed changed. There were new routines to learn, adjust, readust, and relearn. Think back. What was the first thing to slip out of your daily schedule? Was it perhaps your regular devotional time with the Lord? Was your initial reaction to blame your baby and the new stage of life? Sadly, the answer was yes for most of us moms.
Early on, I was under the false assumption that the Holy Spirit comforted, guided, and assured me ONLY when my schedule was cleared out or when I had my journal sitting on my lap. I thought that I couldn’t hear God if there was noise in my life. When drowning in the noise and busyness, I sadly did not attempt to have my daily devotional time.
Do you fall into that same trap? Do you feel that your environment has to be just right and look a certain way to have fellowship with God? What if God wants to fellowship with you right where you are - even in the midst of all the noise? God is always near, and he is praiseworthy in every moment, in every circumstance.
The Most Important Decisions as a Mom
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given you
- James 1:5
We often feel that the most important decision we need to make in a day is about our child’s extracurricular activity or whether to introduce the baby to a pacifier. Yet what impacts our daily lives much more is whether we are seeking the Lord in his Word and through prayer so that he might fill us with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
More relevant than our mothering choices or strategies is whether we are
- walking in a manner worthy of God
- fully pleasing to God
- bearing fruit in every good work
- increasing in the knowledge of God
How ineffective it is to complain about any disappointments you’ve had in motherhood. Simply airing these discouragements does not provoke in you a thrilling sense of hope in God. Mothers who fill their soul with the Word of God will thrive as their hearts are taught by God’s wisdom.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
- Proverbs 9:10
Following Christ, loving Christ, and obeying Christ are undoubtedly the most important decisions you could ever make.
What’s Your Highest Aim of Motherhood?
God aims to glorify himself through your family. Let’s be real. The work of mothering is demanding and difficult as stated. So why do we try to live as though we don’t need any help? Of course we alone are not able to raise and train our children in the instruction of the Lord. That’s why we desperately need the Lord!
Oftentimes, we pretend everything is okay, and we dive headlong into self-sufficiency. Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, we need the Lord’s strength to honor him in our motherhood. Only God’s grace in the gospel can strengthen our faith to let Jesus carry our burdens in parenting.
Motherhood is not
- all about you
- meant to fully satisfy
- the highest aim of womanhood
The highest aim of womanhood is being conformed to the image of Christ. God designed motherhood to highlight his great mercy and point us to who we were made for: the eternally satisfying risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
Getting the Right Support and Encouragement
As mom’s, we are not in this alone! We have sisters in Christ to lean on for support and encouragement. We share one Lord, and one faith, and together we’re discipling our children to love the one true Jesus. Other mothers can give you great advice on childcare and support your parenting decisions, but Christian sisters can give each other so much more!
At Candlewood Church, we offer two women’s ministries that can be the support and encouragement you are looking for. Connect with other moms at
- Mom’s Time - a ministry that encourages moms to train and raise their children according to what God calls them to, helps moms experience community, and learn from others.
- Ladies Night - a ministry that provides fellowship, worship, instruction, and encouragement from the Bible, and from other women also seeking to follow the Bible.
If you are a struggling mom and need prayers, please allow one of our pastors to pray for you. If you have any questions on motherhood, women's ministries or would like more information, please connect with Candlewood Church.