Glimpses of Grace – book review

The sweet hubby bought this book for me recently.

I finished reading it quite quickly, and will rate it 7 upon 10. It’s written in an easy to read manner, and has a sound biblical perspective.

It’s very real, as the author shares much of the day to day challenges she faces as a mum of four little kids, and as the wife of a church planter in the Middle East. She also puts across the heart-wrenching ordeal of having to deal with her husband’s acute nerve pain in his arms since she was expecting their first-born, which means that he has never been able to carry any of his children, or swing them about as fathers do.

Although not only meant to be so, I think it is most edifying to stay-at-home-mums, since the author dwells at length on how to maintain a close walk with God whilst being a stay-at-home-mum.

Here are some gems I liked:

We need to ask ourselves – is my role or identity as a homemaker (or my job position) the object of my affections? Do I get my back up when that identity is under threat? Do I serve my image of a good mother? Am I controlled by the things I feel I need in order to play this role well?

God does not hate the mundane. Neither should the mundane be my god.

(Paraphrased) I should not think that I can only meet with God when the house is empty or quiet, and to view the blessings God has given me in the form of children or neighbours as annoying distractions.

As for the good things in life, if we view any one as essential to possess before we can connect with God, then we have manufactured an idol in our hearts.

I thought she captured the two extremes well – some mums feel too harried and overwhelmed by the mundane to be close to God, whilst others are too consumed with keeping up the appearance of the perfect mother, and that, scarily, becomes their god.

Other passages that spoke to me:

We can see glimpses of grace as we learn to apply passages from scripture, right where we are.

When you feel like you can’t take this anymore, whatever ‘this’ is, when you’re longing for a connection with God but feel trapped in the mundane, remember that it’s ultimately not about your circumstances. It’s about peace with God.

When we try all ways and means to cope (reading books, blogs, trying to emulate the women we admire) – all these could turn into things that enslave us. They could become burdens. But none of it fills the ache in our souls.

Repent of the attitude of the martyr’s despair, or the pride that comes out of controlling our environments.

Instead just cry out to God for help. Through His grace alone, look to Jesus for strength and hope.

One of the most powerful perspectives she quoted, was Milton Vincent’s on Romans 5:1-5.

View the gospel as the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move. Every hardship in my life is allowed by God only because it serves His gospel purposes in me. God means for my trials to do good unto me by improving my character and making me more confirmed to the image of Christ.

She quotes many well-known writers, both of old (including dear Burroughs) and more contemporary ones too. I guess that shows that she reads good stuff, but at times it can also feel a bit like name-dropping. Nonetheless, I think she genuinely means to share good perspectives with her readers.

Some sections are written to address non-believers, and whilst it’s good that she does not assume all readers are Christian, it can come across as pages of preaching to the choir.

A book worth picking up. 🙂

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