“Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms”- Gloria Furman, Crossway, 2014, 144pp
Ever feel like you would just like a bit of peace and quiet so that you can spend time alone with God yet never seem to get the quietness you so crave? Then this book is for you! Gloria Furman is a wife, mother, blogger (GloriaFurman.com) and guest presenter at thegospelcoalition.com. In this 144 page book, Furman succinctly provides all that the title suggests- gospel meditations for busy mothers. These short snippets are written with raw honesty and humour, that enable mothers to reflect on their own mothering practice in light of God’s grace revealed through His Word.
In the overabundance of parenting and mothering books (that can be somewhat overwhelming), this refreshingly simple book is actually more about God and who we are created to be, rather than what defines us as mothers. As I read the book, I often found myself thinking the reflections Furman shares could be applied to any Christian. The Biblical references provide a solid foundation for the book, with Furman relying on the authority of the Bible for her insights.
Whilst using first-person anecdotes, Furman takes care to remind mothers that first and foremost they are God’s workmanship and that motherhood is a means to serve, worship and glorify God. Furman gently admonishes mothers for waiting for ‘peace and quiet’ to spend time with God and instead encourages them to stop and reflect on God in the noise and busyness of all that everyday mothering entails.
It was surprising with Furman’s economy of words that such a level of depth and insight could be communicated. Further, the ease with which Furman negotiates the Word of God and her own life’s journey clearly reflects her personal love and sound knowledge of God.
It is not written as a devotional, rather as a short chapter book in two parts- “God Made Motherhood for Himself” and “Motherhood as Worship”. Essentially, Furman successfully encourages mothers to stop looking at themselves and the self-centredness that can sometimes creep in amidst the constant giving of oneself to others and instead see motherhood as a way of serving and honouring God.
The one fault I would find with Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full is that at times, Furman’s structure is not as clear as it could be. This however is helped by the book being divided into two parts and each part given subheadings. It also could be that I currently have my hands full with two littlies and so decided to read this book as short meditations during my personal Bible reading times, which made the structure for me somewhat fragmented. Either way, this is a small fault that is easily forgotten when the book on all other accounts is so helpful.
This book is beautifully written with an easy and approachable tone. At the end readers will feel they have come to know Furman, be impressed that she has written such a book while her hands are so full and savored more of the beauty of grace and the God whom we serve.
On a personal note, as a busy mum of a toddler and 7 month old, I highly recommend this book. God used it to highlight areas of sin in my mothering, encourage me with His grace and remind me of His everlasting love through considering my mothering and life in light of eternity. It was a book that was easy to read during times feeding my bub and would be a great gift for Christian mothers.
Purchase from Book Depository here.