Resilient Mothering

Solid Theology and the Gift of Community: Keys to Resilient Mothering

Along the wooded trail behind my home, a birch tree arches in a graceful curve as it stretches across the pathway. It’s a veteran of a good many northern New England ice storms and knows what it is to bow low under a weight of snow and frozen rain. Even though its tip-top branches have bent to mere feet above the frozen ground, it has not broken under its load. Today, with the remnants of broken maples and oaks all around, it stands, and my imagination construes a doorway as I walk the path beneath its welcome.

James labels this brand of gritty perseverance as *steadfastness* in the life of a believer. He’s writing to Christians who have felt the icy blast of persecution, resulting in “trials of various kinds,” and he urges them to cooperate with God’s bending and shaping methods, embedded in those trials (James 1:2–3).

God works the sanctifying miracle of becoming “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” according to his own wise design, and for me, mothering four rowdy sons (who have grown into godly men), has been the force God has used to produce the bent-birch resilience I long for. Two vital components of my Christ-following life have been involved as God works in me to “let steadfastness have its full effect” (James 1:4), and I’ve written about them over at Desiring God’s website. CLICK HERE for encouragement for your own heart–or to share the article with a mother you know who is being shaped by her calling to motherhood.

How can mothers bend but not break under the load of caring for children? In part, by mothering in the strength of big-God theology.

And Now Let’s Talk Books…

In this third volume of Harry Lee Poe’s masterful biography, I discovered details about C.S. Lewis’s story that I have not read elsewhere! In The Completion of C.S. Lewis, the Lewis we all recognize and revere is portrayed in black letters on white as he straddles (and sometimes even fumbles) his many roles: apologist, scholar, author, speaker, and finally and unexpectedly, husband and family man.

It’s oddly comforting to realize that the great mind that has helped so many of us think and express ourselves as Christians resided within a body that never learned to type or drive a car. So, ironically, while Lewis was a dinosaur even in his own time, his writing helps us to think about issues that had not even arisen during his life span.

As a book reviewer, I was interested in a pro tip from Lewis’s experience reviewing books for friends and colleagues. He asserted that negative remarks gave real credibility to praise–likely an unpopular sentiment among his author friends!

Even though I’ve read all of Lewis’s works that might be designated as “apologetics,” I had not (before reading this book) really thought of Lewis in that category. In fact, apologetics is a genre I tend to avoid. However, Poe’s description of Lewis’s stance as an apologist reveals the difference that makes Lewis’s writing so appealing: He sought merely to “remove the intellectual barriers that prevent an honest hearing of the gospel story.”

Lewis’s deep faith served him well in his final years as he leaned into his belief in the resurrection to see him through his grief over the loss of Joy and, ultimately, his own rapidly declining health. Nearly sixty years after his death, I want to join him in this faith-filled prayer: “Lord, show me just so much (neither more nor less) about myself as I need for doing thy will now“–a sound recipe for ending well!

Holding you in the Light,

In the 3rd volume of Harry Lee Poe’s biography, I discovered details about #CSLewis I have not read elsewhere! The Lewis we all recognize and revere is portrayed as apologist, scholar, author, teacher, husband and family man. @crossway

How Will You Come Close to God in the Days Leading up to Easter? (Here’s a FREE Resource to Help…)

February 22 is Ash Wednesday, the day on the church calendar that ushers us into Lent and our pondering of Christ’s great work on the cross. Every year, I appreciate this work of the heart that prepares me for a true celebration of resurrection on Easter Sunday.

As a gift to my newsletter subscribers, I’ve created a collection of 20 devotional readings called Come Close to the Story. If you’re already a subscriber, just sit tight and it will land in your email inbox on February 16, the Third Thursday of the month.

If you’re not already a subscriber, this Lenten season I invite you to join me for a daily pause—most readings should take five minutes or less—to come close to the story. In your busy life, remember that Easter is on its way. Affirm your belief in resurrection power, and then admit that without a death, there would be no resurrection.

Every month I send a newsletter with biblical encouragement straight to my subscribers’ email inboxes. Frequently, I share free resources, and the newsletter is where everything lands first. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his Word, and it’s my goal to help you along that path.

To add this free resource to your pursuit of biblical literacy and receive access to Come Close to the Story in time for your Lenten observance, simply enter your email and then click on the button below…

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Ash Wednesday is a day to grow in our understanding of where to take our struggle with sin.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase any of the books or products I’ve shared, simply click on the image, and you’ll be taken directly to the seller. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Many thanks to Crossway for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

8 thoughts on “Solid Theology and the Gift of Community: Keys to Resilient Mothering”

  1. A wonderfully wise article you’ve shared, Michele. We do forfeit much when we pretend all is well. Praise God for the Susans in my life who gently prodded the truth from me when I needed to be honest with myself. Now may I also be like Susan for the benefit of others! / ‘Love that C S Lewis quote, as I, along with you, contemplate finishing well. Thank you, Michele!


      1. I may have to get this bio-set for my husband. He’s been a C S Lewis fan since high school–maybe before. Then I’LL read them, since I love biographies! 😁


      2. That sounds like a terrific idea! If he’s a Lewis fan, he’ll be delighted, and I’d be interested to know if he learns anything new from the set. I’ve read several good Lewis bios, but I gleaned new info!

        Liked by 1 person

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