It's a very ancient saying, a true and honest thought ... that if you become a teacher by your pupils will be taught.
I can attest to the veracity of the quote above. In the years I've been privileged to mentor younger women, especially committed mothers, I have benefitted from the wisdom they've acquired through obedience to their God-given callings as moms. Some have taught this "older woman" that she can be proficient in computer and internet technologies as a way to further my ministry. Others have demonstrated a determination to model the love of Christ to their children in ways I should have done in my mothering years. Recently, one of my mentorees in a discussion we were having about the important role a mother has in the culture suggested a book that should be a Christmas present of choice for every woman in the trenches of raising children.
Rachel Jankovic's Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches read as though I was eavesdropping on the very busy and purposeful world of this mother of five (all under the age of five at the time of publication). By her own admission, she is not Wonder Woman, just a sinner saved by grace working to honor the calling God has given her. She does so with humility, humor, and with a sound theology to back her up. Her perspective also demonstrates that her own Christian upbringing prepared her to be realistic about what raising a family entails.
There are many gems throughout the twenty chapters with provocative titles such as: "Welcome to my Circus," "Know Your Sheep," "See Your Children," and "Grabby Hearts and Grabby Hands." Chapter 12 will resonate with those of us who struggle with the concept of "Me Time"; it will make you laugh to the point of tears as Rachel recounts middle-of-the-night feedings. This chapter also contains the exhortation to full-time mothers who are swimming upstream against a culture that glorifies thin figures and perpetual youth:
Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages. (p. 58)
Rachel Jankovic has provided a window into her world that will not only benefit Christian moms, but Christian dads, as well. This is the kind of book that will be an appreciated gift to the Proverbs 31 mothers you may know.
Be sure to visit "The Homeschool Life with Andrea Schwartz" facebook page and Andrea's website The Kingdom-Driven Family
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].