When I found out that I was going to meet Gloria Furman at #TGCW16, my husband took great pains to remind me that Gloria and I aren’t besties. I can be forgiven! Familiar is exactly how you feel after reading one of Gloria’s books; her latest, Missional Motherhood, is no exception.
(Update: Gloria did graciously spend a few moments talking with me after her workshop. She was very kind and encouraging. I’ve never met anyone who speaks in such Word-filled ways as she does. Grateful that the Church can benefit from diverse writers and thinkers! On the plus side, I was not issued a restraining order. Success, all around. Apologies for my weirdness, Gloria!)
Missional Motherhood is similar to Gloria’s previous books in that all practical takeaways are first firmly rooted in the Gospel. This book is divided into two portions Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God and the Everyday Ministry of Motherhood. If you aren’t used to looking at the Bible as one story, the first half of the book might be difficult to get through. Stick with it! Gloria is a faithful guide. She makes the sweeping subject matter very accessible. If you come to this book wanting a bunch of how tos, take Gloria’s lead to first consider the big HOW: God’s redemptive plan spanning the ages. I had many lightbulb moments whilst reading this “high flying adventure.” It’s incredible to think that we fall into God’s grand plan.
The second half of the book is more ground level. The thesis of Missional Motherhood is this, “Jesus invites women to missional motherhood: to follow his pattern, to trust his promises, and to nurture others by the power he provides.” For the remainder of the book Gloria does tackle those everyday calls to nurture by examining the example of Christ. She writes how Jesus is our Creator and Redeemer; every mother’s prophet, priest, and king.
These pages are a beautiful reminder that life in Christ is our “new normal” and there is nothing mundane about the work of mothering. It is worth mentioning that Gloria isn’t only writing to biological mothers. She means all Christian women, as all women are called to nurturing work. Biological, adoptive, or spiritual in this book we are simply ‘mothers’. Called to image Christ as we disciple others.
During my first read, the themes of Christ-like sacrifice were especially convicting to me. (I imagine this book will have somewhat of an onion effect as I return to it over the years. Peeling back new layers each time.) Lately I have been questioning my role as a mother. Feeling like I’m missing out on life. The idea of cheerful sacrifice has been a foreign concept. As a Christian, I can freely give of myself because I have been freely given to. Gloria’s words were very timely and spoke in to my current struggles. Remembering the promises of God changes our hearts and prompts action.
For more from Gloria Furman, you can visit her blog GloriaFurman.com. Jen WIlkin interviews Gloria for The Village Church Podcast in Episode 31, which I found to be an encouraging listen. (I understand this post may make me sound like a bit of a Gloria Furman fangirl. In all seriousness, I appreciate finding Christian women who are smart and articulate about their faith. I want to do my part to let the Church know about these gems!)
I would certainly encourage you to grab a copy of Missional Motherhood. I, along with two other new moms, have been reading through it as a mini book club and the conversation has been very enriching. (Maybe that’s a fun idea you could try in your community?) My copy has quickly become well-loved and child-beaten. It’s got an underline on nearly every page, and is a volume I plan to re-read on the regular.
Thank you to Crossway for sending me a copy! Grateful to this publisher for their solid books.