Throughout middle and high school, I spent hours corresponding with myriad pen pals. Many of those friendships formed through pen touching paper were just as deep as the friendships derived from personal interaction.
Blogging takes me back to those pen pal days. The medium for my messages has changed. Instead of pen and paper, I use a keyboard and type short notes in a comment box. From there, e-mails have been exchanged. Many of my new bloggy friends have encouraged me through tough times and cheered with me during triumphs. Truly I am blessed.
One friendship in particular impacted my life as a mother. Several months ago, the Lord led me to the site Surviving Motherhood. If you read any of my PPMD posts, you know why this title attracted me. Shortly after finding the site I discovered that the blogger, Karen Hossink was also an author who wrote the book Confessions of an Irritable Mother. At least once a day, each and every day, I earn the title Irritable Mother. I knew that was a book for me.
One day, while checking my e-mail, I found a message from Karen asking me for my address. She wanted it so she could send me a copy of her book. Her only requirement was that I read it with an open heart and allow the Lord to teach me as I read. She didn’t request a book review or any accolades. She simply found joy in sharing the beautiful lessons that God taught her.
When the book arrived, I immediately read the back cover and after the following words grabbed me by the collar, I knew this was a book I needed to read.
“Are you frustrated with mothering? Are you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless? Have you ever secretly questioned God’s wisdom in giving you children? YOU’RE NOT ALONE.”
I answered yes to all of those questions. I read the first four chapters and then through every day distractions, I set the book aside for a few weeks. I picked it back up this past Sunday and finished the entire book in two hours. Why such desperate reading?
The Professor was away that weekend and by Sunday evening I was weary. Pickle was starting to scream this high pitch terror inducing scream at the mildest inconvenience and both Pumpkindoodle and I, who get easily over stimulated, were on edge. And trust me, it doesn’t take me long to go from edgy, to irritable, to irate. By 6:30 p.m. I was speaking to my lovely daughter in an ugly, sarcastic tone. I was even scolding my one-year-old. And let’s not even mention my sweet dog whom I kept tripping over. Poor girl looked at me as if she knew I was about to stick antlers on her and make her carry a sled of junk down a snow bank. If you’ve seen The Grinch you know what I’m writing about, so go ahead and sing it…”You’re a mean one, Mrs. N.”
I was mean and I hated it. I got my kids to bed by 7pm, an hour before their normal bedtime, and then I went to my bed and cried. Then I went back into Pumpkindoodle’s room and apologized. She forgave me, we hugged, and praise God she didn’t ask if she could get out of bed.
I then went back to my room, prayed and opened up Karen’s book. And as I read, I prayed. And as I read and prayed, I was blessed.
For a moment, forget the title….this book is a must read for every woman, mother or not. Karen is honest, direct, and loving. She does not come across as a “know-it-all.” Instead, she writes as a woman with a surrendered heart dedicated to allow her Heavenly Father to refine her into the woman, wife, and mother that He desires her to be.
The book offers hope, suggestions, and scripture references to women who are pursuing holiness. What the book does not offer is condemnation. After I finished reading Confessions of an Irritable Mother, I felt renewed. I was also reminded that I have so many choices, and whether or not others around me are making nerve grating choices, I can still choose good.
I learned so much from this book and am planning to share some of these lessons at Becoming Me during the next few weeks. I’m going to leave you with this one thought from page 60 in Confessions of an Irritable Mother: “According to a popular story about refining silver, the silversmith was able to tell when the purification process was completed because he would be able to see his reflection in the molten silver.”
How beautiful is it to know that God uses each fire of life, and let me tell you, there are some wild fires in mothering, to refine us, so that one day, His reflection will shine. I told you it was a hopeful book!
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have abundance for every good deed. 2 Cor. 9:8