The Gospel-Centered Mom by Sara Wallace is simply the best parenting resource I have read since becoming a mother. It’s short and practical (and comes with a pen, but not for writing out more checklists to accomplish!).
This is so much more than a list of smart how-tos and methods because although it’s certainly about motherhood, it’s more about Jesus and who we are in light of Him. Sara deals with the heart behind our mothering, diagnosing our real problems and prescribing the only answer that works: the gospel.
Sara knows what she’s talking about; as the mother of four young boys she has the credibility to give guidance to other moms. Her examples of daily life in the Wallace household are funny and poignant (and make me laugh/groan a little, since we’re expecting son #2 in a few months!). She’s real, and so is the hope she holds out to overwhelmed and discouraged sisters.
I appreciate how she takes the time in the beginning to define the gospel, its implications, and its natural enemy (our legalism) over the course of several chapters. It’s all stuff I know, but how long since I really soaked in it.
These chapters are bite-sized pieces of a rich feast — because most moms don’t have time for more than one bite at a time! Each chapter ends with a few study questions; some are subjective, while others ask you to look up a Scripture passage and apply it. Again, so practical.
Here are just a few of the quotes I underlined:
“The fuller life gets the more room there is for the gospel.”
”Through the gospel we don’t improve our identity. We replace it.”
“The gospel is our anchor. It holds our emotions in check. It allows us to constantly look outside of ourselves and rest in something greater.”
“Society and other moms might get us down, but let’s be honest — your toughest critic is yourself. You are your most merciless accuser and your strictest judge. No one knows better than you do how precious your children are. With the overwhelming joy and thankfulness creeps in a feeling of anxiety. You don’t want to mess it up.”
“The beauty of the gospel is that it quenches disappointment. In the midst of our failures we see God’s sovereign hand working all things for our good.”
“We’d like to have it both ways. We want to work as hard as we can to make ourselves more acceptable to God and let grace fill the gaps. But the Bible makes it clear we have to choose one or the other.”
“We take the gospel for granted because of how simple it is.”
“Don’t wait for the perfect time to read your Bible. It will never come. Accept that there will always be some level of distraction. The Bible isn’t just for times of stillness. It’s for real life.”
And I could keep going, but that gives you a taste. Some of it may seem obvious, but these hit me right where I was at. This is reality. I know I will be rereading often.
Finally, I just want to thank Sara for her ministry. I first read one of her blogs at a very difficult time when my son wasn’t sleeping well and I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually depleted. I was incredibly discouraged and felt so isolated from all the other moms who seemed to have it all together and to love mothering. I didn’t, and I struggled with the disconnect between what I knew to be true and what I was experiencing.
Sara demonstrates that it’s possible to thrive and grow in this very demanding season of life by the power of Christ in the gospel. I have seen fruit in my heart and actions as I considered and applied the truths she so clearly articulates.
The Gospel-Centered Mom is a fabulous resource for Christian moms looking for trustworthy biblical guidance. It’s going on my short list of baby shower gifts; I don’t think there’s anything more precious I could give than the gospel lived out in motherhood. Thank you, Sara.