I read quite a bit this summer. Thus the state of my garden!
Very rarely do I order a book as soon as I hear about it. Although, when I do, I usually blog about it so it might seem like I do it a lot, but I really don't.
As soon as I heard that Cindy Rollins had a book coming out I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible. For those not familiar with the name, Cindy is a mother of nine, home schooled them all and now writes and pod casts for Circe Institute. She used to have a blog that was full of inspiration and the wisdom and perspective an older mom of many can pass on. I had just found her blog a few months before she stopped and was pretty bummed.
So I ordered the book and I was not disappointed.
While it is all good, all encouraging and filled with food for thought, I think my favorite part was in the very beginning in the authors note.
"Some of you reading this look back on those early days of mothering through a long tunnel of memories, good times and bad. Your now fashionable gray hair is well-earned. In spite of all those surging new-mother hormones of love, you know now that motherhood is sanctification. Perhaps way more sanctification than you ever bargained for. It is not the kind of dust-bunny sanctification that makes a Facebook Meme. There is no trite way to explain the heart-wrenching joys and sorrows you have seen. There is no way to warn the mommy next door or your daughter-in-law. It is a walk of joy that often includes the tearing off of the old dragon skin one painful layer at a time, made all the worse because you didn't even know you were wearing dragon skin. No one ever does." (emphasis mine)
Now, I'm not so far into this that I have fully grown children, old enough to be married. Technically, I'm in the next group she mentions, "the middle years." But I am far enough into it to understand what she means here. I've realized that "tea parties don't cure sin." I realize now that I absolutely can not be the "perfect mother" I thought I was going to be because I'm covered with dragon skin. Dragon skin I had no idea was there and was quite shocked to see.
I found this encouraging because it is so easy for me to put other mothers, especially those of large families, on pedestals. "Look how sweet all 10 of her children are and I can't make two get along!" Really, it's quite silly, I know. To think those other families don't have issues, arguments, disobedience, etc. going on in their home is so foolish! But, that's what often runs through my head, especially if it has been a bad day. So to hear that I'm not the only one with dragon skin just felt good! Then there was this, "You are not alone.....God is real. He is there. He doesn't just love your children; he loves you. I have been young, and now I am old, and I have not seen the righteous forsaken. We do not write our own stories; we just think we do. My story belongs to Jesus, so I already know that it has a happy ending."
And the book hadn't even begun!
There is much encouragement here and a lot of remembering what it was like raising nine boys and one girl. I can't even imagine! There is even an old, dilapidated farm house that made me quite thankful for mine! I think any mom would enjoy reading Cindy's book.