As I shared a few weeks ago, HERE, I was selected to be a GABBY MOM for “Eternal Encouragement” magazine. I’ll share my honest thoughts and opinions about the products I am sent to review. And you, my friends, can count on me to be honest.
To be honest, I was quiet unfamiliar with “Eternal Encouragement” magazine (formerly known as “TEACH” magazine), prior to being selected as a GABBY MOM. I checked out the website, http://www.HomemakingWithTEACH.com, which I found to have many useful resources. Really great articles on parenting, mothering, home making and home schooling.
Plainly put, “TEACH” magazine, which has been re-named to “Eternal Encouragement,” has four main goals.
To help women:
- Look more like Jesus every day.
- Happily undergird their husbands.
- Love nurturing and training His children.
- Embrace putting their first fruits into their own homes.
While I completely agree with the goals, and desire to live them out in my life, if truth be told, I wondered if I was the type of mom to be a GABYY MOM. You see, many Christian women, including myself, have been thrown into, what has become know as, the “Mommy Wars.” You know, working mom versus stay-at-home-mom. (As if SAHMs aren’t working moms, and working moms not real moms!? Please!!)
The whole conversation makes me a bit flustered, as I have been both. In this current season of my life, I continue to be a fusion of SAHM (Stay-at-home-mom), WOHM (Work-Outside-of-the-Home-Mom), WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom). Occasionally, my varied roles, responsibilities and commitments, are not readily accepted. Making me sort of feel awkward, reminiscent of the proverbial “square peg and round hole.”
You see, on certain days of the week, I am a SAHM, who home schools my kids, manages my home and does “wifely things”. However, on other days, along with the aforementioned tasks and responsibilities, I run a business inside of my home. Still, on other days of the week, you will find me working in an amazing ministry setting, which I dearly love and thoroughly appreciate, along with being a student, who is taking a couple of classes this semester.
So, you sort of see my conundrum? When it comes to being a wife, mom and home maker, I have never felt as if I wore only one label, or fit into only one specific box. Actually, I have never really fit into a box. Something about being a “trailblazer,” or such. As well, many of my godly, Christian friends feel the same way.
With that out of the way, I will confess, when I received MISSION # 1 from GABBY MOMS, I was taken aback. I wasn’t really sure what I had gotten myself into, if truth be told.
My first mission was to review a book, True Treasures, which contains 10 years worth of articles from TEACH Magazine.
“Would I be able to identify with the articles in the book?”
“Would they speak to me?”
“Would I be encouraged, or discouraged?”
“Would I feel as if I weren’t part of ‘The Club’?”
Perhaps, you are wondering what I am referring to; why I had all of these questions and concerns. But, there is a significant divide in the Christian community about biblical womanhood. Sort of, if one does “this”, they are a biblical wife and mother. Yet, if they do “that,” then most definitely not.
Oftentimes, I have felt as if I was on the outside looking in through a big picture window. Wishing I fit somewhere, but not really feeling as if I fit anywhere. So, does it make a bit more sense why I picked up the book with hesitancy?
The book, True Treasures, a collection of 10 years of “TEACH” magazine, is divided into six sections, containing articles about marriage, parenting, homemaking, and of course, home schooling. Authors are from all over, and include Lorrie Flem, Cindy Rushton and Marybeth Whalen, to name a few.
1. Jewels That Make the Heart Sparkle
2. Marriages of Gold
3. Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless
4. Homemaking That Dazzles Like Diamonds
5. Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom
6. Godly Living that Glitters
Check out the product for yourself. Click on the pages below to view excerpts from the book, True Treasures.
One article that really spoke to me was “Just Say No.” In this article, Lorrie Flem, founder and editor of the magazine, makes a very good point of how we overbook our lives. Over schedule ourselves and our families. Over commit our time. Then, we wonder why we are not filled with peace. I am sure all mothers have found themselves in this predicament. Well, at least I know I have.
Ironically, a few days after reading this article, I came across a recent interview with Billy Graham. This man, who is a pillar in the Christian community, a leader of our time, had this to say, when asked what he would change in his lifetime,
“I’d spend more time at home with my family, and I’d study more and preach less.”
That, my friends, is convicting. Regardless if you are a wife, husband, mom or dad, doesn’t it cause you to think about where you are investing your time? Here, Billy Graham is saying, he’d do less, so he could be home more.
In the article, “Just Say No,” Mrs. Flem writes,
“I am going to be prayerfully cutting back on some duties and getting rid of extra junk.”
In the last few years, my family has learned to “Just Say No,” as we have made a conscious decision to live a simpler life in all manners. Yet, this article reinforced what we have been moving towards. And was, in fact, quiet encouraging.
As Oswald Chambers states, “Good is oftentimes the enemy of God’s best.” It is my prayer that I can discern the ‘good’ from the ‘best.’ As well as find peace in saying, “No!” to certain requests, in order that I might be able to give a whole-hearted, “YES!” to those opportunities, which I know I am to commit my time, talents and resources.
There were many other thought-provoking articles in this collection. Having an (almost) six-year-old daughter, I, especially, enjoyed the articles on modesty, and instructing our daughters on the meaning of true beauty. Already, this is a topic of great discussion in our home.
Although, I embarked on this mission with hesitancy, I really appreciated the jewels of wisdom contained on the pages of True Treasures. No matter where you find yourself on your journey as a wife and home maker, in marriage and parenting, I believe you will glean some wonderful insights from this product.
From now until May 31, 2011, you can enter the coupon code GabbyMom at checkout to receive $4 off of True Treasures.
I received this product for honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program. All opinions expressed are solely my own.