Being a mom has it's ups: a house full of gleeful squeals, giggles, and big smiles... The constant motion of little hands and feet... Sweet story times... Fun with crayons and fingerpaint and play dough... Beautiful, relaxing times spent outdoors together... Cutesy nursery decor... Snuggles and kisses and all things "nice".

And then, being a mom has it's downs: endless diapering and tedious potty training... Toys all over the floor... Crumbs everywhere... Dirty laundry and dirty dishes... Lost pacifiers, whining, and general chaos and disorder around every turn. 

To be perfectly honest, there are a lot of times when the sweet moments get drowned out by the not so sweet ones that make up a hefty portion of a my daily job around the house. I often find myself in serious need of encouragement. And thanks to my sister-in-law over at KWAEP, I got my hands on the best resource for biblical motherhood that I’ve ever found; “Beyond Bath Time”, by Erin Davis.

After leaving my own corporate job as a graphic designer six years ago to be an Army wife, homemaker, and mom, I need to be reminded that God prizes motherhood. As much as I love being at home with my family, it’s easy to “glamorize” the days before children when I had my own job, my own schedule, and earned my own money. I was "free and independent", I did what I wanted, when I wanted; that's our culture’s definition of a good life. Meanwhile, despite the fact that being a stay-at-home-mom means being on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week, working inside of the home is hardly recognized as work. 

And that's why it's hard to remember how truly vital it is to devote myself to being a loving, selfless, Christ-like mom; especially when the day-to-day task list of diaper changing, nose-blowing, cleaning food off the floor, picking up seventy-eight blocks, and the rest of the grind seems so utterly monotonous and insignificant. But I honestly don't have what it takes to do it alone. Even the most sincere devotion would be misguided and ultimately in vain if I failed to get on my {proverbial} knees every single morning to ask God for His grace, His guidance, and His provision.

And that's where Erin comes in. She diggs into God's Word and pulls out a goldmine of encouragement! For those of us busy moms who can't be bible scholars in this phase of life, there's good news; the bible shows that God does in fact hold the vocation of motherhood in very high esteem. And we're not just talking about the surface level verses that write about children being a blessing- that's obvious. Erin investigates the lives of moms like Eve, Hannah, and Bathsheba- women who either aren't well known or aren't usually praised for their role as moms- yet are shown to have a profound impact on the lives and spiritual well being of their children.

Erin also puts a magnifying glass on the modern notion that children aren't a blessing but a burden. She offers timely insight on the declining rate of childbearing in Western culture and it's correlation with the rise of our selfishness and self-absorption. Yet she doesn't do this in a legalistic "all-women-must-have-as-many-babies-as-possible-right-this-minute!" way. She simply offers honest observations about our cultural attitudes and behaviors {based on statistics and measurable trends}, and shows how we're moving away from godly values.

I can't sing this book's praises highly enough! I've learned so much about what our Creator and Heavenly Father shows us about parenting our own children. And I've also gotten a good dose of helpful conviction concerning some non-biblical views on raising kids that have crept into my own personal thinking.

So, here's a big thank you to Erin for challenging me to renew my pursuit of Christ-centered motherhood. Praise God for working through her in such a wonderful way!

Get more great information from Erin on her website at www.beyondbathtime.com

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