Thoreau went to the woods to suck the marrow out of life; here, I hope to drain every drop from the books I read, rather than tossing them aside and saying vaguely, “Oh yes, I read that once,” when they come up in conversation.
I’m a Christ-follower, a wife, a mother, a wannabe novelist (with a complete manuscript, no less!), and—of course—a reader. Stick around, poke around, speak up, and enjoy…and definitely recommend your favorites, because my mile-long to-be-read list could always be longer!
At first, I was a bit frustrated with A Love that Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar: the beginning is mostly a recap of what has happened on their TV series (which I have seen) with a few–very few–details that had not been mentioned in that outlet. It was the in-depth look at how the Duggars approach discipline, Bible study, family time, and general encouragement from Michelle that I found most inspiring. I won’t go into all of the details because most people fall into the I-love-everything-about-the-Duggars camp or I-can’t-stand-the-Duggars-and-don’t-care camp.
Interestingly, the only thing that had every really struck me as “funny” about the Duggars was using actions to memorize Bible verses. I don’t know why, but I had this proud notion in my head that I was above that…even though I was not memorizing ANY Scripture! I have since started using that method and we are half way through memorizing the Sermon on the Mount! So, when I cut myself a little humble pie I got some Bible knowledge to go with it, which is a win in the end.
Here were a few inspiring poems Michelle shared in the book:
A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference.
At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated. “Is it worth it?” she often wondered. “Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?”
It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her Heavenly Father speak to her heart. “You are a wife and mother because that is what I have called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye. But I notice. Most of what you give is done with out remuneration. But I AM your reward.
“Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be without your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love. Your children are precious to Me. Even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for Me. What you invest in them is an offering to Me.
“You may never be in the public spotlight. But your obedience shines as a bright light before Me.
“Remember you are My servant. Do all to please Me.”
I cannot remember if it is the one above or below that Michelle wrote she has hanging where she can see it often…I wouldn’t be surprised if it were both!
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper–not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness–not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive. Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood. Love is the key that opens salvation’s message to a child’s heart.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection. Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child. As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is love.
But probably the most striking piece to me was one I forgot to mark so cannot quote exactly, but I have certainly internalized it: Jesus charged me to make disciples; he did not charge me to make friends. Michelle Duggar points out that when we are seeking the approval of others we might compromise ourselves, but if our goal is to share Christ with them, how can we steer wrong? What a testimony…and so true. I think it was the most profound statement (for me) in the entire book.
Definitely will have to pick up a copy for reference someday…especially since it has to be back to the library soon!