2 months with Nate

Our Natey baby boy has been with us two whole months, and even though we’re still sort of stumbling through the newborn fog, we absolutely adore him. He is truly the sweetest baby. Rarely cries, sleeps well, and does not seem one bit bothered by his brothers’ wild antics, loud screaming, and inability to give him personal space at times. This one knows how to go with the flow.

With Luke and John Wicks, I wrote detailed blog posts to record their milestones for each month of their first year(s). Not sure I’m gonna be able to pull that off for my little Nathan. Third child probs. Most days, I feel a tad overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to care for three little (very) dependent people, and blogging has fallen way down the priority totem pole. But I’m hoping to carve out some time here and there to record little updates.

I prayed that #3 would be an easy baby, and God was gracious. Nate slept for most of his first month of life it seems, and he’s finally started waking up this past month. He loves to lay on his playmat, kick his legs and arms, and stare intently at the colorful star toy above him. He nurses about every 3 hours during the day and has never had a bottle, mostly because I just haven’t wanted to take the time to pump and fix him one when it’s so much quicker to just nurse. Poor guy has LOTS of gas and had to have some tests run because of a very bloated stomach and frequent projectile vomiting. Everything checked out fine, and he seems to be spitting up less and less. To have so much gas, he is still a very calm baby.

I’ve been less stringent with the Baby Wise schedule that I used with L and JW, but Nate has still pretty naturally fallen into an eat, wake, sleep pattern.  Like his brothers, he’s not great at taking long naps in his bassinet, but he’s sleeping 4 to 6 hour stretches at night. He sleeps great in his car seat when we’re on the go.

I call him “Mr. Serious” because he’s pretty hard to impress, but we are starting to get sweet smiles more frequently. This time around, I’ve been much more intentional about trying to relax and enjoy this fleeting season.

Sweet Natey, I’ve loved every second of these first two months. You are a joy and a blessing to our family. I can’t wait to watch you grow and see God’s plans for you unfold, and I’m praying that he’ll make you a mighty warrior for His Kingdom. 

Nate’s Birth Story

Our sweet Nathan Kenyon entered this world on December 21, 2015 at 2:22 pm. He weighed 7 pounds 2 ounces, and was 20 inches long. He came out pink, healthy, and screaming. His birth story is still surreal and surprising to me–so different from his brothers’ births. I want to record the details now while they are still fresh in my memory.

Nate was due December 24, and I was scheduled to have labor induced at 10 am on December 21. At my last OB appointment, my doctor determined that I was already 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced. He felt confident that I would not make it through Christmas and could very possibly go into labor on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day (while he was off work). I was planning to let baby boy come whenever he decided to come, but with Christmas quickly approaching, my body progressing, and my doctor’s (plus my dad’s) assurance that I was favorable for a successful induction, we decided that inducing a few days before Christmas Eve would be the best plan.

Adam’s parents came into town Sunday night (Dec 20) to have their Christmas with the boys and keep them Monday morning when we went to the hospital. My sister also arrived Sunday night to go the hospital with us the next day. On Monday morning, Jenny, Adam and I arrived at Crestwood Maternity Center 15 minutes late, per the usual. We opted to wait a few minutes while a larger (than the others available) Labor and Delivery room was cleaned. Before long, a friendly nurse named Molly was getting us settled in our room. Molly told us that she was Nurse Manager for all the Labor and Delivery nurses. Even though she didn’t normally work directly with patients, she would be my nurse since they were short staffed that morning. I am so thankful that God placed us in Molly’s care.

Molly started IV fluids and began to monitor the baby’s heartrate. Before long, Dr. Conrad showed up to check my progress. I had not progressed any more since my last appointment, so he decided to go ahead and start pitocin and come back a bit later to break my water. They started me on a pretty high dose of pitocin, and Molly felt like things would move pretty quickly. She said, “You’ll be eating dinner tonight!” Things were very calm and relaxed. Jenny, Adam, and I were all laughing and chatting and watching videos of Steve Harvey announcing the wrong Miss Universe. My parents arrived at the hospital about 1 pm (straight from Memphis and from celebrating my brother’s engagement to his soon-to-be-bride, Lucy.) They arrived shortly before Adam’s parents who had taken the boys out to lunch and were bringing them to the hospital to visit while we waited. Everyone came up to my room and we enjoyed chatting as the pitocin was kicking in and I was starting to feel mild but regular contractions. The family had only been in the room for a little over half an hour when they were all shooed out to the waiting room so Dr. Conrad could come in and break my water. Jenny and Adam stayed with me. WIth the birth of my first two, I had my water broken after receiving an epidural, so I felt nothing. This was a different experience. Let’s just say, there was a LOT of fluid that left my body very quickly. So much that the doctor and nurse (Molly) seemed a bit surprised by the volume, and my body felt significantly lighter to me. Dr. Conrad left, and Jenny (ironically) commented, “You have such anticlimactic birth experiences.” With the births of both Luke and John Wicks, I had an epidural early on during labor, progressed fairly quickly, and both babies were out after about 10 to 15 minutes of pushing. Being the future MD that she is, I guess she was hoping for a little more action—at least for me to feel a couple of rough contractions.

Just minutes after Jenny’s comment, Molly (who had been quietly watching the monitor) calmly said, “I’m going to call in some help.” Her voice was calm, so we didn’t think much about it. Within seconds, two (maybe three?) other nurses had rushed into the room and snapped into immediate action. There was an urgency in their voices: “Alright, honey, we’re going to help you roll onto your side….Ok, now roll to the other side…We need you to flip over and get on your hands and knees….Call Dr. Conrad….Get Dr. Conrad back now…FIND HIM!” I was so shocked and remember mumbling to Jenny, “What is going on?” Someone told me that the baby’s heart rate had dropped dangerously low (below 50, I think), and they couldn’t get it back up. They were having me change positions in case the cord was compressed in some way with hopes that things would shift and his heart rate would go back up.  Molly shouted, “We’re headed to the OR!” And just like that, with me still on my hands and knees, they started rolling my bed out of the room and down the hall to the operating room. I heard someone say to Adam, “Stay here. We’ll be back if it goes up, and if not we’ll send someone back with clothes for you.” The rest of the day was like a whirlwind, and some of the details are a little foggy.

In seconds, I was in the operating room and being transferred from my bed to the operating table. There were lots of medical professionals running around. “Have you had an epidural?” someone asked. “No.” Someone else said, “I’m going to take your rings off and take them straight to your husband. Is that ok?” “Yes.”  Then, I managed to whisper the dreaded question, “Is the baby still alive?” Molly was by my side: “Yes, baby, he’s alive. His heart rate has gone back up, but it still isn’t high enough. We’re going to take care of you and your baby. Everything is going to be ok.” The nurse anesthetist and someone else introduced themselves and reassured me that they would take good care of me. Dr. Conrad showed up and checked to see if the cord was around the baby’s neck. No cord around the neck and no other obvious explanation as to why Nate’s heart rate plummeted with every contraction. Sweet Dr. Conrad looked me in the eye: “I can’t explain why his heart rate keeps dropping, but it’s not high enough for me to feel certain that he can make it through labor and delivery. We’re going to put you to sleep and get him out, ok?” “Ok,” I managed. Dr. Conrad said, “I’m going to go talk to your husband quickly.” (Adam couldn’t be in the OR for delivery since they had to put me to sleep).  In what seemed like seconds, he was back preparing to operate. Slightly panicked, I remember saying, “I can still feel everything.” The nurse anesthetist said, “We’re waiting to put you to sleep until Dr. Conrad is ready to cut so the baby gets as little of the anesthesia as possible….Are you ready Dr. Conrad?” “I’m ready,” he said. Two fingers on my throat, and I was out.

In what seemed to me a few seconds (but was actually about four hours), I started waking up. The worst pain I’ve had since the C-section was right when I woke up, and I remember groaning and saying over and over that my stomach hurt. But it wasn’t long until the pain meds kicked in, and I was feeling some relief, though still mostly asleep. At some point, Adam was by my side: “He’s here, and he’s completely healthy. They got him out in minutes! He’s beautiful! Do you want to see him?” Adam held Nate in front of my face for me to see, but I could barely open my eyes and when I did, my view was still blurry. I could see that he was all cleaned up and swaddled with his cute little hat on, but I honestly couldn’t really tell what he looked like. This was so different than the way I met my first two boys who were placed on my chest immediately after delivery. I am so glad that Adam got to meet Nate and be in the nursery with him immediately after delivery. I’m also thankful that my sister got pictures of their first meeting and that she was with Adam when I was rushed to the OR.

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Somehow, Adam and the nurses got Nate to latch and nurse for the first time even though I was basically still asleep. The rest of that night, I was in and out of sleep and extremely emotional during the brief awake periods. Our families had been in the waiting room (with the boys! YIKES!) for at least four hours waiting for me to wake up. I was rolled into a room and saw the family for a brief minute before they headed out to get dinner and let me sleep. After seeing me, Luke could tell something wasn’t right. Jenny told me that when they got to the car, he said, “I’m kinda worried about my mom!” Sweet thing. I remember reading and trying to respond to texts from friends who knew I had been induced that morning and were worried because they hadn’t heard anything from me or Adam in hours. I think they brought Nate in from the nursery to nurse several times that night, but it’s honestly hard to remember. By the morning of the 22nd, I was much more awake and feeling better (thanks to the meds :)). Several of the nurses even commented, “Wow, you look so much better today!”

When I reflect on Nate’s birth, there are so many reasons to give thanks. First, I’m thankful that I was induced and my water broke at the hospital. Had it broken at home and the baby been in distress, I would not have known it, and the outcome could have been different. I am also unbelievably thankful for the excellent staff/medical professionals at Crestwood Hospital. They immediately jumped into action at the first sign of a problem and took no chances. And they were all extremely kind. I later told Molly that I was so grateful for her because she saved my baby. Finally, I’m thankful that God saw fit to bring our third son safely into the world. He would be no less good, loving, and kind had he sovereignly chosen to call our Nate home to heaven at that time. Nonetheless, I’m just overjoyed because of his safe arrival and the time we’ve had with him so far. He has been such a sweet, easy baby, and I am so excited to watch him grow and see the plans the Lord has for him unfold. Nate’s Christmastime birth led me to relate often to Mary  who treasured the events surrounding Christ’s birth, “pondering them in her heart” and worshiped God saying, “. . . for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

 

Expectancy

Expectancy changes everything. One’s perspective, planning, and worldview are all shaped and often altered by the expectation of something or someone’s coming.  I’ve thought much about expectancy recently as we are anticipating the arrival of our third son around Christmas Day. Our expectation of his arrival has altered our Christmas travel plans, affected the arrangement of our house, and even changed the way we think about the future of our family. While Christmas Eve isn’t necessarily considered an ideal due date, it will be special to count down the days until our son’s birth as we simultaneously count down the days until Christmas. As we await the birth of our little boy, we will joyfully celebrate the first coming of our Savior King with hopeful expectancy for His future return.

I’ve been imagining how Mary must have felt as she carried Jesus in her womb and anticipated the day of His birth. She, along with all the people of Israel, had for many years been waiting expectantly for the coming of the Messiah–the Rescuer–the one who would bring salvation and free the Israelites from oppression. Their expectation gave them hope to press on in faithfulness to God, despite hardship and uncertainty. Their expectation enabled them to have joy in the midst of pain and sorrow.

Christmas is the season full of joyful expectancy and anticipation. Everything–from the decorating and shopping to the parties, performances, and baking–is leading up December 25, the big day when we celebrate the season in full with friends and family. The excitement of the holiday season  builds through the month of December and is made complete on Christmas Day. But for believers, the significance of this expectation and anticipation is so much richer than just the gifts, traditions, and even the family. Our expectation and joy in these things is just a pointer to a deeper joy and greater expectation in our hearts. The big day is greatly anticipated and greatly celebrated because it was on this day that God took on human flesh and came to live among us (John 1:14). It was on this day that a light dawned on a people living in a land of darkness (Isaiah 9:2). It was on this day that the many promises of God to His people began to receive fulfillment: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Cor 1:20). Through Adam’s original sin, brokenness and death reigned among humanity. But through the birth of Christ and one day through His death on the cross and resurrection, grace would reign among humanity (Romans 5). Jesus came into the world on that first Christmas Day to conquer more than the oppressive Roman Empire. He came into the world to conquer sin and death–much greater oppressors of humanity.

For believers in Jesus, Christmas is both a season of joyful celebration for what He has already done and a season of joyful expectation for what He will accomplish still. In a world still plagued by terror, violence, sorrow, injustice, and oppression, we celebrate Christmas with joyful expectancy. We rest in the truth that we serve a God who has always shown Himself faithful to keep His promises, and we hold on to the hope that Jesus will return again. This time, He’s coming to judge the world, make all things new and right, and reign forever. And our expectancy for this great return changes everything about the way we live today. 

“Come, thou long expected Jesus, 

born to set thy people free;

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in thee. 

Israel’s strength and consolation, 

hope of all the earth thou art; 

dear desire of every nation,

joy of every longing heart.”

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7 Truths for Parenting

I recently walked out of an OB appointment before seeing the doctor. With tears in my eyes, I tried to avoid the nurse’s gaze and keep my voice from shaking as I gathered our things and told her I would have to reschedule. Because of a change in my husband’s typical schedule, I had both boys with me at the appointment that day (something I don’t normally attempt), and it was a complete and total disaster. I came armed with snacks, books, and the ipad full of movies. Regardless of all my gear, the boys were their usual active (read: wild) selves! They loudly ran about the waiting room and then got into a screaming, yanking fight over a bag of veggie straws right as the nurse was calling us back. That fight carried over to another one over the only extra chair in the exam room while the nurse stared awkwardly as I tried to get my children under control. The iPad refused to work properly, so I couldn’t get a movie started to help settle them down. My stress levels were elevating, and I was slowly coming unglued. Completely embarrassed, I dragged both boys out to the car and pretty much had a come-apart the entire thirty minute drive home. It was a low point in parenting. A real low point.

In spite of the story above, parenting my boys is probably the most significant, joy producing, glorious task I’ve ever been given. It is also, without a doubt, the most challenging task I’ve ever been given. The task of bearing and raising life is such a gift–a miracle, honor and privilege. But it’s also ridiculously hard. Harder than I ever really imagined. I find myself growing tired, impatient, and worried more than I care to admit. Parenting, like nothing else in my life thus far, has driven me to mine God’s Word for truth, wisdom, and hope. Below are seven significant truths from God’s Word that I am continuously turning to and meditating on through both the good and hard days of parenting (but especially the hard days):

1. Children are blessed gifts from God’s hand: On the days when our children are acting impossible, we must dwell on the truth that they are undeserved gifts from God’s hand, and they are great blessings to our lives regardless of their actions at the moment. No new life is an accident or a mistake. Every child, regardless of the circumstances through which he or she is conceived and born, is a purposeful gift from our good God’s hand. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).

2. God is sovereign over His creation–each child is created exactly as God intended him or her to be: Individual personalities, full of their various strengths and weaknesses, are more than just random genetic combinations. They are the careful handiwork of an all-wise and sovereign God who does not make mistakes. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14).

3. God possesses all the wisdom and strength we need to faithfully parent our children. This wisdom and strength are made available to believers through faith in the shed blood and finished work of Christ. Through Jesus, we must draw from this strength and wisdom daily. Because Christ’s strength is perfect and is magnified in our weaknesses, we can rejoice even in the greatest parenting struggles that we face. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

4. Our children (and spouse) are our closest neighbors. Jesus calls His followers to love our neighbor(s) as we love ourselves. Contrary to common belief, no one has to be taught self-love. All people naturally seek their own happiness and well-being and naturally look out for their own interests, although this takes different forms in different people and varying circumstances. Jesus radically calls His followers to pursue the happiness, well-being and interests of others with the same intensity that we pursue those things for ourselves. Upon close examination of the heart, all of us will find that self-love often tries to dominate and overpower a love for others, even in the case of our own children. But, by God’s grace and power, we must see to it that our parenting is not tainted with selfishness or driven by our own idolatrous desires for security, peace of mind, a good reputation, convenience. etc. The way we parent must flow from a self-sacrificial love for both God and our closest little neighbors–a love that seeks to point our children to Christ through and in the midst of challenges. “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).

5. Anxiety and worry are sin. When it comes to our children (and our parenting), anxiety and worry can so easily creep into our hearts and minds. Am I doing this right? How is this child going to turn out? How will we make it through this tough season? Is something wrong with my child?!?!? God calls believers to stop fretting and turn to Him for everything, resting in His peace and trusting Him to help and supply us in every need. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. . . And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, 19).

6. Parenting failures are inevitable. If we confess our sin and repent, God is faithful to forgive and cleanse us.  Believers in Christ will not be made perfect until we meet Him one day and, therefore, we will not be perfect parents during our time on this earth. All of us will fall short. We will all lose patience. We will sin against God and our children more than we care to admit. But if we come face-to-face with our sin through confession and repentance, God through Christ is faithful to forgive us and make us clean. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).

7 .Our job is not to produce godly children. Our job is to be a faithful parents. God has not called us to produce godly children because we have no power to do so. As parents, we do not have the power ultimately necessary to turn our children’s hearts away from sin and toward Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can draw people to repentance and light the fire of true faith in the heart. Parents, however, are called to put as much “kindling” around our children’s hearts as possible. We are called to teach our children the truth about God, themselves, and our world. Through our everyday interactions and conversations, we must help our kids see their brokenness and rebellion against God and point them toward the good news of the gospel of Jesus–the only one who has the power to transform their hearts and lives. We are responsible to hold up the glory and goodness of God before our children and teach them that a life apart from God our Father is really no life at all. “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise’”. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).  


May our parenting be guarded and guided according to the blessed truths of God’s Word, and may we seek to steward well the good news of the gospel by holding it out to our closest little neighbors. It is our greatest hope…and theirs.

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Give them Jesus

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I so often look at those happy smiling faces, and I long to keep them small. To keep them safe. To keep them unaware and protected from the brokenness and dysfunction in the world around them.

Ashley Madison. Extramarital affairs. Rampant pornography addiction. Abuse. Millions oppressed in sex slavery. Millions aborted before they even have a chance to experience life outside the womb. Millions orphaned. So much hurt and pain–with sexual brokenness at the root of much of it all.

The reality of the task before me looms large: How will I parent these precious ones? I am called to be faithful–to do all I can to raise my sons to love and serve the Lord (Eph 6:4), to help them develop into godly men who seek to image their Creator. But the task often seems daunting. When I see all that’s happening in the world around me, I feel fear and discouragement. Fear about realities they will encounter all too soon. Discouragement about how they could possibly process these realities truthfully. Fear about how they will respond. My first inclination is to hide them—to shelter and protect and then fill their minds full of truth and maintain my supposed “control” over their lives through boundaries and rules.

But the truth is, I’m not sovereign over their lives. I never have been.

Hiding never works. And rules just expose brokenness. They can’t fix it.

No matter how much I try to hide them, the brokenness of this world will find my children. And not just because it’s enveloping them from the outside-in. The problem is not only outside and around my boys. It’s inside them. It’s inside me. It’s inside you.

Brokenness doesn’t start with Ashley Madison, pornography, rape, or abortion. It starts with lust. With idolatry and misplaced desires. With pride. With hearts that are naturally bent to love and serve “self” above anyone else–even God Almighty. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer 17:9). A sin sickness has corrupted the fundamental nature of every human heart, and none of us are immune, even those who appear perfectly polished on the outside.

No amount of hiding and no list of rules will protect our kids from sin because hiding doesn’t expose the depth of their need and rule-following can’t change their hearts or alter their affections. Only the power of Jesus can transform a self-centered, rebel heart. Only the beauty of Jesus is enough to captivate the mind with truth and the heart with holy desire and worship. Only the righteousness of Jesus is enough to cover our own supposed “righteousness”—a righteousness motivated by consuming self-love rather than God’s glory and deemed “filthy rags” by Him.

If I want to be faithful in the parenting task, I’ve got to give my boys Jesus. Nothing less. In the everyday, mundane moments of parenting. When I fall short. When they fall short. Even now, before they are really aware of all the brokenness within and without, I must be faithful to hold up the hope of the gospel before them and urge them to turn away from their sin and look only to Jesus for healing and salvation. And then, I rest. I seek to be faithful and then relinquish my desire to control, resting in His perfect wisdom, sovereignty, and plan for their lives. Regardless of the path my boys take, He is faithful. And He is enough.

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Naming a person can be a real challenge. Especially when that person is the third child of the same gender. We used our favorite boy name on our first son, and since then, we’ve had to think pretty hard to come up with boy names that we love just as much!

After much deliberation and back-and-forth {mostly on my part, of course}, we’ve landed on a name we love for our 3rd little boy.

Nathan Kenyon Rice

We’ll call him Nate.

Nathan is a name I’ve always liked. The name is derived from the Hebrew verb meaning “to give” and can be rendered “he [God] has given” or “Gift of God.” This meaning is significant to me because children are so clearly a gift from God’s hand. Years ago, I never would have anticipated that God would one day bless me with a third SON, but He has! And this child is such a precious, undeserved gift. Also, the name is special to us because Adam’s dearest childhood friend was named Nathan. This friend was killed in a tragic accident when the boys were still in elementary school. Adam will always love his friend.

Kenyon is Adam’s middle name. He was named after a close family friend. I love that one of our sons will share this unique part of his father’s name. We gave all three of our boys a first name that we just liked (all three also happen to be biblical names) and a middle name that has family significance. You can read what I wrote about naming Luke and John Wicks here and here.

Luke has had his own ideas about what this child should be named. Even before we found out what we were having, he was certain the baby was a boy and that his name was going to be John Wicks. I tried to explain how this could be a bit confusing since we already have one JW in the family, but he would hear none of it. After we found out that we are, in fact, having a boy, Luke was adamant that he would be named Clark. My mom said, “As in Christmas Vacation Clark?!? Come to find out, Luke was not naming his brother after Clark W. Griswold but after some character in his Dr. Seuss book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. For a while, he told me how unhappy he was with me for calling this baby by the wrong name! Then, out of the blue, he decided to come around. During his prayers one night recently, he said, “Dear God, help us to have a good day with baby Nate tomorrow.” Then, he opened his eyes and proudly declared that he was happy to call the baby Nate now. He later said, “Nathan Kenyon is a great name!” I would just love to know what goes on in his little mind!

So thankful for another healthy growing boy. Can’t wait to meet our little Nate.

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This picture is so funny to me! None of our boys have been modest during ultrasounds!

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Book Review: “The Accidental Feminist”

Right now, my primary calling is to nurture the lives of {3!} little boys, but even though I have no female children, I am also called to cultivate and nurture life in girls and other women. I love studying and learning how to best glorify God in my womanhood. As God is teaching and shaping me, He expects me, not to keep what I learn to myself, but to pass it on to others. He expects that of all of us.

This summer, I’ve had the opportunity to read and discuss The Accidental Feminist: Restoring Our Delight in God’s Good Design {authored by Courtney Reissig} with some of my favorite college/just-post-college girls. We’ve kept it simple. We read a couple chapters a week, underline portions to discuss and meet at Panera one night a week for a few hours to talk about what God is revealing and teaching us, how we’re submitting to or resisting His truth, questions we have, etc. I think it’s been a fruitful time and that we’ve all learned a lot. And when a good resource is found, it should be shared. So, I’m popping in to briefly comment on the book we read.

For a while now, I’ve been looking for a book that both highlights the Bible’s teaching about our God-given purpose as women AND is relevant to women in various roles and seasons of life. This is the book I’ve been looking for. There are a lot of resources out there on marriage and motherhood. This book, however, addresses not just the wife and mother, but all women: teenagers, students, young women, older women, married women, single women, women that work outside the home, women that work inside the home. Reissig does an excellent job of bringing out the Bible’s teaching on womanhood for all who are made female, regardless of their particular season and circumstances. She shows all readers how to bring God glory by practically living out their womanhood. This book is very relevant.

The Accidental Feminist is biblically driven. Reissig seeks to assert only what Scripture itself asserts. She has a high view of God’s Word and is committed to helping women see the rightness and goodness of His plan and His way for those created in His image as female. The Accidental Feminist is also well-researched. Reissig has clearly done her homework about the American feminist movement and the effects it has had on the culture and the views of women from the 1950’s until now. She highlights the much-needed positives that have come from the movement {women’s right to vote and own property, etc} but ultimately demonstrates how the root of feminism is in opposition to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Skeptical? Give it a read!

Finally, The Accidental Feminist is honest and gospel-centered. Reissig is quick to remind readers that all of us {herself included} naturally resist God’s will and God’s way apart from Christ. That’s the nature of our sin and our fallen-ness. We question God because we think we know better than Him. We question His rightness and His goodness in all things and wonder if he really does have our best interests at heart. Isn’t that what Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit? All of humanity has followed in their footsteps ever since. But, praise God, we aren’t left there in our stubborn rebellion. All throughout her book, Reissig continually drives readers back to the gospel and the hope of restoration that is found in Jesus alone, the One who perfectly submitted to His Father’s will and way even when it cost Him everything. Reissig reminds us that, on our own, every woman {and man} falls terribly short of God’s good design, but Jesus enables us to be restored to that good design when we trust and rest in Him alone.

My prayer is that God will use this resource to draw numerous women closer to Himself as we seek to image Him accurately in our womanhood. Read The Accidental Feminist and help nurture spiritual life by sharing it with other women in your life!

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