You don’t need to have spent long on our blog to have read some of the hilarious/ embarrassing/ cringe-worthy anecdotes of life with our two little boys. We try to keep it real here. Parenting isn’t a competition. Our kids aren’t are personal trophies. And crucially – JESUS is the answer! The answer to our brokenness, their brokenness and to all the stresses and strains of life.
We love blogging about how the good news of the gospel speaks into the messiness of our lives. The gospel is so good, a sweet antidote to all of life’s troubles. That’s the reason we started this blog in the first place, and we hope we’ve remained true to that over the nearly 2(!) years that we’ve had this blog.
And yet, perhaps we are too critical or negative at times. Not necessarily on the blog. But we have realised that perhaps we have a personal tendency to dwell on the negative in life.
In addition, and linked to thinking negatively, I (Cathy) am a worrier… and all the things that go along with it. I over-think. I get stressed and anxious about things. I am critical of myself.
Well enough is enough!
Jesus doesn’t want us to live life like that.
He died and rose again so that we can be free from guilt, sin and fear, and he fills us with his Spirit to live courageous, joyful and hope-filled lives. That doesn’t mean that hard times don’t come, or that we don’t still struggle with our sin – but it does mean that there should be a trajectory of growth in the Christian life. Such growth that when the hard times come they have the effect of beautifying us and sanctifying us and drawing us close to Christ – not the other way round.
So I decided to do something practical about it.
It was designed by a Zoe Powell, a Christian mum of three young children.
It’s a journal which is designed to give you “mental space in the midst of motherhood” and £4 from each sale goes to PANDAS foundation which supports mums with pre and post natal depression. (Give me a chance to buy from a Christian mum with a small business, who gives from her profits to charity and well I’m starting to struggle to find reasons NOT to buy it!)
But, I don’t need to find reasons not to buy it, because this product is really really great.
What is the Mama Book?
The Mama Book is a journal (it’s undated so you can start at any point of the year), and you can use it as a weekly planner. But what makes it different from any other journal is that it is designed to give you a safe place to process motherhood. For me, as an external processor, this tool is exactly what I need!
In the introduction to the journal Zoe writes this:
“Hey Lovely Mama!
The Mama Book was born out of my desire to have a space to process, plan and reflect on life as a mother. I needed a physical space dedicated to this important job as my mind was getting crowded, and some time to process the complexities of motherhood. This is your safe place to dream, process, document, scribble and write through your season as a Mama.”
Zoe has come up with some great questions to get you writing. My personal favourites are:
WHAT MATTERS MOST – My top 5 passions and areas that I really want to invest in. Does my day-to-day match up with this?
MY LITTLE ONES – What things do I want to remember about them as they are right now?
BUCKET LIST – Things to do together before they are grown.
I haven’t had the discipline or inclination to journal for years – even though I knew it would have been good for me. But I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of this journal for getting me into the habit. The questions are so thought-provoking and reflective that I consider each time I sit down to write in my journal to be a real treat. It gives me a little bit of time to be refreshed, take stock, and collect my thoughts. I sometimes use my journalling time as a launchpad for prayer.
I can say that with Zoe’s book, and Jesus’ help, I can already see that I am developing more of an attitude of gratitude and joy and that I am thinking negatively less! Thank you Lord!
And because I love it so much, I decided to buy a copy for a friend and write a blog post about it too!