Not long ago I heard Erin being interviewed on a podcast with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and was so encouraged by her words and her fresh perspective on motherhood from God's Word that I ordered her new book immediately. I just finished reading it today and was so blessed by every chapter.
Erin takes us to God's word to find our perspective for motherhood. Our culture views children as a burden; the Bible portrays them as a blessing. Beyond Bathtime uncovers lies in our culture and lays out the truth from God's word. I had never thought much about what a woman like Eve could teach me about being a mom, or how the fact that God chose for Jesus to come to earth through a womb and be raised by a mom (Mary) shows how he values the role of motherhood. And Erin's perspective on the story of the loaves and fish that the little boy brought to hear Jesus and ended up relinquishing for Jesus to multiply for the crowd blew me away:
Let's trace the journey of that little lunch. Mom packed the lunch. Boy carried the lunch. Disciples noticed the lunch. Jesus blessed and multiplied the lunch. More than five thousand people ate the lunch. And millions know that Jesus is God because the story of this miracle has been told for thousands of years.
That's how mom math works in the kingdom. (pp 107-08)
Beyond Bathtime includes loads of practical ideas for putting truth into practice. My favorites were in the chapter about celebrating your kids. Her illustrations of how we show by our words and actions that our children really are more of a burden than a blessing really convicted me. Do my kids really know that they are a blessing from God to our family? How do I demonstrate that? Erin had lots of great ideas.
As a young woman I often felt like there were other ministries I would be better off giving myself to than motherhood. God has gradually been changing my heart, so these words from the book struck a chord with me:
If a woman surrendered her life to share Bible stories with children in an unreached people group overseas, we would consider that big and rightfully so.
But your children are also an unreached people group. They don't come into the world with a knowledge and heart for God. It's your job to teach them, and it's a big job. (p 108)
Beyond Bathtime is not a long book - 10 easy-to-read chapters with questions you can answer to help soak up the information even better or discuss with friends. I've put this book down feeling more than inspired but more so equipped to view my daily life as a mom as actual work for God's kingdom.