The lives of moms are all too often consumed with wearisome, empty striving. There is an expectation from the world to keep up appearances, meet certain standards and find satisfaction in the offerings of this life such as success, admiration and ease. However, God has set eternity in a mother's heart, and deep inside, and it is impossible to not long for more. In the new book, Heavenly Minded Mom: A 90 Day Journey to Embrace What Matters Most (Abingdon Press), popular Mommy blogger Katie Bennett helps point her fellow moms to view their role through God's vantage point.
Following the birth of her second child, life was good for Bennett. Everything she had dreamed of for herself had come to pass, and it was all she had imagined, but also fragile. Because life is so uncertain, she began to fear that she would lose it. Longing for hope, she entered a season of deep reflection on eternity. It was during that time her perspective changed as she shifted her focus to heaven and the promises of the life to come.
Q: In the book, you write about a time when you were struggling spiritually following the birth of your second child. Can you tell us a little bit about what was going on during that time that began changing your way of thinking?
Life was good. I was incredibly content with my loving husband, two sweet children and happy home. In fact, I loved my life. However, because I had everything I had ever wanted, I began to fear something would happen to tip the scales. Suddenly, it all felt fragile, and I began to lie awake at night feeling strangely helpless and praying fervently against the many calamities I could imagine. As strange as it was, I began to long for hope right in the midst of my dream life.
With that longing, my thoughts turned toward heaven. I entered into a season of deep reflection on life, death and eternity while struggling with doubt and uncertainty. I realized how temporary and fleeting life is, how the infinite is beyond comprehension. Through this time of struggle, God emptied my heart of the idols it held and taught me to put my hope in what is sure and unshakable, the eternal life in Christ that is here now and is yet to come.
Q: What was your turning point in the midst of that uncertainty?
It was a slow, gradual outpouring of faith and perspective. Like the potter and the clay, God crushed who I was and made me new. He didn't just adjust how I saw life a little bit. He gave me new eyes.
When I made the decision to believe, trust and follow Him no matter how I felt or where my understanding failed, He blessed me with joy, purpose and certainty. Not before, but after. I think sometimes for faith to be faith, it needs to be a choice, not a feeling.
Q: How has your life changed as a result of this new perspective?
In every way. Perspective is how we view life, and this viewpoint will determine our approach not only to trials and successes, but to how we live our everyday moments.
When we know we will receive an eternal reward when we persevere through trials that are ultimately very temporary, we are filled with new resolve (2 Cor. 4:17).
When we understand the forgiveness we give to others is the forgiveness Christ will offer us on Judgment Day, we will forgive offenses in fear of the Lord regardless of the merit of the recipient (Matt. 6:14-15).
When we know and believe time is short and each person on this earth has an eternal destination that will either include eternal punishment or eternal life, our insecurities will lose their power in the face of urgency, and we will become a force for the gospel in our circles of influence (Matt. 25:31-46).
Q: What are some tangible things readers can do to build perspective?
You can spend time daily reading God's Word. You can travel out of your context to see what God is doing around the globe. You can sacrificially give money to support the work of Christian organizations in suffering countries in the name of Jesus and follow along with the work that is happening. You can push yourself to be content and not buy the next new thing, believing that gain and pleasure and fun in this lifetime are not the greatest goal.
I wrote Heavenly Minded Mom to help lead mothers specifically through a journey to reframe their thinking around the truth of eternity found in Scripture.
Q: How does perspective impact the way we process suffering?
When we become heavenly minded, we know our faithful perseverance in suffering will be rewarded (James 1:12). We know we won't have to endure the heartaches and pain of this world for long. We cling to our hope of redemption and the life that is to come, and we pray for Christ's return! We don't hope in our failing bodies or our crumbling world; we hope in the perfect, enduring world that is to come. In this way, our spirits will not be crushed by suffering, because we understand that a good or easy life now was never the goal. Rather, the goal is to become like Christ.
Q: How does having a heavenly minded perspective change the way we view money?
Money loses its value in our hearts when we realize God's economy. As Solomon observed, we spend our lives striving for it, but we die and can't take it with us. We leave it to our children, but they don't get to take it with them either (Eccl. 5:15).
In the New Testament, Christ says, ""Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in nor steal" (Matt. 6:19-20).
When we set our hearts on heaven, we will learn to hold money loosely and leverage it for eternal purposes.
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