Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You

Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You

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by Catherine Hickem

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Jesus is Mary’s son and Jesus is the Son of God. The God of the universe hand picked Mary to raise His Son!

Mary was there the day Jesus was born and she was there the day he was crucified. Her story is deep and rich and has myriad lessons for any woman—mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.

Mary’s story reveals that a woman’s heart is


Jesus is Mary’s son and Jesus is the Son of God. The God of the universe hand picked Mary to raise His Son!

Mary was there the day Jesus was born and she was there the day he was crucified. Her story is deep and rich and has myriad lessons for any woman—mothers, daughters, sisters, friends.

Mary’s story reveals that a woman’s heart is important to the Father.

When God selected Mary,” Hickem says, “He was looking for heart. God set out to find the precise woman who would give her heart to Him, completely and wholly. He wanted a woman with whom He could entrust His perfect Son. This was going to be no ordinary woman.”

Heaven in Her Arms will touch your heart if you are facing fear and uncertainty, wondering about leaving your plans behind, feeling a need for community and the support of other women, or wanting to deepen your life of faith.

Hickem reflects on Mary’s story and offers practical applications, as well as inspiring real-life stories from contemporary women. With a six-week Bible study for individuals or small groups, Heaven in Her Arms shows the life of faith Mary exemplified and God’s tender heart for His daughters.

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Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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Heaven in Her Arms

Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Catherine Hickem
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0037-5

Chapter One


Mary Knew God Looks at the Heart

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth. —Luke 1:26

Life never goes as you plan it. Just as we were launching Taylor off to college, the kids' vehicle, an old SUV, bit the dust. Taylor and Tiffany had shared it through their high school years, and we were hoping to get another few years out of it. Unfortunately, it died a few days before we took Taylor to school.

Some dear friends saw our situation and wanted to bless us. They bought us a used car, one that had 30,000 miles on it. It was in great shape, and we were thrilled to get a car that worked well and that was not on its last leg. The only challenge for my family was that it was a stick shift, and I was the only one who knew how to drive a manual transmission.

Tiffany was beginning her senior year, and she would be attending a private school twenty-five miles from our home. We had been blessed for her to attend the school, because God had provided for her and Taylor's tuition. But now, with only two days before school was to start, she would have to learn how to drive the car.

The night before school began, Tiffany told me she did not feel ready to drive a stick shift. I asked her what made her nervous about driving it. "I am scared I am going to conk out in the middle of the road, and people will honk at me," she said. "I do not want to deal with angry drivers."

I knew she was right. Having lived in South Florida my whole life, I was familiar with how impatient people could be. But I also knew that this was an opportunity for her to be stretched, so I did not want to let this moment pass. A thought dropped into my head that I know came from God.

"What if I follow you to school, so if you conk out and people get frustrated, they will honk at me? That way you get the driving practice, but I will be your rear guard and protect you from the hostile drivers," I said.

"What will I do in the afternoon when school is over?" Tiffany asked.

"I will be there waiting for you and follow you home," I replied.

"Okay, I can do that."

The next morning came, and off we went. We left early since we knew it might be an adventure. Sure enough, we weren't out of the neighborhood before Tiff conked out. I could see her eyes in her rearview mirror, and she had a panicked look on her face. She looked at me through the mirror, and I held up my thumb, giving her the sign that everything was okay. She smiled, started the car, and moved a little farther.

She conked out about five times that morning on the way to school. Every time she did, she would look back, and I would smile and give her a thumbs-up. She made it to school in one piece, with her mother right behind her the whole way. That afternoon I was waiting for her when she walked out of class, and we headed back home. She stalled a few times, but she was always protected from the impatient world because I was there.

This went on every morning and every afternoon for four days until we had time to take her to a driving course for her to practice. On Friday morning, she drove to school by herself without any problems and had the confidence to handle her travels from that day forward.

As I reflected on that experience, I was reminded of how God does the same thing with us if we let Him. He is always there, covering our backs, letting us know He is with us. That doesn't mean life always goes smoothly or is free of difficulties and challenges. What it does mean is that we can count on Him to never forsake us and to always love us. His love for us is intimate and sufficient for whatever trial we face. But we must be willing to love Him with all that we have and all that we are. That is what God loved about Mary: she had passionate love for Him.

Mary Was Chosen for Who She Was

When God selected Mary, He was looking for heart. God set out to find the precise woman who would give her heart to Him, completely and wholly. He wanted a woman with whom He could entrust His perfect Son. This was going to be no ordinary woman.

Or was it?

Mary was not a woman of status and means. Her family was probably considered "blue-collar" by the societal and cultural standards of her time. In Luke 1:48, she is described as "humble" (NASB), indicating a lowly position. She did not come from a place of influence and power. It appears that she was simple, pure, and young. Not a typical portrait for the mother of a king.

Yet God began the Jesus journey with the selection of the finest woman of that time. Theologians and historians believe that Mary was a young woman around the age of fourteen or fifteen. Since she had recently become engaged to Joseph, a carpenter, it is thought that she had just come into an age and body that the culture would define as a woman. While we can accept her youthfulness, it would be her heritage with which people would struggle.

Even during that era, Mary did not fit the image of the mother of a king. Her background and simplistic life did not qualify her for the role. She was a Galilean, from an area known for its despicable ways. (How dare we believe that anything good could come from Nazareth! [See John 1:46.])

Mary was the unexpected selection in a journey that no one ever quite understood. For you see, the world was looking for a king to come from earthly royalty. God wanted His Son, the King of kings, to come from a humble woman so that the entire world could relate.

Religious and political figures expected a king to be born of powerful, prestigious, and wealthy lineage so he could rule with authority and history behind him. God wanted King Jesus to come from a place where heritage and affluence could not buy Him His authority. God simply wanted His Son to embody the characteristics of His own heart. He wanted the world to recognize that His Son's value came from being God's Son. Nothing more. Nothing less.

God also wanted to instill in Mary that her value came from being God's daughter. This lesson is similar with children, but not exactly. They need to move through the world knowing that they are deeply connected to their mother, where their identity is rooted in something familiar and comfortable. The one difference is, they also need to anchor their identity in God, and put Him first. A mother is the facilitator and keeper of that identity formation.

Today's women struggle with the reality of their lives and their limitations. Too often they believe they are not good enough because they cannot provide all that the world says they need to give, including what they ought to give their children. Through Mary, God showed that what the world says is important isn't necessarily so; she was living proof that heart trumps heritage and substance rules over status.

Loving God Was her Priority

Show me a woman who keeps her focus on Christ the way Mary did on her God, and I will show you someone who has 20/20 spiritual vision. This type of sight enabled Mary to maintain passion for her faith, purpose for her life, and a heart for her God. We see Mary giving God her life to do with as He desires. We see her "pondering" (Luke 1:29; 2:19 NASB), thinking her way through her motherhood moments. At the end of her son's life, we see her being steadfast and faithful in spite of her son's pain. Mary's success is that she quickly learned God was in the business of using the unlikeliest of people to reveal the most extraordinary truths of His heart and character.

Mothers can see a turnaround in their parenting lives when they focus on God to define who they are. It is an amazing moment when women realize they do not have to live under the limitations of their past or their heritage.

I once had a mom come and speak to me before a conference we were doing for mothers and daughters. She seemed very anxious and nervous. I pulled her to the side to see if I could calm her down.

"Am I going to learn how to be a good mom at this conference?" she asked.

I told her that I thought she would learn many things, including the heart of being the mother God wanted her to be. I then asked her, "Are you worried you are not a good mom?"

The woman responded immediately, "I came from an abusive home, where my mom did not want me. It took me years to get up the courage to decide that I wanted to be a mother because I didn't want to repeat my background with my child."

"Have you parented differently than you were parented?" I asked.

Horrified at the question, the mother responded, "Absolutely!"

"How have you done it differently?" I gently questioned. I had a purpose in mind, but I needed her to list her strengths before I could intervene.

The mom began to immediately list all the ways she was parenting her daughter. It was clear she had worked very hard to give her daughter the emotional things she herself had needed as a child but had never received. As she began to wind down, I asked if I could point out something to her. She nodded.

"It is apparent you have worked very hard to mother your daughter differently than the way you were mothered. You have been intentional in loving her well, meeting her needs, and remembering the things that really matter. It seems as if the biggest enemy you presently have is the way you define yourself: you define yourself by your past instead of your God."

Her eyes looked intensely into mine. I could tell she was listening with her heart. I continued:

"God wants you to release your fear to Him. You cannot define your motherhood by how you were parented, but instead by the power of God to be what you need, when you need it. God will honor your heart's desire to raise your daughter in a manner that glorifies Him, but you must let go of your fears; they are getting in the way of you experiencing joy in motherhood."

This woman had heart. She had a passion for being a good mom. More than anything, she didn't want her daughter to ever go through what she had endured. And God would honor that desire.

Like this mom (and most others), I wanted to put my heart and soul into being a good mother. Because I'm a woman of deep passion and conviction, I do everything I do with all that I am. If I am wrong, I am 100 percent wrong. If I am right, I am passionately right. No lukewarm temperature on this mother's thermometer!

As a mom, I have made more than my share of mistakes. I have said things I never should have said, done things that experience would have me do differently, and reacted when I could have responded. In the midst of all my weaknesses and failures, however, the one thing my kids know is that I love them with everything I have. I believe that is one of the reasons they have been able to forgive me, be patient with me, and love me. They have known that my heart was always for them, in spite of my limitations.

I believe God selected Mary because she had a heart after His. She possessed a passion that status, lineage, and power could not touch. And she knew that God looked at her passion and love for Him. It would be for this reason alone that God would give her favor and blessing.

Chapter Two


Mary Knew She Couldn't Embrace Her Fears

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." —Luke 1:30

Fear. It is the single greatest paralyzer of all time. It comes in many shapes and sizes. It is no respecter of persons, race, or status. It can cause big men to collapse, soldiers to crumble, and nations to retreat. It has sabotaged peace, prevented healing, and stirred division among families.

Fear is a dynamic that people embrace and give power to in their lives. It is the silent enemy of hope, reconciliation, and success. It undermines confidence and minimizes opportunities. Fear comes in forms both simple and complex. It respects no one, nor does it mind if it explodes in bigger-than-life fashion.

Gabriel had been in the angel business for quite a while and represented God's heart to His people. I have no doubt that Gabriel's words to Mary, warning her not to be fearful, came directly from God's mouth to Mary's ears. He knew that fright could easily take away her ability to hear of the miracle that she was getting ready to receive. Mary was a young Jewish maiden who had probably never thought of herself in any way worthy of a special glance; surprise and fear were going to be the emotions of the moment, and God was prepared for them.

"Do not be afraid" was not a request, but a command. When Gabriel declared that message to Mary, he was establishing the worthiness of God's protection and safety in her life. God was aware of her vulnerability in that moment, and He didn't want it to linger in her mind or heart. He wanted to remove her focus on her emotions and place it directly on Himself and His character.

This was significant, because Luke 1:29 tells us that she was greatly troubled. And why wouldn't she be? Here you have this humble Jewish maiden going about her business, just being a precious young woman who truly loved God. She was living an obedient, spiritually rich life, knowing that she had a future with a young man by the name of Joseph.

Since they were engaged, not married, Mary and her fiancé were still in the premarital phase of their relationship, getting to know each other, each learning how the other thought and felt.

So it is no wonder that Mary was troubled from the first moment the angel opened his mouth. She knew from Scripture that God had used angels throughout the ages to deliver special messages and important instructions. Mary had also heard the prophecies of Christ being born. Yet being the humble-minded person that she was, it never would have dawned on her that God would select her for this special occasion. She was a simple girl. What could Gabriel possibly want with her?

Mary knew the angel's message Was divine

The "Do not be afraid" came on the heels of a moment when Mary's mind was swirling with her knowledge of biblical history. This command would be given to all the key players in the birth story of Christ. It was such an eternity-impacting event that no one was prepared to be a part of the moment. But that did not negate the fact that God was in charge and that He had selected the people He wanted to carry out His eternal plan.

God would not allow fear to sabotage His hope for eternity and the salvation of humanity. This is why He waited until Mary was at the right age in history to implement hope for all of us. He knew that a strong foundation had been laid within her about who He was so that in that very frightening moment, she would trust Him to be true to whatever He told her. Fear was one of Mary's natural human responses to which all people can relate. Isn't fear a normal reaction to the unknown and the unexpected?

Every mother has encountered fear. Whether it is a pregnant mom awaiting the impending birth, a birth mother giving up her baby for adoption, or an adoptive mother waiting for the adopted child to arrive, she is anxious because she has no control over whether her heart will be blessed or broken. I could go on for pages recounting the fears that fill the hearts of women everywhere—marriage, career, family, faith. Fear surfaces when we recognize that life may not go as we planned. Will we be able to cope or function if the carpet gets pulled out from under our world?

Over the years, much of my professional attention has focused on parenting, family relationships, and motherhood. I have had the wonderful pleasure of observing, listening, teaching, coaching, and mentoring moms. I have worked with mothers who long to be the best they can be for their children, from the crib to adulthood. I have also picked up on several themes that seem to span age, experience, education, and socioeconomic levels. One theme in particular has done the most damage: fear.

As I've listened to their concerns, a major fear issue surfaces for most women and most aspiring mothers—that they would carry on the less desirable legacies of their own mothers. Several women have grown up in homes where their mothers looked good on the outside but had been emotionally empty and unavailable to them as children. Fits of rage, lack of nurturing, and critical comments were some of the experiences these women had personally encountered as kids.


Excerpted from Heaven in Her Arms by CATHERINE HICKEM Copyright © 2012 by Catherine Hickem. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Catherine Hickem, LCSW, a licensed psychotherapist with three decades of experience, is a relationship expert who has made it her life’s mission to equip women for every facet of their lives. She is an author, speaker, coach, and counselor who received a BA in education and an MS in social work from the University of Louisville. Hickem lives in Delray Beach, Florida, with her husband, Neil. They have two adult children, Taylor and Tiffany.

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Heaven in Her Arms: Why God Chose Mary to Raise His Son and What It Means for You 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
PetLover1924 More than 1 year ago
In Heaven in Her Arms Catherine goes into deep explanations of what Mary went through throughout her lifetime as a mother raising the Son of God, Jesus. She gives life lessons that any mothers, grandmothers that they will be able to take with them as their children grow up. It also gives the children an insight on their mother. Giving them a better understanding of who their mother is, and why she said no to something's you wanted in life. When ordering this book from Book sneeze, I was hoping it to give me an insight to what Mary felt while raising Jesus, and educational. As I read the book, I found that it Catherine had delivered. This book kept me interested, and in return, I have received good advice to take along with me when I have children. Reading this book reminded me of my grandmother as Mary. My grandmother had grown up in a poor family. Her mother had become sick, so she had to take care of her sisters and brothers. That meant leaving high school. Later on she met someone and had gotten married. They had seven children. She took care of each of them very well. She would also pray in the morning, midday, and at night. She would pray for her family members. Making sure they are living a good life, or hoping for a cure. It was as if she was the rencardination of Mary. Throughout my life I wanted to follow in her steps to be just like my grandmother and Mary. This book has also helped me to care to love my mother more, and to get a better understanding of why she was upset with me with some of the things that I had did in the past year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Catherine Hickem is a licensed psychotherapist with 30 years of experience, she is also a wife and mother. In the prologue, Hickem writes,“By getting a glimpse of His heart for Mary, women and mothers will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired to live out the same faith-filled, gutsy devotion that Mary’s journey called forth from her.” This is when I decided I was going to like this book and realized how much I needed it. Do we ever really stop and think about why God chose our mother to be our mother or if you have children, why you are their mother? I hadn’t before now. I was drawn to this book as a mother and a woman who doesn’t have the best relationship with her mother. I didn’t really have a maternal role model and I honestly never considered that Mary could be one. We often just see Mary as the woman chosen by God to bear His Son and we rarely think of her as a biblical female role model. I think Hickem does a good job of leading the reader to think about the story of Jesus and Mary (and their Mother-son relationship) instead of just reading over it as we typically do. Each chapter begins with a Scripture from the life of Mary then goes on to talk about an aspect of Mary’s life demonstrated by the Scripture. The chapters conclude with earthly wisdom and experience related to the trait shown by Mary. The author shares much of her own life and wisdom, which I think keeps the book from feeling like a bible study curriculum. I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, I found it enlightening and inspirational. This book would be great for any mother or any woman who hopes to become a mother. I will definitely loan this book out and recommend it in the future. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
TheSpiritedNerd More than 1 year ago
Licensed psychotherapist and devote Christian Catherine Hickem share a great story of Mary, mother of Jesus, in Heaven in Her Arms. Hickem address several key attributes of Mary’s, which fluidly guides readers from one chapter to he next. She presents information in a practical manner, with no preaching or judgmental tone. Although the book is for all women, the ideal audience for this book is mothers. Hickem provides many real-life examples of how Mary’s attributes can uplift mothers from all walks of life. Her honesty in the book’s Prologue about her lifelong desire to be a mother sets a positive tone throughout the book. I found some aspects of the book difficult to digest–mainly the frequent interaction she had with moms who weren’t empowered by/in their role–but a benefit for other women like me who are not parents. That same love and care can be extended to other children within our churches, families and communities. If you know of a woman who’s heart is for Christ and for children, this is a wonderful book to gift them with.
patters2day More than 1 year ago
So, in Catherine’s words, why did God choose Mary to raise His Son and what does it mean for you? Get this book and find out for yourself. Catherine has given a wonderful inside scoop on Mary, the mother of Jesus! Get to know her in a more intimate way, while you learn from the wisdom and the professional expertise of psychotherapist Catherine Hickem. She was a child herself, when an angel of the Lord informed her that she was to be the mother of Christ! It was a moment of disbelief, but also one of complete surrender and obedience. So begins the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus! Her life changed radically from that moment, as she began the journey of motherhood. Many times she could have thrown up her arms and declared, ‘I can’t do this, you expect too much’, but she did not. I see her as the epitome of grace and a true child of God. She trusted Him completely, even during the turbulent times of Jesus’ life. She is never heard complaining and yet her heart must have been pained many times, only then to be eventually torn apart when she looks upon the crucifixion of her beloved son. Catherine Hickem book gives a very personal account of Mary and of her life and I had a sense of truly getting to know her, as well as understanding many of the trials and joys she experienced. Mothers everywhere can read this book and identify with Mary. They will also relate to Catherine’s own family challenges, because they are as real as our own ups and downs. Take a walk back in time and get to know Mary. Be thankful for God in your life just as she was for His strength in hers. Walk her path and share in the stories of other women, who have struggled and then overcome trials and tribulations that have a tendency to beset family life.
ReadWorm More than 1 year ago
Revealing that a woman's heart is important to the Father. A very moving probe into the life of Mary - the woman God chose to be mother to Jesus. Hickem delves into the scriptures surrounding this largely "under" studied and appreciated character of the Bible. From the angel Gabriel's visit to Mary, announcing God's plan for her, we follow her right through to the last mention of Mary in the book of Acts where she along with all the other followers of Jesus, awaited the Holy Spirit's visit. I have to admit that, other than the annual Christmas story being brought to mind (with Mary as one of the lead players in the story), I have never really thought about the significance of this woman in scripture - as a woman and as a mother. She is important because God chose her to be the ultimate mother in the history of the world. Whilst this book's central theme is motherhood, I found many seeds of truth that can be applied to all factor's of today's woman's life. This book specifically spoke to me in the journey that I am on now - helping me (as God does) to see with a spiritual vision how His truth applies to all aspects of my own life. Hickem takes us along with her through Mary's life in a profound way. She exposes scriptural truth in the spirit of Mary and how this woman translates into God's plans for women today. Accompanied by a Bible Study, probing chapter by chapter, this book is a must read for any woman, whether on the journey of motherhood or not. A well written, must read.
MoiraM More than 1 year ago
Catherine Hickem certainly knows the struggles Christian women face today. As mothers the struggles are even more intense: when to push our kids harder and when to back off, when to trust and when to doubt, when to hold on and when to let go. Mary, the mother of Jesus is not much mentioned in the Bible and certainly not as her own person. She enters the Bible when it is time tell of Jesus' miraculous conception and birth. Little is talked of his upbringing, the day to day struggles Mary faced knowing her child was of God, God's own son, and how that impacted her personally as a woman, as a believer, as a mother. I cried a lot while reading this book because Mrs. Hickem shares some fabulous insight into what God wants of us women who believe, who follow Him, who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and she also shows us how to find the answers to our deepest questions. The section which touched me the most was "Love in the Rearview Mirror: Mary Knew God Looks at the Heart." Our hearts are often spoken of as something that leads women down a sinful path or gets us into trouble. It is also the repository of our deepest feelings: joys, triumphs, fears, longings, anxieties and tragedies we often think they are stored in our head but they are truly written upon our hearts. The second most impacting for me was "There Are No Accidents" which states that Mary knew God as Master Designer. This is so very true. Sometimes when God shows us His plan for us, for our life, we think "but I don't want that! That's not what I planned." We don't control our lives, God works everything--good and bad--for our good. Sometimes it is hard to see that in a tough moment such as the loss of a loved one or economic uncertainty but that is what we have to remember. Excellent read!
ebeau More than 1 year ago
“When God selected Mary He was looking for heart. God set out to find the precise woman who could give her heart to Him, completely and wholly. He wanted a woman with whom He could entrust His perfect Son. This was going to be no ordinary woman. Or was it?” Hickem says in the first chapter. She goes on to say that Mary didn’t come from wealth, that she was just another girl and this makes her accessible to the rest of us moms. What made her extraordinary was her willingness to be obedient, to trust in her God completely. This is just one of many lessons that author Catherine Hickem teaches in this book about the mother of Christ, written to mothers by a mother. Hickem takes Mary out of her singular role as the woman who bore Jesus and examines Mary’s role as a molding figure in the life of the Savior. And who could teach us to trust through the tough times better than the mother of Jesus? Touching and poignant, this book follows a scripture in each chapter and is peppered with personal stories that illustrate how Mary’s journeys through motherhood apply to mothers today. A definite must read for mothers with grown children, small children and yet to be born children.
e-erazo More than 1 year ago
Catherine Hickem illuminates the way Mary faced these battles that many of us women will ourselves face. She draws inspirational lessons from the life of Christ's mother by expanding on the small amount of biographical information available in the New Testament, often supplementing it with examples and applications from her own life. Hickem addresses the evangelical fear of Mary early on, lamenting the fact that we regulate this inspirational woman of faith to Christmas scenes. "God's personal selection of Mary to be the mother of His Son is worthy of our faithful attention," she says on page 13 of the prologue, "by allowing Mary to show up...only during the Christmas season, we are removing a role model for women and mothers of all ages and stages of life. To...view her as a woman who bore the Son of God but had little to do with His development as a person and a man, undermines God's sovereignty in the purpose of Christ's advent." In general, this book seemed to be more focused on mothers than on Mary. Usually the first page and a half of a chapter was spent on Mary's actions in a specific verse, then the rest of the chapter was used to explain how mothers can apply this principle in their own lives. The chapters are filled with real-life examples from Hickem's own life, which became rather exhausting for me. I don't particularly like it when author's use themselves as examples, because it can start to sound a bit braggy, especially when it concerns parenting. I also don't particularly like the methodology of taking one verse of Scripture in combination with an example from your life, and creating a universal parenting principle from them. There were also some red flags for me theologically. For example, at one point Hickem refers to the Holy Spirit as an "aspect of God's presence". I think Hickem probably hold to an orthodox view of the Trinity, but this phrase is problematic to me, and seems like it could be misunderstood. The Holy Spirit is not an aspect of God's anything - He is God Himself. Also, she says twice in the book that "while Jesus would become her Savior too, He would first become her son..." (pg 17, prologue) and "...she was His mother first, and He would be her Savior later". The Magnificat makes it clear that Mary understood God as her Savior, and Christ was always God. The dialog between Mary and Gabriel, not to mention the reaction of Elizabeth during the visitation, all illustrate the holiness of the Child Mary bore. Although we could speculate about whether Mary fully comprehended her Child's role in salvation, I don't think it's correct to say she understood Him as her son first and Savior second. Overall, I think "Heaven in Her Arms" could serve as a good introduction to Mary for Christian mothers. In particular, this book could be a great encouragement to any mother who struggles with fear in parenting, or who thinks they might be a bad fit for the child God has given them. Hickem has a unique perspective as a mother who struggled with infertility which led her to adopt, yet shortly thereafter became pregnant with a biological child. Although I give this book three stars for the problematic theological language and being a bit to pop-psych for me, I'm sure there are many Christian mothers out there who can draw inspiration from Hickem's exploration of Mary as the mother of God. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book fr
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
This story concerns feelings and thoughts all mother experience at least once. This is definitely a religious book, if a reader enjoys spiritual or religious books this one is worth a second look. The author addresses different problems, insecurities, worries, etc... and will help to reassure new or struggling mothers. The book focuses on the spiritual aspects of motherhood. Topics in this book concern faith helping with fear, community, heart, obedience, etc... The author writes very well. The reader will not feel preached at and many of the topics may be applied to one's life even if one is not particularly religious. Even though the topics may seem like common sense, we all need to be reminded of them at least once in a while. Heaven In Her Arms is a fast read, but the lessons will stick with the reader long after he/she puts the book down. This book is recommended to adult readers, especially mothers.
jmorrison More than 1 year ago
Heaven in Her Arms uses Mary as an example for all of the fears and emotions that mothers go through. Chapter focuses include (but are not limited to): God looks at the heart, embracing fears, coming to God during times of need, reaching out for help and encouragement, having faith, praise, letting go, and trusting. With Bible teaching and practical application some of the topics covered are: * Faith is central when facing fear and uncertainty * Obedience to God means leaving behind our plans * The heart of a woman is important to the Father * Praise has a deep purpose in shaping our relationship with God * A community of believers is essential to a life of faith I enjoyed this book even though I'm not a mother but I did pass it on to my mother.