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I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.
WELL, HE'S HERE. Our son has arrived. We didn't know he would be a he until my husband peered over the curtain of my unplanned C-section, paused for a moment, and then said hoarsely, "It's a boy?" (In the mess of emotions and bodily ick, he wasn't sure.) I was mostly delirious, so all I remember is a red, gooey, unhappy creature held out for me to see and my husband vanishing to hover over our new son while the baby was weighed and cleaned up. An angry squawk came from that direction—our son's first cry.
"It's okay, sweetheart," I croaked, even though I myself was totally unhinged.
Not a very illustrious beginning. But he's here. That's all we care about.
I won't go into the details of labor right now: everyone has their awful or amazing story. (Just hope my thirty-plus hours never happen to you.) We women enter the Labor Zone, aware of nothing but our bodies and the occasional annoyance ("What's that beeping? I don't care if it's someone's life support: turn it off!"). Time and other details seem to vanish into the haze of pain. Decisions are made, familiar and unfamiliar faces come and go, our bodies perform astonishing feats that we have not invented. The fleeting thought crosses our minds that we will never be normal again. And yet somehow none of it matters. Only the baby matters.
And now he's here. Pink and clean, wrapped in a blanket and sporting a striped hat that makes him look like a gnome. He blinks with unfocused eyes at the lights, the monitors, the figures coming and going, my looming face. All his movements are in slow motion, like he has found himself in a strange dream. Eventually the excitement wears off, we attempt a feeding, and then he sleeps, nestled against my neck, skin on skin.
After all this waiting, he has made his grand entrance, and I finally get to hold him in my arms. I get to inspect his comical face, his fringe of reddish hair (which looks like neither of his parents'), his little limbs and digits. Not many hours ago all this was inside of me. Totally surreal.
On his ankle he wears a tiny plastic band bearing our name, claiming him as ours, belonging to us. And yet, everything I know about my Christian faith tells me that this child is not really mine. As the Bible says in Psalm 22:10, the arms that really hold my child—the arms into which my child has been so unceremoniously shoved—are not mine, but God's. The one who created my son, the one who calls him into a life of faith, the one who gave up his own Son, Jesus—that's the one who truly holds him now.
Which is a good thing, because at present all I want to do is sleep.
Excerpted from Mommy Time by SARAH ARTHUR Copyright © 2013 by Sarah Arthur. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted June 21, 2013
Looking for a gift for a new mommy? You found it.
Shh…don’t tell, but I bought this book as a gift for a friend’s daughter, and read it before wrapping it—being extra-careful not to bend the pages at the binding. Haha
First of all, this is the perfect gift for a new mommy. Too often, mommy doesn’t set time apart from her busy days for “her time” to reflect—and take a breather (so-to-speak.) This charming little book is a powerful reminder that God is there through all our joys as well as our struggles.
These 90 devotions are part scripture, part devotion, and part autobiography. It’s reassuring that mommies are not alone in the challenges they face after having wee little blessings to care for.
As a lover of traditional devotionals (and authoring one myself) I have to say, this book is different—but in a good way—and not necessarily just for new moms.
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Posted August 28, 2013
This is a book of devotions for new mothers. There are 90 devotions, each a page or so in length. Though I am not a new mother, I do remember the lack of sleep, crying baby, etc., and wish I'd had a book of encouragement such as this. The readings are short and filled with Scripture, and I found the book interesting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 9, 2013
This is a perfect gift for a mom-to-be or a new mother. Each devotion is short enough to read while sitting during a feeding and begins with the delivery of Arthur's son so it would be perfect for a new mom to begin after returning home, or even in the hospital. The devotional topics deal with the usual topics of comforting a newborn, finding what works one day doesn't work the next, sometimes it is next to impossible to find time to even brush your teeth, and the disbelief that this tiny person developed inside of you.
I found this book to be more a grouping of reflections of life as a new mom than devotions to deepen readers' relationships with God. However, it was a lovely book that I would have loved to have when I was stumbling through life in a sleep-deprived state as a new mom. I love that each devotion is short and doesn't require any writing like other devotional books do. After all, how can you write your reflections down when you are juggling a nursing infant and a book? It brought back a lot of memories of how sweet life is when your babies are just born.
I highly recommend this book as a shower gift or a visit to the hospital gift. A great book for new moms!
Posted June 4, 2013
Wonderfully honest, real, entertaining... not at all your average overly-fluffy devotional!
For example, check out this excerpt from the Mommy Time Devotional, Day 2: Total Strangers:
When my son is handed to me for the first time, I feel the sudden dissonance of greeting a stranger I thought I knew before. It's like a blind date with someone you've only read about online. Nothing about his features is familiar, but then he'll make a move and I think, "Ahaha! That's just like him. That's the kick he used to give to my liver.
In the middle of the author's honesty and overwhelmedness, God is there. If you've read any of my devotionals, you know I find the most fulfillment in writing just that way. This author is a woman after my own heart. She's written a very encouraging, not to mention entertaining, read. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of devotionals. They usually end up seeming contrived, too brief for substance, and quite dull. This one is the total opposite of my low expectations. I look forward to reading more from Sarah Arthur!
If you're a new mommy, a mom of young children, or will be soon, I highly recommend this book! I also recommend it as the perfect baby shower gift.
Posted April 3, 2013
Mommy Time: 90 Devotions for New Moms by Sarah Arthur is a new edition to the popular Christian devotional genre. What makes this book distinct is that it is written exclusively for brand new moms of newborn babies including first time moms and experienced moms alike.
The author draws from her own personal experiences which makes this book somewhat autobiographical in nature. At times, I found myself so engrossed in Sarah Arthur's story, that I was compelled to read simply to find out what happened next as if I was following a drama mini series. While the personal anecdotes are good because it draws the reader into her life, not all readers will be able to relate to the "perfect" circumstances of a stress free, risk free pregnancy, conceiving on the very first try after 13 years of marriage. The fact that this first time mom is in her 30s will draw in a broader audience, and not simply the young 20- something first time moms. Nevertheless not many moms, can relate to being married for 13 years in a stable marriage and financially secure, yet choosing to delay childbearing. To her credit the author does acknowledge this. Even for career minded women, to wait 13 years seems excessive, and much more so unlikely for a pastor's wife. Any women who has experienced infertility or pregnancy loss will have difficulty relating to the author's circumstances. Most likely the Arthurs delayed their choice to have children as a result of their dedication to their ministry.
Overall, this devotional is a very good outreach opportunity to draw in new moms into the bible and spirituality. The author reflects on God's words in the bible and ties them into motherhood. The book also follows chronologically, starting with the birth experience and bringing the newborn home. She covers pediatrician appointments, scrapbooking, postpartum issues and marriage. Just about every related topic of interest to new mom is discussed in light of scripture. The author seems to know just the right biblical verses and applies them to the miracle of life and motherhood. Each devotional begins with a biblical verse. The passages that follow incorporate Sara's experiences and her faith. Any reader, those familiar with the bible and those who are new to the bible will be able to get something new out of this devotional book. Beautifully designed with a pastel themed cover and pleasing graphics, this book is very inviting and would make a good gift for any new mom or at a baby shower. The 90 day devotional format- one new topic a day for a total of 90 topical devotions is perfect for moms to read especially in the first three months of their newborn's life. As a blogger for Tyndale I received this book for the purpose of writing a review.