Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands [NOOK Book]

Overview

Tired of feeling like no one understands?  Look no further.

What does Jesus know about the everyday life of a mom? Plenty! Jill Savage, founder and director of Hearts at Home, introduces the real Jesus to real moms. Through chapters that examine key behaviors and decisions Jesus made during His life on earth, Jill brings those lessons right down to the tiring, ...

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Real Moms...Real Jesus: Meet the Friend Who Understands

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Overview

Tired of feeling like no one understands?  Look no further.

What does Jesus know about the everyday life of a mom? Plenty! Jill Savage, founder and director of Hearts at Home, introduces the real Jesus to real moms. Through chapters that examine key behaviors and decisions Jesus made during His life on earth, Jill brings those lessons right down to the tiring, laundry-filled, sticky-fingered days every mother knows.

Between the chapters are interactive vignettes that provide brief, refreshing glimpses into real, messy, busy lives. In Real Moms . . . Real Jesus, Jill continually reminds the reader that Jesus is not an unattainable deity, but a Friend who truly understands.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
Drawing from the life of Christ and illustrated by examples from her own life, Jill shares practical insight for mothers. She reminds us that in both the daily routines and the crises of life, we have a true Friend who has walked in our shoes and enables us by His grace to follow in His steps.
- Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author, Revive Our Hearts radio host

One word came to me time and time again as I read through the pages of this wonderful book: Complete. Jill Savage has written a spiritually grounded, totally applicable book for the mom who is right now, in the trenches of motherhood. Jill steps in as an honest friend and holds your hand as you make your way through your days. As you read you'll find your soul encouraged and your faith strengthened. Buy the book and make the time to read it. You'll be better for it.
-Susie Larson, author, speaker, frequent radio host

Even on my craziest mom days, I've known Jesus loves me, sustains me, and forgives me. But never once had I realized that he 'got' me—that He understood what a day being tugged at, called for, and clung to was like. So when Jill shows us that Jesus indeed gets how trying our lives as mothers can be, it was news to me. But just like everything else with Jesus, it was Good News! Every mom needs to read this book. Discovering that Jesus is indeed a 'Friend who understands' changed my perspective on mothering and expanded my friendship with Jesus. What a wonderful book!
-Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeniera, mother of three, columnist for Today's Christian Woman, and author of Mama's Got a Fake ID

I laughed. I cried. I was thankful for a 'Real Mom' named Jill who took the time to encourage other moms to find a 'Real Friend' in the 'Real Jesus.' Every chapter was a treat to read! Dive into the pages of this book and revive a friendship you may have had for days, weeks, months, or years...or maybe establish a brand new one.
-Kendra Smiley, conference speaker and author of the PARENTING LIKE A PRO series (parentinglikeapro.com)

Jill Savage has unlocked the secret of sanity for mothers worldwide! I agree with Jill that the Real Jesus is the one vital relationship that makes all other relationships work well. Every mom will find solid practical help and hope on the pages of Real Moms...Real Jesus. If every mother owned this book there would be many more happy moms, kids, and husbands!
-Pam Farrel, bestselling author of Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and Got Teens?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575673202
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 296,214
  • File size: 877 KB

Meet the Author

JILL SAVAGE is an author and speaker who is passionate about encouraging moms. She is the author of six books including Real Moms...Real Jesus, Professionalizing Motherhood, My Hearts At Home, and Is There Really Sex After Kids? Featured in Focus on the Family, Today's Christian Woman magazine, and Family Life Today, Jill is the founder and Executive Director of Hearts at Home, an organization designed to encourage, educate, and equip women in the profession of motherhood. Jill and her husband, Mark, have five children and make their home in Normal, Illinois.
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Read an Excerpt


REAL Moms ... REAL Jesus

Meet the Friend Who Understands


By JILL SAVAGE
Moody Publishers
Copyright © 2009

Jill Savage
All right reserved.



ISBN: 978-0-8024-8361-4



Chapter One DISCOVER GOD'S TRUTH: JESUS SERVED

The Truth about Serving

It must have been the end to a long, hot day. Having been on their feet for the better part of the day, the evening meal was a much-needed time of rest and refreshment for Jesus and His friends. It signaled the end of work and the beginning of a time of community. I'm sure the conversation centered on the events of the day, the miracles they had witnessed, and the people they had come in contact with.

Unnoticed by the others, Jesus "got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron" (John 13:4-5 MSG).

Peter protested, but Jesus continued. Jesus' companions must have looked at one another with amazement and the murmuring around the table probably sounded like the buzz of busy bees. "What is He doing? Why is He doing the job of a servant?" they asked one another.

Jesus finished washing each friend's feet, and then He removed the apron, put His robe back on, and went back to His place at the table. "Then he said, 'Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as "Teacher" and "Master," and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet. I've laid down a pattern for you. What I've done, you do'" (John 13:12-15 MSG).

It was the ultimate act of servant leadership. Most important, it set the example for how we're to live our everyday lives.

Servant Leadership

Every day you and I have the opportunity to practice servant leadership. The profession of motherhood is about meeting the needs of others, caring for them physically, emotionally, and relationally. It requires a giving heart, a selfless spirit, and a strong sense of identity to serve generously:

Most moms don't think of themselves as a leader. But that's what a parent is. They are the leader of their children. Jesus described Himself as "Master" and "Teacher." We are that to our children. Certainly they don't call us "master," but a master is defined as "a person whose teachings others accept and follow."

Let's be honest: my children don't always accept my teachings, but for the most part they do follow them. And "teacher"-I doubt any of us would disagree with that. Mothers are natural teachers. We are imparting wisdom, giving direction, and helping our children learn about their world every day.

Jesus' titles of Master and Teacher were titles of authority. He was their leader. But in the humbling act of washing His pupils' feet, He balanced authority leadership with servant leadership. He brought alive Matthew 20: 16, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last." So is that saying that by being a servant we can become an even more influential leader in our kids' lives? That's exactly what Jesus said. I know ... it's hard to fathom. It's mind-blowing. It's countercultural. And it's Christlike.

What's a Mom to Do?

They say with kids more is caught than taught. What they see us do is far more important than what we tell them to do. They follow our example and grow up to be more like us than we'd sometimes like them to be. They "catch" our good and our bad.

Many of the things I do as a mother I do because I'm following the example of my mother. But she's not the only example I have to follow. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, we have His example to follow. He lived to give and He died serving. He was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, but He lived the humble life of a carpenter. He had the title of all titles: the Lord God Almighty, but He didn't force Himself on anybody, nor did He require that people bow down and worship Him. Instead He shared meals with tax collectors and slept in the wilderness. He spent time with the "least of these" and showed love to the unlovely. Now that's a hard act to follow.

We read in John 13:15-16 (NLT), "I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message." Jesus asks us to follow His example. We're not perfect. We won't do it exactly right. But we're called to become more Christlike every day. Personally I'm thankful to have a God who not only says, "Do as I say," but also, "Do as I do." He led by example and showed us that it is doable.

Our human nature struggles with the concept of "being last." We often give to get. We serve with the expectation of being served in return. Yet the very nature of mothering responsibilities slowly erodes that sense of entitlement and selfishness that we often bring into adulthood. Once a child grabs hold of our heart, we find a generosity in us like we've never experienced before. The sense of entitlement fades away and we learn to work harder than we've ever worked in our lives. We go without sleep and forget to eat. We give even when it feels like we have nothing left to give. Sometimes all we receive back from a cranky baby is a headache and from a rebellious teenager a heartache. That doesn't feel like much return for all the time, energy, and love we've given so freely.

Before we know it, we can begin to feel taken advantage of. And if we aren't careful, we lose valuable perspective. This is where serving has to have balance-and to learn about that balance we need to again follow the example of our Friend who understands.

Serve with a Curve

The Bible is full of stories of Jesus' busy life. He traveled, He spoke, He healed, He listened, He shared, He taught; and then He went to bed and did it all over again the next day. Yet even in the midst of a life of service, He knew that if you give freely you have to curve around and receive freely as well. Serving with a straight line (giving and not receiving) may result in burnout, bitterness, and sheer exhaustion.

The Bible tells us, "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16). This was Jesus' primary time of receiving. He refueled His emotional and spiritual fuel tank by spending time with God. He stepped away from the spotlight to pray and get His direction from His Father.

I once read that Susanna Wesley (1669-1742), the mother of nineteen, would pull up her hoop skirt over her head to find a moment to pray. Susanna was the mother of John Wesley, considered the founder of the Methodist Church, and Charles Wesley, the great hymn writer. That's a mom who understood her need to pull up to the spiritual filling station so she had the love, perspective, and energy to serve her very large family. You and I need to do the same.

We'll talk about prayer more in depth in a later chapter, but let's look at spending time with God as an essential part of serving. Serving is giving. Spending time with God is receiving. You and I need to receive from God hope, truth, love, encouragement, perspective, and value. Spending time with Him will fill our tank so that we serve out of the overflow of what God has filled us with. God confirms this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: "God ... comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." Also in 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (MSG), "This most generous God ... gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God." When we spend time with God, we fill up until we are overflowing and it is out of the overflow that we are able to serve others.

How do we receive from God? There are two ways: talking to Him (prayer) and reading His instruction manual (the Bible). Don't worry about formalities here; God just wants you to talk with Him. What are your struggles? Tell Him. What are you angry about? Tell Him. What is tripping you up in your relationships? Tell Him. What are you thankful for? Tell Him. What fears do you have? Tell Him. What are your hopes and dreams for the future? Tell Him. God just wants to hear our heart. He already knows our needs, but He longs for us to trust Him and invite Him into our daily life.

Just like Jesus, I need to "withdraw from the crowds" to pray Realistically, He probably sat on a rock in the desert to pray and I most often sit on a toilet in the bathroom (with the lid down, of course!). Seriously, the bathroom is sometimes the only place where a mom can find a few minutes of quiet. So use what you have! Keep a Bible and a notebook in the bathroom to read a few nuggets of truth and journal your prayers. Or just close the door, take a couple of deep breaths to quiet your mind, and talk with the Lord for a few moments.

If you can get up a few minutes before your family to spend time with God, you will fill up your tank before you start serving. Even just five or ten minutes can make a huge difference in a mom's day: I've always struggled with this myself, because I'm more of a night owl than an early bird. But when I've managed to make it happen, I notice a huge difference in my ability to care for my family.

My friend Becky writes Scripture on index cards and places the cards all over the house: on her bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, next to the computer, on the clash of her car ... anywhere she will be so that she can be reminded of God's truth for her life. Any time we read God's Word-even if it's one verse at a time-we fill up our tank so we can serve out of our overflow.

Receiving The Serve

When Mark was attending Bible college and we were struggling to make ends meet, we were approached by the pastor of our church one Sunday He walked up to Mark, extended his hand for a handshake and placed a $100 bill in his pocket. Mark immediately tried to give the money back, but Don wouldn't allow him to give it back. Finally Don said something neither Mark nor I have ever forgotten. He said, "Don't ever deny me the opportunity to serve my Lord." We were powerfully affected by Don's word and we quickly learned another aspect of serving. If someone serves, then someone else has to receive.

Most of us struggle with receiving. We either see it as a sign of weakness to have someone help us, or we hate to cause another person any inconvenience. But an important part of serving is also graciously receiving when God asks someone else to serve.

As moms, most of us fall easily into the "I'll take care of it myself" mind-set. When someone asks if they can help, we respond, "No, I think I'm doing okay." We labor alone, often ending up emotionally overwhelmed or physically exhausted. A mother who does everything for the family and expects nothing from them will raise children who grow up and have no sense of responsibility. We need to invite our children to serve right alongside of us. And sometimes we even need to allow them to serve us. That's a challenge for most of us, but a very important part of modeling a balanced picture of serving.

Jesus also models the receiving side of serving. He allowed others to occasionally make dinner for Him. He let a woman pour perfume on His feet and wipe His feet with her hair. He permitted the disciples to steer a boat He was in so He could sleep. He gave Himself completely, but He balanced the serving He did with allowing others to serve Him, as well. It's a pattern set for us to follow.

How do we apply this to everyday life in the trenches of motherhood? Consider these possibilities:

When your husband says "How can I help you?" don't brush away his question, but invite him to join you in whatever you are doing.

If your neighbor comes over while you're making a fruit salad for the neighborhood cookout, ask her to help you cut up the strawberries.

Rather than making dinner alone for your family night after night, ask your children to help you with age-appropriate tasks. A preschooler can help set the table; a grade-schooler can help clean vegetables or make a salad. A teenager is fully capable of being in charge of planning and preparing one meal each week.

When your mother-in-law comes over and takes it upon herself to clean your kitchen, be grateful for the help rather than offended by her actions. Thank her for her servant heart and graciously receive the gift.

The next time you are sick and a girlfriend calls you during the day and asks if she can bring you dinner ... say yes!

A Servant Heart

In today's me-first society, having a servant heart can be considered countercultural. But the joy of serving others offers an experience like none other. Because we are made in the image of God, we are designed to serve.

The profession of motherhood is about caring for the needs of those around Us. But as Christ showed us, we have to both give and receive. And we have to serve out of the overflow of our heart rather than our emptiness. There is great strength and beauty in serving our family, friends, and neighbors, and allowing them to serve us. Christ served freely and we are called to do the same!

Jesus, Thank You for showing me the balance of serving. Help me to serve with a right heart and to recognize the gift I offer when I serve. Most important, though, help me to learn to receive. It's so hard to let others serve me, yet I know that's part of the deal, too! Let me both give and receive. As I hang with You, Lord, and learn more about You, help me to be more like You every day.

Chapter Two Perspective

Help! Everyone wants a piece of me.

Erica was so unhappy. "Uncomfortable" was the only word to describe this third child of mine. We never experienced colic with the first two babies, but this one had been crying nonstop for nearly six months. My two older children were six and four and still needed a lot of my attention. On one particular day I remember feeling like I had a baby attached to my breast and a preschooler attached to each leg the entire day. I finally tucked everyone into bed for the night and I made a beeline for my own bed ... only to find a husband with a gleam in his eye!

I wanted to scream, "If one more person touches this body, I'll lose it!"

Let's face it. When we launch into the journey of motherhood, it takes a physical toll on us. If you give birth, you lose all sense of modesty once labor sets in. Every part of your body is pushed, pulled, looked at, and touched in ways you would have never imagined possible. Once that beautiful little one is placed in your arms, he begins rooting for his first meal and your breasts suddenly have a new job.

Maybe you came into motherhood through adoption. Still, children have to be carried as infants. As they enter the toddler and pre-school years they seem to think you are a moving piece of playground equipment-jumping, hanging, and climbing on you nonstop.

We can't forget Dad in all of this. In the midst of all the "little people" demanding their needs be met, Dad can easily move from his well-earned place on the top of the priority list to right under "feed the dog" at the bottom of the list. That's not the way it should be ... it just happens if we're not careful.

When Jesus lived on this earth, it seemed that everyone wanted a piece of Him. There are many stories in the Bible that show people wanting Jesus' time and His touch. Some waited patiently for their turn and others pushed their way through the crowd to simply touch the hem of His garment. One particular story about a woman who was desperate to touch Jesus comes to mind. The Bible says she had been bleeding for twelve years and she believed Jesus could heal her. She pushed her way through the crowd and was able to just touch His clothing. Because of her faith, she was healed. (Read about her in Matthew 9:20-22.)

Jesus' experience on this earth is very similar to ours as mothers. Our family wants our time and our touch. Some wait patiently (like a weary husband) and others demand their way (like a screaming baby). Jesus was in high demand, and as mothers we are in high demand, as well.

(Continues...)




Excerpted from REAL Moms ... REAL Jesus by JILL SAVAGE Copyright © 2009 by Jill Savage. Excerpted by permission.
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.

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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

You Are Not Alone

Perspective:
How can God understand?
Chapter 1:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus served/The truth about serving

Perspective: Help, everyone wants a piece of me!
Chapter 2:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus worshiped/The truth about worship

Perspective: Can I please go to the bathroom alone?
Chapter 3:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus was compassionate and tender/The truth about a gentle spirit

Perspective: I'm in high demand
Chapter 4:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus was angry/The truth about boundaries

Perspective: Is there such a thing as uninterrupted sleep?
Chapter 5:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus sacrificed/The truth about sacrifice

Perspective: I'm dealing with obedience around every corner!
Chapter 6:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus forgave/The truth about forgiveness

Perspective: I'm so tired
Chapter 7:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus taught/The truth about leading our children

Perspective: I feel like I'm on display
Chapter 8:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus was confident/The truth about our identity

Perspective: I feel betrayed
Chapter 9:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus was tempted/The truth about temptation

Perspective: I'm disappointed
Chapter 10: Discover God's Truth: Jesus wept/The truth about our emotions

Perspective: I didn't do it!
Chapter 11:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus prayed/The truth about prayer

Perspective: There's never enough money, time, or me to go around!
Chapter 12:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus trusted/The truth about faith

Perspective: I need a break!
Chapter 13:  Discover God's Truth: Jesus let go/The truth about surrendering

Discussion Guide

A Note from the Author

About Hearts at Home

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Good book to do as a group study.

    The author relates our busy, interrupted, and sometimes hectic lives as mothers to the life that Jesus lived. Some of her ideas about mom's needing "me time" I have heard before, but it was neat to remember that Jesus had to go off and have prayer time and needed to get away from the crowds just like us. He understands!

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    wonderful book

    Perfect book for a mother of three and on my feet all day tending to the needs of my children and husband. I was given this book and loved it so much it was one of the first I got on my Nook. I have suggested to many people.,

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 24, 2010

    What Great Encouragement

    My sister and I have been reading through this book together in support of each other in our journey through motherhood and have found this book to be incredibly inspirational and relatable to my life. I encourage new moms to get a hold of this book and to moms who have been at it a while, it can also help put things into perspective. Reading it together with someone else is also a great idea as it has a discussion guide in the back...

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    WONDERFUL book for Moms!

    I have now finished this book Real Moms...Real Jesus and would like to share my thoughts with you.

    I have found through her blog and other books that Jill has a way of speaking to the hearts of Moms. She relates real life experiences of her home in a way that gives insight to other Moms going through the same situations. Real Moms....Real Jesus is no different.

    This book has thirteen chapters that relate the experiences of Jesus during His life on earth to experiences of Moms. Jesus served; we serve our families. Jesus taught; we are teachers in our homes. Jesus prayed; we must cover our families in prayer. Jesus let go; we have to learn to let go of our children as they grow.

    I enjoyed reading this book and participating in the weekly posts about each chapter on Jill's blog. It is very encouraging as a Mom to read about the life of Jesus and see how things He faced relate to motherhood. I was blessed by reading this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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