GIVEAWAY: {Why} Motherhood Matters

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways, Parenting 60 Comments

HAPPY FRIDAY! Today we have SEPTEMBER McCARTHY as our guest and she’s written a meaningful new book called, {Why} Motherhood Matters. This is a book that you’ll want to buy several copies of to give away to all your mama friends whether they have toddlers or teens…or both. On each page September writes with a vulnerability and tenderness that invokes personal reflection, shares insights of faith, and provides heaps of encouragement. If you’re a mom or simply know a few moms – today’s post will touch your heart.

Here’s September with an excerpt from {Why} Motherhood Matters

 

Why We Need to Let Them In

There it was again. A soft knock on my screen door.

I was hoping it wasn’t so. Of all the times to have visitors, why did it have to be now? I had chosen this day to relax. I had six kiddos under the age of nine still in their pajamas at one in the afternoon, and a home that held a few piles of unfolded laundry on the couch, a nursing babe on my breast, and a table left sticky from a PB&J lunch. We had gone apple picking the day before, and the over-achiever in me seemed to rear its head. In hindsight, we had picked way too many! There they were, those beautiful, shiny apples in bags on my kitchen floor, causing a little more than an overwhelming picture to my life. I had chosen to be present with my kids today and now it seemed to be backfiring on me.

Walking to the door, I smoothed my fingers through my little girl’s hair, pushed a few toys aside with my feet, brushed the crumbs from the tabletop to the floor, and opened the door with a hesitant smile. I was greeted with the warmest of faces and the gentlest of eyes in a woman 30 years my senior. Her speckled, gray hair was neatly combed, a stark contrast to my postpartum body, and I immediately felt small, defensive, and hesitant.

I didn’t move from the door. I was secretly hoping she was just dropping something off. But her cheerful words told me differently. She was just dropping in for a visit, and I was mortified to let her in. I always had my home in order, clean and running smoothly, but this day, this single day, I had chosen to let it all go for some rest and downtime with the kids. It was time to eat humble pie.

This day changed my life. Forever.

This dear woman walked into my home and never once did she look around. She kept her eyes on me the whole time. She sat at the table with her arms carefully arranged around the sticky leftovers and she held my baby with so much love. She didn’t look at the dishes in my sink or the mountain of laundry unfolded on the couch. She carried on the most pleasant of conversations, ever so gracefully ignoring my inner turmoil and anxiety over every little thing. She let the kids crawl onto her lap and she read them books. She asked me how I was and what I would be doing that week.

Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 NIV)

I was a bundle of nerves. I skittered around like a maniac for the first ten minutes, offering her refreshment, washing a glass in case she said yes, and ridiculously trying to make everything perfect. She never blinked or acted annoyed. She smiled and told me she just wanted to visit with me. And never once did she bring up the dishes or comment on the state of my disarray for that day.

She could have offered to help with the mess but she knew me well enough to know that I had that under control and that the offer could easily be an offense. Instead of piling on guilt or triggering embarrassment, she was perfectly present to put my heart and mind at ease. She sat right there in the sea of craziness and beamed like a lighthouse I wanted to draw near for comfort and security. I wanted her peace, and she was bringing it to me.

I had been waiting for her to point out my motherhood imperfections, my messy corners, and that obviously my children were still in their pj’s at one in the afternoon. That never happened. She was just there to meet me where I was. This was the first time another woman had ever overlooked everything else and put value in just me. It was a glorious unfolding of the perfect picture of sisterhood in the thick of the mess. A sanctuary of blessing that every woman should receive.

As she stood to leave, she kissed my children, and I remember seeing them look up into her deep eyes with adoration; I knew they would never forget her. There was another dart of conviction to my heart. I had worried so much about the state of my home and my appearance that I didn’t recognize the full gift God was extending to me and to my kids. This awakening was a mighty strong and beautiful thing.

When she got to the door, she paused with a brief hesitancy (insert the Holy Spirit working here) and sweetly turned to me and said, “I see you have some apples there that need to be finished into applesauce.” After a long, awkward pause on my part, I quickly told her about our eagerness while picking and the joy it brought the kids to see their hard work in number. But she and I both knew half of those apples would never make it to the freezer or the canning jars. That was the truth of it. She had quietly noticed those apples earlier, but upon leaving, told me that she would love to take them home so she and her retired husband could sit and peel, core, cook down, and crank out our sauce like no tomorrow. As a matter of fact, it would be fun for them. Go figure. My job would be fun for her. Or at least, that’s how she put it. Because she knew my pride might get in the way and I might say no.

Oh, that moment was so defining. With all my heart, I knew it was the right thing to let her take those apples. It was a true gift, but with all my pride-filled emotional reasoning, I wanted to tell her that I was good. That we were going to make it a family project and it would be fun. But, I knew that it would be all me. All stress and all regret if I didn’t let someone help me.

Those bushels and bushels of apples went home with my friend with sparkly eyes and sprinkled grey hair. A few days later, she returned the finished applesauce to my home.

Taken from: {Why} Motherhood Matters. Copyright © 2017 by September McCarthy. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.

Hurray! Hurray! A Giveaway!!
September is giving away TWO copies of her book!

Vicki Piedras and Julie B are our winners!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT to win by CLICKING HERE.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, September 11th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US readers only.}

 

Mothering in community is only one of the important topics covered in September McCarthy’s new book {Why} Motherhood Matters. Download a sample chapter and learn more at whymotherhoodmatters.com. September McCarthy believes every woman needs someone to speak into her life with understanding and truth. She encourages women in each season of motherhood through her blog One September Day and her ministry Raising Generations Today. As a speaker and writer, her vision and mission is for the generations. September lives in rural Upstate New York with her husband and their large family.

 

 

Comments 60

  1. I love the fact, that she struggled with everyday issues, and battled within…. We all do this with a bit of pride. I loved when she finally came to terms that the Holy Spirit spoke to her and she listened.. even if it took a moment.. I have a daughter-in-law like this, beautiful spirit, working Mother, ready to have their 2nd son any day now!! I would love to be able to get this for her.. I love like she’s my own.. Thank you, September for this wonderful share. Much love in Christ, River.

  2. Motherhood is so hard. I often wonder why my children turned out the way they did. Now I’m raising their children and praying they grow up and take the right path. I love my family very much

  3. Several momma’s came to mind that I want to give this book to when I read this excerpt from her book!! It really gets to the heart of motherhood!!

  4. Wow what timing that my mother in law shared this post. This will be a very trying season and my goal is to try to hold my head above water.

  5. This devotional is amazing! Even though I am not a mother, I relate more to the visitor. But, It would be a pleasure to share this book with a younger friend who is a mother. This excerpt sounds just like her. In fact, this weekend I am making her favorite…homemade apple butter. Thank you, Gwen for sharing God’s love with us. May God richly bless you this weekend.

  6. This book sounds wonderful! I have several young moms I would love to give this book to. I have the blessing of being Gramma now. I do, however remember those crazy days & I love to ‘pay it forward’ as was done for me. I’m actually going to order this book today because I’m leading a Bible Study in early October about motherhood & how it passes through the generations. Gwen, your a blessing to me personally! Thank you from the Last Frontier of Alaska!

  7. This book sounds just like what I need! I know I often don’t let people lend a hand (or let people “in”) & I need to.

  8. Thank you for this opportunity! I’m a mom of 4, 9 & under, who lives to read and then pass along my books. Thank you!

  9. Motherhood is amazing! as of currently I’m a step mommy…. I hope to be his adopted mommy very soon! I love him so much!

  10. In preparing for distant friends to house from Hurricane Irma, my girls and I stayed home from school. As much as I wanted to get my house perfect perfect perfect, I stopped, looked at the girls as they worked on their rooms and said, “Let’s go on a bike ride” they were shocked, “What?” “Really?” “Stop cleaning?” “Are you sure?” We went, spent family time together and made memories as my house sat. It is those moments, that impact their lives, reminding them to stop, look around, and remember what is most important.
    I would love to win this book!

  11. This was such a great reminder about the calling for generosity and for hospitality, even when we don’t feel like it. It’s also a reminder that we worry about stuff more than other people actually notice. My house was never in perfect order when my kids were small and I think about the missed opportunities to practice these virtues!

  12. Loved reading the excerpt, very entertaining and so motherhood! I would love to win this to give to my daughter, a mother of three. As a Grammy, I relate to so many of her cares and concerns as a mom.

  13. I love this story. My house is never clean–while it use to bother me (a lot), now it’s just a part of the busy life we live. If I had a choice between a clean and sparkly house or one filled with fun, laughter, and memories, the choice is easy.

    I think I found my new favorite gift to give my mom friends! Being a mom has been the greatest joy in my life!

  14. I would love to read this book.
    Motherhood has made me appreciate so much that we take for granted. As I enter a new phase of that journey, I can say for certain my time was never wasted just spending time with them.

  15. I love your story. I’m one of those silver haired ladies that too would most likely offer to help with those apples. God sends Angels in many ways. Enjoy and love that precious Angel.

  16. Beautifully written & a much needed message for all mothers. We are not alone in our motherhood struggles, although sometimes we feel so alone. We need to be able to reach out to other women without judgement & to be receptive of support offered by other women without shame or guilt. Our desire for perfection in our attempts at mothering is so often what steals the joy from our moments. Thank you for your honesty in sharing! God bless!

  17. This passage touched my heart. Wether I win or not, I will be purchasing this masterpiece. Continue your great works in the Lord! Much love

  18. This excerpt brought tears although it could be the pregnancy hormones 🙂 I am due in April with baby #3. Thank you September! This really touched my heart. It is so hard to let others help us mamas. This will be a repeat C-section for me and I’ve already admitted that I will need help for the first 2 weeks postpartum. I hate asking for help but I know I won’t be able to do it all. C-sections are hard!

  19. I read this and cried; it touched my heart because I remember being that Mama. My daughter is now going through the same things and often feels inadequate as a Mama. I don’t think that anything I could say would help her more than this portion of your book. Thank you for writing down and sharing what so many of us have felt and not had the courage to share.

  20. i just wish this book was out when my children toddler n teens. But I know there is still something for me to learn. God bless you.

  21. I pray that I can be the older woman who provides this type of non-judgemental love and unconditional love to a woman in need. Moms are too hard on themselves.

    Love to all Moms.

  22. OH MY….YES! YES! YES! No one ever drops by when there is order….especially my mother. I don’t know why I let it bother me so….i never care when I visit a friend…ugh!! Thanks for the “real” post! oxox

  23. This little I read, is like going back in time. Mothers can relate to what this woman went through. It is nice have a book to read that lets Mom knows other mothers goes through the same thing! It is a validation that you don’t have to have it all together. Would love to read it!

  24. Been there, done that! What a sweet story. I have a niece who lives nearby who is having her first baby in a few months. This gave me ideas on how to help her during the trying early baby months/years! God bless September for this great book. I would love to share one with Nikki.

  25. This little bit I read made me feel so much better. I would really love to read all of it, and know a few others that would also like it.

  26. Will I ever reach that point in my life where none of this matters? Folks often find me with a rag, broom, or laundry basket in my hands. My pastor husband tells me all the time to leave it or let it be. Curse words to me (smile). I love being a mom! I have two daughters- one is 28, the other is 12. I homeschool the youngest. I also a 4 year old granddaughter who is the apple of my eye! There is joy in my life! Would love to have this book.

  27. Motherhood is one of the best things God has given me but it does take community to go through it. I would love to win this book.

  28. THAT is what I needed when my kids were little! I needed someone to come alongside me and encourage me. I struggled a lot with always wanting the house to be perfect and felt guilty when it wasn’t. Guilty when the laundry didn’t get done, because I was home 24×7 with my kiddos. How I longed for someone to be there to just see me. Thank you for writing this book. It’s something that I’m going to be sharing with my daughter and daughter-in-law.

  29. So encouraging! My precious DILs are in that stage of young motherhood while I’m in the gray-haired visitors stage. Should I win a copy of the book, it will be passed down. However, this post convicts me of how I can reach out to young mothers. Thank you.

  30. Wonderful and beautiful writing, September! If only I had this book when I was raising my two sons on my own. I have two women in mind that would surely be blessed by this book. Thank you for sharing your life and your heart so beautifully. May God continue to work in you and through you for His glory.

  31. oh, I am that grey haired mom! I love visiting and encouraging mom’s , but sometimes hesitate because I think they are too busy. However, the last time I visited a new mom and her older toddler, she thanked me, and asked if I would come again. My heart grew big-sometimes you feel like your job is done, but it is not! I love to support young moms at home, and cannot wait to read this whole book!

  32. Loved the sample we were Blessed to read. I was ready to keep reading. We all need to be encouraged, and reminded that God is with us thru this journey. So may Grandmothers are raising their grandchildren these days. This book helps Mother’s of all ages. Thank You for following the Gift God has given you, and helping and blessing so many.

  33. Iam a mother of two grown sons and I can certainly relate to this story. Yes right down to the apple picking and too many apples. I looking back it was not about the apples I did not use but the memories I created for my sons. They still talk about apple picking when they were small. I too felt that my house had to be perfect or people would think bad of me. I think we put more stress on ourselves then we should. Creating memories and spending time with your children are priceless. They grow fast and there are no do overs. Relax as I am now finding out now that my sons are grown I have plenty of time to keep a clean house.

  34. What a wonderful exert from today’s guest author! I’m a “mature” woman *(i.e., in my 60s) & can relate to both the houseguest in the story as well as the overwhelmed mom. I only had one offspring, but worked full-time. Life is hard for each of us in its own peculiar way! The Lord promises to “refresh” us & He KEEPS His promises!

  35. OH YES THIS IS A BOOK FOR ALL MOTHERS AS THIS WILL BRING MOTHERS TO THE UNDERSTANDING THAT GOD IS HERE FOR US AND THAT HE BRINGS PEOPLE TO US WHEN WE NEED TO HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CALM US AND TO GIVE US THE LOVE WE NEED THANK YOU FOR THIS BOOK. PRAISE GOD FOR SUCH A PERSON WHO SEES WHAT GOD HAS FOR US ALL

  36. I feel indentify with you in your example, Motherhood is one of the most blessings job God give us. In this time with all my son growing everything is different, but if I go back Im pretty sure change many things to be less stressful.

  37. Being a Mom is the most important job you will ever do. It’s hard at times but we need to embrace it. Don’t sweat the small stuff. God has blessed us with children to raise. What a blessing! I have 20 pre-schoolers. I pray everyday before school for them that God has blessed them with loving Parents who take time for them! Love is everything.

  38. I live those sticky table days quite often as my youngest begs to make slime and I let her. I believe in making moments count. I too, have had unexpected visitors who treated me with kindness and understanding and that made all the difference. I would love to read it and then bless my friend with this book. Thanks for writing this…. motherhood is the toughest job we will ever love but we weren’t made to do it alone

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