I started reading Christ in the Chaos by Kimm Crandall sometime last year. I’ve had to read it slowly. Chewing on her ideas and letting them sink in. Kimm fleshes out the gospel message to mothers everywhere living in the chaos of normal life as she herself lives through it. She comes right along side and preaches the gospel to us and shows us how to preach it to ourselves. The book is filled with personal examples from Kimm’s life which made me feel like she was just like me in so many ways. The appendix is filled with tons of scriptures for those times when you blow it, for when you feel weak, for when you are discouraged, and for when you are overwhelmed.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
It seems clear to me that the Lord designed all my challenges so I would eventually turn to him and learn where my true identity is hidden: in Christ…..Check yourself to see whether your identity is in the gospel or something else: every thought and every action is fueled by your sense of identity….(wonderful description of a situation in her life)…So who are you in Christ? At the moment you were saved he gave you two gifts that completely redefined your identity. The first was having your slate wiped clean…Your guilt was erased, leaving your clean, pure and acceptable before God, and this is still true today–no matter what…Not only did God delete everything from your account that should have been counted against you, he then chose to give you the gift of righteousness through his Son….
You do not get fresh clean slate so you can start over — you would only mess it all up again in no time! Instead, your slate is wiped clean so it can now display the perfect record of our Savior!
How awesome is that!! The pressure is off! Our clean slate isn’t to be refilled by us but by JESUS instead! Oh how I want to let that sink it deep!
And this is so true about motherhood:
Being a mother can be a thankless job. If you look for love and approval in that job from anyone other than Christ you will soon grow tired and burdened. Jesus accomplished for you everything God demands of you–this is why God’s love toward you is truly unconditional!
This hit me right between the eyes:
Good works are not about proving anything or earning anything. They are an act of worship from a heart overwhelmed by what Christ has done.
We must trade in our performance obsession–which is really a sin obsession–for a Savior obsession
And this lovely picture of Christ:
The chaos of life drives us to Christ and in this way he is glorified in the chaos. He loves to show grace to sinners, dwelling with us when we are scared and drawing us close when we have sinned. He loves to show us his faithfulness amid the difficulty of our lives. He loves to love us.
How does the gospel actually help us in “real” life?
What the gospel really does in my chaos is it tells me who I am. It forces me to get over myself, to be real, and to call on Christ for help because I understand more fully how weak and loving I am. It frees me to desire what is right because I don’t need to get my own way. I have nothing to prove because the gospel has reassured me I already have it all in Christ.
Do you believe God is as good as he says he is? When things start to unravel, do you first ask, “What have I done to cause this?” or instead do you ask, “What does the gospel have to do with this?” Living in the gospel means understanding that when things start to blow up, it is not because God is angry and paying you back. Rather, it means that, even as things are blowing up, you are aware God will redeem this current crazy moment for his glory. Living in the gospel means remembering the truth about who you are in Christ and why that matters.
I’m trying not to just retype the whole book but I love this too:
We must stop feeding each other the “try harder” and “do better” pep talks. We must start loving each other in our weaknesses, reminding one another of God’s great grace for sinners–which includes each one of us.
The call to motherhood is not about you and your ability to raise your family; its about a Savior who has called you to serve him as he fulfills a beautiful redemptive plan.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been the good girl. Always trying to do the right things. Always knowing in my heart that I fail to meet expectations: my own, my husband’s, my children’s, my family’s. And that failure has always made me sad and yet resolved to do better. Where is the grace in that? Christ didn’t die so that I could be a perfect person. He died because I needed him but I didn’t even know it. Without him there could be NO good in me. Not even one ounce. Despite all of my efforts there is nothing good besides Him. Trying harder and doing better will never result in anything but frustration. It He who made me who I am and He who loves me as I am. He can take this mess and redeem it for HIS glory. My job is to seek after him and let him transform me.
I am so thankful for this book and its message.
Redeemed by his Grace,