What I expected and what I got from this book were two different things. The title “I Need Some Help Here!” makes me think of Michelle Pfeifer or Julia Roberts playing a harassed mum, up to her eyeballs in dirty nappies; yoghurt spattered on the wall; a pre-schooler with only one shoe … I expected lots of funny stories of little ones and their mishaps, and tips on how to cope with them; what I got was a very serious twelve chapters on how best to bring up children. There were several stories, but more emotional than practical, and none that really made me laugh. The first chapter was particularly hard-going. To grab people’s attention, it should have started in chapter three.
This book could benefit new Christians, Sunday churchgoers, struggling parents or those who want to support them. Its main themes being prayer and God’s sufficiency, there are prayers for children and their parents. You will find useful advice in here (the chapter on mental illness especially), but Kathi’s packed a lot in to some of the chapters, so definitely not a light read to pick up and put down. Changing the format to a month-long devotional might improve it somewhat, but I wouldn’t be falling over myself to buy this for a new mum.
There’s a lot in Proverbs 3. Today these verses made me think: “My child, do not reject the Lord’s discipline … The Lord corrects those He loves, just as parents correct the child they delight in” (Proverbs 3:11-12), probably because I had just read Jarrod Cooper’s latest post, which talks about being correctable. He says some people can’t handle correction, so they call it rejection … but God disciplines those He loves. Are you accepting or rejecting God’s discipline?
And a verse I don’t seem to have noticed before is this one: “Whenever you are able, do good to people who need help” (Proverbs 3:27). I like that phrase – ‘Whenever you are able’, because it confirms what I’ve always thought: That God doesn’t expect us to give beyond our means. There are verses about a church who gave beyond their ability (2 Corinthians 8:1-5), but I believe that was the exception, not the rule for all of us. Besides, if we do that with the wrong heart-motive, aren’t we in danger of putting God to the test? “I’m giving beyond my ability; therefore You have to provide”? Actually, God doesn’t have to do anything; He doesn’t even have to put up with us. The things He does, He does because He loves us. He sees us not just as people to put up with, but the apple of His eye. Aren’t you glad?
Do you get those E-mails from WordPress, telling you somebody liked your post and recommending some of theirs? That’s how I came across this story. I knew I wanted to share it with you; it really does pull at the heartstrings. I was blown away by the contrast between where this child had come from and where she is now. God had been so good to this little girl, and that’s what He wants for each one of us – to bring us into His family (the church), so we’re not forever damaged by our pasts, but surrounded by people who love and care for us. Are you in the family of God?
PS. H is also for Heart’s Reflection, the blog of one of my best friends. Happy birthday Nicky, love you lots.