God-centred parenting is holy work

Books-OrdinaryOrdinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting
Rachel S. Gerber
Herald Press

How can a miracle be ordinary? Miracles are…miracles, not regular, everyday occurrences. However, when we place God at the centre of our lives, everything becomes a miracle. This is what Rachel Gerber demonstrates in Ordinary Miracles: Awakening to the Holy Work of Parenting.

Ordinary Miracles is not another “how-to” manual on parenting. Instead, it is an expression of a mother’s experiences in the light of her relationship with God. It is as if the author is drawing a curtain to let the reader see what she goes through each day and how she perceives her journey toward a richer understanding of God through her role as a mother and a wife.

In these 144 pages, Rachel tells two stories, creatively weaving the events of the “Road to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13–35) into the parenting narrative.

By narrating the biblical event alongside her own story, Rachel’s reflections show how events and experiences in the life of a mother can help inform and shape her spiritual growth. For example, the child’s cry for attention mirrors our need to be close to our Father in heaven.

Through the mother’s life, Rachel shows how our busyness can cloud our focus on God, and at the same time, drain us of any desire to be close to those we love.

One particular insight is that “love requires actions.” An expression of love through actions elevates godly selfless parenting to a holy work. Rachel captures this truth while reminding us of our frailty and even our doubts, which may affect how we view the physical and the spiritual reality of our parenting.

There is a lot to learn from this book. Male readers will gain insight into what every mother goes through. Women will relate with Rachel’s account of the multiple demands on a mother. All readers will be reminded that in the midst of juggling time with your children and attending to numerous chores, you also need to take time off to care for yourself and not feel guilty about it.

Importantly, this book is for those of us in the journey of faith; it is for those who wonder how seemingly common events in our lives can help turn our hearts and minds to our relationship with God.

This is an easy-to-read book that leaves the reader with an awareness that ordinary moments in life can lead to deeper reflection on our spiritual journey. These events can be as simple as stopping to listen to a child, talking to a stranger, inviting someone to your home, visiting a neighbour or calling a friend for a chat.

Ordinary Miracles ends with questions to facilitate individual or group reflection on the important – even holy – work of parenting.


Sospeter Gatobu attends Waterloo (Ont.) MB Church, where he also serves on the leadership board.

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