Mom Set Free

Find Relief from the Pressure to Get It All Right

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About The Book

Moms are under so. much. pressure. Pressure that weighs us down and threatens to wipe us out. Are you ready for relief? Mom Set Free will empower you to parent in the confidence of God's grace and to experience the freedom you were created for.

We moms are told that we have to get it all right so our kids turn out right. We’re told that their entire futures are riding on our ability to perfectly orchestrate their lives. And we’re told that the strength of their faith hinges on ours. And we begin to believe that if we just try hard enough, we can actually “be enough.”

These impossible standards leave us stuck in worry, anger, guilt, comparison, and shame.

Jeannie Cunnion gets it. And in Mom Set Free she reveals how the Good News of the Gospel empowers us to live—and parent—in the freedom for which Christ has set us free.

Jeannie invites us to journey alongside her as we learn to:
* Lay down what God has not asked us to carry so we can thrive in what He has.
* Embrace our significance in our children’s lives in light of God’s sovereignty.
* Trust God with the children He has entrusted to us.
* Receive God’s grace so we can reflect God’s heart to our kids.

It’s time to breathe deeper, walk lighter, and reclaim the wonder and adventure of parenting.

Excerpt

Mom Set Free • CHAPTER 1 •

The Pressure to Be Enough
The Freedom to Rely on the “Enough-ness” of Christ

During my first pregnancy, I can clearly remember people—friends and strangers alike—telling me how much I would love being a mom. How I would love my son so much that I would feel like my heart would burst. And they were right. The moment the nurse laid my newborn son’s bare body on my chest and I felt his heart beat against mine, I knew there was nothing in this world I wouldn’t do for him. My instantaneous love for him overwhelmed me.

That newborn baby is now a teenager, and I am still caught off guard by how the very sight of him, along with his three younger brothers, slays me.

However, what I don’t remember anyone telling me before my first son was born is that motherhood would not only enlarge my heart but it would also expose all my weaknesses and inadequacies, and that there would be days when I’d feel so desperate that I wouldn’t even recognize myself. I didn’t see that coming. I didn’t expect that motherhood would reveal both the beautiful and the not-so-beautiful parts of my heart.
What I Wish I’d Known
I recently attended a baby shower for a young woman named Nicole. She was a soon-to-be first-time mom and a woman I very much admire and adore. To call her wise beyond her years would be an understatement.

The shower was a joyous occasion, as all baby showers are, but the joy at this shower was palpable. Nicole and her husband, Jimmy, had long prayed and hoped for this “miracle baby” whom we were all eager to embrace and celebrate.

However, just about halfway through the celebration, I felt a strong inclination to pull my friend aside and warn her that parenting isn’t all petits fours, pink lemonade, and filtered Instagram photos. Perhaps it was because I was on the tail end of a very defeating week of parenting. The kind where my joy was lost in the battles. Failures outweighed victories. Fighting trumped kindness. All my intentionality felt worthless. And I was mentally and physically wiped out.

You’ll be happy to know I didn’t ruin the shower. I focused on the gift this child will be to Nicole and Jimmy. But soon thereafter, Nicole and I grabbed coffee and, because I love her, I shared with her some of the things I wish I’d known as a new mom.

I said things like:

This parenting thing is hard. Really hard. And there will be a lot of mornings when you want to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed because you don’t have the mental, physical, or emotional strength to meet the demands of the day and be the mom you want to be.

And when you do muster up the strength to put your feet on the floor and take that one next step, you will want to say, with the little energy you can summon, “Who wants to play hide and seek? Doesn’t that sound like fun! Okay, so you go hide, and be sure to find a really great spot where I’ve never found you before, and Mommy will come look for you after I count to five hundred.” Yes, you will do this because you are falling apart. It won’t mean you don’t love your children with all you have. It just means you’re human. And that’s okay.

And you will make mistakes. Lots of them. And you will have regrets. Big ones. And you will need Jesus like you’ve never needed Him before!

But, girlfriend, what I most want to tell you is this: On the days when you feel like you’re not enough, hold on tight to the truth that you have a Savior who is enough. And what is hard for you is not hard for Him! So run to Him. Rely on Him. Depend on Him.

Isn’t that what we most want to hear?

We all need another mom to affirm the “crazy” we feel. We need to know that we’re not the only one whose fierce love for our children coexists with feelings of failure and desperation.

We all need another mom to remind us—over and over again—that we have a powerful God who has given us His perfect son, Jesus Christ. And He is our enough.
The Relief God Promises
When we’re feeling pushed far beyond our human limitations, and we look in the mirror only to find our face worn and weary with the day’s demands, we can turn to God’s Word and read the relief God promises.

O Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles?

O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?

Have you never heard?

Have you never understood?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of all the earth.

He never grows weak or weary.

No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.

They will soar high on wings like eagles.

They will run and not grow weary.

They will walk and not faint.

(40: 27–31 NLT)

Did you get all that? There’s a lot of relief packed into this passage:

• God does not lose track of us.

• God very much cares what happens to us.

• God’s knowledge and understanding cannot be measured.

• God never grows weak or weary.

• He knows everything. Every. Single. Thing.

• He gives power to the weak.

• He gives strength to the powerless.

What we learn through the words of Isaiah is that who God is, which is sovereign, and what He gives us, which is grace, is enough. And He wants us to trust Him. When we’re exhausted—both mentally and physically—He wants us to rely on Him to be all that we need. He wants us to recognize that parenting is actually meant to—designed to—deepen our dependence on Him. He is wooing our hearts closer and closer to His in and through our kids.

God actually has a simple but profound message for us regarding our quest to be enough. In Psalms 46:10, His voice breaks through and proclaims, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I have clung to this verse for years. In fact, I most love the New American Standard translation that says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” I’ve recently discovered something that makes this verse even more meaningful to me. The Hebrew meaning for “be still” is “enough.” Oh, how profound this is for our lives and for our parenting. He is saying, Enough of trying to be enough!
The Squeeze of Vertical and Horizontal Pressure
Whether you’re in the middle of raising tiny babies, tantruming toddlers, tenacious teenagers, or adult kids, you’re likely well acquainted with the hopeless feeling of being “not enough” for your children. But here’s the thing. As we seek to overcome the pressure we feel to be enough for our kids, we also have to take an honest look at the pressure we feel to be enough for God. See, most of us aren’t just trying to be enough for our kids, which is the horizontal pressure we feel. We’re also trying to be enough for God, and that’s the vertical pressure I want us to talk about honestly on this journey together.

Do you ever fear (or maybe the better question is, how often do you fear?) that you are disappointing God with your personal failures and your parenting mistakes? That pressure usually leads us to do one of two things. With clenched fists and gritted teeth, we try harder to keep God happy and not lose His love and acceptance. Or, we give up because we assume God has given up on us. Neither of which draws us closer to His heart, where He wants us to hear Him saying, “I don’t need you to impress me. I want you to rely on me.”

And when it comes to parenting—where we experience the horizontal pressure to prove we’re enough—we just keep searching for newer and better ways to control our child’s behavior, secure our child’s success, or change our child’s heart. And none of it works—at least, not for long.

Is it any wonder that under all this pressure we crack?

Are you tired of being the mom who is barely stumbling along, crushed under the pressure to be “enough”? Are you tired of feeling that you can’t catch your breath, can’t keep up, and can’t be all that your children need you to be? Are you tired of being tired?

I get it.
The Enough-ness of Christ
I spent entirely too long trying to prove to myself, to God, and to everybody around me that I was enough. Only in recent years have I begun to understand what Paul meant when he said that in our pursuit to be enough, we deny and reject the work of Christ—it’s as if “Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:21 NIV). In other words, if we ever had a shot at being enough, then everything Jesus endured on our behalf to reconcile us to God was pointless. God never called us to be enough. Not for Him and not for our kids. Not for our spouse and not for our church. He calls us to be loved. To be His beloved. This title has been gifted to us and can never be taken away from us. All because of Jesus. So we can stop trying to be enough because Jesus was, and is, our more than enough.

So the next time we wrestle with the question “Am I enough?” rather than try to justify our enough-ness, let’s see our question as a cue to recall the preeminence of Christ in our lives and our daily mothering. We can unashamedly proclaim, as Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have a great need for Christ. I have a great Christ for my need.” It is only in this confession—“I have a great need for Christ”—that we are relieved from the guilt of not being all we desire to be for our kids. It is then that we become grateful for all that Christ already is for them.

Jesus freed us from trying to prove that we are enough. He lived a sinless life, died a sinless death, conquered the grave, and has freely given us His perfect record (Romans 3:23–25 NIV).When we are in Christ, there is nothing to prove. Let that sink into your weary and worn-out soul.

We get to rest in the assurance of God’s grace and His sovereignty over us and over the kids we long to love and lead well. We are free!
An INvitation
Rest assured, when I say “We are free” I don’t mean we’ve been given an excuse to be a lazy or lousy parent. This is not a permission slip to give up. This is not an out. This is an in.

An invitation to:

• lay down what God has not asked us to carry so we thrive in what He has

• embrace our significance in light of God’s sovereignty

• discover God’s acceptance of us and affection for us, just as we are

• receive God’s grace so we can reflect God’s heart to our kids

• stop trying so hard and start enjoying our kids more

• weave grace into how we discipline our kids

• trust God with the kids He has entrusted to us

• become more of the moms we long to be for our kids

An invitation to trust that “everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!” (2 Peter 1:3–4 MSG).

We have been personally invited—by name—to walk in freedom from the pressure to be “enough”—for our children and for God.

Let’s turn now to see how this freedom applies to some of the immense pressure we face in our daily mothering!

About The Author

TK

Jeannie Cunnion is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child and Mom Set Free, as well as a frequent speaker at women’s conferences and parenting events around the country. She holds a Master’s degree in social work, and her writing has been featured on outlets such as the TODAY show, Fox News, The 700 Club, and Focus on the Family. Jeannie and her husband, Mike, have four boys.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Howard Books (August 2017)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501156441

Raves and Reviews

Mom Set Free will empower you to push back the pressures of parenting with the truth of God’s Word. Don’t miss out on the relief waiting for you within these pages.”

Kathie Lee Gifford, actress, singer, playwright, songwriter and co-host of the Today Show’s Fourth Hour

"Jeannie helps us to "breathe God's grace" into our own hearts so we can shower that same grace on our children."

Korie Robertson, star of Duck Dynasty and author of Strong and Kind

"Reading Mom Set Free is like that first breath of fresh air you take after being under water for too long. Jeannie skillfully shows us how the gospel gives life, freedom, and rest."

Jessica Thompson, author and popular speaker

“There are so many things I love about Jeannie Cunnion. She is funny, she is real, and she isn't afraid to let you know she doesn't have all the answers. As I read Mom Set Free, I immediately felt a weight lift off my shoulders. You will find yourself alternately nodding your head and breathing a deep sigh of relief as you turn each page.”

Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog

“Jeannie Cunnion has done something profound with Mom Set Free that has the power to not only change your life, but the lives of your kids. Whether you are a new mom or a seasoned mom, this book will radically impact your parenting. Jeannie won’t waste your time with fluff. If you read it slow and open your heart to God’s amazing grace, this book will set you radically free.”

Courtney DeFeo, author of In This House, We Will Giggle and creator of Lil Light O’ Mine

“Jeannie beautifully brings the transforming power of our freedom in Christ into the everyday mission field at our kitchen tables. With sound theology made practical and applicable, Mom Set Free takes the pressure off of our performance and points us to God's faithfulness through Christ."

Ruth Chou Simons, mom of six boys, artist and author of GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths through Seasons of the Heart.

Mom Set Free should be the book that sits on every mother’s nightstand. Read this empowering message, and walk in the freedom you are made for.” 

Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare and Love Idol

“Jeannie Cunnion has gently crafted a crucial mothering tool that will empower us moms to preach gospel truth to our own souls, setting us free from the shackles we've allowed to be placed on us. Part heartfelt stories, part scriptural study, this encouraging book will enable you to know and walk in the truth that truly sets you free, so you can parent your children in humility and confidence, resting securely in God’s grace.”

Karen Ehman, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker; New York Times best-selling author of Keep It Shut and Listen, Love, Repeat; wife; and mom of three

“As a counselor, I sit with weary parents every day--parents who are wearied by the pressure their kids face and wearied by the pressure they face.  This weariness trickles out in anxiety, exhaustion, and even anger. And it feels like anything but freedom. But each page of Jeannie’s book is entrenched in grace. It will bring not only freedom to each mom who reads it, but it will bring hope—hope that she can be wonderfully, gracefully set free.”

Sissy Goff, M.Ed., LPC, director of child & adolescent  counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries, Nashville, TN; speaker; and author of Are My Kids on Track?

“If you desire to parent your children with grace, you must first learn to live in grace yourself. This is the message behind Jeannie Cunnion's, Mom Set Free. Full of the Truth that empowers any mother to overcome the lies of the enemy, Mom Set Free releases us to live confidently as we learn to believe that the Lord is not disappointed in us. Jeannine Cunnion doesn't just get it. She shares a practical hope that moves our hearts to freedom. I cannot recommend this book enough.”

Becky Thompson, author of Hope Unfolding and Love Unending

“For the mom who frequently hears the voices of guilt and shame around her parenting, for the mom who wonders if God really loves her, for the mom who holds it all together publicly but inside is crumbling: for that mom, it is time to experience freedom. Mom Set Free guides us to the kind of freedom that allows us to thrive because we understand how much God loves us. If you want this kind of life-altering freedom, you've come to the right place.”

Alexandra Kuykendall, author Loving My Actual Life and co-host of The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast

“Ahhh! Parenting can feel so overwhelming, but Jeannie Cunnion’s words fill me with the sweet relief of understanding that it's not about what I do but about what God has already done. Cunnion gets it: the worry that you're screwing up your kids, the feeling that you can't breathe. She's been there, and in Mom Set Free, she offers insight and wisdom to lead us into fresh air.”

Melanie Dale, author of It's Not Fair and Women Are Scary

“In Mom Set Free, Jeannie uses God's Word to create a beautiful quilt of rest and encouragement while exposing and embracing the heart struggles of every mom. Mom Set Free is full of God's unconditional love, affirmation, and Truth for His daughters."

Wynter Pitts, author of She is Yours and founder of the magazine For Girls Like You and resources for girls.

“I've been a missionary in Haiti for fifteen years, helping raise the children God has given us, and Jeannie’s message of grace and freedom in Mom Set Free has changed my life and the way I parent. This book will not only encourage you, but point you to Jesus so that you, in turn, can point your children to Him.”

Karris Hudson, field director/vice-president at Danita's Children/Hope for Haiti Children's Center

“While raising my four sons, I have read my fair share of books on how to show God’s love and grace to my kids, all the while beating myself up for my imperfections and feeling I have fallen short of being the mom I ought to be. The funny thing is, I don’t think I even realized this was happening until I read Mom Set Free. Thank you, Jeannie, for sharing God’s heart, not just for kids, but indeed for us weary moms. Reading this book has been like a full-body dip in the most refreshing stream of God’s love and grace.”

Monica Swanson, writer at Monica Swanson--The Grommom

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