Book Review: Christ in the Chaos

Title: Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood

Author: Kimm Crandall (there really are two m’s)

Recommended for: Primarily moms of all ages, but applicable for all Christian women

downloadChrist in the Chaos is a quick little book that packs a powerful punch. Author Kimm Crandall tackles the common subject of the struggles of motherhood by simply explaining how the gospel directly affects motherhood. She boils it all down in one poignant sentence in the Introduction: “Jesus served me on the cross by taking my record of sin—all the heinous deeds I would ever commit—and replacing it with the grace gift of his perfect, righteous record so that when God looks at me, he is not disappointed or disgusted.”

The book is made up of ten chapters. The chapters don’t really follow a rigid outline but can almost stand alone as ten separate articles that all fit under the broad category of how the gospel changes motherhood. At the end of the book, there is a helpful appendix that gives several Scripture references that speak to the gospel truths covered in the book. Crandall does an excellent job explaining her points quickly and without extra fluff. This keeps the reader from getting lost in a sea of meaningless, cutesy phrases common in many Christian-living books for women.

For the last several years, gospel-centered living has been a popular topic amongst Christian leaders. The only problem with this “trend” is many speakers and writers neglect to give practical direction as to how to let the gospel transform daily living. Or, they go to the other extreme and take a “list approach” resulting in a collection of legalistic rules that are impossible to follow. Crandall doesn’t fall into either of these traps. She flat-out states that “in a sense the gospel is not really practical at all.” She later gives “the answer” for allowing the gospel to transform life

When I obsess over what Jesus has done and marvel at his outpouring of grace toward me, I am  moved out of myself into more Christ-likeness. That’s when I am surprised into obedience and wooded into life-transforming change—not just a standing-on-my-tippy-toes kind of change but true, lasting life-change that happens from the inside out.

This book has profoundly impacted my mothering. I read it once before my first daughter was born, and I just finished reading it again as I’m preparing to welcome my second daughter in a few months. I have to constantly remind myself of the gospel and talk myself out of the lies my sinful brain plays on repeat. I’m sure I’ll forget much of what I read in the coming days, but I hope to remind myself of what Crandall says in the introduction: “Jesus is not only my example…He is my replacement.” His redeeming work on the cross is all I need.


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