RR: In your new book Growing a Mother’s Heart, how do you help mothers who may feel isolated find support?
Karen: Well, because this is devotional. It’s through the devotions that I show them the stories of what people have done with their mom community. Then there’s a tip every day of what to do today.
So, one of the stories I shared was when I moved to Michigan. I had a problem that I didn’t know people, I had one friend, okay, then my husband, because he was in grad school, introduced me to other moms. I found a church that said, “Hey, we have a cooperative daycare, if you want to join us.”
I just drove in and said, “Hey, what’s it all about?” It was great, because I could sign up to be there. I also found there were some mentor moms who were older than me running the show that were there to mentor me.
So through that story, you see, I found three different ways of finding my support.
RR: Support is so very important, isn’t it? You mentioned something that I think is really important, too. And that is mentoring. Older moms. Scripture tells us that the older women are to teach the younger.
Karen: It is. And sometimes it’s the experience because sometimes the older woman may be a new mom, and the young mom may already have to work. So I think of it more I call it seasoned moms in the book.
She’s done something. Maybe you’re a younger mom, but you’ve gone through a child with cancer, and this older mom who’s then seasoned all of a sudden hit a wall of cancer with her child.
RR: There is a lot more to mothering isn’t it? So much more than just just dirty diapers and skin knees and getting people shuffled out the door? Or being a taxi driver? You mentioned, cancer. There are sicknesses, and very real hardships that families go through and children are not exempt. Often times, that care falls squarly on a mother’s shoulders.
Karen: I’ve gone through my own types of natural disasters with the children when we’ve had hurricanes major one when my husband was away in military orders. We had earthquakes, and floods and all sorts of things happened was spontaneous combustible fires twice for lightning strikes.
You always think, well, I’ve had enough, Lord, I think you’ve seasoned me on this. I’m not worried about another natural disaster.
But now another one comes. So those things where you have to have the children understand how to stay calm. What do we do, and be courageous yourself because you’re modeling, whether they’re going to cower in the closet, in the future, or whether they’re going to face what happens to them.
RR: How long of a devotional is Growing a Mother’s Heart?
Karen: It’s 30 weeks, six days a week. And one day is a prayer. One day is a mom from the Old Testament or New Testament just from the Bible. A mom from recent history or very long ago. A couple of Genghis Khan’s mom. Genghis Khan’s mom is a mom who faced so many difficulties. And then there are three contemporary stories of contemporary moms and what they have been facing and what’s been happening to them.
So, there are a lot of stories for mothers to draw courage from. Because a story is what we remember. So often, we remember the story of how someone made it through. Like the story where the brakes came out as I was going downhill, and all there was was a fence and the Hudson Bay, I said, God help. And he just said, “turn the wheel,” I turned the wheel, took us up on the street, it was a blind curve. I thought I can’t even see if there’s another car coming. But at least I won’t go into the ocean. And there was no one there. I was able to turn off the key and stop the car. But there are times like this, when you looking to see if she could do it. I can do it. I can put on the brake, I can make it through whatever it is happening right now.
Read part 1 of Growing a Mother’s Heart
Order your copy of Karen Whiting’s new book Growing a Mother’s Heart
Karen Whiting is an author of twenty-five books, international speaker, and certified writing and marketing coach. She writes to encourage families to thrive. Her book Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front offers many glimpses into the faith of Americans during war times. More from Karen at karenwhiting.com
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