How To Find The Peace Of God In The Midst Of Your Stress

HowToFindThePeace_MelissaMashburn

 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 NIV

Oh sweet mom, is it me or does it seem that there are things pulling at us from just about every angle of life these days.

It’s either the kids, our spouse, the job, our ministry, our friends, our finances, or even our health, sometimes all at the same time.

It’s enough to make you feel like that mom from the Incredibles movie, what’s her name…ElastaGirl?

The problem with that is that we aren’t ElastaGirl, and she’s not real, so we can bend and move but eventually something will break or fall.

I love what it says right before this verse though, because we need to be able to find the peace of God in the midst of our stress.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 NIV

Ok, now it’s starting to make a little more sense. Do not be anxious about anything; problems, stresses, kids, finances, health issues, and the marriage…everything. All of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, give it all back to God through prayer and petition.

Then, when we do,we will receive the peace of God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7 NIV

  • Do you mean that by giving all that “stuff” over to Him we will actually have peace? Yes!
  • Do you mean that by praying about it we will begin to have peace? Yes!
  • Do you think that is possible for you and me? Absolutely Yes!

Well, what does that “peace of God” look like?

I went over to my friends at Dictionary.com to look up the word peace and here’s what it says;

- a state of mutual harmony between people or groups
- a state of tranquility or serenity:
- a state or condition conducive to, proceeding from, or characterized by tranquility:

Then I took it a step further and asked Dictionary.com to define for me the “peace of God” and guess what, there were NO results for “peace of God”.

Is that surprising?

No, not really, especially since it says right there in the verse that the “peace of God” transcends all understanding.

I love that we don’t have to completely understand it but can accept it as the gift that it is.

At the end of the verse it also says that the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is actually a beautiful thing for us because it says that even in the midst of our stress that not only will you have peace from Him but that He will guard your hearts and minds while you still try to figure out all the other stuff.

Let’s face it can be tough to have peace when everything around you is pulling at you at the same time, but when you present your requests to Him, lay them down, and accept the gift of the peace from God, then you will be able to rest in knowing that He is there with you every step of the way.

So, let’s get practical.

What do you need to take before Him right now so that you too can have the peace of God?

______________________________________ 

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it!

We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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For Those Days When Mothering Is Hard

The-Making-of-a-Mom_quote-09

I LOVE being a mom but sometimes mothering is hard! Being a mom is AMAZING… but mothering isn’t always about butterfly kisses, tickles and giggles! 

Can any mommas relate?

We don’t always know what to do or what to say or how to act and react to every situation we’re faced with as moms.

In The Making of a Mom, I wrote about those days when mothering is hard… those times when we feel overwhelmed as a mom. The times when we struggle with how much attention is too much and how much attention is not enough…

  • How do we dole out just the right amount of attention for our kids without creating a child centered home or an attention starved child?
  • How do we love our kids well?
  • How do we protect them without overprotecting them?
  • How do we know the right things to say and choose the right things to say when we’re frustrated and frazzled?
  • How do we shield them from the world while we’re trying to teach them to live in it and be strong, courageous Christians whose faith will stand even if their world falls apart…and even if everyone stands in opposition to them?
  • How do we instill character in a world that embraces sin and is calling wrong right and right wrong?
  • How do I help my children grasp how significant they are when I feel so insignificant?
  • How do I set goals for my kids when I can’t even set goals for myself? 
  • How do I navigate the tumultuous seas of motherhood when I’m struggling with my identity as a mother?
  • Why do I blow it with my kids when I love them so much and how do I handle it when I do?
  • How do I pray for my kids when sometimes I can’t even tell what they’re thinking or what they really need?
  • How can I leave a lasting imprint on their hearts and instill in them a deep desire to return home long after they’ve left the nest?
  • How can I be a good mom when I feel like I’m failing my kids?
  • What is biblical motherhood anyway and what does it look like in real life?

These are the struggles almost all moms face. These are many of the issues I deal with in The Making of a Mom. And these are the issues I’ll cover in my workshop at BETTER TOGETHER!

I hope you can come to the conference… and remember… don’t let financial constraints keep you from coming!

But today, I want to share with you 3 things to help you in a few key areas when mothering is hard.

1. Understand your identity as a mom TheMakingofaMomsmall

There’s great power that comes from realizing you are not only a mom, but you’re THE mom for your kids. Knowing your role creates the reality of your significance as a mom and the importance of taking it seriously. You may not be the perfect parent, but, if you’re a Christian, you KNOW the perfect Parent and He has made you the mom of your children on purpose and for a purpose.

Knowing that helps you see yourself, your role as a mom, and the task of parenting your children as a gift and a huge responsibility that God has equipped you to do.

It also helps you embrace your authority as their mom, so you don’t have to loose control, but can calmly create an environment of respect, patience and obedience wrought from a firm foundation of faith and love.

2. Make seeking your Father’s face your ultimate priority

INVEST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… SPEND TIME BASKING IN HIS PRESENCE… SATURATE YOUR HEART AND MIND IN THE WORD OF GOD… LET YOUR PARENTING BECOME AN OVERFLOW OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH AND WISDOM FROM GOD! Hands down.. number one piece of advice I have ever received and could ever give!

We can’t be the mommas God created us to be unless we seek His face, spend the in His Word, and look for ways to live out His principles and precepts.

3. Give yourself and your children room to fail and room to grow

You won’t always get it right. You won’t always say the right thing and do the right thing. You won’t always be the perfect mom. But having a bad moment doesn’t make you a bad mom. Not responding well to a circumstance doesn’t make you a failure as a mom. It’s an important part of your parenting journey… to fall down and get back up and to allow your children to do the same. I’m not perfect and I’m going to fail. So are you.. and so are your children. 

When they see you fall and get back up without allowing that failure to define you, then they can see what it looks like to walk in victory and you equip them for their own failures and flaws when you don’t allow your failures and flaws to define you.

Being a mom is amazing but sometimes mothering is hard! I hope today’s post encouraged your momma heart and I hope to meet you at BETTER TOGETHER!

EVER HAD ONE OF ‘THOSE’ DAYS? WHAT DO YOU DO ON THOSE DAYS WHEN MOTHERING IS HARD?

I’m sharing MUCH MORE about THE MAKING OF A MOM at BETTER TOGETHER! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it! We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.comand request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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Two Important Announcements from TMI for You!

# 1 – Important Announcement

TheMakingofaMomsmallEvery day of the year we come to you as mentor mommas with hearts to meet you where you are in the middle of your mom journey…to help answer the questions you send in and to be a hub where mentors and mentees can connect!

Just last week, THE MAKING OF A MOM came out and it is the book this ministry has been waiting for. THE MAKING OF A MOM was written to be real help for real moms and to also serve as a unique, all-in-one resource for mentors and ministry leaders.

The launch started out well, but after about 2 days, I began receiving emails from those who had pre-order THE MAKING OF A MOM telling me that they had received emails from Amazon saying THE MAKING OF A MOM was out of print. 

Turns out that EVERY PRE-ORDERD book that was ordered on or before July 14th was lost in the shuffle of switching publishers from Regal to Revell.

So, the books you sweet friends pre-ordered under the Regal brand and Regal’s ISBN will not be shipped because it now no longer exists. It’s now under Revell and has a new ISBN and even a new website link. And I have no way to know who pre-ordered, or how many or how to get in touch with those who did. 

The only answer can be to ask YOU to help!

I’m asking you to help this launch fulfill its mission. If you pre-ordered The Making of a Mom on or before July 14th, please cancel that order on THIS AMAZON LINK (which says, “Out of print”) and order your new book on THIS AMAZON LINK (which is the new Revell link).

I’m SO SORRY for the confusion and inconvenience, but I’m super excited about how the Lord is already using The Making of a Mom in the lives of moms everywhere.

Recently, a mom who had read The Making of a Mom  contacted me and said, “No one writes books like this any more. This has really helped me be a better mom in so many areas. You have no idea how glad I am you wrote this.”

And I’m SUPER EXCITED about the M.O.M. Groups, small groups and single mom groups beginning to use The Making of a Mom for their next study!

I hope you’ll get a copy and be encouraged in your mom journey and if you’re a ministry leader or small group leader, I hope you’ll either begin or enhance your mentoring ministry and begin ministering to moms who know Christ and reaching those who don’t.

# 2 – Important Announcement

Time is ticking and BETTER TOGETHER will be here before you know it! We’ve had women contact us who really want to go but who are on a very tight budget. WE DON’T WANT FINANCES TO STAND IN THE WAY!

So… 

If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who is dealing with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE FOR YOU because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is email us at info@themominitiative.com and request a FREE TICKET!

With 20 speakers and 45 workshops that are designed to meet each woman in every age and in every stage right where she is.

This will be a weekend you won’t forget and we don’t want finances to be an issue! HURRY AND REGISTER TODAY FOR BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned ~ by Lynn Cowell

maninrainsmall

“A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.” Luke 15:11-13 (NASB)

Go to that movie? No way! I had already seen the movie previews, and made up my mind. No child of mine was going to see that show. I had decided well before he asked the question. The answer was, “No.” It was true. He showed respect by asking for my permission, but still. The answer wouldn’t change. Without words, my son turned his back, returning to his friends.

I wrestled inside with that decision, because for all practical purposes, my son was an adult. Yet, knowing the intense heartache that could come if one unwise decision led to another, I was determined to maintain control with my eldest child as long as possible.

He could have lied and gone to the movie and told you something different, my head reasoned. Meanwhile my heart whispered, You still have time to influence his decisions; don’t give up while he’s still at home.

After seeking wise advice from my husband, we decided to allow our son to make up his own mind that day, but not without tears in our eyes. I know the decision seems rather trivial to lead to watery eyes. However, as I reflected on why we got so emotional, it wasn’t that the choice was hard; it was the act of letting go.

I imagine the father in today’s key passage wrestled with letting go, too. His son had given the speech … the speech of a child who knows more than his dad: “Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me” (Luke 15:12).

Here is where I stand amazed at the father. In Jesus’ story, the father didn’t nag, criticize or get angry with his son. The father didn’t say, “You’re not ready. This is the wrong decision. You’re too immature. You don’t know what you’re doing.”

Instead, this wise and loving father prepared to watch his son learn hard truth … on his own.

Reading this passage makes my heart break. I come to tears just thinking of the pain the father experienced as he divided his property and possessions. I can almost hear the struggle of this father’s heart. Perhaps he thought: This is all wrong. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. I’ve spent my whole life investing in these boys. This isn’t the way it was supposed to turn out.

I’ve had similar painful thoughts.

What parent doesn’t experience that frustration, as we travel through this journey of having children and then letting them go?

I think of the friend watching an unwise decision of another tear down a lifetime bond.

And the sister who struggles as a sibling heads in the wrong direction.

Each scenario makes my heart ache.

Maybe the father experienced the same type of emotions I’m sure I would have had: turmoil torturing my mind with all that could certainly go wrong.

Yet, in his wisdom, the prodigal’s father held back that swirling sadness from his lips. He knew some children learn best through experience.

And we, as those who love them, need the wisdom of the Father to know which of our loved ones are wired this way.

Then with all the grace our Heavenly Father will give, we have to get out of the way.

Out of the way and onto our knees, praying our prodigals quickly discover even a “hired hand.” Or they learn that, as Paul describes himself, “a prisoner” (Philemon 1:1) is more blessed than the one outside the umbrella of God’s protection and blessings.

Lord, we are desperate for Your wisdom. Show us, Jesus, when to speak and when to be silent. When we need to get involved, and when we need to get out of the way, so our loved ones surrender to You as soon as possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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If you’re a SINGLE MOM, HOMESCHOOL MOM or MOM who with financial restraints, BETTER TOGETHER has been made available FREE because of the generous contributions of our Corporate/Ministry Sponsors.

To get your ticket all you have to do is email us at info@themominitiative.com and request a FREE TICKET!

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Our Blessing Box

Our Blessing Box When we were young married’s and college students, my Chris and I began to do a Blessing Box. A blessing box represents a life of God taking care of His own.  And it reminds us that He has been faithful, is faithful and WILL BE FAITHFUL in the future.  

Our children get to have a front row seat to what God is doing around us every single day.

I have no idea where this idea originated (and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my original idea), but we have made it our own over the past 23 years. I cannot find the first one…but here is our second one.

Blessing Box
We began with a shoe box.
 
We wrapped it with wrapping paper or brown shipping paper, both the top and bottom separately, and cut a small rectangular hole in the top (remember the Valentine boxes we used to make in school?) to put slips of paper through. The first box we had was decorated by our nephews who were about 7 at the time (they both got married this year). We talked about ways that God had blessed us.
 
For example:
*7-15-95 Alternator and belt needed replacing on the car. The Lord provided $125 through our computer selling at a garage sale! Praise God!
*A wet raccoon on our front porch! We have enjoyed watching the raccoons every night!
*Skate Shoes! Noah
* Daddy can see three deer feeders from the garage roof.
* The duckling is a blessing. “The two ran away to find their mudder!” Kylie
* Boxes from Wal-mart were free (for our move)
* Promotion and Raise (50% in 4 years)
* Promise Keepers–friend Steven went along and it changed the course of his life! Praise God!
* Got a deer on the last day of the season
* Mrs. Tricia wasn’t hurt bad in her car wreck.
* That You have given me friends of all ages and race and type, who care for me and add many delights to my life! Holly
* We went to Mrs. Bonnie’s a few weeks ago! Noah
* That You have given us a child (Noah) and have made me a mother.
*I love God and Jesus. We have a game called Captain Bible and it’s about Jesus. Noah-4 years old
 
Then we added a new one, when that one got filled… 
 
Blessing Box 2
 
 
Then we added a new one, when that one got filled…
 
Blessing Box 3
 
 
And another..
 
100_4845

After writing all the blessings, I would cut them apart and hand them out to everyone,  and we begin to sing the chorus to “Count Your Blessings” until everyone is done. 

When everyone has put their paper in, we sing this chorus I learned in Campus Crusade:
 
Give God a Hand
for all He’s Done
For giving us
His Only Son
Let’s all stand up
and give God a hand! (stand up and clap-clap-clap-clap)
 
That’s all. When we have one of those days that seem too much or overwhelming, all we need to do is pull out some pieces of paper from our Blessing Box and we are reminded that God has been faithful and is faithful and will be faithful. Some days we need reminding, don’t we?
 
“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34
 

The Clock is Ticking! Get your tickets today!

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

  

SEATING IS LIMITED! 

REGISTER NOW for the

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Whine and Wine Culture

“Go have a glass of wine.”wine1

I had been cutting my infants’s finger nails and ended up making a slice in the tip of his finger.

I felt sick. There was blood. I went from zero to one-hundred in no time flat. He’ll bleed to death! I’ve maimed my baby! He needs stitches.

My pediatrician and her colleagues had most likely fielded this type of frantic call from a mom many times before.

He’s fine. Just put a little pressure on it. Don’t worry. And Dr. Smith says, Go have a glass of wine.” I could hear a little laughter erupt in the background. 

Message received. The cut is just a nick and if I get stressed have wine. It’s okay…doctors orders. 

I told a friend, one of my mentor moms, about the conversation. She gave me some solid advice. She relayed a story about a mom she met while watching her kiddos at a park. My friend had made a little joke about it being a hard day and needing some alcohol later that night.  The woman didn’t give her the, “I know what you mean,” reply. Instead she stopped her mid-sentence, “That’s how I got started. A glass of wine while I was cooking dinner, just to relax before my husband came home. You know, during the kids’ bewitching hours of four to six. Now I’m an alcoholic. ”

Busyness, stress, boredom, frustration all things moms  deal with.

There is a growing trend  related to those typical mom issues. I call it the  Mommy Juice Movement. It’s when young mamas participate in liquid therapy alone or with a group of other moms. Many mamas who have had a rough day want that  Chardonnay Chill and are encouraged to go for it by other well-meaning mamas.

Drink while cooking dinner, drink when the kids go to bed, drink at the playgroup.

Liquor companies have taken notice of this new drinking culture and had even created wines targeting young stressed out moms: Mad Housewife, Mommy’s Time Out and Mommy Juice. Their sales are up 25%.(http://www.today.com/parents/hitting-mommy-juice-too-hard-experts-warn-alcohol-abuse-moms-2D79473508)

There are even facebook groups, websites, playgroups, and mom blogs with the central theme of , “‘I’ve worked hard. I’ve earned it. I need a drink.” Where the shared joke is, “Kids will drive you to drink.” 

There are no websites for other substance use or abuse. Have you ever seen a group like: Mommy needs Drugs. Or My kids get me down, so let’s get high? Drinking is an easily available and legal mode of escapism, where many comrades are willing to go along and encourage others to join in. 

There is a book titled, Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay whose author originally supported the drinking fad but now confesses to alcoholism.  “The number of middle-age women who entered alcohol treatment programs nearly tripled between 1992 and 2007.” Alcoholism is on the rise and the Whine-Wine mentality is adding to its numbers. (http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2013/05/15/women-drinking-and-wine-reward-culture/uUQ6piA88PGabcNm5eeqhP/story.html)

Last night on the news the reporter said that eight drinks during the week was considered excessive drinking for women. So that would be one drink every day with maybe two on Saturday. 

Here are five indicators of an alcohol  dependence or addiction:

1. Drinking more alcohol than you intended.

2. Wanting to quit but unsuccessful at quitting.

3. Alcohol use is taking the place of other activities with family and friends.

4. Interests revolve around drinking and lots of focus is on alcohol

5. Drinking continues even when it causes issues in your family.

If you find you can nod in agreement to any of these statements, get help. 

If you are crazy busy, stressed, bored, frustrated…find another way to de-stress.

Personally, I also found simple things like  lighting a candle (of course away from the kids) and pouring myself some tea (rather than a glass of wine) helped get me through the bewitching hours.

And…changing up the venue for the kids makes a big difference as well. Give the little rascals a bath during that time. Somehow water  soothes the savage beast. And truth be told, there are times where as a mom you just have to grin and bear it…because this to shall pass. (I promise.)

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler.
Proverbs 20:1 

by,

Lori Wildenberg
Lori-Wildenberg-240x300TMI Mentor mom and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, Lori Wildenberg, is mom of 4 and wife to Tom. She a licensed parent and family educator, national  speaker, and co-author of 3 parenting books: The just released- Raising Little Kids with Big Love (available on Amazon, soon to be in books stores), the soon to be released Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love, and Empowered Parents: Putting Faith First (Amazon).  Contact her for speaking, workshops, or private parent consulting. 

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The Clock is Ticking! Get your tickets today!

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

  

SEATING IS LIMITED! 

REGISTER NOW for the

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Hire a professional potty trainer?

Some parenting tasks should really be left to the professionals, right? After all, kids don’t come with a manual. It’s no wonder, then, that people have made a business out of the business of raising kids. In fact, for $925 you can hire a Potty Trainer to teach your child how to “do their business” and take the mess … off your hands!

In June New York City’s first professional potty-training service launched, and the phone has been ringing ever since. One honest mom-customer admitted to being “frustrated” and “not having a lot of patience” as her motivation for calling in back up help for her 3 yr old son. Add “professional potty trainer” to the growing list of services parents today can call in (if you can pay …) to help us overcome the obstacles and trials of growing up.

BUT WAIT.

Isn’t there value in the sometimes slow and painful process of getting through the hard stuff, of figuring out new experiences, of learning awkward things with someone we trust, and of accepting the truth that we don’t always get it right the first time? Maybe some clean up, some mess making, some disappointment, some frustration, and some stretching of patience is both good for a child and a parent. After all, family life is sanctifying. In other words, tough skills like using a potty are used in our lives to help us grow more like Jesus and act more like Jesus to each other.

Please don’t get me wrong here; we’re not talking about medically necessary help provided by those who are highly trained for intervention into unique health related needs. We’re talking about the normal stuff of life: wiping up, waiting, flushing, aiming, dirty stuff of life.

professional potty trainer

Not sure you’re buying my promise of bathroom blessings? God Himself models the pattern of loving us in a dirty condition. He didn’t wait until we were clean and smelling good; He moved when we weren’t even motivated to move. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” (Romans 5:8).  True love isn’t daunted by the hard things.

Mom, you don’t have to have a certificate or business card to be qualified to teach your child how to use a potty. You don’t have to be a professional potty trainer. It might not just take a day (If you’re paying $925 we hope it does!) or even a week, but I guarantee there’s more happening on the potty chair than number one or two.  It’s a bit miraculous, but even bathroom habits can build the bond of a parent and a child and add to the character of a growing little person.

And if you hit a wall and can’t overcome the potty problem on your own, do you need to come up with $925? As a mom who sang potty songs and gave out m&ms, may I encourage you to find a mentor and have some legal “bathroom talk” with an older mom who can share her experience, cheer you on, and even pray you on to relief and success?

And just think of all you can do with that $925!

How about sharing some FREE potty training wisdom for that mom who read this hoping for HELP?

What did YOU do that worked?

CLICK TO TWEET > Mom you don’t have to have a certificate or business card to teach your child how to use a #potty http://www.themominitiative.com/?p=13847

____________________________________________________ 

The Clock is Ticking! Get your tickets today!

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

  

SEATING IS LIMITED! 

REGISTER NOW for the

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Why Mom Can’t Afford Not to Pray

PrayTMI

 

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  1Thessalonians 5:16-18

Our carefree family cruised towards disaster like the unsuspecting Titanic on its fateful night. Ten carefree eyes were unable to see the impending trials swirling under the ice-cold water rushing towards us.

Then, all at once our family collided with the jagged edge of suffering. Broken pieces of marriage, serious illness and a loss of a precious life were left in its agonizing wake.

Yet, deep within each icy wave the Lord tangibly sustained our exhausted household. Faithful prayers from those around us buoyed our wearied heads above the cruel water of affliction. Within the torrents we saw the petitions offered up for our marriage and family answered and God working.

Prayers from the past as well as the present hugged our battered family and gave us the strength to go on. Our faith increased as we saw God provide through each fervent prayer. Our family had front row seats and saw how, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results” (James 5:16 NLT).

Mom or grandma, are you presently praying for someone you love who is engulfed under the waves of affliction? Or, are you in wisdom praying for the future of your children or grandchildren who haven’t yet tasted the bitterness of suffering?

If so, don’t give up! Keep praying! God is at work; your prayers are being answered. Future generations will thank you.

 “ You are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.” 2Corinthians 1:11

What about you? How have you seen God work through prayer? 

Praising Him through my pen,

Tara Dovenbarger

Tara lives on her hobby farm in East Tennessee with her husband of 18 years and four children. Her deepest longing is to lead women to never give up their faith when life pours forth hardship. Her writing and speaking testify of her personal knowledge of God’s faithfulness through her own loss of a child, near loss of another, and painful years of marriage restored.

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THE CLOCK IS TICKING LADIES! DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO GO TO BETTER TOGETHER!

CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

 
 
 
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SEATING IS LIMITED! 

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2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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5 Questions to Help You Connect with Your Teen

After living with teenagers for nearly 18 years, you would think I’ve figured out exactly how to connect on a heart-to-heart level, right?

Of course, you may be wondering how does one live with teens for that many years?  Well, my husband is a boarding school teacher, so I’ve literally spent my whole adult life with tweens and teens from around the world and across the United States. We eat together. Worship together. Enjoy life together.

I get to see what they are really like when their parents aren’t watching and especially as they try desperately to gain the approval of their peers. I get to walk with them through disappointments and failures as well as through triumphs and the precious moments of success. We do life side-by-side, which is how my concept of mentoring was formed, while also doing it intentionally by meeting together for ETC nights and Mugs & Morning gatherings.

It’s not surprising that when you look at the description for each of the generations — like Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials — that I tend to think more like a Millennial. I’ve been immersed in their world for nearly two decades, but that isn’t the reason I learned how connect with their hearts. It’s helped, but the real secret was learning how to ask the right questions, and that came in the most unexpected way.  

When I embarked on life coach training, I really intended to use it with women in a ministry context. While it’s become that as well as my business, the greatest blessing has been in using the skills in my parenting, especially with my own tween and teen, and in mentoring the teen girls in my community.  Through learning how to asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions, while actively listening to the heart, I’ve been able connect on a deeper level with next generation.  Whether it is sitting at the kitchen counter with my daughter or engaging with student across our dinner table in the School’s dining hall, learning how to ask the right question at the right time has transformed my ability to really get into a teen’s thinking and help them process life through an eternal perspective. It’s always amazing to me how the right questions, asked at the appropriate time, can open the doorway to a teen’s heart and establish a meaningful connection.

So how about I share with you a sneak-peek of what I’ve learned and how you can apply it in your relationship with your tweens and teens?

 5 Questions to Help You Connect with Your Teens

Step One:  Consider the Moment

Before launching into a conversation that is meant to connect with your teen’s heart, consider the moment and how to set the stage for a sweet, tender time together.

  • Are they too tired for the conversation?
  • Who is in earshot that might keep them from talking?
  • What’s on their mind that might be a distraction — or maybe a more pressing need to chat about?
  • Is there an offense or hurt between the two of you that needs to be reconciled?
  • Do you need to, seek help from a godly friend, a pastor, or counselor to figure out what needs to happen to restore an emotionally and spiritually healthy connection with your teen before you can engage with them on a regular basis?
  • Is there time to have this conversation without being rushed?
  • Is there a good time to plan for this conversation, such as a long car ride together or going out for dinner?
  • Have you spent time praying about connecting with their heart?

 

Step Two:  Ask a Question

These five questions are just enough to get you going in the direction of connecting with the your teen’s heart, but be sure to NOT ask all of them at once or they will feel like they are on the firing squad. Pick one question and leave it at that — and remember, you’re job isn’t to come up with the answer or solution. You simply want them to open up and share, without being criticized, advised, or being turned into a project.

  1. What’s the most challenging thing happening in your life right now?
  2. What are you most afraid of as you think about the next season (in life, academically, or athletically) ahead of you?
  3. If you could change one thing in yourself, what would it be?
  4. If you could change one thing about our family or your friends, what would it be?
  5. What are you most grateful for or happy about?

BONUS QUESTIONS

If the conversation is going well, you can pick one of these bonus questions to ask as a way to go deeper:

  1. Would you like my help in brainstorm a solution?
  2. Would you like my advice?
  3. Could I share my experience?
  4. How could I pray for you?
  5. Would you like to talk about this again in the future?

{If you’d like more questions like these, check out the 21 Questions resource from More to Be.}

 

Step Three:  Plan a Follow Up

Once you start connecting with your teen’s heart, there’s no need to stop. Make a plan, with the Lord, to follow up with your teen again. Consider their willingness and especially, Step One — the moment — as you make a plan for talking together. If they would like to follow up, the conversation could start with picking up where you left off. If that wasn’t the direction, you could start fresh with another question.

 

As a woman who thinks like a Millennial, I can promise you this . . .

They want to hear your stories, know your struggles, and feel your support, even if what you see is a standoffish behavior and too much eye-rolling. I pray you’ll risk your pride and step out in faith to connect with your teens on a real heart-to-heart level.

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CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

  

SEATING IS LIMITED! 

REGISTER NOW for the

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

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Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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It’s HERE! Real Help for Real Moms & an All-in-One Resource for the Church

TheMakingofaMomsmall   Motherhood was like a messy experiment or me and my children were the guinea pigs.

 

I wrote The Making of a Mom so your mom journey doesn’t have to be as messy as mine and so you don’t have to take your journey alone.

I wrote The Making of a Mom to give real moms a real look at biblical motherhood in real life. 

And I wrote The Making of a Mom to provide a unique all-in-one resource to help local churches begin or enhance their mentoring ministries by discovering how they can change the world one mom at a time by making mentoring missional.

And tomorrow is the day, sweet moms, mentors & ministry leaders! YOU have been on this journey with the M.O.M. team for a while now and we’ve seen some amazing “GOD” things happen along the way.

1. The M.O.M. Team grew and currently has 30 mentoring mommas who consistently share from their own mom journey to help you along the way.

2. M.O.M. Groups launched up all over the world using our supplemental material to mentor moms in their local churches and in their communities.

3. We have received countless emails from women LOOKING for M.O.M. Groups and desperate for someone to walk with them along the way.

4. Our Facebook page grew like crazy and we are now moving into our new Facebook Group where YOU are invited to join the group and the conversation about all things MOM, MINISTRY LEADERS & MENTORS.

5. We created 2 free downloadable books that quickly became popular and women used them to mentor moms in M.O.M. Groups as well as a resource for moms who read it on their own.

6. The M.O.M. team met in Colorado and prayed over YOU, over the upcoming conference and over the moms and the children of the next generation.

7. We planned and are getting ready to hold our 1st ever conference for women of ALL ages and stages of life. 

8. The Making of a Mom was picked up by Regal in September of last year and recently obtained by Baker Publishing under the REVELL brand.  

9. YOU can purchase The Making of a Mom TOMORROW!

If mothering is messy for you, or if you wonder if you’ll ever get it right, or if you’re a mom who just needs some encouragement and to know she’s not the only one who feels like she’s messing up and wants some REAL HELP for REAL MOMS from a REAL BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE that isn’t glossed over, then you won’t want to miss reading The Making of a Mom.

And if mentoring is something you know you need to weave into your women’s ministry but you felt like it was too hard, The Making of a Mom is the all-in-one resource you need. Intentionally written as an in-reach and an outreach resource, The Making of a Mom includes questions at the end of each chapter and venue specific planning guides in the back.

The Making of a Mom makes mentoring easy and provides the solution to the 3 things most would-be mentors fear most…

1. What will I say? (The questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation.)

2. What will I do? (The venue-specific planning guides in the back of the book provide the tools to mentor moms in your church, your home, and in your community.)

3. What will I use? (The Making of a Mom is a dual-purpose book to reach moms who don’t know Christ and minister to the ones who already know Him.)

THROUGH THE M.O.M. INITIATIVE & THE MAKING OF A MOM, WE ARE ON A MISSION TO MINISTER TO THE HEARTS OF A MILLION MOMS WHO KNOW CHRIST AND REACH A MILLION MOMS WHO DON’T!

WILL YOU BE PART OF THE REVOLUTION AND BE ONE OF THE MILLION MOMS.. OR HELP US REACH ONE OF THE MILLION MOMS BY BEGINNING OR BEING PART OF A M.O.M. GROUP

TODAY, WE ARE ASKING YOU TO PURCHASE ONE BOOK FOR YOURSELF AND ONE BOOK FOR SOMEONE YOU WILL COME ALONGSIDE WITH AND MENTOR…

OR SOMEONE YOU WANT TO MENTOR YOU…

OR YOUR WOMEN’S MINISTRY LEADER SO YOU CAN BEGIN MENTORING MOMS IN YOUR CHURCH!

WILL YOU HELP US TAKE TITUS 2 TO THE STREETS AND IMPACT YOUR COMMUNITY AND THIS CULTURE FOR CHRIST THROUGH THE POWER OF MENTORING?

CLICK HERE to discover more about how to begin a M.O.M. Group in your area.

Here’s what others are saying…

BY: TRICIA GOYER

I’ve been mentoring teenage mamas for 13 years. That’s a fancy way of saying that once a week I lead a support group where we bring in speakers, and we encourage moms by sharing our lives. Through the years, I’ve had people tell me they want to do something similar, but they don’t know where to start—or even if they qualify, since they haven’t done this mothering thing perfectly. I now know the resource that I’m going to point them to first: this one! The Making of a Mom is an encouraging guide to becoming a mothering mentor. Stephanie reminds us that we don’t need to be perfect; we just have to be willing to open our hearts and lives to others. Every mom needs a community of love and support. This is the perfect book to help a mom on her parenting journey—especially as she opens her heart and life to others! Tricia Goyer, USA Today Bestselling Author of 40 books, including Lead Your Family Like Jesus

BY: RHONDA RHEA

Where was The Making of a Mom when I was raising five kids? I love that Stephanie doesn’t heap on a big, fat load of “if you would just be a better person, a better mother, blah, blah, blah . . .” Instead she meets a mom right where she is and lets her know she’s not alone in the challenges of parenting—or in trying to encourage others in those challenges. The Making of a Mom helps us all chuck the guilt, understand God’s deep and unshakeable love, and encourage us to pass that love along. Rhonda Rhea, Humor Columnist, TV Host and Author of 11 Books, including Espresso Your Faith and Join the Insanity

BY: KATHI MACIAS

The Making of a Mom is an exciting new book for all moms that also helps the Church put Titus 2:4-5 into action. Whether you’re in the middle of motherhood, your children now have families of their own, or you’re still thinking and praying about motherhood, this is the book for you! Kathi Macias, Award-winning Author, Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today

 

 

Oh…and tomorrow, I’ll have two different radio interviews! One at 6:45 a.m. ET on WCBQ with Dr. Alvin Jones and the other at 12:05 p.m. on the Debbie Chavez Show. Hope you’ll listen in.

OH… and don’t forget to join us at BETTER TOGETHER! A great getaway an time to be REFRESHED & REFUELED & a great time to discover how you can be part of making mentoring missional in your own neck of the woods. ;-)

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CLICK BELOW TO HEAR MORE ABOUT BETTER TOGETHER!

  

SEATING IS LIMITED! 

REGISTER NOW for the

2014 M.O.M. Conference ~ BETTER TOGETHER

July 31st – August 2nd,

Jacksonville, Florida at Trinity Baptist Church

 BetterTogether728x90 copy

Registration InformationLocation, List of Breakout Sessions, Descriptions of WorkshopsConference Speaking TeamBetter Together Conference FlyerBetter Together Bulletin Insert (Full Color)Better Together Bulletin Insert (Black & White)Better Together Conference Cards (Postcard Size)

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