Episode 145: Celebrating and Encouraging Mothers

This week we want to bless moms with some book suggestions. We also want to hear your suggestions for fun, funny books for moms to read. What would you suggest? Comment below.

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Transcript with Links:

Welcome to “Books That Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that help us with everyday discipleship every day, sparking important conversations with our children.

Today, I wanted to spend some time as we come up to Mother’s Day and talk about books for you as a mom. And I realized something really important in the process of doing this. I don’t know any fun hysterical, ‘make me snort’ laughing books that I would read for myself. I always read very serious books or murder mysteries, I love Mary Higgins Clark novels and Terry Blackstock novels, and so I love the mystery genre to read on my own for fun. Does that sound bad that I read about murder for fun? But I tend to read theological books and non-fiction books, and I enjoy those, I really do, and I love it if they make me laugh, but many of them don’t, and so I think this is sad. I think I need to find a book that I can enjoy reading that’s going to make me just snort when I laugh, so if you know of a good book for a Christian woman to read that is funny and fun to read, I would love to hear from you. If you could put it in the show notes comment section, that would be fabulous, and I will read them and share the books that I get a chance to read and that I enjoyed. I will share those with our audience later on. But I would appreciate your help on this because I realize I have shelves and shelves and shelves full of books, and I taught literature for years, and I love C.S. Lewis. I have no funny books, I couldn’t find a single one, and I thought for this Mother’s Day, life has been crazy and heavy.

I just want to read something silly, something fun, so now I have read some books that do make me laugh, but they’re dealing with serious concepts of theology and church life. It’s called Picking Dandelions: [by Sarah Cunningham] A Search for Eden Among Life’s Weeds. This book will make you laugh, but it deals with very serious topics and is talking about church life and the way our culture deals with pastors and their families and things like that. She writes in such a great way, in such an entertaining way.

And then I have a Bible study written by my friend Michelle Booth, and it’s a very serious Bible study about the life and times of Jeremiah and how that relates to the life and times in which we’re living, but she just writes with humor throughout the book, and Kathi Lipp does the same thing, she writes with humor in dealing with the serious topic of parenting or being married or just being a child of God. So it’s not that I don’t like to laugh, it’s just I don’t have any fun silly books to read, so give me your ideas if you have some.

But today, as we’re talking about Mother’s Day, I want to share a very special book with you, and it is a picture book by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Natalie Russell, and it’s called Because of You, Mom. This came out in 2021, and it is a beautiful picture book about what a mom means to a child, and they have other books in the series about Because of You, Dad, Because I Had A Teacher, those are in this same series, and they’re all so beautifully written. So this one, I would highly recommend getting a copy to share together with your children at Mother’s Day and just appreciate that God has allowed us to be moms.

And I know that this is a hard time of year for some people. For many years we could not have children, and Mother’s Day was a time of rejoicing for moms and thankful for my mom, but grieving for my own loss of the babies that we had miscarried, grieving for my own empty arms and wanting to be a mom, and God eventually did fill my arms. I have four children that I have just felt so blessed to be a mom to these four kids, but I know there are other people who either never realized that, or are in the process of infertility or child loss, or even a secondary infertility, where you had one child but you haven’t been able to have anymore. There’s a lot of pain and grief and sorrow in those situations, and so I don’t want to not acknowledge that. I want to acknowledge that, and I want to recommend my friend’s book. Rachel Lewis wrote Unexpecting: Real Talk on Pregnancy Loss, and this book deals a lot with just grace, having others walk with you through your particular grief, and what you particularly are dealing with. She’s been on the podcast, you can listen to her episode if you would like to learn more about her book. We do pray for you and we do hurt for you, we do understand how that is difficult, and Mother’s Day is not the joyful time it should be for you. Loss is hard, loss takes time, and sometimes the pain of the loss never goes away, we do acknowledge that, and we do care about you, and pray that God helps comfort you in whatever path He has led you on in, whatever His will is for your life, that He will use that to bring good out of a bad situation as only He can know that you’re not alone. There are many people around you who also understand that kind of grief, and even if they don’t, they care about you and will walk with you through your grief. I hope you can find those people who can walk with you, and sit with you, and cry with you.

So I am reading one book that I want to recommend, and this book is a very encouraging book and I have not finished the whole thing, but so far what I’ve read, I really enjoy and it’s called No Better Mom For The Job: Parenting with Confidence (Even When You Don’t Feel Cut Out For It), and it’s just a very encouraging book on motherhood, and it’s by Becky Keife, and it’s meant to encourage us as moms, and so I want to recommend that book to you. Like I said, I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I am in the process of reading it, and so far it’s just been a real blessing.

Another book that I’d like to suggest, and I’ve read most of this one, it’s by Kathi Lipp, and I have recommended it when I interviewed her, and it’s actually one of her older books that is so good. She has a book called Overwhelmed that she and Cheri Gregory wrote together, a devotional book. I also have her An Abundant Place devotional book that is just very encouraging, but there’s one that I find fun to read that was very encouraging to me as a mom, that one is called I Need Some Help Here! Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan. This book is so funny and really deals with what it’s like to be a mom and how hard it can be sometimes.

And then of course I have my devotional book that, you know, if you would like to read it, you can. It’s on Amazon and it is called A Mother’s Look at The Father’s Heart, and it is a short devotional book, but these are some books you can enjoy as moms, and I hope that they will encourage you.

Now, for those of you who are moms and you have your little kids, and maybe you are on the edge of collapse at this time of year, as school is ending and you’re planning for Summer, and you’ve got kids, and responsibilities, and everything is going crazy, I just want to encourage you as well, being a mom is not for the faint-hearted, and you never know what you’re going to be facing. Your kids can come up with very creative ways to drive you crazy, and I don’t think anyone can push our buttons as well as our kids and our husbands, but we are called to this. God has each of us in the place He wants us to be that is going to draw us closer to Him and hopefully help us to be more Christ-like in our walk with Him. So if you are a mom of young children especially, you can sign up during this time, from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day. We have our small kids small talk texting, and during this, I guess it’s five weeks of this time of year, you can go to any of my social media, click on the link and just write text. You can comment on posts on Facebook or Instagram and just write text, and it will take you to the conversation to sign up for these text messages, and what we do is, in the morning, you receive a text that will give you a prayer prompt for the day. And so even if you’re carting your children around and you’re busy as can be, this will cause us all to take a moment to stop and pray with our kids, even if we’re in traffic. Don’t close your eyes, just pray, and pray together for a prayer prompt and any other prayers that come up in the conversation, and then in the afternoon when you’re either heading home from school or maybe preparing dinner, you’ll get another text, and this one has a simple question to ask your kids and to get their responses on that question. So I’ve tried to create some thought-provoking, some fun questions, some questions that will just get some interesting conversations going. Because what I found is that during these busy times of year, we just turn into information gatherers, we don’t really communicate with each other like we normally would, and we may not know what’s really going on with our children because we are so busy. I will never forget, this is one of my, oh man, terrible mom moments when my kids were, I had one child who was in kindergarten and one child who was in, I believe fourth grade at that time, and my son told me he was getting an award and I was so excited, my little kindergartner, and so I went to his award ceremony. I was teaching at a different school, I had to get a substitute to take my class so I could go to his award ceremony, and I went and took pictures and just yay, you know, cheered him on and so happy for him, and then I ran back to school because I had, you know, my substitute was only there for a short time and I had to get back and finish up the day, not remembering that my daughter was also getting awards at that same event. I felt about a centimeter tall, I felt so horrible. She said she had told me, but I mean, I don’t remember hearing it, I totally missed that. She was also getting some awards at that end of the year event. So, oh my goodness, I still cringe when I think about it. I apologized to her over and over again, and of course she forgave me immediately. I was so proud of what she did as well, and we celebrated that when I saw her, but I just felt like the world’s worst mom. So we do these things sometimes when we get so busy, things fall through the cracks, events slap us up the side of the head, we just can’t keep track of it all, and so I’m hoping these texts can help us connect with our kids in a really meaningful way that will help us to stop for a moment to be with God and to be with our kids. So that’s the purpose, that’s why I started these, because I know what it’s like, and I have messed up so royally in the past that if I had just taken the time to really hear my child and understand what was going on and be able to plan better because I really listened, that would’ve been helpful. And so that’s what these texts are about is, as stopping listening, sharing together and enjoying this time of year together. On Friday afternoons when you get the text, it’s simply a reminder to ask your kids what they want to ask you. So you can tell them all week to be thinking of what question do you want to ask mom and dad on Friday? And so Friday afternoons they get to choose hopefully a fun or a thought provoking question to have you answer. And then on Saturdays we pray for our church leaders, and on Sunday we have the memory verses for the week, and through the Summer, we’re going to be memorizing John Chapter 15, and so we’re just going to go through that chapter, memorizing all the verses of John 15 together. So those are, like I said, from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day. It’s free for you to sign up, we’re just doing this as a ministry to you, we want to bless you. You can get the messages through Messenger, through texting, and we’re working on WhatsApp, it may or may not work. If you like WhatsApp, you can certainly try signing up through WhatsApp, we are having a little technical difficulty there, but the link is live and you can sign up today and the texts will start on Mother’s Day. I just want to minister to you and encourage you as a mom or as someone who wants to be a mom, God has great things planned and He can use your life in great ways, and we may go out there and try to change the world, but if we can help raise children who become responsible, God-loving adults, what a blessing to the world that is, and what a difference we’re making in the world by doing that. So moms, I hope you’re having a great Mother’s Day and that you are blessed by the children that God has given you, that He has called you to this, He has prepared you for this. I just hope you feel blessed.

Thank you for joining us for “Books That Spark,” where we encourage each other to live out everyday discipleship, helping to equip our children to follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you enjoyed this episode, please like and share, we would love for you to do that, it helps people to know we’re here. So we appreciate you for doing that. If you would like to connect with me, you can find me on my website, which is TerrieHellardBrown.com. We love to hear from you, we respond to every comment and question. You can post those comments or questions on my website under the show notes. We pray you feel empowered as a parent or caregiver to walk by faith, and to embrace everyday discipleship every day with the children in your life.

Your Host: Terrie Hellard-Brown

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to help children and adults find God’s purpose and plan for their lives. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids. Her podcast posts each Tuesday morning.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 37 years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 32 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.

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