"The wise woman builds her house, the foolish woman with her own hands tears it down." Proverbs 14:1
Surprised by Falling in Love with my Calling!
After growing in a vision for my home, I read everything I could get my hands on, that would encourage me in this ministry of motherhood. There were quite a few bumps and learning curves to adjust to being home and to embrace this call from God wholeheartedly. My heart slowly began to come alive as I understood the artistry involved in building a life-giving environment in my home through music, art, feasts and celebrations, training in character, reading stories of great heroes, exposing my children to places of travel, discussing great ideas, creating beauty and creativity in my home. . Educating myself as I read thousands of hours of great literature to my children was a rich pleasure that filled my own mind with profound inspiration. Sharing daily from my own study of God's word and spending time intentionally teaching these hungry minds with the truth of scripture and watching their little souls come alive gave deep satisfaction to my soul.
Falling in love with family, home, children, heritage and the life of 6 human beings in harmony as we moved through our days brought grace and deep fulfillment I had not expected. Conducting the moments of our day and leading them to excellence, civility, joy and deep, shared love expanded the meaning and purpose of my own life. Indeed I found that God's design for my home and family was what I was created to implement and execute within the freedom of my own personality and interests.
Starting a Publishing Company
Clay and I began being asked to speak on these subjects all over the United States. We started our own publishing company, Whole Heart Press and went 5 years without a real salary, scrimping and getting odd jobs--selling homemade cinnamon rolls, singing and acting in a local 6 month a year play (our whole family was in this and made $600 a month!) and somehow, with God's help, our ministry began to grow. With 10 books and discipleship materials, and our books in 5 languages, we have seen God take our faith and work and begin to restore to many moms a sense of His call on their lives. It has been so exciting to see God raise up so many like minded women who have the same call to help us reach out to women all over the world. A team working together is so exciting!
Yet, there were those days I thought I had lost my mind! In my mid-40's with 3 older children, then 3 miscarriages and finally a sweet baby just before I turned 42, I found life a little daunting and overwhelming."Moms need a conference just for them, where they can be inspired and loved and spoiled with a great meal, a nice hotel room, chocolate and grace-filled messages--no guilt, just all love and encouragement." And so began our first Mom's conference in Texas. Now these 13 years later, we have hosted conferences in places all over the world and thousands of moms have been inspired and trained and encouraged.
So many moms said, "I don't know what I am doing! No one is there to show me how to enjoy and embrace this call!" "I can feel so alone! Being at this conference makes me feel like I am a part of thousands of moms like me who are changing the next generation all over the world." Since I had felt the same way, I began to write the kinds of books I wished had been there for me--Seasons of a Mother's Heart, Mission of Motherhood, Ministry of Motherhood, The Mom Walk, Dancing with my Father.
Mom Heart Leadership Intensive Training
Fast forward and Clay and I began to realize we wanted to train, inspire and build other women into speakers, writers, bloggers and Bible study teachers--raising up an army of women all over the world, who could start groups to encourage, help and inspire moms. I also wanted women to taste real homemade food, see our children's books and look over our library, relax and rest in our home, experience our hospitality, know the love of like-minded women in a more personal setting. Hearing truth is one thing--but to experience it is quite another reality--and I wanted moms to know these aspects of a life-giving home first hand, and so my friends and I attempted our first Leader's training in my home and my friend's home with 52 women from all over the United States, Canada and China. It was like a camp for Moms! (Look for the video of this on my next blog--a sweet young man, 13 years old, made this video after walking around interviewing moms!)
Single moms, working moms, homeschooling moms, mothers of preschoolers and college age--all from different backgrounds and calls of life, but all here to celebrate the Divine Call of Motherhood.
New Adventures Ahead! And a Giveaway!
Now, we are entering into a new phase of our ministry--and you can help us! We want to see God literally raise up women all over the world to be a part of a sweeping revival of family values, marriage, and a love for children and giving them a sense of godly heritage--an army of committed, loving, spiritually alive, warriors for Christ's kingdom, Moms!
So, we enter into this conference season with "Your Mom Heart Matters" as a theme and we are hoping to reach more women everywhere to be encouraged, to start groups in their churches and homes and to be a part of helping women to build strong foundations in their home with great accountability by cultivating fellowship with like-minded moms!
This year, I will be casting a vision for the Biblical and significant call of mothers in this generation. Messages both practical and inspirational will fill your heart. There will be wonderful music, a great luncheon, workshops that give lots of practical ideas about how to have a life-giving home, giveaways and a great book table with hundreds of choices. For the first time, you will be hearing stories and ideas from lots of other moms just like you. We are inviting our moms from the mom heart intensive to share some of their best ideas with you, as well as a few other moms who have great mom blogs. We will address the importance of all moms finding God's grace and freedom and forgiveness in their own lives, also educating their children, no matter what educational choices one makes; traditions in the home, discipleship of hearts and finding fellowship with moms to provide fun, refueling and a prayer partner. You won't want to miss this special year of conferences.
Please help us get the word out for our conferences coming up!
We are going to give away 4 free registrations for the Mom Heart Conferences. Two now and two at another giveaway later in December. (If you win the drawing and are not able to come to the conference, you may give it away to a friend or you will receive a $50 coupon to use on any book, dvd, or tape series from 12 years of previous conferences.
There are several ways you can enter!
1. Put the Mom Heart Button on the side of my blog bar into your own blog, facebook page, facebook wall post or website, and you will receive an entry.
2. Write a short blog article (not just listing it in your sidebar) and you will receive one entry.
3. Twitter about the conferences coming up and you will receive one entry.
4. Advertise it to your local support group, church group, homeschooling group and receive one more entry.
Fill out the form at: http://www.wholeheart.org/giveaway-signup/ to let us know what you have done and we will tally your entries. We will do the first drawing December 15.
We are so very grateful for all of you who have helped us get the word out in the past and we hope we can get the word out soon to moms all over, who need encouragement and inspiration. Many dads have given this weekend every year to their wives for Christmas. Your help keeps this ministry alive. Blessings upon blessings to each of you today!
PS If you leave a comment on this blog about the conferences, I will give you one more entry! :)