The Making of a Mom promo post


Here is a post promoting Stephanie Shott’s book The Making of a Mom. Enjoy!

Have you ever felt like you wore so many hats that it was hard to really enjoy your mom journey? Or like you were so weary and worn out by your never-ending ‘to do’ list that you wanted to bury your head under the covers and get away from it all…even for just a day?
Me too!
Oh…like you, I LOVE being a mom. But for me, motherhood was like this messy experiment and my kids were the guinea pigs.
Motherhood is the best job on the planet!
Moms, more than anyone else, have the opportunity to not only mold the heart of their children but to mold the heart of the next generation. But we get caught up in dealing with the dailies of life and it’s hard to make it our mission to parent on purpose. Sometimes it’s so easy to parent the child they are and deal with the behavior of the moment that we forget about molding the heart of the person we long for them to become.
The Making of a Mom gives you a foundational look at real life biblical motherhood and provides the practical tools and inspiration you need to become the best mom you can.
While we all know there is no such thing as a perfect mom, we also know that WE are the perfect moms for our children.
The Making of a Mom encourages moms to embrace the significance of their calling to motherhood…a role that only we moms can fulfill…a role that God has called us to and equipped us for.
And The Making of a Mom was uniquely written to minister to the hearts of moms while also providing a key resource for the local church and para-ministries.
With venue specific Planning Guides in the back of the book, instructions on how to begin M.O.M. Groups that will help the local church weave mentoring into the fabric of the church and serve as not only an in-reach resource, but a great outreach tool as well. And the questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation for ministry and small group leaders, The Making of a Mom is the perfect resource for every church!
The Making of a Mom works in tandem with The M.O.M. Initiative as a tool to help the church minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t. Through The Making of a Mom, you can help your local church make mentoring missional and impact your community and this culture for Christ.
The goal of The M.O.M. Initiative is to reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ. The tool is The Making of a Mom. The vehicle is the local church. AND…if only 3 women in 1/2 of the churches in the United States would mentor just 3 other mothers, we could reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ!

Writing for an Audience of One


Returning to my blog after a small hiatus, I perused the my list of people following my blog. As I looked at it,  I noticed I had a new follower. When I saw the man’s name I thought,

Who is this guy?

When I googled the name, I found that this man is an award winning photographer and has authored a book though a big Christian publishing house. When I realized that this person held an important role in the writing and art world, I began to see my writing (particularly this blog) in a new way. I began to see my seemingly insignificant writing attempts as more important now than ever before. I indulged that sentiment for a moment, but then stopped. I thought,

Why do I only see my writing as significant when the world is actually reading it?

Would I still want to write if no one read my work?

Why does it matter to me who is reading my stuff?

In 2009, on a woman’s retreat, I felt the Lord press upon me to write a book. Three printed books and three more on the way, I have benefited from the fruit of my obedience. However, I must constantly keep in mind that I write for an audience of One, the One who cheers as my fingers bang on the keyboard, loves me even when they don’t and comforts me when the rejection letters pour in. Because He knows the plans He has for my words– the lives they will touch– long before I ever do. He knows I have something to say, even when it comes in the form of a 200 word post that only two people read ( yes, you dear reader, He sees you too.)

I hope you write a blog that earns you hundreds of followers. I hope you write articles that get go viral on every social media network known to man. But even if they don’t, keep in mind who you write for the next time you engage in your word stringing.

Because I write for an audience of One, and so should you.





Writing is art. And art is beautiful.


Recently feeling inspired, I  began to edit an old manuscript I hadn’t looked at in quite some time. As I read each sentence, I fumbled for just the right words to tighten my work and communicate my message in the most succinct yet creative way possible. However, once I got into my writing zone, the words flowed freely. As I molded and shaped my work, I felt like a potter molding and shaping her clay until it became her finest masterpiece. As I worked through the process of editing, I realized something:

I love writing.

I love everything about it. I even love it when I  dice and slice  my precious words. I always dislike it at first because I find it difficult to let go of my words. But once I do, I give way to the beauty that God wants to do in me and through me.

That’s how God made us. As people made in the image of God, we reflect His image when we create something. When we push the envelope and dig deep into our souls, what emerges is art, and art is beautiful. It punctuates life in a way that gives it meaning and purpose.  But sometimes it takes some molding and shaping and slicing and dicing.

But what emerges is art, and your finest masterpiece.

What beautiful work are you molding and shaping that will soon become your masterpiece? Are you willing to let go of some of your words to allow it to be beautiful?

An Interview with Shirley Brosius


I had the privilege of meeting Shirley Brosius at a recent author event. She was so gracious in hosting me on her blog, I thought I would return the favor. Enjoy!

What kind of writing do you do?


I prefer inspirational writing. I’ve authored one devotional book, Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference, and coauthored another, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides.


Besides that, I write newspaper articles and especially enjoy writing profiles, capturing people’s personalities on paper. I also freelance with publications such as Sunday school take-home magazines.


Why did you write your books?


Sisterhood of Faith grew out of my teaching a class on women in ministry at a seminary. I was so impressed with what women had done for Christ down through the church age that I wanted others to learn what I had learned. I also found many women, even at the seminary level, were puzzled over finding their niche in ministry, so I wanted to tell them how God uses ordinary women in extraordinary ways. By reading of how others have used their spiritual gifts—in the church, in the home, in the workplace, on the mission field, on the airwaves, on the firing line—women may discover options they never dreamed of.


Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides grew out of the “Friends of the Heart” speaking ministry I share with Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger. As we lead women’s retreats, we find women burdened, sometimes paralyzed, by guilt. We wanted to offer a godly response to guilt and give women something to take home from retreats for encouragement after the spiritual high of a retreat weekend. In it we share our personal experiences and how we’ve dealt with guilt in order to show women they are not alone in their struggles.


Were you hesitant to share your personal stories in Guilt Trips?


You have to quickly get over that if you want to be a writer. Through my writing and speaking, my life is pretty much an open book, and I don’t mind. If something I’ve experienced or discovered can help someone else along in their Christian journey, I’m happy to share.


Why should readers buy your books?


Since the books are meant to be read a page a day, both offer great inspiration and help to keep women connected to God on a daily basis. And both of these books make great gift books. Kim, Janine and I speak from two different generations, since they are young enough to be my daughters, so we offer a wide spectrum of experiences of life and losses.


How did you grow as a Christian while writing the book?


Writing Sisterhood opened my eyes to how God can use women in the world. I grew up in a time when men’s and women’s roles were rather narrowly defined. But if God gifts us for ministry, why would we not use those gifts, whatever they may be?


One of your books was published by a traditional publisher and the other self published. Can you tell us which is the better route to take?


If at all possible, go with a traditional publisher. There is no expense to you, and the publisher gets your book into bookstores. Self publishing had far too many surprises along the way. I paid for a basic package, but there were so many things that came along—such as editing and marketing–for which the publisher requested additional money. Postage to have the books shipped to me was astronomical, and I had never thought to ask what that cost would be. Most traditional publishers require you to approach them through an agent, so go to writers’ conferences, get acquainted with agents and take any nuggets of advice you can glean from them. You may just pick up an agent to represent you along the way.


What is the best part of being an author?


My writing has led to speaking, and I have met the most wonderful people. Also, writing gives you credibility. And it’s always encouraging to hear how your writing has blessed someone.


What are some of the topics you speak about?


As Friends of the Heart, we have four retreat themes:

At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating the Christian Life (based on Psalm 139)

Just say “Yes” to God! (based on Philippians)

If Our Closets Could Talk (based on the Gospel of John)

And our latest: What Every Girl Needs: Refuge, Redemption, Restoration and a Few Good Recipes (based on the book of Ruth)


Besides retreats, we offer special programs for Christmas, Mother’s Day and general keynotes. I also LOVE to give dramatic presentations of scripture from memory. I have memorized the book of Philippians, the first three chapters of the gospel of John and most recently the book of Ruth, plus other shorter passages. Presenting scripture is always part of our retreats. I also speak alone at Christian Women’s Clubs on “Passing on Your Legacy” and “Trusting The Hand in the Glove of Your Life.”


What are you working on right now in writing or speaking?


I am in the beginning stages of developing a book proposal related to issues faced by senior citizens.


Where can readers buy your books?


We are offering special Christmas prices right now for the books if purchased directly from me. Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides is $15 (retail, $17.99) and Sisterhood of Faith is $20 (retail $24.99). Postage and tax is included in that price. People can email me at with their name, address, name of book(s) wanted, number of copies, and names to which the books should be inscribed. I’ll send out their order and include an invoice. You will also find the books at,, and (for Sisterhood).


What else would you like to say?


Thank you for the opportunity to meet people through your blog. And a Blessed Christmas season to you and your readers.

Parting Words


So, ladies, that’s it. Can you believe our incourage group is almost over?  I hope you have been as blessed to participate in this group as I have been to lead it. As I reflected on our time together, the words of Paul came to my mind and I wanted to share them with you:

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:23-25).”

You may never get published.

People may criticize your work.

Life events may derail your plans for a writing career.

You may feel at times like you are wandering in the desert, unsure of your next step and thirsting for some of the living water to hydrate your parched lips.

Remember, you are not alone.

Your prize is coming. You’ll get it when you cross your finish line. Your finish line may be further away than others, and require every ounce of  your strength, while you watch  with envy as others float by with ease.

In those moments, remember these words:

God is asking you to run your race, not theirs.

Keep your eyes on your own lane, put one foot in front of the other, and push through the moments when you want to quit. Those moments will come,too.

Because your Father is waiting, with arms open wide, to greet when you cut through the ticker tape.

Then you’ll get your prize.

On the Journey Together


 As I perused an email my husband sent me the other day, I noticed his signature at the bottom of the page along with four words that made me stop short: “On the journey together.” It made me think “What exactly does that mean?

This journey called Christianity is a process, not a product. As we meander through our spiritual walks, it is essential we have people to help navigate along the way. 

This has never been more apparent to me than my time leading a writer’s group through I volunteered to lead a group in the hopes to share the knowledge I have gleaned from three years of writing. However, I didn’t expect I would learn just as much as I have taught. Here are some things I have learned from being in community with other believers (and writers):

1) Give As Much As You Get– At the beginning of my time with my group, Holley Gerth’s book You’re Made For a God Sized Dream was just released. I had been eyeing the book for weeks, but tough financial times prohibited me from buying it. One of the group members (whom i had never met before) offered to buy the book for me. Astonished, I asked why. She replied, “Consider it an investment in your ministry.” When we enter into community with each other, we invest our time into them, in the hopes to produce the lasting fruit of the Spirit. 

2) Community Helps You Battle the Storms Together- Whenever I read the story of Jesus sending out His disciples in Luke 9, my mind immediately parallels it with the story of Noah building the ark to prepare for the impending flood. Noah sends the animals into the ark and Jesus sends out his disciples “two by two.” Why? In both instances, God wants us to reproduce together. When times get tough and the storms rage (much like before the flood), having someone with you helps you to do the work necessary even through the tough times. A pastor friend of mine once said, “When I take the time to mentor someone and invest in their lives, more than likely they will do what they are supposed to do.” The accountability that occurs within community helps spur us on towards love and good deeds.

3) Community Helps Sharpen You– Whenever someone poses a question to our group Facebook page, I often try to offer advice and help. Although I may not agree if someone offers an idea contrary to mine, each suggestion makes me think about how to apply it practically to my life. People who think differently than me help me to see things in a way I would not have before. They”sharpen” me (Proverbs 27:17) and I am better writer and person because of it.

If you are looking for a community, try the (in)RL, an online event where people from around the US gather together to commune together. Want more info? Click on this link to find out more:

To see a video, click here:

How does your community help you in your spiritual journey?


The Three Fears of Hitting the Publish Button


I labored for so long meticulously writing, editing then writing some more. My final manuscript was finally ready to ship off to the publisher for possible publication. I was so excited! I glided my finger over to the mouse, hovered the arrow over the word “send” on my email and…

sat there helplessly.

An overwhelming wave of fear gripped me. Why couldn’t I just push the button?

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever struggled with putting your words and thoughts out there, baring your soul for all to see (and criticize?)

Writing requires risk. Our words have the power to encourage, inspire and illuminate the lives of our readers. Yet the wrong words can subject us to ridicule, shame and humiliation.

If we want to make an impact on our world, we have to take the chance that the words  we write will bring more good  to the world that the bad ones.

Here are three fears associated with the publishing of your words:

Fear of Perfectionism- Cecil Murphey talks about perfectionism in his book Unleash the Writer Within. He says when you are ready to submit your work, say to yourself, “This is the best I can do at this stage in my writing career.” No matter how many times you comb through your manuscript, it will never be perfect. I repeated these words to myself when I pushed that send button, and it helped me feel better about my final draft. Those words will  help ease your fears, too. As long as I commit to letting my mistakes improve my writing, those errors will help my growth as a writer, not hinder it.

Fear of Rejection- You will be rejected. Everyone does.  Go write anyway.

Yes, the sting of rejection will hurt, but only for a while. When you are done, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and learn from the rejection. Ask yourself, “Is there a grain of truth to what they are saying to me?”

Fear of Criticism- You will always have naysayers. King David had them, the Apostles had them, even Jesus had them. Sometimes people criticize due to their own jealousy. Their jealousy has nothing to do with your worth as a writer. Only those who are trying to do something great, meet their share of opposition. Anything worth doing is never easily accomplished. If you receive harsh criticism, you must be on the right track toward establishing your writing career.Don’t let them sway you!

How have you overcome your fear of the send button? Share a comment below!