Monday, February 08, 2010

Mama Monday

Today's Mama Monday is the sweet and lovely Susan from the blog
It has been a pleasure getting to know Susan more through this interview.
Make sure you pop over to her place and say "hello"...
You all know how precious comments from readers are...
Let's not be lazy commenters!! *smile*

Greatest thing about being a mom:

The blissful moments when everyone’s mood is good and we’re all enjoying life together. Giggling or playing or singing silly songs or enjoying the sunshine. The sense of unity, togetherness, and shared family joy that shine through. One glimpses in such moments the reality of the legacy being built and the profound privilege and delight of being able to spearhead and lead a family with my husband. For me such moments bring meaning and perspective to everything I’m doing as I mother.

 Hardest thing about being a mom—

Right now the hardest thing is staying present to the evolution that continually occurs in a family – maintaining attentiveness to children as they age and develop, gain new skills and capacities. So that I am not just reactive (which for me creates annoyance and resentment) but rather proactive. If I anticipate and plan the next stages I can stay joyful and enthusiastic about my kids in the stages they’re in - and about mothering in general.

Favorite blogs/websites—


Your site (in all candor – it’s one of my top 3)
Owl Haven
Preschoolers and Peace
Raising Godly Tomatoes
A Path Made Straight
Simple Mom

For activities to do with young kids (I am not crafty so these are lifesavers!)—

Children’s Learning Activities
Let’s Explore

How do you find balance in your life—

I love to run; when I run I feel the presence of God. I can behold his glory and hear His words more clearly; it’s my best, my most living, prayer time. So running helps me foster balance, refreshing me in spiritual and physical ways. If I can take two 30-minute runs twice a week it makes a world of difference.

Taking time to read, even 20 minutes a day, is also critical for me to maintain balance. The act of getting outside my own head and life to gain a perspective beyond the confines of my own daily space is powerful to see my own life in proper focus. Reading also helps me think more clearly.

In 2009 I rediscovered my love of writing through blogging, and writing a few times a week also keeps me balanced. The quiet space and the writing act - to move thoughts and words out of my own head and into a broader space where they take on life and meaning – brings balance.

 One word that describes you—

Reflective. (If I had to choose two, my second would be ‘loud.’)
Such an interesting combination Susan! =)

 Favorite color--



Other than running, reading, and writing, I also love outdoor activities like hiking and camping. We pursue these as a family as often as we can, especially because we are rural-heart folk currently living a suburban life. I love to swim and water ski as well.

 I couldn't live without—

The web. I do virtually everything there – bank, budget, mealplan, stay in touch with family, work, write. I actually find it a bit disconcerting to see how central it is to so many aspect of my life.

 What helps me through tough days---

My mom. She’s a treasure and a model for me of what present, consistent, intentional mothering is about. My joys are her joys – and likewise she makes herself available to me to help me process my tough days (even across the country!).
Dark chocolate and black licorice are close seconds.

 What the Lord has been speaking to you about lately—

Homeward diligence. This was my biggest revelation in 2009 and a frequent topic of my blogging over the past four months. I’m not domestically attentive by nature and my organizational and administrative gifts didn’t translate into home life for the first three plus years of my mothering. Now that I have three children and my professional life (as a strategy consultant to Christian nonprofits) occupy fewer than 5 hours per week, I realize that I’ve shortchanged myself and my family by not maintaining the level of home organization we all need to thrive. So this is an arena of focus and attention for me in 2010.

What do you like best about yourself

Thanks for asking that question! Isn’t it so unusual for women to ask this of each other?
While I frequently talk too much and intensely, I’m also a good listener and am often able to draw out people’s heart and inner thoughts. Being able to laugh at myself is another thing I like.

 If I could encourage a young mother, I would say--

Carefully consider how much you can do well, and continue to reconsider this regularly as your children grow. Match up your theoretical life priorities with your actual priorities (ie, how you are spending your time and energy on a day-to-day basis?) and be willing to make radical changes, as God may call you to, to align the two.
This counsel comes from my own struggle as a part-time working mother to align the content of my days with my commitment and desire to mother in a way that is faithful to God’s call. Related is the suggestion to be as intentional as possible about employing discipline in your daily use of technology (web and cell phones especially) as you mother. Distraction is perhaps our biggest enemy in childrearing.

 One book you would recommend to read--(besides the Bible)

Boundaries by Cloud/Townsend
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (I read this in 2009 at your recommendation, Andrea!)

Thank you Susan!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for these Mama Monday posts. I'd not seen Susan's blog before. I am looking forward to reading more.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for interviewing Susan! Her blog, Heart Pondering, is a rich resource of knowledge, wisdom, and an honest grappling with the questions of life and parenting (with a big dose of encouragement for us moms, too). I am also glad to be introduced to Andrea's blog. Thank you both for sharing yourselves so openly!


Trudy said...

I like her already. Honest and thoughtful...going to visit her blog.

(normally don't comment a lot but you called me on my laziness)

Anonymous said...

"Heart Pondering" is a great source of encouragement to me, as well as a source of motivation to be a better mom. I'm glad to be introduced to your blog as well!