Monday, July 12, 2010
Theme Book Review & Author Interview
Jennifer from The Toy Box Years had the opportunity to review this years MOPS theme book, Momology- A Mom's Guide to Shaping Great Kids and to interview the author Shelly Radic.
Momology will be available during our MOPS year at the meetings.
Your go-to book for successful mothering. Mothering is part art, part science, and always a work in progress! Backed by more than thirty years of research-based ministry at MOPS Internationsal, Momology is designed to help you be the unique mother God created you to be - because better moms make a better world.
Shelly Radic is chief of staff at MOPS International, author of The Birthday Book, and a regular contributor to MOPS publications. Her writing is informed by her education, mothering her four children, and twenty years of MOPS experience.
"Momology" has been selected as the core theme for the 2010 MOPS year and Shelly Radic's book, Momology - A Mom's Guide to Shaping Great Kids, is the theme book. I was very excited to read this book and I was also thrilled to have an opportunity to interview Shelly Radic, who also attends services at the CCC - Aurora.
As moms, we know that mothering is a constant work in progress, constantly changing and shifting as we try new parenting techiques. Momology isn't your typical parenting book - as most parenting books focus on the technique of parenting. This book focuses more on YOU as a MOM and is a great resource book that encourages and guides us, as moms, to be the mothers that God created us to be.
The book is broken down into four core elements:
Core: Looking and examining ourselves on a personal level and knowing who we are as women
Finesse: How we interact and "mother" our children
Circle: How we rely and utilize our support network around us
Grandscape: Knowing God and leaning on Him as we go about our day
The sections are easy to read and sprinkled throughout are real-life anecdotes from moms interviewed throughout the years of research. I liked the reflective questions at the end of each chapter as well as the yellow post-it notes with "mothering" statistics.
This is a great book for both self-reflection or group study. A forum has also been set up at mom-ology.org so that you can connect with other moms and discuss the book as well as "the art of mothering"
I LOVED this book and highly recommend it to every mom I know!
Interview with author, Shelly Radic
What has your personal experience with MOPS been like?
Rich, long, fun! I’ve formed relationships with so many great moms over almost 20 years in MOPS and I learn something from every one of them. When I first joined MOPS, I gained friendships, tips about raising my own kids and the knowledge that God shaped me uniquely and specifically to mother the children he’d placed in my care. That one statement is foundational to how I mother and gives me hope when mothering is going great and more importantly, when it is not.
Later, as a MOPS volunteer Group and then Field Leader, I extended my circle of mothering friends to include woman from around the world. My kids tease that we can’t go anywhere without meeting another MOPS person. And, they’re right. I also gained new skills as a leader- how to communicate effectively, build a team, motivate others, develop and focus on a vision, accept and learn from failure, be persistent. And so much more.
As a MOPS staffer, I gained even more relationships, both within the MOPS staff and with other ministry leaders. And a greater desire and need to lean on God. Many days I wonder why God has guided me to this specific place. Honestly, I’m a very ordinary mom and leader, a mix of doing it right and still trying to figure it all out. I’m not sure how God does it, but he takes my ordinariness and does the unexpected. That’s both humbling and a whole lot of fun.
How does a parent’s relationship/spirituality affect a mother’s impact on raising her own family (for example, how does my parents’ relationship affect ME as a mother?)
I’m on vacation at the beach with my parents, husband and two of my kids as I write this. Last night, my mom shared how she encouraged my dad to pray more about a difficult situation he’s facing. That’s one small example of my heritage and it does impact how I mother. Guess what I do when I face a difficult situation? I pray and I know my mom is praying, too. If you go into my mom’s bathroom, you’ll find her Bible and devotional book on the counter. Mine sits right next to my bathtub where I’m reminded each morning to dive into God’s Word. At my parent’s 50th Anniversary last year, their church friends pitched in to decorate, make food, organize set up and clean up. They are part of a rich spiritual community. Their friends from work, the neighborhood and relatives from all over spoke of my parent’s faith in God. That’s the kind of influence I want to have on my community. That’s the heritage I am trying to leave for my own children.
How do you suggest moms foster their relationship with God- especially when things get hectic around the house?
Remember God is there with you. You don’t have to go find him. As a young mom, I was often defeated by trying to do big things to develop my relationship with God. It wasn’t until I figured out that multiple small things, throughout the day and week can really add up that I got over that feeling of defeat. Short morning prayers while cuddling in bed with a preschooler, a Bible verse taped next to the kitchen sink to read while doing the dishes, singing to praise music in the car (kiddy lyrics count, too), breathing a petition for a friend in need while on Facebook, all those things add up to a growing relationship with God. And, I’m a big fan of the church nursery. Help your kids learn to love the children’s program at an early age so you can spend longer times with God- worshipping, learning, sharing your questions and experiences with others.
One other thing moms need to work in to the daily routine? Serving others and sharing our faith. One thing I learned from being in MOPS is that this can happen on a park bench, through a meal made for another new mom, or by gathering too-small clothes and sharing them with moms at a shelter. Again, in the season of early mothering, many small things make an eternal difference.
What are some ideas you can offer about engaging children spiritually?
As I mentioned earlier, mom’s (and dad’s) example is important. As I look back, I also think engaging with your children is important. Deuteronomy talks about how we are to daily write spiritual things on our children’s hearts. What does this look like? We prayed together as a family for each other, for our Compassion child, Freddy, for missionary friends, for friends that we’re struggling financially. We prayed at meals and at bedtime. We were also in community with other Christians, hosting small groups, having friends for dinner, singing Christmas carols at a senior center. Other Christians were part of our family life. Studying God’s word together is important, too. We read Bible stories and talked about Bible verses. Intentionally incorporate the spiritual into every aspect of life. That’s where it belongs. I do wish I had been more intentional about one-on-one spiritual mentoring, especially as my kids got older. Faith is unique to each person and in retrospect I can see my kids were dealing with unique faith challenges that I wasn’t addressing with them.
What are some ways women can make sure to nurture their marriage?
Nurturing a relationship with our husband takes time, just like nurturing a relationship with our kids does. Sometimes our marriage relationship gets lost in the midst of nurturing kids. Especially in the hectic early years, you have to find time together. Set aside a few minutes to check in with each other at the beginning and end of each day. I know moms need space, but over time, the "Tag, you’re it" handing off of kids can be hazardous to a healthy marriage. Build kisses, hugs and "I love yous" into your routine in the morning, in the evening, at night and times in between. Develop a relationship with a trusted babysitter so you feel good about spending time away together now and then.
One other thing, listen to and utilize what your husband thinks about raising kids, shaping a family and growing a healthy marriage. Sometimes we moms get so caught up in what we know, we don’t give our husbands a chance to take the lead. We lose out on all the ways God has uniquely shaped and equipped our husbands to love us and our kids.
The opportunity to review this book was provided by Revell - a division of Baker Publishing Group