An Inspiring, Hopeful Wake-up Call for Mothers ~ “For someone who is a collector of quotes, I found that Sue Detweiler’s book, 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom, held several little treasures of wisdom worth highlighting. Truths like, “If you spend your life trying to avoid fear, you won’t be able to live” and “To be filled with joy is to be truly alive” are just a couple of the ones that spoke to me.” ~ Excerpt of review by Stephanie
9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom Will Help You
Discover how to overcome unresolved issues in your own life so you can be a better parent.
Find peace with your own imperfections and learn from your mistakes.
Increase your confidence in God’s power to heal your own hurts.
Overcome unresolved issues to become a better mom.
Joyfully become your best you!
Available on Amazon!
“Let’s travel together with the expectancy that God still works in the imperfect details of our lives. Let Him touch the hidden places of your heart and help you discover the joy of walking with Him. Go ahead and believe that He can take your worst and replace it with His best.” ~ Sue Detweiler
Excerpt Chapter 1. Becoming a Life-Giving Mom
“Get my baby out!” I screamed with a raspy voice. My desperate pleas for help were barely heard. Smoke filled the room as the cries of my newborn awakened me into a living nightmare. The house was on fire, and I couldn’t get out.
As a young girl, my mind would wonder, “What would I do if my house caught on fire?” Then I would create a very clear, levelheaded plan. However, smoke inhalation disorients your brain.
The sounds of my precious five-week-old daughter’s wails pierced my sleep. Walking to her bedroom in the dark, half-asleep, to feed her every night had never been a problem. Now, suddenly I was lost and couldn’t find her doorway.
I clawed at the clothes in my closet trying to find my way out. Then, stumbling in the other direction, I felt the windowpane. It wasn’t until I opened the window and looked out that I realized my house was on fire. I tried to scream for help, but no one could hear my cries.
I collapsed. In desperation I prayed the prayer everyone prays when they think they are about to die—“Help!” My daughter and I would have died that night if my husband hadn’t gotten home in time. Imagine his horror when he rounded the corner and could see the sky lit up by orange flames.
Cars and people filled our street, watching in horror. The home next to us, which was under construction, had already burned to the ground. A home on the other side stood engulfed in a raging inferno. The family of four stood huddled together, watching all of their belongings turn to ash.
There was only one fire truck on the scene. The other fire trucks sat motionless, waiting for a passing train. My husband grabbed the arm of the fireman. Frantically he asked, “Did you get my wife and baby out?” The fireman dropped the hose and together they ran to the front door. The neighbors had assumed we were still on vacation. They didn’t realize we were trapped inside.
When I heard someone coming into our home, I began to scream hysterically, “Get my baby out!” I don’t remember what the fireman who saved my life looked like that night. I just remember him holding his flashlight up and saying, “Come toward the light.” I made my way toward what looked like a tiny pin-light in the smothering darkness. At last, I felt his arms as he led me out to safety.
Every Mom Needs Help
You may not have woken up to your house in flames and your child in danger, but you have needs. If you are transparent you don’t have it all together. Your life is not perfect. There may be some wonderful aspects to your life right now, but there are other areas that are just plain tough.
It’s when we come to the end of ourselves that we find God. He is the source of our life. He is the maker of heaven and earth. He created you in His image. He gave you life, breath, and purpose.
If you are trying to walk through life as a mom without the help of God you will be lonely, depressed, and overwhelmed. But if you are ready to find help, He is waiting to help you. He is ready to pour His life-giving, life-altering, life-changing power into you.
Think about the last time you were on a plane. Most likely you heard the flight attendant give instructions to parents with small children. “In case of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first before helping your child put on their oxygen mask.” This instruction is not only helpful when on a plane, but also in life.
Every Life-Giving Mom needs to be connected to the ultimate Life-Giver. Every day you must put on your oxygen mask first before you help your children. Sure, you can pretend to have enough leftover oxygen from the day before, but you can’t be a Life-Giving Mom in your own strength. Like the air that we breathe to sustain life, oxygen is a symbol for the continual supply of the breath and life of the Holy Spirit.
The Morning After the Fire
We spent a long, weary night in the hospital as the doctors examined and treated my baby and me for smoke inhalation. In the early hours of the morning we called my mom.
“Mom, we’re all right.” The long pause of silence was deafening.
Finally she spoke: “What happened?”
Wayne described the huge fire and how there was only one fire truck, leaving three homes devastated. The heat from the blazing inferno melted a car bumper and the shutters of our neighbors’ home. People lined the street as the fire lit up the night sky. As we told Mom about the fire, her quiet peace engulfed our stress.
“You’re the ones I have been praying for,” she said. The month before my mom began to meditate, fast, and pray over Isaiah 43:
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
(Isaiah 43:2, NIV)
Later I would look back on this telephone conversation and marvel at the power of prayer and the peace of my own mother. I would rejoice in how God saved us from the fire. I would celebrate—just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—that God was with me in the fire. I would wonder at how the bondages of my life were burned up and I was set free. (See Daniel 3).
However, my present reality was far from tranquil. My whole life-system was on overload. I had no home…no baby furniture…no diapers…no clothes…
As we walked into the shell of our home trying to salvage things, my emotions were more charred than the black soot that blanketed every surface. The neighbors rallied and helped with our physical needs, but I was a mess. For the first two weeks, before the insurance company paid for an apartment, we stayed at a neighbor’s house. They graciously opened their home to us while they were on vacation. It was then that Rachel at six-weeks-old began to scream uncontrollably for hours at a time. She had colic.
One day, I laid Rachel down on the blanket and slowly backed away. Her screaming drove me to the edge of feeling like I couldn’t cope. I began to feel claustrophobic and trapped. My heart raced as my mind shut down. “I’m losing it,” I thought. “If I don’t get out of the house, I don’t know what I will do.” I went to the kitchen and dialed the number of a neighbor.
“Can you take my baby?” I quietly pleaded, as soon as she answered the phone. “I have to get out of here.”
Hearing the tremor in my voice the neighbor agreed to help me. No doubt, she saw my glazed look as I handed her my infant and drove off. What would have happened if she hadn’t been there for me? I don’t know. I was truly desperate.
Life-Giving Moms are Open to Change
Desperation is a driving force in our lives to seek change. It is during the pressure-cooker seasons in our lives when we find out our areas of weakness and vulnerability. Pressure-cookers are known for being hot, dangerous, and able to blow their lid. That house fire revealed the hidden habits of my own heart that needed God’s healing touch. It’s the heat of life that shows the hidden fractures of our hearts.
A Life-Giving Mom uses the pressure-cooker seasons to reevaluate. Allow your own areas of need to propel you toward getting help. As you learn new skills, you will become a better person as well as a better mom. If you have picked up this book for the first time, you will be drawn to areas you need to overcome in your own life. If you are reading this book for the second time, your season has changed and now you have another area of need.
A Life-Giving Mom is a life-long learner. Approach this journey with an open heart rather than a smug brain. Jesus said He came for the sick. It was the religious who thought they were holier than Jesus and crucified Him. They murdered the one who came to bring them life (See Matthew 27). As you begin this journey, turn off your religious notions about who you should or shouldn’t be. Rather, come as you are. Shine the flashlight of God’s Word into the closets of your life and look freshly at replacing the old broken habits with brand-new life-strategies.
A Life-Giving Mom replaces life-destroying habits with life-sustaining actions. You have the power of choice. The choices you make today will determine your destiny tomorrow. You have before you choices that bring life and choices that bring death (See Deuteronomy 30:19). Choose life.