I am headed east! East Michigan that is.
Monkey Giggles is throwing the 1st Praise and Coffee Night tonight and I’m so excited. I’m going to head out early with a girlfriend and we are going to stop in Birch Run for a little shopping, then off to Tim Horton’s in Clio, MI for a fun evening.
If you’re in the area, stop by!
Then, next week I am hosting my own Praise and Coffee Night at the Plainwell Coffee Mill in Plainwell, MI. AND Mel over at Mel’s World is hosting one in Miami, Florida!
You could be next… just invite a bunch or friends to a coffee shop, play some praise music if you can, laugh-talk-have fun, spend some time encouraging one another and by all means drink some coffee (or tea…hot cocoa if you must :)!
I had a reporter call and interview me the other day from a local paper. Due to timing, they are going to advertise this one, but maybe come out and do an article for the one in January.
I pray these evenings will be a fun time out for women and up to connect and be encouraged. The evening will be informal and focused on fellowship except for a short time of inspiration from God’s Word about our lives as wives, moms and women of faith.
Next week Thursday, the 20th I am so excited to have a special guest coming to share some inspiration with us. Karen Hossink, MOPS speaker and author.
She has written two books, “Confessions of an Irritable Mother” and “Finding Joy-More Confessions of an Irritable Mother”.
To give you a little more info on Karen, I did a little interview with her:
1. Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my husband, Brian, for 15 years. We have a daughter, Elizabeth, who is 12 years old, and two sons. Joshua is 10 and Matthew is 8.
2. What is your favorite thing to do when you don’t have the kids in tow.
If I am by myself, anything is my favorite thing! I will happily clean the house, fold laundry, rake the yard, whatever.
Seriously, for the past four years I have been doing a special thing without the kids in tow. I attend the Women of Faith conference – all by myself. That means I leave Thursday afternoon and spend the night in a hotel. I attend the pre-conference and conference Friday, spend Friday night in the hotel, and go to the conference again Saturday. It is such a treat to spend those two days by myself, enjoying the presence of God as I listen to awesome Christian women talk about His faithfulness. Truly, by Saturday evening when I get home to my family I am excited to see them and I am totally refreshed.
Now, if there was a way I could arrange to do something like this monthly, or every other month…
3. How did you come up with the names of your books?
By the grace of God, I’d say!
For my first book, “Confessions of an Irritable Mother” was originally going to be the sub-title. Because I built the story around the process of refining silver, I was going to call the book, “Refined Like Silver.” But one day my editor emailed me and said she wanted to talk to me on the phone – wanted to know if I would be available that afternoon. I thought, “Uh, oh. Something is wrong. Why does Christine want to talk to me? Why can’t we take care of this over email?” And I waited for her to call.
That afternoon, Christine told me she had been thinking about it and came to the conclusion “Confessions of an Irritable Mother” would be a much better title. I was unsure, and she encouraged me to ask my friends for their opinions. “Confessions” won – hands down. Now, whenever someone comments about how much they like that title, I thank God again for Christine!
Coming up with the title for “Finding Joy” was another God-thing. Again, I had a different title in mind originally. But one day God used my mentor to speak to my heart about the work He is doing in me.
God had convinced me previously that I could have HOPE for the future because of the way He is using my present trials to refine me. Through the interaction I had with my mentor, God showed me that I could have JOY in the present because He is with me in every moment. I had been joy-less for so long, just wishing for the day when joy would be a normal condition for me. When God showed me there was joy to be had in the midst of the chaos, I knew I had found the title for my new book!
4. How long did they take to write?
I started Confessions in November of 2005. As in, I wrote the first few paragraphs then. I finally got serious about writing it in May of 2006 and was finished in the end of June. I don’t think it took very long to write because I wasn’t coming up with the ideas – I was just writing about the things through which I have gone. My husband let me go away for a three-day writing retreat in May, and I spent many hours at the computer after the kids were in bed. And then it was finished.
Finding Joy was a longer process. I actually started collecting the ideas before I even began writing Confessions. As God would show Himself to me in a situation with my children, I would write it down and file it away “for someday.” Even when I got to work putting the book together God caused me to take a break from writing, and it was in that time He spoke to me about the title – and totally changed the direction of the book. I am telling you, I am so glad God is sovereign and does what He needs to do to make His will known. If Finding Joy had been done on my time table, it would be a completely different book and I am sure it would not be what He wanted.
5. How long have you been speaking for MOPS and how often do you speak?
I began speaking in November of 2006 for MOPS groups and have recently started speaking, not just for moms but, for women in general. I love sharing hope and encouragement with mothers, and I will keep doing that as long as the invitations continue. But God has put messages on my heart for Christian women, too, and I am excited about the opportunities to share them.
On average, I probably speak twice a week. Some weeks find me out three times, and others only once. The thing that works nicely is, since my speaking typically happens only during the school year, most of the time I am speaking while my kids are in school, so they never really miss me. They just see me “dressed up” in the morning and say, “Are you speaking today, Mom?”
6. Can you give a nugget of encouragement to the mom who is surviving pre-schoolers…
Well, I think the best thing would be for her to read Confessions of an Irritable Mother and Finding Joy! *grin*
Beyond that profound thought, I would have to say this: Dear mother, you are precious, absolutely precious. You are the delight of God’s heart and He loves you so much! He does not expect perfection from you. He does not expect you to manage an intricate schedule of play dates, tumbling classes, story times, piano and dance lessons, and karate clubs – while you also maintain a perfect house, produce wrinkle-free laundry, and prepare semi-gourmet meals. It is OK with Him if there is some dust on the shelves and if you don’t put on make-up today. God knows you aren’t Wonder Woman, and HE STILL LOVES YOU! Please receive the grace He offers and know He is with you in every moment.
7. Where will you be on November 20th???
In the morning I will be speaking for the MOPS group at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Lansing. And in the evening I am going to be at my first-ever Praise and Coffee Night!!! I can’t wait to see you again, and hopefully lots of other blogging friends!
You can visit Karen and check our her books/blog at her website: Irritable Mother
For those of you who can’t make it, but are looking for some praise, here you go:
(I know these recordings aren’t always so great, but I still love it!)
When it seems that things in this world are headed in the wrong direction and you feel like the enemy is winning, just remember the words in this song:
“Every heart every nation, every tribe all creation,
will bow before Your presence and sing…”