In Jaunary 2016, while With All Due Respect was in the initial stages of publishing, a group was formed to see how the materials would work. Six brave souls agreed to come to my house for nine weeks to work through the book. Meanwhile a mother who lived in Tennessee offered to do the book on her own. She and I would chat via phone regularly as she went through the materials. She kept commenting, “This is hard. This is really hard.”
Know that if you work through this material, you will be stretched in ways you never thought possible. You will see parenting in a new light and your relationship with Him will deepen. Parenting is hard—sometimes it is really hard, and just like the Tennessee mom remarked, getting the parenting thing right stretches us in so many ways. I love how Gary Thomas says in his book Sacred Parenting, “Raising children shapes our souls.”
That’s what With All Due Respect is about – doing the soul work. When you get a group of women together and they start talking about their kids, something happens. Add to that a spiritual component with our heavenly Father and discussion questions that force us to look inside ourselves, something amazing happens.
Here’s a condensed version of what happened with the group that came to my house. Hope you enjoy!
Laughter filled the air as we shared our stories. Head nods of understanding, a been-there-done-that acknowledgement of the circumstance connected us in the realm of motherhood—not just motherhood in general, but as mothers of tweens and teens.
It was like a family reunion, even though it had been less than three months since we’d all been in a room at the same time. It was a time to catch up and share what we were learning on our parenting journey.
These women had become special friends that knew the intimate details of each of our parenting challenges. Each asked specific questions intended to laser point exactly where they knew our struggles were. With tenderness and compassion, we all felt the bond. We were walking similar paths. All of us were growing in our relationships. Our parenting was becoming more of a reflection of Him.
We had several things in common but the experience that binds us together was With All Due Respect: 40 Days to a More Fulfilling Relationship with Your Teens and Tweens. Nine weeks of learning, sharing, and applying scripture. Iron sharpening iron as we held each other accountable in trying new skills.
Amazing stories flowed from the lips of these brave women. Rather than focusing on their parenting mistakes they could see the progress—their new parenting strategies. They were working hard on building or re-building relationships with their tweens and teens that would hopefully serve them well for a lifetime.
These moms have experienced what it is like to join forces with other women in parenting. They’ve broadened their view in looking at parenting with the end goal in mind rather than just the daily trials that result from having teens that are pushing for independence. They are able to see the hope of parenting in the midst of the sorrow and heartache that sometimes comes our way. And they are able to rejoice with another woman’s brave steps that resulted in success in relationships that had become difficult with kids who were choosing a path that would most likely lead to destruction.
The bond between these seven brave souls has built a legacy of friendship as well as accountability. Laying the foundation of safety in sharing our expectations and vision in our parenting has set us on a path that will help each of us know where to turn as we deal with our parenting struggles – to Him.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
What could a group like that do for you on your parenting journey? While you gain wisdom in doing the book alone, a group experience will boost your insight manyfold. Hope you’ll join us on the journey!
“Let go…and let God”,
Why not pre-order a copy of the book and discover how you can have a more fulfilling relationship with your tween or teen?
Only 1 day until Book Release!
Think you’ll have difficulty finding a group? In September we’ll be launching an on-line group in our With All Due Respect eCourse. Check back here for details.