Mothering from the Heart

how it began

Our family moved to South Carolina in in the summer of 1990 when my oldest child was eight. We had four little ones at the time and I was extremely focused on being Carl’s helper and my children’s mother. In those early years as the new pastor’s wife, I taught children – both at home and in the church. Loved it. Still do.

After a few years and as our church was growing, some of the younger women asked me if I would teach mothering principles. I took their request to heart and began thinking through the most important things I had learned about mothering.

I began to write those thoughts down. That began my journey of writing and teaching a 6-week Bible study for mothers in my home. During those days, our fifth child was born and when he was a few months old, I invited women to my home in the afternoon for what I thought would only be a one time six-week Bible study to share with them the most important things I was learning. I was in process just like they were – I did not know all the answers – it was like sharing my journey as I was living and obeying what I knew. It was a sweet time. My children helped me host the Bible study and they are the ones who took care of their baby brother upstairs during the study.

On that first day, my living room was packed. Women were crowded in the hall and kitchen. I was overwhelmed as I realized the longing of young mothers to obey God, know His word, and apply it in their lives. I remember typing out notes and handing out copies that Kim printed for me. I wasn’t professional about it. I just wanted to encourage women – I wanted to do it from my home – with my children helping me.

What I thought would be one Bible study turned into my teaching the same material periodically. I don’t remember how many studies I held in my home – but I do remember when our church built our first building, I began teaching it periodically there because it was a more central location – made it easier for women to come. And they did.

At some point, God brought Lisa to one of those Bible studies. She was a tremendous encouragement to me. Then my husband and Lisa, at different times, suggested that I teach the Bible study in a conference format. Friday night and Saturday. What? I was so nervous. My mom came. I love her for many reasons – but I especially loved her then.

Lisa was so instrumental. She put professionalism on my casual approach. Professionalism in the sense that she came up with many ideas that I still use as I teach at Woman’s Life or anywhere, for that matter. I am grateful to this day for her help in those early days of ministry.
After the first conference, I didn’t realize how much I would be teaching women. Things grew. I taught more and more. My children did ministry with me. They worked in children’s classes, ran the sound, encouraged. No way could I have taught the first thing without them. They put everything to the test.They were my biggest fans and my biggest encouragers.

Once, I was asked to teach at a Cru staff wives conference. It was there where the women presented me with a chalk/watercolor version of the header at the top this site (it's been tweaked a little). The original was done on some kind of large paper, which GraceAnna and I rolled up and brought home and eventually I had it laminated.

We still hang it in the Atrium at church for promoting the Mothering from the Heart Bible study each time I teach it. And if you look closely at it, you can see the paper wrinkles underneath the lamination.

God brought other women to make things more lovely. I am so grateful for the talents of a friend, Nancy, who painted several beautiful banners to help promote women’s events at church. Conferences. Spring Tea. In those days, we hung them near the street for women to see as they drove by. What woman would not admire her work?

She even painted a stunning, sparkling version of the header at the top of this page. What a gift. I wish I still had that banner. I don’t know what happened to it. And believe me, I have searched and searched for it because I would still be using it.

Then at some point, God brought Rhonda in my life. She created Titus 2 silhouettes which she framed and gave to me as a gift. I asked her if she could take the image of the mother and child and cross and do a silhouette. She did. That is the image you see at the top of the Mothering from the Heart Facebook page.

I wish I had kept a timeline of all that has happened over the years with exact dates and pictures. I wish I did. What I am sharing today is all from my not-so-perfect memory. I don't remember everything but I am so grateful.

God used and continues to use so many talents, gifts, and hearts of many women. God knows who they are and what they have done and are doing for His kingdom.

I love Hebrews 6:10:
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them."

~audrey