If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to launch a book — here’s the skinny: It’s like childbirth minus the epidural.
Lots of hard work and prayers for this “baby”. God heard my heart each day…I prayed what I tucked inside would make a difference in the life of a mom. From the moment I grab my full coffee mug and sit down to write I ask God to show me faces of mothers in need of encouragement.
I ask Him on my knees daily to remind me of their burdens and give me the words needed to shine a light where they need it. I ask Him humbly to be used to assist them in the darkest times of motherhood. I ask Him to give me words to make them laugh and remind them they’re not alone. Each day I sit behind my laptop I humbly ask for more words to inspire women to grab hold of this ministry called “motherhood” with both hands and give them hope. I ask Him to help me show them this is the greatest work of all — molding and shaping a child into the adult who will make a difference in the life of someone, too. These were my daily prayers. I still pray these prayers. But, once the book is published it’s up to Him to put it in your hands.
Expectations have been my prayer now. God says He will do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or think and I take Him at His word. He has placed my books in beautiful mom-hands eager to be encouraged. My expectations in just a few short months have been more than I can ask or think. Here’s a little of what’s been going on.
In June I asked moms in my area if they’d like to be a part of reading through The Mean Mom’s Guide Together–and even used my Leader’s Guide. I opened my home in faith, not knowing who would show up. This adorable bunch arrived. I claim these ladies as my friends and sisters in motherhood–a part of the Mean Mom Hall of Fame! We are having our last gathering tomorrow night and Jennifer (the pregnant mama) is bringing her newest arrival, her son Charlie! Between the six of us there are twenty-one children represented here….TWENTY ONE. Just try and tell me God isn’t into exceedingly, abundantly more!
Then there was this group of moms who gathered on the west coast. I’d like to introduce you to these gorgeous gals in Fremont, California and their faithful leader, DeAnn Okumara. I Skyped with these darling Mean Moms in Training and LOVED it!
De Ann is DEFINITELY in The Mean Mom Hall of Fame. She read through the book with these hip west coast girls, too!
This summer I received an email from a women’s ministry leader in Florida who is leading FORTY women at their church as they read through The Mean Moms’ Guide. I’ll be sharing their photos soon! And, if all this weren’t enough, The Mean Mom’s Guide was chosen by Foreword Reviews as one of the must-read family/relationship books of the summer and had this to say:
Full of practical advice and personal testimonies, The Mean Mom’s Guide makes it clear that “unwavering faith in God” is essential. The Bible is quoted frequently, using several versions to address issues from parental monitoring software for computers and insisting that children attend church on Sundays (mean moms approve) to cleaning up after the kids and paying for everything (mean moms don’t). In a society where children and teens are inundated with consumerism, entitlement, and maintaining a particular image, Kraft’s guide is a refreshing change that puts faith and family first. – Foreword Review
Anyone who leads a study through one of my books is in MY HALL OF FAME. Peggy Warren joined the ranks this week.
Then there was this precious group of ladies from North Carolina. Their women’s ministry leader, Peggy, emailed me while they were reading through Just Too Busy–Taking Your Family on a Radical Sabbatical. Peggy invited me to “Google-Chat” with them on their last night together. I was able to answer their questions and listen to their own struggles with busyness. I am always grateful for the women who take me up on Skyping or Google-Chatting with me on the last meeting with their groups. It’s been my honor and joy to see so many of the “faces” I prayed for from the beginning.
Peggy had this to say about going through Just Too Busy with her ladies this year.
While this book is a “must-read” for mothers, women in any season of life will come away with encouragement, not guilt, if they are looking for ways to step back, slow down and live life with an eternal perspective. Be careful where you read it though because you will find yourself laughing out loud as Joanne’s transparent stories touch your heart and inspire you to spend more time investing in the godly legacy you want to one day leave with those you love. We used this as our summer study, meeting once a month in someone’s home. Simply reading and then sharing what we had gleaned made for a special time of bonding for our ladies and one of the most relaxed summer studies we have ever done – and closing it out with a live video chat with Joanne was a real treat. Our ladies can’t wait to do another of Joanne’s books.
Peggy Warren, Womens Ministry Leader, Piney Grove Baptist Church, Fuquay-Varina, NCS
Exceedingly – Abundantly – MORE
Since we’re on the subject of abundantly MORE—I flew to Little Rock, Arkansas a few months ago (more about that later) and taped with Family Life Today. I seriously love those folks there –I’m trying to convince a few of the girls to stay with me for a weekend. Yeah, I’m pushy like that.
I’ll be o their show for THREE DAYS. Can you believe it? THREE DAYS I get to share about The Mean Moms Guide and the passion I have for encouraging women. I just LOVE this ministry but I’ll gush about them later.
Pssssst….word on the street is that Focus on the Family is going to have me back in their studios in a few months. But, hey, you didn’t hear that from me.
This is the time of year mom groups and MOPS groups and women’s Bible studies begin. I encourage you to join. I’m joining my local BSF group and I can’t wait!
All of these are wonderful ways to be encouraged while you walk the road of mommyhood.
Exceedingly, abundantly more…it’s God’s modus operandi, if you will. If you’re looking for a book to do and you are up for the author chiming in via Skype or Google Chat–I’m here ready and waiting. I’m praying for you and expecting God to continue to do abundantly more than I can ask or think.
P.S. Send me YOUR photos with YOUR group and hold up which book YOU’RE using. Then send it to me (JoanneKraft@gmail.com) and Ill post it here!
Enjoy your Saturday morning vanilla latte with Joanne. A weekly resource of amazing links to mom-stuff around the web. If you’re one of those younger- blog savvy girls who take artsy-fartsy pictures of your feet you’ll want to connect with her on Bloglovin & Feedly, too.