Thursday, May 31, 2018
Popular mommy blogger helps moms claim true hope and meaning
Part 2 of an interview with Katie Bennett,
Author of Heavenly Minded Mom
In A 90 Day Journey to Embrace What Matters Most (Abingdon Press), author and blogger Katie Bennett beckons moms into a new way of viewing their present reality by rising above the ordinary and routine to see a bigger plan and purpose for motherhood.
This uplifting book offers moms the wisdom of Ecclesiastes, wrapped in the hope of the Gospel, and presented in bite-sized portions. The 90 compelling meditations, scripture readings, and invitations to journal and reflect, will encourage us to reevaluate how we envision our lives and to claim a heavenly mindset towards our mothering tasks. These inspirational readings will help us discover a new way of looking at our responsibilities as a mom through God’s eyes.
Bennett encourages readers to embrace a simpler life filled with God’s promises and love as you reflect on God’s powerful work as it has woven through their past and present in anticipation of its impact in the future and their spiritual legacy.
Q: What does it mean to be a heavenly minded mom?
The lives of moms are all too often consumed with wearisome, empty striving. We work to keep up appearances, meet worldly standards, and find satisfaction in the offerings of this life such as success, admiration, and ease. However, God has set eternity in a mother’s heart, and deep inside, and it is impossible to not long for more.
To be heavenly minded is to know that the promises of God are true and allow them to anchor our hope completely. It is to find purpose in God’s calling to live in a way that matters beyond this life: to love with His love, to serve as Christ served, to sacrifice for the sake of the Kingdom of God and to prioritize spiritual gain over worldly gain in our daily choices.
Q: You describe your devotional as a journey. What are the destinations along the way to becoming heavenly minded?
Heavenly Minded Mom is comprised of three sequential sections. The first section is designed to open your eyes to the meaninglessness of the things we too often wrongfully align our hearts with and devote our lives to. These are the things that become idols in our lives. The purpose of the first thirty days is to till up the soil of your heart and prepare it for the seeds of eternal perspective God wants to plant. It is intended to crack the thin sheet of colorful glass that is right in front of your nose (the world as you perceive it) and dethrone idols in your life so that you will be able to see past this physical existence and into eternity.
The second section will further cultivate your eternal perspective by demonstrating how to think and interpret life with a mind and heart set on heaven.
The third and final section of the book is about the things that will endure. It is intended to pour meaning back into the stuff of your life. The tasks, pursuits, and endeavors that were stripped of meaning at the onset of this book will be re-enlivened with a different, deepened, Christ-centered sense of possibility and lasting meaning. Together, we will examine the things that will endure—faith, hope, love—and look at how we can store up treasures in heaven during our brief lives on this earth.
Q: Can you share more about the format of Heavenly Minded Mom? How did you intend for the book to be used?
Heavenly Minded Mom is set up as a 90-day devotional. Originally, I envisioned it as a book, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized to shift one’s perspective requires time and multiple opportunities to reflect and reevaluate life. Because the book is scripture-based and scripture-saturated, this was a perfect fit. A devotional format also seems to be helpful for mothers, who tend to be busy!
In my book, I reference the book of Ecclesiastes written by King Solomon who was a man given special wisdom from God. In it, he observes life under the sun and considers how truly meaningless all our striving, accomplishment, pleasures and gain truly are when all of it ends in death and is remembered no more. These truths are the foundation for Heavenly Minded Mom, but it doesn’t stop there! Because of what Christ has done, we have the most stunning of hopes, the hope of eternal life filled with eternal meaning.
Each day’s devotion includes a scripture reference for additional context and reading and journaling prompts to help readers process what they’re reading and apply it to their lives.
Q: On your blog you focus on living simply in light of eternity. How does this concept and Heavenly Minded Mom tie together?
When we truly understand value, we will not run after the things of the world, because we will see there is something far more wonderful for us to devote our lives and hearts to pursing. We will be more interested in making disciples than filling our trophy case, and more interested in spending time pouring into the spiritual lives of our children than with providing them every shining thing and trendy experience.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV) says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Here we see there are things that entangle us in our heavenward race that are not sin. We are exhorted to throw these off, fix our eyes on Jesus alone (not the world), and run. We see that He did this too. He knew the joy that was to come, so He was able to endure throughout His life on earth in order to obey His Father.
Q: If you could share one thing with readers from all you’ve learned from all God has done in your life, what would it be?
Isaiah 40:6-8 “all people are like grass” and Luke 9:23 “whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself and take up his cross to follow me.” Don’t love the world. Don’t spend your life on the wrong things! That’s a greater tragedy than we can imagine.
Q: What is your hope for Heavenly Minded Mom readers?
My hope is that it will open women’s eyes to the brevity of life so that they will not waste it pursing the wind. This matters urgently because we only have one chance to get this right, then all of eternity to reap what we have sown.
My hope is that mothers would discover real, unshakable hope, the joy of loving and serving others with Christ’s love, and the eternal calling God has placed on their lives for this present moment.
Keep up with Katie Bennett at www.embracingasimplerlife.com. Follow her on Facebook (EmbracingaSimplerLife) and Instagram (EmbracingaSimplerLife).