Funston wants moms to know there is more FOR them

Part 2 of an Interview with Kristin Funston,
Author of More for Mom

(Read part 1 on the interview here.)

Kristin Funston’s More for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life (Abingdon Press) encourages women to stop believing the lie that more is needed from them, and start living with the truth that more is available for them.

With real-life talk, humor and convicting biblical truths, Funston helps hard working mamas to look at each day and each facet of their life to discover what happens when they believe God has more for them than what they think the world needs from them.

And what He has available is a whole and holy life, just waiting to be claimeda salvation and day-to-day reality complete just as it is. The pieces of each mom’s lifethe work life, mom life, social life, etc.are mended together through Christ to complete her one whole life, set apart because of Him.

This book is a stepping stone to help working mothers reset their spiritual and emotional health, habits, and relationship with God. There are performance pressures at work, home, and mind-sets that affect a mom’s ability to feel complete and live more closely aligned with God. This book includes the beginning steps for moms to walk in wholeness and holiness by asking God for more.

Q: How do you balance mom, wife, writer, employee, friend and so on? Do you believe it is possible to achieve true balance in life?

Honest answer? I don’t. Or I don’t well, at least. I absolutely believe true balance in reference to our lives is a myth. Balance insinuates there will be an even distribution of weight for something to stay upright. There is no way I’m going to evenly balance everything, but I can still stay upright. I think it’s when we do try to balance evenly and stay upright that things fall apart. At any given time or season, one thing is going to give more or weigh heavier than others. Of course, my family is always first, but that doesn’t mean they won’t or don’t have to be more flexible when my work is extra busy for a time. It’s when I notice one thing truly suffering that I know it’s time to reign back and re-prioritize what I’ve been focusing on.

Q: What is mom guilt, and why do moms struggle so much with it?

Mom guilt is just what it sounds like. It’s the feeling of guilt—or the berating from ourselves or from others—for the way we parent (the way we talk to our children or the decisions we make that affect their lives). Mom guilt can show up unexpectedly and quickly and in a wide variety of situations.

The reason we struggle with it boils down to expectations. Expectations we put on ourselves, on others or what others put on us. Sure, we want to do and be all the things to everyone, but we can’t. I talk about this a lot in chapter called “Raving Fans.” When we don’t meet expectations, we’re bombarded with emotions. Mom guilt is cruel, but it grows from something we can control, which is encouraging. We control this guilt by making sure expectations we set align with our reality. And not just our day-to-day reality, but the reality of who Christ says we are and what we are supposed to do or handle. There are a number of ways to manage this, starting with setting realistic expectations and not getting pulled into the trap of making exceeding expectations the expectation.

Q: How do we overcome thinking our time and priorities are more important than anyone else’s? How does that sometimes flow into a “holier than thou” attitude?

Being “holier-than-thou” or thinking we, our time or our priorities are more important than others puts us in a place that is set away and above others. However, God is the only one who is above us and others. We cannot and should not place ourselves at the same level as God, but as humans, we are all on a level playing field. Something to note is that we are not set on separate playing fields either, we are set on the same field, together. We are not set apart from other people but set apart with other people.

We overcome this by first recognizing the fact that we are set apart with other people. This life here on Earth is a team sport. Recognizing this will help us to understand proper attitudes in regards to other people.

Q: We live in a culture that is quickly becoming less and less Christian. How should we build relationships with those you describe as pre-Christians?

I think we do it in the same way we build relationships with Christians. After all, we’re all people. People, whether they believe Jesus is Lord or not, want the same things—love, respect, kindness. We get to know them, invite them to dinner or to a movie, grab coffee, laugh and joke, and have meaningful conversation. However, the line is drawn when it comes to our values stemmed from our faith in Christ. This is where we stand our ground when challenged or offered opportunities to think or act in a pre-Christian way. We shouldn’t always blame non-believers for their non-Christian ways of living because they don’t know any better. But we do. I write about it and reference scripture where it’s relevant, but the light always stands its ground when faced with darkness. Where there is light, darkness fades away.

Q: Would More for Mom be a good tool to share with pre-Christian moms?

Many of the practices I recommend in More for Mom are relevant to all people, so I think a non-believer could benefit from reading it. There are lots of discussion about relationships with other people in More for Mom, and everyone (both Christians and non-Christians) is in some sort of relationship with others and even themselves. The dynamic within ourselves I address deals with strategies to correct our perspectives, live out our dreams, and manage expectations and priorities. These topics are pertinent to all people, whether they believe Jesus to be Christ or not. I also address the relationships, perspectives, and dynamics between believers and non-believers and how that affects our wholeness and holiness and that relationship.

There is also an invitation in the book to non-believers to begin a relationship with Christ and I recommend ways to start that journey. So yes, I definitely think someone who doesn’t actively follow Christ could gain something from reading the message of this book.

Q: Let’s talk about expectations. What are some appropriate expectations to have of ourselves and others? Is there a line we cross where expectations go wrong?

Yes, there is a clear line where expectations can and probably will go wrong. The question to raise is this, “Where is this expectation rooted?” And when I say “rooted,” I mean deep down in the dirt. There are deeper scriptural references to why, but ultimately God doesn’t expect anything of us, so why should we? The only requirement He has is that we love and worship Him, and love others as ourselves. So, love is the only thing we should expect of ourselves and of others. This is the marker with which we can measure the appropriateness of expectations, “Is it rooted in love?”

If the expectation is rooted from a place of loving others as ourselves, then I believe we are good to go. Feeding, clothing and caring for my children is rooted in love. Helping, encouraging and respecting my husband is rooted in love. Offering prayer or a meal to a neighbor in need is most often rooted in love. We just need to make sure to double check that our motives were grown from love, not personal or societal presumptions.

Q: Why did you include a chapter on fasting in a book about gaining more in this life?

Short answer? It’s biblical and necessary.

Long answer? I confess I didn’t know a lot about fasting prior to my research I did for this book, but upon looking at Christ (who lived the very first and truly whole and holy life), I wanted to encourage women to do what He did. And he fasted. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t see (or at least hear about) people in my Christian circles fasting very often. So, I had to do some research on the subject to really understand why. I looked at Jesus and others in the Bible who fasted and did additional research as well.

The answer boils down to this: We can’t live whole and holy without Jesus. He’s the “more” we’re all ultimately looking for. We need to do any and everything that will draw us closer to him—as close as we can be in this pre-heaven life. I believe anything that isn’t drawing us closer to Him is, in a sense, pulling us away from Him. So, we need to get rid of what pulls us away, whether that’s food, social media, or even shopping at Target. We need to enter a fast to get us to a place to better receive what He has for us.

Learn more at Kristin Funston is also active on Facebook (KristinDFunston) and Instagram (@kfunston).