Thursday, June 12, 2008

Interview with a Mom - Susie Larson

It's been a while since I've done my last "interview with a mom." I thought it was time to bring them back (on a semi-regular basis at least!). My purpose with these interviews is to create an opporutnity to learn from other moms who are ahead of me in the journey of motherhood. I hope you are as encouraged by them as I am.

Today, author and speaker, Susie Larson, has agreed to join us.

And, drumroll please, in honor of this first interview, I am going to be giving away one copy of Susie's book Balance that Works when Life Doesn't! To be entered in the drawing, please leave a comment by 5 pm on Monday, June 16th.

For more from Susie, check out her blog. She posts every Wednesday.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband Kevin and I were married over 23 years ago. We were going to wait five years to have children but (somehow) got pregnant on our honeymoon. Praise! We not only were blessed with a beautiful son who is now a godly young man, we found out I had endometriosis. I needed to have my children right away if I wished to have them. I ended up with a hysterectomy at age 29, but thankfully had three sons before that time. My sons are Jake – 22, Luke – 20, and Jordan - 18

Tell us about your new book coming out in July and why you wanted to write it.

Yes! I am excited about this new book. Every author has a book that is sort of her signature book, and this one is mine. The title is, “The Uncommon Woman: Making an Ordinary Life Extraordinary.” In this book I address three things: a woman’s identity (that it’s both her privilege and responsibility to embrace her worth), how she relates to other women (and the call to break the stereotype of gossip, pettiness, and drama), and the call to make a divine impact in her world (which she cannot do on the low road of insecurity and gossip). Women who have read the review copy have said that it’s a life changing book. I am very passionate about the message in this book!

Why do you love being a mom?

Early on, God made it clear to me that my sons were created in HIS image, not mine. The beautiful challenge for me was to be so in step with the Lord that I could clearly discern His plan for their lives. I wanted to cooperate in every way possible with His plan and His shaping of their character. I suppose I could have made them eat more vegetables, but I went the distance when it came to cultivating a spiritual legacy in their lives.

What has been the most challenging part about being a mom for you?

The biggest challenge for me early on was trying to parent three baby boys while fighting a disease that took away about 90% of my strength. I was bit by the deer tick during my third pregnancy and battled severe illness during those first several years after my third son was born. Even so, God was faithful to fill in where I was lacking. Later on, the challenge for me was to be whole so that I could parent from a place of fullness, and not emptiness. If we don’t take care of our own hang-ups and insecurities, we will pass them down to our children. I was determined to impart life and freedom to them and so I had to take seriously my own call to be free and whole in Christ.

What is your favorite lunchtime meal?

Okay, this might sound weird but my favorite lunch time meal is coleslaw salad (with grapes, sunflower seeds, chicken breast, and poppy seed dressing). I have gluten and lactose intolerance so my diet is seriously limited. Oh, it just occurred to me that you were referring to my little-kid days. Let’s see, hmmmm, I’d have to say, grilled cheese and tomato soup. That was our favorite lunch for many years.

What is your favorite summer activity?

Again, my boys are grown now, so my answer is different now than it was then. I absolutely love to wake up early, grab my coffee and all of my devotional books and Bible, and head out to my deck to watch the sunrise and to spend some time praying. My other favorite thing is to ride the bike trails as fast as I can.

Share one good mom tip you have learned over the years.

I heard this from Gary Smalley. Never let your child walk away with a closed spirit. In other words, pay close attention to what’s going on in their heart and mind. As parents, we have to confront, redirect, discipline, and sort through messes with our little ones and it won’t always be pretty. But at the end of the day, we have to make sure that nothing in them has shut down. We have to be together on this journey and the only way to navigate through life (especially those teen years) is to be fully present and in tune with how they are responding to the difficult things they encounter.

What do you like to listen to in your car (music, talk radio, nothing, etc.)?

I listen to the local Christian radio station. Sometimes I like it quiet so I can pray.

What book (if any) are you reading right now?

I’m reading Wayne Muller’s book on the Sabbath. And while I don’t agree with everything in that book, it’s given me a lot to think about in the way of pace and rest and reflection.

Do you have any parting advice for young moms?

I’m afraid I’ll sound like every other cliché in the book but with all my heart I mean this: enjoy these years; embrace them, for they will quickly pass. In fact, none of us know how long we get to walk this earth. We live in such a performance oriented society and moms are especially made to feel they need something else to validate them other than “just” being a mom. This is a great lie of the age! What could be more important than investing in tomorrow’s leaders? Whole generations of kids are growing into spoiled-entitled-self aware adults. This world is desperate for more grounded, godly, Christ-following leaders. Embrace your call as a mom and do with with every ounce of dignity God gives you!

Thank you Susie for sharing with us!


Llama Momma said...

Thanks for this great interview! I first hear Susie Larson speak at Hearts at Home several years ago, and her "Balance" book is one of my favorites! Don't put me in the drawing...I've already got it, but I just wanted to say how much I love Susie. :-)

(okay, and hilarious side-note, the word verification for my comment is: barfy. I kid you not. I hope it's not a sign of things to come...)

christine said...

Thanks for re-instating your 'Mom Interviews', Megan. Like the rest of your blog, the posts are always filled with encouragement & practical wisdom. I'm soaking it all in...

Marie Stork said...

I love your blog. It's always filled with such inspiration! I've never read one of Susie Larson's books. I will have to pick that new one up. It sounds great!

Sanna said...

What an encouraging interview from a Mom who has been there! Just found your blog and I am enjoying it!

Laura said...

Thanks for doing the mom interview! I love it! Very encouraging!

Carpenters said...

I have seen a couple of Susie's books, but haven't picked them up yet. This one sounds very interesting and I'll put it on my summer reading list. Thanks for the info.


Renata said...

I have never even heard of Susie before this - now I'll have to go searching in the christian bookstore for one of her books - they sound great!!
Thanks for this post Meg
Renata :)

Kristy said...

I'm so glad the mom interview is back- I always enjoy it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Susie!

Amber said...

I agree about being glad the interviews are back - it's always encouraging to have the perspective, wisdom and insight.

I would LOVE the recipe to the coleslaw salad she mentioned too - yum!