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A message from Kara Moss: Hi, friend! I’m so happy to meet you. I’m just a woman who is daily reminded of her need for Jesus. Aren’t we all? I am thankful for His grace and mercy that meet us exactly where we are. I was born and raised a city girl but married a country boy. We’re good for each other. We have two daughters who are the source of much joy and noise in our home. Family is my heart. I love sweeping. I hate doing laundry. My “go to” for rest is a good book and a cup of hot tea. I love going to the beach, but just don’t ask me to get in the ocean. I also have a serious thing for planners and pens.
While I do have a degree in Human Development and Learning with a focus on Early Children Education, I’ve learned more through life experiences and my own failures as a wife and mom than any class ever taught me. Life is a good teacher. My front porch is one of my favorite places to spend time. If I had my way, you and I would become friends rocking the afternoon away in just that spot. I would love to get to know you more! I hope you will connect with me so we can share the journey – with all it’s good, bad, and ugly – together. We are not perfect but being perfected, and there is hope In that for all of us.
Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the podcast, you guys!
Today is Friday, April 26. It’s the first day for me to be back in the studio. I’ve been on the road for a month with my family. It feels so so good to be back here. Thanks for listening—for all your encouragement while we’ve been out on the road. And we’re gonna keep being out on the road, but not for a month at a time. So that’s good.
Today’s Meet My Friend Friday, and you guys know I love to have awesome mothers and fathers on here who want to speak to the culture, and bring truth and grace—and today’s no exception. My friend Kara Moss is on the show with me today and here to talk about a new book she’s got launching today called: Abundant Motherhood. You guys are gonna love it! Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged!
All right—so to let you guys know, if I can keep up with myself, I’m going to be at RVHEA tomorrow in Ottawa. So come on out! If you haven’t, if you’re not sure where that is—well first of all, if you’re anywhere near Ottawa, then you just need to come. I will link back to it in the show notes today.
Jay and I actually flew into Syracuse and decided to drive across the border this time. And so—looking forward to seeing a whole bunch of you. So after that, the next weekend on the 2nd of May, Jay and I will be speaking for Apple Pie Day at the Oregon capital of Salem. It’s really important, you guys know how I feel about this. Get off the bench, get onto the battlefield.
It’s so exciting to see a resurgence, really, of men and women who care about the culture and who want to follow the Lord Jesus—engaging in the culture—particularly as it relates to the laws that are being passed, locally and nationally.
So, you guys have heard me talk about this before but all politics is local—meaning it starts at home and we know that that’s definitely the truth with our families. So I would encourage you—if you’re anywhere near the capital of Oregon, come out for Apple Pie Day on the 2nd. I’m excited to be there, it’s going to be a great opportunity for you guys to meet your legislators—and bring them a pie for goodness sake. I mean really—Apple Pie Day. Bring them a pie. You heard “Let them eat cake”? Well this time it’s let them eat pie.
All right, I’m excited to introduce Kara Moss to you today. Kara has a brand new book out. Today is actually her launch day. Woot-Woot! So, all the authors listening to this know how important launch day is. And I love Kara’s heart in her message. You guys are gonna love her too. She’s written a brand new book called Abundant Motherhood. Kara Moss, welcome to the podcast.
[Kara] Hello! Thank you so much for having me. Been a longtime listener and always so encouraged by the truth that you bring to all of us. So thanks so much for having me.
[Heidi] You’re welcome. I’m glad that you’re here and I love what you’ve written about. You know, I care very deeply about mothers in the culture right now. And it sounds like you have a similar a similar passion. But first, I kind of want people to know a little bit about you. So tell the listeners a little bit about you and your family.
[Kara] Yes. I live in a small town in Tennessee—Jefferson City. It’s a little small town…
[Heidi] I know right where that is
[Kara] … one Wal-Mart town.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Kara] We love it. I grew up in neighborhoods, and now find myself living on 30 acres with my husband and daughters. And he grew up a country-boy-farm-loving-fella, and…
[Heidi] He’s doing the whole, like, country-boy-can-survive thing with you.
[Kara] Yeah we got the garden, it will e coming out soon and all that good stuff.
[Heidi] So how old are your kids?
[Kara] I have two girls. My oldest daughter will be 12 this summer. It’s just hard to believe, and my youngest just turned nine. And every mom will say, every child is different—and they are as opposite as you could imagine.
[Heidi] Right. Right. That’s just to keep you on your knees.
[Kara] Absolutely. Yes. They are two ends of the spectrum there. So that keeps us on our toes for sure.
[Heidi] That’s awesome. And I always ask authors, you know—people do not just write books. You have to have a message on your heart, something that really motivates you to want to spend hours and evenings of what would normally be free time alone with your laptop. Why did you write Abundant Motherhood? What’s the overarching theme that you want moms to go away with.
[Kara] Yeah, I think the biggest motivation and passion in my heart for this is—in our world today, I just feel like there is so much noise, and there’s so many opinions, and there’s so much resources—so many things right at our fingertips. And I know for myself and my journey of motherhood—I loved to ingest everything. I was reading all the books, listening to all the podcast. I was going to conferences, and events, and I just loved all of it so much. But, I found myself almost trapped with so much information and so many good ideas, that I began to feel this pressure pile on. You know, like this pressure of that I have to do it this way and I have to do it that way and —what about this? what about that?
There’s all this out there, and I found myself on my own journey just having to quiet the noise and to come to a place of—at the end of the day—it is me and Jesus, together, raising these children. I have to have His voice, and His input, and His life in me has to flow out of me. And and in that, came just seeing so many moms that I walk with and people all around just getting, I think distracted, by so many good things. And I think, that at the bottom of it all, my heart in this book is to say—you can do this mom thing with Jesus, and that together, we can raise these children that He has so blessed us with. And that sometimes, it just feels overwhelming—but that we can quiet things and come to a place of, I think putting some priorities back where they belong, at the end of the day.
[Heidi] Yeah. Yeah. And you, I think I’ve seen this in the homeschool movement in particular. I know your books not about homeschooling, but I think that is true of this generation of homeschoolers. So something I’m noticing, and Kara I’d love to get your perspective on this since really—this is a large part of what you’re diving into in the book—is this overwhelmed feeling that moms have. Like we look around we see Pinterest, we see all this other stuff. I see it really starkly even more in the homeschool community than I do in any other sphere of influence for mothers. And I think partly because these moms go to you know they go to these awesome homeschool conferences— which I love, as you know…
[Kara] Yeah, absolutely.
[Heidi] …that I think instead of taking on our identity,we take on the identity of the mom behind the table… or the mom at the curriculum booth, or whatever. We just go— oh my goodness, my kid doesn’t know Latin by the time they’re 4— then, I’m failing. What do you say to the the homeschool mom? And we’ll get back to this for every other mom—but I have such a heart for homeschool moms, and I feel like this is something we can really set moms free from. What do you say to that mom who—she’s getting to the end of the school year now, and she’s like—I’m done, I’m not going to do this again next year because I’m not enough, or I didn’t get enough done, or I’m failing, or we didn’t finish, or whatever? Talk to that mom for a minute.
[Kara] First of all, don’t quit! Don’t throw in the towel. There is so much out there, but what our kids need is us. They need us investing in their lives more than they need to know Latin by fourth grade.
[Heidi] Yea, for sure.
[Kara] And even in the abundance of material that is out there, and at our fingertips, the Lord knows our children—and He knows what they need. And if we will plug in to Him and listen for what’s on His heart for our children—we can give them what they need most, and we can hone in on what He is saying specifically for our children, without having to turn to every new curriculum that’s available and out there. And not to knock all the wonderful resources—I love them—but we can end up with our eyes and our sights so set on those things that we miss, maybe the bigger picture of what God is wanting to say specifically to us for our child—because we’re giving so much weight to all the other voices.
[Heidi] Yeah. And I think we forget. You know, Jesus said take my yoke upon me and learn from me because my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I don’t think that homeschooling done under the the leadership and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or mothering done under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is going to run us over and leave us on the side of the road for dead—but sometimes are our ideas don’t stack up to reality and that’s something that you talk about in Abundant Motherhood.
So how did your ideas about motherhood cmpare to the actual feeling of it, the gig of motherhood?
[Kara] Yeah, I think I had a pretty dreamy idea of motherhood—if you will. I grew up around children, I’m the second born, and we have four kids in our family. And as the big sister, I kind of helped raise my little siblings and was very nurturing and mothering early on. And I had this very dreamy idea of what motherhood would be like, and you imagine all the wonderful snuggles, and reading books, and playing, and crafting, and all the joys that motherhood brings. And, I think I was a little bit blindsided with—oh there’s a strong will in this child—come to find out.
[Heidi] hmm hmm
[Kara] And, so I think my dream of what motherhood was going to be, versus what reality was—knocked me off my feet for a season. I remember very clearly, one day I was hiding in the pantry as most mom’s find themselves doing.
[Heidi] yay for hiding!
[Kara] Yes I was hiding in the pantry. My 3 year old…
[Heidi] Did you find the chocolate chips?
[Kara] Well, you find the snack, it’s a good place to hide because you have food. But I remember standing there in the pantry holding the door shut with my 3 year old on the other side pulling at it—and I had my phone in the other hand calling my husband saying you have to help, I don’t know what to do with her. So I think those were the moments that came as a shock. Like— okay, we got a lot of work to do here.
[Heidi] Yes, right.
[Kara] Yeah. It’s not the things we imagined, and the days we have planned, don’t always go quite like we expect.
[Heidi] Yeah. It’s true and you, at some point—we have to reconcile that, right? And I think sometimes, and I’ve had this conversation with my daughter, you know—just this idea that motherhood is hard and that doesn’t mean that it’s bad. And this idea that we gotta sing, you know — stand around and sing Kumbaya and talk about what a hot mess we are.
I’m kind of weary of it because I feel like the Lord calls us to a place of abundance. Jesus said, I came not so that you just have life but that you’d have abundant life. And yet in the same breath, He said but hey, caveat, in this world we have trouble, right? And I think you can have abundant life and abundant motherhood in the midst of all this stuff.
[Kara] Yea, In the middle it, yes.
[Heidi] Yeah, it’s what God has for you.
[Kara] The word abundant means having plenty. And one of the things in writing this book, I kept thinking about how many times in my life I have said—I am not enough, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t know enough, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough. Whatever it is.
But in that moment, I thought if I had enough of this, I would be a great mom. And the word abundant, meaning having plenty, and it was this revelation and this process in my own heart of going—it’s having plenty of the right thing. And when we know that we have plenty of Christ, that we can kind of change the dialogue. It goes from I’m not enough to He is enough—and because He is enough therefore I can be who I’m called to be as the mother of these children and that my plenty comes through Christ. And we kind of change the ,that that internal dialogue we have with ourselves as moms, we kind of can change that dialogue to knowing that we are enough in Him—and that Him in us is enough.
[Heidi] And I think sometimes we struggle with what looks like. It can take on the sort of “christianese” sound—you know like, He’s enough. And so to the mom who’s listening to that right now, who’s going —what are you even talking about? Like you say that He’s enough, but my baby just spit up on me for the 14th time this morning, and my teenager just glared at me, and I’m not done with homeschooling. And I have no idea what I’m making for dinner—and He’s enough. Thank you, I appreciate that.
I mean, can you walk that out, just step it back a little bit—because I think I know what you’re saying—but I know that there’s gonna be people who are listing here like, what? What does that look like practically — when when we say— when I say and you say: let the Lord be enough. What does that look like?
[Kara] I think it looks like, in those moments where you want to pull your hair out because the day is falling apart—it looks like taken that deep breath, and pausing for a moment. And for me it often looks like a whispered prayer. It looks like turning to the Word. It looks like I’m gonna take five minutes and get into the Word in this very moment where I feel like everything’s gonna fall apart—and realize it’s not falling apart, and it’s gonna be okay. It looks like throwing on the worship music and cranking it up loud. It looks like…
[Heidi] I’m a huge fan of that.
[Kara] Yes,iIt changes the atmosphere, it changes where you’re focusing on. And so practically, it looks like just little things in the moment where when everything else is crashing and burning—you find an anchor and you anchor yourself in that. And that comes through Christ. That’s the only place we’re gonna be anchored, truthfully, and rooted, and grounded. And so I think it’s it’s in those little things.
[Heidi] Yeah. I love that you’re talking about that anchor because I think it’s so important for moms, and dads too – I know there are a lot of men who listen to this podcast. I’m not I’m not trying to to to exclude you guys today, but I do think that there’s a—you know moms who are home with their little ones all day long, and we sometimes lose sight of the fact that God is in the little things. And that anchor to me, over these 27 years of raising you know all of my children, that anchor has really been found in hitting like a reset button like going— woah! look at this, or this is not working today, all these things I’m trying are not working. The crockpot didn’t get plugged in, my teenager’s mouthing off to me—whatever.
Sometimes I’ll hit the reset button, and I just I love what you said—put on the praise music and just say— no kids were done today, we’re not going to to keep striving and trying to pursue this thing. I’m going to instead pursue my relationship with you and my relationship with the Lord. And then say—Lord show me, how do you see me in this moment? I think you’ve done a really good job of doing that.
So, I know that there’s a section in your book that’s devoted to practical application—which is kind of why I put you on the spot. Because I think it’s easy for Christians, and particularly Christian moms who’ve been in this walk with the Lord a long time, to use lingo that other people like—what? what do you mean? And I love that you have an entire section of Abundant Motherhood that’s devoted really to teaching these moms how to put the things that you’re teaching them to practice.
So, what is a mom who really needs to understand that practical side of it—what’s she going to find in that particular section of the book?
[Kara] Yeah, in that chapter I talk about some sanity savers for moms who are having one of those crash and burn days or moments. And there’s three main things there there— that for me have been my go-to’s, and one of them is to reach out and find community. And that you have some people in your life that you can go to. For me, my sister I can send her a text. I use three certain emojis and right away she’ll text me back like, you’ve got this, I’m for you I’m with you. And it’s changing up the scenery, like sometimes, like you said—you just got to push pause on the day and do something else.
[Heidi] Yeah, right?
[Kara] You just gotta change it up.
[Heidi] Yea right, it’s okay to say — well this isn’t working.
[Kara] And then there’s also several practical things to do for your kids. If you find yourself hitting an issue with your child over and over again, it’s the same thing over and over — it’s some ideas to do, it’s Scripture suggestions, and activities, and things that you can do with your children in your home. To even maybe change your approach. Change it up a little bit, change how you’re addressing this particular situation with your kid.
[Heidi] Yeah, it’s so good and I think for moms who are listening—any seasoned mom knows that what worked last week—might not work this week. And it’s okay to say —we’re going to hit the reset button and we’re going to try something different. And I love that you’re encouraging moms.
Where can listeners find more information about you? I’m going to tell them how to get your book in just a second— but where can they find more about you?
[Kara] Yeah. Facebook! They can find me on Facebook at Kara Moss or on Instagram at @Kara.V.Moss and website is KaraMoss.com. I would love to get to know people better, and chat, and visit— and I just love encouraging moms and just saying—you got this, you can do it.
[Heidi] Well we need more cheerleaders out there.
[Kara] We need each other saying that to the other.
[Heidi] We do!
[Heidi] And I love that you said—hey, find community. And i’ve been telling moms—I mean I know you can find Kara on Facebook, but Kara doesn’t live in your neighborhood. Get off line and get out into community. I think so much of these moms— we’re hurtin’ because we’re not out there. We’re not doing community, not doing life together anymore. So, I appreciate that.
For those of you who want information about Kara’s book—I will link back to it in the show notes today! You can find her book Abundant Motherhood—it releases today. What a privilege for us to have you on here for your launch day, Kara. I wish you the very best. I hope everybody listening gets a copy of your book.
[Kara] Thank you so much. It was a delight to chat with you and I appreciate you having me.
[Heidi]You’re very welcome. I look forward to seeing what the Lord does with you in the years to come—I have a feeling it’s going to be really good stuff!
So everybody, for more information about Kara please check it out HeidiStJohn.com/Podcast. If you scroll down, you’ll notice that we just started transcribing this podcast—so it should be real easy for you to find the notes and also find the links to her book. If you’ve got any questions for me that you’d like addressed furthering this conversation, or any other thing please shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to remind you guys I’m going to be in Ottawa for the RVHEA convention tomorrow, and then next week on the 2nd of May, that’s a Thursday — I will be at Ocean Network in Salem Oregon for Apple Pie Day. Come on out and let’s get off the bench and onto the battlefield together.
Thanks for listening everybody, I appreciate it. I’ll see you back here on Monday!
Write to Heidi:
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682