Six years. Six long years in the making. And soon it will be a reality.
Six years ago, my friends Claudia Mitchell, Annette Stonger, and I decided to make our own curriculum for the moms who attended our Friday morning group. We called it “Take Off the Stinky Mom Shirt.” We had over 50 women in attendance and the content was well received. In fact, we had people ask us to teach it again.
Claudia commented afterwards, “We should make this into a book!”
I laughed and said, “I have two small boys. There’s no way I can do that.”
Once they both entered school, an idea started to nag in the back of my brain. The more I worked with women, the more I wanted to encourage them. I heard over and over how inadequate they felt as moms. My heart broke a little more each time. I decided the time had come.
There is a children’s book called What Do You Do With an Idea by Kobe Yamada about a boy who gets an idea and isn’t sure what to do with it. He fears sharing it with anyone, but eventually he feeds it and it grows. My favorite part is the end where it says:
“Then one day something amazing happened. My idea changed right before my eyes. It spread its wings, took flight, and burst into the sky….And then, I realized what you do with an idea…You change the world.”
And that is exactly what is happening. Together with Claudia, and quite a bit of help from Annette, a book began to take shape. Originally, for 18 months in fact (with the help of an agent), Claudia and I tried to find a publisher. Our book transformed into One Mom Can Change the World, a spin-off of Claudia Mitchell’s and Kim Goad’s One Girl Can Change the World. We got rejection after rejection. All of the feedback was positive, but no one had a place for our book. We could have kept trying, but we decided to take it back into our own hands, not knowing what we wanted to do exactly.
Then, through what I feel is a divine set of circumstances, everything fell into place. Claudia met the director of Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) and learned of the needs there. They run a sliding scale daycare/preschool and a food pantry, among other services.We learned of someone who was looking for a project to invest in, and this person had ties with MCUM. This individual agreed to cover the initial costs of printing our book so that 100% of the sale of the first printing will go to MCUM to support their efforts to create lasting solutions to economic, educational, and social injustice in our community. The initial investment will return to MCUM nearly tripled!
This is not what I envisioned in the beginning. I had visions of book signings, radio appearances, and my book sitting on the shelf at Barnes and Noble. While that would have been awesome, I feel like doing it this way will make far more of a lasting impact. Our words on a page will quite literally have the opportunity of changing the world, at least in our own little community. What a blessing to live out the message of the book through the sales it generates! Waiting on God to show up in a big way is one of the best things that could have happened.
A friend and former student donated her talent to create graphics for the book. My husband’s co-worker donated her time to edit the book…a huge savings! My husband is going to put the final touches on the design of the book, including the cover and fancy fonts. It took a village, but within the next month or so, it will all be done!
What could be better than a book that feeds the soul, while at the same time helps feed hungry bellies?
This book will be easy for me to sell, because I don’t get a dime. I will unashamedly ask for you to buy a copy, and buy one for your friends, too!
In 2009, Claudia Mitchell and Kim Goad published One Girl Can Change the World, which sold over 25,000 copies and started a movement among young women across the country. One Girl is a marvelous leadership book for tweens and teens to read, but what if these girls could be influenced even earlier? What if during the formative years girls could be raised to make a positive impact on the world due to the example and encouragement of their moms? What if moms felt empowered themselves, and in turn impacted their children?
One Mom Can Change the World encourages moms to lose the label too many women give themselves these days: inadequate. Using wisdom from the Bible and real life examples of ordinary mom world changers, the book provides illustrations to help moms see their unique role as individuals, and includes strategies they can use to become someone worth following. Women are motivated to see that changing the world is accomplished through small, deliberate steps.
With the prevalence of social media, many moms look online at polished up images, enthusiastic status updates, and long lists of items a “good mom” should do, and begin to feel as if they are failing miserably in comparison to other moms. Women who read this book can learn to identify their strengths and discover tips for positive thinking.
The book takes the reader through a mini spiritual makeover. Too often women wear their inadequacies like a shirt that has gone out of style. Using a wardrobe theme throughout the book the authors present practical strategies for obtaining a brand new wardrobe indicative of the powerful women all moms truly are: world changers.
Friends, we will need your help in the coming days to spread the word. Will you partner with Claudia and me to help get this book into as many hands as possible so children in our community can reap the benefits? Please be watching for opportunities to become a part of this endeavor. Together let’s change the world!