UPDATE: Our project will be published by Civitas Press in early spring 2012! We look forward to more conversations with each of you as we move forward with our message of spirit-led, servanthood-inspired parenting. Our new (working) title is Spirit-Led Parenting.
As He Leads Us: Parenting on the Path of Servanthood in Baby's First Year is a book being collaboratively written by Laura O. and Megan T. It is born from a burden on each of their hearts to encourage Christian mothers to pursue the daily practice of servanthood by gently, thoughtfully, and worshipfully meeting the needs of the baby entrusted to them by God.
Megan began her journey into mothering four years ago, fully confident that she was on the right track to earning many "Good Mommy" badges. She read all the right books, asked all the right questions, and formed all the right opinions. When her oldest daughter arrived (ten days late, which should have been her first clue that things would not go according to her carefully laid-out plans), she soon realized that this mothering business was far more difficult than anything the parenting "experts" had prepared her to experience.
Three years ago, Megan began blogging here at SortaCrunchy, a blog dedicated to discussion and dialogue at the crossroads of the Christian faith and the practice of natural family living. It was her passionate interest in natural living that introduced her to an approach to parenting that resonated deeply with her understanding of the life of service we are called to offer as followers of Jesus Christ. When she was a brand new mama, Megan often felt isolated and alone in her rejection of the mainstream approaches to parenting practiced by others within her Christian friend circles. Through conversations in online venues, she discovered that she was far from alone in her belief that there exists an alternative approach to parenting that moves away from managing the life disruptions a new baby brings and moves, instead, toward experiencing God in each moment of motherhood.
In Laura, Megan discovered a friend who shared her heartfelt burden to minister to new mothers with this message of gentle, grace-laden parenting. Today, she is compelled to encourage others in a parenting philosophy that she and Laura believe could revolutionize the way Christian parents view the magical, stressful, puzzling, and powerful first year of life with their new babies.
Megan married her college sweetheart ten years ago, and they and their two daughters make their home in Oklahoma.
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Laura always knew she wanted to be a mother but had no idea she would ever become so passionate about the way that she would mother. Although no stranger to outside-the-box thinking, she suppressed her inner-rebel when expecting her first child, believing parenting to be too important a calling to stray very far off the beaten path of Christian parenting methodology. Bringing that baby home, however, threw everything topsy-turvy. Laura found herself catapulted into a struggle through guilt, shame, and fear as her heart would not allow her to accept many of the popular postures and practices put forth in the current mainstream books and literature. Clinging to the Lord's leading and praying for direction, she experienced God's presence in a more powerful way than ever before as He guided her into a mindset of mothering that felt like home. Not only did this journey radically change Laura's perspective on parenting, it has transformed her spiritual life, providing the clearest picture of the Father heart of God, the deepest understanding of Christ's call to servanthood, and the most powerful dependence on the wisdom of the Holy Spirit she has ever received.
Along the way, God has led countless other mothers to cross Laura's path, revealing similar struggles and frustrations with the status quo in Christian parenting culture. A longing for another way, a perception that the decision to do things differently must be kept hush-hush, a desperation for someone to put the words to paper and say what a growing number of mothers secretly believe and many more need to hear. In her friendship with Megan, formed after the birth of their first children, Laura found both a kinship, and an unmistakable connection and joint calling. Both avid writers, the work of this book has become, for them, a powerful meeting of beloved pastime and passionate purpose.
Laura is a lifelong Hoosier, living in northern Indiana with her husband of 10 years, four-year-old daughter, and one-year-old son.
In January 2009, Megan and Laura revealed to the readers of SortaCrunchy the content of the writing project that had been working on for nearly a year. Each Monday, they share with readers some of the topics that are covered in As He Leads Us and open up the discussion for feedback and continuing dialogue.
Here are the discussions that have taken place since then:
The Big Reveal
Laura's Story, Part 1 and Part 2
Follow-Up Notes and Prayer Requests
The Foundations of Our Philosophy
The Cost of Serving
Two Concerns on Sleep Training
The Spiritual Dimension of Nighttime Parenting
Practical Solutions for Sleepy Days and Sleepless Nights
Thoughts on Co-Sleeping
On Marriage, Part One
On Marriage, Part Two
On Marriage and S-E-X
The Perspective of a Husband and Father
Offering Alternative Viewpoints
When Parents Disagree About Parenting
On Making Choices about Infant Feeding
Working through Early Breastfeeding Challenges
Please come back each Monday for more conversations and further explorations into parenting on the path of servanthood.
Each of these bloggers is showing support for As He Leads Us by posting the blog button in their sidebars.
If you add our button to your blog and would like to be included in our list of supporters, please email Megan.