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Durenda Wilson is the owner/host of her podcast and is a wife to one for 30 years, mom to eight, nana to 6. Six of her kids are grown, healthy, confident, contributing members of society. She has homeschooled them all from the beginning and has 2 left at home. She loves to share simple, yet effective approaches to motherhood, homeschooling and life in general. These tools are a result of many years walking with the Lord and finding freedom in letting His voice quiet all the others.

November 4, 2019

Sharing the Story of Isaac Part 2 (Podcast 92)

Today Brittney and I are continuing to share the story of Isaac, Brittney's firstborn and our first grandbaby who was born sleeping.

In the last podcast we shared about how God met us in our darkest places of grief and brought hope in the midst of deep loss. We are continuing our conversation about the grieving process and the struggles and victories that came with subsequent pregnancies.

Our hope and prayer is that, even if you have never experienced this kind of loss, you will find hope and be reminded of how very faithful our God is and that you will know His faithfulness in your own circumstances, whatever they are.  We also want to give insight into what this experience was like so that if you ever need to walk alongside someone as they go through it, you will have a better understanding of the process and God can use you to bring grace and love into that place.

Here is a list of possible ways to help a mom walk through the grief of losing a child:

*Keep in mind that sometimes a mom can struggle to share her grief OR let herself cry when she needs to. You may be able to help her feel the freedom to do that. 

*Don’t feel like you have to have answers. Don’t say things like, “God knows what’s best”. Just hug her, tell her you are sorry, tell her you have no words.  PRAY A LOT for her whenever she comes to mind. Pray that God would bring her comfort as only HE can and that He would continually meet her in a very real and powerful way. Pray for God to show you how you can love her best through it.

*Ask to see pictures of the baby and ask about the baby’s name and why that name is special to them?  How much he/she weighed, how long he/she was. If you get to see pictures, talk about all the sweet things about her little one, you know, the things every new mother wants to hear…” look at all that hair!”  “He looks like his daddy” “She’s beautiful!”.

*If you have a chance, ask if you can come hold the baby.  It can take a lot of courage, but whisper a prayer, trust God and GO!  Most mommies love to see other people enjoy their baby (just like any new mommy) and in this situation, it is very short-lived for them, so seize the moment if you can. Encourage the parents to take their time with the baby and not let anyone hurry them. Have someone take LOTS of pics!

*Remember the Mother’s Day/Father’s Day after or give a gift in memory of baby for Christmas...  Remember to celebrate or acknowledge the baby’s birthdays. Often people stop checking in after a couple of months, so be sure to check in on her regularly after that.

*Don’t assume that when she gets pregnant again, the hurt is healed.  As we are finding out, pregnancy after a loss is an emotional roller coaster for the mommy.  She needs extra encouragement and prayers during this time as well. Encourage her (or at least pray for her) to bond with her baby in spite of feeling fearful. Maybe buy at least one gift for the baby during the pregnancy as a show of faith and hope.

(For links to resources mentioned in the podcast, please go to durendawilson.com)

October 28, 2019

Grace for a Mom’s Heart Psalm 116 (Podcast 91)

I woke up one morning recently with a struggle that I’m not sure I ever had before: I was pondering all that God has done on our behalf through Jesus and wondering if I’m faithfully walking out my gratefulness for the magnitude of what that gift that He acquired for me. It’s not that I thought I needed to repay Him, it’s just that when I thought about the lengths the Lord went to secure my salvation and eternal life, I wondered if I was taking hold of all that He had for me? 

If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you probably have heard that our faith isn’t based on works, but our works show that we have faith. (This is discussed in the book of James) That can actually get a little confusing at times. I have even heard it explained, believed myself and told my children that we show our gratitude for all He has done for by doing what’s right. I’m sure there is some truth to that, but it can be really easy to transition from there into a mindset of “repaying” God for all He has done. It only seems to make common sense, right? Well, not completely. We are told over and over again in scripture that our faith is based on grace alone. It is secured by grace alone(Ephesians 2:8,9). So how do we reconcile some of these other thoughts that seem to resonate so much with logical thinking?

THESE are the thoughts that were flying around in my mind in no particular order and with no answer in sight. So I did what I often forget to do: I asked God what the deal was. How does this all fit together? How do I, in the words of Paul, “Lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of me”? (Phil. 3:12)

(To read the rest of the devotional, please go to durendawilson.com OR you can listen here!)

October 21, 2019

Sharing Isaac’s Story (Podcast 90)

Today we are celebrating the life of our grandson, Isaac who would have just had his 6th birthday. He was our first grandbaby and Brittney and Jacob's first baby. This is the first time that we have shared his story publicly. Brittney was careful not to tell the story too soon, but allow God to do the work and healing that He needed to do in her own heart first. This isn't something you can rush. It's a kind of waiting on God that, though excruciating at times, brings with it deeper healing and perspective that nothing else can.

When you lose someone, you are never the same. We wanted to give this story the time it deserves, so we have lingered over it and taken our time telling it in this podcast. We hope that you will listen with a heart that will hear the realness, but also the message of hope and redemption that so beautifully describes our experience and clearly reveals the faithfulness of our great God in a very powerful way!

Our prayer is that this story will bring encouragement, but also provide tools for moms to care for others they know who are called to walk the journey of stillbirth.

One song that was a huge comfort to Brittney during the healing process was by Matt Redmond, called "Never Once". She created a video featuring this song in hopes that it would paint an accurate picture of God's comfort in the midst of grief. (Suggestion: it will be more meaningful if you watch it after you listen to the podcast!)

In the next podcast we will talk about Brittney's struggle with PTSD and subsequent pregnancies and births. In the third and final podcast, we will be sharing her most recent birth which is an awesome and miraculous story!!

October 15, 2019

Grace for a Mom’s Heart Psalm 8 (Podcast 89)

Plot twist: the last seven chapters of Psalms have focused a lot on the world of enemies, wicked people and distorted justice, but Psalm 8 takes a completely different turn. In case you didn’t know, the number 8 is significant throughout the scriptures and often represents a new beginning or regeneration. Psalm 8 beautifully celebrates the dignity of God’s original creation, giving hope for weary souls.

For most of us, self preservation has been encouraged. No one wants to be a doormat or feel as though they have been walked over, but the degree to which most of us go to make sure that doesn’t happen can become misaligned with the character of Jesus and quite frankly cause us to respond no differently than the world does.

Please don’t misunderstand me: God is NOT okay with any kind of abuse..mental, physical or emotional in personal relationships. That is not what I am referencing. However, it isn’t crystal clear who the Psalms are referring to when they talk about “enemies” or “oppressors”. This is something the Holy Spirit would need to define in your life.

You might call this something more along the lines of someone “done us wrong” and instead of being able to “make allowance for each other’s faults”(Colossians 3:13), we are immediately offended and our eyes are drawn away from the Lord and focused only on the offense to the point of it being all consuming or even just an ongoing festering wound. 

My point is that God has so much more for us, but it requires us to take on an attitude of humility. Humility is not popular in our culture. It even seems to be a topic that is avoided even in the church and yet Christ was our perfect example and he was exactly that: humble. (To read the rest of the devotional, please go to durendawilson.com)

October 8, 2019

Mama Bear Apologetics (Podcast 88)

What is apologetics anyway? As Christian moms, we know it's probably important, but we aren't sure if we can wrap our heads around it, much less teach it to our kids!  However, as we look around us, we are seeing Christian leaders falling to the wayside, kids leaving the faith in droves and fellow Christians succumbing to faulty beliefs. It is here where we begin to see how important it is to know why we believe what we believe and be able to effectively communicate our faith persuasively. This isn't just another thing to add to our list, it can actually be the place from which we teach those "other things".

As mama bears, we have a crucial role in passing the faith onto our kids and Mama Bear Apologetics helps us do just that. Join me for this very encouraging conversation with one of the authors, Hillary Morgan Ferrar.  We will talk about how to approach the viewpoints of others that conflict with your own and tackle questions like:

What do you identify as the biggest lies in today's culture?

How can I teach my child how to filter what they intake from a Biblical perspective?

What are some specific ways in which a mother can protect her child from the many lies the world wants to push upon him or her?

Why is apologetics a relevant subject for someone who isn't a pastor or a Bible scholar?

Resources mentioned in the podcast:

The Unhurried Homeschooler

Unhurried Grace for a Mom's Heart

Mama Bear Apologetics

The article mentioned: This is Not a Daycare

Ways to connect with Hillary:

Mama Bear Apologetics website (You can find the podcast here as well) 

MBA Podcast FB page

MBA Twitter page

September 30, 2019

Grace for a Mom’s Heart Psalm 7 (Podcast 87)

Welcome to Grace for a Mom's Heart, a short devotional created especially for moms who want to grow in their understanding of God's Word and it's applications for motherhood!

Today we are spending time in Psalm 7. Now that we have made it this far into the Psalms, are you recognizing some consistent themes? Lamenting, asking for protection, affirming God’s kingship, and praise. Are you seeing how real the psalmists are, as they cry out to God? This is such an encouragement to me that I can tell God anything. I don’t have to wait until I’ve got it together and I don’t have to word it perfectly.

Last week, I was feeling a lot of pressure and somewhat overwhelmed as we prepared for our son’s wedding that was happening in our backyard. I woke up during the night and realized I was just plain ANGRY. I wasn’t mad at anyone in particular, but as I verbalized my anger to God, I realized I was actually mad at Him.

My good girl side would say that I should never be mad at God for lots of good, true reasons: He is good, perfect, sovereign, always has my best interest in mind, etc. But I was beyond being reasoned with. I was just done. I’d come to the end of myself and in that moment, I was reminded that I could literally tell God everything I was feeling and He would not hold it against me. He most certainly had broad enough shoulders to handle it. So I had my little hissy fit while He quietly listened. I eventually fell back asleep and as I opened my eyes the next morning, there was a sense of relief. 

I felt like a toddler who just needed to blow off my frustration and take a good nap. It seems as though there will always be a little girl inside of me who needs her Daddy. He really is the perfect Daddy and we really need to let Him be that to us.

Psalm 7 was written by David and as I read through it, I was reminded of some basic truths that we can take with us to anchor us today. (To read the rest of the devotional, please go to durendawilson.com)

September 24, 2019

Learning to Listen to Your Mom Instincts (Podcast 86)

We live in a culture that is pressing in hard on us as parents but particularly as moms. Voices are coming from all directions telling us how to parent, how to homeschool, etc. This can quickly cause us to not only not enjoy our kids, but to be constantly dealing with fear and doubt. Most of all it distracts us and undermines our ability to hone in on what GOD is speaking to our mom hearts.

Today I will be talking about 3 common things that typically challenge us and become obstacles to hearing and walking out the heart of God for our kids. I will also be sharing my own most recent struggle with this and how God revealed Himself to me in a very real and powerful way!

The Unhurried Homeschooler-a simple, mercifully short book on homeschooling (aff link)

Podcast with Ginny from 1000 Hours Outside mentioned in the podcast: Why Our Kids Need to Spend Time Outside (Podcast 82)

The Biggest Little Farm (aff link) 

Scriptures mentioned in the podcast:

Psalm 37:4-6 (NLT)

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.; I will strengthen you,, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.

September 17, 2019

Grace for a Mom’s Heart-Psalm 6 (Podcast 85)

At first glance, Psalm 6 doesn't seem to have a whole lot to offer, so as I was preparing this devotional, it was tempting to skip it and move to one that seemed to be more obviously applicable, but I felt a nudge and that still, small voice reminding me that every word of scripture is relevant in one way or another. It can be tempting to focus only on the passages that are easy to understand, but 2 Timothy 3:16,17 says this:

"ALL (emphasis mine) Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." -2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)

The Message translations word it like this:

“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another-showing us the truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word, we are put together and shaped (up) for the tasks God has for us.”

Do you hear that? ALL SCRIPTURE. Even Leviticus. Even Psalm 6. God did not aimlessly throw the Bible together. He intentionally put every word of it there, so it’s worth the effort to dig deeper and find the messages God has for us in these passages that on the surface, can seem random and even meaningless.

September 9, 2019

Effective Tools for to Make Learning Fun (Podcast 84)

If you've been homeschooling for more than a day, you already know that kids were made to move! Research and studies consistently reveal that much of our kids' best learning happens away from the school desk. The beauty of homeschooling is that we have the freedom to allow our kids to learn in a way that is best for them, but many of us are afraid to move away from the model of the traditional classroom. Today I'm having a wonderfully encouraging and informative conversation with Heather Haupt who has a background in neuroscience along with a voracious love of learning and fascination with HOW kids learn. Today she is sharing from her vast knowledge on the way kids learn along with concrete examples and personal stories. She is a homeschooling mom to 4 kids (2 are teens) and Heather was actually homeschooled herself, so she brings a unique perspective to this conversation!

September 4, 2019

Grace for a Mom’s Heart- Psalm 5 (Podcast 83)

Welcome to Grace for a Mom’s Heart, a short devotional created for any mom who wants to grow in her understanding of the Word and it’s application to motherhood!

(You have the choice to read the devotional in full on my website or listen here!)

Today we are going to dive into Psalm 5, but I love to preface our scripture reading and study by laying a foundation, a perspective before we read through the passage.

Our culture wants to make everything ok and if you don’t agree, you are called a hater and a bigot. 

Yet as we continue to look into God’s Word, we see over and over again that God hates sin and the Bible is full of ongoing warnings against it. 

If you have never studied the names of God I would encourage you to do just that. (There is a link to a study at the bottom of this post on my website.) There is something powerful in having a deeper understanding of the many facets of who God is. When we begin to grasp just a little of the fullness of who He is, it makes it easier to understand why He does the things He does. 

We know that God is perfect love, but He is also perfectly holy, just and righteous. So all of these qualities(and more) are part of who God is.  That means that He cannot be ONLY love and ignore justice, holiness, etc. He is all of those in the most perfect ways and He acts accordingly. That means He cannot tolerate sin and why He hates evil and yet because He is gracious, loving, and patient,  He does not destroy mankind. It’s also why He sent Jesus.

Once Adam and Eve sinned in the garden man has had a sinful heart that rebels against God. Because God is a holy God, man could no longer be in His presence, but God in His grace, kindness and amazing love made a way back for us. He did that in the person of Jesus, who took our place, bore the sin, and took the punishment for it so that we could have access to God again. 

I realize that probably all of you know this. I have known it my whole life, but when we’ve heard it so much, we can almost become immune to how amazing and life-changing this really is....(to read the rest of the post, go to durendawilson.com