Moms in Progress: Katie Duh

Jo

Hey, Katie! It is your turn to update us on your life. One way to peek into each other’s hearts is to talk about one of my favorite ways to relax: MOVIES! What is your favorite movie?

Katie

Oh, it’s an old one, but I have always loved “Ever After.” Sweet and romantic, but with a good, strong woman as the main character. And some funny one-liners thrown in. I haven’t watched it in years, though. We don’t watch many movies these days, and when we do it’s usually more along the lines of Toy Story 4 or Frozen 2.😂

Jo

That is such a good pick!! The acting in the movie was so good, too. My favorite throwback might have to be “Hope Floats.” Ok, next question about favorite pastimes: Read any good books lately?

Katie

I’ve always loved to read, but for the first several years after having kids I struggled to find any time to keep up with reading – aside from picture books.😜 And when I did find time to read, it was mostly parenting books. (My favorite is still Give them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson.) Just recently, I’ve begun making an effort to read fiction for my own enjoyment again. A friend recommended Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate a few months ago – and I loved it! I’m currently rereading the Harry Potter series in order to keep up in conversations with my son about the books.😉

Jo

Wow, those are good recommendations, Katie. I have not read that parenting book, but I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! And honestly, I am so inspired by Mrs. Weasley’s parenting style. Talk about a mama bear in the best sense of the word.

Katie

So true!

Jo

Since we are in the middle of winter now, I wonder … do you have any favorite seasonal winter treats?

Katie

Chocolate peppermint anything! Peppermint hot cocoa, chocolate mint chip cookies, mint chocolate candies … yum!

Jo

I know what to send you for a care package — mint! That is so refreshing to hear, just like your fresh personality and sense of humor, Katie. Next, let’s go a little deeper. What’s on your heart right now?

Katie

This school year has been a little rocky for me and my kids. Three of my four kids are school-aged now, and between the three of them, we’ve had 12 different classes and teachers over the years. This is our first year ever with any school issues, so we have really been very blessed with wonderful school experiences! But, this year has been hard.

Jo

Ugh — so hard! My son just started elementary school, and it is SO much to navigate. Would you share a few specifics with us?

Katie

Some of the challenges have been logistical. A couple weeks before school started, our district changed my Kindergartner’s school building assignment – meaning my kids are at three different schools this year. But more significantly, one of my children’s educational needs have not been met the way I think they should be or the way school staff promised they would be at the beginning of the school year.

Jo

I know you are advocating for your child. Making sure you are the “squeaky wheel” in a respectful way is key — the school system has so much to consider, and unless parents speak up, they cannot make adjustments to keep doing what is best for kids. How is that playing out at home? I bet there is a lot of heartbreak for you all.

Katie

It’s been tough. For the first time ever, my son now says he doesn’t like school. That breaks my heart!😢 And another one of my children this year has a teacher with a very different teaching style than my own (as a former teacher, I will admit I can be a little picky).

Jo

I understand! I am picky too. I have lots of empathy, especially since I am still working in the school system, but I am still not going to back down on my high expectations. Different is not always bad, but we have to pray and discern what needs our attention and what we can accept.

Katie

Exactly! It’s been a struggle for me all year to figure out when I need to speak up and advocate for my kids and when I need to let go. We all learn a lot from imperfect and challenging situations in life. My kids have and will continue to grow from their experiences this year! At the same time, of course, my husband and I want to make the best possible decisions for our children’s education. Let’s just say, this year has been filled with lots of prayers 🙏 for wisdom!

Jo

Whew. Ephesians 3:20 comes to mind, which reminds me that He can do “far above what I can ask or imagine.” Lord, help us trust you with our children and provide far above what we try to control. 

Well, let’s switch to a lighter topic. I hope this does not add more stress, LOL. So, Katie, which room in your house is the messiest right now?

Katie

Ugh. Truthfully, every room. Clutter is a constant battle in our house. Our master bedroom is probably the worst at the moment. Everything seems to be thrown in there to get it out of the way and deal with it later, but later never seems to arrive.😩

Jo

Same! We have really busted our butts trying to get ready for our home visit for foster/adoption licensure, so it is better than it WAS, but it is not where it NEEDS to be yet. Plus, it’s like Tetris – you clear one row and another one starts floating down right away. 

Alright, Katie – last but probably the most important question of the day.  What is your favorite verse of scripture right now? Why?

Katie

I have always loved Psalm 46 and Psalm 91. You and Virginia recently wrote a text conversation about helping our kids through their fears and anxieties. I was often fearful as a child. When I was in grade school I memorized several verses from Psalm 46 and 91 and would recite them over and over in my mind when I felt anxious. Now as an adult, when I feel worries start to set in, I return to these same verses. I even have a wall hanging of Psalm 46:1 by my kitchen table as a constant reminder (which I made during one of my church’s moms group meetings😊). 

 

Jo

That wall hanging is absolutely beautiful, Katie. So much of the scripture we hid in our hearts as kids continues to bless us as women and moms. I pray my son starts to memorize some verses soon. My God-sighting this week was him getting the LAST spot at a VERY small after school care program at a church, and their scripture art in the hallways is very inspiring. Filling our homes with the Word of God is so important to encourage our families! Any other favorites?

Katie

I also love Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Seems especially encouraging in the midst of day-to-day motherhood struggles when the “harvest” sometimes seems a long way off.

Jo

Absolutely, Katie — I pray you hang onto the promise of the harvest with all of the school struggles this year especially. When the harvest seems far away, we can rest in the promises before us and the stories from our past where God has already been faithful to see us through. Katie, I am so thankful for your whimsy, your honesty, and your vulnerability as a writer.  And as for all we shared in this MiP, I did find one last quote of encouragement for us. In the words of J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, “It is important to fight and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then can evil be kept at bay though never quite eradicated.”

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