I’m continuing our series of 2023 Faithful Everyday Mom Interviews. These are women who, like you and I, are not perfect or famous, but just everyday moms growing in wisdom and actively choosing to live out their faith in Jesus and share it with their kids. Please be sure to contact me if you have someone in mind when you think of an everyday faithful mom.
Meet this Everyday Faithful Mom..
Today I’m interviewing Natalie Askew! She is someone that I’ve always looked up to. She helped lead worship when I was in the youth group, she sang at my wedding, and I’ve always looked up to her and wished that I had half the voice that she had! I watched her become a wife and a mom, and she’s one of the godliest women that I know.
Natalie has been married to her husband David for 19 years. They’re ministry partners and lead worship together for their church, and they have three kids who Natalie homeschools. I’m so glad that she’s joining me today and I’ll start with this question for her:
Mallory: Natalie, how do you have your quiet time as a mom?
Natalie: Well, currently I would say as my children are getting a little older, it is becoming a little easier to have more one-on-one time with the Lord. Like you said, I do homeschool so we aren’t quite as much on a regimented early, early morning. So, generally I am the first one up besides my husband, and I go ahead and get up and I just get straight to it, sit at the kitchen table, get my coffee ready and sit down and see what the Lord has to say to me.
Mallory: Natalie, what is something that makes you just an average everyday mom?
Natalie: Yeah, I honestly asking that question is funny to me because I feel like I’m probably less than normal! There’s normal people who do those mom things, yes I drive a minivan and all those kind of things, but I wash my hair maybe once a week, and then dress up in “regular” clothes, outside of workout clothes, usually only happens on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Mallory: Natalie, as a mom of three, you’re trying to raise your kids to know Jesus and be obedient to what God has called you to do. And when, I know we’ve talked a lot about this, but do you ever feel alone in that calling, staying true to your convictions, what God has given you to raise your kids, that you see other friends caving as your kids grow older and sometimes it’d just be easier if you could do the same?
Natalie: Absolutely. I can literally look back on my life, really all of my life, but especially as a mother, where God has put a woman a just a stage of life ahead of me to speak truth into my life to prepare me for the next stage. I remember when Esther was little, she was in preschool, and a mom friend of mine, she had a lot of older children and then had a younger one. She challenged and said, “Do not cave on your convictions. You need to set them now. You need to set some hard guidelines that you will not cave on in parenting. As you get older and as your kids get older, you’ll one by one start to see how easy it is to fall into line with the world, so you’ve got to decide now.”
And I am so glad because at that time, there was some hard lines that David and I really wanted to put in place for our family that weren’t really “standard American Christian,” but just things that we felt were foundational on the Word of God. But now I can see as Esther’s getting older, she’s just now in the youth group, for instance, she doesn’t have a cell phone. Now, like I said, I’m a homeschool mom, she’s with me 24/7. So, it’s not like, “Well, what are you going to do if she’s at practice?… Well, if she’s at practice, I’m there too.” So she literally does not have a need for that, because she’s always with me.
There are times where I find myself thinking, “Man, it would be really easy to just let her have that.” She’s tells me all the time, “Mom, I’m the only one that doesn’t have one.” And those are hard things, but David and I have agreed that this is something that we are not going to bend on for this time. There will come a time when we need to do that, but if I hadn’t already had a hard line on that at an early age for her, right now we would be caving.
And then, just feeling alone in these convictions can be hard. I praise God, he has given me some friends around me that are like-minded but we don’t all go to church together. So there’s always going to be a place when things get hard that I’m tempted to cave, so I am thankful for these strong convictions.
Mallory: Natalie, you shared with me that last year you were really struggling with this idea of not caving and staying strong in the convictions of what you believed the Lord had given you for parenting. You shared that you were praying for some encouragement and God sent moms that were younger than you from your church to ask to start meeting to disciple them , so you started a group with them that met every week. Would you tell us a little bit more about that and what y’all did every week together?
Natalie: Yeah, it was a time in my life where I was not physically alone, but just I was like, “Is anybody else on this same path? Does anyone else share these stronger convictions like me?” I was questioning, where are these families at? And even in church, not just coming to church out of motion, but truly looking for kindred hearts and moving forward to grow the kingdom and having that closeness. I had started reading this book called Mama Bear Apologetics about the reality of what our children are facing that is so different than what I faced as a child, and I really wanted to give my kids the best preparation I possibly could in foundation for them to walk out their faith for the rest of their days. I just was praying to the Lord, asking for some like-minded people, and God put it together.
Well, I get a random text from someone, and of course obviously not random at all, but it said, “I don’t know why I’m sending this text, but I’m really looking for some type of a Bible study or something to do to grow and you just keep coming to mind.” I told this mom that is was not by chance, but the Lord’s doing. Then a few more did the same and one by one, the Lord pieced the people together so beautifully.
I challenged everyone, myself included, to pray through it for 2 weeks. Then, as my last line of defense, I talked to my husband to get his wisdom. I was like, “Listen, this is the thing. This is what we’ve been praying about and I need to know, do you feel like this is a good idea or do you feel like this is an over commitment?” And he was like, “It sounds great to me.” And it also meant that it was us opening up our home, and I needed to make sure he was good with that. So when everybody was on board, we began meeting once a week, and it’s just been really incredible! We have formed such sweet friendships…These moms were exactly what I needed: They have just really sharpened me, kept me on my toes, and I have just fallen in love with their families.
Mallory: I love that! So, you and these four young moms are meeting, and you shared the book with me called: Mama Bear Apologetics. I have ordered it to check out myself, and I can’t wait to get started on them! But would you tell us a little bit more about how the book has challenged you and your group and even the way that you even parent now?
Natalie: Yes. It has challenged me in a way that I didn’t even know I needed.. really opening my eyes! It goes through where we are as a country, what it looks like. We had this idea when I was growing up, that if my mom and dad said it then it was like the gospel truth, and I believed it! I didn’t have to have proof.
Now we are in a day and age that says question everything. And, while that can be very scary, it doesn’t have to be. So instead of being like, “You believe it because I said,” it encourages you with your children to have conversations. So you can teach them how to wrestle with these doubts, how to know how respond and why what we say is truth, actually is true! That it’s something they can stand on and not just because mom and dad said so.
It’s called the “chew and spit method” in the book. Like when you have someone who is a godly person who fails–Understanding how to decipher truth and that not everyone is perfectly good all the time or perfectly bad all the time. So being able to discern truth no matter what the source is. Some of the simple ways we have been talking through this with are kids is this: Say we hear a song, Christian or non-christian…then asking your kids, “What idea are they trying to portray to you? Is that good? Is it bad? That kind of thing.”
Mallory: So your kids are learning to determine truth based off of anything they hear from the world world or from the church?
Natalie: I mean, yes, we’re definitely growing in that direction. That’s one of the things that I ask them a lot is someone will say some kind of absolute statement….like “the sky is blue.” And we start playing this game to ask is that truth objective or subjective? And they’re like objective….okay well why? Well, because it’s blue for everyone. Another example is someone saying, “this is the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had.” Is that objective or subjective? Oh that’s subjective because it’s not true for every person. So, we started implementing that thought process in little things first and work our way to bigger things.
And now it’s super helpful, because while we do try to guard our children from a lot of the world, we don’t shy away from the issues of the world. While I don’t want to present them with sinful living in everything they watch…I want to guard their hearts from that, because I don’t want their hearts to become desensitized to sin, at the same time, I want them to know the truth from me and from God’s Word. So when we have these situations, or if something comes across the TV or a commercial, kids are all pointing like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, mom!” And I’m like, okay, well what is the message they’re trying to tell you? And, we just try to dissect things that way.”
Mallory: That’s so neat because I shared with you… My kids are a little bit behind yours, but in the same way I want them to learn how to decipher truth according to God’s word for themselves. If you just tell them it’s going to be a certain way, then that’s not allowing them to go through the decision making process for themselves. I love how you said earlier that you can start with just very small basic things, even about the sky or ice cream, and just start teaching them how to learn simple truth.
As you share what the Lord’s been teaching you, I think that it would be easy for any of us to get scared or worried about just how much the world has changed, just in the short amount of time from us being kids to now adults. It’s ever-changing and honestly growing darker and more sinful every day. And so how could you encourage moms that are listening just to not be worried about that, but just to stay focused on teaching your kids these truths and pointing their families to Jesus?
Natalie: We do live in a scary world. Just this past week my kids were just confronted with something that was like a direct hit to their sweet little hearts through watching something that I thought was totally safe, and it was a direct hit to them and their confidence in what is true and what is sin and what is not. I was just talking to my sister about this last night actually. I go between wanting to just completely go off grid and just be like, forget it we are going underground, (lol) then God’s Word kept bringing me back to, “be in the world, not of the world.” And that my children, saved by God’s grace are called to the mission just like I am, so I came to the conclusion: “Okay, this stuff, we got to fight, we’ve got to fight, we got to fight with our prayers, we got to fight with what we know.”
So, really through all of these changing times of the past couple years in the despair that is across the world, and having children that tend to worry, (They come by that honestly) and they would get scared of some world event or something going on.The Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me and said, "Natalie, you better tell them that they are warriors for me." And so, I began to just speak that truth into their lives..."that you were born for such a time as this. God is not surprised by what's going on, but he has prepared you for this time. And you are going to be a warrior for Christ. And that doesn't start when you're an adult, that starts right now!" One of my favorite verses, 1st John 4, says "Greater is he who is in me than who is in the world."
We have the greatest power within us! It says in Revelation that we have “overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. That through our testimony what Christ has done in us, this is how we overcome.” This is how we are a light in the darkness. This is how we do not be scared, because light dispels darkness. We do not have to be afraid! And living in that mindset and knowing that we fight these darts the enemy is throwing at our families, but we have already won. We have the victory in Christ, so we don’t have to power down. We can stand strong on the Word of God and do everything with gentleness and kindness to the world around us.
Mallory: Amen! What a way to leave it. That’s so powerful. I 100% agree! And I so appreciate you sharing all of that with us today. t’s been such an encouragement, but also a challenge. So thank you for sharing that with us.
Natalie: Yes, absolutely.
Mallory: And, I just want to throw it out there. If any of you reading have a mom that comes to your mind when you think of a faithful everyday mom, like how I thought of Natalie today, would be willing to share? I would love to have some different ideas of Faithful Everyday Moms to interview this year in 2023. CONTACT ME HERE.
There’s one more thing I wanted to share: Right now for a limited time of the month of February only, our ministry partner each month, Love Worth Finding, has something called a premium. You can receive a product for giving a gift of any amount to the ministry. So, when I think a premium is good for moms and something that I would personally want to have, I like to share about it! This is a 9 week Bible study called A Future For The Family and super quick reads for moms! CHECK THIS BIBLE STUDY OUT!
Mallory: thanks for reading and joining us Natalie! If you have enjoyed this episode, remember to hit the subscribe button and share it with a friend and to catch all the latest you can follow me @faithful31 moms on Instagram. Thanks again for listening and remember to keep up the good work of pointing your kids to Jesus!