I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but I am really enjoying this series!! It is so good to hear from women with a little more perspective on all the issues we deal with on a daily basis. Today, it is my pleasure to introduce Chris, a dear WHAM who invested quite a bit of time into my life when I lived in Spokane. She prayed with me through many tears and joys. That is how she impacted me most, I think, through prayer and much patient listening.
Please tell us a little about your experience as a wham.
My name is Chris Kopp. I placed my trust in Christ when I was in my mid
teens. I met my husband when I was in high school and we were married the
summer after I graduated from high school, I was 18 years old. We had our
first child about 1 1/2 years later. We have three sons, there were 2 1/2
years between our first son and our second son. Then it was 4 years between
our second and third son. So our boys were spaced out some. At this point
in my life I have been married to my sweet hubby for 35 years. Our sons are
all grown and none of them lives nearby. Two of our three sons are married
and the other one is still waiting on the Lord for that blessing in his
life. We have two grandsons that live about 4 hours distant from us by
airplane. While I love being a grandma, it is a long distance relationship
and I treasure every moment I get to be with those little guys. Obviously
with three sons and two grandsons my area of expertise is pretty limited to
the male realm.
What are some of the most valuable mothering lessons you learned
over the years?
Take time to listen to your kids. You will learn what they value, what they
think and it will build their trust and confidence in you. That is
invaluable when they go through tough times, when they hurt, when someone is
unkind to them, they will feel like they can tell you. Know God’s Word so
that you can instruct them in His ways to deal with their troubles.
Sometimes the things that trouble them will seem inconsequential but if you
care and listen rather than making light of their situation it can be a
great teaching time and go a long way in building trust.
I had to remind myself often that my children were not mine, they were the
Lords and a gift that He entrusted to me to raise for His glory. I would
regularly rededicate my children to the Lord in my times of prayer.
Balance. I learned about balance by trial and error. Sometimes I would
take on too much, too many extra things, helping with this and that.
Inevitably I would become over whelmed and find that I had done my family a
disservice by saying yes to too many things. That was humbling but it
taught me to pray before agreeing to take on whatever came my way, taught me
to learn to seek my husband’s counsel before agreeing to take on a project
or service opportunity. I found out that even things I might be able to do
when they were at school could leave me too busy to really have time for
them when they were home. There are some things that were good to say yes
to, things the Lord wanted me to do and when that was the case and I had
listened to Him there would be time and He would maintain our family balance
and order. It was when I took on tasks that were not His best that things
would get chaotic.
Looking back what are you glad you did as a WHAM?? What worked and
has had the most impact?
Making home a priority. Wham’s are so important when it comes to the
climate of the home. Our outlook on home makes such a difference. That
said, I am glad I made it my priority to be a stay at home mom. It was good
to be home when the kids came home from school. My sons have told me just
recently how much they value that I was home for them after school. And
that I made dinner for them every night and we made family dinner time a
priority as well. These seemed like such normal things to me in those days
but I found out later that it was not the norm for many children and still
is not. Those things have left a lasting impact on my children.
Reading to my children. We made it special to read together and we read a
variety of good books. We read through all the Narnia series and the
Tolkien series, we read humor as well serious books. We still refer back to
things we read together.