About the Guest
Mom, you have a life-giving mission. Linda Weber, an author and mother of three grown sons, shares how she sought to make her kids feel important and accepted, knowing that her actions and words would leave an eternal mark. Weber reminds moms that their influence makes a big difference both now and in the future.
Mom, you have a life-giving mission. Linda Weber, an author and mother of three grown sons, reminds moms that their influence makes a big difference both now and in the future.
Bob: Every mother is a seed planter. Linda Weber says, when you begin to think, “Will there ever be a harvest for these seeds I’m planting?”—just stay faithful.
Linda: When my boys were growing up, and maybe they’re arguing or complaining about something, I would just start singing that little song: “Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got. The good things that you’ve got are for many just a dream. Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.” They got tired of hearing that when they were complaining. [Laughter]
But you know what? They’re adults now, and they will pop up with those words when we’re together. They’ll say: “Yeah, I remember: ‘ Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.’” It sticks in their mind. The things that we’re able to pass to them in their earlier years—they stay there, and they come back.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, October 8th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I'm Bob Lepine. We’ll talk more with Linda Weber today about the eternal mark every mom leaves on the heart of her children. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us. I feel like we get a chance to talk to a matriarch today; you know?
Ann: —and an expert.
Bob: One of these people, who has been there for years, to point the rest of us in the direction we need to be going. You felt this way as a young mom; didn’t you?
Ann: Absolutely. I met Linda in my late 20s. We had—only had two kids by then. She wrote a book back—when did that come out?
Ann: It really impacted me, as a mom, because she has three sons.
Bob: —a book called Mom, You’re Incredible.
Bob: The Linda we’re talking about is Linda Weber, who joins us on FamilyLife Today. Welcome.
Linda: Thank you very much.
Bob: Does it bother you that I called you a matriarch?
Linda: No; no, no.
Bob: You’re willing to accept that mantle?
Linda: Of course; of course.
Dave: I thought it might, Bob—I was like, “Okay; that might make her feel like she’s older.”
Ann: I would call you both patriarchs; is that bad?
Bob: No, that’s not bad.
Dave: As long as you don’t call me that.
Ann: I did call you that.
Dave: Oh. You’re talking to me? [Laughter] Okay; I’ll take it.
Bob: Linda is married to a patriarch. She is married to somebody who has helped point us in the right direction, as men—Stu Weber is her husband. They have lived together in the Pacific Northwest for years—they’ve been married 53 years.
Linda, like you, Ann is a mother of three boys. Motherhood is something that—when you sat down to think about: “What is your life’s work/your life’s passion?”—being a mom is really the core of it; isn’t it?
Linda: It’s a big part of it. I felt compelled to help other mothers be very serious about this job that we have; because it’s so easy to get distracted and want to do some other things that maybe feel like you’re accomplishing something out there—maybe bringing some money into the family needs; have a title of some kind instead of just “Stu Weber’s Wife,”—“Kent, Blake, and Ryan’s Mother,” and “Who are you? What do you do?” I felt like other mothers needed to know how important it was for their job, and not to jump ship early.
Bob: We mentioned the fact that you wrote a book called Mom, You’re Incredible. Your new book is called The Eternal Mark of a Mom. It updates a lot of what you wrote, years ago, and adds insights from the last quarter century, and a little grandmother-ing along the way; right?
Linda: Right. I just feel like we need a lot of biblical principles, we need the research that shows what’s going on in our day, and we need life examples. I’ve got a book full of that—help for moms to give them direction/to help them grasp the important job that they have.
History is being made in our homes; history will repeat itself. What we have going on in our homes now is going to go on in their homes later, because they’re going to be a reflection of what they’ve seen. We’re going to set these kids up; they’re going to see life through the eyes that we’ve helped form there in our homes. It’s very important what we help them see.
Ann: Linda, you start out the book by saying: “Mom, you have a life-saving mission. If you want influence, Mom, you’ve got it.”
Linda: That’s right.
Ann: I’ve never forgotten that; because you’ve always talked about—even when I was a younger mom—“You have influence.” I had never really heard that before—of the power I had in my home. How have you used that in your home?
Linda: There are so many things that we say and do that send messages to our kids. I wanted my kids to feel important, and to feel accepted, and to feel secure. When they have those kinds of feelings going on, because of what I’ve done and what I’ve been, then they’re going to show it in their behaviors. I want to pass that concept on to moms, big time: “What you say and do creates feelings. Those feelings create behaviors.” I feel like it’s our mission to go after that.
Dave: As I’m looking at the titles of both of your books on motherhood, I’m sensing a theme, which is: “Mom, you’re incredible. You’re making an eternal mark on eternity.” I could ask both you moms: “Do you feel like moms need to be reminded? Do they forget that they’re incredible/that they’re making a difference?”
Linda: They do forget. We all get distracted, no matter who we are. We try to put three quarts of sauce in our two-quart saucepan. [Laughter] Too many things we try to accomplish, and what we’ve ended up doing—we leave out some of the important things. That’s not going to be it. We need to know that this nurturing process needs to be very sensitive to what’s going on in our kids’ hearts and spirits—the things that they’re facing—the problems, the issues of the day, peer pressures—they’re huge.
We need to be sensitive to what’s going on. If we’re always somewhere else, we won’t know what’s going on; we won’t have the opportunity to speak to it. I feel we’ve got to be tuned in. We’ve got to have our antennas going, because things are going to happen if we don’t step in and be helpful.
Bob: Did you feel, when you were raising your boys at home, that the “You’re just a mom” kind of attitude was limiting and was devaluing to you?
Ann: In the beginning, I did; because I felt like, “Dave’s out there doing all this cool stuff, and what am I doing?” I worked part-time; but I was, generally, in our home most of the time; and I felt bored sometimes. It wasn’t until I realized, through Scripture/through other mentors: “I am raising the next generation. I am impacting the world for Christ with these kids that I am raising.” That gave me a sense and a calling of “This is important.”
Bob: Linda just said it—you said, “History is being made in your home.” When you said that, I thought: “That’s really true. That’s really profound. That’s really important.” I’m concerned that a lot of the history that’s being made is being made by Netflix, or by what’s online, or by whoever the teenager is who’s coming in to watch the kids because “Mom’s busy with other things.”
Linda: It’s very true. Now, in the day and age of our phones being activated constantly with checking on Facebook®, or Instagram®, or messages from whoever, we’re busy with our phones. We’re busy with our computers, which can be good; but we can’t be so distracted that our kids don’t even know that we’re paying attention to what their needs are.
Dave: I’ve got to tell you—in 29 years of leading our church, back in Michigan—I bet we’ve used your book title ten or fifteen times in thirty years. It’s funny—we talk in our leadership meetings—like: “On Father’s Day, all we do is get up there and challenge men to step up and be men,” and “On Mother’s Day, we celebrate moms, reminding them of how incredible they are,”—which is the title of your book—because often it feels like they don’t remember they’re doing what you’re saying—they are making history every single second.
Linda: That’s pretty exciting; I’m just happy that it’s making a difference. The letters I got over the years from women, who saw things that they hadn’t realized was really there, of why they were important—that means a lot to me.
I actually had—this wasn’t my goal—to see medical doctors go home and raise their children, or veterinarian women go home and work with their children; but I actually had letters from women who changed their vocations because they said: “You know, my kids are needing something that I’m not being available to give them. For now, I’m going home; and I’m going to work with my kids.”
Bob: So, is that where a mom should be? Is that where she belongs? Should she give up her medical profession to go home and raise her kids?
Dave: Bob, Bob—are you going to go there? [Laughter]
Linda: I’m not saying this; I’m not saying that. Every situation is totally different. Every mom has to go to her Lord and say, “Okay; Lord, how would You have me use my life best?” It’s going to be different from place to place.
I always want to interject to moms—I grew up in a single-mom home. I do know what it’s like to have a mom, who has to work/is not there all the time. Yet, my mom was so much pointing to her God—that God would take care, that God knows everything that we’re going through; He will be there for us. She would go down the list of what the character of God was like. That was really the focus of our home from my mom.
Bob: So, if you were sitting down with a young mom, having coffee, and she said: “Okay, Linda, here’s the situation. I have two boys. I went to school. We’ve still got student loans we’re paying off from my school. I’ve got this job; I find satisfaction in the job. I’ve got the boys at home. What would your advice be to me?”
Linda: I’m not going to tell that mom that she has to go home and not work. It’s an individual decision; they have to decide that for themselves. They have to look at their children and what their situation is—the kind of care that would come for their children. They make their own decision.
It’s just like how you would decide your children’s education every year—the kind of schools that are available. You don’t just make a blanket statement: “They will all be homeschooled,” “They will all go to Christian school,” “They will all go to public school,”—no; it’s different. And sometimes, it changes year by year. It’s going to be different family to family.
I just want moms to know what difference they really are making by being at home. Frankly, when moms understand this whole concept of what nurturing is all about, they see how God—He likens us to the work of the Holy Spirit, which is awesome! The Holy Spirit was called as a paraclete to come alongside. He shares His divine life with us—He sustains, helps, guides, comforts—He’s a teacher. When you start looking at all the things that the Holy Spirit does with and for us, and that we’re likened to that person of the Godhead with our children: “What are we willing to do without for our kids?”
Bob: I remember sitting with a mom once, who was a working mom/full-time working mom—she had two boys at home. She said, “I really do think I am better for my boys because I have this job than I would be if I didn’t have the job.” Her boys were middle school age; they were at school most of the day. If she was at home during the day, she wasn’t going to be with them. She said, “I’ve been home with them, and this job helps me be more balanced and more focused when I’m with them than I would have been otherwise.”
I think your counsel—everybody’s got to know their personality, their temperament, their circumstance, their situation—we can’t give a one-size-fits-all answer here. There are some values that a mom can focus on and say, “However we choose to work this out, I shouldn’t lose sight of these values”; don’t you think?
Ann: I think that every mom, as we’re saying, is very different. I went back to work part-time and started a women’s ministry at our church. I think Cody was three at the time, so our youngest was three. I found that, even when I was home, I was distracted. I was on the phone; I was contemplating; I was dreaming of what we could do in this ministry. I realized I wasn’t there, mentally, for our boys.
I went to God—I think that’s a key point—you go to God and you ask Him: “God, what would this look like? Can I trust You, even financially? Can we do this?” I felt prompted by God—not by Dave/not anyone else—that I felt like, “I need to give this up for a time”; so I quit. I’ll never forget—Cody was then five—and he said, “Mom, thank you for being home with me.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Now, we can play basketball all the time!”—which—[Laughter]
Dave: That’s Cody.
Ann: Yes, that would be Cody.
One of the things I remember is reading Edith Schaeffer. She always talked about: “How do we create our homes to be a haven?”—because the world is a storm out there—and “How do we create this environment?” That has to be very purposeful.
Linda, one of the things you talk about is how kids need to feel worthwhile and accepted. They need to feel important; they need to feel cared for; kids need to develop good attitudes. There’s a lot in there. How did you make that happen?
Linda: I worked at being positive. Whenever there was an opportunity to make a comment about what they were doing, I would work to make it positive—to say nice things about what they’re doing, and how good it was, and how I appreciate them.
One time, I remember the boys were—I think one of the guys was junior high age—and I took them out to help them learn the game of tennis. He was down on himself and just not doing well. He would toss his racket and had a bad attitude. I was worn out, trying to be a cheerleader to this kid, saying: “You’ll get the next one. Let’s try it again!” You keep trying, so that they’ll grab it. Nowadays, you look at that kid; and he’s a total positive force in everything he does, which is pretty cool.
Ann: I love that.
Dave: I can remember my mom/a single mom really had to work because there was no money. She’d figure out a way. I didn’t appreciate it then, but I appreciate it now. She found a way to get a job that would have her home when I got home. She’s home from her job by 2:30-3:00 in the afternoon. I don’t remember a day I walked home—she wasn’t there. I don’t remember a day that I said, “Mom, let’s play catch,” that she didn’t put on a ball glove and go out there.
I do remember when I was 12; she was my catcher—and a little home plate in the backyard—and I’m throwing my fast ball in there. I remember she goes, “Okay; we’re done!” [Laughter] “What’s that mean?” She goes, “I can’t catch anymore.”
I get teary, now, thinking about it. She was you, Linda—she spoke life; she always believed in me, beyond what I could believe; and she instilled in me a belief that I could be something great—it came from my mom!
Bob: You do wonder how many adults today would say, “I had a mom, who believed in me, who spoke life into me, who was there for me, who invested in me; but I’m really messed up today.”
Dave: There aren’t very many.
Bob: I think moms don’t recognize that their child’s emotional health—their child’s sense of security, confidence, well-being, value, importance—is being molded by a mom and a dad.
If mom’s there, and if she’s engaged—now, here’s the thing—moms are listening to this, going: “I’m there, but I’m so frustrated with everything that’s going on I can’t keep up with. I’m at my wit’s end.” You’ve got a chapter in your book called, “Is There a Light at the End of the Tunnel?” So many moms are feeling like: “I’m so overwhelmed with this. I’m afraid I’m doing my child more damage than harm just by my frustration at the mess we’re living in.”
Linda: I think we keep working at giving them the positives that are going to fill their mental file drawers. To me, that’s a key way to describe what needs to happen in our kids’ brains—is to have those mental file drawers filled with good wisdom from God.
I have a few stories that would go along with that. One—Paul McCartney, who was one of the Beatles—his mother died when he was 14 years old. She had been speaking words of wisdom to him. That song that he wrote, Let It Be, and he spoke the words: “Mother Mary, speaking words of wisdom, ‘Let it be; let it be,’”—that wasn’t a Catholic reference he was making.
Dave: —that was his mom.
Linda: His mother had been speaking words of wisdom; and as he got older, and he’s trying to figure out: “How in the world do I do life? How do I make these decisions and these choices?—because I really don’t know.” He’s in his bed at night, and his words, “Mother Mary speaking words of wisdom…” were coming to him. We can do that, too. The words that we’ve spoken over time, will come back to our kids’ hearts and spirits.
Bob: Dave, you’ve been involved in the NFL long enough, as a chaplain for the Detroit Lions for 30 years: “Why is it that, when the camera comes on the players, on the sidelines, they don’t say, “Hi, Dad”?
Dave: For many of these men, there is not a dad; there’s only moms. They are critically important in their life. These young men are there because of their moms.
Ann: —and the sacrifice they’ve made.
Dave: They’ve been given athletic ability, and some of that came from their fathers. I’m not kidding—sitting in Bible studies with these guys, you hear stories about their moms: “My mom was beside me,” “My mom kicked my little rear end when I wanted to quit, as a little boy.” She was the one who instilled the values that made these men the athletes they are.
Linda: It’s fun to read the biographies of people, who will give their mothers credit for their going in a positive direction. Thomas Edison said, “My mother was the making of me.” His teachers had considered him a failure—that he had nothing to offer—that he shouldn’t ever even try. His mother said, “I’m bringing you home, and I’m going to teach you.” He went on to be a famous inventor. We can make that kind of difference by speaking words of wisdom in our kids’ hearts and spirits so that they’ll come back at times in their life later.
When my boys were growing up, and maybe they’re arguing or complaining about something, I would just start singing that little song: “Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got. The good things that you’ve got are for many just a dream. Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.” They got tired of hearing that when they were complaining. [Laughter]
But you know what? They’re adults now, and they will pop up with those words when we’re together; and they’ll say: “Yeah, I remember. Oh, be thankful for the good things that you’ve got.” It sticks in their mind. The things that we’re able to pass to them in their earlier years—they stay there, and they come back.
Ann: Linda, did you ever lose it? Did you ever get frustrated and have to go and apologize to your boys?
Linda: I’m sure there was plenty of times. One time I remember one of our boys got into our grandfather clock that we brought home from Germany. He brought it over onto the floor, and it broke into four pieces.
Ann: —because he got inside of it.
Linda: He got inside it. We get this call—we’re at the athletic club, exercising; and I get this call: “You’ve got to come home right now. It’s an emergency. He’s wrecked your clock.” I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t just chide him badly. That was one of my times of not being happy with what he just did.
Bob: When you got home, what kind of conversation did you have? Do you remember?
Ann: Did you sing, “Oh, be thankful”? [Laughter]
Linda: I don’t think I did that one.
Ann: I wouldn’t. [Laughter]
Linda: I don’t think I sang that song then. I said, “Were you not thinking ahead?” That’s one of my messages for moms—is we’ve got to help our kids think ahead. He was just a little guy. Yes, we had to pay a price; that clock was in bad shape for years before we found somebody who put it back together. Now, it’s still in our home; I think of that story often.
Bob: Years ago, we were doing a FamilyLife Today radio program; and we decided that we were going to call out random phone calls to moms we knew, who were in the middle of their day and say: “Tell us what is going on in your house right now. Tell us what your kids are doing. Tell us what the house looks like.”
Ann: Oh, that’s fascinating.
Bob: It stuck with me all these years. We called one mom—I’ll never forget.
Ann: Wait; how did you decide who to call?
Bob: There were some ringers. There were people we knew—friends who we knew were at home. One mom we called—we called Brenda. We said, “Brenda, tell us about your day.” She didn’t know this was coming. She didn’t know she was on the radio, I don’t think, at first.
She said: “You would call today,”—right? She said, “First of all, let me describe the kitchen to you.” She described it—it was just a mess. The living room was covered with toys. She said, “If my husband was to come home right now and find me, with what I’ve been doing—I’m sitting on the floor, in the living room, playing blocks with the boys in the midst of this mess—he’d look at me and say, “You’ve been doing the exact right thing today; because at the end of the day, you’ll get to the dishes; one day, the house will be clean again”; right?
You’ve got a window of time to pour into the souls of your sons and your daughters and to mold—well, back to what you said at the very beginning, Linda—to make history in your home. That’s what moms are doing. I want listeners to hear: “This is a profoundly important assignment. What you’re doing is going to matter, not just for history, but for eternity in the lives of these [children].”
The moms that need to hear that probably also need to get a copy of Linda’s book, The Eternal Mark of a Mom: Shaping the World Through the Heart of a Child. We’ve got copies of the book in our FamilyLife Today Resource Center. You can order it from us, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to order. Again, the website is FamilyLIfeToday.com; or call to order at 1-800-358-6329—1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
I’ve just got to say—if you have not yet, as a parent, gone through the Art of Parenting® video series, you need to do that. You need to get a group together—small group, whatever, class at church/whatever works for you—or if it’s just you and your spouse, go through the Art of Parenting video series so that you can reflect on the themes that are in that series and be on the same page, as husband and wife, and on the same page as others, in your church community, about how you raise your kids. Find out more about the Art of Parenting small group series when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com. You can order it from us online, or call 1-800-FLTODAY to get a copy.
By the way, if you’d like a copy of the book, The Art of Parenting, we’re making that available to you this week when you make a donation of any amount to help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today. What we do here is made possible because of what you do in supporting this ministry. We’re listener-supported. Without listeners like you—stepping up to make this daily radio program, our website, our resources, our events—you make it all possible for others when you make a donation in support of FamilyLife Today.
Again, if you can make a donation today, we’ll send you a copy of Dennis and Barbara Rainey’s book, The Art of Parenting. It’s our gift to you as a “Thank you,” for your support. Go online at FamilyLifeToday.com to donate; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY, and you can make your donation over the phone. We appreciate your partnership with us—look forward to hearing from you; and look forward to sending you a copy of the book, The Art of Parenting, as well.
We hope you can join us back tomorrow when Linda Weber will be here again to talk about how a mom leaves an eternal mark in the hearts and lives of her children. I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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