One of my biggest goals as a blogger and as a woman is to learn and grow as much as I can, most especially from those I am in community with. I am truly so grateful that I met Hannah of Joyful Life for this very reason. I feel as though our desires align when it comes to community, and really, what is friendship but finding pieces of your heart in another's?
[Tweet "And really, what is friendship but finding pieces of your heart in another's?"]
Hannah and I both have a passion for growing community in our lives, even in the blogosphere. She came up with the idea of looking at those around us who are truly living their lives passionately and fiercely, asking them what makes them tick, and hoping that a little of their wisdom would rub off on us. Brilliant. We shall call it Authentic Motherhood.
I immediately thought of Thrive Moms as an incredibly community that I'd love to feature as part of our pursuit of Authentic Motherhood. I am so glad I reached out to Nathalie (Nat) and Kara-Kae (KK), the co-founders of Thrive Moms, on this project. I feel myself already learning from their answers, from their journeys, and from their passions. Read on, friends.
Who are the founders of Thrive Moms? Where did the desire for the site come from? Kara-Kae James (KK) & Nathalie Whisnant (Nat) are the founders of Thrive Moms. They met online and became friends based on their same passion for encouraging moms. A friendship started with lots of conversations about poop and temper tantrums and it led to "we should start a website to encourage moms!" We knew God was calling us to do just that, and Thrive was born!
Can you tell us a little bit about your families? KK and her husband live in Oklahoma and have 3 beautiful daughters ages 4 and under! They have a desire to adopt more children in the future and she is passionate about celebrating every piece of life and sweet tea.
Nat and her husband live in Nashville with their two children, ages 6 and 4. Nathalie is a singer/song writer and is passionate about seeing the art in everyday life, and chocolate.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge in motherhood? (Nat) The biggest challenge for me is denying myself. I have this inner battle in me that fights for what is comfortable. It's hard to tell myself no, and keep a humble heart. I'm fairly good at denying myself with a bad attitude. It's serving with a humble heart that drives me to a new place of identifying myself with Jesus.
What has been your greatest joy in motherhood? (KK) Watching my children grow to be friends. Seeing their little personalities blossom and the fruits of my labor become so real. My daughters are best friends and practically inseparable, and it brings so much joy to my heart to see this! Knowing that as I continue to seek God in my parenting, He has his hand in everything I do, and it makes motherhood an absolute joy!
How is your motherhood affected by your passions? (Nat) My passions have shaped the way I see motherhood... as an art. When I first became a mother, I thought I had to set music aside to focus on my children. Then one day I realized that motherhood was another medium in which God wanted display my art. It was a shift for me to realize that my passions wouldn't hinder my mothering, or my mothering hinder my passions. They would compliment each other. My passions would make my mothering unique, just like a fingerprint. It is so freeing to know that God hasn't given me music for only one venue, but for whatever audience He places before me. It's an honor to share it with the sweetest tiny humans I've ever known.
How do you balance your blog life / Thrive Moms business and family life? (KK) I am involved in many different online outlets (a blog, small business, conference and Thrive) so I have to be very intentional about my time, prioritize what is most important and really focus when I have the time to pour into Thrive and my other businesses. I have to force myself to take time to rest, and rely on Jesus for all the extra strength to do it all for His glory!
Thrive Moms is having its very first virtual conference on May 3rd. It is a three hour conference where you can watch and learn and grow right from your very own living room. It is an incredible feat, and one that I am so excited to go to! I'm trying to rally up my girlfriends to sit and join this virtual conference with me. I truly can't wait. Oh, and it's FREE!
What is the main purpose of the Retreat? The main goal of the retreat is to encourage women and be able to reach moms right where they are. We knew it would be very difficult to gather busy moms, but by doing an online conference we could reach women from all over the world! We hope to connect women in a real way, and help them see they aren't alone in their motherhood journey!
Thank you, KK and Nat, for being a part of our Authentic Motherhood series!
But wait, there's more! <--- ending infomercial voice now.
Kara-Kae is the owner of Mom Diggity Designs, and is giving away a 4 pack of greeting cards of YOUR choice. How sweet is that! Her stuff is gorgeous, and Hannah and I are both jelly that we can't enter our own giveaway.
In between tweeting, reading books to my daughters, and [not] burning mac n cheese, I am the Founder + Creative Director of Blessed is She women's ministry + community.