Pastor and author Beth Jones says the biblical story of a widowed mother with two boys who went from being desperate to completely reinvented by God is an example women can look to for inspiration today.
Jones, whose television show "The Basics With Beth" airs on several networks internationally, founded Valley Family Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with her husband, Jeff. The mother of four adult children hopes her new book, Reinvent, will serve to help women of all ages uncover their “new you!”
The following is an edited transcript of Jones’ interview with The Christian Post where she talks about her own upbringing and how mothers everywhere can find transformation in God — heart, mind, body and soul.
CP: Mother's Day is a time where everyone seems to appreciate their mom. Your new book is dedicated to your own mother, tell us a little bit about your experience of growing up in a single-parent home?
Jones: My mom was my hero! When I was 8 years old we sat in a Kroger [supermarket] parking lot and she told me things weren't working out with her and my dad. Everything changed that day and I remember walking around school in a daze as I didn't know any other kids whose parents had split up.
I am the oldest of four girls and somehow, as a third grader, I knew I had to help my mom "raise" my younger sisters (as if I knew anything about raising anyone!). Over the next five years my parents were separated, back together, separated and finally divorced when I was 13 years old. From that point on our home was a sorority with mom and her four girls.
In many ways, it was fun — maybe because we had far too many freedoms — stealing mom's cigarettes, drinking her vodka, and living without a curfew made my house the place to hang out. Everyone loved my mom and I was proud to be raised by my single mom. Many years later, when I came to Christ, I was able to lead my entire family to the Lord. While my parents never got back together, both remarried others, Jesus did a wonderful work of salvation and restoration in all of our relationships. These days both of my parents are in Heaven and I am so grateful for them both and happy to know they are with the Lord. I share a bit of this story in Reinvent.
CP: Where did the idea of Reinvent come from?
Jones: Over 20 years ago I was preparing to speak to 500 Christian business people when the Lord "unpacked" 2 Kings 4 and the revelation of reinvention to me. He helped me to see how a widowed, single mom with two boys went from being in a desperate crisis to experiencing a God-touched reinvention. As she followed the guidance given by the prophet Elisha, she became a successful entrepreneur in the "oil business" with her boys. (Perhaps the first "essential oils" sales lady!) I affectionately call her the maven. She discovered God's reinvention roadmap by answering four questions embedded in the story.
The four questions are: What do you want? What do you have? What will you do? Why will you do it?
Like her, when we answer those questions, God helps us to write the reinvention roadmap we need. This is the whole premise of my book, Reinvent!
CP: For women, it can sometimes be hard to find the "new you" when taking care of other responsibilities, such as looking after families and working. How can women take time for themselves?
Jones: Yes, as working moms we often feel like we are living with one nostril above water as we juggle all the plates required of us. I think it's important to keep an eye on your personal gauges — spirit, soul and body — and when they get low, give attention to that area. Often we can refresh our tanks with small choices that are very doable, no matter how busy we are.
For example, when my spiritual tank is empty, I know I need to spend some extra time with the Lord either going for a prayer drive or finding a coffee shop where I can read my Bible and journal in peace for 30 minutes. If my soul tank is low, I have discovered a few simple things that fuel my tank, from something as simple as buying a new tube of lip gloss or Facetiming with my sisters to working on a creative writing or designing project.
When my body tank is on fumes, I know I need to get back to a low-carb eating plan and I need to sleep. It's not easy to make time for yourself, but it's so vital to discover the things that fuel your tanks and make time to do it.
CP: I love that you focus on reinventing yourself, what's some practical advice that you can share right now with mom's reading this to help them?
Jones: The best advice I can give to a mom reading this is to remind you of the most simple truth: God loves you. The revelation of His love is the biggest game-changing reinvention of all time. When His love is real to you, it brings rest, peace and joy to every situation and every season! His love for you is not contingent on your love for Him or how perfect you are as a mom.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again so you could experience the breadth, length, height and depth of His love, practically for yourself! When you believe and receive the truth that "is that it's not that you loved Him, but that He loves you," it will bring joy and rest to your heart and a fresh desire to live for Him.
In my own life, when I finally received the gusher revelation of 1 John 4:10, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us ..." it brought a life-changing reinvention to my heart. I want this for every mom, and every person. (I spend several chapters talking about this in Reinvent.)
CP: Is there anything else you’d like to share with mothers?
Jones: At this time of global pandemic, 2020 is a Mother's Day you will never forget. This crossroads also gives you a great opportunity to reinvent and close the gap between your "ideal life" — where you thought you'd be by now — and your "real life," where you actually are. No matter how big the gap, with God's help, you can reinvent your life, you can start fresh and love life. This is the whole purpose of Reinvent.