Have you been following along with our series on Different? Using this book in a Mom Heart group can be tricky because it touches such deep parts of our mother hearts, but it is also an opportunity for intimacy and close friendships to blossom as we hear the hurts and fears of those around us. Here are all the posts with discussion questions for Different.
Chapter 5: A Heart Like Superman
Page 67 “Stories put me in the context of something bigger than myself and help me to see my day-to-day struggles as enemies to overcome for the sake of a greater purpose. Whether as a teenager dealing with mental illness or a young adult struggling with the anxiety of living alone in a big city, I have found these tales help remind me that I myself am living a story. That every little experience or decision I make affects the meaning and the outcome. Which means I have a choice in what kind of story my life will tell.”
What stories have helped you put yourself in the context of something bigger?
What stories have helped your children in this way? If you need ideas, Caught Up in a Story and Read for the Heart, both by Sarah Clarkson, are excellent resources. Storyformed.com is also an amazing place to gather life-giving suggestions.
Page 78 “But when I put myself in Nathan’s shoes, I realized that my constant correction could easily be a source of frustration, insecurity, and anger in my already-fragile child. That constant feeling of just not measuring up can build a lifelong legacy of insecurity and even despair. Feeling like a disappointment on a regular basis can actually shape the brain patterns of a growing child. Failure and helplessness can become self-fulfilling prophecies.”
How do you decide which issues need correction and which you can overlook? When do you tend to over-correct your children?
On pages 74- 79, Sally writes about her determination to give Nathan positive affirmations, modeled after Jesus’ words with his disciples and others around him.
Ask someone to read aloud the affirmations of Jesus on page 75. What are some positive affirmations that you would like to say more often to your children?
What’s preventing you from saying positive things?
At the beginning of chapter 6, Nathan remembers an experience of viewing God’s glory in creation that has stayed with him to this day. On page 84 he says, “There are moments in life so beautiful that everything in us wants to praise the Creator. Maybe it’s stars- or an ocean view, a magnificent sunset, the birth of a child. It’s important to put ourselves in places and situations that bring us those moments- and to recognize them for what they are.”
Share about a time you had an experience or moment like this.
Page 90 “God was the first artist, after all, crafting masterpieces that would be discovered throughout all eternity. Exposing out children to His handiwork as often as possible was a priority for Clay and me. Placing our children (and ourselves) in the face of this creator God seemed to increase their sense of delight in Him and left a taste of pleasure in their souls. It also provided respite and relief from our stressful daily lives.”
How do you make time to enjoy the outdoors with your children?
Page 90 continued, “So much of our life as parents is focused on our children’s external behavior: manners, speech, work ethic, accomplishments in school, respect. And all that training is vital for their future. But how wonderful it is to make time together when no outward performance is required- only play, love, fun, pleasure, and rest where we can all feel okay about making a mess.”
If it’s difficult for you to turn off the need to “check all the boxes” in your day or in your child’s life, how can you take steps toward allowing your children time to just be when no performance is required?
On page 91, Sally shares some of the ways she incorporated creation into the lives of her children. Spend a few minutes brainstorming local places that you and your group members could explore with your children.
We’d love to hear how this book is impacting you and the women in your groups. Is it challenging to discuss sensitive topics or are your finding new friendships and intimacy with the women in your group?