Name: Julie Bowen
Children: Anna, 28; Bekah, 26; Sarah, 24; Emily, 22; Forrest Jr., 17; and five grandchildren
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom and grandmother
Go-to dinner: Julie likes to add grilled chicken, black beans and grated cheese to Progresso enchilada soup for an easy, delicious meal.
Biggest pet peeve: The lack of engagement of parents with their children
Hobbies: Reading, bicycling, watching movies, going on road trips, antiquing and thrifting
Volunteer work: Julie teaches the homeschooled children at Community Bible Study every Wednesday morning.
Favorite mommy moment: Being together in the car with the whole family
Most challenging moment: Julie said she and her husband have experienced many challenging moments as parents. She rather would not go into detail on what those moments were, but she is happy to offer this piece of wisdom: "All of these challenging moments are neat mom moments, to be honest with you. They really are because God shows up in magnificent ways. ... Walking with our children through challenging moments or crisis has been both incredibly humbling in how God has been faithful and merciful to us, and has also been rich in the depths of love. ... My hope and belief is that God has walked my family through very profound issues early in our lives because he's working from the inside out."
Stress reliever: Riding her bike
Advice for other moms: Julie said it's important to enjoy your children. Take time to stop and look in their faces and really enjoy who they are. "Even when you're in the middle of a very bad moment, stop in that moment. I remember the Lord taught me that one day and said, 'Thank me right now. In the middle of the mess, thank me right now for that child, just as the child is right now.' ... I think it is that sense of being thankful. Otherwise, you'll spend your whole life waiting for the moment when you think you would be thankful, and it won't ever come. ... Be thankful for them just like they are. Pray for how they need to be, but thank God for them just as they are right now."
Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.