Name: Lisa Payne Stout
Children: Kendall, 8; and Kailee, 5
Occupation: Home-school teacher and mother
Favorite mommy moment: When my daughter and I were studying, she looked up at me and said that she wanted to become a Christian. I was able to be with her when she prayed and asked God to forgive her for her sins. She said she knew that Christ had died for her and wanted to become his child. I still cry when I think about it.
Most challenging moment: After getting a master's degree and working for close to 15 years in human resources, being a mother was so much harder to me than being in the work world. There just wasn't an expert to ask about each little question that you have as a new mom. I think that it took me about three years to finally realize that I just needed to follow my heart and ask for God's wisdom.
Go-to snack: We love the GoGo squeeZ applesauce. It's just so easy and not messy. We also love Pink Lady apples dipped in caramel or carrots dipped in ranch.
Favorite children's book: "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. As a mother, I am that tree, and I am happy to be that tree. I pray that my girls will have that type of self-sacrifice for the love of others.
Favorite song: "In My Daughter's Eyes," by Martina McBride. The first verse says, "In my daughter's eyes I am a hero/ I am strong and wise and I know no fear/ But the truth is plain to see/ She was sent to rescue me/ I see who I wanna be/ In my daughter's eyes."
Bedtime routine: Our bedtime routine consists of reading a story. Our favorite right now is "The Moody Family Series," and we are reading a chapter a night. This book is about a family we aspire to be like.
Best household tip: Never leave dirty dishes overnight, and do little tasks every day. A friend of mine thought she might lose her husband. (After that) she said she had a new outlook on laundry and was grateful to have his laundry to do. I think about that as I go through my daily chores.
What's the biggest lesson or value you want your child to learn through you? That giving is so much better than receiving. We need to serve others, and in so doing we will reap great joy. When we feel sad or uncertain, we can always gain perspective by finding a way to serve someone else. When we give up our seat (even when we feel tired), share our meal (even if it was our favorite food), or donate an extra $10 to charity (instead of buying a new toy), we find strength in knowing we have those opportunities every day just by the choices we make to make the world a little more filled with joy.
Dream day: I live this every day. I get the privilege to home-school my children and am able to see them learning new things every day, both school- and character-related.
Advice for other moms: Our world today is filled with selfishness, and the reward is great for focusing on yourself and putting yourself first. The ironic thing is that will never bring you lasting happiness. As a mother, you put yourself last, and I think so often mothers feel unappreciated and that they just can't live up to the world's standards. It's important to know that being a mother is the greatest gift God has given us. We can pass down a great legacy to these sweet children that he has given to us for a short time to raise. Enjoy every minute. Be thankful for the moment -- whatever that moment may bring. Keep your goals in mind but do not let them detract from living your life right now, right here, with gratitude for all the smiles, surprises, insights, memories, challenges and opportunities that make your life yours. No one else can live your life, and no one else has the chance to be you. Embrace the ride, and be thankful for everything that comes with it. I am so thankful that God chose me to be the mother of these two girls. Follow Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.