Our Featured Mom for November is Denise Piechocki of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. I had the pleasure of meeting Denise at my church several years ago. With several children, I was always fascinated by how well she managed “Life” in general. She just seemed to have a system that worked!
I asked Denise what the word, “Momentum” meant to her, and she said, “Keeping my priorities straight so my family can continually move forward. Putting God first, always.” Denise says that it’s so incredibly easy to become distracted with anything and everything life throws at us and we must make sure we’re putting God first; making that relationship with Him a top priority is the key for her to be the best Mom she can be.
Denise says her biggest life struggle as a mom is finding balance. “When raising six children all at different stages in life, it can be hectic. I don’t ever get a chance to just sit and listen to the quiet. I often remind myself that I will miss these days and I need to take time out to just relax with my babies because they grow so fast. Too often, my days are filled with every second counting towards staying on schedule to make sure I have everything ready for what the after-school activities or weekend plans throw at us. I would be lying if I said I didn’t love it, though; every second of it,but so often it seems my days and nights just run together,” said Denise.
Surprisingly, one of Denise’s proudest accomplishments is“Praying.” Denise stated that sometimes she wakes up fully energized and ready to give the day a full 100%. On those days, she totally succeeds, never missing any detail and completely ahead of the game. Others, not so much and she’s had to accept that sometimes she’s simply behind on everything.
“Moms are sometimes so hard on themselves, often feeling like they are failing. The laundry is piled high, or I forgot an appointment and my gas light comes on as I drive past the gas station. I have learned to understand as a mom, my job is to teach my children how to cope with life, not just the good, but how to take every situation and turn to God, with both the simple and the hard.”
Denise says that teaching your children to stop and pray in the moment is not an easy thing to do at all, but so important. We all have bad days, but what we do with them is key. I am often reminded by my children’s actions that this has been a huge success in our household.
What inspires Denise? Simply put, she just said, “Kindness inspires me. Truly kind people are so far and few between.”.
Denise said she’s passionate about other Mama’s. “We need to stand together. We need to support each other. So many women have their villages. So many do not. I have been on both sides, and as moms, we need to remember that it’s a tough job that can often feel lonely. It’s too easy to become wrapped up in our children that we lose our priorities in the midst of it all. We need to ditch the judgment. We need to understand that ALL MOMS are at different places with their walk with Christ. Some have not started yet, and that’s okay. We need to reach out. We need to be supportive.
John 15:12 tells us to “Love each other as I have loved you.” Though it sounds simple, I feel like it’s so easily overlooked;especially to those who are struggling.
When Denise reflected on her life, she said “Five years ago versus Five years ahead will look very different in such a positive way. I’m thankful that I know I will continue to grow and push forward, both individually and as a Mom. I can’t wait to watch my children grow into adults and see the hard work we’ve put into them and how that will shape them as adults. I hope in five years’ time, I’m doing something that’s helping other moms be successful and reaching their potential. For now, though, I’m loving just being home where I’m needed during this season in our lives.
Lastly, I asked Denise what the best version of “Her” looks like. She said, “to be God-fearing; to be authentic with my actions; to not allow the negative of this world to change who I am. It would be to keep my priorities straight and to always hold true to my values; the very values I try to teach my children every day. I would choose friendships wisely and not allow other people’s actions to determine who I am; to always look to better myself and to never think I’m better than the next. Simply put—to stay true to me.”
What I have loved about Denise for years is that she just“owns” motherhood like it’s the most fun and amazing OPPORTUNITY in the world.She sees raising her children as a privilege; not an obligation. I can recall in a Sunday School class we took together, she once said that she and her husband,Joe will rise in the morning and stay busy all the way until bed-time. She jokingly admitted that she doesn’t understand how people lie in bed and can’t fall asleep, because by the time they hit that mattress at night, they are zonked out!
I’m inspired by her perspective on motherhood. She embraces busy like it’s no big deal while other moms are miserably overwhelmed.I hope Denise realizes what an extraordinary quality it is to have this kind of impact on her kids. She’s raising confident, smart, and powerful children that are capable of handling pressure, busy schedules and a positive social environment. I’m excited to see where her next season of life takes her. As a fellow leader in women’s ministry, I applaud her for the desire to take a stand and raise UP the next generation of Mothers!