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IN THE SPIRIT: New book on faith, motherhood makes impact

It was a decade long labor of love that sometimes required burning the midnight oil. And now, Barbara Lea Goetz's book is impacting people. A grandmother from Harvey, N.D., purchased 18 copies to give to all the mothers in her family including he...

Barbara Lea Goetz

It was a decade long labor of love that sometimes required burning the midnight oil. And now, Barbara Lea Goetz's book is impacting people.

A grandmother from Harvey, N.D., purchased 18 copies to give to all the mothers in her family including her great granddaughters. Others are buying them five and nine copies at a time. Released the end of September, "Adventures in Faith & Motherhood" is in its second printing.

"This is encouraging to me," said Barbara, who lives in Bismarck. "I had a burden to write a book to help mothers get into the Word of God. It's humbling because I can't (personally) talk to all these people. Young mothers have come to me and said, 'We've just been starved for this.'"

As we chat, a Bible verse comes to Barbara's mind, one she's stored away since beginning scripture memorization 10 years ago. "When you memorize a verse it stays with you," she said, proceeding to recite Psalm 71:18: "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation."

"That's what I want to do and I thank the Lord for the privilege to do that," Barbara added. "God's word doesn't return void. It has power and strength."

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Barbara, 77, is mother to five and grandmother to 15.

She remembers well the years her children were small.

"I think today it's much harder to raise children," she said. "They are on these devices (video games, cell phones). They have so many distractions. Mothers can provide a stable home and send kids to Sunday School but the statistics are not good. Many want nothing to do with God when they leave home. "

Barbara wrote the book as an encouragement for mothers as they attempt to raise "upright and godly children," she said. "I tried to write it in an interdenominational way. We are not all going to believe the same, but people need to get into the Word of God so they can teach their children right from wrong."

"Adventures in Faith & Motherhood," is a 320 page, 52-week exploration of the Bible that is interspersed with the Goetz family's personal experiences.

"It took eight to 10 years," Barbara said. "I didn't think I would get it done in my lifetime. The last six years is when I really concentrated on it. I did a lot of research. I went through the Bible and picked out verses that meant a lot to me. Once I got started it all came together."

Among chapters are: Ask God to Lead You, Turn Away from the Ungodly Culture of Our Times, Become a Wife and Mother of Character, Forgive as God Forgave You, Accept the Realities of Marriage, Recognize the Secrets of a Happy Marriage, Set Aside Time for the Spiritual Needs of Your Children, Equip Your Children to Handle Life.

Along with devotionals and a Bible reading schedule, Barbara has included family recipes. "I have some of my culinary skills in there," she said. Namely, making pickles and jam and canning fruit. "More and more mothers are trying it," she said. "My grandchildren love my pears."

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Barbara is originally from Nebraska and her husband, The Rev. LaRue Goetz, grew up in South Dakota. One son, Matthew Goetz, graduated from the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and is an oncologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Barbara and LaRue came to North Dakota in the late 1960s. LaRue served churches in Harvey and Glen Ullin, N.D., and she worked for 26 years as office manager for STEER Inc. (STEERing Money to Mission). LaRue is now president of Revival Prayer Fellowship, a ministry that reaches out to churches in the Northern Plains of the United States, Ukraine and Moldova.

"We are both kind of not retired," Barbara said of herself and LaRue.

"Adventures in Faith and Motherhood," is a book for all women, Barbara added. "You'll find devotionals specifically related to marriage and children, but there are many that are not. I have about 30 chapters that are good for any one whether they are divorced, married, single or separated. They need to know Jesus loves them. It's a compass, a guide, an anchor. And I have seven chapters on prayer. When something goes wrong we look to prayer and so much is going wrong today."

The book sells for $16.95. Contact Barbara at (701) 258-7333. It's also available at the Rainbow Shop in Fargo, or at www.NewBookPublishing.com/AdventuresFaithMotherhood or www.Amazon.com .

The Herald publishes Naomi Dunavan's "In the Spirit," column the second Saturday of each month. Check her Ruby Girl blog for recipes from Barbara's book.

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