Teaching Young Children about Social Justice: An Interview with Beth Bruno

One of my favorite things about Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket is that I got to feature the voices of some of my favorite people in the book. Today’s interview is with Beth Bruno. Enjoy!

Tell us about yourself, your family, and how motherhood and ministry connect in your life.

I live in Colorado and have a 16, 13, and 10 year old. My husband and I have been in ministry almost as long as we’ve been married- 21 years. As a result of living with purpose, my parenting and ministry are intimately intertwined, for better or worse. I now direct a non-profit aimed at preventing human trafficking locally and the kids have varying levels of interest around my passion. My goal is not to force my passion upon them, but to cultivate a view toward a bigger story and a desire to discover their role in God’s kingdom.

You wrote an essay about sowing seeds of justice for Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket. What made you choose that topic?

As a family, we had recently reflected on some of our counter-cultural choices. As I began to recount the various things we had intentionally done over the years, I realized that our just action was a result of seeds I began to plant when they were still in diapers. It was one of those rare moments when you get a glimpse of the fruit of your labor. Your book was an opportunity to encourage other moms in that season of little ones to not tire of modeling justice as one day, they will see fruit.

What stands out in your mind as one of the most encouraging things someone has said to you or done for you as you navigate motherhood, ministry, and living life as a child of God?

Someone once gave me permission to change my mind and it was the most freeing advice I ever received. I thought once I had chosen the discipline method, the reward system, or the chore chart my kids would either fall into line or I must have failed. When one method didn’t work, I reluctantly tried another as if sheepishly admitting to sucking at motherhood. When my wise friend laughingly told me she was constantly trying new things and changing with their ages, I lightened up. There is no one method for every child that always works for every thing!

If you could say one thing to encourage the people who are going to read Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket, what would it be?

Doing one thing to show the world your glory is a success! Not all the things. One thing! If you read this book and feel overwhelmed, think about one thing that stirs you and ask God to show you how to bring that more fully to the world.

2014Headshot1webWhat’s coming up in your life, and how can readers stay connected with you and your work?

I’m working on a book about a yearlong rites of passage I designed for my daughter to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, she is valued and needed. My working theory is that the antidote to teen obsession with bodies, boys, and besties is a vision for a bigger story. For moms interested in doing some pre-work to having a teen, I’ve prepared a free e-book, Before the Clock Strikes 12: Preparing to Parent Teens. You can sign up for my email list to receive goodies and information when the rites of passage book is published. And you can find me at bethbruno.org.

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