Friday, May 27, 2011

LETS CHAT FRIDAY with JOJO TABARES

When you ask someone to tell you about themselves and the first thing they say is, "I am a child of God", that tells you much about that person already. To know who we are in Jesus is the most important aspect of who we are. It's everything. When we find ourselves in Jesus everything else just seems to find its place. Meaning, when we put God first, He cares for the rest.

My guest today is, JoJo Tabares. JoJo, is a woman of truth and wisdom. Listen to just a few of her favorite quotes.

" A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11 
"Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1Peter 3:15

A friend recently commented to me that a friend said to her, "Does every conversation always have to come back to your God?" Our response? Yes, it does. If we are living our Christian walk, every conversation and action of our lives should reflect Christ and our relationship with Him. With JoJo, you get Christ in everything. Her life points directly to Him. Through all her struggles and daily battles, she turns to Christ for wisdom. She opens God's Word for direction. She too laughs. Don't we all just need a little more laughter in our lives?

I love how JoJo is honest and open. Isn't that the kind of friend we all want? There is something powerful when women of God stand together and encourage one another. When we lift one another up we soar above all circumstances that try to get us down. I am so honored to have, JoJo, with us today. Her words will inspire you. It's funny, we really don't know one another until we really begin asking each other questions. I love knowing people on a deeper level. It is so wonderful to go beneath the surface and find out another's passions and dreams. When we open our hearts we encourage others to do the same. When is the last time you reached out to a girlfriend and just asked her, "How are you doing?" In reaching out we find healing. Through healing we find compassion for others. It is my prayer that you are blessed today.

Lets get to know, JoJo, a little better. Sit back. Grab yourself a great cup of coffee and enjoy:)


(Robin) JoJo, it is awesome to have you with us today. Please tell us about yourself.

(JoJo) I’m just your average child of God, work at home school mom of 48 who is married 24 years (and yes to the same man), purple nut, communication speaker and author who always wanted to be a stand-up comedian but is getting older now so she’s doing it sitting down! I not only dance to the beat of my own drummer, but my drum is often a banjo with one string.


(Robin) What is a typical day in the life of JoJo Tabares?
(JoJo) I don’t think there’s anything about my life you could remotely call typical. I typically do what I gotta do when I gotta do it…if I can. It’s an organized chaos in which I rise at the crack of 3am running thither and yon between homeschooling, writing, speaking, cleaning and running my business. I can often be found wearing two or three hats at a time and talking to nobody in particular as I work through each day’s projects. My goal is to get through my “To Do” list each day crossing off more than I add on.


(Robin) I love hearing how others come to know Christ. JoJo, what is your testimony?
(JoJo) The Reader’s Digest version goes like this. I was born of two Atheists of Jewish descent who married a non practicing Catholic and became a nondenominational Christian due in part to some Amway meetings and a Jehovah’s Witness that came to my door. I was never an Atheist and, from the time I was a child, I began asking everyone I knew what their religious beliefs were and why. Christianity just made sense to me and I believe God was reaching out to me my entire life. There is a song that says there is a God shaped hole in all of us and mine gradually filled with purpose as I began to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. The long version takes several hours to tell and will one day become a book if I ever get around to it.


(Robin) How many years have you been married? What advice would you give to a couple just beginning on how to have a successful marriage?
(JoJo) My dh and I will be married 25 yrs in January. We’ve been together for about thirty years. I’d say a successful marriage comes from remembering JoJoism#23 Husbands are not Knights in Shining Armor and wives are not young Damsels in Distress, but if you speak to each other that way anyway, you’ll have a long and happy marriage.


(Robin) Being a mother is just the greatest blessing. I am the mother of three and step mother of two. JoJo, what has been the most challenging aspects of motherhood and the greatest blessings?
(JoJo) I have two ONLY children. My dd is 21 and my son is 11. Each is unique and blessing. The challenge is letting go. My dd has been traveling the world since she was young. I had to let her go 1800 miles away to college three years ago and then half way around the world to Russia last semester. It looks like she’ll be going back to Russia in ministry when she graduates and I’ll have to get used to not hearing from her as often. Letting go of your desires for your children can be difficult unless you hold on to the knowledge that they have prayed and been directed by the Lord down their own path. All you can do then is to pray that God watch over them and treasure the time you have with them.


(Robin) I understand you have home schooled your children. I too was a home school mom and I loved it. There were challenging days, but it was such a gift watching my children learn. What are the greatest blessings for you as a home school mom? What have you learned about yourself through the experience?
(JoJo) The greatest joy of a home school mom is to watch your children develop a love of learning and then apply that learning to their lives for the things of the Lord. I taught my children the importance of speaking up for their faith and their beliefs in truth and in grace. It’s such a blessing to hear how my dd has ministered to unbelievers wherever she goes and to learn that they tell her how they wish all Christians would communicate their faith this way. At the age of 7 or 8 my son was discussing his faith with his grandmother on a rather long phone conversation during which she was so impressed with his demeanor that she overlooked her usual negative reaction to discussions of faith in order to listen.


(Robin) Please share with us your ministry. What is your mission statement?
(JoJo) Teaching Christians of all ages to communicate with boldness and grace.


(Robin) Being a writer and speaker how do you make time for everything without losing balance?
(JoJo) What’s balance? Lol I get things done by adhering to JoJoism#4 Insomnia is God’s way of allowing you to get more done I a day.


(Robin) What is the greatest advice you have ever received?
(JoJo) “Read what the Bible says about that.”


(Robin) How do you define success?
(JoJo) Well, the world defines it as making lots of money. Some say it’s affecting change, influencing others or being popular. I think it’s doing what God leads you to do whether or not it works out the way you think it should.


(Robin) Today women struggle with beauty and what is real. I love when women share beauty secrets. JoJo, what do you teach your daughters real beauty is?
(JoJo) Outward beauty is fleeting and once you get over 40, you realize just how fleeting as parts of you begin to sag and wrinkle and ache. Real beauty is found when people look into your eyes and can see God reflected there. Although I am tyring to start a movement whereby wrinkles are fashionable: http://artofeloquence.com/articles.php?article=49 Psst! Pass it on!


(Robin) JoJo, I didn't grow up in a Christian home. My parents believed I should make my own choices about life and what I believed. I understand your parents were atheists. What impact did that make on your life?

(JoJo) I was taught that weak people, needy people and silly people were religious and that if you weren’t a drug addict who hit rock bottom, you had no need of God. The movies always portrayed the “conversion” where the down and out hit rock bottom, had nowhere else to go, saw a light shining down from heaven, became an instant believer and his life was always perfect from then on. It took me many years to come to accept Christ because I never saw myself that way. I had no idea you could simply see how much sense God made and that He filled a need much greater than that caused by poverty, loneliness, or the like. He fills the need for purpose.


(Robin) We all struggle at some point in life. Sometimes each day can be a struggle to overcome. Has there been a time in your life that really challenged all you believe in? If so, how did you overcome?
(JoJo) The only time where I challenged all I believed in was when I accepted Christ. Though my life has had MANY challenges, I have never been shaken in my faith in God, but I have sometimes questioned if God wanted to fix what I thought was broken. Five years after my dd was born, I had a miscarriage and couldn’t get pregnant again. I figured we were destined to have only one child when 9 and a half years after her birth I gave birth to my son. God’s wisdom is greater than our desires. If I had my son when I wanted him, I’d be a year away from having an empty nest right now. God’s wisdom has allowed me to have 7 more years with my son before he goes off to college. God has cured my dd of a heart condition, brought my son into the world after many complications and saved my family in so many other ways that I never question God’s love or existence though I may question where He’s going with me.


(Robin) Life seems to throw curve balls our way and we often think we are the only one facing the struggle. What advice would you give to someone facing adversity?
(JoJo) Read what the Bible says about that. Almost anything we go through, God knew we’d face it. Adversity is not rare and God tells us what we should do about that. Man may not have the answers, but the Lord does and He reaches out to us in His Word to comfort and guide us.


(Robin) I lost my dad when I was only nineteen. It was a heartbreaking time in my life. A time when I didn't know the Lord. I felt alone and lost. What encouraging words would you give a friend facing loss?
(JoJo) I lost a child in 1995. It was a very difficult situation but I heard so many well meaning people try to comfort me with their words. Even Christians would quote scripture and tell me my child was with God, but that’s not what I wanted to hear right then. I knew it, but that’s not what I needed to hear. I needed to hear, “I’m so sorry. Here’s my shoulder. What can I do to help? Do you want to talk?” and I needed a hug.


(Robin) If you could go back to when you were seventeen, what advice would you give yourself that you now know about life?
(JoJo) God loves you. He’s been watching over you. He loves you and He’s reaching out to you. He’s real.


(Robin) We often think of the impact we make on others. We think of today. In the legacy you leave behind what is the most important impact you hope to make?
(JoJo) My mission is to start a huge movement for the Kingdom of God. To train the Christian community to speak up in grace and truth for the things of God and the missions He has them on and to regain civil discourse in America.


(Robin) Hobbies, books, music, food... What are the things that bring a smile to your face?
(JoJo) Singing harmony with my daughter, making others laugh, making a difference in someone’s life, fulfilling God’s purpose.


(Robin) In looking back to your childhood what are the blessings that captivate your heart that you hope to pass to your children?
(JoJo) I wasn’t a Christian in my childhood and I don’t usually see the benefit in looking back. I look ahead and try to give my children the Christian perspective, training and teachings that will help them to become the adults the Lord intends for them to be.


(Robin) JoJo, what is the Lord doing in your life today? What are your hopes for tomorrow?
(JoJo) God is using a former Agnostic and painfully shy girl to share with the Christian community about how to effectively share with others the missions God has THEM on. My prayer is that I can make a difference in the lives of Christians everywhere in order to further the Lord’s work for each of them.


(Robin) I love when we come together as brothers and sisters in Christ, lifting one another up. Is there a prayer request you would like to share so we can join you in prayer?
(JoJo) Grace and civil discourse has gone out of fashion these days. I am on a mission to bring it back so that Christians have the tools they need and a more receptive audience in which to share God’s love. I’d love prayer that this catches on, if even in a small way, to help further the things of the Lord.

http://artofeloquence.com/index.php
 
http://artofeloquence.com/blog/
 
http://fortheloveofpurple.com/
 
I hope you all will take a few moments and peek at all JoJo is doing. She is sharing Christ with the world and making a difference for the glory of God. It is awesome to see God moving in her life through her ministry. If you have been blessed today share your words of encouragement with JoJo.
 
JoJo, thank you for being my guest today. It has been an honor having you join the list of awesome ladies that have taken time to share at the Nest. I hope you come back and share more with us. Blessings to you sweet lady.
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