Second Mothers

JoAnne and Heidi
About today’s author:
Heidi is a pastor’s wife, mother of two, music educator, and school counselor.  She is passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of others through music, counseling, and living a life that exemplifies her faith in Christ.  She teaches at Harvey Public School in Harvey, ND. 

You can read more about how Kerry knows Heidi and his deep appreciation for her by reading a post earlier in this series by clicking on “Legacy of Childhood Friendships.”  Heidi wrote an earlier post as well, “The Power of Childhood Friends,” but she was asked to write this post concerning “Second Mothers” because of the impact that her mother, JoAnne Tschetter, had on Kerry’s life; JoAnne passed away in 2000.  You can read more about Kerry’s deep appreciation for JoAnne by reading yesterday’s post “My Other Mother.” 


​I was not particularly close to my mother as I was growing up. As I look back now, I see clearly the time and creativity and love she poured into me, even as I held her at arm’s length as a surly teenage girl. I remember one of my Sunday School teachers having a great spiritual impact on my life during this period. Kerry’s mom, Sadie, was a woman of great character and wisdom. I couldn’t wait for each new lesson, because she spoke with such knowledge and confidence in God’s love for me. To this day, she is a woman I respect and admire because of her deep and abiding faith and her example of Godly character. She influenced my journey of faith and my spiritual walk more than any other woman, aside from my own mom. ​

My mother died at the age of 50, just as I was beginning to truly appreciate her for her wisdom and strength and for her role in my life. As a young woman who was newly married and expecting my first baby, I felt her absence acutely during moments when I desperately needed advice and guidance. I have been so blessed by several women who have graciously and unobtrusively stepped in to my life to fill the gaping hole left by my mother’s early death.

​My mother-in-law Laura offered to stay with me after both of my girls were born. This began a process of transformation in our relationship. Although she is a woman of deep faith and of great love, I did not fully appreciate her close involvement in our lives at the beginning of our marriage. However, as the days went by and she quietly and graciously helped whenever and wherever she could, I began to feel my walls of resistance crumbling. We began to bond over shared struggles, and what was once an obligatory relationship became a friendship of choice. I now seek her advice and counsel often, and I truly love her as a mother.

​My step-mom has also been a tremendous source of advice and strength in my life. When my dad got remarried, Karla did not in any way try to replace my mother. She has simply become my friend, and in the process another mother figure in my life, offering advice, support and unconditional love.  

​What strikes me about all of these women is their faithful prayer support. I know that on a daily basis I was and am being covered in prayer. While each of them has been concerned about my physical and emotional well-being, I know that they seek God’s best for me first and foremost.  

​As a mom, a pastor’s wife, a teacher and a school counselor, I have many opportunities to speak into the lives of young men and women. Now more than ever, there are children who need a praying and listening adult who will come alongside them and help them navigate the difficult waters of growing up. May I be a blessing to them, as many have been to me.


March is International Women’s Month!  It is my hope that you will join me over the course of the rest of March in celebrating the women who have had a significant role in influencing me.  I will post daily blog-posts — some of these posts will be from me talking about the women who have had a significant role in influencing me and some of the posts will be from these women themselves, childhood friends, mentors, teachers, co-workers, etc.  

My hope is that this series, “Celebrating Women,” will accomplish three things:  

  1. to serve in a small way as a “Thank You” to all the women who have influenced me
  2.  that you will gain wisdom from those who have spoken wisdom into my life
  3. that it will serve as a reminder to say thank you and to recognize all the amazing women in your one life

Click here to see all of the posts related to “Celebrating Women.”

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