Leader Guides
USING THE VIDEOS AND DEVOTIONAL

1. Watch. Watch the session video (as a group).

2. Discuss. Use the Discussion Questions found in the Devotional (as a group).

3. Read. Read, write, and draw with each daily devotion (on your own).

Breathing Room for Women Leader Guide
Session 1

This session introduces four fears that drive us to live without breathing room. Your group members may push back on the term “fear.” It can be hard to recognize and even harder to admit out loud that you’re afraid of something. Be ready to go first, sharing your own personal example(s) as your group discusses these fears in question two. The goal of session one is to connect having breathing room with trusting God. In the video, Sandra shares a story that illustrates this. Refer back to her story if your group is having trouble contextualizing the question Do I trust God?

Session 2

Warning: the topic of time can be surprisingly sensitive. This is where many women most acutely feel a lack of breathing room. Your group members will likely have plenty of examples to share, but be prepared for possible defensiveness—particularly as you discuss question four. If this happens, gently push group members to consider why they are feeling defensive. It may be that the lesson of this session is hitting too close to home. Consider following up next week on what group members said they could remove from their calendars. Celebrate anyone who followed through!

Session 3

It can be intimidating or even embarrassing to discuss personal finances in a group. Be sensitive to the private nature of this topic and aware of the fact that for many women, finances reflect the joint decisions of her and her spouse. Create a safe and confidential environment. For many people, viewing money as a tool for trusting and following God will be a radically new idea. Help your group explore this idea as you answer question five with examples of times when your personal finances allowed you to or prevented you from following God. Depending on the makeup of your group, it may be useful to discuss how this perspective on money can be shared with a spouse or kids. 

Session 4

The video story that closes Sandra's teaching session may be very emotional for some group members. Question one will allow you to process those feelings. You may also have group members who push back on the video and/or disagree with the mom's decision. Allow your group to discuss all opinions; there is not a right or wrong reaction. Question three asks group members to think about some of their unique roles in life. This may be easy for some and very challenging for others. If a group member is having trouble, it may be helpful if other group members reflect back to her the unique roles they see her playing. 

Breathing Room for Moms Leader Guide
Week 1

The goal of session one is to create camaraderie between your group members around the shared experience of motherhood. In order to achieve that, it’s critical that all group members feel safe to share openly and honestly. As the leader, be willing to set an example by sharing your own thoughts and feelings. And if necessary, remind your group that confidentiality is expected. Because this week’s video segment and devotionals are an introduction to the topic of breathing room, your discussion may leave some tensions unresolved. Reassure any group members who want solutions that practical action steps will come in later sessions of the study.

Week 2

This session introduces four fears that drive us to live without breathing room. Your group members may push back on the term “fear.” It can be hard to recognize and even harder to admit out loud that you’re afraid of something. Be ready to go first, sharing your own personal example(s) as your group discusses these fears in question two. The goal of session one is to connect having breathing room with trusting God. In the video, Sandra shares a story that illustrates this. Refer back to her story if your group is having trouble contextualizing the question Do I trust God?

Week 3

Warning: the topic of time can be surprisingly sensitive. This is where many women most acutely feel a lack of breathing room. Your group members will likely have plenty of examples to share, but be prepared for possible defensiveness—particularly as you discuss question four. If this happens, gently push group members to consider why they are feeling defensive. It may be that the lesson of this session is hitting too close to home. Consider following up next week on what group members said they could remove from their calendars. Celebrate anyone who followed through!

Week 4

It can be intimidating or even embarrassing to discuss personal finances in a group. Be sensitive to the private nature of this topic and aware of the fact that for many women, finances reflect the joint decisions of her and her spouse. Create a safe and confidential environment. For many people, viewing money as a tool for trusting and following God will be a radically new idea. Help your group explore this idea as you answer question five with examples of times when your personal finances allowed you to or prevented you from following God. Depending on the makeup of your group, it may be useful to discuss how this perspective on money can be shared with a spouse or kids.

Week 5

The video story that closes Sandra’s teaching session may be very emotional for some group members. Question one will allow you to process those feelings. You may also have group members who push back on the video and/or disagree with the mom’s decision. Allow your group to discuss all opinions; there is not a right or wrong reaction. Question three asks group members to think about some of their unique roles in life. This may be easy for some and very challenging for others. If a group member is having trouble, it may be helpful if other group members reflect back to her the unique roles they see her playing.

Week 6

Mandy and Sandra’s conversation includes pieces of advice group members may struggle or disagree with.

Make space for alternative opinions as your group answers questions one and four; it’s not your job to convince anyone to change her mind or make a different decision. Since this week’s video is the last in the study, group members may lose momentum to complete the final daily devotions and activities. Consider encouraging them to stick with it. They’ll get the most from this study if they complete this week’s activities, which build an action plan for making breathing room in their time, finances, and relationships. If possible, make your next group gathering a celebration and begin your next study (if applicable) after that.