As a mother and an inspirational author and pastor, Tina Tatum with Tina Tatum Ministries is launching a new book, which she co-authored with her 17-year-old daughter Faith, "Thrive: A Thirty Day Journey for Moms and Teens of Growing Closer With God and With One Another."
The volume, which grew out of journals begun when her daughter was a younger teen, is officially being launched on Mother's Day but became available live on Amazon.com this weekend.
Tatum said her daughter Faith began making her journal entries when she was 12 and continued writing in her journal throughout her high school years.
On the book's flyleaf is a quote from the famous African-American poet Maya Angelou:
"My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style."
Not merely surviving one's teenage years but "thriving" in a closer relationship with God, parents and family members, the 196-page volume aims to get moms and teens talking "face to face."
"All 30 topics in the book came out of her daily devotionals — her journal," her mother Tina said of daughter Faith. "Our point with the book was to reconnect mothers and daughters with their relationship to God and one another."
Tatum said the goal of the book is that both mothers and daughters will each have a copy.
Within the framework of the book, there is a "Mom Take" and a "Teen Take."
Tatum hopes mothers and daughters will sit down and have a real conversation about issues confronting teens today, such as "body image," "To date or not to date," "gossip" and "bullying."
There is a section called "Getting Social" midway through the book and Tina Tatum said it's a crucial chapter for parents who find themselves dealing with the ramifications of living in the Digital Media Age with social media.
"It's not healthy when young women today constantly compare themselves to one another," Tina Tatum said. "The Bible says it's not healthy. I think social media can make our own perspective jaded. If we could just put the phones down and talk to one another."
Tatum quotes a passage in Second Corinthians, Chapter 10, Verse 12.
"For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
"Comparison is a killer to individuality and creativity," added Tatum.
Tatum said there are other more sinister dangers to the world of social media as well.
"Predators are out there," Tatum said. "When we feel less about our ourselves, we often look to other people to fill the void."
"The ultimate answer is the Word of God," Tatum said. "At the end of the day we all have our opinions but God's word is the ultimate answer. The goal is to have these moms and daughters talk about things face to face instead of scrolling down on their phones and texting one another. Not only does the door open to conversations between mother and daughter but it's an opportunity for prevention of some serious problems that can develop."
Faith Tatum, a Northpoint Christian School junior, gives God and her mother credit for the book's success.
"Above all, I would like to thank Jesus who has given my Mom and me this beautiful opportunity to minister into the lives of many other mothers and daughters," Faith Tatum said.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.