How many moms do you know barely getting by?  Whether you have one child or ten, grown or in diapers, the stresses of motherhood weigh on every mother, and it's easy to lose sight of God's glorious plans for you. Lindsey O¹Connor, author of If Mama Goes South, We¹re All Going With Her shares with Crosswalk her own struggles and how Christian mothers can prevent their lives from "going south."

Q: Shortly after you completed this book, you underwent a harrowing medical ordeal after the birth of your daughter and survived an eight-week coma. How have you and your family coped with this health crisis?

A: I never dreamed that a week after writing the first draft of If Mama Goes South, that this mama would go south in such a dramatic way. What happened to me was life altering and terrifying and the journey these past 18 months has been painful and long, but my family and I have dealt with it one day at a time with our faith in God as the rock we've clung to. Before the crisis I'd written that the book wasn't about "going south" life events, but really about personal growth in a woman's life.

Eerily "prophetic," I'd written, "Sometimes life can go south through tragedy or terrible events beyond our control, and we need people who can help put our broken pieces back together again and serve us in practical ways. During such times we also need the strong arms of our heavenly Father to comfort us and see us through as only he can." That is how we coped! I continue to recover and deal with some health issues that I may live with the rest of my life, but I do so knowing that God is sovereign always, and can use anything in our lives for his glory. That's the point of living!

Q: What factors can cause a woman to "go south?"

A: When a woman goes south she finds herself heading in a downward or negative direction she doesn't like, and who on the planet hasn't felt that at some point or in some area of their life? Sometimes we scarcely realize we've lost our vision, laid aside our dreams, or settled into mediocrity in an effort to get by with a little energy intact. If we're not careful we could be on our way to being far less than we once thought we'd be.

There are so many why's, how's, and routes for going south. We over commit, have unbalanced lives, ignore "the basics" for keeping our physical bodies working well, or realize we haven't grown as a woman in a long time. Other factors include bad choices we make, negative habits, positive things we fail to do, insane schedules, a fruitless spiritual life, things we hate (our bodies, circumstances, accomplishments), and even apathy about improving.

However, growing as a woman can keep us from going south. That's about becoming more than you are now, all you can be as God intended. It's about wondering who you might become in five years and letting that vision propel you. Growing is about replacing plodding, hurrying, and surviving with purposeful living, fine tuning, and a recapturing of dreams!

I wrote this book because I've lived the frustration and costs of going south and have experienced the blessings of the anecdote-personal growth. Our growth as a women in spirit, body, and soul is not selfish. It's vital.

Q: Why does the path of least resistance often lead south?

A: Because it's the easiest path! What's easier...a workout that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat or curling up on the sofa with a bowl of chocolate-chocolate-chip ice cream? What's easier...reading a challenging book that makes us think and stretches us, or popping in yet another video? We are a comfort loving people and sometimes we choose not to put forth the effort we need to grow, so we begin heading south.