I had the opportunity to interview Kim Newlen, the inspiring creator of Sweet Monday®, Women’s Socials on a Shoestring- Tied to a Generous God (a nonprofit, fun creative outreach for women of all ages). She’s currently battling breast cancer, but continues to stay positive and push towards recovery. Talk about an inspiring woman.
- How did you start Sweet Monday?
I started Sweet Monday 19 years ago when I became a stay-at-home mom and felt lonely and isolated. I chose the first Monday because it was easy to remember and sometimes Mondays have a bad reputation. I wanted to do it once a month for an hour and a half so mothers and working women could all attend.
- What do you see for the future of Sweet Monday?
Only growth. In a world moving towards isolation, Sweet Monday is a simple way to connect women. Women are easily able to start Sweet Monday in their neighborhood. I had no idea God was going to multiply the 5 cupcakes and 2 pieces of candy internationally. One of the Sweet Monday hostesses from Brazil is coming to visit my Sweet Monday in December. After 19 years, new women come every month, ranging from 19-90 years old. There’s so much to learn from other women.
- My mom has always spoken highly of you. She’s inspired by your kindness and ambition. How do you stay so positive?
Thank you! My temperament sees the cup half full rather than half empty.
However, Sweet Alex, the real reason for my positive outlook is because of Jesus. I didn’t know I needed him until I got married and realized how self-centered I was. (The Bible calls that sin.) For a long time, I thought sin was only big things, like murder and robbing a bank. The good news for me and for all of us is that God made a way for us to be free from sin. Jesus took it all on the cross for us and rose again so we could have eternal life. This is why I can smile at the future.
- How have you managed to stay determined through your battle with cancer?
When I became a member of the bald and breast-less, I thought I would hide, but the opposite happened. Cancer has sped me up instead of slowed me down because I realized I’d never be able to do anything if I wait until I feel better. That’s when I invented the LOOK BETTER THAN YOU FEEL® camisole for breast cancer patients.
I’ve met fabulous doctors and people along the way. The conversations I’ve had with my beautiful daughter- I would not trade for anything in the world.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer years ago, I told my daughter she had one job: not to worry. It was a lesson she’s learned very early on in her life. I was diagnosed with cancer when she was just 12 years old.
- What advice do you give your daughter and other 20-somethings?
To remember that sweet things come from hard places. When I was younger, I didn’t have any problems bigger than an ice cream cone or lipstick wouldn’t fix. God Through His Word is the best encourager. Even though I don’t understand everything in the Bible, God speaks to every heartache and circumstance we could ever encounter. That’s what I want to encourage sweet 20-somethings. You’re going to face hard things in marriage, children, wedding dress never worn, disease, death, and more and need help that only God can give.
- What about advice for the non-religious?
To tell you the truth, the term “religious” does not really resonate with me. I would encourage everyone that having a personal relationship with God is the greatest adventure possible.
Kim is an amazingly gracious and loving person.
She’s written a 365 daily devotional book and created the LOOK BETTER THAN YOU FEEL camisole for breast cancer patients. Check out her website: www.kimnewlen.com to get the scoop!
Today is the date of her favorite story written in her devotional book. 🙂
Have a sweet day!