Don't Mom Alone Podcast

Our sons are constantly receiving messages about how to handle their emotions - from us as moms and dads, or from other men in their lives and from our culture as well. All too often that message has been “Be strong, emotion other than anger only shows weakness” and this to their detriment. Anxiety and depression are rapidly on the rise and our boys are not immune. 

We need our boys to grow into men who are strong of character and a beautiful, if undervalued, aspect of that is helping them learn how to name and process their emotions. This can be difficult to do as a grown up - imagine how your child experiences this and the training they need! 

Counselor and author David Thomas works regularly with boys and their families to help them put his three R’s of emotional processing into practice - recognize, regulate, and repair. Listen as he walks us through the importance of these practices and how they can set our sons up for lifelong emotional health. His new book, Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools You Son Can Build On for Life, and companion study guide for boys, Strong and Smart: A Boy’s Guide to Building Healthy Emotions release June 14th

 

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Direct download: DavidThomasEp368.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:33am CDT

Mommy Wars. They may have started out as “working mom” v. “stay at home mom” but it has morphed (or devolved) into something much bigger.

While, in the eyes of our culture, “you do you” might have freed us to make different choices than another mom, has it drawn us together and given us the support we need?

Parenting is so difficult and Ecclesiastes reminds us that toiling away alone is tantamount to trying to catch smoke. What we need instead are co-laborers. We need other moms to come alongside us, not because we agree on everything, but because we have a common goal - the flourishing of the next generation. 

We need to come alongside other moms because when we pit ourselves against one another due to differences in parenting styles, we cut off our nose to spite our collective face. Join Heather this week as she challenges us to look introspectively and grow in conflict resolution in light of Ecclesiastes 4. 

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Direct download: CoLaborersHeatherEp367.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CDT

God ordains the time and space we inhabit - sometimes that’s one home for decades, sometimes it’s 12 homes in 6 years and instant homelessness at age 18. It was the latter for Tori Petersen and for so many other children in the foster care system. Tori has accomplished a lot since then - 5 time State Champion in track and field, a book releasing August 30th, and even a Mrs. Universe 2022 title. But if you asked her how she got here, she would say it was because someone loved and served the “least of these.” (Matthew 25:40)

She was the least of these. She experienced extreme difficulty while in foster care, but looking back she sees God’s fatherly hand guiding her all along the way, loving her through the words and actions of her track coach, and now working through her and her husband to others as they model loving and serving the “least of these” for their own kids. Tori tells her compelling story in her new book, Fostered: One Woman’s Powerful Story of Finding Faith and Family Through Foster Care, which releases August 30, 2022. 

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Direct download: ToriPetersonEp366.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CDT

The kitchen. It can be a place of glorious delight or it can be a place of burnt despair. Whether it’s mostly delight or mostly disaster for you, it’s often a place of frustration. Everyone is hungry and needs something all the time or everyone is refusing to eat; there isn’t enough space or you feel like a pinball trying to get people what they need. 

Enter Kendra Adachi, aka The Lazy Genius. She’s here to help you be a genius at what matters and lazy about what doesn’t and she’s at it again, this time in the kitchen. She gives you permission, she helps you analyze and streamline, but most importantly she’s offering you a middle ground - the space between perfection and hot-mess, where you can love your people well with those important moments at the table but not be overwhelmed with how to get there. (Spoiler alert: we can apply these principles to the rest of our lives too!) 

Kendra is a wife, mom, and author. Her latest book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen: Have What You Need, Use What You Have, and Enjoy it Like Never Before releases May 3, 2022. 

Connect with Kendra Adachi: 

 

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Direct download: KendraAdachiEp365.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CDT

Pausing to not miss out on what God is teaching/leading. Pausing before we intervene on our kids’ behalf. 

Do you remember commercial breaks? They were built-in pauses, breaks from the drama or sitcom. With DVR’s or streaming services we can easily skip or minimize the pauses. But what if “pause” is what your everyday really needs? Not a week-long, pick your favorite vacation spot pause, but a quick moment to stop and say, “God, where are you leading? What are you saying?” or “Help me today because I don’t have what it takes to make it through the day.”  

Kirsten Watson is a busy woman - a wife, a mom to seven, an author and podcast host - but all those responsibilities only lead her to pause more. Whether it’s in the moments just after her alarm goes off, or in the middle of after-school stories, she challenges us to slow down and first ask God for the help we need, and then to see where he is at work. She encourages us to practice discernment for what is most helpful in our kids’ sanctification - either stepping in or stepping back. She invites us to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit available to us if we will only ask.

 Kirsten’s book, Sis, Take a Breath: Encouragement for the Woman Who’s Trying to Live and Love Well (but Secretly Just Wants to Take a Nap), releases May 3, 2022.  

Connect with Kirsten Watson: 

 

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Direct download: KirstenWatsonEp364.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

“Peaceful” and “parenting” aren’t words we usually put together. Think about the parenting moments that stick out to you from the last week – was there anything peaceful about them? What if there could be? What would it change for you if parenting didn’t feel like moving from one fight to another? My guests this week, Dr David and Amanda Erickson of Flourishing Homes and Families, encourage us that it IS possible. Peace and grace can be meaningful parts of your parenting – not only for your kids, but for you. The gospel always brings freedom.

Gentle Christ-Centered Parenting will not only change the dynamic of your house, but it will set your kids up for success in the hardest parts of life – responding with grace when someone hurts them, learning to hold boundaries and communicate their needs in a way that still respects the dignity and honor of the person who hurts them or crosses those boundaries and how to collaboratively problem solve. Ultimately, there is no better place for them to see reliance on the Holy Spirit’s work in life than through us fighting against sin by his power in our own lives. David and Amanda have fostered children and are raising two biological kids. They too have had to work against the patterns of their own childhoods to transform their parenting. 

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Direct download: DavidAmandaEp363.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CDT

We all walk through seasons of transition, whether we leave something behind by choice or it was chosen for us. Life after a disruptive event or during life transitions can feel like “starting over” just as much as a move clear across the country. You may be asking the question, “who am I here?” even in familiar places and routines. Author Shauna Niequist encourages us in what to hold on to and what to let go of, through seasons of loss. 

She equips us with three tools for the journey - curiosity, self-compassion, and courage. We discuss how prayer can tenderize an angry heart, and Shauna shares how hanging on to writing and hospitality, even when they felt like impossible disciplines, helped her journey forward through grief and change.

Shauna Niequist is a wife, mom, and author to numerous books including, Present Over Perfect, Cold Tangerines, and Bread and Wine. Her new book, I Guess I Haven’t Learned that Yet, releases on April 12, 2022

 

Connect with Shauna Niequist: 

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Direct download: ShaunaNiequistEp362.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As moms we do carry a big burden – we have a God-give responsibility to love and care for our children, but how often do you feel crushed under that burden? It’s hard to do all the tasks to take care of everyone – especially if you’re measuring yourself by how many meltdowns (your kids or yours) did or didn’t happen this week. What if that responsibility came with the freedom to not hold it all together? What if there were someone more loving and more powerful than you to shape all the details of life for the good of everyone involved? This week, Brittany Turner encourages us that the same God we trust to take all the hard in our lives and turn it into good is God for our kids too! We can rest in his capabilities and invite others into our lives to help carry the load. You do not have to mom alone! 

Brittany Turner is a wife, mom of four, speaker, and writer who loves to help people take what they say they believe and put it into practice in their everyday lives. 

 Connect with Brittany Turner: 

 

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Direct download: BrittneyTurnerEp361.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Does keeping your kids safe on the internet ever feel like a game of Whack-a-mole - frenzied and unending, always trying to fend off the threats that pop up? Or maybe you’ve been afraid your kids would be or feel left out if you had more limits on their screens? You’ve seen the documentaries and the research of how addictive social media can be and the average age in which kids are exposed to pornography keeps going down and yet, we know on some level what we forbid our kids to do has the potential to become the only thing they want. Families around you probably have a wide range of tech norms in their households. Kids relentlessly request screen time. Honestly, sometimes we long for the quiet of a kid mesmerized by a screen. 

What’s a mom to do? 

Enter this week’s guest, Chris McKenna, dad of four and founder of Protect Young Eyes, an organization devoted to helping parents create safe digital spaces for their kids. Chris encourages us that while there are real things our kids need protecting from on the internet, there are real ways we can foster digital trust and create safe digital spaces for our kids. Chris helps us understand that rather than a controller, our kids want a coach - someone to teach them how to use technology in ways that honor God, themselves, and others. 

 

Connect with Chris McKenna & Protect Young Eyes: 



Links Mentioned:  

  •  Birds and Bees - Mary Flo Ridley - tools for talking to your kids about sex

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Direct download: chrismckennaep360.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am CDT

How do you respond when a difficult situation comes your way? One that feels out of the blue, or that doesn’t have a clear solution, or all the solutions you’ve tried haven’t worked? 

In this birthday episode (Happy Birthday Heather!) join Heather and DMA team member, Stephanie Snow, as they talk through what it looks like to process through all those thoughts that circle around our brains as we deal with the difficult stuff of life. We talk about not only how to sort out your own thoughts, but how to come alongside friends, family, and even your children to listen well and ask good questions. 

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Direct download: HeatherStephEp359.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:31am CDT

Have you ever wished for a fairy godmother? Someone to wave a wand and make your troubles disappear? The next best thing just might be a real godmother - a woman to see you in your distress and to offer help and encouragement. What’s hard for you in this season of motherhood? Your reactions to your kids? Seeing how your kids react to one another? Maybe you need to break free from life centering around your kids. 

In this mentoring episode we take a proverbial walk with author and speaker Lisa Bevere through anger, growth, idolatry, guilt and hope in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and sibling rivalry. Her most recent book, Godmothers: Why You Need One. How to Be One encourages women to live with and for one another and to ask for help from those who have gone before you - which she graciously does with us in this episode! Lisa and her husband John raised four boys and she has written numerous books on womanhood, identity, anger, and much more. 

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Direct download: LisaBeverEp358.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 1:30am CDT

Every mom will experience burnout. It’s as simple as our energy output exceeds our energy input, but it can be debilitating and discouraging. You may wish for a vacation, or spa day or even just 15 minutes of silence, but what if those typical self-care strategies are out of your reach? Where can you find rest when it seems like your circumstances just don’t allow for any? 

“You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.” —Lemony Snicket, The Bad Beginning

This week we talk with Nicole Zasowski, a mom of three, therapist, and author of the new book, What if it’s Wonderful? Through her own life journey that has included deep sorrow and deep joy, Nicole encourages us to fight burnout with regular rhythms of celebration. No, not another party for you to plan, she’s not looking to douse water on burned-out you, but to help you recover joy that has been lost.  She gives you an invitation to look at the good God is doing all around you, in every season. 

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Direct download: NicoleZasowskiEp357.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:34am CDT

What happens when you’ve had a Proverbs life - following the rules and making the right choices -  but then you wake up to find yourself living in Ecclesiastes where life is painful and doesn’t quite make sense? It’s easy for us to think we can do and achieve - that if we just get the right formula we’ll unlock an easy life replete with God’s blessings and perfect family photos.  Through her own story of God’s provision through heartache and uncertain circumstances, Kim Sorgius encourages us to lean in and really know the Lord in difficult times. Not just to know about him, not to search his word for what the plan is, but to search it for Him. She wants our paradigm to shift and for us to embrace that “the beauty of life isn’t found in perfect circumstances…[but] in faith.” 

Kim has a deep desire for us to both experience and pass that sturdy faith onto our children. Born from the difficulty (and faithfulness) of single motherhood is her blog and online store, Not Consumed, where she has created Bible studies and products to help you engage the scripture with your kids. Join us to hear Kim’s incredible story and to be encouraged as you work to share your faith in meaningful ways. 

Connect with Kim Sorgius: 

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Direct download: KimSorgiusEp356.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Think of 9 women you know. Statistics says that 1 of those women was sexually abused as a child. This week, Angel Ricchuiti bravely tells us her story of sexual abuse within the church. She gives us hope that God heals, restores and is near to us through the body of Christ and skilled professionals. You will hear practical ways to listen well and come alongside a friend who suffered trauma as you are graciously invited into her story. And, you will be encouraged to think about the process of uprooting fears and walking in freedom caused by hurts. Be informed and empowered toward empathy and compassion whether trauma or abuse is a part of your story or not. 

 Angel is a wife, mother of four, as well as a trained counselor. 

WARNING: This episode contains references to child sexual abuse within the church. We know Angel’s story may be especially hard for some, as it may stir up very real feelings. Please be encouraged, Angel’s story is full of hope and healing, too. While this episode might not be good for little ears, it is a story that will equip you and help you walk in more freedom.

Connect with Angel Ricchuiti: 

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Resources for Sexual Abuse Recovery and Prevention:

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Books Recs & Questions to Ask Your Local Church Leadership:

  • On Guard – Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church, by Deepak Reju
  • We Too – Mary E. Demuth
  • Who knows about/ keeps track of convicted sex offenders in our congregation? 
  • Who monitors their coming and going on our campus? 
  • Who on staff is responsible to check in with their probation officers and confirm the reason for their status on the sex offenders list and recommendations they have for securing safety?
  • What is the safety plan for these individuals? What is included & who supervises this plan?
  • How often does the supervisor meet with this perpetrator or other known perpetrators AND fact check the information they provide? 
  • Is he or other known perpetrators chaperoned while on campus?
  • Do we have an official document which discloses how we as a church body agree to handle this particular issue?
Direct download: AngelRicchuitiEp355.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:27am CDT

Friendship isn’t something we are taught in school. We sort of fumble our way through the trial and error of how to make and keep friends.  Add in our culture of independence, where it can be hard to admit we need others, and lots of times it feels easier to just stay home and binge watch seasons of Friends rather than try to find some real life ones. In this episode, author and speaker Jennie Allen acknowledges that friendship is full of risk, riddled with awkwardness and yet completely worth it. Through her own journey of finding a core group of friends in a new city, she challenges us to enter into the awkward places to build the friendships we long to have.  Jennie Allen is a wife, mom, author, and speaker. She deeply believes God created us for relationship - first with him and then with others. Her newest book, Find Your People, is a tool-kit, a guide, an encouragement, and an honest look at why we really do need a village, and how we cultivate it in our lives.  

Connect with Jennie Allen: 

 

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Direct download: JennieAllenEp354.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Let’s have some “real talk” and think about our faith in action when it comes to our neighbors, even when they are different. This conversation will help you think about being more open and welcoming and train your children to do the same.

Our guest this week, author Trillia Newbell, encourages us in the message of James chapter two - love for others that doesn’t show favoritism to those who look or think or act like us. Her book, The Big Wide Welcome, illustrates how the love of Christ sees and welcomes others for who they are and how we should do the same. Trillia is a wife, mom, author, and speaker whose writings address and encourage our faith, our families, and the culture around us

 Connect with Trillia Newbell: 

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Direct download: TrilliaNewbellEp353.mp3
Category:missions -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In a world of increasing chaos, we crave certainty. We “know” the answer lies in some good disciplines like daily time with God. How can you step into a habit of studying God’s Word with consistency and success, even when your daily rhythms are upside down?

Let’s turn Bible study from a “should do” into a vibrant, life-giving way to get the Word into your heart. Our guest this week, Bible teacher Katie Orr, will encourage you in practical and approachable ways so that you can open God’s Word and be fed.

We talk through the stops on Katie’s “Bible Study Boulevard” - an assessment you can take on her website to help you figure out just where you are on your Bible study journey. Identifying your “stop” can help you adopt methods you can use right where you are, right now to connect with God and know Him more. Her online community at www.biblestudyhub.com is a place where women can connect and receive training, encouragement, and accountability to enjoy God’s word. She is even offering Don’t Mom Alone listeners a special on her 5 Days to Better Bible Study Course to jump start your study! 

Connect with Katie: 

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Featured Sponsors: 

  • Athena Club: Show your skin you care with the Athena Club Razor Kit! Sign up today and you’ll get 20% off your first order! Go to Athenaclub.com and use the promo code dma.
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  • Uncommon Goods: To get 15% off your next gift go to UncommonGoods.com/dma. Don’t miss this limited time offer. 

 

Direct download: KatieOrrEp352.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

The preteen/teen years are a time of immense change and growth that often come with difficulty between mother and child. As the mom of a teen you may find yourself confused or frustrated with your child’s new behavior and attitudes. (The thought of those years is enough to fill elementary-kid moms with dread!)  Come and listen as we shed light on the confusion of these transitional years that will help us both prepare for and thrive during this crucial developmental stage.

In this episode Child Development Specialist, Dr. Nell Bush, explains to us the four pillars of preteen/teen development.  Dr. Bush co-authored The Parenting Survival Guide, a practical handbook for parents addressing common child rearing concerns. Having four children of her own, she understands teen development on a theoretical and practical level.

Nell encourages us that if we can understand what’s going on socially, emotionally, mentally, and physically with our preteens/teens we can respond with compassion and adapt our parenting strategies to fit their needs. She also covers aspects of development from why teens sleep so much to why they seem to love and hate us almost simultaneously. Draw hope for the present or wisdom for the future as you sit in (or do the dishes, or drive the kids all over) on Heather and Nell’s conversation. 

Connect with Dr. Nell Bush: 

  • Email:   nell.f.bush@gmail.com

Links Mentioned:  

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  • Framebridge:Get started today–frame your photos or send someone the perfect gift. Go to Framebridge.com and use the promo code: DMA to save an additional 15% off your first order. 
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    Stamps.com: Save time and money this year with stamps.com. Sign up with promo code DMA for a special offer that includes a 4-week trial, free postage and a digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts. 

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Direct download: NellBushEp351.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

We’ll just say it - friendship as an adult is hard. It’s hard to find friends, to keep friends, and to be a good friend amidst all the hustle and bustle of motherhood. And motherhood can be an extremely lonely place. On this episode, Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston, founders of Sister I am With You, share the good, the bad, and the awkward of making friends as a mom. They guide us through their own story of friendship (and encourage us to get out there and start the work of friendship) with candor and humor.  They talk about some pitfalls of making friends and share tips on how to be a good friend. 

Their book, I’ll be There, (But I’ll be Wearing Sweatpants), releases January 25, 2022. 

Connect with Amy and Jess: 

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Direct download: AmyJessEp350.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Do you ever feel like you wake up Monday and the week is already running away from you? Overwhelm is a common feeling among moms and in this episode Retha Nichole shares the system she created that helped create margin in her own life. 

As a working mom to three boys, and at times a single mom, her Sunday Planning routine and portioning out her “plate” has helped her take care of herself and her people well.

Sunday Planning looks different in the different seasons of life. As a mom of two  littles I thought of the five things that would help me the MOST. That is still what I do as my children have grown up and can do most of these things on their own.”

Retha walks us through measuring our own capacity and how to craft your own Sunday Planning routine. Her website offers several products ready to make the most of your Sunday Planning efforts. 

Connect with Retha: 

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Direct download: RethaNicholeEp349.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to get swept up in the tasks and external pressures that crowd our days… coordinating family events, planning the food, buying and wrapping gifts. With so much to do, it can be easy to adopt a Grinch-like personality or to just be a bit snappy with people who enter our lives. 

My guest Rachael R Wade is here to help our hearts grow three times larger by practicing giving honor to those around us. It’s a simple act of kindness that can be very powerful.

“No one gets tired of hearing encouragement or being honored. And it's just calling out what God has put in others. Just taking the time to notice them and saying something kind. That little piece of encouragement could be the difference for if they decide to continue on in a dream or how they parent their kids. There's a lot of weight to our words.”

Whether it’s showing honor to our kids and extended family or the clerk at the next store you enter, I invite you to pour out God’s love to a hurting world and use your words to heal. Rachael shares a lot of ideas for honoring others and how coming alongside and holding space for those around us is a catalyst for God’s kingdom here on earth. 

Connect with Rachael R Wade: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

 

  • Rothy’s --Get $20 off your first purchase at rothys.com/DMA with extended returns and exchanges through the holidays. 
  • Skylight Frames --Get $10 off your purchase of a Skylight Frame when you go to Skylight Frame.com and enter the code DMA. 

 

Direct download: RachaelWadeEp348.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jeannie Cunnion is back on the show with a powerful message that reminds us that we are NEVER ALONE. As believers we always have the Holy Spirit with us and Jeannie shares how to deepen your understanding of the Holy Spirit and come to know Him as an intimate friend and companion.

Not only that, but the Holy Spirit gives us power for the daily grind and holy work of motherhood. She shares about how He is faithfully at work, making the gospel irresistible to our kids and the freedom that comes from not having to do the Holy Spirit’s job for our kids. 

“I think that there's a freedom and a frustration that comes with the Holy Spirit. There's freedom because it's like I can not do the Holy Spirit's job. He is going to be the one who sparks their faith, sustains their faith, strengthens them, sanctifies them. That is all his job. But that can also be frustrating because we want to be able to produce that fruit in their life to spare them from the consequences and the pain of sin. I have to remind myself that God loves my kids infinitely more than I ever could imagine and that he longs for them to live in the fullness of his grace and mercy, even more than I do.” 

If you are longing to experience the freedom that comes from resting in the Holy Spirit instead of your own strength, this is the episode for you! Jeannie shares more in-depth on this subject in her new Bible study available for pre-orders now, Never Alone - Bible Study Book: Parenting in the Power of the Holy Spirit.

Connect with Jeannie Cunnion: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

Direct download: JeannieCunnionEp347.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Many women feel lost in their marriages. They don't know what to do with their disappointment, when to ask for help, or what it looks like to let go of the need to control. But God has given women incredible power in marriage and Dr. Juli Slattery is here to help us learn how to use it.

Dr. Slattery joins me to discuss key points from her bestselling book Finding the Hero in Your Husband and about how what we believe about our husbands can make all the difference in the intimacy, connection and health of our marriages.  

“There are going to be issues in every marriage that have to be addressed, but it's the relational equity that we build through how we treat our husbands that gives us the power to confront things when they really need to be addressed. And when your husband has come to rely so much on your intimacy and companionship, then the fact that you have a concern really gets his attention because he doesn't want to lose you.”

We talk about being emotionally safe for our husbands, stopping the cycle of disappointment and nagging in our marriages, and taking another look at intimacy as a sexual journey to go on with our husbands. It’s. So. GOOD. 

If you are in need of a boost of hope and excitement to help you re-engage in your marriage, this episode is for you!

Connect with Dr. Juli Slattery: 

Links Mentioned:  

More Recent Episodes on Marriage:

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Fazl --Socks, Hats & Mitts handmade in the Himalayas by Happy Women. Go to shopfazl.com and use the code DMA to get 15% off your purchase. 
  • StoryWorth--Give someone you love the thoughtful, personal gift from the heart by preserving memories and stories for years to come. Go to StoryWorth.com/dma and save $10 off your first purchase.  

Direct download: JuliSlatteryEp346.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jenn Kautsch is an empty nester mom and a retired "grey area" drinker. She takes us into her story of feeling tired, stuck on auto-pilot, and ready for a change when it comes to her relationship with alcohol. 

Through her own journey of seeking God about her casual drinking habit that was becoming a toxic mental battle, Jenn stopped asking if her drinking was “bad” for her and reframed it.

“So I turned it around and I started asking myself the question, Jenn, is it good enough? Is your drinking good enough for you? Is your relationship with drinking, helping you become the best version of yourself? Is it taking you where you really want to go? Is it matching up to your outsides being like your insights or are you walking around with duplicity in a divided mind and a mental tug of war?”

After choosing to embrace a sober lifestyle, Jenn started SoberSis,  a like-minded community of women who are renegotiating their relationship with alcohol without labels, shame, judgment or rules.

We talk about how God brought her freedom from what felt like a divided life -- constantly feeling in conflict and stuck in an internal tug-of-war so she could live a more wholehearted life. And how she’s now been able to connect with close to 20,000 women from all over the world through her SoberSis community of women.

Connect with Jenn: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • BetterHelp -- Visit BetterHelp.com/DMA and join over 2M people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Get 10% off your first month.
  • Rothys-- To help you welcome fall season in style Rothy's is doing something special. Get $20 off your first purchase at rothys.com/DMA. Find your new favorites today. 
Direct download: JennKautschEp345.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As Kayla Craig sat in the hospital watching her daughter have a machine breath for her, she struggled to find the words to pray. In that difficult time in her family’s life, she learned about the power of liturgies which are scripted prayers from scripture. The more she turned to these powerful prayers prayed by Christians from all over the world, the less alone Kayla felt. 

Years later, Kayla has created a book with modern liturgies for parents with more than 100 prayers to voice when words are hard to find.

“The book of prayers that I have created are just simply prayers that you can borrow, prayers that can become your own. The prayers of another can comfort us and can lift our arms up and we can't lift our arms up. If you don't have the words to pray, take mine.”

From everyday struggles like helping your child find friends or thrive in school to larger issues like praying for a brighter world rooted in peace and truth, these pleas and petitions act as a gentle guide, reminding us that while our words may fail, God never does.

Stay tuned for about 20 minutes in when Kayla prays a powerful prayer over all of us weary parents! I think you are going to love learning more about liturgies and breath prayers from Kayla. I hope this is just one more tool in your prayer tool belt -- we certainly need all we can get!

 

Connect with Kayla: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Simply Be Box -- Get your winter box just in time for Christmas. Go to SimplyBeBox.com use code DMA10 for $10 off your first box. 
  • StoryWorth -- Give those you love the most a thoughtful, personal gift from the heart and preserve their stories and memories for years to come. Go to storyworth.com/DMA and save $10 on your first purchase. 
Direct download: KaylaCraigEp344.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Motherhood can be a time of self-forgetfulness. We pour into our kids, partners, careers and can lose ourselves in the process. One way I’ve rediscovered who God made me to be is learning about my unique color palette and authentic style. 

In this week’s episode I chat with House of Colour Consultant, Karen Blanc. She teaches us a bit about color theory based on the work of Johannes Itten. And how based on our natural coloring, each of us harmonize best with either warm or cool colors, then either bright or muted. 

“I love to give people permission to embrace something that's very near and dear to them, God's gift to you: your color palette.”

We also spend some time talking about the process of discovering your authentic style based on your body architecture and personality. With some combination of styles from the basic six: dramatic, classic, natural, gamine, ingenue or romantic. 

My hope is this episode will inspire you that God made you with a light to shine where you are. Through learning more about color and style you can actually spend less energy on “what to wear” and more time being who God made you to be. “To be yourself in a world constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson). 

Connect with Karen: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

 

  • Mathnasium— Whether you’re looking to get your kids back on track or want to ensure they’re staying ahead with their math studies,  find a center near you at mathnasium.com and contact them for a free in center or online consultation.

 

 

Direct download: KarenBlancEp343.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Feeding a baby is stressful enough. Choosing a formula and transitioning to formula doesn't need to be stressful too.

Today's guest, Dr. Bridget Young, is a doctor of Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition with a PhD from Cornell University in Nutritional Science.  She specializes in maternal and child nutrition. Currently she is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. You can read about her active research on infant formula here.

In this episode Bridget (her preferred name), mom of two boys, gives advice to the new mom on how to transition from breastmilk to formula (or a new type of formula).

She also explains the most important aspect that differentiates one formula from another. I ask her to explain soy formula from hypo-allergenic. And she gives great advice for how to approach your bottle feeds.

Most importantly, I'm thankful to connect you with the wealth of information on her website and YouTube channel. If you're looking for even more guidance check out her course (DMA listeners get a special $10 off discount with the code: DMA10).

Connect with Dr. Young:

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: DMA_BONUS_-_Dr_Young.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Late nights, milk stained clothes and feeling like you’ll go crazy if your baby spits up that precious breastmilk…. I have been there. We’ve never done an episode specifically on breastfeeding, but I want to provide support to moms who may be in this very isolating time of life.

My guests are Certified Lactation Counselor Demetria Martin and Pediatrician Dr. Brittany Odom and they talk us through some of the common hot topics surrounding breastfeeding from supply issues to nighttime feedings and everything else in between. 

“Sometimes you don't have a good sense of community around breastfeeding. There are some pediatrician's offices that aren't super breastfeeding friendly. There might be some family members or friends who are not supportive of your breastfeeding journey. You may feel pretty alone when you're kind of starting this out. But give yourself, you know, a pat on the back for how far you have come. Even if it's been a day and a half, that's still a day and a half more than you've done before. So taking those small steps, knowing it is going to be a journey.”

Ultimately, we agree that a fed baby is a happy baby, so I hope you understand my heart is not to idealize the breastfeeding journey. Just to provide resources and community so you don’t mom alone as you feed your infants! 

(Later this week we will publish a bonus episode featuring another lactation consultant about how to choose the right formula for your family.)

Connect with Demetria: 

Connect with Dr. Brittany Odom:

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Fazl- Go to shopFazl.com and use the discount coated DMA to get 15% off your purchase. These socks, hats and mitts make great gifts for Christmas. 
  • HelloFresh — Go to HelloFresh.com/dma14 and use code dma14 for up to 14 free meals, including free shipping. 
Direct download: TheMilkBudsEp342.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Join me as I step into the role of guest on my own show! My friend Courtney Cleveland interviews me and we do go in depth on my first book, Don’t Mom Alone. **Now available wherever books are sold!**

We talk about how being a good mom isn’t about doing everything right to create a set of perfect trophy children–though every mom has felt the pressure to do just that and to do it all on her own. And how asking for help feels like defeat, but when we try to do it all by our own strength, we end up depleted, lonely, and ineffective.

We are not meant to do this alone! I believe moms can be empowered by God, supported by others, and connected with their children. With encouragement and insight, you can foster the key relationships you need to be the mom you want to be so we DON’T MOM ALONE. 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: BookLaunchEp341.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In this episode, I’m excited to welcome back Ruth Chou Simons. In her newest book, When Strivings Cease, Ruth invites us to rethink our preoccupation with approval and the striving that comes because we feel like we’re forever missing the mark. It offers a deeper, abiding understanding of what God’s generous, unmerited favor really accomplishes in and through us when we receive the gift of grace.

As a mom of six boys, an author and an entrepreneur, Ruth shares from her experience of feeling like she needed to strive to move forward as a creator and how learning to trust God through the experience of mothering in the little years made all the difference. 

“Sometimes I feel like a late bloomer, but there's no such thing in God's timing and God's economy of ideas and opportunities. And those 10 years of changing diapers and just keeping my children alive felt like things were happening so slowly. But God taught me more in the slow waiting, hidden moments of a season that didn't look the way I wanted it to. And those things are fruitful. They've created the fruit that you see now.”

We talk about how to reset when you feel striving taking over, how to stop ourselves from demanding perfection/striving from our kids and how to preach truth to ourselves when we need to be reminded that we can trust God instead of living in fear. 

Connect with Ruth: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

 

Direct download: RuthSimonsEp340.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Sometimes you have to preach truth to yourself when the days are long and you feel inadequate. And oftentimes we need a friend or two to point out the truth. Jamie Ivey is on the podcast today to be that friend for us. She brings us into her personal struggles as a mom and reminds us that we aren’t alone in the struggle.

“It brings me so much comfort that God is not surprised by our diagnoses. He is not surprised by our families. He's not surprised by our struggles. He's not surprised by our insecurities, but he is a God who's willing and ready to be with us in the midst of those.”

If you need a reminder that God made you to have your kids. He made your kids to be who they are with all their abilities and challenges. And he didn’t just create us and stand away distanced as we struggle in life. This episode is for you. 

We talk about Jamie’s new children’s book God Made You to Be You, but dive much deeper into what that message can mean to us as moms and how we can encourage our kids as they relate to others who are different than them. 

Connect with Jamie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Mathnasium — Whether you are looking to get your kids back on track or want to ensure they’re staying ahead with their math studies, find a center near you at mathnasium.com and contact them for a free in center or online consultation. 
  • StoryWorth — StoryWorth is a meaningful gift you and your family can treasure forever. Get started right away with no shipping required by going to StoryWorth.com/DMA. You’ll get $10 off your first purchase. 
Direct download: JamieIveyEp339.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

I’m excited to welcome back Sissy Goff and David Thomas to the show to talk about helping our kids foster friendships.  As licensed counselors, working at DayStar Counseling Center in Nashville, they provide support, encouragement & compassion to children, adolescents & families in need through counseling.

We talk about the nuances of boys vs girls in friendships, what to do if your kid is the bully, helping kids when friendships change or friends move, and how to take cues from our kids when it comes to their friendships

“It is really more important to prioritize teaching kids to be friends than to be concerned with them, having friends. And when it comes to our worries and fears about friendships, we can't have more emotion than they do over whatever's going on for them relationally. Often that will make them either feel like we're not safe to talk to, or it'll just make them dam up these feelings.”

Connect with David & Sissy: 

Previous Podcasts with David & Sissy:

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Mathnasium: Whether you’re looking to get your kids back on track or want to ensure they’re staying ahead with their math studies, find a center near you at mathnasium.com and contact them for a free in center or online consultation. 
  • HelloFresh: Go to HelloFresh.com/dma14 for up to 14 free meals, including free shipping. 
Direct download: DavidSissyEp338.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Their real names are Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson, but they’ve been blogging for a long time on the internet as Big Mama and BooMama. In addition to being authors and speakers, they also host the fun podcast The Big Boo Cast where they talk about all the important stuff: faith, family, friends, football, fashion, and food. Plus, of course, their hair.

They join me for a mom friends episode where we talk about parenting teens, launching kids to college and letting go of mom guilt. 

“If you were a bad mom, you wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about if you were a bad mom. So the fact that you're feeling that guilt is like, you love your child, you're showing up, you're trying to do all the right things. And you just have to trust that God's grace covers the rest of it because they're going to be things you get wrong.”

You won’t want to miss the fun and funny Melanie and Sophie. I consider them some of my mentor moms and they offer up a lot of candid advice and wisdom for playing the “long game” of parenting. 

Connect with Melanie: 

Connect with Sophie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • BetterHelp: Visit betterhelp.com/DMA and join the over 2,000,000 people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Special offer for Don’t Mom Alone listeners: get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/DMA. 
  • Rothys:
    Keep it fresh this summer with washable shoes and bags from Rothy’s. Head to Rothys.com/DMA to find your new warm weather favorites today.
Direct download: MelSophieEp337.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Even without the overwhelm of the pandemic exhausting us both physically and emotionally, life inevitably brings storms our way. Storms that we can ride out with God or storms that we allow to sweep us away. 

Sally Clarkson, author, speaker and mentor of moms, joins me to talk about how to weather the storms of life with grace and hope. We talk about how some anchors we can put down in stormy times, pushing into friendships, filling our cups when we are depleted and parenting our kids through life’s disappointments. 

Sally also shares about how weathering life’s storms helps us care for others who are experiencing hard times better. 

“Sometimes in my life I think Jesus wanted me to grow up a little bit because it was in facing my storms, learning to walk through them that I was humbled. I learned a lot. I had more compassion for other people going through storms.  I feel like the story that you live becomes the platform for your compassion for other people.”

Connect with Sally: 

More Episodes with Sally:

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • AthenaShow your skin you care with the Athena Club Razor Kit! Sign up today and you’ll get 20% off your first order! Just go to AthenaClub.com and use promo code dma.
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Direct download: SallyClarksonEp336.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Self differentiation, emotional enmeshment and emotional cut-off… We got some new-to-me terms to learn in this episode, but you’ll be very glad you stick with us for the definitions. And I promise there won’t be a pop quiz at the end. 🤣

I’m chatting with Nancy Houston, a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapist specializing in individual, marital, and sexual issues. We go deep on some important concepts that I wish I’d learned earlier on in my marriage. 

The big one is self differentiation. Who am I separate from motherhood and marriage? And how can I stay a healthy individual in those roles without swinging too far either direction. Nancy shares practical tips and breaks down big concepts to get us going down the path of self discovery. 

“Health is being able to hold the middle where we can have some grace for ourselves and one another. Where we can have some quiet. Until I can stop judging myself so harshly, I'll never stop judging you.”

Connect with Nancy: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

  • Stitch Fix Kids: Schedule a fix today and get 25% off when you keep everything in your fix. Go to Stitchfix.com/DMA   
  • Don’t Mom Alone Book: Pre-order a copy today. Feel out the form over at dontmomalone.com/book to get freebies like 6 exclusive convos with Heather and a free copy of the audiobook. Also get an invite to join her launch team. 
Direct download: NancyHoustonFinalEp335.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

If God is holy, then He can’t sin. If God can’t sin, then He can’t sin against you. If He can’t sin against you, shouldn’t that make Him the most trustworthy being there is?

I’m thrilled to have Jackie Hill Perry back on the podcast to share about her much anticipated book, “Holier Than Thou”.

She walks us through Scripture, shaking the dust off of “holy” as we’ve come to know it and revealing it for what it really is: good news. As it turns out, God being “holier than thou” is actually the best news in the world, and it’s the key to trusting Him.

“Holiness is really abstract, but what does it have to do with me? The truth is it has everything to do with the way we live because the way we engage with the world around us is symptomatic of what we believe is true about God.”

We also chat about how Jackie doesn’t “mom alone,” about her growing family and the holy calling of motherhood. This is a powerful episode! 

Connect with Jackie: 

Links Mentioned:  

FEATURED SPONSORS:

  • Stitch Fix Kids—Try today at StitchFix.com/DMA and you’ll get 25% off when you keep everything in your Fix!
  • Hello FreshGo to HelloFresh.com/dma14 and use code dma14 for up to 14 free meals, including free shipping!
Direct download: JackiHillPerryEp334.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

How we feel in our bodies affects so many facets of parenting-- and in some ways you might now expect. My guest Mary Van Geffen joins me to talk about 4 Ps that can help us practice body awareness as we work on parenting our kids (even the spicy ones) with empathy and connection.

“When in doubt I say choose connection rather than control. We're not going to have a lot of control and we don't have the time or the energy to follow through on things. So let's make sure we're connected because connection is the honey and it will help us to have more control.”

We go in depth on how paying attention to your Presence, Posture, Proximity and Phase of your Cycle can change how you parent and bring awareness of how to honor your body and rest when you need it. 

Connect with Mary: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

  • Love Every — Take the guesswork out of your child’s play. Choose Lovevery TODAY and get free shipping when you sign up to receive your Play Kits at Lovevery.com/DMA
  • BetterHelp —Visit betterhelp.com/DMA and join the over 1,000,000 people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. Special offer for Don’t Mom Alone listeners: get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/DMA. 
Direct download: MaryVanGeffenEp333.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

News, politics and world events are on a 24-hour and 365-day cycle. Every second something new is happening and keeping up with the latest can be a full time job. Add on top of that the bias inherent in mass media and it can be hard to tell fact from manipulated fiction. 

Enter Sharon McMahon, a former high school government and law teacher on a mission to combat political misinformation. With her viral Instagram account @SharonSaysSo, she shares non-partisan facts about the US government and democracy in a way that is easy to understand.

Sharon talks with me about how to be flexible thinkers and to hear both sides of a political issue using the same critical thinking skills she taught her students in high school. We also chat about her motherhood journey and raising kids who can talk respectfully with people who have different viewpoints on the world and politics. 

But she doesn’t want you to listen to just her or any one person to learn the news of the day:

“I don't think it is wise to just look at one human, me or your favorite political pundit or anybody, and believe that person is right 100% of the time. It is still your job to consume and figure out using your own brain, the own skills in your head to determine whether or not that aligns for you and whether or not that actually is an accurate depiction of your feelings or viewpoints. So I always caution people. Don't take one person's word as gospel because all humans are fallible.” 

Connect with Sharon: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

  • Athena Club— Show your skin you care with the Athena Club Razor Kit! Sign up today and you’ll get 20% off your first order! Just go to AthenaClub.com and use promo code dma
  • Rothy’sStep up your summer wardrobe with washable, sustainable, stylish shoes and bags from Rothy’s. Head to Rothys.com/DMA to find your new warm weather favorites today.
Direct download: SharonMcMahonEp332.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In this episode, Jen shares what she’s learned about heaven (from co-leading a study for 100+ women). She also gives a super practical way to figure out how you can help a friend in need. Jen reminds us mamas to hold our children loosely. To realize we have the privilege of partnering with God, but ultimately how our children “turn out” is up to him. 

And this. . .

It’s hard in the crisis to build that support system. Invest in women’s lives now. Not because you’re going to need them in case you have cancer. But that the time invested in friendships, meaningful friendships is worth it.–Jen

My biggest take-away from our conversation is to view my “to do” list as a “get to do” list. What joy to get to pick up my boys from school, to get to serve them meals, and to get to put them to bed!

Wrapping up this summer may we all see our everyday in light of eternity. Be grateful for all our “get to”s. And invest in our sweet friendships.

Read more of Jen’s story:

Personal Blog

What we chat about:

  • Jen’s surprise engagement, surprise baby and surprise cancer diagnosis.
  • Hope for the mom with chronic sickness/trauma/heartache.
  • What Jen’s learned about how friends help well.
  • The truths Jen gained from studying Heaven last summer.
  • Lessons for all of us to hold our children loosely.
  • Dealing with temper tantrums and other challenging behavior when mom is sick.
  • The value of building strong friendships.

Links Mentioned:

  • Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 115:1)
  • Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain,
     to the place where you dwell.” (Psalm 43:3)
  • In Light of Eternity by Randy Alcorn
  • Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:2-3)
  • Nobody’s Cuter than You by Melanie Shankle
  • Just Show Up by Kara Tippetts & Jill Lynn Butelyn

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Glorify App—Glorify your relationship with God with 50% off unlimited access to premium
    content designed to help you get into good worship habits and grow closer to God. Download the Glorify app now, create an account and enter code DMA in the
    profile section for a special limited-time discount of 50%.
  • Lovevery — Take the guesswork out of your child’s play. Choose Lovevery TODAY and get free shipping when you sign up to receive your Play Kits at Lovevery.com/DMA.
Direct download: SOM21WK6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Mush brain.

That’s how I’d describe my mind after years and years of sleep deprivation.

Most young moms (especially if you had lots of littles in a row) know the challenge of forming a complete thought. Or staying focused during a quiet time. Or even having a moment alone with God.

I know Jennie understands.

Jennie is a sweet mom of two from Cambridge, England. She emailed me sharing struggles with sleep deprivation. Her son suffered from a serious of medical challenges leaving them with four years of interrupted sleep.

She knows the power of a strong relationship with God. But in this season has found connecting deeply with Him difficult given her exhausted, “mush brain”. 

The mentor that I called to answer Jennie’s questions is the amazing Sally Clarkson.

Sally understands having children who don’t sleep and she’s been through her share of challenging seasons. From those experiences and others she began to mentor young moms and encourage other women to do the same .

In this episode, Sally helps moms move beyond traditional spiritual disciplines to experience God in their everyday moments. Inspiring us to find the goodness of God, by intentionally filling our lives with beauty and pleasure.

For the exhausted mom who longs to know God better, I hope this episode gives you peace, perspective and practical ideas.

Connect with Sally Clarkson:

Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest 

What we chat about:

Jennie’s Questions: 

  • How do I have a decent quiet time when I’m exhausted?
  • What tips do you have for getting through challenging circumstances?
  • Does a hard season have long-term impacts on your faith?

Sally’s Answers: 

  • Motherhood is a battleground.
  • What we struggle through is normal and women for generations have experienced it.
  • God created us to be in community. God is present through people.
  • Build things into your life to enjoy the goodness of God.

Other topics we cover: 

  • Journaling prayers
  • Breath prayers
  • Physical rest vs. soul rest

Links Mentioned:

Featured Sponsors: 

Function of Beauty -- Take your quiz and get customized hair products for 20% off your first order at functionofbeauty.com/DMA

Stitch Fix Kids -- Try Stitch Fix Kids today and get 25% off when you keep everything in your Fix. Go to StitchFix.com/DMA

Direct download: DMA_-_SOM21_-_5.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

If you've ever strived for perfection, then you know how it feels when you fall short.

Maybe you aren't the one carrying a list of all you "need to do to earn God's love." But more the type who carries a "Never Good Enough List” with all the reasons you'll never be able to earn His love.

Either way, Amy Carroll, (author, speaker, Proverbs 31 contributor) is on the podcast this week helping us break up with perfect.

In this episode (and in her new book), Amy helps us recognize the lies we have been believing and the Truth to set us free.

Lies like: "I was created to produce perfection" or "People are obstacles to my tasks" or "If I have the right stuff, my life will be perfect."

My favorite quote from our conversation was:

Only when I end my own pursuit of perfection can God do a perfecting work in me. --Amy Carroll

 May you experience a supernatural freedom from the struggle to be perfect. May your friendships deepen, your family be strengthened and your awareness of God's love grow as you stop striving and surrender to His gentle heart work.

Connect with Amy:

Breaking Up with Perfect :: Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest 

What we chat about:

  • The events making Amy aware of her perfectionism
  • The impact a mentor had in Amy's journey to lose the list of perfect
  • The supernatural work God did on Amy to break the shell around her heart, to feel His love
  • The two perfect super moms in Amy's head--torn between two ideals.
  • The destruction of friendship when perfectionism enters.
  • The different types of perfectionists and their lists: good girl list or the never-good-enough list
  • The possibility of passing on perfectionism to our kids.

Links Mentioned:

Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you had friendships end because of your struggles with perfection? When friends go through hard times do you wonder how to be a good, imperfect friend? 
  2. Do you have a mentor? Is there someone you wish you could meet with? Could you make a plan to meet with her once in the next few months? 
  3. Could you relate to Amy’s struggle to feel God’s love and having a list of things you have to do to be right with God?
  4. What areas are you striving for perfection in motherhood? Who is your mental ‘ideal’ mom? Earth-mama, right-on-schedule mom? 
  5. Which type of perfectionist do you relate to—the good girl list or the never-good-enough list? Need to measure up or will never measure up? Or do you swing between the lists? 
  6. What have you found helpful to break up with perfection?

Featured Sponsors:

  • Betterhelp--get 10% off your first month of secure online professional counseling betterhelp.com/DMA

  • Glorify app--Get 50% off unlimited access to Glorify App with promo code DMA applied in the profile section of the app. 

 

Direct download: SofMWk4.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Our first year of marriage was HARD. And we hit another rough patch (a.k.a. the “come to Jesus” days) after our second son was born. I took all the marriage advice I could get.

For all you mommas out there looking for a little marriage help, I’ve invited Jen Weaver on the show to talk about her newest book, “A Wife’s Secret to Happiness”. This episode originally aired on March 6, 2017. 

Jen is an adorable millennial who knows God’s Word and isn’t afraid to hit the marriage topic head on. She shares some great insights on a few controversial issues. But more than anything she helps us identify the marriage habits (a.k.a., “WifeStyles”) that are attracting or denying the blessings God has for our marriages.

What we chat about:

  • What is a “wifestyle”?
  • Habits that can attract or deny the blessings God has for our marriages
  • The slightly-controversial topic of “submission”
  • Making room for your spouse to lead and space for the Lord to speak.
  • What about when your spouse isn’t walking with the Lord?
  • Wifestyles: “braided” or “frayed”
  • What Jesus asked Jen.
  • Wifestyles: “doubtful” or “decided”
  • When you go through a relationship winter after a new baby
  • Hebrew convo about “chayil”and Proverbs 31 woman who is a wife of valor

Connect with Jen Weaver:

Website :: Instagram 

Links Mentioned:

Discussion Questions:

  • Discuss the idea of submission the way it’s described in the episode. 
  • How can you choose to make space for your spouse to lead in your relationship? In what ways do you lead?
  • Do you feel frayed or braided with God right now? How can you rebraid your attention back toward God?
  • What was your most recent relationship winter? How did you come through that?
  • What are your Proverbs 31 wife superpowers? How do you use your strengths in a way that blesses and doesn’t hinder?

Featured Sponsors:

  • Rothy’s — Don’t miss this great opportunity! Get $20 off a purchase of $100 or more. Rothys.com/DMA.
  • Thrive Market Go to ThriveMarket.com/DMA Join today to get $20 off your first order AND a FREE gift!
Direct download: SOM21Wk3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

This special episode was recorded at our first Live Event held in 2017. Guests, Kat Lee & Wynter Pitts shared their mom stories. And encouraged with audience with thoughts on mentorship, friendship and dealing with fear and insecurity in motherhood. 

What we chat about:

  • Kat Lee and Wynter Pitts’ motherhood stories
  • Dealing with insecurities in motherhood
  • The importance of having mentors and deep friends in the motherhood journey
  • Mentors don’t have to be older than you or available weekly. Find a way to make mentorship work for you.
  • Think of areas you are struggling with and look for someone who excels in that area to mentor you, no matter their age
  • Start or join a DMA podcast club as a way to connect with other women
  • You can be a mentor too! Look for younger moms who need encouragement.
  • We are never alone because God is with us, but it’s hard to remember that when life gets crazy. Kat and Wynter share what helps them remember God in the midst of life.
  • “Should is not a sustainable why.” Don’t just do things you SHOULD do if you don’t have a good reason for WHY.
  • Helping your kids develop healthy friendships and community
  • Not trying to over control your children’s lives and praying through how involved you should be in their friendships
  • Hope for dealing with irrational fears and grief
  • Giving yourself permission to be honest with God when you aren’t coping well and realizing that he is good despite your circumstances

Connect with Kat and HelloMornings:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Connect with For Girls Like You:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Links Mentioned:

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Lovevery — Take the guesswork out of your child’s play. Choose Lovevery TODAY and get free shipping when you sign up to receive your Play Kits at Lovevery.com/DMA
  • Function of Beauty — Go to FunctionofBeauty.com/DMA to take your quiz and save 20% on your first order. That applies to their full range of customized hair, skin, and body products.
Direct download: DMASOM21wk2.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

"They just keep fighting!"

Summer, for us, means lots of unstructured time together as a family. Which is great. . . until it's not.

Perhaps you can identify. Maybe you see yourself in one of the following situations:

Situation #1 - The kids are fighting - again! The harder you try to make it stop, the worse it seems to get - and the kids seem more and more resentful.

Situation #2 - One minute they love each other and the next minute they’re arch enemies. The older they get the louder and angrier it gets. You hate the way this affects everyone’s mood, including your own.

Situation #3 - Time-outs, required apologies, and firmness temporarily curb the fighting, but it soon comes back with more intensity.

Situation #4 - Your young kids are beginning their rivalry and you worry where it’s heading if you don’t learn some better strategies.  (copied from Sibling Conflict Online Course description).

Jim & Lynne Jackson from ConnectedFamilies.org are back to equip us in training our children to solve conflict well. And instead of just wishing they would "just stop fighting", to recognize the gospel work of guiding our family to reconciliation.

Jim & Lynne have been on the show before sharing their fabulous 4-layer framework for discipline that connects (Listen here to Episode 80 & 81). And again helping connect in any situation (Ep 98).

Today, they are talking us through The Peace Process. A simple but effective way to guide our kids to a lifetime of reconciled relationships. Here's their great graphic with the four steps moving us from "crazy mountain" to peaceful reconciliation (Click here to print your own copy):
peace_process

Conflict is inevitable. Instead of just getting frustrated and annoyed, I've found having a plan to reconnect hearts and train empathy so helpful. I also loved all the phrases Jim & Lynne modeled to use as we guide our children through the process. Here are some of my favorites (I'll be bookmarking this page and referring to often):

  • "Sounds like y'all are having a hard time. Do you need my help or are you able to work it out on your own?"
  • "Solving brains won't work until we're calm. Why don't we each find a comfortable place. How long do you need? 5 min? 10 min? Then we'll come back together to work this out."
  • "Did you hear that? How does she feel? Do you like that what you did made her feel that way? You two are listening to each other. How does that feel?"
  • "Your big feelings are a gift. And they are an even greater gift with you can use them to help understand other's big feelings."
  • "What's going on? What was important to each person? How have you solved this problem before? Would you like to think of ways to solve the problem or do you want me to help give you choices on how to solve it?"
  • "Are there four things you could say that are kind and true about that person?"

Lastly, if you need more help learning how to guide your kiddos through the peace process, check out Jim & Lynne's new SIBLING CONFLICT ONLINE COURSE. I'll be working through it this summer. Join me!  USE DMA20 to save 20% off. 

What we chat about:

  • Considering your own baggage/sibling situation as you rush into your kids' conflict.
  • Are we trying to get conflict to stop or teach reconciliation?
  • The four steps to "The Peace Process". 
  • A real life example of applying peace process.
  • How training in reconciliation helps our kids in their future marriages and relationships.
  • Helping our kids learn how to solve the problem of the conflict (a 3-step process).
  • A scenario of a more empathetic child in conflict with a more strong-willed child--growing specific skills in kids.
  • Addressing the differences in your kids outside of conflict.
  • Help for the mom who has a child with special needs in the sibling mix.
  • Connecting with others based not on experience but emotion.
  • Tips for conflicts that happen right before you have to leave the house.

Connect with Jim & Lynne:

Connected Families Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Links Mentioned:

  • Free Discipline that Connects handbook
  • Building Empathy in Kids (Part 1) and Building Empathy in Kids (Part 2) article
  • "Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." (Ephesians 4:15)
  • "Suppose your brother or sister has something against you, go make peace with them." (Abbr. Matthew 5:23-24).
  • "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." (Matthew 5:9 NIV)
  • "You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family." (Matthew 5:9 MSG).
  • Need one-on-one parent coaching? Click here
  • Peaceful Mothering DVD

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  • What is your process for sibling conflict to management in your home right now?
  • What are some ways you and your child can calm down in the heat of conflict? How could taking a mom "time out" help you can down?
  • Discuss how seeing conflict resolution in light of your child's future relationships (think coworkers and future spouse) can help you see why these skills are so important to learn now.
  • Guiding your kids with questions as they resolve conflict helps support them make better decisions. Think of a few questions you could ask for common disagreements.
  • Think about each of your kids and help make a plan for their individual personalities for conflict resolution.

FEATURED SPONSORS: 

Direct download: DMA_-_SOM21_-_1.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It’s summertime again and in the absence of formal school your kids may be looking forward to unstructured time and more access to screens. As one of the first generations to parent kids in the age of smartphones, we can choose to be on high alert to how healthy our kids' digital habits are and help them set healthy boundaries.

My guest Arlene Pellicane shares strategies from her book Screen Kids and from her own family life. They have a “no phone, no gaming, no social media” policy for their kids and she shares the research and practical reasons behind why. But, wherever you are with screens and your family, this time of year is a perfect time for a reset. 

“For our summer mindset, we all need a break and this could be a beautiful time to have some kind of different routine with our screens."

We talk about digital vegetables vs digital candy, reconsidering phones for younger kids, building real world skills for our kids instead of just digital ones and setting digital boundaries. It’s so helpful and I’m already implementing some of Arlene’s advice for my boys this summer. 

Know that you are not alone in this struggle. Together we can do this!

Connect with Arlene: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

 Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: ArlenePellicaneEp331.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Managing your home in the midst of motherhood is a challenge, especially when cleaning, organizing and decluttering don’t come naturally. 

My guest Dana K. White struggled for years to figure out why her home was so messy. She could get it clean, but it would take days and then in no time it was right back to where she’d started with piles of clutter, laundry and dishes. 

“I had always thought before, my home is not who I am, but now it was my identity and it was even harder. And that was when I really thought. There's something wrong with me. Like, literally I am broken in some way. I cannot do this thing that other people seem to be able to do so easily.”

God brought her to a place of breakthrough when she started an anonymous blog to get open and real about being a “slob.” Through that, she started to discover some simple truths about cleaning and organizing strategies that actually work for people who don’t love cleaning and organizing.

We talk about tips for how to start cleaning when you feel overwhelmed, how to only make progress when decluttering and more. It’s a great listen for yourself and to learn how to help the less organized members of your family. 

Here’s to making progress on our homes this summer! Stay tuned for the Summer of Mentorship starting June 21st. Great episodes to listen to while you clean and declutter. 

Connect with Dana: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Rothy’s --Keep it clean with washable shoes and bags from Rothy’s. Plus they just launched men’s shoes, so make sure to check them out for the men in your life. Go to Rothys.com/DMA today to check out your favorites
  • Thrive Market -- Go to ThriveMarket.com/DMA Join to get $20 off your first order AND a free gift. 
Direct download: DanaWhiteEp330.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jess Connolly has not always seen her body as good. It’s a struggle all of us can relate to. Whether it’s a concern over weight and external beauty or a physical disability or medical issue, there’s always something about our bodies that cause “trouble.” 

Jess shares about her struggle with an autoimmune disease and feeling body shame from an early age. 

“I spent a few years treating that disease, as if my body was a huge problem that just needed to be solved or a project that needed to be completed. My healthier behaviors as a young mom weren't rooted in love, but in extreme frustration.”

And she takes us into her journey of asking God to give her a kingdom body mindset to break free of body shame. We talk about shifting our perspective on what makes a body good and so much of it comes down to a key question Jess shares:

“Do you treat your body as if it is loved or as if you want it to be lovable? Are you trying to make it good? Are you trying to treat it as if it is good? Because when I treat my body as if it was made good, and I want to steward that.”

For more on this, grab a copy of Jess’ new book Breaking Free from Body Shame.

Connect with Jess: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

 

  • Acorn TV — Try Acorn TV free for 30 days. Go to Acorn.tv use code: dma (all lowercase letters). 

 

 

Direct download: JessConnollyEp329.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

You asked and I’m so happy to have Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson back to coach us on how to talk with our kids about the topic of sex. I love their approach which is explained in their online course called Birds and Bees. It’s all about having multiple conversations over the years with your kids instead of having one big TALK when they are older. 

“What we want parents to do with the topic of sex is to not be afraid and be silenced, but to be equipped and have tools and phrases to say an age appropriate ways … They're drip by drip, by drip conversations, because it takes a lot for them to absorb this information.”

Mary Flo and Megan take us through reasons why we should have conversations with our youngest kids about reproduction, birth and specific scientific terms for private areas. We chat about how to bring these topics up and answer questions that might make you nervous at first. It’s all about giving your kids accurate and honest information on this important topic.

“I know when parents first hear about this they think, ‘I didn't want to talk to my kids about sex one time, why in the world, but I want to do this multiple times?’ But it's just so much easier to do it in bite size, age-appropriate phrases and conversations and soundbites because that's how things are digested and absorbed.”

Connect with Birds & Bees: 

Links Mentioned:  

Previous Podcasts with Birds & Bees:

Featured Sponsors: 

  • StoryWorth —Give your dad the most meaningful gift this Father’s Day with StoryWorth. Get started right away with no shipping required by going to StoryWorth.com/DMA to get $10 off your first purchase. 
  • HelloFresh —Go to HelloFresh.com/dma12 and use the code: dma12 to get 12 free meals, including free shipping. 
Direct download: DMA_-_328.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young is an author and speaker who is passionate about helping people discover God’s glory in unexpected places. But in the midst of the Pandemic with her family’s long-awaited travel plans delayed and then cancelled, Dorina found herself struggling to see glory in the continued quarantine life. 

With a long winter break and nothing to look forward to, Dorina processed her disappointment with her husband Shawn and her three daughters. Shawn suggested bringing Hawaii home by having a luau and ordering in Hawaiin food and it sparked the idea of Global Glory Chasers, a cultural exploration program for families. 

Dorina and I talk about doing deep dives into the food and culture of international communities and how helping our kids engage with other races and nationalities gives them a global perspective on the glory of God

“Learning about cultures is actually an invitation for us to learn more about God's glory and how he has made each one of us into his image bearers.  We can't understand God, unless we're willing to listen to stories of people from different backgrounds. So we like to say we’re breaking barriers by breaking bread at home and by eating the foods of the different cultures.”

Connect with Dorina: 

Links Mentioned:  

Direct download: DorinaEp327.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In a world that seems to bring more and more division every day, how do we connect with other people in a deep, human way? Kay Wyma takes us into her story of how seemingly small acts of kindness, thankfulness and mercy have made all the difference for her and her family. 

“There are so many ways you can practice kindness that are outward acts of kindness. And then you'll start to realize kindness is picking up the laundry for somebody that I'm frustrated with, you know, that they could have done it themselves.There are kindness opportunities everywhere. Be kind to yourself for Pete's sake. At least one day a week. Actively do something kind for yourself.”

Learn about what Kay calls a Soul 30 and her new book The Peace Project. I love that this isn’t another thing for your to do list, it is more about HOW you do the things on your list. And when we practice kindness, thankfulness and mercy we can’t help reflecting the goodness of God to a world that needs it more than ever.   

Connect with Kay Wyma: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Nextdoor—Join your neighborhood on the FREE app. Use this link nextdoor.com/DMA to let them know you heard about it from me. 
  • Betterhelp—Listeners of the DMA podcast get 10% off their first month of secure online professional counseling. Betterhelp.com/DMA.
Direct download: KayWymaEp326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Long-time friends Erin Moon and Courtney Cleveland join me to share their motherhood stories and how they’ve found their identity as moms separate from motherhood stereotypes. 

“There are so many ways to be a good mom and what it looks like for you doesn’t look like it does for me. And I really had to let go of the idea that I had to be the same kind of mother as everyone else... It was so freeing and it seems so simple. I mean, that's not even how humanity works. So why would motherhood be that way?”

We talk about mom superpowers, viewing dinner as optional food exposure and the ridiculousness of keeping track of socks for multiple kids. Listen and laugh along with us as we take light hearted views on the daily grind of motherhood. I’m sure you will relate. 

Don’t Miss: Near the end Erin shares a great idea for creating your own “fake Mother’s Day” on a different day from the actual holiday that I’m totally going to try. 

Happy Mother’s Day to you all! I pray you feel celebrated for all the unique gifts you bring into motherhood. 

Connect with Erin: 

Connect with Courtney: 

Links Mentioned: 

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Rothy’s — Check out all the amazing shoes, bags and masks available right now at Rothys.com/DMA
  • Thrive Market — Join Thrive Market to get $20 off your first order and an exclusive FREE gift. Go to Thrivemarket.com/DMA
Direct download: ErinCourtneyEp325.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

The daily grind of marriage, parenting, and life wears on us all, but when your relationship with your spouse is no longer a healthy one, how do you choose to walk away? My guest and long-time friend Lara Williams brings us into her story of working through marriage infidelity with her husband and her long, painful journey to divorce.

“And it was a process, but I think I finally got to that place where I could accept that divorce was happening in my life, but that's just it. It's happening. It doesn't mean that's who I am. And it doesn't just because God hates it. It doesn't mean he hates me. He loves me and I went through a process of washing those lies with the truth of what God says and he's so gracious to transform our minds.”

We talk about all the ways Lara and her husband worked to save their marriage, what it was like when saving it was no longer an option and how God met Lara in that place. Lara shares about parenting when you are walking through divorce, dating after divorce, and how the church can both help and hurt during this painful experience. 

I’m so thankful for Lara’s heart and how bravely she shares her story. She has graciously given permission to publish her email address if you or someone you know would like to reach out on this topic. 

Connect with Lara: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

  • Nextdoor- Go to Nextdoor.com/DMA to sign up and see what your neighbors are talking about. Join your neighborhood today. 
  • Skylight Frame- You can get $10 off your purchase of a Skylight Frame when you go to skylightframe.com and enter code DMA. 
Direct download: DMA_-_324.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

There is often a disconnect from what we read in scripture and how we experience life. God say, “I have not given you a spirit of fear,” but we keenly feel fear and anxiety. We know that God has taken away our sins, but we still feel like it comes between us and hearing His voice. 

One powerful way to work towards freedom in these areas is through a biblically-based program of inner healing prayer. My guest Jennifer Barnett of Freedom Prayer joins me to talk about inner healing prayer or freedom prayer, a powerful process that helps restore individuals to a more fruitful and fulfilling walk with God.

“Inner healing prayer is its own sort of type of prayer. If you're not familiar with it, we would say it's some really intentional time devoted to allowing God to remove anything that would hinder someone from a full abiding relationship with him. That could look like sin, wounding, ungodly beliefs, or lies that we believe about ourselves, God or other people.”

My experience with inner healing prayer has been so powerful and I believe it can be for you too. For more information on Freedom Prayer visit their website at https://freedomprayer.org

Connect with Freedom Prayer: 

Featured Sponsors: 

  • FabFitFun — get $10 off your first box with the code DMA10 over at www.FabFitFun.com
  • BetterHelp—DMA listeners get 10% off their first month of online secure professional counseling at Betterhelp.com/DMA
Direct download: JenniferBarnettEp323.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As moms we are often looking for parenting formulas and quick fixes to solve our latest parenting problems. When they are babies, following formulas for sleeping and eating makes sense, but as they get older and their needs change it gets a lot more complicated. 

We often turn to friends and mentors for advice, but that doesn’t always work or what works for one of our kids doesn’t for another and it can make us feel lost. 

Jeffrey Olrick, Ph.D. and his wife Amy Olrick join me to share a different way to interpret our kids needs using some practical tools and the science of connection. They offer an alternative question to “What do I do?”, asking instead: “How can I be with this child?”. They go through the six needs of every child and a helpful compass to help you find your way when it gets challenging.

“I think some of it is a fear that we have parents. If we lose the trail for even a moment that our children will be put in imminent danger. And we want to set parents free from that and say, no, actually that's actually going to be pretty normal to lose the trail. But you are still together and you're going to find your way back to firm footing with these six needs.”

This approach is teaching me a lot in my own parenting and I know it will help you on your parenting journey. To learn more from the Olricks, check out their podcast!

Connect with the Olricks: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Hello Bello— Go to hellobello.com/DMA to get 25% off your diaper bundle order and 15% off any add ons like vitamins or wipes!
  • StoryWorth—Give your mom the most meaningful gift this Mother’s Day with StoryWorth. No shipping required. Go to StoryWorth.com/DMA and get $10 off your first purchase. 
Direct download: OlrickEp322.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

On a recent Instagram survey I learned that 68% of y’all have experienced broken friendships. I knew we needed an episode to help.

The last year has not been easy for any of us. So many things in our lives changed in response to the pandemic, political and racial tensions, and the loneliness of quarantine life. In the midst of everything, it has been hard to keep friendships healthy.

Licensed professional counselor Shundria Riddick is here to walk us through some healthy ways to work toward reconciliation and how to know when to walk away from friendship that is hurtful. We talk about setting healthy boundaries, having clarifying conversations, and how to analyze the health of relationships.

Connect with Shundria: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Rothys—Check out all the amazing shoes, bags and masks available right now at Rothys.com/DMA.
  • Thrive Market—Join Thrive Market today to get 25% off your first order AND an exclusive FREE gift! The ONLY way to get this offer is by going to Thrive Market.com/DMA
Direct download: ShundriaRiddickEp321.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

With Easter right around the corner, the traditional Jewish feast of Passover is also coming up. The Passover Seder, a ritual feast that marks the beginning of Passover, is a powerful, symbolic meal to help both Christian and Jewish believers remember the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

My friends Chris and Karen Katulka walk us through all the elements in a way that is doable for families with young kids and still poignant for us as adults. You may be surprised all that you learn about how specific foods can serve as meaningful reminders of God’s redemption.

“And what you do is you eat the bitter herbs with matzah as a reminder of the bitterness of bondage that was felt for the Israelites. For us as Christians, you know, there was a point where you didn't know Christ, a point where you were separated. So that bitterness is a nice, fresh reminder of what was life like before.”

The Katulkas help make this sacred celebration accessible and understandable for families whether you’ve participated in the past or want to start a new tradition this year. Download their helpful Passover packet with recipes and more information.

Connect with the Friends of Israel: 

Links Mentioned:  

FEATURED SPONSORS: 

  • HelloBello — Get 25% off your diaper bundle order and 15% off any add ons like vitamins or wipes: hellobello.com/DMA
  • SoulCycle At Home Bike —Get your SoulCycle At Home bike by visiting MySoulCycleBike.com/DMA use promo code: DMA and get a complementary pair of at home Select cycling shoes with your purchase.
Direct download: KatulkaEp320.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Licensed Professional Counselor Charissa Fry is back to help parents get the “most bang for our buck” when it comes to one-on-one connected time with our kids — PLAY!

Even if you’re a mom who doesn’t love playtime or you feel like you can’t add one more thing to your family schedule, listen in as Charissa breaks down how the benefits of special playtime far exceed the difficulties. 

“We follow the child's lead because it allows the child to feel seen, heard, understood, and delighted in like you care about what they care about. You're interested in what they're interested in. It also models cooperation. And it’s helpful with the power dynamic between a parent and a child.”

We talk about how to remove the teacher, parent and disciplinarian hats and enter into playtime with a positive and engaged attitude that can reap BIG benefits in our parenting over time. Charissa explains some of the “rules” of special playtime that can help us reinforce positive behavior and give our kids permission to play however they want. 

I hope this episode leaves you encouraged to connect with kids through imaginative play. For more information, check out this resource from Charissa! 

Helpful Verbal Cue:

“Hey, in five minutes, we're going to have special playtime and you get to choose what we do together.”

Connect with Charissa: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • FabFitFun— use code DMA10 to save $10 off your first FabFitFun box at FabFitFun.com
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Direct download: DMA_-_319.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

I’m excited to welcome back Mo Isom Aiken  to the podcast. She writes and speaks powerfully about how God has redeemed her own brokenness and set her on a path to challenge, encourage and equip other Christ followers. In this episode we talk about how each of us was made for true intimacy with God on a heart level. 

“The ultimate will of the Father is to know him intimately and to be known by him and to press into an intimacy with God that is all-consuming and not based on our doing as much as our being with him -- who we are, who he is. Allowing this intimacy that really takes us to think about marital intimacy, a vulnerable exposed, honest place that draws near to us. And somehow this rhythmic, you know, coming together transforms our heart.”

Mo takes us into her own story of God peeling back the layers of shame and her own twisted view of intimacy to heal the deep places of her heart. We talk about how God wants to do the same for each of us, but it’s a process. 

In this time when so many of us have lost the support that sustained us and distractions that hid our true feelings, Mo invites us to draw near to God trusting him and exposing our physical vulnerabilities to him. 

“If we want to understand the deeper layers of spiritual intimacy with God, we've got to be willing to work through the very physical layers of things that have impacted our life and story because everything in the physical is ultimately served to shape our perspective of intimacy overall and especially intimacy with God.”

Connect with Mo: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: MoAikenEp318.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

When it comes to learning differences and special education diagnoses, it can feel overwhelming and defeating to see your child struggle. My guest Kerri Irvin is a dyslexia specialist who has worked with countless children, teens and adults to help them thrive and embrace their learning differences. 

“It amazes me the gifts that God provides for all children, alongside their challenges. For every challenge, an equally important, if not more significant, gift has been provided and their challenges, without fail, are gifts that support them with their talents and make them better learners and people.”

We talk about what dyslexia is, how students with dyslexia learn differently, ways to partner with your child’s teachers to help them succeed, and how to support friends who have children with learning differences. Kerri shares with passion and hope about how dyslexia is not just a learning challenge, but can be a strength. 

Connect with Kerri

Email: kdicalt123@gmail.com 

Site: SK Designs for Learning

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Function of Beauty — Go to FunctionofBeauty.com/DMA to take your quiz and get 20% off your first order. 
  • Rothy’s — Check out their amazing repurposed, eco-friendly shoes, bags and masks available at Rothys.com/DMA
Direct download: KerriIrvinEp317.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

“What’s something you’ve grown in but at different speeds?”. After collecting listener questions, this question stood out to my husband Bruce. So instead of doing a general Q and A episode (in honor of our 22nd wedding anniversary), we decided to discuss Bruce’s journey in learning how to identify what he is feeling, labeling it and sharing it with others. 

Listen to how we learned to process our feelings through church small group. And how we’ve grown as a couple to express those emotions in a healthy way.

“I think a common theme through all of this is just having a really constructive, clear language to talk about things. It is not like any one of these methods solves things. It's not a formula. The more precise and constructive and simple we make this language,  the more effective communication can be.”

Here are the cards we reference in the show (see website show notes). 

More Episodes with Bruce:

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

PrettyLitter — use code DMA to save 20% off a one month supply over at prettylitter.com

Thrive Market— get 25% off your first order and a free gift. If you go to thrivemarket.com/DMA 

Direct download: BruceEp316.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

David Thomas and I talked for SOOOO long in our interview because he's the BEST. The last part of our convo was specific to handling screen time with boys. The DMA team figured we could shorten the main episode by releasing this part separately. Of course, David and I did not cover every angle of managing technology (people write whole books on that topic). But I hope it helps you feel less alone in the struggle and empowered to do a few things:

  1. Create a Family Media Plan (or at least use the media calculator)--see links below
  2. Discuss what creative things your family has done outside of screen time. After reminiscing, brainstorm new ideas.
  3. Ask your son about one of his favorite video games. Perhaps sit down and play one with him. Let me know how it goes.

Links:

 

Direct download: DavidThomasBonus.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 9:44am CDT

Understanding the emotions of boys is a challenge no matter the age. Anxiety that presents as anger or distraction. Depression shows up as low-grade irritability. David Thomas returns to the show to answer listener questions about all things boy.

David is a family therapist and director at DayStar Counseling Center in Nashville. He has lots of experience counseling families and children and has a set of twin boys himself. We talk about teaching our sons about emotional language, going to counseling, helping sibling relationships, and managing boy energy levels.

“I think we need to be clear with boys. I think it's always helpful to use concrete language with them. When we're concise, clear, and concrete, those are kind of three rules of thumb, we can consistently be adopting. The mistake that I think we can make is we kind of soft pedal and dance around things.”

If you are a parent of boys, this is an episode for you! Watch for a bonus episode coming out later this week too.

 

Connect with David: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: davidthomasfinalep315.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

The topic of racial inequality and the need for reconciliation and education on race in America is a BIG. It can seem overwhelmingly big when it comes to teaching our kids how to be allies for people who are different from them. 

 

My guest Kirsten Watson breaks down why we shouldn’t shy away from these conversations, but how to show our children the importance of diversity and how to righteously fight for what's right. 

 

“As a believer, as my sister in Christ, the reason it's so imperative for you to have this conversation with your kids is because when it happens to my kid, when the joke is made, I need your kid to stand up for my kid. Because they know that my kid was made in the image of Christ and they know that God made us all different. That they would stand up for my kid, because my kid is any kid who is not white.”

 

Having these conversations with our kids and bringing it back to God's truth allows us to change the narrative and raise the next generation to continue to work toward racial unity.

 

Connect with Kirsten: 

 

 

Links Mentioned:  

 

Featured Sponsors: 

  • BetterHelp —Go to betterhelp.com/DMA and listeners get 10% off their first month of counseling. 
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Direct download: KirstenWatstonEp314.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

My guest Jackie and her husband David always thought they would foster and maybe adopt. After starting a family of their own, fostering siblings for a time and having twins, a viral photo of a malnourished orphan in Ukraine changed everything. 

As Jackie and her family prayed for the boy to be adopted and cared for, God spoke to her heart.

“There were plenty of reasons that we could come up with, but no real reason that seemed good enough to say ‘no’ to it. So we committed to adopting him. We didn't even know what country he was from to start with people. God just said, that's your son.”

After committing to their first adoption, another boy in Ukraine in a similar situation came to their attention. He was soon to “age out” of the adoption system and was desperate for a family. Again, Jackie and her family prayed and again God called them to adopt.

Listen to the episode to learn more of Jackie’s story and all that God has done from them simply saying “Yes” to this assignment outside of her own strength. Another reminder not to overcomplicate motherhood, to watch how kids can flourish with love and care. 

Here are side-by-side pics of Miles and Jonah from the day of adoption, to 1 year and 2 year anniversaries. 

Connect with Jackie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Function of Beauty— 
  • Hello Bello—
Direct download: JackieAskvigEp313.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Have you read the whole Bible? That was the question my guest Tara-Leigh Cobble struggled to answer while talking to a pastor friend. As she thought back through her life growing up in a Christian home, being involved in church and now working in full-time ministry and she couldn’t say for sure that she’d really read ALL of the Bible. 

So she started a chronological reading plan to read it all, even the genealogies. But as she read, Tara had to wrestle with stories she’d never heard from the pulpit.  

“I was questioning the Bible because I was reading the Bible and I was questioning not is this true, but is he good? Yeah. Do I like him? My mentor said the places where you have difficulty with God lean in because the good stuff is on the other side of this. The good stuff is on the other side of this struggle.”

After completing her own journey of reading the full Bible and seeing scripture and God in a new way, Tara-Leigh created The Bible Recap podcast and book to help others encounter God through his Word. And she’s here to give us a pep talk for reading the full Bible too. 

“You behold the living God in scripture, and all of a sudden, instead of feeling burdened by your to-do list, you're going to be buoyed and carried along by the love of the God of the universe and by the person of who he is. And that's what I want you to take away from scripture every day, a vision of the God who loves you and who has already accomplished all that he requires of you.”

Connect with Tara-Leigh: 

Links Mentioned:  

 Featured Sponsors: 

  • Pretty Litter — get 20% off your first order at prettylitter.com with promo code: DMA
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Direct download: TLCEp312.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Sissy Goff is one of our favorite counselors to have on the show and she’s back with us to talk about her new guide for helping teen girls with worry and anxiety. But beyond that she offers hope and help for all of us as we experience hard emotions in the midst of this pandemic.

We talk about strategies for working through worry and anxiety for different ages and stages of kids and for us as moms. And Sissy reminds us to trust our instincts when it comes to helping our kids. 

“You are not alone. And as a mom, your gut is your superpower. You are so intuitive and trust your gut on what's going on with your kids and, and have a few people that you trust a lot that you can talk to. Definitely talk about it because anxiety left untreated only gets worse. I'm seeing so much more in the pandemic that it's spilling over into depression.”

She also reminds us that asking for help is a brave and often necessary step for helping our kids learn practical ways to fight back when worries come up.

Connect with Sissy: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: SissyGoffEp311.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Amber O’Neal describes herself as a homeschooling mama using Charlotte Mason principles in an atmosphere where “Charlotte Mason wears an afro.” She joins me to talk about how she unexpectedly found she loved homeschooling and working to help her kids love themselves and others.

“The Holy Spirit is the supreme educator and the Holy Spirit will speak directly and work directly with our children just as he does through us. And that was a total reframe for me because it gave me a lot of freedom and released a lot of pressure for me when I realized that I'm actually not the supreme educator, I am a guide and I'm going to come alongside my child and that my job is not to teach in the traditional sense of teaching, but more to act as a guide.”

Amber shares why she’s creating resources for her children and others to share books and history from people of color and the journey she’s been on with her children as she encourages them to embrace their skin color and cultural history.

 

And her resources and the Charlotte Mason principles aren’t just for homeschooling mamas. She has book lists of great things to read with your children to give them a more holistic view on black history, poetry and culture. 

Connect with Amber: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: AmberJohnstonEp310.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Harville Hendrix, PhD and his wife Helen Hunt, PhD have been helping couples for years as therapists, authors and speakers. They are on a mission to share the concepts of safe conversations with the world. They join me to share how their method can help us have more effective in-depth conversations with our spouse and children.

This works every time. It works with parents, with children and couples. It is something that we now know scientifically that if you mirror another person back accurately and with warmth and no judgment, something will happen inside of them. Something marvelous.

They model a safe conversation for us and offer a lot of encouragement and hope for couples who are struggling and how “Conflict is future growth waiting to happen.”

Harville and Helen have an amazing offer for DMA listeners. Use code DMA on their site at safeconversations.com to get 50% off your choice of SC Essentials or the Ultimate Couples Bundle, both courses will receive free tickets to a live workshop of your choice, a $196 value.

Connect with Harville & Helen: 

Links Mentioned:  

Safe Conversations courses: https://safeconversations.com

Featured Sponsors:

Direct download: HarvilleHelenEp309.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Our kids begin to feel and respond to shame as early as 15 to 18 months of age. Those early moments can begin a lifelong struggle with feeling unworthy, inadequate and unlovable. Shame also disintegrates us (separating our thinking brain from our feeling brain) and isolates us from others. 

My guest is Dr. Curt Thompson, a psychiatrist and expert on the effects of shame and how to find freedom from the lifelong negative messages that come after us and our family.

“One of the things that we notice about shame is that because we are immobilized and we are hiding, shame does not actually ever allow us to move toward God. This is why we have to have someone come and find us. This is why when our children are experiencing shame, we have to go and find them. This is why it's important for us as parents to have others who are coming to find us.”

YES! Moms don’t let moms sit in shame. We can choose to seek out others when they are stuck in the shame cycle. Who are your 2 or 3 moms that will help you tell your story more truly? 

Dr. Thompson walks us through some practical ways to build in memories and physical reminders to work against shame in the future for both ourselves and others. And throughout our conversation he points back to how God doesn’t leave us to deal with shame alone.

“The beautiful thing is Jesus isn’t worried about our kids. He's not worried about your mothering. He's delighted. He knows how hard this work is and he knows that we will do it imperfectly. Even when we have our worst moments in which we foist to shame upon our kids or when our kids experience shame against everything that we're doing to try to combat it, God is saying: ‘I'm not worried. I never run out of options.’”

Connect with Dr. Thompson: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

  • Pretty Litter-- Get 20% off your first order at prettylitter.com with promo code: DMA 
  • Thrive Market -- Orders of $49 or more ship free. Get 25% off your first order and a FREE gift at thrivemarket.com/DMA.
Direct download: CurtThompsonEp308Final.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

I love Kirk’s realistic approach to parenting. He understands what your home dynamics are like. And gives practical tips. After listening to today’s episode you will have at least three different “tricks” to apply.

Most of all, I’m thankful for the new perspective he has given me. Kirk helped me recognize how emotionally invested I was in my boys’ behavior and freed me from the need to regulate their behavior for them.

The last couple days I’ve enjoyed the boys more. I’m also less tense and frustrated when we are out in public. In fact, I may need to go back and listen to this episode more than once, so it sticks!

This episode originally aired in May of 2015

Kirk came back on the show multiple times. Check out additional episodes here.

What we chat about:

  • Kirk’s realization that he needed to focus on his own behavior and stop trying to fix his son’s strong-willed behavior.
  • The switch he made from training 1500 kids in his home to training parents to calm themselves.
  • The one thing you can do today to de-escalate a tense situation in your home.
  • How to calmly handle your child’s meltdown

I can only control one person in life, and that’s me.

  • How motion changes emotion–helping little ones calm down b/c they don’t know how to “think” their way out.
  • What to do in the middle of Target aisle 3 when your child freaks out
  • Handling a tantruming child when his siblings are fighting and another needs help with homework and dinner is cooking (Heather’s daily 5 pm reality).

If you don’t care enough about yourself, to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually. . .why would anyone else care?

  • How sometimes parents want good behavior so badly, they are too invested in it and give children too much control.
  • How to be an impartial giver of wisdom.
  • Write down your emotional triggers & do the opposite of what you normally do.

Connect with Kirk:

Site :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Podcast

Links Mentioned:

  • CDs/DVDs
  • 888-506-1871–Toll Free Number for Frustrated Parents

Become a DMA Insider! Join me and Bruce in 2021 to discuss StrengthsFinder! How it impacts your marriage, parenting and career. You're invited! 

Direct download: WRKirkMartin.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

This episode originally aired in Nov 2016

Today’s guest is Christy Nockels, Dove award winning musician and mom to three children. In 2006 she made the God-led choice to step away from the music industry, for a time, to pour into her family.

In 2016 she released the solo Christmas album, “The Thrill of Hope”. With a blend of classic Christmas carols and original pieces, she has crafted a beautiful addition to our Christmas music collections.

In this episode you’ll hear the inspiration behind the songs, “Amaryllis” and “Wrap This One Up”. . .both stories gave me goosebumps. I won’t think of the Bethlehem shepherds the same way again. And the winter blooming amaryllis reminds us the hope Jesus brought . . .

Our King has come, He’s with us now & He’s making all things new again. That’s the thrill of hope.

What we chat about:

  • How motherhood takes you from peaceful quiet times to sock-and-underwear prayers
  • The secret of simple scripture and open dialogue with God
  • Christy’s new album “The Thrill of Hope”- her first Christmas album!
  • The message of the amaryllis for those with heavy hearts in the Christmas season
  • How “wrapped in swaddling clothes” may have meant much more to the shepherds
  • Christy’s song on the new album that makes her listeners “ugly cry”

Links Mentioned:

You are invited to become a DMA Insider! Join us over here and get bonus content. Including live Mentor Moment Q&As. In 2021 Bruce and I will lead Insiders through a StrengthsFinder Series. Learn the 101s of StrengthsFinder. And how knowing your Strengths impacts your marriage, parenting and career. 

Merry Christmas!

Direct download: WRChristyNocklesFinal.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

This is episode originally aired in Nov of 2015. 

Our copy is duct-taped and well-loved. . .

My oldest son beamed telling me how he’s read the whole Bible in a couple weeks. . .

It’s sold almost 2 million copies. . .

Children (and adults) have been wooed by the story of their Great Rescuer. Of His ‘Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.’

And now “The Jesus Storybook Bible” is even more accessible.

This week’s podcast guest, author Sally Lloyd-Jones, chats with me about her newest project. . .

Same great content, new design, new title. . .for a new audience. “The Story of God’s Love for You” is now available. For the person you never would have thought to give a children’s Bible. The person who needs to hear:

“It’s not about rules, so keeping them God will love us. Or heroes we’re supposed to copy so God will love us. It’s about a God who loved us before we even knew Him. A God who will move heaven and earth to be with His children.” –Sally Lloyd-Jones

In this episode, Sally shares a little of her background and the inspiration behind “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. We also spend time talking about how God uses stories to reach our hearts.

Sally knows how to speak grace and the gospel message. Her words will feel like a deep cleansing breath. Her books are daily reminders of grace. The grace we long to show ourselves and our children.

Connect with Sally:

Story of God’s Love for You :: Site :: Facebook :: Instagram

Join our DMA Community: 

Become a DMA Insider. In 2021 Bruce and I will lead the community through a StrengthsFinder Series. Learn the 101 of StrengthsFinder. How knowing your strengths helps your marriage, parenting and career. 

Direct download: WRSallyLloydJonesFinal.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

"We can feel isolated – that’s real, but we can’t stay there. We have the entire trinity on our side, the Father loving us fiercely and making a good plan, the Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf, our coheir Christ interceding and making a way for us.

Don’t believe the lie that it’s all on your shoulders, and it’s all up to you and you have no clue where to go or what to do.  He is a very big God, and what’s better – He is incredibly near." --Jess Connolly, A Naptime Diary

This is an edited, republished episode from April 2015. 

In this episode Jess openly shares about her bouts with depression. She offers three “helps” for the gal struggling to have hope. I nodded with agreement at everything she says. 

Especially the clinging to intimacy with God part. The praying out loud, walking around your house reading Scripture part.

Cuz motherhood is no joke. There is an invisible battle raging all around us. We aren’t alone. Like Jess said we have the entire trinity on our side.

Connect with Jess here: https://jessconnolly.com/

**Starting in 2021 Don't Mom Alone Insiders in our Patreon Community will begin a "StrengthsFinder Series". Learn the 101 of StrengthsFinder, how it impacts your marriage and parenting and get direction for your life pursuits. Go to Patreon.com/DontMomAlone to learn more. **

Direct download: WRConnolly.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Between the pandemic and uncertainty of this last year and all the pressure of the upcoming holiday season, there is a lot of potential for conflict. My friend and mentor Lynn Hoffman is here with some timely advice on how to engage in this inevitable conflict in a healthy way.

We talk about doing some inner work when you feel hurt by someone or see conflict on the horizon and Lynn shares some stories of how examining her own heart and feelings have made all the difference in her own relationships. 

“It’s about recognizing that I'm a limited human being and I have a limited amount of emotional capacity. It is not infinite. So it's my responsibility. Not somebody else's to pull back and spend some time with the Lord.To do some inner work to really figure out, okay, what's going on with me and what do I need at this moment?”

Whether you find yourself in new, hard places of stress and conflict or fear the constant repeating of old woundings when interacting with family, this episode is for you. 

Questions to ask yourself in conflict:

  • What happened?
  • What do I think about this situation and person?
  • What did I want (expect)?
  • How do I feel (now and any related past feelings)

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Hello Bello -- Get 25% off your diaper bundle order. Plus get 15% off any add-ons. Go to hellobello.com/DMA
  • Skylight Frames-- Get $10 off your purchase of a Skylight Frame. Go to: Skylight.com and enter the code DMA
  • Ancestry -- Get an Ancestry gift today with their special Holiday pricing. Ancestry.com/DMA
Direct download: LynnHoffmanEp307.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

You know who is coming to town. The big man in the red suit is everywhere this time of year and each of us grew up with different traditions on how to engage with and celebrate Santa. 

My assistant Sarah-Jane and I chat about what it was like for each of us growing up with and without Santa and how we acknowledge the jolly yuletide figure with our kids without taking the focus off Jesus.

Sarah-Jane shares how her family adopted a separate holiday in December, Saint Nicholas Day, and I talk about playing the “Santa Game” with my kids. Wherever you fall on the “Santa spectrum,” we hope this conversation gives you grace to celebrate Christmas with your family with or without Santa being a major part (and give that same grace to others).

 

“Isn't it so great that God doesn't work the same way as Santa? It’s because we're so naughty that we got the gift of Jesus. It's the opposite. So I would, as a teaching moment to reemphasize the glorious grace of Jesus. Instead of thinking, I can't do Santa because it takes away from the grace of Jesus, the good news is we have a different option.”

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Skylight Frames --get $10 off your purchase of a Skylight Frame when you go to SkylightFrame.com and enter code DMA.
  • Story Worth -- Give your loved ones the gift of spending time together, wherever you live, with StoryWorth. Get started right away with no shipping required by going to StoryWorth.com/dma. You’ll get $10 off your first purchase!
  • PrepDish -- Just go to Prepdish.com/shop and enter code DMA5020 at checkout to get HALF OFF meal plans (deal only lasts from Black Friday to Cyber Monday). 
Direct download: SantaEp306.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As a mom of three small children, author and podcaster Tsh Oxenreider found Christmas a bit overwhelming and as Charlie Brown would say, “too commercial.” Year after year she found herself dreading the season and looking for simple ways to refocus the holiday on the things that mattered most. 

After living overseas for a year with her family and switching to a more liturgical church, Tsh found the centuries old observance of Advent to be the perfect way to slow down the crazy season of Christmas. She joins me to introduce Advent if you are new to it and to talk about the beautiful new Advent guide she created.

“This is for us, this is to reset our hearts and our focus to that which is the true reason we celebrate Christmas. So the thing I love about celebrating Advent in our culture is that it feels pretty counter-cultural in a world that both is focused on the gifts and is focused on the consumption parts of Christmas.”

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about the liturgical practice of Advent, this is the show for you! Tsh shares a lot of practicals and perspectives about why celebrating this separate season can help us prepare for both the celebration of Jesus’ birth and the eventual time when Christ will, one day, make all things new.

Connect with Tsh: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsor: 

Direct download: TshEp305.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Do  you  ever  find  yourself  replaying  and  reliving  the details of the deepest hurt in your life? My guest today has endured a devastating, public heartbreak – and she has wrestled with the lingering,unresolved pain which followed. Author and speaker Lysa TerKeurst joins me to share part of her  journey of  learning to forgive what you can’t forget.

“I don't want to make this sound more clean and pretty than it actually was. It was hard. It was horrific. It was terrible. And walking out something as devastating as an affair in a marriage created tremendous burden and tremendous hardship. But I will say that one commitment that I made that was really important was that I can feel hurt, but I don't have to choose to live hurt. Or perpetuate that hurt into other people.”

Lysa shares vulnerably and offers advice for anyone who feels stuck in a cycle of unresolved pain. We talk about the huge help a Christian counselor has been both for Lysa and her children throughout this process and how she delved into what the Bible really says about forgiveness.

“The Bible never says that people have to forgive and forget. It actually says quite the opposite. If we can be healed of it, it is actually beneficial not to forget because it becomes a testimony that can be used in powerful ways. And that's part of the good that God can bring in our story. I think how we know that we are experiencing healing is the way that we tell the stories of our lives.”

Connect with Lysa: 

Links Mentioned:  

 Featured Sponsors: 

  • HelloBello --Get a diaper bundle 25% off, free shipping and 15% off add-ons hellobello.com/DMA
  • BetterHelp --Get 10% off your first month of online counseling betterhelp.com/DMA
  • Ancestry --check out the holiday deals on Ancestry DNA products ancestry.com/DMA
Direct download: LysaTerKeurstEp304.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As a long time believer, my friend Molly just couldn’t see much value in prayer. With her always on-the-go personality and her full life raising three boys with her husband, taking the time to sit in silence and pray seemed unappealing. Besides, doesn’t God already know what’s going to happen? 

But, something shifted in a big way for Molly as she started to learn more about the Holy Spirit and met a friend who prayed with power and conviction and talked about really having a relationship with God. 

“I would say that my prayers were very polite and just formal at best and just really few and far between. So I really did just kind of blow the lid off of the box that I had him in regarding prayer and just gave me this fresh perspective of going to him and communing with him…  I started to see it as this right and this privilege to pray as God's daughter.”

Since then, Molly has seen God move in powerful ways in her life through the humble act of prayer. She shares just a few of the stories of how God has used her — just a “normal mom” — to minister to others around her, even door-to-door salespersons! 

If you are feeling discouraged or need a boost in your prayer life, this is the episode for you! I pray Molly’s story gets you excited about talking with God in a new way. 

Links Mentioned: 

More on Prayer:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Direct download: MollyRhodesEp303.mp3
Category:missions -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

With the heaviness of 2020 weighing on so many moms, I thought this week we should share a few laughs. My assistant Sarah-Jane Menefee joins me to share some funny mom stories we’ve experienced and stories that listeners submitted. 

We’ve got everything from simple misunderstandings to funny church stories to the ever-popular and unavoidable poop stories. I also share a tip on one way to remember the fun stories for each of your kids that doesn’t involve trying to write things down in a book. 😉

Sometimes you’ve got to laugh to keep from crying and that’s what this week is all about.

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Direct download: Ep302.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Several listeners recommended Dr. Rosaria Butterfield as a guest on our recent survey. I’m so glad you did! Dr. Butterfield shares about her former life as a lesbian and professor of queer theory. In a quest to understand why Christians hated her, a neighbor introduced her Christ. Now she is an author, speaker, pastor’s wife,  adoptive mother of four and gospel advocate to her neighbors. 

She is passionate about helping Christians lovingly look past labels of sexual identity and share the gospel effectively.

“So if you know that you have neighbors who identify as lesbian. Don't avoid them. That's not what Christian neighbors do. You know? I think we really do need to see these things head on. Don't be afraid to listen to what people's concerns are and then speak a word in season. I would say too that Christians don't throw people away. We shouldn't be known for people who throw people away because they're inconvenient.”

We talk about a lot of subjects that can be difficult for us as moms to discuss, but also about how important it is that we have conversations with our kids about sexual identity, the Gospel and who God made them to be. 

“The first thing is as Christian parents, if you don't talk to your children about sexuality, Someone else will. So while we want to maintain modesty and care and age appropriateness, we absolutely do not want to shirk this responsibility. We need to foreground the beauty and the majesty and the calling of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.”

Connect with Dr. Butterfield: 

Links Mentioned:  

Dr. Butterfield’s Books:

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Direct download: DrButterfieldEp301.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Whether we like it or not we have habits that define our lives. We have habits that determine when we wake up, how we spend our time and where we focus our energy. Joining me today to talk about how to establish routines and healthy habits is my good friend Kat Lee. 

As the founder of Hello Mornings, Kat is all about helping people have a life-giving morning routine every day in as little as three minutes, but beyond just mornings, Kat has a wealth of knowledge to share on habit formation and a lot of encouragement that we can do them.

“Whatever it is that you're wanting to change or improve--whether it's your morning routine, your parenting, your marriage--whatever it might be, if you believe that it's possible with God and you have a plan and you're committed to it, then you can only progress.”

We talk about the idea of deconstructing habits we want to break to find solutions. Decision design and how our lives make habits easier or harder and we even get into a little neuroscience. 

But ultimately, Kat wants to remind me and you that God is for us and wants our time and attention.

“It's not just about the morning routine or checking anything off, but it's about tapping into the one thing that's going to help you the most each day. And I hope that if you walk away from anything from this episode, it's just that God is with you and that He is for you.”

Connect with Kat: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsor: 

Thrive Market -- get a free gift of up to $24 when you sign for a Thrive Market Membership. go to thrivemarket.com/DMA

Direct download: KatLeeEp300.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Marriage can be really hard. You start out so in love and excited but over time the daily strain of work, home, and parenting makes it challenging to connect with your spouse. Add a global pandemic and the strain is just overwhelming. 

My guests Brent and Janis Sharpe are both Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists who have been married for 42 years. They are passionate about helping couples have healthy and thriving marriages even in the hardest of times. 

“Most marriages are dealing with malnutrition. They're feeding everything else in their life… all the demands of children, the demands of taking care of a house, the demands of their job. And by the end of the day, they're just spent and they don't have much energy to move back towards each other. So finding little ways that we can move back towards one another and care for each other is significant.”

We talk about healthy habits that we start right now to give our marriages a boost and they aren’t what you might expect. What is so encouraging about the tips they share is how simple and small these habits are and the big impact they can make.

Don't miss the 90/10 lie! 

Connect with Brent and Janis: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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Direct download: BrentJanisFinalEp299.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It was such an honor for me to chat with one of my favorite authors for this episode. Max Lucado has written almost 100 books and is a pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio. We talk about his new book You Are Never Alone and he shares with so much kindness and care about how we can trust in the miracle of God’s presence — yep, even in 2020.  

Max knows God’s word and he combines meeting you where you with the truth of who God is in a powerful way as we talk about responding to loneliness as moms.

 

“I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but what if God does have a miracle? And what if God in his sovereignty can use this isolation or use this unusual circumstance to draw you closer to him and show you who he is? So rather than resist this, be open to the idea and say, Okay, Lord, I still believe you're there.”

 

If you are feeling weary with all this year has brought your way, this episode is the pep talk you need to reframe your perspective on God’s goodness and not give in to our emotions or feelings of hopelessness. 

“The message of the miracles is you're really not by yourself. You're not alone. Your heavenly father loves you and the Lord Jesus will come to you. And the Holy Spirit will empower you. Don't give in to despair now. You may feel nothing but exhaustion, but your feelings are not a barometer of the presence of God.”

Connect with Max: 

Links Mentioned:  

**Amazon affiliate links

Featured Sponsors: 

  • Will You Be My Friend -- new book by Sam McBratney (author of "Guess How Much I Love You") Available where books are sold**.
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Direct download: MaxLucadoEp298.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Keli Reese is a naturally joyful person and a teacher who loves children. She figured that motherhood would come naturally for her too. But, after having five children in five years she found herself in the midst of life and home with lots of littles and wondered where her joy had gone.

“I had this mindset of what our home was going to be like because I'm doing this for Jesus. We're going to have this wonderful home. And when things were not looking that way, when I wasn't loving getting up early; I wasn't loving the laundry that never ended; I wasn't loving potty training; (all the things that was actually happening in my real life) I found myself sinking really deep.” 

As she struggled to perform and achieve her way through motherhood and live up to the ideals she’d had before motherhood, Keli came to breaking point with God and that’s when everything changed. 

“I said God, I can't do it anymore. I cannot do it. And I can just remember the love of the Lord wrapping around me. And he reminded me that no one called me to do it all. I experienced this relief in this release of God.”

Connect with Keli: 

Links Mentioned:  

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Direct download: KeliReeseEp297.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As a mom of three, Lynne Jackson struggled to maintain the order and perfection she expected to have in her life. Conflicts with her oldest son especially left her feeling defeated, angry and fearful of the future. 

“The Lord was speaking to me one day about some of these beliefs that I had. And in Ephesians 4:15, it talks about speaking the truth in love. And I felt like I heard his voice say, you are not speaking the truth in love to yourself, about you and your kids. And then I went on a journey to figure out what was really true.”

Lynne shares how she learned to fight back against the toxic lies she believed about herself and her kids with God’s truth.  We talk about practical ways we can take time to process our feelings with God and with others so we can let go of expectations that hurt our families and can find freedom in our identity in Christ.

“The goal to have perfect kids and be a perfect mom is just a setup for anger and despair. And it's actually idolatry. The real truth that helps us let go of that chronic anger is it's my job to parent wisely. My kid's job is to learn over time, to respond wisely. And that's a process.”

Connect with Lynne: 

Links Mentioned:  

More Episodes with the Jacksons:  

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Direct download: LynneJacksonEp296.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As minister and mom of one with another child on the way, Dominique Young looked like she had it all together —  great job, great family, great ministry. But a few months into her second pregnancy she started experiencing postpartum psychosis, high anxiety and began hearing voices.

The feelings she always tried to mask or hide behind helpful scriptures could not be controlled anymore, but she started to find breakthrough when she learned that her real problem was fear.

“I always thought faith was easy. If I just said something and I kept moving, then God, on the back end, without my knowledge would take out all the fear. All I had to do is quote enough scripture. And what God began to show me is that he wanted me to have faith that he is God, so that I could just be human.”

We talk about her experience of getting a new perspective on faith, learning to experience emotions in a healthy way, and allowing herself to rely on others more and she started her journey toward health and wholeness. Now, she helps other moms do the same with her online community of Faith Mamas.

Connect with Dominique Young: 

Links Mentioned:  

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Direct download: DominiqueYoungEp295.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Kimberly Amici wanted her family to live by a set of values and a mission. So, she sat down with her husband and wrote out her ideas and expectations. But, in the midst of their busy life raising three kids and “going with the flow,” the Amici family didn’t have a set purpose or culture and it showed.

However, through a series of ongoing conversations as a family, Kimberly has been able to identify a few areas of purpose that are now a part of her family’s culture. It took having more in-depth conversations to get buy-in from kids to really identify and own their unique family culture.

Now, Kimberly provides coaching and resources that help others build their best families by having these conversations, choosing a few values to focus on and making small steps towards those values each day.  

“The routines that we've put in place, these small steps that we take every day is what builds culture. It's not some big campaign saying we're going to transform our lives and become this other family. It's these teeny, tiny steps along the way.”

Connect with Kimberly Amici: 

Links Mentioned:  

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Direct download: KimAmiciEp294.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

(If you struggle with how to manage distance learning and working from home...listen to Kendra "lazy genius" that situation for me)

Kendra Adachi also known as the Lazy Genius calls herself a professional permission giver. And she’s here to give us permission to be a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t.

“I've come to this place of realizing we do not need another life hack. MacGyvering together a list of hacks and inspirational quotes isn’t going to get you a life that is wholehearted and anchored in what matters to you. That's why you're tired because that doesn't work.”

That sounds great, but the hard part is choosing what matters to YOU. We talk about how Kendra learned to let go of the expectations of doing everything well as a mom and how her Lazy Genius principles can help others get the same freedom.

She helps me “lazy genius” my life when it comes to the constant interruptions of parenting and virtual schooling as a work-at-home mom with some solutions that are both practical and soulful. I hope this conversation is helpful to many of you as we head into a fall season full of unknowns. 

My key takeaways:

  • Make house rules that serve you and your sanity
  • Breath prayer when you feel scattered or like everything needs your attention: Lord, open my eyes to what matters right now. 

Connect with Kendra: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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Direct download: KendraAdachiEp293.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

When I recorded this interview in 2015 I had no idea just two years later my father would pass away. Stacey's wisdom on grief became my lifeline.

This year with so many losses our hearts have experienced constant, low-level grief. On top of being quarantined, some of you may have lost loved ones. As moms, you've been unable to have time/space to grieve (or have a formal memorial service).

Today’s podcast guest is my soul sister friend, Stacey Thacker. She and I have been chatting about life, Jesus and family for the many years. Stacey writes online and has authored several books (a new one releasing in just a few months--Threadbare Prayer). When we conducting this interview Stacey shared so much of what she had learned from the loss of her father.

Since the interview she's experienced additional trauma and grief. Through it all she remains tethered to her faithful God. She is wise and can be trusted.  

My hope is whether you are the one who has experienced loss or not, you will be encouraged that even when our worst fears are realized, God’s grace is ever present. And as Stacey points out:

“He holds all things together. And all things means all things.”

What we chat about:

  • How the message of Stacey’s book, “Hope for the Weary Mom” became real
  • How do moms grieve while handling the dailiness of motherhood
  • What actions and words of friends comforted her the most
  • How children grieve differently
  • How to be available and present with a grieving friend
  • What moments over the course of the year bring back grief
  • How do you manage your home when one child has to be hospitalized
  • How God holds all things together

Connect with Stacey:

Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate links

Featured Sponsor: PrepDish get two weeks of FREE meal plans if you go to http://prepdish.com/dma 

Direct download: SofMWk6StaceyThacker.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As moms, we know we need rest. We usually equate rest with sleep or rest with a vacation, but this week’s guest shares a much bigger picture of our need for rest in multiple areas of our lives. 

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a medical doctor, wife and mother to two boys. She had everything she’d dreamed of and worked hard to achieve, but wasn’t enjoying it. 

“So I kept pushing and pushing myself till I got to the point where I literally just burned out. I wasn't happy with my job. I couldn't see how my marriage would survive. I didn't want my kids anymore. I was just at the end of myself. I didn't want the life I created.”

After reaching this breaking point, she went on a journey of restoration and healing where she learned to connect with God and with his plan for rest. Now she shares her research and methods with her patients and with all of us. If you’ve ever felt tired and at the end of yourself, this episode is for you. 

“We already have permission to rest, but the mommy guilt that sometimes comes tells us we don’t. That is really a lie. I look at it as the John 10:10. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And he's doing it to a lot of us through our inability to rest, our inability to trust God that when we lay things down that he is able to uphold them.”

What we chat about:

  • When Saundra reached her breaking point from stress and lack of true rest
  • We have physical limits to what we can do as moms 
  • How Saundra researched rest and looked at scripture for clarity on how God rested
  • The seven types of rest are physical, to mental, spiritual, emotional, social, sensory and creative.
  • The difference between a vacation and resting
  • Paying attention to a place that feels painful in your body in the moment vs ignoring it
  • Finding emotional rest through connection with friends, even through video chat if getting together is impossible
  • The importance of authentic, open friendships with women who can relate to your life situation
  • Ideas on how to stay engaged with your husband and reignite your marriage
  • Putting limits on social media time so that your mind has down time
  • Tips for getting mental rest and release ideas that make your mind race
  • Sensory rest-- what it is and ways to get it
  • It is not selfish to prioritize resting. It keeps you from having a toxic reaction to those around you.

Links Mentioned: 

Website: http://ichoosemybestlife.com/

Book: http://ichoosemybestlife.com/sacred-rest/ 

Quiz: http://restquiz.com/ 

Featured Sponsor: BetterHelp

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Direct download: SofMWk5Saundra.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Sippy cup refill requests. Another load of laundry to fold. A sibling dispute.

Ever feel like you are reacting to life? Life is coming at you and you respond.

There have been many times in my mothering where instead of joy & hope I feel beat down and unfulfilled.

One woman who has whispered beauty and calm into those dark places, is today’s podcast guest, Sally Clarkson.

She told me motherhood can be more than just doing the dishes. It is an important job, guiding souls through discipleship and love. She taught me that my hard-to-handle boy may need me to sympathize more than instruct. She agreed boys may be a little wild. . .but showed me they can be civil & sip tea.

When I was coming out of a time of “not feeling like myself” Sally showed me how to own my life. To drop the negative thoughts which held me back. To consider what I wanted my days to look like and then make them happen.

He is the living, vibrant not-to-be-contained God. The more I would ponder God and engage with him in my own heart, the more my kids were drawing from me all the excellencies and realities of God. When we are passionate and filled with the Holy Spirit, our children will be exposed to the living God.

Sally has written her encouragement into a book called, “Own Your Life” (2015).

In this podcast episode, which originally aired January 6, 2015, I asked Sally all-the-things I’ve been pondering, from how to help your children really “know” God to simple advice on transforming a hard mom day.

What we talk about:

  • Why I struggle to read Sally’s books at the end of hard days.
  • Every mom has her own mom personality.
  • In spite of our mom errors, children can learn our hearts
  • How do we help our children “Yadah” God…to know Him personally
  • Living a life of color & taste & joy so our children see & know the goodness of the Lord.
  • How we are motivated…not by guilt or checklists but by love & encouragement.
  • Balancing grace & truth in parenting–practicing patience & love takes time.
  • Definition of the phrase “own your life”-
  • Sally’s example of a friend who “owns her life” in a special way why she serves her son with a disability.
  • In an immediate gratification society, not forgetting the long term process of your life. growing day by day, little by little.
  • Making sure you make time for yourself, to fill up before you pour out to the little people in your life.
  • Common barriers to owning your life.
  • Sally’s advice to a mom who was depressed<–LOVED THIS
  • Importance of believing the right philosophy–God is for you.

Connect with Sally:

Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Links:

Featured Sponsor: Thrive Market

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Direct download: SofMWk4SallyClarkson.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

(This episode originally aired in 2016) Francie Winslow shares the exponential impact marital intimacy has on the world around us.

Sex is a multiplying factor in our lives, not just with producing kids, but producing a massive amount of connection.

In the past two years Francie has been doing extensive research on theology of the body. Exploring how God stamped His image on us. How we express our roles as image bearers through sex in marriage.

God is an invisible God who wants to make himself visible to us. When man and woman come together as one it’s his invitation for humanity to become one with God. Intimately connected with Him.

Francie shares their own family stress and her personal struggle with anxiety. Things that can disrupt marital connection. She vulnerably shares how she and her husband have purposefully chosen sex over isolation.

God’s training us to fight for connection and for each other instead of against each other.

Love Francie’s practical tips for keeping technology in check. So often screens and devices creep in between couples, increasing the distance and decreasing the intimacy.

Don’t miss the list of great resources below to help train your children in forming a healthy perspective of the body and sex.

What we chat about:

  • Francie’s journey to learn sex isn’t dirty or a duty but a delight.
  • Her recent study of theology of the body.
  • How anxiety and adoption stress led Francie and her husband to choose to have more sex (you read that right).
  • How technology impacts our marital connection and practical solutions
  • Help and healing for women who struggle with their view of sex.
  • A reminder to daily do the things that keep you alive as a person.
  • The Ripple Effect of sex in marriage.
  • A word of encouragement for the single mom.
  • Training our kiddos in a healthy sexual worldview (check out Francie’s resource list below).

Connect with Francie:

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Links Mentioned:

Francie’s Resource List:

Get these books (as many as you can!) and read them over and over and over.  They are great for a range of ages – not just toddlers.  Not only will it help form a great spiritual foundation for your kids as they enter a sexually intense world as kids (sadly it happens young these days), it will help you as a grown up re-learn how to think about bodies, sexuality and identity.  It will also help give you simple, common language to use on an everyday basis in your home.  They have all been such a big part of us growing in this new way of seeing the gift of sex as a family.

For older kids:

Theology of His Body/Theology of Her Body** by Jason Evert (This was written with college kids in mind, but I found it super helpful and use it woven into conversations with my kids.)

For those who want more depth…Theology of the Body for Beginners** by Christopher West

**Amazon Affiliate Link

Featured Sponsor:

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Direct download: SofMWeek3FrancieWinslow.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Many of us avoid and struggle with conversations about race or disabilities because it’s uncomfortable. When our children ask innocent questions about someone who is different than they are, it can make us feel tongue tied or embarrassed.

Author Dorena Williamson has created some lovely children’s books to help parents respond and invite their children to join them on the journey of learning to love and speak worth over every person that God created.

And I kept feeling frustrated thinking that’s not the solution to teach your children to be colorblind because that’s minimizing the beauty of God’s handiwork. And as Christians we should be the biggest proponents of celebrating the beauty of our racial diversity and not minimizing it or sort of washing it away and this colorblind land.

She shares powerfully about how to engage with your children about racial and cultural differences and how we can model what it looks like to grow in the area of loving and accepting people who are different than us.

As our children get older, I think that these are valuable conversations to have with them because the beauty of it is that it tells your children you are teachable and that you don’t get it right all the time and that you’re continuing to learn and grow.

What we chat about:

  • All about Dorena’s family and their multiracial church, Strong Tower Bible Church
  • Her book ColorFull and the background behind why she wrote it
  • The creativity of God and how he uses color in all that he created
  • Looking for opportunities to share the beauty of racial differences with our children
  • Language for parents to use to help teach children and avoid shaming
  • Reinforcing the idea that “Different is not bad” and calling out the worth of people
  • Why equipping kids early is important
  • Modeling how we are all growing when it comes to loving and accepting people who are different than us
  • Encouraging our children to ask questions even when they are uncomfortable
  • Engaging with our kids about other cultures whether we can travel internationally or experience cultures in our own cities

Connect with Dorena:

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Links Mentioned:

Other books/sites that Dorena recommends: 
Direct download: SOMDorenaWilliamson.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Rachel Anne Ridge is an author, professional artist, and speaker in Texas. Together with her husband Tom, she bootstrapped her way through the Great Recession, raised a family, and rediscovered her purpose in the midst of the everyday juggle of life. Her books, Flash, The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances, and Walking with Henry are inspired by the stray donkeys (yes, donkeys) who interrupted her juggling act and revealed how ordinary (and sometimes hilarious) events help us find our higher purposes and deeper faith. Rachel is mom to three adult children and Nana to five littles.

 

Little did I know when I asked Rachel to be on the podcast, that the day before our interview she wrote a viral blog post encouraging the lonely mom of older kids (click here to read it).

 

Her honest, yet hopeful words, are what I’m sure caused 37,000 + people on Facebook to like her words. She admits the hard parts but encourages moms to keep their eyes on the bigger purpose.

Show Highlights: 

  • Rachel shares personal parenting challenges and what she (and her husband) did to overcome them.
  • Discover a variety of ways to get God-centered (none of which include getting up early).
  • Hear Rachel’s parenting regret and advice on how to avoid it.
  • Be encouraged by Rachel’s greatest parenting strength.
  • For the mom of older children, listen to Rachel’s thoughts on how discipline changes during this stage to a coaching role
  • Most importantly hear the Truth of God’s great love for you and your family.

Links: 

Connect with Rachel:

Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: Instagram

Featured Sponsor: 

Thrive Market  go to https://thrivemarket.com/dma use DMA to get $20 of store credit. 

Direct download: SOMRachelAnneRidge.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

With more family togetherness than ever before comes the potential for a lot more arguing and nagging our kids to obey. If you’re stuck in a parenting rut or negative cycle, then our friends from Connected Families are here to help. 

Stacey Bellward and Chad Hayenga join me to talk about breaking the patterns of defensiveness in our kids and how the power of curious questions can create productive conversations and build wisdom.

“I think as we look at scripture and we consider how Jesus approached people, you know, it was surprising to me when I first learned that Jesus asked 307 questions that are recorded in the gospels. And that's a lot of questioning. And we think about Jesus as being a great teacher. Jesus is a great teacher, but he often times uses questions to build wisdom and to hold people accountable.”

If you want to go deeper after listening to this show, Connected Families is offering a special promo code for Don’t Mom Alone listeners for their Power of Questions online course. With the code DMA20 it’s just $30. 

Connect with Connected Families: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

 

Featured Sponsor:

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Direct download: StaceyChadEp292.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Author and speaker Lisa Bevere is back to give us a powerful message as we head into summer with our kids: “push aside the guilt and celebrate growth.”

She shares some personal stories from very hard places in her life as a young mom and how God led her to work through her anger and underlying fears. 

“God said to me: ‘Children inherit one of two things, either my promises or your fears.’ And that I needed to face off with these things. I leaned into that process because of my son. Not because of me. I just came to the place where I realized that in my weakness, he is strong. I've watched God take every weak place in my life and inhabit it with his strength.”

I’m so thankful for how Lisa takes us into her story and points to God’s faithfulness to heal and restore our brokenness. She also encourages all of us to set aside the unnecessary guilt and heavy expectations we may be carrying in motherhood and to accept God’s mercy which is new every morning. 

Connect with Lisa: 

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Direct download: LisaBevereEp291.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

From learning to walk to tying their shoes and eventually learning to drive (coming up for me soon!), so much of parenting is teaching, training and encouragement. 

When it comes to faith in God, we do all we can to teach our kids about God’s Word and engage kids in church, but research from the Fuller Youth Institute is helping to shine a light on the potential gaps that cause a high number of youth to abandon their faith in college.

My guest Dr. Kara Powell shares a number of research findings that can be game changers for our families as we seek to help our kids develop a faith that sticks with them their whole lives, or “sticky faith.” As a mom of three, she talks about how she’s parented differently in light of her research and why now is the perfect time to start making small changes that could make all the difference.

 

“One of the things that surprised me in our research is that when young people feel close to their parents, they're also more open to what's important to their parents, including their faith. And so it's not just good for our family relationships. It's also good for the long-term trajectory of our kids.”

Connect with the Fuller Youth Institute: 

Links Mentioned:  

Sponsor: Text DMA to 303030 to get a free trial of Beachbody On-Demand

Direct download: KaraPowellEp290.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Deep friendships are essential to our lives. Whether we’re extroverted or introverted, have a lot of friends or a few, we all need someone else to walk through life with. I’m excited for you to hear from Susan Seay, a mom of 7 and a mentor to many. She shares some great advice on keeping our friendships strong during life’s challenges.

“We're all in the same storm. We're just not all dealing with it in the same way. We don't even have the same viewpoint on just how big this issue is or how small it is. If I need to remember, that's not why I chose them as friends. I didn't choose them because we agree on everything. We're always going to be different and unique and varied. It's our foundation that keeps our relationship strong.”

We talk about fighting back against insecurity and comparison which can break down friendships. And we get into how to have a healthy disagreement with a friend and stay close. Susan also shares tips for staying connected with friends and extending grace for misunderstandings and miscommunications that happen in our hyper-connected world. 

Connect with Susan: 

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Direct download: SusanSeayEp289.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

My guest today Jehava Brown takes us into how she started a blog as a side project while staying home with her kids and transitioned that site into a full-time job. 

We talk about work/life balance, setting health boundaries and trusting God to be in charge of the things we can’t control.  

“I know that God is the one who provides every job and every dime. And so when I can rest in that, I don't feel the pressure to hustle 24 hours a day. I was working sometimes even 60 hours a week, which was just crazy. And most of it was at night, so it wasn't getting good sleep. I realized I'm not willing to live that way. So I really had to trust God to a different level”

Jehava is a mom of three boys and she blogs at www.onlygirl4boyz.com. She also shares how she’s connecting with her teenage son differently and some changes she’s made since the quarantine to keep up with housework.

Connect with Jehava: 

Direct download: JehavaBrownEp288.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In the past two years, a lot has changed in the lives of my friends Hailey and Meredith. They came on episode 199 to talk about discipline and toddlers. Since that conversation their families have grown and changed. 

Today we’re chatting about tough transitions with parenting young kids. Whether it’s a newborn who won’t stop screaming or the anticipation of being outnumbered by a third child, change is hard for both parents and kids. 

Hailey and Meredith share how they’ve found hope in God during some difficult situations and how their community of friends have helped them not mom alone. 

“They reminded me that God is working in this. He has not left you. He is working in this situation. And that gave me a lot of hope. One specific friend said: You are serving the Lord when you are holding your screaming baby, when you are in there trying to teach her how to go to sleep. That is service to the Lord.”

 

Links Mentioned:  

Discipline & Toddlers :: Hailey Bain & Meredith Woodruff [Ep 199]

Meredith shared scripture from Lamentations 3:16-24

Foundations Book by Ruth and Troy Simons **

Meredith's business : Concrete Conversations

Hailey's business : Hey Honey Clothing Company and her Facebook Store

Sponsors:

Sunbasket -- Get $35 off your first order of meals over at Sunbasket.com/dma. Use code DMA.

Exploring the Bible Together --Now through May 25, 2020, Don’t Mom Alone listeners can pick up a copy of Exploring the Bible Together along with a selection of ESV children’s Bibles for 40% off with a free Crossway+ membership. For more information, visit  crossway.org/DMA8

Direct download: HaileyMeredithEp287.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CDT