Don't Mom Alone Podcast

Some of our precious kiddos live with their sensitivity and intensity turned up a notch from the rest of us. What we think should be simple or routine can trigger big outbursts from our kids. Daily life might feel chaotic or unpredictable. 

As a mom of a sensitive or intense child you probably have a good idea of what doesn’t work, but it can be hard to discern what will help in those moments. My guests this week are Lynne Jackson and Lydia Rex of Connected Families. Together, they have compiled research and real life experiences from over a 100 families of children who are sensitive and intense and created a parenting course to support and equip parents. 

Lynne and her husband Jim have been regulars on Don’t Mom Alone encouraging moms (and dads) that it is possible to connect with your child, to coach them, and correct them - you never have to lose one to have the other. Lydia joins Lynne in the thick of parenting her own sensitive and intense children to encourage moms to draw from the limitless well of Christ’s love for yourself and your child in real-life challenging situations. 

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Direct download: LynneLydiaEp395.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

Who saw all that you’ve done today? Anyone? A mom’s work usually goes unacknowledged. We want to measure our work by how the house looks or how the children behave, or by how put together we look when we go out. But my guest this week, Ann Voskamp, invites us to prioritize the unseen. She dares us to prioritize things like the riches of Christ, the promise of an eternity in his presence that is “utterly and completely fulfilling,” and our relationships with those around us.  She helps us see the value in “signpost” parenting - not overly concerned with outcomes we cannot control, but deeply committed to continually pointing our kids to Christ and the sufficiency of His great love for us. 

Ann is a mom to 7, farmer’s wife and author of several books including her newest, Your Brave Song: An Inspirational Children’s Picture Book That Shows How Faith in Jesus Can Help Kids Overcome Fear, Worry, and Anxiety

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Direct download: AnnVoskampEp394.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

What’s the first word that comes to mind if I say, “Describe your body”? 

It wasn’t “good”, was it? 

Fellow human, it should be! Because that’s what God himself says about your body! He says it is good. Just the way he created it - not some past or future version of it, how it is right now. 

My guest this week is Alisa Keeton and she has spent the last 10+ years serving others through her ministry, Revelation Wellness. She wants you to understand not only that your body is  good, but just how very much God loves you. She deeply desires that we would know God - not just about him, but know him. And that is where our journey to health and wellness can begin.  

“Freedom is not a look, it’s a feeling.” 

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Direct download: AlisaKeetonEp393.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

You know what you’re seeing of someone else’s life as you scroll isn’t the whole story and yet we all find ourselves longing for that perfect vacation, that look of pure delight on their child’s face, or the silent moments they were able to enjoy. 

We all know “comparison is the thief of joy,”  and we should run from it. But what if, rather than try to immediately silence or distract whatever we’re feeling in those moments, we got curious about what’s going on inside? What if we could filter what we see and discern what is for us and what isn’t? 

In Christ, God has given us a treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is available to us all the time. We can use that wisdom to guide us as we uncover the “why” behind our comparisons and help us recognize our God-given boundaries.     

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Direct download: HeatherEp392.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

“As parents our job is to be kinder and stronger, and wiser.” 

Those words are simple and sensible, but that directive can be deceptively hard.  How do we mother - how do we live even - as our roles change hourly, monthly, yearly? 

In this second part of our conversation with Kari Kampakis she encourages us that if we are finding our identity in Christ and our joy in Him we can more easily navigate our ever-shifting roles as women. We can be free to teach and guide our children through life and ultimately let go of the reins when the time is right. 

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Direct download: KariKampakisEp391.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

“I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom” are the words of Mean Girl Regina George’s mom. We know she’s not a great example of a mom, but it can be difficult to sort out  which moments are for connecting and which are for correcting. 

You want to be a valid voice in your daughter’s life as she enters their teen years and not just maintain, but grow your connection with her. It is possible to break from what society says and enjoy the teenage years. 

Mom of four girls and author, Kari Kampakis, talks with us this week about how humility and compassion can help us navigate our relationships with our tweens and teens. (Bonus - when they see us live this way, it will help them learn to navigate relationships too!)

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Direct download: KariKampakisEp390.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

We are all theologians. We may not be formally educated experts, but we all have beliefs about who God is and how and why he interacts with us (or doesn’t). All of our assumptions, presuppositions, opinions, and ideas make up our theology. The question is, where are we getting our information? What do we base our theology on? 

My guest this week is Phylicia Masonheimer, founder of Every Woman a Theologian, and her goal is “to teach [women] how to discern truth, know what (and Who) [they] believe, and live [their] faith boldly in a post-Christian world.” Her day to day work is creating resources for women to learn to study the bible and navigate doctrine because a firm theological foundation matters for us personally and individually as well as for our other relationships be it our spouses, kids, friends, neighbors. That foundation will underpin the comfort we bring to a hurting friend, the discipline we use with our children, and how we treat our spouse. 

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Direct download: PhyliciaMasonheimerEp389.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

The origins of our word vulnerable are found in a Latin word that means “to wound”. We all know that to be fully known is to open ourselves up to the possibility of being wounded. When we let down our armor, when we expose the wounds of our past  as part of the healing journey is risky and scary, but my guest this week, Toni Collier, says, “Be brave.” 

Be brave enough to be just who you are before God - he knows you already and loves you unconditionally. Be brave enough to be just who you are before yourself and let guilt indicate places that need to change and banish shame. Be brave enough to be who you are before safe people who can walk with you, supporting your unsteady but important healing steps. There are better, healthier relationships to be had through the healing journey. As Toni would say, “hurt and hope can coexist.”

Toni Collier is a wife, mom, author, speaker, and founder of the international women’s ministry Broken Crayons Still Color which helps women process through their brokenness to get hope. Her newest book, Brave Enough to be Broken, is available wherever books are sold.  

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Direct download: ToniCollierEp388.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

“Good fences make good neighbors” is a line from Robert Frost’s Mending Wall, but the poem goes on to say, “Before I built a wall I'd ask to know / What I was walling in or walling out” 

So often in our lives we feel the unrest of chaos or dysfunction in our relationships, but we don’t know exactly what we need to wall out or wall in. My guest this week, Lysa TerKeurst faced a new season of life and wanted to enter it with wisdom and strength - caring for others and herself in each of her relationships. Her personal journey led to her newest book, Good Boundaries and Goodbyes, a guide for each of us as we navigate relationships, practice setting healthy boundaries and even sometimes need to say goodbye. 

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Direct download: LysaTerKeurstEp387.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:34am CST

Grief has been called the unwanted visitor - it shows up when you don’t want it and it often stays longer than we would want. In the midst of seasons of suffering or grieving it’s so easy to feel isolated and to be isolated, the weight of bringing our real selves into community feeling like another burden to bear. Whatever dreams we might have had of how our life we go or what it would look like for us to serve God and others seem to be an impossibility. 

Meet my guest this week, Lindsey Wheeler. For over a decade Lindsay and her family have fought through her chronic illness and fought for her special needs daughter. She has felt the sting of isolation and the deep relief and joy of true community. In the midst of it all she has found a way to serve others and share God’s gentle love for them by sitting with them in their grief. Through her small business, Bottle of Tears (see discount code below), she reminds others they are seen in their grief - by her, by God, by a loved one that would send one of her precious vintage bottles. 

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Direct download: LindseyWheelerEp386.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

“Deck the Halls with Chaos and Unmet Expectations” - not the traditional words to the song but maybe more accurate? 

Advent is celebrating Jesus coming into our everyday life, meeting us humans in the spaces where we are. My guest this week, Mindy Rives, reminds us that our activities to celebrate Advent should be just that - woven into our everyday life. But so often we get buried in “failed” activities or the season zooms past us. 

Mindy’s excellent planning tool, Advent Prep Club, will help you find all sorts of activities from free or inexpensive things to more involved activities, with plenty of space to add in your holiday traditions.  

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Direct download: MindyRivesEp385.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:31am CST

The Chosen has taken the world by storm. It’s the largest fan supported entertainment project of all time with over 408 million views on its app alone. It’s a show about the Bible, about Jesus written from the unique perspective of the people Jesus chose to be around. It showcases Jesus’ incredible love and puts us the viewer right into the daily life of Jesus’ disciples and friends. 

Join Heather as she speaks with cast members and writers and more on The Chosen’s impact on their own lives and people around the world. 

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Direct download: ChosenSpecialEp384.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

Do you view other moms as collaborators or competitors? Whether it’s our achievements or our difficulties we often compare ourselves to other moms rather than come alongside them (or even celebrate them - gasp!).  

My guests this week say it this way -  “[we] are committed to choosing collaboration over competition and running far from that scarcity mentality that there's just not enough at the table. Instead, we're just building a bigger table.” 

Jessica is the founder of Noonday Collections and her business partner Liz Bohannon founded Sseko and they are joining forces to become the world’s largest fair-trade fashion selling brand. They encourage us that joining together as moms doesn’t deplete our resources but actually multiplies them. 

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Direct download: lizjessicaep383B.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

It’s been pointed out that if you want to make anything scary or negative, put “teenage” in front of it. For example, teenage driving, teenage parties, teenage sex, teenage thinking. 

One of our main jobs as parents is to help our kids grow into functioning adults who make their own decisions. In order to do that, we have to give our kids freedoms to practice making their own decisions in meaningful ways. 

Dr. Ken Wilgus is a father, author, and licensed psychologist with many years of helping parents and young adults navigate the teen years. He tells us that our teens want to know they can actually grow up in our house - to begin experiencing the freedom (and responsibility) of being an adult while still under our care. Though he isn’t promising us an easy ride, Dr. Wilgus encourages us that if we do that it will actually foster more attachment and connection with our teenagers. 

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:31am CST

What does it mean to have the Holy Spirit? To encounter or experience the Holy Spirit? How does he speak to us? Does he speak to us? 

Western cultures tend to operate under the assumption that if we can’t explain it, it isn’t real. My guest this week gives us hope beyond what we can understand. Author and pastor Max Lucado encourages us that God wants to guide us and speak to us and reminds us that the Holy Spirit was given to us as believers to guarantee our arrival one day in heaven. He shares some of his own experience and what it’s like to hear from God by the power of the Holy Spirit. If you are looking for empowerment in motherhood and strength for difficult days and decisions, Max Lucado is encouraging you to “open yourself to the possibility that the greatest power in the universe is alive and well accessible to you wherever you are.”

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Direct download: MaxLucadoEp381.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

How do you feel when you are in between stages of life? Excited? Nervous? Afraid? 

Tweens - those kids in between childhood and adolescence - are capable, growing into their own thoughts and ideas and preferences, but not quite as opinionated as teenagers.  In this “in between” there is plenty of room for curiosity and character development if we will stay connected to and interested in our kids. 

My guest this week is Charissa Lopez (she’s gotten married since she was last on the show as Charissa Fry), a therapist and parent coach, and she encourages us that healthy attachment can lead to healthy individuation (that process of our kids distinguishing themselves from us).  She helps us see that for the entire time we are in relationship with our kids they need comfort and encouragement and connection with us. Though we still have authority over our kids we, as parents, are transitioning out of such a hands-on role in their lives and Charissa helps us think through puberty and friend groups, and our tweens’ spiritual growth. 

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**For resources mentioned below, parents should read the book first. Don’t feel like you have to read every word to your child. Just use the parts that work for your family and skip the rest. Or discuss why some people believe differently than you.*

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Direct download: CharissaLopezEp380.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

What do we do with ourselves when our kids need less of our minute to minute attention? How do we fill the space given to us when kids go to preschool or elementary school?  If we aren’t intentional as we step into this next phase of motherhood it can become a place of confusion or lost identity. As we focus on different Ages & Stages of our children’s development during this series we are taking an aside this week to parent ourselves if you will. 

My guest this week, Kara Trochta, has a special place in her heart for the moms in the middle - whose children aren’t all launched into adulthood but who aren’t asking for their juice boxes to be opened 1675 times a day anymore. Through her own journey of soul searching and learning to dream again she has created a program to walk moms through this process of realigning who you are and where you are headed.  

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  •  Book Your Free Middle Motherhood™️ Life Audit Session to get clarity and create purpose and passion in this next season of motherhood. www.karatrochta.com/session
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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

What is your favorite elementary school memory? A teacher you loved? Playing on a favorite team? Parenting elementary school kids can sometimes feel like a breath of fresh air - kids are more capable, they can get their own snacks, help out around the house, and more. But in every stage of childhood our kids are developing and it’s important we give them the tools to do so.  

My guest this week is pediatrician, author, speaker, and mom, Dr. Meg Meeker. For over thirty years she has been helping kids and their parents navigate childhood. In this episode she encourages us to let our elementary kids slow down and grow self-esteem and empathy by being and doing with us. We cover a range of topics from identity formation to sensory issues to extra curricular activities. 

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Direct download: DrMegMeekerEp378.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

It’s cliché until you have to live it - the grocery store crying infant or toddler tantrum. The hushed pleas or commands from embarrassed parents. The silent judgment of others.

Crying or whining are often attempts at communication, but they cause a stress response in moms and it can feel easier to just hush the child than keep a boundary. From there it’s a quick hop, skip, and a jump to all the mom-guilt we can throw on our shoulders. No, we can’t keep your toddler from throwing inane tantrums or make your infant suddenly articulate, but we know someone who can help you approach these situations from a different perspective. 

As a licensed Language of Listening parent coach, certified sleep consultant, and mom to 5 kids, Rachel Norman has experienced a lot of infant and toddler behavior. In this episode she teaches us how to validate our children’s feelings while holding our boundaries. Rachel helps us understand why managing and understanding our own stress response to whining and crying can be a valuable tool as we help our children learn to regulate their own emotions. 

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**Please note, this is a pre-order link. The book releases October 11, 2022.**

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Direct download: RachelNormanEp277.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:31am CST

What fear pops up in your parenting again and again? Maybe it’s, “how do I teach my kids that they can do hard things in a loving way?” or, “what if my kids make bad decisions?” or “what if I’m a bad mom?”

These fears can feel overwhelming and that the answers to them are complicated.  My guest this week gives us an unexpected ally in overcoming the fears that grip us as moms - reading aloud. It sounds almost too simple, but author and mom of 7, Jennifer Pepito, shows us that the stories we share with our kids can help them navigate some of the tougher experiences with life. By exposing our kids to character building stories we can infuse them with perspective and thoughtfulness as they face life’s difficult situations. She also encourages us that forgiveness can be an avenue to freedom from fear in our lives and specifically our parenting. 

TRIGGER WARNING: This episode briefly mentions suicide. If you or anyone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts please reach out to someone you trust. You can call or text 988 anytime of day or night. 

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Direct download: JenniferPepitoEp376.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Doubt is a normal part of a growing faith. When the big questions come, you can navigate them with confidence. 

Is it worth it to go to church? If God is loving, why would he allow bad stuff in the world? Did God really create me the way I am on purpose?

Questions and exploration are rites of passage for the teenage years as each of us grapples (in varying degrees) to figure out who we are and where we want to go in life. With a near endless supply of voices, ideas, and influences from the internet and culture at large it can feel like our kids are in danger of being lost in a sea of information we have no control over. 

But all is not lost! My guest this week, apologist and writer Mary Jo Sharp, encourages us to walk with our kids into the tunnel of doubt. She reminds us that contrary to what we might think, we really are still the biggest influencers on our child’s religious views and that the culture we create in our homes around self transformation and questioning can help our kids make their faith their own. By giving them a safe space to ask and discuss the big questions of life we will likely give ourselves a seat at their decision-making table. 

Mary and her team create resources for parents and teens as they walk through doubt and faith finding at DarkroomFaith.com

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Direct download: MaryJoSharpEp375.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

Marriage is like riding a bike with no training wheels - you have to keep pedaling to stay up. There’s no easy downhill, no coasting. It’s worth it, but it’s work. Add a kid or a few in there with work and bills and activities and it’s easy for us to stop the pedaling of intentionality that builds a strong marriage. 

My guest this week is Kimberly Beam Holmes and without God’s intervention and her parents’ commitment to do the hard work of repairing their broken marriage she wouldn’t be alive! Now she is committed to helping couples build strong relationships through the organization her father started, Marriage Helper. They are passionate about situations that feel hopeless and she encourages us that while growing a healthy marriage isn’t simplistic, there are simple places for us to start. 

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Direct download: KimberlyBeamHolmesEp374.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

If you’re new here or even if you’ve been around a while, join us this week as I give you a glimpse into who I am, how Don’t Mom Alone came about, and where we’re headed as a show. We’ll talk through a listener story and some of my own healing journey I’ve walked through this summer. My hope is you’ll accept the invitation to “withness”. And, that you’ll join our team to help other moms not go it alone. 

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Direct download: FiresideChatEp373Final.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

Media is all around us - movies, music, tv, online videos, reels, TikToks, and more. And, there are as many parenting strategies around media as there are types of media. How do we safeguard our kids around media in today’s culture?

Spoiler Alert: We aren’t going to talk about what to watch per se, but rather how to watch. 

In this episode I’ll talk about what it could look like for us to raise not just haphazard watchers but discerning media consumers. Of course, we should exercise wisdom with what our kids watch and listen to, but also, as moms we’re in the business of teaching men to fish. 

Let’s teach our kids to become discerning viewers. I’ll give you some handlebars to foster discussions about movies or TV with your kids and to get them thinking about what they’re watching too. “We want our children to know the one good story so well that when they see Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Frodo, Anne of Green Gables, Ariel, and Sleeping Beauty they can recognize the strands of truth and deception in them.” (Karalee Reinke, in Ep 27). 

“O Discerning Spirit, 

Who alone judges all things rightly, 

Now be present in my mind and active

In my imagination as I prepare to engage 

With the claims and questions of diverse cultures

Incarnated in the stories that people tell.” 

A Liturgy Before Consuming Media, Every Moment Holy by Douglas McKelvey

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Direct download: RaisingDiscerningViewersEp372.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:34am CST

What would it take for you to walk away from the most abundant time in your career? From a time that was not only full, but fun, rewarding, and productive? 

My guest this week, Christy Wright did just that - walked away from a season of immense abundance in her career, not because of difficult situations but simply because God called her out of it. She says this call was so clear she came to a point where she feared disobedience more than the uncertainty of leaving her career. She followed God into a new season of freedom and work. It's like God called Christy in for a meeting to talk about rebranding - not to change who He had created her to be, but to change her everyday look and her assignments. 

We've spent our summer talking through our unique "mom brands" and in our final week of Summer of Mentorship we're hitting on something that will happen to each of us as moms at one point or many - the need to rebrand. To leave behind what worked and was right for that specific time to embrace what God is saying is right for now. Ecclesiastes reminds us there is rhythm and seasons to life and we will walk through transitions in our work and home life. Christy encourages us to courageously cling to God's voice in those times and not let the fear of uncertainty keep us from the rebranding God is walking us through.. 

 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you from the episode? 
  • What current roles help shape your days? 
  • Are you ok with you when you take away what you do? Or, how easily can you separate out who you are from what you do? 
  • Have you gone through a “rebranding” as a mom? Either because of change in circumstance or because your routines weren’t serving you, or for another reason. What was difficult about that time? What was beneficial in that transition?
  • Spend the last 10 minutes of your group time in silence praying and listening and ask God, “Is there anything I need to be freed from?”

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Direct download: ChristyWrightSofM22Wk6.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Does your life look exactly like you want it to? All too often we come across what seems like the life that we want on someone else’s Instagram. You can dismiss those as the “highlight reels”, that is what they are, but sometimes the girl next door has what you want. What do you do then? How do you prep your kids for when they don’t get invited or when they feel like someone else has it better than them? 

My guest this week, Karen Ehman, says, “Go find your old self.” 

She’s not leading us on an existential journey into the past, but to those around us that need the love of Christ. She encourages us in a powerful way that when we are discouraged by someone who has it “better” than us to find someone who has it “worse” than us, not so we can feel good about something, but because there is a person who needs the love of Christ. 

We’re taking time this summer (as usual) to be mentored by some experienced moms and benefit from their wisdom. I’m asking them about their “mom brands” and the unique families and assignments God has given them to help us embrace the specific and unique spot God has given each of us. 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you in this episode? Why? 
  • Who is your “old self”? What was a particularly difficult time God brought you through that you could use as a connection point to love someone else? 
  • When have you felt loved or seen by someone else in the midst of a difficult situation? 
  • Thinking about Karen’s mom and how hard she has to work as a single mom, where in your life are you having to work hard? Which of your God-given assignments is either physically, or mentally, or spiritually challenging? Spend some time praying for these situations with your group. 
  • When you think about loving others by inviting them into your life what limitations come to mind? 
  • Who is a necessary person you can love tangibly this month? Brainstorm ideas with your group about simple ways to show Christ’s love.

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Direct download: KarenEhmanSofM22Wk5.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Creating Family Culture :: Amber O’Neal Johnston [SOM Wk 4]

You are creating a culture for your family, right now, whether or not you’re aware of it or intentional in it. Your words and actions reveal the functional values you have for your family. Is yours a culture of fun and laughter? Grace and second chances? Integrity and grit? It could be all of those and more, or something simpler - it is unique to your family! Whatever it is, if it isn’t intentionally cultivated it will be like a garden filled with weeds - growing, but haphazard.

My guest this week is Amber O’Neal Johnston and one of the values that drives her family’s culture is that her kids would know they are seen and valued at home and in the world. And that other people are just as valuable too.  This, along with other values, drives the decisions they make about how they interact with the world around them, right down to the restaurants they eat at.  She challenges us to not only cultivate a family culture, but to grow as moms and people along the way. Her book, A Place to Belong: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and Beyond is available now.

We’re taking time this summer (as usual) to be mentored by some experienced moms and benefit from their wisdom. I’m asking them about their “mom brands” and the unique families and assignments God has given them to help us embrace the specific and unique spot God has given each of us. 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you from this episode? 
  • What practices or resources have you used to expose your kids to other cultures? 
  • Where has God called you to speak out in love when you’d prefer to remain silent? Spend time praying with your group for these circumstances.
  • What is one value that you want to emphasize in your home? 
  • Amber shared that she had to release her need to impress other moms in order for her kids to flourish - what expectation or ideal do you need to let go of so that your kids can flourish?
  • How would being secure and confident in your family culture change your relationships with other moms or families? 

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Direct download: AmberJohnstonSofMWk4editedad.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:31am CST

“I don't have time for the things that God has not called me to.”

My guest this week, Shontell Brewer, wisely speaks those words. She is a wife and mom of 5. She’s written a book on parenting and still things haven’t always gone the way she’s planned or wanted. But she has learned where to lean in and wait on the Lord. She’s learned that to be intentional as a mom or wife or teacher she’s got to cut out the “keeping up” with others, whether on social media or the mom down the street. And she’s learned that God hasn’t finished writing the story. Even if she can’t see to the end of all God’s workings in her kid’s lives, knowing His word and taking time to commune with Him have given her a firm foundation to stand on. 

We’re taking time this summer (as usual) to be mentored by some experienced moms and benefit from their wisdom. I’m asking them about their “mom brands” and the unique families and assignments God has given them to help us embrace the specific and unique spot God has given each of us. 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you from the episode?
  • Shontell encourages us to get on the same level as the person across from us to grow intentionality in our relationships - be it a spouse or child or friend. What relationship in your life needs this sort of attention? How can you meet that person right where they are? 
  • How has God gifted you? Do you know? 
  • Have you thought through what you want for your children, or what the goal of your parenting is? Keeping the tiny humans alive is big work, so no shame at all if you haven’t! If we’re working towards intentionality as moms, thinking through this question can help us cut activities or practices we don’t need and to make space for ones we do.  
  • How do you measure your success as a parent? 
  • What situation or circumstance would benefit from you processing with God before processing with a friend? Set aside time to do that this week. 

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Direct download: ShontellBrewerSofM22wk3.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:46am CST

Childhood should be carefree, right? We hope that our kids make it to adulthood with as few scars as possible, but that isn’t the nature of the world we live in. What happens when our kids encounter grief? What happens when we aren’t able to give them the childhood we wanted them to have? 

This week I talk with Lisa Appelo, widow and mom of seven, who found herself in that spot - grieving the life she wanted for herself and her children, and then having to navigate the shift in every relationship that comes through change or grief. What she has found in the last 11+ years has been the presence of God for her and her kids. The rhythm of their regular bible study was a lifeline and she offers us great encouragement of God’s nearness and direct involvement in our lives. Read more of their story in Lisa’s new book Life can be Good Again: Putting Your World Back Together After it All Falls Apart.

We’re taking time this summer (as usual) to be mentored by some experienced moms and benefit from their wisdom. I’m asking them about their “mom brands” and the unique families and assignments God has given them to help us embrace the specific and unique spot God has given each of us. 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you in the episode? 
  • What does family bible reading look like in your home? What is one change you could make to your routine to incorporate some kind of bible reading? Think small! Remember that Lisa says it’s a fight to make that space but totally worth it. 
  • Where can you give your kids the freedom to choose, allowing the Lord to work in them independent of your direct guidance? You can think small here too! 
  • Where might you need to step back in your child’s life to preserve your relationship with them?
  • What relationships have shifted because of loss or change, big or small?  Spend time praying with and for one another over these relationships and God’s good plan for them. (This could feel like an insurmountable question for someone in your group - approach it with empathy and care!)

 

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Direct download: LisaAppeloSofMwk2.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

“Don’t care how, I want it now!” When we watch Veruca Salt sing those words in Willy Wonka we are immediately repulsed. And yet, lots of our time and energy is spent trying to unlock the secrets to a quick change of our circumstance.  This week, mom of seven Helen Smallbone, encourages us that following Christ and parenting alike are long games. Marathons, in fact. She has honesty and wisdom to offer as we strive to grow and maintain relationships with our kids that last into adulthood. She also encourages us with some practical ways to foster relationships between our kids, to get them working, and retain our own sanity. 

We’re taking time this summer (as usual) to be mentored by some experienced moms and benefit from their wisdom. This year I'm recording new interviews and I’m asking guests about their “mom brands”. They share their values, unique assignments God has given them and what helps their family flourish. The goal is to help you define your "mom brand" and the places God is assigning you. 

Discussion Questions:

  • What stood out to you from the episode? 
  • Do you take a “mum’s time out” during the day? Why or why not? What would change about your day if you did? 
  • How do you balance connection with your kids while maintaining the boundaries of a parent-child relationship?
  • How do you typically handle sibling conflict? Which of Helen’s tactics could you adapt to use in your own home? 
  • How do you maintain or reestablish connection with your child after an argument/difficult exchange?
  • What’s your favorite way to help kids get their energy out? If another mom shares one that might work at your house, write it down! 
  • Helen reminded us that motherhood is not for the faint of heart - what aspect of motherhood has got you feeling fainthearted? Spend some time praying for one another about those specific areas. 

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Direct download: HelenSmallboneSofMWk12022.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Tragedy struck and Paulette Franklin could have given up hope. Instead, she used it as a chance to “bring together the village of hope and help” from her extended family, namely her aunts, who lived both near and far. They rallied around Paulette and her boys through presence and connection. Make no mistake, single parenting was still hard work, but by clinging to her faith in God and the village around her, she and her boys thrived. 

Though this bond with extended family was knitted together well before Paulette’s husband passed away, she had to let them in, she had to let them help. For Paulette’s middle son, DeVon, and his brothers, their aunts’ houses became places of refuge and connection that they still rely on to this day.  DeVon and his aunts tell their compelling and encouraging story in his audiobook, It Takes a Woman, available now on Audible. Through the audiobook all of our villages are enlarged, all of their wisdom can be ours.

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Direct download: DeVonPauletteEp371.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

Over 20% of Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ+.  That’s roughly 1 in 4 of today’s teen and young adult populations. There is a lot of confusion around gender and sexuality in our Christian culture today - how do we love others well that have different belief systems and  different language around gender and sexuality? How do we parent our children in a way that honors our faith and what we believe to be true? What do we do with the Church’s reputation of hate towards LGBTQ people we inherited? 

With even the staunchest of liberals asking questions around the sharp rise in people identifying as LGBTQ our grace and truth filled responses are more important than ever. This week’s guest, Dr. Preston Sprinkle, is the co-founder and president of The Center for Faith, Gender, and Sexuality and has written several books guiding Christians through these areas including Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church + What the Bible has to Say and People to be Loved

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Direct download: PrestonSprinkleEp370.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:34am CST

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 is a very familiar verse, but do you take it as a life-giving exhortation or do you shove it into the mental closet of “shoulds”?  The rest of Psalm 119 tells us the person who loves God’s word enough to hide it in their heart finds peace, wisdom, delight, comfort, blessing, shameless life, reminders of the Lord’s nearness, and promises that will endure forever - just to name a few! 

So why don’t we memorize scripture? 

What if you had a system that was simple and beautiful and easy enough for the whole family to practice together? This week’s guest, Natalie Abbott, is a mom of five who knows firsthand of the wonderful things the rest of Psalm 119 promises the person who hides God’s word in their heart.  She and her sister, Vera, created Dwell Differently, a system of temporary tattoos and devotional cards all beautifully designed for simple memorization of and meditation on one verse a month. It gives individuals, families or friend groups a chance to sow one verse into every aspect of their lives and then reap the peace and wisdom that comes from nearness to God. 

Connect with Natalie Abbott: 

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Direct download: NatalieAbbottEp369.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:35am CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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. 

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

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.  

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

“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 CST

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

 

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

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. 

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

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: 



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  •  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 CST

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 CST

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. 

Connect with Lisa Bevere: 

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

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. 

Connect with Nicole Zasowski: 

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

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: 

Links Mentioned:  

 

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

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: 

Links Mentioned:  

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Featured Sponsors: 

  • StichFix: Get started today by filling out your free style quiz at StitchFix.com/DMA and take advantage of free shipping and returns.
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  • PrepDish: PrepDish founder, Allison, is offering listeners a free 2-week trial. Check out PrepDish.com/dma for this amazing deal!

Resources for Sexual Abuse Recovery and Prevention:

Books for Kids:

Books for Survivors:

People to Follow:

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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: 

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! Go to Athenaclub.com and use the promo code dma.
  • Stitch Fix: Get started today by filling out your free style quiz at StitchFix.com/DMA and take advantage of free shipping and returns. 
  • 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 CST

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 CST

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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  • Prep Dish–Free 2 week trial to try PrepDish. Check out prepdish.com/dma for this amazing deal. 
  • Outschool–Outschool has helped my kids get excited about learning and they can help yours too. To learn more about what Outschool has to offer and save $15 off your child’s first class go to Outschool.com/dma
  • Indeed–Start hiring right now with a $75 job credit to upgrade your job post at Indeed.com/DMA. Offer valid through March 31st

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

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 CST

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: 

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  • Rothy’s --Get $20 off your first purchase at rothys.com/DMA with extended returns and exchanges through the holidays. 
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Direct download: RachaelWadeEp348.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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

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:  

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

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.
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Direct download: JennKautschEp345.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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  • 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 CST

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:  

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  • 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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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:  

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

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: 

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

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. 
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Direct download: JamieIveyEp339.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

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 CST

"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 CST

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 CST

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
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Direct download: DanaWhiteEp330.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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  • 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 CST

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:

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Direct download: DMA_-_328.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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 CST

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: 

 

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Direct download: KayWymaEp326.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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Direct download: ErinCourtneyEp325.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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:

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Direct download: DMA_-_324.mp3
Category:marriage -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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
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Direct download: JenniferBarnettEp323.mp3
Category:healing -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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 CST

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 CST

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
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Direct download: KatulkaEp320.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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
  • Acorn TV—try the Acorn TV streaming service for FREE for 30 days. Go to Acorn.tv and use code DMA
Direct download: DMA_-_319.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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

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 CST

“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 CST

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 CST

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: 

 

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

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. 
  • SoulCycle At-Home Bike Get your SoulCycle at-home bike TODAY by visiting MySoulCycleBike.com/DMA , and use promo code DMA to get a free pair of at-home Select cycling shoes with your purchase.
Direct download: KirstenWatstonEp314.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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:  

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Direct download: JackieAskvigEp313.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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
  • Thrive Market — join Thrive Market today and get 25% off your first order AND an exclusive FREE gift only at thrivemarket.com/DMA
Direct download: TLCEp312.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: 

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

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:  

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