Don't Mom Alone Podcast (general)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

During the ongoing health crisis of COVID-19, there are a lot of changes in household finances. Maybe grocery and electric bills have gone up because everyone is home. You or your spouse may have a reduction in income or you’ve faced losing your job. 

In the same way we work to protect ourselves with social distancing and wearing masks in public, there are some important things we can do to protect our finances and take time to reflect on where our money goes each month. Financial coach Ericka Young joins me to talk about budgets, cutting costs and how we can use this time to reprioritize.

“This is the perfect time to reflect on what it is that you really want, why you want it. And I think if people reflect on what their goals were in the beginning of the year and make certain that this season doesn't derail their progress. We can start looking on the bright side and ask God what he has next for us.” 

Ericka is the owner of Tailor-Made Budgets and has a passion for helping people pay off debt. Listen to how she and her husband paid off almost $100,000 in episode 244.

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  • Beachbody --Free Trial Membership. Text HEATHER to 303030
  • Exploring the Bible Together --Now through May 25, 2020, Don’t Mom Alone listeners can pick up a copy of Exploring the Bible Together along with a selection of ESV children’s Bibles for 40% off with a free Crossway+ membership. For more information, visit crossway.org/DMA7
  • Little Passports -- Use DMA to get 15% off any subscription at https://www.littlepassports.com/
Direct download: ErickaYoungEp286.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Dr. Lucretia Berry is the founder of Brownicity, an online space that provides education and support for racial healing. She joins me to share how we all can take steps to advocate and bring restoration to our communities that have been fractured by the lies and injustice of racism. 

As a mom of a multi-ethinic family, Lucretia shares how she and her husband addressed how they would teach their children about race. They didn’t want to teach their daughters to be “colorblind,” but instead wanted to talk about the many hues of humanity in a healthy way that cultivated life and beauty.

When that conversation extended beyond their family, Brownicity was born. Since then, Lucretia has authored a study, created an online course and spoken at many events to spread this antiracism information in a way that is accessible for everyone. 

It isn't about if you're racist or not, it's not even about that. You know, this is about how we've been molded and shaped. There are all these decisions that I've made in my life that are based on how I've been racialized and not necessarily my God-given identity. We all have this work to do, to detox from the ideology that we’ve been swimming in for the past 400 years or so. We've inherited it. But God is greater, so we have hope that we can create something new.

To access her courses for free in the month of April and May, learn more here. 

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  • Skylight Frames : skylightframes.com

    To get $10 off your purchase of a Skylight Frame just go to SkylightFrame.com and enter code DMA.

  • Beachbody OnDemand : Text "Heather" to 303030 to get free 2 week trial
Direct download: LucretiaBerryEp282.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In this bonus episode, we are sharing information from a session Ian Morgan Cron did on Enneagram and Stress. We go through each Enneagram number and talk about their strengths and weaknesses under pressure and some simple ways for each type to flourish in these hard times  

As we’ve said in previous episodes, the Enneagram is just a tool to help us understand ourselves and others better. At a time when being quarantined at home can cause all kinds of friction, understanding each other’s unique perspective on the world is such a gift. 

And the goal isn’t to stay stuck in our Enneagram number. The ultimate goal is to move toward health/wholeness and follow Jesus. 

“Jesus doesn’t have an Enneagram number. The wholeness of God is in him and he is at the center of all the nine types.”

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Sponsor a Child with Compassion

Text HEATHER to 83393, and you’ll get a link back to a child you can sponsor.

Go to compassion.com/dontmomalone to start sponsoring a child.  

 

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

Rachel’s 'Hands Free Mama' mentality is all about finding balance in a media-saturated, perfection-obsessed world. And it’s about seizing the little moments that life offers us to engage in real and meaningful interaction.

In this episode, Rachel shares realizing she 'd lost connection with her people. How she believed a lie that in order to be loved and accepted she needed to hide certain parts of herself, the messy parts, the imperfect parts. A pivotal moment happened when she vulnerably shared these thoughts with her daughter and found acceptance.

“Opening that door to being human actually brings us closer together. Then we can connect from that place of 'I'm struggling' and that doesn't mean there's something wrong with me. That doesn't mean I need to hide it. It means I need to reach out and talk to someone about this so we can work together to see how we might go forward.”

We dive into what Rachel’s learned in her parenting journey as a mom of teens and preteens. She talks about how choosing true connection with our kids can bring them closer to us and keep the lines of communication open as they grow up. 

“This is all about redefining what our role is as a parent. It is not the authoritarian model anymore. It is the guide, the truth teller and the encourager. Not the enforcer, not the half listener, not the critic. That those roles are only going to get us further and further from each other when the idea is right now we need to come closer.”

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Featured Sponsor: LittlePassports.com Use Code DMA to save 15% off a subscription. 

Direct download: RachelStaffordEp280.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

So much of parenting can feel like constantly disciplining our kids for their behaviors. This sets up a system of praise for good behavior, but doesn’t address the heart of our kids. 

As the Bible says in Isaiah 29:13, “The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

As followers of Jesus, I know that we want more for our kids than to just acknowledge God with their lips. My talk today with Troy Simons has some practical advice and encouragement for us on how to have heart-level conversations about the Gospel with our kids.

You'll find that your understanding of who God is and what he's done with the Gospel will be there. And you'll find that coming out in your conversation with your kid. Be humble enough to be transparent about when you've been rebuked. You know, it may be some deep-seated, long struggling issue in your life. That kind of candor and response with our kids and conversation is just gold for them. It wins their hearts and shows them the influence of God’s word.

Learn more about Troy and Ruth’s new easy-to-read family devotion book that includes Scripture, devotional thoughts, and discussion questions for leading your family through 12 Biblical Truths.

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Direct download: TroySimonsEp278.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Twelve years into her marriage, Taylor Bashta knew that something was wrong. Her husband who had always been a casual drinker had become more and more dependent on alcohol. She started Googling, “What is an alcoholic?” and wondered what she should do to intervene. 

Taylor bravely takes us into her story to share what she did next and how setting firm boundaries and seeking help took both her and her husband on a journey of healing. Now, one year later, she shares what’s made the biggest impact and what they are doing to continue their healing.

“He is the only person in charge of his recovery. And I am the only person in charge of mine. We can not let each other effect that. I still live wondering what we’d do if he relapses. I think that's one of the scariest parts of recovery. AA’s big slogan is 'One Day at a Time.' So that’s what we’re focused on. Just one day at a time.”

Taylor talks about how we can support friends who may be going through this type of situation and how sharing openly can make all the difference.  

“Hiding is what kills us inside. And our hiding is what invites that shame, guilt, and condemnation. When you put it out there, it's gone. You're putting away gossip, you're putting away just the pressure. When you name it, it takes the power out of it.” 

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Direct download: TaylorBashtaEp275.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Finding friends as an adult, keeping up with friends when you become a mom, transitioning friendships as your children grow up… No one tells you what to expect. But, friendships are worth investing in and they are a key part of what helps us not mom alone.

Author, speaker and mentor mom Melanie Shankle joins me to share how she’s navigated friendships as an adult. She opens up about what worked, what didn’t and a few things she wishes she’d done differently.

“I think it was some of it was my own insecurities of getting out there and making new friends. I don't find women to be any less intimidating in my forties than I found them to be when I was 16 years old. I think there's also a thing as women that we tend to get in a circle and be inward-focused and we aren't good about looking out to see who might need a friend or who may want to be included.”

Melanie talks candidly about her friendships, being an introvert and about how friendship doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. Looking back, she wishes she’d been more open to meeting people and making friends instead of being more inwardly-focused. 

“I think you would be better off going with the assumption that everybody would like to make a new friend. You know, just that everybody's open to friendship and to get to know a new person.”

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Direct download: MelanieShankleEp273.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It starts subtly the same way it did with Eve in the garden. “Did God really say?” These small lies from the enemy pass through our minds as one of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day. But lies don’t stay small.

Some take root and build highways and cities in our brain that cause us to question God, question who we are and live in fear that the lies are actually the truth. 

My guest Jennie Allen talks about how to fight back against the lies that are constantly thrown at us. She opens up about her doubts and how she’s learned to fight back in the war for her mind. We talk about everything from mom guilt to questioning God’s existence to fighting for the minds of our kids. 

Jennie shares that we have to recognize there’s a battle and we have to fight it with the right kind of weapons.

“This is a spiritual war and we have to throw spiritual weapons at it. And then it says in 2 Corinthians 10 that we are given divine weapons that can destroy strongholds. So those of you out there that are like, you know what? This isn't passive, that thought of doubt or this isn't passive, this is a stronghold that has captivated me most of my life. Scripture says that we have divine weapons to destroy it. Now those divine weapons, we've got to choose to employ them and it's not easy.”

Listen as we learn how to fight back in the war for our minds.

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Direct download: JennieAllenEp272.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Beth Moore is a spiritual mother and inspiration to many women. Her numerous Bible studies and books are a staple in women’s ministries at countless churches. 

Instead of just an interview promoting her new book, she took the time to chat with me about her own hard experiences in motherhood and marriage. Get ready for some real talk about real life and real problems. Beth doesn’t want to be seen on a pedestal. 

Whether it was the difficulties of the busy schedule ministry and speaking or the dynamic of spiritual leadership in her home, Beth shares that she’s always found God to be faithful in her places of need. 

“There is grace for every day. I always think of the mercies of God when he says in Lamentations, that his mercies are new every morning. I think about the manna and how each person gathered exactly what they needed. That’s how God’s grace is for us. It is always given according to our needs.”

Beth is a powerful communicator and our interview only gets better as we keep talking. Hang in there to the end for a holy ground moment when she prays over all of us.

“Father, I ask you for supernatural trust in these mothers. I ask you that right now you would settle and establish their hearts that they are intimately known by you. I pray, father, that they will rest in the assurance that there is nothing they can do to shake your love or even shake away your presence with them.”

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Direct download: BethMooreEp270.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Mountains of laundry, piles of toys and all the other “stuff” of life that comes into our homes can feel overwhelming, even to the neatest of moms with the best of intentions. We all love our families, but living with the messes and the clutter that comes along with them is a challenge.

My guest Allie Casazza knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed by constantly cleaning and picking up her house at the expense of enjoying time with her kids. A few years ago with four kids under the age of five, Allie had a moment of clarity with God as she sat crying in her bathroom.

If all I'm doing is cleaning up and it's just a bunch of stuff we don't really need, then what if we just didn't have stuff anymore?

That moment changed the course of her family. It also changed how she viewed motherhood and all the “stuff” that comes along with it. Now, she shares the practical ideas and the mental shifts that helped keep the clutter away to free up her life for what matters most. 

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Your kids will mess up. So will you. Connected Families believes that the perfect time to build wisdom and GROW your relationship with your kids is during the messy times. They’ve developed an 8-session online course called Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart. It is only offered twice a year, so register today! https://connectedfamilies.org/dtc/online-course/ Use coupon code DMA15 for 15% off!

Direct download: AllieCassazEp268Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10am CDT

Toni Collier’s short childhood ended in third grade when her mother had a stroke and she was practically left alone to care for her. Toni carried many heavy emotional burdens in her childhood and felt deeply that she had to protect herself because the world was not a safe place. 

Fast forward several years and Toni’s strength of will to avoid the emotional trauma she experienced as a child finally ran out. Now a mom and reeling from an emotionally abusive first marriage, Toni sought counseling and therapy for the healing she so desperately needed. 

“I was so blind to how unhealthy my life actually was, and the unveiling, the unwrapping of this emotional onion made me worse. But there was a healed Toni that I had to get to. Not just for me, but for my daughter and my new marriage. The only thing that brought me through was the hope that there is a God who said he could trade my weakness for his power.”

Toni opens up about the “treacherous” process of facing intense emotional trauma, the shame and stigma that surrounds therapy and what it’s like to parent in the midst of facing your own brokenness.

Now as a powerful communicator and host with North Point Ministries, Toni has learned that God can take our broken, painful pasts and use them to minister to others. 

“I hopped on stage at North Point and my entire life changed in weeks. It was the first time in a long time that I had been in a ministry that's celebrated my gifts, wasn't intimidated by them, and also welcomed my brokenness. It is as if I had experienced a new Jesus.”

Direct download: ToniCollierEp267.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Melissa d’Arabian is a winner of “The Next Food Network Star,” a celebrity chef, author, and mom of four. She’s is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking who has inspired people with her shows on Food Network. 

A few years ago, God inspired Melissa to do a deep dive into scripture and prayer to evaluate the meaning of food in her life. What she discovered is our relationship with food reflects our understanding of God and his creation. 

In her new book, Tasting Grace, she invites readers to appreciate food as not only a gift from God but also as a deeper invitation into his love.

“Every meal we have can be an invitation into creativity, community, and patience. The fact that I could sit there and even for a moment and marvel and at least to honor everything that's gone into my food connected me more to God and it made me enjoy the food more.”

We talk about how meals can bring us closer to God and how he created a food system to nourish us and delight our palates. Melissa is passionate about separating food and body image and saying no to the negative perspective often put on food. 

“I want my children when they are young women going out there in the world to have the joy of a great relationship with food. And so if I talk about myself in a way that is unkind, not only are my kids hearing it, but God is hearing it. Speaking in terms of body image and all of that, I think it must make God feel sad when I reject the body he has given me. ”

Direct download: MelissaDarabianEp266.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

 

Wow! Six years into podcasting and the 265 episodes of this show have been downloaded 8.7 million times across 204 different countries. Today we are celebrating our podcast-iversary with a “best-of” show featuring clips from your favorite episodes. 

We’re also featuring testimonials from listeners who share how the podcast has helped them not mom alone. Like these quotes from moms:

“This podcast has really become my one-stop show for all things parenting. I love how you cover such a wide range of topics and how all of your guests are filled with grace and grounded in God’s word and his truth.”

“It has totally changed my perspective on motherhood. I’ve gone from feeling quite frustrated and alone to knowing that other moms are dealing with the same things. I don’t feel quite so lonely. All the encouragement is really changing my life.”

Thanks so much for listening to the Don’t Mom Alone podcast. I’m thankful it’s made an impact in your lives. When I started this six years ago, I couldn’t imagine where it would take me. As for the future? Well, we’ll just have to see where God takes us!

Special Production Help from Airr:

Ever wanted to share a specific quote or clip from your favorite podcast with a friend, but didn’t know how? This week’s sponsor, Airr, solves that problem by making it simple to share clips from specific episodes. 

I’m going to start featuring listeners “airr quotes” in my Monday email. Make sure you go to https://www.airr.io/dontmomalone to sign up and start listening and quoting. 

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

Jonathan Almonte’s story shows how sponsoring a child through Compassion International (or other similar programs) can change the course of a child’s life. 

However, it is the compassion of the people in his story who loved him when he fought back and wrote him letters calling out his identity and inherent worth as a child of God that may have made the biggest difference.

“That letter changed my life. I was believing that I was a mistake. I was believing that God was not good for me. This letter helped me to understand that God provided a woman called Jamie thousands of kilometers away in a place called Michigan celebrating Thanksgiving. This woman wrote a letter to say, I am thankful for you. You are special, you're not a mistake.”

As a child of a single mom in the Dominican Republic, Jonathan’s prospects were greatly limited. From a young age, he worked to earn enough money for each day’s food. The cost of getting into a school, a uniform as supplies, was nowhere near his grasp. 

His mother applied for him to join the Compassion program and (after a wait) he was accepted. For the first time in his life, all of his educational, nutritional, medical, and physical needs were taken care of, and Jonathan felt believed in like he never had before. 

“I was selling juice on the streets. I was diving in a garbage area without hope. So this ministry for me meant my life. My life is before and after the ministry of Compassion in partnership with the local church in my community. ”

I hope this episode leads you to text "Heather" to 83393 and sponsor a child like Jonathan. 

Direct download: JonathanAlmonteEp264.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41am CDT

On the surface, Victoria (Tori) Petersen’s story doesn’t sound full of hope. Her growing up years were filled with abuse, a mom who struggled with drugs, and more than 10 foster homes with no hope of adoption.

But God’s heart for Tori wasn’t death; it was life. Through a series of relationships and her own study, Tori learned about God. She experienced sacrificial love and community in the church and through her foster parents. It changed her whole future.

“The encouragement, the support, and the ability to see that through their words, through God's speaking through these people and acting through these people in love showed me that I did have a future, that God did have a plan for me and that if I trusted in him, that plan would blossom into something.”

After emancipating from the foster care system, Tori’s life has had more ups and downs. But, she is confident in her identity in Christ and learning more every day. Now as a mom and wife, God is redeeming her story and using it to encourage others who are a part of the foster system.

“I think foster parents remembering that they are image-bearers and in those hard times to be able to humble themselves and say,’ I am weak and I'm going to call on God's strength to love this child.’ Also communicating to the child that they're made in God's image. They are loved despite any kind of behavior or any saddening event that they have been through. Identity in Christ is crucial to the relationship between foster youth and foster parents.”

Direct download: ToriPetersenEp263.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Susie Davis is a mentor of mentors. She’s the author of several books and host of the Dear Daughters podcast. I’m so excited to share our conversation with you as she answers your questions about mentorship, marriage and meeting with God. 

“I think you deserve a mentor. I think it's God's will for your life to have an older woman that you can talk to who has wisdom for you and your specific situation.”

In her book and podcast, Dear Daughters, Susie seeks to bring together younger women and spiritual moms. Each of us has valuable insight for one other, but getting started with mentoring can be a hurdle. Whether you have a mentor, are a mentor or want to start, Susie shares encouragement and insight into establishing and maintaining a healthy mentor relationship. (including what not to say!)

We also talk about marriage and how to love your man without losing your mind about the little things that can drive us crazy. 

“I think marriage is the greatest opportunity for sanctification, which is just becoming more like God. It is the one relationship that is never supposed to end. You're ‘trapped’ in it and you have to work it out with them.”

Talking with Susie is such a gift. She shares a wealth of wisdom from the perspective of someone who has experienced a lot of growth in her own life and marriage over the years. Grab a cup of coffee and listen in as Susie mentors us all!

Direct download: SusieDavisEp262.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Racial tensions in America are as high within the church as outside of it. My guest Latasha Morrison believes Jesus followers must become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. That we must, “build a bridge” to bring justice, healing and transformation.

“It starts with awareness and then acknowledging the pain and brokenness. We didn't create it, but it is all of our responsibility to be a part of the solution. And no one gets an ‘out’ here.”

Latasha founded the organization Be the Bridge in 2016 to encourage racial reconciliation among all ethnicities, to promote racial unity in America, and to equip others to do the same. Now she’s written a book of the same name that comes out this week. 

We talk in depth about racial reconciliation, biblical justice and the diversity of God’s kingdom. It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s a necessary one. I pray you will listen with an open mind and heart for all God wants to do to bring unity to the body of Christ. 

“Every culture is an expression of who God is and not one ethnicity can represent the totality of who God is. We serve a diverse God. If you’re thinking that God looks just like you and talks just like you, remember, Jesus didn't speak English. Sometimes we need a reality check on that. Just because something is different doesn't make it wrong.”

Direct download: LaTashaMorrisonEp261.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As parents, we are keenly aware of the peaks and valleys of our kids’ emotions. Anger, sadness, excitement, and all the other feelings can make us feel like our child is on a roller coaster we’re just trying to slow down. 

It’s true that we all feel highs and lows throughout our day, but we rarely talk about what it feel like when we’re “in the zone” and feeling calm and ready to go. My guest today is sharing about the window of tolerance and how to regulate ourselves and our kids to help stay in that window. 

“If I am dysregulated, I cannot regulate my child. So if I'm in fight or flight and I'm yelling. There's no amount of yelling that brings my child back into the window. And sometimes parents think the yelling is working, but what you're doing isn’t getting your child in the window. They're going into collapse and into a place of fear.”

Charissa Fry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and believer. Her passion is to come alongside those who are hurting and struggling to help them find truth, hope, healing, connection, and growth. She shares some eye-opening information and statistics to get us on the path to helping our kids build resilience and stay in that window of tolerance. 

Charissa shares from a faith-perspective that we as believers are not alone. She reminds us that we can lean on God to regulate our emotions as we love on our kids and go through the hardships of life. 

“God himself through Jesus is the ultimate attachment figure. He is always reaching for us. He never fails to respond to our needs. He always loves us. He's never judging us and never shaming us. So to know that when we need to be co-regulated, that when I am feeling like I'm going to leave the window, I can remember the truth of who God is and I can reach out to him in prayer.”

Direct download: CharissaFryEp260.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It’s a popular (and sometimes controversial) typology system that can help you understand yourself and others better, but how can we use the Enneagram in light of the gospel to help our marriages thrive? 

Beth McCord of Your Enneagram Coach is here to walk us how to look at our marriages and close relationships through the lens of the Enneagram and the Gospel. 

“With the Enneagram, you can see that we all struggle. We all need Jesus. It's just we need it in different ways. And he makes us more like him in different ways as well. It's called the body of Christ and we reflect Christ differently. We all need to bring our uniqueness to glorify him and bless each other.”

We talk about how using the Enneagram can improve communication and compassion in our marriages and what to do if your spouse has no interest in learning his type. (hint: the answer isn’t to bug him about it) 

Beth shares that no one pairing out of the 45 possible Enneagram matches in marriage is better than any other, but it’s our surrender to Christ that makes all the difference. 

“I can guarantee you there is not a combination that is better or worse. Any two types that are surrendering and depending on the grace of God through Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf will be a blessing to one another.”

Direct download: BethMcCordEp259.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

When a child processes sensory information just a little differently than his or her peers it can mean BIG emotions, meltdowns and a huge struggle for us as parents. 

Often these kids are labeled as “sensitive” or “intense” and they might cause us to avoid playdates and public places because we’re never sure what seemingly small issue will cause the next explosion. 

Lynne Jackson of Connected Families joins me to uncover the mysteries behind our kids with sensory struggles and how we can help them thrive. We talk about Sensory Processing Disorder and the wide range of sensory processing symptoms.  

As a mom who had two kids with sensory processing needs and as a licensed occupational therapist, Lynne encourages us to become a student of our kids and try to understand their point of view.

“Imagine if the volume on all your sounds and the sensations in your body was turned up and you were to trying to fall asleep, that would be really hard. Car rides and meals are often torturous. So then what are the kids doing? They're trying to cope. They're jumping down. They're complaining about the food and squirming in their seats. They're trying to do something so they feel in control.”

We talk about what to do if you suspect a sensory processing problem in one of your kids and where to seek help. I share my story of working through this with one of my boys and why I wish we’d gone to see a therapist sooner.

Direct download: LynneJacksonEp258.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Author, blogger and podcast host Sarah Mae joins me to share her story of working through the generational bondage of alcoholism and the verbal and emotional abuse she suffered from her mother. 

“I remember yelling out, 'I'm going to kill myself,' and her saying, 'Go ahead, I dare you.' And that was it for me. I just bawled because I felt so unloved and so confused.”

In her new book The Complicated Heart, Sarah takes us into her painful past and all she experienced with her mom. She also shares the hope and victory of how God wooed her heart and changed the direction of her family forever. 

“Dysfunction does not have to be your legacy. It does not have to be your identity. And you do not have to pass it on to your kids. It doesn't matter if you were born into it, married into it or you created it yourself. There is always victory on the table. We just have to be willing to pick it up.”

Throughout our chat, Sarah is candid and encouraging. She shares openly about the abortion she had at 16 and the healing she’s experienced from bravely speaking out against the shame of past sin and accepting God’s grace as all-sufficient. 

Direct download: SarahMaeEp257.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Access to the internet is everywhere in our modern world. And that means access to pornography and sexual imagery is everywhere too. Rather than bury our heads in the sand or cross our fingers that our kids won’t see porn, we can choose to be proactive and to give them a plan for how to react. 

Kristen Jenson, the best-selling author or Good Picture Bad Pictures, joins me to share some simple ways to talk with our kids about porn and protect their minds. 

“Pornography makes a child more vulnerable to sexual abuse. So if you porn-proof your child by starting these conversations early, you are actually helping your child to be more protected from child sexual abuse. When you start these discussions it's not as hard as you think. And once you do, you've begun this journey with your child to trust you for answers. You tell them, ‘Don't go on Google to ask these questions. Come and talk to me.’”

This may feel like a super heavy topic, but I promise it’s worth taking the proactive approach now vs waiting till you have teenagers. Kristen shares a lot of resources and makes it easy to get started. 

Direct download: KristenJensonEp256.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

My guest today is Ruth Chou Simons. She’s a mom of six boys and an author and entrepreneur. You may know her best from the beautiful watercolor prints and products she creates for her business on Gracelaced.com. 

In her newest book, Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship, Grace shares about how every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves our hearts and captures our gaze. 

We dive into what that looks like in Ruth’s life and how choosing to focus on Christ changes everything from our perspective on our parenting and work to how we look to others. 

The most unhappy I get is if I get preoccupied with somebody else's story. And I don't give thanks and I don't jot down reminders of how he's provided for the ultimate story of redemption in my life. And also how he's working that out day by day and writing my story anew.

We talk about how our fast-paced, hustle culture steals the joy and the beauty away from the everyday faithfulness of growing in God. My favorite reminder she shared is, “You don’t have to be blooming to be growing.”

So true. How often do we start something and expect instant gratification and quick wins? We want easy-to-share glossy images of success. But God looks at our hearts. At the slow growing happening under the surface. We are all in process with God until we see him in heaven. 

Let’s celebrate the small wins and focus on turning our eyes toward God and away from the distractions and hollow gratification of social media. As Ruth reminds us, we become what we behold. Those small, unseen decisions really add up to who we are. 

Because at the end of the day, every action we have is really stemming out of our belief in our worship. And so how you think, and how you believe, and what you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next. What your little moments every day are accumulating to be for a lifetime.

What we chat about:

  • Focusing on the beauty of what God has created vs comparing our lives to someone else’s on social media
  • At the root of dissatisfaction in our lives is an underlying struggle with identity. Is our identity found in Christ or is it found in everything going our way?
  • Growing our appetite for the things of God by choosing to fill our time with his Word.
  • The struggles women have with wanting to do something perfectly or not at all 
  • Celebrating the process of growing vs seeing immediate fruit in our lives
  • What you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next
  • The goal isn’t just to experience God’s provision, but to trust that his presence in our lives is enough
  • “Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God, the more of God will be seen in you.” - C.H Spurgeon

Direct download: RuthSimonsEp255.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

For a variety of reasons, childhood anxiety rates are soaring, especially among girls. My guest Sissy Goff is here to share some of her insights on how to recognize worry and anxiety in your daughter and empower her to overcome.

We talk about tools we can use to help us understand why our brains are often working against us in times of anxiety and grounding techniques to slow and stop the emotional spiral that often ensues. 

“We always want her to know she's stronger than her worries and that she has a voice to talk back to the worry. A lot of people who work with kids call it the worry monster because that separates it out from her voice. We don't want her to think it's the truth, which is what kids are going to think when they have voices in their heads telling them things.”

This is a short, hope-filled bonus episode that just scratches the surface on all that we can learn about equipping our kids to work through anxiety. For more encouragement, follow Sissy and her team at https://www.raisingboysandgirls.com and watch for her book Raising Worry-Free Girls coming out September 17. 

 

What we chat about:

  • 1 in 4 kids are dealing with anxiety of some kind and girls are twice as likely to feel it
  • Anxiety is hard to recognize in kids. Sometimes it comes out as anger or meltdowns and other times it’s deeply buried
  • People whose personalities lean toward Type A tend to have baseline anxiety at all times. If your child’s personality leans that direction, it’s important to give them tools to deal with it
  • Anxiety is always an overestimation of the problem and an underestimation of ourselves
  • Techniques to help a child with anxiety calm down and redirect blood flow to their prefrontal cortex
  • Integrating our faith as we teach our kids to fight back against fear and worry
Direct download: SissyGoffBonus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Fellow boy moms, this episode is for you! This chat with Monica Swanson another mom of four boys and author of the new book Boy Mom dives into a lot of your questions about how to raise your boys to be godly men. 

We talk about encouraging strong friendships between brothers, teaching boys to be strong AND gentle, and about the importance of giving our sons ways to experience excitement and adventure while getting some of their natural aggression out in safe physical activities.

“I am a big believer that boys were made for adventure that they need to have some excitement in their lives I think is just how God wired them. They're little warriors who need to experience some thrills. A lot of the trouble boys can get into is related to when they're lacking authentic adventure, when they're not facing challenges and overcoming obstacles.”

Monica has two boys out of high school and two still in the nest, so she offers a lot of hope for those of us in the trenches of parenting to keep pressing into relationship with our sons and to make the practicals of faith an anchor in all that we do. 

“God is so big and so powerful and he can move mountains on behalf of your son. He wants your son's heart more than you even know. We get our boys plugged in everywhere we can. We want them to have so many positive spiritual models in their life that there's no denying that God is the best way to go. It about coming alongside them and saying, ‘This is for your best. God is for you. Let's walk this life with him.’”

 

What we chat about:

  • Monica’s four boys and working with very different personalities 
  • Building healthy brother relationships and dealing with kids who hit
  • Boys need to let out their energy with exercise and physical activity
  • Setting healthy boundaries for your kids with manners and learning to laugh with them about it too
  • Teaching boys how to balance strength and kindness by pointing them to the stories of godly men
  • The power of shoulder to shoulder conversations with boys and why to keep pressing into conversation with them
  • Motivating boys to get excited about school and finding hobbies and interests
  • Ideas for how to foster adventure for your boys and learning not to parent from a place of fear
  • Fostering faith in your sons through time in the Word, prayer and modeling
Direct download: MonicaSwansonEp254.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

With the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, feels like we’re more isolated and ineffective than ever. But what if we worried less about making a big impact.  And focused more on doing the things in front of us with quality and depth?

I’m a big fan of this week's mentor, Shontell Brewer. She’s a wise mom to five kiddos. And she has an excellent sense of humor. More than that, she has discipled her children well to love and serve others around them.

Discipleship can be organic. Keeping your ministry small enough. To be present wherever God has placed you.

In this episode, which originally aired as Episode 140 (Oct 2016), Shontell and I talk about discipleship during dinner conversations. She shares her method of asking really specific questions. And giving her kiddos a challenge for the day to love others in tangible ways (e.g., encouraging a 4 year old to compliment his preschool teacher).

My most favorite thing we talk about is Taco Tuesday. The last Tuesday of the month, the Brewer family serves up meat & tortillas. They invite coaches, teachers, friends, neighbors (any one who interacts regularly with their kids) into their home.

 We love on our community one taco at a time.

I shared the idea with my boys and they wanted to do it the next night (“Taco Tuesday, but on a Monday”). I’ll let you know how that goes. We may go the Pizza Friday route (love our community one slice at a time).

Shontell also inspired me to help open my boys’ spiritual eyes. And to encourage them to fight over who is going to put the other one first.

What we chat about:

  • How women apologize for their carpet
  • Keeping your ministry small
  • Specific questions to ask during dinner time conversations
  • How Shontell helped her daughter minister to her Starbucks’ manager
  • Sending your kids to school with a basic challenge to bless someone
  • Setting the habit of conversation and other family “norms”
  • Learning to not be offended when our kids aren’t performing
  • Parenting small with intimate corrective conversations
  • The BEST idea to invite people into your home monthly–> Taco Tuesdays!

Direct download: ShontellBrewerSofMwk6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Being a mom reveals your most broken places.

I often think motherhood would be easy if my boys behaved better. Or maybe if I read one more parenting book. Or if I finally caught the magical contentment unicorn just beyond my grasp.

Of course, none of those options really pan out (especially the unicorn). It’s my own junk. Every day the yuck in my heart rises to the surface. But with the pace of life and needs of my people, it’s hard to stop and examine the “yuck” more closely.

Recently our small group has been attending a recovery program at our church. Through some honest self-examination and community, God’s been showing me where I’ve held wrong beliefs. And how they impact my relationships.

Today’s podcast guest, Lynn Hoffman, helped start our church’s recovery program 15 years ago. And God also led her to write “Steps into God’s Grace”, a bible study based on the 12 steps of recovery.

In this episode, Lynn shares her own struggle with performance, people pleasing and codependency. She gives insight into why recovery isn’t just for addicts. And she encourages us to identify our own emotions so we can teach our children to do the same.

Recovery became a safe place where I could go and be with other people who were willing to be honest. Stop pretending and start talking about the reality of the problems in their life. And lean on God to change and discover new realities in their life.

Direct download: LynnHoffmanSofM5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Ever want to hear from the woman behind rock star kids?

In this episode, Helen Smallbone, mother of 7 grown children including Christian music stars Joel and Luke Smallbone (For King & Country) and Rebecca St. James, shares stories of motherhood and practical advice she’s learned along the way. She and her husband moved their family from Australia to America more than 25 years ago. It was a faith-building journey that changed their family forever.   

“Sometimes when you face life crises what God’s doing is setting a new foundation. In this time, he took everything away from us,” Smallbone said. “We had no money, no resources, no family and no friends.  But in that refining process, he gave everything back to us, but with a new foundation where he was the provider. He showed himself to be faithful for providing all our needs.”

  • Stories of living by faith and God providing for the Smallbone family when they moved from Australia to America
  • Homeschooling a large family and fostering responsibility and work skills in your kids
  • Teaching family values while dealing with bad attitudes and behaviors in your kids
  • Taking a “time out” as a mom to pray for your children and waiting on the Lord for breakthrough for specific ways to resolve behavior problems
  • Focusing on the eternal value of building relationships with our kids versus the temporary focus on everyday tasks
  • Spending time with children who may be acting out because they need more attention
  • How quantity time often becomes quality time with our families
  • Taking a traditional naptime or quiet time after lunch with fill yourself up to finish the day strong as a mom
  • Keeping the communication line open with your children no matter their age.
Direct download: HelenSmallboneSofM4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As a licensed marriage and family therapist and life coach, Kim Fredrickson counseled and taught others about self-compassion for years. When she received an unexpected terminal diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, a rare side-effect of the treatment she had received for breast cancer, she wrote a book to leave for her children on giving that same compassion to the grandchildren she will never meet.

On June 3rd, 2019, Kim passed on to be in the presence of her Savior. We are grateful for a way to honor her legacy by re-releasing her fantastic mentorship. (This episode originally aired in January 2018).

When people feel ashamed, they blame other people because they feel like if I really look at my shame then I’m going to collapse inside. That’s why self-compassion is desperately important because kids feel shame a lot. They fail at everything at the start.

What we chat about:

  • Kim’s story of receiving a devastating diagnosis after completing treatment for breast cancer
  • How she’s chosen to spend the years she has left with her family
  • The new book she wrote for when her children have kids called “Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children”
  • How it’s a process to develop a compassionate inner voice
  • Applying grace and truth to every situation in our lives
  • Variety of temperaments--some that are harder on themselves than others.
  • The difference between self-compassion and self-pity
  • Encouraging your children to practice self-compassion and reinforcing it by showing ourselves that same
  • Giving our kids the language to identify their failings and separate them from their self- worth
  • Moms have a really hard job. It’s ok to acknowledge that.
  • The importance of taking care of ourselves as moms
  • How to talk to your kids after you’ve been hard on yourself and reframing it with self compassion

Direct download: KimFredricksonSofMWk3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Oh friendship! A gift that can bring incredible joy and cause great pain. If female relationships weren't tricky enough, our wounded selves bump into each other causing even deeper hurts.

But what are we to do? How do we heal, move forward and develop lasting friendships?

Thankfully, my friend, Lisa-Jo Baker came on the show back in April of 2017 to help. With content from her book, "Never Unfriended", on episode 159 we talked about friendship wounds. And Lisa-Jo pointed us to Jesus, the only One who promises to heal and never leave us.

Jesus is never tired of me always needing Him. Instead, He is delighted by how desperately I need His validation and He never, ever withholds it from me. Or from you. - excerpt from "Never Unfriended" by Lisa-Jo

  • What do we fear most in friendship
  • How to include the new girl and ignore the "cool kid" lies
  • How to heal past friendship wounds.
  • Turning to Jesus for meat and potatoes soul filling.
  • Not blaming social media for our heart issues.
  • How do you survive a friendship break-up.
  • The hope of reconciliation and knowing when to let go.
Direct download: LisaJoBakerSofM2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Kat Armstrong, the guest from one of my most popular episodes is back on the podcast to share the message of her new book, No More Holding Back. The first question we talk about is, “Can a woman learn too much about Jesus?” A light topic, right?

“The greatest commandment says we have to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength — all of it. And it's the priority. It's the priority over anyone's role in our home. We have to be all-in for Jesus. We can't let our fears, our insecurities, our roles, our titles, or anything to do with our spouses impede our progress to learn about Jesus.”

Kat shares powerfully about our role as an image bearer of God, the importance of elevating women’s voices in our communities of faith and living completely into the assignments God gives us.

We also talk about giving what we have to offer even if feels imperfect or broken in the same way that the widow in Mark 12 gave out of her need.

“If you have a broken heart, it counts. I have a broken heart right now about my dad. I still want to love God with it all and I don't have to have it all together or healed yet to apply it to the Great Commission. And if you have a weary soul and you're questioning your faith, you can give that to God and he counts it as worthy. If you have a confused mind. If you're struggling with anxiety, depression, decision making, and things don't make sense in your world, you can give that to God.”

Direct download: KatArmstrongEp253.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

After my recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, I’m so excited to introduce you to Tess Clarke. We process some of what we learned on the trip to visit refugees from Central and South America and hear about the work Tess and her husband are doing with their non-profit, Seek the Peace.

Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives. It doesn’t mean that the circumstances are changed, but He takes away our aloneness, our guilt, our shame and our fear by being present with us in those hard circumstances.

“The numbers are staggering and everyone knows that this is an overwhelming issue, which is why I think we can't become jaded and paralyzed, but we have to keep looking at it from a human point of view. When we were in Oaxaca, a lot of it was really about learning why people were fleeing and what their lives looked like and what they were hoping for when they came to the United States. Every person I had an opportunity to talk to said, I want to be safe.”

No matter where you may fall politically on the issues of immigration and the current refugee crisis, I think Tess’ perspective on entering into the broken places and loving the marginalized and lonely around us can bring us together as believers. It has made a big difference in my own parenting when I invite my kids into loving others.

“Something my kids and I talk a lot about is the line in the Lord's prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ And we asked Jesus, show us where heaven is not. Show us where heaven is lacking. Lead us there because we want to join you in that space and we want to do what we can to bring heaven there.”

  • Tess, her family, their non-profit Seek the Peace and her role at We Welcome Refugees
  • The work Tess and her organization have done at the border.
  • Seeking to understand the plight of refugees and the work and role of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Family separation of refugees at the border and the humanitarian crises happening in Central and South America that are causing an increase in the number of refugees
  • Stories from refugee centers at the border of South Texas
  • Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives.
  • The trip Heather and Tess made to Oaxaca, Mexico to visit refugees there
  • A poem by Warsan Shire about why people leave their homes as refugees
  • The legal ways to enter America are being shut down by the current administration
  • Our experience visiting the unaccompanied minors shelter
  • Femicide, being killed because you are a woman, is a big cause of death in Mexico
  • Partnering with Jesus to love the marginalized and bring Heaven to Earth
  • The call of God to love the oppressed and care for the broken in Isaiah 58
Direct download: TessClarkeFinalEp252.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Just in time for Father’s Day we have a great conversation with Joel Fitzpatrick, a pastor and author, who encourages dads (and moms) to have gospel-focused conversations with their sons.

“There’s power in having conversations with your kids that opens up your relationship. It’s a freedom that gives your kids a safe place to talk to someone. But then it also gives you the ability to speak God's truth into their lives.”

We talk about the barriers that keep us from going deep with our kids and how to fight back against the fear and complacency that can become commonplace. Joel also shares how Jesus is the ultimate picture of biblical masculinity and how to be an emotionally safe parent for your son or daughter.

“We need to be very careful with our emotions when our kids come and they confess their sins to us. When your son comes to you and he's been angry, you need to be careful not to respond in anger, but to respond with love and with kindness and with using your strength to provide a place of safety.”

This is an episode that would be perfect to share with your spouse and the dads in your life. Joel shares a lot of truth for both moms and dads about how we can stay actively engaged with our kids and keep the gospel message at the forefront.

For more on this topic, Joel has a new book out called Between Us Guys. Also, my recent podcast with Vicki Courtney [Ep 239] has some more great information on having deep conversations.

As Joel shares, it comes down to setting aside intentional time to go deep with our kids. What step can you make this summer to have a gospel-centered conversation with your son or daughter?

 

What we chat about:

  • Joel’s background as a construction worker and as a minister
  • What are gospel conversations and how do we have them with our kids
  • How to fight against fear and complacency to continually engage with our kids
  • Biblical masculinity vs worldly masculinity
  • Working with a son who is displaying aggression and violence
  • Keeping our emotions in check when we’re having tough discipline conversations
  • Look at your kids’ lives as a timeline and not a snapshot
  • Learning to process emotions in a healthy way with our kids
  • Being aware of your sons’ emotions and actively engaged with how he is processing them
  • Teaching sons how to think about and interact with women in light of the gospel
Direct download: JoelFitzpatrickEp251.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As moms, we are like a life support system for our kids. To keep our families healthy, we need to be healthy. A key part of our overall well being is setting healthy boundaries.

But boundaries are hard. They require uncomfortable, direct conversations. We may need to put a limit on really good things or draw a line in the sand with our in-laws or parents.

My guest, Dr. John Townsend literally wrote the book on boundaries and he shares some deep wisdom on how to set healthy boundaries while honoring our family members and others.

You've got to take care of your energy, your heart and your emotions. You've got to take care of yourself and your health. If you don't guard that heart, then the wellsprings of life won't come out from it. Boundaries are basically about how to set healthy, loving limits in our life. So we have something to offer to our children.

Townsend answers your tough questions about set limits with in-laws, making healthy boundaries for the holidays and even models having a tough conversation with a parent about a boundary.

This is an episode packed with great information and Townsend has several books and resources available if you want to go deeper. Let’s make setting healthy boundaries a priority and guard our hearts and our time to bring life to our family!

What we chat about:

  • “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
  • Setting boundaries is guarding our wellspring of life so we can love our kids
  • His book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life
  • Is setting boundaries biblical? YES!
  • The difference between hurting and harming someone when it comes to setting boundaries
  • Honoring vs obeying your parents as an adult
  • What it looks like to have a boundary setting conversation
  • Conveying love in hard conversations and not getting hijacked with emotions or blame
  • Giving three chances when you set new boundaries and how to have consequences when they aren’t respected
  • Turning to spiritual family when biological family isn’t what your kids need
  • Keeping the lines of communication open with grandparents and communicating boundaries in love
  • Looking for mild, moderate and severe reactions to suggestions and boundary setting
  • Suggestions for setting healthy boundaries for the holidays
  • The idea of people fuel and relational nutrients that help us fuel up

Direct download: DrTownsendEp250.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Whether your kids are school age or not, summer typically brings a big shift to our family routine and to our mindset. Joining me today to talk through strategies to thrive this summer are Laura Hernandez and Courtney Cleveland.  

We talk about systems, tips and plans for making the most of the time you have with your kids this summer. Laura even shares an acronym for how to plan with the word ENJOY. That’s right! We can absolutely enjoy the summer and these ladies have some great ideas to get you started.

“It doesn't need to be a family bucket list and it doesn't need to be a hundred goals. It's just a simple focused looking at your summer and saying, what do I want it to feel like? What do I want it to look like for our family? And you will reap the benefits of it.”

If you’re like me and want to figure out a way to involve your kids in household jobs without the whining and complaining or make a plan for using screen time effectively, we cover it all in this chat. We also talk about summer road tips and ways to stop entitlement behavior when it rears its ugly head.

There is so much life in slowing down and spending time with our kids in the summer. Whether you are on summer number 2 or summer number 14 (like me) with your oldest, I pray that you embrace the time you have and ENJOY your summer!

 

Direct download: LauraCourtneyEp249.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jada Edwards is a Bible teacher and truth speaker. She brings the word with fire and conviction. Her words encourage and gently convict as she points others to God.

But, her story hasn’t always been pretty and her platform hasn’t always been large. She’s wrestled with shame and doubt and feeling unqualified.

“I try be like David when he says, ‘I keep my sin before me.’ Not because of shame, but because of that reminder that every time God uses me, every time someone is encouraged by something that comes out of my mouth, I think, God is good. He can use anybody. There's a fine line between feeling disqualified and just feeling grateful and humble. So I try not to let that send me into a place of immobility.”

I’m personally grateful that Jada is following after God’s call on her life. She has so much passion for teaching and preaching the word. She has a new Bible study series out with Zondervan on women in the Bible called Known by Name that focuses on the same three questions we all still ask today: How does everyone else see me? How do I see myself? How does God see me? Good stuff!

We talk about her journey to motherhood and how inviting others to be influences in our kids’ lives can bring a freedom for the places we are weakest. She has some great suggestions for how to not mom alone and why we don’t have to strive to be a mother that we’re not.

“I think I day-by-day I find my footing a little bit saying, ‘Okay, these are the kids God has given me to shape and I know there's going to be deficits. I know there's going to be gaps, but I'm going to trust the Lord for the gaps and I'm going to do what I can with who I am. I'm not going to try to be anybody else. I'm going to be a failure at trying to be like my mother, it's going to go badly. I can be the best mom that I can be. And then where I'm lacking, I can be honest about that.’”

Direct download: JadaEdwardsEp248.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Every nine seconds a woman is assaulted in America. It’s the kind of staggering statistic that shocks you into silence. It can make you feel powerless to help.

When Jan Langbein first heard that statistic, it rocked her. She found an avenue to get involved with violence intervention and was eventually hired to run Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support in Dallas.

Now, she’s worked to end violence against women and children for more than 20 years. God’s plan for her was bigger than she ever dreamed. On the podcast, she shares from the wealth of what she’s learned about:

  • How to identify abuse in your own life and in others’
  • How to respond to a friend in an abusive relationship
  • What we can all do to work toward ending and preventing violence, especially in faith communities

“It's very hard being friends and family of someone who's being abused, because it's as if they are overcome by smoke. We see the house burning down, but they're tripping around in a house filled with smoke. So you say things like, you know what, when you are ready to talk about this, know that I'm going to be here for you. When you do feel like you ready for some resources, I'll have them for you.”

Warning: There are some very hard things to hear in this episode and some potentially triggering things if you’ve been in an abusive relationship of any kind.

I’m so thankful for Jan’s guidance and clarity on these hard topics. As believers, we’re called to press in to these uncomfortable places and be God’s hands and feet for women and children who are suffering. I pray you will listen with that in mind.

“I think God hates divorce. I know he hates abuse even worse. I think this makes God cry that women are not allowed to live the fullest life. We can serve others, but that doesn't mean at the risk of our own bodies and souls and our children's lives.”

 

What we chat about:

  • How Jan got involved with violence intervention and eventual hired to run Genesis Women's Shelter & Support
  • Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in this country and 1 in 3 women have experienced abuse
  • The ways abuse affects the children in a marriage/relationship
  • How to respond to a friend who may be in an abusive relationship
  • The services offered at a shelter like Genesis can provide for multiple needs from housing to legal help to counseling
  • Faith communities and other men can be a part of the solution calling out abuse and not sweeping it under the rug
  • Fear is an indication of abuse and verbal and emotional abuse precedes physical abuse
  • Helping a friend go through the stages of change in coming out of abuse
  • Abusers have the power and control in the relationship and the person being abused has the responsibility to serve their abuser
  • What to watch for in our kids for signs of abuse
Direct download: JanLangbeinEp247Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jeni B is a single mom raising and homeschooling her four children. It was not the life she expected when she married as a young grad student and not the life she worked hard to create as she struggled for 10 years in an abusive marriage.

She shares her story of coming to a very painful place of seeking a divorce and fleeing with her children. We talk about the loss of community and friendships that followed and the guilt and shame that threatened to hold her captive.

“There can be so much shame and there's so much responsibility on the shoulders of the woman that it can feel like her job is to respect and to uphold and to encourage and that love covers a multitude of sins. And I'm sure that that works totally fine in a partnership where you've got two people under the headship of Jesus Christ who are wanting to please and obey him and serve each other. But when only one person is doing that, it just opens the gates wide for rampant abuse in a relationship.”

But her story did end there. Three years later, she is walking with God in a deeper way than she thought possible and finding freedom through healing. In her hardest places, God has been faithful and she shares what she’s learned about his character along the way.

“He didn't love my marriage more than he loved me. He loves me. So a huge part of my own growth and my own awakening is knowing God. It's a day-to-day walk and I feel the Lord shining on me. It is this beautiful experience of having been reduced to pretty much nothing and having all of my dreams destroyed to a place where God is building a city on top of that very same spot and he's using other people in the process of rebuilding.”

I’m thankful for Jeni’s openness in sharing her journey with God and how he is restoring and rebuilding her life. If you or a friend are going through anything similar, check out the online support group Jeni is in for more resources or visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website www.thehotline.org.

Direct download: JeniBEp246.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

When Ericka Young and her husband made the choice to get out of debt, they had two small kids and $90,000 to pay off.

In the midst of the expensive, hard season of raising their daughters they worked hard for five years to get debt-free and now Ericka teaches the budgeting principles they used to help others find freedom. She believes that while many of us see a budgeting as restriction it can actually bring a lot of freedom.

“You can be creative if you want, you can call it a spending plan, you can call it a cash flow plan, whatever want to call it is totally fine. But when I say the word budget, everybody has a response, good or bad. And many times it's bad. It is the straight jacket. It's restriction, it's lack of freedom, that kind of thing. But here's the deal. It's what you make of it. Your budget is your own, make it your own.”

We chat about teaching our kids about money and tithing and how we are ultimately stewards of the resources God has given us.

“I love numbers. And so how I get out of my head is to realize that God is my provider. I am not the fixer of all financial issues. God is the provider. He also leads the way. And so when things come up and I have to shift or do a detour or what have you, I still know that he's in control. And so the budget is the guide. It's the plan. But when life happens, I also know that God's got this.”

What we chat about:

  • Her and her husband’s history with debt and money
  • Finances while you are raising young kids
  • Parental peer pressure can cause us to spend money we don’t need to
  • Why having a budget and money goals can help you get a handle on your finances
  • Having shared financial goals with your husband
  • Track your spending for the past three months and see if it aligns with your priorities
  • Plan for out-to-eat meals in your budget and use wisdom on when to eat out
  • Teaching your children about the costs of items and how to spend within limits
  • Being committed to tithing and how to discuss it with our kids
  • Responsibilities, allowances and working with kids on money
  • Why we need cushion in your budget for emergencies. It helps takes stress off an already stressful situation.
  • Your budget can bring freedom from the stress of not knowing where your money is
Direct download: ErickaYoungEp244Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Depending on your personal background with puberty, sex and the often avoided topic of masturbation, having open conversations with your kids on these topics may feel daunting.

You may want to avoid it or get “the talk” over and done with as quickly as possible. Or maybe your kids are really young and you don’t want to think about it right now. My guests Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson walk us through why starting early talking with our kids about body awareness and establishing our family story about sex is so important.

“What we're trying to get rid of is this idea that this is a one-time conversation in parenting. The world that we are raising our kids in has changed so drastically that the way we as parents talk about sex has to change drastically as well. We can have multiple age appropriate conversations and a little-by-little approach where we establish a conversation pattern where we are the loving authority in our child's life on this topic.”

They have great book recommendations and advice on talking with your pediatrician so you know when puberty is imminent for each child. We cover ways to pursue conversations with your kids and how to talk to them calmly without overreacting.

Finally, we dive into the deeper waters of talking to your older children about masturbation, dealing with our emotional baggage when it comes to sex and how to strike the difficult balance of teaching what is normal and beneficial.

We're hearing from a lot of youth ministers and pastors that work with college kids that this is an epidemic of a great addiction. So there needs to be more of a warning of how this is normal, but not beneficial. That why it's such a difficult topic. You can say, yes, honey, this is absolutely normal. You're learning about your body and how it works, but it can become a habit of comfort. And if this is where you go when you're upset or when you're angry, if this is how you comfort yourself, then this is not beneficial to you in your future.”

Direct download: MeganMaryFloEp243.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm CDT

To celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary, Bruce and I are answering your questions! We have a fun time reminiscing on our wedding, the early years of parenting and all the twists and turns our lives have taken since we joined them together.

We talk about parenting styles, balancing our roles and how I learned not to micromanage him when it came to caring for our boys.

As much as we enjoy looking back at our years before kids when we traveled a bunch, the fun concerts we went to, and friends we made, we wouldn’t change what we have now. Bruce makes a great point that if we stay focused on the past, we’ll miss the great things happening now.

Stick around to the end of the episode to find out which one of us said, “I love you” first and my personal philosophy on procrastination. We share our ideas for a perfect weekend (they aren’t the same) and how Bruce plans a typical date night.

Direct download: BruceHeatherEp242.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:11am CDT

Though millions tuned in to TLC’s hit show Little People, Big World to watch their wedding, the entirety of Jeremy and Audrey Roloff’s love story is significantly less known. Audrey joins me to talk about her marriage, motherhood, and how she and her husband are on a mission to help married couples thrive.

The Roloffs have founded a ministry called Beating 50 Percent which is focused on reviving covenant marriages. They share resources and ideas for couples to inspire them to make their marriages more than average.

“One thing that has been our lifeline since before becoming parents is our marriage journal. It's essentially our communication tool in our marriage. When life is crazy, we know that every Sunday night we're going to have our time to do our marriage journal. We call it our navigator’s council time. But it's basically just a time for Jeremy and I to connect and communicate about things that have come up in the week that maybe there wasn't never that good time to talk about it.”

We chat about how she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her daughter, why it’s important to share interests and activities with your spouse and how to balance strong personalities in marriage.

“It’s important to take humble perspective and ask God, what do our roles in this marriage look like and is this something that you are pleased with and how can we be a better reflection of the gospel through our marriage? I feel like God has really been impressing on my heart since the beginning of the year to let Jeremy be my forerunner and to view that as a helpful, beautiful thing that helps me and allows me to run the race better.”

 

What we chat about:

  • Audrey’s background and how she met her husband Jeremy Roloff
  • Jeremy and his family are featured in the reality TV show, Little People, Big World
  • What it was like for her to have her wedding televised for the show
  • Her life verse from Ephesians 3:20 and mantra “Always More”
  • Beating 50 Percent the marriage ministry she and her husband have
  • Their focus is inspiring couples to invest more than 50% effort into their marriage
  • How she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her infant daughter
  • Their Sunday marriage journaling time and how they’ve turned it into a book, The Marriage Journal
  • The principle of sharing interests and activities with your spouse and how that can knit you closer together
  • Submitting in marriage when you have a strong personality or leadership gifting
  • What Audrey loves about being a mom
Direct download: AudreyRoloffEp241.mp3
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Many of us avoid and struggle with conversations about race or disabilities because it’s uncomfortable. When our children ask innocent questions about someone who is different than they are, it can make us feel tongue tied or embarrassed.

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

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

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

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

What we chat about:

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

Other books/sites that Dorena recommends: 

**Amazon affiliate link to help support the production of this podcast.

Direct download: DorenaWilliamsonEp216.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Contemporary Christian musicians Chris Rademaker and Jodi King followed God’s call to pursue a musical adventure as the husband-wife duo Love & The Outcome. They share their experiences of selling their home, walking through grief, newlywed life on the road as musicians and their transition into parenting.

Jodi especially talks through how she leans on the Holy Spirit in her parenting, managing expectations and other people’s reactions.

I’ve had to learn how to just know the Holy Spirit. So in the moments when we’re in public and I’m parenting, I focus on Him. It’s so easy to turn and see everyone else’s reaction to what I just did was or I can just try and do my best to really listen to the Holy Spirit in the moment so that I can feel confident in my decisions.

I love how Chris and Jodi open up about playing shows and bringing their two young sons Milo and Ziggy along for the ride. There’s so much encouragement for moms of littles in this episode, including letting our standards slip a little so we can still experience community even if it’s messy and involves take-out food instead of handcrafted meals.

Maybe it’s just a season. But maybe it’s forever. I don’t really know what the Lord has. But letting go of some of my ideals has been so good. I have to acknowledge that I have a 2.5-year-old and a 1-year-old. Life looks like this right now, and it is the dream if I choose to be present to it and enjoy it.

What we chat about:

  • When Jodi and Chris met and started a touring band
  • Their Enneagram types and how they work together as a couple
  • How the Lord directed their path through grief and loss
  • Parenting and challenges that come when touring with kids
  • Dwelling in the Holy Spirit to make decisions
  • Transitions in parenting and learning to lean into the Holy Spirit vs worrying what others think
  • The concessions you make to connect with community when you are in a busy season
  • Freeing yourself up from pre-conceived plans of what life “should” look like
  • A new way to look at living the dream and choosing to be present in what your life is like now

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link to help support the production of this podcast.

Direct download: JodiChrisEp215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Often the hardest assignments in our lives bring us the greatest good. I’ve seen it to be true in my own life. And have walked this Truth with friends on their journeys. 

In this episode I’ve invited my friends Alice and Candace to share their stories of adoption. And the process of discovering their adopted children have special needs. We also discuss how God has led them each into new ministries because of the children He’s brought into their families. 

I love seeing God’s purpose for Alice & Candace unfold alongside their leaning on Him for strength and guidance. Not to mention how they follow Him obediently with humor and grace!

I don’t know if God made Millie have autism or if that is a result of living in a fallen world. That’s something that I question every day. But I do know that the struggles that she has had more than anything else have shaped our family in a way that I think brings glory to God, more than the easy and fun and good things.–Alice

Direct download: CandaceAliceEp213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

“They just keep fighting!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim & Lynne have been on the show before sharing their fabulous 4-layer framework for discipline that connects (Listen here to Episode 80 & 81). And again helping connect in any situation (Ep 98). And recently helping us work with our kids on all of our entitlement issues (Ep 200)

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):

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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!  

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.
Direct download: SofM2018JimLynnSiblings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Pain is inevitable. In James we are told to “consider it all joy” when we encounter trials. James also wrote to ask God for wisdom and He will give it generously. Which I realized from a sermon this week has more to do with wisdom we gain from the challenging circumstances, not necessarily wisdom to get out of them.

But how many of us share our broken places with others? How often do we wait until the pain has passed and life is back to “normal” to share and minister to others? What if God longs for you to offer up the wisdom you are gaining in the midst of the challenge?

This week’s guest is Dr. Peggy Banks (Global Ministry Director for TWR Women of Hope). I’m a big Peggy fan. Years ago she discipled me in a deeper understanding of God and His Spirit in me. She modeled how to pray intimately with my heavenly Father. She taught me all the Spirit does in and through us. She inspired me with her passion for women around the world to know the healing available through Jesus Christ.

In this episode Peggy shares her own painful places. A past that includes abuse. A journey of learning to trust and stop striving in performance. She encourages us to meet with Jesus daily. And what that looks like for her. Peggy encourages us to gather with others in small groups to spur each other on in our spiritual journeys. Sharing what He is doing and lifting one another up in the process.

Peggy was a minister of Spiritual formation at my church for years. And now she leads a global ministry to women, TWR Women of Hope. God is using her pain for a purpose. Every day women around the world are hearing the gospel in their own language through the power of the airwaves. As a podcaster, I’m so inspired by the work of Women of Hope and Trans World Radio.

“As a small Army-surplus transmitter went on the air in Tangier, Morocco, in early 1954, the first step had been taken toward the development the world’s largest evangelical media organization” – Trans World Radio

Such a cool idea to realize the gospel has been traveling via airways since the 50s. What a joy to join Him in the work of spreading the good news!

What we chat about:

  • Peggy’s hidden pain while looking perfect on the outside and performing for approval.
  • The “spiritual mom” who helped Peggy get healing from the bondage and brokenness of abuse.
  • Learning to vulnerably share your struggles with those you are leading.
  • Advice for the listener who is in the middle of the painful place.
  • What does it mean “to be with Jesus”.
  • Gathering together with a group to be real and share your current pain.
  • How Peggy’s tattoos helped her minister to a specific group of women.
  • Peggy’s personal mission statement: “Helping hurting women around the world helping to find hope and healing in the person of Jesus Christ.”

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: SofM2018PeggyBanksWk5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Chrystal is a real life friend. And one wise woman. Since this episode went live three years ago, she’s become. . .a grandmother to two adorable kiddos! But I’ll give you a tip. . .before you call her Granny. . . Chrystal prefers the title “MMC” (aka, “Mother of the Mother of the Child” ;).

In twelve years of parenting I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve gained confidence in my ability to handle high fevers, distinguish between a backhoe digger and a tractor, and (somewhat regularly) plan weekly meals.

But most days I feel just as clueless as my first day home from the hospital.  When I sat on the closet floor cried buckets while cradling a screaming newborn. And had no idea how to stop either of our tears.

These days it’s sibling arguments I fear may rival world wars. Or strong wills that no military force could conquer. Or the noise, chaos and never-ending mess that leave me feeling like a pair of dirty socks in the spin cycle.

But I have one strategy that always helps. . .

Asking moms who’ve gone before me for perspective. Showing me what matters and what doesn’t. Helping me navigate these days with faith and grace.

On today’s podcast I’ve invited Chrystal Evans Hurst, mom to five to fill our mom hearts with nuggets of truth and wisdom.

What we talked about:

  • The realization Chrystal had when she turned 40
  • What Chrystal wants to make sure every mom knows
  • The parenting advice Corrie Ten Boom gave Chuck Swindoll
  • How to handle the shame or blame from those around us
  • How to grow in confidence as a mother
  • How to help and give grace to new moms
  • How knowing the commonalities between ages 2, 12, 20 helps you parent better
  • How to be the compassionate counselor to your children
  • How to calmly set boundaries and appropriately direct emotions
  • What God can accomplish and inspire you through prayer
  • The impact of how your face communicates acceptance
  • Three final tips Chrystal wants moms to know

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: SofM2018ChrystalHurstwk2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

We’ve talked a lot about calm parenting techniques on GCM in the past. It’s something many of us moms have seen work. But this episode is one you may want to listen to and invite your hubby to as well!

Founder of Celebrate Calm, Kirk Martin, shares the powerful story of how he went from an angry, tough dad to a calm, coaching dad and why a dad’s role in parenting is so important.

I believe this to be true most of the time. If you do not change and if you do not forge that connection with your son, most of those boys will grow up and become angry young men… And I would tell the men too if you have a daughter and if she doesn’t know that you like her. And that you accept her as she is even if she is difficult. I guarantee when she gets to her teenage years she’s going to seek a man’s affection in some teenage boy.

What we chat about:

  • Getting dads onboard with Calm Parenting techniques.
  • Working with strong-willed children and how anger and tough punishments don’t work.
  • Fear of failure as a parent is a strong motivator for us in discipline.
  • Kids need to know that we can control ourselves as parents even when they are out control.
  • Discipline means to teach, not to punish.
  • It’s important to build trust with our kids so they know we have their best interests at heart.
  • The idea of first-time obedience and whether it’s Biblical.
  • Strong-willed children may never listen the first time and may do things their own way (but still obey).
  • How our struggle to obey God often mirrors our kids’ struggle to obey.
  • Leading our kids to contrition instead of demanding an apology.
  • Coaching and role playing with our kids to teach them how to respond better in emotional situations.
  • Think of calm techniques as a different tactic for problem solving. 
  • It’s ok to give in from time to time to keep from going crazy (not the same as being “soft”).
  • Try doing the opposite of what you are doing now and see what the response is.

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link

Direct download: GCMKirkMartinEp210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

In a world where devices, video games and screen-based entertainment dominate our time and space, we can choose to make our family culture different. It isn’t easy and it isn’t always fun, but there are huge benefits for us and our kids when we take time away from devices.

This week’s guest Andy Crouch is the author of “The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place”. He shares about our calling to be image bearers of God and how his family has seen a lot of growth by putting limitations on time with technology and building in Sabbath rest from devices.

Have moments as a family where you talk about what have been your best moments. What’s been the flourishing moments in our family? It’s very unlikely people will say, ‘Oh that time we made it to level 16 in whatever video game.’ Kids and parents will remember moments that had this kind of real authority and real vulnerability.

As we head into summer, I hope this episode encourages you to embrace the power of your kids being bored so they can tap into their God-given creativity, abilities and interests. Just hang in there through the first third of the time! Listen to see what I mean.

What we chat about:

  • Image bearing as it relates to authority and vulnerability
  • Video games and screened-based entertainment simulate authority and vulnerability
  • Andy’s family’s Sabbath for screens and devices- one hour each day, one day each week and one week each year
  • How to work toward unity on device- and technology-free time with your spouse
  • Start small and do what’s stretching when it comes to taking time without devices
  • Talk as a family about the best times you’ve experienced together and plan to have more of those moments
  • The first third of the time is really hard, but in the second two-thirds you’ll see creativity and really good things for your family
  • Changing your physical space to make the main thing we do together different
  • Work and rest vs. Toil and leisure
  • Not looking at your phone first thing in the morning till you’ve been outside
  • Having a rhythm of disengagement with technology that reconnects us with real rest and with who we really are in God’s image.

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link

Direct download: GCMAndyCrouchEp208.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Discipline. It’s such an important part of parenting and so hard. But, we don’t have to be alone on the journey. Join me as I sit down with two moms of littles from my church, Meredith and Hailey. We chat about the common struggles and questions that come up in disciplining young kids.

Our kids) have the opportunity to be saved by grace through faith just like we were, not by works and not by good parenting. But, it’s the consistency of the love and the safety. And when you have that and they do confess faith then you have the Holy Spirit on your side to do the convicting.

What we chat about:

  • Discipline can be a struggle, but we’re not alone in this journey
  • Ask yourself, “Will it matter in 10 years?”
  • Focusing on making our children feel safe
  • The child that’s annoying you the most, you should hug the most even though it’s the opposite of your instinct
  • A lot of the anger that comes up in us as moms comes from unresolved issues in us, not just our kids’ behavior
  • Mommy Time, getting intentional focused time with each child
  • During the 0-5 ages, kids change so much it’s difficult to keep up with the huge developmental changes they are undergoing
  • Leaning into the Holy Spirit when we need to make a decision in parenting to avoid letting fear and insecurity win
  • It’s hard to know what the realistic expectations are for obedience at different ages
  • Don’t sabotage the good in pursuit of the great
  • Disciplining in public requires different tools, take steps to set your kids up to win
  • Your kids will be saved by grace through faith and not through perfect parenting
  • God’s kindness leads us to repentance, so we need to discipline with kindness as well
  • Grace for parenting changes when you add a new baby to your family

More Episodes on Discipline:

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon Affiliate link. At no extra cost to you a portion of your purchase will go back to support the God Centered Mom Podcast.

Direct download: GCMMeredithHaileyEp199.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Staying up-to-date on social media can so easily turn into an hour of lost time scrolling on our phones that leaves us discontent and disconnected with the ones we love the most. It’s a struggle most of us deal with in this digital age we’re in, and I’ve brought in my friend Eryn Hall to give us practical tips and encouragement on how to do social media well.

My highlight reel is going to look different than someone else’s highlight reel and that’s how it should be. We need to accept that and rest in the Lord. The grace and goodness I have and my acceptance, my identity is found in him and not in someone else’s social media.

If limiting your own screen time is something you struggle with, check out the apps in the show notes below to start monitoring your time. Ask a friend or GCM podcast club member to check in with you for accountability. Let’s live our lives for God and for our families first, not just for the social media posts.

What we chat about:

  • How to do social media from a Godly worldview
  • Recognizing how social media makes us feel and doing a heart check
  • Learning to rest in God’s approval and not in the approval of social media
  • Stepping away and asking God, “Is this for me?” before responding to a place of potential jealousy
  • Paying attention to whether we are finding our identity in God or in social media
  • Boundaries we’ve put in place on social media
  • Not looking at social media first thing in the morning and starting our day off in prayer so we are secure in who God says we are
  • Healthy switches for spending your time on something other than social media
  • Staying present with your kids with boundaries on your device usage
  • Not immediately posting a picture of an event or activity and checking your “why” behind the photos and posts
  • Be sure of who you are and whose you are before you post
  • A cool story about how someone came to Jesus after reading God’s word on social media
  • Being digital evangelists and staying faithful to the message of who God is

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMErynHallEp197.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

When she got married, Jamie Ivey became a pastor’s wife. Stepping into this role made her feel there was no one who she could be fully open with about her past. But, keeping these secrets kept her in shame and insecurity.

In her new book, If You Only Knew**, she shares how opening up about her past revealed the beauty of God’s grace in her life and about the freedom it has brought her and others.

(If you want to hear my “If You Only Knew” story about anxiety and anger, check it out over on Jamie’s “The Happy Hour” podcast.)

What we chat about:

  • Jamie Ivey’s story reconciling her past with her Christian walk.
  • How sharing your story can show the beauty of God’s grace and redemption.
  • Examining our underlying motivation for decisions.
  • We are not in control of our kids’ salvation and that is a good thing!
  • How to find a friend who is safe to share your full story with and how to be that type of friend.
  • We can have compassion for the broken when we realize that it’s only by the grace of God we haven’t made bigger mistakes.
  • Bringing discipline with your kids back around to the Gospel because that’s where the freedom lies.
  • The importance of community and allowing others to speak truth into our lives when we fall into places of shame and guilt.
  • God sees the righteousness of Jesus and not our shame when he looks at us.
  • When to tell our kids about our stories and how important it is to talk about sex and places of sin in our homes first.

“If You Only Knew” book **:

Links Mentioned:
Direct download: GCMJamieIveyEp191.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

As an author, event planner, teacher, wife, mom of 10 and grandmother to 2, September McCarthy has plenty to fill her days. She relates to the universal exhaustion on our mom souls–the beating ourselves up and the fighting for joy. 

September has so much wisdom to share from what God has taught her in seasons of busyness and motherhood in different stages.

Listen as we go through questions from GCM listeners on motherhood topics including finding joy in the hard times, the value of rest and bringing your children alongside you in your work as a mom.

As moms we are going to be tired. Might as well be tired over the things that bring you joy. And choose those things.

What we chat about:

  • September’s motherhood story including miscarriages & infant loss. 
  • Answers to questions from moms like you.
  • Focusing less on feeling the joy in your days and more on gratitude.
  • When you are in the busy seasons of life, be cautious what you take on. Ask yourself, do I need to do this?
  • Not letting our “fear of missing out” for children direct our decisions. 
  • The importance of guarding our thoughts and taking negative thoughts captive.
  • “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2
  • There is value and strength in rest and doing what God wants for your body.
  • Find one to two moms who can help you when you need it.
  • Let go of feeling like you need to everything well and enjoy it.
  • Bringing your kids into you work as a mom and encouraging them to work as a team.
  • Tips on teaching character to kids who want your attention all the time.

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMSeptemberMcCarthyEp189.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It’s painful when our dreams fall apart. Stephanie Giddens shares how although her family’s dream to move to Africa didn’t work out, God gave her an even bigger dream for the refugee community in her own city. The God assigned her the privilege of building Vickery Trading Company. A company that provides for families, empowers refugee women and bridges cultural divides. 

The GREAT news is you can be a part of empowering women by purchasing any of the sewn items! The BEST news is, they not only have adorable dresses for little girls, for a limited time they have holiday lounge pants for men, women and children!!! (Check them out here)

What we chat about:

  • The surprising twists and turns in Stephanie’s family’s story.
  • Grieving over the death a dream and not understanding the “why” behind bad circumstances.
  • We as believers get the privilege of being a part of God’s story.
  • How Stephanie is helping refugees in Dallas with her children’s clothing company, Vickery Trading Co.
  • The struggle that refugees face when they come to America.
  • Stories of hope God has orchestrated with the refugees Stephanie works with
  • Building community among people of different cultures by focusing on the commonalities we all have as people.
  • English is one of the biggest barriers for refugees.
  • How focusing on what is going well and on encouragement can make a big difference in your outlook on life.

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMStephanieGiddensEp187.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Jump into this special episode from the God Centered Mom “Live” event held November 3 to celebrate four years of the GCM podcast. Guests, Kat Lee & Wynter Pitts share about 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 GCM 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
Direct download: GCMLiveKatWynterEp185.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Remember THAT viral video? You know, the one where the mom wears the Chewbacca mask? Her contagious laugh was heard all over the interwebs. Today my friend and vodcast host, Kay Wyma, and I are thrilled to chat with the one and only Chewbacca Mom, Candace Payne.

Listen in as Candace gives us a glimpse into more of her story.  And talks about finding satisfying joy in all of life’s circumstances.

Happiness brings instant gratification based on things that happen to us… Joy’s that thing that satisfies and lasts beyond [circumstances].

What we chat about:

  • How joy informs who we are “behind the mask.”
  • Finding joy in the little things… like a Chewbacca mask in the clearance aisle of Kohl’s.
  • Overcoming adversity by choosing positivity.
  • The two types of joy and where we can find true satisfaction.
  • Changing a “never” list to an “always” list.
  • Choosing hope over fear, and thriving even when the worst-case happens.
  • What can happen when you stop living in anxiety.
  • Fighting comparison, the frenemy of joy.

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMCandacePayneEp184.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Born four days apart in 1977, Travis (aka “Thi’sl”) and I didn’t choose where or to whom we were born. But God did. And He placed us in very different homes and stories. Yet the gospel intersected both of our lives, pulled us forward and continues to pull us.

Granted, Travis’ transformation is a lil more interesting and dramatic than mine. But we both were sinners in need of a Savior. And around our 40th birthdays, our paths crossed with an invitation for a trip to Israel.

After hearing bits & pieces of Travis’ story while on our trip and then hearing him perform and share his testimony at a concert. . .I knew I had to share “Thi’sl” with y’all.

In this episode you’ll gain hope for any loved one or situation you think is “too far gone” for God to redeem. You’ll be reminded that God is in the business of rescuing and making things right. And that God fights for you (which ironically my pastor reminded us of yesterday). You can drop your weapons of control. You can surrender your way and follow God’s way. And believe God is for you and He CAN free you (spoiler alert: just like how He actually freed Travis from prison!!).

(Here’s a little pic with some of my fam and me visiting Thi’sl before his concert)

At the end of the interview Travis shares 3 questions he answers in his book, “Against All Odds”:

What is my identity. What am I living for? Am I too far gone for God to use me?

Here are his answers:

You’re not too far gone. God created you for a purpose. God made you in His image.

Boom.

Connect with Thi’sl:

Links Mentioned:

 

Direct download: GCMTravisTylerEp183.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

What we chat about:

  • How friends can support and love a family whose child has autism.
  • What to do when your child doesn’t get invited to birthday parties.
  • Facilitating friendships for your child with autism.
  • How to help them get through puberty.
  • How to talk to your child about their diagnosis.
  • How do you know the difference between a symptom of autism and behavior needing discipline.
  • What can your expectations be in teaching your child with autism about Jesus?

Biblical Counseling Resources:

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMTerriConlinEp182PartTwo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Don’t you wish you could chat with an older mom who’s been there? Who knows what its like to care for and deal with the needs of a child with autism? Well, today I’m bringing that person to you!

Terri Conlin is the mom to four grown children. One of her sons (now 23 years old) was diagnosed as a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She’s here to provide her story. The challenges and the triumphs. The places of help and of heartache.

Y’all shared wonderful questions with me via Instagram. Thank you for letting me know what’s been hard for you. Thank you for wanting to help your friends who have children on the spectrum. Once again, my hope is to learn you’re not alone.

(Stay tuned for part two of our conversation, which will go live on Wednesday, Oct 25th).

What we chat about:

  • Getting the diagnosis of autism.
  • How Terri meditated on the Psalms to put faith back in God when spit at/punched/kicked.
  • Recognizing the grief therapy she and her husband needed.
  • The impact of autism on the entire family.
  • Learning to slow their pace down.
  • Helping siblings cope.
  • How a mentor encouraged her and eased her loneliness.

Biblical Counseling Resources:

 

Direct download: GCMTerriConlinEp182.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

You may know you “should” keep the Sabbath. And perhaps you then get stuck on “how”. Hopefully this episode will remove the shameful burden of “should” and shift the question from “how” to “who”. Shelly Miller, author of Rhythms of Rest, joins me in helping you develop a rhythm to cease from work and celebrate true rest in Jesus.

But what does sabbath rest look like specifically for young moms and those in ministry? Listen in as Shelly talks through the difference between routines and rhythms, and Jesus’ call to embrace what is easy and light.

What we chat about:

  • What does it mean to practice sabbath in 2017?
  • Separating the sabbath from rules and regulations, and embracing what is “easy and light.”
  • The way we rest is unique to who we are, and may be different from how even our family members find rest.
  • Prioritizing rest as a family and coming up with a plan for how each family member can practice sabbath.
  • The main goal isn’t a set amount of time or even a day, but setting apart time time to rest
  • Discovering the difference between routines and rhythms.
  • How planning and preparation impact our ability to rest.
  • Advice for the mom whose family is uninterested in implementing the sabbath.
  • Finding like-minded community in Shelly’s Sabbath Society.

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMShellyMillerEp181.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

You clearly heard God’s call. But why is obeying Him sometimes so difficult? In today’s interview my longtime friend and renowned author, Tricia Goyer, discusses obeying the Lord even when it isn’t easy, and how He blesses the faithfulness of His children.

Listen as Tricia discusses the unique way the Lord grew her family through unplanned pregnancies, biological children, foster care, and adoption. You’ll love her honesty and transparency as she shares the hard moments that had her questioning decisions, and the way the Lord has blessed her family along the way.

What we chat about:

  • Obeying the Lord’s call to adopt (again and again and again) even after feeling “finished”
  • Taking a break from speaking and writing to shepherd her daughters as they healed from past trauma.
  • The sacrifice of stepping away from public ministry to focus on personal ministry at home.
  • Understanding God’s heart and direction for our lives by spending time in His Word and in prayer
  • Being called to multiple ministries and projects
  • Seeing a need that coincides with God’s commands from His Word
  • Trusting God while navigating His direction for our lives
  • Obeying God even when it’s hard and you find yourself asking, “why did I do this?”
  • Reaching out to our support systems when walking through hard providence
  • Finding beauty in the chaos and being thankful for the hard times
  • Moses communed with God face to face despite being called to a seemingly impossible
  • The importance of steadfast obedience even though we want a quick fix
  • The legacy we pass to our children when they see us obey the Lord despite difficulty

Links Mentioned:

 

Direct download: GCMTriciaGoyerEp179.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Life seems to be a series of highs and lows. If my happiness depends on the circumstances around me, I’m in for quite the roller coaster ride.

Even this past week we received heartbreaking news about my mom’s health. BUT God has been faithful and present and steadfast to show up in the details. Including the timing of this interview. . .

Sara Hagerty’s book “Every Bitter Thing is Sweet” released in October 2014. I started reading it in May 2015 when my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. Her words soothed my aching heart. Her honesty about her dad’s cancer diagnosis and God’s faithfulness through it brought me peace.

Then the day after we got my mom’s diagnosis I’m on Skype interviewing Sara. Well, first she and I cried and prayed together. . .then we recorded this interview.

Like I said, God is in the details.

Sara knows the struggle to believe God is good when life doesn’t turn out the way you’d hope. From marriage struggles, financial insecurity, parent illness, infertility exhaustion, etc, Sara discovered her only place of true security came when she prayed back God’s Word back to Him in adoration.

One day while sitting in her kitchen, utterly exhausted by life, God gave her these words:

The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul,

 every bitter thing is sweet. (Proverbs 27:7)

Thanksgiving week is full of remembering all that God has done for us. Who couldn’t use an extra heaping helping of gratitude these days?

Sara reminding us about adoration, takes gratitude and turns it towards who God is. Praising Him not for what He has done for me, but who He promises to be. Which then shifts my heart to believe He is who He says He is.

In control.

Almighty.

Beginning and End.

Lover of our souls.

Binder of the brokenhearted.

If you need to hear a word of encouragement and be reminded of who God is and why He can be trusted, then this episode is for you, sweet sister. Happy Thanksgiving!

What we chat about:

  • Discovering life with God is often NOT like a treadmill, always gaining speed and strength
  • God’s revelations to Sara through the pain of infertility and marriage struggles
  • Facing bitterness and the nagging feeling “God is good, he’s just not good to me.”
  • Recognizing the hunger that lies beneath bitterness; God’s “divine alluring”
  • Intentionally seeking God in the places your heart comes alive
  • Adoration as a spiritual discipline: speaking scriptures (even the hard ones) back to Him
  • Honesty with God on areas you struggle to believe instead of just splashing some “Jesus juice” on it
  • How God sees all of the “hidden parts of life” of moms that often feel unnoticed
  • Vulnerability not for it’s own sake but with the intention of God’s restoration
  • How God not only restored Sara’s marriage, but how He used the hard times to bring more to it than she thought possible

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link

Direct download: GCMEp143SaraHagerty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

It’s not a magic formula. But almost.

This week’s guest is Dr. Emerson Eggerichs (New York Times Best Selling author of “Love & Respect”). He has opened my eyes to the high value of respect with boys & men with his newest book, “Mother and Son: The Respect Effect**”. ‘Game changer.

 

The Respect Effect
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With this new “respect effect” perspective, interactions with my boys have changed. Before a word comes out of my mouth I’m evaluating if the tone is positive and the correction is focused on the behavior and not the person. I’ve also noticed how I alter what I say when helping them get along with one another (e.g., “Are you respecting your brother when you take the toy he is playing with?”).

I know, I know. A few weeks ago I published a parenting boys episode. I promise an interview with Sissy Goff is in the works, to help moms with girls (she leads a camp all summer. . .so we’ll be chatting in the Fall). But just like with the other parenting boys episode, whether you have sons or daughters, after listening you will understand your husband better. That’s a very good thing.

And I know, I know, I share several books on the podcast. Each of my guests is selected with a lot of thought and consideration. Deciding to only introduce you to books that I would want to read myself. But this book sits at the top of the summer reading list. Seriously. (Just ask all my friends which book they see me toting around and talking about this month 😉 ).

What we chat about:

  • How the popular “Love & Respect” message applies to mother & son relationships.
  • Recognizing that honor motivates men (and our boys).
  • How teen girls respond differently than teen boys to a mom’s critique.
  • A great definition of “respect”.
  • How to hold boundaries with our boys, but still respect their spirits.
  • A specific example of how to apply “respect talk” with your boys.
  • How this respect effect can be applied by teachers in the classroom.
  • Using the acronym “CHAIRS” to identify areas you can use respect talk.
  • How it’s never to late to start.

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate links

Direct download: GCMEp122EmersonEggerichs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, interviews guests discussing the topic of staying God-centered...both replacing "me" with "He" and remembering we are centered in Him. /

Direct download: GCMEp109Grammie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35pm CDT

Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, interviews guests discussing the topic of staying God-centered...both replacing "me" with "He" and remembering we are centered in Him. /

Direct download: GCMEp101KatieOrr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:42pm CDT

What we chat about:

  • The busyness of the holidays and how it inhibits connection with our kids.
  • Showing yourself self-compassion.
  • What phrases are you repeating in your mind that fuel anxiety.
  • How to apply the Connecting Families framework to a stressful situation Heather experienced.
  • Why kids can behave better at school/other places and fall apart at home.
  • Working with your kids in challenging scenarios.
  • How to connect with our kids when we don't even like them.
  • Dealing with your need to get parents' approval (the grandparents) when kids misbehave.
  • When the lies we believe about our kids impacts our ability to connect.
  • What to do when you are trying to connect with your child and they are not responding.
  • An easy way to connect with your kids on a regular basis (holidays included).
  • Working with your kids to prepare for the holidays.

Connect with Jim & Lynne:

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

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMEp98JimLynneJackson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:09pm CDT

Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, interviews guests discussing the topic of staying God-centered...both replacing "me" with "He" and remembering we are centered in Him. /

Direct download: GCMep48JennySulpizio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm CDT

Direct download: GCM_Ep_53_FMM_Annie.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm CDT

In today’s episode, my husband Bruce & I share the story of our last 3 years.  A period of time where his workload was heavy, children were all-consuming and personal time was almost non-existent.

Can you relate?

If your husband has (or you have) a demanding career, then hopefully our story will remind you you are not alone. Maybe hearing how we coped will give you ideas to keep your head above water. (And there are a few general marriage tips we throw in as a bonus).

What we talk about:

  • Our brief summary of life for the past three years
  • Sacrifice is bearable when doing something that matches your strengths/gifts
  • How Heather was “awesome” 😉 while Bruce worked a lot
  • Wives, guilt trips and making things worse
  • When it feels like the hard times/challenges seem like they will never be over
  • How wives can best help husbands–not what you think
  • The importance of a strong marriage going into a season of a demanding career
  • Spending money on date nights now versus counseling later
  • Is it okay to go to bed angry?
  • Timing for conversations is everything
  • Understanding your spouse, how he/she is wired and what works best
  • Sometimes challenging seasons can grow the communication of your marriage
  • Double A Short Stop prospects (don’t even ask)
  • Life is just hard . . .assume that as a baseline and everything else is gold.

Show Notes:

(Amazon Affliliate Links below)

Have you and your spouse ever been through a challenging season? What helped you “weather” the storm?

Direct download: Husband_Demanding_Job_Ep_38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Direct download: GCM_ep_32_Emily_Wierenga.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15am CDT

I don’t know about you, but how I rate myself in the “mom department” varies greatly day by day, minute by minute. A wave of feeling pretty awesome can be quickly followed by feelings of failure. When I’m at a low point, it is nice to call a mom with older children and get encouragement, perspective and wisdom.

Because sometimes my feelings are based on a true problem and I need a little guidance on how to approach my boys differently.

Sometimes my feelings are based on lies and I need a little truth-telling to get my eyes refocused.

For today’s podcast I’ve invited Leslie Johnson (SurseeGal.com) back for a group pep talk. Leslie is the lovely mom to four grown boys. She speaks life and truth. I’m so thankful for her consistent investment in my mothering.

I wanted y’all to listen in on one of our typical conversations. Get a taste of what a phone call would sound like (except in this case we know you are listening and may even refer to you as “listeners”…besides that). And just like a real phone call with Leslie, I’m all over the board asking a variety of questions.

Today we cover three main topics (with the occasional rabbit trail…):

  • Tips for the mom who gets angry with her kids (amen.)
  • Ideas for reading aloud books–the “when”, “where”, “how”, and “what”
  • How to handle the feeling of everyone needing you at once

Show Notes:

Leslie’s suggested read-aloud books *:

*If reading via email, click to blog post to get book links (amazon affiliate).

**For those of you who struggle with anger/yelling and want to focus on getting it under control, the MOB Society just launched a new private FB group called “No More Angry MOB”. It’s a place for moms to gather and know they are not alone and for strategies to change habits, be encouraged, etc. Within the first 24 hours of launching, 1,000 moms had signed up. You are not alone. You can find me there!

Also, last week September McCarthy wrote a couple of great posts on the topic of anger. Find them here:

If you could talk to Leslie on the phone, what would you ask her?

(may even be used on a future podcast. . . wink wink).

Direct download: GCM_ep_20_Leslie_Johnson_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

God kinda rocks my world. In a good way.

Here’s where I get bossy . . . –> Do. not. miss. today’s podcast seriously.

I was BLOWN AWAY when Julie Romero sent me a Facebook message last week and shared her story.

To back up a second. . . I first met Julie in college. We weren’t besties, but at a small Christian school, ya kinda “know” everyone. Especially since we graduated the same year and had a common friend.

Fast forward to last November (2013) when I saw Julie’s face in my Instagram feed and I asked the question, “Did you go to Taylor University?” That simple comment was one stone in the path God took Julie, releasing her from the spiritual desert she found herself.

Only God.

In this episode listen to:

  • Julie share about serving in a church for over a decade eventually leading to burn out.
  • How she cried out, “God, I don’t know what you’re doing? Have you forgotten about me?”
  • How God used a creative season & a craft show to connect she and I
  • How Julie found godly, authentic community via social media
  • What happened when she waited for God to reveal His perfect plan to use her gifts
  • The exciting creative discipleship retreats Julie is facilitating for young women

Connect with Julie:

Twitter :: Instagram :: Facebook

Check out Julie’s amazing Breathe Retreat (and register) –> Click Here 

Check out Julie’s awesome Etsy shop (paper flowers) :: Julie Lynn Design –> Click Here

Check out the incredible Creative Discipleship Kits :: $20/each :: Ephesians Devotional (Identity in Christ), creative swag & instructions :: Follow Julie on social media for more details or Email her at julielynndesign@gmail.com .

Show Notes:

Questions to consider:

Have you ever been burnt out from ministry? Had a “desert” experience?

What activities bring you joy?

Have you considered using those gifts/talents/joys in a unique way to minister to others?

Please share your story of discovering joy through a ministry sweet spot in the comments below!

(for real)

Direct download: GCM_ep_19_Julie_Romero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Heather interviews Tricia Goyer, an experienced author and mother of 6 children (ages 3 to 24). They discuss balancing working at home with family life. In addition, they encourage the listener to see where God is working and join Him. The conversation also includes ideas on how to select activities for your family and how to include children in your ministries. 

Direct download: GCM_Ep.7_with_Tricia_Goyer.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04pm CDT

Heather MacFadyen interviews Hayley Morgan (from the Tiny Twig and author of "No Brainer Wardrobe"). These young moms share thoughts on the hardest part of motherhood. How having more than the social norm of children has made them both more introverted. What it means to "mother openhandedly". They each share personal stories of times they felt distant from God and how He brought them close. 

Direct download: GCM-episode_2_with_Hayley_Morgan.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01pm CDT

Heather MacFadyen interviews Leslie Johnson (from www.surseegal.com), fellow mother of 4 boys. Leslie offers wisdom, encouragement and pratical tips she has gained from growing boys into men. Through this interview the listener will be encouraged on how to replace "me" with "He".

Direct download: God_Centered_Mom-Ep._1_with_Leslie_Johnson.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00pm CDT

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