Don't Mom Alone Podcast (motherhood)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  •  DMA Discount Code for 15 % off Advent Prep Club: DONTMOMALONE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

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

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

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

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Join our DMA community and help 125 women in Guatemala become financially independent by funding the equipment for a bakery!! Click here to join us and raise $12,400. 

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

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

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

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

Connect with Charissa Lopez: 

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

Connect with Kara Trochta: 

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  •  Book Your Free Middle Motherhood™️ Life Audit Session to get clarity and create purpose and passion in this next season of motherhood. www.karatrochta.com/session
  • Grab your Free Guide: 5 Steps to Writing Your Next Chapter in Motherhood www.karatrochta.com/free 

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

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

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

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

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

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“O Discerning Spirit, 

Who alone judges all things rightly, 

Now be present in my mind and active

In my imagination as I prepare to engage 

With the claims and questions of diverse cultures

Incarnated in the stories that people tell.” 

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

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Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:34am CST

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

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

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

 

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

 

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

Connect with DeVon and Paulette Franklin: 

 

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

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

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

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

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

So why don’t we memorize scripture? 

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

Connect with Natalie Abbott: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Dr. Nell Bush: 

  • Email:   nell.f.bush@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Dr. Young:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Jamie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

Connect with David & Sissy: 

Previous Podcasts with David & Sissy:

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Melanie: 

Connect with Sophie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

Connect with Mary: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

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

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

What we chat about:

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

Connect with Kat and HelloMornings:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Connect with For Girls Like You:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Links Mentioned:

Featured Sponsors: 

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

"They just keep fighting!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we chat about:

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

Connect with Jim & Lynne:

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

Links Mentioned:

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

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

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

FEATURED SPONSORS: 

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Birds & Bees: 

Links Mentioned:  

Previous Podcasts with Birds & Bees:

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Dorina: 

Links Mentioned:  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Erin: 

Connect with Courtney: 

Links Mentioned: 

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Helpful Verbal Cue:

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

Connect with Charissa: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

  • FabFitFun— use code DMA10 to save $10 off your first FabFitFun box at FabFitFun.com
  • Acorn TV—try the Acorn TV streaming service for FREE for 30 days. Go to Acorn.tv and use code DMA
Direct download: DMA_-_319.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

Links:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Jackie: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

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

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

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

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

This episode originally aired in May of 2015

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

What we chat about:

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Kirk:

Site :: Twitter :: Facebook :: Podcast

Links Mentioned:

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

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

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

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

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

This is an edited, republished episode from April 2015. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Featured Sponsors:

  • ModCloth -- To get 20% off your purchase of $75 or more INCLUDING sale items, go to ModCloth.com and enter code dma at checkout. Promo code can not be combined with other offers.
  • Hello Bello -- if you go to hellobello.com/DMA, you’ll get 25% OFF your diaper bundle order! Plus, get 15% off any
    add ons like vitamins or wipes. And Free Shipping! 
  • Sun Basket -- Sun Basket is offering $35 off your order when you go right now to SunBasket.com/DMA and enter promo code dma at checkout.

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Lynne: 

Links Mentioned:  

More Episodes with the Jacksons:  

Featured Sponsors: 

Sunbasket --get $35 off your first order at sunbasket.com/dma

Acorn TV -- try it free for 30 days acorn.tv with code: dma

BetterHelp --get 10% off your first month betterhelp.com/dma

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Kimberly Amici: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors:

Sunbasket -- get $35 off your order at sunbasket.com/dma use promo code "dma"

AncestryHealth -- get your genetic health kit over at Ancestry.com/DMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

My key takeaways:

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

Connect with Kendra: 

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsors: 

1. Thrive Market -- go to thrivemarket.com/DMA start a risk-free membership and a get a FREE $22 gift of your choosing. 

2. BetterHelp -- sign up with a licensed professional counselor online. 10% off your first month. betterhelp.com/DMA

3. Ancestry Health -- discover if you have genetic health risks by checking out ancestry.com/DMA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we talk about:

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

Connect with Sally:

Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

Links:

Featured Sponsor: Thrive Market

Get $20 shopping credit when you sign up for a Thrive Market Membership. https://thrivemarket.com/dma

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

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

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

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

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

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

What we chat about:

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

Connect with Dorena:

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Links Mentioned:

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

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

 

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

 

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

Show Highlights: 

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

Links: 

Connect with Rachel:

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

Featured Sponsor: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Connected Families: 

 

Links Mentioned:  

 

Featured Sponsor:

  • GoMacro -- check out Macro Bars GoMacro.com . Get 30% off your order with the promo code DMA (free shipping on orders over $60).
 
Direct download: StaceyChadEp292.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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

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

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

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

Connect with Lisa: 

Links Mentioned:  

Sponsors:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Links Mentioned:  

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

Meredith shared scripture from Lamentations 3:16-24

Foundations Book by Ruth and Troy Simons **

Meredith's business : Concrete Conversations

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

Sponsors:

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

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

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

Have you ever questioned the roles you find yourself in, wondering if you were made for more?  Jo Saxton found herself in that position a few years (and two babies) into her marriage. She shares her struggle to own her calling and gifting, choose to work outside the home, and how her family thrived when she let go of fear.

Fear is not our friend. It has these aggressive ways that intimidate you and it has these quiet ways where you just don't do things and you don't know that that kind of checking out. It is a fear-based thing because it's so automatic. You don't even call it fear anymore. They're just the things you don't do and the ideas you don't entertain anymore.

Now as a leadership coach and speaker, Jo affirms that God designed women for influence and impact. In her new book, Ready to Rise, she shares meaningful wisdom from her journey to leadership and shares information to empower other women to leaders in their own communities. 

Connect with Jo: 

Links Mentioned:  

Sponsors: 

Little Passports-- littlepassports.com use code DMA for 15% off

Story Worth -- storyworth.com/dma for $10 off 

SkyLight Frame -- skylightframe.com use code DMA for $10 off

Direct download: JoSaxtonEp283.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

As difficult as pregnancy and birth tend to be, the postpartum period can be the hardest of all. After all the anticipation you finally have your baby! But many women don’t feel like themselves. They feel sad or hopeless and struggle to connect with their babies. 

My guest Brittany J. Turner takes us into her story of postpartum depression and what it took for her to start a journey towards wholeness.

For me it was years of pain that I had never dealt with. They were feeding this lie that I was alone, that I was unworthy of being loved, not just in my marital and parenting relationships, but I was unworthy of being loved as a daughter, as a friend and that I deserve to be alone. And so therapy was my escape.

While postpartum depression can’t totally be prevented or even predicted, we also talk about what went differently after she had her next child and the big part friendships and deeper community played.

Connect with the Brittany: 

 Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsor: Seek and Find Bible

Go to crossway.org/DMA3 to save 40% off ESV children's Bibles now until March 16th. 

Direct download: BrittanyTurnerEp277.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

This week Don’t Mom Alone’s host Heather MacFadyen answers your questions! She shares everything from a favorite weeknight recipe to her personal testimony of faith and what worship song she has on repeat.

“That song to me just takes you to a place of setting aside all distraction and anything that's trying to pull you from his presence and his get you to a place of listening. I think sitting and listening to the Lord is probably where are we all struggle the most these days. We want to study, we want to check off something off a list, but to still ourselves and listen is really hard.”


If you have questions on helping your kids bond, how to find time to read the Bible while you’re raising little kids or want to know some of Heather’s favorite podcast guests, listen in!

(Big thanks to my virtual assistant Sarah-Jane Menefee for playing the role of host in this episode! She did a fantastic job!)

Connect with the Heather: 

 Episodes Mentioned:  

Links Mentioned:  

Featured Sponsor: ESV Seek and Find Bible crossway.org/DMA2 to save 40% off by March 9th. 

Direct download: HeatherEp276.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

The first guest in our mentorship series is Nancy Williams**. She is known by her 9 grandchildren & 4 great-grandchildren to label each family gathering as "the best ever". Her phrase perfectly summarizes this podcast.

The show first aired in February of 2014 (Episode 11) and was titled "Best Ever Life". Based on the title, you may be surprised to discover Nancy's motherhood journey includes many trials and heartache. But she views each challenge as an "opportunity" (her word) to see the power of God at work.

This interview is bursting with Truth and wisdom. Here's a brief summary of the topics we cover:

  • How to keep your thoughts and perspective in check when your husband works long hours.
  • Where to turn with your parenting questions.
  • How to respond when the consequences of sin enter your children's lives
  • How to share a simple family tradition of gratitude and love (fabulous idea!)
  • How to deal with mom guilt (a.k.a., the part of the podcast where I get emotional)
  • How to help your children turn to God when you can't meet all their needs.

SUCH good stuff.

I was most encouraged to hear this message from Nancy:

This can be the "best life ever", no matter the circumstances, if it includes eternal salvation for our children and unconditional love in our homes. 

Direct download: NancyWilliamsSofM1.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

I’m so excited to share my dear friend Erin Morgan with you in this episode! We go way back in friendship and in motherhood.

She is the introvert to my extrovert and in this chat we’re diving into how to thrive as an introvert mom. When she and I had younger kids, the constant togetherness of parenting was very draining for her.

“I was just completely overwhelmed, which causes me to withdraw and isolate big time. I just had no energy for other people. I wanted to pursue my friends and my relationships with other people, but there was just no margin for that in my mind.”

We talk about how she learned more about herself as she learned about the gift that introversion can be. As she asked God where she should invest her life, he encouraged her that focusing on motherhood and a few deep friendships was his best for her.

“I had to get with the Lord and be reminded that what I'm doing in this season of life with my children and my family is a true ministry and is where God has me. And I really felt like he was impressing on me this kind of motto for my life, which is that a small and faithful life is pleasing to the Lord.”

I’m so thankful for Erin and her introvert “super powers” of listening and passionate, faithful prayers. She is a thoughtful friend who has a lot of wisdom and encouragement for other introvert moms out there. Extroverts can learn a lot about their introvert friends by hearing what she shares too!

Direct download: ErinMorganFinalEp245.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 6:19am CST

Direct download: SallyClarksonEp233.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:01am CST

Direct download: DMA_-_225.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 7:46am CST

Candace Cameron Bure is an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author, beloved by millions worldwide from her role as D.J. Tanner on the iconic family sitcoms Full House and Fuller House and of course Hallmark Channel movies. (Christmas is coming and she has a new one coming out Nov. 25)

But, she’s also a mom of three children ages 16 to 20 and an outspoken Christian in the entertainment industry. She shares what it was like to grow up working in entertainment and the values her parents passed on to her. And about how she walks out her faith now as a busy working actress, a career she returned to after choosing to be a stay-at-home mom for 10 years.

We talk about her new children’s book “Candace Center Stage” and how it focuses on the values of hard work and courage, especially for our strong-willed children.

As she takes us into her world, she talks through how she stays calm and kind under pressure and lives for Jesus as she juggles the roles and the callings God has put on her life.

Direct download: DMA_-_223_FINAL_1.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 7:40am CST

For day two of Don’t Mom Alone Live, Jim and Lynne Jackson are back to talk all about relationships and answer listener questions.

If you’ve ever felt like a bad parent because of your child’s disobedience or struggle to referee the sibling arguments and fights in your home, this episode is for you! The Jackson’s share their Peace process and how to be confident before God in how you are parenting.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. So we need to have confidence in our ability to be peaceful and not let this child’s behavior define me or tell me that I’m a bad parent. And have the long-term view that God can do anything in a child’s life as I persevere in encouraging and teaching and training.

They share great practicals for blended families and for how to navigate parenting when you and your spouse or co-parent aren’t on the same page. We also dive into teaching your children empathy and social cues as a way to foster great friendships.

In the end, our goal can be to equip our kids to be conduits of God’s grace to the world both through their relationships with others, but it starts with their relationship with us.

When I thought about that the kind of relationships in life that Jesus bought for our kids on the cross, not just with each other but whatever relationships they’d have. I just had this image of “trickle down grace” starting from the cross and just trickling down through us to our kids and then out to the world and our kids. We can grow to become profound dispensers of grace in life to others.

What we chat about:

  • Getting feedback about our kids that makes you feel like a “bad parent”
  • Keeping the long-view when you are training your children
  • There is a dramatic increase in anxiety and depression in children, teens and young adults. It is five to eight times greater than it was 50 years ago.
  • What to do when you and your spouse aren’t on the same page with parenting
  • Ask penetrating questions when your spouse is struggling to parent in kindness.
  • “What are you hoping our kids will learn right now?”
  • Blended family dynamics and how to co-parent well
  • You are building trust with your kids and when you are confident before God in how you are parenting, you can be at peace with how someone else is parenting
  • Ask kids: What do you want to tell me about how you’re feeling and how your time went?
  • Sibling rivalry and how conflict is an opportunity to teach our children how to reconcile
  • The Peace Process the Jackson’s teach: Calm > Understand > Solve > Celebrate
  • Celebrating that your kids reconciled is an important step to future success
  • When your kids feel encouraged and successful when working through conflict, you can see the momentum begin to change
  • Learning empathy as a family and equipping your kids to be more successful in friendship
  • Quick connects with individually with your kids can be more effective than playing with them for longer periods. Find ways to show that you delight in who they are!
  • Use mission trips and giving back to the community as your vacation/connection time as a family

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: DMALiveAfternoon2.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

For the first part of our 2018 Don’t Mom Alone live event, Jim and Lynne Jackson, co-founders of Connected Families, joined me & my husband Bruce to answer listener questions about discipline and how to use their framework for biblically-based parenting.

We share lots of stories of how we have failed as parents and learned along the way.

But then I started to realize maybe my humility was my greatest currency for influence to help her learn the lessons and the values and the things that mattered most… Our kids need to know we’re not perfect. They need to know that we’ll come back to them and say, ‘Hey I blew it. I’m sorry. Would you forgive me?’ And get back to reconciliation in those relationships. — Jim Jackson.

So good!

Jim and Lynne talk us through the parenting framework they’ve developed and redefining how we view discipline with our kids. Ultimately, it comes down to connecting with their hearts and leading them to Jesus instead of trying to control their behavior.

We can help kids embrace the wisdom of the righteous. And that really prepares the way for the Lord to come in our family in a strong way. Because in today’s day and age with all the craziness that’s going on, these kids need a form of discipline that’s not just about punitive correction but that’s about a whole way of life that teaches our kids how to be followers of Jesus. — Lynne Jackson

And it’s not just vision for how we want to parent, the Jacksons also share some super practical tips and give us some ways to respond to our defiant, strong-willed or sensitive kids.

What we chat about:

  • The basis for Jim and Lynn’s parenting framework
  • How do you parent proactively instead of reactively when you feel like you’re just surviving minute
  • What is our goal in parenting? Is it immediate obedience from our children or fostering their ability to make wise choices?
  • Bringing God’s grace into our messy moments
  • Why connecting with God is so essential to how we parent
  • Go into a situation asking, “Lord, what is the opportunity here?”
  • Helping our kids build wisdom instead of feeling the need to express our disappointment when they mess up
  • Trusting that our kids really want to do better
  • Separating behavior from identity in our kids
  • Humility and apologizing well may be our greatest currency as a parent
  • The idea of a parent do-over
  • Tips for parents of younger kids and encouragement for parenting kids who bite or hit
  • We tend to think of behavior as either all good or all bad
  • When our goal is to control their behavior, it doesn’t build trust
  • You don’t have to be mean to be strong as a parent
  • Big, loud, and loving energy can make a big difference in the middle of conflict
  • Luke 1:17- “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
  • Strong-willed kids and the importance of calling out their giftings and how God made them
  • Sometimes it’s sensitive and intense children are labeled as strong-willed
  • Psalm 73:21-24 “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.”

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: DMALiveNight1.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Tricia Goyer is an author, speaker and homeschooling mom of ten. She also knows what it’s like to parent children with chronic anger. If you’ve ever felt alone in how to calm your “angry kid(s),” Tricia has a lot of wisdom to share from parenting both biological and adopted children.

In true Don’t Mom Alone fashion, Tricia and I answer several listener questions about how to respond in love and help kids of all ages process their anger and emotions. We talk about how much harder it is for the current generation of moms who have to factor in busier schedules, social media and more as a part of their children’s environments

My oldest is 29 and my youngest is 8. It is so much harder now. I feel like I’m on the second generation of kids. Now there is social media. There is more television. There are more video games. The access that they have to all these things brings so much anxiety and tension. Not only do they have to go to school, but then they would come home and see on social media that people were talking about them. It’s just so much more involved now even than it was when I had my first generation of kids.

But it’s not impossible! Tricia shares so many great practical tips and suggestions for how to help our kids (and ourselves) work through anger in a healthy way. But beyond all the tips, it all comes down to leaning into God and praying for the Holy Spirit to fill them that will make the biggest difference.

It’s really the Holy Spirit in them and the fruit of the Spirit is God in them that’s going to change them. I could try all these activities. You know, we could do calming bags or coping skills. I mean we do all the things too. But really it is God in them. And the more they lean on God and the more they depend on him that they’ll truly change.

What we chat about:

  • Tricia’s family, career and unique calling as an adoptive parent
  • Her new book, Calming Angry Kids
  • Determining if your child is struggling with how to process anger in a healthy way
  • Giving our kids time, attention and praise is a powerful antidote to anger
  • Everyone gets mad, what we do with the anger makes the difference
  • When they are in the middle of the emotions, it’s not the time to discipline them
  • Kids learn to apologize when we model it for them
  • Anger is often a secondary emotion from a deeper wounding like shame or feeling unloved or anxiety
  • Family schedules are busier than ever before and it heightens anxiety in kids and parents
  • Take time to process emotions with your kids and say “No” to more activities or events if they need a break
  • Tricia shares both how we can process our own anger and how to help our angry kids
  • The idea of an anger log to help track anger over time
  • Calming bags and items you can include in them
  • Give your kids time and space to calm down
  • Specific tips for pre-teens and teens and helping them with anger and hormones

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link. A small portion of your purchase will help produce this podcast.

Direct download: TriciaGoyerEp220.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

We’ve all been there. Your kid throws a fit in public and you feel the sting of embarrassment and the subtle lie that you aren’t a good enough mom. You fear what others will say and feel like the entire day is ruined in this one encounter.

My guest Elyse Fitzpatrick has lived in this place of fear and presents another way to view your worth as a mother — resting in the righteousness of Jesus. She shares about the very common and subversive idols of motherhood to slip in when we try to control our children’s performance.

But see that’s absolutely soul destroying because you either end up in fear and despair or pride and despair. That’s where you always end up when you’re living for your own righteousness. So in the days that I can lay down and in bed at night and say, ‘Yeah nailed it,’ then I am in pride.

If you’ve struggled to feel “OK” in your own power or have found your personal joy tethered to your kids’ behavior, this episode is for you. Elyse gives us the simple reminder that we have the power through Jesus to topple the idols in our life.

I began to understand this is really idolatry and I’m driving my kids insane trying to prove that I’m really an OK person. That I’m OK when they’re good and I’m a complete train wreck and bad and a loser when they’re not. But, when Jesus becomes who he should be in our lives, then idols lose their power to entice us.

What we chat about:

  • Elyse’s blended family structure and her son’s adoption
  • The balance of the disciplinarian and the more fun parent
  • Insecurity about our own faith and the lie of trying to control our kids
  • The danger of looking for identity in the way our kids behave
  • Looking for the places in our lives where we feel afraid, angry or worried as a barometer for where we aren’t believing God
  • Identifying idols in our lives and what they can look like
  • How our children make us look or feel in front of others can bring up anger in us
  • Elyse’s relationship with her mother and the background of her perceived need for control
  • When Jesus becomes who he should be in our lives, our idols lose their power
  • Not letting our joy be tethered to our kids’ behavior, or even our behavior
  • Our self-centered struggle to feel “OK” in our own power
  • How living for our own self righteousness leads to a soul destroying cycle of pride and despair
  • Resting in the righteousness of Christ and remembering we are forgiven

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link. A small portion of your purchase will help produce this podcast.

Direct download: ElyseFitzpatrickEp219taketwo.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

In the thick of parenting it is easy to get our perspective skewed or react to our children from a place of emotion or our own sin. My guest Dr. Paul David Tripp gives a course-correcting pep talk reminding parents of their deep calling from God and how to look at discipline as an opportunity to connect our kids with God’s goodness.

“You’re never just dealing with behavior. You’re always dealing with what controls the child’s behavior and that’s his heart. And if God consciousness doesn’t rule my heart, self orientation will. That’s what has to change. No I can’t create that change, but I can I can give God’s Spirit an opportunity again and again to work in the heart of my child”

Tripp  is a pastor, international event speaker, and best-selling author. As a father of four grown children, he shares candidly from his own experience. This encouraging episode is packed with a lot of truth! Share with your spouse and friends!

What we chat about:

  • The deeper calling of on our lives as parents
  • We cannot rely on our kids to give us hope for parenting them.
  • How opening our children’s eyes to see God everywhere pulls them away from a self centered existence.
  • God created the world so that it’s very physical nature reveals him.
  • Root the rules that you have for your children in God’s goodness and his love and His grace.
  • Every opportunity we have to discipline or correct is not an opportunity first to threaten  with punishment but to talk about how good God is.
  • Ask the question, “What is God wanting to do in the heart of this child?”
  • Behavior is really about a child’s heart orientation
  • God way of parenting isn’t efficient, but it is transformational  .
  • The values of the world push against our calling as parents. We have to consider where we are placing our treasure and hope.
  • A God perspective for how to respond when your children sin
  • God is exposing something in my child so I can be part of his help and rescue.
  • Parenting is about planting seeds. We aren’t going to see them bloom overnight.
  • Dealing with rebellion and authority issues with grace and consequences
  • Parenting adopted children and helping them with identity
Direct download: PaulTrippEp212.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Teens. Toddlers. Moms.

No matter the age. We all struggle to remember (or know) the truth about who God says we are. And our position in Christ.

When we forget, we let friends, circumstances, or lies feed our souls with identity. And that takes us down the path of uncertainty,  harmful activities and a broken path.

Thankfully, today’s guest, Kristen Hatton, helps “Get Your Story Straight”.

When her daughter was in 6th grade, Kristen started teaching her and a group of friends truth from the Bible. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of great resources available for preteens/teens. So she used notes from her husband’s sermons and wrote her own Bible study. (click here to check it out)**

In this episode, Kristen and I talk about the struggle for our kids to know how “justification” applies to daily life. (And define what ‘justification’ means).

We also chat about how to help teens navigate the challenges of social media. And Kristen vulnerably shares her daughter’s battle with an eating disorder (which began with internalizing social media posts).

Lastly, Kristen helps us start to keep communication open with our kids. So when they are teens they will keep talking. I’m in the stage with lots of little people all trying to be with me and talk to me (at the same time). But after three blinks I’ll have a home full of teen boys. The time I spend listening now will impact how much they talk to me in the future.

Very thankful for the help, perspective and wisdom from Kristen. Now I can see the teenage years as an age of opportunity not a season to be feared.

What we chat about:

  • How quickly our kiddos grow into teenagers.
  • How Kristen saw a need for good bible study materials for teens.
  • Helping our kids be anchored in who God says we are (not who their friends on social media says they are).
  • Importance of teaching our kids the concept of justification.
  • When the world is measuring perfection and performance but we know we are only perfect in Christ.
  • How to communicate worth and identity to our kids.
  • Why teens stop talking to their parents.
  • Listening and asking probing questions.
  • Responding with grace instead of condemnation.
  • How internalizing social media posts led to her daughter’s eating disorder.
  • How boys struggle with social media.
  • How Kristen talks to her kids about the impact of social media.
  • Talking to your sons & daughters about pornography. Keeping an open conversation.
  • Reorienting your kids to the message of the gospel, moment-to-moment

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: SofM2018KristenHattonWk4.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

Our children are growing up in a digital age with unparalleled access to technology. With these wonderful advances, comes a heavy responsibility we cannot ignore as parents. The access to pornography and sexual images and videos is everywhere and the age of children viewing them is going down.

But there is hope. My guest Ashley Januszewski is all about empowering parents to protect their children by talking candidly with them about God’s plan for their bodies and sex from an early age. We talk about everything from sexting and pornography to device control and screen time limits. She shares great resources for how to start these conversations with your children at any age.

It’s our job as parents, though this is the reality. Not to throw our hands in the air. It is our responsibility just like it is to buckle our children when we get in the car. So it’s our responsibility to virtually buckle up our children…. It’s everywhere. So it starts and ends with training the heart and equipping our kids. What to do when (not if) they are faced with this avalanche of filth. What do we do? We’ve got to talk about it.

What we chat about:

  • The story behind Ashley’s pursuit of information on parenting children in the digital age
  • Eleven is the average age for exposure to pornography in America.
  • Fear and anxiety can be signs that a young child has been exposed to something sexually inappropriate.
  • The coming of age experience today in 2018 looks radically different than what we experienced as kids.
  • There aren’t the natural barriers that used to exist to pornography. Now it is anonymous, accessible and affordable to anyone.
  • Our responsibility as parents to minimize exposure to pornographic material
  • 40 percent of teenagers today in America say that sending sexual or naked photos or videos is part of everyday life for them.
  • Make a plan for when and how you will introduce digital technology to your children
  • A family mantra or mission statement can help you stay centered on the truth of God in a world that is dominated by opinions
  • How screen time is affecting kids’ brains and hours spent on screens by tweens and teens
  • Teaching young children about the dignity and value bodies which can lead to wider conversations
  • Humanizing explicit images and an example of how to talk to your kids when you encounter them
  • Avoiding shame or blame when it comes to sexual images to keep the lines of communication open
  • Solutions for an Internet safer home- control the location of devices, control at the router and control on the devices
  • Sexting and child pornography laws and the importance of reporting

Links Mentioned:

**Amazon affiliate link

Direct download: GCMAshleyJanuszewskiEp207.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

There is a lot of pressure placed on moms to nurture and care for our families. Add the responsibilities of a full-time job on top of that and it easy to see why being a mom is called the hardest job in the world.

My friends Causha Jolly and Stacey McCabe share about life as working moms and the difficult balance they maintain everyday. I love how they share their hearts about being obedient to God’s assignment for them to work outside the home even in the difficult season of mothering little ones.

As a community of God-centered moms, we’re called to cheer on our sisters. It’s my hope that this episode will encourage you to bless and support other moms as they obey God.

Remember who you are in Christ, remember that you are called, remember that you are a daughter of the most high and never doubt that. 

(STAY TUNED. . .later this week I’ll release a blog post with more practical ideas on work/life balance from Causha)

What we chat about:

  • Causha and Stacy’s motherhood stories and why they chose to work outside the home
  • Why it’s harder for moms to travel and not worry about your kids vs. husbands traveling
  • How to respond when we fear we aren’t enough and struggle under the weight of expectations placed on moms
  • The difficulty of finding care for your kids while you work
  • The false internal judgement of good mom to bad mom scale
  • Feeling a divine assignment from God to be in a certain job
  • How it’s necessary to say, “No” to a lot when you have limited family time
  • The need to show grace for yourself so that you can have grace with your kids
  • Moms can’t be there every moment of every day, but Jesus will always be there
  • Teaching our kids to turn to Jesus to meet every one of their needs
  • Dealing with moments of insecurity as a working mom
  • When we judge a mom for her choices then we miss out on the blessing of supporting her in her obedience

Links Mentioned:

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

Does it seem possible to draw our kids away from entitlement and toward the bigger “Yes” of God’s blessing for them and other people in their lives? Well, get excited because Jim and Lynne Jackson of Connected Families are back with parenting wisdom to address entitlement in our kids AND in ourselves.

We as parents feel entitled to grateful, hard working kids, and when we don’t get them an we have ungrateful, resistant-to-chores kids we get pretty upset. That shows that we feel entitled to how things go my way in the home. Instead of saying, ‘Oh! Wow we have some challenges here that I can partner with Jesus and really dive into.’

What we chat about:

  • Jim and Lynne Jackson introduce Connected Families and their parenting framework
  • The root of entitled behavior in our kids and the beliefs that back it up
  • Entitlement is the belief that I deserve something because I’m more important than someone else
  • Entitlement is about our sin nature and we’re all born into that
  • As believers we need to call out entitlement in our lives and choose to put God first
  • We as parents feel entitled to grateful, hard-working kids
  • The attitude we bring into parenting and our beliefs are reflected onto our kids
  • Helping our kids learn to work hard and celebrate accomplishments give them a dopamine burst in their brains that helps “rewire” them to want to work hard again
  • Letting go of the places we are coddling our kids by not expecting them to serve and do hard things
  • The “Bigger Yes” of God’s blessing for your kids and other people
  • Take it slow and consider your kid’s perspective as you make changes toward growing our kids out of entitlement
  • Determining the rights, privileges and responsibilities of your family
  • When our kids see the beliefs we fight for and see the joy we experience as we follow God and it inclines them to want that too

Links Mentioned:

 

Direct download: GCMJimLynneJacksonEp200.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

We know that God’s word is living and active. Today’s guest Jodie Berndt takes us through using Bible verses as prayers that can powerfully influence your children’s lives.

There is so much encouragement in this episode for standing on the truth of God’s word and relying on scripture to help shape your children, teens and adult children. Of course, we as moms can’t help but be changed when we hide his word in our hearts and pray them over our family.

We know that he is a loving God who knows our needs and our kids’ needs better than we know them. So when we lift our children to him and surrender them, he’s going to do for them what he knows they need. It might not be necessarily in the timing or the ways that he would’ve ordained, but in Isaiah 55 it says that his ways are higher and better than our ways. When we come to believe that, it can really bring peace to our lives.

What we chat about:

  • Using God’s word for prayers is powerful.
  • There isn’t a need we’ll face in parenting that God hasn’t provided for in his word.
  • Specific scriptures to pray for your child’s salvation
  • Asking God what we can nurture and pray for in each child’s unique giftings
  • God will accomplish the changes in your child’s character. Our job is to partner with him.
  • Praying against fear and for protection
  • Asking God to shape your children into good friends
  • Processing popular media with your kids and discussing how it aligns or doesn’t align with a Godly world view
  • The power of having others pray for your kids in community
  • When prayers aren’t answered the way we want, God is still writing their stories.
  • Free resources available at https://jodieberndt.com/resources

Scriptures Mentioned:

  • Ephesians 4:29 – Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • John 15:7 – If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
  • Psalm 121:7-8 – The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
  • Acts 26:18 –  Open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17 –  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!
  • Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
  • Philippians 2:13 – for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
  • Psalm 91:11 – For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
  • Proverbs 17:17 – Shape my child into a friend who loves at all times
  • Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
  • Proverbs 16:28 – A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMJodieBerdtEp194.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

So much of parenting is really about the work God is doing in our own hearts. Jeannie Cunnion shares her story of being set free from the shame of her past and learning to let go of performance-based parenting.

If you feel there IS something that separates you from the love of God, this is the episode for you. Jeannie shares encouraging truth and practical applications for giving ourselves and our kids grace.

What we chat about:

  • Why we need to be set free from shame of our pasts to live in the freedom of Christ.
  • Jeannie’s story of a painful, short-lived marriage and the shame she carried from it.
  • What performance-based parenting looks like.
  • Shame-driven messages vs. grace-driven messages.
  • We all have things that we believe will separate us from God, but he says nothing will separate us.
  • Research about children who grow up in Christian homes.
  • The importance of talking to our children about our failings and God’s grace.
  • Creating a home of confession instead of a home of perfection.
  • Acknowledge that we’re all going to make mistakes and that’s ok.
  • Jeannie’s Three R’s: Remember, Rely and Recognize
 

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMJeannieCunnionEp190.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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: GCMEp140ShontellBrewer.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 10:13pm CST

What if your son can't read as he enters first grade? What if your daughter prefers wrestling to ballet? What if your living room sofa has a couple rips and stains from a decade of use?

These things shouldn't be a big deal. But then you notice your friend's first grade boy is reading chapter books. . . and her daughter gracefully glides into class with a giant bow on her head . . . and their living room just got a make-over with coordinating floor-to-ceiling curtains.

Personally? My feelings of "less than" often start at a place of comparison. I know I shouldn't compare. I know it doesn't make me feel good. Yet day after day I glance around making sure I keep pace with the Joneses.

How do I move past comparison to contentment? And even more important, how do I get to a place where I can celebrate her athletic child or new couch or beach vacation?

Well, today's podcast guest, Kay Wyma, shines a light on the age old comparison problem and guides us to a better place of connection and true community.

In Kay's latest book, "I'm Happy for You (Sort Of . . .Not Really)", she helps readers find contentment in a culture of comparison.

"Looking at what we lack prevents us from noticing how sweet the world already is. But when we shift our focus from what could be to what actually is, we find extraordinary joy in our ordinary lives." 

I've been a big Kay fan since a dinner party over six years ago.  As I sat hugely pregnant with our 3rd son, she encouraged me in my role as young mom.

Kay is authentic, brilliant and refreshing.  My hope is her wisdom and practical tips in this episode help you stop comparing and draw you closer to the women you interact with daily.

What we chat about:

  • Encouraging one another by running alongside, instead of determined to "win"
  • Focusing on "being together" more than hosting the perfect dinner party
  • Being our best instead of being "the best", discovering our "you"-niqueness
  • How a "mental" computer reboot (cnt/alt/del) helps fight comparison
  • Whose light is revealing your reflection (& the Kylie Jenner Challenge)
  • How to help our kids navigate social media and speak life to their friends
  • How our friends can help us "reboot" the messages we believe.
  • How to enter back-to-school with fresh perspective, moving from comparison to compassion (repurposing school supplies).
  • Why I can never look at an Instagram pic of feet on the beach the same way.

Connect with Kay:

The MOAT Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter

Links Mentioned:

Direct download: GCMEp85KayWyma.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 2:51pm CST

Direct download: Hope_for_the_Struggling_Mom-_with_September_McCarthy_Ep._15.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 8:49am CST

Direct download: Temperament_Guide_GCM_Ep_14.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 11:50pm CST

Heather interviews Rachel Anne Ridge. 

Direct download: Parenting_Joy_GCM_ep_13_with_Rachel_Anne_Ridge.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 10:48pm CST

Heather interviews her mentor's mentor, Nancy William. A grandma to 10 and great-grandma to 4, Nancy provides wisdom and great perspective. She also shares a family gratitude tradition dating back 40 years. Also discussed: mom guilt, best parenting resource, praying with your kids, and husbands who work a lot. 

Direct download: The_BEST_Ever_Life_GCM_Episode_11_with_Nancy_Williams.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 9:17pm CST

Heather interviews Crystal Stine, mother to two-year old Maddie. Crystal shares her story of reluctantly walking into motherhood. The humbling process of experiencing a miscarriage. The joy of having her daughter. She also gives ideas for ways she makes time to spend in God's word throughout a busy day of juggling a full-time (outside the home) job and being a mom.  

Direct download: First_Time_God-Centered_Mom_Episode_10_with_Crystal_Stine.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 3:58pm CST

Heather interviews Amanda White about ministering to families while staying home with kids. Finding God's big dream while serving those right in front of you. They also discuss Amanda's Christmas Advent curriculum, "Truth in the Tinsel"...daily devotional and ornament crafts for little hands leading up to Christmas. 

Direct download: GCMep3OhAmanda.m4a
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 2:59pm CST

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