Don't Mom Alone Podcast

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

What we chat about:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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