Don't Mom Alone Podcast

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.  

Connect with Mindy Rives: 

 

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

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

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

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

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Compassion Causes: 

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

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

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

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

Connect with Charissa Lopez: 

Links Mentioned*:  

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

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

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

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

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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Direct download: KaraTrochtaEp379please.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:32am CST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“O Discerning Spirit, 

Who alone judges all things rightly, 

Now be present in my mind and active

In my imagination as I prepare to engage 

With the claims and questions of diverse cultures

Incarnated in the stories that people tell.” 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Discussion Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussion Questions:

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

Connect with Karen Ehman: 

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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? 

Connect with Amber Johnston: 

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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. 

Connect with Shontell Brewer: 

 

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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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

What’s a mom to do? 

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

 

Connect with Chris McKenna & Protect Young Eyes: 



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Books Recs & Questions to Ask Your Local Church Leadership:

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

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

Connect with Jennie Allen: 

 

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

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

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

 Connect with Trillia Newbell: 

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

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

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

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

Connect with Katie: 

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Featured Sponsors: 

  • Athena Club: Show your skin you care with the Athena Club Razor Kit! Sign up today and you’ll get 20% off your first order! Go to Athenaclub.com and use the promo code dma.
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Direct download: KatieOrrEp352.mp3
Category:biblical training -- posted at: 12:00am CST

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

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

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

Connect with Dr. Nell Bush: 

  • Email:   nell.f.bush@gmail.com

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

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

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

Connect with Amy and Jess: 

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Featured Sponsors:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect with Retha: 

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Featured Sponsors: 

  • Stitch Fix Freestyle -- Get started today by filling out your style quiz at stitchfix.com/DMA
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Direct download: RethaNicholeEp349.mp3
Category:motherhood -- posted at: 12:30am CST

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