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February 17, 2020
When a child disobeys, our knee-jerk reaction is typically to discipline with consequences. It’s probably how we were parented and seems like the best choice at the moment. But what if we took a different approach?  My guest Scott Turansky has some exciting, hope-filled news for us. We can look at our child’s behavior and identify a heart attitude that needs training. Changing their attitudes or internal motivations is what will drive external or behavioral change.  “I would suggest that parents move to consequences too quickly and that another approach is needed to make a lasting change in a child's heart. If we strategically focus on the heart of a child and use techniques that are more internally-focused, we can see some really significant things take place.” Scott is an expert in parenting. He literally teaches college courses on it. He’s the director at the National Center for Biblical Parenting, the author of several books and a father of five. Scott shares a lot of wisdom and practical advice for moving our kids from a place of defiance and disobedience to an attitude of honor and selflessness.  It’s a lot to take in, but so good and full of hope. We can do this and Scott is here with resources and ideas to help us train our kids’ hearts.  Connect with Scott:  Website: biblicalparenting.org  Facebook: facebook.com/National-Center-for-Biblical-Parenting Books: amazon.com/Scott-Turansky    Links Mentioned:   National Center for Biblica Parenting  [WEBSITE] Biblical Parenting Coaching Program [WEBSITE] Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! [BOOK] Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes [BOOK] The Christian Parenting Handbook [BOOK] Featured Sponsor : ESV Seek and Find Bible Until 2/24/20 save 40% off at crossway.org/DMA1 Featured Sponsor : FabFitFun Use DMA10 at www.FabFitFun.com to save $10 off your first box
February 10, 2020
Finding friends as an adult, keeping up with friends when you become a mom, transitioning friendships as your children grow up… No one tells you what to expect. But, friendships are worth investing in and they are a key part of what helps us not mom alone. Author, speaker and mentor mom Melanie Shankle joins me to share how she’s navigated friendships as an adult. She opens up about what worked, what didn’t and a few things she wishes she’d done differently. “I think it was some of it was my own insecurities of getting out there and making new friends. I don't find women to be any less intimidating in my forties than I found them to be when I was 16 years old. I think there's also a thing as women that we tend to get in a circle and be inward-focused and we aren't good about looking out to see who might need a friend or who may want to be included.” Melanie talks candidly about her friendships, being an introvert and about how friendship doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything. Looking back, she wishes she’d been more open to meeting people and making friends instead of being more inwardly-focused.  “I think you would be better off going with the assumption that everybody would like to make a new friend. You know, just that everybody's open to friendship and to get to know a new person.” Connect with Melanie:  Website:  thebigmamablog.com Facebook: facebook.com/melanieshankle Instagram: @melanieshankle  Links Mentioned:   On the Bright Side [BOOK]** Nobody’s Cuter than You [BOOK]** Ep 12: The Antelope in the Living Room with Melanie Shankle [PODCAST] Ellen DeGeneres & George Bush [VIDEO] Episodes on Friendship: [Ep 233] Cultivating Friendships in a World of Isolation :: Sally Clarkson  [Ep 159] Healing Friendship Wounds :: Lisa-Jo Baker [Ep 148] Overcoming Insecurity in Friendships :: Renee Swope  [Ep 102] That’s Me. . .Craving Authentic Friendships :: Libby & Leslie 
February 3, 2020
It starts subtly the same way it did with Eve in the garden. “Did God really say?” These small lies from the enemy pass through our minds as one of the 60,000 thoughts we have each day. But lies don’t stay small. Some take root and build highways and cities in our brain that cause us to question God, question who we are and live in fear that the lies are actually the truth.  My guest Jennie Allen talks about how to fight back against the lies that are constantly thrown at us. She opens up about her doubts and how she’s learned to fight back in the war for her mind. We talk about everything from mom guilt to questioning God’s existence to fighting for the minds of our kids.  Jennie shares that we have to recognize there’s a battle and we have to fight it with the right kind of weapons. “This is a spiritual war and we have to throw spiritual weapons at it. And then it says in 2 Corinthians 10 that we are given divine weapons that can destroy strongholds. So those of you out there that are like, you know what? This isn't passive, that thought of doubt or this isn't passive, this is a stronghold that has captivated me most of my life. Scripture says that we have divine weapons to destroy it. Now those divine weapons, we've got to choose to employ them and it's not easy.” Listen as we learn how to fight back in the war for our minds. Connect with Jennie:  Website: jennieallen.com  Facebook: facebook.com/jenniesallen Instagram: @jenniesallen Links Mentioned:   Get Out of Your Head [BOOK]
January 27, 2020
Kelly Minter followed her dreams to Nashville to pursue a career in music. After years of highs and lows as an artist (mostly lows), Kelly had the opportunity to switch fields and write her first Bible study with LifeWay Publishers.  Kelly shares with us about how in the midst of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams, she has found God faithful to continue writing her story. One of her first studies centered on the life of Joseph, a man who also had dreams that weren’t fulfilled the way he expected. “Suffering made Joseph fit for the dreams that God had for him. Those dreams were birthed and they were going to happen. But it was the hard, difficult process that made Joseph ready and able for those dreams. Because a lot of humbling had to happen, a lot of faith had to be forged, a lot of obedience had to be built and a lot had to happen for Joseph to be ready for that.” Now an established author and speaker, Kelly has a gorgeous new cookbook out focused on accessible recipes to inspire your cooking and stories about building community around the table. Links Mentioned:   No Other Gods [BOOK]** Cultivate Gathering [WEBSITE] Finding God Faithful [BOOK]** Water into Wine [BOOK]** Kay Arthur Bible Studies [WEBSITE] A Place at the Table [BOOK]** Resources, videos and podcast for Kelly’s new cookbook [WEBSITE]  
January 20, 2020
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Beth Moore is a spiritual mother and inspiration to many women. Her numerous Bible studies and books are a staple in women’s ministries at countless churches.  Instead of just an interview promoting her new book, she took the time to chat with me about her own hard experiences in motherhood and marriage. Get ready for some real talk about real life and real problems. Beth doesn’t want to be seen on a pedestal.  Whether it was the difficulties of the busy schedule ministry and speaking or the dynamic of spiritual leadership in her home, Beth shares that she’s always found God to be faithful in her places of need.  “There is grace for every day. I always think of the mercies of God when he says in Lamentations, that his mercies are new every morning. I think about the manna and how each person gathered exactly what they needed. That’s how God’s grace is for us. It is always given according to our needs.” Beth is a powerful communicator and our interview only gets better as we keep talking. Hang in there to the end for a holy ground moment when she prays over all of us. “Father, I ask you for supernatural trust in these mothers. I ask you that right now you would settle and establish their hearts that they are intimately known by you. I pray, father, that they will rest in the assurance that there is nothing they can do to shake your love or even shake away your presence with them.” Connect with Beth:  Website:  lproof.org Facebook: facebook.com/LivingProofMinistriesWithBethMoore/ Instagram:  @bethmoorelpm Links Mentioned:   Chasing Vines [BOOK]  
January 13, 2020
As a lawyer who felt pressure to provide for her family and make a career for herself, Kim Cash Tate was surprised to feel God calling her to a ministry of staying home with her kids and later homeschooling them.  She could have ignored the prompting and pursued her career, but Kim chose to “cling” to God and step out in faith. That decision took her to a lot of places that a law career never would. She became a fiction writer and led Bible studies and now writes and stars in a web series and in music videos. But her focus isn’t about making a name for herself or reaching a goal. It’s always been about intimacy with God and following his leading in her life.  If you feel stuck in your current season of motherhood or discouraged that you have dreams you haven’t seen fulfilled, Kim’s story can give you hope and expectancy that God is still writing your story.  And as we choose to draw near to him, he is faithful to lead us to things that are better than we could’ve planned on our own. Connect with Kim:  Website: www.kimcashtate.com Facebook: facebook.com/kimcashtate Instagram: @kimcashtate YouTube: youtube.com/kimcashtate Links Mentioned:   Kim’s Books and Resources Cling video series Kim’s Music Verses Mentioned: You must follow the LORD your God, fear him, observe his commandments, listen to his voice, serve him, and cling to him. Deuteronomy 13:4  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 Featured Sponsor : PrepDish Prep Dish meal plans were created by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf to help save you time and put home-cooked meals on the table. No meal time stress. No more answering the dreaded question, “What’s for Dinner?!”. Developed by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf, Prep Dish is a healthy, whole food based meal plan subscription service. Allison does all the planning for you- including easy-to-follow shopping lists and prep-ahead instructions so you know what to prepare and when. NOW offering KETO MEAL PLANS! Imagine…all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the entire week. We like to call this meal time bliss! Get 2 weeks FREE go to Prepdish.com/dma. Featured Sponsor: Connected Families Your kids will mess up. So will you. Connected Families believes that the perfect time to build wisdom and GROW your relationship with your kids is during the messy times. They’ve developed an 8-session online course called Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart. It is only offered twice a year, so register today! https://connectedfamilies.org/dtc/online-course/ Use coupon code DMA15 for 15% off!
January 6, 2020
Mountains of laundry, piles of toys and all the other “stuff” of life that comes into our homes can feel overwhelming, even to the neatest of moms with the best of intentions. We all love our families, but living with the messes and the clutter that comes along with them is a challenge. My guest Allie Casazza knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed by constantly cleaning and picking up her house at the expense of enjoying time with her kids. A few years ago with four kids under the age of five, Allie had a moment of clarity with God as she sat crying in her bathroom. If all I'm doing is cleaning up and it's just a bunch of stuff we don't really need, then what if we just didn't have stuff anymore? That moment changed the course of her family. It also changed how she viewed motherhood and all the “stuff” that comes along with it. Now, she shares the practical ideas and the mental shifts that helped keep the clutter away to free up her life for what matters most. Connect with Allie:  * Website: alliecasazza.com* Facebook: facebook.com/alliecasazzablog* Instagram: @allie_thatsme  Links Mentioned:   * Resources from Allie for DMA Listeners * Declutter Like a Mother Challenge* Marie Kondo Method* Kat Lee and HelloMornings Featured Sponsor: PrepDish Prep Dish meal plans were created by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf to help save you time and put home-cooked meals on the table. No meal time stress. No more answering the dreaded question, “What’s for Dinner?!”. Developed by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf, Prep Dish is a healthy, whole food based meal plan subscription service. Allison does all the planning for you- including easy-to-follow shopping lists and prep-ahead instructions so you know what to prepare and when. NOW offering KETO MEAL PLANS! Imagine…all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the entire week. We like to call this meal time bliss! Get 2 weeks FREE go to Prepdish.com/dma. Featured Sponsor: Connected Families Your kids will mess up. So will you. Connected Families believes that the perfect time to build wisdom and GROW your relationship with your kids is during the messy times. They’ve developed an 8-session online course called Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart. It is only offered twice a year, so register today! https://connectedfamilies.org/dtc/online-course/ Use coupon code DMA15 for 15% off!
January 6, 2020
Mountains of laundry, piles of toys and all the other “stuff” of life that comes into our homes can feel overwhelming, even to the neatest of moms with the best of intentions. We all love our families, but living with the messes and the clutter that comes along with them is a challenge. My guest Allie Casazza knows what it feels like to be overwhelmed by constantly cleaning and picking up her house at the expense of enjoying time with her kids. A few years ago with four kids under the age of five, Allie had a moment of clarity with God as she sat crying in her bathroom. If all I'm doing is cleaning up and it's just a bunch of stuff we don't really need, then what if we just didn't have stuff anymore? That moment changed the course of her family. It also changed how she viewed motherhood and all the “stuff” that comes along with it. Now, she shares the practical ideas and the mental shifts that helped keep the clutter away to free up her life for what matters most.  Connect with Allie:  Website: alliecasazza.com Facebook: facebook.com/alliecasazzablog Instagram: @allie_thatsme  Links Mentioned:   Resources from Allie for DMA Listeners  Declutter Like a Mother Challenge Marie Kondo Method Kat Lee and HelloMornings Featured Sponsor: PrepDish Prep Dish meal plans were created by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf to help save you time and put home-cooked meals on the table. No meal time stress. No more answering the dreaded question, “What’s for Dinner?!”. Developed by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf, Prep Dish is a healthy, whole food based meal plan subscription service. Allison does all the planning for you- including easy-to-follow shopping lists and prep-ahead instructions so you know what to prepare and when. NOW offering KETO MEAL PLANS! Imagine…all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the entire week. We like to call this meal time bliss! Get 2 weeks FREE go to Prepdish.com/dma. Featured Sponsor: Connected Families Your kids will mess up. So will you. Connected Families believes that the perfect time to build wisdom and GROW your relationship with your kids is during the messy times. They’ve developed an 8-session online course called Discipline That Connects With Your Child’s Heart. It is only offered twice a year, so register today! https://connectedfamilies.org/dtc/online-course/ Use coupon code DMA15 for 15% off!
November 25, 2019
Toni Collier’s short childhood ended in third grade when her mother had a stroke. Toni carried many heavy emotional burdens in her childhood and felt deeply that she had to protect herself because the world was not a safe place.  Fast forward several years and Toni’s strength of will to avoid the emotional trauma she experienced as a child finally ran out. Now a mom and reeling from an emotionally abusive first marriage, Toni sought counseling and therapy for the healing she so desperately needed. I was so blind to how unhealthy my life actually was. And the unveiling, the unwrapping of this emotional onion made me worse. But there was a healed Toni that I had to get to. Not just for me, but for my daughter and my new marriage. The only thing that brought me through was the hope that there is a God who said he could trade my weakness for his power. Toni opens up about the “treacherous” process of facing intense emotional trauma, the shame and stigma that surrounds therapy and what it’s like to parent in the midst of facing your own brokenness. Now as a powerful communicator and host with North Point Ministries, Toni has learned that God can take our broken, painful pasts and use them to minister to others.  I hopped on stage at North Point and my entire life changed in weeks. It was the first time in a long time that I had been in a ministry that's celebrated my gifts, wasn't intimidated by them, and also welcomed my brokenness. It is as if I had experienced a new Jesus. What we chat about: * Toni’s difficult childhood and how she had to grow up quickly to take care of her mom and herself* What led her to get help through counseling and trauma therapy* The challenge of therapy after years of emotional trauma* Parenting while going through intense therapy and healing * The process of identifying her daughter’s mental and emotional struggles* How she is working through school and behavior with her daughter* Her new marriage and how she met her husband Connect with Toni: * Website: https://tonijcollier.com  * Facebook: facebook.com/tonijcollier and facebook.com/brkncrayons* Instagram: @tonijcollier and @brkncrayons Links Mentioned:   * So Long, Insecurity: You've Been a Bad Friend to Us ** [BOOK]* Broken Crayons Still Color [WEBSITE]* North Point Ministries [WEBSITE] Featured Sponsor : Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach. Join Wendy, William, Percival and Miss Biddle, the museum curator on a reading adventure as they explore the Phonics Museum, sing songs, and play games with the living artwork in the museum. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! You can try the Phonics Museum today for free by signing up for the 2 Week F...
November 25, 2019
Toni Collier’s short childhood ended in third grade when her mother had a stroke and she was practically left alone to care for her. Toni carried many heavy emotional burdens in her childhood and felt deeply that she had to protect herself because the world was not a safe place.  Fast forward several years and Toni’s strength of will to avoid the emotional trauma she experienced as a child finally ran out. Now a mom and reeling from an emotionally abusive first marriage, Toni sought counseling and therapy for the healing she so desperately needed.  “I was so blind to how unhealthy my life actually was, and the unveiling, the unwrapping of this emotional onion made me worse. But there was a healed Toni that I had to get to. Not just for me, but for my daughter and my new marriage. The only thing that brought me through was the hope that there is a God who said he could trade my weakness for his power.” Toni opens up about the “treacherous” process of facing intense emotional trauma, the shame and stigma that surrounds therapy and what it’s like to parent in the midst of facing your own brokenness. Now as a powerful communicator and host with North Point Ministries, Toni has learned that God can take our broken, painful pasts and use them to minister to others.  “I hopped on stage at North Point and my entire life changed in weeks. It was the first time in a long time that I had been in a ministry that's celebrated my gifts, wasn't intimidated by them, and also welcomed my brokenness. It is as if I had experienced a new Jesus.”
November 18, 2019
Melissa d’Arabian is a winner of “The Next Food Network Star,” a celebrity chef, author, and mom of four girls. She’s an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking who has inspired people with her shows on the Food Network.  A few years ago, God inspired Melissa to do a deep dive into scripture and prayer to evaluate the meaning of food in her life. What she discovered is our relationship with food reflects our understanding of God and his creation.  In her new book, Tasting Grace, she invites readers to appreciate food as not only a gift from God but also as a deeper invitation into his love. Every meal we have can be an invitation into creativity, community, and patience. The fact that I could sit there and even for a moment and marvel and at least to honor everything that's gone into my food connected me more to God and it made me enjoy the food more. We talk about how meals can bring us closer to God and how he created a food system to nourish us and delight our palates. Melissa is passionate about separating food and body image and saying no to the negative perspective often put on food. I want my children when they are young women going out there in the world to have the joy of a great relationship with food. And so if I talk about myself in a way that is unkind, not only are my kids hearing it, but God is hearing it. Speaking in terms of body image and all of that, I think it must make God feel sad when I reject the body he has given me. What we chat about: * How Melissa studied food and what God was saying about food* The wonder of food and gratitude we can feel toward it if we consider all that went into making it* Meals can bring us closer to God with every bite we take* God created a food system for humans that nourishes us and delights our palates* Food and body image and how they need to be separated * How we relate to food greatly affects how our kids relate to food* Growing food in a garden gives us another level of gratitude* “Food is God’s love made delicious.”* Saying no to the idea that exercise is punishment for food* The spiritual winter Melissa walked through after her mother committed suicide Connect with Melissa:  * Website: www.melissadarabian.net* Facebook: facebook.com/darabianmelissa* Instagram: @melissadarabian* Twitter: @melissadarabian Links Mentioned: * YouVersion App* It’s Not About the Food :: Carrie and Angie [Ep 173]  [PODCAST]* Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating [BOOK]*** Videos and Recipes from Melissa on FoodNetwork.com Featured Sponsor : Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach. Join Wendy, William,
November 18, 2019
Melissa d’Arabian is a winner of “The Next Food Network Star,” a celebrity chef, author, and mom of four. She’s is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking who has inspired people with her shows on Food Network.  A few years ago, God inspired Melissa to do a deep dive into scripture and prayer to evaluate the meaning of food in her life. What she discovered is our relationship with food reflects our understanding of God and his creation.  In her new book, Tasting Grace, she invites readers to appreciate food as not only a gift from God but also as a deeper invitation into his love. “Every meal we have can be an invitation into creativity, community, and patience. The fact that I could sit there and even for a moment and marvel and at least to honor everything that's gone into my food connected me more to God and it made me enjoy the food more.” We talk about how meals can bring us closer to God and how he created a food system to nourish us and delight our palates. Melissa is passionate about separating food and body image and saying no to the negative perspective often put on food.  “I want my children when they are young women going out there in the world to have the joy of a great relationship with food. And so if I talk about myself in a way that is unkind, not only are my kids hearing it, but God is hearing it. Speaking in terms of body image and all of that, I think it must make God feel sad when I reject the body he has given me. ”
November 11, 2019
Wow! Six years into podcasting and the 265 episodes of this show have been downloaded 8.7 million times across 204 different countries. Today we are celebrating our podcast-iversary with a “best-of” show featuring clips from your favorite episodes. We’re also featuring testimonials from listeners who share how the podcast has helped them not mom alone. Like these quotes from moms: This podcast has really become my one-stop show for all things parenting. I love how you cover such a wide range of topics and how all of your guests are filled with grace and grounded in God’s word and his truth. It has totally changed my perspective on motherhood. I’ve gone from feeling quite frustrated and alone to knowing that other moms are dealing with the same things. I don’t feel quite so lonely. All the encouragement is really changing my life. Thanks so much for listening to the Don’t Mom Alone podcast. I’m thankful it’s made an impact in your lives. When I started this six years ago, I couldn’t imagine where it would take me. As for the future? Well, we’ll just have to see where God takes us! Special shout-out thanks to my production team--Sarah-Jane Menefee and Rachael Jamison. Could NOT produce this show each week without their help! Episodes Mentioned: * Announcing the God Centered Mom Podcast ::  Leslie Johnson [Ep 1] * The Enneagram and Motherhood :: Suzanne Stabile [Ep 232]* Become Fully Alive–Mind, Body, and Spirit :: Susie Larson [Ep 218]* Shame, Perfectionism and Smiling Depression :: Misty Persefield and Stephanie Coker [Ep 154]* Motherhood, Career, and Identity :: Kat Armstrong [Ep 171]* Women Can Be All-In for Jesus :: Kat Armstrong [Ep 253]* Overcoming Barriers to Sexual Intimacy :: Nancy Houston [Ep 206]* Habits of a Healthy Marriage :: Paul David Tripp [Ep 234]* What’s Your “Wifestyle” ? :: Jen Weaver [Ep 155]* All of Kirk Martin's Podcasts Episodes* 10 Ways to Stop Meltdowns and Arguments :: Kirk Martin [Ep 139]* Grace-Based Discipline :: Karis Kimmel Murray [Ep 150]* All of Paul David Tripp’s Podcast Episodes DMA Gathering in Nashville I'd love to meet you November 15th from 7 to 9pm at the Frothy Monkey in Franklin. If you're able to come please RSVP by clicking here: https://dontmomalonenashville.rsvpify.com/ Special Production Help from Airr:
November 11, 2019
  Wow! Six years into podcasting and the 265 episodes of this show have been downloaded 8.7 million times across 204 different countries. Today we are celebrating our podcast-iversary with a “best-of” show featuring clips from your favorite episodes.  We’re also featuring testimonials from listeners who share how the podcast has helped them not mom alone. Like these quotes from moms: “This podcast has really become my one-stop show for all things parenting. I love how you cover such a wide range of topics and how all of your guests are filled with grace and grounded in God’s word and his truth.” “It has totally changed my perspective on motherhood. I’ve gone from feeling quite frustrated and alone to knowing that other moms are dealing with the same things. I don’t feel quite so lonely. All the encouragement is really changing my life.” Thanks so much for listening to the Don’t Mom Alone podcast. I’m thankful it’s made an impact in your lives. When I started this six years ago, I couldn’t imagine where it would take me. As for the future? Well, we’ll just have to see where God takes us! Special Production Help from Airr: Ever wanted to share a specific quote or clip from your favorite podcast with a friend, but didn’t know how? This week’s sponsor, Airr, solves that problem by making it simple to share clips from specific episodes.  I’m going to start featuring listeners “airr quotes” in my Monday email. Make sure you go to https://www.airr.io/dontmomalone to sign up and start listening and quoting. 
November 4, 2019
Jonathan Almonte’s story shows how sponsoring a child through Compassion International (or other similar programs) can change the course of a child’s life.  However, it is the compassion of the people in his story who loved him when he fought back and wrote him letters calling out his identity and inherent worth as a child of God that may have made the biggest difference. “That letter changed my life. I was believing that I was a mistake. I was believing that God was not good for me. This letter helped me to understand that God provided a woman called Jamie thousands of kilometers away in a place called Michigan celebrating Thanksgiving. This woman wrote a letter to say, I am thankful for you. You are special, you're not a mistake.” As a child of a single mom in the Dominican Republic, Jonathan’s prospects were greatly limited. From a young age, he worked to earn enough money for each day’s food. The cost of getting into a school, a uniform as supplies, was nowhere near his grasp.  His mother applied for him to join the Compassion program and (after a wait) he was accepted. For the first time in his life, all of his educational, nutritional, medical, and physical needs were taken care of, and Jonathan felt believed in like he never had before.  “I was selling juice on the streets. I was diving in a garbage area without hope. So this ministry for me meant my life. My life is before and after the ministry of Compassion in partnership with the local church in my community. ” I hope this episode leads you to text "Heather" to 83393 and sponsor a child like Jonathan. 
November 4, 2019
Jonathan Almonte’s story shows how sponsoring a child through Compassion International (or other similar programs) can change the course of a child’s life. However, it is the compassion of the people in his story who loved him when he fought back and wrote him letters calling out his identity and inherent worth as a child of God that may have made the biggest difference. That letter changed my life. I was believing that I was a mistake. I was believing that God was not good for me. This letter helped me to understand that God provided a woman called Jamie thousands of kilometers away in a place called Michigan celebrating Thanksgiving. This woman wrote a letter to say, I am thankful for you. You are special, you're not a mistake. As a child of a single mom in the Dominican Republic, Jonathan’s prospects were greatly limited. From a young age, he worked to earn enough money for each day’s food. The cost of getting into a school, a uniform as supplies, was nowhere near his grasp.  His mother applied for him to join the Compassion program and (after a wait) he was accepted. For the first time in his life, all of his educational, nutritional, medical, and physical needs were taken care of, and Jonathan felt believed in like he never had before.  I was selling juice on the streets. I was diving in a garbage area without hope. So this ministry for me meant my life. My life is before and after the ministry of Compassion in partnership with the local church in my community. If you’ve ever had questions about sponsoring children through Compassion and the impact it makes, I hope this episode will be your first step toward researching more about getting involved. What we chat about: * Jonathan’s childhood in the Dominican Republic and the extreme poverty he experienced* How his life changed when he was accepted into the Compassion International’s program* The people who loved Jonathan and shared Christ with him* The sponsors Jonathan had in Compassion and the importance of their letters* His hard relationship with his father and the powerful moment when he forgave him* Immigration of people from poverty-stricken nations vs empowerment of those people to stay and fight for their communities Connect with Compassion International:  * Website: www.compassion.com/dontmomalone* Facebook: facebook.com/compassionintl * Instagram: @compassion Links Mentioned:   Learn more about sponsoring a child with Compassion: www.compassion.com/dontmomalone Featured Sponsor: Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach. Join Wendy, William, Percival and Miss Biddle, the museum curator on a reading adventure as they explore the Phonics Museum, sing songs, and play games with the living artwork in the museum. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! You can try the Phonics Museum today for free by signing up for the 2 Week Free Trial.
October 28, 2019
On the surface, Victoria (Tori) Petersen’s story doesn’t sound full of hope. Her growing up years were filled with abuse, a mom who struggled with drugs, and more than 10 foster homes with no hope of adoption. But God’s heart for Tori wasn’t death; it was life. Through a series of relationships and her own study, Tori learned about God. She experienced sacrificial love and community in the church and through her foster parents. It changed her whole future. “The encouragement, the support, and the ability to see that through their words, through God's speaking through these people and acting through these people in love showed me that I did have a future, that God did have a plan for me and that if I trusted in him, that plan would blossom into something.” After emancipating from the foster care system, Tori’s life has had more ups and downs. But, she is confident in her identity in Christ and learning more every day. Now as a mom and wife, God is redeeming her story and using it to encourage others who are a part of the foster system. “I think foster parents remembering that they are image-bearers and in those hard times to be able to humble themselves and say,’ I am weak and I'm going to call on God's strength to love this child.’ Also communicating to the child that they're made in God's image. They are loved despite any kind of behavior or any saddening event that they have been through. Identity in Christ is crucial to the relationship between foster youth and foster parents.” What we chat about: * Tori’s experience in and out of foster care and how she found hope* Her faith journey and the people who were examples of Jesus in her life* The hope she found in Jesus and learning about God as her heavenly father* Why she chose to emancipate from the foster system at 18* How she handled unexpectedly becoming a mother* Getting to the root of sin in her and her new husband’s life and why the needed the church* The paradox of the church and why we need each other even though we often wound one another* Encouragement for parents who are considering fostering* Why understanding our identity in Christ (outside of our performance and abilities) is the most important thing Connect with Tori: * Website:  https://torisstoris.wordpress.com* Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/torihopepetersen/* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/torihopepetersen/ Links Mentioned:   * 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey*** "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'" Romans 4:18 **Amazon Affiliate Link Featured Sponsor: Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach. Join Wendy, William, Percival and Miss Biddle, the museum curator on a reading adventure as they explore the Phonics Museum, sing songs, and play games with the living artwork in the museum.
October 28, 2019
On the surface, Victoria (Tori) Petersen’s story doesn’t sound full of hope. Her growing up years were filled with abuse, a mom who struggled with drugs, and more than 10 foster homes with no hope of adoption. But God’s heart for Tori wasn’t death; it was life. Through a series of relationships and her own study, Tori learned about God. She experienced sacrificial love and community in the church and through her foster parents. It changed her whole future. “The encouragement, the support, and the ability to see that through their words, through God's speaking through these people and acting through these people in love showed me that I did have a future, that God did have a plan for me and that if I trusted in him, that plan would blossom into something.” After emancipating from the foster care system, Tori’s life has had more ups and downs. But, she is confident in her identity in Christ and learning more every day. Now as a mom and wife, God is redeeming her story and using it to encourage others who are a part of the foster system. “I think foster parents remembering that they are image-bearers and in those hard times to be able to humble themselves and say,’ I am weak and I'm going to call on God's strength to love this child.’ Also communicating to the child that they're made in God's image. They are loved despite any kind of behavior or any saddening event that they have been through. Identity in Christ is crucial to the relationship between foster youth and foster parents.”
October 21, 2019
Susie Davis is a mentor of mentors. She’s the author of several books and host of the Dear Daughters podcast. I’m so excited to share our conversation with you as she answers your questions about mentorship, marriage and meeting with God. I think you deserve a mentor. I think it's God's will for your life to have an older woman that you can talk to who has wisdom for you and your specific situation. In her book and podcast, Dear Daughters, Susie seeks to bring together younger women and spiritual moms. Each of us has valuable insight for one other, but getting started with mentoring can be a hurdle. Whether you have a mentor, are a mentor or want to start, Susie shares encouragement and insight into establishing and maintaining a healthy mentor relationship. (including what not to say!) We also talk about marriage and how to love your man without losing your mind about the little things that can drive us crazy.  I think marriage is the greatest opportunity for sanctification, which is just becoming more like God. It is the one relationship that is never supposed to end. You're ‘trapped’ in it and you have to work it out with them. Talking with Susie is such a gift. She shares a wealth of wisdom from the perspective of someone who has experienced a lot of growth in her own life and marriage over the years. Grab a cup of coffee and listen in as Susie mentors us all! What we chat about: * How to find a mentor and why we need them.* Mentors are not perfect people. They are people who are just a bit ahead of you who can encourage you not to make the same mistakes they did.* What to say (and what not to say) to a potential mentor.* The difference between an evangelist, discipler and mentor.* Establishing a rhythm of mentorship and talking through expectations with your mentor.* It’s normal to be irritated by the differences in a marriage.* Marriage is the greatest opportunity for sanctification.* Working through parenting and discipline differences in marriage* Get together with a counselor. An outside person can really help your marriage.* Finding joy in day-to-day life and in the everyday tasks before us.* What to do when you are struggling to hear God Connect with Susie: * Website: https://susiedavis.org * Podcast: Dear Daughters* Facebook: facebook.com/davis.susie* Instagram:  @susiedavis Links Mentioned: * Dear Daughters: Love Letters to the Next Generation ** [BOOK]* Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind ** [BOOK]* Uncovered: Revealing the Secrets of a Sexy Marriage ** [BOOK] **Amazon affiliate link. Featured Sponsor: Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum. Taking a “tools of learning” approach, the app helps establish a strong foundation of reading for children through a complete commitment to a phonics approach. Join Wendy, William, Percival and Miss Biddle, the museum curator on a reading adventure as they explore the Phonics Museum, sing songs,
October 21, 2019
Susie Davis is a mentor of mentors. She’s the author of several books and host of the Dear Daughters podcast. I’m so excited to share our conversation with you as she answers your questions about mentorship, marriage and meeting with God.  “I think you deserve a mentor. I think it's God's will for your life to have an older woman that you can talk to who has wisdom for you and your specific situation.” In her book and podcast, Dear Daughters, Susie seeks to bring together younger women and spiritual moms. Each of us has valuable insight for one other, but getting started with mentoring can be a hurdle. Whether you have a mentor, are a mentor or want to start, Susie shares encouragement and insight into establishing and maintaining a healthy mentor relationship. (including what not to say!) We also talk about marriage and how to love your man without losing your mind about the little things that can drive us crazy.  “I think marriage is the greatest opportunity for sanctification, which is just becoming more like God. It is the one relationship that is never supposed to end. You're ‘trapped’ in it and you have to work it out with them.” Talking with Susie is such a gift. She shares a wealth of wisdom from the perspective of someone who has experienced a lot of growth in her own life and marriage over the years. Grab a cup of coffee and listen in as Susie mentors us all!
October 14, 2019
Racial tensions in America are as high within the church as outside of it. My guest Latasha (aka Tasha) Morrison believes Jesus followers must become the leaders in the conversation. That we must, “build a bridge” to bring justice, healing and transformation. It starts with awareness and then acknowledging the pain and brokenness. We didn't create it, but it is all of our responsibility to be a part of the solution. And no one gets an ‘out’ here. Tasha founded the organization Be the Bridge in 2016 'to encourage racial reconciliation among all ethnicities, to promote racial unity in America, and to equip others to do the same.' Now she’s written a book of the same name that comes out this week. We talk in depth about racial healing, biblical justice and the diversity of God’s kingdom. It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s a necessary one. I pray you will listen with an open mind and heart for all God wants to do to bring unity to the body of Christ.  Every culture is an expression of who God is and not one ethnicity can represent the totality of who God is. We serve a diverse God. If you’re thinking that God looks just like you and talks just like you, remember, Jesus didn't speak English. Sometimes we need a reality check on that. Just because something is different doesn't make it wrong. What we chat about: * How Tasha became an advocate for racial reconciliation* The inherent racial lines and segregation of cities that persist from Jim Crow laws* We serve a diverse God and no one race or expression on humanity is the “right” way to be* How lamenting and crying out to God about injustice can cause God to move * Social justice vs biblical justice* Defining privilege from a historical perspective and why we can’t ask others to ignore past injustice and just “move on”* The history of racism in America pre-dates independence. The first slaves arrived 400 years ago* Be aware of the many facets of history and who is writing the history books* Don’t insulate your kids from people who are different from them* Tasha invites us to: listen, learn, lament and leverage.   Connect with Tasha: * Website: latashamorrison.com* Facebook: facebook.com/latashamorrison * Instagram: @latashamorrison and @beabridgebuilder Links mentioned: * Be the Bridge organization [WEBSITE]* The 1619 Project [WEBSITE]* Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison [BOOK]* EP 216: Help Your Children Embrace Differences [PODCAST]* ColorFull by Dorena Williamson [BOOK]* Book List from Tasha's Website* Kid President Returns -- Part Two in Selma, AL Featured Sponsor: Phonics Museum When your child enters the Phonics Museum, a learning adventure full of games, stories, and art awaits! With a clever mix of lessons, activities, games, and sing-along songs, young learners won’t get bored at Phonics Museum.
October 14, 2019
Racial tensions in America are as high within the church as outside of it. My guest Latasha Morrison believes Jesus followers must become the leaders in the conversation on racial reconciliation. That we must, “build a bridge” to bring justice, healing and transformation. “It starts with awareness and then acknowledging the pain and brokenness. We didn't create it, but it is all of our responsibility to be a part of the solution. And no one gets an ‘out’ here.” Latasha founded the organization Be the Bridge in 2016 to encourage racial reconciliation among all ethnicities, to promote racial unity in America, and to equip others to do the same. Now she’s written a book of the same name that comes out this week.  We talk in depth about racial reconciliation, biblical justice and the diversity of God’s kingdom. It’s not an easy conversation, but it’s a necessary one. I pray you will listen with an open mind and heart for all God wants to do to bring unity to the body of Christ.  “Every culture is an expression of who God is and not one ethnicity can represent the totality of who God is. We serve a diverse God. If you’re thinking that God looks just like you and talks just like you, remember, Jesus didn't speak English. Sometimes we need a reality check on that. Just because something is different doesn't make it wrong.”
October 7, 2019
As parents, we are keenly aware of the peaks and valleys of our kids’ emotions. Anger, sadness, excitement, and all the other feelings can make us feel like our child is on a roller coaster we’re just trying to slow down. It’s true that we all feel highs and lows throughout our day, but we rarely talk about what it feel like when we’re “in the zone” and feeling calm and ready to go. My guest today is sharing about the window of tolerance and how to regulate ourselves and our kids to help stay in that window.  If I am dysregulated, I cannot regulate my child. So if I'm in fight or flight and I'm yelling. There's no amount of yelling that brings my child back into the window. And sometimes parents think the yelling is working, but what you're doing isn’t getting your child in the window. They're going into collapse and into a place of fear. Charissa Fry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and believer. Her passion is to come alongside those who are hurting and struggling to help them find truth, hope, healing, connection, and growth. She shares some eye-opening information and statistics to get us on the path to helping our kids build resilience and stay in that window of tolerance.  Charissa shares from a faith-perspective that we as believers are not alone. She reminds us that we can lean on God to regulate our emotions as we love on our kids and go through the hardships of life.  God himself through Jesus is the ultimate attachment figure. He is always reaching for us. He never fails to respond to our needs. He always loves us. He's never judging us and never shaming us. So to know that when we need to be co-regulated, that when I am feeling like I'm going to leave the window, I can remember the truth of who God is and I can reach out to him in prayer. What we chat about: * The window of tolerance is when our brains function well and effectively process input to make rational decisions calmly without feeling either overwhelmed or withdrawn* When we’re out of the window of tolerance, our thinking brain is not in control and we don’t register consequences * Many of us don’t live in the window of tolerance, but we’re too busy and stressed to stop and assess how we’re feeling at any given moment* Hyper-arousal, otherwise known as the fight/flight response, is often characterized by hypervigilance, feelings of anxiety and/or panic, and racing thoughts.* Hypo-arousal, or a freeze response, may cause feelings of emotional numbness, emptiness, or paralysis.* Learning how to stay in your window of tolerance builds resilience, both for us and our kids* When our kids live outside the window, they become “masters of survival” and often turn to negative coping strategies* What our children's emotions look like when we are co-regulating * Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” * We can lean on God to bring us to that window of tolerance and into the fruits of the spirit Connect with Charissa: * Website:  charissafry.com* Facebook: facebook.com/CharissaFryCounseling Links Mentioned:   * Window of Tolerance Infographic -- FREE resource [WEBSITE] * Regulation Pack -- FREE resource [WEBSITE]* Rosie’s Brain [BOOK] Featured Sponsor:
October 7, 2019
As parents, we are keenly aware of the peaks and valleys of our kids’ emotions. Anger, sadness, excitement, and all the other feelings can make us feel like our child is on a roller coaster we’re just trying to slow down.  It’s true that we all feel highs and lows throughout our day, but we rarely talk about what it feel like when we’re “in the zone” and feeling calm and ready to go. My guest today is sharing about the window of tolerance and how to regulate ourselves and our kids to help stay in that window.  “If I am dysregulated, I cannot regulate my child. So if I'm in fight or flight and I'm yelling. There's no amount of yelling that brings my child back into the window. And sometimes parents think the yelling is working, but what you're doing isn’t getting your child in the window. They're going into collapse and into a place of fear.” Charissa Fry is a Licensed Professional Counselor and believer. Her passion is to come alongside those who are hurting and struggling to help them find truth, hope, healing, connection, and growth. She shares some eye-opening information and statistics to get us on the path to helping our kids build resilience and stay in that window of tolerance.  Charissa shares from a faith-perspective that we as believers are not alone. She reminds us that we can lean on God to regulate our emotions as we love on our kids and go through the hardships of life.  “God himself through Jesus is the ultimate attachment figure. He is always reaching for us. He never fails to respond to our needs. He always loves us. He's never judging us and never shaming us. So to know that when we need to be co-regulated, that when I am feeling like I'm going to leave the window, I can remember the truth of who God is and I can reach out to him in prayer.”
September 30, 2019
It’s a popular (and sometimes controversial) typology system that can help you understand yourself and others better, but how can we use the Enneagram in light of the gospel to help our marriages thrive? Beth McCord of Your Enneagram Coach is here to walk us how to look at our marriages and close relationships through the lens of the Enneagram and the Gospel.  With the Enneagram, you can see that we all struggle. We all need Jesus. It's just we need it in different ways. And he makes us more like him in different ways as well. It's called the body of Christ and we reflect Christ differently. We all need to bring our uniqueness to glorify him and bless each other. We talk about how using the Enneagram can improve communication and compassion in our marriages and what to do if your spouse has no interest in learning his type. (hint: the answer isn’t to bug him about it)  Beth shares that no one pairing out of the 45 possible Enneagram matches in marriage is better than any other, but it’s our surrender to Christ that makes all the difference.  I can guarantee you there is not a combination that is better or worse. Any two types that are surrendering and depending on the grace of God through Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf will be a blessing to one another. What we chat about: * The origins of the Enneagram as a personality tool and why it matters how we use it* Learning where we need to depend on Christ more as you understand more about your Enneagram type* Using the Enneagram to help relate better in your marriage* What to do when your spouse is resistant to learning about the Enneagram * Learning about all nine types can help you have more compassion for your close relationships* Embracing the unique ways Christ made each person can help put an end to comparison* The resources Beth has for using the Enneagram within marriage Connect with Beth: * Website:  www.yourenneagramcoach.com* Facebook:  facebook.com/YourEnneagramCoach * Instagram:  @yourenneagramcoach  Links Mentioned: * Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage [BOOK]*** Ep. 232: The Enneagram and Motherhood :: Suzanne Stabile [PODCAST]* Enneagram Type Summaries from Your Enneagram Coach [WEBSITE]* FREE Marriage Assessment from Beth [WEBSITE]* Becoming Us Marriage Course [WEBSITE] Featured Sponsor: PrepDish Prep Dish meal plans were created by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf to help save you time and put home-cooked meals on the table. No meal time stress. No more answering the dreaded question, “What’s for Dinner?!”. Developed by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf, Prep Dish is a healthy, whole food based meal plan subscription service. Allison does all the planning for you- including easy-to-follow shopping lists and prep-ahead instructions so you know what to prepare and when. NOW offering KETO MEAL PLANS! Imagine…all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the entire week. We like to call this meal time bliss!
September 30, 2019
It’s a popular (and sometimes controversial) typology system that can help you understand yourself and others better, but how can we use the Enneagram in light of the gospel to help our marriages thrive?  Beth McCord of Your Enneagram Coach is here to walk us how to look at our marriages and close relationships through the lens of the Enneagram and the Gospel.  “With the Enneagram, you can see that we all struggle. We all need Jesus. It's just we need it in different ways. And he makes us more like him in different ways as well. It's called the body of Christ and we reflect Christ differently. We all need to bring our uniqueness to glorify him and bless each other.” We talk about how using the Enneagram can improve communication and compassion in our marriages and what to do if your spouse has no interest in learning his type. (hint: the answer isn’t to bug him about it)  Beth shares that no one pairing out of the 45 possible Enneagram matches in marriage is better than any other, but it’s our surrender to Christ that makes all the difference.  “I can guarantee you there is not a combination that is better or worse. Any two types that are surrendering and depending on the grace of God through Christ’s work on the cross on our behalf will be a blessing to one another.”
September 23, 2019
When a child processes sensory information just a little differently than his or her peers it can mean BIG emotions, meltdowns and a huge struggle for us as parents. Often these kids are labeled as “sensitive” or “intense” and they might cause us to avoid playdates and public places because we’re never sure what seemingly small issue will cause the next explosion.  Lynne Jackson of Connected Families joins me to uncover the mysteries behind our kids with sensory struggles and how we can help them thrive. We talk about Sensory Processing Disorder and the wide range of sensory processing symptoms.   As a mom who had two kids with sensory processing needs and as a licensed occupational therapist, Lynne encourages us to become a student of our kids and try to understand their point of view. Imagine if the volume on all your sounds and the sensations in your body was turned up and you were to trying to fall asleep, that would be really hard. Car rides and meals are often torturous. So then what are the kids doing? They're trying to cope. They're jumping down. They're complaining about the food and squirming in their seats. They're trying to do something so they feel in control. We talk about what to do if you suspect a sensory processing problem in one of your kids and where to seek help. I share my story of working through this with one of my boys and why I wish we’d gone to see a therapist sooner.  What we chat about: * Sensory processing disorders and what they look like in younger kids* 20% of kids have nervous systems that process information differently than their peers* The differences between over-sensitive and under-sensitive sensory processing * Some indicators that your child may struggle with sensory processing* Learning what helps calm down the sensory overwhelm and staying connected with them to help them regulate during stressful situations* How to learn more about sensory processing and when to seek professional help Connect with Lynne:  * Website: connectedfamilies.org* Podcast: Connected Families Podcast* Facebook: facebook.com/ConnectedFamilies* Instagram:  @connectedfams Links Mentioned:   * Solve that After-School Crabbiness [BLOG]* Viewing your child through a different lens [BLOG]* Equipping Kids to Calm [BLOG]* Sensory Processing Questionnaire [Child] [PDF]* Sensory Processing Questionnaire [Ages 12 –18] [PDF]* Sensational Kids by Lucy Jane Miller [BOOK]*** Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz [BOOK]*** STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder [WEBSITE]* Similar pyramid to the one I reference in the show: https://kids-first.com.au/how-your-childs-sensory-system-sets-them-up-for-...
September 23, 2019
When a child processes sensory information just a little differently than his or her peers it can mean BIG emotions, meltdowns and a huge struggle for us as parents.  Often these kids are labeled as “sensitive” or “intense” and they might cause us to avoid playdates and public places because we’re never sure what seemingly small issue will cause the next explosion.  Lynne Jackson of Connected Families joins me to uncover the mysteries behind our kids with sensory struggles and how we can help them thrive. We talk about Sensory Processing Disorder and the wide range of sensory processing symptoms.   As a mom who had two kids with sensory processing needs and as a licensed occupational therapist, Lynne encourages us to become a student of our kids and try to understand their point of view. “Imagine if the volume on all your sounds and the sensations in your body was turned up and you were to trying to fall asleep, that would be really hard. Car rides and meals are often torturous. So then what are the kids doing? They're trying to cope. They're jumping down. They're complaining about the food and squirming in their seats. They're trying to do something so they feel in control.” We talk about what to do if you suspect a sensory processing problem in one of your kids and where to seek help. I share my story of working through this with one of my boys and why I wish we’d gone to see a therapist sooner.
September 16, 2019
Author, blogger and podcast host Sarah Mae joins me to share her story of working through the generational bondage of alcoholism and the verbal and emotional abuse she suffered from her mother. I remember yelling out, 'I'm going to kill myself,' and her saying, 'Go ahead, I dare you.' And that was it for me. I just bawled because I felt so unloved and so confused. In her new book The Complicated Heart, Sarah takes us into her painful past and all she experienced with her mom. She also shares the hope and victory of how God wooed her heart and changed the direction of her family forever.  Dysfunction does not have to be your legacy. It does not have to be your identity. And you do not have to pass it on to your kids. It doesn't matter if you were born into it, married into it or you created it yourself. There is always victory on the table. We just have to be willing to pick it up. Throughout our chat, Sarah is candid and encouraging. She shares openly about the abortion she had at 16 and the healing she’s experienced from bravely speaking out against the shame of past sin and accepting God’s grace as all-sufficient.  What we chat about: * How Sarah learned to love and forgive her alcoholic mother* Practical advice for daughters who are hurting from parental woundings and hope for parents who have failed* The verbal and mental abuse that Sarah endured as a teenager* Honoring Sarah’s mom’s story by including her journal entries in the book* Sarah’s path to healing and the many ways God wooed her heart * The story behind Sarah’s abortion at 16-years-old* Creating a new legacy for your family by bravely working through the places of sin and shame in your life* Wounds from your parents are valid things to grieve Connect with Sarah Mae:  * Website: www.sarahmae.com* Podcast: The Complicated Heart Podcast* Facebook: facebook.com/sarahmaewrites* Instagram: @sarahmaewrites Links Mentioned:   * The Complicated Heart: Loving Even When It Hurts [BOOK]* EP 93: I Am Restored :: Stacy Reaves [PODCAST]* Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Women [BOOK] Featured Sponsor: PrepDish Prep Dish meal plans were created by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf to help save you time and put home-cooked meals on the table. No meal time stress. No more answering the dreaded question, “What’s for Dinner?!”. Developed by chef and dietician Allison Schaaf, Prep Dish is a healthy, whole food based meal plan subscription service. Allison does all the planning for you- including easy-to-follow shopping lists and prep-ahead instructions so you know what to prepare and when. NOW offering KETO MEAL PLANS! Imagine…all of your meals prepped and ready to go for the entire week. We like to call this meal time bliss! Get 1 MONTH of meal plans for $4! Go to Prepdish.com/dma.
September 16, 2019
Author, blogger and podcast host Sarah Mae joins me to share her story of working through the generational bondage of alcoholism and the verbal and emotional abuse she suffered from her mother.  “I remember yelling out, 'I'm going to kill myself,' and her saying, 'Go ahead, I dare you.' And that was it for me. I just bawled because I felt so unloved and so confused.” In her new book The Complicated Heart, Sarah takes us into her painful past and all she experienced with her mom. She also shares the hope and victory of how God wooed her heart and changed the direction of her family forever.  “Dysfunction does not have to be your legacy. It does not have to be your identity. And you do not have to pass it on to your kids. It doesn't matter if you were born into it, married into it or you created it yourself. There is always victory on the table. We just have to be willing to pick it up.” Throughout our chat, Sarah is candid and encouraging. She shares openly about the abortion she had at 16 and the healing she’s experienced from bravely speaking out against the shame of past sin and accepting God’s grace as all-sufficient. 
September 9, 2019
Access to the internet is everywhere in our modern world. And that means access to pornography and sexual imagery is everywhere too. Rather than bury our heads in the sand or cross our fingers that our kids won’t see porn, we can choose to be proactive and to give them a plan for how to react. Kristen Jenson, the best-selling author of "Good Pictures, Bad Pictures", joins me to share some simple ways to talk with our kids about porn and protect their minds.  Pornography makes a child more vulnerable to sexual abuse. So if you porn-proof your child by starting these conversations early, you are actually helping your child to be more protected from child sexual abuse. When you start these discussions it's not as hard as you think. And once you do, you've begun this journey with your child to trust you for answers. You tell them, ‘Don't go on Google to ask these questions. Come and talk to me.’ This may feel like a super heavy topic, but I promise it’s worth taking the proactive approach now vs waiting till you have teenagers. Kristen shares a lot of resources and makes it easy to get started.  What we chat about: * What led her to write Good Pictures Bad Pictures**, a book that helps porn-proof young kids, and Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.*** How pornography is a public health crisis and the negative effects it has on children and adults* Taking the proactive parenting approach helps kids be more resilient when they see porn* When a child has any exposure or access to the internet you need to warn them about the dangers of the internet in simple, age-appropriate ways* These conversations are the same as talking to your kids about why we don’t eat or drink poisonous chemicals-- it’s all about safety. * Helping kids learn about their “thinking brain” and their “feeling brain” and how to use them appropriately* Teaching your kids a simple plan for how to respond when they see porn* CAN DO: Close your eyes, Always tell a trusted adult, Name it when you see it, Distract yourself, Order my thinking brain to be the boss. Connect with Kristen: * Website: protectyoungminds.org* Facebook: facebook.com/ProtectYM * Instagram: @protectyoungminds  Links Mentioned:   * Episodes with Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson from Birds and Bees [PODCAST]* Birds and Bees Curriculum [RESOURCE]* Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today's Young Kids [BOOK]* Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds [BOOK]* Resources and a Quick-Start Guide for Proactive Parents [WEBSITE] Featured Sponsor: Pr...
September 9, 2019
Access to the internet is everywhere in our modern world. And that means access to pornography and sexual imagery is everywhere too. Rather than bury our heads in the sand or cross our fingers that our kids won’t see porn, we can choose to be proactive and to give them a plan for how to react.  Kristen Jenson, the best-selling author or Good Picture Bad Pictures, joins me to share some simple ways to talk with our kids about porn and protect their minds.  “Pornography makes a child more vulnerable to sexual abuse. So if you porn-proof your child by starting these conversations early, you are actually helping your child to be more protected from child sexual abuse. When you start these discussions it's not as hard as you think. And once you do, you've begun this journey with your child to trust you for answers. You tell them, ‘Don't go on Google to ask these questions. Come and talk to me.’” This may feel like a super heavy topic, but I promise it’s worth taking the proactive approach now vs waiting till you have teenagers. Kristen shares a lot of resources and makes it easy to get started. 
September 2, 2019
My guest today is Ruth Chou Simons. She’s a mom of six boys and an author and entrepreneur. You may know her best from the beautiful watercolor prints and products she creates for her business on Gracelaced.com. In her newest book, Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship**, Ruth shares about how every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves our hearts and captures our gaze.  We dive into what that looks like in Ruth’s life and how choosing to focus on Christ changes everything from our perspective on our parenting and work to how we look at others.  The most unhappy I get is if I get preoccupied with somebody else's story. And I don't give thanks and I don't jot down reminders of how he's provided for the ultimate story of redemption in my life. And also how he's working that out day by day and writing my story anew. We talk about how our fast-paced, hustle culture steals the joy and the beauty away from the everyday faithfulness of growing in God. My favorite reminder she shared is, “You don’t have to be blooming to be growing.” So true. How often do we start something and expect instant gratification and quick wins? We want easy-to-share glossy images of success. But God looks at our hearts. At the slow growing happening under the surface. We are all in process with God until we see him in heaven.  Let’s celebrate the small wins and focus on turning our eyes toward God and away from the distractions and hollow gratification of social media. As Ruth reminds us, we become what we behold. Those small, unseen decisions really add up to who we are.  Because at the end of the day, every action we have is really stemming out of our belief in our worship. And so how you think, and how you believe, and what you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next. What your little moments every day are accumulating to be for a lifetime. What we chat about: * Focusing on the beauty of what God has created vs comparing our lives to someone else’s on social media* At the root of dissatisfaction in our lives is an underlying struggle with identity. Is our identity found in Christ or is it found in everything going our way?* Growing our appetite for the things of God by choosing to fill our time with his Word.* The struggles women have with wanting to do something perfectly or not at all * Celebrating the process of growing vs seeing immediate fruit in our lives* What you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next* The goal isn’t just to experience God’s provision, but to trust that his presence in our lives is enough* “Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God, the more of God will be seen in you.” - C.H Spurgeon Connect with Ruth:  * Website: gracelaced.com* Facebook: facebook.com/gracelaced* Instagram: @ruthchousimons and @gracelaced Links Mentioned:   * GCM Ep 23: Beauty creator. Unity builder. Mom. –Ruth Simons [PODCAST]* Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship** [BOOK] Releases September 10*
September 2, 2019
My guest today is Ruth Chou Simons. She’s a mom of six boys and an author and entrepreneur. You may know her best from the beautiful watercolor prints and products she creates for her business on Gracelaced.com.  In her newest book, Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship, Grace shares about how every day is an opportunity to be shaped and formed by what moves our hearts and captures our gaze.  We dive into what that looks like in Ruth’s life and how choosing to focus on Christ changes everything from our perspective on our parenting and work to how we look to others.  The most unhappy I get is if I get preoccupied with somebody else's story. And I don't give thanks and I don't jot down reminders of how he's provided for the ultimate story of redemption in my life. And also how he's working that out day by day and writing my story anew. We talk about how our fast-paced, hustle culture steals the joy and the beauty away from the everyday faithfulness of growing in God. My favorite reminder she shared is, “You don’t have to be blooming to be growing.” So true. How often do we start something and expect instant gratification and quick wins? We want easy-to-share glossy images of success. But God looks at our hearts. At the slow growing happening under the surface. We are all in process with God until we see him in heaven.  Let’s celebrate the small wins and focus on turning our eyes toward God and away from the distractions and hollow gratification of social media. As Ruth reminds us, we become what we behold. Those small, unseen decisions really add up to who we are.  Because at the end of the day, every action we have is really stemming out of our belief in our worship. And so how you think, and how you believe, and what you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next. What your little moments every day are accumulating to be for a lifetime. What we chat about: Focusing on the beauty of what God has created vs comparing our lives to someone else’s on social media At the root of dissatisfaction in our lives is an underlying struggle with identity. Is our identity found in Christ or is it found in everything going our way? Growing our appetite for the things of God by choosing to fill our time with his Word. The struggles women have with wanting to do something perfectly or not at all  Celebrating the process of growing vs seeing immediate fruit in our lives What you believe is the most beautiful and worthy of gazing at in your life will actually translate into what you do next The goal isn’t just to experience God’s provision, but to trust that his presence in our lives is enough “Nearness to God brings likeness to God. The more you see God, the more of God will be seen in you.” - C.H Spurgeon
August 30, 2019
For a variety of reasons, childhood anxiety rates are soaring, especially among girls. My guest Sissy Goff is here to share some of her insights on how to recognize worry and anxiety in your daughter and empower her to overcome. We talk about tools we can use to help us understand why our brains are often working against us in times of anxiety and grounding techniques to slow and stop the emotional spiral that often ensues. We always want her to know she's stronger than her worries and that she has a voice to talk back to the worry. A lot of people who work with kids call it the worry monster because that separates it out from her voice. We don't want her to think it's the truth, which is what kids are going to think when they have voices in their heads telling them things. This is a short, hope-filled bonus episode that just scratches the surface on all that we can learn about equipping our kids to work through anxiety. For more encouragement, follow Sissy and her team at https://www.raisingboysandgirls.com and watch for her book Raising Worry-Free Girls coming out September 17.  What we chat about: * 1 in 4 kids are dealing with anxiety of some kind and girls are twice as likely to feel it* Anxiety is hard to recognize in kids. Sometimes it comes out as anger or meltdowns and other times it’s deeply buried* People whose personalities lean toward Type A tend to have baseline anxiety at all times. If your child’s personality leans that direction, it’s important to give them tools to deal with it* Anxiety is always an overestimation of the problem and an underestimation of ourselves* Techniques to help a child with anxiety calm down and redirect blood flow to their prefrontal cortex* Integrating our faith as we teach our kids to fight back against fear and worry Connect with Sissy:  * Website: raisingboysandgirls.com* Podcast: raisingboysandgirls.com/listen * Facebook: facebook.com/raisingboysandgirls * Instagram: @raisingboysandgirls Links Mentioned:   * Raising Worry-Free Girls [BOOK] Releases September 17, 2019* [Ep 160] Emotional Milestones:: Sissy Goff and David Thomas [PODCAST]* [Ep 141] Raising Girls:: Sissy Goff [PODCAST] Featured Sponsor: Treasured Study The “tween” years are a critical transition period in the life of a young girl. Girls this age are changing in profound ways, which makes it a little more complicated to know how to connect with them. My friend Courtney DeFeo felt this tension as a mom of tween girls and has created an incredible resource designed for moms and daughters to help them have meaningful conversations during these critical years.    Loaded with fun activities and engaging content, the Treasured Study and the Treasured Journal will help moms and daughters talk about things they both care about. Things like: Identity, body, emotions, friendships, technology, and faith. You can get the Treasured journal and go through it a...
August 30, 2019
For a variety of reasons, childhood anxiety rates are soaring, especially among girls. My guest Sissy Goff is here to share some of her insights on how to recognize worry and anxiety in your daughter and empower her to overcome. We talk about tools we can use to help us understand why our brains are often working against us in times of anxiety and grounding techniques to slow and stop the emotional spiral that often ensues.  “We always want her to know she's stronger than her worries and that she has a voice to talk back to the worry. A lot of people who work with kids call it the worry monster because that separates it out from her voice. We don't want her to think it's the truth, which is what kids are going to think when they have voices in their heads telling them things.” This is a short, hope-filled bonus episode that just scratches the surface on all that we can learn about equipping our kids to work through anxiety. For more encouragement, follow Sissy and her team at https://www.raisingboysandgirls.com and watch for her book Raising Worry-Free Girls coming out September 17.    What we chat about: 1 in 4 kids are dealing with anxiety of some kind and girls are twice as likely to feel it Anxiety is hard to recognize in kids. Sometimes it comes out as anger or meltdowns and other times it’s deeply buried People whose personalities lean toward Type A tend to have baseline anxiety at all times. If your child’s personality leans that direction, it’s important to give them tools to deal with it Anxiety is always an overestimation of the problem and an underestimation of ourselves Techniques to help a child with anxiety calm down and redirect blood flow to their prefrontal cortex Integrating our faith as we teach our kids to fight back against fear and worry
August 26, 2019
Fellow boy moms, this episode is for you! This chat with Monica Swanson another mom of four boys and author of the new book Boy Mom dives into a lot of your questions about how to raise your boys to be godly men. We talk about encouraging strong friendships between brothers, teaching boys to be strong AND gentle, and about the importance of giving our sons ways to experience excitement and adventure while getting some of their natural aggression out in safe physical activities. I am a big believer that boys were made for adventure that they need to have some excitement in their lives I think is just how God wired them. They're little warriors who need to experience some thrills. A lot of the trouble boys can get into is related to when they're lacking authentic adventure, when they're not facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. Monica has two boys out of high school and two still in the nest, so she offers a lot of hope for those of us in the trenches of parenting to keep pressing into relationship with our sons and to make the practicals of faith an anchor in all that we do.  God is so big and so powerful and he can move mountains on behalf of your son. He wants your son's heart more than you even know. We get our boys plugged in everywhere we can. We want them to have so many positive spiritual models in their life that there's no denying that God is the best way to go. It about coming alongside them and saying, ‘This is for your best. God is for you. Let's walk this life with him.’ What we chat about: * Monica’s four boys and working with very different personalities * Building healthy brother relationships and dealing with kids who hit* Boys need to let out their energy with exercise and physical activity* Setting healthy boundaries for your kids with manners and learning to laugh with them about it too* Teaching boys how to balance strength and kindness by pointing them to the stories of godly men* The power of shoulder to shoulder conversations with boys and why to keep pressing into conversation with them* Motivating boys to get excited about school and finding hobbies and interests* Ideas for how to foster adventure for your boys and learning not to parent from a place of fear* Fostering faith in your sons through time in the Word, prayer and modeling Connect with Monica:  * Website: monicaswanson.com* Podcast: monicaswanson.com/podcast* Facebook: facebook.com/TheGrommom* Instagram: @monicaswanson_* Twitter: @thegrommom Links Mentioned:   * Boy Mom: What Your Son Needs Most from You ** [BOOK]* What Your Kids, Marriage and Ministry Need :: Monica Swanson [Ep 82] PODCAST* Strong: How God Equipped 11 Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Power **[BOOK]* Knights in Training: Ten Principles for Raising Honorable, Courageous, and Compassionate Boy **[BOOK]* 20 Ways to Make Your Son Feel Loved [PRINTABLE] ** As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Featured Sponsor: Technology and Teens Summit
August 26, 2019
Fellow boy moms, this episode is for you! This chat with Monica Swanson another mom of four boys and author of the new book Boy Mom dives into a lot of your questions about how to raise your boys to be godly men.  We talk about encouraging strong friendships between brothers, teaching boys to be strong AND gentle, and about the importance of giving our sons ways to experience excitement and adventure while getting some of their natural aggression out in safe physical activities. “I am a big believer that boys were made for adventure that they need to have some excitement in their lives I think is just how God wired them. They're little warriors who need to experience some thrills. A lot of the trouble boys can get into is related to when they're lacking authentic adventure, when they're not facing challenges and overcoming obstacles.” Monica has two boys out of high school and two still in the nest, so she offers a lot of hope for those of us in the trenches of parenting to keep pressing into relationship with our sons and to make the practicals of faith an anchor in all that we do.  “God is so big and so powerful and he can move mountains on behalf of your son. He wants your son's heart more than you even know. We get our boys plugged in everywhere we can. We want them to have so many positive spiritual models in their life that there's no denying that God is the best way to go. It about coming alongside them and saying, ‘This is for your best. God is for you. Let's walk this life with him.’”   What we chat about: Monica’s four boys and working with very different personalities  Building healthy brother relationships and dealing with kids who hit Boys need to let out their energy with exercise and physical activity Setting healthy boundaries for your kids with manners and learning to laugh with them about it too Teaching boys how to balance strength and kindness by pointing them to the stories of godly men The power of shoulder to shoulder conversations with boys and why to keep pressing into conversation with them Motivating boys to get excited about school and finding hobbies and interests Ideas for how to foster adventure for your boys and learning not to parent from a place of fear Fostering faith in your sons through time in the Word, prayer and modeling
August 19, 2019
Small is the new huge. With the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, feels like we’re more isolated and ineffective than ever. But what if we worried less about making a big impact. And focused more on doing the things in front of us with quality and depth? I’m a big fan of today’s guest, Shontell Brewer. She’s a wise mom to five kiddos (some she's launched out into the world). And she has an excellent sense of humor. More than that, she has discipled her children to love and serve others around them. Discipleship can be organic. Keeping your ministry small enough. To be present wherever God has placed you. In this episode, which originally aired in October of 2016 (Ep 140), Shontell and I talk about discipleship during dinner conversations. She shares her method of asking really specific questions. And giving her kiddos a challenge for the day to love others in tangible ways (e.g., encouraging a 4 year old to compliment his preschool teacher). My most favorite thing we talk about is Taco Tuesday. The last Tuesday of the month, the Brewer family serves up meat & tortillas. They invite coaches, teachers, friends, neighbors (any one who interacts regularly with their kids) into their home.  We love on our community one taco at a time. I shared the idea with my boys and they wanted to do it the next night (“Taco Tuesday, but on a Monday”). I’ll let you know how that goes. We may go the Pizza Friday route (love our community one slice at a time). Shontell also inspired me to help open my boys’ spiritual eyes. And to encourage them to fight over who is going to put the other one first. What we chat about: * How women apologize for their carpet* Keeping your ministry small* Specific questions to ask during dinner time conversations* How Shontell helped her daughter minister to her Starbucks’ manager* Sending your kids to school with a basic challenge to bless someone* Setting the habit of conversation and other family “norms”* Learning to not be offended when our kids aren’t performing* Parenting small with intimate corrective conversations* The BEST idea to invite people into your home monthly–> Taco Tuesdays! Connect with Shontell: * Website* Facebook* Twitter* Instagram Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children’s heart but you don’t know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters. This month they launched a new journal: Write the Word for Kids: Fruit of the Spirit. It has everything you loved about the first Write the Word for Kids with a new theme, and including new fruit-theme stickers! Your kids will love it, too! The Cultivate team is offering Don’t Mom Alone listeners an exclusive disc...
August 19, 2019
With the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world, feels like we’re more isolated and ineffective than ever. But what if we worried less about making a big impact.  And focused more on doing the things in front of us with quality and depth? I’m a big fan of this week's mentor, Shontell Brewer. She’s a wise mom to five kiddos. And she has an excellent sense of humor. More than that, she has discipled her children well to love and serve others around them. Discipleship can be organic. Keeping your ministry small enough. To be present wherever God has placed you. In this episode, which originally aired as Episode 140 (Oct 2016), Shontell and I talk about discipleship during dinner conversations. She shares her method of asking really specific questions. And giving her kiddos a challenge for the day to love others in tangible ways (e.g., encouraging a 4 year old to compliment his preschool teacher). My most favorite thing we talk about is Taco Tuesday. The last Tuesday of the month, the Brewer family serves up meat & tortillas. They invite coaches, teachers, friends, neighbors (any one who interacts regularly with their kids) into their home.  We love on our community one taco at a time. I shared the idea with my boys and they wanted to do it the next night (“Taco Tuesday, but on a Monday”). I’ll let you know how that goes. We may go the Pizza Friday route (love our community one slice at a time). Shontell also inspired me to help open my boys’ spiritual eyes. And to encourage them to fight over who is going to put the other one first. What we chat about: How women apologize for their carpet Keeping your ministry small Specific questions to ask during dinner time conversations How Shontell helped her daughter minister to her Starbucks’ manager Sending your kids to school with a basic challenge to bless someone Setting the habit of conversation and other family “norms” Learning to not be offended when our kids aren’t performing Parenting small with intimate corrective conversations The BEST idea to invite people into your home monthly–> Taco Tuesdays!
August 12, 2019
Being a mom reveals your most broken places. I often think motherhood would be easy if my boys behaved better. Or maybe if I read one more parenting book. Or if I finally caught the magical contentment unicorn just beyond my grasp. Of course, none of those options really pan out (especially the unicorn). It’s my own junk. Every day the yuck in my heart rises to the surface. But with the pace of life and needs of my people, it’s hard to stop and examine the “yuck” more closely. A few years ago our small group attended a recovery program at our church. Through some honest self-examination and community, God showed me where I’ve held wrong beliefs. And how they impacted my relationships. Today’s podcast guest, Lynn Hoffman, helped start our church’s recovery program 15 years ago. And God also led her to write “Steps into God’s Grace”, a bible study based on the 12 steps of recovery. In this episode, Lynn shares her own struggle with performance, people pleasing and codependency. She gives insight into why recovery isn’t just for addicts. And she encourages us to identify our own emotions so we can teach our children to do the same. Recovery became a safe place where I could go and be with other people who were willing to be honest. Stop pretending and start talking about the reality of the problems in their life. And lean on God to change and discover new realities in their life. Connect with Lynn: * Website: StepsintoGodsGrace.com What we chat about: * Lynn’s divorce/remarriage and struggle with wanting to do everything right.* How she got her significance from her work and struggled to lean on God.* The discovery of recovery and God’s call for her to write a 12-step based Bible study.* Learning the lies Lynn believed and how they controlled how she behaved.* The lies that go along with “working hard”.* Why should anyone consider going through a 12-step recovery program.* The spiritual/Biblical roots of recovery.* The value of identifying your emotions in the moment.* The difference between shame and guilt* When we feel like a “mom failure” and how our worth is tied to our kids’ behavior and performance.* Getting in touch with our own emotions to help our kids with their own emotions. Links Mentioned: * “Steps into God’s Grace” by Lynn Hoffman *** Jim & Lynne Jackson “You are Safe. You are Loved” (Ep 80)* Feelings chart: * Celebrate Recovery* Recovery for Life at Northwest Bible* **As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children’s heart but you don’t know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters.
August 12, 2019
Being a mom reveals your most broken places. I often think motherhood would be easy if my boys behaved better. Or maybe if I read one more parenting book. Or if I finally caught the magical contentment unicorn just beyond my grasp. Of course, none of those options really pan out (especially the unicorn). It’s my own junk. Every day the yuck in my heart rises to the surface. But with the pace of life and needs of my people, it’s hard to stop and examine the “yuck” more closely. Recently our small group has been attending a recovery program at our church. Through some honest self-examination and community, God’s been showing me where I’ve held wrong beliefs. And how they impact my relationships. Today’s podcast guest, Lynn Hoffman, helped start our church’s recovery program 15 years ago. And God also led her to write “Steps into God’s Grace”, a bible study based on the 12 steps of recovery. In this episode, Lynn shares her own struggle with performance, people pleasing and codependency. She gives insight into why recovery isn’t just for addicts. And she encourages us to identify our own emotions so we can teach our children to do the same. Recovery became a safe place where I could go and be with other people who were willing to be honest. Stop pretending and start talking about the reality of the problems in their life. And lean on God to change and discover new realities in their life.
August 5, 2019
Ever want to hear from the woman behind literal rock star kids? In this episode, Helen Smallbone, mother of 7 grown children including Christian music stars Joel and Luke Smallbone (For King and Country) and Rebecca St. James, shares stories of motherhood and practical advice she’s learned along the way. She and her husband moved their family from Australia to America more than 25 years ago. It was a faith-building journey that changed their family forever.   Sometimes when you face life crises what God’s doing is setting a new foundation. In this time, he took everything away from us. We had no money, no resources, no family and no friends.  But in that refining process, he gave everything back to us, but with a new foundation where he was the provider. He showed himself to be faithful for providing all our needs. This episode originally aired in May of 2017 as episode 166. What we talk about: * Stories of living by faith and God providing for the Smallbone family when they moved from Australia to America* Homeschooling a large family and fostering responsibility and work skills in your kids* Teaching family values while dealing with bad attitudes and behaviors in your kids* Taking a “time out” as a mom to pray for your children and waiting on the Lord for breakthrough for specific ways to resolve behavior problems* Focusing on the eternal value of building relationships with our kids versus the temporary focus on everyday tasks* Spending time with children who may be acting out because they need more attention* How quantity time often becomes quality time with our families* Taking a traditional nap time or quiet time after lunch with fill yourself up to finish the day strong as a mom* Keeping the communication line open with your children no matter their age. Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children’s heart but you don’t know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters. This month they launched a new journal: Write the Word for Kids: Fruit of the Spirit. It has everything you loved about the first Write the Word for Kids with a new theme, and including new fruit-theme stickers! Your kids will love it, too! The Cultivate team is offering Don’t Mom Alone listeners an exclusive discount. Head to CultivateWhatMatters.com to order your Write the Word for Kids journal today and receive 10% off with the code DONTMOMALONE. Don't Mom Alone LIVE EVENT 2019
August 5, 2019
Ever want to hear from the woman behind rock star kids? In this episode, Helen Smallbone, mother of 7 grown children including Christian music stars Joel and Luke Smallbone (For King & Country) and Rebecca St. James, shares stories of motherhood and practical advice she’s learned along the way. She and her husband moved their family from Australia to America more than 25 years ago. It was a faith-building journey that changed their family forever.    “Sometimes when you face life crises what God’s doing is setting a new foundation. In this time, he took everything away from us,” Smallbone said. “We had no money, no resources, no family and no friends.  But in that refining process, he gave everything back to us, but with a new foundation where he was the provider. He showed himself to be faithful for providing all our needs.” Stories of living by faith and God providing for the Smallbone family when they moved from Australia to America Homeschooling a large family and fostering responsibility and work skills in your kids Teaching family values while dealing with bad attitudes and behaviors in your kids Taking a “time out” as a mom to pray for your children and waiting on the Lord for breakthrough for specific ways to resolve behavior problems Focusing on the eternal value of building relationships with our kids versus the temporary focus on everyday tasks Spending time with children who may be acting out because they need more attention How quantity time often becomes quality time with our families Taking a traditional naptime or quiet time after lunch with fill yourself up to finish the day strong as a mom Keeping the communication line open with your children no matter their age.
July 29, 2019
As a licensed marriage and family therapist and life coach, Kim Fredrickson counseled and taught others about self-compassion for years. When she received an unexpected terminal diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, a rare side-effect of the treatment she had received for breast cancer, she wrote a book to leave for her children on giving that same compassion to the grandchildren she will never meet. On June 3rd, 2019, Kim passed on to be in the presence of her Savior. We want to honor her legacy by re-releasing this fantastic mentoring which originally aired in January of 2018. When people feel ashamed, they blame other people because they feel like if I really look at my shame then I’m going to collapse inside. That’s why self-compassion is desperately important because kids feel shame a lot. They fail at everything at the start. What we chat about: * Kim’s story of receiving a devastating diagnosis after completing treatment for breast cancer* How she’s chosen to spend the years she has left with her family * The new book she wrote for when her children have kids called “Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children”* How it’s a process to develop a compassionate inner voice* Applying grace and truth to every situation in our lives* Variety of temperaments--some that are harder on themselves than others.* The difference between self-compassion and self-pity* Encouraging your children to practice self-compassion and reinforcing it by showing ourselves that same* Giving our kids the language to identify their failings and separate them from their self- worth* Moms have a really hard job. It’s ok to acknowledge that.* The importance of taking care of ourselves as moms* How to talk to your kids after you’ve been hard on yourself and reframing it with self-compassion Connect with Kim's Legacy: Links Mentioned: * Kristi Clover -- Simply Joyful Podcast* Give Your Kids a Break : Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children *** Give Yourself a Break ** * Compassionate Self-Statements and Self-Soothing Exercises (CD and download)* Kind and Compassionate Words to Soothe Your Soul  (Download) **Amazon affiliate link, with no additional cost to you, the podcast receives a portion of your purchase. Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children’s heart but you don’t know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters. This month they launched a new journal: 
July 29, 2019
As a licensed marriage and family therapist and life coach, Kim Fredrickson counseled and taught others about self-compassion for years. When she received an unexpected terminal diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis, a rare side-effect of the treatment she had received for breast cancer, she wrote a book to leave for her children on giving that same compassion to the grandchildren she will never meet. On June 3rd, 2019, Kim passed on to be in the presence of her Savior. We are grateful for a way to honor her legacy by re-releasing her fantastic mentorship. (This episode originally aired in January 2018). When people feel ashamed, they blame other people because they feel like if I really look at my shame then I’m going to collapse inside. That’s why self-compassion is desperately important because kids feel shame a lot. They fail at everything at the start. What we chat about: Kim’s story of receiving a devastating diagnosis after completing treatment for breast cancer How she’s chosen to spend the years she has left with her family The new book she wrote for when her children have kids called “Give Your Kids a Break: Parenting with Compassion for You and Your Children” How it’s a process to develop a compassionate inner voice Applying grace and truth to every situation in our lives Variety of temperaments--some that are harder on themselves than others. The difference between self-compassion and self-pity Encouraging your children to practice self-compassion and reinforcing it by showing ourselves that same Giving our kids the language to identify their failings and separate them from their self- worth Moms have a really hard job. It’s ok to acknowledge that. The importance of taking care of ourselves as moms How to talk to your kids after you’ve been hard on yourself and reframing it with self compassion
July 22, 2019
Oh friendship! A gift that can bring incredible joy and cause great pain. If female relationships weren't tricky enough, our wounded selves bump into each other causing even deeper hurts. But what are we to do? How do we heal, move forward and develop lasting friendships? Thankfully, my friend, Lisa-Jo Baker came on the show back in April of 2017 to help. With content from her book, "Never Unfriended", on episode 159 we talked about friendship wounds. And Lisa-Jo pointed us to Jesus, the only One who promises to heal and never leave us. Jesus is never tired of me always needing Him. Instead, He is delighted by how desperately I need His validation and He never, ever withholds it from me. Or from you. - excerpt from "Never Unfriended" by Lisa-Jo What we chat about: * What do we fear most in friendship* How to include the new girl and ignore the "cool kid" lies* How to heal past friendship wounds.* Turning to Jesus for meat and potatoes soul-filling.* Not blaming social media for our heart issues.* How do you survive a friendship break-up.* The hope of reconciliation and knowing when to let go. Connect with Lisa-Jo Baker: * Website * Facebook * Twitter* Instagram Links Mentioned: * "Surprised by Motherhood" book**  by Lisa-Jo Baker* Shaping of a Mother: Episode 21* Incourage Community* Carey Bailey--Life Coach* Hallowed Places by Tim Keller* "Never Unfriended" by Lisa-Jo Baker* "The Middle Matters"** by Lisa-Jo Baker --available now **Don't Mom Alone is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children's heart but you don't know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters. On July 17th, they are launching their brand new Write the Word for Kids: Fruit of the Spirit. It has everything you loved about the first Write the Word for Kids with a new theme, and including new fruit-theme stickers! Your kids will love it, too! The Cultivate team is offering Don't Mom Alone listeners an exclusive discount. Head to CultivateWhatMatters.com to order your Write the Word for Kids journal today and receive 10% off with the code DONTMOMALONE. Don't Mom Alon...
July 22, 2019
Oh friendship! A gift that can bring incredible joy and cause great pain. If female relationships weren't tricky enough, our wounded selves bump into each other causing even deeper hurts. But what are we to do? How do we heal, move forward and develop lasting friendships? Thankfully, my friend, Lisa-Jo Baker came on the show back in April of 2017 to help. With content from her book, "Never Unfriended", on episode 159 we talked about friendship wounds. And Lisa-Jo pointed us to Jesus, the only One who promises to heal and never leave us. Jesus is never tired of me always needing Him. Instead, He is delighted by how desperately I need His validation and He never, ever withholds it from me. Or from you. - excerpt from "Never Unfriended" by Lisa-Jo What do we fear most in friendship How to include the new girl and ignore the "cool kid" lies How to heal past friendship wounds. Turning to Jesus for meat and potatoes soul filling. Not blaming social media for our heart issues. How do you survive a friendship break-up. The hope of reconciliation and knowing when to let go.
July 15, 2019
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. Show Notes: Nancy's "best ever" life verse-- Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. {Ephesians 3:20} If you are looking for encouragement with "that thing" you just can't defeat/restore/heal/change/overcome/undo on your own strength, then I would highly recommend, Priscilla Shirer's new book, God is Able*, which is based on Eph 3:20-21  (*Amazon Affiliate link, which means I receive a small portion of the purchase price at no additional cost to you.) Featured Sponsor: Cultivate What Matters Ever felt like you really want to plant the seeds of faith in your children's heart but you don't know how? You need something simple and easy that you can trust. You are not alone. Thousands of women all over the world have felt the same and are now cultivating the hearts of their little ones with Write the Word for Kids Bible journal from Cultivate What Matters. On July 17th, they are launching their brand new Write the Word for Kids: Fruit of the Spirit. It has everything you loved about the first Write the Word for Kids with a new theme, and including new fruit-theme stickers! Your kids will love it, too! The Cultivate team is offering Don't Mom Alone listeners an exclusive discount. Head to CultivateWhatMatters.com to order your Write the Word for Kids journal today and receive 10% off with the code DONTMOMALONE.
July 15, 2019
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. 
June 24, 2019
Kat Armstrong, the guest from one of my most popular episodes is back on the podcast to share the message of her new book, No More Holding Back. The first question we talk about is, “Can a woman learn too much about Jesus?” A light topic, right? The greatest commandment says we have to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength — all of it. And it's the priority. It's the priority over anyone's role in our home. We have to be all-in for Jesus. We can't let our fears, our insecurities, our roles, our titles, or anything to do with our spouses impede our progress to learn about Jesus. Kat shares powerfully about our role as an image bearer of God, the importance of elevating women’s voices in our communities of faith and living completely into the assignments God gives us. We also talk about giving what we have to offer even if feels imperfect or broken in the same way that the widow in Mark 12 gave out of her need. If you have a broken heart, it counts. I have a broken heart right now about my dad. I still want to love God with it all and I don't have to have it all together or healed yet to apply it to the Great Commission. And if you have a weary soul and you're questioning your faith, you can give that to God and he counts it as worthy. If you have a confused mind. If you're struggling with anxiety, depression, decision making, and things don't make sense in your world, you can give that to God. What we chat about: * Kat walking through the grief of losing her dad and how her family dynamic has changed* The refining process of book writing and about her new book, No More Holding Back.* The false idea that a woman can learn too much about Jesus* Men and women are not in competition when it comes to serving God* Living completely into our calling or our assignment and what God's given us to do* Fully embracing the way God made us and how we can purposely live into our callings* Women can be strong and submissive at the same time because Jesus was too* The story of the widow’s mite in Mark 12 reminds us that what we have to offer Jesus is enough even if it’s a broken heart* Jesus runs his economy on love. When we give, even out of our need, it’s more than enough through Jesus* Barriers Christian women face and how to deal with competing assignments* Inviting family and friends to be on your team when God assigns you something new and hearing God for the timing of an assignment* Ask: Who are my neighbors? Am I loving them well? How can I be equipped to love them better? Connect with Kat: * Website: https://www.katarmstrong.com* Facebook: www.facebook.com/katarmstrongauthor* Twitter: @katarmstrong1* Polished Ministries: https://www.polishedonline.org Links Mentioned: * Previous episode with Kat Armstrong: Motherhood, Career, and Identity [Ep 171] * BOOK: No More Holding Back by Kat Armstrong** * BOOK: Wonder Women: Navigating the Challenges of Motherhood, Career, and Identity by Kate Harris*** BOOK: Are Women Human? By Dorothy Sayers**
June 24, 2019
Kat Armstrong, the guest from one of my most popular episodes is back on the podcast to share the message of her new book, No More Holding Back. The first question we talk about is, “Can a woman learn too much about Jesus?” A light topic, right? “The greatest commandment says we have to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength — all of it. And it's the priority. It's the priority over anyone's role in our home. We have to be all-in for Jesus. We can't let our fears, our insecurities, our roles, our titles, or anything to do with our spouses impede our progress to learn about Jesus.” Kat shares powerfully about our role as an image bearer of God, the importance of elevating women’s voices in our communities of faith and living completely into the assignments God gives us. We also talk about giving what we have to offer even if feels imperfect or broken in the same way that the widow in Mark 12 gave out of her need. “If you have a broken heart, it counts. I have a broken heart right now about my dad. I still want to love God with it all and I don't have to have it all together or healed yet to apply it to the Great Commission. And if you have a weary soul and you're questioning your faith, you can give that to God and he counts it as worthy. If you have a confused mind. If you're struggling with anxiety, depression, decision making, and things don't make sense in your world, you can give that to God.”
June 17, 2019
After my recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, I’m so excited to introduce you to Tess Clarke. We process some of what we learned on the trip to visit refugees from Central and South America and hear about the work Tess and her husband are doing with their non-profit, Seek the Peace. Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives. It doesn’t mean that the circumstances are changed, but He takes away our aloneness, our guilt, our shame and our fear by being present with us in those hard circumstances. The numbers are staggering and everyone knows that this is an overwhelming issue. Which is why I think we can't become jaded and paralyzed, but we have to keep looking at it from a human point of view. When we were in Oaxaca, a lot of it was really about learning why people were fleeing and what their lives looked like and what they were hoping for when they came to the United States. Every person I had an opportunity to talk to said, 'I want to be safe.' No matter where you may fall politically on the issues of immigration and the current refugee crisis, I think Tess’ perspective on entering into the broken places and loving the marginalized and lonely around us can bring us together as believers. It has made a big difference in my own parenting when I invite my kids into loving others. Something my kids and I talk a lot about is the line in the Lord's prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ And we asked Jesus, show us where heaven is not. Show us where heaven is lacking. Lead us there because we want to join you in that space and we want to do what we can to bring heaven there. What we chat about: * Tess, her family, their non-profit Seek the Peace and her role at We Welcome Refugees* The work Tess and her organization have done at the border. * Seeking to understand the plight of refugees and the work and role of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)* Family separation of refugees at the border and the humanitarian crises happening in Central and South America that are causing an increase in the number of refugees* Stories from refugee centers at the border of South Texas* Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives. * The trip Heather and Tess made to Oaxaca, Mexico to visit refugees there* A poem by Warsan Shire about why people leave their homes as refugees* The legal ways to enter America are being shut down by the current administration* Our experience visiting the unaccompanied minors shelter* Femicide, being killed because you are a woman, is a big cause of death in Mexico* Partnering with Jesus to love the marginalized and bring Heaven to Earth* The call of God to love the oppressed and care for the broken in Isaiah 58 Connect with Seek the Peace and We Welcome Refugees: * Seek the Peace* Website: https://seekingpeace.org/* Facebook: www.facebook.com/SeekThePeace* Instagram: @seekthepeace* We Welcome Refugees* Website: https://wewelcomerefugees.com * Facebook: www.facebook.com/WeWelcomeRefugees* Instagram: @wewelcomerefugees Links Mentioned:
June 17, 2019
After my recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, I’m so excited to introduce you to Tess Clarke. We process some of what we learned on the trip to visit refugees from Central and South America and hear about the work Tess and her husband are doing with their non-profit, Seek the Peace. Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives. It doesn’t mean that the circumstances are changed, but He takes away our aloneness, our guilt, our shame and our fear by being present with us in those hard circumstances. “The numbers are staggering and everyone knows that this is an overwhelming issue, which is why I think we can't become jaded and paralyzed, but we have to keep looking at it from a human point of view. When we were in Oaxaca, a lot of it was really about learning why people were fleeing and what their lives looked like and what they were hoping for when they came to the United States. Every person I had an opportunity to talk to said, I want to be safe.” No matter where you may fall politically on the issues of immigration and the current refugee crisis, I think Tess’ perspective on entering into the broken places and loving the marginalized and lonely around us can bring us together as believers. It has made a big difference in my own parenting when I invite my kids into loving others. “Something my kids and I talk a lot about is the line in the Lord's prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ And we asked Jesus, show us where heaven is not. Show us where heaven is lacking. Lead us there because we want to join you in that space and we want to do what we can to bring heaven there.” Tess, her family, their non-profit Seek the Peace and her role at We Welcome Refugees The work Tess and her organization have done at the border. Seeking to understand the plight of refugees and the work and role of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Family separation of refugees at the border and the humanitarian crises happening in Central and South America that are causing an increase in the number of refugees Stories from refugee centers at the border of South Texas Tess feels called to a ministry of presence in the same way that Jesus enters into our lives. The trip Heather and Tess made to Oaxaca, Mexico to visit refugees there A poem by Warsan Shire about why people leave their homes as refugees The legal ways to enter America are being shut down by the current administration Our experience visiting the unaccompanied minors shelter Femicide, being killed because you are a woman, is a big cause of death in Mexico Partnering with Jesus to love the marginalized and bring Heaven to Earth The call of God to love the oppressed and care for the broken in Isaiah 58
June 10, 2019
Just in time for Father’s Day we have a great conversation with Joel Fitzpatrick, a pastor and author, who encourages dads (and moms) to have gospel-focused conversations with their sons. There’s power in having conversations with your kids that opens up your relationship. It’s a freedom that gives your kids a safe place to talk to someone. But then it also gives you the ability to speak God's truth into their lives. We talk about the barriers that keep us from going deep with our kids and how to fight back against the fear and complacency that can become commonplace. Joel also shares how Jesus is the ultimate picture of biblical masculinity and how to be an emotionally safe parent for your son or daughter. We need to be very careful with our emotions when our kids come and they confess their sins to us. When your son comes to you and he's been angry, you need to be careful not to respond in anger, but to respond with love and with kindness and with using your strength to provide a place of safety. This is an episode that would be perfect to share with your spouse and the dads in your life. Joel shares a lot of truth for both moms and dads about how we can stay actively engaged with our kids and keep the gospel message at the forefront. For more on this topic, Joel has a new book out called Between Us Guys. Also, my recent podcast with Vicki Courtney [Ep 239] has some more great information on having deep conversations. As Joel shares, it comes down to setting aside intentional time to go deep with our kids. What step can you make this summer to have a gospel-centered conversation with your son or daughter? What we chat about: * Joel’s background as a construction worker and as a minister* What are gospel conversations and how do we have them with our kids* How to fight against fear and complacency to continually engage with our kids* Biblical masculinity vs worldly masculinity* Working with a son who is displaying aggression and violence* Keeping our emotions in check when we’re having tough discipline conversations* Look at your kids’ lives as a timeline and not a snapshot* Learning to process emotions in a healthy way with our kids* Being aware of your sons’ emotions and actively engaged with how he is processing them* Teaching sons how to think about and interact with women in light of the gospel Connect with Joel Fitzpatrick: * Website: https://www.joelfitzpatrick.co* Twitter: @joeldfitz* Instagram: @joeldfitz* Podcast: Front Porch with the Fitzes Links Mentioned: * Book: Between Us Guys: Life-Changing Conversations for Dads and Sons*** Book: Emotionally Healthy Relationships*** Podcast: [Ep 219] Idols of Motherhood :: Elyse Fitzpatrick **As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Featured Sponsor: Val Marie Paper It doesn’t matter how much we want to pray more,
June 10, 2019
Just in time for Father’s Day we have a great conversation with Joel Fitzpatrick, a pastor and author, who encourages dads (and moms) to have gospel-focused conversations with their sons. “There’s power in having conversations with your kids that opens up your relationship. It’s a freedom that gives your kids a safe place to talk to someone. But then it also gives you the ability to speak God's truth into their lives.” We talk about the barriers that keep us from going deep with our kids and how to fight back against the fear and complacency that can become commonplace. Joel also shares how Jesus is the ultimate picture of biblical masculinity and how to be an emotionally safe parent for your son or daughter. “We need to be very careful with our emotions when our kids come and they confess their sins to us. When your son comes to you and he's been angry, you need to be careful not to respond in anger, but to respond with love and with kindness and with using your strength to provide a place of safety.” This is an episode that would be perfect to share with your spouse and the dads in your life. Joel shares a lot of truth for both moms and dads about how we can stay actively engaged with our kids and keep the gospel message at the forefront. For more on this topic, Joel has a new book out called Between Us Guys. Also, my recent podcast with Vicki Courtney [Ep 239] has some more great information on having deep conversations. As Joel shares, it comes down to setting aside intentional time to go deep with our kids. What step can you make this summer to have a gospel-centered conversation with your son or daughter?   What we chat about: Joel’s background as a construction worker and as a minister What are gospel conversations and how do we have them with our kids How to fight against fear and complacency to continually engage with our kids Biblical masculinity vs worldly masculinity Working with a son who is displaying aggression and violence Keeping our emotions in check when we’re having tough discipline conversations Look at your kids’ lives as a timeline and not a snapshot Learning to process emotions in a healthy way with our kids Being aware of your sons’ emotions and actively engaged with how he is processing them Teaching sons how to think about and interact with women in light of the gospel
June 3, 2019
As moms, we are like a life support system for our kids. To keep our families healthy, we need to be healthy. A key part of our overall well being is setting healthy boundaries. But boundaries are hard. They require uncomfortable, direct conversations. We may need to put a limit on really good things or draw a line in the sand with our in-laws or parents. My guest, Dr. John Townsend literally wrote the book on boundaries and he shares some deep wisdom on how to set healthy boundaries while honoring our family members and others. You've got to take care of your energy, your heart and your emotions. You've got to take care of yourself and your health. If you don't guard that heart, then the wellsprings of life won't come out from it. Boundaries are basically about how to set healthy, loving limits in our life. So we have something to offer to our children. Townsend answers your tough questions about set limits with in-laws, making healthy boundaries for the holidays and even models having a tough conversation with a parent about a boundary. This is an episode packed with great information and Townsend has several books and resources available if you want to go deeper. Let’s make setting healthy boundaries a priority and guard our hearts and our time to bring life to our family! What we chat about: * “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23* Setting boundaries is guarding our wellspring of life so we can love our kids* His book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life* Is setting boundaries biblical? YES!* The difference between hurting and harming someone when it comes to setting boundaries* Honoring vs obeying your parents as an adult* What it looks like to have a boundary setting conversation* Conveying love in hard conversations and not getting hijacked with emotions or blame* Giving three chances when you set new boundaries and how to have consequences when they aren’t respected* Turning to spiritual family when biological family isn’t what your kids need* Keeping the lines of communication open with grandparents and communicating boundaries in love * Looking for mild, moderate and severe reactions to suggestions and boundary setting* Suggestions for setting healthy boundaries for the holidays* The idea of people fuel and relational nutrients that help us fuel up Connect with Dr. John Townsend: * Website: https://drtownsend.com* Facebook: www.facebook.com/DrTownsendsPage* Instagram: www.instagram.com/townsendnow Links Mentioned: * Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life*** Relational Nutrients: http://relationalnutrients.com* People Fuel: Fill Your Tank for Life, Love and Leadership ** Pre-order now **As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Featured Sponsor: FabFitFun Who else has tried FabFitFun? If you don't already know about it, it’s a seasonal box,
June 3, 2019
As moms, we are like a life support system for our kids. To keep our families healthy, we need to be healthy. A key part of our overall well being is setting healthy boundaries. But boundaries are hard. They require uncomfortable, direct conversations. We may need to put a limit on really good things or draw a line in the sand with our in-laws or parents. My guest, Dr. John Townsend literally wrote the book on boundaries and he shares some deep wisdom on how to set healthy boundaries while honoring our family members and others. You've got to take care of your energy, your heart and your emotions. You've got to take care of yourself and your health. If you don't guard that heart, then the wellsprings of life won't come out from it. Boundaries are basically about how to set healthy, loving limits in our life. So we have something to offer to our children. Townsend answers your tough questions about set limits with in-laws, making healthy boundaries for the holidays and even models having a tough conversation with a parent about a boundary. This is an episode packed with great information and Townsend has several books and resources available if you want to go deeper. Let’s make setting healthy boundaries a priority and guard our hearts and our time to bring life to our family! What we chat about: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 Setting boundaries is guarding our wellspring of life so we can love our kids His book, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life Is setting boundaries biblical? YES! The difference between hurting and harming someone when it comes to setting boundaries Honoring vs obeying your parents as an adult What it looks like to have a boundary setting conversation Conveying love in hard conversations and not getting hijacked with emotions or blame Giving three chances when you set new boundaries and how to have consequences when they aren’t respected Turning to spiritual family when biological family isn’t what your kids need Keeping the lines of communication open with grandparents and communicating boundaries in love Looking for mild, moderate and severe reactions to suggestions and boundary setting Suggestions for setting healthy boundaries for the holidays The idea of people fuel and relational nutrients that help us fuel up
May 27, 2019
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! What we chat about: * Laura Hernandez, her family with nine children (and one on the way) and how she started you business called Mama Systems* Courtney Cleveland, her family with three children and her takeaways from implementing systems in her life* ENJOY the summer with a handy acronym from Laura* Evaluate last summer-- what was stressful? What was life giving? What did your kids enjoy?* Note things down. Set up your calendar with the needs first and write down your big priorities and dreams from your summer.* Jot down your kids’ dreams for the summer. Who do they want to have come over? What activities do they want to do?* Order. Choose and order for your days, your weeks and your summer. * You. Make a priority to take care of yourself so you can care for your people.* Delegating household jobs to your kids-- how and why it’s important* Taking time to intentional plan your summer and prioritize blessing others vs just doing fun things and making it all about your kids* Alarms and ticket systems to help your kids stay on task with various jobs and managing screen time* Road trip tips from Courtney and her podcast All the Best Days* Enjoying your summer with your kids and feeling free to take the ideas that work for you that may not be what works for others Connect with Laura Hernandez: * Website: https://www.mamasystems.net* Facebook: www.facebook.com/mamasystems.net* Instagram: www.instagram.com/mamasystems Connect with Courtney Cleveland: * Website: www.allthebestdays.com* Instagram: www.instagram.com/courtclarkcleve Past Summer Help Episodes: * Summer (and Sibling) Survival Guide with Kirk Martin [Ep 77]* When Someone Makes Your Summer Awesome Links Mentioned:
May 27, 2019
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!  
May 20, 2019
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.’ What we chat about: * What it was like to adopt children after 12 years of marriage and 5 years of church planting * How Jada starting teaching and preaching God’s word* The importance of walking through obscurity and the wilderness before coming into a public ministry* Jada’s experience wrestling with faith in college and her journey of working through doubt* Living in the tension of feeling grateful for what God has done and not getting stuck in shame or feeling disqualified* Mothering in your strengths and feeling confident in how God made you to operate* Not trying to mother like someone else, but relying on God to fill in the gaps for areas you aren’t gifted in* Friends, family and community bring a roundedness to our kids’ experience growing up. We don’t have to be all things for them. Connect with Jada: * Website: http://jadaedwards.com* Instagram: @jada_edwards* Twitter: @jadaedwards1721 Links mentioned: * One Community Church: http://www.visitonecc.com* BraveLove https://www.bravelove.org* Zondervan "Known by Name" Series:* Rahab: Don't Judge Me, God Says I'm Qualified*** Naomi: When I Feel Worthless, God Says I'm Enough*** Hagar: In the Face of Rejection, God Says I'm Significant** **As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
May 20, 2019
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.’”
May 13, 2019
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 Connect with Genesis Women's Shelter and Support: * Website: https://www.genesisshelter.org* Hotline: 214-946-4357* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/genesiswomensshelter/* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GenesisWomensShelter/ Links Mentioned: * Prochoska’s Transtheorectical Model (stages of change) * National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org and 1-800-799-7233.* It’s A Girl Documentary
May 13, 2019
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
May 6, 2019
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. What we chat about: * Jeni’s story of a 10-year abusive marriage and its painful ending and divorce* What it felt like for her to pick up the pieces and move forward as the sole breadwinner for herself and four children* The damaging cycle of abuse and why popular marriage books and teachings don’t work in a one-sided relationship* How God met with Jeni in her lowest point and the power of the Holy Spirit in that process* Why homeschooling her four kids as a single mom was the right choose for her and the stability it brought for her kids* Helping children adjust to shared custody and the differences of living in two homes* Tips for other single parents who are juggling everything* Training your kids to help with household chores in a joyful, loving way* Getting into community and taking care of yourself as a single mom* The healing she found from an online support group for Christian women coming out of abuse* How Jeni has learned to deeply connect with God in the day-to-day and the healing work he is doing in her Connect with Jeni: * Website: https://www.bizmavens.com* Jeni’s Podcast: https://www.bizmavens.com/blog-podcast Links Mentioned: * BOOK: Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman *** Flying Free Online Support Group: https://membership.flyingfreenow.com/sign-up **Amazon Affiliate Link.
May 6, 2019
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.
April 29, 2019
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 introverted 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 introverted moms out there. Extroverts can learn a lot about their introverted friends by hearing what she shares too! What we chat about: * Some background on Erin’s and my friendship* How Erin introduced me to Kat Lee of Hello Mornings* What Erin learned about being an introvert after she started having kids* The validation she feels knowing who God made her to be* Where introverts fit into the modern Evangelical church* Hearing God for what you are called to and not focusing on what others are doing* “A heart at peace gives life to the body” Proverbs 14:30 * Introverts can isolate themselves too much and miss out on investing deeply in friendship* Being present in someone’s life to listen to and empathize with them is a super power* Introverts and extroverts process information differently and a different speeds* God’s design for the different types of personalities is good Links Mentioned: * BOOK: Introverts in the Church** * Podcast Episodes with Francie Winslow* Family Camp Erin and I attend: Pine Cove Family Camp **Amazon Affiliate link. A portion of your purchase supports the production of this podcast. Featured Sponsor: FabFitFun Who else has tried FabFitFun? If you don't already know about it, it’s a seasonal box, with full-­size beauty, fitness and lifestyle products. The box I received is epic. Each season’s box features a variety of amazing, quality brands like Tarte, Kate Somerville, Anthropologie, Free People, Dr. Brandt and that’s just the beginning of it. Don't miss out, because they sell out fast. Check out www.FABFITFUN.com and use the special code mentioned in this week's episode to save $10 off your first box, making it only $39.99. You deserve to treat yourself!
April 29, 2019
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!
April 22, 2019
When Ericka Young and her husband made the choice to get out of debt, they had two small kids and $90,000 to pay off. In the midst of the expensive, hard season of raising their daughters they worked hard for five years to get debt-free and now Ericka teaches the budgeting principles they used to help others find freedom. She believes that while many of us see a budgeting as restriction it can actually bring a lot of freedom. You can be creative if you want, you can call it a spending plan, you can call it a cash flow plan, whatever want to call it is totally fine. But when I say the word budget, everybody has a response, good or bad. And many times it's bad. It is the straight jacket. It's restriction, it's lack of freedom, that kind of thing. But here's the deal. It's what you make of it. Your budget is your own, make it your own. We chat about teaching our kids about money and tithing and how we are ultimately stewards of the resources God has given us. I love numbers. And so how I get out of my head is to realize that God is my provider. I am not the fixer of all financial issues. God is the provider. He also leads the way. And so when things come up and I have to shift or do a detour or what have you, I still know that he's in control. And so the budget is the guide. It's the plan. But when life happens, I also know that God's got this. What we chat about: * Her and her husband’s history with debt and money * Finances while you are raising young kids* Parental peer pressure can cause us to spend money we don’t need to* Why having a budget and money goals can help you get a handle on your finances* Having shared financial goals with your husband* Track your spending for the past three months and see if it aligns with your priorities* Plan for out-to-eat meals in your budget and use wisdom on when to eat out* Teaching your children about the costs of items and how to spend within limits* Being committed to tithing and how to discuss it with our kids* Responsibilities, allowances and working with kids on money* Why we need cushion in your budget for emergencies. It helps takes stress off an already stressful situation.* Your budget can bring freedom from the stress of not knowing where your money is* Connect with Ericka: * Website: www.tailormadebudgets.com* Facebook: www.facebook.com/TailorMadeBudgets* Instagram: @tailormadebudgets* Twitter: @budgetsbyericka Links Mentioned: * 7-Day Money Challenge: http://7daymoneychallenge.com* iAllowance App: http://www.jumpgapsoftware.com/allowance/index.html Featured Sponsor: FabFitFun Who else has tried FabFitFun? If you don't already know about it, it’s a seasonal box, with full-­size beauty, fitness and lifestyle products. The box I received is epic. Each season’s box features a variety of amazing, quality brands like Tarte, Kate Somerville, Anthropologie, Free People, Dr. Brandt and that’s just the beginning of it. Don't miss out, because they sell out fast. Check out www.FABFITFUN.com and use the special code mentioned in this week's episode to save $10 off your first box, making it only $39.99. You deserve to treat yourself!
April 22, 2019
When Ericka Young and her husband made the choice to get out of debt, they had two small kids and $90,000 to pay off. In the midst of the expensive, hard season of raising their daughters they worked hard for five years to get debt-free and now Ericka teaches the budgeting principles they used to help others find freedom. She believes that while many of us see a budgeting as restriction it can actually bring a lot of freedom. “You can be creative if you want, you can call it a spending plan, you can call it a cash flow plan, whatever want to call it is totally fine. But when I say the word budget, everybody has a response, good or bad. And many times it's bad. It is the straight jacket. It's restriction, it's lack of freedom, that kind of thing. But here's the deal. It's what you make of it. Your budget is your own, make it your own.” We chat about teaching our kids about money and tithing and how we are ultimately stewards of the resources God has given us. “I love numbers. And so how I get out of my head is to realize that God is my provider. I am not the fixer of all financial issues. God is the provider. He also leads the way. And so when things come up and I have to shift or do a detour or what have you, I still know that he's in control. And so the budget is the guide. It's the plan. But when life happens, I also know that God's got this.” What we chat about: Her and her husband’s history with debt and money Finances while you are raising young kids Parental peer pressure can cause us to spend money we don’t need to Why having a budget and money goals can help you get a handle on your finances Having shared financial goals with your husband Track your spending for the past three months and see if it aligns with your priorities Plan for out-to-eat meals in your budget and use wisdom on when to eat out Teaching your children about the costs of items and how to spend within limits Being committed to tithing and how to discuss it with our kids Responsibilities, allowances and working with kids on money Why we need cushion in your budget for emergencies. It helps takes stress off an already stressful situation. Your budget can bring freedom from the stress of not knowing where your money is
April 15, 2019
Depending on your personal background with puberty, sex and the often avoided topic of masturbation, having open conversations with your kids on these topics may feel daunting. You may want to avoid it or get “the talk” over and done with as quickly as possible. Or maybe your kids are really young and you don’t want to think about it right now. My guests Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson walk us through why starting early talking with our kids about body awareness and establishing our family story about sex is so important. What we're trying to get rid of is this idea that this is a one-time conversation in parenting. The world that we are raising our kids in has changed so drastically that the way we as parents talk about sex has to change drastically as well. We can have multiple age appropriate conversations and a little-by-little approach where we establish a conversation pattern where we are the loving authority in our child's life on this topic. They have great book recommendations and advice on talking with your pediatrician so you know when puberty is imminent for each child. We cover ways to pursue conversations with your kids and how to talk to them calmly without overreacting. Finally, we dive into the deeper waters of talking to your older children about masturbation, dealing with our emotional baggage when it comes to sex and how to strike the difficult balance of teaching what is normal and beneficial. We're hearing from a lot of youth ministers and pastors that work with college kids that this is an epidemic of a great addiction. So there needs to be more of a warning of how this is normal, but not beneficial. That why it's such a difficult topic. You can say, yes, honey, this is absolutely normal. You're learning about your body and how it works, but it can become a habit of comfort. And if this is where you go when you're upset or when you're angry, if this is how you comfort yourself, then this is not beneficial to you in your future. What we chat about : * Introducing Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson from birds-bees.com* Why we need to have consistent, intentional talks with our kids when they are young to lay the foundation for them to learn about sex and their bodies from us as parents* Starting with our young kids will make the conversations leading up and into puberty less awkward* Giving your child space to read an age-appropriate book on puberty and changes and chatting with them about it* Books and resources the Mary and Megan recommend so you can have a game plan to stay ahead of where your kids is developmentally* Talking with your pediatrician about puberty and where your child is in the process* Pursuing these conversations even if your child wants to avoid them* Using a matter-of-fact, calm tone when we talk about touching their bodies and not overreacting * Addressing masturbation. Normalize the behavior, but talk about how it isn’t beneficial for it to be a habit or a comfort measure* These hard topics of puberty aren’t just one-time conversations, we want to keep an open dialogue and focus on relationship over rules* Masturbation can train you in selfish and false intimacy which will affect your future relationships* Bringing these topics to the light takes away the guilt and shame Previous Episodes with Birds and Bees: * Birds and Bees? Oh, help me please :: Mary Flo Ridley {GCM Ep 25}* When to Have “The Talk” :: Mary Flo Ridley {Encore}*
April 14, 2019
Depending on your personal background with puberty, sex and the often avoided topic of masturbation, having open conversations with your kids on these topics may feel daunting. You may want to avoid it or get “the talk” over and done with as quickly as possible. Or maybe your kids are really young and you don’t want to think about it right now. My guests Mary Flo Ridley and Megan Michelson walk us through why starting early talking with our kids about body awareness and establishing our family story about sex is so important. “What we're trying to get rid of is this idea that this is a one-time conversation in parenting. The world that we are raising our kids in has changed so drastically that the way we as parents talk about sex has to change drastically as well. We can have multiple age appropriate conversations and a little-by-little approach where we establish a conversation pattern where we are the loving authority in our child's life on this topic.” They have great book recommendations and advice on talking with your pediatrician so you know when puberty is imminent for each child. We cover ways to pursue conversations with your kids and how to talk to them calmly without overreacting. Finally, we dive into the deeper waters of talking to your older children about masturbation, dealing with our emotional baggage when it comes to sex and how to strike the difficult balance of teaching what is normal and beneficial. “We're hearing from a lot of youth ministers and pastors that work with college kids that this is an epidemic of a great addiction. So there needs to be more of a warning of how this is normal, but not beneficial. That why it's such a difficult topic. You can say, yes, honey, this is absolutely normal. You're learning about your body and how it works, but it can become a habit of comfort. And if this is where you go when you're upset or when you're angry, if this is how you comfort yourself, then this is not beneficial to you in your future.”
April 8, 2019
To celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary, Bruce and I are answering your questions! We have a fun time reminiscing on our wedding, the early years of parenting and all the twists and turns our lives have taken since we joined them together. We talk about parenting styles, balancing our roles and how I learned not to micromanage him when it came to caring for our boys. We're different people. And most people aren't marrying somebody who is identical to them. So there's going to be natural differences in how you parent. I think that probably goes for every single person that's listening to this. Embracing that early and giving each other space was critical. As much as we enjoy looking back at our years before kids when we traveled a bunch, the fun concerts we went to, and friends we made, we wouldn’t change what we have now. Bruce makes a great point that if we stay focused on the past, we’ll miss the great things happening now. If the time is spent trying to get back to something, a prior moment, you're missing the current moment and future amazing moments. It's easy to jump on the phone and get distracted when you're with the kids and there's all sorts of just day-to-day hectic stuff. But if you always have the view that more and more amazing things could happen and that the best is yet to come, it opens the door towards appreciation and cherishing your relationships now. Stick around to the end of the episode to find out which one of us said, “I love you” first and my personal philosophy on procrastination. We share our ideas for a perfect weekend (they aren’t the same) and how Bruce plans a typical date night. Thanks to all the listeners who submitted questions on Instagram! Follow me @dontmomalone to submit questions for upcoming interviews with guests. What we chat about: * How Bruce and I met and a lil about our dating years* Fun memories from our wedding and our married years before kids* Why we chose to have four kids* Staying connected as a couple when you have small kids* Our Saturday morning connection tradition* The importance of getaways and dating your spouse and how to guard that time* How we balance parenting and household chores* When we pray together as a couple and with our boys* Driving time = Bible time in the mornings * Looking forward to better and better things in marriage and not dwelling on the past* Who said, “I love you" first and other fun questions in a rapid fire Newlywed game More Episodes with Bruce: * The Right to Change My Mind :: Bruce and Heather [Ep 196]* This is Us :: Bruce and Heather {Ep 145}* Goals, Roles and Superpowers :: Bruce and Heather MacFadyen {Ep 112}* When your Husband has a Demanding Job :: Bruce and Heather {Ep 38} Links Mentioned: * Our Wedding song, Latter Days by Over the Rhine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oete0_3i7Q* Tea Time for Boys https://dontmomalone.com/2013/05/09/tea-time-for-boys-a-tribute-to-my-mom-mentors/* Featured Sponsor:
April 8, 2019
To celebrate our 20-year wedding anniversary, Bruce and I are answering your questions! We have a fun time reminiscing on our wedding, the early years of parenting and all the twists and turns our lives have taken since we joined them together. We talk about parenting styles, balancing our roles and how I learned not to micromanage him when it came to caring for our boys. As much as we enjoy looking back at our years before kids when we traveled a bunch, the fun concerts we went to, and friends we made, we wouldn’t change what we have now. Bruce makes a great point that if we stay focused on the past, we’ll miss the great things happening now. Stick around to the end of the episode to find out which one of us said, “I love you” first and my personal philosophy on procrastination. We share our ideas for a perfect weekend (they aren’t the same) and how Bruce plans a typical date night.
April 1, 2019
Though millions tuned in to TLC’s hit show 'Little People, Big World' to watch their wedding, the entirety of Jeremy and Audrey Roloff’s love story is significantly less known. Audrey joins me to talk about her marriage, motherhood, and how she and her husband are on a mission to help married couples thrive. The Roloffs have founded a ministry called Beating 50 Percent which is focused on reviving covenant marriages. They share resources and ideas for couples to inspire them to make their marriages more than average. One thing that has been our lifeline since before becoming parents is our marriage journal. It's essentially our communication tool in our marriage. When life is crazy, we know that every Sunday night we're going to have our time to do our marriage journal. We call it our navigator’s council time. But it's basically just a time for Jeremy and I to connect and communicate about things that have come up in the week that maybe there wasn't never that good time to talk about it. We chat about how she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her daughter, why it’s important to share interests and activities with your spouse and how to balance strong personalities in marriage. It’s important to take humble perspective and ask God, what do our roles in this marriage look like and is this something that you are pleased with and how can we be a better reflection of the gospel through our marriage? I feel like God has really been impressing on my heart since the beginning of the year to let Jeremy be my forerunner and to view that as a helpful, beautiful thing that helps me and allows me to run the race better. What we chat about: * Audrey’s background and how she met her husband Jeremy Roloff* Jeremy and his family are featured in the reality TV show, Little People, Big World* What it was like for her to have her wedding televised for the show* Her life verse from Ephesians 3:20 and mantra “Always More”* Beating 50 Percent the marriage ministry she and her husband have* Their focus is inspiring couples to invest more than 50 percent effort into their marriage * How she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her infant daughter* Their Sunday marriage journaling time and how they’ve turned it into a book, The Marriage Journal* The principle of sharing interests and activities with your spouse and how that can knit you closer together* Submitting in marriage when you have a strong personality or leadership gifting* What Audrey loves about being a mom Connect with Audrey: * Website: https://www.aujpoj.com/ * Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/audreyroloff/* Twitter: https://twitter.com/audreymirabella * Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aujpoj/ * Podcast: https://theroloffs.simplecast.fm/ * Marriage Ministry: https://www.instagram.com/beating50percent/ Links Mentioned: * BOOK: A Love Letter Life by Jeremy and Audrey Roloff *** Always More Sherpa* The Marriage Journal (Navigator's Council) *
April 1, 2019
Though millions tuned in to TLC’s hit show Little People, Big World to watch their wedding, the entirety of Jeremy and Audrey Roloff’s love story is significantly less known. Audrey joins me to talk about her marriage, motherhood, and how she and her husband are on a mission to help married couples thrive. The Roloffs have founded a ministry called Beating 50 Percent which is focused on reviving covenant marriages. They share resources and ideas for couples to inspire them to make their marriages more than average. “One thing that has been our lifeline since before becoming parents is our marriage journal. It's essentially our communication tool in our marriage. When life is crazy, we know that every Sunday night we're going to have our time to do our marriage journal. We call it our navigator’s council time. But it's basically just a time for Jeremy and I to connect and communicate about things that have come up in the week that maybe there wasn't never that good time to talk about it.” We chat about how she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her daughter, why it’s important to share interests and activities with your spouse and how to balance strong personalities in marriage. “It’s important to take humble perspective and ask God, what do our roles in this marriage look like and is this something that you are pleased with and how can we be a better reflection of the gospel through our marriage? I feel like God has really been impressing on my heart since the beginning of the year to let Jeremy be my forerunner and to view that as a helpful, beautiful thing that helps me and allows me to run the race better.”   What we chat about: Audrey’s background and how she met her husband Jeremy Roloff Jeremy and his family are featured in the reality TV show, Little People, Big World What it was like for her to have her wedding televised for the show Her life verse from Ephesians 3:20 and mantra “Always More” Beating 50 Percent the marriage ministry she and her husband have Their focus is inspiring couples to invest more than 50% effort into their marriage How she’s balancing marriage and motherhood since the birth of her infant daughter Their Sunday marriage journaling time and how they’ve turned it into a book, The Marriage Journal The principle of sharing interests and activities with your spouse and how that can knit you closer together Submitting in marriage when you have a strong personality or leadership gifting What Audrey loves about being a mom
March 25, 2019
Choosing a school for your kids can be hot-button issue. There are more school and educational model choices now than ever before and there can be a lot of emotions tied up in those choices. In this episode, Wendy Speake, a mom of three, shares her journey with schooling options for her boys and how God has led her and her husband through the process. We talk about choosing schools based on your family values, individual child’s needs and your needs as a mom. Whether our child is reading at 3 years old or struggling academically, we all want to see our kids succeed. But what defines success? We've been given this command to train up our children in the way they should go. And when they are old, they won't depart from it. So when they are young, we get to say, alright, they need to learn to read and write. They need to be able to take personal responsibility for their studies by the time they're x years old and those are all important things. But if they're going to leave my house with three things, what should those three things be? Wendy shines a light on the places we can feel guilty or overwhelmed in making choices about educating our children. She encourages us and speaks hope and grace for parents who are facing challenges with their kids. Ultimately, we can lean on God for the wisdom we need to make these hard decisions in love. 'Lord, give me wisdom as I lead this great people of yours.' And as I pray that it's amazing how you transfer the responsibility off of your shoulders onto the shoulders of the one who is able to carry every burden: Christ. And he is so good to speak to us through his Holy Spirit. Personally, Bruce and I have sought God's direction as we've pursued a few different education options for our boys. Peace comes when we depend on God, the One who understands our children and their future needs better than we ever could. What we chat about: * Looking at all the options for schooling your kid can feel overwhelming* There are so many more choices today- public, private, charter, homeschool, online* Vicki’s experience with various schooling options* Questions to ask yourself when considering school options: What are your family’s values? What are my child’s needs? What are my needs?* When your child is older, you need to teach them how to persevere and not change learning models* When they are young, there are some many factors that are individual to each child* It’s important to think about how you feel too* These decisions can be fluid. You aren’t “stuck” with one model.* We want to be in the “school of dependency on Christ” when it comes to making decisions about our children’s education* A prayer Wendy uses when making big decisions: “Give me wisdom as I lead this great people of yours.”* Hope and encouragement for parents who are fearful of their child’s learning challenges* Some of the most incredible women and men were the hardest kids to raise* Partner with your kids in their challenges and be expectant of all he will do in their lives Connect with Wendy: * Website- https://www.wendyspeake.com/ * Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/wendy.s.brunner * Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/wendy_speake/ * Twitter- https://twitter.com/Wendy_Speake Links Mentioned: * BOOK: 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Your C...
March 18, 2019
Our kids are growing up in a culture that is less friendly to the Christian faith than ever before. As moms we have a choice to parent from fear or to bravely engage with our kids and make time and space to have hard conversations. My guest Vicki Courtney walks us through why it’s worth it to help our kids wrestle with their questions about faith, culture and learning to trust God. She shares about her experience raising three kids of her own as a newer believer and the power of parenting with humility and love. We are going to have to learn as parents to have conversations in such a way that we teach our children to walk in truth, but we need to lead with love. In past generations as parents, we could teach our children, 'Well, here's the truth. And the Bible says this, so you need to live this way.' And a lot of times we forgot about the love part. While we may tend to look at culture and our children’s generation and feel hopeless, Vicki reminds us that Jesus is the hope the world is looking for and keeping an open, loving line of communication with our kids can make all the difference in how they own their faith. Now nothing is different about this generation in the sense that they are chasing after something to feel the void. We all have that void, right? We all have chased after things along the way and that nothing will fill that void other than the love of Christ and his Gospel. And so for our children, they are going to feel an awareness of that void sooner. But the hope is we have the answer and the hope is I feel like we are ripe for massive revival out there. For more on the Must Have Conversations to have with your kids, check out Vicki’s books. What we chat about: * How Vicki came to know Jesus and God's direction to her ministry * Her books 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter and 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son* The culture our kids are growing up in isn’t friendly to the Christian faith* As we have conversations with them about God’s truth, we need to lead with love* Making room for these important conversations by giving your family margin * Avoiding triggers that make you as mom feel like you aren’t doing enough* It’s ok if your kid doesn’t do all the activities like sports and music* If it’s God’s plan for your child to be gifted in an area, it will happen for them regardless of our actions* Letting our kids have room to fail and learn from failure* Parenting from an place of humility and not shaming or finger wagging* Staying open to our kids and helping them feel comfortable sharing anything with you* The different mentalities of the prodigal son and the older brother from the parable of the Prodigal Son in the Bible and how both see God’s grace from the wrong perspective* Viewing God’s grace rightly and understanding the fear of God helps us lead with love* How to help your kids wrestle with the idea of “hipster Jesus” and losing the idea that God should be feared/awed Connect with Vicki: * Website https://vickicourtney.com* Facebook https://www.facebook.com/vjcourtney* Instagram https://www.instagram.com/vickicourtney * Twitter https://twitter.com/vicki_courtney Links Mentioned: * BOOKS:
March 11, 2019
God often uses our areas of weakness to bring blessing to others. The things we long to keep in the dark can actually bring light and life when we say, “Yes.” to God. That is JJ Heller’s story. As an independent singer/songwriter, she has experienced a lot of ups and downs in professionally and personally. One of the hardest things has been her struggle with fear and anxiety. I would pray every night that I would wake up in the morning and I would never have another panic attack again. Because, you know, sometimes God answers prayers that way, just totally, completely instantly. And yet that is not how he chose to answer my prayer much to my disappointment. Instead, it was just a very, very long journey of like gradually getting better every day and learning to trust God and learning to trust myself. I'm learning to trust that God has given me what I need to get through each day. Through that process of learning to trust God, she has shared openly about working through anxiety and has written and recorded a lot of songs and albums that help connect others with God’s peace. We talk about her beautiful lullaby albums and the impact music can have on people of all ages. As a mom of two girls, JJ writes music with moms in mind. Her new single Big Love, Small Moments serves as reminder that the small, unseen things we do with our kids can have the biggest impact on their lives. I wanted to write a song just as a reminder that God sees the work that you're doing and he is so delighted. I think that God delights in mothers and I think it brings him joy. You know, every time you feed your child or you play with them or you put them down for a nap time, that is worship and he is so pleased with you. That perspective helps me to have eyes to see the beauty around me and to find joy in the little moments. What we chat about: * The big change in college that started JJ down the path to music* How JJ connects with listeners emotionally through her songs* A song she wrote about learning to trust God in the midst of suffering made it on a national TV show and on Christian radio* JJ’s journey with fear and anxiety and how God brought her healing* The importance of community and trusted friends when you need freedom from anxious thoughts* How motherhood has changed her career and calling* Her lullaby albums and why she’s so drawn to music for kids* Her song Big Love, Small Moments and how she wants moms to feel celebrated by God* It’s the small moments and the daily decisions that help us focus on turning up the warmth and grace in our families Connect with JJ: * Website* Facebook* Instagram * Twitter Links Mentioned: * Lullaby Albums: I Dream of You**and I Dream of You Vol. 2 *** Jennifer Naraki on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jennifernaraki/* Joy Prouty Filmmaker https://www.instagram.com/joyprouty* Set Free From Shame with Jeannie Cunnion [Ep 190]* Instagram post by Jeannie  --turning up the warmth in our homes* JJ sharing about her panic attacks-- “You’re Not Going Crazy”
March 4, 2019
If you’ve been parenting for more than a day or so, you know that there is no one-size-fits all way to raise and discipline children. There are so many experts with great resources for parents (a lot of them have been on the show), but in the end each one of your children is an individual with individual needs. But what if they have needs that go beyond what’s typical? That’s just where my guest Karis Murray found herself when her second daughter started school and struggled to keep up with her classmates. After years of struggle or a lot of fear of the unknown, Karis and her daughter were both diagnosed and treated for ADHD. Karis takes us through how she supported her daughter with high needs. She gives advice and encouragement to moms who have children in similar situations. Special or unique needs are things that are unique to our particular child that might not be true of everyone. And so this is kind of a sneaky one because you have to approach every person as an individual and it's really easy to forget that our kids are people. They're all individuals. So a lot of the time their behavior at home or at school might be an attempt to get a unique need met, a special need that is not getting dealt with. We also get into how to set appropriate boundaries and how grace based discipline can help us separate the sin from our child’s heart and shift to focus away from our own feelings. Good discipline is responding, not reacting. When we're reacting, we're not thinking about what's best for our kids. Very often we're thinking about what's best for us. If we choose to take it personally, then we stay stuck in our emotions. I'm not saying take the rules away or don't have the same expectations, but when we can see our kid the way that God sees them, we can approach them with love and kindness. What we chat about: * Karis’ background with ADHD personally and in her family* Having good expectations about parenting teens instead of dreading it* Discovering one of her daughters had ADHD and the signs and symptoms she exhibited * The way her daughter struggled in school and when they decided to seek help* The evaluation process and how medication has helped both Karis and her daughter with ADHD* The stigma around mental health and medication* A lot of discipline problems can stem from our child’s unmet needs (that they often can’t express)* Decoding your child’s behavior to see if they have any unique or special needs * As parents, we are the first lens through which our kids see God and his character* The danger of letting fear drive your response to problems in your child’s behavior or development* Setting appropriate expectations and boundaries for children with special needs* Karis’ new video series on Grace-Based Discipline available on RightNow Media and on her website Connect with Family Matters: * Website* Facebook* Instagram * Twitter Links Mentioned: * Grace Based Discipline :: Karis Kimmel Murray [Ep 150] * Grace Based Discipline** by Karis Kimmel Murray* Grace Based Parenting** by Dr. Tim Kimmel* Video Series on Grace Based Discipline available at http://gracebaseddiscipline.com and on
February 25, 2019
Depending on your church and faith background, you may of heard of Lent or even observed it in the past. Similar to the Advent period which leads up to Christmas, Lent is a season of prayer and fasting before Easter. It is a practice recognized by millions of Protestant Christians and Catholics. Though it isn’t mentioned or required in scripture (neither is Advent or Christmas), the practice of Lent can enrich your worship and deepen your focus on the meaning of the cross and the victory of the resurrection. My guest Erin Moon takes us through the practice and purpose behind Lent and answers some common questions you might have about the practice of fasting during the Lenten season and more. I think as a culture we are so far away from being uncomfortable. We have put in every safeguard that we can think of for our comfort. And I think we are doing ourselves a massive disservice. Lent is based on Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the wilderness before he started his ministry. And so I think it's so good for us to deny ourselves the things that make us comfortable. Though much of the focus at Lent can be about fasting or denying something that distracts us from God, there is also place to feast on God’s Word and fill that emptiness with more of Him. These disciplines are meant to empty us so that the Lord may fill us. We are making ourselves available to Christ in hopes of growing our faith. When we get into a mindset closely related to Jesus as he fasted and prayed, we are getting closer to him. We are removing distractions. We're waiting, but we're not wasting our time. Lent begins this year on Wednesday, March 6 and continues for the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. Erin has created an in-depth guide for Lent that is perfect for beginners and for those who have observed it for many years. If you are unsure about Lent, I encourage you to take a moment and ask God if this is for you in your current season. If you have a friend who has observed Lent before, ask questions! Get curious. (Don’t Lent Alone!) Or, take a leap and try it out. There are so many spiritual disciplines and ways we can connect with God. If Lent helps you grow in God’s grace, then doit. But if it doesn’t, then don’t. I hope you enjoy our chat and connect with Erin on Instagram @erinhmoon for some of the most fun and funny Instagram Stories on the internet. She has a separate account you can follow for more about Lent: @OHeavyLightness. What we chat about: Erin’s background as a Southern Baptist and her transition to an Anglican tradition The liturgical calendar and rhythms of worship in the Anglican faith Lent’s background and the purpose of fasting Lent is based on Jesus' 40 days of fasting in the wilderness before he started his ministry Determining what to fast is about removing a distraction and then filling that space with something that brings you closer to Jesus The idea of both fasting and feasting Processing grief and anger through Lent Praying the hours during Lent Erin’s Lent study, Oh Heavy Lightness, A Guide for Lent and Holy Week (Use code MOM15 for 15% off) Lenten and Easter services like Palm Sunday and Tenebrae Services and the rhythm of daily prayers during Lent Connect with Erin:
February 18, 2019
When a friend or loved one receives a heartbreaking diagnosis, it’s hard to find the words to say or know what to do to love and support them. Today’s guest, Marissa Henley, has a unique perspective to share with us on how to support a friend with cancer. Marissa Henley is now cancer-free, but for several months her world was turned upside down with cancer treatments that took her away from her family made it impossible for her to care for her husband and three kids. She tells her cancer story and gives us a lot of practical advice to empower women to confidently and compassionately minister to their friends with cancer. I have sadly heard from other cancer survivors who hear me talk about this and they didn't have that same kind of support I did. And it just grieves me so much to hear. I get that we're all busy and it's difficult, but I do feel like it's so important for us as the body of Christ. This is part of our calling. If we belong to Christ, we don't just belong to him. We belong to each other. I think it's important that we try to foster relationships before these things happen and that we're preparing to be the body of Christ that we need to be to those who are hurting. She talks through different circles of friendship and how to determine what your role can be for a friend in need, tips for bringing meals and what to say (and not to say) to your friend with cancer. Marissa also highlights how key it is to ask God to show us what support role we can play for our friends before overcommitting or burning out. And one thing that I have seen in my own life and over and over again with other friends is that the Lord really does provide and he provides in a lot of different ways. And usually he is weaving together this tapestry of support to provide for our friends needs and we're just one thread. We don't even necessarily see all the other threads that he's using to meet those needs. So I think that it's good to pray and ask the Lord what your role should be. What we chat about: Marissa’s history with cancer and her surprise diagnosis with angiosarcoma Her prayer to beat the 5-year odds for her cancer How Marissa had to move to another city to get treatment The impact of her cancer treatment on her kids and what they remember now several years later The support her friends provided to her family during her health struggle Three circles of friendships: inner circle, middle circle and outer circle Fostering inner circle friendships and being aware of the margin we have in our lives Making specific offers of help with a time of day or specific tasks you can do to help is better than a general offer of help Tips for going the extra mile when bringing a meal Letting go of expectations of spending time with a friend when bringing them a meal God provides a tapestry support for friends in need and we are just one small piece of that Pray and ask God for what your role can be in supporting a friend to avoid burnout Finding the right words to say to a friend with cancer and not letting fear to keep you from being present with them When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent. Proverbs 10:19 Ask, “How are you today?” Connect with Marissa:      Links Mentioned: * In Light of Eternity:: Jenn Clouse [Ep 100]
February 11, 2019
Whether you’ve been married for a short time or you’re nearing a milestone anniversary, a healthy marriage takes a lot of work. A marriage is made up of thousands of small moments and habits that over time result in God-honoring, joyful marriage or a self-centered, strained marriage. Speaker and author Paul David Tripp joins me to lay the groundwork for how to cultivate healthy habits in our marriage and identify the ones that need to be uprooted. He shares what he’s learned in almost 50 years of marriage and how to look at our marriages in light of the gospel. What's a biblical view of marriage? Well, it's a sinner married to a sinner in a fallen world. Are you encouraged yet? But with a faithful God. Now that means we can't just coast in our marriage because there are things inside of me and things inside of my wife that are potentially destructive to marriage because we're not perfect people yet. And we live in a fallen world that is a threat to our marriage. Paul also calls us to take a new view of our spouse’s differences and see how God created us for unity, not uniformity. There is no call anywhere in the Bible to uniformity. The call is for unity. Unity is only ever needed in the face of difference... We have to stop making those differences a matter of right and wrong, If it's not named as sin by God, then it's just a difference and God actually glories in those differences because those differences point to his grandeur as a creator. I hope you are encouraged and equipped from this conversation to re-engage with your spouse with fresh faith for experiencing all that God has for you in your marriage. What we chat about: Marriages are made up of thousands and thousands of little moments The kind of relationship we have built in those moments determines how we handle the big moments We naturally structure our marriages around habits How to identify good and bad habits in your marriage Sin makes us self-focused and anti-social, but marriage is a covenant of community Helping our spouse access what God wants for them instead of arguing or nagging them We will always be working on our marriages. There is no place for coasting Confession and forgiveness can change the direction in disagreements Jesus did not just bare our guilt. He bore our shame God made us for unity, not for uniformity A look at why we are so vastly different from our spouse Even when we are formed into the image of Jesus, we will still be different from our spouse Tips for showing gratitude in your marriage and fostering joy The fruits of the Spirit are key for a good marriage If you are struggling in marriage, engage with community and your church family. Isolation is the enemy of a healthy marriage Connect with Paul David Tripp:      Links Mentioned: Gospel Parenting Paul David Tripp [Ep 176] * Opportunity vs. Disruption Paul David Tripp [Ep 212] * My Favorite Paul David Tripp Devotional: New Morning Mercies (Great gift for a spouse) * Sinners Married to Sinners Cheryl Scruggs and Jae Carpenter Ep 195
February 4, 2019
Even though it seems like you are never alone, motherhood can feel like a place of deep isolation. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. My guest Sally Clarkson shares her insight on how she learned to invite others into friendship and into her home to build a community of girlfriends in the midst of multiple moves and parenting four kids. I think finding really true, deep, godly friendships is hard. But I think that the more I realized that other women felt like I did, they felt insecure. They felt like they were failing. Sometimes they felt like they were isolated. And I realized that if I was ever going to have friends, I was going to have to reach out because it's rare that somebody comes to me and says, I want to be your friend. Whether you have recently moved to a new community or simply want to connect with more women in your own hometown, Sally shares so much practical wisdom and encouragement to be brave and invite others into your life so you won’t mom alone. Loved what she shared in how extroverts vs. introverts cultivate friendships.  We've got to fight for it because I feel like the home is disappearing. Relationships are disappearing. One-on-one is disappearing. And I feel like if God really wants us to show his love to the world, we've got to keep going and trying to find a way to love women and to care for them just to keep our own souls alive.  What we chat about: Sally’s story of coming to faith and inviting other women into friendship What she’s learned along the way about cultivating friendship How to keep going when no one you invite shows up Hospitable = taking care or considering the someone else’s needs We hope friendships will just happen, but we have to create ways for inviting people over Extroverts might choose to invite groups of women over and introverts can start with one or two Look for women who call you to your best self Fostering mentor relationships with women Don’t worry about having lots of playdates for your elementary-aged kids. Invest in friendship with your kids as a foundation. Making friends is a messy process and it doesn’t always mesh Jesus wanted us to go out into the world and love people Building a foundation with whoever you want to relate to with unconditional love and speaking words of affirmation in their lives You will have a legacy of relationships if you continue to cultivate life in such a way that relationships can be formed Managing disagreements between your kids to keep the lines of friendship open between them Connect with Sally:      Links Mentioned: * Don't Mom Alone Podcast Clubs * Loving Your Different Child -Sally Clarkson [Ep 149]  Girls' Club: Cultivating Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World [BOOK] Featured Sponsor: Paul David Tripp's Marriage Conference Every marriage is guided by a set of habits. The question is: Are they healthy habits that result in a God-honoring and joyful marriage, or are they bad habits that lead to a self-centered and strained marriage? In this new 4-lesson seminar, pastor, marriage counselor, and best-selling author Dr.
January 28, 2019
You’ve definitely heard about it. You’ve probably talked about it with girlfriends or you’ve read books or articles discussing the nine types, but what is the Enneagram all about and what does it mean for your motherhood? Suzanne Stabile joins us to share her motherhood story and a lot of information about the Enneagram, an ancient typology system that is finding new popularity as a tool that can transform the way you interact with others and understand yourself. The Enneagram is about how you see and you can never change how you see. All you can do is change what you do with how you see. And I think we expect other women to be more like us than they are. And I think we struggle to accommodate difference because when we're tired, insecure, amd over-committed, then we settle for sameness. But, there needs to be recognition that there's not one right way to do things. There's not one method to follow. There's not one way of being a mom. Suzanne is an internationally acknowledged Enneagram master. She has authored acclaimed books on the topic and has her own podcast that goes in-depth on the different types. But, as a believer and a mom of four adult children, she brings wisdom and perspective to parenting in light of the Enneagram. Parenting is really, really tricky. I don't think we ever know what the loudest voice in (our kids’) day is. Often it's not ours. And I think grace is covering all of us and it falls on all of us equally. There are moments when we just need to stand under that grace and with an open heart and pure intentions and do the best we know how to do for ourselves and for one another. We can’t possibly answer all of your Enneagram questions, but I hope this episode excites you for how this tool can bring unity and grace to relationships with your kids, with other moms and with your spouse. If you want to go deeper in learning about the Enneagram, Suzanne has you covered with her trainings and online resources available at her website. What we chat about: Suzanne’s family background and experience with divorce and living as a single parent of three. How she met her current husband of 31 years and her parenting journey. Enneagram types as they relate to mothering Type 3, 7 and 8 are aggressive numbers on the Enneagram. They think/do dominant and their challenge is to bring up feelings. How to use the Enneagram to unite moms and not increase divides The Enneagram is about how we see. We cannot change how we see, only what we do with what we see. Types 4, 5 and 9 are withdrawing numbers Types 1, 2 and 6 are dependent numbers Discussion of the nine types and how they act/react Your Enneagram number is determined by motivation and not by behavior It’s not a good idea to try and type your children on the Enneagram or to tell them what you think they are. Thinking of the Types as Animals: Ones are Worker Bees. Twos are Kangaroos. Threes are Eagles. Fours are Butterflies, Fives are Owls, Sixes are Bunny Rabbits. Sevens are Monkeys, Eights are Lions and Nines are Turtles. The three stances: aggressive, dependent and withdrawing. The triads: feeling, thinking and doing. Knowing more about the Enneagram won’t keep us from making mistakes Grace covers the places we fall short Connect with Suzanne:      Links Mentioned: The Enneagram Journey Podcast https://www.
January 21, 2019
When Karen Harmon found out she was unexpectedly pregnant at 40 with her third child, she had a lot of mixed emotions. With a history of autoimmune disease, her doctor advised her against her having more children. In the midst of processing her emotions surrounding the pregnancy and the fear of how her body would react, Karen experienced a rare complication that put her on crutches for the final three months of the pregnancy. In this place of extreme physical limitation, Karen felt stripped of any control of her life. I don't think I've ever actually been in that place with the Lord where there was literally no control. I had never had a crisis of faith, if you will. I had never been in that moment where I literally had to take my hands off the wheel and say, ‘I may not understand God, but I'm going to trust you anyway.’ In our conversation, Karen takes us through how praising God in the midst of her pain slowly changed her perspective about her situation. Every morning instead of crumbling in a pile of tears down on my knees for just the miserable life that I was living, I thought: 'God, I'm going to praise you for this and I will trust that you know exactly what you're doing and that your plan and your will is the best way. Better than anything I could plan anything I could think of. You will never waste anything and I'm going to trust you no matter what.' What we chat about: Karen’s background as a working, homeschooling mom and encouraging women to live out their giftings Her work speaking with Propel Women, traveling and feeling some independence at a mom of older kids The surprise of her third pregnancy and how she processed her emotions with God Her health journey with autoimmune diseases and her concerns about the pregnancy Another unexpected complication with the pregnancy that caused her to experience hip fractures How taking her pain to God and receiving the assignment to praise him in the midst of the pain and even for the pain made a huge difference Expressing our emotions honestly can bring freedom vs holding them inside Trusting God to increase your desire for his word and prayer even when you don’t feel like it As moms we can still be ministers in our daily life. We are called to be faithful servants of God in small, consistent ways The miracles and healing she experienced in the birth of her son and right after Postpartum depression and what worked in Karen’s experience Connect with Karen:      Links Mentioned: Propel Ministries www.propelwomen.org * Episode with Jenn Jett: https://dontmomalone.com/2018/02/12/how-god-personally-pursues-redeems-jenn-jett-ep-193/ Featured Sponsor: Discipline that Connects Online Course by Connected Families Raising kids in today’s culture is harder than ever. Despite the vast array of resources and methods available, finding one that offers lasting solutions can be challenging. The Discipline That Connects online course stops that search. When you complete the 8-session course (30 minutes each session) you'll learn:  Four key messages that will shape what your children believe about themselves in a way that make them WANT to behave better. To communicate these four powerful messages in ways your kids can’t miss.
January 14, 2019
As parents, we want more of it, our children desperately need it, and oftentimes it feel like a mystery we can’t solve… it’s SLEEP. Getting children to have a consistent sleep pattern for night time and naps is one of the biggest challenge parents of young children face. My guests today, Robin and Jenn from SleepyCues, are professional sleep consultants. In this episode they share fantastic tips I wish I’d had when my kids were younger. We dive into the myths of sleep training and discuss strategies for staying consistent when responding to frequent wakers. People don't come to us out of a lack of information. You can find all this information for free on Google. But people come to us because they've “tried everything,” and it hasn't worked. And what that means is I read an article on Monday and I implemented it that night. But Tuesday I read something that said something different so I switched to that. Then Wednesday I decided to replace the paci, but Thursday I decided to unswaddle. We have so much information coming at us that really the missing piece is that consistency and making a plan and actually sticking with it. That's the hard part. Whether you are in the thick of it with small kids who won’t sleep, or have a friend who is, I hope this episode will encourage you that consistent sleep is possible for your children. It’s going to look different for each of your kids and it’s a lot of work, but hang in there and don’t mom alone! What we chat about: Meet the Sleepy Cues team- Robin Brient and Jenn Haskew Changing the narrative around the idea of sleep training Investigating various methods for soothing your children Each child is so different with what helps them get healthy rest How to identify if your child has specific sensory or physical needs with sleep Look at your child’s sleep needs as accomodations and not as coddling or crutches Swaddling methods and timelines for safe swaddling Co-sleeping recommendations and why coaching is key We can sabotage our efforts by constantly switching methods to try to get baby to sleep Try responding consistently to your child waking. Every time say or do the same thing till they surrender to sleep. How many hours of sleep kids need for restorative sleep Taking care of yourself is an important key to caring for your small children Baby wearing, slowing down schedules and reducing stimuli to increase sleep quality Seeking professional help for children with disabilities or sensory processing needs Strategies for taking care of a newborn when you have older kids Connect with SleepyCues:      Links Mentioned: Here are a few of SleepyCues favorite on-the-go products (they are not paid to promote these, truly their faves): Carriers: Ergobaby or Kindercarry
January 7, 2019
Priscilla Shirer has authored many books and Bible studies. She is a motivational speaker and evangelist and she founded Going Beyond Ministries with her husband Jerry. But in addition to the amazing opportunities God has opened for her in ministry, she is a mom of three boys ages 16, 14, and 10. Priscilla gets real in our chat about how she juggles motherhood and ministry and encourages moms that we all deal with the mundane parts of the job. I think people assume that I'm like sitting on a mountain top and praying and fasting about messages all the time, but no. I'm actually doing laundry and trying to figure out new ways to cook chicken for dinner because my kids eat incessantly. We talk about her upcoming movie, a great book series she wrote for kids ages 8 to 12 and about how she has processed the passing of her cousin Wynter Pitts who was also an author and speaker. And she reminds us not to mom alone, but to press into friendships with moms who will cheer you on and to give yourself a break when you need one. I would encourage that for women who are struggling, don't let your expectations make you disappointed and frustrated about your reality. Just do what works for you. If that means that you're using a crockpot most days and not making these gourmet meals that everybody else has got up on Instagram. Girl, use the crock pot… Relaxing your expectations and circling yourself with people who are cheerleading you can make all the difference. What we chat about: Following God as he opened the doors of ministry for Priscilla How she has balanced being a mom and an author, speaker and actress Her upcoming movie Overcomer which will release in August 2019 The background of her epic adventure fiction series The Prince Warriors and how it invites kids into the topic of spiritual warfare Letting our story be our story even when it looks different than our expectations and giving ourselves grace The value of surrounding yourself with friends who will cheer you as you follow after God’s plans for your life How she has processed grief with the sudden death of her cousin Wynter Pitts Avoiding comparison in our mom journeys and in how we grieve Connect with Priscilla:      Links Mentioned: Movies: War Room (https://warroomthemovie.com ) & Overcomer (http://www.overcomermovie.com) The Prince Warriors Boxed Set **  The Armor of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer** It’s Almost Wynter video by Jonathan Evans:    https://www.facebook.com/jonathanblakeevans/videos/its-almost-wynter/823601291304934/ **Amazon affiliate link. A small portion of your purchase will help produce this podcast. Featured Sponsor: Discipline that Connects Online Course by Connected Families Raising kids in today’s culture is harder than ever. Despite the vast array of resources and methods available,
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