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Surviving Sarah

The Surviving Sarah Podcast is hosted by Sarah Bragg, and each week she brings a different guest on the show to talk about what it looks like to survive--survive life, yourself, your kids, your job, your relationships. Each guest brings their unique story to the table in a real and casual way. The conversation is curated for you much like listening to your favorite playlist to inform, inspire, encourage and entertain women.
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Feb 20, 2018

My friend Clay Scroggins joins me around the table. He married to Jenny (who is a faithful Surviving Sarah listener) and they have 5 kids. Clay is the lead pastor for North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA. Many of you may have heard of that church because Andy Stanley started it. 

He wrote a book last year called How To Lead When You’re Not In Charge. And let’s be honest, so many of us are leading somewhere—in our home, in our work, in our church, in our schools. Each one of us has the ability to leverage influence yet many of us are stuck waiting to be given the authority to lead rather than tapping into the influence that we have. So we talk about the difference between authority and influence, the challenges that keep us from tapping into our influence, how to survive working for someone you don’t respect, what to do when you crave more influence, and how understanding our identity is crucial in cultivating influence. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Feb 13, 2018

Hannah Brencher joins me. She is a TED speaker, author and online educator with a heart for building leaders. She is passionate about helping others live good and full lives. You may know her for the social movement she created in 2011 called More Love Letters where she wrote love letters for strangers. That small act on her part has spread to over 70 countries, all 50 states, and over 100 college campuses.

I enjoyed this conversation so much. And you won’t be surprised to hear us talk about the enneagram and how her unique wiring is connected to what does. We talk about what it looks like to be in process, how to stay focused on the process rather than getting caught up in what’s next and what helped her walk through a season of depression.

Please give me 3 minutes of your time to take a survey to help me create a better podcast experience for you...plus you can enter to win a $25 amazon gift card!

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

 

Feb 6, 2018

Today, Josh Shipp joins me for a really amazing conversation. This was one of those conversations where I just got lost and forgot that thousands of you would be listening. This is a conversation between two parents who both work or have worked with teenagers for many years and have seen the power of another caring adult in a kid’s life. 

Josh is an author, global youth empowerment expert, and acclaimed speaker. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate is renowned for his documentary TV series by A&E that followed his ground-breaking work with teenagers. I have been wanting to have a conversation with Josh about teenagers since I launched the podcast so I was thrilled when this day arrived.

We start by talking about the personalities of our kids. And I’ve been thinking so much how important it is that we understand our kids’ wiring so that we can figure out how to communicate with them—especially if they are teenagers. We talk about doing the hard work of parenting, why kids need a caring adult in their lives, and how to better understand teenagers. If you have teenagers or work with teenagers or have kids who will eventually be teenagers, then you will certainly enjoy this conversation. We talk about moving from an air traffic controller in the early years to a coach in the adolescence years.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Jan 30, 2018

If you’ve been listening to the show for awhile, then you know that Melanie Dale and I are good pals. After being guests on each others shows, we wondered how we could hang out more because we simply laugh together. So that’s when this idea was born. We decided to do some crossover episodes for you guys. So every month, you will hear us talk about a different topic. But here’s the fun part: One part will be on her show, Lighten Up with Melanie Dale and the other part will be on my show, Surviving Sarah. We will pick a topic and talk about how we need to lighten up about it and then how we are surviving it.

And today’s episode is all about friendships. We talk about on Surviving Sarah how we can survive friendships--finding them, keeping them and what to do if we lose them. And head over to Melanie's site to listen to ways we can lighten up about friendship.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Jan 23, 2018

I was happy to welcome Ashleigh Slater back to join me around my kitchen table. She was my second guest 2 years ago. We have a conversation about braving sorrow. We talk about loss—loss of jobs, houses, dreams, control, and even life. Loss can make for a hard season that we sometimes end up walking through alone. We sometimes don’t feel like we have the permission to grieve losses. We compare our losses and feel like ours isn’t worth grieving.

She talks about her “weeping years” where she walked through a number of losses in a couple of years. And what she shares what she learned about herself, her community and her God because of it. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Jan 16, 2018

I am excited to share Anna LeBaron’s story with you today. If you haven’t heard of her, she is a survivor of a Polygamist cult. Her father was a notorious polygamist and murderer. She grew up unlike most of us. Most of us have never been on the run from the FBI. Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, Anna’s story is shocking. It’s a story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home. Anna expresses the power of vulnerability and shares her story of surviving a Polygamist cult. She shares how she found Jesus and how she was able to take off the shame of being her earthly father’s daughter and embrace the unconditional, ever secure love of her heavenly Father.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Jan 9, 2018

Today’s guest is Kristy Dickerson. She’s the CEO and co-creator of the STARTplanner and author of the new book, Start Balancing. If you’ve listened to the show for awhile then you know that I love planners. So getting to talk with Kristy was so enjoyable. She is a successful entrepreneur, business woman who is first and foremost a wife and mom. We sat down in her office to talk about how she ended up creating a business around a planner. And as you listen, you’ll hear advice for creative people who run businesses, how to fit health into your lifestyle, ways to maximize your time and productivity and how to set smart goals. 

If you want to continue the conversation, you can find me @sarahwbragg on Instagram or twitter or SurvivingSarahPodcast on Facebook. BE sure to check out today’s show notes over at SurvivingSarah.com for ways to connect with Kristy, takeaways from our conversation and links to everything we mentioned.

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Jan 2, 2018

My good friend, Merica Stum, joins me around my kitchen table again. She is a married to Jake and they have 3 boys. She is the Director of Girls On The Run for Southeast TN. We had so much fun last year on Episode 55 so I asked her to come back. I think we will just have to make this an annual thing. We do sort of a year in review. We look back at 2017—what we learned, what surprised us and what we read. And then we look forward to 2018 about some of our goals and even some things we dread.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Dec 19, 2017

Amber Lia joins me for Episode 106. She is a mom to 4 boys as well as an author and owner of a production company in Los Angeles. Amber and Wendy Speaks have released a new book together called Parenting Scripts: When What Your Saying Isn’t Working Say Something New. I don’t know about you, but parenting has been the hardest job of my life. I am always trying to hit a moving target. And what worked yesterday doesn’t always work today. Many times, I find myself in a situation where I just don’t know what to say. And that is exactly why they wrote this book. 

So I give her a few different scenarios from her book and ask her to help us know what to say. We talk about how to motivate your kids to do what they need to do; what to say when your kid argues and talks back; what to say when your kid faces disappointment; and what what to do if you and your partner are on different parenting pages.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. You can read all my takeaways online here. Let's continue the conversation on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Dec 12, 2017

Christy Wright joins me for Episode 105. She is the creator of Business Boutique, a Certified Business Coach and a Ramsey Personality with a heart for helping women step into their God-given gifts. Trust me, when you hear this conversation, you will see how passionate she is about empowering women. 

If you are a woman who has a side hustle or started a business or has an idea, you will certainly enjoy this episode. Christy gives us advice on where to start, what to do with our fear of failure, how to make your business your own, how to manage your time and how to not kill your creative idea. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • What is something that is keeping you back from starting your business or moving forward on an idea? I think for me, the fear of failure and perfectionism are traps that I often fall into. Yes, failure is a possibility, but it shouldn’t keep me from moving forward.

  • Have you ever stopped to trace your steps to see where you’ve been and how God has prepared you for what you are doing now?

  • Start with the end in mind. Think about where you want to be in 5 years and then take steps to get there. Don't let perfection keep you from starting. And yes, fear is a possibility, but don't let it keep you from starting. Fear doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. It means you’re doing something bold. Fear will creep up every time you do something new. Do it scared. Fear is from the enemy not from God.

  • If we want a miracle the requirement is something impossible. The requirement for a miracle is doing something impossible. Sometimes what we want doesn’t match our feelings. Act how you want to feel.

  • Make your business your own. Comparison is your enemy.

  • Time management is personal. Be willing to say no to things. Be selective about how you spend your time. Figure what matters to you. We say yes when what we mean is no. Don’t focus on letting that person down. don’t focus on the no. focus on the yes. What are your priorities? You don’t need to be everything. In the season you are in, what makes the cut? Everything is not created equal. If everything is important, nothing is important.
  • Choose to be present in the moment. Are you focused on what you are notdoing? Think about what you did get to. Driving to somewhere that you love. Don’t look behind. Look forward.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Dec 5, 2017

Alex Kuykendall joins me for Episode 104. She is mother to 4 girls ranging from ages 6 to 15. She is a writer and co-host to The Open Door Sisterhood podcast and retreat. I invited her to join me on the show to talk about her recent book, Loving My Actual Christmas, because the reality is that many of us don't love the Christmas we have. We have expectations that go unmet during this time of year.

Christmas isn’t always a merry season. We can have disappointment or pain from loss. Maybe its a grieving season. Maybe life doesn’t look like what you hoped. And Christmas can accentuate our pain, grief and disappointment. How do we step into our real circumstances and try to enjoy Christmas in the midst of the pain? With that in mind, Alex conducted a Christmas experiment. An experiment on what it would look like to find hope, joy, love and peace during the Christmas season in the midst of her real life circumstances.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Nov 28, 2017

Natalie Ard joins me for Episode 103. With the turn of the holiday season, it was the perfect time to chat with her about what she does. She is a mother who quickly became an entrepreneur after creating a family tradition product called Star From Afar. She is the owner of Star Kids Company where she creates toys and games that help kids play with a purpose. We talk about why she created Star From Afar, tactical ways to make this Christmas meaningful and how is manages being a working mother. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Nov 21, 2017

I was so happy to have Melanie Shankle join me on the show again for Episode 102. Many of you may know her as Big Mama online. She is an author, speaker, wife and mother. You may remember her from Episode 50 where we chatted about friendship.

This time, she joins me at the table to talk about small things. You see, she wrote a book called Church of the Small Things which talks about learning to love the ordinary life you have. Do you feel like you aren’t doing enough or that what you are doing matters? If you’ve ever answered yes to those questions, then this episode and her book is for you. In this conversation, we talk about enjoying your ordinary life, how God uses ordinary and how to be faithful where you are.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • This message about ordinary really struck home with me. One of my takeaways, was the idea of being faithful where you are. God put me in this season with these roles for a reason. I want to be like the mother of the boy who had the fish and bread. Doing the tasks that seem insignificant matterSo this week, I want to look around at my ordinary and ask God to help me see the beauty.

  • How can you start to find contentment your ordinary life? It begins by recognizing that as chaotic as it can seem, all of this is all fleeting. It can all change. It starts with a perspective change.

  • Stop waiting for you life to begin. Take stock of your life. I bet all of what you have that is chaotic is what you prayed for. Stop comparing what we have to what we thought we wanted or to what others have.

  • Sometimes we can struggle with thoughts like "Am I enough?"; "Does this life matter?"; "My life isn’t glamorous." But you never know how God will use those simple acts of faithfulness. Get up and be faithful to do what is in front of you. We can feel like a beige person driving a mini van, but the daily faithfulness matters. We can make an impact when we just love the people around us. We start to think that the big things are what are noticeable, but its really the little things.

  • This can be a great season of ordinary. "Don't underestimate how God is using all of those little things.” Are you going to trust God with what you have right now? Before you go further in the journey, you have to be able to trust God with what you have now. God is preparing you for the bigger things in the small things.

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Nov 14, 2017

April Christina Barron joins me for Episode 101. She is a talented vocalist, communicator and therapist who’s passion is to encourage, inspire, and offer hope to women in their relationships with God, themselves, their children, and with others. And she’d tell you that her greatest accomplishment would be overcoming the challenges of being an un-married, teenaged mother. She has successfully raised two amazing young men, one of whom, at 22 years old, is currently staring in a lead role in the nation's hottest musical, Hamilton, An American Musical, in Chicago, Illinois. Having overcome every obstacle and societal statistic thrust upon single, teenaged mothers, April pursues every opportunity to offer hope and encouragement to other women who face seemingly insurmountable odds.

She shares her story of becoming a single mother as a teenager—what that was like and what pressures she faced and how she eventually learned what it looked like to lay aside the condemnation and walk in the freedom of grace. She also gives some advice to raising teenagers and how the church can support single parents. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Nov 7, 2017

Cue the confetti because today is Episode 100! And last night friends of the show gathered together at my home in Atlanta to celebrate this milestone with me. Before we jump into the today’s conversation, I just wanted to say thank you for listening. There are women all around who feel like they are alone, as they survive whatever life looks like for them. And this podcast is a place where I hope that women realize that they are not alone. Whether you are single or married; ave children or not; being your own boss or working for someone else, I hope that you find the voice of someone who understands exactly where you are.

So with that, Hannah Davis joins me for Episode 100. She is a fitness expert whose mission is to empower women and men to become healthier and happier through strength training and nutrition. She believes that those components affect happiness and our ability to serve others. We talk about the balance between health and appearance, some misconceptions about fitness, daily essentials that you need to incorporate into your habits and how to retrain our why behind fitness

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Hannah. I think the biggest takeaway for me was the need to connect my health to serving others. I’ll just admit here that my fitness goals have never been connected to others. They have always been so that I look better. Health is rarely the objective, but fitting in a smaller size usually is. So, I’m going to work on redefining the why behind health for me.

  • Daily essentials that you need to incorporate into your habits:

    • eat a nutritious breakfast

    • drink more water

    • move 10k steps a day;  10 minute circuit training (her YouTube channel)

Hannah wants to help me AND YOU redefine with healthy means. The holidays are upon us and we thought it would be the perfect time to prepare our bodies and minds for what lies ahead. Let me introduce the 12 day Holiday Hustle to you.

The 12 day Holiday Hustle with Body By Hannah is geared to keep you on track with your health and fitness goals through what can sometimes be a stressful holiday season or a season full of too much merriment! This challenge provides you with a simple nutrition plan to follow, exclusive, short, beginner or intermediate workout programs from Hannah, a supplementation option for those with weight loss or energy goals, exclusive Surviving the Holidays tips from life expert, Sarah Bragg and daily mindfulness homework. This challenge is only $9.99 until November 17th and and challenge will begin on Tuesday, November 28. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Oct 31, 2017

Jeannie Cunnion joins me for Episode 99. I have been so excited to share this conversation with you because it was so refreshing and encouraging for me personally. If you haven’t heard of Jeannie before, then you should know that she is a mom of four boys who range from teenager to toddler. She is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child and her latest book, Mom Set Free.

We sit down and have an honest conversation about freedom and motherhood.  We talk about the pressures we face in parenting, the things that we need to be set free from and what God has set us free for. There were some moments in this conversation that really have redefined my role as parent and reignited an understanding of the gospel.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • God is using our kids to sharpen us to become more like Him. I think that I knew that in theory but I hadn’t thought about how God chose these kids specifically for a reason to sharpen something in me. And if I could start my day viewing them as a gift that God has placed in my life to sharpen me—to make me more like Him—then maybe that would change my heart. And I think that applies to anyone listening whether you are a mother or not. Think about the most challenging person in your life currently. Maybe that person is God’s gift to you to sharpen you to become more like Him. So when we are in the heat of the moment, frustrated or discouraged, may we remember to ask: what is God’s invitation to me in this situation?

  • Parenting is more about what God is doing in me than me creating these great kids.

  • Moms get stuck in so many places and patterns because of the pressure we are under. The gospel has the power to free us from any place where we feel stuck. We feel pressure to be perfect, to be in control, or to transform our kid’s heart.

  • The enemy is using that pressure to steal our joy in parenting.

  • Jesus is the one who calls our kids to faith. We can get frustrated when we do all the “right” things yet not see the results. It is Jesus who produces righteous character in our kid’s life.

  • What is hard for me isn't hard for God.

  • God works all things together for good--that good doesn't mean better or an upgrade. The good is that we are conformed more into the image of Jesus.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Oct 24, 2017

Jim Burns joins me for Episode 98. I first met Jim many years ago when I worked for Saddleback Church in CA. He is someone that I could have conversations with about parenting, relationships, marriage and faith for hours. He is the President of HomeWord—an organization that exists to equip parents, marriages and families and he the Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year and has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. You can see why I like to talk to him!

I asked Jim to join me around the table to talk about a subject that many of us feel very awkward about. We have an hour long dialog about the topic of sexuality and our kids. We talk about when you should have the infamous talk, what you should know about the “M word", pornography and sexual identities. Alright. I just went ahead and said all the awkward words. Now that I’ve done that, pull up a chair and join the conversation.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I think that this topic is one that most of us don’t feel adequate or prepared for as parents. The biggest takeaway is not waiting for one moment or one age to have that conversation but to start sooner than later weaving it into a normal part of your life with your kids. Start talking about sex from ages 3-5. The more you talk about these things hopefully the more comfortable to have these conversations as they grow. Moms of littles, this is the best time because it is not awkward to your kids. I highly recommend Jim’s books to initiate the conversation. That is what we used and it has opened the door to so many natural conversations.

  • The number one place that older kids get their sex ed from is the internet so you are going to have to have conversations with your kids about this. Age of the first exposure of pornography is age 11.

  • If you catch your child looking at porn, don’t make a big scary deal of it. Talk about healthy positive sex. And then talk about some of the things that aren’t healthy. If you see it, here’s what you should do. You almost have to desensitize them to it. We hurt for these people. When our kids are caught or your find out, make sure you are not a one topic parent in your reaction. Get a perspective. Talk with others.

  • 10% will struggle with gender confusion; 1.5-2% are homosexual. It's not healthy to our kids to blast one sexual sin over another. There are 17 references to sexual sin, only 3 deal with homosexuality yet we tend to focus on that one issue. We need to partly normalize that.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Oct 17, 2017

Jonathan and Wynter Pitts join me for Episode 97. I was so happy to invite Wynter back on the show and loved getting a chance to chat with her husband, too. Wynter is the Founder of For Girls Like You and the author of several tween books. Jonathan is the executive director of The Urban Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. They recently wrote a book called She Is Yours—Trusting God as You Raise the Girl He Gave You.You see, they have four daughters. So their house is loud, messy, busy and fun. They fully understand what many of us are walking through as we raise our daugthers.

We waste no time and dive right in to the hard stuff. We talk about what to do if we have a hard time viewing our kids as gifts from the Lord. We talk about the power of prayer when it comes to raising our kids. And we talk about how to help them develop their relationship with God, with their parents and with the world around them.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I think one of my favorite parts of the conversation about influence. I know this is true for me that so often we worry about the influence that others will have on our kids. We wonder if we should change schools or churches or sport teams. Scott and I just had a conversation about this very thing last week—fearful that one of ours would succumb to peer pressure as a teenager. But Wynter said to think more about what God can do through her—how she can impact and influence the world rather than worrying out how the world may influence her. This requires a shift in perspective. Notice the ways that your child has a positive influence on another. Give your child opportunities to be a positive influence on others and opportunities to impact the world around them. That is a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to influence. 

  • Parenting is about investing a lot of hard work. Children are the types of gifts that require assembly; they aren't batteries included type of gifts. Ask God to help you see them as a gift. Its hard to see beauty when we are distracted by other things. We often view our kids as distractions rather than gifts.

  • Relationship always requires more than anything else does. So much of it is building into what you are already doing. Look around at what you already have in place and work from there.

  • If we want our kids to love others then we need to give them opportunities to flex those muscles.

  • My best first play is to give her back to the Lord.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Oct 10, 2017

Kim Biddle joins me for Episode 96. She is the founder and CEO of Saving Innocence—an organization whose vision is to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children and restore the cultural values of innocence and human worth. This organization is doing amazing things to rescue and restore child victims of sex trafficking through strategic partnerships with local law enforcement, social service providers and schools. Kim has earned degrees, credentials and certifications to do this important work, but after listening to her story its easy to see that her own life—what she survived in her life—truly prepared her for what she does now. 

We talk about her story of divorce and how that gave her a deeper understanding and empathy for others. We talk about how she found her identity after walking through a season of grief, how Saving Innocence was started and how we can help change the culture surrounding exploitation and human worth. 

Kim and I met many years ago when I lived in CA. We were both in our twenties—bright eyed and full of expectancy. Hearing what she has walked through since those days is heartbreaking, yet hopeful. There is something so powerful when people decide to be vulnerable about who they are. I think that’s why Kim’s story will resonate with many of you. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I really appreciated her vulnerability and honesty about her brokenness—what it was like to start over, to feel grief and then to see God confirm her identity and propel her forward to use her past to help others. Free people free peopleI think that statement embodies Kim’s life.

  • Isn't it interesting how what happened to her in her marriage ended up connecting to what she does now? I love that God can weave a story together.

  • Divorce is such a touchy subject and it is one that can cause you to question everything that you once knew to be true. Having friends around you who just let you be broken without expectation is vital to rediscovering who you are.

  • To find herself again, she started by looking for what brought her joy and made her heart come alive.

  • There is something beautiful in suffering. We don’t know how to suffer well and how to walk through seasons of pain. But there is something magical about pain. It reminds us that we are human and that it is okay to be a depraved human in need of God’s love. 

  • How can we help young women change the way they see themselves? This generation has replaced beautiful with sexy. Your value doesn’t depend on how much sex appeal you have. We need some celebrities to step up and shift what its like to proclaim value as heart, mind, body and soul.

  • If we saw each other in a new way—created in the image of God—it would change the way we treat each other and view each other. Each person has a thumbprint of God.

  • When you come out of a season, ask who am I in the image of God? How am I to reflect You in this season of life? Give yourself grace for that journey and give others grace in their journey.

  • "Life is more like art than we first thought." Maya Angelou We are walking out a piece of art.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Oct 3, 2017

Kristen Ivy joins me for Episode 95. This was a special guest for me because we have been friends for over 10 years and we started our motherhood journey together. Not only is she a mother to 3 but she is also the Executive Director of Messaging at Orange and the Director of The Phase Project. She has written several books but most recently published 18 books—one for each phase of a kid’s life.

We talk about how we as parents have a limited number of time to influence the faith of our kids. So with that, we unpack the phase guides by looking at what it means to number the days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom, what sort of things we can do over time in order to discover what really matters and what conversations we need to have with our kids when it comes to health, sexuality, technology and faith.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I bet some of you feel like 936 weeks until graduation feels like an eternity. I know I did. But I bet some of you look at the dwindling weeks make you anxious that you are running out of time. But either way, I bet I’m not the only one who often feels overwhelmed with parenting. That I’m not doing enough. That I’ve messed them up too much. Or that they will one day be in prison. Am I right? But I love how she took the pressure off of us. Small investments over time is what makes the difference. Its okay if you have a day where you don’t feel like you got a lot done because its the collection of weeks over time that makes the difference. It’s collective conversations or collective events that builds. I want to take those things that really matter and see where I can make small incremental movement. 

  • There is no magic bullet to parenting. Its an art, not a science. Trying to discover who they are and then constantly making adjustments to give them what they need. Its definitely not a formula. And because of that, you need to pause every so often to relearn your kid just in case they have changed.

  • From the time they are born to graduation there are 936 weeks. You can’t get more and its moving at a consistent speed. Here's a great way to number your days with your kids--its decorative, too.

  • So what really matters?
    • fun over time matters because it builds connection
    • time over time gives you a history together
    • work over time gives your kids significance
    • stories over time give a kid perspective—they begin to shape their worldview
    • love over time it shows your kids that they are worth something
    • words over time give a kid direction
    • tribes over time give a kid a place to belong
  • There are 4 ongoing, progressive conversations that need to happen over time. Conversations about health, sexuality, technology and faith. The phase guidesgive you words to say to help create those conversations.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Sep 26, 2017

Kelly Flanagan joins me for Episode 94. This was one of my conversations. You guys, I took so many notes when I went back to edit this show. In fact, the conversation itself really did feel like a counseling session for me. Kelly is a husband, father, clinical psychologist, blogger, and author of the book Loveable: Embracing What Is Truest About You, So You Can Truly Embrace Your Life.

We talk about the idea of being lovable—that you are enough, you are not alone and you matter by unpacking worthiness, belonging and purpose. We talk about how to rediscover your unique worthiness, how to redeem the shame we carry and how there is a loveliness to ordinary. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • His words hit me like a ton of bricks when he said that our first task is to be able to delight in ourselves before we can be able to delight in someone else.Boom. I want to see a show of hands how many of us delight in ourselves.  I will be the first to raise my hand. Do we think that we are delightful? But this is 100% connected to being able to find delight in other people and to be delighted by someone else. That is definitely something that I want to spend some time working on.

  • We all have a worthy self inside of us. Observe the voice of shame as an event within us and begin to listen to a different voice. Start to listen to the voice of grace. When you hear the shame let it be a reminder to listen for the voice of grace. Our shame is always calling us back to grace.

  • There’s loveliness in ordinary and it's okay to be ordinary you. Why do we believe that ordinary isn’t enough? We feel like we have to make a difference and get recognition—that’s the other side of shame. Let’s start by being our ordinary selves. Let’s take back that word.

  • When it comes to belonging, you aren’t trying to compare or complete but truly to connect. Don’t focus on what you can get but what you can give.

  • How does the idea of ordinary help you understand why you matter (or your purpose)? It's rare that our God given passion and reason for being here overlap extraordinary. Embrace those ordinary passions. We all have our one note to play - God has created us all with a note to play that only you can play.

  • When we embrace our worthiness then we have the courage to reveal who we are to people and then as we do we discover where we belong and then through conversation with them and encouragement from them we begin to feel support to do our thing in the world.

  • When it comes to our kids, how can I help foster these (worthiness, belonging, purpose) things in them? Acknowledge your limited ability of what you can do. We can do the best we can but we will make mistakes. We are limited. MAYBE THIS ISN’T SUCH A BAD THING—THINK ABOUT REDEMPTION. God is the redeemer of all things.

  • Abide with our children. We stay with them in the shame. We connect with them through our own. We stress because we don’t want to be the reason they have shame because it will ultimately bring me shame. But we need those things to happen along the way so that we can understand our worthiness.

  • Kids don’t need perfect parents they need parents who know they aren’t perfect.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Sep 19, 2017

Courtney Westlake joins me for Episode 93. Courtney lives in Illinois with her husband, Evan, and their two children, Connor and Brenna. She is a writer and photographer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her storytelling took on a new life when she began blogging in 2011 after Brenna was born with a rare and severe skin disorder. I asked her to join me on the show to talk about life with Brenna and her book, A Different Beautiful. We talk about how God prepared her for the role of mother to Brenna, how the definition of beauty has changed for her and how she’s learned to see people for who they really are. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I loved her advice on what to do when you see someone who looks different than you. She said to choose connection over curiosity.” Connect with them the same way you would connect with anyone. Start with hello. And remember that they are made in the image of God—just like you. We have to retrain our minds to learn to see people for who they really are.

  • We can see people’s heart rather than comparing what we look like to what someone else looks like. We can be more focused more on people’s stories.

  • "My differences are God's art."

  • There's no such thing as normal. Our frame of reference is our tiny world. Show your kids different cultures and races and sizes and abilities. Everywhere there is different. Everywhere there is uniqueness. And that should be celebrated. 

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Sep 12, 2017

Kelsey Chapman joins me for Episode 92. She is a Creative & Small Businness Coach as well as an Instagram Consultant. As a self proclaimed dreamer and entrepreneur, she knows well that sometimes you need a cheerleader and coach to come alongside you to help you pursue your dreams. If you have a dream but don’t know where to start; or if you don’t feel like you can even have a dream; or if you want a dream but don’t have one; or if you have had to end a dream then you will relate to what we talk about today. We talk about what’s needed in following your dream, road blocks to following your dream and what happens if that dream comes to an end. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I bet many of you started this episode and felt like you weren’t a dreamer. But I hope that after listening, you feel differently. Our dreams come in different shapes and sizes and look different in different seasons. So no matter where you land on that spectrum, we can all agree that God has purposed you for something. No matter what season you find yourself in, God can weave your dreams throughout. 

  • I loved her advice to someone who has a dream, but feels the tensions of following it. I think her advice to just release your work into the world and perfect it later is so sound. Just last week, I was talking with someone who wants to write a book one day. And that was my advice to her. Just start writing. Start thinking about what you want to say. Write it down. Writing a book doesn’t start with having all 50,000 words in your mind. It starts with an idea. Sometimes we just need a push to take a step forward—to release something and then perfect it later.

  • Comparison is a real weapon against following your passion project/calling/purpose. You have a unique audience to gift and steward, no matter how big or small it is. Just because someone has more or better, doesn’t negate what God wants to do.

  • Look for unexpected people who might propel your dream.

  • Even if a dream doesn't work out, God can always redirect.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Sep 5, 2017

David Thomas joins me for Episode 91. You may remember him from Episode 51 when we talked about raising boys. David has over 20 years of experience counseling kids and families. He’s written 7 books including the newest one, Are My Kids On Trackwhich he wrote with Sissy Goff and Melissa Trevathan where they breakdown the emotional, social and spiritual milestones that kids need to reach. We spend our time together chatting about the four emotional milestones: vocabulary, perspective, empathy and resourcefulness. So with that, we talk about how to equip your kids with an accurate emotional vocabulary, how to help them register emotional pain, how to help them problem solve and how failure and fear are actually necessary in building empathy and courage. If you have ever felt overwhelmed with parenting, I think this conversation will put you at ease. 

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • I appreciated his advice as to where to start. I am so thankful that his first step was to celebrate what you are already doing. Because, we all know that parenting can feel overwhelming—even working on your own self care in regards to this topic can feel overwhelming. So the fact that you are listening to this or reading the book or having conversations about this is worth celebrating. I want to give each one of you a high five. So as you start to think through how to help your kids reach these different milestones, remember to celebrate where you are and what you are already doing.

  • Pay attention to what's going on inside of you. You can only pass on to your kids what you already possess. 

  • In regulating emotions, model for them the things they don’t yet know, that way they see that emotions are normal and good part of life. Give a dedicated space to sort out their emotions. Use the phase "yellow light" as a cue to let your kid know to pause. Consider getting a dog as a means to help them regulate their emotions.

  • We have to let our kids learn to problem solve for themselves

  • Failure and fear both get a bad wrap. We need to reframe that. These are good things. Fear is the birthplace of courage. You can’t be courageous if you never face fear. You want to be a resilient which means you have to stand face to face with failure. You won’t be compassionate unless you land on your face sometimes. That is one of the best teachers of empathy.

  • Pray for failure for your kids. What would it look like if rather than praying for our kids to be happy, we prayed for our kids to be strong? (which is an invitation for failure.)

  • Pray for ourselves that we will allow the space for our kids to be resourceful. We are sometimes too busy trying to be their resources. With that, ask good questions in those moments like what do you want to do with that? What’s your game plan? What are you thinking?

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

Aug 29, 2017

You are joining me for Episode 90 and for this episode we recorded a live show in front of a group of women. There is a non-profit organization who works to be the church and bring a different kind of church to their community in the East Cobb area of Atlanta who invited me to record a live episode with them. The women of East Cobb Gathering get together on a regular basis to connect, grow and enjoy the company of other women from their area.

So I sat at the table with my good friend, Katie Peters. She is a wife and mother of 4, recent graduate with a Masters in Pastoral Counseling and Life Coaching and she is the founding director of East Cobb Gathering.

The women East Cobb Gathering get together in a regular basis to connect and grow and enjoy the company of other women from their area.

We sit down together with a live audience to talk about why we need community to survive. So pull up a chair to the table and join the conversation.

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • August tends to be a season of starting. Now is a great time to look for community. Maybe your kids are going back to school. Or maybe you are starting a new job. Or maybe you had a life change. And many churches are ramping back up for fall. Now is a great time to look around to see where you can find some women to come alongside you. In fact, I just gathered a group of women at our church to start a community group. It can be awkward but its worth it. We all need someone to be a support or to celebrate with or to lean on.

  • "Your real you is worthy of community." 

  • At some point, take a risk and ask someone: what is God doing in your life right now? That's how you start to cultivate deep friendships.

What did you enjoy about this episode? What was your takeaway. Let's continue the conversation  on Instagram or Twitter or you can send me an email here

Thank you for following along life with me. I love being apart of your day. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.

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