SMM 066: The Privilege of Personal Revelation|| JoEllen Woods

My guest today is JoEllen Woods, a wife and mom to four who has spent the last few years following a prompting to move overseas and travel the world with her family.

In the interview, you’ll hear how JoEllen and her husband decided to travel full time with their kids and how they felt guided by God in the process.

Their prompting eventually led JoEllen’s family to New Zealand on a 30-month visa and then to full-time travel for 6 months.

After traveling to 17 different countries, The Woods Family was at a crossroads about what was next. Listen to hear the way Heavenly Father guided them to take a leap and seek for dual citizenship in Italy.

The stories JoEllen shares show over ond over you don’t have to have the full picture to follow God. She is a great example of following a prompting, acting and then asking what the next step is and continuing to move forward.

Overall, JoEllen’s experiences have taught her personal revelation is a privilege. She knows He is by her side and that knowledge gives her the courage and confidence she needs in motherhood and in life.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Listen to other Spiritually Minded Mom episodes about personal revelation

SMM 041: Only You Can Receive Revelation for Your Motherhood || Michelle Gifford

Follow JoEllen

Instagram: @iamjoellen
Website: iamjoellen.com
YouTube: iamjoellen

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SMM 065: Hope When You Don’t Live in a Perfect Family Proclamation Home|| Norma Zaugg

Within 2 years of her 19 year marriage, my guest for episode 65, Norma Zaugg, realized her hopes and dreams for her home and family were not going according to plan. Her marriage was rocky and her husband stopped being involved with the Church. Norma was left wondering how to navigate it all.

Guidance from God

In my interview with Norma, she shares how she didn’t take the thought of bringing children into her dysfunctional marriage lightly. Through heartfelt prayer, she felt guided to know the timing and how to teach her children.

She shares about the promise God made to her early on and how it was fulfilled as each of her boys have been baptized. She knows God is aware of her efforts and that He will keep His promises to her.

Hope if You Don’t Feel Your Home is Perfect

Norma’s story offers hope to anyone who feels they don’t live in the perfect “family proclamation” home. Both Norma and I discuss how there isn’t a model or one way to be a righteous, Latter-day Saint mother. We can each figure out what it means for us as individuals.

Her own experiences with a spouse who was not supportive spiritually taught Norma to teach the Gospel to her children through small, everyday moments. She has literally whispered gospel truths in her children’s ears and helped them identify the Holy Ghost.

Helping Others in Difficult Marriages

How can you help someone you know who is in a hard marriage? Norma’s advice is simple–Don’t make assumptions. Ask questions. Follow the spirit.

After her divorce, self care was the first step Norma took to start to heal. She shared, “In order for me to be able to help my boys, I have to be on top of my game. And if I’m not taking care of myself, I can’t be patient. I can’t be loving. I can’t do homework for hours on end unless I have taken care of me.” Norma says to start small and slowly add in things to do just for you.

God is There Even in the Dark Times

Overall, Norma’s story will remind you that change can happen for each of us. Starting fresh and doing something different is hard, but you will look back and be able to see God everywhere, even in dark times.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Quotes from Norma:

“I knew that if my boys were ever going to see something different, it would have to be because I put forth the effort.”

“It’s fascinating that sometimes we almost have to be removed from [the situation] before we can fully see how He intricately was there the entire time planning and helping and putting the pieces together in a much more marvelous way than we could have ever imagined and the gifts He would give through those horrible hardships.”

“If you are feeling lost and you’re feeling empty and you’re feeling hopeless, there is absolutely a way out but it is not magic and there is no quick solution. It is a lot of work and it is a lot of internal work.”

Download Norma’s free guide “Living with a Spouse that No Longer Believes in the Church

Listen to other Spiritually Minded Mom episodes about family members who leave the Church

Episode 063: How to Embrace Agency + Increase Love as a Mother || Shelley Swapp
Episode 062: How to Show Unconditional Love When Loved Ones Don’t Share Your Faith

Follow Norma

Instagram: @normazaugg
Instagram: @sparkpodcast
Website: normazaugg.com
Podcast: SPARK – the light within

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SMM 064: Why You Might Not Know When You are Feeling the Spirit || Darla Trendler

Welcome to Season 3! I am so excited to be back. In episode 64, I am sharing some new insights I gained about feeling the Spirit. Spoiler Alert: You might not know when you are feeling the Spirit and that is perfectly normal!

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, “How do I recognize the Holy Ghost when it comes?” you’ll want to listen.

This is a solo episode where I dive into experiences I have had with the Holy Ghost but the bulk of the episode is a recap of a devotional I found from the MTC with Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar shared some amazing stuff in a way we don’t usually hear it.

I hope you will listen and also download Elder Bednar’s MTC devotional to hear it for yourself.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Go HERE to get the link to download the MTC devotional. (This is not a direct link but a place to download. Look for the MTC devotional from August 20, 2019 and download it to your device. It may take a while.)

Listen to other episodes about the Holy Ghost:

Episode 20: What I’m Learning About Following the Spirit + Making Connections in Ministering
Episode 41: Only You Can Receive Revelation for Your Motherhood || Michelle Gifford
Episode 044: Use God as a Guide || Part 3 of 5
Episode 045: Act on Promptings Felt from God || Part 4 of 5
Episode 61: How to Eliminate Distractions + Always Have the Spirit

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SMM 063: How to Embrace Agency + Increase Love as a Mother || Shelley Swapp

Welcome to the final episode of season 2. I am taking a short break from the podcast and will be back in September with more faith-filled interviews for you.

In episode 63, my guest is Shelley Swapp. Shelley shares what she hopes her children will remember about her as a mom.

Motherhood Challenges

She also gives insights into the challenges her family has faced in the past few years. As a mother, she has watched her children deal with moving, brain injury, physical special needs, mental health challenges and faith crisis.

No Checklist to Perfect Kids

Shelley shares how she always believed there was a “checklist” of things to do as a mom. If she could just check all of the things on the list off, like family home evening, scripture study, attending church and the temple, etc., all of our children would turn out exactly as she planned. But Shelley shares how she has learned that’s not what the Gospel is about. She gives her insights on agency, something we fought valiantly for before we came to earth.

Instead of a “checklist,” Shelley discusses how “The true test of motherhood is who I become and the true test of fatherhood is who my husband becomes and not who my children become.”

She openly admits she and her husband weren’t perfect parents but can honestly say they have always loved their children.

Preserving Relationships

Shelley shares how she has persevered her relationship with her children, especially as some have chosen to leave the church. She shares how realizing our Heavenly Parents don’t sit in heaven wringing their hands has helped her to avoid worrying as well. She knows her children are on their own journey and it’s not about her.

The Power of Scripture

Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible have been huge helps to Shelley in her life as a mother. She describes the Book of Mormon as an entire book about families who were fighting valiantly to keep their children in the Gospel. She attributes the stories of Jesus found in the Bible to helping her get to a place where she can love and accept her children where they are.

Her Son’s Perspective

In preparation for the interview, Shelley spoke with her son who has recently experienced a faith crisis. She shares the advice he would gives to family members who are struggling to understand why someone would leave.

Why Heaven is Close

Ultimately, Shelley shares her testimony that heaven is so close. We can recognize tender mercies and angels here on earth. She acknowledges God’s hand in her life and knows He is helping her and her children.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Light the Fight Podcast with Heidi Swapp and David Kozlowski.

Talk by Elder Robert D. Hales, With all the Feeling of a Tender Parent, April 2004 General Conference

Talk by President Henry B. Eyring, A Home Where the Spirit of the Lord Dwells, April 2019 General Conference

This is the quote by President Eyring Shelley referenced in the interview from the talk above.

“Some have tried with full heart for that blessing, yet it has not been granted. My promise to you is one that a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once made to me. I had said to him that because of choices some in our extended family had made, I doubted that we could be together in the world to come. He said, as well as I can remember, ‘You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the celestial kingdom, and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than you can imagine.'”

Listen to Shelley’s daughter share her story on episode 6 of the podcast, Still Tripin’

Read more about Shelley’s motherhood journey in an article she wrote on the Awaiting Rainbows website.

Listen to a previous episode with similar stories: Episode 62, How to Show Unconditional Love When Loved Ones Don’t Share Your Faith

Follow Shelley

Instagram: @shelleyswapp
Facebook: shelleyswappsvintageherbals
Website: shelleyswapp.com

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SMM 062: How to Show Unconditional Love When Loved Ones Don’t Share Your Faith

Episode 62 shares the perspectives of 6 different people who have experience with a loved one who doesn’t share their faith. I am so grateful for each of these people who called in to share their thoughts and perspectives on a topic that isn’t always easy to talk about.

In addition to hearing from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have had families members who have struggled with their faith, you will also hear the perspective of someone who left the church. She shares her advice for loving unconditionally and preserving the relationship no matter what someone else believes.

All the people who called in shared the overarching message that unconditional love, love like the Savior shared, is the most important thing we can give.

If you are someone who struggles with similar situations I hope you this episode will show you that you are not alone. I also hope you will listen to each of these perspectives and gain what you need from their words.

I am so grateful to the women who called in and were willing to be featured on this episode. Sharing our stories binds us together. I learned so much from each of them.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Read or listen to the entire talk by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf from October 2013 General Conference, Come, Join with Us.

Full quote by Gretchen Rubin: “It’s a Secret of Adulthood: I can’t make people change, but when I change, others may change; and when others change, I may change.”

John 11 – Story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead

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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes