SMM 029: Triumphs + Struggles Mothering a Special Needs Child || Kay West

Episode 29 of the podcast is my first time having a guest back for a second interview. In episode 7 of the podcast I interviewed Kay West and shared her faith-filled motherhood story of infertility, adoption, and miscarriage. Today, I have Kay back as a guest to discuss both the triumphs and struggles she has faced with her daughter, Eden, who is a special needs child.

Show Recap

Triumphs

Eden was adopted at birth and due to choices made by her birth mother has brain damage, asthma, autism and will someday need a cornea transplant. Kay shares how God revealed to her early in Eden’s life that although her body is damaged, her spirit is perfect. Kay also discusses how Eden’s condition has affected her other child, Isaac.

Struggles

When Eden entered middle school, Kay and her husband started to notice negative changes in Eden. As she started to regress, Kay discovered Eden was being bullied at school. She shares how their family handled this heartbreaking situation and what they did to help Eden.

Kay gives a message of hope to mothers who discover their child is being bullied. She says to help your child feel validated and to know home is a safe place to come for support. Kay also recommends to other mothers to pray and listen to that intuition to know how best to help a child. She shares the process she and her husband go through to know how to help both Eden and Isaac in difficult situations.

Sharing Kindness

One of the good things that has come from Eden’s experiences being bullied is Kay and her husband have helped their children start an online shop called Quietly Being Kind. The shop features postcards with Eden’s artwork and kindness quote that can be purchased and sent to others as a reminder to be kind. Kay’s children share a portion of the proceeds of the shop with an organization that helps children. They also hope to feature other children like Eden to help raise awareness of the importance of showing kindness.

Kay’s journey of raising a special needs child has not been easy. Although she doesn’t always see it in the moment, Kay can look back and see God’s hand guiding her in motherhood. She knows He didn’t send any of us here to fail. As long as we keep trusting Him, he will open the path.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Kay

Blog: threetoquesandatiara.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/threetoquesandatiara
Facebook: Facebook.com/threetoquesandatiara

To purchase postcards and find out more about the mission behind Kay’s kids’ shop, go to Quietly Being Kind.

Share Your Experience

At the beginning of the episode I shared how YOU can be part of a future episode of the podcast. Each month I will be asking listeners to share their answer to a specific question about motherhood and spirituality. If you want to participate in the November episode, here’s how to do it:

  1. At your convenience, call this number 480-525-7145.
  2. Leave a message starting with your name and where you are from. For example, “Hi, this is Darla from Arizona.”
  3. Give your answer to the question: How have you seen and felt God as your partner in motherhood?”
  4. Feel free to share a specific story or experience. Please keep your answer to under 3 minutes so I can share as many answers as possible.
  5. Submit your answer/message by Sunday, October 28th.

If you’re hearing or reading this after the deadline, call the number anyway to hear the current question and give your answer.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 027: Letting Children Have Agency + Building Lasting Family Traditions || Alisse Coil

A few months ago I posted on Instagram asking for ideas on keeping extended families close. Since I’m entering a new phase of motherhood, I wanted to know how I can keep my family close as children start leaving home. So many people responded. I gathered amazing ideas. One of the people who responded was my friend, Alisse Coil. She had great family traditions to share that resonated with many. I invited her on the podcast to talk about how she established her family traditions.

Show Recap

Lean Into Strengths

Alisse is the mother of 5 and had her first four children in a five-year period. Her four oldest children are now grown and she also has 3 grandchildren. Alisse started her motherhood journey thinking she would be “supermom” but quickly learned that doing everything perfectly wasn’t going to work.

Over time, Alisse learned to lean into her own strengths as a mother and not focus on what she wasn’t good at. She said, “I am the whole package, just as me.”

Let Children Have Agency

We had a great discussion about how Alisse learned to let go of control. She learned to let her children use their own agency. She and her husband established “silver bullets” like honesty, open communication, modesty and being kind that they weren’t going to budge on. They left pretty much everything else up to their children to decide for themselves with guidance.

Alisse has seen that giving children the opportunity to use their agency helps build a lasting parent-child relationship. She also believes it’s a big way a mother can show her child love.

Build Lasting Family Traditions

Many of the traditions her family now values started when her kids were very young. They didn’t have much money but they always found ways to serve together. They started a Christmas tradition 20 years ago of hanging a stocking for Jesus at the beginning of December. Family members were invited to place slips of paper in the stocking with kindnesses they had seen during the season written down.  On Christmas Eve they read what everyone has written. This simple tradition has endured for over 20 years and is now being passed on to Alisse’s 3 grandchildren.

You’ll want to listen to the end to hear what Alisse feels we can learn as mothers from Noah’s wife. She said, “For God to truly be my partner, I have to trust in His process.”

To end, Alisse shared this powerful quote: “The power of prayer resides in listening to the Spirit and accepting the words God puts into one’s mind and into one’s mouth. Prayer is more about listening and feeling then it is about speaking and asking.” (Matriarchs of the Messiah by Joann Skousen)

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Alisse:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/alissecoil_essentialliving/

Go here to see the Instagram post where Alisse and many others shared their ideas about keeping extended families close.

Alisse shared this quote during the podcast: “God places a Goliath in our life so we can find our own David.”

To read more about the story of Noah and his wife go to the Bible to Genesis chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 026: Parenting a Strong Willed Child + Showing Children Their Worth || Lynnette Sheppard

I’m excited to share with you my interview with my Instagram turned real-life friend, Lynnette Sheppard.  She is mostly parenting young adults and teenagers these days, and she has some real life, in the trenches experience parenting a strong willed child. She’s on the other side and has learned to rely on God. Her son has gone from a strong willed 6 year old who spit in her face to a capable, independent 20 year old who is thriving in life.

Show Recap

A key component of the guidance Lynnette felt from God in raising her strong willed son was learning how God viewed her son, how she needed to view him and ultimately, how she could help him see his own worth. She shares how this perspective changed everything for her and her son.

Lynnette and her husband view their children as “adults in training.”  She gives a really practical example of a kid throwing a tantrum for ice cream to illustrate how this long-term perspective guides her in the day-to-day decisions she makes as a mother.

Lynnette believes motherhood is “a marathon and not a sprint.” She gives advice to young mothers to view the hard, mundane years of motherhood with young children as laying a foundation. You won’t see the fruit of your labors until many years down the road, but Lynnette offers hope that all of the effort is worth it.

We also talked about doing what feels right to you in motherhood. “Do what feels right to you, regardless of what everybody else is doing.”

Over her 20+ years of motherhood, Lynnette has seen God at work in her life. She knows Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives. Lynette knows He cares about everything, even the simple things we face.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Lynnette:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/lynnette_simplyforreal/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/simplyforreal/
Website: simplyforreal.com

Sign up for Lynnette’s free email course on raising independent kids by going here.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 025: Mothering a Child with Mental Illness || Amanda Louder

Today’s topic of raising a child with mental illness is one I have wanted to talk more about for a while. I have reached out to a few people to share their experiences, however it hasn’t been right for them to tell their stories. Fortunately, Amanda Louder answered my prayers by reaching out to me to share her experience raising a child with a mental illness.

Show Recap

Amanda is a wife of 6 years to her husband and together they are blending a family of five children ranging in age from 19-10. In her years as a mother, she has learned to let go of control and enjoys seeing her children learning who they truly are.

Amanda and I dive in and talk about the challenges she has faced since her 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Bipolar II at the age of 8. She explains what this diagnosis means and how it affects her daughter and her family in their day-to-day life.

Mental illness and especially a child with mental illness can have a negative stigma in our society. Amanda talks about how the specific things she has done to educate people around her, advocate for her daughter and teach her daughter to advocate for herself.

If you are struggling with a child with mental illness, Amanda gives practical first steps you can take to help your child.

Amanda has been able to turn to God to help her with this mothering challenge. She has found that reading the Book of Mormon everyday has brought her peace. Amanda recognizes that reading the scriptures daily hasn’t taken the challenges away but rather given her the tools she needs to deal with the trials.

She also shares how she has used the atonement of Jesus Christ to help her as a mother. Amanda recognizes the many ways God has guided her, put people in her path and answered her prayers.

At the end of this episode, I have a bonus for you. Amanda talks about what she shares on her own podcast, Live from Love, about marriage, divorce and relationships. Her podcast has great content for anyone but especially for those struggling in marriage.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Amanda:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/amandaloudercoaching/
Website: amandalouder.com
Podcast: Live From Love

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

More Spiritually Minded Mom Podcast episodes that deal with mental illness:

Episode 1: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Mom Podcast (My story of helping my son who was diagnosed with anxiety.)
Episode 10: Being Open About Mental Illness in Motherhood + When You Don’t Know if God is Your Partner || Ally Hayward

SMM 023: Overcoming Weaknesses + Using Humor in Motherhood || Cheryl Cardall

 Cheryl Cardall is my guest for episode 23. She has been married to her husband for 22 years and is the mother of 4 boys and 1 girl ranging in age from 8-19. Cheryl dreamed of being a mom since she was a little girl, so she was a little surprised in the beginning by how hard motherhood can be. After 19 years Cheryl has learned to embrace the challenges, hold onto the joys and use humor in motherhood. She is passionate about strengthening homes and encouraging moms through her instagram account @supermamas4real.

Tune into the episode to hear Cheryl’s perspectives on letting go of trying to control her kids and utilizing motherhood as a refining process.

You’ll hear about Cheryl’s “secret weapon” of motherhood.  Hint: it involves Cheryl in a bathing suit going down a waterslide!

We also discuss how she parents each of her children as individuals. Cheryl talks about getting through hard days by sticking to simple, daily habits that fill her up, so she can better serve her family.  In addition, Cheryl shares the things she has learned from parenting a “spirited child” and also gives some practical resources.

Ultimately, Cheryl views her children as being “on loan” from God. She relies on Him on a daily basis to help her know her childrens’ needs as well as how to best love them.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Cheryl:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/supermamas4real/

Cheryl talked about this quote by Marjorie Hinckley: “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.”

Go here to learn more about the book Cheryl referenced: Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes