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

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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

SMM 061: How to Eliminate Distractions + Always Have the Spirit || Darla Trendler

Today I am doing a solo episode talking about how to eliminate distractions and always have the Spirit. This content was originally a devotional I wrote and presented at a recent girls camp. Feel free to use this episode as a resource to help you teach your older children or other youth.

Can You Hear the Music of the Spirit?

I shared a story told by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf about a violinist dressed in jeans who plays in a busy subway. Elder Uchtdorf uses this story to illustrate how we might miss the spirit in our life. The story shows why it’s important to slow down, eliminate distractions and always have the spirit with us.

What the Still Small Voice Sounds Like

These three scriptures help paint the picture of what the still small voice sounds like:

  • 1 Kings 19:11-12 – Elijah hears the voice of the Lord as he hiding because Jezebel wants to kill him.
  • 3 Nephi 11:3 – The Nephites have just gone through great destruction. They hear God’s voice introducing the Savior.
  • Helaman 5:30 – Nephi and Lehi are imprisoned and fire encircles them. The earth shakes and the people hear a voice.

Ways You Might Feel the Spirit

I shared 9 possible ways (and there are many more) you might feel the Spirit. You can read the accompanying scriptures and ponder on whether you feel the Spirit in this way.

  • Feelings of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faith, meekness (see Galatians 5:22–23)
  • Thoughts that occupy the mind or press on your feelings (see D&C 128:1)
  • A desire to do good and obey the commandments (see Mosiah 5:2)
  • A feeling that something is right (see D&C 9:8)
  • Feelings of comfort (see John 14:26)
  • Feelings that “enlarge [your] soul” (Alma 32:28)
  • Thoughts that “enlighten [your] understanding” (Alma 32:28)
  • A hunger for more truth (see Alma 32:28)
  • Feeling constrained (encouraged) to take an action or restrained (held back) from doing something (see 1 Nephi 7:15; 2 Nephi 32:7)

(This article for youth on the church website that was the source for this list.)

The Constant Influence of the Holy Ghost

In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.

President Russell M. Nelson

I talked about a time in my life where I learned the importance of eliminating distractions that were keeping me from the influence of the Holy Ghost.

How to hear the Holy Ghost and Eliminate Distractions

Here are some questions you can ask yourself.

What are the distractions that are keeping me from the still small voice in my life?

How can I eliminate those distractions?

The sacrament prayers give us clues of how we can eliminate distractions in our life.

See the prayers in D&C 20 verses 77 and 79.

“Always” Have His Spirit

“Always” is a promise we are given. I looked up the definition in the dictionary and it said this: “at all times, forever, at any rate, in any event.”  Then the dictionary listed the synonyms to the word always: consistently, constantly, continually, ever, forever, incessantly, invariably, night and day, perpetually, unfailing.

I shared another quote from President Nelson: “Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!”

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 the BYU Devotional by Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Can You Hear the Music.

See the footage of Joshua Bell playing in the subway.

Go to Episode 44: Use God as a Guide to learn more about how to discover how you feel the spirit.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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

SMM 059: How to Be the Expert +Advocate for Your Child||Cheryl Cardall

I first interviewed Cheryl Cardall in episode 23 about overcoming weakness and using humor in motherhood. Cheryl is back and we are diving in to talk about what Cheryl has learned in 20 years of motherhood. You’ll also hear why Cheryl believes you should be the expert and advocate for your child.

Cheryl talks about a recent moment when she realized she was doing better as a mom than she thought she was. She shares how motherhood refines us and makes us better. Cheryl believes you can do more than just survive in motherhood. You can thrive.

We also have a discussion about why a mother’s worth isn’t determined by what her kids do. Cheryl has learned to be good with herself no matter what her kids do. “Their behavior has no reflection on me.”

Cheryl also discusses her recent experiences learning how to be an expert and advocate for one of her children struggling with mental health issues.

Recently, both Cheryl and her husband were prompted to get a dog for their family. She talks about how they trusted this prompting and how having a dog has been a huge blessing for their whole family. Her story illustrates so well that God cares about everything in our lives and why you can trust and act on the promptings you get.

Cheryl has seen and felt God the most when she has felt she isn’t enough. She discusses how a common answer from God for her has been to “Love them through it.”

“Motherhood is the perfect way to learn about the atonement. We are not enough on our own but when we use God and our Savior as our partner, somehow we are.”

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

Here is the quote Cheryl shared by Dr. Christina Hibbert: “The fruit of motherhood isn’t how your kids turn out. It’s how you turn out.”

See the Instagram post by @reflectionsofchrist about the parenting advice to repent fast and frequently I mentioned in the episode. (I think I said it was about forgiveness in the episode, but it’s about repentance.)

This is the quote Cheryl shared by Janet Lansbury: “It can be really tough to remember how emotionally immature children are because they can be so impressively intelligent, capable, and aware. When they seem deliberately bratty or downright mean, we’ll need to remind ourselves: These are tiny people with incredibly low impulse control who are very easily overwhelmed. In the moment, it may feel like our kids are out to get us, but it is actually that their impulses have gotten the better of them.”

Books Cheryl recommends:
The Whole Brain Child by Dr. Dan Siegel
The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen

Follow Cheryl

Instagram: @supermamas4real

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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





SMM 053: How to Use Agency + Love to Point Children to the Savior || Becky Proudfit

Today I’m welcoming Becky Proudfit to the podcast for episode 53. You may know her as one half of Becky squared where she cohosts the podcast Cultivate a Good Life with Becky Higgins. She is also a former Disney Princess, a wife and a mom to four, a lover of travel and a cancer survivor.

In this episode you will hear Becky remind moms that motherhood is “not about you.” She shares why she thinks motherhood is not about her but about loving her children and giving them agency.

Becky and I discuss not tying spiritual things to merely being obedient to parents. Rather, Becky believes in teaching children to obey out of love for Heavenly Father and the Savior.

We also talk about teaching children spiritual self-sufficiency so they can rely on the Savior as a perfect friend.

Becky frequently uses opposites, also a pattern found in the scriptures, to teach her children. She doesn’t shy away from talking about Satan and his counterfeits. She views times when Satan is working on you as evidence that you are doing something right.

Becky gives advice to moms whose children have used their agency to choose different paths. She also shares an easy and practical way any mom can know how God feels about her and recognize how He is showing up in her 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.

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

This is the quote by President Russell M. Nelson Becky referenced about spiritual survival. “In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

Go HERE to read Elder Uctdorf’s talk, A Matter of a Few Degrees

Follow Becky

Instagram: @beckyproudfit
Podcast: Cultivate a Good Life

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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


SMM 051: Hope in the Arms of the Savior in Mental Health Challenges || Jamie Hutchings

My guest for episode 51 is Jamie Hutchings. Jamie is a wife and mom to three. She is a motivational speaker who frequently shares her story of beating childhood cancer, overcoming survivor’s guilt and dealing with mental health issues, including PTSD and multiple suicide attempts.

In the interview, Jamie shares what she learned from her experiences going through cancer as a young child. She beat cancer but faced mental health struggles in the years following her cure.

At age 17, Jamie nearly took her own life. She talks about that experience and what kept her from following through with her suicide intentions. We discuss how parents can stay close to their children and recognize warning signs of depression.

The second half of the interview is focused on suicide. I didn’t plan for this topic to be a main focus of this episode. However, I felt the Spirit both during the interview and after as I edited the audio. I know the discussion Jamie and I have is a message that is supposed to be shared.

I am not an expert or a professional. I have been touched by suicide in my extended family, but I am the first to admit that I don’t know or understand all that those affected feel. As I share in this episode, I only know and have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. He knows all and is the One who can heal.

Ultimately, Jamie shares that you are the mother to your children for a reason. Her story offers hope and her honesty and faith are inspiring.

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

Jamie mentioned a painting of the Savior reaching out called The Hand of God by Yongsung Kim. You can go HERE to see the painting.

Follow Jamie

Instagram: instagram.com/survivingthebubble/
Website: survivingthebubble.com

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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