Episode 37: Kelly McCorkle Parkison

Kelly McCorkle Parkison joins me for Episode 37. She is a former Miss South Carolina and made it to the final four in the Amazing Race. She is a pastors wife with 5 kids living in Tennessee. We talk about why she chose adoption, how to handle a grieving child and her ministry LOFT 218.

You will hear about my long lost dream of being Miss America and how I am the most unlikely candidate to be on the Amazing Race.

Links mentioned:

Survival Kit:

Connect with Kelly: website // Facebook // twitter // Instagram

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Kelly. I was inspired by how she transitioned from the spotlight to the home. I have always wanted to be in the spotlight--hence my desire to be Miss America. And the transition from being known by others to being a mom really rocked by world. I love that she said that you don't have to speak to 400 people in order to make a difference. You can speak to your child to make a difference. And the same is true for me and you. What is the purpose that God has put on your heart? What makes you excited? Usually the purpose remains, but the platform may change. I think this is relatable to all women. Maybe you are single and long to make a difference in a child's life. You have a purpose in you--take a look at the platform in front of you and see how that purpose could play out. I want to hear from you. Do you feel the same way about purpose and platform? Or tell me what stood out to you in the episode.

Thank you again for listening and sharing the show!! If you love to do lists, go ahead and put "leave a review of Surviving Sarah" on your list. I can promise you that it will feeling amazing to check that off your list. Come find me Instagram or Twitter or send me a message here. And as always, I hope that this show helps you survive a little easier. 

When I'm Done

Some days are harder than others. Some days, raising kids would be easier if I just left it up to someone else. If I could just tag team out. Because the truth is, most of the time I don't have a clue what I am doing. It’s like trying to learn how to hit a moving target. Kids are always growing and changing. What may have worked with them last year, might not work today.

When my oldest was six, we went through a year of battling fear and anxiety. The truth is, she has always been fearful and anxious even as an toddler. All the parenting books said that it was just a phase, but not for her. Her phase has lasted eight years so far (cue eye roll emoji). So we have read all advice, tried all the things and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. There hasn’t been a magic cure for her. Every night at bedtime she would be afraid to go to sleep. Afraid of dreams, of robbers, of fire. And she would wake in the middle of night screaming at the top of her lungs for me. Afraid. Petrified. Trapped. After a year of this, we finally put our girls in separate bedrooms (strange logic to put her alone when she is afraid), but something about the change worked for her. She was excited about her new space. She stopped screaming and started sleeping.

Fast forward two years later. She’s now eight and the fear has crept back in. She threw an epic fit (I should really make sure our neighbors know that she's okay) that rocked the block. She doesn’t want to sleep because she's afraid of what she will dream. One would think that such an epic fit would wear her out enough to sleep through the night, but instead she woke at 4:00am afraid and crying, begging me to let her just stay up for the rest of the night. Then, later that morning I’m sure out of her sheer exhaustion, she unleashed her wrath on dear momma. I tried to explain that she needed to calm down which only turned up the heat for her. I tried to hold her tight saying, “I just want to hug you.” And then, like trying to wrangle a wild beast, I got pushed up against the corner of a wall. It hurt everywhere, but instead of my back aching, it was like that hit broke my heart into a million pieces. How could she be so mean to me? How can she love others, but look at me with such hatred? This sanguine, harmonizer has never had anyone treat her like this. So I quickly got up, went to my bedroom, locked the door and got in the shower where I experienced a panic attack. Uncontrollable sobbing while gasping for air. God, why won’t you just intervene? Why won’t you help her? I am trying to do all the right things. I am trying to show her Who to turn to you in times of need, but You remain silent. I QUIT. I AM DONE. I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE. 

My heart breaks for my daughter. So much fear and anxiety tangled up in her heart and mind. The day of the epic fit, she opened up about her friendships—how she feels left out, hurt and disappointed. She told her father about how ashamed she feels after acting out. I didn’t even know she knew that word! She carries such a weight to do things right the first time (I wonder where she got that) that the slightest mistake crushes her perception of herself. Oh baby girl, how much do I not want you to carry that throughout life. 

A sleepover with her grandparents came at the perfect time. Sometimes that best thing for everyone is time away in a different environment. So I went on a date with my husband, slept without interruption and then sat with my Savior the next morning. And look at what He said to me: I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed (Psalm 34:4-5 NASB). 

It is God’s character to answer, to deliver her from her fears. And do you see what happens? May her face be radiant and never be ashamed. Jesus heard me. He heard those tear filled cries in between gasping for air. He loves her. He is for her. And doesn’t want her to feel ashamed.

Then, I read: For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 2:18-3:1 NASB). 

In that shower, I was tempted to quit. I was weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9). I wanted to be done, to hand in my resignation. But He is ABLE to come to the aid of those who are TEMPTED. The author isn’t talking about the temptation to sin. He’s talking about the temptation to bail out of suffering. So when we are tempted to bail out on the suffering before us, we consider Jesus who didn’t bail out on suffering. He is the one we look to and follow. He is the one we hold tight to when life (or a kid) knocks the air out of you.

I may not have the three step answers for how to help your child with fear and anxiety, but I do know that God loves her and is for her. And God loves me and is for me. And when I am ready to quit and bail out of the suffering, I can fix my eyes on the One who was tempted to bail, but chose to be for me instead.

Episode 36: Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith joins me for Episode 36. She is a food blogger and cookbook author at The Nourishing Home. She devotes her time there to sharing delicious whole food, gluten free meal plans, recipes, cooking tips and encouragement to help others in their quest to live a more nourished life.

We talk about why she has a passion to help others when it comes to health, tips on how to help picky eaters, how to have your kids help in the kitchen without losing your mind and why meal planning is so important.

Links mentioned

Survival Kit:

Connect with Kelly: Website // Facebook // Instagram // email: thenourishinghome@gmail.com

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Kelly. Like I mentioned in the show, I have been following her for a long time. I love her heart behind why she does this. Her meal plans and recipes are very easy to follow. I don't know about you but surviving food is truly a thing. She shared so many tips that I found very useful. I employed one of them a couple of weeks ago. I allowed the girls to plan dinner. Sinclair chose pork tenderloin and Rory chose spaghetti. Sinclair doesn't particularly love spaghetti and she said she didn't want to eat it. I remembered Kelly's tip and I told her that it was Rory's choice and we will support her because we are family. Sometimes having someone give you the words to say is just so helpful. And my picky eater, Rory, who doesn't like steamed broccoli is now a fan--as long as it is comes slathered in butter. #winning

I am thrilled that Kelly is giving away a copy of her ebook--Meal Planning Made Easy for listeners of Surviving Sarah. To receive the ebook, simply enter your email to subscribe to the blog. After you do that, go check out her site. She has so much to offer!

Thank you so much for listening today. I love connecting with you. You can contact here or  Instagram & Twitter or SurvivingSarahPodcast on Facebook. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.


Episode 35: Christy Nockels

Christy Nockels joins me for Episode 35. It was sort of a surreal moment chatting with her because I listen to her on spotify all the time. In fact, for July spotify notified me that she was my top listened to artist. And spotify doesn't lie. We chat about how she discovered the love for music and songwriting, so many things about womanhood and her Christmas album which you can be a producer on.

So sit back, grab some coffee or if you are like her, a Dr. Pepper with good ice, and enjoy my conversation with Christy.

Links Mentioned: The Christmas Album

Christy's Survival Kit:

  • purging her house 
  • avocado toast
  • Nuts Over Chocolate Lunabar with Sunbutter on top
  • Dr. Pepper with good ice and lime

Connect with Christy: website // twitter // Instagram // Podcast // Facebook // Album

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Christy. There were several things that I took notes on but one in particular was the idea about raising girls. She said that girls get their identity from their fathers and their worth from their mothers. I have been thinking on that non-stop since we recorded. There's also a study that proved that for every 1 positive word you say to someone, they hear 6 negative words. Those two things have challenged me to do some good with my words. No telling how many negative words they hear throughout the day so I want my words with them to be positive.

The timing of having Christy on the show is perfect because she is trying to raise money to produce an independent christmas album. I placed my pre-order last week and I want you to do the same. Who doesn't love a good Christmas album!! You can order online here.

Thank you so much for listening today. I love connecting with you so come find me @sarahwbragg on Instagram & Twitter or SurvivingSarahPodcast on Facebook. Or feel free to send me an email from the site. And as always, I hope this show helps you survive a little easier.


Friends, I want to tell you about a new podcast I think you’re going to LOVE! Mama Bear Dares is hosted by two sisters who love coffee, wine, Jesus, and being real with one another and their guests about ALL of life—the beautiful and the messy.

On Mama Bear Dares, the hosts believe each of us has a Mama Bear lurking inside with a ferocious power and an ache for justice that’s big enough to cover ALL the children in this world. This podcast will encourage you to meet your Mama Bear and use her tremendous power for good!

The Mama Bear Dares hosts aim to join the great conversations that are taking place — just like the ones we have here on Surviving Sarah — and add to them by turning the spotlight onto moms who inspire by doing big and bold things in addition to being great mothers.

Listen in and you’ll meet moms you've sat next to at PTA meetings or bumped into in the middle of Target, as well as those who head international corporations and nonprofits. Their guests have cared for children with mental illness, written books, survived tragedy, explored the world, and celebrated with girlfriends —often from lego-laced living rooms. Each week Mama Bear Dares dive deeply into what makes these multi-faceted women more than "mom" and boldly ask the questions we've all been thinking.

Listeners, you’re going to love this new podcast! Listen in to witness the ripples they've started and be encouraged to create some of your own! You can find Mama Bear Dares on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts, on Facebook, Instagram, and at MamaBearDaresPodcast.com.

Episode 34: Mo Isom

The amazing Mo Isom joins me for episode 34. You guys, I love this girl. I heard her speak at The Grove at Passion City this past year, and I immediately contacted our mutual friend and demanded to meet her. Mo came to my house back in June and sat with me at my kitchen table. We talked about motherhood and her story of overcoming adversity--which includes eating disorders, her father's suicide, promiscuity and a horrific car accident.

We laugh and got goosebumps. I'm not lying when I say it was like we had church around my kitchen table. I am so excited for you to hear her story. I know you will be encouraged, inspired and entertained. 

Links mentioned:

Mo's Survival Kit:

  • her husband & support system
  • social media
  • bio coffee
  • the crock pot
  • fruit

Connect with Mo: Website // twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Well, August 1 was my birthday and I turned 38. Really, how am I already in my late thirties? So I thought for my birthday with the gift of leaving a review on iTunes. And as a sprinkle on top, you could share the show with your closest social media friends. I checked the reviews and I have 37, so its only fitting that you guy leave one for my 38th year of life. Review 37 comes from Kate T.S. who talked about how much the show encouraged her walk with God and how she loved that it didn't cater to just moms and married women, but to women in all stages of life including single women like her. That is the exact heartbeat of the show. Kate, I'm so glad you love the show and thanks for leaving that review.

So, head to iTunes on your favorite podcast app and leave a review or send me an email and we can continue to the conversation.  And as always, I hope that this show helps you survive a little easier.