Episode 93: Courtney Westlake

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. 

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Links:

Courtney's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Courtney:  Instagram // Facebook // Website  

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. 

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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.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 92: Kelsey Chapman

Kelsey Chapman joins me for Episode 92. She is a Creative & Small Business 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. 

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Links:

Kelsey's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Kelsey:  Instagram // Facebook // Website  // Radiant Podcast

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.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 91: David Thomas

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 Track which 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. 

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Links:

David's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with David:  Instagram // Facebook // Website

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?

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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.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 90: Katie Peters

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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.

We sit down together with a live audience to talk about why we need community to survive.

Links:

Katie's Survival Kit:

Sarah's Survival Kit:

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Katie:  Instagram // Facebook // East Cobb Gathering Facebook

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.

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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.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren, Suzanne Stabile and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one from "Carollovespodcasts". She said, "I look forward to this podcast every week! It's refreshing, encouraging and just fun! Thank you for all the work you put into this so we can join you at the kitchen table."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!

Episode 89: Kathleen & Derek Hamer

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Kathleen Hamer and her son Derek join me around their kitchen table in the Seattle area. I had been wanting to introduce you to them for a long time now. In fact, they were one of the first guests that I listed out when I first brainstormed the podcast. You see, Kathleen was an almost emptynestor when she and her husband, Dan, decided to adopt Derek who was age 5 and his brother, Reggie, who was age 3. And now, Derek just graduated high school. 

They adopted the boys 13 years ago. And I know so many adoptive parents who are on the front end of adoptive or even in the thick of the middle years of adoption. And just like in so many things, sometimes its helpful to have a perspective who has walked the road longer. And I thought it would be helpful to hear from an adopted son's perspective. 

You will hear their story of how they found each other, what it was like when he lived on the streets of Kitale, Kenya at age 4, his advice for adoptive families and what it was like when he returned to Kenya years later. So pull up a chair to the kitchen table and join the conversation.

Links:

  • Video of Derek sharing his story
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Survival Kit:

  • Derek: his relationship with his parents

  • Kathleen: A good book, chocolate, her family

(Amazon affiliate links used when possible--purchasing through these links is an easy way to support the show. Or shop using www.SurvivingSarah.com/amazon and a portion of the what you buy will go back to the show.)

Connect with Kathleen:  Instagram // Facebook

Takeaways From Our Conversation:

  • There is something powerful to their story. Isn’t it remarkable how God orchestrated their meeting? I think it’s always a good reminder that God speaks even to the hearts of little children. It’s heartbreaking to think of a 4 year old living on the streets, but God sees. I love seeing the man Derek has become. I’m so thankful that he is willing to share his story. 

  •  God can make something good out of something painful.

  • The best question to ask yourself is: "What can I do?” It starts with you.

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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.

A new episode every Tuesday... just subscribe.

Subscribe for free on iTunes or Stitcher or your favorite podcast app so that you don't miss out on great conversations with women just like you. Women who are surviving and thriving. You don't have to do life alone. Be inspired, encouraged and entertained by women like Sandra Stanley, Shannan Martin, Jamie B. Golden, Mo Isom, Annie F. Downs, Joni Lay from Lay Baby Lay, Christy Nockels, Kay Warren and many more.

Did you enjoy today's conversation? Rate the podcast.

My goal each week is to encourage you to survive in this very thing called life. If you were encouraged or inspired or entertained, head over to iTunes and leave a brief review with a 5 star rating.

Here is a recent one titled "Great For Husband's Too" from JakecGross. He said, "Great + entertaining podcast. Send it to your wife, but also check it out yourself."

Your review will help get the podcast in front of new listeners who are just like you looking to know that they aren't alone in life. Thank you for being awesome!