For the first three & a half years of our marriage we lived in Atlanta. I understand that there are a few people in the world who actually enjoy living in Atlanta, but honestly we weren’t those people. We were there for a purpose – grad school – & many great things came out of it – growing as a couple in a strange, new city, forming lifelong friendships, etc. But we also knew when it was time to leave. Be prepared, I’m about to spiritualize the topic of podcasts…
As I commuted to my new job(s), meaning I sat still 85% of the time & made forward progress 15% of the time, I felt like I died a little each day. I wanted to go home. To my farm. To my family. To the road with no lines & the town that got a stop light in my lifetime. Why was God making us stay here when we were done with school, had dream jobs waiting for us back home & were beginning to think about kind of getting ready to start a family? I didn’t understand & there were many days I cried on the way home, frustrated at what seemed like a waste of our time & energy, then feeling guilty for not being content with my situation. The day came when we thought we could make our exit, then the day came when those plans fell through. I asked for my job back & we stayed another 5 months. I got home first that day & had one of those breakdowns, pushing aside the guilt & being very honest with God. Then I felt His presence clearly holding me like a child. It’s ok to cry. I’m not mad that you’re mad. I actually understand with perfect clarity. I’m here for you to cry with, not to hide your feelings from. I know this is hard, but you are here for a reason & it’s a good one. Be patient. So I cried until I felt the peace that passes understanding. I didn’t magically begin to love our situation, but I did look more closely for the reasons.
Some were apparent. J had begun to lead the youth group at our church & I got to spend a lot of time with those precious teen girls, even taking them to places they’ve never been & visiting colleges. Even though I wasn’t working my “dream job,” the experience & mentoring I received is now something I realize is invaluable. I look back on the sweet, sweet time J & I had as a couple (& our cat, Patella) with no family around the corner & no precious baby to fill our time. The less apparent gift during that time of waiting was the seemingly random education I received through podcasts. (You can laugh, because I’m laughing as I write this!)
Those soul-draining commutes led me to look up podcasts because music just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Here they are along with the spiritualization I referred to earlier…
- The Dave Ramsey Show. I used to say I had no mind for money. Then I began to listen to Dave Ramsey. I could quote the entire intro & his go-to one-liners. I even began listening to him at 2x the speed (a cool feature of iTunes podcasts) so that I could get as much of the info as possible! Yes, it was hard to understand at first, but your brain adapts pretty quickly! J & I have never been perfect Dave Ramsey followers, but we were able to use that time in GA to pay of lots of student loan debt & even get far enough ahead to stop payments temporarily to buy a house & have a baby! (Don’t tell Dave…)
- EntreLeadership. An off-shoot of The Dave Ramsey Show, Ken Coleman interviews entrepreneurs & leaders from the corporate world, to the military, to small business start-ups. I also said I had no mind for business before hearing this show & now I’m a personal development addict, reading many of the books by the interviewees. This led J & I to begin reading books together on road trips, of which there were many. We have learned about so many cool & inspiring people & we bond over this activity. Even though we were at the bottom of the food chain at the time, we now have management & business start-up opportunities on the horizon & this has been an invaluable resource that we never would have guessed.
- Business Boutique. Yet another Dave Ramsey personality, Christy Wright. I almost died when she began this podcast. I didn’t know why I loved the idea of entrepreneurship so much – I was a new grad PT who wanted to go to work & treat the kids, then come home to play with my own kids – I swore I would never own my own business, especially a PT practice. I just wasn’t cut out for it. But this podcast made me wonder & explore business ownership. We played around with an event planning company & an Etsy shop. Nothing seemed to stick. But now it makes sense. As I alluded to in an earlier post, I am now in the process of starting a private perinatal physical therapy practice. A few months ago as I kept asking “Is this real life? Can I really do this?” my husband pointed out that maybe God had been preparing me for this through my random love of financial, personal development, & business podcasts. I knew what an S-corp was, how much to hold back for taxes when you’re self-employed, & a heck of a lot about marketing that I never thought I would need. J reminded me of Esther…
“…And who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4.14
- The Mason Jar. We’ve always known that we would educate our children alternatively. In that weird time in my life, I decided to figure out what that might be. I discovered Charlotte Mason & her method of home education. It resonated with everything I hold dear & I knew I had found the way God wanted me to educate my children. I couldn’t stop reading her work & I discovered the Circe Institute (a resource for classical education) & their podcasts, which included The Mason Jar, all things Charlotte Mason with David Kern & Cindy Rollins. If you’re thinking that was a little overkill since my son wasn’t even a thought yet, read this quote by Charlotte Mason: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” For me, it’s less about curriculum & more about the way I would raise my child to become a lover of learning & beautiful things. For any Mommas at all interested in home education, this will bless you tremendously. The Lord used all those hours in the car to mold my mother heart in preparation for the Little Gift that would come much sooner than J & I would have guessed…
- Unruffled. Janet Lansbury answers questions using the RIE approach (Resources for Infant Educarers), a method developed by Magda Gerber of treating even infants as an autonomous person that deserves the same respect as an adult, communicating & disciplining through genuine & gentle interactions. My caveat is that I do not agree with every aspect of RIE, but I do love the idea of being confident & consistent in boundaries so that my Little One learns security & modeling respect through each interaction with him. I think it’s healthy to learn about things that may not be exactly your thing, take what works for your motherhood & respectfully leave what doesn’t. Many Mommas recommended this podcast to me when I asked about ideas for safe positioning. RIE principles share commonalities with CM methods, though I feel it lacks some of the structure & emphasis on authority that is also important for children to learn. (For my RIE parents, please know I’m not an expert in RIE & I would love to hear your thoughts!)
- Move Your DNA. Katy Bowman is a biomechanist & expert in the field of movement outside of exercise, which is great for me because I don’t “exercise.” I love functional movement & Katy speaks to both the DPT nerd in me & the busy mom who needs simplicity & humor throughout my day. I am now reading her book Diastasis Recti: The Whole Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation (NOT just for post part, btw) in preparation for my perinatal practice. This was actually recommended to me by a homeschool mom, but it has contributed to my PT practice in so many ways. To me it’s an example of how God knows our needs before we do!
- The Next Right Thing. Last but certainly not least, Emily P. Freeman uses beautiful words to inspire & center me. I’ve literally thanked the Lord for leading Emily to share her writing in the form of a podcast & I’ve often cried cleansing tears as she speaks. Everyday stories turn into spiritual realizations, reminiscent of my own over-spiritualizing mind, & I often hear her repeat the phrase “…the next right thing in love…” as I stumble through my day. I would much rather listen to something educational & practical like the ones listed above than a fluffy, self-help podcast, which is what I thought this was, but it is not that at all. So when you are in the mood to sit down with a cup of coffee across from your best friend to bare your soul, get encouraged & feel renewed, but your day is just not going that way, give this podcast a try.
My love of podcasts started in a time of waiting. A time where I had the time to learn seemingly unnecessary things. I see that time as similar to when David was waiting to become king. He had been anointed, but had to watch someone else move into that role while he remained behind to tend the sheep. But, oh, the growth that comes when you are kept in a quiet, still place while the world seemingly passes you by. Because that’s where God is. The still, small voice in the time of waiting. Now the lessons that were deeply rooted, some practical & some spiritual, are leading to growth in our lives.
I hope my odd over-spiritualization of podcasts has encouraged you today! If you’re like me & you spend lots of time in the car & at home with a non-verbal human, find something to break the silence & let me know what you discover!
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