kids

Ep 081: Love in Action with Bob Goff

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Bob Goff is the author of Love Does, Everybody Always, and Love Does for Kids. Bob is known for the way he loves people, especially the people who freak you out! Instead of avoiding those people and staying in your safe bubble, reaching out and being Jesus to them and loving them like crazy. He shares so much wisdom in this episode. So grab your coffee and get ready to listen, because I know you will walk away inspired in so many ways!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Bob Discuss:

  • The importance of what we are speaking over the people we love most and how it shapes who we actually are.

  • Why discipline is kindness, not disapproval and how you can make sure your kids feel your kindness in the way you discipline.

  • How we are either reflections or reactions to the people closest to us.

  • Ways you can challenge yourself to be curious (which will inevitably challenge you to love other) and how you can teach your kids to do the same.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Bob’s book, Love Does For Kids, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hey, sweet friend. Welcome to The Purpose Show! Today's guest, what a dream to sit and talk to him. Seriously, I'm so, so excited for you to hear this. Bob Goff is a lawyer. Actually, he calls himself a recovering lawyer. He's an author. He's hilarious, amazing, real, funny and just the kind of person that you want to sit and have coffee with all day long because you have so many life questions that you're dying to ask him. He's the author of Love Does and Everybody Always.

His newest book is Love Does For Kids, written by himself and his daughter, Lindsey, who is a teacher, for kids. I was sent an advanced copy. I loved looking through it. I've given it to my kids and my daughter Bella, who's 9, is just loving it. She's asking me questions about it and loving difficult people, loving people who are different from you.

Bob is a big advocate of loving people who kind of freak you out as he talks about a lot, especially in Everybody Always. He talks about spending time with Witchdoctors and just people that are in different communities that freak you out and are so different from you. Instead of avoiding those people and staying in your safe bubble, reaching out and being Jesus to them and loving them like crazy. And I love him for that.

I'm so honored that he was on the show. I'm just really excited for you to hear this interview. So, let's welcome Bob.

ALLIE: Hi, how are you? How is your day going?

BOB: It’s going good. I did a chapel for a school that everybody just kind of getting back to school today, so there's a bunch of parents doing those big, ugly, snotty cries. I hated that. Even when my kids went to college, I hated that.

ALLIE: I bet. I actually homeschool my kids, so I haven't really dealt with that. But I think sometimes I envy that.

BOB: Yeah. Totally. It’s just kind of interesting. I met with a friend and then I did a podcast with somebody this morning, Jo Saxton. So, I'm in San Diego, which I am loving and it doesn't happen that often, so this is great.

ALLIE: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to have you here. I'm really looking forward to sharing just your insight with my listeners. My audience is mostly moms and I think it's a really neat thing, first of all, just as a person to hear you talking about loving other people. Then immediately my mind goes to how can I teach this to my kids? How can I show them…live by example? And also help them kind of navigate life and difficult circumstances with this kind of love other people/everybody always kind of in mind, so I'm just really glad that you're here.

BOB: Yeah, thanks. I just can't affirm enough, moms that are listening, the importance of the work that you're doing. I was reading something just this week. It said that young girls between ages of 7-13 lose 30% of their confidence. Isn't that crazy? Just think one of the things that we could be doing is the words that we're speaking over our kids, it isn't just saying, “You're nice.” It isn't just words of affirmation, but telling them about who they're becoming. “I see this in you. I see this happening. I see courage in you. I see bravery. I see commitment and loyalty.” To just let them know. The crazy part, moms or dads that are listening, it's like you're speaking that into your grandkids because your kids are going to tell them the same thing. They're going to say, “I remember my mom used to say this, that you saw in me this person.”

So, we do that, not to just blow sunshine at each other. Even around the office, we just let each other know what we see in each other. It's truly a beautiful thing. I hug everybody. I'm a total hugger, but I don't hug the people that work for me because it'd be creepy. So we just do like duck, duck goose. Just take a moment to just say, “Hey, this is what I see.” If we could slow down the cadence in our lives to do that with people that we love the most we’d really see some big benefits.  

ALLIE: Yeah. And I love, too, what you said about for girls, especially. I mean, that is huge. And I love focusing on who they're becoming and what you see in them versus, “You're beautiful. You have the prettiest hair.” Instead, “You're really brave. I really admire you for doing this. I really see that in you.” I love that. And I agree. I do think it comes from slowing down a little bit and just noticing things in your kids.

BOB: I spoke at a school earlier today and there's all these moms and dads dropping their kids off for school. It was just so beautiful to see moms and dads that are engaged in their kids' lives. Whether you're homeschooling or you're doing a traditional school, to just be that parent that's engaged in your kids and see who they're turning into.

My daughter, Lindsey, we wrote a book together. Lindsey is like Mary Poppins with grenades. I mean she's kind and nice, but absolutely fearless. She's a second grade teacher and the one thing that she was afraid of more than anything is getting what's called a PC. It’s called a Parental Communication. So if you don't do something right or you do something wrong, then you get a PC. Lindsey was just perfect, so she never got any PC’s.

So sweet Maria Goff and I sat her down and said, “Before this year is over, you must get one PC. I don't care what you do, you can park the principal's car on the roof if you want, but one PC. And one day we go out to the lot and she's coming out of school just weeping, and she has this PC. She forgot her homework or something. And we were like, “Yeah!” We went home that night and I got a big fat Sharpie and I wrote over the top of it, “Lindsey's a great kid.” And we sent that back to school with her the next day. Lindsay's now 30-years-old and she was telling me about how she had messed up something and her husband sent her a text message and it says, “Lindsey's a great kid.”

The things that we start speaking over the people that we love the most, it starts shaping who we actually are. And some of us have believed these lies that got spoken over us. It was an old boyfriend or girlfriend or a teacher or somebody along the way, they said something that we actually believe this lie. And so, I think one of the things we can do beautifully in each other's lives is to just say true things about that.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love the power of that. I love the power of talking to our kids and that we have that control. Even if they go to school, whether they're homeschooled or they’re away from us for the day, whatever, that we have that control and that power with our words.

I have four kids, but two of them are very sensitive. Any look, my mom glare, “uh oh, I’m in trouble” Like, so sensitive. And I think sometimes the pressure of that…as parents, you don't want to screw them up. I’m always thinking, “I just don't want to screw them up.” Do you have any advice on how to balance that? Feeling empowered to see the positive in your kids and use your words with confidence instead of feeling like you're going to say something wrong? Does that make sense?

BOB: Yeah. You kinda need to know what you're cooking with. Is this bone china or is this steel we got here? So, for some of the kids you just know that they're wiring harness is such that a sharp word from you would just take them out. And so, I'm a lawyer. I mean this is 30 years. I've never lost a case. It's not because I'm an awesome lawyer. I'm a good picker. And so you’d know if we're arguing because I'd be winning.

But one of the things is that I'm not trying to argue with people anymore. People in our faith communities, people out there. I just don't argue with people anymore. I write books and put balloons on the cover. I'm just like that guy.

We get to decide who we're going to be in the world and we get to decide who we're going to be in our family. In order to do that, we got to figure out what we got to deal with. So, are you hip to that Enneagram? Have you read any of the books about that? For those of you listening, like the Enneagram is a personality profile. You could be a 1-9 on this.

So like a 7, that's me. I'm a like a flaming 7. My arms are usually over my head waving. But my sweet Maria Goff, she's a loyalist. She's a nine. I have a son-in-law who's a perfectionist. He's a 1. So you've just got to figure out who you are. How did God wire you and how did God wire your kids. Right?

So try this with me. Go with me to Florida and we're waist deep in the water. Okay? It’s a beautiful day. And now this fin is swimming at you really fast. Tell me, is that a shark or a dolphin? And there's no wrong answer. What do you think?

ALLIE: Shark.

BOB: And you'd say a shark. Now somebody else listening, they’d go “dolphin.” I'm a seven. Even if it was a shark, I'd say dolphin with a lot of teeth. Right? So the things in your past would cause you to reach that conclusion. We're both guessing. We’re kind of guessing about life. What limiting beliefs do you have? What things have happened to you which would cause me to say “dolphin” and you to say “shark?”

And I think when we're in relationships with the people around us, whether it's people at school or people you're married to or dating, you just got to figure out how are they wired. And if we could spend a little bit of time and instead of asking the first question, which is, “How was your day,” go to the third question, which is “How did everybody make you feel today?

So, “How was your day today?” “Great, pass the potatoes.” But if you say, “Tell me a high and low point today? Tell me something you're dreaming about.” Get involved in these adventures with your kids.

When our kids were 7,9, & 11, we wrote to every leader on earth and we asked them if they wanted to come over for a sleepover and if they couldn't come over, could we come over to their house? This hasn't stopped. Our kids are big kids now. They’re ready to start having kids. But we're still writing to people.

May 14th, I knew I was going to be in London at this thing, speaking. And so in April, I wrote to the Queen. I said, “I'm going to be in London on the 14th. If you're going to be in London on the 14th, we should hang out, right? Your place or mine?”

And so I got a letter back a week later from one of her Ladies In Waiting. (I'm like, “Lady, what are you waiting for?”) But one of the beautiful things she said, “The Queen is terribly disappointed…” People, write to the Queen with your kids today. Don't put it on your list. Pick up the phone. Google it. It'll take you about 30 seconds if you stop for coffee. What's the Queen's address? Write the letter. Your kids will be rushing to the mailbox.

Write to the people you don't know. You’re a low hanging fruit because you're like super nice. I mean who wouldn’t love you? But find some people that creep you out a little bit to say I'm going to actually engage some people that I don't understand, and then just these beautiful winsome things will happen. There's something beautiful that happens in our kids' lives and in our lives when we do that. We start by getting a better hold of who we are. What's our role in this big life that we've got?

ALLIE: I absolutely love that. You're very curious and very adventurous and it's like this childlikeness that I want. I'm an eight so I'm like super driven. I think this is why maybe God gave me two sensitive kids because it is such a trial for me to reel it in, be careful and slow to speak. It’s a challenge. So, it's really interesting to watch you be so curious and childlike like that and why wouldn't you write to the Queen? I feel like my thoughts are very logical and so I just don’t go there.

And so, I think that's why I love your books too so much because you tell these stories in there and it's like this guy is like a psychopath.

BOB: {laughing} With balloons.

ALLIE: It's amazing and it's so encouraging and inspiring. I was telling my husband that before we got on the call together that I'm so grateful that you are where you're at right now, writing the books right now while my kids are little, so that I can get this inspiration and not feel like “Dang it. They’re grown.” You know, grandkids and stuff, but I want to do this while they're here and they're home with me. It's just so encouraging. I love it.

BOB: Yeah, I get easily distracted. That's one of the things that go with being a 7. It’s like that dog and squirrel thing.   

We’ve got this old Suburban and sweet Maria and I've been sharing this thing. It’s a 2000 Suburban. I went down to pick up this trailer of ours… You know when you're driving somewhere and you realize, did I shut the door? Did I turn off the oven? I'm driving down the highway and I thought to myself, I just don't remember latching the trailer to the ball. I didn't slam on the brakes. I kind of pumped the brakes and pulled off. Sure enough the trailer is hanging on the ball, but it's not latched. So I was one bump in the road away from having that thing pass me in the fast lane.

And I think if you want to really lock things down, you can look like you're going somewhere as a family. You look like your hooked up without actually being hooked up. You can look like that in your marriage without actually having a latch on it. And I think that's what you do. Each of these winsome things, it's that childlike faith. It's like putting a latch on it to say, I don't want to just feed you and clothe you. I want to do all those things certainly. But what will really be the memorable things are these ideas that you pass along to your kids.

I've got something. Why don't you just do geocache messages for your children? Put little messages in jars and just start putting them. I go all around the world and I bury stuff for my kids everywhere.

We've got schools in Iraq. We started a school in Afghanistan four months ago. The Taliban won’t let little girls learn how to read and write because they’re are girls. That just ticked me off. So we started talking to this guy on WhatsApp. I'm not kidding, we're talking to him on WhatsApp and I don't know what team he is playing for. It became evident I actually needed to fly to Kabul to meet him, and Kabul is the most dangerous city on earth right now because there's just a lot of instability there. Well, we get off the plane and there's a text message from him and he said, “Bob, I can't meet you at the airport.” I’m like sh…actually I didn't say shoot. So he said what you need to do is leave the airport grounds and start walking through Kabul and after a while you're going to find a car. The license plate has a number 7 on the back. The engine will be running. Inside there's a guy that doesn't speak English. You need to get in the car and go wherever he takes you.

So what you do? Number 8 on the Enneagram?

ALLIE: I wouldn’t have even been at the airport!

BOB: Well, I’m a 7, so I started walking. There's a car, the engine is running, we get in. It turns out this guy had security for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He wanted to know if I would trust him enough to do what he told me to do, and if I would, he trusts me enough to start a school for girls.

I think sometimes as a parent you need to say, okay, so how am I wired? And I know some people don't have a relationship with ambiguity, like you're seeing other people. Ambiguity and I go everywhere together because that's my wiring harness. But find out how God wired you and then live fully into that.

If your wisdom says, “don't go” well, then certainly don't go. But I don't want fear to chase us off from being the men and women, and I don't want fear to chase our kids off, fear in our lives, that would prevent them from growing into the people that God wants them to be in. The way you tease that out is again, by asking the third question, not “How was your day?” But, “How did that make you feel?” Boy, you're going to get some real answers because people don't listen to what you and I have to say. What they listened to and what they remember is how we made them feel about what we talked about.

And so I think if we could get at that with our kids then we would really have a ball game and we'd have some really meaningful conversations? Where the woundedness is and where the joy is, and everything in between.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I was talking with Nicole Nordeman on this show.

BOB: I love that girl.

ALLIE: I love her. And she brought up something that I feel like I've seen in you with the whole teaching your kids to be curious and letting them know that you are too. And you don't know it all. She talked about being okay with telling your kids “I don't know” to something, especially difficult issues like big social issues that are going on right now and you don't really know what's right and wrong or what you're supposed to say. Just the power in letting go of this facade that we tend to want to carry around of knowing everything as parents to our kids.

I wanted to know, have you had experience with that? What are your thoughts on that? That power of “I don’t know” in raising kids because I feel like I see that in you with just being curious and like, “I don't know, let's go find out.” You know what I mean?

BOB: Yes. I remember going to Africa the first time. I read up on all the how to be polite and how not to offend everybody. I get there in Uganda and I'm there for 10 minutes and I tick off the first Ugandan. Did you grow up the way that if you forgot to say “thank you” then your parents would correct you and say, “you're welcome?” These words of correction? Well that happened to me. I'm there five minutes and this guy says, “you're welcome.” And I’m like, “thank you.” I didn’t know what I had done wrong. And then it happens again. Somebody else says “you're welcome.” And I'm like, “thank you.” But I still didn't know what the deal was. And after the third time I slowed it down, and I realized he's saying “you are welcome here” and that these aren’t words of correction. They are words of invitation.

So I think if we just invite our kids into these things. Not always words of correction, constantly saying “do this, change this to this.” If you’ve ever had somebody tell you when you cleaned up your office or your room, you say “you missed a spot?” That has never warmed my heart. I’ve never thought, “Thank you so much for pointing that out.”

We got our floors redone here a little bit ago and the guy missed a spot and when he came back over he said, “oh, that's a holiday.” I’m like, “a holiday?” I'm really into entomology, the origin of words. And so I looked up “holiday.” Sure enough when they were making these big square riggers, like in Christopher Columbus’ time, the gaps in between the boards they would fill with tar. And if they missed a spot of tar, they'd say the person was “on holiday.” In other words, they just weren't looking. It was just such a kind way to say that.

So, when your kid mess up just say, “Oh, that’s a holiday.” You can find another way to express it rather than words of correction. There are words of celebration. It's like “I get it.” Finding kinder ways to express ideas.

Faith's a big deal for me. It may be for some of your listeners and not for others. There's something that some people in our faith community that says, “always be ready to make a defense for hope.” Like we're supposed to be Jesus’ lawyer. And they forget the last sentence and it's to do with kindness and gentleness. And so that's why I call things holidays. When somebody that works for me messes up, I’m like, “that’s a holiday. Paid vacation.” Just like “you missed a spot,” but it's just such a nice way.

I was talking to somebody and they asked me in the middle of the conversation, are you a friend of Bill W? I’m like “I don't understand. I don't think so.” Bill W was the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and they thought maybe what I was talking about was kind of like a 12-step program and instead of saying, “are you an alcoholic” they said, “Bob, are you a friend of Bill W?”

That was just such a kind, kind way to communicate. It was almost like they said “if you had a holiday, if you kind of missed a spot, I just want you to know you're safe with me.” And so, as a person that makes a living choosing words, I just think we could just choose better words, kinder words like gentler words with one another. When they mess up, just find another way to say it. It's like you wrote right across it, “Lindsey’s a great kid.”


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ALLIE: So I'm curious, what did discipline look like in your house when your kids were growing up? Like when they really did something wrong that you needed to correct? How did you handle those kinds of things? You’re just such a fascinating parent.

BOB: Yeah, it would be a kindness, not disapproval to say, “oh yeah, yeah, that's just not how we roll.” But I remember when the kids were growing up my boys were like daggers for each other. They were using words I hadn't even heard and I thought I heard them all as a lawyer. And I'm like, “wow!” And then they all went away to college. Now they're all inseparable. So under my watch they were saying all kinds of rotten things to each other, and as soon as they got out from under me they did great. So I would preface this by saying I'm no authority on this.

But one of the things that we did is sweet Maria and I, we didn't have disagreements in front of the kids. We just had an atmosphere of kindness.

When Lindsay was going to high school, I wanted her to be a nun, but she liked guys. So I said, “When guys come by and want to take you to the prom, just ask them this: What's your definition of love?” And if they come back and say “It's like butterflies,” I mean you could get that from bad pizza but “love, sacrifice and commitment.” And so, if we tell our kids it's sacrifice and commitment. Right now, one of the things that we don't sacrifice are some of these values that we have. You get a holiday on this one, but one of the things I want you to return to is this

We didn't have a place for time outs; we called it the seat of knowledge.

ALLIE: That's amazing.

BOB: “You need to go to the seat of knowledge.” We didn't make them wear a hat or do anything, but it was just a better way than shame. “Go to the seat of knowledge and you’ll figure it out.” I don't know if anybody learned anything, but if they did learn something, they learned kindness. One other thing around our house, kind of a banner over our door, is “100% kindness and 0% drama. Because what makes for a great TV show will make for a lousy life.” And I think I've seen that in the kids. There's just not a lot of drama. There's not a lot of intrigue. If you need to catch your breath, you go to the seat of knowledge if you need to, but we're just not going to do a bunch of drama.

Wouldn't you agree that we're either reflections of or reactions to the people that were closest to us?

ALLIE: Absolutely. Yeah.

BOB: How are you a reflection and how are you a reaction? Tell me from the way you grew up.

ALLIE: A reaction? I went to school at a very prestigious, very legalistic Christian private school and I am a reaction to that by just going the other way and focusing on studying Jesus instead of coming out more like a Pharisee. And I would say I'm a reflection of my parents in that they counteracted that for me and they were more this way of just, “Look, we just didn't want you to go to this school. So we sent you to this one, but it’s kind of crazy over there, so just go to chapel and be good. Just love other people and follow Jesus.” I'm more reflection of them in that way.

BOB: I go to the deep south a lot to talk and when I come back, if I’ve been there for a week, I’ll say “ya’ll.” And the total of nobody in San Diego says “y'all,” and that's rounding up. So I'm a reflection of that. But I'm also a reaction.

I grew up in a family where there wasn't tons of hugs given. Right? So, I hug everybody, because I'm just a reaction to that. It’s just too good to miss. What are you reflecting? What are you reacting to?

Oh, I grew up with grandparents. My grandfather was a firefighter on the docks in San Francisco. For 40 years he worked the graveyard shift. Guess what? He never put out a fire. I don’t even know if he knew how to. But he was the kindest person. I try to be a reflection of him because I had these examples. I think your kids are dying for us to be somebody they can reflect.  

ALLIE: Is this the same grandparents as the grandmother with the bike?

BOB: Yes! Bingo!

ALLIE:  I love that story.

BOB: That’s how you do it. Find something. I don't want my kids to grow up in thinking my dad's a lawyer (and I got a piece of paper in a file cabinet somewhere that says I am) but actually that’s old Bob. Old Bob’s on the bus.

One of the things that I would say to some of the people listening is don't be limited just by your capabilities. I’m capable being a lawyer, but I am made to be fun, to be adventurous. It will lead you in different ways, in different directions. Sometimes we think people that go across an ocean are doing noble things and it actually isn’t noble at all because think of all the tens of millions of people I flew right over the top of doing nothing. What Jesus told his friends is what's a big deal, what really wows Him is when we go across the street. Go across our office place. When we go across the school yard or the PTA or we find somebody who's actually a little bit creepy and we just love them without an agenda. Because when love has an agenda, it ain’t love anymore.

And so one of the things that I think I'm a reflection of in my grandparents. They just loved people. Jesus didn't vet the guy on the cross next to him and say, “What do you think about same sex relationships? What do you think about this? What do you think about the president?” He just said, “See you in paradise.” Like literally, check it out. So, if I meet somebody really difficult, I just say, “See you in paradise.” It just reminds me of why I’m doing… If you know why you're doing what you're doing, now we got a ballgame.

Oh, you will not see me without wearing a Boston Red Sox hat. I've never gone to a Red Sox game. I'm not even a baseball guy. But my neighbor, Carol, was a huge Red Sox fan and so she ended up getting cancer. We knew she'd start this eternity long dance with Jesus by the end of the week. So we made a deal. I said, “I'll wear your Red Sox hat for the rest of my life and represent the Sox here, but every time Jesus walks by you, you need to mention my name.”

ALLIE: Hey, that’s a pretty good deal.

BOB: I know. I’m keeping my end of the deal up.

One of the things is if you know why you're doing what you're doing when it comes to your kids, and you go like forget this whole count to ten thing, ask the third question. How did that make you feel? Ask them to ask you, “Will you ask me how that made me feel?”

Give them the language to ask questions that they wouldn't think to ask, because we've been around the sun a couple more times and we say, “I’m going to ask you this question, then will you ask me this question?” You just de-escalated that whole thing. I'm going to ask you how I made you feel, then you ask me how I feel.

And then if you could have the presence of mind to say, “It made me grateful that you're my daughter.” I'll tell you, you just replaced 30% of her confidence. You just blocked all those statistics. Because then she's like, “You know what? I made my mom feel like a boss even when I felt like I was at my worst.” There's something beautiful, like kind people, they just have this impact that just can't be calculated.

Oh, I live down on the bay with sweet Maria Goff and people now know where we live.

It’s so awkward. They come by on their boats and they talk about me and it's so awkward because I can hear what they're saying. Their voices carry over the water. What I'm learning is that humble voices carry the furthest in this world. To carry far, continue to do your podcast, have a humble voice and say things that are true.  

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. I love that. I have two questions for you that I am obligated to ask because we did Everybody Always in the book club that I host. I never say that I'm going to interview anybody if we happen to pick their book in the book club because I just feel like it sounds annoying. Like, “Oh, I'm actually going to be on the phone with him.” Nobody wants to be friends with that girl. So, I didn't say anything but at the end I said, “If you guys could talk to Bob, you know, what questions would you have?” And I didn't say a word. They don't even know this is happening.

And so I got two questions that were actually really good that I just have to ask you that came up. The first one is how do you connect to God enough to have this much that you have to pour into others? I know that God is probably blessing your heart and your efforts like crazy, but we were wondering like, are you just crazy extroverted? Like how do you have this much energy? Like you raised a family and you have a marriage and you're a busy guy and the Uganda Ambassador thing, how do you have this much to pour into other people?

BOB: I think I'm just curious about everything. I think I'm a reflection of my grandparents, so we're just curious.

Did you know a banana is a berry and a strawberry isn’t? Mind blown. Yeah, really true.

You can pet a bee on his back when he’s drinking water, and it won’t sting you.

ALLIE: I am going to tell my boys that and I will email you if somebody gets stung.

BOB: Oh, and don't do the whole Mentos and Diet Coke thing. That's for sissies. Go get dry ice and put it in a one-liter bottle, add a little water. Run! Because that will blow up.

ALLIE: I’m writing this down because they love that kind of stuff.

BOB: If we're curious about the things around us, the world around us, you’ll actually be curious about your faith and whether the people that are listening will feel like you've been hanging out with Jesus for 20 years or 20 minutes or not interested. Just stay curious about everything.

I was driving here from the North County and there’s a guy with a pickup truck and there's this beautiful dining room table in the back, like claw feet and all that. Every time he went on a bump, it moved six inches closer to the end. I'm like honking the horn. Every time it's another six inches, another six inches. And sure enough, it goes right out the back of the truck into a hundred pieces. Well, because I'm a 7, I'm thinking I can fix it. But I took a picture of that and I just am trying to capture images along the way, not to put them up on social media but I want to capture that and remember that and make sense of it later.

So, I will write down, maybe send myself a hundred emails a day. I've written down everything I think about, everything in one place. I have a document that's 1.6 million words long. I’ve been at for 20 years. I just write down everything. I think about everything. Some people in our faith communities have what are called “quiet times” in the morning. I've never had one. 20 years. I'm clean and sober on those. Mine are super loud. I take everything I thought of the day before and I say, I know it sounds right, but is it actually true? What can I learn from this? What can I pass on? How can I be curious about this and talk to my kids. I'm not looking for talking points. I just want to be so engaged in life that I'm actually curious about my life. I'm curious about my kids.

When people ask me, “Bob, how you doing?” I could say “fine,” but what I do now is I go through this little checklist. How’s sweet Maria? How's Lindsey? How’s Richard? How’s Adam? Because like you, if they're okay, I am okay. If they're not okay, I'm not okay.

And so I'll literally think if Lindsay's okay, Richard's okay, Adam. And if I don't know the answer because I haven't called Lindsay in a little bit, I'll literally call her up and I'll say, “Lindsey, somebody asked me if I'm okay. And I don't know if I'm okay till I know if you are okay?” It slows it down a little bit, but wonderfully so. And it hasn't happened yet, but wouldn't it be great if she said, “Dad, you know what, let me call my husband John and see if he's okay. If he's okay, I'm okay. And if I'm okay, I know you’re okay.”

So if you ask me, “Bob, how are you doing,” I’d be like, “This is gonna take a second.” But again, if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Because I literally don't want one of my kids to go for very long without me knowing how they’re doing. The third question…not “How are you doing?” But, “How are feeling about what you doing?”   

ALLIE: I love that. Oh my goodness. Okay. The last question, we'll wrap up with this. We had this big conversation about this and I'm getting a little vulnerable just sharing something that I struggle with and just wanting to know how you do this?

So, I'm really good at setting boundaries. Maybe it's something that I'm a reflection of or reaction to. I haven't thought about it before. I've got four little kids that I homeschool. I love my husband and I love our time together. So, I'm a fierce protector of that. I love my business and my mission and I kind of worry that there's so much on my plate that if I don't carefully guard my time, you know it's not going to get done. And I'm not going to have my stuff done. And so when reading your books I really began to feel like maybe sometimes I use healthy boundaries as kind of an excuse to maybe shut people out a little bit or not reach out and help them, not really serve. And I’m like, “Man that’s such an “8 thing” to say, right?  Head down, focused.

You also have a ton going on, so how do you handle that? Where is the line for you between…You’re so available and you're loving and you're serving other people? Do you have boundaries? How do you balance that?

BOB: Yeah, sometimes people talk about balance and I felt like there was a period of time in my life that I spent so much time trying to find balance that I tipped over. You need to chase this, chase this. And I felt like at some point I was kind of tilting at windmills. So I just, hey, I'd make some rules that kind of like actually worked internally for me.

For instance, I don't make appointments with people, so somebody says, “Can we go out for coffee next Tuesday at 3? I'm like, “Oh, heck no, but we're actually talking right now so we could have coffee or tea, whatever you want.” But I just don't make appointments. It’s been 3½ years since I made an appointment with somebody. What I'll do is I'll tell them the trajectory. I'll say, I'm in North County, I’m in San Diego, I’m in Point Loma, and if somebody wants to intersect that, then that's terrific.

I put my cell phone number in the back of 1½ million books. It’s been terrific. For me, living a life of constant interruptions kinda reminds me of the way that Jesus lived His life. He was constantly interrupted and He didn't give off this vibe like, “I'm too busy.” I can't think of one time where somebody said like, “You're really busy.”

So if somebody says, “Hey Bob, I know you're really busy, but…,” it makes me pause to say, “Am I doing something that's giving off the vibe that I'm self-important, or busy or something?” Because I'm just the opposite. So, tomorrow is Wednesday; I will be at Disneyland. You know why? Because I go to Disneyland every Wednesday. From 10 to 2, I'll be sitting on Tom Sawyer Island. I promise there'll be 10 people waiting for me because there's always 10 people waiting for me and it's just so beautiful.

So, if anybody wants to meet or have that, like let's hang out. I say Tom Sawyer Island, Wednesday, I'll be there.

And then I drive up to Pepperdine and teach a class at their law school. It's a class on failure. It’s awesome! All my friends who screwed up, bring your biggest screw up sometime.

Do you know why you're doing what you're doing? This idea of availability?

But now let me speak to your 8. This beautiful, precious, wonderful God-created 8 that needs order in their life and that needs to have a sense of purpose. Just live into that girl. Just continue to be just full blown, the healthiest version of that. The humblest version of that

So what I do, and tell me if this would be helpful to you, I'm 59 so I spend most of my time talking to 69-year-old Bob, like 10 years, me plus 10. So if there's something that's stressing me out, I say to 69-year-old Bob, “How do you feel about that?” He’s not stressed out at all. He can barely remember his name. And I also have the 10-year-old version of Bob, like little Bobby Goth. He is full of hope. He's not distracted by that stuff.

So, I would say for your listeners, add 10 to your age. Take wonderful you, where you are right now. Take that person as 10 years older and take the 8-year-old version, the 10-year-old version of you and all three of you make one really well-adjusted person, and you make decisions together and let those other two out vote you.

ALLIE:  I love that! That is so amazing! Thank you!

BOB: Thanks so much for making some time and talking. I’ve got a new friend.  

Did you know if you get a handful of sand, it has 400,000 grains of sand in it? I haven't counted it but Wikileaks wouldn't lie to you. So, Wikipedia. Wikileaks is actually trade secrets.

So, if you meet 12 people a day and live for 92 years, that's what 400,000 is? So that's what I'm telling you to do. 12 actual authentic conversations every day. If you can have your listeners just do that, 12 conversations a day, it will blow your mind what will happen to your life and the people around you. And make your kids, your spouse, the people that you love among them. Have a couple of conversations. You gotta to go to question number 3, not just the easy one. Just say, “How do you feel about that?”

Now, here's the primer. If you're married to a male, you say, “Now is the time where you ask me how I feel about this. So go!”

ALLIE: Yes! We do date night once a week, every week. We'll be on the drive, and I always start the conversation and then I'll ask my questions and it's just like comfortable silence. And I'm like, um, “I'm good too. My day…” Like he just doesn't…

BOB: Prompt him. Just say, “It warms my heart when you ask these questions of me. You don’t know that because you’re a guy, but it warms my heart. It actually makes me feel accepted, engaged, loved and appreciated, when you ask questions about not just where did you go.”

Maria drops me off every morning at 5:45 in the morning and I fly somewhere to go talk and then I fly home. But we never talk about geography. When people ask her, where's Bob, she always says he's on his way home. Because that's a way to honor her. I just get home.

And so if we can continue to run home to each other, but don’t just be in proximity to each other. Once you're there, (I'm speaking to the guys now and to the women to prompt the guys to say), “Ask me how I feel about the day” and I'll tell ya, I'll feel so good because you cared that much.

ALLIE: That's amazing. Thank you for this conversation and all this amazing advice. I can't tell you how excited I am for this to air. I really am!  

BOB: It was so great talking to.

ALLIE: Yeah! Maybe I'll see you one time at Disneyland because I live right there.

BOB: 10 to 2! I’ll be the guy wearing the Red Sox hat.

ALLIE: Perfect! Thank you so much.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

EP 076: Reviving Creativity in Yourself + Your Kids with Jenny Randle

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A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important to me which is why I am excited for Allie Reads October here on the podcast! All month I am interviewing some amazing authors. We will talk about their books, life, and living a life of purpose and intention.

Jenny Randle, author of Courageous Creative, is on the show to chat all things creative. From embracing your own creativity to cultivating and encouraging creativity in your kids. Because when we are walking in a healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others!

Use the hashtag #AllieReadsOctober to share with me this month. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action? I cannot wait to see what you share!

 
 

In This Episode Allie + Jenny Discuss:

  • What creative identity is and what it looks like to fully understand it, in yourself and your kids.  

  • Ways you can cultivate your kids creativity and help them find their own creative identity.

  • Things that will help you overcome the fear of walking in your creativity.

  • Why it is important that you speak life into your kids creativity, even if it seems crazy.

Mentioned in this Episode:


It’s giveaway time! Jenny’s book, Courageous Creative, is incredible and I am SO excited to gift it to one of you. Head over to The Purpose Show Facebook Community for your chance to win! I cannot want to connect with you this month on all things book related. #AllieReadsOctober

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who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hey, sweet friends! I'm so happy that October is finally here! For months I have been planning and dreaming this up for you and I'm so happy to finally unveil what it is I've been working on!

This month, October, is all about reading. We're calling it “Allie Reads October,” and the purpose behind this is for me to inspire and encourage you to read more often. Reading is such a gift. We take it for granted way too often, myself included, but reading is powerful. You literally have a whole new life in your hands when you read a book.

A book can teach you something new. It can inspire you to make positive changes in your life and can take you to a different level in your life. Reading is so important. I read all the time and I wish that I would have started sooner and so I'm taking that passion of mine and turning it into Allie Reads October. Every October here on The Purpose Show, we are turning it into author central.

I'm interviewing some amazing authors this month and we're talking about their books and I want to see you use this Hashtag. I'm going to be checking it every single day on Facebook and Instagram and I want you to use it. #alliereadsoctober.

Share with me. What are you reading? Did you get any of the books from the authors I’m talking to you about? Are you reading a different book? How are you taking this challenge to read more and putting it into action?

Let's celebrate this month October! Allie Reads October. We're going to talk about authors and books and encourage each other to read more books.

I encourage you to get other people involved in this. Get your kids involved. Encourage them, read with them, next to them or to them, or have them read in their own quiet time. Share this with your friends. Let's encourage each other to get better equipped to live an intentional life by reading more.

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Hi, beautiful friends! I am so looking forward to bringing today's guest onto the show. Before she comes on, I just wanted to give an intro to her. Jenny Randle is one of my favorite people in my life. I just adore her. She's so hilarious. We laugh so much together, which you’ll be seeing that in the interview. She's just an amazing human being. She really inspires me. She's a mom and a wife. She's an author. She's an Emmy Award winning video editor. She works with me. She's on my team and she handles all the Facebook, Pinterest, Facebook Ads, analytics and all of this backend stuff that is so over my head and so overwhelming for me. She's one of the best workers I've ever come in contact with. I love her and she and her husband Matt both do work with me and for me and I just love them so much.

Jenny is an amazing author as well. She is the author of Courageous Creative and that's what I am having her on the show to talk about. She really teaches how to be creative, how to come into your own creativity in a beautiful way. I think a lot of the time in our lives we lose the creative spirit that we were born with and we are all designed to be creative in some way or another.

Jenny and I are going to talk about the stereotypical ways of being creative, like being an artist, being a singer or being a writer are only one small aspect of creativity. There are millions of other ways to be creative that you're just not seeing and how to cultivate your own creativity.

We're also going to be talking about how to cultivate creativity in your kids and how to make them different and not raise them to be like the average person who's creativity totally kind of fizzles out after age 10, which is so sad to me.

We're having lots of good discussions. I ask Jenny some pretty raw questions about my own kids and my own self. I'm sharing some things that were said to me, things that happened to me that kind of just stifled my own creativity and how I'm overcoming that. I've been really inspired to come back into that in different ways. It's just a really good inspiring conversation. So, I'm so excited to welcome Jenny to the show. Let's dive in.

ALLIE: Hey guys! Welcome! I'm here with Jenny Randall. Say Hi Jenny.

JENNY: Hey!

ALLIE: Jenny is many things. She is an Emmy winning video editor, which I feel like we should talk about that for a second and she's also... How do I describe you? You are my social media, Facebook Ads, Facebook everything extraordinary. You're amazing.

JENNY: I'll take that. That's a good description.

ALLIE: Yes. So how's it going?

JENNY: It's going good. I feel like we're just two gals chit-chatting away.

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. And it's weird to be not talking about Facebook ads with you.

JENNY: I know. I'm like, “There's so many things I need to discuss with you.” I'm kidding. Let's discuss creativity.

ALLIE: Let's do this. So yeah, that's what we're here to talk about today. I want to talk with you about being creative as a woman, being creative with your kids, encouraging your kids to be creative and I feel like a great place to start is this page that I dog-eared in your book which comes out today.

JENNY: Yeah. I'm so excited!

ALLIE: Comes out today, at the time people are listening. This is really awkward because it's May right now.

JENNY: Yeah. So yeah, I can't wait. It's weird to think about that this is going to be launching the same day the book launches.

ALLIE: So. Yeah. And the thing that you're working on so much is actually going to come out and be in people's hands. It's exciting.

So in your book, Courageous Creative, you basically talk about the premise being that when you're a child you're uninhibited, your creative naturally, we're all born really creative in one way or another, or lots of ways. Then as you grow up (I want to say the chart that you showed in your book said around age 10), it significantly drops, which makes me so sad. I mean really it breaks my heart because it's true. And then as an adult it goes down to 2%. The average adult is 2% creative or something like that. Most people are not working in something that aligns with how they're creative, so the bulk of their time is not being spent really doing something that they were made to do.

How did you come across being passionate about that and what made you want to write this book?

JENNY: When I saw that study it said 4 & 5-year-olds are 98 percentile, genius-level creatives. My kids were that age when I discovered the study and I could see that in them. Then to see that it went down to 2%. Like you're saying, it broke my heart. As I was studying creativity and praying through it and figuring out what is that gap, I figured out that it's things like sin, shame, guilt, pain, fear, comparison, people-pleasing, all these different things, rules and regulations in school. All these different things stifle that creative nature that we're supposed to be walking out. So, it's now my mission to help people get that back so they can let their light shine.

Because I think when we're walking in healthy creative identity, we're able to influence others in whatever sphere of influence we're in. I think that's one of the most important things we can really get a grasp on is understanding our creative identity. So that's why I'm here.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And you do such a great job. The book is divided into all these different sections, breaking it down how God created us and He is creative. I like how you say God basically makes stuff. We're made in His image and He created us to be that way as well. Everybody's good at something. I like how you bring it all in. There's different sections for different types of creativity, but you're not segmenting it to, “Oh, if you're an artist, here's an assignment, work on your creativity. If you're a writer, here's your assignment.” You encourage the reader to do all of them.

And I even noticed that some of them are intertwined. I jumped to the writing section even though I think in the beginning you said not to – sorry! I jumped to the writing section and there was something about drawing. Just kind of express yourself. What are you feeling? What's going on and draw it out. Doodle. Go ahead and just start writing words, whatever it is. And that is what this book does. It opens up your mind to just the creative flow and stepping outside of yourself and what it normally looks like.

So can you give us a little bit of an idea of what that looks like for you? How do you express your creativity? How do you get outside of that box for yourself and do your thing?

JENNY: Yeah. Well this past weekend I spoke at a retreat called Camp Create. It was like you go and you make crafts and you do painting and you do things with your hands, which I am so not. I'm in the computer. Let me design something or let me write something. I left being so fueled and filled up by just being intentional to paint and do something that I'm horrible at. It sparked something inside of me that made me want to even do it more and cultivate that. I'm not saying I'm going to be the next expert painter, but when you work on the different areas, even the ones that you think you're horrible at, I think it spills over and it can inspire you to kind of take on something else.

ALLIE: When I was looking at your book and reading, especially certain parts…I always enjoyed expressing myself through writing the most out of everything. But I used to want to sketch and draw in my free time as a kid. And along the way I got the impression that I wasn't very good at it from other people and I stopped. It was just dumb little things. I would just sketch Ariel or something, whatever movie I was into. I was super little. I still have those sketchbooks and when I look back at them I get really sad. Kids pick up on stuff. No one was ever like, “You’re the worst!”

JENNY: This is the moment and we are going to go there. That makes me really sad for you because you had a passion, you had a gifting. You felt comfortable doing it and someone basically spoke death to your dream. That makes me so sad. I met this actor dude who wanted to be an actor and his dad's like, “Why would you act? Actors are a dime-a-dozen.” He said that to him. And a lot of times people are parents. We have to be so intentional not to speak death to our kids’ dreams or anybody. So how are we going to get through that Allie?

ALLIE: Well, that's why I wanted to bring up. This was such a God thing because, before I knew that you were coming out with this new book, this new version of it, I had purchased a painting from Lindsey Letters. I saw it online and I remember feeling something. Not to sound dramatic or super hipster, but I instantly connected with it and loved it. I purchased it. It sits on my mantle, and every day I see it in the main room of the house. Every day I think “I really want to do that. I wish I could do that.” But then I remember…

Side Note: The same thing happened to me with singing. I used to sing on the Worship Team and one time this co-singer said something to me that I wasn't as good. Because I'm competitive and have a need to be the best, it really affected me.

I felt the same way with the painting thing and just art in general. My daughter, Bella, is incredibly creative, artistic and very good at art. So I feel like this is for other people, not for me.

I was thinking about it the other day since I've been looking through your book again and just thinking like that is so dumb. I'm done. I don't want to do it anymore. And so, I put it on my to do list for the next time I'm by Hobby Lobby to get a canvas and some paints and just have at it.

JENNY: Yeah. That's so good. Yeah. I always like to teach people whatever makes your soul come alive. Like you're saying, you were connecting to those things. Whatever speaks to you, I think we have to pursue that. I always like to ask people, “What did you love doing as a child?” Because a lot of the times you'll still love doing it. You just have to be intentional to cultivate it, keep after it, and pray. Ask God, “Okay, is there anything that's holding me back in this area?”  

And Allie, you don't have to be the best at it. You can do it and bring God glory and just have fun and embrace that child-like wonder of just creating and going in that space. Which makes me want to ask you, do you want to sing us a song?

ALLIE: I don't. I had to go to the dentist really early this morning and there was a spider in my office - I don’t like spiders. Spider in my office and the dentist. I cannot. I was so anxious, so I put on that one song by Keane, Somewhere Only We Know. He really belts it out at the end. But I sang at the top of my lungs and totally soothed myself, because I am super creative. We all are, but I am aware of it and kind of tapped into it at least a little bit but I only stick to what I know or at least I feel confident that I'm really good at it or one of the best.

I feel confident with writing and expressing. Getting a point across really powerfully. That's what I do. That's it. But why can't I sing? Why can't I paint? Why can't I draw? Why can't I learn and express myself? It's silly.

I think even if you're not competitive and you're not coming from the same heart issues, for lack of a better term, that I am with competition, I think we all feel like we can't do something creative that we used to do in some ways.

JENNY: I think in that insecurity though, we're giving God space to show up and find our security in Him. I know it might be dumb, but being like, “Okay, God, help me paint and be able to fully express myself. The other day at church there was a girl that was twirling down the aisle during worship and just so free. When we have that moment of freely expressing ourselves and not feeling shame over who's watching me or who's judging me, when you can come to that moment of fully expressing yourself and feeling comfortable in it, I think that's huge.

ALLIE: Yeah. I love that. And I think what a form of worship, too, to be fully expressing and it doesn't matter. No one has to really see it if you don't want them to, but just expressing yourself to your creator I think is really powerful and that's the thing that I see in your book.

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Most people know I'm a blogger and a podcaster, but that's really just where the inspiration happens. I can only scrape the surface of equipping you to bring positive change to your life here. That's why I create online courses on my Private Students-Only Platform.

I don't spend months creating courses for no reason. This is where the action is. My courses are for the serious doers out there. If you want to see focused, real change happen in your life - change that lasts - this is what my courses are for.

This is where I dive all the way into actually implementing minimalism in your home and simplification to the cluttered parts of your life as a mom. We get legit detailed in these courses. My students have incredible success rates that they share in our Private Students’ Community and you can see some of their testimonials on my website.

I work really hard to keep my courses priced as low as I can, but you guys know I totally get being on a crazy tight budget, which is why I also have payment plans available

My courses are different from each other. They each serve different purposes and will take you to different places in your life. Don't overthink which one to start with. Just go to the website and pick one that's resonating with you and enroll.

For Purpose Show listeners only, you can take 10% off any course you choose with the code PURPOSESHOW.  Visit alliecasazza.com/nextlevel for the breakdown of all the different courses I have to offer, how they're different from each other and which one might be best for you.

I cannot wait to cheer you on and take you onward and upward. Motherhood is much too sweet a time to be spent in survival mode.

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ALLIE: So talk to me about with your kids, because one feeling that I felt when going through your book was this excited panic, I guess, of just they're so little and Bella's 9, so she's kind of close to that age. She's so creative. I think with homeschooling especially we have time to cultivate that a lot, but I don't know…what about the kids that don't really seem to stand out as super creative in one way or another? What would you say to that?

JENNY: Well I think it's how you view creativity. The most simple definition, we kind of touched on it earlier, is just the act of making stuff. So, if you view creativity like that, maybe your kids are really good at making decisions and you can cultivate that in them. Or they're more engineer, tech-minded, cultivating that. I think it's finding where they are thriving and being super intentional not to stifle it.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. And that's really straightforward and simple. It's not complicated to do that.

JENNY:  There was this one lady at preschool pickup who was like, “Oh, I hear you teach on creativity?” “Yeah,” I said.  And then she’s like, “I'm just not creative.” I just wanted to punch her in the face because it's like, “Okay, well…lesson one. Yes, you are.” And then we started talking. She has her own business. She coaches people on fitness. I'm just sitting here thinking, “You don't know what creativity is.” I think it's having that broader view of understanding how we can express ourselves.

ALLIE: Yeah, because when I think about what creativity looks like, I immediately think of Bella and her painting, writing, being super artsy, wearing slightly off-the-shoulder loose tunics with tattoos and being in your house with your succulents - just expressing yourself.

That was a really good description. That is detailed and I want to say that I'm really proud of how I described a creative person.

JENNY: That was amazing. That's awesome. And that's how it is.

ALLIE: But you think those types of expressive creativity only. But really, being business savvy is expressed as creative and is an expression. Marketing - that's something that I love and feel like I'm really good at and I love expressing my heart for my business through that. There's other things that are not stereotypically creative, I guess.

JENNY: Right. Creativity to me isn't just painting. It could be how are you parenting your kids in a creative way? When you need to discipline them, “Okay, this isn't working, what else can I do?” You know? I think it's viewing it like that and asking God for wisdom.

There's so many stories in the Bible when God would be like, “Do it this way!” Speaking wisdom and being open to that creative correction is huge.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And also, that's another huge weight off of us as parents - to know that there's room to be creative. You don't have to read the parenting books and do it exactly that way. If it's not working for your kids and there's something wrong with them or with you that you can take a step back. Be creative and find a way that works just for you guys.

JENNY: Yeah. Yeah. I went through a season of finding myself because I was so exhausted saying “no” to a lot of the things my kids wanted to do. Then one day they were like, “Will you get the fan down. And I'm like, “No, I'm not going to get the fan down.” And then I walked into the playroom and they had created this massive zoo truck, a truck that was going to go to the zoo. They rearranged all the furniture and because I did not get the fan down, they did not have an engine. I saw it and I'm in the midst of writing my book on creativity. And I was like, “Oh my gosh, I am putting regulations on you like no one's business.” So, I said I was sorry. I got the fan down and they kept playing.

Seeing that process of me saying “no, no, no” just because I was tired, it was so dumb. I was so mad at myself. I think it's always being self-aware and asking God like, “Okay, what's holding me back from my creativity and how can I change that? And then obviously looking to Him for strength and doing that.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I didn't want to have prepared questions for this because I just wanted the conversation to flow and be creative, so I am bouncing back and forth a bit.

What happened with me and the art thing and the singing thing, I am sure that story mirrors everybody listening in some way, big or small. So, coming out of that fear of “I'm just not good at this, so I don't want to do it,”what are maybe some inner scripts or something that you could give to overcome that and walk ourselves through getting started with what that thing is for us again?

JENNY: That's a good question. Do you know the story of Moses when he's called? There's a burning bush and God said, “Go free the people!” and then he makes five excuses. Basically he says, “I'm not good enough. I'm not talented enough. Who am I?” All these different things. And God says, “I am who I am.” And He's not being like, “Moses, you're so amazing!” He just turns it back on him. I think when we can flip those lies that we’re holding onto, turn it back to God and be like, “Okay, well God's put this desire on my heart. I might as well go after it and see what happens.” Because honestly it's not really about you pursuing that thing, it's more just finding freedom. If you look at the bigger picture, obviously there's wounds there if there's something holding you back from doing something you feel passionate about. It's really pressing in and seeking Christ in that and learning how to overcome it and then just doing it. Just take a risk and do it and if it's so uncomfortable then just do it a little less and work your way up, you know?

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I'm really going to take action on what was happening with the painting thing and really push myself to do that, but I think it wouldn't be super difficult or painful or anything. It would be freeing to put to rest that inner voice and just be like, “Who cares? I'm going to do this.”

JENNY: I bet you'll surprise yourself with how great you can do at it.

ALLIE: I'm going to be the best painter.

JENNY: You are going to be the best painter. Let's just sell your artwork. Make a new shop, new business. But I think too, there's a reason you're passionate about that and who knows what else that would unleash in you, you know? It's just being faithful to what God calls you to right now in this moment. And if you feel like, “Okay, I want to try painting” just do that and see what happens. It's going to be fun.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. And it's one of those things that has always come up. It will always come back to me my whole life and I just always thought like, “Sucks that I suck at that” and it's so dumb. It's just so dumb.

I think too as parents, it really shows what awaits those kinds of…like nobody “said” that to me. It was body language, a facial expression. I was seemingly annoying to want to be putting my time into that. It just seemed like okay, I'm getting a vibe here.

And it's so crazy how that is the power that we have, flipping it around to my kids now and I totally relate to your fan story. I did this on purpose. That's the whole thing behind having less toys, minimalism, an intentional space that cultivates their imaginations and constructive play. Bella is extremely imaginative, very creative and Leland is very strategic, has that engineering mind like you said earlier. And the other two are just there because they’re just really young. They make up these big things. And they ask me for something and I'm like, “I guess.” I cultivated this and then you just get so irritated and that is the kind of stuff that gives the message I think that creativity is immature and there's no place for it as you get older.

JENNY: I look back at growing up and my parents provided me with resources and tools and video cameras and I'm like “I'm moving to Hollywood!” I was in New York and they never were like, “No, I don't think you should do that.” As crazy as that dream sounded, they always spoke life into it. That's the type of parent I want to be. I'm getting emotional talking about it because their ability to empower me to do that changed my whole world, you know? Our job as parents is to disciple and foster our kids in the areas that they feel called to do and speak life over them.

ALLIE: Yeah, for sure. I love that. As parents, how can we seek out what our kids are good at, especially if it's not an obvious creative like art or building or whatever? And I don't mind saying this on the show, but specifically Hudson, he's 5 (6 at the time this comes out) and he is like Brian. He is very sweet and always putting everyone else ahead.

For example, for his birthday, his favorite cake is lemon and he said “I don't really want lemon though because not a lot of people like lemon, so I'm going to get chocolate because everybody seems to like chocolate.” He is very pleasing and he is a “prop” in his siblings’ play like all the time. It's hard for me to find what is your thing? What is going to be your thing so I can cultivate that? There really is no middle child right now, but he falls into that stereotypical role, being tossed back and forth, and he's happy to play with them.

But how can we, for anyone listening that kind of relates to that or has a kid like this that’s not so obvious like Bella’s painting things and all of this stuff, how do you exactly seek that out? How can you take a step back and watch for that and cultivate the little things if you do see something?

JENNY: Well I always say we can be self-aware through prayer. So I think it's asking God to reveal to you or to highlight things to you when you notice him playing in a certain way. You can already tell he's really compassionate so maybe it's even serving your community and taking him with you to a homeless shelter or doing something to cultivate that in him. My son's the same way and that is something that I really want to cultivate, especially in a male. I don't want that to go away. So being intentional in that and praying about it.

But also exposing him to a bunch of different things and then seeing what he connects to. I think it'll come when he finds it, right? Like my Zoe loves dancing, but we signed her up for dance at 2 and she had a breakdown every time. Now she's 4 and she's awesome.

It just takes time to feel comfortable in that space for them to express themselves. So he'll show it soon.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I think it is just kind of the way it goes a little bit for a middle child. They want to be with their siblings so they go and do what they're doing and they're not really thinking about, well what is my thing? He's 5.

JENNY: Yeah. Well my daughter will copy everything her older brother says to the point where she'll be like “Is Max eating his lollipop right now?” And I'm like, “I don't know, use your brain, you have freedom my child.”

ALLIE: I love that though. That was really practical. Yeah. Very actionable. Which is helpful when it feels like a big weight. I don't want to mess them up. I don't want to mess up their creativity. I don't want to stifle it. I want to encourage it. That’s a big thing to say and it's hard to do.

JENNY: Yeah. It’s just noticing it. Like the one character trait you mentioned, you can foster that. You’ve noticed that he's compassionate and kind. So figuring out ways to strengthen that in him and then maybe from that other things will come out. Maybe he'll like writing a story for a certain type of person or…

ALLIE: Yeah, totally. You give a lot of easy action steps and hope even just the way you talk about it and it's very relaxing, I guess.

JENNY: Welcome to The Spa! Spa Jenny!

I do want to say the goal of the book is to help people cultivate their creativity. Whenever I do speaking or talking, the whole goal is to have people take action, so that is what is in the book, so I'm really going to put you on the spot right now because this is fun, but will you cultivate your creativity live on your podcast? I feel it happening. Will you just freestyle rap for us please? I feel like this is your moment and you're going to be so good at it. I'm going to give you a topic…

ALLIE: Do not make me rap. I’m not going to rap. I do not feel creatively inspired to rap.

JENNY: What if I gave you a beat? That'll inspire you!

ALLIE:  I am going to freak out. {laughing}

JENNY: Listen, I did this at a church event and I accidentally called it a freestyle battle, which is totally different and people were like, “Am I supposed to do ‘your mama’ jokes and make fun of people?” And then I had to be like, “No, no. Keep it clean.” And then it was fine. Well, why don't you do that? That’ll really set people free.

ALLIE: I just feel really creatively inspired when I'm making people feel terrible about this. {laughing}

What I am going to do is I'm going to go today and get stuff to paint and I will send it to you.

JENNY: Okay, that's fine. That's fine. I mean, if any of the listeners want to do a freestyle rap, just send them to Allie. She's gonna love it.

ALLIE: Send them to me on my Instagram DM and I will open them all.

JENNY: Maybe that'll inspire you, their freedom of expression.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Okay. So Courageous Creative is out as of the date of this episode. And so where can people find you and connect with you more about that?

JENNY: I love going on Instagram. I'm on Facebook. My website, jennyrandle.com.

ALLIE: And you can get the book anywhere books are sold, right?

JENNY: Oh my gosh. I've been so excited to say that. Yeah. Anywhere books are sold!

ALLIE: I should've let you say it.

Okay. Well guys, if you want to be encouraged as a creative, even if you think you're not creative and also have a great handbook for (there's like so many highlighted things in my mind) raising creative kids, encouraging your kids to be creative, especially from a biblical perspective. It's really about how God created us to be this way. It's empowering, I think. It is biblical, but it's really empowering to see that that's biblical, if that makes sense, and this is how we're created. It makes you come alive and get excited about it.

It's a really good book. Definitely something that I want to have on hand to raise my kids to just be expressive, be creative and be who they were made to be. So, we'll link to Jenny's Instagram and all that good stuff in the show notes as well as the link to the book.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today. This is an important subject and I really liked talking with you.

JENNY: Thanks for having me on!


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 058: You Can Stay Home With Your Kids with Erin Odom

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Do you desire to stay at home with your kids? I think we all do, at some point. But often, we are held back by this fear of finances. I want to encourage you that just because you stay home with your kids doesn’t mean you have to lack financially. There are plenty of ways you can stay at home with your kids while making an income. You can do it! Ask yourself, what am I good at? You are good at something. It may not be writing or podcasting, but it may be art or sewing or taking care of animals. Whatever you are good at, you can learn how to create more income with that!

Erin Odom is a stay at home, working mom to 4 who is passionate about helping other moms stay home with their kids and there is a lot that goes into that. From budgeting tips, bringing in some extra side income, turning a blog into a money maker, and more. She has so much to share with us in this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Erin Discuss:

  • The importance of focusing on happiness, not finances when transitioning to working from home with your kids.

  • The top 3 things that you can do to take control of you life and finances so you can stay home with your kids.

  • What getting intentional with your finances looks like and how you can be purposeful in this area of your life.

  • Practical ways that you can start making money from home and some tips to help you get started.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Have you been feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start? Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home. Letting things go that you don't really need. Simplifying your lifestyle. And you haven't really done much or you tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well. Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. 

I have put together a FREE guide to build some serious momentum for you to help launch you forward into success in your minimalist journey. And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show. It's life giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love and what you really need. Creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. That's what really matters, right?


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hi, sweet friends! Welcome to this episode!

I am really looking forward to introducing you to Erin Odom. You might already know her as The Humbled Homemaker, and if you don't then I feel really honored to be the one who introduced you to her. Erin is really special. She's actually one of the only bloggers that I've followed for a really long time, maybe even before I started my blog (or at least around the same time.)

I've always admired her and followed her stuff. She has a lot to say about lots of different things that have to do with being a homemaker and raising kids. Similar to how I used to blog about a lot of things and I still kind of do, but I really have honed in on minimalism and simplifying your space so that you can have more time and all that. Erin has really zeroed in on helping other moms stay home with their kids and there is a lot that goes into that. Budgeting tips. Bringing in some extra side income. Turning a blog into a money maker. Different things like that. That's really where her passion lies and that's what we're talking about today. So, without further ado, let's welcome Erin.

ALLIE: Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show! I am very, very honored and excited to introduce today's guest to you. I have Erin Odom here with me. She is The Humbled Homemaker online. Thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to be with us, Erin.

ERIN: Thank you so much for having me, Allie. I'm happy to be here.

ALLIE: I'm so excited to have you. I was just saying to Erin guys before we hit record, that she is one of the earlier bloggers that I followed. I looked up to you and always followed along on your journey and what you were sharing in your blog for years now. So, I'm really excited to have you here. This is great.

Okay, so Erin is the author of three books?

ERIN: I have two books with a publisher and then I have several ebooks too.

ALLIE: Okay.

ERIN:  My two that came out this year with a publisher are with Zondervan: More Than Just Making It and then the one I think you're going to talk about a little bit today, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids.

ALLIE: Yes. Okay, so I have the book here and it is just the cutest little square book. It has the cutest cover. It is called You Can Stay Home With Your Kids and it is 100 tips, tricks and ways to make it work on a budget.

And like I was saying to you, Erin, before we recorded, in episode six of this show (those of you who have listened) I shared me and Brian’s story of just barely making it. Really struggling. Food bank. Really just America's version of poverty I guess. Evictions. Repossessions. I mean really bad. And the overwhelming response was, “How can I get to the other side like you guys did? I would love to know more about what I can do.”

And it goes beyond just having a blog going viral. It's not luck. It was a lot about cutting back first and getting down to the nitty gritty of how are we overspending. Even though it feels like we're barely getting by, there's always more wiggle room you can create. There's always hope and there's always action you can take to improve this area of your life.

I feel like that's the tone of your book. It's very happy and hopeful and it's not “well just do more. Just cut back. Sorry, you don't get to have a phone.” It's very hope-filled, but also practical and I really like that.

ERIN: Thanks so much. I really want to give people hope. We were exactly where you were Allie, and I love when I meet other people that have that story because, one, I felt alone. I don't know about you, but I felt alone because people don't normally talk about it when they're struggling, and so I didn't tell that many people. That means that I struggled in kind of in isolation. So, our family stories are very similar. God really used my blog is the catalyst to bring us out of a low income, but He also used many other things and I share those in my new book, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids.

My first book, I shared it with more of a memoir, but I truly believe whether you think that you can blog or something else, that we all have that hope of getting to the place where we can stay at home with our kids and not feel so much of a financial frustration in the process.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I wanted you to tell about yourself, but I'm getting sidetracked. But first I wanted to say recently I was scrolling through something, I don't know where I saw it, but I saw something that had this tone that I see out there all the time. It was something about “let's not focus on money; let's focus on being happy” or something like that. Maybe you would agree, but coming through what I've been through, stuff like that kind of bothers me a little bit. You can say that, but I feel if you would say that, you haven't been without money, without anything.

You haven't been struggling to where you wake up and the first thought is, “what am I going to say to the landlord today? How am I going to make this bowl of cereal stretch to three? How am I going to make this work?” The lack of financial freedom in my family was such a heavy weight. It was just breathtaking and incredibly oppressive.

And I believe that is not abundant life. That is not what we're called to. And yes, money should not be our obsessive focus, and “let’s all gain, gain, and greed.” However, money makes the world go round and without money you can't give freely. You can't take a deep breath and enjoy going out to dinner with your family without freaking out about how are you going to pay the bills now.

And so, I feel like I get that tone from your book, that this isn't really about getting more money or about being so scrappy that that's your main focus. It's just about creating more space and I guess, breathability, in your life and your family so you can focus on what matters really.

ERIN: Absolutely. And I will tell you Allie, it's a really fine balance. When we were going through that low-income period…well first of all for years, I thought this is going to be life forever. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. And there are times even today where I'm given opportunities and I say “no” a lot, because I have four kids. You know, I run my blog as our business, and I write, but then there'll be something that comes on my path and it's a lot of money and I say “no” to it.

It's like I have this little pause of “what if I say no, and one day we run out of money” because of what I was going through, you know we didn't have many. We got to the end of the month and we didn't have anything in our refrigerator or cabinet. And I was like thank the Lord for these WIC checks because that was all that we had to eat, you know?

But I do think it's a fine line because I got to a point where we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we were starting to have more income and I prayed, “God, help me not to forget this feeling. Help me not to forget what it was like not to have a whole lot so I can continue to cultivate gratitude” and it has made a huge difference. I will say that God has really honored that prayer in my life.

You and I both know the sky's kind of the limit in blogging and online entrepreneurship and I'm sometimes bothered by the focus on “let's just get more and more and more and more.” I don't know if this will be a book one day or not, but my focus now is, okay, what is enough?” Because we have enough. And how could we cultivate gratitude?

And today I look at money as” money is not evil.” The love of money is the root of evil. And so yes, like what you said, we have to have money to live. I remember feeling a little self-conscious. It was me; people probably weren't judging me, but I didn't tell a lot of people why I was trying to really grow the blog.

And I was hustling, hustling, hustling in the beginning. I really burnt myself out. I would stay up till 3 o’clock in the morning, all night long. I was working during the days, a lot. I felt sometimes like my friends in real life we're judging me, but they didn't know that we didn't have enough money to live. And even some of my blogging friends in the beginning, we're just, “Erin, you know, you're growing but you're burning yourself out.” And I was like, “Guys, we've got to have money to live.”

And so, there is that difference and it's just that balance of discovering “What is enough?” Because I think we can get to a point where we love money so much that we do end up neglecting what is the most important. We ask whenever we want to create more income to give our families some wiggle room, what is the goal? And for me it was to be able to stay home with my kids. So, I have that “check” in my spirit whenever I realize I'm getting burned out and I'm neglecting my kids because of my work.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I totally know what you mean. it's like a constant “check,” a constant balance. Also, I think we love what we do. It's fun. I feel like sometimes I don't realize I'm getting burned out until it's almost not too late, but I'm deep in it, deep in the burnout phase. And so, to take some time off or whatever. But yeah, I understand everything, every bit of what you're saying.

So, you said you have four kids, so what ages do you have?

ERIN: My oldest will be 10 this summer, so I started this mom journey almost 10 years ago. My second is 7 ½. My third is 5 and they're all little girls. And then I have a 13-month-old little boy.

ALLIE: Oh my gosh. Yeah. My oldest is 9 and it feels weird. There's something that feels a little more legit or something about having a kid that’s a little bit older and having more “kid” issues than toddler. It's weird. That's exciting.

When you started your blog, did you immediately start sharing tips and tricks for budgeting and staying home or did you transition into that as a blogger?

ERIN: I transitioned into that as a blogger. At first, I was just kind of blogging about anything, a lot about motherhood, a lot about encouraging moms, a lot about what I was doing in my own life. In the early years it was breastfeeding and toddlerhood and all that. And then in the fall of 2012, I had been blogging for a year and a half at that point.

I did a joint series with some other bloggers on motherhood and we said, “Okay, let's assign each of us a different facet of motherhood that we can talk about.” And they knew that I was struggling financially, but my readers didn't know and they said, “Okay, Erin, we think you should be the person to write a post called “staying at home with your kids when you can barely afford it.” And that was the first post I really wrote about anything financial. It was really the most vulnerable post, the first time I've been very vulnerable in the blog.

I had been real. I had been authentic, but I hadn't been that vulnerable. I was really scared. I basically said “we're living on a rice and beans budget.” I clicked “publish” and I was like, “okay, maybe nobody will read this and I won't have to be embarrassed.” And I woke up to tens of thousands of page views and hundreds of comments.

It's been over five years and I still get page views to that blog post every day. I still get emails like “I read this post…” And I realized then I'm not alone in this. There are other moms just like me who are barely making ends meet. They're afraid to tell anyone. And they don't know how to do it. They don't know how to stay at home with their kids and also have that breathing room. They're constantly burdened with the weight of not having enough money.

ALLIE: Yeah. It weighs so heavy that it starts to affect everything. That's the thing I was saying earlier that bothers me about quotes like that, like “let's just be happy and not focus on money.” It bothers me because I feel like it was so heavy that it made me a bad mom. I was snappy and stressed. I always use the example that I felt like I was like Saran wrap stretched over a casserole, one little poke and it just comes apart. Like one thing goes wrong, $1 less and it matters.

And that affected my marriage and my motherhood. It affected my health a lot. My stress levels were through the roof. I didn't feel like getting up and going and doing anything with friends when I was invited. I couldn't, but I didn't feel like it anyway. I was depressive. It matters.

And so, I love the freedom of that you say, and that I will always say is, it's okay to want more and to do something out of the ordinary to get there, to give yourself that wiggle room that you need.

Having said all of that, what would you say? What are your top tips or top three things that people can do if they're listening to this? Maybe there's somebody who's working outside of the home, hates it and just desperately wants to be home, but she knows they need that income. What would you say to her to maybe start taking some action steps to changing her situation?

ERIN: I would say you have to figure out what is the root reason why you can't be a stay-at-home mom, if you want to be a stay-at-home mom. Some people are called to whatever career and I want to make it very clear that there should be no shaming of any mom, whether she's a working mom or a work-at-home mom, (which I think the two of us really are work-at-home moms - we stay home with our kids, but we work at home) or a full-time stay-at-home mom. There's no shame.

But if you do desire to be at home with your kids, what is keeping you back? What's the root cause? Is it because you have an income problem? You don't have enough money to live just on your husband's salary? That was our family's issue. My husband is very fine with me saying that. I talk about it in both of my books a lot. Honestly, we look back and we feel like we were so naive. We didn't know that we didn't have enough money to live.

We were spinning our wheels thinking we are doing something wrong. What we were doing wrong was that we didn't know we didn't have enough, and we had a financial advisor from our church who helped us discover that. So, do you have an income problem, mom? Do you simply not have enough money to live with just one parent working outside of the home? Or is there a spending problem?

I call these problems, but there’s grace, whichever one you have. I'm not trying to come down on you. I'm saying are there areas of spending that you could cut back in order to have the margin you need to be able to give up your salary as a full-time, outside-of-the-home, working mom?

Or are there gifts, and I believe all of us have gifts, that you have that you can use to create income from home and that can be your income problem solution. Creating an income from home.

So, I would say figure out the root cause. What is the root reason why you can't stay at home? Do you have an income problem? Do you have a spending problem? And from there seek ways to curb spending or create more income.

If the spending is your problem, I encourage you to take this next month and record every single penny you've spent - every penny - and at the end of the month, take that list and divide it into two. What are these things that are absolute necessities for us to live? Utilities, rent or your mortgage, food. I would argue that there's ways to trim your food budget too.

What are things that are wants? What are areas we spend on? Our wants are not bad in and of themselves, especially if you have the money to do them, but those are going to be things like going to the movies, going out to eat, cable, the gym membership.

Again, I am all for adding those things back into your budget whenever you learn to create more income, but those are things that you can take away in the temporary so you could come home with your kids.

So, if you have the income problem, I encourage you (I love talking about this) to list some different gifts and talents you have. Are you good at art?

There was one lady I include in my book who loved painting her kids' faces. She created a business called “The Joy of Face Painting (her name is Joy) where she goes to children's birthday parties and she's paid to paint faces. I think that's so creative.

Allie and I, we blog. She podcasts and does YouTube. I'm hoping to do some more of that stuff in the future, but that's how we were created and there may be some of your listeners who are the same way. They're talented in the media arts.

But just because you're not doesn't mean that you can't create more income from home in the way that you are talented. Do you love animals? Maybe you could be a dog groomer in your own house. I love to tell people, “think back to when you were a child, what made you come alive? You know, I was always writing stories, but what about you? What is it for you? I think you can use that and you can create income from home with wherever that is.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. You can do “that thing” for pay or you could create a business teaching other people how to be good at that thing too. There's so much. I love that you said earlier too that there are no limits. There really are no limits. It's such a good time.

I was overwhelmed by the messages after that one episode I told you about and I kept responding to everybody. They were spiraling and kind of stressing out like, “I want to do this to you, but I don't know how.” It's such a hopeful time. There are no limits. You can literally make a business online out of almost anything. It's amazing. For such a little cost too. I mean I did everything. We found a work around to do everything before I could afford anything. It was just an amazing time to be a creative woman who wants to be home with their kids and wants to do something.

I think too, the other benefit is you get to have a little side thing too that’s your passion Not just about the money, you get to have a little side hustle and something that you're passionate about outside of raising your kids, which is great.

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Hey girl! Real quick, let me tell you about something that I've created that is totally free and amazing that I'm so excited to have you get your hands on. It is called my Minimalism Starter Kit.

Have you been feeling really overwhelmed, not knowing where to start? Maybe you've been listening to the show for a while and you always hear me talk about simplifying your home. Letting things go that you don't really need. Simplifying your lifestyle. And you haven't really done much or you tried to start, but life got in the way and it just didn't go well.

Whatever the reason may be that you're feeling a little cluttered, a little overwhelmed, that there's just always too much. Maybe you're constantly cleaning and you feel like the house is actually never clean. I can totally help you and it can be simple to get started.

I have put together The Starter Kit to basically build some serious momentum for you to help launch you forward into success in your minimalist journey. And remember, minimalism does not have to be this stereotype thing where you basically own nothing. You count how many jeans you have. You don't get to shop. It's not this joy-sucking horror show.

It's life giving. It's joyful. It's about having what you love and what you really need. Creating space for you to live a full, abundant, intentional life focused on your family. That's what really matters, right?

The Minimalism Starter Kit will basically walk you through what minimalism actually is. A healthy, happy, realistic version of it. For moms, written by me, for you. It goes through why would you want to do this? What's it going to do for you? Where's it going to take you?

It helps you find your why and has you answer some questions for yourself. It's fillable on the computer or you could print it out and fill it in like a journal with a pen old school style.

It will walk you through decluttering your laundry and dishes - the two biggest time suckers for Moms, right?

It will also give you a list of 15-minute, quick and easy decluttering projects for the busy mom who doesn't know where to start.

It also includes a list of 20 things that you can get rid of right now.

This is a serious momentum builder. It's about getting started in making decisions and letting go of stuff right now. It empowers you and it will help you keep going. It also includes a 10-minute declutter challenge.

It'll help you keep going after you're done with The Minimalism Starter Kit.

It has resources and some really punchy words in there from me to you that will help you keep going. It's got resources like my top blog posts and top other things I have put together that are totally free for you to keep going.

Go check it out. alliecasazza.com/starterkit.

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ALLIE: Okay. So, in a summary or one sentence, what does getting intentional with our finances look like in your opinion? And how can we get purposeful in this area of our lives? I feel like you’ve somewhat answered this, but maybe just for somebody who might be afraid to look.

I feel like a lot of people avoid money altogether. That's how I was. That's how I responded to really “the trauma” of what had happened with us. Just avoid it. I don't even want to see it. I didn't want to say the word “budget.” It was hard for me for a long time.

If somebody is really struggling and doesn't even know what to do, how does it look to really be a good steward, I guess? And get intentional with this area of our lives? This show is all about getting purposeful with each topic that we talk about.

ERIN: I can be like you, Allie, and I can just say, “Okay, I just don't even want to know” because my husband does manage our finances. It's scary when you have lived in that season (for us it was years, and it sounds like for you too) where you don't have a whole lot. You don’t want to look at what you have.

I have learned when you discover your root issue of your financial frustration and then you seek to better that, if you live by a budget, it'll give you more security. If you begin to budget and you begin to take out things that are wants in order to curb spending and create more income, when you have a budget, you're going to be able to look and say, “Okay, I do have some money that I can spend.”

So, I would encourage you to go back to that list of wants and needs. Record everything for a month. Divide them up – wants and needs. Look at what you can take away and then from there create a budget.

So, anyone who gets my book I have in the book itself (these are not even included in the preorder bonuses which people can get right now) a link to extra resources and one of them is a printable budgeting sheet. There's lots of printable budgets sheets. If you google “free printable budget sheet” you'll find one I'm sure. But with that, what our family does is we categorize everything. For example, we have a clothing budget.

Before when we didn't have a budget and we barely had any money, if I needed a new pair of jeans, I was just struck and overcome with overwhelm, fear, and had this huge burden of “I need a new pair of jeans and I don't know that we have the money for me to buy them.”

But now how we have our budget, we have a clothing fund and so now I am sure if we have the money in there to buy a pair of jeans.

Does that make sense?

ALLIE: Yeah, instead of just avoiding it - whether you have a lot or a little - instead of avoiding it, it's taking control and realizing “whatever money is there, it doesn't really help me if I don't know about it.” So, taking ownership of what you have and coming to terms with your role with it.

ERIN: Absolutely. And that was the thing sometimes, especially after the blog started making money, there would be money there and I still didn't want to spend anything because I was scared.

ALLIE: Yeah. In the beginning, for me, it felt very much like this is a limited-time thing so we should just hold onto this like crazy. My story is different. I didn't leak in; we had a big wave from virality. That was even worse because it was like, “okay, well this is going to die down and then that's it.” And it was very much not an abundance mentality of, “you know, there's always more where that came from. There's always more than I do.”

So, I was terrified. Then Good Morning America wanted to come over to our house to interview us and it was empty. I was so embarrassed. I was panicking and torn between do I get some furniture or not? If I do, then I'm going to spend the money. I was panicking.

The Lord really washed over me with “this isn't all I'm going to do. There is more where that came from.” And then that also is in forgiving. Giving and being a good steward. Saving and setting aside. Money is meant to be used. But when you have that control over it and you feel wise about it and you have a clue what's going on, it's so much more empowering than avoidance. Avoidance just feels like stabbing in the dark, not really being sure what you're spending

ERIN: From a spiritual standpoint, I talk about a lot in my book, More Than Just Making It, God really taught me He's the provider of all of our needs. It's really interesting because I talked about that a lot in my first book and then this past year we had a tough year. Now, was it tough compared to a few years ago? No, not at all.

I had a baby. That was a wonderful surprise but in the middle of writing and launching two books all within the past 13 months. So, God has been showing me again, “Just how I took care of you in the past. I'm going to continue to take care of you. I'm going to continue to provide for your needs.” That doesn't mean that we just sit on our butts and don't do anything. But that mentality of “I’ve got to hoard this or it's going to go away,” I understand. I totally relate to you because I think it was trauma we went through too. We lost a house in the recession and I declared bankruptcy at eight months pregnant with my third child.

ALLIE: Yeah, it definitely doesn't “do nothing” to you. It will definitely kind of mess you up a little bit to go through things like that. You think, “I've seen money come and go and I don't want it to go again.” But you know it's a fear-based decision and I don't want to live my life out of that.

If anyone is listening and feeling the same, I would just encourage you to deal with that and learn to let it go because any lifestyle lived out of fear is just not God's will for you at all. It’s not abundant life and that's what we're here for. That's what He came to give us.

Okay. So, my last question for you is what is one really commonly asked question that you get all the time? I'm sure people listening are thinking the same thing and you know better than I do what that might be. And then maybe share your response to that.

ERIN: Yeah. Well we've really talked about it a lot, but it is, “How could I do what you've done? How can I make money from home?” I know you said that you covered that in Episode 6 about your story. If you're listening and you're saying, “Oh my goodness, Erin and Allie, I'm living that life that you were living, but I'm living it now and the tunnel is so dark. Sure, you ladies have done that, but how could I do it? I'm barely making it and I want to stay home with my kids.”

I would say, “You can do it. There is hope.” Sit down today. Take a few minutes and I want you to write down what are you good at. You are good at something. It may not be writing, it may not be podcasting, but it may be art. It may be sewing. It may be taking care of animals. Something. I challenge you to sit down today and I want you to just do a bubble map and brainstorm what are some of those talents I have. Then from there you can learn how to create more income with that.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. Keep it simple. Not using what we're doing or somebody else's example as your guiding point, but just what are you good at? Then working around that.

What's really important for me, too, is I'm used to being a stay-at-home mom. I was happy doing that. I didn't think, “Oh, I wish I could do something else.” I wanted to contribute, especially when we were struggling, but Brian & I both agreed that was where I was supposed to be and it was good. But now that I am working, the only thing that makes me so happy and excited to even be doing this is because I love it.

I think it's so important that you base it on something that you do enjoy doing. Not just like, “Oh, I'm good at this, so I guess I'll try to make an extra 10 bucks.”

It is time away from your kids. It just is. I mean it can help make your family's quality of life so much better. But it still should be something that you enjoy, that you feel called to. When you're walking in that purpose, nothing really matters compared to that. It doesn't matter how much money you're making. It's good, it's fun and enjoyable and it can add to your family's finances too.

ERIN: Just for effort, three practical resources, because that is the question I get all the time, “How could I do what you have done?” There are three different business resources for women in business that I have used and loved.

One of those is Christy Wright’s Business Boutique. They have a conference every year in Nashville, but she also has a free podcast, a book and a lot of different resources. It’s through the Dave Ramsey Association.

Another one is Brilliant Business Moms and they have a podcast. I think they're taking a hiatus right now with the podcast, but they have a great support group on Facebook and a ton of resources online.

The other one is iBloom In Business.

Maybe you can link to them in the show notes. But those are three that if you're listening and you desperately want to be able to do what we've done, those are helpful and they're not just blogging specific. They are for how are you created and gifted or what are you passionate about? And let's take it from there and create a business around it.

ALLIE: Love that. Okay. We'll definitely link to all those things. And to your book, when does this come out? It's not out yet, right?

No, it's out April 10th. So, You Can Stay Home With Your Kids is out April 10th and anyone who preorders between now and April 10th, they will get some preorder bonuses. One of my favorite businesses, Free Reign Farms is giving a coupon gift certificate for free chocolate fudge. They came out with that and I was like, “What mom doesn’t need more chocolate? Hello? And also some bath bombs. They’re also going to get a 2-week Aldi meal plan and a nice art print that my publisher will mail to them with an inspirational quote from the book.

Also my other book is already out, it's called More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated. It's my memoir. There's practical meat in it as well. It's really raw. I mean it starts out with me going into the food stamps office.

ALLIE: I might have an emotional breakdown if I read that one.  

ERIN: I want you to read it because then you're going to say “I could totally have written this book” because I think our stories are so similar and it's so good to not feel alone.  

And ladies, if your listening, you are not alone. Seriously. You’ve got two people here.

ALLIE: Yeah. And that went to the other side. So, there is so much help for you guys and that's really why I wanted to have Erin on for you guys.

So, thank you Erin so much. Again. I'm so excited to have you here. This was so great. Thank you so much.

ERIN: Thank you so much for having me, Allie!

ALLIE: And guys, we'll link to everything in the show notes. So just head over there. Alliecasazza.com/shownotes/58. We'll link to the books and all of those resources to Erin listed. So go check it out.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

EP: 032 Kids Who Rebel vs Kids Who Don't Rebel feat. Rebecca Lindenbach

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Rebellion is seen as a cultural norm, but Rebecca Lindenbach begs to differ. Rebellion is not a mistake, it is a habitual behavior pattern. Yes, bad things can happen, but that doesn’t mean there isn't hope. In her book, Why I Didn’t Rebel, she shows how rebellion is not unavoidable and how it is often misunderstood. She offers incredible research partnered with her own story and the stories of others. Her foundation stems from reasons over rules, giving parents a new paradigm for raising kids who don’t go off the rails. Because rules create a power imbalance while reasons cultivate a healthy parenting relationship. Her book is the best parenting book I have read, so I know you will enjoy this episode!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Rebecca Discuss:

  • What rebellion is and what it is not.

  • How you can effectively work discipline, training or teaching into your parenting to help your kids void rebellion.

  • Why rules create a power imbalance while reasons cultivate a healthy parenting relationship.

  • The power of the words you speak over your children, as they are a self fulfilling prophecy.

  • How discipline works when your kids are really young and how you can set them up for success as teenagers.

  • Their perspective on whether or not how you choose to school your children impacts their behavior.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

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Motherhood is hard. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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ALLIE: Hey ladies. Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show. I am so beyond excited for this one. I am sitting here with Rebecca Lindenbach. She's the author of Why I Didn't Rebel and it is a book that I have been talking about so much lately because, as I said on Instagram, it is the best parenting book I have ever read. It's not even written by a parent and I think that's what makes it great. I'm so honored to have you here. Thank you so much for being here!

REBECCA: I'm so excited for this! Seeing all the Instagram feedback from you as well has made me even more excited for today.

ALLIE: Yeah! And everybody is like,"No pressure, but everybody's been waiting for this!"

REBECCA: OK, I'll try to deliver.  {laughing}

ALLIE: I am so looking forward to this conversation. You are like me in the way that you speak very directly and you definitely have a "no BS" for lack of a better term, attitude about the way that you speak and I love that. I really respond to that. I think it's really good for people to hear that kind of talk in this sugarcoated, overly-fluffed society that we live in where everybody gets a trophy and everything's "It will be fine. You're just doing your best." No, it won't though. We need to be intentional. We need to know where we're going and I love that about you and your book. Before we dive in to all my post-noted questions, why don't you just tell us a little bit about yourself first?

REBECCA: Well, I am Canadian, which is one thing a lot of people don't know about me. I don't know why that always seems to be such a huge thing when people find out. "Oh my gosh. You're Canadian, right?" Yeah, we exist.

I've been married for almost three years now. The beginning of our marriage was me writing this book, which as anyone who's ever written a book knows how incredibly busy and stressful it is to write a book, and that was on top of being a newlywed. So that was fun. It was a lot of fun, but it was definitely very emotional at times. But, it's been a topic that I've been so interested in for such a long time. I've always just been one of those people who loves to see themes and patterns, especially when it comes to human behavior, which is why when I studied psychology in school.

And so as soon as I got this book, my mom was telling me, "You have to write this book!" And Connor, my now husband, was like, "well, of course you have to write this book! This is your book!" And so, I wrote the book and he was really good through that. Pretty much my life these days is talking about a lot of parenting issues online, but mostly I'm working with my mum online, which is also pretty fun. I do most of the parenting side on her website.

ALLIE: I love that because you're her daughter. If you haven't read the book listeners, it's funny because it sounds kind of funny. You think, "She doesn't know anything about parenting," but, no! That is what makes this book so amazing is because it's coming from your perspective and you didn't just talk out of your mouth and just about your own childhood. You brought in other people. I think every chapter has a story from other people.

REBECCA: Every chapter has at least two other people and psychological research. I was a psychology student like I said, and the research side of me was "I can't just have this be a case study of Rebecca." Because, first of all, no one wants to hear an entire book just about me. And also it just wouldn't be that interesting. Right? But I wanted to make sure it was representative of it. The curiosity was, "Is this the thing that I found helped me,  going to also help other people? Or was I just an outlier? Right? So I really wanted to address that question.

ALLIE: Yes. And I love too that you're a Christian and your family is Christian. I'm a Christian. But you do not have to be of faith at all to take something incredibly valuable and powerful from this book. You're very unbiased.

No, you're totally unbiased. I feel like you've covered all the bases. There is no way that somebody (and it'll be really irritating if somebody finds a way), but I don't think there's any way that anybody could read this book and be, "Well, she didn't think of this or she didn't cover this kind of parent. You cover incredibly, incredibly strict, very rules-based, to the level of unkindness, really crazy strict parents. And very loose parents. You cover everything. Christians, not Christians. Church-going, not church going. Church-going, but didn't really get involved. Every type of parent that I can think of that. I love that. So I just want to get right in.

ALLIE: I just highlighted some things that I wanted to ask you about more towards the beginning of the book because I don't want to get the whole thing away. People need to get your book. I love how the first chapter is "What is rebellion?", and how you preface the entire book perfectly by addressing that. And it's quite a large chapter, too, of what rebellion is, defining it and saying what it is "not." I think, this is where myself as a mother, I tend to freak out. Especially when I hear parents or other people talk about that "something happened", a mistake is made. And I'm like "Oh my gosh. I can't believe that happen to them." But then after this big thing "happens," there is a lesson learned and the person or child and they go on to live a great life. A mistake is not rebellion. Rebellion is rebellion. Can you talk a little bit more about that, what you say in the book about that, and your thoughts on actually defining what rebellion is before we freak out about it?

REBECCA: I wrote the first chapter after I had done all of my interviews, right? I had already talked to all of these people. I had really delved into this and really thought about, "OK, what makes me think that this is one of the kids who rebelled versus this kid who may have gotten really drunk at a party once, didn't rebel. What's the difference?" Right? Because there was a difference in how they lived their lives and how their relationship with her parents was.

And what came back to me again and again was just this idea of who are you living your life for? Are you living your life for God or are you living your life against God? Because we all sinned and we all fall short. Teenagers are very lovable, but they're very dumb and they make mistakes. I say in the first chapter that everyone goes through extreme hormones, hormonal swings during teenage years. I had a lot of people in my life growing up and I saw all my friends who would get punished for being really moody when they were PMS-ing like mad when they were 14 years old.

I just didn't really see that as necessarily being a bad kid, and I thought, "I don't know, that just seems really rough." So I really wanted to address that to make sure that we didn't see all sorts of misbehavior as rebellion because there are two different types. There's the mistakes you make once and you say, "OK, I can be a better person than this." And there's that habit. There's habitual stubbornness to go your own way, even when you know that it's wrong. Then there's also rebellion of the heart. All three of those look very, very different. But all of them need to be addressed.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And you did it beautifully in that chapter. It brought a lot of clarity and it was really great. You could tell that you wrote it after the rest of the book, which is good. It was as if you were saying, "OK, I've done all of this. I've gone through everything you're about to read, and you need to know what you're looking for here." You brought a lot of clarity to a hazy area of parenting. It's really sad and myself included. I think a lot of parents kind of get thrown into this whole gig. Everybody is super planned. Personally for my husband and I, I was told, "You're either not going to be able to have kids or it is going to be super hard." So we were just chilling together and pregnant eight months into our marriage.

And it was shocking and so you kind of fall, for lack of a more professional term, backwards into parenting. You just have a lot of fear of "I don't want to be too harsh. I don't want to be too relaxed. I don't want to have all these rules without reasons." But then, especially in the Christian atmosphere, very spare-the-rod, spoil-the-child. I'm very strict. My husband and I tend to stick out in that regard, which you address as well. And I love that. It's like you just have all these things. You're just trying your best and it's not enough. I think it is very important to shine a light on what we're looking for, what we want and what we don't want. And what is that verse? It's in Proverbs. "Without vision, the people perish." That is so perfect for parents, for everything. But for parenting, if you don't know what you're looking for, how can you effectively discipline, train or teach?

REBECCA: Even in parenting the added element is that what if you do have one of the kids who has like a "big mistake" in high school, you're in the middle of the emotion of it as well, right? You're in the fear, in the middle of the uncertainty of the "is this going to become a perpetual habit or is this just a once in a lifetime kind of big mistake?" And I think that sometimes parents need to be told there are kids who just make mistakes and it turns out OK. Kids who don't go into full blown rebellion.

And that was a big thing I tried to do with the book in general. It was just kind of showing parents that, "Yes, bad things can happen, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope. That doesn't mean that even if your worst case scenario comes true, it can't be used by God."  And that was kind of a point I was trying to strike, trying to hit again and again and again with the book because it's really scary. And that was one of the biggest revelations coming out of all the interviews that I did was just, "Holy cow parenting must be really hard."

ALLIE: So is being a kid, which is something that I took from your book. You forget so quickly what it was like. I read this book with two different trains of thought - which is why I had to read it a couple of times and will probably read it again - one was how I was raised and then how I want to raise my kids. And so it was really interesting to just notice, "Yeah, I did feel like that or I didn't." I didn't realize that's why I had done that or felt that way and then to reverse it and think forward with my kids. It's just so good in so many ways.

OK. Basically after chapter one, I think the rest of the book is really what made these kids rebel and what made them not. And what is the common denominators here? What happened? And so one of the first things you talk about is rules. I'm just talking out of memory. I think it's the chapter where you gave the example, which I loved, of your dad being allergic to all your dress up clothes and the feather boas and others.

REBECCA: Yeah, the really fluffy ones.

ALLIE: Yeah, and you had a sister, so girly things everywhere. It's just the way she handled it and it's simplest example, but I love it. It's so perfect and applies to everything. And your mom saying, "Let's not bring these things downstairs (or upstairs) because Daddy's allergic and we it sucks for him to come home and be allergic. Just keep them over here." And it was a reason instead of "I've told you we do not bring these things downstairs!"  Instead of having these set rules and nobody understands why. Kids are not dumb, they can handle it. They just want to understand. If you lay out for your kids, "oh, we're not going to do this in our house just because we need to respect Dad and that really sucks for him to come home from work after a long day and then have an allergic reaction. So let's not do that." And then you never did it because you understand why. It wasn't just an unwritten rule that was "because I said so." So can you talk a little bit more about that and how you saw that played out in positive and negative in the people that you interviewed. And in parenting in general, and why that's important?

REBECCA: Exactly what you said. Kids aren't dumb. What they really understand is cause and effect relationships, right? I do this, I get a cookie. I do this, I have a timeout, right? That's why we use positive reinforcers and positive punishment. Sorry, that's psychology talk. But that's why we use "the carrot and the stick" kind of mentality a lot of the time with kids. And so what I saw in a lot of these families is you have the two sides of the spectrum. You have families who have a ton of rules and you don't give any reasons at all. It's like "You do this because I am your parent I told you to." One person in particular who I talked about in the book, I call him Nathan in the book, the problem that he found was that the rules didn't have a clear cause and effect relationship, and the cause and effect relationship that was there didn't change as he got older.

REBECCA: For instance, he would be allowed to go downtown 45 minutes on his own after dark, but he wouldn't be allowed to go over to another guy friend's house and watch a G-rated movie unless there was parent supervision when he was 17 years old. 13 years old? That's one thing.17 years old? That's another. And for him it just felt so unfair because, as he said in his words, he was going to move out in five months anyway, so why wasn't he allowed to have at least a little bit of freedom. Was it that his mom didn't really respect him? Did she just like having the control? What was it? Of course, looking back on it, he understands a lot of the fear and the uncertainty that his mom must have been facing as a parent.

He was the first born as well. And I think it's always harder with a first born because you don't really know what you're doing. But it's really hard when you're the kid who is sitting there and you feel like, listen, I have the ability to get myself a job. I could legally move out if I wanted to. I'm going to be living on my own really soon. And I feel like my parents don't even see me. I feel like they can't see what I'm capable of doing and I feel like they're just trying to control me instead of getting to know me. That's what a lot of the really strict rules do because they create a power imbalance instead of a relationship.

ALLIE: That is so controversial. I thought it was, "I'm the parent of a child. You can do whatever I say because I said it." Really that is kind of what's happening, but it's not in that tone. You can’t come at them like they've done things wrong when they haven't. It's like being treated like a convict when you haven't done anything. You just want to go for a bike ride and if you can't that's fine. But can I know why?  

It's just changing our tone and our perspective to have these conversations with our kids, to have a relationship with them, to build trust and closeness, but also you're still being authoritative. You still are their parent. I love that you break it down to where you end up saying that authoritative parents are the ones who have the balance of warmth and respect in a relationship with their kids, but they're also the ones who laid down the law and say, what is, what goes and what doesn't. Yeah, go, who are you going to be there with? That's where you land is that's what our goal should be, is to be that type of parent that has the healthy balance.

REBECCA: Precisely. Here's what I've come to the conclusion after talking to 25 young adults, it was a lot of interviews. Yeah, there's a lot of footage out there. What I've found is that if the ultimate goal of parenting is blind obedience to the parents then what happens when they hit 18? Right? But the thing about authoritative parenting, is that you still have rules. You still have things that you do and you do not do as a family. Like my family, we didn't bring feather boas outside of our dressup room. Of course we had other things we didn't do as well, like swear and party and all those kinds of things. But on top of that we didn't only have the rules, we had the relationship and when I didn't agree with my parents or something, we could talk about it and there were a lot of times where I changed their minds.

There were a lot of times I did not. And then there were a lot of times where I didn't change their minds and my little sister got to not have the rules because I realized later that they were a little bit strict there. But having that mixture of the solid "No, there is an authority here" that makes you feel safe as a kid. You know what's expected. But that authority is going to listen to me and isn't going to put my needs and my rights second to anyone else's. Because the rules aren't there to put the kids' needs and right below the parents. It's there to help the kids stay safe and become the kind of person who God wants them to be. That's why that relationship is so important.

ALLIE: Right. And I think it's just a focus shift where if you're focusing, like you said, on just getting them to listen and obey to every single thing you say all the time, well yeah, there's ways you can get that. But it's going to turn sour eventually sooner or later.

But if your focus is, like you said, having the relationship, raising good humans who can think for themselves and know who they are. That's the thing too, is that if you're focused on just obedience, you're missing each child. I have four, so I know something about how different they each are. What works for Bella will not work for Leland, for Hudson and Emma and all the other thousands of kids (that I can just keep listing because I have so many kids), but it doesn't. They're all different and if I'm focusing on obedience on rules and I'm missing an opportunity to listen and see each of them in their hearts and their gifts and their struggles and then adapt. It's so much less pressure as a parent to do it that way too, to just play it by ear and follow the Lord's Spirit.  Play it by ear and listen to your kids and have a relationship with them and know your gut what's right or wrong for them right now.

REBECCA: Well, that's exactly it. It's a lot less pressure, but it can be a lot more intimidating to decide not to parent by parenting gimmicks versus parenting by the Spirit, right? Because how do you ever know for sure? There's no checklist if you're parenting by the Spirit, right? There's no formula. There is no group of people who can judge you and say, "Yes, you are parenting exactly like the Spirit." That's why it's so much harder for a lot of people, you know? That's why it can be so much more difficult, but it's so important. It's such a huge testament to kids to be able to see their parents who are living by their convictions and by the Spirit versus by a rules-based version of what they think the family should look like. I mean, I know that my prayer life and my faith is so much impacted by my parents, seeing them deal with the times that we really tested them.

ALLIE: I love that you said that you think there's a big gap in our generations of raising kids because we're like the first wave of parents raising kids in this overly tech-saturated, terrifying season. I was much like you. I was the oldest. My parents were great. Everybody has their flaws. I had a great challenge, great parents. I did not rebel, and they didn't have to worry about any of this stuff. I didn't have a phone until I was 17 and it was a little flip phone and it was ten cents per text or whatever. And now if you accidentally hit the microscope for the magnifying glass icon on Instagram and there's full on pornography right in your face. It's so accessible.

I've got three boys. That alone would send me careening into a pit of despair. It is so crazy. And on the girls side, the comparison game is at its peak. It's so hard and I don't have an example of how to raise a kid in that. And so you specifically chose kids who were raised in this tech-obsessed time. None of them are my age or older, they're all in their early…

REBECCA: They were all under 25 when I interviewed them.

ALLIE: Yeah, so after post Facebook, cell phones, all of that.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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ALLIE: The next thing that I wanted to ask you about and just bring to light is the section about expectations, that children are a self-fulfilling prophecy. I love it so much. I want to bring up Monica and how you talked about her and her mom almost flippantly jokingly saying, "Oh, I only have a couple more years" until she starts to do whatever these awful things that teenagers tend to kind of do.

REBECCA: Sneak out the windows?

ALLIE: Sneak out the windows to be with boy. I thought, "is that normal?" And there's another episode of my podcast where I talk about the power of words (I have seen it so many times in my life) and speaking positive things over our children, speaking blessings and abundance over their lives and Jesus over their lives in their hearts. And it was so painful to read that section.

REBECCA: I was kinda the opposite of that, right?  

ALLIE: Parents say that all the time as a joke almost. I wonder if it's almost like a self-defense thing. "She's going to do it because every teenager does that." "She's such a troublemaker." Or my least favorite thing about boys, "Oh, he's going to be a heartbreaker. He's gonna be a lady killer." Even on onesies now like it's supposed to be cute.  Maybe you can talk a little bit more about that and maybe some examples that you saw, what that looks like, how parents were doing that and what we should be doing instead.

REBECCA: Yeah. Well the big thing about expectations is that kids feel it very, very, very hard. Parents, I think. A lot of times the kid’s perspective was that their parents were always disappointed in them if they had those expectations of failure. So I had one girl in particular, we call Haley in the book, she said that she had never once heard her mom say "I'm proud of you" except for at her figure skating recitals and competitions and stuff like that. But her mom was always on her case about what she was doing wrong, if she had done anything wrong. What did you do wrong? I know you've done something and I know you're hiding it from me, but I haven't figured it out yet.

And it makes the relationship go from tense to bad to non-existent. It just does.There's no sugar coating it with that. For the expectations part, the thing is that we tend to treat kids like they're little juvenile delinquents before they've even done anything wrong. I see this over and over again where kids just want their parents to like them and all they get is this message of disappointment. Why can't you be more like your friend? Didn't I raise you better than this and all those kinds of messages of disappointment. Where as in families where there was a lot of expectation for the positive, even when there was failure, it went well, if that makes any sense.

So I had one girl named Parker in the book, her parents were very much like my parents. "Our kids aren't going to rebel because they're just not. They have Jesus, we trust Jesus and we fully expect them not to rebel." So when Parker would do something really dumb and screw up or gossip on a friend, or maybe she didn't study for a test and failed it when she really should have passed it with flying colors, it doesn't become this, "I'm so disappointed in you. I knew that this was going to happen. You are just like your father'" or any of those kinds of messages. It was more of, "Hey, we know that you can do better. You did so badly, but we know that you're better than this because we know who you are. We know who God has made you to be."

It isn't a shaming thing. Whereas like, "Man, you can do so much better than this. What's wrong with you?"  But more of a, "Hey, what's up? How can I help you? It's a symptom of a greater problem.

ALLIE: Exactly, a symptom. That's a perfect word. I love that.

OK, so my last question for you is in light of all of this and in light of the book and getting into why kids do or don't rebel, how does discipline look when your kids are young? Is that too general?

REBECCA: No, this is great. People ask me all the time about the book, "Is this a book on "teenagers?"  Really it's just a book about parenting in general.

ALLIE: Yes, because most of our listeners their kids are young, nine-ish and younger. Most of them.  I tended to think, "Oh, this is so good for when they're older," But no.

REBECCA: It's actually just the kind of thing where I had a lot of parents of teenagers email and say, "I wish I had this book 10 years ago when my kid was five years old." It's not a teenager book. It's just the kinds of things that helped us as teenagers, which goes way back into childhood. Most of the questions I asked kids (they're all adults at this point) but I asked the children was actually about the elementary school years.  

ALLIE: And I think discipline is one of those things where there are so many things that you can do or shouldn't do and it's just overwhelming. It really is. Especially when something doesn't work for one of your kids that worked with the older one.

REBECCA: That was the story of my parent's life, I was like the perfect kid and my sister was a little bit more difficult as an elementary school kid.

ALLIE: Maybe just give us a general idea of what does a plan would look like in terms of, you know, why I didn't rebel?

REBECCA: Yeah. Well the overarching principle behind discipline that I found works best from my interviews and I also talked to a clinical psychologist who specializes in parenting psychology with children with behavioral problems. So these are really difficult kids to work with. And I talked to a theologian. I really, really, really did my research. What I found is the major principle behind it is we need to work on discipline, not punishment. Discipline is all about teaching kids what is the right thing to do and punishment is about teaching kids what's the wrong thing.

REBECCA: Right? When we focus on discipline, the issue is always the end goal. What are we aiming for? We're aiming for a kid who is loving, who is caring, who is considerate. And so when we're talking about these kinds of issues, we can have five million kinds of things. "This will have your kid be the perfect kid at the end of the day. " But really it comes down to understanding what is your child's feeling at that moment? Why are they doing what they're doing? That's a conversation that needs to happen. Like I share in the book, I had a lot of emotional control issues my entire childhood and I still deal with emotional ups and downs. But a big thing my parents always did was, "What are you feeling?" "When we are feeling angry, what can we do instead of hitting our sister?"

And then also letting kids deal with the consequences of what they did. That's not the same thing as a punishing them harshly. A big thing in our family was if we didn't eat our dinner, we didn't get dessert because that's a natural consequence. If you don't eat your healthy food, then you don't get your unhealthy food. You have to eat the food that mom prepared for you first. That was a big one for me because I love dessert and I did not like peas. But these ideas of how can we teach kids what's the right thing to do instead of simply harshly punish them for the wrong thing. And that's something that can be really difficult to figure out in the moment. But the biggest advice that I can give, based on the interviews, is focused on what your child's perspective is.

Because molding behavior won't really do anything if you don't get to the heart of the matter, right? If they're hitting their sister because they're really, really, really angry and they learn not to hit, but they don't learn how to deal with the anger, then the anger is going to come out in other ways. But the other thing too is just relax a little bit and just let them deal with what comes, OK? I gave the example of one little kid who really didn't like putting on clothes and wanted to wear pajamas all the time, and so mom was like, "OK, you can go to preschool in your pajamas" and all the kids made fun of him in his pajamas and then he put on clothes after that. And he's not scarred from it. Just relax a little bit.

Your kid doesn't need to be perfect. It's not going to be horrible if other parents see your kid bearing the brunt of their own actions. So what if your kid has ripped pants because they ruined their pants and didn't take care of them properly? Then? Well, you don't get to have nice pants while everyone else has nice pants. These kinds of ideas where it's about doing the right thing, not about harshly punishing so they don't do the wrong thing. And a lot of that just comes down to getting to the heart behind it.

ALLIE: And that simplifies the brain clutter that we feel so much. This book was just a breath of fresh air and it really lighten my load as a parent in all the different ways, especially doing what I do. I talk to a lot of people with a lot of opinions and a lot of different methods for things. Really there is no one-size fits all method. You have to just, like you said, relax and take it as it comes and look at the heart and where you want to go.

REBECCA: Yeah, and get to know your kid. There are so many parents who don't really know their children because they don't take the time to really talk to them. And something I found again and again, (I wish I'd had more space to put this in the book), but out of all of the kids that I've talked to who rebelled, I asked every single one with them what their biggest regret was. And these are kids who had a lot of things that went on and their number one regret for every single one except for one kid was that they didn't have a good relationship with their parents.

It wasn't what they did in high school. It wasn't living with the ramifications of what had happened in high school. It wasn't anything like that. It was all about the parents because what kids really, really want is their mom and dad. They really want is that relationship and that is like simultaneously incredibly heartbreaking, but also so incredibly helpful I think for parents, just knowing that you are what your kid needs.

ALLIE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And one more quick thing I would love to ask. You were homeschooled?  I'm homeschooling my kids. We've done public school, homeschooling flopped back and forth as needed and there's all different kinds of ways to raise your kids in that regard. Christian school, private school, Public School, Charter school. How much do you think that has to do with how your kids end up or do you think it doesn't matter at all? It's all about you as the parent.

REBECCA: A mix, and I know that's such a cop-out answer, but I know kids who are homeschooled who are terrifying now. We're talking terrified, like I don't want to be in a room alone kind of situation and that's OK to say because it's true. I'm not exaggerating. But I also know kids who are homeschooled and are like me and who didn't rebel and that kind of thing. Also the same thing with public schools. I think no matter what you end up doing with your kids, if you aren't talking to your kids, if you aren't spending time getting to know them, it's not going to end up well. With homeschooling, it is easier to spend a lot of time with your kids and get to know them. I think that is a big factor and that was a huge factor in my parent's relationship with me. I am trying to think of all the kids who didn't rebel and how many were homeschooled and I think there was only one other kid.

ALLIE: You mentioned a lot when you were talking to them there was circumstances that came up at school.

REBECCA: I tried to get a really big cross section of different demographics as well because again, psychology research mind, but I didn't only interview homeschooled kids. It wasn't like all the homeschool kids were good. They're actually one or two kids who rebelled who are homeschooled in the book.

ALLIE: I get asked that a lot, especially because we put our kids in school last year and pulled them out halfway and everyone assumes "something happened." What happened? What were you afraid of? We just missed our kids and it just works out better for us. It's really convenient and flexible.  But yeah, it's good to hear that. I think people put a lot of weight on the parenting world on that decision and I think it will matter for sure, but it's not it. That's not your only job is to make sure you educate. They spend most of their day in the right place.

REBECCA: I'll be honest here, I didn't have a single kid who rebelled or who didn't rebel say that it was because they went to Christian school, didn't go to Christian school, were homeschooled or not homeschooled. I think that when we put so much emphasis on the kind of schooling kids are getting it's easy to put a lot of the blame or the "ownness" on what your kids are learning on the school, if that makes sense? Not just educationally, but in terms of their faith, spiritual development, personal development. Which is why to say no matter where your kids are going, if you just don't have time to talk with them, then change something.

ALLIE: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I love that. OK. Where can people find you? Where are you at?  Where are you writing? Where can they connect with you outside of your book?

REBECCA: My personal website which is updated sporadically at best is  lifeasadare.com. The best place to find me right is my mum's website, which is tolovehonorandvacuum.com. I know you have had her on the podcast.  I post pretty much once a week on there, once a week or once every two weeks. That was a place to find me right now.

ALLIE: Yeah, I love that. Well, we'll link to your site. We'll link to your mom's site and, your book for sure. But thank you so much for taking so much time. I know this was a longer episode, but thank you for being here and taking your time and sharing with us. We just are so grateful. I'm so grateful to have you and I'm really grateful that you took the time. I know you initially didn't want to write this book.

REBECCA: Write the book? Yeah I was very, very hesitant.

ALLIE: Yeah. Thank you so much, Rebecca. You are amazing. I'm so impressed by you. You just, you shine and I know you're going to do amazing things. Continuing to do amazing things. So thank you for being here.

REBECCA: Thank you so much for having me.  

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 023: Tips for When Your Kids Are Sharing A Room

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Our family has gone through all kinds of seasons when it comes to room sharing. From putting all the boys together to turning our master bedroom into a room shared with 4 kids … we experienced it all! Room sharing fosters closeness. And you will find joy in watching them grow closer. One of my favorite things is listening to the kids giggle every night before bed. No matter how much they bickered during the day, they come together at the end of the day for bedtime. Sure, there are some challenges with room sharing! But I hope this episode helps you get creative with those challenges. The goal is to make your life simpler and easier, and to find what works for you!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • The different types of room sharing situations her family has gone through.

  • How using vertical space over horizontal space is key for shared bedrooms.

  • Tips for utilizing closets to their full capacity in shared spaces.

  • The importance of thinking minimalistically when it comes to clothing between kids who share a room.

  • How you save space in shared rooms by storing things in other areas of the house.

  • How to deal with the challenges of room sharing.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over, something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood, so you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most. Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! Welcome to Episode 23 of The Purpose Show! I am excited about this episode because I received a surge of questions about this topic right after I put it on my editorial calendar.

I am going to talk today about when your kids share a room. This can work if you have two kids sharing a room, or if you are a psycho who has changed their master bedroom into a room for four kids. Yes, we have totally done that and loved it! We have done all different kinds of “kids sharing a room.”

There are a lot of reasons that you might have to or want to fit multiple kids into one bedroom.  We have done that in pretty much every house that we lived in. We have never had a house with every person having their own room. Before it was out of necessity because smaller houses are cheaper. Now, it is not out of necessity but we actually really intentionally looked for a house that didn’t have more than four bedrooms because we have grown to love our kids sharing a room. They love it. We like what we see in families who have kids who share rooms even as they get older.

I do think kids need their own space. Especially for us, Bella is our only girl. I think that there are also other ways to get your own space. It is good for kids to learn how to do that. I just really love the benefits of kids sharing rooms. As of right now, we have no plans to ever have our kids have their own room. We love that they share. It fosters a lot of closeness.

Another reason that we ditched our previous ideals of wanting to have a large house is because having less space forces you to be together all of the time. You are never that far from each other.  

Of course, that can get a little frustrating sometimes, but all in all, it has really brought our family closer together. You always know where everybody is. The kids come together at the end of the day and go to sleep in the same room. It is really great. It is really fun. They have a lot of fun conversations at night. We loved when all the kids were together.

As you guys might know, we bought a camper, we lived in it and traveled the U.S. for about seven months. The kids were incredibly squished together in that little camper. But those are some of our best memories. It was super fun.

We also are minimalists who like to spend our money on experiences over square footage.  There have been lots of different seasons and different points in our family where kids were sharing a room for one reason or another, so I have some things to say about this. I hope it helps and inspires you to put your kids in one room if you haven’t already. Or helps if you have to have your kids in the same room and are having a hard time with it.

We have four kids. Bella is our oldest and our only girl. We have the three boys in one room.  For the most part, I would say it has typically been that way. We have had Bella sharing a room with Leland, and Emmett sharing with Hudson. We have had the baby in our room for a long time. We have just moved things around as needed. We have done it all.

Right now, Bella is nine. She is definitely getting older. Being the only girl, it has worked well with her having her own space. Although I have to say, because of all the times that we have changed things around and utilized small space to make it feel bigger and work so well, it kind of kills me that she is by herself in her room because it is huge. It is like another master room. It is a really big room. The boys are bunked up in the smaller room altogether. It is really funny.

When we lived in the Midwest, we ended up taking the smaller bedroom for ourselves and making the 3rd bedroom into an office. It was at the time when we were starting the business. We gave the master bedroom with the attached bathroom to the kids and did double bunk beds in there. That was really cool. They really like it and it worked super well.

I think, whether you rent or own, be creative. I feel like people get stuck in what the room is supposed to be for, and you can do whatever you want. Make things work in a way that works for you.

One thing that I have found to be super helpful is if the room feels too small for the number of people, use vertical space whenever you can. It is the best, most impactful tip that I have. Using vertical space over horizontal space is huge for shared bedrooms and small spaces.

This came in so handy when we lived in the camper. It was a very small camper. We wanted to test out the “tiny living” thing because it was fun, a challenge, and it’s what I do for a living. It was cool to show my followers that we could live in this tiny little space and travel all over, so you guys can do anything.

You can use vertical space in a lot of different ways. I encourage you to go on Pinterest and search “vertical space storage ideas”, or “vertical space decorating” for inspiration.

The perfect example of vertical space is bunk beds. You can fit two kids on a half wall because the kids go “up.”  You can also do a bunk bed with a trundle underneath it so you have three kids in two bunk beds.

Do hooks vertically instead of horizontally.  Shelves that go all the way up the wall. You can put things at the top that you don’t want kids into. Simply turning shelving units on their side, making them vertical rather than horizontal, is huge.

Get outside of the normal box in your head and think vertically when you are trying to make the most use out of a smaller space.

My second tip is utilizing the closet in a way that suits your needs best. Kids clothes are typically shorter, because kids are shorter, which gives you a lot of floor and wall space underneath the hanging rod.

Most houses (and our current house) just have the normal fixed shelf and rod below it. The rod is pretty high up and the kids can’t reach their clothes. I will either get it down for them or leave a stepstool there so they can get it. But what I am seeing is that the higher-up rod leaves a lot of wall and floor space underneath, because their clothes are not long like adults.

We fit an extra dresser under the hanging clothes in the closet. We have also used that area to store toy bins, shoe bins. We have hung hooks under there to store backpacks and hats.

Get creative. Ask yourself, “What can I do with this space that will help me?”  Think about what you need in that room. What are you keeping in that room that you are having a hard time fitting? Maybe you can attach some hooks for dress-up clothes, or hats, or sports stuff.

In the boys’ room, we have their clothes hanging on the regular, higher-up rod, which leaves a lot of space underneath. On the left wall in the closet, we have one of those plastic bins that is like a dresser you get at Walmart or Target. I think people use them in the garage a lot. This holds all of the kids’ shoes. There are three drawers which is one for each kid’s shoes. Then on the right wall, there is a really cute white dresser that is Emmett’s dresser. Leland and Hudson share the main dresser that is in the room. It has six drawers, so they each get three drawers.

Also, most closets have shelving above the hanging rod.  Utilize that. What can you store there without it looking messy? What works for you and looks great?  Really get creative and utilize that space.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

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Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now.  How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries.  How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

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This course is a mini-course.  It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you?  Does this sound like something that would really help you right now?  Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course.  I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life.  It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out.  You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

 

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What’s great about that top shelf is it is obviously too high for the kids to use because of climbing, and a lot of the times it goes unused because of it. But I think it is a great space for that reason. Use it to store things that you don’t want your kids to have free reign with -  Legos, art supplies, puzzles. Things that are theirs and make sense to store in their room, but you don’t want them to be able to grab and go whenever they want.

The next tip is to apply minimalism when it comes to clothing when you are trying to fit your kids in one room. Minimalism is seriously beneficial when it comes to clothing in a shared space.

Our boys used to share one large Ikea dresser, all three of them. They have the clothes they currently need and wear. I never feel like we have too little clothing. I actually feel like we could get rid of a few things. It was an 8-drawer dresser. It worked really well for us. We got rid of that dresser when we moved because it was really heavy and not worth the move.

Now Emmett has his little dresser in the closet. The older boys each have three drawers in one shared black dresser in their room. I don’t think you ever, ever need more than three drawers per kid. If you feel like you do, you probably have too many clothes.

Share dressers. Find a dresser that works. Don’t be afraid to put your kid’s stuff in one dresser and find a way to make it work. You can put pajamas with pants. You can put shirts on the right side and underwear on the left side. Get creative and make it work. If you can’t make three drawers per kid work, you have too many clothes. They do not need that many clothes.

My next tip is to save space by storing things in other areas of the house. A lot of people say that they keep their kids’ toys in their room. For the first time ever, right now we are keeping their toys in their rooms. Toys can be stored in a bin that goes in the hallway closet or is tucked behind the sofa in the living room. Maybe you have a dedicated playroom. Get the toys out of the bedroom if you don’t have space for them to be in there.

What are bedrooms for? Getting ready for the day and sleeping. Coats, backpacks and school stuff can all be moved out to the entryway, mudroom, or the downstairs closet. Hooks can serve a wonderful purpose there.

You can opt for something with a bit of a statement like we did. We had a set of four vintage lockers that we painted a bright white. Each of our kids had an assigned locker by the front door for all of their daily stuff. Their shoes for the day, their coat, their backpack all went in the locker. Their bedrooms were just used for sleeping and clothes storage. They would make their bed and then come out of the room and be out of the room all day until bedtime. That saves a lot of space in shared bedrooms.

What can you get out of there and move somewhere else so that the room is really just for sleeping and getting dressed for the day? Then you are not really in there much. You don’t have to have a shared bedroom where every kid has their own desk, and their toys and everything is in there. When you are sharing a space you really need to apply minimalism and think “real.” What can you remove from this space?

I hope that makes sense. That really, really helped us.

Now, we don’t really need to do that. The boys are in a shared room. Leland and Hudson have the bunk beds. Emmett has his own free-standing bed on the opposite wall. Then there is a shared dresser on another wall. At the foot of Emmett’s bed, we have a really cute Ikea toy bin that I love. I will link to it in the show notes. All the boys’ toys (except for the Legos) go in there. Bella has a few horses that she keeps in her room. It works really well.

Next tip: use wheels to make room sharing with young kids easier and quieter. This is something that really helped me when we had small kids and we were in the having babies stage. We had siblings napping and they were sharing a room with an older kid.

Put things that your kids like to use in bins with casters on them so they can roll it out of the room when siblings are napping. Make things movable. Put the Legos in a cart with wheels so they can be played with somewhere else. Make things transferable.

For example, the way things are in their room right now would not work if Emmett were a baby. The toys are all in the one room and he would wake up if the boys were to go in there and get something.

If it is on wheels, and the baby needs to take a nap, the older boys could wheel out their activity cart before he goes down (or while he is down) and use it in the living room.  We used to have two activity carts that we got from Ikea (link in show notes). It worked really well. I would tell the boys that Emmett was going down for his nap and they needed to get whatever activity cart they wanted. They would wheel it out, down the hall to the living room and play quietly. That’s one of my favorite tips.

Another thing I want to address is the problem of chaotic, early morning wake ups. When one kid wakes up, they all wake up. They wake each other up. It is so annoying. I had my kids sharing a room and I was forced to come up with a solution, because it was hard for me.

So here is what I did when my kids were little, sharing a room and waking each other up really, really early. Get a giant digital clock for a few bucks. Hang it up, put it on the table, whatever. Explain what time it has to say for them to be able to use loud voices or come out of their room. Get ready for a week or two of being annoyingly consistent with this rule. After that, all of the sudden, it works.

The kids will decide that it is not worth waking up if they can’t be loud, come out to play, and get breakfast right away, and they start to sleep longer, which is amazing. Or they will catch on to the rules and stay in their room somewhat quietly and play until the magic time appears on the clock. Stick with it and it gets awesome. I promise!

This is also how I have quite morning time with all the kids waking up.  You know kids wake up way earlier than we ever want them too. This is a good solution. I hope these tips can help you with babies sharing with older siblings, naptime, and things like that.

If you have two kids in the room that need to nap but they don’t nap when they’re together, I would always put Bella in my bed to nap and let Leland nap in their room.

Be creative. Just because it is not “ideal” or “perfect”, it’s OK. The goal is to make your life simpler and easier. Shake things up. Use the rooms in your house in a way that maybe it wasn’t designed for, but that works better for you.

Have a rhythm where the oldest goes down for a nap in your room, while the baby goes down in his room. If your baby goes to sleep earlier than your toddlers do, find a way to make it work for you. Maybe you could put the baby down in the pack-n-play in another room and when they are super asleep, transfer them.

Have a routine where the kids hang out with you until they are really tired and then help them make it a game, “let’s quietly sneak and go to bed.” It doesn’t have to be awful.

I hope these tips help you fit the things into the rooms that you need to fit. I hope it makes you feel encouraged. I hope it inspires you to enjoy the joys of having your kids share rooms. It really is an honor and joy. I love having the kids sharing a room, seeing their relationships grow.

There are nights where one of the boys will want to have a sleepover in Bella’s room, because she doesn’t always want to sleep alone. They just love being together.

I love that all the boys are in the same room. I love that they have that memory of brotherhood. Every single night, no matter if there was bickering during the day or it was a hard, busy day, they all come together at the end of the day for bedtime. They always talk to each other, giggle, and joke around before they fall asleep. I love that. It is really a gift.

It doesn’t have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Episode 009: How We Keep Intimacy Alive & Well with 1,000 Kids (feat. Brian Casazza)

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In this episode, Brian joins Allie to talk about how they remain so close and keep intimacy alive, even with one thousand children.

With February, the month of love, right around the corner, the topic will largely circle around love, intimacy and marriage. However, this particular episode comes from the many questions Allie receives from her followers.

People often ask how Allie and Brian remain to be so close and connected.

The biggest thing to remember is that in order to feel close and connected to your significant other, you have to stop putting your intimacy on the back burner, putting it off until after you care for your kids. You need to keep the fire burning all day long, so that when night arrives, you’re happy to spend time together.

(We’ll be discussing grown-up things in this episode, so be sure to pop your headphones in to listen.)

 
 

In This Episode, Allie discusses:

  • Intimacy is not all about sex.

  • Allie and Brian share the 5 steps they take to maintain the intimacy in their relationship.

  • Communicating your needs is important, but you must share those needs in a productive manner versus being combative.

  • Quick tips for scheduling intimacy into the day-to-day.


If you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart during those long work days, let me help you out! I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that you can send to your husband to get a connective conversation started. It is a FREE download that you can save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit through the day!

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Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to experience the show’s progression with you!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more mothers who want to leave a legacy of intention and joy by heading over to iTunes (or wherever you listen) and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there.

Reviews are everything for podcasters, so I truly appreciate it!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at allie@thepurposefulhousewife.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram

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