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For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts. Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. You name it, we talk about it.

Thank you for downloading our shows and sharing them with your friends. Whatever else you do today - whether you are on your recumbent bike, walking your neighborhood, traveling, or sitting at your desk trying to get inspired - thank you for joining us.

Your comments and input for future episodes are joyfully welcomed at CathyKrafve.com, where women courageously talk about the tough stuff!

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The Sisterhood of Warrior Women: Praying Friends with Angie Ruark

This week, Dr. Angie Ruark and I focused on how to build a life around women praying powerfully. Want your own sisterhood of warrior women who pray? Dr. Angie Ruark shares about discovering spiritual warrior women in our lives.
Keep reading now for Dr. Angie’s wisdom! Or click on the podcast to hear her thoughts in her own voice.

 

Last week, I plied Angie Ruark with tons of questions about her personal life. (If you missed her story last week, click here.) She shared about praying great women into your family. 

Vouching for Spiritual Women

I included Angie’s book in our series on inspiring devotional books because I find Angie’s life and family inspiring. But just as important, I can personally vouch for many of the women who contributed chapters to her book. They are women I know and respect. 

Once you get your kids raised and out the door, a marvelous thing happens. You suddenly have so much more energy to do the things you always dreamed of doing. Many of the women in Angie’s book have been doing great things all along. Only now they have time to write about what they’ve learned in the process. 

(Listen to the interview and don’t be surprised if we chat like close friends. I know three generations of Angie’s extended family and every one of them is an amazing person. So, it was a big treat to catch up and talk about praying wonderful women into our lives. For this one and more podcasts, click here.)

Resourcefulness and Supporting Each Other

First, Angie took lessons out of one woman’s life to inspire us to be resourceful women like Lydia, beautifully described in the Bible. 

“So, here was a successful businesswoman in a major city in Macedonia, who was serving God—yet she had not heard the Gospel,” writes Angie in her book Spiritual Warrior Women: Pray. “I imagine as a successful businesswoman, especially in the trade of costly goods, Lydia knew how to bargain. She would know when to speak and when to listen. She would know when to throw in something to seal a deal.”

Don’t all women relate to being resourceful? Think of how many times in life we don’t have what we need. We have to look around the house and grab something and make it do.

“It speaks to her resourcefulness, but also how she recognized the value of the Gospel these men preached. She knew it was priceless,” Angie adds in her book speaking to the way Lydia persuaded Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke to stay in her home. Not long after, we read of a church established in her home.  

As talented, professional women who manage home, work, and community commitments we can relate to Lydia’s approach to life. She’s a great example of accomplishing great things and trusting Jesus in the process, according to Angie. 

Women Trusting and Helping Each Other

Nowhere is resourcefulness more important than in appreciating the human resources God sends our way. We simply must support others in the things God calls them to accomplish, particularly other women since we best understand their challenges.

Angie devoted half her book to the stories and wisdom she gathered from her friends. I’ve prayed with many of these women myself and I can tell you, they know what they are talking about. To me, they are examples of the way God uses modern people to accomplish His plans. 

Sisters Are Already There

If you’re wondering where to find women like that, they may already be in your life. Angie knows first hand what it’s like to suddenly realize you already know the women you need. 

“That’s kind of how this whole book, the whole Sisterhood of Prayer Warriors kinda came about. Because I knew all these women,” she reports. She pondered the qualities and stories she needed for her book and listed women she knew. A surprising thing happened. “It would hit me that they had that gift or that powerful testimony. And they were already in my life and I just hadn’t realized it.” 

I’ve noticed the same thing. When I had moments when I couldn’t see God moving, I would notice there were women in my life to speak the words I needed. Most of the time it’s about noticing who God has already brought into your life.

Generational Effects of Prayer

For a gal who raised boys only, the mother-daughter dynamic permeates Angie’s life—and her book

For instance, because her son married such a good woman, Angie is related to three contributing writers in her book, Linda Dill, Susan Ellsworth, and Autumn Ruark. 

They are grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter. (If you missed our interview with Susan Ellsworth, click here. For more about the ministry, Linda Dill and her husband Pastor James now spearhead, click here.)

Another mother daughter duo contributed their stories and wisdom, Pat Self and Heather Stoner. 

Angie dedicated the book to her mom, who “gained eternal victory just before this book was completed.” 

Angie shares more about dear friends who encourage her. I talk about creating a social media catapult, rather than a platform. And we share a really special story about our mutual friend Dr. Grace English and her beloved daughter. To read the full article, click here.  (To find my interview with Dr. Grace English, click here.)

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, we all need strong sisters. Thank You for the good women, the spiritual warrior women, You put in our lives. Bless us now, Father, so we love each other and unite around Your purpose. Help us catapult Your truth to others. Give us hearts to encourage each other. Bless our culture now dear Father as Your children turn to You for guidance. We love You. Thank You for giving us each other. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

When has God answered a prayer using a spiritual warrior woman? What is your favorite answer to prayer? Who do you turn to when you don’t know how to pray for yourself or your family?

New Adventures in Devotion

I am really excited about our recent interviews with two very spiritual ladies, Brooke Frick and Lindsey Bell.

If you missed the amazing Brooke Frick, here’s the link to her devotional book Hand’s Full. If you’re already diving into her book, congratulations! Isn’t it fun and inspiring?! If you want to subscribe to her blog, click here. I’m a fan!

If you or anyone you know needs to draw closer to God by emulating courageous Bible heroes, check out Lindsey Bell’s fabulous book, Unbeaten. I follow Lindsey here and I hope you will, too.

Also, Abba’s Answers, a devotional book of stories compiled by Deb Butterfield is available here. It includes the Compassion Story, the story of how David responded when I told him about my abortion. 

Prayer requests: 

Please continue to pray about our upcoming interview with the beautiful Sarah Van Hook. Sarah is so dear to my heart. I really admire her. I can’t wait to pass onto you what she will share about experiencing sexual abuse as a child. She is a pediatric child therapist now as an adult. We are in for invaluable information from this champion warrior woman. (Find her mom’s story and her wisdom on how to be Carried By Grace when you find out your child has been abused.)

PLEASE keep praying for Sarah now in advance of her interview. (We bind the enemy in Jesus’s name and we ask You, Good Father, to bless Sarah in every way.) Thank you for taking a minute to agree with me in prayer to unleash all God wants to do with Sarah’s powerful message. 

As I always say, praying with you, my warrior-hearted sisters, makes me happy! What would I do WITHOUT YOU in a world that needs prayer so much!!! Keep praying!

Don’t Miss the Fun and Fabulous Sandra Beck!

The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations CathyKrafve.com

In this very personal interview, Social Media Guru Sandra Beck asks me about my upcoming book, The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations. She adds hilarious stuff to all conversations. To find more from Sandra, go to Motherhood Talk Radio. For our interview, click below.

Building Better Communication Between Partners Sandra Beck of Motherhood Talk Radio speaks with Cathy Krafve about her new book which highlights how couples can better communicate their needs- especially in these trying times that strain even the best of relationships.

If you would like to JOIN MY BOOK LAUNCH TEAM, just click here. And THANK YOU!!! 

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Spiritual Warrior Women: Devoted to Prayer with Angie Ruark, Her Story

Dr. Angie Ruark has a knack for attracting spiritual warrior women into her life. Whether it’s her friends, her fellow-writers, or her daughters-in-law.

Angie went to college for her doctorate at the same time her sons hit college. Along with all her other accomplishments, lately, she wrote a book. From my point of view, though, her best talent turns out to be her ability to pray for awesome daughters-in-law.

There’s got to be an irony in here somewhere. How does the mother of three boys become an expert at attracting spiritual warrior women to pray? (To find out more about our mutual friend, Susan Ellsworthwith whom Angie will share grandkids someday, click here.)

Angie is the whole brilliant package. She has a creative right brain, a meticulous left brain, and a whole heart.

I’m truly grateful to count her among my close friends. Lately, she brought together a whole team of Spiritual Warrior Women to share their insights on prayer. Many of these women are my friends and I can tell you for sure they are stalwart.

(In this episode, we chat about some of the truly great women we know. Yes, we even name names. Angie shares her secrets for recognizing the good women God sends your way. Click here for more.)

Her Love Story

But, when it came to sharing her story with you, you know which one I wanted to hear first.

Her love story!

“He was there the day I got my braces put on,” she laughs. “We had the same orthodontist.” She and her husband Bill met in middle school. 

He picked the moment her mouth was full of dental apparatus to make his first move. He said a quick hello and kept moving before she could respond properly. 

“He’s so fun. That’s what made me fall, I say, head over heals for him long before we got married. We just celebrated our twenty-ninth anniversary,” she reports.

Bill’s career reads like something out of an action novel, but his personal life is all about Angie and their family. Actually, come to think of it, the way Bill talks about Angie confirms his genius status in my opinion. Angie agrees. 

Refusing to Limit God

“Honestly, getting a doctorate, all those things I’ve done, would not have been possible without Bill,” she says. “Only behind my salvation and Jesus, Bill is my greatest gift from God.” She gives her husband credit for unleashing God’s potential in their lives. 

“One thing he’s done in our family is he would never let any of us—not me, not our sons—say, ‘Well, I could never do that. I can’t do that,’” says Angie. “We weren’t allowed to say that because you know with God all things are possible. He (Bill) never let us put limits on what God could do in our lives.” 

Unleashing Potential

Their life-long romance seems too good to be true. What about women who have bad experiences with men. What then? Are the kids doomed to marry poorly? Are good marriage reserved for people who have great dads? Absolutely not! (To get more free podcasts, blogs, and interviews with experts, click here!)

Angie shares how being a Spiritual Warrior Woman can change everything in your home, in your life, in your community. She just wrote twenty chapters herself on unleashing the potential of prayer. Angie focused on how the character qualities of women in the Bible. She ties each quality to the way our prayers are enhanced by our character. Angie’s book, Spiritual Warrior Woman: Pray is available now and chock-full of wisdom!

Stretching for God’s Potential

Twenty or so of Angie’s friends, whom she dubbed Spiritual Warrior Women, wrote chapters, too. In each case, Angie asked them to write about a particular quality she recognized in their life. 

Of the women who wrote, two others have been one Fireside Talk Radio. Susan Ellsworth came on the show to talk about “Breast Cancer, What We Wish Our Families Understood.” Dr. Grace English talked about “Compassion, Please! After Abortion Healing.”

Additionally, Linda Dill contributed a chapter to Angie’s book. Her husband James Dill came on our show to say, “Don’t Give Up! Encouragement for Leaders.” But, of course, most of his stories highlighted how much he loves his sweet wife. Together they founded a ministry called Shepherd’s Heart

Are you noticing a pattern? It seems all around us God is blessing people as they stretch for their potential. And many of them are friends with Angie, contributing a chapter to her book about how Spiritual Warrior Woman: Pray. Hmmm. These dear ladies make me want to slow down and spend a little more time in prayer. You?

Spiritual Warrior Women: Pray

“I knew it was going to be a spiritual warrior woman book,” reports Angie, “God made it very clear to me there were lots of spiritual warrior women I already knew. When I see someone I know, their gifts just stand out.”

Strong, gifted women operating out of God’s Spirit—now, that’s a force to be reckoned with! The power is so beautiful when it’s used to God’s glory!

Angie began thinking of her many spiritual warrior women friends as the Sisterhood of Prayer Warriors. She calls it a sorority—like a special club of women who get how powerful prayer is. (Find Angie’s book here.)

Perfect Example of an Answer to Prayer

One of our favorite mutual friends in all the world, Susan Ellsworth, raised Angie’s first daughter-in-law. (To find Susan’s story about being an Oncology nurse who went through three breast cancer surgeries herself, including a bout with lymphedema, click here. She also talked about sex after breast cancer. Yep. I told you Susan is amazing.) 

So, I asked Angie about how to pray more great women into a family. Here’s how she and Bill prayed for their future daughters-in-law before they ever knew them:

  • They’ve been praying for them since their sons were little. 
  • They prayed God would guard their hearts, and their minds. 
  • That He would protect them, watch over them, bless them in all of their endeavors. 
  • That God would lead them and direct their steps. 

“The number one thing that we’ve prayed is that each one would just love Jesus first in her life,” says Angie, “Because that’s the number one thing.”

Angie shares much more about attracting good women into your family via daughters-in-law and lots about prayer. to read the full article, click here. 

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, we turn to You now because You are dear to our hearts. When we need comfort and companionship, You are there. When we need a sister to speak gentle, healing truth into our lives You send someone You trust. Teach us to notice the good spiritual warrior women You’ve chosen for our benefit. Help us welcome those sisters into our lives with joy and loyalty. In Jesus’s name. Amen. 

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has a friend been a true sister in your life? When as a woman blessed you by praying specifically? What answers to prayer mean the most to you?

New Adventures in Devotion

If you missed the amazing Brooke Frick, here’s the link to her devotional book Hand’s Full. Already diving into her book? Congratulations! Isn’t it fun and inspiring?! If you want to subscribe to her blog, click here. I’m a fan!

Want to be a superhero like courageous Bible heroes? Do you or anyone you know want to draw closer to God? Check out Lindsey Bell’s fabulous book, Unbeaten. I follow Lindsey here and I hope you will, too.

Also, Abba’s Answers, a devotional book of stories compiled by Deb Butterfield is available here. It includes The Compassion Story, the story of how David responded when I told him about my abortion. 

Authentic Conversation about Communicating!

In case you missed this recent interview, Sandra Beck asks the BEST questions! And she always adds insightful, often hilarious stuff to any conversation. To find more from Sandra, go to Motherhood Talk Radio. For our interview, click below.

Building Better Communication Between Partners Sandra Beck of Motherhood Talk Radio speaks with Cathy Krafve about her new book which highlights how couples can better communicate their needs- especially in these trying times that strain even the best of relationships.

Prayer requests: 

Next, our interview with the beautiful Sarah Van Hook is around the corner. Sarah will share about experiencing sexual abuse as a child. She grew up to be a pediatric child therapist, so we are going to learn much from this dear lady. (Find her mom’s story and her wisdom on how to be Carried By Grace when you find out your child has been abused.

The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations CathyKrafve.com

Since we’ve noticed the enemy does not like this kind of truth getting out there, PLEASE pray for Sarah now in advance of her interview. (We bind the enemy in Jesus’s name and we ask You, Good Father, to bless Sarah in every way.) Thank you for taking a minute to agree with me in prayer to unleash all God wants to do with Sarah’s powerful message. 

Most of all, thank you to all who have been praying since I posted about feeling like an overwhelmed dork. I’m still dorky and quirky, but it is good to know I have friends who don’t care about that and will pray for me anyway. Your prayers mean more than I can say!! I think my heart is a little more peaceful about the whole thing. Maybe. Keep praying. Please.

And...drum roll please...The first book comes out really, really soon! Yay!!

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Unbeaten by Pain: A Beautiful Life in the Midst of Miscarriage

If Lindsey Bell seems relaxed, it’s because she’s learned to focus on the important things in life in her quest to be Unbeaten by pain.

When you date your high school sweetheart, you don’t picture a future that includes miscarriage. Today’s blog is dedicated to four beautiful kids in heaven, Eden, Jesse, Ella, and Jadon.

As bride and groom swear to love each other in sickness and health. On your honeymoon. As you create your first home. When you decorate the nursery. When the invitation arrives for your baby shower. Couples dream about the joy life can bring, not the pain.

Most people avoid pain. But what if you can’t?

For Lindsey Bell life took an unexpected turn. A turn that included a lot of pain. First though, she and her husband rejoiced with the birth of a healthy little boy. 

“We had some complications with his pregnancy,” Lindsey says, explaining how the doctor successfully headed off an early delivery and the pregnancy “ended up going full term.” 

Lindsey shares so much more in this tender interview, including how to know when it’s time to forgive God and how to deal with envy when others seem to have an easy life. If you have pain in your life for any reason, please find her comforting insight here. For more podcastsclick here.

Her Baby’s Heartbeat

All was going according to plan. Two years after their first child was born, they found out she was pregnant again. 

“I was thrilled. Couldn’t wait. Told our family. Told our friends. We saw the heartbeat. Everything looked perfect,” she reports. 

At twelve weeks, she went to her regular volunteer time at a local pregnancy center. Just a regular day. The center needed some training hours for their ultrasound technician and Lindsey stepped up. 

“I said, ‘Hey, I’m pregnant. Let’s do one for me.’” They did an ultrasound and couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat.

Not Exactly According to Plan

They rushed Lindsey to the hospital, where emergency room staff confirmed she was experiencing a miscarriage. (For her beautiful book, Unbeaten: How Biblical heroes rose above their pain…and you can, too, click here.) Lindsey learned pain can be harder to process than we might assume.

“With that first miscarriage, I think I just thought, ‘Yeah this is crazy painful, but I know God is going to use this. I’m going to be faithful through it.’” Determined to rely on her faith and what she knew to be true, Lindsey tried to be stoic. (For shortcuts to take care of yourself, click here. And for even more ways.)

“I don’t know that I fully let myself grieve like I should have that loss,” she explains, “I thought I did, but looking back there was still a lot. I was trying to put on the brave face.” (For how mindfulness can help the grieving process unfold more gently, click here.)

The Dream

Lindsey’s “love affair with Jesus began when she attended vacation Bible school with a friend in junior high,” as she shares in her devotional book, Unbeaten. She learned about a God who “adored her” and wanted to have a relationship with her. She gave her life to Christ as a teenager.

Her love story with her hubby began not long after as high school sweethearts.

“I love to point out to him that I drove us on our first date. He couldn’t drive yet,” she laughs.

They attended college together and married young.

“Of course, any marriage you have to work at, but by and large we had a good marriage,” she says. “We got pregnant within the first year of trying the first time.” (For solutions when marriage feels lonely, click here.)

It wasn’t long after the first miscarriage that she suspected she was pregnant again. Though joyful, this time there was a special kind of tenderness around her anticipation.

She put off taking a pregnancy test for a couple of weeks. 

The Reality

“I decided I was going to do it on January 1st,” she says, explaining how she felt about the coming year. Oh this will be a great way to start out the year. God’s going to redeem everything that happened in 2010. 

She was looking forward to a “rainbow baby”; that is, a child after loss.

“About three hours after I took that pregnancy test, I actually started miscarrying a second time,” she says. “And then six months later my husband and I found out we were pregnant again.”

Everything went well. They saw a heartbeat; a healthy heartbeat. Doctors reassured them, confident all was going as it should for a healthy delivery this time. 

But they suffered miscarriage again. The third time. 

God: The Miracle Specialist

“After our third miscarriage, looking back now I think I was probably in a deep pit of depression,” Lindsey says. With Lindsey’s pain clouding her perspective, she immediately assumed something terrible had happened when her mom asked for a Skype call.

“Someone’s died. There’s been an accident. Someone has cancer. All these worst case scenarios.” She can laugh about it now. 

But all was well with her parents. In fact, Lindsey’s mom wanted to know if they wanted to adopt. A birth mom contacted Lindsey’s parents, hoping to reach the grieving couple.

“Because of our miscarriages, when she decided she wanted to choose adoption, she wanted my mom to contact us and see if we would be willing to adopt her baby,” Lindsey says. The baby was due in two months from the phone call.

“God literally dropped a baby in our laps,” she continues. “We weren’t looking for adoption. We were still pretty much reeling from the third miscarriage and very, very discouraged. So, we hesitantly moved forward.” (For encouragement, sign up for my FREE weekly blog. Or, to sign up for Lindsey’s blog, click here.)

Lindsey and her hubby moved ahead one deliberate step at a time, looking for God’s leading. She describes God’s influence as “His fingerprints.” Yes, move forward with this. I’m in this. Keep going forward. This is Me. This is from Me. You just have to trust Me.

“Two months later I was in the delivery room with my son’s beautiful birth mom and I got to cut the umbilical cord,” she reports with joy. “Then, he got to come home with us. God just completely opened the door for that to happen because of our miscarriages.” Even thought God didn’t answer her prayers the way she expected, she loves His unexpected miracle! 

“He used that terrible awful situation that we were going through, the recurrent miscarriages, to bring us a baby,” she says, “He brought beautiful, beautiful gifts regardless. Just in a different way than I expected.”

The Medical Specialists

“At that point, we went and saw a specialist,” reports Lindsey. “I had a ton of blood work and all sorts of tests run. Everything looked fine. The doctors could never really figure out why I kept miscarrying.” (For more comfort when the sonogram is a diagnosis, click here. )

They put her on some preventative measures, fully expecting the process to unfold smoothly. 

Soon, they saw a heartbeat. She was going in every week to the specialist. Then, between ten and twelve weeks, they lost their sixth child.

Unbeaten by Pain

Besides the adoption of their son, another miracle resulted from the pain of their miscarriages. Her compassion for those who hurt deepened significantly. Her book, Unbeaten, came out of her own search for help as she struggled to understand the pain of her miscarriages. (For more about how God cares for you, click here.)

In her book, Lindsey collected the stories of over fifty Bible heroes who suffered and how God met them in their pain. This is no small project. Each day, she pulls principles from each hero for how we can cope with our own pain. 

Personally, my favorite thing about Lindsey’s book is the way she weaves her own personal stories throughout each day’s devotion. In particular, I like the way she highlighted people who comforted her. (For more about choosing friends wisely, click here.)

A Beautiful Life

“It is really neat to see God use the difficult things that we’ve gone through to help other people. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about the body of Christ.”

If you’ve just lost a child and don’t know if your heart will ever mend, Lindsey and I want you to know you are dear to our hearts. We hope her words will be a comfort to you as you grieve. 

Lindsey offers this encouragement; your life will be filled with beauty in spite of your sorrow.

“So my picture I had as a teenager of what my life was going to look like didn’t end up looking exactly like I thought it would,” she says, “but it still was a beautiful picture. It was just different if that makes sense.”

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, all around us people suffer and often we don’t know it. Open our eyes to see the pain others feel. Help us reach out and ask for comfort when we need it. We turn to You now, O Lord, because You comfort us Yourself. You meet us in our pain with Your own dear presence. When our hearts are broken due to loss, when we moan because words fail us, when we feel alone and afraid, You are there in the silence and the pain. We cling to You. In Jesus’s name Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has a friend comforted you? When has God influenced you in an unmistakable, yet gentle way? What experts would you like to hear from on Fireside Talk Radio?

Next week

Next week, Lindsey comes back to share with us how we can comfort others when they go through painful experiences, especially the loss of a child. She’ll pass along some tender ways to comfort others no matter their pain. These are real life examples of the many ways her friends comforted her. You won’t want to miss this tender and useful ideas!

If a miscarriage is breaking your heart, I offer the following links to more comfort from Lindsey: her posts on miscarriage, practical things someone can do to love on a woman who recently miscarried, and some things that someone who has miscarried might want you to know. Please pass these on to other women, so we can comfort each other.

For many of us, our stories include pain of a different sort. If your story includes pain from abortion, trauma, or mental health issues, we’ve interviewed experts. For interviews with heroic friends who’ve dealt with sexual abusedate rapedomestic violencebullying, and much more, click here. For more on making a parent feel at home or elder care, click here.

One More Thing—Save Mount Hermon

Save Mt. HermonMount Hermon is where I met the amazing Janet McHenry, my agent Karen NuemairSusan Stewart of Elk Lake Publishing (publisher of my upcoming book, The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations) and so many other writing and publishing friends who are dear to my heart. For instance, I also met Tami Clymer of CrossRiver Media, the publisher of my marriage book there, too.

If you wish you could go to Mount Hermon’s Christian Writers Conference, there is still time to sign up for the conference. I signed up to go. If you sign up, we may save the conference. If the conference doesn’t fill up, there will be no charge. To find out more, click here.

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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DIY Curriculum: How Do You Inspire Self-Learning in Kids

My mom was a genius at making learning fun. I seem to remember here she’s teaching my baby brother how to be a superhero.

With COVID knocking everyone off their back-to-school game, Anna and I decided to make things easier for parents. So, we picked one of our all-time favorite topics for you this week: DIY curriculum. How do you inspire self-learning in kids? You may be surprised at how easy it truly is!

If you can get your children to teach themselves everyone wins! Teachers, parents, and best of all the kids themselves!

Not only that, but you also equip your kids for success throughout life. Why? Because every truly successful leader is a self-learner. Most leaders read several books a month. Wow! 

So, how do you get your child to that place where they educate themselves?

Anna shared so much more in this episode than I can include in the blog. I hope you will tune in for her thoughts about how offering kids daily—sometimes hourly—choices helps them be better adults. Wow! Powerful stuff! Find this episode and more, here.

DIY Curriculum: A Happy Accident

Do-it-yourself curriculum started accidentally at our house. We were homeschooling and my two oldest kids were gifted in very different ways. On one hand, I share Anna’s visual way of learning and her love of books. She naturally loved all the books, art supplies, and curriculum I collected to inspire her each week.

On the other hand, Ellen and I have complementary gifts. Her audio and tactile learning style baffled me, the un-athletic mom who can’t carry a tune.

For more on how learning styles can create teamwork, rather than disharmony, I recommend Cynthia Tobias’s insight. (You can find our interview with Cynthia here.)

I was scrambling to find ways to engage Ellen’s brilliant mind in math and science where my mind simply felt ill-equipped. For example, the whole dissecting frog things freaked me out. (For courage and inspiration, check out devotionals by Brooke Fricke or Lindsey Bell or Angie Ruark.)

So, out of sheer desperation, I discovered DIY curriculum. You’re going to love how easily DIY curriculum comes together for parents.

To begin your own DIY curriculum adventure, start by embracing a terrific definition of analytical. To raise self-educating kids, your first goal consists of teaching your kids to embrace analysis. Here’s the definition Anna and I like.

Camp Krafve Definition of Analytical

Analytical—willing to forego personal glory, identifying the best ways to serve others.

Critiquing Your Way to Creativity

“Wanting personal glory is what makes us afraid of critique. Identifying the best way to serve others ties in so well to the idea of critique and how it stimulates creativity,” Anna says. “I just love this definition of analytical. It’s just so thrilling to me.”

Anna suggests critique as a proven technique all art teachers use to teach their kids to think. Honestly, I was surprised when Anna brought this up. I think of critique and criticism as similar enough to make me very uncomfortable.

“Whether it’s music or written word, like poetry, or in my case, visual arts, critique is what drives creativity in a classroom,” explains Anna. She notices it with her small children at home, too. 

When kids work on creating art, they naturally want to engage others in their creative process. Kids will just keep bumping into you with their project in hand until you focus on what they’re creating. Children seek confirmation and advice on improvements to their creative projects like puppies seek to play.

“They want feedback,” Anna reports. She says creative projects provide a natural chance to teach kids that feedback should be positive and productive. (For a creative way to educate without leaving your car, click here.)

For Examples of Real Life Analytical Thinkers and How DIY Curriculum looked at our House, click here.

To sign up for our FREE weekly blog jam-packed with encouragemnet on all the topics women ponder in their hearts, click here. 

With so many malicious, destructive falsehoods free-floating in our culture now, liberty demands that we think carefully. (For more on raising liberty-loving kids, click here.)

“Practicing analytical thinking can strengthen your truth filter,” says Anna. “Truth stands scrutiny.” That was our homeschooling motto, which we printed on each homemade student ID card.

“I’ve always loved that idea,” adds Anna, “It freed me up to ask good questions, analyze things, and be unafraid to ask the hard questions.”

Anna and I are so encouraged that you, too, want to raise analytical thinkers who won’t be swept away by every silly idea. Instead, may your children grow to be wise people who consider what is best for others. 

We know you’re behind the scenes forgoing your own personal glory for the sake of your children. We’re really proud of you!

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, we need Your help. We pray our children and grandchildren make serving others their life’s ambition. That means we need to have the same attitude in our own hearts. Help us, O Lord, to be like Your Son, serving others with unfailing, sacrificial love. Teach us to think analytically and to love Your truth. Thank you for our reading and listening friends who forego personal glory to raise fabulous kiddos. In Jesus/s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

What’s your funniest education mishap? When has a frustrating situation morphed into a mini-miracle for you? How do you foster creativity and analytical thinking at your house?

Coming Up Next: How to Cope With Miscarriages

Coming soon, the amazing Lindsey Bell offers comfort to moms who’ve had miscarriages. Plus she’ll address the universal nature of pain. Perhaps your heart is broken by your own miscarriage or a friend’s. Lindsey’s devotional book, Unbeaten, tells the story of overcoming pain. Watch here for sweet Lindsey!

Additionally, if you love devotional books, you’re going to love the new one out by my friend and math genius, Angie Ruark. So watch for her interview coming soon! (For more Fireside Talk Radio episodes, click here.)

I’ll share my interview with the amazing Sandra Beck–Social Media Guru and my dear friend. Sandra asks all the questions and I’m the GUEST! Pray for me.

Also, I’m excited–and a little overwhelmed–to share what people are saying about my upcoming book, The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations.

Abba’s Answers and Hands Full

Don’t Forget: Abba’s Answers is out! I have a story in it along with dozens of other inspiring stories. If you are looking for encouragement or a different kind of devotional via story-telling, you’ll love this book. I highly recommend it as a gift. (For more, click here.) Order your copies of Abba’s Answers here.

Also, I’ve already pre-ordered my copies of Hands Full which is coming out any minute. Brooke Frick’s book makes a delightful gift, especially for any mom who feels overwhelmed (and don’t we all sometimes!!)

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve

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Motherhood: Encouraging Yourself in a Hands Full Life with Brooke Frick

Brooke and her hubby take a break with their five active kiddos. JessicaBowersPhotography.com

“I didn’t expect it would be so hard,” Brooke Frick says and we break into giddy laughter. You can see why I love this authentic friend so much. Motherhood is one thing. Motherhood times five? That’s a whole ‘nother thing! So, how do you encourage yourself when your hands are full? Brooke knows first hand.

Motherhood is Hard

“Growing up I always wanted to be a mom. I really couldn’t think—other than writing— of something that I really wanted to do other than be a mom,” explains Brooke. “I thought I’d just be good at it.” More laughter. “Oh yeah, it comes naturally.” 

Instead, motherhood turns out to be really, really hard sometimes. Okay, most of the time. (If you missed Brooke’s story last week, you can find it here.)

“I just didn’t think it was going to humble me so much as it has,” Brooke says. “It’s been the single most thing in my life that God has taught me about my inabilities to do things and His ability to do them. He’s just used it continually.” 

Brooke shares tender stories with Cathy and profound insight in this interview. Click here to find it, plus her story and many other podcasts with experts and friends.

Pregnancy and Toddlerhood

Take her life with her first two little ones, for instance. 

“I remember I had my first son and it was so great. I loved it,” Brooke recounts. But it wasn’t all easy-peasy. “It was hard though. I ended up with a c-section, not planned. Then, when he was about six months old, I got pregnant with my other son.”

She remembers being in their little house in Virginia with her mom who showed up to help. Her mom held her new-born baby while her older son crawled around on the floor. Suddenly, she had a moment of clarity. 

“God, how did you think I could do this? How can I possibly take care of these two babies? I cannot.”

She laughs and claims she sees a pattern.

God, I Can’t Do This!

“The theme of my life has just come up again and again of ‘God, I can’t do this,’” she laughs. “When we had twins, I said, ‘God, I can’t do this.’” But Brooke has learned a secret for success when we feel overwhelmed.

“God’s will and desire for us is never that we should need Him less. It’s that we should need Him more,” Brooke says. 

I was so glad Brooke brought this up. Knowing our need for God is the first step to encouraging ourselves. 

“Not that He’s always wanting to put us through hard circumstances,” she explains. “But we have to come to that point where we realize we can’t do anything apart from God. Motherhood has really taught me that.”

It seems I say the same thing to the Lord, “You’ve got to be kidding! That’s too hard for me!”

I Love Lucy Attitude

Brooke and I met through our writers’ group at CrossRiver Media. I fell in love with her authentic, down-to-earth style. Plus, there’s the whole I-love-Lucy quality to the stuff she shares about her day spent with five active kids.

“Today is different. Today, I’m by myself at a coffee shop working and writing. I have real clothes on. That’s a great day.” With humor, she embraces each day’s reality—the challenges and special blessings.

“Yesterday, I hadn’t showered. I’m doing laundry all day long. It’s not even folded because you’re just focused on getting it through the washer and dryer and put the pile aside and deal with it later.” 

The Wonder of Motherhood

Yet, the unexpected blessings of motherhood still fill her with wonder. 

“My arms are so tired. My arms were worn out for the next twenty years,” she laughs. “I definitely should not have wobbly arms!” Savoring the sweet spots is key to encouraging ourselves. 

“We’re entering a new stage, what people might call a sweet spot of parenting because your kids are not little infants anymore,” Brooke explains. “My oldest is eleven so he’s not quite too sassy. So we are in this sweet phase.”

Hilarious Clarity

Brooke writes with hilarious clarity. If I didn’t know how much she agonized over every word in her book, I’d be jealous. Her book and her blogs sneak up on the reader with her hilarity. (Check out this sample of her blog.She says trusting God is key. 

“I want to see the plan unfold and I want to know. Instead, I think He just wants me to know Him,” she shares. “When we can see less, then maybe we can shift our eyes to Him more. Because it’s not about the vision in front of us. We can’t see that. What we can know is that He’s there.”

To read the full article and enjoy Brooke's ideas about how to handle a Hand's Full life, click here.

“Lean into Jesus because we can’t do it on our own. He knows that and He wants to do it with us, alongside us, and through us,” she says, adding with a laugh, “We’re not supermoms.”

Maybe not, but I think Brooke is pretty dang super.

May we pray together?

Dear Father, You call us to be like You, especially when it comes to parenting. You are unfailing in Your love for us. Your sacrificial love culminated in the loving sacrifice of Jesus. His life, His teaching, and His sacrifice draw us to You today as they have for centuries. Help us walk with You, depending on You. Teach us to trust You amidst the daily delights and disasters of parenting! We love You, O good Father! In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

When have you felt like God wasn’t there for you? How has God surprised you with unexpected answers to prayer? When has His presence been your best comfort and encouragement?

Abba’s Answers

Don’t Forget: Abba’s Answers is out! I have a story in it along with dozens of other inspiring stories. If you are looking for encouragement or a different kind of devotional via story-telling, you’ll love this book. I highly recommend it as a gift. (For more, click here.)

Coming Up Next: How to Cope With Miscarriages

In the next few weeks, the amazing Lindsey Bell offers comfort to moms who’ve had miscarriages. Plus she’ll address the universal nature of pain. Perhaps your heart is broken by your own miscarriage or a friend’s. Lindsey’s devotional book, Unbeaten, tells the story of overcoming pain. Watch here for sweet Lindsey!

Additionally, if you love devotional books, you’re going to love the new one out by my friend and math genius, Angie Ruark. So watch for her interview coming soon! (For more Fireside Talk Radio episodes, click here.)

Order your copies of Abba’s Answers here.

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Connect with Cathy


A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

Warning: You may feel guilty pleasure for listening in on these sparky conversational adventures.

With her never-met-a-stranger attitude, Cathy asks "Why learn stuff the hard way, when experts want to share wisdom with us for free."

A columnist, speaker, writer, small business owner, education connoisseur, and middle class philanthropist, Cathy brings all her experience together to ask the questions we all want to know.

Like a friend you met for coffee, Cathy's guests share practical strategies for marriage, family, community, and life.

Why? Because all women deserve a break. By a break, we mean a minute alone with a strong cup of coffee and good podcast. For more great shows go to CathyKrafve.com.



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