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My mission is to provide motivation, inspiration, and hope to those who feel overwhelmed, exhausted, discouraged or anxious about their life’s problems and challenges. I am your host, Tamara K. Anderson. I am the mother of four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring me great joy.

I invite you to join me every other Wednesday beginning January 23, 2019 to hear real stories and lessons learned through adversity’s refining fire. You will hear interviews from normal people (just like you) who have had scrapes with death, been fired from jobs, survived the death of a loved one, experienced extreme health challenges, mental illness, and disability.

Come laugh, cry, and feel hope as you hear these heartwarming stories and the inspiration drawn from rock-bottom moments survived with God’s help. So, pull up an imaginary chair at my kitchen table as you listen and feel inspired by Stories of Hope in Hard Times.

Stories of Hope in Hard Times Stories of Hope in Hard Times

    • Christentum

My mission is to provide motivation, inspiration, and hope to those who feel overwhelmed, exhausted, discouraged or anxious about their life’s problems and challenges. I am your host, Tamara K. Anderson. I am the mother of four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring me great joy.

I invite you to join me every other Wednesday beginning January 23, 2019 to hear real stories and lessons learned through adversity’s refining fire. You will hear interviews from normal people (just like you) who have had scrapes with death, been fired from jobs, survived the death of a loved one, experienced extreme health challenges, mental illness, and disability.

Come laugh, cry, and feel hope as you hear these heartwarming stories and the inspiration drawn from rock-bottom moments survived with God’s help. So, pull up an imaginary chair at my kitchen table as you listen and feel inspired by Stories of Hope in Hard Times.

    Tamara’s Takeaway: The One Thing We Need More Of

    Tamara’s Takeaway: The One Thing We Need More Of

    Tamara K. Anderson expounds on the one thing the world needs in today's world, why it's important, and how to problem solve getting it in our lives.


    The One Thing We Need More OfWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. I'm your host Tamara K. Anderson, and I am so excited to be talking to you today and sharing with you a few of the things that I gleaned from Wendy Andersen's podcast (https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/wendy-andersen-changing-expectations-for-a-happy-life/) last week.


    Wendy has a son, Dexter, who was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis as a young child. She explains her life changed within 36 hours from something that was normal and expected to where she had to redefine what normal looked like for her family. Wendy and her husband had to make a choice. They were either going to take this diagnosis lying down and despair over what could have been, or they could rise up and do everything in their power to help Dexter get the best help available. And so, even though they were sad, they chose to see the good. And that is a powerful, powerful message.


    One of the things Wendy talked about was the idea to love your life. In fact, she talked about that it's important to love your life, embrace and redefine. And I loved those three key concepts that she taught.


    The One Key Thing We Need More OfIn this month of February, I think one of the most important concepts we can talk about is learning to love ourselves and our life.


    Love OurselvesWe often talk during February about love with other people. But I want to share with you a couple of verses in the New Testament that you have probably read, but maybe never thought of in this way. These verses can be found in Matthew 22:37-39. And this is Jesus's answer when a lawyer asks which of the commandments was the greatest.


    "Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all the mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."Notice that last part of the verse--we need to love our neighbor as ourselves.


    So often I think we forget that God not only wants us to love him, but he also wants us to love ourselves.


    Do we do we love ourselves?


    An Interesting CorrelationThe interesting correlation I'd need to point out with this scripture is "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." It's almost like there's a correlation between how much love we have for ourselves and how much love we can show to our neighbors. And I think it's directly connected to how much we love God.


    If we love God and ourselves a whole bunch, then our capacity to love our neighbor is amazing, fantastic, and great. If we don't love ourselves, then it, it's not.


    And so my question to you this Valentine's day time of the year is, what can you do to learn to love yourself and love your life more than you do now?


    Because you're going to have an instance where you have a day (or a 36-hour period like Wendy), where your world is going to tilt on its axis and forever change. For Wendy, it was when Dexter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis. For me it was when my son Nathan was diagnosed with autism. My world changed. For some it's another diagnosis like cancer. Or perhaps it is the sudden death of a loved one or abuse which causes their world to completely change.


    And all of a sudden they don't feel worthy of love and they don't love themselves. I think this is one of the saddest things.


    The Big QuestionWe need more love in the world today and it needs to start right in our own soul, right in our own home. We need to learn to love ourselves.


    How do you learn to love yourself?


    Learn God Loves YouOne of the first steps to loving yourself is learning how much God loves you. And there is a beautiful scripture in Romans 8:16-18 which says:


    "The spirit i

    • 22 Min.
    Wendy Andersen: Changing Expectations for a Happy Life

    Wendy Andersen: Changing Expectations for a Happy Life

    Wendy Andersen shares powerful lessons and tips she learned about redefining normal after her son was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis and autism.


    Wendy Andersen: Changing Expectations For A Happy LifeBioWendy Andersen is an accomplished author, speaker, coach, and mentor. She is a wife and the mother to three amazing children. Having a special needs child has taught her the critical importance of setting up her world to fit the current expectations of her family over those delivered by the expectations of others.


    For most of us, life does not go as planned. It certainly didn't for Wendy and her husband when, in less than 36 hours, their seemingly normal life was turned upside down when their oldest son Dexter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex epilepsy and then four years later with autism. Her experience created a deep desire to redefine what normal looks like in her own life and instilled in her a passion to help others redefine normal for themselves. She is passionate about spreading her message and encouraging families to break free of external expectations and instead find the balance in life.


    The Day Everything ChangedWendy Andersen had a relatively normal life before her son Dexter's diagnosis. She had been married to her husband for eight years before having Dexter. They loved being new parents.


    Then one day when Dexter was six months old, everything changed. Wendy was working and her husband was in school when Wendy got a call from her mother-in-law telling her that she needed to come home right away. Something was wrong with Dexter.


    Wendy got home and Dexter was napping, but when he woke up she saw exactly what her mother-in-law was talking about. Dexter's head would bob up and down and his left arm would straighten. Wendy knew right away that he was having seizures.


    Tuberous Sclerosis DiagnosisWendy called the pediatrician and they took Dexter to the office and were then sent onto the hospital. Within 36 hours, they had received a diagnosis. Dexter was having infantile spasms, a very debilitating type of seizure, as a result of tuberous sclerosis. Wendy and her husband didn't even know what that meant.


    Tuberous sclerosis is a very rare condition, with 1 in 6,000 children being diagnosed each year. Wendy says that she and her husband didn't allow themselves time to mope about the diagnosis though. They went right into survival mode, trying to find any and all information about Dexter's condition. The timing of his diagnosis couldn't have been better. Two months prior, the FDA had approved a new drug that could treat his condition and stop the seizures in just one dose.


    What is TSC?Tuberous sclerosis, or TSC, is a condition that causes non-cancerous tumors to develop throughout the body. Dexter had these growths in his brain, which were causing the seizures. Dexter also has them in his heart, called rhabdomyomas. Fortunately, the ones in his heart were not causing problems. In fact, they grow as a child, then shrink and go away.


    When Dexter was two and a half they discovered another type of tumor in his brain, called a sega. A sega will grow if it is not treated, so Wendy and her husband had two options: they could try a new medication and see if that would shrink the tumor, or they could have Dexter undergo brain surgery. If they didn't remove all of the tumor during surgery, the sega would grow back and they would have to try the medication anyway. So they opted to try the medication first. Within six months, the tumor had shrunk by half.


    Autism Diagnosis and Choosing to Stay PositiveDexter continued to grow and Wendy started to notice some signs of autism, but he did not display all the common symptoms. He had some delays in his speech, despite being able to understand what was said to him. Wendy worked with him on sign language, and he was able to recognize all of the letters of t

    • 52 Min.
    Tamara’s Takeaway: 3 Tips to Build Momentum and Growth

    Tamara’s Takeaway: 3 Tips to Build Momentum and Growth

    In this episode, Tamara K. Anderson shares 3 tips which build momentum and growth by sharing personal stories, quotes and examples.


    Welcome to another Takeaways Episode of Stories of Hope in Hard Times! Last week we had Kelly Walker, The Queen of Manifesting (https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/kelly-walker-from-gamer-to-the-queen-of-manifesting/) on the show. She is an a ball of energy and so fun to talk to. One of the amazing things about Kelly is that she completely changed her life from being depressed and being a video game junkie to becoming The Queen of Manifesting. She has her own podcast now, and she is a speaker who changes lives from the stage.


    3 Tips to Build Momentum and Growth1. The Power of Tiny ActionsKelly's Story SummaryLast week Kelly talked about being in the depths of despair, starting to be suicidal and not being sure where she was going to go with her life. She was playing video games all night and sleeping all through the day. That all changed one day when she got an email inviting her to a personal development seminar. Believe it or not, she took the initiative and she went.


    This one tiny step attending one seminar made her want to go to another one, and then another one, and then another one. Soon she was at a speaking seminar. This little tiny step propelled her forward quickly.


    My Example of Tiny ActionsThis concept is true for any of us. As we start any new goal, whether it is a ginormous goal or a teeny tiny goal, sometimes we need to build up our confidence in ourselves that we can do this.


    In the fall of 2018 I joined Benjamin Hardy's, Accelerated Momentum Program (called AMP for short). (https://www.ampmentoring.com/amp-10x-order-page?affiliate_id=2149716) It is a fantastic group! I learned so much. One of the first things Ben taught us was that taking tiny little steps of progress can help us build confidence in ourselves.


    For example, when I joined the group, he encouraged us to do some little goal that day (like clean out a drawer or delete an app that we were wasting too much time). He explained that by taking several of these tiny little baby steps of things that you know you can do in less than five minutes, that you are building confidence. Once you accomplish those little things you can do bigger and better things.


    And so I remember that first week after I joined AMP, I set little goals to tidy one thing every day. Believe it or not, these little tiny things really did help give me momentum. And there is something magical about having a clean space to work. It helps to somehow declutter my mind.


    Applying the Goal AgainAnd so my office had become quite cluttered again, and as I started this brand new year, one of my January goals has been to declutter something every day. And sometimes it has been as simple as going through my closet and removing 10 things to donate. Another day I cleared off my desk. Another day I cleaned out my desk drawers. Last night I actually helped my daughter clean off a cluttered surface in her room. And the amazing thing was, as I was cleaning in her room, all of a sudden she just naturally started pulling things out of her closet.


    The momentum is real, and it's catchy. So it's funny how when we take one baby step of progress, it kind of spurs us onward. There is power in taking tiny steps. It does build confidence. And so just like Kelly--you and I and anybody else can build confidence by doing tiny things which gives us momentum do then go on and do bigger goals.


    2. The Parable of My Apple TreesThis parable comes from that Women's Conference that I spoke at last year. I'm a bit of a gardener. I really like getting my hands dirty. Everywhere we've moved, I have always planted some sort of tree in our backyard.


    A Tale of Two TreesAbout seven and a half years ago, when we moved to Utah, I planted a Fuji Apple tree and a Granny Smith A

    • 16 Min.
    Kelly Walker: From Gamer to The Queen of Manifesting

    Kelly Walker: From Gamer to The Queen of Manifesting

    Kelly Walker completely changed her life from a video game junkie to become The Queen of Manifesting. She shares her journey and the lessons learned along the way on this week's episode of Stories of Hope in Hard Times.


    Kelly Walker: From Gamer to The Queen of ManifestingBioKelly Walker is a manifesting coach, international speaker, podcaster, and cruise retreat host. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and she spent her school years in Kansas. Now she lives in Spanish Fork, Utah with her husband and teenage son. She loves to help unlock the potential of women entrepreneurs who know they are meant for big things, but have been stuck playing small. She helps them tap into their purpose, take control of their inner chatter, build themselves in their tribe, and change the world on a bigger scale. Kelly Walker is The Queen of Manifesting.


    Hiding in the BathroomKelly decided she was going to be a motivational speaker after attending her first motivational seminar. Sitting in the audience, she realized that was what she needed to do. She was a graphic designer at the time but had just been fired, so she decided that speaking would be her new career. She went on the lookout for speaker training programs or anything that might help her on this new path. Every day, she said out loud, "I am a motivational speaker and I change lives from the stage." She had no idea how she would get there, but she believed she could.


    The Event & The BathroomDuring her search for training, she found an event on Facebook which was a cross between a TED talk and America's Got Talent. They have four contestants each month. The contestants speak for ten minutes to a panel of judges and then are given feedback. Kelly read this as free speaker coaching. So, she bought a ticket and went to watch. The judges were amazing and gave great feedback.


    When the judging was over, the MC stood up and told the audience that there was an open spot for a contestant next month. Kelly felt like this was her chance! She stood up and started walking over to sign up, even though she was scared. But she was so afraid she walked right past the table and toward the exit. She didn't even recall changing directions. As she was quickly walking away, she noticed a bathroom by the exit where she quickly went to hide. In the bathroom Kelly argued with herself about going to sign up. She sat there for at least ten minutes, trying to convince herself that she should sign up.


    Eventually, "brave Kelly" won and she went to find the MC and sign up. She asked if the spot was still open and when he said yes, she burst into tears of terror. But she did come back, and she won the contest! Kelly has spoken over 150 times since that contest.


    Years of Health ChallengesInfertility ChallengesLife wasn't always as easy as signing up for a contest and winning though. When Kelly was 38 years old, she struggled with fertility. She would leave church every Sunday because it was so hard for her to see other young moms with their babies. They tried fertility treatments but to no avail. Finally, Kelly quit her job and they went to Mexico, and she got pregnant! Kelly swears the lack of stress is what did it.


    Pregnancy ComplicationsHowever, the pregnancy itself was no less difficult. At 26 weeks, Kelly developed toxemia and had to go on bed rest. The doctors gave Kelly a steroid that helps the baby's lungs to develop faster because they were afraid they were going to have to deliver him early. Kelly remembers praying and praying that she wouldn't need to deliver her son yet. She stabilized and he ended up being able to stay put until week 38, with Kelly in the hospital on complete bed rest.


    AnxietyAs her son kept growing, Kelly felt claustrophobic and at one point she was having 24-hour panic attacks. Kelly was so anxious she doesn't know how her husband survived the last few months of the pregn

    • 44 Min.
    TAMARA K. ANDERSON: HOW I OVERCAME MY FEAR TO PODCASTING

    TAMARA K. ANDERSON: HOW I OVERCAME MY FEAR TO PODCASTING

    In this episode, Tamara K. Anderson shares how scared she really was to start podcasting and the tips and goals which helped her overcome this fear.


    Tamara K. Anderson: How I Overcame My Fear to PodcastingI am so excited to announce an epic change in the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. Starting today, I will be launching an episode every week on Wednesday. This is helpful for you because now you get twice the content. Sometimes I will take an episode to tell additional stories and expound upon the previous episode (like I will do today). These episodes will be considerably shorter than our typical episodes.


    Other times I might just launch a new episode every week.


    Last week I interviewed Alan Gulledge (https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/alan-gulledge-setting-goals-facing-fears-and-recovering-with-faith/) and we talked about his bike crash and we talked about the fear that went along with setting new goals as Alan tried to build his body back. I wanted to kind of piggyback onto that story and tell you a story from my own life. And that story is actually the story of the launch of this podcast.


    Overcoming Fears Launching This PodcastIn January of 2018 I decided I would spend that year learning all about podcasting and take all the steps necessary so that I could launch my podcast in January of 2019. I hit the ground running. I named my podcast (with your help), Stories of Hope in Hard Times. Then, I had my logo for my podcast professionally designed and people voted on it. And I even picked a format for my podcast.


    I spent a lot of time, learning about podcasting, from professionals like John Lee Dumas. I even recorded my first podcasting episodes of May of 2018.


    StallingAnd then in June I hit this dead stop when my kids got out of school. I made this conscious decision just stop and not do anything during the summer. Believe it or not I even stopped doing social media.


    Come September, I got my kids back in school and I started just really reexamining where I was with my life and what my goals were. Then I remembered the podcasting goal and I realized I was scared to death to start and launch this podcast. It really freaked me out and that's why I had stopped and had not made any progress.


    JournalingI really had to pause and think and write about it. In fact, I even drew a picture in my journal.


    (https://tamarakanderson.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Screen-Shot-2018-12-28-at-3.30.40-PM.png)


    Here is what I wrote, "This is how I feel. My fear is real and it's keeping me stuck on my path." And so there I was--little me stuck on the path of this mountain that I wanted to climb. But there was this huge word in my way which said FEAR.


    Where to FocusAnd I learned that while I was looking at the fear, I couldn't move forward. It was too scary. I'd had some experiences where I was picked on and bullied when I was a kid. And so I, I realized that I had to raise my sights a little bit higher and start thinking of my WHY: What are the benefits of the podcast? Who will this help? And set my sights on that. I realized that this podcast had the potential to help people who are struggling to help people who have lost their hope.


    And as I focused on the benefit of doing the goal and not the fear itself (basically focusing on faith and I believed the outcome could be), then I was finally able to move forward again. I really had to detail a lot of this in my journal and figure it out.


    Podcast LaunchI launched Stories of Hope in Hard Times in January of 2019 and it felt so good to accomplish that goal. But it also felt good to not have that fear incapacitate me anymore.


    The Power of Fear and How to Overcome itAs imperfect people, we have goals that we set and get excited about and then all of a sudden we stop. And it's often because there's an underlying fear. So if you're setting goals this year and you're

    • 21 Min.
    Alan Gulledge – Setting Goals, Facing Fears and Recovering with Faith

    Alan Gulledge – Setting Goals, Facing Fears and Recovering with Faith

    After a life-altering accident, Alan Gulledge learned to set powerful goals, face his fears, and move forward with faith. He now helps others learn reach their physical goals as a coach.


    Alan Gulledge - Setting Goals, Facing Fears and Recovering with FaithBioAlan Gulledge has lived in Virginia, California, Honduras, and Utah. He was a Division 1 collegiate track and field athlete in the pole vault who was fortunate enough to win conference championships, competed in the NCAA finals and appeared in the top 50 in the pole vault for world rankings in the 2000 Olympic year. Once he retired from pole vaulting he began to explore the world of triathlon/endurance sports and has been hooked ever since—having competed in over 200 competitive endurance events.


    Alan qualified for the Boston Marathon and became and All-World Ironman tri-athlete (top 5% division worldwide). After receiving his undergrad in Psychology and getting his MBA had a 13 year career in corporate sales. About 8 years ago he left the sales world to pursue his passion of working in the world of health and fitness. He is the owner and operator of TriFit Evolution a small strength, endurance coaching and personal training business located in Arlington, Virginia. His goal is to help others achieve their fitness goals. He married his sweetheart, Laura Dawn two and a half years ago and they have been blessed with a beautiful son.


    Loving the ProcessPole VaultingAlan says he could never sit still as a kid. He was always wanting to be running outside. Alan became a pole vaulter in high school, but he actually joined the track team after moving to Utah in order to make friends. At first, he was the worst one on the entire team at the pole vault. Alan was very competitive and started practicing more and more. He would drag his twin brother to the track on Saturday mornings to help him get better. Alan says even though he wasn't a gifted athlete, he believes that applying yourself and working hard is what it takes to become better.


    In college, Alan loved training for pole vaulting. Most of the time, he was running, working in the weight room, working on technique, plyometrics, running stadiums, and working on aerial and body awareness. Alan truly loved that process. He retired from pole vaulting in his mid twenties.


    TriathlonsAlan moved to California and that's where his friends introduced him to the triathlon. Again, he was not very good in the beginning. He could barely swim across a 25 meter pool doing a unique combination of many swimming strokes. He was familiar with challenging athletic goals, as he had tried to qualify for the Olympics in the pole vault the year before. Alan thought pole vaulting was difficult and that a triathlon wouldn't be as challenging since it was just running, riding a bike, and swimming.


    He was wrong. Alan did not do well in his first race. In triathlons, they put you in a division based on age, so your age is written on your leg for the race. He remembers women in their 50's just flying past him on their bikes, and he was this 26-year old collegiate athlete. That was very eye opening for him and made him want to work even harder to excel. He thinks that is a good life lesson to learn: even if you aren't a natural or something, you just work on the process and become something that you never imagined you'd become.


    The AccidentIn September of 2015, Alan was two weeks away from running an Iron Man. An Iron Man involves swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bike for 112 miles, and then running a full marathon, 26.2 miles. This was not Alan's first Iron Man and he was excited. He was poised to do well as an amateur in his division. On that fateful day, Alan decided to go out for an easy training ride of about an hour. He was riding across a bridge on a bike path alongside a major highway. There had been a car accident and another cyclist was d

    • 59 Min.

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