169 episodes

Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, connects you the listener with people and resources to help you feel less alone. Consider it an invitation to "withness".

Don't Mom Alone Podcast Heather MacFadyen

    • Parenting
    • 4.9, 1.7K Ratings

Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, connects you the listener with people and resources to help you feel less alone. Consider it an invitation to "withness".

    Week Six Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Stacey Thacker

    Week Six Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Stacey Thacker

    When I recorded this interview in 2015 I had no idea just two years later my father would pass away. Stacey's wisdom on grief became my lifeline.

    This year with so many losses our hearts have experienced constant, low-level grief. On top of being quarantined, some of you may have lost loved ones. As moms, you've been unable to have time/space to grieve (or have a formal memorial service).

    Today’s podcast guest is my soul sister friend, Stacey Thacker. She and I have been chatting about life, Jesus and family for the many years. Stacey writes online and has authored several books (a new one releasing in just a few months--Threadbare Prayer). When we conducting this interview Stacey shared so much of what she had learned from the loss of her father.
    Since the interview she's experienced additional trauma and grief. Through it all she remains tethered to her faithful God. She is wise and can be trusted.  

    My hope is whether you are the one who has experienced loss or not, you will be encouraged that even when our worst fears are realized, God’s grace is ever present. And as Stacey points out:

    “He holds all things together. And all things means all things.”
    What we chat about: How the message of Stacey’s book, “Hope for the Weary Mom” became real How do moms grieve while handling the dailiness of motherhood What actions and words of friends comforted her the most How children grieve differently How to be available and present with a grieving friend What moments over the course of the year bring back grief How do you manage your home when one child has to be hospitalized How God holds all things together Connect with Stacey: Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest
    Links Mentioned: Releasing Oct 2020: Threadbare Prayer Hope for the Weary Mom Stacey’s posts on grief: My Journey Through Grief and Loss Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship**by Melanie Shankle
    Holding On to Hope: A Pathway through Suffering to the Heart of God**by Nancy Guthrie I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One  

    ** by Pamela Blair & Brook Noel Psalms 23 & Hosea 2 “He holds all things together.” Colossians 1:17 **Amazon affiliate links
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    • 46 min
    Week Five Summer of Mentorship 2020 Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

    Week Five Summer of Mentorship 2020 Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith

    As moms, we know we need rest. We usually equate rest with sleep or rest with a vacation, but this week’s guest shares a much bigger picture of our need for rest in multiple areas of our lives. 
    Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a medical doctor, wife and mother to two boys. She had everything she’d dreamed of and worked hard to achieve, but wasn’t enjoying it. 
    “So I kept pushing and pushing myself till I got to the point where I literally just burned out. I wasn't happy with my job. I couldn't see how my marriage would survive. I didn't want my kids anymore. I was just at the end of myself. I didn't want the life I created.”
    After reaching this breaking point, she went on a journey of restoration and healing where she learned to connect with God and with his plan for rest. Now she shares her research and methods with her patients and with all of us. If you’ve ever felt tired and at the end of yourself, this episode is for you. 
    “We already have permission to rest, but the mommy guilt that sometimes comes tells us we don’t. That is really a lie. I look at it as the John 10:10. The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And he's doing it to a lot of us through our inability to rest, our inability to trust God that when we lay things down that he is able to uphold them.”
    What we chat about:
    When Saundra reached her breaking point from stress and lack of true rest We have physical limits to what we can do as moms  How Saundra researched rest and looked at scripture for clarity on how God rested The seven types of rest are physical, to mental, spiritual, emotional, social, sensory and creative. The difference between a vacation and resting Paying attention to a place that feels painful in your body in the moment vs ignoring it Finding emotional rest through connection with friends, even through video chat if getting together is impossible The importance of authentic, open friendships with women who can relate to your life situation Ideas on how to stay engaged with your husband and reignite your marriage Putting limits on social media time so that your mind has down time Tips for getting mental rest and release ideas that make your mind race Sensory rest-- what it is and ways to get it It is not selfish to prioritize resting. It keeps you from having a toxic reaction to those around you. Links Mentioned: 
    Website: http://ichoosemybestlife.com/
    Book: http://ichoosemybestlife.com/sacred-rest/ 
    Quiz: http://restquiz.com/ 
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    • 52 min
    Week Four Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Sally Clarkson

    Week Four Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Sally Clarkson

    Sippy cup refill requests. Another load of laundry to fold. A sibling dispute.
    Ever feel like you are reacting to life? Life is coming at you and you respond.
    There have been many times in my mothering where instead of joy & hope I feel beat down and unfulfilled.
    One woman who has whispered beauty and calm into those dark places, is today’s podcast guest, Sally Clarkson.
    She told me motherhood can be more than just doing the dishes. It is an important job, guiding souls through discipleship and love. She taught me that my hard-to-handle boy may need me to sympathize more than instruct. She agreed boys may be a little wild. . .but showed me they can be civil & sip tea.
    When I was coming out of a time of “not feeling like myself” Sally showed me how to own my life. To drop the negative thoughts which held me back. To consider what I wanted my days to look like and then make them happen.

    He is the living, vibrant not-to-be-contained God. The more I would ponder God and engage with him in my own heart, the more my kids were drawing from me all the excellencies and realities of God. When we are passionate and filled with the Holy Spirit, our children will be exposed to the living God.

    Sally has written her encouragement into a book called, “Own Your Life” (2015).
    In this podcast episode, which originally aired January 6, 2015, I asked Sally all-the-things I’ve been pondering, from how to help your children really “know” God to simple advice on transforming a hard mom day.
    What we talk about:
    Why I struggle to read Sally’s books at the end of hard days. Every mom has her own mom personality. In spite of our mom errors, children can learn our hearts How do we help our children “Yadah” God…to know Him personally Living a life of color & taste & joy so our children see & know the goodness of the Lord. How we are motivated…not by guilt or checklists but by love & encouragement. Balancing grace & truth in parenting–practicing patience & love takes time. Definition of the phrase “own your life”- Sally’s example of a friend who “owns her life” in a special way why she serves her son with a disability. In an immediate gratification society, not forgetting the long term process of your life. growing day by day, little by little. Making sure you make time for yourself, to fill up before you pour out to the little people in your life. Common barriers to owning your life. Sally’s advice to a mom who was depressed Importance of believing the right philosophy–God is for you. Connect with Sally:
    Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram

    My mom friend who started a MomHeart group–Leslie Johnson Confessions of a Prodigal Son –Sally’s son’s film “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:” (Deut 11:26) BOOK :: Awaking Wonder :: releases Aug 18th. Pre-order here. Featured Sponsor: Thrive Market
    Get $20 shopping credit when you sign up for a Thrive Market Membership. https://thrivemarket.com/dma

    • 38 min
    Week Three Summer of Mentorship 2020 Francie Winslow

    Week Three Summer of Mentorship 2020 Francie Winslow

    (This episode originally aired in 2016) Francie Winslow shares the exponential impact marital intimacy has on the world around us.

    Sex is a multiplying factor in our lives, not just with producing kids, but producing a massive amount of connection.

    In the past two years Francie has been doing extensive research on theology of the body. Exploring how God stamped His image on us. How we express our roles as image bearers through sex in marriage.

    God is an invisible God who wants to make himself visible to us. When man and woman come together as one it’s his invitation for humanity to become one with God. Intimately connected with Him.

    Francie shares their own family stress and her personal struggle with anxiety. Things that can disrupt marital connection. She vulnerably shares how she and her husband have purposefully chosen sex over isolation.

    God’s training us to fight for connection and for each other instead of against each other.

    Love Francie’s practical tips for keeping technology in check. So often screens and devices creep in between couples, increasing the distance and decreasing the intimacy.

    Don’t miss the list of great resources below to help train your children in forming a healthy perspective of the body and sex.

    What we chat about:
    Francie’s journey to learn sex isn’t dirty or a duty but a delight. Her recent study of theology of the body. How anxiety and adoption stress led Francie and her husband to choose to have more sex (you read that right). How technology impacts our marital connection and practical solutions Help and healing for women who struggle with their view of sex. A reminder to daily do the things that keep you alive as a person. The Ripple Effect of sex in marriage. A word of encouragement for the single mom. Training our kiddos in a healthy sexual worldview (check out Francie’s resource list below).
    Connect with Francie:


    Links Mentioned:
    Sign up for Francie's free newsletter (http://franciewinslow.com/) As a bonus you will receive a free digital download of a Prayer to Ignite the Ripple Effect in Your Home along with 7 Days of Marriage Declarations to Experience More of Heaven’s Possibilities for Your Marriage. " Heaven in Your Home Podcast Soul Freedom (encore)Episode The Power of Sex in Marriage Episode Andy Crouch Beth Moore’s Daniel Study**
    Francie’s Resource List:
    Theology of the Body Books for Kids by Monica Ashour Every Body is Smart: God Helps Me Listen & Choose** Every Body Has a Body: God Made Girls & Boys** Every Body is a Gift : God Made Us to Love** God Has a Plan for Boys & Girls ** Every Body Has Something to Say** Every Body Has Something to Give**
    Get these books (as many as you can!) and read them over and over and over.  They are great for a range of ages – not just toddlers.  Not only will it help form a great spiritual foundation for your kids as they enter a sexually intense world as kids (sadly it happens young these days), it will help you as a grown up re-learn how to think about bodies, sexuality and identity.  It will also help give you simple, common language to use on an everyday basis in your home.  They have all been such a big part of us growing in this new way of seeing the gift of sex as a family.

    For older kids:

    The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality** by Luke Gilkerson (there are several others to go with this series too).  Loving this one right now with my 8 year old.) Before I Was Born (God’s Design for Sex)** by Carolyn Nostrum Good Pictures, Bad Pictures : Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids ** by Kristen Jensen
    Theology of His Body/Theology of Her Body** by Jason Evert (This was written with college kids in mind, but I found it super helpful and use it woven into conversations with

    • 48 min
    Week Two Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Dorena Williamson

    Week Two Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Dorena Williamson

    Many of us avoid and struggle with conversations about race or disabilities because it’s uncomfortable. When our children ask innocent questions about someone who is different than they are, it can make us feel tongue tied or embarrassed.
    Author Dorena Williamson has created some lovely children’s books to help parents respond and invite their children to join them on the journey of learning to love and speak worth over every person that God created.
    And I kept feeling frustrated thinking that’s not the solution to teach your children to be colorblind because that’s minimizing the beauty of God’s handiwork. And as Christians we should be the biggest proponents of celebrating the beauty of our racial diversity and not minimizing it or sort of washing it away and this colorblind land.
    She shares powerfully about how to engage with your children about racial and cultural differences and how we can model what it looks like to grow in the area of loving and accepting people who are different than us.
    As our children get older, I think that these are valuable conversations to have with them because the beauty of it is that it tells your children you are teachable and that you don’t get it right all the time and that you’re continuing to learn and grow.
    What we chat about: All about Dorena’s family and their multiracial church, Strong Tower Bible Church Her book ColorFull and the background behind why she wrote it The creativity of God and how he uses color in all that he created Looking for opportunities to share the beauty of racial differences with our children Language for parents to use to help teach children and avoid shaming Reinforcing the idea that “Different is not bad” and calling out the worth of people Why equipping kids early is important Modeling how we are all growing when it comes to loving and accepting people who are different than us Encouraging our children to ask questions even when they are uncomfortable Engaging with our kids about other cultures whether we can travel internationally or experience cultures in our own cities Connect with Dorena:

    Links Mentioned: ColorFull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us** ThoughtFull : Discovering the Unique Gifts in Each of Us** GraceFull : Growing a Heart that Cares for Our Neighbors** Other books/sites that Dorena recommends: 
    Brownicity.com site with helpful resources (created by a Godly woman Dr. Lucretia Berry) The Beatitudes by Carole Boston Weatherford The Other Side  by Jacqueline Woodson Beabridgebuilder.com A list of 28 picture books (aren’t about boycotts, buses or basketball)  –listed created by ScottWood

    • 48 min
    Week One Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Rachel Anne Ridge

    Week One Summer of Mentorship 2020 :: Rachel Anne Ridge

    Rachel Anne Ridge is an author, professional artist, and speaker in Texas. Together with her husband Tom, she bootstrapped her way through the Great Recession, raised a family, and rediscovered her purpose in the midst of the everyday juggle of life. Her books, Flash, The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me About Life, Faith, and Second Chances, and Walking with Henry are inspired by the stray donkeys (yes, donkeys) who interrupted her juggling act and revealed how ordinary (and sometimes hilarious) events help us find our higher purposes and deeper faith. Rachel is mom to three adult children and Nana to five littles.
    Little did I know when I asked Rachel to be on the podcast, that the day before our interview she wrote a viral blog post encouraging the lonely mom of older kids (click here to read it).
    Her honest, yet hopeful words, are what I’m sure caused 37,000 + people on Facebook to like her words. She admits the hard parts but encourages moms to keep their eyes on the bigger purpose.
    Show Highlights:  Rachel shares personal parenting challenges and what she (and her husband) did to overcome them. Discover a variety of ways to get God-centered (none of which include getting up early). Hear Rachel’s parenting regret and advice on how to avoid it. Be encouraged by Rachel’s greatest parenting strength. For the mom of older children, listen to Rachel’s thoughts on how discipline changes during this stage to a coaching role Most importantly hear the Truth of God’s great love for you and your family. Links:  Growing Kids God’s Way: Biblical Ethics for Parenting* Rachel shares they attended training in this parenting approach. She also alludes to the fact they did not agree with all the information in this program. She shared with me later how attending the course together allowed them to get on the same page and then toss what they couldn’t use. After some research I found parents strongly divided on this training approach. If you are looking for other grace-based parent training, then here are some other resources:
    Parenting With Love And Logic (Updated and Expanded Edition) by Foster Cline & Jim Fay Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson Grace-Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman
    Connect with Rachel:
    Blog :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Pinterest :: Instagram

    Featured Sponsor:  Thrive Market  go to https://thrivemarket.com/dma use DMA to get $20 of store credit. 

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
1.7K Ratings

1.7K Ratings

MsBGreen ,

A must listen for every mom

I have been listening regularly for a couple of years. Heather is such a gifted host. She asks great questions, has such amazing guests and truly speaks to the hearts of moms of young children. Thank you Heather, you are a blessing to me ❤️

Dr MomAZ ,


Loved the episode with Dr Berry!

BeccaDuh ,

Best Podcast for Mommas

I look forward to this podcast every week. It’s been a lifeline for me in this new season of Motherhood. I love all the practical and spiritual advice given about everyday challenges and topics that apply to my life.

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