40 episodes

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

    • Christianity

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.

    4 Winning Mindsets in Times of Crisis

    4 Winning Mindsets in Times of Crisis

    With all of the craziness of Coronavirus sweeping the world it is critical to examine 4 mindsets that can help us survive and thrive during these hard times.

    IntroductionWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times Podcast. The world in the last few weeks has just gone crazy. And I have to tell you that my life has seems to have been turned upside down as well. This is totally out of the norm. It is not how I expected March to turn out at all. In fact, I've really never been quarantined to my house before. So life is different.

    It's a good time for us to ask the question: What do we do in times when life gets turned on its head?

    This is a perfect time to reflect on last week's episode where I interviewed an incredible man named Matt Bowen. Matt's life completely changed in one day due to an accident which paralyzed him. Now, Matt gave us six amazing lessons that he has learned from his hard time. And these lessons were positive and uplifting. I'm going to pull from some of those today and kind of add on to them.

    Mindset #1. PatienceNow the first lesson I would love to talk about is the word patience. The word patience does not have a positive connotation. Matt said he had to learn to be patient with himself, that things were going to be different. It was like he had begun running a marathon of sorts. That is fantastic advice when we hit bumps in the road, like COVID-19, the earthquake we had in Utah, or other things that are totally unexpected. Sometimes life changes for a day, for a week, or even for a month, and we have to learn to be patient not only with others but with ourselves as well. That is tricky to do.

    I found some really awesome quotes on patience. There is a great scripture in the New Testament in the Bible where Paul explains a little bit about patience and the evolution of hard things in Romans 5:3-4.

    We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.So maybe you're not glorying in your tribulations right now. But those hard times help make us more patient. And when we have more patience, we gain experience. Then when we have experience, we gain something called hope. And this podcast is all about hope.

    A Personal ExampleLet me give you a personal example of that. When my children were diagnosed with autism, it was very hard. I really wanted to pray that challenge. I did not want that challenge. Would it have made me more patient? Yes, but I didn't want it.

    In my book, (https://amzn.to/2FFAnPU) , I compare it to the children of Israel when they left Egypt and got to the edge of the Red Sea. It's easy to look at these people and say, why were they complaining? They just left Egypt. They're on their way to the Promised Land. But they got stopped at the edge of the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army came. They complained to Moses that they'd rather go back to Egypt.

    Sometimes the things we know (either Egypt, Coronavirus, or life without autism) seems to be more comfortable than what we are currently going through. For example, we're quarantined at home and there's a shortage of toilet paper. Life is different than it used to be. So, we don't want the challenges we have--and yet by going through them, we gain patience and experience. And then we have hope that because we made it through that with God's help, maybe we can get through something else.

    And so patience is a great quality. We don't like getting it, but once we have it, it is a blessing to have.

    And I'm not saying I'm a hundred percent patient, believe me, I'm not. There are some days I'm more patient than others. I think a lot of that has to do with self care. So during this time of stress for you and your family, I have just one tip to help you with patience: get enough sleep! Everybody does better when they sleep better.

    • 27 min
    Matt Bowen: Not Letting Paralysis Paralyze My Life

    Matt Bowen: Not Letting Paralysis Paralyze My Life

    Matt Bowen shares how an accident that left him paralyzed transformed his life. He has learned, grown, and is now sharing his story of hope with others.

    BioMatt Bowen is a Utah native and has always been very active playing football, basketball, lacrosse, and anything else he could get into. He graduated from high school in 2009, served an LDS mission in France, and attended Utah State University. In March of 2015 he was in an accident where he broke his neck, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. He did not let this slow him down and he graduated from USU with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems just six months after his original expected graduation date. Matt then married his sweetheart, Sloan. He has since gone biking, skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, skydiving, and more. He currently works for Master Control as an onboarding support engineer. His family lives just down the street from Tamara, so she has watched as he has dealt with his diagnosis without letting it paralyze his life.

    The AccidentMatt's accident occurred when he was on a spring break trip in California. He and his friends were hanging out on the beach and body surfing. On the last day of their trip, Matt was body surfing. He started to get tired and decided to catch a wave in, just like he had done dozens of times.

    But for whatever reason, this wave was different. The wave shoved Matt head-down into the sand and he felt a pop. He immediately knew something. Matt decided just to ride the wave out and not try to move or fight it in any way. After the wave subsided, he was floating face down and tried to flip over. That was when he realized he couldn't move. He held his breath as long as possible but couldn't see anyone coming.

    Once Matt got to the point where he was going to have to breathe, he said a prayer. He told Heavenly Father to save Him if he wanted and if not, he would see Him in a few minutes. Then Matt's body forced him to take a breath of water. A few seconds later he was flipped over by one of his friends.

    He remembers saying, "I'm dead, I'm dead." His friend told him that he wasn't, but Matt insisted that he was paralyzed. His friend helped him float to shore and the lifeguards put him on a stretcher and kept him alert. He was taken to the closest hospital where he had a few surgeries.

    At the hospital Matt was diagnosed with paralysis from the chest down without functioning hands or arms. The only thing he could move was four toes on his left foot. He is still regaining movement of his big toe on that foot.

    RecoveryMatt was on a lot of medication at first. Because he had taken so much water into his lungs, he developed pneumonia. He was connected to a breathing tube and in and out of consciousness. When he would wake up, he would thrash around and try to remove the breathing tube, so he was placed into a medically-induced coma.

    When he was brought out of the coma, Matt was very confused. He doesn't even remember the doctor telling him that he was paralyzed. He sort of came to the realization that he was paralyzed, but he says it seemed temporary. In his mind he was going to be up walking and back to normal. Matt was going to be just like the many stories he'd read of incredible comebacks. The diagnosis became harder and harder to swallow the further along he got without much progress.

    Matt says there wasn't really a definitive moment when he realized his paralysis was permanent. He remembers the doctors on the rehab floor showing him videos of paralyzed individuals who had learned how to navigate everyday life and he remembers thinking, "Good for them, but that's not me." He started going to a state-of-the-art outpatient facility with a walking machine and he was sure that was what was going to get him up and moving again. But as things dragged on, he started to realize that maybe it just wasn't in

    • 1 hr 1 min
    3 Tips for Hard Times You Can’t Afford To Miss

    3 Tips for Hard Times You Can’t Afford To Miss

    On today's episode, we're going to talk a little bit about rolling hills, earthly angels, and an important lesson I learned after I broke my collar bone. Also I'm instituting a fun new tradition at the end of my episode today (so we aren't so serious all the time). So, read to the end.

    3 Tips for Hard Times You Can't Afford To MissWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. Last week we had the opportunity to listen to the amazing story of Roxanne Kennedy-Granada (https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/roxanne-granata-how-god-helped-me-with-my-husbands-pornography-addictionhy-addiction/) . She shared the story of her husband's challenge with pornography and how that affected her as his wife. She also taught so many amazing lessons.

    I found her story to be full of hope and faith and what an amazing testimony she bore of Jesus Christ and His ability to heal and fill her heart even though it was broken. It is just a beautiful, beautiful episode.

    So today I would like to talk about three principles I absolutely loved about Roxanne's episode.

    Tip #1--The Rolling Hills AnalogyOne of the principles Roxanne talked about was the principle of life and being like a series of rolling hills. Roxanne explained there are times when something hard comes into your life and then there's another thing and then you get a reprieve. And then there's another hard thing and then you get a reprieve. And sometimes you feel like it's just never ending.

    I know I've felt that way before. Sometimes you're going up and sometimes you're going down, because life is a series of learning experiences.

    A Pertinent Bible VerseOne of the things that came to mind when she was talking about rolling hills was a verse in the Bible in Isaiah 28:13 and it talks about how we learn and it talks about how God teaches us.

    The word of the Lord was unto them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.God teaches us in baby step increments. There are times when I've often wondered why can't I see five years down the road. Having that image of my future self could pull me forward. God doesn't work like that (unfortunately).

    A Great QuoteThere is a quote by poet Patrick Overton from his book The Leaning Tree, which I feel goes along with this Bible verse.

    “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”I love that quote. I love that life is a journey of faith and we often feel like we're climbing that rolling hill and we get to the top and we have to either go down or maybe it's just another step and it's a larger Hill than you originally thought.

    Rolling Hills With GodSometimes you feel like the whole world has dropped out from under you and God is all the sudden expecting you to fly. But he's not going to give you something that you cannot do with his help. He's going to give you challenges. Challenges will come into your life that are too hard for you to do all by yourself.

    I know I felt that way so, so many times--just burdened down and, and Roxanne felt that way too. And she shares in her podcast, "I come honest and broken. God knows how broken I am and the pain that is pressing on my heart and He just loves me. He loves me exactly where I am now. He doesn't think I'm a terrible person."

    And so the beautiful thing is God loves us when we're broken. He loves us when we're falling. He loves us when we are a completely overwhelmed and He is so willing to help us take that one step into the darkness.

    And then the next line upon line, precept upon precept learning is a series of building upon what we already know.

    I love how Roxanne shar

    • 20 min
    Roxanne Granata: How God Helped Me With My Husband’s Pornography Addiction

    Roxanne Granata: How God Helped Me With My Husband’s Pornography Addiction

    What do you do when you find out your spouse is deeply involved with pornography and lying about it? Roxanne Granata shares her story and the lessons learned with God's help.

    Roxanne Granata: How God Helped Me with My Husband's Pornography AddictionRoxanne's BioRoxanne Kennedy-Granata was raised in Northern California and lived for 20 years in Idaho. The past six years she has lived in Utah. She has worked in sales the majority of her adult life, teaching and training others to reach personal success in their businesses. Roxanne is the author of Cutting Ties: Healing from Betrayal Trauma as the Spouse of an Addict. She loves tennis when she makes the time for it. Her true passion has become meeting and talking with individuals and groups about healing from trials and challenges addiction bring into a family and relationships.

    She recently married a man she dated in college 27 years ago after they reconnected through a friend. Together, they have nine children. Roxanne met her current husband in college. However, that relationship ended and they both got married. He had been married for 25 years and Roxanne was married for 21 years. Those marriages both ended. They had a mutual friend who was his roommate in college who read Roxanne's book. He sent his friend Roxanne's book, mostly to help his friend but also to help set them up. He read Roxanne's book twice and left her review, and that's how their relationship rekindled.

    Roxanne's First MarriageSix months into their marriage, Roxanne found the first clue her husband struggled with pornography. She was totally shocked. She didn't think it made sense. Roxanne remembers thinking they were married, they were intimate, so something must be wrong with her. She thought she wasn't cute enough or smart enough.

    But as Roxanne learned more about addiction, she learned it actually has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with the addict and what they're missing in their own lives. Roxanne confronted him and he admitted he had a problem. They went to see their church leader, who was very loving and shared his own struggle with pornography. He told them to continue to read scriptures and pray together. Roxanne says those things are good, but that's not what takes the addiction away. It's not just a choice.

    While they came away from their meeting feeling better, Roxanne's trust was gone. She felt anxious about what he could be doing while she wasn't home. Their lives had become extremely difficult. She wouldn't understand until many years later, but Roxanne was experiencing betrayal trauma.

    Betrayal TraumaBetrayal trauma is when someone you love (and who is supposed to care for you) lies, manipulates, and deceives. All of the sudden, your whole world has been turned upside down and you feel trauma and anxiety over things you didn't before. You might be triggered over something. For Roxanne, seeing someone not fully clothed might trigger her and make her worry about what he might think. When those things happen, your body goes into a traumatic response similar to PTSD. Your body could start shaking, your heart could start to race and it takes times to calm yourself down.

    Initially, Roxanne went into, "I can do this and I can save everybody" mode. She realized after going to counseling she was trying to make up for the fact this was all happening. She felt her husband was present and supportive, in spite of everything going on. So she was still very confused as to why he was making the choices he was making.

    Roxanne learned later her reality was skewed. She began to understand that being good dad but still choosing pornography was manipulative. He was lying to them so his other life wouldn't be discovered. Over 17 years, Roxanne continued to find evidence her husband was still having problems with pornography. Her trust in him was continually broken.

    Things Th

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Tamara’s Takeaway: 4 Critical Choices in Hard Times

    Tamara’s Takeaway: 4 Critical Choices in Hard Times

    Tamara shares her takeaways from her interview with Jeff Steinberg. They include some personal stories and 4 critical choices we can make during hard times.

    4 Critical Choices in Hard TimesHello my friends and welcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. Last week I had an amazing interview with Jeff Steinberg (https://tamarakanderson.com/episodes/jeff-steinberg-why-having-no-arms-gimpy-legs-doesnt-stop-me-from-living-life/) . Jeff was born with no arms and 'gimpy legs' as he calls them, and yet he was one of the funniest people I think I have ever interviewed on my podcast. He had such an amazingly optimistic outlook on life. And so it naturally begs the question, if Jeff can be happy having no arms and gimpy legs and live life to its fullest--How can each of us with whatever circumstance we're in, follow that same path?

    I would like to build on and dive into 4 choices we make during hard times which I got out of Jeff's episode last week.


    Choice #1: Choose to Remember Your WorthThe first Jeff Steinberg quote I want to share with you is this: "God makes no mistakes. God makes no junk. God has a design that's bigger and better and that we have value and goes beyond appearances." 

    So the first thing that Jeff teaches us is you have to understand who you are. You have to understand your worth, that God knows you and that He isn't going to make any junk. This means you have value as His child. And our value goes deeper than what we see on the outside.

    I found a really great quote by Dieter Uchtdorf I want to share with you which goes along with this.

    "You are not ordinary, rejected or ugly. You are something divine, more beautiful and glorious than you can possibly imagine. This knowledge changes everything. It changes your present. It can change your future and it can change the world."This choice Jeff made of realizing who he really was flowed into the next choice he made.


    Choice #2: Choose Better not BitterAnd we saw that in Jeff's life. He did not let his circumstance define who he was. In fact, he talks about that specifically. He says, "I'm identified as the guy who has no arms, has gimpy legs, but he seems that doesn't define me. But given the opportunity, my circumstance or my story can refine me, it can make me better, not bitter."

    And you'll notice that there's a choice there that he made because we each have that choice. We can make our circumstance or we can choose to have our circumstances make us better or bitter. There are days we might feel bitter and there are days we might feel better. It just depends on the day. And so remind yourself that you can actually make that choice.


    My Better or Bitter ChoiceMy family moved to Argentina when I was eight years old and it was quite a challenge because I had to learn to speak a different language. I had to go to school where my sister and I stood out because we were American. And so every day at recess the kids would gather around us and stare at us like we were some oddity. And that was hard. But the great thing about being a kid when we moved there is that we were able to pick up on the language quite quickly and we learned to speak Spanish fluently. 

    The Bullying and the WarThe problem was the following year, the Argentine government declared war on the British over the Falkland islands. Now you may or may not know where the Falkland islands are, but they are these two islands off the Eastern coast of Argentina, which in Argentina's mind means that they are theirs. The only problem is that these islands have been under Britain's power for a very long time. Of course the United States sided with Great Britain. This meant that all of my cute new little Argentine friends now saw me as the enemy because the United States sided with Britain.

    Because of course, little 9-year-old Tamara Klein had total control over what America did

    • 28 min
    Jeff Steinberg: Why Having No Arms Doesn’t Stop Me From Living Life

    Jeff Steinberg: Why Having No Arms Doesn’t Stop Me From Living Life

    Jeff Steinberg humorously shares the lessons learned after he was born with no arms and 'gimpy legs.' God taught him he is a masterpiece in progress.

    Jeff Steinberg: Why Having No Arms Doesn't Stop Me From Living LifeJeff Steinberg BioJeff Steinberg calls himself a masterpiece in progress, yet to see him, he looks anything but a masterpiece. You see, he was born with no arms and badly deformed legs and he grew up mostly in hospitals and homes for the disabled.

    His Professional CareerHe began performing professionally in 1972. He is a speaker, singer, humorist, author, and has spent his days motivating and inspiring others all over the world for more than 45 years. Jeff has spoken at high schools and universities like Notre Dame, hospitals, and churches. He has spoken to US military troops. Jeff has shared the stage with the likes of Zig Ziglar, Pat Boone, Christopher Salem, Justin Dart, Art Linkletter, Daniel Miller, and even Senator Bob Dole.

    The true highlight of Jeff's career was a memorable appearance on stage where he sang for Mother Teresa of Calcutta during her 1989 United States visit. He is the 13th inductee into the Good Shepherd Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for his achievements in the field of music and his advocacy for the physically challenged. Jeff also won the 2015 and 2019 Heritage Award for Comedian of the Year from the Artists Music Guild. Jeff and his wife Ellen have a blended family of four children and he has nine grandchildren.

    His Humorous Current JobOne of Jeff's current jobs is as an Uber driver where he meets many different people and gets all sorts of questions from "Were you born like that?" One kid called him "Captain Hook" due to the hook he wears as one of his hands.

    Jeff's StoryJeff was born in 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born with what doctors call phocomelia. Phocomelia is a congenital birth defect that usually manifests in deformed arms and legs. Jeff has a little stump that's about five inches long for his upper arm on his right side. He has no left arm. He also has malformed legs. When Jeff was born, his father made the decision not to tell Jeff's mother about his disability. His father was afraid his mother was not in a good place emotionally or mentally to deal with the news. So his mother did not find out about Jeff's condition until he was 17 months old. His mother blamed herself for his condition because she had been prescribed a medication to help her with the pregnancy that we now know is linked to phocomelia.

    Care at ShrinersJeff was placed into the care of Shriners hospital when he was two and a half years old. They decided to perform surgery to see what they could do for Jeff's legs. They cut open his right knee and discovered there was no joint, just two bones that had fused together. So the doctors broke the bones and refused them so that his legs would be straight. They did not know that the growth tissue was damaged in the process. His legs did not grow after that procedure. Jeff is 4 feet, 6 inches tall.

    Jeff then learned to do a lot of things with his feet. He learned to feed himself, as well as write and sign his name. At four years old he was fitted with his first leg brace and arm prosthesis. The prosthesis was a stump socket with a spoon attached. Jeff also went to school at the hospital. A teacher would come in every day, just like regular school. He would go home on some weekends.

    Another HomeWhen Jeff was nine years old, his parents decided that they could no longer take care of him as well as his three sisters, so Jeff was placed in a foster home. He was there for about eight weeks and was then moved to Good Shepherd Home for children with disabilities. He remembers his parents telling them that he was going to excel here and that he would make a difference one day. But all he could th

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

MKroff ,

My favorite podcast!

These podcasts have helped me through long days and moved my discouraged thinking to hope and helped me carry on. I love that all these different trials that I haven’t experienced relate to me and give me strength. Tamara does a wonderful job asking the questions I’m curious about and would want to ask if I were sitting with these amazing people.

GrandpaDaveDragon ,

I love the podcast💓

This podcast is so good!! We all need more hope in our lives and this podcast is a great place to find it😉

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Real people. Relatable

This feels more like sitting down with some friends and getting real, relatable advice and support. I’m really enjoying these. Make more!

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