Welcome to the Simply Joyful Podcast
We are chatting motherhood with Ruth Schwenk, author of The Better Mom! I just know you are going to be so encouraged. Be sure to listen in and check out all the show notes below.
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This Week's Encouraging Episode with Ruth!
How to Give Ourselves Grace in Our Motherhood
Motherhood can often feel like a comparison game. Not only do we sometimes feel judged by others, but often times we are the ones analyzing our own job as a mom. Are we matching up with what other people seem to be doing well? Are we living up to our expectations for ourselves as moms? We all have this picture in our head of what a good mom looks like. Sometimes it feels unattainable. However, that’s what is so beautiful about Ruth Schwenk’s new book, The Better Mom. She helps us to remember that it’s not about perfection, it’s about growing in grace in our motherhood.
I have been one of the contributors over at Ruth’s blog, The Better Mom, for about a year now. As I mention in this episode, it was one of my goals when I first started blogging to write for her site. Just an incredible group of ladies writing over there. It’s been fun to be associated with them.
I just know you are going to love this episode with Ruth. She is such an encourager and gets very vulnerable at the end of this show about some health issues facing her family. So, I hope you’ll join me in praying for her family. I love our community of listeners.
I hope you are so encouraged by this conversation with Ruth Schwenk — and don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so you know when we come back in the fall!
Quotes & Highlights from the Show!
Here are a few fun quotes from this episode. Please feel free to “click to tweet” (below) or share the images below on social media.
If we’re just trying to get by, we’re missing out on what God wants to do in us as moms in the process of motherhood —Ruth SchwenkClick To Tweet
Fun Highlights from the Show
- Ruth got her start in writing books through her website, The Better Mom. Ruth has four kids ranging in ages sixteen to nine. She’s been married to her husband for twenty years and they’ve been in ministry for over fifteen years! Wow!
- When Ruth started The Better Mom, she wanted to set it up as a contributor blog. I’ve had the honor of being a contributor for almost a year now and it’s been so much fun! Ruth shares a little bit about the inspiration and vision of this amazing resource for moms.
- One of my favorite marriage books of all time is Sacred Marriage. I love the subtitle of this book — “what if marriage was to make you more holy not happy” — which is so true about motherhood as well! I love how Ruth talks about this in her new book about motherhood. Motherhood is about more than just these dreams that we have of the picture of what motherhood will be. Much of the time God uses motherhood to shape our hearts.
- Ruth opens the book with such a funny story. It involves a child’s friend asking Ruth if she really thought she was “the better mom.” I asked Ruth what the inspiration was behind not only the blog’s title but also her new book.
- I really love all the chapter titles in Ruth’s book because she really touches on the emotions that we feel as mothers. One of the chapters that really stood out to me was the chapter that talks about the feeling that motherhood has robbed you of something — which I think this is something common with moms. Ruth shares some encouragement for moms who are feeling this loss in life and how to find the balance between “me” time and motherhood.
- Ruth and I chat about how fast our time with our kids has gone. Putting it in perspective, they will be adults a lot longer than they will be children under our roof! This is the time that we need to slow down, listen, and be present in our kids’ lives!
- We chat about our mom expectations — you know, how we are all the perfect mothers BEFORE we have kids! Ha! Reality often shatters that dream and picture we have of being a “perfect” mom. I loved how Ruth covers even this in her book! Ruth gives some advice on how moms can let go of those expectations.
- One of the biggest purposes of The Better Mom was to create a community — both online and in real life. That fellowship is so important for moms. I asked Ruth to share her advice on how moms can seek out friendships and cultivate relationships.
- Ruth and I chatted a little bit about the two spectrums of motherhood that society projects — either you’re the “Joanna Gaines/Martha Stewart” mom or you’re the “Bad Mom”. I asked Ruth to give listeners some advice on how we can stop idolizing perfectionism without having to take on the “bad mom” persona.
- Ruth’s husband, Patrick, has recently had some health issues. I asked Ruth if she could update us on what is going on and for some ways that we can be in prayer for him and their family. I also give a quick update on my friend Kim (from episode 42) who is in a battle for her life with a rare lung disease.
- You can check out all my posts for The Better Mom blog HERE & For the Family HERE.
Also Mentioned in this Episode
- The amazing Skill Trek!! Be sure to check out more information on our wonderful sponsor for Season 5! Skill Trek helps prepare kids and young adults for life with real skills. They have a comprehensive library of over 500 life skills and counting! You can get 15% off an annual membership with the coupon code: CLOVER15 (coupon expires June 30th).
- This week PrepDish is back! PrepDish is a healthy subscription-based meal planning service! Y’all know how I love meal planning, and they will do it all for you! Not only will they send you a grocery list, but they will also send you prep-ahead instructions so your meals are set and ready for the week! Be sure to jump over to PrepDish and start your subscription! For being a Simply Joyful Podcast listener, you can get a free two-week PrepDish trial! Just head over to KristiClover.com/prepdish!
- The Simply Joyful Membership Site!! Don't miss all the fun things that are going on on the membership site! We are upping our game!
A Few Other Things to Note
- My “Favorite Things” Page!! I have finally put everything in one spot for you! All my favorite books and products! I hope you'll check it out at KristiClover.com/FavoriteThings
- Join our Facebook Community, too! Visit with other Simply Joyful fans + weigh in on questions for our guests! Your question might just be used in the podcast.
- Are you needing help getting healthy for summer? I didn’t mention in this episode, but I have a weight loss program that I love called Optavia! I’m a health coach with them. If you are interested in learning more about that and my special coaching program, just head HERE for more info.
…& don't forget to grab yourself a mug!
Whether you are a coffee or tea drinker, you will love this adorable Simply Joyful Mug! The back is equally inspiring with Nehemiah 8:10 written out. When you get your Simply Joyful Podcast mug, be sure to take a picture of it and use #SimplyJoyfulPodcast or #SimplyJoyfulMug. I'd love to see them!
Check them out HERE!
Help Get the Word Out…
My prayer is that this podcast would be a blessing to all who hear it. If you enjoy this podcast, it would be such a blessing to have you “Subscribe” to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher and leave me a rating and review. This helps the podcast to rank in iTunes and be more “visible” for people searching for new podcasts to listen to. If you wanted to share this episode with friends or on social media, I've created several great images that are share-worthy. Thanks!
How to Listen to The Simply Joyful Podcast!
If you are new to the concept of listening to podcasts, then “Wow!” are you in for a treat. It's kind of like an OnDemand radio station. They are so easy to listen to when you are on the go running errands or shuttling kids or just getting projects done around the house. My favorite time to listen to my favorite podcasts is while I'm out for a walk or folding laundry.
1) Subscribe to the Podcast! You won't miss an episode when you subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. You can always access the podcast from either of these venues by searching for “Simply Joyful Podcast.”
2) Listen on your Phone! This is my preferred method of listening. If you have an iDevice (iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch), then you can listen on Apple's purple podcast app that comes on your device. If you have a non-iDevice, then Stitcher Radio is great to use. You can easily search for podcasts, subscribe, and — my favorite part — speed up the audio.
3) Listen right here on my Website! Super simple! All you have to do is just click on the play button on the podcast player located at the top of this post.
A Special Thanks to…
Rend Collective for allowing me to use their incredible song “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength.” This song has so much special meaning to me and it highlights the theme verse for my podcast — Nehemiah 8:10. Be sure to check out their music! They are such a fun band to listen to…and to see live.
Connect with Ruth Schwenk…
Ruth Schwenk is the founder of The Better Mom, and along with her husband, Patrick, the creator of For the Family. She is a pastor’s wife, a mom of four energetic kids, a lover of coffee, and a dreamer of big dreams. She loves leading, speaking, and blogging. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Ruth is the coauthor of Hoodwinked and Pressing Pause. The Schwenks are the coauthors of For Better or for Kids. Ruth, Patrick, and their children live in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Here's a sweet picture of the Ruth and her kids!
Connect with Kristi…
I hope you enjoyed this week's podcast! My prayer is always that you will be blessed and encouraged by each episode.
Blessings and joy,