I’m talking with my friend Connie Albers today about parenting in the midst of ‘Rona craziness and the late teen years—possibly two equally stressful situations. It is possible to maintain a relationship with an older teen when they’re making choices they don’t see to be harmful. Let’s talk about what that looks like.
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Colossians 1:15-17
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Connie Albers has been a mom for 32 years. She is a popular speaker and writer dedicated to strengthening families, parenting, homeschooling teens, faith-filled living, and leadership. Her practical content inspires and equips parents in the trenches. Connie has been a spokesperson for a Fortune 500 company as well as serving as a director and board member for a nonprofit state homeschool organization. Connie’s recent book, Parenting Beyond the Rules: Parenting Teens with Confidence, is blessing parents around the world.
Connect with Connie: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Parenting Beyond the Rules: Raising Teens with Confidence
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Hey everybody, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Monday, May 4th. This is so exciting, episode number 919, May the Fourth be with you. You guys know I love to have people on the show with me who are #offthebench and onto the battlefield. Today happens to be Mailbox Monday when I answer your questions. And thank you, COVID-19, one of the only good things to come out of it, is that all of my awesome friends are stuck home. And they got nothing better to do than come on the podcast with me. So, I’ve got an awesome friend on the podcast with me. Connie Albers is here and we’re going to take a couple of your questions today. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So, thanks for tuning in today, you guys. This is the first day of the new Bible Study at MomStrong International. We are doing a study called, Jesus Only, a study in the book of Colossians. You guys are going to love it. And can I just say how much I love the community of moms that are doing the Bible Study with me at MomStrong International.
So, the May study starts today, and the topic is one of my favorite things to talk about, which is Jesus. We’re going to talk about the difference between Jesus and, right? Like I run on Jesus and coffee. You guys have probably all seen that T-shirt, right? And just Jesus only. So, if you’re wondering what the monthly Bible Study looks like, I’ve got a sample page and FAQ page on my website. And so, go check it out, and join me in the journey at momstronginternational.com.
You can also sign up for the Scripture Writing Challenge there, and we would love to have you be a part of that community. I teach, by the way, live every Wednesday over at the MomStrong International Bible study Facebook page. If you’re a member of the Bible Study, be sure that you apply for membership into that group, because you’re not going to want to miss it. We pray for each other. We laugh. We cry. We talk about COVID-19. We do the thing.
So, check it out at MomStrong International, our members only Bible Study page on Facebook. And if you’re not a member yet, you can sign up at momstronginternational.com.
All right, you guys, I am so excited because a really, really good friend of mine is on the show today. Connie Albers is an author and a speaker, and she’s an amazing communicator. And she’s a mom of five adult kids. She is an entrepreneur in her own right, with an outreach in ministry to parents through speaking and leadership, and a podcast of her own.
But her favorite role is my friend. I also happen to really like her husband, Tom, and we keep talking about going motorcycling together. And maybe one of these days when we’re in our 80s, we’ll get around to it. But we’re going to take your questions today, and you guys are going to be encouraged. Hey, Connie, welcome back to the podcast.
[Connie] Hey, Heidi. I’m so glad to be with you. Yes, you are. That is my favorite thing to do, is hang out with Heidi. It is awesome.
[Heidi] And it’s easier to say now that we are all bored. I’ve been stuck at home for six weeks now. So, it’s like, “Okay.” You and I have seen each other several times on the road by now.
[Heidi] And I’ve been at your house and we’re doing none of that. I mean, none of it.
[Connie] I know. I know. Have you ever seen that meme where the introvert is just sitting in their house reading a book and being on their computer, but the extroverts climb into walls and shaking the doors, and trying to get out the window? I would say I probably fall into the extrovert category. I’m ready to get out of my house.
[Heidi] Well, I got to say, I think I’m more of an introvert than people think that I am. I actually loved… I really did— I loved the first three weeks. I mean to tell you, the St. John’s are getting stuff done. But now, I’m like, “Okay. I’m over it. I want to go back to work.” I caught up on all my things. My husband, I was in Lowes with him. Connie, this is so funny. I mean, you can picture Jay and I, right, at Lowe’s the other day?
[Heidi] And you know how I feel. I go into these stores and it stresses me out. It’s like a scene out of Contagion. People are wearing masks. And about every 15 minutes, the loudspeaker, “Thank you for shopping at Lowe’s. We care about your safety. Wash your hands. Don’t get too close.” And people stop looking at each other and nobody is making eye contact. And we’re just following the arrows on the floor. It’s very, very weird.
And my husband looked at me, and Jay said, “This needs to be over because everything is weird. And my life is starting to look like a scene out of Home and Garden television. Like every morning when I wake up, ‘Yes Heidi, what project are we working on today?’ “
[Connie] Well, you got your garden going. And pretty soon, you’re going to be feeding your whole family. Just talk to your garden.
[Heidi] Yeah, you’re right. Yeah. I mean, I’ve always wanted to live on carrots and parsley. And what do I have coming up? Green onions. My mother-in-law planted green onions, and I don’t even like green onions, but I’m really enjoying watching them pop up out of the ground. That’s thrilling.
[Connie] That shows you, you have way too much time when you’re sitting there and watching the onions grow.
[Heidi] Oh, yeah. You’re right. Yeah. No, you’re totally right. And then, like I said, I get on my… Well, you watch me. I got on my Facebook page the other day…because we’ve had it rough over here. I mean, Savannah had her baby. Then, my mother-in-law had a heart attack, and they wouldn’t let me see her. And it completely, it just… oh, my goodness. It just sent me right over the edge. And I got on my Facebook page.
And like you and I were talking about a minute ago like I just don’t… The Constitution is just being shredded right in front of us. We’re watching people infringe on our rights. And people who don’t understand the constitution, they think that a virus overrides it, but it actually doesn’t.
[Heidi] And so, that’s frustrating for me. But I was telling you I think, if I were to get on my Facebook page and say, “Everyone should wear a mask.” People would hate me, unfollow me, throw eggs at me over the virtual wall. And if I were to say what I did say, which was, “If you’re not sick, don’t wear a mask. You’re okay. Sick people, yes. Healthy people, no. We can protect ourselves.” And people hated me and unfollowed me, and throw virtual eggs at me over the virtual wall.
And this is a rough time to be an American, I think.
[Connie] Oh, my goodness. It is a rough time to be American. But what I see you keep doing, Heidi, is you keep bringing people back to Jesus. And more than being Americans, we are the Christians and we know that God has this, that God is going to carry us through. We shouldn’t be governed by fear. God says He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear but of sound mind. And what I think we’ve seen is people lose their mind.
[Heidi] Right. I was just going to say, “It’s the sound mind thing that we’re really having a hard time right now.”
[Connie] But haven’t you noticed that as you sit back and you watch what’s happened over the last six, seven weeks now, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I know we talked the other day and I said, “Yeah. Forget days of the week. We’re just going to this day, the other day, yesterday, day for that last month. What year is it?”
[Heidi] And it’s really ruining Friday night. Friday night used to be awesome, or Saturday. It used to be awesome. It’s, “Hey, guys, it’s Friday night.” We get pizza. We’re going to watch a movie. Now, every night is Friday night and no night is special. They’re all the same.
[Connie] Isn’t that true. Well, I have to take a piece of paper and write down on the paper what day it is and just put it on my wall, today is Wednesday. Did you know that so many people haven’t had their lives disrupted. They’re essential workers. So, they’re getting up and they’re still doing the same thing. Other than when they occasionally need to go to a store, a grocery store, they’re even having their food delivered.
They’re still going to work. Their paychecks are still coming in. Life other than a few things, is going as normal. And depending on where you live, Heidi, you guys have been hit hard out there in the beginning.
[Connie] But there’s some places in the Midwest, they don’t even… nothing, except Hobby Lobby is closed.
[Connie] And they miss that. And that’s not minimizing it because it is a virus. It is real and people are dying. And I don’t think you’ve ever minimized, I never heard you minimize that people are being hurt and harmed by this. But what I see you doing, Heidi, is you’re just trying to bring some commonsense, which seems to be escaping people these days.
[Heidi] Yeah. No, it’s true. And it’s really amazing to me—and you and I have had this discussion before— how we are driven by fear.
[Heidi] We’re very, very afraid and we’re very afraid of getting sick. And I understand that. But oh, my goodness, I asked a lady the other day who was just very, very angry with me, because I said, “Costco announced that you can’t come into Costco anymore starting today on the 4th of May. You can’t go to Costco anymore unless you have a mask.” And so, what I did was I was like, “I’m going to Costco on the 2nd and get everything I need to get. And then, I’m never going back again.” And this woman said, “You don’t care about people.”
[Heidi] And that’s not true. I mean, Connie, we’re getting phone calls here at the Resource Center, moms who are crying who are saying, “Please help me. My kids haven’t been home for weeks and weeks. I think I’m supposed to be homeschooling, I just don’t know how.” We’re absolutely equipped to do that.
[Heidi] And yet, the government is hog-tying us.
[Heidi] And so, it’s like there are two sides to it. And I think we can be reasonable people. But what I’m seeing is that it’s very hard to reason when people are afraid. It’s like someone in panic mode.
[Connie] Well, that’s how you…
[Heidi] You can’t reason with people like that.
[Connie] And that’s how you control people, is you get them confused first and you get them spinning around, and then they get afraid. And then, because nobody is quite sure exactly what the truth is, because it changes every day.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Connie] Do we wear a mask? Do we not wear a mask? Well, you can wear a mask. But if you do wear a mask, don’t touch your face. But if you do, don’t touch it. I mean, people’s heads are just exploding with confusion.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah. And…
[Connie] At this store, you have to have a mask. But at this store, well, no, there’s not a mask and you can go to the grocery store, and there’s these little lines but nobody is following the arrows because they forgot something on aisle 10.
[Connie] And so, they leave their buggy and they run back to aisle 10. But they went the wrong way. It’s just…. people. And I’ve heard you say this before. I mean, we have to have a sense of humor. If we don’t, I think we’re going to go crazy.
[Heidi] Oh, yeah. And we’re so close to going crazy now.
[Heidi] Let’s just be honest. I mean, we’re at the jumping off place, right. Right. Aren’t we like, “Oh, my goodness”? So, we’ve started just taking people here at the Homeschool Resource Center on appointment and just we’re getting back to doing counseling. I have seen the depression rate is skyrocketing.
[Connie] It really is.
[Heidi] Like you said, people are out of work. I mean, you’re experiencing this in your house, right?
[Connie] Oh, out of the 10 of us, Heidi, seven are without work right now. And they weren’t…
[Heidi] That’s crazy.
[Connie] … not working before. They were fully employed and doing a wonderful job and several got furloughed. And several are entrepreneurs. And in a minute, because of a decision that somebody made, everything is gone.
[Connie] I mean, everything. You’re sitting around going, “Oh.” Now, thankfully, Heidi, they have savings and they’re fine for a little while.
[Connie] But it can’t go on for long. And I’ve heard so many people say, “We’re going to break the back of this virus.” And I am all for breaking the back of the virus, but I am not for breaking the backs of Americans.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah. No, it’s true. So, here’s a good question. So, riddle me this. At what point do we… one lady said, “You should be wearing a mask for those who are immunocompromised.” And I said, “Okay, so when the virus is over, there will still be viruses.”
[Heidi] When coronavirus is a thing of the past, which it never probably ever will be.
[Connie] No, I don’t think so.
[Heidi] Now, we just know about it, right?
[Heidi] But you got, H1N1 still out there. Swine flu was never eradicated. Well, we’ve got influence A, influenza B. Do we all wear masks for the rest of our life because people could die if they get a virus? It reaches the point where it makes absolutely zero sense at all. And if you voice an opinion otherwise, you’re an uncaring, unfeeling, un-American person who wants other people to die.
[Connie] I was just going to say, “You want people to die.” And that’s the farthest thing from the truth. But, Heidi, what you said is so true. And I applaud you for addressing the fact that these parents are really struggling under the weight of—what do I do, how do we manage? You have your children with you all the time. All the time, you can’t step outside because the neighbor might call because your child didn’t put on their hazmat suit before they went outside.
[Heidi] Right, right.
[Connie] And they’re calling to report you. What do we do? But I just think it’s so wise that you’re addressing the true need and the impact of families that have been stuck at home. Maybe there’s financial shortfalls or their children… let’s just face it, Heidi. Many, many children are grieving.
[Connie] They’re grieving the loss of that birthday party, that six year old birthday party that they’ve been planning for so long.
[Connie] And you’re just maybe thinking, “Oh, it’s just not a big deal. It’s just a birthday.” Well, not to a six year old.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Connie] It’s a big deal. And to that child, they can’t go spend the night at grandma’s. Grandma is not coming over to play or they can’t have playdates with their cousins, or they can’t get together with their friends at coop. These children don’t know how to handle this. And it’s not a teaching time to teach them, “This is acceptable behavior.” You’re identifying a very important heartfelt need and that these parents need connection, and they need emotional support.
They need to know that somebody else is there and that they’re not alone. And we’re going to get through this. I don’t like that “alone together”. I just don’t like that slogan because-
[Heidi] I don’t either, awful.
[Connie] We were all in it. We were all facing a pandemic, but we’re not all in the exact same storm.
[Heidi] No. No, that’s right. And we’ve got to be… to me, the emotional trauma is every bit as devastating as the possibility of a virus.
[Heidi] And we’re watching people who are suffering terrible financial loss. I mean, my entire speaking season is pretty much out the window.
[Heidi] We’re trying to reschedule some things. We’re putting things tentatively. Everybody is very hesitantly, very pensively putting things back on the calendar. But we’ve learned now that the government can rip it away from us anytime they want to. And so, we’re looking at a very real loss of financial stability, a very real loss of emotional stability, because these kids like you said have lost their emotional support.
Trisha Goya was on here last Monday with me and she’s written journals for kids called the Stay Home Journal.
[Connie] Oh, I’ve seen those. They are adorable.
[Heidi] She made one for Saylor. It was so cute. I sent her a video when Saylor’s came in the mail. Because she was like, “I love narwhals.” Well, here at my house, we’re together, together.
[Connie] Yeah, yeah.
[Heidi] We’re not together alone. We’re like…
[Heidi] I mean, when I was talking to you last week, I had my mother-in-law, obviously, because she’d had a heart attack. So, my sister-in-law came down and my niece came down. And then, Savannah moved into my house for a little while so I could help her with postpartum care.
[Connie] Yeah, yeah.
[Heidi] And help her with her baby and all that. So then, I had Savannah and her three kids, and there’s like, I don’t know, 15 of us in the house. And I told Jay, I’m like, “We need some alone time. We need some alone time.” But the other thing that I think people are not talking about, which I think we need to, is that the issues that were happening before. The parents were struggling with relationships with their teenagers.
[Heidi] The marriages that were on the break. Those things are all still happening in the midst of the pandemic…
[Connie] They’re magnified actually.
[Heidi] Yes. And they’re magnified and so much harder. And Connie, I heard from a mom who emailed me for a Mailbox Monday, a couple weeks ago. And I thought, “Let me throw this out to Connie.” It’s so good, because you’ve written a book, Parenting Beyond the Rules. You guys have raised five children, and we need to keep talking. It’s like all these other things have been drowned out because of coronavirus. But the fact is we’re still, many of us, millions of us, shepherding young people, trying to keep our marriages healthy.
I told my husband, I said, “I’m going to use the quarantine to exercise. Well, I decided that my lack of time was not the problem.” I haven’t found an exercise that I super love. So, this woman wrote in and she said, “Hi, Heidi. Our 17 year old son is dating a girl who professes to be a Christian but her actions say otherwise. She refuses to spend time with our family. And when my husband and I asked our son about her, he won’t talk to us, which is very out of character for him. How do we maintain a relationship with our son and give him the freedom to make wise choices without either alienating him or feeling like we have given up as parents?” Wow.
[Connie] Oh, that’s…
[Heidi] I was like, “That is a great question.”
[Connie] Yeah, it is.
[Heidi] And I know because of COVID-19, it’s magnified even more. So, what do you think, Connie?
[Connie] Well, I think that it’s important that she said, “How do we maintain a relationship?” Because you and I know, Heidi, without a relationship, you don’t have influence.
[Connie] And so, you have to see past that hurdle that’s right before you and maintain that communication in that relationship so that when you have the opportunity to whisper truths in their ear to keep pointing them back to what they know is already there.
[Connie] I mean, you have taught and trained your children in the way they should go. That’s all in their head. So, every time they try to step in a different direction, they hear our voice.
[Connie] I mean, at any time, you and I could probably be put in a situation and we can hear our mom whispering in our head. We can’t get our parents out of our head, good or bad.
[Heidi] Right, right.
[Connie] For this woman in specific, she’s really got to go after the heart, and she’s really got to just remind him that… give him the confidence of saying, “I know you’ll make the right decision. Is this the right opportunity? Is this the right person for you? Is she pointing you back to the Lord? Are you influencing her or is she influencing you?” “Sweetie, I just want to”… and this is my favorite phrase ever, Heidi. And if your listeners, just write this down.
When you’re talking to a team, instead of going in combative and just saying, “You will do this and you won’t do that.” They’ll be like, “Oh, yeah? Watch. I’ll show you.”
[Heidi] That’s right. No, you’re right.
[Connie] But Heidi, the most important thing you can do as a parent in that season is say, “I invite you to consider this.” Do you hear the approach to that? You’re not, as mom and dad, who are the authorities and God has placed you in authority over them— but your children have to be under that authority. And if they’re bowing their back and pushing against you— everything you say, they’re going to view as control, and everything they say, you’re going to view as rebellion.
[Connie] And so, just stop that and say, “I invite you to consider. If this were to move forward, what do you see happening?” And that’s it. Just be quiet and let them ponder on that. And then, the next time you get another conversation, “I invite you to consider what would this look like. Let’s say, if you were married and you have some children…paint a picture. Paint that picture. Help them see what they can’t see.
[Heidi] It’s so important.
[Connie] “If you have this relationship and let’s say you get married and you have a child, and you would like to raise your child this way, but she’s not really with you, what do you think that would look like? And I just want you to consider that.”
[Connie] And then, follow it up with, “Will you consider it?”
[Connie] There’s not a confrontation there, Heidi. And there’s a freedom for them to then implement and execute all that you’ve taught them along the way. Unfortunately, we can’t keep them from making poor or unwise decisions. We can’t keep them from face planting and pitfalls. But when they do and if they do, we want to be there to say not, “I told you so, ” but “Hey, I’m still with you. How can we walk together through this?”
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right.
[Connie] Strengthen that relationship. And now is a great time, Heidi. Now is the great time to do that. Even though we’re stressed and they’re stressed, and they’re confused, and we’re frustrated— there’s still enormous opportunity. I’ve seen you and your youngest daughter get in the kitchen and making some yummy bread.
[Heidi] Yeah, cooking with Saylor.
[Connie] Yeah. You’re shaping and influencing her. Yeah, she’s what, nine? She’s nine now, right?
[Heidi] Yeah, she’s nine now. Yeah.
[Connie] Yeah. But you know the drill. We teach by just coming alongside, not going head-to-head.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah. It’s really true. And in fact, I will just be brutally honest and say, we pretty much stopped homeschooling over here, because the tension is too high. The stress has mounted over the weeks as the reality of the situation that we’re in has hit everybody in different ways. And both of my sons, one of them works for Costco, the other one works for Amazon. And yeah, it’s crazy. And so, we here, we call it the tales from the crypt.
They come home and they’re like, “What are the tales from crypt? What’s going on?” And I could see it in Saylor’s eyes, especially, and in Sydney too. And I just decided, “Okay, we’re changing this up.”
[Heidi] So, we stopped doing the normal thing. And we’re doing things that are not quite normal. So, instead of Saylor doing her Math, she’s just practicing her Math class with me.
[Connie] Oh, she’s in the kitchen. She’s reading a recipe. And she’s now-
[Heidi] Yeah. Did you hear her say… What was she trying to say, artisan?
[Connie] Oh, I saw it when she was reading the cookbook, that was awesome. Yeah, that was awesome. But did you know how you came… that was a great example, Heidi, of how you come along your child. You could have, “Oh, no, no, Saylor. This is how we do it.”
[Connie] But you laughed, not laughing at her.
[Connie] You just had the little giggle that we know and you kept going. And then later, you came back.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah.
[Connie] That’s how we effectively parent our kids, especially when the tensions are high and stress level is high. I will tell you, my kids are all adults now. You’re a new grandma.
[Connie] And you have adult children, and they’re processing it differently.
[Connie] My own kids, I’m constantly reminding my kids that this is a time for us to grow closer, that we have to rely on each other. We have to be there for each other. We have to fill in the gap when one of you is struggling, which again, that many people that are without work right now, there can be some fear of what’s coming next. How long will this last? How long will my money last? When will we get back to work? And I don’t want to disobey the laws.
And I commend all of that. But now is a great opportunity. You have all those people in your home to walk along, laugh a little. I heard you with your Rona.
[Heidi] Rona, is that you?
[Connie] Oh, my goodness. Everybody is going to walk around the grocery store and we’re just going to be like, “Oh, my goodness.” Everyone’s going to start saying that.
[Heidi] I know. But we started doing that. Actually, it was a way to ease the tension at home.
[Heidi] All the talk of the coronavirus. So, I took my kids to the playground, everything is all sectioned off—and by whose order? That’s not even legal.
[Heidi] Right? And so, I said, “Just go swing.” And my kids were like, “Rona, is that you?” Coronavirus is not waiting for you on the swing set.
[Connie] Yeah, yeah.
[Heidi] You’re going to be okay. And you saw this I think probably even in Saylor when I’m doing my little videos with her, which she loves to do by the way. A lot of my kids are like, “No, I’m not going to be in your dumb video.” But Saylor was like, “Oh, Mom, can we cook together?” So, she’s at a really fun age. But what I’m looking for in her is I want to see a light in her eyes. I want to see that she has confidence that her mom and dad have got this in hand.
[Heidi] And that she doesn’t need to be afraid. And that we pray about things that we don’t understand. Last week, we’re sitting around the breakfast table praying and it was my turn. We always go around. And we just pray over whatever is on our heart, and I just started sobbing. I’m sad for so many things. I have a dear friend who’s dying right now from cancer, 48 years old. It’s just a tragedy on every level.
And I was thinking how unfair it was that his wife and children are having to go through this in the middle of the pandemic, and all the things. And I just started crying. And what was so interesting to me is that none of my children were put off by that. None of them were afraid for me. They were letting me just process because I let them process.
[Heidi] And I think that give and take in the relationship is really important. It’s what’s helping us get through some of this stuff, because it’s hard.
[Connie] Well, your sweet little Juniper one day… I mean, we’re living in the most defining moment in history. I mean, I can’t imagine us going through something quite like this again. I mean, we don’t know. But I can’t imagine it to this degree. But sweet Juniper, one day, is going to look at Savannah and say, “Hey Mommy, what did grandma and grandpa do? What did they do when all of this was happening?” And she’s 14, 15 years old. What will they say?
And that keeps resonating in my mind because I don’t want my children to tell my grandkids, “We were curled up in a fetal position in the closet with our mask on because we were afraid. Because we were confused.” I want my kids to say, “They stood firm on the Word of God. They trusted God because God is faithful today, tomorrow, and He’s always going to be there, that this didn’t catch Him by surprise. He’s going to carry us through it.
And you know what? He doesn’t always calm the storm when we want Him to, but He will calm the storm.”
[Connie] And we have to remember that some mountain tops are very high while others are low, but God is still the one who controls the storm. He’s still the one that’s controlling all of this. This just is an important fact for you and I to keep bringing our kids back to. And I mean, you and I talked about that in different levels of—well, what do we do, do we stand up? Do we be like these protesters who are standing? Do we conform for the consideration of those that are afraid? What’s our role as responsible civil-minded Americans? And that’s something everybody is flushing out. But when I think about, as a parent, my own children have written me or texted me apology notes for little things they’ve done.
[Connie] And they don’t need to. But they realized, mom was under stress.
[Connie] Everybody is, and we can say things not meaning to. We can be a little flipped at sometimes with our sensitive children who they’re bearing the weight of all of this.
[Connie] They’re absorbing all this pain, and hurt, and agony, and fear. And they’re taking it deep to heart. But other logical children, they’re trying to do the numbers and they’re saying, “Hey, the numbers don’t add up. I don’t understand.” And I think that as you work with the women in your platform, you’ve got like what, 37 million now downloads of your podcast?
[Heidi] It makes me happy because I think places like Facebook are going to start deplatforming voices like mine. I think that’s what’s coming.
[Connie] Oh, I think so. Mark, I watched… I wanted to say…
[Connie] … Mark Zuckerberg is my best friend, but..
[Heidi] You and Zuck.
[Connie] … I watched his live F8, because it was canceled. And I just started taking note and I went—We need to be wise. God has told us to be wise, to be discerning. And it is important for us to pray for wisdom and discernment.And when you were talking about… You were just overcome during that prayer time. Your children need to know that these emotions are real and that it’s okay. I think we were talking the other day, and we were talking, Heidi, about these feels.
All these feels, the anger, the frustration, the confusion, the panic, those are all real feels. And we have to acknowledge them and then identify where they’re coming from. And then, either claim a Scripture verse or the fact that God has got you and then you move on. But if your children don’t see you be human and real, and they do have those feelings, they’re not going to be comfortable sharing them.
And that’s ultimately what makes our families closer, is that we can cry together. We can laugh together. We can make bread together.
[Connie] But that we really are doing this life together.
[Connie] And that you’re going to be doing live with your people and I’m going to be doing live with my people for the rest of my days. And I’m going to work really, really hard to solidify those relationships. And when I need to, I’m saying, “I’m sorry.” I seem to say that a lot lately.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah. Yeah, me too, right?
[Connie] “Mama’s sorry about that.” And I sent my son a text this morning. Now, I just sent him a text, he’s actually one that’s deemed essential, God bless him. I’m super happy.
[Connie] But I sent him a text this morning and I said, “Thank you for loving your siblings and being the…” He’s the oldest sibling. “And being a leader to the siblings and thank you for loving us.” That’s it, smiley face emoji. They need us to come alongside them. They need to know we’re their greatest cheerleader. And they need to know that their feelings are valid. We’re not going to stay there, but we’re going to acknowledge them.
[Connie] And when we deal with them at the Resource Center or online, and when we’re speaking… I’m having events, Heidi. I’m having events canceled that are in October.
[Heidi] Oh, my goodness.
[Connie] Yeah. I just got one yesterday. It was a big event planner’s conference and they canceled it. And it’s in October.
[Heidi] Something is wrong.
[Connie] The fear is legitimate, but we can’t live there. We’re just going to have to be wise. Now, I don’t mean to dominate your show, Heidi. But I have to say this, I have to get back to something that you said. “Connie, listen, you said something that was profound.” And I say it all the time, disruption. We are living in the most disruptive period in history.
[Connie] Disruption always leads to innovation. Heidi…
[Heidi] That’s true.
[Connie] … your Resource Center was innovative. Our kids are going to come up with solutions to problems that we never knew existed as a result of this pandemic that we’re all in. So, teach them to look for those problems and then help them figure out how they can solve that problem. That’s how Amazon started. That’s how Uber started. That’s how Facebook started. What will our kids possibly start?
Maybe it’s a mask-creating company. They make masks and they sell them for a lot of money, and they sell millions of them. I don’t know what it is going to be but disruption always leads to innovation.
[Heidi] Well, I’m hoping we see some innovation in the way of freedom.
[Heidi] When we say some innovation. I’m hoping some people come up a way to have every single citizen in the country understand the Constitution. If you’re a kid within the sound of my voice, work on that.
[Connie] Mom, that’s your next assignment.
[Heidi] That’s right.
[Connie] Pick up the pocket manual of the Constitution 101.
[Heidi] Amen. I put it on my Facebook page the other day. I linked back to it. It’s like $5. It was a pocket reference guide to the Constitution. So, they show it to you and then they say, “This is what it means.” And I ordered 10 of them and I gave them to everybody in the family. I’m like, “Keep this with you all the time. This is the law of the land. This is the Constitution.”
[Connie] We got to be wise. If we don’t, we’re going to wake up tomorrow, and it’s like this whole pandemic has been a middle schooler. You put them to bed one night thinking everything is happy in the world of having a middle schooler. And the next morning, they wake up and they’re different person. That’s what’s happened to us. We get to bed one night thinking these are the rules. And the next morning we wake up and it’s like, “Whoa. Now, we can’t go to Costco without a mask? What’s it going to be tomorrow?”
[Heidi] It’s so right. It’s totally right. I know. I know. I told Jay, I said, “Well, I was thinking I would not order everything online, but maybe I will.” The poor Amazon guy hates my driveway.
[Connie] I hope you do bulk buying. Okay, here’s the whole truck. I’m just going to drop it off at St. John’s house.
[Heidi] You saw that I turned my minuscule office into a library and I ordered a chair. And my poor Amazon deliver guy, he was just like… he goes, “Heidi, is there any more furniture coming? Because I need to know now.”
[Connie] Oh, my goodness. He knows your name.
[Heidi] Oh, yeah.
[Connie] You and Amazon…
[Heidi] We’re good friends.
[Connie] Yeah, your friends.
[Heidi] Oh, yeah. We’re good. Me and the Amazon delivery people, we’re tight. We’re tight.
[Connie] As much as we banter and we have fun, I know you, Heidi. And we both know that coping with the crisis can be really hard. Crisis can overwhelm our capabilities and they can test our limits and our resolve. And we know that. And so, all your listeners that come to your page and they hate on you— the reality is, you’re not a cold, unfeeling, uncaring person. You’re a mama. You’re a grandma.
[Connie] You’re a daughter. You’re a sister and you love America. And you’re a business owner. And so, you get it. You get it. And I think more and more people are seeing what you’re saying, and they’re being tested. Their resolve is being pushed to the limit.
[Connie] Crises aren’t convenient and we certainly can’t control them, and we didn’t plan for this. But Heidi, I said this to you often and you say this on your Facebook lives, and on your podcasts, you say it often— your mindset is important. And your attitude is important. And if you decide ahead of time, how are you going to cope with these strategies, maybe you’re going to have some levity. Levity is okay.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah.
[Connie] A tad bit of sarcasm is okay. You’re not proclaiming and trying to hurt or harm somebody. And I think we have to have that for our emotional well-being or we’re going to have a whole nation of PTSD people.
[Heidi] Right. Oh, yeah. I said on my Facebook live and I said, “I’m going to have PTSD from realizing that the government can change my life in a nanosecond.”
[Connie] Oh, my goodness.
[Heidi] That’s what’s giving me PTSD. That’s what’s doing it for me. And I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to move right in next door to all my people from ADF and people who actually know the Constitution.” Like, “Do you guys have any houses in your neighborhood for sale? Because I’m going to live next to you for a while.”
[Connie] I mean, if we do, if we’re not careful, we are going to wake up tomorrow…
[Connie] And it’s going to be a very different country.
[Heidi] No.no. You’re right.
[Connie] And so, if people who do care don’t just sit back and wait for life to happen to them but they’re willing to step out and say—No, no, no, no, no, we have a say here…
[Connie] We’re not totally helpless. We’re not voiceless. We don’t wait for the powers that be to dictate everything that we say or do. That’s not how our country was founded.
[Heidi] No, it isn’t. It isn’t. And I wonder, I think of Alexander Hamilton and people like that, and Thomas Paine, oh, for goodness’ sake, Patrick Henry, I wonder what they’d be saying right now. I wish I could just sit them down in the situation and say, “Guys, we got a situation. We got a situation. What do you guys think?”
[Connie] Have you thought about the fighting that had to have happened when they were forging and creating, and drafting our documents? I mean, they were really no different than right now. They were screaming and yelling at each other. It was probably not a very pretty picture of ideologies, who was going to win the battle for the country. The heart and soul of our country is going to be formed in fashion.
I think now, it’s happening, and it’s happening in the frontier of social media. And we see more and more voices getting sensored and quieted, and eliminated, and reduced. And we have to say, “But God is still God. And He has given the platform. He has given the influence. He’s given the people that we impact.” He’s going to still do that. I don’t know how, but He will.
[Heidi] Yeah, that’s right. We don’t know how. And it’s okay to not know how.
[Heidi] And just to continue, I think we committed to prayer. You and I are both women of action. We want to be able to do something. Like, “Lord, tell us what to do.” And I think it’s hard for people like us who are… like we’re doing, “Lord, what do you want us to do?” When it feels like we can’t do anything, I think the frustration sets in, the cabin fever and everything else. I’ve just enjoyed all that… I think people need to be talking.
Call your friends. I mean, I love calling Connie. I love calling you, Connie, because we can just have an honest… we can laugh a little bit.
[Heidi] I think we’ve cried on the phone. I think we’ve laughed on the phone. And we pretty soon we’ll do it again in person.
[Heidi] And if there’s anything that we’re learning from this, it is that relationships are vital. Relationships are vital and we need to strengthen them. We need to be engaged in our relationships. And that starts with our relationship, obviously, with the Lord. And I think even in the middle of all this stuff, I get tired, and it’s hard. Sometimes, it’s hard for me, I’ll just be honest, even to open my Bible. Because I’m just like, “Lord, I’m just so tired.” That emotional tiredness sets in.
[Connie] Yeah. I think we’re in a second wave of COVID fatigue.
[Heidi] Yeah. Yeah, no question. No question at all. So, I knew that just bringing you on here to be encouraging, I’m hoping that people are encouraged just by listening to what really is a normal conversation that you and I have right now.
[Connie] Yeah. I’ve got my coffee with me because we have to have coffee.
[Heidi] We do.
[Connie] And we’ve just been chatting. But, Heidi, you keep up the good work and don’t be discouraged, my friend, when you get those mean messages. If they weren’t saying something, you probably weren’t doing anything.
[Heidi] Well, I appreciate that. And like I told you, I’ve made some hobby out of banning and deleting people off my page lately. Oh, yeah. I’m like, “Oh, no.” Because I just wouldn’t go to someone’s page and be a jerk like that.
[Heidi] And so, when someone does that, I’m happy to have a conversation even with people that I disagree with. I think the conversation is important. But as soon as we start name calling, as soon as it digresses into, “Do you want people to die?”
[Heidi] And I don’t think it helps.
[Connie] No, no. And we do have to be careful, don’t you think?
[Connie] Be careful with what we do share.
[Connie] I don’t think you just share willy-nilly. It may not be agreed upon by others, but we are responsible with our words. Our words matter. And you’re trying to get people to think and wake up, and that’s a healthy debate. I do think and I know you agree, because we talked about this, we’re just not going to throw in blindly, make bold statements that aren’t true.
Our opinions are our opinions. But I think there is a healthy level of responsibility when you have an audience that is leaning on you, especially with your MomStrong International. You have hundreds and hundreds of women that are diving into God’s Word. It’s God’s Word that changes us. It’s God’s word that you and I are talking about that causes us that swell and that prompting. And here I am in Florida and you’re in Washington. And we’re both feeling the stirring of— What can we do?
[Connie] That’s happening across America. I think it’s happening across the world, that it’s certainly happening in America. And so, as you pour into those women that look to you to give them truth, not Heidi’s opinion but God’s Word, because Jesus—back to what you said at the beginning of our talk— it all comes down to Jesus. This isn’t home. We’re just passing through. But we do want to leave this place better than when we found it for our children and our grandchildren.
[Heidi] That’s right. Yeah. I mean, that’s staring us in the face right now, right?
[Heidi] I watched my daughter leave my house the other day and take her three little bambinos home with her. And I was looking at the car and I’m like, I told her, I said, “You got yourself a car full.” And I’m thinking, what can I do to make life better for those little guys?
[Heidi] For Noah, Wesley, and Juni. And to me, that’s important.
[Connie] Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep pouring God’s word back in. Keep getting women in scripture. I mean, it’s Scripture that that changes lives. It’s Scripture that calms and settles the heart and eases the fear and tensions. And it’s God who gets the surge of the storms.
[Heidi] Yeah, yeah. It’s absolutely right. It’s absolutely right. Well, and it’s friends that help too. So, thank you, Connie, for helping everybody who’s listening today, just pull it back to, “Hey, let’s be kind to each other.” We can share our opinions and they’re definitely important. Let’s keep the conversation going. But let’s keep it healthy. Let’s talk about how important the lives of other people are. And honestly, you don’t have to be a doormat for Jesus. People don’t have to call you names so that’s okay too.
[Connie] That’s right. Stand firm on the truth. Absolutely.
[Heidi] That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Well, I love you, Connie. Where can people find your book? Because you should be out on the road talking about your book right now but you’re not. Because just like me, you’re home. You’re in timeout. So, since you’re in timeout, where can people find your book?
[Connie] Yeah. Well, you can find my book at Amazon or any of the national bookstores. Go online, obviously, and they can find it there. And I would love to have them. I’m so excited that it’s on audio format and mp3. There’s just so many ways to get it. But how timely was it of the Lord to have me write a book about Parenting Beyond the Rules when we were living in a season with, what are the rules?
[Heidi] Right. What are the rules? The rules are changing. We have no idea.
[Connie] As your kids change, we adjust. And it’s okay.
[Heidi] It’s true. It’s very true. All right, my friend, I love you so much. And let’s talk again soon.
[Connie] All right. I love you, Heidi. Have a great day. Bye.
[Heidi] Thanks, you too. For more information on my friend Connie and her book, Parenting Beyond the Rules, I’ll link back to it in the show notes today. And you guys are going to be blessed by her encouragement in parenting, and it really applies now probably more than it has even in the last several months. I hope you guys are encouraged by that.
Thank you so much for listening today. I realized, it’s a little bit longer than normal, but you guys don’t have anything to do. So, I figured it’d be fine. All right. Thanks for listening today, everybody. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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