Tag Archives: Parenting

Podcast 23: Greg Hoyte-Immigration, Violence and Grace: An American Story

I am so honored to post this podcast! Listen in as Greg Hoyte shares his story with us.  (Greg is next to his sister in the above picture.)

You will be fascinated by Greg’s story. He shares his journey from his childhood in Guyana, South America to Brooklyn, New York. He moved to New York when he was 14 years old after his parents worked in the US for years to earn enough money for the kids to join them. Initially excited and feeling like a dream came true, he found himself caught up in the violence of the Brooklyn streets as a teenager, filled with fear and rage and thinking there was no way out. But God showed up and provided a way. Looking back Greg can see that God never left him. This is a story of family, immigration, violence, fear, grace and hope. This is an American story.

As he talked, I just sat listening, fascinated.  He “puts skin on” so many things we talk about today – immigration, violence, public education in American cities, gangs, family, friendship, God, faith, race, respect, discipline, the American dream, fear, hope.

Greg lives in Wisconsin now with his beautiful wife Amy and their three amazing kids.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  -Psalm 23:4

 

 

 

Podcast #20- Carrie Strachan, Parenting a Child With Special Needs

Oh y’all… This one is so good!! I cried a little during our conversation. I know that probably comes as no surprise to you. This is a HOLY conversation about parenting a child with special needs.  I am speaking with my friend, Carrie Strachan.  She has four beautiful children and her son Matthew has Down Syndrome. He is 20 years old now.  This will bless you if you have a child with special needs no doubt but also if you don’t.  Because Carrie is a blessing.  She is wise and kind and thoughtful.  She is my friend through Holy Yoga and I was mentioning to another friend from Holy Yoga that we were recording a podcast and that friend said, “Don’t you love her?  Don’t you just want to crawl up on the couch with her and have her talk to you and make you feel like everything is going to be alright?” Uh…yes. So consider yourself curled up on the couch with us, listening and sharing and drinking coffee and feeling less alone. That’s my hope…that you will feel a part of this conversation among friends.

Moms…we see you…we feel you.  When we talk about living out a greater calling on  your life, there is no greater calling than that of being a mom. I know some days it really feels like drudgery.  I can’t tell you how often I think, “Why do these people need to eat again?” My mom gave me a magnet once that says, “Who are these people and why are they calling me mom?” Honestly, it’s just so ordinary and routine and downright boring at times.

But God. He is so in this.  And if you let Him in, the results, the outcome of all your years of hard work…the kids grown…you grown…your marriage grown…it’s just downright spectacular.  Amazing.

This motherhood thing never ends, it doesn’t matter how old your kids are.  In addition to parenting, we are usually trying to figure out all the other tough stuff including marriage, career, and faith life.  Or if you are like me you might still be trying to figure out how to do laundry well and what’s for dinner.  Half the time we are just wondering, “Is everyone going to turn out alright?  Am I even all right? Who put me in charge?”

I’ve heard it said that our kids pick us. I don’t think that necessarily but I do trust that God picks us. He specifically gives us the children who need us and who we need.  Our children force us to lean into God because we don’t have all the answers.  And there He is.  Loving us.  Transforming us.

He loves our children more than we do.  They were His first.  He knows every hair on their head and He calls them good.  Every single unique child, born to change the world. Isn’t it miraculous?

I’m grateful for this conversation.  I hope you will listen in and be encouraged!

Happy Valentine’s day!

 

 

HELP! Tell your stories! #unleashoptimism

Friends, great Big YES on Instagram and Facebook will be running stories of hope and optimism. Please share yours!! Tag with #unleashoptimism and @greatbigyes and I will repost on Great Big YES! I know there are MANY amazing stories. They don’t have to be long or perfect just real. Why do you have hope?  Let’s talk about the good stuff! There is so much good in the world!  We can share stories of hope and possibility and faith and optimism. Please join me!  (If you want to just share a story in the comments or email me, I will format and share on social media (mom 🙂 ) also if you don’t understand what I’m talking about let me know and I’ll help you.  All you need is the story.

Where do you find hope? What lessons have you learned from your parents? What do you dream and hope for your kids? What are your favorite parts of this beautiful country? Did you have military family? Are you military? Who was your favorite teacher? What’s your greatest lesson learned? Why are you powerful?  Where do you find God? What brings you joy? What creative pursuits do you love? Why do you fly the flag? What’s your favorite poem? Who is your favorite American author? What American stories do you love? Where do you vacation in America? What do you remember about history and government being taught in school? What lights you up about our freedoms? What makes you happy? What are you grateful for? Who has helped you in your life?

I posted one of mine today on Instagram and Facebook:

 

Claim your freedom. Celebrate! Feeling so grateful for parents who told me I can do anything I want, be anything I want…no limits. And then they showed me what hard work looks like. They taught me manners and discipline and kindness. More than once it was said, “There’s no free lunch” and “be part of the solution” and “be grateful” and “be kind”. We laughed and celebrated and enjoyed each other. Because life is good and God is good and America is the best country on earth. My dad fought in World War 2 and he didn’t have time or patience for disrespect of flag or country. He was an intelligent, kind man who loved God and loved me completely. When I told him that I wanted to marry someone like him because he knew everything, he said “No, you want someone to marry you because YOU know everything.” I never felt limits or fear or anger. Just joy and humility and gratitude and possibility. I had a voice in my family. They believe(d) in me. This will never leave me. I will choose it every day. Darkness has no hold on me. I am the daughter of the King of Kings and the daughter of an earthly father who loved me well. I am free.  #unleashoptimism @greatbigyes

Love you people of light and goodness.  I believe in us. And in the US.