This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Laura: Welcome back to another episode of Risen Motherhood. I’m here with my sister-in-law, Emily Jensen.
Emily: We are literally sitting together right now, which is so exciting because usually we record over Skype.
Laura: Emily creeps me out when we’re together because she stares into my eyes really deeply and I’m a little bit like, “I’d rather look at the computer.” She’s deeply lovingly looking at me right now but it’s okay."
Emily: We are breaking into this because we have been on a break for a few weeks, so we are getting back into the swing of things. We are super excited to be back for 2017. When we started this podcast, we didn’t even know if there would be an episode six, let alone a 2017 one.
Laura: It’s so crazy. We want to look back at where we’ve come and how far this has been. I think something that’s so cool is that Emily and I started this as a five-episode series. We weren’t really sure. We were like, “Let’s put some ideas out there.”
Emily: Maybe our friends will be nice and listen to it. [laughter]
Laura: Exactly, and so it’s really cool because thousands of women tune in every single week, and it’s really neat to see how it has grown. It seems to be a message that is really resonating with moms. We’re so grateful to all of you guys that are coming along on this ride with us, and have encouraged us to keep going and fostered the conversations because again, as we always say, “We haven’t arrived. We don’t know everything,” but we’re so grateful that we can share the things we’re learning and that you guys are sharing with us. It’s a really cool experience.
Emily: We wanted the show to kick off the New Year with some personal updates to start out with and then some Risen Motherhood updates. We’ve been doing lots of dreaming, and planning, and praying in the background, and thinking about what God has on our hearts to share this year and talk about, and so that’s what the show is going to be about. A little different than what we normally do but we haven’t given a personal update in a year maybe [laughter], so it’s time.
Laura: I guess I’ll start with my big news.
Emily: You do have big news.
Laura: I have big news. I’m pregnant! It’s weird to fall flat when you tell that to a microphone [laughter], but that’s okay. By the time this thing comes out, I’ll be about 14, 15 weeks; somewhere in there. Third baby, you don’t ever really know how far along you are. It was kind of an unexpected thing because as most of you guys know, we are also still adopting two children from Bulgaria. We started that process last January.
Emily: I teased Laura. I found this really cute picture on Instagram one day of this family that had five kids and the mom was holding a baby in this cute little wrap, and then she had her adopted kids that she’d gotten in the same year and then her two toddlers. It was a family of five that happened in one year or so, like, “Ha, ha, Laura, that could be you.” [laughter]
Laura: Totally. It could be us. We’ll see, who knows? The adoptions should take two to three years, but God’s in charge of the timing and we are just praying that he has mercy on us. We’re really excited. We’re really grateful. I’ll be due in June, so that’s probably our biggest news. The adoption process, we’re eligible for kids. Somebody else had asked for an update on that, so we’re eligible. We’re waiting for an email or a phone call any day, any time so that’s exciting. Besides that, just cooking a baby and trying to enjoy my last few months with two kiddos.
Emily: You guys are still living in Chicago.
Laura: Still in Chicago.
Emily: Well, we are, Lord willing, moving soon. I think I’ve been saying that now for, it feels like six, eight weeks but, I don’t know, we don’t have a ton of updates.
Laura: You’re moving though, to the same town. Let’s clarify.
Emily: Yes, about seven minutes away. [laughter]
Laura: They’re building a house, which is really exciting.
Emily: We’re building a house. That’s what we’ve been focused on in the background, throughout the fall. Our oldest son now is four and a half, and he is very spunky and our twins are three now and then our youngest son is 17, 18 months old [laughter]. Something else with our youngest that’s been keeping us busy, he’s actually the absolute sweetest personality of all of our kiddos. He doesn’t keep us “physically crawling on everything” busy but this year, he did have some developmental delays so we’ve been going through lots of therapy this last fall and trying to understand what’s going on. That’s a topic that Laura and I may jump into more this year.
Laura: We’ve had a lot of requests for special needs mommas out there. They’ve been asking for a show about how the gospel ties into that. We know that that’s a real struggle and something that’s near and dear to Emily’s heart and history. You’ve heard her talk a little about that on the show probably, but it’s definitely something that bridges us into maybe what we’re going to be talking about this year; some of the topics. So for special needs, we’re going to try to have a mom on. Maybe Emily can talk more about her experience as well, as she feels led to share. What else are we going to have?
Emily: We definitely want to have a show for working moms.
Laura: We hear you working moms. We support you. That’s the number one requested show.
Emily: It’s been on our mind for probably like ever. We’ve been trying [laughs] to get it recorded.
Laura: I think part of it is finding the right mom and getting all that sorted out, but we definitely have a few people in the hopper that we’re going to bring on the show early on. Then also, PPD is another big topic that we want to cover.
Emily: Which stands for?
Laura: Postpartum depression.
Emily: That is a big one. What else?
Laura: Those were the three bigs. Of course, we’ll smatter it in with everything. We’ll probably talk about pregnancy because it’s near and dear right now.
Emily: That’s on the docket, probably more adoption this year.
Laura: Yes, and all the usual stuff. Intentional motherhood, that’s what the heartbeat is going to be. Biblical literacy, we’ll get more into that in a little bit on the show but you can expect some really fun things. We’re excited about some of the interviews we have lined up; some of the show topics. Even over break, Emily and I were bursting at the seams with ideas.
Emily: We have show topics for days. Although, we always love hearing people’s ideas because sometimes, when we get two or three people that basically at the same time email or talk to us about a topic, we really feel like that’s the Lord leading us to record a show about that. Don’t be shy if there’s something you’re dying to hear about.
Laura: Drop us an email. That leads us into our next point, is that we actually want to hear a whole lot more from you guys. We mean it, and so we’ve pulled together a survey that we’d love you guys to take. It’s 10 questions, and it’s about everything from demographics to learn more about you guys, to how Emily and I use social media and how you guys use social media, and what is working, what’s not, even some of the stuff on how we cover our expenses. We know that that’s one of those touchy topics but we want to talk about it, to hear from you guys, what you would prefer. If you’re wondering more about what we’re talking about, head over to the survey; it’s fully explained in there. We’re even going to be asking a little bit about audio quality, although a little bit nervous since we are not computer and sound engineers or anything like that.
Emily: We will keep the survey up through the end of January. We would love for as many of you as possible, especially if you’ve been listening for a long time, we would love to get your feedback so that we can improve. Also, all of you out there, Laura and I are busy moms, and we want the time that we dedicate to Risen Motherhood to be absolutely maximized to serve you guys as well as we can. If there’s something we’re doing that is not beneficial at all, we want to hear that, and if there’s something that you guys are loving and God is really using, we want to do more.
Laura: In return, you guys will receive a free printable. You can see a little preview of that on Instagram, and we’ll post to Facebook.
Emily: It’s beautiful.
Laura: It’s pretty. It’s like winter, very beautiful, hopefully, you’ll like it. It’s got Colossians 3:16 on it, a verse that Emily and I both love and so we hope that will be a blessing to you. You will unlock that by taking a survey and can print as many copies as you want. As Emily said, it’ll be open through end of January and of course, we’ll remind you so don’t worry.
Emily: 2017. When we started out 2016, I feel like when we were brainstorming show ideas, we were literally like, “Let’s talk about one of everything.”
Laura: We were shooting from the hip. [laughter]
Emily: We would get these ideas in the middle of the week, and we would message each other, and then we would fish through everything and talk through it. It was cool to see how all those ideas came about. But what’s interesting is that for 2017, Laura and I both feel like God has laid a general theme on our hearts. We will still be talking about a really wide variety of things related to motherhood, but particularly, I think moms need to be connected to God through scripture. I think that’s one of the things that we are so prone to leave out of our day. It’s one of the things that I know for Laura and I, is the most essential part of being able to keep the gospel as central in our motherhood.
Laura: I think it’s really interesting because almost daily, we are asked for our recommendations on different books and what resources we would do for this or that, or what would we read to learn more about discipline or hospitality or some things. We love that there are so many wonderful materials and resources out there that I’m so grateful for, that we have learned a lot from, but, really, what we see a lot in, I think our fellow moms today, and a lot of young mothers is that lack in biblical literacy and really knowing God’s word. I forget what missionary this was but I read a biography, I think it was George Muller, but he was talking about, “Why would I read any other book besides the Bible? Because it is the most important book. No other book is this important so I’m not going to waste my time on the other books.” While Emily and I both believe there are a lot of wonderful things that we can learn from authors and the books that are out today, that’s really why we want to encourage you guys to be spending your time reading the Bible. Maybe we’re reading these fun books or watching these TV shows and we’re learning and growing a lot, but have you read your Bible? Have you checked the truth of God’s word first? That’s a major thing will be knowing your Bible.
Emily: Everything from the practical of, “How does that fit into my day?” and “What do I do if I can’t fit it into a season?” and, “What can that look like?” Things like using discernment and, “How do I check the resources that I am reading online or that book that my friend recommended to me?” or, “How do I sort through some of these discipline questions?” or praying with kids. All of those things, I think we want to go through all the nitty-gritty and that, we think, will take at least a whole year of a lot of different topics. Another thing Laura and I have been really passionate about is not just be in a place where you come, listen and be like, “I’m inspired and that was good,” but really, trying to pass on how are we doing this, which is very imperfect, but to try to duplicate that, and have it feel a little bit more like discipleship and training, instead of just inspiring.
Laura: What we really want you to do is when you hear us talk, we want you to say, “Hey, amen! That’s right. That’s true,” or “Hey you! That’s wrong.” Emily and I aren’t right all the time; we fully admit that. You’ve heard us say it a million times. What we want to be able to do is not for you to say, “Laura and Emily said this thing,” or, “On Risen Motherhood, I heard this and that’s truth.” We want you to say, “Hey, that lines up with the Bible.” Everything you’re reading, whether that’s a print, social media post, the cool hot new book that everyone’s reading or the new podcast you’re listening to, for you guys to have an understanding of knowing how to discern truth and aligning that with your Bible.
I think there’s a lie out there that as a young mom, you don’t have time for your Bible. If you can’t get your Bible study done this week, don’t worry, that’s no big deal. There are genuine reasons and seasons that that happens. We will not overlook that because, amen, we need those, but there is a lie that Satan wants to fester and grow in young moms these days, where a lot of people are saying, “Young moms, you’re off the hook because you’ve got little kids so somehow, you cannot manage it.” That is not true. The fact that you don’t have time to read your Bible, that is a lie from the pit of hell. [laughter] I will say it. You can find time; we all can find time. This is not an everyday thing. I don’t want, “Don’t hear what I’m not saying,” type of thing but I think that most moms have a lot more time in their schedule to fit scripture and the truth of God’s Word into their daily life.
Emily: Yes, because I know I always have time to scroll Instagram and read all the cool inspiring things on there. Even for Laura and I, I know you mentioned that George Muller quote, as we’re looking into 2017, I think we’ve been challenging and encouraging each other, are we making scripture the most important thing and our time with the Lord? How can we do that even more next year?
I know in early December, I started reading the actual Bible to my children before bed. I have been so humbled by watching them listen and eat up the word of God. I typically think, “This is too hard for them. They’re not going to get this. They’re not going to be moved by this,” but their questions and seeing God work is amazing. I want to experience that in my own life too. This is for people who are busy and it’s for people who are stuck, and people who don’t understand everything yet. We need God’s word.
Laura: Remember, we’re still going to be talking about all the hot topics that we always talk about. [laughter] I know we’re sounding like, “It’s going to be the same show every week,” that’s not true at all but that will just be a port. We hope it’s a heartbeat from this year as we talk about all the crazy topics that affect you as a mom and the gospel is still going into every week. That’s something we’ve heard a lot of feedback on, is, “I love how everything goes back to the gospel,” and the “why” is explained. The why we don’t have to live that way is explained. Those things are going to be the same. It’s starting to sound like we’re a different show [laughter] and we’re not—we promise. It will still feel that way. We just hope that you will hear a cord and a heartbeat in our show that says, “Hey, you check us against scripture and not just take our word for it.” We hope that you do that in all of life.
Emily: That is a huge plan for 2017 but we are excited. We’ll be back into our normal routine next week so Wednesday 5 a.m. Central Time [laughs] the podcast comes out. Be looking for us.
Laura: If there is a book you’re looking for a little bit on this, we wanted to plug one resource, Jen Wilkin Women of the Word—but read your Bible first— [laughter] I should have said that. Women of the Word is a great starter book if you’re like, “I have no clue how to read the Bible or study the Bible.” You can read it and it will work in your heart. That’s a great book and we’ll link it in the show notes. Speaking of, head over to our show notes, as always, risenmotherhood.com. We’ll have a little bit more about biblical literacy listed on there plus a link to that book and a link to the survey.
Emily: The survey yes, can’t forget about that.
Laura: No, it’s very important that you take it, people. This is life or death here. Emily and I are like, “What are we going to do?” Please take the survey, we would really appreciate it; unlock that printable, print off a lot of copies. Find us on social media @RisenMotherhood for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, all of those good things and leave us a review on iTunes please. If you haven’t done that, make that your new year’s resolution, your first one; the most important one.
Emily: Maybe that could be a new year’s resolution somebody could actually accomplish.
Laura: Exactly, you can accomplish that one. [laughter] That’s not like, lose 10 pounds, that’s like, “I can go and do that today and feel real good.” Sometimes on my to-do list, I’ll write, ‘Write to-do list’ so that I can cross it off and it feels so good.
Emily: You have to be related to my husband.
Laura: Oh, really? It’s one of those. We hope you guys have a wonderful start to your year and your week and we’ll see you next week.
Emily: See you.