HS 192: Passing the Baton with Wendy Speake

HS 192: Passing the Baton with Wendy Speake

Show Transcript:

PAM: You’re listening to the homeschool solutions show with Pam Barnhill. This is episode 192.

Hi everyone, I am Pam Barnhill, and welcome to the Homeschool Solutions show. This is the podcast that seeks to encourage and equip homeschoolers everywhere on their journeys. And I am so happy that you guys are joining me here today.

Well, this episode is a little bit bittersweet for me, guys, because it is my final episode of the Homeschool Solutions show. But never fear, you guys are going to be well taken care of. While I’m not doing the show anymore, we are turning it over to a brand-new podcast host.

Wendy Speake, who I’m gonna be interviewing on the show today, is actually taking over as host of the podcast. And she has some really big changes in store. Some that I hope you are absolutely going to love.

So, we’re gonna get on with that interview in just a minute but I wanna tell you what I’m gonna be doing and where I’m going to be going. So, this is episode 192, if you can believe it, of the Homeschool Solutions show. I used to have another podcast called Your Morning Basket, which you can find at yourmorningbasket.com, and that podcast was all about morning time.

Well, it has been on an extended hiatus for about the past year, and I kind of, at the end of this year, got some rumblings and some longings to bring that podcast back. Talking about morning time was the thing that really gave me a lot of joy and connecting with families over morning time was something that I wanted to do.

So, right now, there are brand new episodes of the Your Morning Basket podcast coming out. And there will be all through next year. So, I am moving my attentions over there. That’s where you can find me. And in the meantime, Wendy is going to be taking over the Homeschool Solutions show. And I hear she has some wonderful guests coming up. You’re just gonna have to listen to this episode of the podcast to find out who that is. And we’ll get on with it right after this word from our sponsors.

This episode of the podcast is brought to you by the new book, The Lawgivers, from Circe Institute. Long considered an essential part of any education, including Charlotte Mason, Plutarch’s Lives have, unfortunately, fallen out of favor among many contemporary readers and educators. However, a new translation by C. Scot Hicks and David V. Hicks, called, The Lawgivers, brings two of Plutarch’s original tales to life, making them accessible for today’s readers and students, thanks to their highly readable rendition of Plutarch’s prose. Featuring thorough commentary on the historical context of Lycurgus of Sparta and Numa Pompilius, plus maps, illustrations, and a forward from Karen Glass, The Lawgivers offers a new generation of readers a truly enjoyable take on this essential classic writer. Get your copy now on Amazon.com. Or, for a discounted rate at circeinstitute.com.

And now, on with the podcast.

Wendy Speake is co-author of the popular parenting book, Triggers: Exchanging Parents Angry Reactions for gentle Biblical responses. And she’s also the host of the annual forty-day sugar fast. Unafraid of the hard topics, Wendy encourages women struggling with angry reactionary parenting. As a trained actress and heartfelt Bible teacher, Wendy ministers to moms’ hearts, primarily through story telling and Biblical life application.

During her career in Hollywood, she longed to tell stories that would edify and encourage women. Today, she does just that, writing and speaking, always pointing audiences to Jesus. Wendy and her husband, Matt, live in southern California with their three teenage sons, and they’ve been a homeschooling family for 12 years and counting. Wendy, welcome to the podcast

WENDY: Aw thank you so much, it’s fun to be here and nice to know you Pam.

PAM: Well, it is so nice to have you on, and we just have to start out by making the big announcement.

WENDY: Yeah, cue the confetti.

PAM; Yeah, yeah, cue the confetti. This is, like, a big thing, and, listeners if you … I’ve been teasing this one for a couple of months now on Facebook live and various places. You might not have heard it yet, but Wendy is going to be the brand-new host of the homeschool solutions show. And she’s gonna be taking over in the new year, in 2020, so Wendy, welcome to the podcast!

WENDY; Thank you! You know, I’m having a really crazy feeling right now, as I hear you saying that. It’s almost like, I’ve got all of your friends around me and I can just see them going Wait, what? What? Who is the person that we’re letting into our houses while we fold laundry and go for a walk around the block? and she doesn’t know me; I don’t know her. So, this is really sweet that you’re introducing me to your friends this way.

PAM: Yeah, and this is such a great bunch of listeners, and I think they’re going to enjoy having you on. And I know that you are going to enjoy getting to know them a little better. And so, what happened… I’m just, I’m gonna take over for just a second and tell a little bit of my story. Last year, you know, I kind of… I tried to cut down on the work. And Wendy, I know you know, kind of what that feels like. Where you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed and you’re juggling too many balls, and you have a lot of things going on and you’re thinking, How can I best serve people? And I tried to do that by consolidating the three podcasts that I was doing into one podcast. And it ended up being this podcast. But then as the year went on, and I started doing interviews and talking to people, and you know, just in the day to day of running the podcast, I really really missed having deep conversations about morning time. And a kind of philosophical conversations about morning time, and those conversations where I really focused on truth, goodness, and beauty.

So, there was… a year out, there was one of my podcasts that I really missed more than all the others. And I said, You know what, that’s the podcast that I would like to pour my heart into and spend my time on. But I didn’t want to let this podcast go away. I didn’t want it to become something that just lay fallow and disappeared out of everybody’s podcast feed and never had another episode uploaded. So I started looking at what was a way that we could keep this podcast around without me necessarily being the one who was hosting it and putting it together every week.

And the answer came from my friends at the Great Homeschool Convention. I work with them every year and I go on the road and speak at all seven of their regional homeschool conventions each year. And they put me in touch with Wendy and Wendy said yes. You prayed about it quite a bit and you decided this was what you wanted to do. This was something, a project that you wanted to take on right?

WENDY – Yes, it is, but I love that you shared a little of your story here. And I know you’ll go on with the story, but I love the fact that you can’t juggle all the balls. And I love the imagery that some balls are made out of rubber and some balls are made out of glass and you have to look at your life and say, Which are the glass balls that I can’t drop? And that’s our kids, our marriages, and the primary ministry that you feel God calling you to, to help women cultivate that morning time. With their kids, yes, but also just in their own personal devoted time to the Lord. Growing that time with Him. That’s a glass ball. And so, this is a rubber ball for you, and you have bounced that ball over my direction and we’re gonna keep on bouncing it here. So, I’m really excited about that.

PAM – Oh, I love that image, I love that idea of the rubber ball and bouncing it to you.

WENDY – Well, those are glass balls that you can’t drop. And you’re being very faithful about that, and I think there’s a lesson for all of us to humbly ask the Lord, What are the glass balls? Cause I can’t juggle all these balls. And let’s let some bounce.

PAM – Yeah, that is, that’s a really great image. And just something for us to think about, in our own lives, as we go through, you know, which ones do I have to hold onto, which ones do I have to keep in the air, because these are the most important. So. Love it. Okay, so that’s how we got to this spot. So, right now guys, what I’m doing is… this is, I’ve been calling this in my head, the passing the baton episode. With the bouncing the ball, there ya go. Which is so much easier than passing the baton.

But we’re gonna introduce you guys to Wendy. We’re gonna let you get to know her a little bit, and that way, when you come back on the podcast, you will know exactly who you’re talking to and who’s talking to you. And she can tell us a little bit about the vision that she has going forward for the podcast as well.

So, Wendy, let’s get started. Tell me a little bit about you for the listeners who might not know you.

WENDY – Sure. Well, my name is Wendy. And I live in San Diego, down in Southern California. I’m a native Californian, and I married a Texan. And we had three boys, real fast, back to back.

So, three boys, and we now live back in California. We had lived in Texas for a little while, and I loved that region. And I loved those people, so when I go… I’ll see you, Pam, at the great homeschool convention in Texas. I just love those homeschool families. So many good friends out there still.

But we’re settled here in California and my ministry to moms really came as the overflow of the Lord ministering to me as a mom. And I know that that’s not an original story. I think that a lot of us that are either podcasting or writing blogs, or leading MOPS groups at our local churches, the Lord has been so faithful to minister to us in this life season, that just naturally, we then flow out from that good love that we’ve received and we give it to others.

So that’s what I’ve been doing, is just encouraging moms. One of the ministries that I partnered with over the years was a ministry that’s not around anymore. But it was called the Mob Society, M-O-B, Mothers of Boys. Isn’t that a great name? They’ve transitioned into a million praying moms and they’re focusing on praying for your kids. But I was writing for their ministry and I was helping lead a Facebook group specifically for moms who struggle with anger. And one day in the group, I said, Okay what are your Triggers? And I didn’t explain what a trigger is. I just said, you know, What are your triggers. What are the things that set you off and make you explode or whatever?

And thousands of women started responding. Why can’t they get their shoes on and get in the car? When my husband travels, the back talk, the sibling rivalry, the constant noise, the constant touching, I’m exhausted, you get the idea. And my co-laborer in that group, Amber Leah, and I… the next day, she took the very first comment and she said, Okay, the goal isn’t to train our kids to get their shoes on and get in the car. The goal is right now, to look at why is this making me come undone? Why am I losing my temper? Because if my kids do wrong, I still have to do right. So, let’s put the focus on ourselves, because with God’s help, this is possible.

And then from that place of maturing personally, from there, we can invite our kids to grow up in maturity. So again, the Lord has been so gracious, to me, to grow me up, as a mom, that it’s been just a joy then to invite other moms to come along. So that’s what ministry has looked like, and that’s who my family is. My oldest Caleb is fifteen. My middle boy, Brody, is thir… no he just turned fourteen. And my youngest, Asher, is just about to turn twelve.

PAM – Okay, so you know, I love what you just said. That if my kids do wrong, I still have to do right. I mean, that… whoa…

WENDY – I know couldn’t that just change everything? Because the tendency, Pam, is that when my kids do wrong, I actually, though I don’t want to, if I’m being honest with us all, which I’m gonna try to be, I join them in the immaturity rather than staying mature and ask them to join me in my maturity. Right? I join them. They’re yelling, so I yell. They’re whining and complaining, so I whine and complain, thinking that my whining and complaining is gonna get them to stop whining and complaining. And somehow, we feel justified that it’s okay for us to do that because they were behaving badly. You know.

PAM – So, oh, how convicting is that? I love it. Okay, well, I love what you’re doing in your ministry and in just a second, we’re gonna talk about this forty-day sugar fast. Because that’s intriguing to me. But there is some information in your background that is kind of interesting. You actually had a career as a Hollywood actress.

WENDY – Yes. Yes. And you know, what’s interesting to me, and, goodness, I wish we could sit and just talk about our kids that wanna be actors when they grow up. Or they want to be like a designer. Or they want to be any of these number of things where our tendency is to think, yes, but you can’t pay the bills. Right? We wanna point them to something more stable.

And it’s just amazing to me, how the Lord repurposes our passions as children and our early careers and He says, yes, okay, I’m so glad you honed that skill. Now I want to grab it and grab you and place you somewhere new. And you’re gonna be able to look back and say, wow, look at all of the skills that I acquired that God had a different plan for.

And so, I felt, very very young, this call to be an actor. So for a long time, since I was a child, I wanted to be an actor. And so I went to college, to study acting, and I remember, I got a really bad cold, a really bad bout of bronchitis. And I was in my little dorm room bathroom with the hot air, I mean the hot steam from the shower going, and I had a humidifier going. And I was drinking the Robitussin straight from the bottle. And I was praying God… I obviously, I need to go home, I can’t do this. I had moved from southern California to Boston. The weather… all the things… God just speak to me. Tell me what you want from my life. You know, I was probably a little loopy from all the Robitussin.

And I think that God heard my prayer and I was asking, I’m too sick to live here. What do you want from, like, right now in my life? But I think that what He did is He listened to me and He gave me a vision for my “life” life. And He said, Wendy, keep honing your skills as a storyteller. Keep loving me. And keep loving the people I bring you. And I remember in that moment, on the closed seat of the toilet, with the steam rising, thinking, okay God, You’re going to bring these three things together… my skills as a storyteller, my love for You, and my ability to love others, maybe with your Word? And I thought maybe I’ll be one of those women that puts together a one woman show, and I travel around from church to church and it lets me transition into Bible teaching, or the Gospel message… So that’s been my vision. But I kept on working as an actress and I would do guest spots on different tv shows. And then I got married and then immediately I got pregnant. And I became a mom, and I started writing a blog, and what I realized, Pam, is that those skills of being a story teller, just transitioned with me from that season of my life and that career, into this season of my life, and this career. But it’s the same girl God made to be His storyteller. And to tell people that they’re loved by God and that He has good plans, and His Word is living and active in whatever life season we’re in. That’s the story I wanna tell.

PAM - Isn’t it interesting how our lives often take these turns. I mean, we never expected they would take and yet, we still end up, you know, it’s like… it’s the gifts we have and so we knew we had these gifts. And we were trying to use them in the way that we thought was a good way to use them. And it’s almost like God says, Eh, Eh, no, don’t think so. I have other plans for you. But we still end up using those similar gifts there.

WENDY – And during that process, even if that’s not where He wants us to camp out, He allows us to grow in those places. And … right now, with three, almost three, teenagers, I’m looking at their skills, I’m looking at their life experiences, I’m looking at their passions and their dreams, and I just, I feel like it’s this… I feel like it’s Christmas morning, but you know, it’s a long time coming. I just can’t wait to unwrap the people that they’re growing into. And you know, we’re gonna look back and say, AH! That’s what the Lego building was about! Oh! That’s what the helping in the children’s nursery was all about. Oh! That’s what the love for board games and having people over was all about. This is what it looks like now that you’re grown. And so, I feel like, at 45, I’m finally kind of grown up. And I’m able to look back and say, OH! Lord, now I see what you were doing. Now I see.

PAM – Yeah, yeah. Oh, that’s interesting. Okay, well let’s unpack this family journey a little bit. Because, what made you decide you were gonna be a homeschooler? You’ve been doing this for 12 years now.

WENDY – Yes. And this is an interesting thing and I just wanna get it out there right now. Because I feel a little bit like a fraud, as we tend to in the homeschool community, I think, just at large, that if we don’t homeschool in a very traditional way, maybe we shouldn’t call ourselves homeschoolers.

But I homeschool in partnership with a local Charter School. And I didn’t know when I said yes to homeschooling, what it was gonna look like. I mean none of us did, right? Whether it would be full time for, you know, all years, for all boys, or what. And at the very beginning, it was just purely homeschooling preschool. And I didn’t even call it homeschool. I called it home play. Or, it’s something like that, like, with my kids, it was just playing to learn. And it was so much fun, and my first born learned some naturally. I was like, why would you wanna give the privilege of this fun to anyone else?

Of course, I did not know what I did not know. I did not know how hard some seasons and some learning challenges would be. This was just learning, you know, the sounds, the letters made, and I put together all of the… I’d write on index cards, all the numbers and all the letters and we played games with them. And we got sticker books and we went to the zoo. And we went on hikes, and everything was just such easy learning when they were young. And I had so much fun.

And I had other friends who were doing it. We were part of a church where there were lots of people homeschooling. And the majority of those people were part of a charter school nearby. And so, I looked into it and it… you can do full time homeschool, and they can just help offset the cost of your curriculum pieces. Or you can have a couple of days where they can come and do extracurricular. Or you can say, I’d really like them to do history in the class setting. Or you could actually part the way classroom, where they go two days a week. And they focus on some of the curriculum pieces. And then you have three homeschool days.

And so, we have, to varying degrees, been part of that program, for twelve years. And so now that they’re getting older, there’s actually a program, at junior high and high school, where they have a couple of class days, and then they have a couple of homeschool days. And those homeschool days are becoming so much more about independent home study days. Where mom is helping them learn those skills rather than, I’m creating curriculum like I did when they were young.

So, like I said, I wanted to get everything on the table. Some of you listening, many of you listening, are doing a much more traditional approach to homeschool. And my hope is that I will bless you and have great conversations with people that will offer so much in this insight into what you’re doing. But from the relational standpoint of homeschooling with my kids, now, I just love having those conversations of that extra time we get, how we can deal with the challenges, whether they’re homeschool challenges, behavioral challenges, heart challenges. I just am so excited about having these conversations. So that’s a bit of my story with my kids.

PAM – Yeah, and you know, I have had just various friends throughout the years, who have had very similar relationships with charter schools. And they’ve been in and out of these different kinds of relationships where, one year, you know, the kids go one day a week for all of the enrichment activities. And then maybe the next year they’re at home one hundred percent of the time and it looks more traditional. Or, you know, I have a friend whose kids go to a cottage school two days a week. And then the rest of the time they’re homeschooling very much like what you’re doing. Just through a cottage school as opposed to a charter school. So, I think there are so many different kinds of ways out there to homeschool. And you have to pick what it is that works for your family.

WENDY – I’d love to, in one of these episodes, I’d love to have a conversation about seeing the classroom as a supplement for what we’re doing at home rather than seeing what we’re doing at home as a supplement for stuff that they’re doing at a co-op or in a classroom. And to then build upon that and offer some of the skills that we have learned in our homeschool community to our sisters that are traditionally schooling their kids, that they can still see those five days a week as a supplement to what they’re doing at home. Cause I think that we think either you homeschool or you school away. And I would love it if more people, even that do traditional schooling, started to see, Oh I can still have a curriculum that I’m doing with my kids with the Bible, and I can still, oh, the movie, whatever… Midway came out recently. And we can do a unit study as a traditionally schooled family and go see a movie and read a book around the table together. And I’d love to see some of the lines start blurring and just take the ownership of schooling our children and supplementing with whatever degree we feel the Lord lead us to, for our own unique children, whatever that program’s gonna be. But the… we get to be the parents and we get to be the teachers, and we get to decide how much help we want in various things.

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And now, on with the podcast.

PAM – You wrote a book, Parenting Scripts, and in there there’s a line that says “The goal is the Gospel. Always.”. Can you tell me a little bit about what that quote means to you as a homeschooling mother, and you know, in your ministry to other moms?

WENDY – Yeah. I think that whether you are in line at the grocery store, or you’re online with your friends on Facebook, or you’re homeschooling, or you’re ministering through books, knowing what the main thing you’re life is about, and passing that on to others, is really important. So, I say that because… your question was, share a bit about, you know, the heart behind your, like, what does that mean in the home and what is that mean beyond the home in your ministry. And that statement really is at the heart of I hope everything I do. But the goal is the Gospel. Always.

The Gospel doesn’t just save my life, it transforms my life. And then it transforms the way that I relate to people, because I really do think that the Gospel, the Good Message, the Good News Message, of Jesus loving us, chasing us down in our sin, and bringing us in a right relationship to the Father, should absolutely influence everything I put my hands to. But I will listen to your question and answer it, like, in terms of what that looks like as a homeschooling mom. And then what that looks like in terms of ministry. Beyond the homeschool.

First, as a mom, I remember there was a day where my son… I won’t call him out… and I won’t tell you what he did, but let’s just say, one of the children did something very bad. Not like Gee that was sort ofbad, like, it was a really bad… we’ll even call it a sin. And not a small one. If we’re gonna be ranking them, which we’re not supposed to, I just want you to get the idea. He was naughty. Big naughty. And I called my husband and my husband said, I would like to be the one to deal with this. Would you please ask said child to go to his room and let him know that I’m on my way home, and I’ll be there, and I’ll work through this with him?

And so, I went to him and I said, I want you to know that you’re loved, we’re gonna take care of this, but your dad wants to be the one to talk to you. And he’s on his way home. And please wait for him there. But I can’t talk to you right now. And so, I went back into the kitchen, which is just right outside where this child’s room is, and my child was crying. Like, deep, repentant, heart-felt, cries. And he was choking the words out, Mom, I need you. I can’t carry this alone. I will remember this, oh, it makes me tear up, forever. I believe. And that, to me, is such a picture of our… the privilege of being moms, and in the homeschool, we’re there for every, everything. There isn’t a correction that happens by someone else, for most of our days. Like, we’re there to walk them through their joys, their celebrations, their growth, their learning. But we’re also there to partner with the Holy Spirit in every moment of conviction that could lead to repentance and transformation.

And he said to me, Mom, I can’t carry this by myself. And I thought, man, what a privilege to be the one that gets to go to them in their sin, gets to go to them when they’ve made mistakes, gets to go to them when they have joys, and I get to walk them in all these circumstances, to Christ. The goal in all of these opportunities is the Gospel.

And I walked in there and I said, sweetheart, when you were four, you put your faith in Christ. But you didn’t have much sin to confess. Today, all that changed. And praise God, I mean, what is the Gospel without sin? There’s no need for Good News. And so, let’s turn this day around by seeing it as a blessed invitation to come to the Lord in a way that you’ve never ever needed Him before. You knew that you needed Him to live in your heart, but you didn’t know that you needed Him to go to the cross for you. So, the goal in that mothering moment, in the middle of a homeschool day, was the Gospel. And when there’s sibling rivalry, the goal is that we know to be devoted to one another in brotherly love. And what an opportunity, again, to point them in that direction.

And then, again, if I’m at the grocery store, and I remember to, just be on the lookout for those who need a fresh touch. And I keep my phone in my purse, rather than pulling it out when I’m waiting at the checkout. Just to be aware of people around me who may need a fresh touch from the Lord. And I might be his ambassador, right there with my kids with me in the middle of a homeschool day, at the grocery store, modeling for them and available to others. And there’ve been so many opportunities. I joke that I wanna write a book called Grocery Stories, because there’ve been so many times where I’ve been at the grocery store and there’s been Gospel power in the conversations that I’ve been able to have with people. Just because I’ve been available.

So that line from Parenting Scripts really is just at the heart of what I feel called to. The goal is the Gospel. With my kids, with other homeschool families, so if you see me at Great Homeschool convention you know we’re going to be talking about gospel centered parenting and homeschooling and forgiveness when our kids do wrong. And then as we hang out together and you see the way we just interact with one another, the Gospel’s at the root of it all.

PAM – That’s awesome. Oh, and I love that Grocery Stories idea. That is fabulous and just making yourself available, not being on your phone in the checkout line.

WENDY – Or at home, not being on your phone so that you can be available. Couldn’t we have a whole conversation about that?

PAM – We could have an entire conversation about

WENDY – No, you wanted to ask me about the forty-day sugar fast… The forty-day sugar fast could easily be the forty-day social media fast. And the heart of it is, where are we running instead of running to the Lord? Where are we going instead of going and being present with our kids during our homeschool days. And then fast from that and see how it transforms not only your spiritual life, not only your physical life, but your relationships right there in your home.

PAM – Yeah, as I was looking over your website, and seeing that, I was like OH, this is not so much about giving up sugar as it is giving up the separation. Giving up the thing that is separating us, and so for so many of us, I could see it manifesting itself as something other than sugar. You know. I’ve been reading a book called The Common Rule, and the authors name is Earley. And in there, he talks about, you know, setting yourself up for… it’s based on kind of the rule of Saint Benedict, and the idea is that you’re putting some practices together in your life that allow you to stop focusing on things that you shouldn’t be focusing on. For example, one of the things that’s part of his daily rule is that when he wakes up in the morning, he prays on his knees, and reads the Bible, reads his Scripture, before he reaches for his cell phone.

WENDY – Yes, absolutely, that’s become one of my rules. And it’s actually a family rule. And it’s so fun when we have these conversations cause each one could be an episode all its own. It’s a rule that I am now imparting to my children is to have… maybe your kids don’t have a phone, but even to open up the computer and do a piece of their curriculum. Even to open their iPad and play a game. I… what I’ve been telling them is, devices are divisive. And they divide us, they have the power to divide us anyway, from one another, but also from the Lord.

And so, the rule in our house is, before you open yourself up to the world, via social media or whatever, you open yourself up to the Word. That is God transforming us, shaping us. It’s so easy to reach over on our side table and pick up our phone with the intention to open up our Bible app. But ??? with our friends on Facebook and Instagram, and I thought, goodness, who do I want to hear from first? I want to know what He likes, not if He liked what I had to say, you know, I wanna know what the Lord likes rather than if everybody else in the whole wide world liked me last night while I was sleeping. So, my kids know, before they can go get a device, and they’re all in our room… I was even thinking, I need to make a little sign and put it right there, just to remind them, and to remind me and my husband, did you open up the Word before you’re opening yourself up to the world today? And,

PAM - Well those boundaries, those rules, are so good. I love that.

WENDY - Yeah. So, it starts with the forty-day sugar fast is where we started it. And it was really because we saw that we… it actually it was in that same Facebook group where we created triggers, I said one day to these moms struggling with being emotionally not calm and kind and stable, I said, what would happen if we got off sugar for forty days? What would happen physically? What would happen emotionally? Would we get more stable, instead of getting all hyped up on sugar and then having an emotional meltdown like we see our kids do? What would happen in our relationships if we’re more calm? And then what’s gonna happen spiritually, if it’s not just a physical detox, but it’s actually a spiritual fast? Well, you and I both know, when you start seeking the Lord with all those hungry parts of you, it doesn’t just change your diet. It changes your life.

And, over and over again, we’ve done this for going on six years now, annually. It starts with the sugar, but Christ comes into our lives, and says thanks for the sugar, but I want it all. What else do you wanna lay down on the altar. Cause I never ever in my word called you to a sugar sacrifice. I called you to a living sacrifice. So what are those things dividing you from my presence? Let’s add those to the altar, so people are laying down Facebook and laying down their glass of wine at night, and laying down, oh just oodles of other very individualized things that God calls us to. So, we start with, yeah, okay, maybe I run to Starbucks a little too much. Yes, I start my day with sugar and end it with sugar too. I know that I could physically use a break. And so, I hope that people will join us, it’s a great way to get to know me, because we spend forty days together in the Word. As we crowd out the sugar by ingesting more of our sweet Savior and His Word.

PAM – Okay, and this is going on, like, in January. So, this is the perfect time to get people signed up for that. And … I’ll ask you again at the end but go ahead and give everybody the url where they can come and find that particular event.

WENDY – Oh, I do hope it would be a great way to start our relationship together as we spend time together on the podcast, but also in this group. It’s called forty-day sugar fast dot com. So, it’s the number 40-day sugar fast dot com. And it’ll tell you about it. It’ll give you an opportunity to sign up for it. There are a bunch of free resources. There’s a six-part Bible study video series that you can do. With the gals in your co-op, in your Bible study, so you can invite people to come along and do it with you. And here’s the challenge: I really believe, because like I said, He never asked us for just a sugar sacrifice. He doesn’t care so much about our diet. He really wants to change our lives. How is this going to affect our homeschooling days?

And I’ll tell you, that same kid I told you about that had a really awful day, and I had the opportunity of dealing with his sin shackles. It is so much easier to deal with our children’s issues when we are not hyped up on our highly sugared latte, and then crashing after the brownie we had with it. When we can stay calm and kind, it is so much easier to deal with our children melting down over math. Our children weekly when we’re trying to do a read-aloud, because we’re not all over the place emotionally because of what we’re ingesting. And the words that come out of our mouth, they change too, because of what we’re putting in our mouth. So, it’s gonna affect your homeschooling days as well. It’s gonna affect the energy you meet your husband with at night. It really is a powerful time of transformation. So, forty-day sugar fast dot com is the long answer.

PAM – Okay, then go have a look at that one. Alright, Wendy, well this is the time where you get to tell us you’re gonna be the new host of the homeschool solutions show. What is your vision for the podcast moving forward? What do you hope that people are gonna find here as they come to listen to the podcast?

WENDY – Oh, that’s a great question, Pam. And first of all, I just wanna thank you for laying the foundation and calling us all together and giving it the name. And so, I wanted to start with the name, homeschool solutions. And on the very first episode in January, we’re gonna be taking that name apart. But I’ll just allude to it right now. I really want to dig in this year with solutions.

So, solutions to homeschooling fourteen kids at once, that could be hard. We need some solutions there. Homeschooling kids with ADD, we need some solutions there. Homeschooling one child who is exceptionally bright, it’s hard to keep them engaged. That could… we could use some solutions there. Homeschooling children that are so creative and how do you point your children to using those creative gifts for the glory of God. We could use some solutions there. But at the root of every solution, I really would hope that we would grow to see God’s presence and His power and His Word, just come alive for every answer to every question. Every solution to every problem that we have. I hope that we can tie it into turning to God, His Word, and seeing that, with Him, there is a solution for everything. So, I hope that that shapes a bit of what we do in the days ahead.

PAM – Awesome. Okay, so, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of some things. So, are… what are we gonna be seeing? Are we going to be seeing a lot of interview episodes? Just in general, how is it gonna look.

WENDY – We are, we’re gonna have some great guests. We’re gonna have Sally Clarkson, and she’s gonna be talking with us about keeping that time in the Word for mom at the root of every homeschool day. And I’m gonna be talking with Kate Batistelli, Francesca Batistelli’s mom, about raising reactive children, to use their gifts for the glory of God. We’re gonna have a lot of great conversations.

But my goal is also, once a month, to do an opening of the Word together and applying the Word to our homeschooling days. It’s amazing to me how applicable God’s Word is. I actually, on Instagram, a few times every month, I do what I call… is… I call it a “Hey Mom” Scripture, which means, I put the words “Hey Mom” and brackets, and I just plug it in to a Scripture. And I’ll say, like, “Hey mom, let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap the harvest if we do not lose heart.” And I’m fine with everybody else in the whole wide world thinking the Bible’s for them, but I happen to think that the Bible is specifically for moms. You can take all of these verses and all of these stories and apply it to our mothering days. And my goodness, can’t we apply it to our homeschooling. And so, we’ll be doing one of those every month…we’ll just do a short Bible study together and apply God’s Word to our homeschooling.

PAM – Okay, well there you have it. Now that gives all the listeners a really great idea of what’s gonna be coming down the road for the homeschool solutions show and the new path that it’s gonna be taking in the new year. And Wendy just, welcome to the neighborhood. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

WENDY – Thank you. And could I bless you and just pray for you, Pam, as you dive, full throttle, back into the very specific things that you feel God calling you to?

PAM – I would love that. And then, when you finish that up, go ahead and tell us where we can find you online and sign off for us.

WENDY – Alright, I’ll do that. All right, ladies, let’s thank Him together, by just blessing her with prayer. All right. Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for giving us Pam. We thank you for the way that she’s encouraged us, online through her resources, through this podcast. We know, God, that you have prepared good works for each of us to walk in. And this was one of the good works that you planned for Pam. And what a blessing she’s been to us, so we pray that you bless her. We thank you that you’ve given her some very specific glass balls that you don’t want her to drop. That’s where you want her to camp out and serve you. And so, we pray your blessing on her in those areas as she continues to minister to her family, as well as homeschool families, and women everywhere. Just that you would open up great big doors of blessing for her to walk through. And we ask your ongoing blessing over this podcast as we come to find you as the answer to every question, and the solution to every problem, whether it’s in a homeschool day, in our marriages, in our faith life, and our lack of faith life sometimes, Lord. Be at the root of all this in Pam’s life, in my life, and in every family represented here. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

PAM – Alright you guys, next time you hear from me, it will be me hosting the podcast on my own, and I hope you will join me. In the meantime, you can find me at wendyspeak.com. I do hope you’ll go to forty-day sugar fast dot come and sign up there and join the sugar fast for this January. Starting January sixth. Yes, we start by giving Jesus our sugar, but He asks for our whole life. And He doesn’t just transform what we’re eating, He transforms everything, so that’s a great place to connect with me. And I’m on Instagram at Wendy Speake and Facebook by the same name. So, I look forward to getting to know you. Please interact with me online so that I can make a relationship with you and we’ll walk forward into the new year together.

PAM – And there you have it, my last episode of the homeschool solution show. Now if you would like a link to any of the books and resources that Wendy and I chatted about today, you can find them on the show notes for this episode. That’s at pam barnhill dot com slash h s 1 9 2. And I’ll also include a link to the your morning basket podcast over there as well, because I would love to have you come and join me on that podcast as we talk all about morning time. In the meantime, there are some big and exciting changes coming down the road here. Wendy sounds like she has some great interviews lined up. So be sure to come back and check her out. She’ll pop up in your podcast feed again next week.

And I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you so much to everyone who has come on this podcast journey with me, listening to so many of these episodes. The audio blogs were so much fun. The interviews were so much fun. And I really enjoyed being on this journey with you. So, I hope to see you again soon. And until that time, keep on homeschooling.

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