HS 200: When Marriage Stress Affects the Homeschool with Amber Lia
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Sometimes the stress in our marriage affects our parenting, which can directly affect our homeschooling days. Unresolved conflict with our spouse can create more conflict with our kids. In this episode of The Homeschool Solutions Podcast, Amber Lia joins us for a conversation about some of the Marriage Triggers that tend to create Homeschool Triggers! After co-authoring the parenting book Triggers in 2016, Amber Lia and Wendy Speake received hundreds of emails asking for a follow-up book applying these same Biblical principles to marriage. In response, Amber and her husband Guy Lia wrote Marriage Triggers. The book leads husbands and wives through 31 of the most common, everyday stumbling blocks in most marriages.
A former high school English teacher and best-selling author, Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom of four boys. She and her husband, Guy, own Storehouse Media Group, a faith and family-friendly television and film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sandcastles with her boys on the beach in Santa Monica or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber spurring moms on with biblical truth and practical insights at Motherofknights.com
WENDY – Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions podcast brought to you by Sonlight curriculum and homeschooling dot mom. I’m your host Wendy Speake.
Here on the show every week, you’ll get to listen in on some great conversations with wonderful guests, all designed to quip us as homeschooling moms. And then once a month, we’ll be opening up the Bible together, applying God’s word to our long, blessed, but often challenging days. It is my hope as we gather together in this space, we will encourage one another with some practical, Biblical solutions. I’m so glad you’re here.
Before we start the show, I’d like to thank our sponsor, Sonlight curriculum. Complete homeschool curriculum you’re guaranteed to love. And now enjoy the show.
Well, welcome everybody. Today’s guest is one of my favorite people. She is not only a friend of mine, she’s actually my writing and ministry partner. So, it’s incredibly special for me to have her with us today. Amber Lia and I wrote our first book together almost four years ago. And we will tell you more about that, about how our book came to be, and how we came to be a team together, once we get chatting.
But first I want you to know just a little bit about Amber. Before getting married and starting her family, Amber was a teacher. So, before she ever home educated her kids, she educated other people’s children. She spent a decade as a high school English teacher after earning her BA in English Literature from the Master’s College. And then her master’s degree in Leadership and Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.
But personally, Amber is an all girly girl. She loves getting her nails done, her lipstick often matches those nails, and it’s kinda crazy, because she lives in a house with all boys. She has four sons and, of course, her husband. And she jokes that she lives in a testoster-home. And she does.
Amber and her husband Guy work together, not only at home with those boys, but they also own a production company together called Storehouse Media Group. They work in Hollywood to bring us faith and family friendly film and television. And that’s just a bit about our guest today. But I don’t wanna talk about her anymore. I want to talk with her. And I want to introduce you to her so she can talk with us.
Amber, I am so happy to have you on the Homeschool Solutions podcast today. This is really special to me
AMBER – Wendy, you are my iron sharpens iron. You are my favorite person, so this is a total pleasure for me. And that was an amazing introduction. I don’t really feel worthy of it but thank you.
WENDY – Yeah, absolutely. It’s fun. You know, we’ve done, goodness, I don’t even know… dozens of interviews together. But we’ve never done them where I’ve interviewed you. I’m gonna even put in the show notes here, a link to one of our interviews together. We were on Focus on the Family talking about mommy anger and how to deal with that. Because it goes hand in hand with the book we did together.
I thought it would be fun for you, first, to just tell us a little bit about your family. But then, would you just transition into just telling our listeners about how we came to be a thing? You and me? How we started working together and how Triggers, the book, was born. Because I think that that’s really gonna be a good setup for our conversation today.
AMBER – Yeah, absolutely. So, besides all the wonderful things that you just shared about me and my family, Wendy, I will tell you all that I am a boy mom. I have four boys. Oliver, my oldest is 12 ½, my son Quinn is next, he just turned 10. And then Oakley is 8, and Quaid was our happy surprise who came many year later. He just turned 3. So, we definitely have a testoster-home. We do work in Hollywood and it is a very challenging place and I often refer to ourselves as unsponsored missionaries. It is a really challenging place to be trying to create content that both honors God and inspires others. But we feel called to it, and therefore compelled to keep going. So, we appreciate everybody’s prayers in that.
But as far as the writing goes, you know this is one of the areas, and I think you can probably say the same thing Wendy, it’s not at all what I imagined to be doing with my life. I, you know, as a literature teacher, I was a bit of a story snob, and I always thought that, you know, I taught Shakespeare. So, somebody, if I get the gumption up to write, it’ll be the next great American novel.
WENDY – It’s coming!
AMBER – Probably not! But God has a way of humbling us and really, having better plans for our lives than we ever imagine them to be.
And I think that’s the case with you and I and how we came to know each other and we, being in the space of writing, largely nonfiction at this point. So, I was writing for a larger website, a contributing website, and the owners of that website asked me if, actually they asked a group of writers, who would like to possibly volunteer to help volunteer running a Facebook group for mom’s who struggle with anger. It was a parenting website and I thought, you know what, this could be a need. And so, I really was not eager to start off talking about anger issues with moms in a new volunteer position online. Cause I didn’t have a lot of time, I felt, to be doing that. And it was also an area that I had really navigated through and healed through and worked through personally for many years. And I just didn’t really want to open up those old wounds and talk through them again and confess it and deal with people who were also struggling with anger.
And so, I just did not volunteer, even though the Holy Spirit was pricking my conscious. Because He knew that He had really helped to transform me from my own angry parenting. And so eventually I did say okay, if nobody else wants to run this group, because nobody else in our writers’ group was volunteering, I said well I’ll do it.
And so, sure enough, that first week, we had, I think nearly a thousand people join that parenting group for mom’s who struggle with anger and yelling. And it just grew, like wildfire. And it was really actually turned out to be a blessing to me, even though I was reluctant to do it at first. Because it showed me that I wasn’t the only one who had struggled with this issue for so long. And so, it also showed me what a great need there was. And I knew I needed a ministry partner in this group because it was such a large group and I had been working in there for about a year.
And then God allowed you and I to meet through a mutual friend and you and I had a conversation on the phone where we first met. And then shortly thereafter you came up to my house cause we’re a good couple hours away from each other here in Southern California. You down in the San Diego area, and me here up in Los Angeles. But we bonded over an evening. And really, I just felt like we were such fast friends, right from the start.
And so we became ministry partners together there, and then as we were ministering in this group for mom’s who struggle with anger and yelling, we just decided to do a series on specific triggers that people were struggling with as parents. And so, as we got into this series, you and I, we both just recognized how much it was resonating and we came to the conclusion, pretty quickly, that this needed to be a book.
And so, we listened to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and we buckled down and wrote that first Triggers book. And the Lord has been blessing it ever since. And I think you and I both feel a tremendous sense of humbling that the Lord would use us. Especially our own backgrounds of angry parenting, that he would transform and change us, and then allow us to help offer hope to others. It’s been really truly a joy. I couldn’t think of any other partner to do this with.
WENDY - I know. And what’s interesting is, we didn’t ever have a plan. I mean this wasn’t a well thought out agenda of ours. The Lord was definitely leading it from the beginning. And I remember that day in that group where we just put the question, hey, what are your triggers. And we won’t camp out long here because I think we need to bring Amber back and we’ll have another conversation just about what some of the most common triggers are. Maybe even in our homeschools.
But I remember it was just a, hey, what are your triggers? And hundreds within the first hour, had responded… Why can’t they get their shoes on and get in the car? And I’m exhausted, that’s a trigger for me. And when my husband travels and I thought he was gonna be more hands-on with the kids. And the next day, Amber, you and I hadn’t even talked about it. You went in there and you took the first one from the list and you just addressed it. And it wasn’t from the angle of, Let’s get our kids to obey so that we don’t have to get angry. You know, if I could just get my kids to do that first-time obedience, then we’ll be fine.
No, it was, Okay, what is going on with me, Lord? Do a work in me and then from that place of maturity, I will be able to stay calm and kind as I invite my children up into maturity with me, rather than me becoming immature because they’re acting immature. And it was just incredible how the Spirit just led that.
And so, the book is 31 of the most common triggers that set us off, moms. And I joke, we should have had a chapter called math, where the homeschooling community, you know, it doesn’t have to be math for you. But there’s like, that one subject, it’s like it’s always a meltdown. So, we’re gonna be talking also in the future, I’ll have her back and we’ll talk about homeschool triggers specifically. One of the questions we started getting asked, immediately, I’m not joking, immediately while we were going through the very first time, was, we would get messages and say, But what about marriage triggers, what about marriage triggers?
And so that’s actually… everything up until right now has just been a set up for the conversation we get to have with Amber right now, because Amber and her husband Guy… as though, being in Hollywood and working on film and television isn’t enough of a job with them, and taking care of their four boys, they have written a book called Marriage Triggers that I cannot endorse enough. Because, instead of focusing on the things our kids do that make us upset, there starting really where we should start with any of our issues at home if we’re married, which is, how are we doing as a unified front? How are we investing in this marriage? Where are we struggling? Where do we need to grow? And so again, they’ve taken 31 of the most common triggers and they’re addressing them, not, how do I get my husband to stop backseat driving when I’m driving, so that I won’t have to get angry, and how do I get him to do the dishes and pick up his own glasses so that I don’t have to be bitter and offended. But what’s going on with me, Lord, and how would you like to grow me up in patience and kindness so I can respond gently and lovingly and Biblically with my spouse.
So, take it away Amber. Tell us how this has come together with Guy, how you guys decided to take the leadership of putting this book together, and what has the response been so far?
AMBER – Well, thank you Wendy, I really appreciate you allowing me the opportunity to talk about this because as a professional teacher, for such a long time, both in elementary and middle school and in high school, and then also being a homeschooling mom where I homeschooled my boys. I’ve taught grades, first grade, and then third grade, and fifth grade, with my own children. And then, I’ve taught almost every grade level, whether it be summer school or in the classroom during the year. And so, I have this breadth of understanding of ages and stages developmentally of kids, the challenges of educating them in general, and then the challenges of also being a parent educating your own children.
And it really does directly connect often to our marriage relationship. Because when we’re home, and we’re schooling our children, our life is the breath and the foundation of everything that we’re doing. Our everyday lives impact our homeschooling processes with our kids. And so those relationships in the home are really really foundational to how we relate with our kids, how we teach and, you know, our schedules, our agendas.
And so, with our spouses, you know, I hate to say this, and I’ve not talked about this much publicly. But when my kids were very little and the Lord was working on me with my triggers and my anger issues with them, just as a mom, one of the main triggers that took me much longer to both process and navigate and grow in, was that I often took my struggling marriage issues out on my children. And I’m wondering if any of your listeners today relate and understand that, you know, sorrow. That was a part of my life in those early days.
And then eventually, you know, when I homeschooled them, similarly, it would be very easy for me to fall into parenting them in a way that I was ashamed of. Because I was having struggles with my husband. And then that filtered into how I spoke to and treated my kids. And so, I think this is an area that a lot of people don’t talk about.
And I think you and I, Wendy, discovered that early on when we were writing Triggers, and when we started promoting it, just as for parents, that this was something that a lot of people were not talking about. And similarly, I think that’s true in marriage. I think there’s a lot of great marriage wisdom out there where people are pointing us to a loftier concept, Biblically, about what marriage should be. And a lot of people are talking about, you know, just great encouragement overall, for us and our devotion in our marriages.
But I couldn’t, Guy and I, at that time, I needed someone to tell me exactly what to say and do when I was exhausted. I needed somebody to tell me exactly what to say and do when my husband really hurt my feelings. And then I had to go teach my kids, or just be home with them, and try to parent them in a way that I was proud of and I wasn’t ashamed of. I needed to know when I’m having trouble in my marriage, my spouse has these, just, past wounds. Or we don’t communicate well. Or we’re just in the middle of trying to drive to church, of all things, and we’re arguing in front of our kids.
WENDY – Driving to church is the worst. We always have the biggest problems, so, I’m so glad that you’ve broken it down into easy consumable chapters, because we’re already so busy. I know, Amber, that you wrote this book in the same format, the same style, as our original parenting triggers, and that means that chapters, you guys, are the length of a glorified blog post. Which means you’re able to read this in ten or fifteen minutes. And immediately, open up the Word, apply these Scriptures to your life, and they’re applicable suggestions here on ways, on words to say, that will transform, not only how you’re receiving what you’re spouse is doing, but then how you’re responding. And I love that word, response, because, we can either react in anger with … from a place of hurt feelings, or we can respond Biblically. And that’s really what these short, applicable chapters points us toward, the Word of God and a gentle loving response.
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And now, back to the show.
Can you tell me, Amber, what you’ve come to see as maybe, if you could distill it down to like, what is the most common marriage trigger? And maybe you’ll start with one and you’ll say, Oh but that reminds me of this one, and that reminds me of this one. But let’s just start with one and take it away.
AMBER – Well, I would say that… so I’ve been going through, Guy and I have been leading a group, a launch team through Marriage Triggers. It released on Jan. 28, 2020. But we’ve been working through it in a private study with 500 people, with a whole bunch of amazing wonderful couples in various stages in their own relationships. Some, they are solid marriage relationships, but they wanna grow. Some have literally recently been separated.
So, there’s a lot of different dynamics within that group. And I would say that some of the most common triggers are definitely exhaustion and weariness. Also just having really busy lives, so that we’re no longer friends with our spouses, or we’re just having a really hard time connecting. And then also I think just in general when your feelings are hurt. Because a lot of the different triggers, they… many of them still cause us to have hurt feelings that we have to navigate and deal with. And I think, as far as homeschooling parents is concerned, often it’s those hurt feelings that we maybe don’t even have time to process that tiff that we had, or that thing that our spouse said, because communication is broken or whatever… before we launch into our morning where we’re suppose to be teaching our children. And then our child breaks their pencil for the hundredth time, or can’t find their eraser, or won’t focus. And then we just let it all out on our kids. We just spew and dump on them. But …
WENDY – Let me stop you for a minute. I think that that… I think I just heard people nod. I’ve seen it, just, in general, forget the homeschool day. But when I’m working through something with my husband, or better yet, not working through an issue with my husband, and it’s just right there under my skin. You know, I, forget about in my heart, like it’s just right there on the surface. And then my child spills their drink, or dares ask for a snack. I mean, they want a snack. And I cannot cope with my child, because I am all emotioned out working through my issues with my spouse.
AMBER – Emotionally, we feel kind of tapped out, you know, and raw. Or we feel really raw, you know, because of our issues in our marriage. And so that then, you know, our kids are, sometimes our kids, we… you know, they treat us worse than they treat other people, because we’re their safe place. They know they can let all those emotions fly.
Well, we as the adults sometimes do that to our kids. It shouldn’t be that way, but we do. We allow them to be the people that we explode all over. And it’s not what we want to be, as moms and dads. And then we feel a lot of guilt for that. One of the verses Wendy, that really is significant to me in Marriage Triggers that I think relates to this topic of…even how that relates to our kids when we’re homeschooling is Ecclesiastes 7:9, it says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit for anger resides in the lap of fools.” And then Ecclesiastes 7:21 and 22 says, “Do not take to heart all the things that people say lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others”.
And so those two verses, I think, are really key to keep in mind. First of all, we don’t wanna be quick to anger because then we’re gonna just be foolish people. So, and then the other part of it is, don’t be so sensitive that we’re taking to heart every little thing our spouse says or does that’s wrong. Or even our children.
WENDY – That’s a hard one for me. I mean if we’re gonna talk personality types, I am a highly sensitive person. And so, that’s really really hard but I’m finding that the more I understand my personality and the more I understand my husband’s personality, it’s actually just the more educated I am about anyone’s personality, the less prone I am to take things personally. That’s really been helping me a lot lately.
And same with my children. My child’s just saying that because he’s coming from this place. I don’t need to have hurt feelings because my 11-year-old is doing x, y, and z. I see this is about him working through something. So, the more I can understand my husband, the more it allows me to not take things personally. You know that I… when we actually launched the book, Triggers, I had a series going on my blog separately, called, You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Mom.
Well, I learned this… a popular quote, I wish I knew… off the top of my head who said it, but it says, ‘Hurt people hurt people’. And I started thinking, well victims victimize. We do that, and so if we have hurt feelings from our spouse it’s very natural to hurt people because we’re functioning from a place of hurt. But one of the things that has been the main way I’ve grown to not have hurt feelings is this education of who my husband is, what his generational past has been, who raised him, what were some of the stressors there. He doesn’t like it when I ask the same question multiple times. And that might have something to do with the fact that there was a little bit of nagging when he was growing up.
And so, when I can say, Oh, I am triggering in him, right, this fight or flight response. I don’t need to take it personally. What I can actually do is have some empathy, find a better time to bring it up in a way that doesn’t feel like I’m just demanding more from him. And that’s just, that’s been helping me a lot.
AMBER – It becomes an opportunity for you to grow in just empathy and understanding towards your spouse. You know we could put our hands on our hips and say, well he just shouldn’t treat me that way, he should grow up. Or he should get over it. Or he should whatever. And that’s what’s gonna continue to perpetuate conflict between us as a couple.
But when we put on the aroma of Christ in our hearts and our minds, we start to view our spouses and our children, our homeschooling, differently. We start viewing it through the lens of Jesus’s love for each one of these people that God has put in our path. And we start desiring to grow in Christ ourselves. So, when our spouse hurts our feelings, or they do the wrong thing, or they don’t necessarily do the wrong thing, but they do something that triggers us. We have a choice at that moment to make a mountain out of a molehill or to vilify our spouse, and my desire is that, as people read through Marriage Triggers, they begin to really soften and view their spouses through a different lens. Where we get to treat them in a way that we really would want to be treated when we mess up. You know, when we’re more fragile. When our past will surface.
You know and we don’t behave the right way, that we normally personalize it and try to grow ourselves. You know, we do have a choice. We can either really become protective of our hearts when our spouse hurts our feelings, or our kids do for that matter. We can start protecting ourselves and build a wall around our hearts, so it doesn’t happen again. We can get really cold and frosty, or we can draw. Or even worse, you know, we could engage in yelling in front of our kids or our spouse or lashing out… all these things that we could do. We could make that choice.
Or instead we can get really proactive and say, This really is an opportunity now for me to evaluate, just, do I need to make a mountain out of this? Is this a molehill? Is this something I could just overlook? Could I just grace my husband in this moment? Would it be a blessing to him if I didn’t take everything to heart that he says and does? Am I…
WENDY – Say that again… Would it be a blessing to my husband is I didn’t take to heart everything he says?
AMBER – Everything he says and does, yeah. Because, you know, sometimes we just need to cut somebody some slack, you know. And we… I just long for that. I long for my husband to take those moments when I know that I’m just a little short, I’m a little impatient, I’m a little whatever, and instead of him fighting fire with fire, he just diffuses it with his grace toward me. That is the foundation for a great marriage.
And then that’s gonna also bless and sweep peace like a wind through our home. And for me, as I homeschool my children, or as I parent my children. So, that can be our really really big blessing, you know. We don’t wanna put up these barriers. Instead, we want to just be very openminded about things that we could overlook. Ways that we can grace our spouse. And then, not allowing those tiffs with our husbands or our wife to then impact the way we communicate with and talk with and treat our children. Because that’s a burden they should not have to bear.
WENDY – That’s a really good transition also. You know, I think it’s important to recognize that some people listening may be in a, to some degree, an abusive relationship, where there is not the freedom to talk. So, there’s lot of pushing down all of the emotions and knowing that a woman’s place is to be silent and just submit. And so, they’re not allowed to talk about things that hurt. And so, they shove it down and then it explodes inappropriately at the wrong people. So that can happen.
One of the things that Matt and I started practicing years ago, and we started practicing it, we haven’t been very good at practicing it lately. Which is a good reminder, I’m writing down some notes here, and I’m writing down, Wendy, you need to have safe spaces to talk. And so, what we did during this season was after I’d had my third child, I had the longest postpartum depression. I had adrenal fatigue.
Matt was so so busy at work. I was shocked at how he was not hands on with the kids. He would come home from work and he would sit down, and he would scroll through YouTube videos or look at cars online. And I was doing everything and making dinner at the same time I was doing everything else and cleaning up dinner and trying to figure out how to get the kids in the tub. And do, you know, read a book together before… and he’s still sitting down.
And because we couldn’t have a safe space where that invitation… I like to say invitation, instead of telling him what he’s doing wrong and what I need from him, I told myself, ‘You need to invite him. He probably doesn’t even see it’. So that was my first plan of action is, he needs an invitation. So, I started inviting him. That didn’t really go well.
So, then I decided I need a safe place to talk. And so, we started… we had to find a place. Because you and I talk in Triggers for parenting, but, addressing the problem when you’re having the problem is never helpful. Though trying to craft a time and a place where he’s receptible… receptive… and I’m calm and kind and we can actually be productive in our conversation. So, we started going to church for both services, not just the one, and the church we’re going to had two different hours of Sunday School classes for the kids. So, they weren’t in the same Sunday School. There was like a second, because so many people went to adult fellowship classes afterwards. And we used that second hour of church to go to the café and talk about anything that had been on our mind during the week. And it became our safe place.
And … that would be like, my #1, that would help us more than anything else. So do you…and I kind of know the answer to this… Did you address in the book, ways for us to get better at communicating?
AMBER – Absolutely. So, two things, when you talked, Wendy, about that there are going to be some people who are listening to this that maybe are not in a healthy relationship. And there is some type abusive behavior that is going on. And Guy and I are very quick to say, all throughout the book, that if your marriage is in a place where there is any kind of abuse, or really unhealthy situations that are happening, we strongly encourage you to seek out professional counseling and/or Biblical counseling, talk with some people from a sound Bible teaching church that can come alongside you and help you navigate those deeper, more layered issues. Really, really important. You don’t wanna just keep going in a cycle. That’s really unhealthy. And harmful to you.
But, in addition to that for most of us that we are just dealing with, you know, for the most part, healthy marriages, that are not abusive, but have their own measure of triggers and sorrows and pain, that are just a part of living in a broken, fallen world. Because broken communication is a symptom of broken people. And we’re all broken people in many ways, and yet God comes in as our healer and our restorer. And he’s able to infuse an to help us communicate in ways that are going to be really good with our spouses.
And so, just as you described, Wendy, one of the chapters is when communication is broken in Marriage Triggers. And there are a number of things that we could say about that, but we absolutely tell people, that it’s so important not to discuss triggered, heavilytriggered, issues in the middle of a triggered moment. Nobody is emotionally stable when, you know, there’s a very physical response to something that somebody is saying or doing that’s got you angry and upset. You know, we need to be calm and think clearly so that we’re not sinfully angry in our communication with our spouse. So, we encourage people to do one specific thing that we say we want people to grow in, is that you have a very specific routine that you become really proactive in setting aside at least once a week, even just an hour to talk.
Maybe it’s when the kids go to bed. Guy and I have, we’re not really necessarily morning people, but we made it a priority during certain busy seasons of our lives to get up at least an hour before our kids wake up so that we could have time together. Whether it’s getting up before kids are up, or after they go to bed, or taking a lunch break together, or whatever it may be, and if you’re able to, maybe it is hiring a babysitter once a week. And maybe you alternate it, maybe the babysitter comes every other week. Or you do babysitting exchange with another family twice a month. But you try to protect having at least an hour or so of time where you spend that time simply communicating with each other. Sharing things that are on your mind. And you…
WENDY – And you’ll find that you grow in that empathy we were talking about earlier. Empathy grows when you start hearing from others. So, it’s not just, ‘I need a safe place to talk’. I mean that was what I feltlike I needed, but truly I also needed a safe place where I could listen.
AMBER – Absolutely, and being able to know, Hey, I’m really upset, like, you and I, I’m sure a lot of us relate to this… There’s something that our spouse has said or done and it just really, it wounds us, it hurts us, or it gets us angry. And we know we shouldn’t talk about it in the heat of the moment, but it’s just really bugging us. Or you just notice, hey you know this is the third time my spouse has done this. I think it’s really important to verify before we vilify.
So, we talk about that in Marriage Triggers too, so, if I don’t have an opportunity to verify, what really is my spouses’ motive? What really is going on behind the scenes with them that they are doing this thing repeatedly? Or doing this thing repeatedly? Do they even know the impact that it’s having on me? That it’s hurting me? That it’s bothering me? Let’s not be quick to assume, let’s believe the best is another point we try to make throughout the book.
When you believe the best about your spouse, and then take an opportunity to verify with them before you vilify them in your mind. And having that time set aside where, hey, I know that every Sunday at two o’clock I’m gonna have an opportunity to talk with my spouse for an hour, or whatever. This is one of those things that we can put on the list. Like, hey when we come together there’s this thing that I wanna talk to you about. It’s all in the delivery. I know it’s not easy to confront or talk to our spouse about things that are bugging us, but it’s often the delivery that makes all the difference.
So, having that time to set aside. And here’s another question that I think is critical, Wendy, when we do come together to communicate, is, you ask yourself this question, this is what I say to myself… Amber, I know you’re about to talk about this thing, this trigger, with your spouse. Amber, do you want to win, or do you want love to win in this conversation? Do you wanna win or do you want love to win? Because this is your spouse and God tells you that you are one. That you are to be for each other, and that you can cut your nose off to spite your face if you want to. And you can try to win this argument or this point. But you will lose in the end. Or do you want love to win? Do you want to grow in love for your spouse and as a family? And if so, then speak and conduct yourself in way that will come out as love to him.
WENDY – Well that’s so good, Amber, and we, I mean, there are 31 triggers that we could be talking about. However, we do attempt to keep these podcasts short in an attempt to whet the appetite of our listeners sometimes.
And so I wanna take a moment and just encourage those listening that if you’re in a place, in a crazy cycle right now, just constantly being triggered, triggered with your spouse, triggered with your children, I’m going to put in the show notes here a direct link to order Marriage Triggers. And then of course I’ll also add the regular… the original… I was gonna say the regular triggers. It’s called Triggers. We never called it parenting triggers because we didn’t have the intention of adding to the Triggers repertoire, but I just can’t… it sounds goofy, I can’t encourage you enough to work through your triggers.
There’s a quote that we use in Triggers, and it’s in Marriage Triggers as well. Which is, these triggers are actually opportunities. They’re opportunities for you to take a look at a situation and say, Oh, apparently, I’ve got some work to do. Apparently, my child, who’s melting down over naptime, needs my help. Apparently, my child who’s struggling here, still needs my help, so I’m going to refuse to be victimized in this moment. I’m gonna refuse to take this personally, and instead I’m gonna say this is my privilege to grow into this relationship with my child and do some parenting. It’s gonna trigger me to see it as an opportunity to parent well.
And those moments with my spouse where I’m triggered, I’m going to see those as well, to choose love. To choose to renew my vows every moment, every triggered moment, and say, Okay, what did I commit to and how can I live it out in this moment? Though my feelings are hurt, though I feel maybe abandoned to do everything on my own, or whatever your personal trigger is, I’m going to do the work to ask the Lord, with the help of His Holy Spirit, to grow me to be more gentle and kind. To grow me to be more empathetic towards what’s going on with my spouse. And to respond in love to him the way that the Lord has always, with such a longsuffering nature, responded to me.
So, I do hope that if you are finding that you are triggered in your marriage, or triggered with your kids, that you’ll get a copy of one of these books. And it might be good to invite your husband to do them with you. And I’m saying them because even as you’re going through the parenting triggers, it immediately applies to your marriage if you allow it to. And to do that together would be really powerful.
But you seem, Amber, that couples that do the marriage triggers together, they are on the same page from the beginning, they’re recognizing from the start, this is a struggle. We want to grow. So as you wrap up your time with us, Amber, would you maybe just speak to how to invite your spouse to do this with you, and then maybe just Segway straight from there into praying for us? And our collective marriages? We would appreciate that and then I’ll wrap things up.
AMBER – Absolutely. Well, you know, Wendy, you and I, our ideal scenario is that husbands and wives will come together and read through our Parenting Triggers book together so that they can parent on the same page. Which we talk about in Triggers and in Marriage Triggers, how to do that in very specific ways. But we also really hope and pray that everybody who reads these books, first and foremost, grows in their own walk with the Lord personally.
And that the hope that we have to offer in these pages really just breathes new life into their relationships, whether it’s their marriage relationship or with their child, or as their child’s teacher. So, thank you for giving me the opportunity to share.
And I wanna just say that if your spouse is not currently on the same page with you, whether its in parenting or even in support of homeschooling or in your marriage. That don’t ever underestimate, this sounds very simple, but truly I think that the starting point for you is to begin to really pray, very very specifically and very fervently. And to allow the Holy Spirit in His timing, to do the work, to bring you together. Because there’s no doubt in my mind, there’s no doubt in my mind, that a heartfelt prayer from one of God’s children who longs for their home to be a place of peace, whether in their parenting or in their marriage, is a prayer that God will answer. I know that it is.
And so, I wanna do that now, praying for all of you. And I want us all to just remember and to never underestimate the power of prayer. When we’re not sure what else to do, if our eyes are on you Lord, we know that’s the center of your will and where we should be. So, let me pray for us all.
Heavenly Father, You know every single person that is listening to this message today. You know the number of hairs that’s on their head. You know what their marriage is like. You know their personal past wounds; You know their dreams and their desires for their children and for their children’s education. Lord, You know that their desire, Lord, is not to be angry. I believe that, I believe that every person that struggles with anger often feels a lot of guilt and frustration over that. And that even as much as they love their spouse or their children, they keep getting caught up in that cycle.
And Lord, You do not want us to live that way. You have given us already victory, Lord Jesus, over this sin in our lives. And yes, we live in a fallen world and sometimes, we’ll still struggle, but our enemy, Satan, likes to whisper in our ears that it’s too late. And he likes to tell us that there’s no hope. And he likes to tell us that it’s never gonna change. And those are all lies. Those are not things that a friend would say to us, and You are our friend, Lord Jesus, and You come alongside us, and You say that there is hope. And You say that we are in our weakest and our most miserable that You will be strong in us and through us. And then you get all the glory, Lord.
So, I pray for every listener, Lord Jesus, that right now You would soften their heart. That You would open their eyes to understanding. That You would give them a fresh new wave of empathy and grace and love for their spouse. That You would strengthen them and every marriage that’s represented by every listener. And that, Lord, our marriages would be a place that is a refuge for each one of us. And that that is the best education we can give our kids, Lord, is when they see us living out the fruit of the Spirit, even if our spouse is not. And living out the fruit of the spirit as a couple, Lord, which is, I think, Your ideal for us in our lives.
Lord I pray that our kids would see that and that it would be truly the best education they ever get. And so, Father we trust You to do the work in us and we thank You for Your mercy and Your love and Your unconditional love toward us. In your precious and worthy name we pray, Amen
WENDY – Amen. Oh, thank you so much, Amber. Amber, I know that there are so many people that would like to connect with you online. Can you tell us, where’s the best place to stay connected with you online”?
AMBER – Well you can google my name, Amber Lia, L I A is my last name. And people always call me Lia as my first name, which is okay, I respond to that too. It’s a little confusing having two female first names as a first and last name. But you can google me, you can find me at my blog, on my website, Amber Lia, or Mother of Knights, because I’ve got four little knights that I’m raising.
And you can find me on Facebook, you can find me on Instagram, and Pinterest. And then, Wendy, you and I, our books are available on Amazon, and they’re also available on audible and on Christian audio. And then you and I also have a video teaching series, both for Triggers and for our follow up book, Parenting Scripts. Which is 31 specific situations people don’t know what to say in the heat of the moment. Parenting Scripts give different things they can say based on Scripture in the heat of the moment, instead of things that tear down and things that can uplift and build them up. So, our video teaching series are available at amberandwendy.com
WENDY – So good. I will put all of those links in the show notes from today. And please, do go on over to Amazon and grab a copy of Marriage Triggers. And if your spouse doesn’t wanna do this with you right now, don’t wait for them. Grab a friend, an accountability partner and say let’s go do this together. It’s amazing that when we start doing things that are new and more gentle and loving in response, it begins a cycle of love and gentle responses. It truly does.
So, I bless you all and I thank you, Amber, for coming. And we’re just so glad to have had you. So, I hope that you’ll come back and talk to us maybe about those parenting scripts. Those things to say when what we’re saying hasn’t been working. So, we’ll have you back again, okay?
AMBER – Sounds good. Thank you, Wendy, for having me. It’s always one of my favorite things to get time to talk with you, so it’s just a bonus that I also get to share with your listeners. Thanks for having me, friend.
WENDY – Thank you so much
What a privilege it is to have these conversations with you each week. You are so busy; I don’t take it lightly that you tune in with me here for a weekly shot of encouragement. As a reminder, you can subscribe to the Homeschool Solutions podcast through Apple or Google Play. And your positive reviews always help other homeschooling families find us online.
As we say goodbye, I’d like to say thank you to Great Homeschool Conventions. Every year they host multiple conventions in various regions throughout the US. You can find a location near you at greathomeschoolconventions.com. With dozens of incredible speakers, hundreds of curriculum exhibits, you will be blessed, refreshed, helped and encouraged.
I’ll be in Texas South Caroline, Ohio, and of course, my home state, California this year. I hope to see some of you there. Until next week, visit Homeschooling.mom for blog posts to encourage and support you along the way.
And remember Galatians six verse nine. Let’s not grow weary of doing good. For in due season we will reap if we do not give up. That’s a promise that I’m taking to the bank every day.
Again, this is Wendy Speake and I’ll see you next week.
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