How to Give Yourself Permission to DREAM BIG in 4 Steps with Stephanie Clarisse | EU 5635 min read

March 15, 2021

How can journaling help you feel grounded? Do you feel guilty and not give yourself permission to dream? How can prioritizing yourself help you set a good example for your kids? In this podcast episode, I speak with Stephanie Clarisse about giving yourself permission to dream big in 4 steps and letting go of the […]

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I am a licensed marriage and family therapist, marriage coach, course creator, retreat host, mother of 3, married for 23 years and host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 


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How can journaling help you feel grounded? Do you feel guilty and not give yourself permission to dream? How can prioritizing yourself help you set a good example for your kids?

In this podcast episode, I speak with Stephanie Clarisse about giving yourself permission to dream big in 4 steps and letting go of the mom guilt.

Meet Stephanie Clarisse

Stephanie is the 500 Seconds To Joy podcast host, personal development coach for Christian moms, encourager of women, success coach for Christian podcasters, a champion for intentional and focused family life, & writer of Christian devotional reflections.

She loves to help Christian mamas by encouraging and equipping them to pursue God, discover their calling in this season, & pursue their passions with joy and intention. Stephanie also loves helping Christian women find their unique voice in the podcasting world by giving them the strategies and guidance to launch their podcast and sustain that podcast with joy, ease, simplicity, and intentionality.

Visit her website and connect on Instagram. Listen to Stephanie’s podcast here.

Sign up for journaling prompts, the newsletter, and daily devotionals.

In This Podcast


  • Journaling
  • 4 steps to creating your dreams
  • Advice to overwhelmed moms


As a busy mother, do not put journaling on your to-do list as another chore to get to. Let it remain as something fun that you do in your downtime for yourself. Keep a pen and paper on hand for when an idea comes to your mind, and keep it interesting.

You can use journaling as a personal archive to look back onto over the years and see how far you have come and to notice patterns, perhaps you will see a trend develop and from that trend understand a passion of your own that you can act on and create into something bigger.

Stephanie’s journaling prompt:

  • “What gives you energy? What energizes you?”

You could also ask yourself what drains you, is it exciting and interesting to discuss, what lights a spark in you.

Those kinds of things are really good indicators of where your gifting is, because the energy [means] you’re tapping into something within yourself that is there and God wants to bring it out. (Stephanie Clarisse)

4 steps to creating your dreams

1 – Let go of the guilt and allow yourself permission to have dreams and goals: Work on the mindset that you are a whole person, you are just the roles you play.

You’re not just a mom you are a person, you’re a whole person and ‘mom’ is a role you play that is very important … but remember that you can give yourself permission to dream and that’s okay. (Stephanie Clariss)

2 – Find and create the right space: Everybody’s life is different so you will have to figure out what this space looks and feels like for yourself and be protective of this space.

3 – Do it! Make it happen: Things will stand in your way regardless of your intention and so you need to fortify your discipline and willpower to commit to doing it, even for 5 minutes, a day.

If you have girls, you are training them to prioritize themselves, and don’t you wish that every woman, every mom out there knew that she was a priority and that she mattered? This goes for boys too, of course … you want to raise the next generation of moms to feel worthy of alone time. (Stephanie Clarisse)

This is an opportunity to teach the next generation to understand that they can spend time alone because they are worth it and deserve that, and to respect the space and private times of one another.

In this way, we are teaching our children two valuable lessons: self-actualization in solitude and respect the boundaries of other people’s solitude.

4 – Don’t forget to ask for help: It is not a weakness because it’s actually a strength.

Advice to overwhelmed moms

Know that you are not alone and know that you have the power the change it, with God’s help.

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Meet Veronica Cisneros

Veronica Cisneros | Empowered And Unapologetic PodcastI’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.

So I started  Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.

Whether you listen to the podcast, join the free Facebook communityjoin the VIP community, or attend our annual retreat,  you’re in the right place. Let’s do this together!

Thanks for listening!

Podcast Transcription

[STEPHANIE CLARISSE]: Is, you can’t make it happen. You don’t force it. You kind of just follow the promptings of the next right step. And for me, it was starting the podcast and then the next step and the next step and different guests. And so if you have a big dream, break it down into little steps and just take the next right step. Don’t overwhelm yourself. And enjoy the process too. Get excited about, along the way, journeying through it.
[VERONICA CISNEROS]: Have you ever thought, “How did I manage to lose myself?” Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are outside of all of the roles you play.
Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three, and a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you, how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang.
[VERONICA]: Welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host Veronica Cisneros. Today’s guest is the 500 Seconds to Joy Podcast, host, personal development coach for Christian moms, encourager of women, success coach for Christian podcasters, champion for international and focused family life and writer for Christian devotional reflections. I had mire the fact that she loves to help Christian mamas by encouraging and equipping them to pursue God, discover their calling in this season, and pursue their passions with joy and intention. So please help me by welcoming Stephanie Clarisse. Hey Stephanie.
[STEPHANIE]: Hey Veronica. Thanks for having me today.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. Thank you so much for being on. So I have to say, you do so many things and in addition to that, you’re a mom. So I got to ask, how did this all start?
[STEPHANIE]: So about a little over a year ago, I started my podcast, but if you go even back further, I had my daughter four years ago and I completely lost myself. I didn’t know who I was and I thought, “Okay, now I’m a mom. This is what I’ve always dreamed of.” You know, I had been praying my husband and I were praying for a baby and we wanted her and we were so excited and wait, I’m so unfulfilled. I am so unhappy. What is wrong with me? Where’s the joy of motherhood? And so I really struggled with depression and anxiety. Some of it was sleep deprivation related, other reasons were like I was so into my career. I didn’t even realize it and so that identity was gone. I was alone a lot and I’m an extrovert, so that was hard. So podcasts, I found podcasts when I was newly postpartum and I found these ladies who encouraged me and uplifted me and I felt like I was hanging out with a friend.
So I had this little thought in my mind at that time that I wanted to start off with my own one day and it stuck with me. I didn’t act on it until last year, November of 2019. And I started my podcast 500 Seconds to Joy, just as a hobby, as something that I thought, “This is going to be a great outlet and I can’t wait to encourage moms.” And I’ve actually learned so much in preparing for episodes like getting to read books I’d never had, would have read, you know these awesome books and authors I’ve gotten to talk to. So then it’s evolved and it became, “Wait, Stephanie, how did you start your podcast?” And I started helping countless women start their own podcast. And then I thought, “Hey, this is a business.”
So it transitions into me, coaching women and helping Christian women start their own podcast. And I do one-on-one coaching. I have a weekly newsletter where I write devotionals because I love writing. And I dream of being an author one day and I know it will happen in God’s timing. And I coach women and host some awesome podcasts. It’s super fun and just a great outlet. And I know God gives me the time because honestly, I am very busy with the kids. I have a, so I’m married and I have a four year old girl and an almost two year old boy. In two weeks, he’ll be two. And then I’m 20 weeks pregnant with another girl.
So I’m tired. I didn’t busy with the little kids and you know, I’m home, taking care of the home and cooking and cleaning and all of that. And this year has been a little weird because my husband’s been home a lot, which has been nice he’s been able to do a lot more around the house since he’s been home. So I have his help and his support and I have a friend who watches the kids while I do interviews like this. And so I have plenty of support and help. I have family in town. So people are helping me, but really I do this during nap time. At night, sometimes my husband can watch the kids, but mostly during nap time. And it’s amazing what you can do when you’re passionate about something and when you’re focused and when God has blessed it. So it’s been a really fun journey and I’m excited to see where it keeps going.
[VERONICA]: One thing I have to say is for one, I admire your ability to do all of these things and being pregnant, because I remember for me, all I wanted to do was sleep. Like that’s it. It was sleeping and then I was praying that when I woke up, I would be able to keep down whatever food I ate, because it was just nausea. And it was with all three kids. All three kids, I didn’t get a break. Yes, it was horrible. So just to see you up and you look absolutely beautiful and you’re like glowing —
[STEPHANIE]: Oh, thank you. You’re so sweet.
[VERONICA]: So one thing that also attracted me to you is journaling, being able to create goals, being able to follow through with your passion. I also believe in journaling, I feel like when we put that pen to paper, we’re able to really process what we’re experiencing, what we’re feeling, what we’re going through and gain a different level of perspective and insight. So can you tell me a little bit more about journaling and creating white space to focus on and discover goals and passion?
[STEPHANIE]: Yes. So I’ve always been a journaler. I started a diary when I was, I think in second grade. I’ve always loved to write and writing stories, talking about my day and so I’ve always had a journal. I’ve always had somewhere where I’d write down my thoughts and it can be really simple. It doesn’t need to be stressful for moms. It doesn’t need to be one more thing you schedule in. It’s just about taking whatever’s in your brain and putting it down. And I do this when my kids are running around, they’re playing and I have a thought, an idea, something that I get excited about or something God’s inspired me with. And I write it down really quickly. I also, during my prayer time always have a piece of paper and pen ready to go because usually I get inspired by just praying and feeling like, “Okay, this is what God’s kind of leading me in.”
It’s almost like he kind of speaks in my heart. It’s not necessarily audible, but it’s like a feeling I get. And so then I write down those things. So I think for moms, it can’t be one more thing you schedule in your to-do list because it’s not going to be fun. It has to be something fun. And when you’re dreaming, especially when you’re trying to think about your goals, it needs to be very light and fun and low pressure, stress free. It can’t be something that you say, “Okay, I’m going to sit down now and I’m going to focus on what are my dreams.” You can’t put pressure on it like that. It has to be fun. It has to be something that flows out of you. And that is just so natural, like breathing. So for me, starting the podcast and writing, those are things, and speaking, which is also podcasting, you know, those are things that just flow out of me and are natural. Like that’s just a part of me.
And so each woman has been created, each of us in this world has been created with unique gifts and talents and dreams. And they are as natural as breathing, but we kind of bury them and we feel like the world is too hard and difficult and we have so many responsibilities. We can’t dream. We can’t have fun. Life’s too serious for that, but that’s not true. I mean, yes, there are responsibilities. I make a million snacks a day, of course, but it’s also important to dream. So I think my main tip for journaling would just be to keep it low pressure, have that journal out on your counter, wherever you’re going to see it and just have a piece of paper, that paper and pen.
Because there’s like you said, there’s something about writing it down here and the cool thing about this is you can see the evolution of your dreams over time. So as you journal over the years, you can look back and see patterns and say, “Hey, this is something that’s always been there. This is so cool. Look, God put this in me. He put in this passion of writing and encouraging and lifting people up. He put that inside of me.” And you can sometimes even look back into your childhood and think about, “Whoa, it was there too.” So I think that the main thing for moms do not add it on your to-do list. Just keep it as an option throughout the day when inspiration hits. And I have some journal prompts for people, and then, I’m sure you can put that link in the show notes if people want prompts, but I find the best way is to just kind of let your mind wander. Like most day you’re dreaming. And then it keeps things really light and fun and slowing, which is where I think dreams really come out of.
[VERONICA]: What would you say is one of your favorite journal prompts?
[STEPHANIE]: I would say my favorite one is what gives you energy? What energizes you? And I mean, conversely, you could think of what drains you? But I think it’s really exciting to think about what does light me up? What does give me energy? You know, when I talk to people for me personally, I come alive, I get excited, I get energized, I get off a call like this and I have so much energy. I get off a call from a client talking one-on-one about podcasting and I have so much energy. So those kinds of things are really good indicators of where your gifting is because the energy that means you’re tapping into something within yourself. That is there and God wants to bring it out. That’s how I see it.
[VERONICA]: I think that’s really important for us to be able to identify what energizes us, what gives us fuel. I think we can think of the 50,000 things that actually take away from our energy. Very rarely do we really pinpoint what is it? As a matter of fact, I was just talking to my mom about this. My mom was, her and I had a discussion about like anxiety and what that looks like and how I help people. And I asked her, I was like, “Mom how often are you resetting?” And she was like, “Well I just take breaks when I’m driving.” And it’s like, “No mom, like for real, how often do you reset? Because you’re going through your day from one area to another area being this magnificent grandma. At what point do you allow yourself to reset?” And she’s like, “Oh, well, I mean, I guess I don’t.”
And so we started talking about that, how do I know when my gas tank is empty, my physical gas tank is empty and how can I refill it? And I started giving her some tips and it felt, so I kind of wanted to cry because it’s like, “Oh my gosh, here I am teaching my mom.” And my mom’s like, “It’s not a big deal.” And I’m like, “Mom I get paid to do, like people come to me to do this.” And she’s like, “Oh, well, yes, I never thought about this. Well, what do I do, use an ice pack for? What do I blow bubbles for? Why do I need this this plush doll? Like, what are you talking about?” So, I don’t think it’s one thing that we talk about often with other moms, nor do we even know for ourselves. So like for you, what are things that energize you besides talking to people? What helps you reset?
[STEPHANIE]: For me personally? What helps me reset? Quiet, just complete quiet, sitting in silence with God, with my journal thread, but just sitting there. Just sitting. And sometimes I’ll start with some music, like I don’t know, contemporary Christian music. That’s my favorite. And it gets me all excited and feeling like the words of the lyrics are basically what I want to say to God, but maybe I don’t have the right words so the song says it for me. That really helps me. I love music. I’ve always loved music, but yes, just sitting in silence and realizing that that’s actually why I feel drained a lot; is because I don’t have much silence. Because even as an extrovert, I do still need a little bit of silence. And I told my husband, “If I can only get 30 minutes of silence a day, I’m good because I am an extrovert. I love noise and talking and the hustle and bustle and going here and there and everywhere, but I still need silence.”
And that’s definitely my reset. And so I try really hard every day during my son’s nap time to have my daughter do quiet time so I can get that silence. And when I don’t get it, I totally notice my energy is just shot. Just completely gone. But when I get that silence, it’s like, “Yes, you’re filling up the gas tank. It’s such a good analogy. So true.”
[VERONICA]: How does that help you with setting goals and what type of goals do you set?
[STEPHANIE]: It helps because my mind can just wander, daydream. And that’s what kids do. Kids are so good at this because they just play and they don’t have all the responsibilities that us adults have. And so they can just be kind of thinking and daydreaming. And as adults, we forget to do this and we feel like it doesn’t matter because what’s the point of dreaming? We have too many responsibilities. There are bills to pay. There are kids to take care of and feed. And of course those things are realities of life, but carving out a little time, even if it’s 30 minutes a day, five minutes a day, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, whatever you can spare. If you can sit in silence with God or just sit in silence and let your mind wander, it’s so huge. I always get inspired during that time and think, “Okay, oh, well this is what I want to do.” So, for the podcast, for example I let myself dream about what do I want it to look like? How many listeners do I want to have and how many people do I want to impact?
And I get excited thinking about like different series I could create that would help people in their prayer life or help moms just feel less alone, things like that. And so when I get that silent time, I can actually start dreaming about those things. And it’s actually really fun. It’s a little uncomfortable at first, if you’re not used to it.
[VERONICA]: Yes, I’m glad you said that.
[STEPHANIE]: But it is fun once you get into it. And so I always tell people, the first five minutes is the most uncomfortable and the hardest, just like a workout. You know, if you’re working new muscles and when you’re quiet sitting in silence or semi silence, maybe the kids are in the other room, but you know, those first five minutes, it’s going to be a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit different if you’re not used to it. But then if you push past that, I think you might start hearing things, feeling things, thinking things that you didn’t even know were there.
And again, that can be scary, but just kind of being open and just open yourself up and think, “Okay, what am I being led to right now?” And just kind of even asking that question, putting it out there. You can address it to God specifically. That’s what I usually do. But you could just sit in silence and think about what do I want my life to look like? What do I want right now? I have a friend who’s a podcaster and she always uses this question. What do I want more of? I love that question. What do I want for? I’m like, Oh, I want more joy. I want more peace. I want more quiet. What do you want more of Veronica?
[VERONICA]: I want more of being present, like being able to really participate in every single moment, because I know with just life and the business, I know at times I rob myself from those opportunities. And I realize it after the fact…and every now and then when I’m in, you know I hear my daughter’s laugh or last night, my husband and I we had the kids go to bed and put them down. And we walked back into our room and attempted to go to sleep. And Brooklyn had snuck into Aubrey’s room and they were just laughing. And there was a part of me that wanted to say, “Go to sleep.” But it was just the way that they were laughing. They were having so much fun. They were having so much fun. They weren’t doing anything wrong and it was like, it’s still early. I mean, it’s not crazy or it’s past their bedtime, but it’s still somewhat early and I’m just going to listen to them laugh. And even as they say that right now, it was like, I’m so thankful that I provided myself the opportunity to listen to that because that’s what’s going to be stored in my long-term memory. That’s what’s going to be stored in my heart for the rest of my life, moments like that. And so, yes, I definitely want more of being an active participant in the moment. Thank you so much for asking me that.
[STEPHANIE]: I definitely agree with what you said. Oh, yes.
[VERONICA]: My next question to you was going to be, so you’re talking about goals and you being a podcaster and you’re amazing, amazing. I was on your podcast and it was so much fun. You made it so easy.
[STEPHANIE]: Thanks.
[VERONICA]: What is one goal that you’ve achieved that you never dreamed about doing. Like it was like something that you thought would never be achievable?
[STEPHANIE]: I would say for the podcast in particular, the listenership and the downloads, I’m almost at a hundred thousand downloads and I never thought that would happen. I mean, I can’t even believe it. And it’s funny because I started this just telling friends and family about it and starting this new Instagram page and connecting with people and having them sharing it that way and getting guests on. And they’d share it. And so I just never really anticipated how it would kind of evolve and grow. And so that’s been really cool. And I just see God’s hand in that so strongly, because I mean, I’m just this one person. And I realized that there are people in other countries listening to me and saying I’ve encouraged them and it’s just mind blowing. I just can’t even believe it.
I always say like, when people ask, how do you do it all? It’s not me. It’s really God, because I’m just one person. I can’t make all these things happen. And so that’s what I would say with dreams and goals; is you can’t make it happen. You don’t force it. You kind of just follow the promptings of the next right step. And for me, it was starting the podcast and then the next step and the next step and different guests. And so if you have a big dream, break it down into little steps and just take the next right step. Don’t overwhelm yourself. And enjoy the process too. Get excited about, along the way, journeying through it, because there’s always going to be the next school. There’s always going to be the next stream. And like you said, with presence, Veronica, I mean, you kind of want to enter into the present moment. You don’t want to miss it along the way to your bigger goals, so to speak. So there are little milestones along the way.
I mean, I remember when I took a screenshot of 32 people listening to my first episode and I looked back and I saw, I took another screenshot of when I had a thousand downloads. And so I realized that was a big deal for me. And now I’m almost at a hundred thousand. I was like, “That’s a really big deal too. And I’m hoping, I’m like, “One day I want to get to a million.” And so, but you know, they’re little steps along the way, but that’s been such a fun journey, just seeing all these people listen, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s cool. They want to hear me talk. Cool.” It’s really fun. It really is.
[VERONICA]: What are three steps that you would encourage us to take to go ahead and pursue this life that we want to live?
[STEPHANIE]: Well, I would say the first step is letting go of the guilt and allowing yourself permission to have dreams and goals. Because if you’re a mom listening, you’re not just a mom, you’re a person. You’re a whole person. And so mom is a role you play. Yes, and it’s a very important role and if you have little kids, it’s probably what you do most of your day. If you’re home with them. I mean, it does consume you. Yes, it’s very real. I have two little kids and then being pregnant and I’m going to be in the newborn phase again, it’s all consuming when you have a newborn, but just remembering that you can give yourself permission to dream and that’s okay. So I think that would be step one; is kind of the mindset around dreaming and just really working on your mindset that you’re a whole person. You’re not just the roles you play. And I know you and I talked about that a lot in our interview on my podcast. So that would be number one.
Number two is finding the white space, creating the white space. What is that going to look like? Everybody’s life is different. I mean, some people don’t have their husband home. Some people are single moms. Some people have their husband home, like I do, home all the time, working from home. Everybody’s life is a little different. So you’re going to have to figure out for you how to create the white space for me. For example, when my son takes his nap and my daughter gets her quiet time, she’ll do an activity, watch a show, whatever, that’s my time. And I’m very protective of it. And I remind her, “This is my time. This is mom’s time and I will play with you when it’s done, or I’ll do homeschool with you when it’s done, or I’ll do XYZ when it’s done.” So just protecting that white space on your calendar. I don’t know what that’s going to look like for each of you listening, but you have to create it. And it can be 10 minutes. It could be an hour. I don’t know what your life looks like. For me, it’s probably about 30 minutes to an hour tops of actual, like focused, quiet time where I can not be interrupted.
So that’s that. So number one, let go of the guilt, allow yourself permission. Number two, create the white space and then number three, do it.
[VERONICA]: Yes. Yes.
[STEPHANIE]: Just do it. Make it happens girls.
[VERONICA]: I’m glad you said do it because a lot of us were like, “Okay, what is the next step?” And then what’s the next step after that? And then after you receive all of the steps, it’s like, “Okay, well, what if my kid only sleeps five minutes? And then what if this happens? And what if this happens?” I applaud you for saying, just do it, get it done. If your intent is to do it, if that’s exactly what you want, then go for it. Because things are going to stand in your way, no matter what, especially kids. They’re going to do everything they can to so they’re the focus of your attention.
[STEPHANIE]: Yes, and they’ll try to interrupt, you know depending on your kids, their ages and how often you’ve done this. And I’ve coached some moms on this actually. Like, okay, gentle reminders and okay you can have a line that you say every time you’re doing your quiet time. This is mom’s time or whatever you like, whatever language you like to use. I usually say to my four year old, because she’s so, she wants to understand things. I just explain to her, “I need alone time. I need quiet time because it’s healthy for me because mom needs some time to pray. I pray because then I can be a really kind loving mom to you. I need Jesus’ help for that.” So I explain it to her. I’m like, “I can’t do it on my own. I can’t be patient on my own. I need God.”
So you can explain it to your kids. You can have a one-line mantra, like a record that you just say over and over. “This is my quiet time. Please go back in your quiet time.” And we’re training our kids and we’re training, if you have girls, you’re training them to prioritize themselves. And don’t you wish that every woman, every mom out there knew that she was a priority, knew that she mattered? And this goes for boys too, of course. Yes. But since mostly the audience is moms, I’m speaking to the moms out there, that you want to raise the next generation of moms to feel like, “Hey, I’m worthy of time. I’m worthy of this alone time.” And it doesn’t mean you get hours a day. No, that’s not realistic. But if you get 10 minutes, great, that’s going to be so, so rejuvenating.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. I think it’s also breaking that pattern. I know my parents, my mom never taught me this and I don’t think she didn’t teach me it because she was withholding it. I think it’s more of her not knowing that this is even a possibility because her mom didn’t teach her.
Yes. Same here. Totally. Yes. So I think we have a really nice opportunity to teach our children these things. And first our sons too, to know that, “Hey, mom needs some time.” And maybe if they get married and they’re working outside the home, they come home and remember that, “Oh, my mom needed some time. I bet my wife, who’s a mom now needs some time too.”
[VERONICA]: She does.
[STEPHANIE]: So I feel like this is just, what a great opportunity we have as moms to teach our kids these things. And it’s not being selfish because I’m not advocating for hours a day. That’s not realistic with little kids. That’s just not. I’m just advocating for maybe 30 minutes. I think 30 minutes is huge. And maybe you can’t do it during the day. Maybe you have four little kids and they don’t sleep at the same time. They’re not quite at the same time. So then you’re going to have to ask a friend, a family member or your spouse for help. And so I think that would be my part four of my three steps; is don’t forget to ask for help.
[VERONICA]: Beautiful. I’m glad you said that.
[STEPHANIE]: It’s not weakness. It’s actually strength to show people that, “Hey, I need help.” And you know what, maybe you’ll encourage a friend to ask for help. So, hey, it’s it takes a village.
[VERONICA]: Girl, amen. Yes, it does. And you guys could swap, you could totally swap. “Girl, it’s my time.”
[STEPHANIE]: My turn to do that. Yes. That’s exactly what I do with my friends. It’s huge. Yes. Embrace the swap ladies.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. Absolutely. So my last two questions, what are you doing right now to live the life you want to live?
[STEPHANIE]: Hmm, that’s a great question. Well, I would say presence. Number one is just soaking it in because this is actually the life I’ve always prayed for and dreamed of. I prayed to be married to a wonderful man who loves God and I’m married to him. And I prayed for sweet little kiddos and I have two of them with the third on the way. I mean, this is exactly what I prayed for. And so just trying to embrace it, even though the whining is hard, the crying is hard, all the needs. Yes, it’s so hard and it’s so tiring and the broken sleep. You know, my daughter just came in last night and had a bad dream. So there she is in our bed. So those things, yes, they’re hard, but soaking in the moment, being present, looking at my kids, like you said, with the laughter, watching my kids play, getting on the floor and playing with them when I can. You know, being present.
So that helps me enjoy my life more. When I put the phone away, I just soak in the moment and it just brings me so much joy. It really, it’s just, there’s nothing like the present. I’m not thinking about what happened before. I’m not thinking about the plan in the future. I’m just there. So that helps me enjoy my life and just soak in everything God’s given me. Yes, and then just, and having quiet prayer time each day. That is huge for me. When I don’t get it. I notice a huge difference and it actually carries into the next day.
[VERONICA]: Yes, it does.
[STEPHANIE]: So it’s a complete game changer. It doesn’t matter what’s going on. It doesn’t matter what my circumstances are, what’s hard, what’s not hard, what’s in between. You know, just everything that happens in life. The prayer time and being present, it just brings me so much joy and I can enjoy my life with the good and the hard. So that’s helpful for me.
[VERONICA]: All right. My last question in one sentence, what advice would you give to the mom who feels stressed and disconnected?
[STEPHANIE]: Hmm, one sentence. That’s hard. Well, know that you’re not alone and know that you have the power to change it with God’s help.
[VERONICA]: Beautiful, beautiful. Stephanie, you’re amazing. I have absolutely love you.
[STEPHANIE]: I love you, too, girl. You’re so amazing too. I’m like, “Okay, we need to do this again.”
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. So you’re giving the audience a free giveaway. Please tell us more.
[STEPHANIE]: Yes. So I have a few downloads. So one of them is these journal prompts I created. So you don’t have to use journal prompts, but if you want to have them. So you can go to bit.ly/journaltimemama [M A M A]. I’ll get you that link Veronica so you can put it in the show notes. And then also I created this devotional. So I have a weekly devotional. I can get you that link if people want to sign up for a weekly devotional.
[VERONICA]: Yes, please.
[STEPHANIE]: It’s really, I’ll just say it now. Bit.ly/monthlyhappymail, [monthly happy mail]. It is now weekly, but I had it monthly. So that’s what you can search for monthly happy mail. And then the last thing is I created this 10 day devotional. So it’s basically for moms to just help get your mindset right, start your day with a Bible verse, a little reflection, a little prayer, something you can read and probably two minutes, honestly. I mean, it’s not going to take much time.
[VERONICA]: I’m signing up.
[STEPHANIE]: It’s really awesome. And the funny thing is, again, the Holy Spirit inspires me. God has written all of this because I go back and read it and think, “Huh, those are my words? What?” So people want that devotional. You can go to bit.ly/10daydevo. So that’s the number ten, one zero, 10 day devo, [D E V O]. So I will get you all those links and everybody can get all those goodies. And I have lots more goodies. I come out with different freebies and resources and guides, and those are the things I create during my quiet time.
[VERONICA]: There’s proof. There’s proof.
[STEPHANIE]: Yes, there’s is.
[VERONICA]: And how can we find you? So for those that want to follow you, on Instagram, on Facebook, where are you at?
[STEPHANIE]: I hang out on Instagram. I was on Facebook for a little bit, but I prefer Instagram. So I’m at 500 Seconds to Joy podcast, five zero, zero seconds to joy podcast. And I love hanging out there. I’m there, I’m really active three days a week. Sometimes I hang out a fourth day, but again, in the spirit of being present, I don’t spend every day on social media. I just can’t. But I have three days where I give a tip, I do mom hacks, I post affirmations, and I also try to go live and teach about podcasting or just share Bible verses because hey, we all need encouragement right now.
[VERONICA]: Yes we do.
[STEPHANIE]: So those are the things I do over there and that’s the best place to connect with me.
[VERONICA]: Awesome. Well, thank you again so much for being on the show. This was amazing.
[STEPHANIE]: You’re welcome. It was so much fun. Thanks, Veronica.
[VERONICA]: Absolutely. What’s up ladies? Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you guys.
Many women lose their own identity in the shadow of being a mom and a wife. We are a community of women who support each other. We leave perfectionism behind to become empowered and unapologetic. I know you’re ready for the next steps. If you want to become empowered and unapologetic, get my free course, Unapologetically Me over empoweredandunapologetic.com/course.
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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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I’m Veronica, your new Boss MOM Mentor with no filter and no BS. 

I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, women’s coach, course creator, and retreat host. Married for OVER 20 years, raising three girls, and the host of the Empowered and Unapologetic podcast. 

Enough about me… 

My jam? Helping high-achieving women thrive both at home and in the hustle of work.

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