CARIS SNIDER loves to share the hope of God through speaking, writing, coaching, and leading worship. She is the author of "Car Line Mom Devotional," “Anxiety Elephants: 31 Day Devotional” and “Anxiety Elephants: 90 Day Devotional for Tween Boys and Girls.” From her own personal experience, she helps women in their journey of overcoming depression, anxiety, fear, and shame. Caris lives with her husband, Brandon, and two daughters in Cullman, Alabama.
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What is The Connected Mom?
Form a deeper connection with God, more empathic connection with other Moms, and more intentional connection with your child.
Welcome to the Connected Mom Podcast, where we have real conversations helping moms
BECKY: Welcome to the Connected Mom Podcast, where we have real conversations helping you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. I'm Becky Harling, your host, and I have with me today my amazing co host, Sarah Wildman. Sarah is in the thick of raising her own two boys. And I just said to somebody, I couldn't do this podcast without Sarah. So hey, Sarah, how are you?
SARAH: Hi, Becky. I'm doing well. And as we're airing this podcast, it's a very important time of year. It is the beginning of the school year. And with that yay, all the moms rejoice, it could be a happy time, it could be a sad time wherever you're at, but usually it involves something called a car line and that's kind of a thing. Becky, even you as a Mimi, understand this concept. you are like the bravest Mimi ever, picking up children in the car. So anyway but I love that. I think it's a perfect way to start this season with car line conversations.
BECKY: Yeah. This is our second season, Sarah. We've survived season one.
SARAH: We survived.
We're going to talk about the car line and drop offs
BECKY: And we're going to start with the car line. Now, here's what I know about the car line. I often get these frantic calls from my daughter. Mom, can you pick up the new summit crowd today, or can you pick up this one or that? You know, I say yes whenever I can. Now, when I do the car line, I pick up Donuts and bring Donuts to the car line. But it's a thing with my kids. I mean, I have heard stories after they drop them off, know, cheerios falling out of their car in the car line, diapers falling, know, or forget, no makeup, being in their pajamas. We're going to talk about all of that today.
Caris Snyder writes a book called Car Line Devotions
BECKY: But our guest today is Caris Snider and I'm so excited to have her with us. So she has written the book. Car line devotions girls. We need this book. I need this. So Caris Snider is a mom of two. She is a bestselling author. She's written quite a bit about anxiety. But in this book, we're talking about the car line, and she's giving you ways that you can make even those car lines. You can turn those moments into sacred moments. So, Caris welcome to the connected mom podcast.
Carline shares about her faith journey and her two daughters
BECKY: And let's start by just having you tell us a little bit about your faith journey and your family.
CARIS: Absolutely. Well, I am so grateful to be here with you guys and just for the opportunity to share with our mamas just about Carline mom and just the life that God has had me on my journey. my family, my husband and I, we have been married almost 20 years, so we are going to be celebrating that here in the next few months. And we have two daughters. We have a daughter that is she is in 9th grade. So we are in high school mode. We're there, we've gotten started. I've come to terms with it. She, of course, is all about it. I've had my moments. But we're here and we're all excited about being a high schooler. And then, my other daughter, she is going into she's in fifth grade. So we are in those Tween years. So, other moms, if you're there, I'm with you. We don't have kids anymore. They're not the kids yet, but they're not quite teenagers, so they're in between. So that's where we are with her. And, it's been so much fun just to watch these girls grow up. But we also have a mini golden doodle. His name is Cooper Hash Brown. And, my kids named him. He is going to be six years old this year. And Hash Brown came about because they said he looked like a Tater Tot when we got him as a puppy. And he's, ah, so much fun. He is treated like a human. So we include him into all of our, family pictures. And when people ask us about our family, he is a part of it. And so he is so much fun. so I am just grateful for my family having two daughters. God sits a humor. I grew up with brothers. I have a twin brother and an older brother. So all these new things with girls and all the things, it is an adventure, to say the least. But I love being on this mom adventure with them. And in our faith journeys, everybody looks different, everybody has a different story. And I love how God just shows up in all of our stories in different ways and powerful ways. I was blessed with the opportunity to grow up with a, mom and a dad who loved us. My twin brother, my older brother and I, we grew up in the church. We were there. My mom, she was like the prayer warrior. Like, if someone needed something, they were calling my mom. And she gave us that example growing up. And I came to faith in Christ early on. We had vacation Bible school. Still to this day, I love vacation Bible school. I love to help with it at my church. And I remember, I can just sense it, I can see it, when I close my eyes. My mom brought my twin brother and I home when we were in third grade. And she sat us down next to my bed and she pulled out a little Precious Moments track that she had, found and printed off. And she began to lead us through the plan of salvation. And there that night, my twin brother and I both, we gave our hearts and our lives to Jesus. And it truly felt in that moment like the Holy Spirit was there. We were crying, we were actually hugging each other, like we really loved each know in that moment. And so I have know Jesus in my life since I was young. And I'm so grateful for that. Because as I look back and look at different parts of my journey dealing with anxiety and depression, dealing with thinking that I had to wear a mask, that I had to have everything perfect and together and knowing that even when I hit the bottom of the bottom of the pit, god was there. And he said, look up. And he gave me hope. And so I am grateful to see that even in those hard moments, even today, in the hard moments, that Jesus is there, that he sees me, that he loves me. And that is the same for your moms who are listening. He sees them in the hard moments and he loves them. And I'm just grateful for how he gives us those reminders in the car line wherever we go throughout our life. So that is just a little snippet of my family and my journey and my faith.
SARAH: That is so cool.
Carline writes a weekly car line devotional about motherhood
SARAH: Caris so, car line devotional, how in the world did that come? I think I can guess, but how did that come to you? What really inspired you to write something.
CARIS: Like, so, you know, I spend my life in my car a lot, right know, from toddler to teenagers, our kids are depending on us to get them everywhere that they need to go. And as I go through car line and you all may hear it a little bit in my voice, I'm from the South, I live here in Alabama. It was always so interesting to me because I would drive through the line and God would just kind of drop some wisdom into my heart or some encouragement into my spirit for that day. It could be if it was seeing cows on, the side of the road and not getting caught off guard by distractions to showing up in your pajamas and you feel late and you feel like you're being judged. In all of these moments of the car line, I started kind of thinking about other moms, and it's overwhelming, right? As, mamas, you can look up statistics, you can look up so much information. Moms are more overwhelmed and anxious than they've ever been before, and it just blows my mind. And so, just praying and writing in this journey and being a writer, just God, just be kind again to just drop these things down as a download in me. And I was like, you know, there are millions of Carline moms. Like, we are everywhere and we feel frazzled and we feel at times that we have to wear this strong facade or we feel alone. And that's not what God intended for us. He intended for us to be in community together, to be in unity, and in that community, that communion with Him. And so I think that's just where the desire came is to know I needed that encouragement, and other mamas probably need that as well. So I just began to write and God just began to remind me of stories of Carline life and mom life. And here we are. Here we are today, 100 devotions later.
BECKY: Yeah. I love that so much. Caris and as I look back, I am a grandmother. And, as I look back on my motherhood journey, motherhood is a lot like the Olympics, right? It's the agony and the ecstasy. It's the agony when your kids are having a rough time, or when one of them is sick or diagnosed with whatever. And it's the ecstasy of watching your child grow up to love Jesus and want to serve him. Or it's the ecstasy of when your child makes that soccer team that they really want to make, or they get that grade that they really want to get. And yet there are these hard moments in motherhood. And, what encouragement do you have for women? Like, what sustains you in the hard moments? And do you have a key verse that you go back to often to just kind of give yourself the strength to keep going?
CARIS: Yeah, I love that question, and I love that we are taking the time to acknowledge that there are hard moments. Yeah, I think that's part of it first, right there, is to acknowledge that there are hard moments. And it's not that you as a mom are doing anything wrong or that you're less than, or that God made a mistake in calling you to this. It is the simple fact that, as Jesus said, in this world, we are going to have trouble. there's no getting around it. It's just going to be a part of it. But there is encouragement there. We can take heart because he has overcome. And so I think some things that are helping me in this mom journey and I just say upfront and in true vulnerability. I don't have it all figured out, just like many of you are trying to figure it out. You might be listening in the car line right now, as you're going to pick up your children. But some things that I am having to learn is to release unrealistic expectations. These expectations of, having it all together, having the healthy meals, making sure we are getting homework done, that the house is clean, all the things. Sometimes you can't do all the things and you can't be all things to all people. So we need to release those unrealistic expectations. allowing myself to give myself grace, to have those moments where I made a mistake. I really am human. Like, I'm not going to get it right. I give my kids grace or I give my friends grace. Give yourself grace. for me, also, as a mom, one thing that has helped me is getting up in the morning before everyone else and my family would probably agree. Yes, this helps everyone a lot, because you are much nicer when no one is when you drink your coffee and it's quiet, right? And so I think those early moments with the Lord, it just helps me to start my day better and to just pour my heart out to Him. have you had those moments where you just cry like, that's all you can do because you just feel so overwhelmed or you feel so stressed or worried? And to just allow myself to have those moments with God like that, it just helps me to know I can be myself with Him as one. Peter 57, you asked for a verse, says that we can cast all our anxieties to Him because he cares for us. And I think that word there all big or small, like there's nothing too small for God. Yes, he cares about those big things, but I think sometimes we try to hold on to those small things. As moms, I can figure this out. I can do it on my own, but God wants all of them. So I think that that's been helpful for me, too, to have those true, vulnerable, cast all the anxieties at his feet moments. And that has helped me sustain me to get up and keep walking on this journey, trusting Him. I can't see every step in front of me, but he's going to give me the next step in this journey of motherhood. And that's the same for those moms who are listening today.
BECKY: I love that so much.
Becky: Why is a pause so important? How do we redeem it
SARAH: So before I ask the question, I'm putting myself in the driver's seat, literally, of the car line. And I don't know about for you all, but usually there's like this feeling when the kids are at school, like all the things that I hope to get done right, I mean, whether it's housework work, whatever, coffee with a friend, and then it's like the car line, it's like this halt, right? Like you've been running, running most if you're like me. And then it's like this halt. Okay, I got to get the kids. And then I think I asked you this, Becky, even right as I was getting to know you, is like, that is a really pivotal transition in our like, this m the kids are about to enter the car, and I found myself more times than not just feeling just kind of overwhelmed, like, okay, what's the next thing? And not really maybe even greeting them with the way that I would want to be greeted after school or that sort of thing. So I love that your devotional kind of just gets your heart centered. It reminds me of the verse in Ephesians about redeeming the time, right you have this time. how do we redeem it? And so talk us through a little bit about why that pause, what it's been for you? Because the culture we're just running so much I'm running. Right. But why is that pause so important? How can Mamas pivot that to a redemption kind of time?
CARIS: Yeah, I love that there's power in the pause, even as you just sit and you think about even what you just said that was so powerful. But if we had those pauses in the day, and I think there's power in it, because the world tells us right now that if we're not going, going, and doing, doing, then we are failing, failing, failing. Right. And over and over, in God's Word, he tells us to be still and to know that he is God. Now, I just got to tell you, it's hard for me to be still and to pause.
SARAH: I just want to note that I'm still right now. This is amazing.
CARIS: Yes, I know. I say this, and I say this very carefully. We should all over ourselves. We have that should bully that keeps us from pausing. And I tell my friends, jokingly even to myself, we got to stop shoulding on ourselves. And I overpronounce that word to make sure that everybody understands that there is no should from God. Of, you should be constantly going, constantly moving, constantly doing all the things. When we do that, we put ourselves in burnout mode. We put ourselves into this mode of the stress and the worry and the anxiety. It's not what God intended. And so I think that to get to this pause, to find those places, we need margin in our know. If you were to read a book, if you've picked up Carline mom or you have another know maybe sitting beside you, there's margin in there. The words do not fill the know from right to left, top to bottom, because it gives your brain time to process what it's reading, to process what you're really going through. And so when you have a pause in your life, it allows you to process and to see God's goodness, to see God's faithfulness, even if you are going through a struggle. When we pause, we can see Him there. We can see, oh, I'm not alone. I'm not alone with my child. Maybe they're struggling with a bully, and you don't know what to do, or you're going through a financial difficulty. When you pause in the presence of God, you realize, he is with me. He's got me, and he's going to get me through. I don't know all the answers, but I know I can trust Him. So I think that helps us in the pause. And I think for us, as moms, we have got to give ourselves permission to say, no, you do not have to do all the things. God is not asking you to do all the good things. There are so many good things out there for us to do. We just need to focus on the God things that he has for us. So if it's this year, you're not the classroom. mom, that's okay. You haven't failed your kids. You've not let them down. If it's this year that you're not in charge of all the committees or you're not doing things maybe like you did a year ago, it doesn't mean you're less than of a mom. Just means that this is a new season, this is a new way of doing things. So take those pauses, take those moments to just breathe or to just spend that time with your friends or to just relax and rest. And I think as we begin to do that, that is where we can begin to revive ourselves, to redeem the time. I love that you said that, Sarah. We redeem that time when we take those moments and we just let the power of the pause kind of fill in those parts of our schedule that we need it to fill in.
BECKY: Yeah, I love that so much. And I think for a lot of moms, what I'm hearing, and what probably both of you are hearing, too, is I talk to so many moms and they're telling me, I'm so overwhelmed. I'm just so overwhelmed. So then oftentimes they get to the car line and they are overwhelmed or they're exhausted. my daughter actually fell asleep in the car line one time and then the lady knocked on her window to get her to keep going. It's too much of a pause.
CARIS: Greatest fear? That is one of my greatest fears, yes.
BECKY: Which, that's awesome, you need to rest there. But I think sometimes when we're overwhelmed, we, want to anesthesize that feeling and we end up distracting ourselves from God, right? We maybe go to our the classic one is obviously our phones. You're exhausted when you get to the car line, so you're like, all right, I'm just going to check Instagram quickly in this car line. And you end up scrolling for 45 minutes or Facebook or, TikTok or whatever, or you're reading the news. And I think there's so much that pulls us away from that ache, but that ache is there from God to know Him more. And a lot of times we're distracted from the presence of God, not only by our overwhelmed feelings because of our schedule, but because we're going maybe to the wrong things.
One out of three moms feel overwhelmed five days out of the week
BECKY: So what advice would you give the mom who is just completely overwhelmed? And maybe she has every right to be. Maybe she's got twins or she's got children with special needs, or she's got just too many doctors appointments for everybody or whatever. What advice would you give her about really experiencing the presence of, you know.
CARIS: I was looking at there was a survey that said one out of three moms feel stressed or overwhelmed five days out of the week. And I shared that with a, mom's Bible study in New York. And they laughed and they were like, well, what about the other two mean, it's really probably seven. So you're are we are stressed and overwhelmed. And when we feel that, we tend to want to run from it and avoid it. And when we stop rolling, we start scrolling on our phone to distract ourselves, to numb the pain that we are dealing with, that we are experiencing. And many are dealing with some pain right now. And it's messy to deal with pain. It's hard to deal with pain. you really got to just dig through those layers. And what I would encourage moms to do is to, stop avoiding it. And I say that with as much gentleness as I can because I can remember when I was in those moments of just anxiety and depression, thinking that I was hopeless useless and worthless as a mom. Instead of running to God with that pain, I ran from m Him because I felt so ashamed and so unworthy, thinking, how could I take that to Him? But he would remind me over and over, come to me. I want it all. I want your birth. You don't have to clean yourself up. There's no organic cleaner that can clean us up and get us what we need to be the way that he can. So he's not asking you to clean yourself up before you come to Him. He's asking you to bring all the mess, all the worry, all the hurt and the pain in that moment. And I know that that goes against everything your brain and your flesh tells you to do. But when you do that, that's where God begins to come in and he begins to heal and restore and help us to see ourselves the way that he does. So when you stop in the car line, for example, and you feel like you need to pick up your phone to avoid the day, my encouragement or something that you might could try would be to just pause in. That moment and to pray or to grab a journal and write down what are the thoughts that I'm having, what is the stress that I'm feeling right now. To kind of relieve that off of your body, to get rid of it. That's how casting our cares or taking those thoughts captive. So by doing that, you're releasing it, you're letting it go. And by the time your kids get in the car, that's going to give you that room to kind of breathe and to ask them, how was your day today? Tell me about some things, that you did. So I think in changing how we respond to the pain, in changing what we do when we are in our car, just in those little things, we begin to see a shift and we begin to see our hearts pulling towards God in the way that he really wants to spend time with us in those moments.
BECKY: Yeah, I really love that. I think if we could train our brains in those moments when we feel really overwhelmed. Okay, feel the ache. This is an invitation for me to connect with God. And as I connect with God, he's going to quiet that angst, that feel.
CARIS: yeah, I think you're right. I think back to Jesus in the garden of Know. He was there with his disciples and he knows what's coming. He's about to know Judas is going to betray him and he's going to go and he's going to die on the cross. And in that moment, he tells his disciples that he felt overwhelmed to the point of death. And he did not run from his Father, he ran to his Father and he prayed and he met with the Lord and the Lord strengthened him, in that moment of overwhelmed, to continue to walk the journey that was set before him. So I think Jesus even gives us that example of not running from the overwhelm, but acknowledging it and responding to our Heavenly Father in those moments.
SARAH: So good. So we know that we're created for connection with God, and that's a big deal to us at the Connected Mom podcast. But we also know how important it is to connect with fellow moms. Right. And so in your experience, Karis, with all that we've talked about, what's another way that you've seen fellow moms support each other?
SARAH: How has a fellow mom come beside you at those times? Just want to encourage each other. That community is also super important in this journey. This car line journey.
CARIS: This car line journey, man. This journey that we're on for many years.
For many of us as women, the enemy has given us this lie
CARIS: Right. The Lord led me to the verse Galatians six two, that we are to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. And for many of us as women, the enemy has given us this lie that we're not supposed to need help. That, asking for help is, a bad thing or a sign of weakness. So we try to wear that mask that we don't need it. And, I remember a moment with a friend of mine. Our oldest daughters at that time were Toddlers, and they were playing, they had a playdate together. She asked me to come over and she asked me how I was doing. And I wanted to say I'm, good, I'm fine. We tried to deflect and avoid back to that. And I remember telling her, you know what, I'm struggling. I've been having a hard day. I've been dealing with some anxiety and depression. And y'all, with tears in her eyes, she looked at me and she said, you too. I was like, yes, me too. And she started to cry. And she said, I'm so glad you don't have it all together. And I started to cry too. And I said, Me too. I'm so glad that you don't have it all together. And we just kind of connected in the midst of that struggle. And we were able to encourage each other, we were able to love on one another. And so I think for us, as moms, god has created us to be, women and warriors together, to battle through together what we are dealing with as moms, what our children are facing right now, it is hard. I cannot imagine being a teenager right now, or a tween or a kid. And so we, as moms, you don't have to buy into that lie anymore, that you have to do it all alone. No, you were not meant to do it alone. You were meant to have the community, to have those moments, to have coffee together, to do the Bible studies together, to walk in the mornings together. Or if it's kind of chaos around your home and things feel like it's falling apart, call up that prayer partner of yours and say, hey, can you meet me real quick? I just need to have a face to face moment or prayer together. And when we do that with each other, we are strengthening each other up. it's kind of know her and Aaron for Moses, when they came and they were his arm know where he had to hold his arms up. For Joshua when he was in that battle, and they came and they were the arm bearers, they were the load bearers. And so we need load bearers in our life. And women, we get each other, we understand, and we will fight for one another, won't we? When we realize, hey, I can take my guard down and we're for each other, we're not against each other, I'll bear your load, I'll hold your arms up because this is what I know. When I need a load bearer and I need arm bearers, you're going to be there for me. And so that is a powerful thing. And the enemy does not want us to get that a part of us, because when we do, we are powerful, we are strong together. And God has equipped us with all these gifts and talents, and then we come together for our children and our teenagers, and then we become these mama bears for them, and we stand in the gap and fight for them. And the enemy does not want to mess with us. He doesn't want to mess with us on a Monday in the car line, but he definitely does not want to mess with us when we come together united. So we need community. And if you're the one, the first one that starts it and asks for help, I truly believe we're going to see a trickling effect from that as we bear each other's burdens.
Becky: Karis, this has been so good. I have loved this so much
BECKY: This has been so good, Karis, and we are right at the brink of a new school year for you. So y'all are going to be facing the car line this week, next week, for the next few months, right? What if you looked at. That car line time. As you know what? I'm going to take a few moments and connect with Jesus in that car line. I am going to keep Karis's devotional in my glove compartment so I can pull it out and read something from the word of God. Her devotional is really short and easy to do. There's a verse, a devotional thought, something to think about in a prayer, and you can do it. And what if you set aside that car line time and you decided to make it sacred time, time where you could connect with God. Karis, this has been so good. We're out of time, but I would love for you to tell our audience where they can connect with you because I know they're going to want to connect with you.
CARIS: I have loved this so much. I love just being a part of this with you all. I feel like I could talk with you and be best friends with you, Becky and Sarah forever. Thank you.
BECKY: Yeah, we love you, too.
CARIS: Yes, with your mom. And I love connecting with other women, with other mamas because we are on this journey together, trying to get everybody everywhere they need to go. Okay, so, you can connect with me on social media at Karasneider, which is my name, carissnider. you can find me on my website, which is my name firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you go to Carlinemom.com, you can find out lots of information about the, know and just see where you can buy know different encouraging things that come from it. But like you said, Becky, this truly is just those quick moments of encouragement to read the word, to maybe have some belly filled laughter of, okay, she gets it as a mom. And then to have that one action step, what is that one thing that I can do today? To continue to just draw near to the Lord, to let Him encourage my heart to love on me and when the opportunity comes to share that love and encouragement with other mamas around us.
BECKY: That is so great.
Connected Mom thanks Karis for sharing this devotional with us
BECKY: Hey, let me close us out in prayer. Ladies and Lord Jesus, we just thank you for Karis. We thank you for this amazing devotional that she's written and I pray that Moms would order it today and that they would take it with them into the car line, Lord, and that they would begin to realize that even the car line time can be sacred time when it's spent with you. Thank you for your presence today and for the way that you lead and guide us in Jesus name, amen. Hey friends, thank you for joining us today on the Connected Mom podcast and we hope that your going to join us next week for another episode where we're going to help you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms, and more intentionally with your child. Thanks again and we'll see you next week.