The Connected Mom

Motherhood is a journey filled with ups an downs…so how can we keep the journey fun? Join Becky and Sarah as they talk with Victoria Lydon about how she kept FUN in her family...despite single parenting, homeschooling, and living on a tight budget. She is the perfect example of making the best of your situation with God's help...and making sure that it includes fun!

Victoria Lyon is a Christian Author, Certified Christian Life Coach, Host of the Choose 2 Think Inspirational Podcast, Entrepreneur, Director & Educator at Choose 2 Think Academy, Speaker & University Instructor with nearly 30 years of teaching & advising experience, Victoria's mission is to coach women how to live their best thought life in the four main areas of life:
  • health
  • wealth and purpose
  • relationships
  • faith
Over the years, she's  blogged, written Bible studies, taught Sunday School, led small women's groups, and authored two books. She currently writes devotionals for Guideposts Strength & Grace magazine and released her own 365-day devotional and the companion journal called Choose 2 Think: Find Peace, Joy, Hope, Health & Freedom Every Day.  She geeks out on neuroscience and your brain's neuroplasticity - a frequent topic on the Choose 2 Think podcast. Her passions are God, family, baking, playing pickleball with her husband Jim, and traveling.

Creators & Guests

Becky Harling
Author of How to Listen So Your Kids Will talk and several others. Podcast host of The Connected Mom. A dynamic speaker who is passionate about Jesus.
Choose 2 Think™ Inspirational Podcast
† Choose 2 Think™ Podcast Host† Certified Life Coach† Author† Educator 30+yrs† Gratitude Giver† God Lover & Joy Finder† Fun Nana

What is The Connected Mom?

Form a deeper connection with God, more empathic connection with other Moms, and more intentional connection with your child.

Becky Harling (00:02.013)
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. Hey, Sarah.

Sarah (00:24.79)
Hey, Becky, it's so good to be here. So I think that it's pretty obvious to say that motherhood

ups and downs, right? And sometimes those can consume us so much that fun doesn't always measure into that journey. So I hope that we're going to get a little help with that today.

Becky Harling (00:34.92)

Becky Harling (00:45.873)
Yeah, we are actually. You know, I was thinking about that this week, Sarah, because I think, you know, in motherhood, those of us, especially who are faith-filled moms, we really want our kids to walk with Jesus and we can get so serious about all the things. But God wants us to have fun in our journey of motherhood. And that's what we're going to talk about today. Our guest today is an author, a certified Christian life coach, the host of

Sarah (01:04.959)

Becky Harling (01:15.245)
Think Inspirational Podcast. She's an entrepreneur. She's the director and educator at Choose to Think Academy. Her name is Victoria Lyons and she has through the years blogged, written Bible studies, taught Sunday school, led women's groups, all the things. She's authored two books. She currently writes devotionals for Guideposts, Strength and Grace Magazine.

And she just has released her own 365 day devotional and companion journal called Choose to Think. Find peace, joy, hope, health, and freedom every day. And today we're just excited to have her with us to talk about fun in the motherhood journey. Now, Victoria, welcome for starters.

Victoria Lydon (02:09.422)
Oh, thank you so much. It's just a delight to be here.

Becky Harling (02:13.109)
And you know, before we get into the whole element of fun, I wanna hear a little bit about your faith journey. And I know that you were a single mom. I wanna hear about that too. What's the story behind that before we get into the fun part?

Victoria Lydon (02:29.677)
Okay, well my faith journey, gosh, you know, I'm, I feel like I'm so old now. I'm getting old. I'm a Nana and I'm just loving life right now. But truly I didn't come to know the Lord until I was in my thirties. And it was through actually through a divorce and a break in my marriage. And so it's very bittersweet and memory for me as far as all that goes. But the flip of that is that.

Becky Harling (02:49.194)

Victoria Lydon (02:57.149)
You know, God will allow a lot of icky things to come into our lives. But if we kind of just hold on to him or get to know him as I did at that point, then he can really make those make beauty into ashes. So that's kind of the end and be all of that actually how I came to know the Lord. And I absolutely fell head over heels in love with him and totally he changed my life. I mean, it was a complete 180.

I was already homeschooling at the time. I home educated my four children for, gosh, about 20 years total. All four of them start to finish. And now they're all married, and I have four grandbabies. So it's a real blessing. They all live very close. And the single life, you know, I have such a tender heart for single moms because I was single for about 19 years, almost.

Becky Harling (03:49.674)

Victoria Lydon (03:54.329)
all of that time of home educating. And it was really, it's, you know, that throws in another little element to just being single and then taking on home education. But the Lord was such a, he was the anchor, truly. I couldn't say, you know, that maybe that sounds cliched, but he was such a, so evident in my life the way he cared for me and the way he cared for my children.

Becky Harling (04:12.205)

Victoria Lydon (04:23.405)
all those years as I raised them. So I don't know if that's kind of a short answer or if that... Yeah.

Becky Harling (04:30.472)
Hmm. That's great.

Sarah (04:32.213)
Absolutely. Okay, so, I mean, my goodness, trophy to you for raising four on your own with the Lord's help, obviously.

and home educating them. Now, how did you prioritize fun and enjoyment in your family life as a single mom? If you can kind of think back to that time, we know we have listeners that are in that season. So what kind of things did you do to bring fun in?

Becky Harling (04:42.014)
No kidding.

Becky Harling (04:54.517)

Victoria Lydon (04:58.321)
You know, it was a little challenging being their parent, their mom, and their educator, their teacher. So I was around them all the time, right? Virtually. Now, we did home educating, educational co-ops. We did a lot of that. So they were mixed with other kids along the way. We did like a weekly co-op and then maybe we even met with other families about particular subjects. Like maybe we would do a history series or something like that. But...

Sarah (05:05.72)

Becky Harling (05:09.165)

Victoria Lydon (05:29.025)
I hit this point, I want to tell you all this story, because this was really the turning point for me when I realized I really need to be intentional, not just about having fun, although that's such a good segue into the hearts of our children, but I needed to really make sure that what we were doing every day, the priority there,

Becky Harling (05:36.333)

Victoria Lydon (05:57.373)
needed to be relational. It couldn't just be writing a syllabus. You know, I'm a college educator. I've been teaching on the university campuses for 30 years now. And of course I write syllabi, right? And so for all my kids, I would write, I would give them a syllabus every year at the start of the school year for all their subjects, all four of them. And this is my turning point. I have a little visual here to show you.

Becky Harling (05:59.902)

Becky Harling (06:09.473)

Sarah (06:12.633)

Becky Harling (06:18.509)
Mm-hmm. Wow.

Victoria Lydon (06:26.489)
I kept it intentionally because I broke down in tears when I saw this. And you can just see maybe a little part of it. See all the check marks there? That is my son Williams syllabus, a part of it, one of the pages on his syllabus. And it's got, you know, it started August 13th. This must have been at the beginning of the school. And by August 22nd, I mean, he was still ticking everything off. And he was out playing with his brothers, probably. I don't know where all the kids were, but I had walked into his room.

Becky Harling (06:34.429)

Victoria Lydon (06:55.365)
and I saw his syllabus with all these check marks. And I felt so convicted for lack of better word. I was doing my very best as a mom and as trying to teach them these subjects and taking that on. It was very important to me that they had a biblical upbringing as far as just in our home, but also educationally. And, but.

finances were a little tricky. So that's one of the reasons we home educated because it was more cost effective to do that. But when I saw those check marks, I thought, oh my gosh, we're getting everything done. We are doing everything. We're checking the, you know, dotting the I's, crossing the T's, everything's getting done. But where am I with my child in all of this? How am I connected to him?

Becky Harling (07:52.288)

Victoria Lydon (07:52.749)
and to his heart. And so it was kind of a pivotal moment for me realizing that this home educating, it's important, but it's not the most important thing. Their education, yes, it's vital, but it's not as important as that relationship that I build with them along the way. So talking to a mentor,

you know, she and I rolled this over and we developed kind of a plan to get a little bit more fun and more relational activities with my kids instead of all chop chop. You know, I'm the mom, I'm the teacher, and it was chop chop. So that kind of made me re-prioritize things and begin to look for real ways to have fun instead of just get everything done.

Becky Harling (08:28.638)
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Becky Harling (08:42.705)
I love that you shared that story, Victoria, because I think a lot of times as moms, we forget how important that deep connection is. Because if you lose that deep connection with your child, you know, then there's, because of that disconnect, there's a disconnect in their faith and in the relationship and the whole thing. And so we've, we've got to do everything we can as moms.

to really connect with our kids. So how can fun really help us do that?

Victoria Lydon (09:13.385)
Well, it's laughter. It's, you know, all bets are off. You're just enjoying each other's company. You're very present in the moment when you're adding a little bit of fun into things. You're not consumed with a gazillion other things because your mind is focused on these kids in front of me, maybe some of their friends, and by golly, we're just gonna go out and have fun. It's kinda like when I play pickleball nowadays.

Becky Harling (09:24.107)

Victoria Lydon (09:42.761)
When I play pickleball, I am not thinking about all the cares of this world that I'm supposed to cast on the Lord anyway. My mind is captivated by the task at hand. So if you look at it and you develop a framework of fun in your home, then you're going to be engaged to the point where it's relaxing, there's relief there, and you're really just focused on these.

Becky Harling (09:47.249)
Yes. Yeah.

Victoria Lydon (10:09.177)
little grimy boys and your daughter who's doing whatever and the smiles and the laughter and the silliness. I try to even do that with my grandchildren now. They call me the fun Nana and I love it. I can't think of a better title because they're like, you're so silly Nana, you're so fun. I want them to remember me being joyful because the Lord, yes, He offers that to us.

Becky Harling (10:20.998)
Yeah, I love that.

Victoria Lydon (10:36.549)
a joy about our presence, about ourselves, and to incorporate that into our lives in authentic ways is to me is just critically important. I can share particular activities if you want, but go ahead.

Becky Harling (10:40.065)

Becky Harling (10:49.441)
Yeah. Yeah, that's what I was going to ask you. Can you give us a couple of examples of what you did to bring fun in the middle of that homeschooling family you raised? Yes.

Sarah (10:52.601)

Victoria Lydon (11:00.337)
The whole thing, that's right. Okay, so money was always kind of a challenge anyway, because finances and just everything that we were trying to do. And I will say that my children's father was extremely supportive of homeschooling, which helped a lot and financially as well. However, things were still kind of tight. So I had to get kind of clever and Lord, what can we do here to have fun, to make it meaningful and just be a little kind of.

Becky Harling (11:06.378)

Victoria Lydon (11:28.265)
out of the box. So I don't know where I got this idea, but years ago, right when we started homeschooling, we, right before school started, like in August, we would have a hot dog fight and we would get packages of raw hot dogs, which were very cheap, right? I mean, I could get a bunch of them.

for under 10 bucks then, just the cheapest ones, not the really so-called good ones now, but just the cheap hot dogs. And we would go out into a big field. I lived by, I'm in Kentucky, so we have big open fields and pastures and horses, and we would go into a field, and we had rules and regulations. Everyone got a pack, and they were raw hot dogs, and we would literally just throw them at each other.

And we did that for years and years. We only did it once a year. And it was, they talk about it to this day. I mean, my kids now, my oldest is 32, I think she is. But we still talk about, oh yeah, the hot dog fights. And it grew so much that then they wanted to invite their friends. We had other homeschoolers, neighborhood kids. I didn't care who came, but I wanted to be the fun house. And that was one way that I...

Becky Harling (12:27.029)

Becky Harling (12:48.076)

Victoria Lydon (12:50.013)
I kind of tried to protect my kids. I wasn't very fond of sleepovers and, you know, just, but if they came into our home, I kind of had a teeny bit more control there. And so I always let the children come to the house, anybody in the neighborhood who wanted to come to the house. So that was one thing. And tying into that was we have Friday Family Fun Night, and we've been doing that for 30 years. We still do that.

Becky Harling (12:54.66)

Becky Harling (13:15.73)

Victoria Lydon (13:19.941)
my adult children and their grands come to my home, our home, every Friday night for board games. I feed them. And this even went on through their college years. Sometimes I would feed over 20 people and I would even go to Kroger, our store, or Walmart and I would be like, Lord, this is so, it's, you know, it's your money.

Becky Harling (13:24.578)

Victoria Lydon (13:41.461)
And these are your people and if I open the door, they're gonna come because they want college kids. What would they give for a homemade meal? And so somehow by God's good grace and provision, he allowed me to cook for them every Friday. And I lived at that time being single in this teeny, teeny little home. How all these people got in there and how we ate and how we...

Becky Harling (13:49.259)

Sarah (13:49.656)

Victoria Lydon (14:09.937)
You know, I had chore cards, so afterwards they would all pick one and like someone had to wash the big dishes, someone had to give everyone the drinks, someone had to bless someone, someone had to give me a compliment. I mean, silly things, but just anything to keep them involved in that night. And that way I wasn't then cleaning up afterwards. And so it was just those are such fond memories. Another thing that we did, which is kind of.

Becky Harling (14:23.469)
Mm-hmm. I love that.

Victoria Lydon (14:37.689)
I don't know what some people might think about this, but this is just, I'm just gonna tell you what we did. We called it drive-by wavings, like waving, and we would go out late, because kids, especially teenagers, they wanna be out late, but my kids, I mean, I never had curfews or anything for them because I knew where they were. They were with, we did Bible quiz in church, and so they were always with other families that I knew as far as that went.

Becky Harling (15:00.493)

Victoria Lydon (15:06.141)
We all were very well networked and connected as moms. So we were involved in everything that was going on, but we would go out late, like after Friday Family Fun Night, and just, I would pile everyone in a van. I had a minivan, and we would go in little town of Frankfort, which is the capital of Kentucky, but it's a real teeny town, or even Lexington, a little bit bigger. And we would just go to parking lots and just start waving at people, open the windows.

Becky Harling (15:09.63)

Victoria Lydon (15:35.569)
Like we like, hey, and I mean, it's so silly. And sometimes they were like, oh mom, you know, but it was a little bit of excitement and adventure that was, we just laughed our heads off the whole time and just, and it didn't cost a thing except the gas and my time. And that was it. So those are a few things. Another thing that I did, I have another visual, is this is what we call,

Becky Harling (15:36.745)
I love it.

Becky Harling (15:55.575)

Victoria Lydon (16:04.729)
our mana jar and it is filled with there's a lot of coins in there but I was looking at it this morning because I hadn't peeked inside of it for a while but it there's probably I don't know $300 in there let's say and this has been filled with money for well again decades and my kids always knew that there was a mana jar so it was also a little bit of a scriptural lesson that God will

Becky Harling (16:06.828)
Uh huh.

Becky Harling (16:32.793)

Victoria Lydon (16:33.693)
But the only thing we could use this money for was for anything relational. It had to be something together. We, if someone needed new sneakers or, you know, had a book fee, no, that was off limits, but it could, it was only to be used for special things like bowling.

Becky Harling (16:41.271)
Mm, I love that.

Victoria Lydon (16:53.489)
So maybe after Friday family, after we'd eaten or whatever, we would go bowling and we would use money from the manager. We would go see a movie occasionally at the theaters and we would use the money from the manager. And I know that, you know, it's never empty. It's never once been empty. Now, of course I will throw money in there, like I'll get birthday money or whatever, and I just throw it in the manager, but it's such a symbol to them.

Becky Harling (16:53.853)
Mm, mm.

Victoria Lydon (17:20.985)
It also was an emergency jar though, in case, you know, they needed something. And I have a feeling my grown kids have stashed money back into this manager as well. When they got married, when each of my children got married, we, you know, those old blue jars, like those antique blue jars that you see, well, my grandmother had some of those that she passed on. So we, I took one of those jars.

Becky Harling (17:30.832)

Becky Harling (17:37.673)

Victoria Lydon (17:46.837)
and we deemed it, I had four of them, and we deemed it their mana jars. And so on their wedding day, well, for each of them, we had it sitting out with a little story about the mana jar, and so people just threw money in there, like a few bucks. So each of my kids now has a mana jar to kind of continue that tradition. And then I guess just thematically allowing for adventure of some sort.

Becky Harling (17:59.821)

Becky Harling (18:05.353)

Becky Harling (18:08.446)
I love that.

Becky Harling (18:15.201)

Victoria Lydon (18:16.165)
Especially, you know, I raised these three boys and they were they were tough as nails. I mean my goodness They wanted to play tackle football. They weren't happy with anything less than that. They were I even told them Don't come to me unless there's blood. I don't even want to I can't solve your arguments you guys can figure this out and they did and they're so close even to this day my kids are Very close, especially those brothers. They are just

Sarah (18:24.021)
I'm going to go ahead and turn it over to you. So, I'm going to turn it over to you.

Becky Harling (18:32.013)

Victoria Lydon (18:46.737)
They talk and still see each other every week. But I allowed them to get messy. That's one thing that if you like a clean home, and I really do like a clean home, almost to a fault. It's almost like this that I showed you. That's the kind of mom I was like, okay, take your shoes off, blah, you know, which is fine. I understand that because our homes are our sanctuaries. We want the orderliness and the...

Becky Harling (18:50.715)

Becky Harling (19:01.996)

Victoria Lydon (19:12.817)
you know, we desire that because it's pleasant and it's not like overwhelming when we're in there. But there's a time when we just have to say none of that really, really matters. Just recently, even I was talking to my husband about the steps, going up and down the steps, and I was having this meltdown moment because the steps were dirty, the stairs were dirty, and I needed to vacuum them and I hadn't vacuumed them, and I'm like, I need to vacuum those stairs. He's like, Victoria.

Becky Harling (19:35.573)

Sarah (19:40.559)
I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this.

Victoria Lydon (19:42.621)
Victoria, is that really, really the most important thing right now? You know, just a gentle reminder that that'll get done. It's just the stairs, you know, so applying that to having kids and having fun, let them get dirty. I, you know, on that minivan, we, there was a, their dad lived on a farm and I let the boys get on top of the minivan. You may have to cut this. I don't know, but just when I'm going like,

Like I'm talking like two miles an hour. Like I'm barely going, right? But the van is moving. And so I let them all get on the top and jump off like they were these movie stars or something. They're just jumping into a field like a little embankment, grass cup. But they loved it. Yes. They're like, well, ha ha. And you know, jumping off and who can jump the farthest off? And I don't know what their imaginations, what they were, how that impacted them, but just.

Sarah (20:25.344)
It's a boy's dream.

Becky Harling (20:27.069)
Yes, every boy's dream, sure!


Victoria Lydon (20:39.669)
How long did that take to do that? 10 minutes, but the impact on them was gargantuan. It was something that was just a little edgy, a little adventurous, a little different. It cost nothing, but it made memories. They say that you can do something once with a kid and you'll remember it. Do it twice and the kid will think you've done it.

Becky Harling (20:44.063)

Victoria Lydon (21:09.261)
that he did it his whole life. So even just repeating some of these things once or twice is like giving them a gift of a memory, even though maybe you didn't do it. You only did it a few times, but it's still so impactful and so meaningful. And I don't want anyone to think, oh, we were just all fun and games. No, I had struggles just like any other mom. I mean, we had tears, we had arguments, we had, you know, I was scared.

Sarah (21:11.097)

Becky Harling (21:11.405)

Becky Harling (21:23.934)

Becky Harling (21:33.933)

Victoria Lydon (21:37.877)
crappy trying to discipline and Lord help me and spirit fill me and so

Becky Harling (21:43.873)
So that's a good intro into the next question then, Victoria. How did you balance the responsibilities of motherhood with all the fun things? I mean, I can relate to you in the fun sense because we did a lot of fun things as a family too, but you still have those responsibilities as a mom. How did you find the balance to that?

Victoria Lydon (22:08.485)
I think that, you know, I need it to be flexible. I think flexibility is extremely important and really asking yourself if you kind of come into a tricky moment of maybe gosh, you know, this needs to be done, but you know, it's all about this or it becomes a little kind of out of.

Becky Harling (22:16.385)

Victoria Lydon (22:36.473)
out of balance, much like the checklist, then maybe just step back and take a deep breath and say, wow, what is really most important now? What is something that's going to feed my child's spirit? I began taking them out to lunch each one day a week, one kid a week, and we would just go to McDonald's and

Becky Harling (22:47.748)

Becky Harling (22:58.047)

Victoria Lydon (23:01.005)
it was a little way to feed into that one kid's heart because when you have many kids, then they're all vying for attention and just to stay connected and get that one-on-one time. But it was when I, I think that I always knew, Becky, that when I began to feel kind of overwhelmed and like nothing was going right or I can't do my life or I can't do this or.

This is too hard. It's too difficult. It's like, Lord, I just I quit like that scripture. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I had it hanging in my kitchen and there was a moment where I just wanted to take it's a little ceramic thing. I just wanted to take it off the off the wall and throw it on the floor because I felt like that wasn't true. Of course, I was striving in on my own. I didn't realize that but I was so.

you know, trying to do all these things right and do a gazillion things in addition to being the mom, being the teacher, working. I had to work also and then have this home. And then there's my extended family, right? My parents, my sibling, you know. So we, as women, as moms, we just juggle so much. And I think what helped me keep the balance or maybe into more of an, I don't know about balance, but maybe aligned with my values was

Becky Harling (23:58.89)

Becky Harling (24:02.989)

Victoria Lydon (24:24.137)
to just say, you know, Lord help me to know where I need to spend my energy today. And if you have Lord, a divine interruption from me, help me to accept that and be willing to go in that new direction instead of, you know, just resisting because, oh, I've got to do this, Lord, you lead my day. It was that constant and it's, I still have to.

Becky Harling (24:32.623)

Becky Harling (24:43.148)

Victoria Lydon (24:53.013)
kind of coach myself in that way and encourage my heart in that way that Lord, you know, because I've got a to-do list, a get to-do list, right? For each day, I'm sure both you ladies do too. And because we're, you know, maybe that's our personality, but there are days when that list doesn't get done and that has to be okay. I can't be so bound to the list that I'm missing opportunities that God has for me to bless someone else.

Becky Harling (25:04.258)

Victoria Lydon (25:22.677)
to be blessed, to maybe learn something. So some of it, I think, is I've learned that it's just surrendering my day completely to the Lord, come what may, and sometimes it's very hard, but that's kind of what I try to do.

Becky Harling (25:27.692)

Becky Harling (25:36.783)

Sarah (25:38.961)
Yeah. So thinking back to Vanessa, Victoria, I'm sorry, another pretty V. I was like, that's not Vanessa. So, you know, we talk a lot about, I feel like there's more talk about self care and

Becky Harling (25:40.129)

Victoria Lydon (25:46.749)
That's okay. That's okay.

Sarah (25:58.302)
I imagine you were doing some things even before they were called self-care back then that did enable you to do all these things, be fun, be working, being the educator, all those things. So, yeah, were there a few things that helped you care for yourself and maybe even some support systems that were outside that really helped your family thrive?

Victoria Lydon (26:19.261)
Yes, Sarah, that's a great question. And I'm gonna say, first of all, church and my friendships there, the programs there, the connections that I had there, doing Teen Bible Quiz along the way, we're traveling the nation often, that my kids were quizzing and they were going with family. So it was very tight in that way and we were very well connected. And that was a tremendous...

Becky Harling (26:21.677)

Becky Harling (26:25.182)

Becky Harling (26:33.43)

Becky Harling (26:44.705)

Victoria Lydon (26:48.645)
sense of support that was a good solid support system. And I would say also right up there with that was having a mentor. To this day my dearest friend is my mentor, Jeannie is her name. And the value and the life that she poured into my heart and into my soul over all these years, the truth.

Becky Harling (26:52.004)

Becky Harling (26:59.18)

Victoria Lydon (27:17.673)
her solid encouragement about what God was doing in my life and in the lives of my family, my children. Once I told her, my family's broken. My family's broken, I feel so guilty and so ashamed for being divorced and for giving that to my children. And she so gently reminded me, she would say things like, I don't want you ever to say your family is broken.

Becky Harling (27:33.869)

Victoria Lydon (27:46.013)
don't use that word because it talk about an energy zapper right that just kind of drains the life right out of everything that I had hoped my family would be and she just simple things like that over the years that she's so encouraged me by you know she is the one really I dipped into a depression back in 2016 and 2017 and she's the one who challenged me to learn what it meant to take my thoughts captive.

Becky Harling (28:02.142)

Victoria Lydon (28:15.677)
And from that, my ministry was actually born and the, you know, choosing to think, to take every thought captive and bring it under the obedience of Christ. So she was recognizing something in my vocabulary at that time that really didn't line up with God's best for me and his probably even his, we could say his design and purpose. And so that I took her up on that challenge.

Sarah (28:26.515)

Victoria Lydon (28:44.221)
by changing my thoughts and choosing to think differently, making sure that my thoughts lined up with what God said about himself, what he said about me, and what he said about my circumstances suddenly changed my life. And that's the message that I like to share nowadays. But having a mentor was absolutely critical for me. And that's why we women, especially even if she's 10 years older than I am.

Becky Harling (28:58.037)

Becky Harling (29:08.01)

Victoria Lydon (29:14.177)
We need that, we need that, and we're obligated, I think, as Christian women to then pour that back out and to give that back out to younger women. That's one of the reasons I was so delighted to be on your show here today, because what a privilege to be able to encourage that mom who's like, could creep, I'm doing the best I can, or nothing's working here, I'm so worried about my kids, and they're gonna turn out, and they're making these decisions, and this one's going in this direction.

Becky Harling (29:24.081)

Victoria Lydon (29:43.581)
wow, it's a lot to have on your shoulders and just having someone to say, do your best to connect to their hearts along the way as much as you can, to have fun and enjoy them for who they are, let them do the talking and you just listen, even just doing that can make a difference for your kids and stop judging them or grading them.

Becky Harling (30:00.237)

Victoria Lydon (30:11.445)
I had to get my kids grades academically, but it's, so I have that tendency to like on a scale of one to 10, even my husband when I just was married last year and he's like, you're not gonna do this one to 10 thing on me, are you? You know, I'm like, no, don't worry, don't worry. But practically speaking, to answer that question also, every single day we had what we called quiet time. And

Becky Harling (30:23.21)

Becky Harling (30:28.24)

Sarah (30:29.262)
I'm sorry.

Becky Harling (30:37.833)

Victoria Lydon (30:39.233)
Somehow I was able to coordinate that with the nap times of the little babies. And because my first two are just 15 months apart, and then the other two are spaced out two years and then another four years, I lost a little baby in between there. But yes. But so we all took quite a... Put everyone in separate rooms. Everyone had to be in a separate room. So the little... The infant is sleeping, the toddler is over here trying to nap.

Becky Harling (30:54.337)
Hmm, sorry.

Victoria Lydon (31:08.841)
The older two are in their own space and they could read. They didn't have to sleep at some point. You know, they may not be napping, but they just had to play quietly in their space. So while they did that, I actually could just like sit somewhere and breathe. And just sometimes I napped. Sometimes I did made my phone calls that I needed to make. Sometimes I worked. Sometimes I just, I prayed or use that as quiet time.

Becky Harling (31:26.721)

Victoria Lydon (31:38.661)
So I did a lot, I did that every day. Even my kids now have their grands doing quiet time because now they really get it. That little bit of reprieve during the day, like after lunch, was I couldn't wait for quiet time because I knew that the dust would settle and I could breathe. It is, it was very, and then.

Becky Harling (31:45.181)

Becky Harling (31:54.22)

Sarah (31:55.266)
right. Yeah.

Becky Harling (31:57.617)
It's life-giving. Well, Victoria, we are about out of time, but hey, I want you to tell our listeners where they can get in touch with you. If they want more fun ideas from you, how can they find you?

Victoria Lydon (32:16.569)
Well, you can find me on It is dot co. Of course, there's my podcast, which is Choose To Think. And then I have a copy of my book. Here's the 365 devotional that I wrote called Choose To Think right here. And if you're a journaler, you might like the companion journal. It's just the questions, reflection questions that are here. I'm on Instagram.

Becky Harling (32:23.344)

Becky Harling (32:29.673)

Becky Harling (32:35.422)

Victoria Lydon (32:40.889)
YouTube, Choose to Think, Instagram I think is my name, Victoria Lydon. So you can go over there and meet me on Facebook. We have a Choose to Think inspirational podcast community there on Facebook where there's some interaction with some of the listeners to the show as well.

Becky Harling (32:46.651)

Becky Harling (32:59.313)
Well, thank you for being on today. I feel like you gave our listeners some really good practical tips, you know, to really prioritize connecting and to keep that heart connection alive, to bring back the silly and the fun at times, you know, to laugh because the journey of motherhood is long and hard, to practice self-care, you know, whether that's just having a few

Victoria Lydon (33:09.991)

Becky Harling (33:25.517)
quiet moments to yourself throughout the day. You talked a little bit about really connecting in church. And I think that is so important. You know, I want to say to those of you who are listening today, if you're not part of a church community, why don't you make that your goal in the next month to find a church where you can connect and find other moms and do

life together as a journey. You know, God meant for us to live in community. And as we connect with one another, our spiritual journeys grow stronger and our parenting journeys grow stronger. So we want to invite you to connect in your local church. Victoria, thank you so much for being on today with us. I am going to close us in prayer.

Victoria Lydon (33:55.439)

Victoria Lydon (34:03.258)

Victoria Lydon (34:15.369)

Becky Harling (34:15.497)
And then I want to invite you all to join us again next week for another episode of the Connected Mom podcast. Lord Jesus, thank you that you have given us the privilege of being mamas. And Lord, sometimes we take it so seriously that we forget to have fun, but we know that you had fun while you were here on earth. You went to parties, you did all kinds of things. You told jokes.

Victoria Lydon (34:30.164)
Yes Lord.

Becky Harling (34:43.485)
and you told stories with a funny twist. And Lord, we wanna bring fun back into our homes so that our kids grow up with a sense of humor and with a real heart to connect with you. So show us how to do that. Thank you for Victoria, for her life and her ministry. And I pray that you would bless her today as she grandparents these four little ones and has fun with them. In Jesus' name, amen.

Victoria Lydon (35:11.133)

Becky Harling (35:11.221)
Hey friends, thanks for joining us today on the Connected Mom podcast. And we hope you'll join us next week where we'll have another conversation helping you to connect more deeply with God, more empathically with your fellow moms and more intentionally with your child. And hey, if you're enjoying the podcast, would you leave a review and share the podcast with a friend? Thanks again for joining us. See you next time.