Episode 57: Finding (and using!) Your Voice

Your perspective, your experience, your blessings and gifts, and your unique place in this world give you an incredible platform from which to stand and sing the song that only you can. There is no one in the world like you! Leslie and Tesi believe this to be true ... and so does Natalie Grant, a four-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, author, creator of the fashion and jewlery line NG by Natalie Grant, and the co-founder of the nonprofit Hope for Justice. On Episode 57 of the Mama Bear Dares podcast, the three women discuss the power each of us hold within and encourage listeners to discover their strength and use it for ultimate good. While celebrating the publication of Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice: What Every Woman Needs to Live Her God-Given Passions Outloud, the three women explore the ways we each are uniquely created to summon ultimate love to pour onto others. Though there are times that you feel small and powerless, the women have a strong message for you: Not only do you matter, but you are a crucial piece in the puzzle of life.

Other topics discussed:

  • The world needs YOUR unique voice. So many living and breathing souls today do not have a voice. They are marginalized and we must lend them ours.
  • Being vulnerable both requires and breeds courage.
  • The things you DO are not the things that define you. Who you are is more than the activity or output of your day. Sometimes we need to silence the unhealthy lies that we get wrapped up in and call out the truth of who we are as individuals.
  • The beauty of being used in the everyday and hearing God's call, even in the most mundane moments.

LINKS:

Order Natalie's new book, Finding Your Voice, HERE.

Natalie is online! Learn more about her, her mission, and her music here:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Check out Natalie's jewelry line (and other fashion) HERE.

Interested in learning more about Natalie's work with Hope for Justice? Check out HERE.


Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 55: Motherhood Abroad with Tarin Tesfaye

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to parent in a developing nation? Do you ever like to peer through the window of other worlds and observe how parenting plays out? On Episode 55, co-host Leslie grabs the mic in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and sits down with Tarin Tesfaye, an American woman living and mothering in a culture very different from the one we experience here in the United States. Listen in as she shares what it’s like to live in a mud hut on her in-law's family compound, the challenges and joys she finds in her everyday life with her husband and son, and her pulse on the world refugee crisis as an employee of ZOA, an NGO that focuses on helping internally displaced people, host populations, returnees, and a large population of refugees who fled a lethal combination of violence and drought in Somalia, conflict in South Sudan, and human rights violations in Eritrea.

Other points discussed:

  • Practicalities of mothering in a developing country (ex. laundry!)
  • Slowed-down lifestyle: Frazzled nature of American culture vs. life in Ethiopia
  • Refugee care (South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea)
  • Encouraging the Other Self

LINKS:

Want to learn more about the refugee experience? Tarin recommends the following links:

Read Refugee Stories HERE | Stories from Eritrea and Somalia can be found HERE

Tarin works here: ZOA Ethiopia

Check out these books that focus on motherhood abroad or in worlds different than your own. Leslie has read and enjoyed them all:

Bringing up Bebe | The Battle Hymn of A Tiger Mom | Primates of Park Avenue | How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between)

Heading to Ethiopia? We highly recommend the Well Spring Guesthouse!

Mama Bears, we'd love to know what you think! Join the conversation online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Episode 51: Give Your Child the World with Jamie C. Martin

On this episode of Mama Bear Dares, Tesi and Leslie talk to Jamie C. Martin, a mother, an avid reader, a homeschooler, a world traveler, and a witness to the terrible tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Jamie has written a book that the sister-hosts absolutely love and think you will, too! The women discuss Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time and the ways in which we can help our children develop empathy and compassion through literature and story. After a conversation that covers topics ranging from the gift of public libraries to dealing with tragedy alongside children to the dynamic appeal of list-making to the beauty of our enormous world, the women leave listeners with a DARE that encourages listeners to think about their own story and the stories of others, using the collective narratives to give children the gift of uplifting, beautiful, redemptive tales as a shield from the world's cynicism and a springboard to a life of love and compassion.

Other points discussed:

  • Our shared love of books!
  • Homeschooling and intentional education
  • The power of STORY
  • Parenting through tragedy
  • How/Why to emphasize global-mindedness in your American household today

LINKS:

Leslie is reading a re-telling of Emma by Alexander McCall Smith, the author of The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency  | Tesi is reading Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. Our kids are reading the new Harry Potter book (of course!), Anna Habiscus, James Harriott, and Sports Illustrated for Kids.

Episode 34 is a conversation about the power and joys of traveling with kids. Find it HERE.

Jamie C. Martin can be found at Simplehomeschool.net and on Facebook.

Buy the book, Give Your Child the World, HERE!

Honey for the Child's Heart

Check out these blog posts penned by Jamie:

How to Homeschool | Newtown | Steady Days Shine Your Light

Special thanks to Wunderkind for the music! Keep bringing it!

Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.


Mama Bear Dares is online! Here’s where you can find us:

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Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes! Please take the time to rate and review us so that we can reach more ears. Thanks!

Episode 50: Love & More Love (Leslie Wrote A Book!)

You guys! Our very own co-host wrote a book! It's called Mama Bear's Manifesto and it's available for pre-order on Amazon! Leslie and Tesi spend the podcast talking about the basic idea of the Mama Bear lurking inside each of us and celebrate the arrival of Leslie's book in the world. Their excitement is real! After all, the Manifesto shares the message of this podcast: We are powerful. We are ferocious. We are perfectly positioned to wreak havoc on this world! You're going to love seeing this spelled out on the page!

Within their celebration, the co-hosts discuss the power of female friendship and the way Mama Bear's Manifesto aims to encourage women to use their relationships and their incredible capacity to love in big and bold ways, all the while encouraging listeners to identify the strength of their own Mama Bear and make the decision to use her power for good. They discuss Leslie's writing process and get real about the making of the book. In both big and small ways we are meant to live authentic, LOVE-filled lives. It's a bonus when you uncover your Mama Bear and begin training her for a better world. As the book and the podcast both enthusiastically declare, it's the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!

Pre-order Leslie's book, Mama Bear's Manifesto, by clicking here!

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 44: Parenting through Tragedy: Thoughts on Nice, Alton Sterling, Phillandro Castille, & the Dallas PD

On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie reign in the mighty-Mama-Bear-poised-for-action that resides in each of them and attempt to have a disciplined, yet passionate, conversation about the world at large. Leslie just returned from a three-week vacation that involved time in Nice, so the sisters can't help but once again tackle the headlines. The women talk a bit about Leslie’s vacation and a bit about Nice, but the bulk of the conversation is a discussion of how we engage our mama bear to fight for justice in the world and how to raise our kids to be compassionate and loving when it feels like the world is the opposite. Tesi and Leslie do their best to talk through two basic questions in the midst of very challenging times: How do we remain compassionate and nonjudgmental during these times? And how do we raise our kids to do the same?

Links mentioned in the show:

Episode 39 and Episode 40 on the Mama Bear Dares Podcast tackle white privilege

CEO/President of MOPS, Mandy Arioto, talks about empowering kids on Episode 41.

Tesi's Facebook page to check out her viral post!

LINKS FOR FURTHER READING

The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

What does it mean to be long for so long? Reflections on Black Reality & White Delusion

Columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote a five-part series for the The New York Times, When Whites Just Don't Get it


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 42: Hamilton & Hip Hop for Moms

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Following co-host Leslie's obsession with the story of Hamilton and the music of Lin Manual Miranda, she and Tesi jump in and discuss the phenomenon that so many mamas love! Episode 44 unpacks Hamilton's brilliance and explores the reasons why we believe that the rap and hip hop in the show has struck a chord with so many of our Mama Bears. Tesi and Leslie invite their resident music-loving, trend-finding influencer and sister Kait to the room where the podcast happens. Together, the trio dives into the power of music and its incredible ability to influence our culture and define generations. The episode ends with Kait's suggestions for Hamilton-lovin' mamas who want to expand their musical palette and step into the story-telling brilliance and sound of rap and hip hop.

If you love Hamilton, Mama Bears, be sure to check out these artists:

  1. Outkast
  2. Chance the Rapper
  3. Kendrick Lamar
  4. Nicki Manaj
  5. Santigold
  6. Beyonce
  7. Noname Gypsy

LINKS:

Outkast | Chance the Rapper | Kendrick Lamar | Nicki Manaj | NoName Gypsy | Santigold 

Also mentioned is the forthcoming Hamilton Mixtape

We also discuss Kanye. If you're not already a fan, start with The College Dropout.

Poet Aubrey Ryan talks about art as activism and understanding on Episode 33: Poetry for the People. Listen HERE.

Hamilton the Musical's official website

Lin Manuel Miranda on TWITTER

If you find the story and history of Hamilton interesting, Leslie recommends all of these:

Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton: The Revolution

Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 40: On Privilege

On Part 2 of our series exploring privilege, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie focus more on what privilege even means. We hear from Kait Klipsch (another Mama Bear sister!) on how she has seen her own privilege play out, as well as how easy it is to ignore it as part of your reality.

The co-hosts also explore the disheartening injustices Kait has witnessed while working in the criminal justice system in Brooklyn, New York, with the aim to educate themselves and their listeners on how injustice happens everywhere, including in places like the Midwest.

Today's episode expands on Episode 39, which released Monday, so please go back and listen for context. Tesi and Leslie hope this series with Kait will give Mama Bears the frame of reference they need when they hear current conversations surrounding the phrase "white privilege." After the deaths this week in America, everyone at Mama Bear Dares believe it's of the utmost important to unpack the phrase so that we can learn to live out our lives with compassion.

PRIVILEGES DISCUSSED:

  • Coming from a family who had reliable housing, plenty of food, two parents and loving siblings. One that supported and encouraged and could also financially support one of its members if he/she fell onto hard times.
  • Seemingly straight identifying
  • Having a common name (Examples: Kait, Jennie, Cynthia, Mandy, Meg)
  • Being white
  • Choosing when you have sex and with whom
  • Positive encounters with police officers
  • Access to quality education, not just K-12 but also undergrad and graduate schools
  • Ability to leave a community that is not good for you financially, mentally, emotionally or spiritually
  • The idea that privileges build on one another to set you up for success long term

OTHER IDEAS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:

  • Those with the least power tend to be the ones who are exploited the most
  • The power of a story
  • Is it worth it to know about your own privilege? To come face-to-face with it and realize even though you've worked really hard to get to where you are, there were other forces outside of that which benefit you? Is it worth it to fully realize those same forces hold back people without the same privileges? Is it worth it to know such these? And is it worth it to teach your kids?

LINKS TO IDEAS DISCUSSED ON THIS EPISODE:

Kait used to work for Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, part of the Center for Court Innovation in Brooklyn, NY.

Kait currently works for STEPS to End Family Violence.


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 39: The Eye-Opening Power of Travel

It has been a really intense week here in America. From Alton Sterling and Philando Castle to the five police officers in Dallas, this week has been seemingly consumed with death. If there has been one thing that is shared among Americans, it's grief.

On Episode 39 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie welcome another sister-in-law, Kait Klipsch, to the conversation. Because of Kait's unique outlook on life and their shared interests, the women talked for more than 2 hours. In Part 1, the women deep dive into Kait's extensive experience in living and working in other countries. The women talk about how traveling to new worlds—whether it be across the world to Sri Lanka or across the city to the south side of Chicago—opens eyes to new realities and are so often worlds away from Kait's own experience as a white, upper-middle class woman.

OTHER IDEAS DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

  • What does it mean to work in an area that has virtually no privileges and then go home to your safe, warm, well fed house? How do you live in that tension?
  • How do we as Mama Bears allow our kids to learn these lessons of privilege while also watching them struggle with the reality? How do we watch them walk through it without trying to step in and save them from it? What value is there in our kids knowing the experiences of other races, cultures and countries?
  • Immigration. The false narrative that people immigrating to America would choose America over their own communities if there was enough work. Kait's experience in Mexico opened her eyes to the reality.
  • The idea of identity and how, in America, we are forced to create a singular identity. But when you travel in another country the people don't know your story and so you are free to just be who you are in that moment.
  • Communication. How even when we don't speak a common language, much can be communicated. The shared business of being human.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, FOLLOW THE LINKS ALSO DISCUSSED IN THE PODCAST:

The organization Kait worked for in Chicago was Heartland Alliance.

The organization Kait worked for in Mexico was La Fundacion Comunitaria.

The organization Kait worked for in Sri Lanka was Professional Psychological Counseling Center of Batticaloa.

Episode 23: On Immigration, Compassion, and Complexity with Cynthia Vanderpool Garcia


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so fun and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

As always, thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 35: Nothing of Value Separates Us

On Episode 35 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie interview Tara Livesay, a native Minnesotan who has spent the last 10 years living with her family in Haiti. Tara is a mother (by birth and adoption), Certified Professional Midwife, blogger, and advocate for sustainable change throughout the developing world. She and the team at Heartline Ministries spend their days empowering, educating, and encouraging women in Haiti through relational midwifery and a focus on keeping first families together.

Tesi and Leslie loved the time spent with Tara and were blown away by her vulnerability, bravery, and extraordinarily good humor. Listeners will enjoy hearing Tara's fascinating tales of worth, wisdom, and a life well-lived (in Haiti!)... and may even be inspired to think about social change and the ways that they can make waves in their own small corner of the world.

Also discussed on the podcast:

  • A discussion of self worth: What stories do we tell ourselves about what we are and are not capable of? How do guilt and shame inform what's possible in the future?
  • The road to healing — counseling, speaking your truth, being in control of your own narrative
  • The complexity of adoption and its root in loss
  • What does it take to move a family to a developing nation? A discussion of language, community, and living through the unexpected (not to mention an earthquake!)
  • The act of writing as therapy, the responsibility of sharing the story of others, and the privilege of first-person reporting
  • The work of Heartline Ministries and the emphasis on orphan prevention and keeping first-families in tact through empowerment and education
  • The role of deep and trusting relationships during labor and delivery to promote safe birth. (Stayed tuned for Heartline expansion of relational midwifery!)
  • Orphanage tourism and the complex nature of compassion. Who benefits? Who is harmed?

Links:

Tara's Blog | Heartline Ministries | Donate to Heartline

Listen to meditation coach Angie Sands in (Episode 31) .

Empower Tanzania

Momastery + Together Rising + Tara on Momastery

Christian Missionary Alliance

Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

Thanks to Wunderkind for the beats!

Episode 33: Poetry for the People

On Episode 33, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi tackle the topic of poetry in the modern world by interviewing award-winning poet and mother-of-two Aubrey Ryan. Aubrey shares her experience with poetry and the way it impacts her everyday, all the while helping to demystify the sometimes intimidating art form. The women spend an hour together admiring the poetry in our world while viewing it from unexpected angles: poetry as medicine, writing as healing, and verse as activism. Listeners will hear the words of poets who have you woven truths together and may pause to take in the power of language, lingering over the mystery and beauty of the ways that we, as human beings, communicate. Tesi, Leslie, and their guest talk about being alive to the extraordinary in the ordinary and then telling of the discovery in magnificent and creative ways. All of this to say, as Aubrey Ryan does in Episode 39, "Hey, world! Poetry is not hard!"

Also discussed on this episode:

  • Poetry is democratic

  • Can poetry be medicine? How does it heal? Who does it heal?

  • Poetry as a response to societal ills and cultural happenings

  • How does one create a livelihood as an artist?

  • Hitting rock bottom and stepping back into the light

  • Types of poetry and the use of poetry as a tool of empowerment and social change

OBSESS SESH:

Medela Breast Pump | Cold Mountain | Taproot Magazine

LINKS:

At the beginning of the podcast, Leslie reads Late Hours by Lisel Mueller from Alive Together

Gervase Kolmos and the "me too" factor can be found in Episode 27

Where you can find Aubrey:

Midwest Writing Center

Check out Aubrey's chapbook of poems, published by Phantom Press: A Good Beast

A list of poets mentioned:

Mary Oliver | Rumi | Lin Manual Miranda | Nikki Giovanni (On Being Podcast) | Wendell Berry Gary Snyder | Bill Moyers | B.H. Fairchild | Jason Robert Brown


Mama Bears, we’re online! Here’s where you can find us:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and let us know what you’re thinking!

Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes. We are having so much fun podcasting and really appreciate you listening!!

Help support Mama Bear Dares by shopping with us! Here are our affiliate links:

Do your Amazon shopping here. It costs you nothing and we get a bit of change from Amazon with each purchase! Yay!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible. Get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at www.audible.com/mamabeardares.

Thanks, as always, to Wunderkind for the beats!