Parenting Reimagined

For a year, this podcast was my heart and soul. It allowed me the space to have intimate conversations with people that I respect. It gave us all an opportunity to celebrate the wisdom and strength of every day parents.

I am no longer producing new interviews but I am so glad that you found the site and I hope you enjoy this collection of interviews as much as I do.

 

37 | Our European Adventure

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I took a four week break from the podcast to spend a month traveling in Europe with my family. This was our first international trip and it was a fantastic adventure for our little crew.

In this week’s episode my husband, Rob, and I talk about what we learned, what we enjoyed and what we might do differently next time. Enjoy!

36 | A Flourishing Survivor: Grace Biskie

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Grace Biskie is a complicated lady. She is the mother of two young sons. She is a biracial woman, married to a white guy, raising sons that strangers mistake for Jewish. She is a woman living in a house of boys. She is a sexual abuse survivor who has experienced tremendous healing. She is a woman of faith. She is a gifted writer and speaker. In her public life, she tackles tough topics like abuse, racism, sexism, stereotypes, gender and racial socialization, and, of course… fashion.

I first encountered Grace’s work on the blog, A Deeper Story. I especially resonated with her essay: An Open Letter to the Over Sharing Mamas. I highly recommend perusing her work at gracebiskie.com

 

35 | Embracing Life: Fighting Cancer and Birthing Babies

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Dr. Gail Newel has delivered over 10,000 babies, traveled the world, survived cancer, and gotten (sort of) kicked out of the Mennonite Brethren Church. She raised three kids and has sustained a happy relationship in the midst of all her misadventures. She has spent her career advocating for women, fighting for others to experience the kind of respect and empowerment that she was determined to carve out for herself.

Gail is a remarkable woman. She is warm, savvy, and beloved by many in her community. In our conversation, she reflects on what cancer taught her, the importance of travel, and what she’s learned from the thousands of women she’s helped care for throughout the years.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gail on July 8, 2010. She had just returned to work after taking a year-long leave to fight a rare cancer. She introduced herself as Gail and then cheered me on as I gave birth to my second son. She was wearing red crocs and rainbow socks.

I was such fun to talk with her for this interview. Enjoy!

34 | The Traveling Millers

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In 1998, Tony and Jenn Miller set out for a year of travel with their four children.  They never came back.

In the last six years, the Millers have visited 30 countries, ridden elephants, ridden camels and logged thousands of miles on bicycles.   They manage to do some schoolwork too.

I caught up with Jenn in Australia and we had a lovely conversation about life on the road.

For more about the Millers, visit their website: http://edventureproject.com. You can also check out http://dreamreboot.com to learn more about Jenn’s online course.

 

33 | Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso: Listening to the Spiritual Wisdom of Children

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Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has spent a long career engaging children and adults in the sacred texts and practices of Judaism.  In 1974, she became the second women in the United States to complete rabbinical ordination. She and her husband, Dennis, served as co-rabbis at the Congregation Beth-El Zedeck in Indianapolis until her retirement earlier this year. They were the first practicing rabbinical couple in Jewish history.

Rabbi Sandy is the mother of two adult children and a grandmother of three. Her rabbinical work and her status as a women and mother, have led her to press into a deeper understanding of the spirituality of children.  She has written numerous children’s books and is a a sought after speaker on topics related to the spirituality of children, religious traditions in family life, and spiritual storytelling.

In our interview, Rabbi Sandy shares about her life as a mother and rabbi. She also reflects on what she has learned about the sacred from the many children that she has interacted with throughout the years.

To contact Rabbi Sandy or to learn more about her books, visit her congregation’s website: http://bez613.org/about-us/staff/rabbi-sandy-sasso/

 

Spirituality and Parenting

Those of you who listen regularly to the podcast know that I almost always ask guests about spirituality and parenting.

That is an autobiographical question.

I was in seminary when I had my first son. Suddenly the demands of motherhood flooded into any quiet spaces for prayer, reflection and study that had fueled my pre-motherhood spiritual life.

Parenting changed everything for me.  And not in a bad way.

My spiritual practices have left my head and moved into my arms. Holding, rocking, serving, feeding…these activities have drawn me into new ways of interacting with the sacred. More embodied. More scattered. Perhaps more transformational.

I came across this recently and it tells the same story, the story of spirituality reborn with parenthood. It also tells the story of re-writing spiritual traditions so that they widen just a bit, widen to include the lives of mothers and fathers who barely have time for a shower, much less a full liturgical prayer.

The next interview that I will post here is with Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. We will explore some of these same themes in our conversation. In the meantime, enjoy this quick reflection by Danya Ruttenberg.

Parenting as a Spiritual Practice by Danya Ruttenberg

“There is enough room in our spiritual expressions not only for all of the love we feel for our families, but also for the hectic, distracted chaos that so often defines parenting small children — if we are willing to expand our understanding of what religious expression is, and can be.”

 

 

32 | The Abundant Life of Emily Plank

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Emily Plank

Emily Plank is the mom/author/educator behind the popular blog: Abundant Life Children. She loves to write and in her work she integrates her training in child development with her lived experience mothering three young children. Emily has tremendous experience working with young children and their families. She has been in the field of education for over a decade, filling such roles as educator, mentor, and family child care provider.

Emily values play, spaciousness, respect for children as persons, and a posture of openness. Her presence is warm and gracious.

She and her family are in the midst of their own developmental transition. Earlier this year Emily closed her center and she and her family are preparing to spend several months travelling abroad through a semester at sea.

Her writing has been instructive and encouraging to many and it was a pleasure to chat with her here on Parenting Reimagined.