You Don’t Have to Go Across Town or the World: An Interview with Matt Peacock [Podcast Episode 011]

Partners in Hope Lake Travis Executive Director

My path has crossed many times with Matt Peacock over the past several years. One of those times happened in 2011. As Matt and I drove back from a conference in South Texas, he began sharing a vision he had about a non profit ministry that went out and found those in need in his community instead of waiting for them to reach out for help.

Matt Peacock, executive director of Partners in Hope Lake Travis

Then he invited me to join the inaugural board. Sneaky. I liked what I heard and wanted to help get this off the ground, so I agreed.

In today’s podcast interview, you get to hear some of the back story, the mission of Partners in Hope, stories of hope, and how you can be a part of this ministry. Even if you don’t live in the Austin area, you will benefit from what Matt shares, because you can do the same thing in your community.

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7 Ways You Are Making Parenting A Foster or Adopted Child Hard

Parenting might be the hardest thing in the world. And if you bring a child into your home who isn’t your biological child and is dealing with all kinds of wounds, and you just raised the bar.

Many times we enter into a relationship with a wounded child and think that we can parent them just like we do or would parent a biological child. It simply isn’t true.

I know some foster or adoptive parents don’t deal with challenges with the children that they have brought into their home. However, most do. And about the time you think you have overcome those challenges, other stuff comes to the surface, or you enter into another season of life, or the dynamics of your home changes.

It is enough to make a foster or adoptive parent wonder about their own sanity. If you aren’t a foster or adoptive parent, I am not exaggerating.

What I have seen in my own parenting, and in others, is that we, most of the time unintentionally, make our parenting harder than it needs to be.

Here are 7 ways we tend to make parenting harder:

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Are You Available? An Interview with Fred and Dianne Doell [Podcast Episode 010]

You ever know someone that every time you are around them you leave feeling better? That is how I feel about Fred and Dianne Doell. Whether it was when we lived in Thailand, were back on a visit, in an email, or like the privilege I had here to talk to them on Skype, I always feel encouraged. They always see your potential, and they call it out in a positive and uplifting way.

Danielle and I met Fred and Dianne in 2006 when we went to Pattaya, Thailand on a 10 day mission trip. One of those days was spent at Mercy Center, a children shelter, run by Fred and Dianne.

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Top 10 Blog Posts in 2016

If you have been following me for very long or know us personally, you know that 2016 has been a busy year for us. We bought a new home last December and moved into it in January. I was still rehabbing from my ankle surgery. Danielle had “minor” surgery in May. I began working on my new book—Foster and Adoptive Parenting: Authentic Stories that Will Inspire and Encourage Parenting with Connection, and our son began Kindergarten.

A photo by Ben White.

Needless to say our year sped by in a blur. But I know it’s important for me to take some time and look back over this past year to see what worked and what didn’t. One easy thing for me to do is find out what blog posts did well.

The nerd in me comes out as I enjoy looking at these stats. I usually can gleam a few things by doing this simple exercise.

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Are We Mishandling the Presence of God?

Ah the holiday season! Christmas music. Endless shopping. Parties. The joyful anticipation in our children’s eyes. Stressful for most. And for many, sadness. If you are like me, I can experience any or all of this each season.


What often gets overlooked during the holiday season is the fact God made His presence known to mankind in the most personal and intimate way imaginable.

I know that, this time of year especially, can cause different emotional responses to the notion that a Supreme Being left His Holy place to vulnerably enter this world not only in human form, but birthed from a woman’s womb. Not in a clean hospital room. Not even in the comfort of a home. Instead He arranged His arrival in a barn full of animals.

That’s a hard story to accept when you really think about it. Yet I believe every part of it. Most Christians, even nominally ones, believe it to be true.

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Circle of Security: An Interview with Suzette Lamb [Podcast 009]

I talk a lot about attachment in my book, Foster and Adoptive Parenting: Authentic Stories that Will Inspire and Encourage Parenting with Connection. One of the best models I have seen is called the Circle of Security (COS).


In today’s podcast episode, I interview Suzette Lamb who is a trained COS lecturer. I have had the privilege to hear Suzette speak in person a few times, and I always enjoy her passion and her style of communication.

In this episode you will hear the following:

  • A brief history of the Circle of Security.
  • How this model applies to every parent/child relationship.
  • Why it is important for us to raise children who have autonomy within relatedness and relatedness within their autonomy

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What Does It Mean When God Knocks Us Down?

A grove of oak trees stand in front of our house. The kind that looks perfect with white lights wrapped around the trunk and limbs.


So I took inventory of what lights I had, and I decided that I needed a few more strands. Off I went to Home Depot to get several more boxes of lights. I had chosen a beautiful day to do the work; the kind of day that makes me glad I live in Texas, especially in December. The blue sky was cloudless and high. The temperature was a crisp upper 50’s. Not too cold. Not too hot.

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Understanding Your Child’s Sensory Processing Needs [Podcast Episode 008]

Interview with Marti Smith

I didn’t know that sensory processing disorder existed until I began fostering my son. I noticed that some of his behavior was strange, such as, licking all kinds of surfaces like table tops, blankets, even the top of my bald head.


I also wondered why in some environments he spun completely out of control, jumping around, yelling, bouncing off walls and people. Then I learned about sensory input. I also learned that we all struggle with sensory input at some level. Now I understood myself better too.

In today’s podcast episode, I discuss with occupational therapist, Marti Smith, about how we as parents can not only recognize our child’s sensory processing needs, but also help them navigate them well.

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The Biggest Obstacle to Christians Living a Life On Mission

How God calls a Christian to live is clear and simple. You can phrase it any way you choose—engage others, share the story, live a missional life—it boils down to His call for us to live a life on mission. His mission.


The question is why don’t more Christians choose to live this way?

I don’t just mean going to another country as a missionary, either short or long-term. I mean living life in such a way that it drives every decision you make. But what does that even look like?

How does living a life on mission impact the way you spend your money; parent your children; spend your time; who you hang out with?

Maybe you have never given that much thought. Instead you make those decisions with no consideration how they impact your ability to live a missional life. In fact, if you ever think about living a life on mission it’s only a few times a year—like the end of the year when you consider making a donation to a “good cause” for a tax break.

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The Importance of Parental Self Care [Podcast Episode 007]

Interview with Robyn Gobbel

All too often a parent gets so focused on the well-being and health of their children that they neglect themselves. A parent feels that the needs of their child is more important than their own. They fail to recognize that taking care of themselves will ensure that they have what they need to parent their child well.


How can we as parents take care of ourselves when we have so many demands on our time, emotions, and mental energy so that we can be fully present for our kids?

Listen to my conversation with Robyn Gobbel, LCSW as we discuss this very important topic. Robyn is a licensed clinical social worker and physcho-therapist. She speaks and trains often on this subject. In this interview she not only helps us understand the importance of self care, but she also offers practical tips and ideas.

Want to learn more from Robyn? Here is where you can find more helpful resources and how to contact Robyn:

Central Texas Attachment and Trauma Center –