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Encouragement for military spouses.

Military families make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, and the challenges they face are unique. Whether you're looking for military family support or simply want to learn more, join host Jen McDonald as we discuss it all: getting through the separations that go along with training and deployments, moving around the world, seeing the one you love leave for war, raising kids in the military, finding your own place as a military spouse, and strengtheni… Continue Reading >>
Encouragement for military spouses.

Military families make up less than 1% of the U.S. population, and the challenges they face are unique. Whether you're looking for military family support or simply want to learn more, join host Jen McDonald as we discuss it all: getting through the separations that go along with training and deployments, moving around the world, seeing the one you love leave for war, raising kids in the military, finding your own place as a military spouse, and strengthening your military marriage.

A military spouse of nearly three decades herself and the author of the book You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse, Jen doesn't shy away from the hard topics, while providing a practical, humorous look at military life. Military life can be hard, but it’s also amazing in so many ways. We're only stronger together. << Show Less
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A Military Spouse Overseas - Ep. 86 On this episode, I'm talking to Julie Tully, the author of the upcoming book, Dispatches from the Cowgirl: Through the Looking Glass with a Navy Diplomat's Wife.  Julie is the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer and has spent the last 18 years living overseas in different countries in Africa and Europe. In fact, Julie recorded this episode from Italy, right smack in the middle of a PCS move! She’s a cowgirl-turned-nomadic Navy spouse and she writes about life, culture, and the places where they intersect. Julie and I cover a lot of this topics in this episode, including her family’s multiple tours overseas, how it’s felt being “America” to the people they’ve lived among, her life as the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer, tips for moving overseas, the story behind her upcoming book, their soon return to the U.S., and how her son—who’s never lived in the U.S.— feels about it all! See the complete show notes for this episode here. Connect with Julie at her site: Julie Tully Find Julie on social media: Facebook Instagram Get Jen’s book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! Have a topic idea for the Milspouse Matters podcast or know someone who’d be a great guest? Send me a note or fill out our guest application. Note that all requests right now will be put on a waiting list for late 2022-2023! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
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A Military Spouse Overseas - Ep. 86 On this episode, I'm talking to Julie Tully, the author of the upcoming book, Dispatches from the Cowgirl: Through the Looking Glass with a Navy Diplomat's Wife.  Julie is the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer and has spent the last 18 years living overseas in different countries in Africa and Europe. In fact, Julie recorded this episode from Italy, right smack in the middle of a PCS move! She’s a cowgirl-turned-nomadic Navy spouse and she writes about life, culture, and the places where they intersect. Julie and I cover a lot of this topics in this episode, including her family’s multiple tours overseas, how it’s felt being “America” to the people they’ve lived among, her life as the spouse of a Foreign Service Officer, tips for moving overseas, the story behind her upcoming book, their soon return to the U.S., and how her son—who’s never lived in the U.S.— feels about it all! See the complete show notes for this episode here. Connect with Julie at her site: Julie Tully Find Julie on social media: Facebook Instagram Get Jen’s book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! Have a topic idea for the Milspouse Matters podcast or know someone who’d be a great guest? Send me a note or fill out our guest application. Note that all requests right now will be put on a waiting list for late 2022-2023! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
Support for Seasoned Military Spouses with Pride & Grit - Ep. 85 On this episode, I'm talking to Jen Pasquale from Pride & Grit.  Jen is a 15-year active-duty Army spouse, mom of two, and champion for seasoned military spouses. In 2018, Jen founded Pride & Grit as a support community, resource hub, and as of 2021, host of an annual personal development retreat for seasoned military spouses. As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, Jen also offers identity coaching using the CliftonStrengths assessment. As a coach, Jen helps spouses develop pride in their unique talents while cultivating the grit to use those talents and lean into an identity beyond service. We talk about her work and support for seasoned military spouses, including their struggles, how often we keep our problems to ourselves so we appear strong, what others misunderstand about “senior spouses,” and ways you can begin to prepare for the end of your servicemember’s career and take care of yourself. Jen talks about Pride & Grit and how it came about. She says, “A lot of us have been around a long time, and we’ve weathered a lot of hard things in military life. A lot of us were tired. It’s not that we didn’t love being a service family, but we were tired. And I noticed that people didn’t have a space to be tired that was supportive for them.” If you can relate, this is the episode for you! Be sure to also check out the yearly Evolve Retreat for seasoned military spouses.  Connect with Pride & Grit and learn more about the Evolve Retreat. Find Pride & Grit on social media: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn See the complete show notes for this episode. Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
Shine Sis: Helping You Find Purpose in the Milspouse Journey - Ep. 84 This week, I’m talking to Mary Monrose and Candus Griffin, military spouses, mothers, and hosts of the Shine Sis podcast. I first connected with them on Instagram, where I saw their posts and loved the positive message they were sharing. When I realized they were also military spouses, I knew we had to talk! About Shine Sis: It’s hard trying to find your purpose in life, especially when you are consumed with always putting your family first. Join Military spouses Candus Griffin and Mary Monrose, as they share life experiences and interview guests who can help you be successful in your journey. If you ever felt like your life was moving without direction or if you felt limited by your circumstances, then this podcast is for you.  You'll hear how Candus and Mary met and decided to start a podcast, some of their tips for deployment, finding their own place and purpose in the military space, and what’s coming for Shine Sis as they look to give back to other women. You’ll surely relate to some of their story! Listen to Shine Sis here or in your favorite podcast player. Connect with Shine Sis on Instagram: @shine_sis_podcast See the complete show notes for this episode. Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
Moving with a Baby - Ep. 83 Whether you're moving stateside or overseas, making a move with a new baby can be a challenge. Get some tips from experienced military spouses! I was asked about this on social media, and here are some of my tips along with input from other military spouses. We talk about:  Flying with a baby Tips for cross-country travel Preparing mentally Giving yourself plenty of grace! See my extensive list of resources for moving with military kids, including babies!  Find the complete show notes for this episode.  Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
Comparisons & Admitting You Need Help - Ep. 82 Here’s the second installment of the study of my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse, that we’ve been doing in the Christian Military Spouse Facebook group. As mentioned on the last episode, I decided to share the audio from my talks there on the podcast, and this is the week 2 study covering readings 5-7.  If you’d like to join in the ongoing book study and discussion, join us in the Christian Military Spouses Facebook group! (link below)  Don’t have the book? Get the new, updated 2022 edition here: You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse. If you have the first edition from 2016, that will work fine too! We're covering the themes of comparisons, discontentment with military life, and admitting when we need help. Sometimes military spouses need the reminder that we don’t get a medal for being the toughest and doing everything on our own! Another pitfall can be comparing our situation to our civilian friends and family and wishing we had it differently. We’re going to talk about not comparing, ways to cultivate contentment, and the importance of not struggling alone and finding that community we all need.  Common question: Do you have to be religious to read this book?  While this book is written from the perspective of faith, I think there is so much that pertains to any military spouse! Click here for the complete show notes for this episode, including study questions and Scriptures mentioned. Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode! This episode is sponsored by USA Girl Scouts Overseas. For families on the move, Girl Scouts is a constant, allowing girls to pick up right where she left off: benefiting from the single best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Their virtual troop is a great way for girls to learn new skills, meet girls from all over the world, and have fun no matter where they are or where they move. Learn more at USA Girl Scouts Overseas!
Giving Up Control in Military Life - Ep. 81 In the Christian Military Spouses group, we’ve been doing a book study of my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouses, and I’ve been talking via video each week there. I'm sharing the audio from those talks over the coming weeks. This is the week 1 study, going over Days 1-4 in the book.  (Note: If you’d like to join in the ongoing book study and discussion, join us here: Christian Military Spouses Facebook group.) Don’t have the book? Get the new, updated 2022 edition here: https://amzn.to/3rBxJDW If you have the first edition from 2016, that will work fine, too! Grab your favorite beverage, find a comfy spot, and let’s visit. I want this to feel like we’re having coffee together. (OR you can listen on the go—I totally get the busy milspouse life!) On this installment, we’re discussing the intro and Days 1-4, with the themes of coming to terms with military spouse life, giving up control, and finding our identity in Christ. If you don’t have the book/haven’t read it yet, I think this week’s talk will still be of interest to you as a military spouse.  Common question: do you have to be religious to read this book?  Answer: While this book is written from the perspective of a Christian military spouse, I think there is so much that pertains to any military spouse! See the complete show notes for this episode here, including questions and Scriptures mentioned.  Get my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode!
Facing a Sudden Deployment - Ep. 80 Whether you’re a new or longtime military spouse, a sudden deployment can throw you into a tailspin. If you’re facing an unexpected deployment of your spouse, this episode is for you. We’re talking about ways to cope, how to connect with others (even if you don’t think you need to), some conventional wisdom that may or may not apply to you, permission to handle deployment in a way that works best for you, and tons of resources for you as a military spouse, your kids, and even your extended family members like in-laws and parents.  Remember: you don’t have to do this alone! FIND ALL RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE HERE.  Need more support and want to connect with other military and first responder spouses? The InDependent Wellness Summit is next week, March 7-11. It's all online! Register here---&gt; register. General admission is FREE.  Get my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode!
Advocating for EFMP Families & Military Kids in Special Education- Ep. 79 Guest Jennifer Barnhill shares the vision behind Partners in Promise, the challenges and barriers EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) families face, especially as pertains to special education for military children, the results of their 2021 survey findings, and what Partners in PROMISE does to advocate for military families. They offer so many resources, including checklists, videos, a podcast, ways to get involved, and so much more. Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing us to see a tiny bit of all that Partners in PROMISE does and helping us understand more about this important topic. And if you’re feeling alone, please connect, as there is no need to walk this path by yourself! Whether your own military family is ever in need of EFMP or special education services or not, knowing more about these programs and passing the word along to other families is so important. Resources mentioned in this episode. Get my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode!
Setting Goals When Military Life Is Uncertain- Ep. 78 It’s a new year, and by now many of us have already given up on those New Year’s resolutions! And you tell yourself, why even bother setting goals when you’ve just moved, are about to move, or find yourself in the middle of a deployment or some other change? Is it even worth setting personal goals for yourself when the demands of the military always take precedence? But wait a minute! Your goals and dreams are still worth chasing, military spouse. So let’s talk about some ways to be kind to yourself, set realistic goals, move forward a little bit at a time, and even embrace your Plan B when needed. Resources mentioned in this episode. Get my book, You Are Not Alone: Encouragement for the Heart of a Military Spouse Connect with Milspouse Matters on Instagram Christian Military Spouse Facebook Group Find the complete Milspouse Matters show archive and listen to every episode!
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