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  1. Hey, was watching the pipeline on YouTube today and thought of yall! Things are good here in pittsburgh. We had a cold snap of really frigid temps but we will be In the 50s for a few days. Both of my girls are in college this year in town. Close, but not too close. One comes home most weekends. They both made deans list this past semester so we were pretty tickled about that!
    Any thoughts to a future book parenting your adult teens? Don’t seem to have many resources about that subject! Aloha!

  2. Brittany Beaver says:

    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    Travel with family 😍 our word as a family is perseverance or “try again.” A reminder of progress over perfection!
    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    Grief loss of MIL/mamaw!

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!)
    The Bible recap! We are doing it for the second year and this year doing the kids devo with our boys!
    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    Tara Leigh Cobble from the Bible Recap!

  3. Hi! I loved reading through this coffee date! I’m looking forward to being more intentional with my time spent with my family and God in 2024. “Trust” is my word of the year this year! Losing a parent in November and uncovering truths of the past, have tested my faith and I’m trying to continue to trust God working in my life.
    The greatest challenge our family faces is raising 3 growing kids without the help/support of other family nearby.

  4. I’m most looking forward to a hoped-for family holiday to the US (from New Zealand) to visit family and friends, and attend a worship conference. It may be our last holiday as a family of five as my eldest is not only turning 18, but has just started courting seriously (and we don’t believe in long “dating” periods).
    Challenges are there two: helping our daughter figure out what to do after we finish home schooling in maybe just one more year, and a difficult period with our number three.
    I have loved homeschooling all three and am sad to be down to just two, and very soon all will be off in the world – but that is the goal and joy of parenting, isn’t it?
    Thanks for all your encouragement on this parenting journey, Monica; I’ve loved this window into your life with your four boys.

  5. I’m excited to “get my life together” hahaha! But seriously, after three years of intensively caring for a family member who is ill, I’m looking forward to getting on track with routines and strategies that keep my home (and me!) running smooth.

    You must get through so many books! Would love to see your all-time top-picks reading list for non-fiction. 🙂

  6. Kimber Mueller says:

    I’m most looking forward to my hubby competing in the 2024 Bassmaster classic, which is the Super Bowl of bass fishing in March!!
    I’m currently reading this awesome book by Nicki koziarz called 5 habits of a woman who doesn’t quit.

  7. This year I’m looking forward to being more intentional with family time and reading the Bible. I’ve read books, chapters, and verses before but never the whole Bible from cover to cover. Greatest challenge seems hard to answer but finding and maintaining that good home-work balance and a sick parent out of state are among mine. Recently I watched an older movie on the recommendation of a friend called Greater. It’s based on a true story and SO good. As for suggestions for new podcasts, I don’t really have any. I appreciate you helping us moms (especially moms of teens) navigate this awkward season of life in today’s overwhelming culture.

  8. 1. my youngest graduating high school and moving forward into college! it is both exciting with possibility and ….

    2. my youngest graduating high school and moving forward into college! ….challenging with decisions and facing empty nest life!

    3. i just finished “the miracle morning” by Hal Elrod. not new but impactful for me in this season of “what’s next?”
    4. topic- navigating empty nesting!

  9. Amber Wright says:

    I’m curious about your take on modesty especially living in a beach culture

  10. 1. Excited for new opportunities for my three kids, and to be on the sidelines to cheer them on. Last family vacation before the first of three is grown and flown.

    2. Starting a new job, working with kids. Excited, and nervous, but can’t wait for the opportunity. Less money, no room for growth, but need something different for right now.
    Love your podcast. Currently reading Just Show Up. It is wonderful. Even told my son’s basketball coach about the book, as he used that phrase in practice last week. Can’t wait for your new book too.

  11. Hello Monica,
    Thank you so much for all you do to share with us from your experiences! As a mother of boys & missionary in a “third-world” country, your book for “Boy Moms” was an absolute answer to prayer for me!
    1. In 2024 I am looking forward to seeing how God is going to guide our family as we are trying something new things together as a family! 2. A challenge for us as a family are some health challenges we are facing after I had a hysterectomy due to a diagnosis, which led to other changes in our family like a change of schools. 3. A really fun book that I have been enjoying is called: Daily Decrees for Family Blessing and Breakthrough by Brenda Kunneman. 4. I noticed someone else already mentioned Priscilla Shirer, but I would have to second that! I love listening to her, and it would be so fun to hear from someone like her on the topic of mothering and being in ministry!

  12. Allison McAllister says:

    Hello from Huntsville!

    I love that you do “coffee dates!”
    One thing I’m looking forward to the most about this year is the adventures we will be taking as a family. My 2 (almost 3) year old has recently started telling us of places he wants to go, so we’re making a list and trying to go somewhere at least once a month, whether it be the climbing gym in our town or the aquarium in Tennessee! We’re making sure to prioritize time as a family! A challenge we’re facing as a family this year is one that’s not so fun, but will worth it is paying off as much of our loans as we can! We want to be able to enjoy doing more with our son, and we know that with that extra flow of money, we’ll be able to do more! A movie I would recommend is The Blind! Oh my… it had me in tears just listening to Phil Robertson’s testimony! I feel like he and Ms. Kay would be fun to have on the podcast… especially if they bring Uncle Si along! 🙂

  13. My biggest challenge is raising a 13 year old boy and praying he is sold out for Christ.
    I recommend watching Secretariat as a family if you haven’t. I recommend reading Your One Life by Lance Witt
    My pick for a guest would be Sally Clarkson.

  14. Hi Monica,
    One of the things I look forward to this year is growing in my prayer life and reading through the bible.
    Last year I started to read though the bible and stopped midway. Some challenges that we are facing is my aging parents and the challenges of divorced parents in their 70’s.
    We also have an empty nest which has been an adjustment. My son is a sophmore in college and our 15+ year old dog passed away in December 😢.
    A book I am currently reading is by J.P. Moreland. A Simple Guide to Experiencing Miracles. Highly recommend.
    I would love to see Priscilla Shirer on your podcast. She is one of my favorites. I loved War Room, such a powerful movie and she happens to be in that movie too.
    I enjoy your podcast and also following you on Instagram.
    You always inspire me.

  15. What a great giveaway! I am so thankful for your posts and your wisdom and encouragement. I’m praying for 2024 to get a year of growth for us. We’re in a rough spot in our marriage and feeling a little lost and lonely. Not giving up, of course, but I feel the enemy fighting for territory and I’m tired. Moved to a(nother) new place after an awesome but tough season of houseparenting at a residential therapeutic ranch, and having such a hard time building community here and probably need healing from our houseparenting time as well. Praying for some breakthroughs in 2024 (my own attitude included, of course!). Thank you for always sharing encouragement and truth with us!

  16. Monica, Happy New Year!
    I love catching up in your coffee dates. Today here in Oregon we are having some snow but mostly freezing rain. So a good day for reading and relaxing.
    I just finished Abbies new book and am excited to hear her on the podcast again. I also will be starting Alishas book when it comes out. So I’m excited for that podcast as well.
    This year is going to be a good one. Real Estate is picking up. The kids are loving Jesus and we have some fun trips planned. I have some family things to handle this year with siblings and so not looking forward to that but otherwise can’t complain. Thank you for being here. Keep up the good work. Excited for some more body/health talks. Almost 50 over here so all the fun with that.

  17. Coffee in hand…
    I am most looking forward to seeing our family grow closer. My husband and I have made steps to be more intentional with our boys. He has already booked and planned 2 trips for this year. We found him with about 3 weeks of vacation time unused this past year and wanted to use it more wisely this year. And after 3 years of homeschooling, I think I finally have figured some things out, so that will be nice.
    Our greatest challenge might be a move. There is a desire in our hearts for a different piece of property so we are trusting God leading and provision for that.
    My husband and I both loved John Eldrege’s book The Way of the Wild Heart. As a mom of 3 boys it was insightful. My husband grew out of it also.
    Podcast topics: I’m a homeschool podcast junkie, I’ll listen to that all day long.
    Thank you for all you do!!

  18. Deanna Fitzpatrick says:

    Hmm, how about phylicia masonheimer or Justin Earley for guests!

    A favorite family movie is our house is Rescued by Ruby. I loved the book Boys in the Boat so I’m glad to hear the movie is good as well, I can’t wait to watch it.

  19. Drinking my coffee while reading this! 🙂 Biggest challenge of 2024 that I can see right now is that my dad has stage 4 lung cancer. We live across the country from my parents (MD and MN) so it’s difficult. We are trusting the Lord each day but also want to see him as much as possible. Prayers appreciated!

  20. I am excited for 2024. I love a fresh start. This will be the year that I get in shape. I have your book, The Secret of Your Naturally Skinny Friends. I am rereading it after and started working out in November. I enjoy your books and enjoy listening to your podcast.

  21. Jami Walker says:

    The cup of Joe was so good with this one! What beautiful memories that were made over the holidays. I’d like to answer number 2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year? My sisters guy just walked out on her and she’s 7 months pregnant. This has to be the biggest challenge anyone can face. This has been a devastating week for us however, she is strong and our faith will get her through. Appreciate you keeping us in your prayers.

  22. Love this giveaway – I sent my grandfather a similar frother for Christmas after he saw me using a wand frother at Thanksgiving and asked me to froth his creamer ☺️
    *My challenge & what I look forward to in 2024 is all wrapped up in homeschooling. We’ve been at it from the beginning for my 13, 10 & 7 yo’s but each year has it’s own new challenges & gains.
    *And a new show (series, not movie) that we all love in our house is Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street (on Amazon Prime). Main characters are tweens and it’s super clean, funny, a kid-friendly sci-fi mystery with a heart-warming moral in every episode. Highly recommend! (Disclaimer: one episode started with kids playing a ouija board so we skipped that episode, otherwise the mysterious elements seem purely sci-fi and not connected to “magic”.)

  23. Hi love to read and see all the pics pf your beautiful boys.
    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024? Slowing dow as family , we were so busy during the holidays. Taking time together as family.
    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year? Talking to my almost 9 year old boy about all the topics I need to cover before the he hears it from the world . Like exp : Porn .
    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!) : I would recommend : Risen Motherhood, it’s been an eye opening as how the gospel and motherhood go together. It’s been an amazing book .

  24. Jill Jaramillo says:

    Love these “coffee dates!”
    We are starting our homeschooling journey this year. So while it’s a challenge, it’s also super exciting. Our son will be in kinder. I also work from home so we will be finding new routines for it all. Your book is perfect timing! Can’t wait!

    As for guests on the show, I’d love to be on your show to talk about my children’s book 😁- “Count the Fruit” (available on Amazon). It’s the story of a boy discovering Fruits of the Spirit in real life.

  25. Sadie Beckman says:

    Coffee Date! 🙂

  26. Love this post! And seeing all the Hawaiian Christmas celebrations. Wish I was there! We recently got back into ministry at a local church in our own little beach town on the east coast and are excited about how God is going to use us in 2024. Here’s to new beginnings!

  27. Leslie Longo says:

    I will be opening a vet hospital in August and it’s so close to home!!!! Praying that this will allow me to work when my kids are at school and be with them when they are home!!!

    Not a huge struggle, but dealing with a lazy 8 year old boy. Help!!!

    I’d love for you to have Kelly Minter! Love her!!

  28. I was so encouraged by this coffee chat! Especially the part about hustle/business/being a mama. It left me thinking and praying—I have a little flower farm that monopolized most of our year, and I’m realizing some of it may need to wait so we don’t miss making memories with our girls (11 and 13).

    As for my answer: our favorite read aloud books were Adventures With Waffles and A Place to Hang the Moon. Favorite movie was True Spirit (my oldest is reading her book too). ❤️

  29. 1. I am most looking forward to spending another summer with my kids home! They go to public school and I miss them ❤️
    2. Inflation is probably our families greatest challenge. Also, just having kids in public school and navigating that environment.
    3. A movie I recommend is Wonka 🙂
    We enjoyed it in the theatres this Christmas break.
    4. A topic I’d enjoy for a podcast is helping your kids in lonely times of childhood when friends aren’t plentiful. Especially the extroverted child.

  30. I loved reading this coffee date post! Feels like we are sitting down together and having a good catch up session! What I am most looking forward to in 2024 is focusing more on quality family time and character training! My husband and I have decided to commit 2024 to what is truly important and let all of the “noise” drop to the wayside.
    I also wanted to say that I am incredibly excited for your new book coming out in May and am hoping over to pre-order it now!! I am a homeschooling mom to 3 boys ages 9, 6 and 3 and I can’t wait to be encouraged by your book!!

  31. Heather Uhl says:

    As always—thank you for taking the time to send such incredible email and write worthwhile blog posts, and now I need to check out your podcast! I got the Character Training Course after reading Raising Amazing and my husband and I started watching. We have 3 young boys (5, 3, and almost 1) and I’m also launching some brand new Parenting Ministry efforts at our church but I’m not entirely sure how to start so — praying! I’m most looking forward to working as a family to complete the 1000 Hours Outside challenge. 🙂

  32. I enjoy these coffee dates so much! My family also saw Boys in the Boat over Christmas break and it was a great family movie! It was especially special for me because my grandpa, who is no longer with us, went to UW and my dad shared with me that my grandpa helped out as a coaxsin for the crew team. It was fun to imagine him doing the things and going to the places the characters did in the movie. My oldest son is turning 15 this month and will be learning how to drive, which is what I am most looking forward to/terrified about for the coming year! Finally, did you have a palm tree for your Christmas tree? I was trying to zoom in on your pic! Thanks!

  33. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    It has been a hard years for us (taking care of my inlaws until they both passed away). This year I am looking forward to be able to travel with our family.
    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    To do family devotion with our son who is now in different state for college is going to be our greatest challenge but we are going to try it anyway.
    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!)
    Enola Holmes: both books series and the movies are funtastic!
    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    Distant family devotion with your teen/adult kid (while they are away for college). We sure can get some help and tips. Thank you so much!

  34. I was looking forward to my son returning to the soccer pitch after hip surgery last summer…. Until he dislocated his knee at his first practice back on January 5 and will likely need surgery. The first week of the year was a year long. I can’t say I’ve got much desire to see what the rest of the year has for us.

  35. Monica, as always, thank you for your practical and relatable topics, ideas, conversations, and more! And thank you for the chance to reflect on these questions!

    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024? Knowing Jesus more and more through whatever is put in our lives and on our paths. Continually growing in him, seeing him and seeking him in all things. Making all things we go through this year about him.

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year? Eesh… six days ago my 5-year-old son broke his leg skiing, so we are on a long recovery route for that (12 weeks), and the juggle that ensues with our three other boys (ages 7, 3, and 1). Praying we come even closer together as unit despite the challenge. Further, literally today, my dad had an extensive cardiac bypass open heart surgery. We live in different states and I just want to be there for my parents, while staying so present with all my own family’s needs. Who knows what else the year holds, though!

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!) I saw the movie Wonka listed and agree! What a whimsical, imaginative, sweet, innocent, kind movie. (Wonka talks about being a magician, but admits it’s just tricks, so I like that. Doesn’t promote magic, in my opinion. Way more on just imagination and creativity.) Both my 7 and 5 year-old boys were tearing up/crying at the happy ending (as was I!) I don’t currently have much time to read… hoping that changes soon…

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast. I love all your topics! I’m even “scared” I may turn to home schooling one day, lol. But in all honesty, you have great guests, with succinct and practical advice that’s fun to listen to. And where we have the option of diving in deeper if desired. I know you’re about parenting, but a big part of that is… the parents! Fun chat or thoughts/recommendations/advice on husband and wife things would be neat to listen to!

    Thank you for reading, sorry this is long! : )

  36. Kristen Holmes says:

    1. I’m looking forward to seeing my boys grow cause they are in that stage where they truly interact with you and you have real conversations but honestly I’m struggling with looking forward to this year due to health issues with my mom

    2. My moms health as she is possibly getting several diagnosis’s that just make me sad.

    3. David Thomas. Raising emotionally strong boys.

    Love your podcast. Thanks for all you do!

  37. Leslie Price says:

    This year I am most looking forward to (hopefully!) growing my small business as much as I can, and if the stars align, to us moving to our dream home on the Oregon coast.

  38. 1. I am looking forward to the mission trip I will be going on next week – starting the 18th – to work with organizations that help women who have been trafficked.
    3. A book I would recommend is Redeeming Your Time by Jordan Raynor. It has been a great way to learn to use my time wisely and biblically.

  39. I seriously enjoyed reading all of this! Since reading your book Raising Amazing I truly look up to you as a role model! My friend borrowed my book “Raising Amazing” and I’m not going to lie it was a hard book to say “hey you can borrow my copy”. I read it twice over the summer! I wanted to buy her a copy but I felt in my heart the best thing to do was to let her borrow mine. I still haven’t gotten it back yet but I’m going to let her keep it and buy myself a new copy now that I see that it is on sale on Amazon. Enfact I truly want to buy each of my friends a copy it’s that good! I think I will most definitely have to host a book study on it!

    1. I am most looking forward to writing a book in 2024! My word of the year is capable and I believe I am capable of making it happen! My husband and others have been telling me to write a book for years and I feel like it’s God telling me to do it through them-so how can I say no?! I’m going to do it! 😬😆 (nervous excited)!

    2. The greatest challenge my family and I are facing this year is seeing eye to eye on BIG things like homeschooling or public school or Christian school etc! I just have to keep praying and trusting God that he will lead us to make the best decisions and that we are following his will.

    3. Raising Amazing of course!! Great parenting advice I truly loved that book I can’t say it enough! Everyone needs to read it!! I’m still trying to get my husband to read the dad parts at the end of the chapters!
    Recommendation #2 Uninvited!! This is for everyone who has social anxiety it’s seriously so good and will change your life! It’s like getting counseled without having to pay a counselor! Really great tips and advice!

    #4 Anything John Maxwell! Great for personal development!

    4. I’d love to see Sadie Robertson Huff on the podcast! I’m sure she has been on there before! I’ll have to do a search!

    Thank you so much for your time!

  40. Kristie Kimmel says:

    I’m fairly good! Thanks for asking! 😉 Everyone in my family of 5 (except me) has been sick recently, but I can see the end in sight! As long as I stay healthy too!
    What am I most looking forward to in 2024? Our journey! God has called us to serve the people of Kenya and we are working on support and training this year!
    What is the most challenging? The process of this journey! It has been HARD, but God has taught me so much! Looking at where we are now I see that it is good!

  41. I am looking forward to spending time with family and to put some work boundaries in place so there is a good balance of work and family life.

    A challenge this year is aging parents

  42. Morgan Weidemann says:

    I am looking forward to living a faithful and disciplined life and to be content and intentional in this season of life as a stay at home mom. I would love for you to have Lindsey Bomgren of Nourish Move Love on the podcast. She is an amazing online fitness trainer who has motivated me to be a strong mom so I can show up for my family and friends. She’s a strong believer who runs a fitness business in an industry that often is speaking lies to us as women. I think you two would hit it off. 🙂

  43. Oh this was so fun, i love hearing more about your home life, chickens and bees sound amazing and peaceful.
    Im looking forward to growing in my relationship with the Lord and challenging myself to be bold in my communication with my husband as we work on our relationship and being a team. I love all the homeschool support and encouragement that you give and would like to know more about what your current scheduled learning looks like. We recently loved the “Wonka” movie, it was a fantastic musical without any woke messages.

    1. Mary Rash says:

      1. Having a closer relationship with the Lord in 2024!
      2. Possibly losing my dad this year to late stage prostate cancer!
      4. Christina Patterson of Beloved Women!

  44. Susan Birckehad says:

    1- 2023 was a very difficult, but blessed year with my health For 2024 I have heard the word strength and that is my goal, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
    2-The greatest challenge is the care of our elderly father, he will be 90 in April and he has lost a lot of mobility, along with having a few strokes in the last few years.
    3-I read the book, The End, by Mark Hitchcock, and it is very good and easy to understand on the end times.
    4- Would love to hear Candace Cameron Bure and Max Lucado

    1. This year I am looking forward to celebrating 25 years of marriage, although we haven’t decided how we are going to celebrate!

  45. I would recommend both the movie and book The Boys in the Boat. I watched the movie a few weeks ago and am now reading the book… both are sooo good!!

  46. Michelle G says:

    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    We’re doing a road trip to Yellowstone, it will be our kids first time there and I’m so looking forward to experiencing it with them!

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    Kids growing up – it seems like all of a sudden things are going at warp speed!

  47. Jodi Hunter says:

    I am most looking forward to spending more time with family.

  48. What I am most looking forward to in 2024 is fresh vision! That seems trite but it’s both a challenge to literally see this world and the people in it with fresh eyes and also to challenge myself and pray earnestly for new perspectives everywhere I go. I pray this also seeps into my children. 😉
    A challenge this year is getting my oldest son to find his passion, pursue it, and work for it. So much of this cultures’ “get it quick” mentality has filtered into his thought processes. I so want to see him be intentional with his one and only life and live it purposely. He’s a college freshman.
    As for movies, Wonka was a fun family movie we saw over the Christmas break. And Podcasts interviews? Hmmm…I’ve always enjoyed hearing from Sally Clarkson and Sarah Mackenzie. Great homeschool encouragement and resources from both ladies.
    Thanks for the coffee date!

  49. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    Being home! Last year we had a fire in January. We lived between a hotel(did not work well with 3 big boys), my MIL’s, and then a rental(while our 2 dogs stayed at my husband’s dad’s house.) We got to move home at the end of May/beginning of June, and the rest of the year was filled with unpacking and adjustments, between sports and everything else.
    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    I think it’s our 12-year-old’s OCD lesions in his elbows. He was so excited to make the FCA baseball team, but hasn’t been able to play with them yet because of the pain in his elbows. The doctors have been having him wait for healing, he’s had many X-rays since August and a complicated MRI where they had to inject contrast into his elbows. His next appt is to meet with a surgeon. It’s so hard to watch him go through this, and see him at practices, watching his team, not able to play his sport.
    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!)
    Unmet Expectations was a great ladies Bible study I did in the Fall.
    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    Teens/dating would be helpful 😉

  50. Alyssa Boisseranc says:

    Hi Monica,
    1. I am most looking forward to reading the entire Bible for the first time. I love the LORD and am have known Him for quite a few years now but never finished reading through. I’m doing the Bible recap with TLC also!! It’s my first time through, I just started and am already learning so much.
    2. My family has been struggling with figuring out how to make going to church on Sundays a priority. It feels like its only a priority to me and that makes it hard to get my hubby and 2 kids on board. Plus we are now playing club water polo (my son is playing and I’m assistant coaching) and one of the days of practice is Sunday mornings (obviously not my choice) 😒
    3. It’s so funny because I would have recommended the movie, War Room or the book, Fervent even if you hadn’t mentioned you finally saw WR. How good is it!?!? That concept and realization was a game change for me and my walk with God. I just started book, The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson which is also about spiritual warfare.
    4. A speaker/author I really enjoyed recently was Hosanna Wong. She does spoken word (kind of read aloud poetry) and she spoke about the names God gives us. It was so powerful and God really used her to remind me that He is my friend, and I had not been putting any effort into our relationship. I was just praying to him and expecting Him to answer me. It breaks my heart to think of how neglected He was by me. But I was also so encouraged by Hosanna to remember that He cares and is patient and forgiving and so full of grace for us.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with us and for being so genuine and welcoming! I’m looking forward to hearing the podcast!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Lots of exciting things this year. Hoping to travel out west to visit family, needing to build a shop and possibly buy a handicap van so our oldest daughter who is in a wheelchair can travel easier. I’m wanting to start reading more books so I don’t really have any recommendations at the moment

  52. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    We are going to start making our house our home and investing in creating spaces that our family can enjoy. We are also in the season of having teenagers, so soaking up every moment we can with our kids before they launch into adulthood. Having those growth convos are my fav!

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    My first thought is having those growth convos with our kids and my spouse. And prayerfully encouraging each other and not being discouraging. To me it is the daily grind and having a great attitude through it all. Sometimes I let my tiredness impact the environment of my home. So really being mindful and giving myself margin and times of rest each week. After all, God tells me to rest, so I am just following His word if I go take a nap, right? 😉 So being intentional on resting in the business of life.

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!)
    The Bible Recap! I am starting my year with it and love how it gives you a deep dive in each scripture read each day. And having Grace for myself if I miss a day that I can catch up somewhere. I am already behind (being honest) so building in the extra time to read this week. Which is meeting my rest goal too. Haha!

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    A topic that would be great is how to invest your resources to help them grow in the future, that being our two biggest resources TIME and MONEY.
    Time being the thing we only have a certain amount of each day and how are we utilizing it to really live our best days in what God calls us to do. And Money, which if we manage it well then we can see it grow and giving us back time in the future verses toiling to “get by”. God wants us to thrive, just like how we desire our kids to thrive. How are we being good stewards of our time and money to invest/grow God’s kingdom? Makes me think of that good ole saying “the decisions you make today, impact your future.” Or “the real work starts when you get off your 9-5 job.” Which I continue to be a work in progress with that last one and saving my best energy for when I am off work.

  53. Kayleen Abernathy says:

    1. I’m most looking forward to reading the entire Bible in 2024.
    I got The Bible Recap as a Christmas present (thanks to your suggestion) and it ignited a fire in me. I look forward to sitting down every day and reading the chapters in the Bible and her commentary about it. I have already learned so much.

    2. The greatest challenge my family is facing this year is infertility (we have 3 sons already who we are so grateful for, but our dream/desire is to have a 4th baby). We have been trying for 2 years now. I don’t feel like our family is complete and whenever I look at our family pictures I feel like someone is missing. It’s hard, but I trust God’s plan/timing.
    Also, my husband’s union work contract is renewing and they’re trying to do a 27% pay cut. We already live on a tight budget, so this will definitely be a challenge financially. Trusting Him ✝️.

    3. My husband and I would recommend: Parenting- 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp. We read it together and it was life changing!

    4. I would love for you to do a topic on control. I totally struggle with this. If I start feeling stressed/out of control, then I look for things I can control (like cleaning our house) and then I get overly focused on that because it’s how I cope, but then I add more to my plate by keeping everything perfect. It’s a vicious cycle. I would love to know if there’s any others out there that struggle with this and how they have overcome it.

    Thank you, blessings 💜!

  54. Elle Lovett says:

    Love the fun life update! Here’s my answers to a couple of the questions 🙂

    3) God has used two books to absolutely change my life lately – When Dreams Come True, and When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric and Leslie Ludy. Their view on relationships and purity in the waiting is incredibly Christ-centered and refreshing, as well as super foreign to this culture. I’ve read quite a few Christian relationship books myself and none have come close to the inspiration this gives me as a 19-year-old Christian. Can’t recommend enough!
    4) That answer goes into my answer to this question – it would be lovely if you were able to interview the Ludys on the podcast! Their ministry is so Christ-centered, you can just hear Jesus radiating from everything they say.

  55. Hi Monica!
    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    Nothing “exciting” just appreciating the time with my boys still all at home -they are now 15, 14 & 11 and I know these days are fleeting and I’m trying my best to be present and enjoy the day to day moments with them all under my roof.

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    Steady income! We are “self-employed” -my husband writes from home (fiction) and we publish journals on Amazon and it takes so much work and marketing and patience and you wonder if you should keep going or get a 9-5 job.

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!). Actually, Godzilla minus 1 was really good. Took our boys to see it in December. A movie with an emphasis on strong men, duty, fighting evil and the family unit. A good one for boys especially.

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    Nothing specific, managing screen-time, phones, gaming, is an issue we are dealing more with as our boys get older. They LOVE screens & getting into video games and I dread it and miss the simple days of them playing in the dirt. Trying to continue to encourage “real life”/analog stuff vs. tech & screen.

    Thanks!! Love your coffee date blog posts 🤗

  56. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

    I’m really looking forward to start homeschooling my twin boys who are entering preschool age this year!

    2. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.

    I really enjoy all the topics and guests in the podcast! It would be very interesting to hear on being a stay home parent, and how to embrace that, especially for us moms who left their careers to take care of the kiddos.

  57. Bethany Landis says:

    I am most looking forward to more JOY in 2024, my one word for the year. And winning the coffee and steamer would bring me JOY. I also started using the First 15 App again this year. Excited to start my day out with time in the Bible.

  58. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

    Seeing what God will do through our family. My 2 youngest boys relationship has evolved and I love seeing them (truly) best friends.

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    My oldest – praying he fully comes back to the Lord- complete restoration in our family

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!) we LOVE the Boys in the Boat. It was a book. My father-in-law recommended two summers ago. He passed away almost a year ago, so this was a special movie for us to see.

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast. I actually have no idea. I’m always surprised by the guests that you have and honestly they are new introductions for me so keep them coming.

  59. Iradis Jordan says:

    Happy New Year, Monica! It was so fun reading your updates and I pray this year is filled with blessings for you and your family. It was neat to read about the NBC special that Levi and Luke got to be a part of!

    One thing I’m looking forward to in 2024, is being intentional about taking a weekend away from home for myself. It’s something I’ve always struggled with prioritizing, much to my husbands dismay. He always offers (each year, multiple times) but the mom guilt always takes over. I’m ready to do something about it – our oldest will be 11 which means I’ve been needing this break for a long time now.

  60. Excited about your book and your son’s devo for teens! I’ve been looking recently and the pickings are especially slim for teen boys.

  61. 1. Looking forward to continuing to watch my two sons grow. Currently 11 and 8, seeing how their personalities are becoming more their own each day is awesome.
    2. challenge is us all figuring out balance. My husband works a lot and that leaves the three of us with time or busyness.
    3. My 11 year old is reading the Hunger Games now and its fun to share with him in my joy of reading all things. To be able to have a real conversation with him about it is very cool.
    4. Solo parenting when the spouse works long hours. I have a hard time balancing “ok I do it all” but then he comes home and we have to incorporate him into our “flow”. Its hard sometimes.

  62. Valerie Petersen says:

    Thank you for this opportunity– that looks AMAZING! This year, I am focusing my mornings on prayer and devotion so the coffee and frother would be a welcome addition 🙂 I am working through “The One Year Praying through the Bible for Your Kids” devotional along with the 40 Day Sugar Fast by Wendy Speake. And as far as things I’ve watched lately, “All The Light We Cannot See” on Netflix was outstanding. I am going to read the book now it was so good!

  63. 1. Most looking forward to moving into our new home in a couple of months.
    2. Biggest challenge has been moving to a new state and the feeling of “starting over.” Also living in more cramped space as a family has been an adjustment during the moving process.
    3. I recommend your book Boy Mom and Habits of the Household.
    4. I’d love the topic on women reentering the job force after being a stay at home mom. How to find your next thing and succeed in a job or career.

  64. Heather Henning says:

    Aloha! I think the thing I’m looking forward to most this year is spending more time with family. Have monthly dinners where my one brother, his family and my parents are all here.

    I think our greatest challenge is me finding a new job after being at mine for 15 years. I won’t have as much vacation time built up to go see my college daughter. 😞

    For a boom I recommend Raising Amazing and a movie would be boys in the boat.

    For the podcast, I’m not sure on that one. 🤔

    Have an amazing day!
    Heather H.

  65. Hi! I loved all the fun stuff in this post! I personally enjoyed reading it instead of listening because of my work environment currently and not being able to listen. Anyway…
    1. I’m looking forward to reading through the Bible this year and digging into God’s Word. Also looking forward to spending time with my husband and two daughters.
    2. I have some health issues I am currently dealing with and waiting on test results right now.
    3. Cultivate by Lara Casey
    4. I love the people you have had on and can’t think of anyone right now.

  66. Christina says:

    Looking forward to starting the teenage years in 2024 as my oldest is entering that stage. 😃

  67. Stefanie Marriott says:

    Hi Monica!
    I always love your coffee date posts! This was a fun one to read. So thank you! Also can’t wait for your new book! 🎉🎉🎉
    I had to copy the questions so I didn’t get too off topic. 😉

    1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024?
    We’re moving out of a rental home (been in for 8 months) and into our new home! 🎉 There will be painting projects, changing out lighting and painting cabinets (hopefully hiring that one out 🤪), which I think will be a fun and challenging experience for my family. We’re all very ready to set some new roots down in a new city and new home.

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year?
    Since we are in a new city (my husband recently retired from the AF and we left a community we dearly loved – between our military community, church and neighborhood), and we recently entered the teen years with my oldest, we’re really praying about friendships and influences. We’ve found it a bit harder to find friends in this new season and bigger city, but it’s allowing us to practice patience and have a whole lot of time together as a family.

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!)
    I read Teaching from Rest by Sara McKenzie every year and it never fails to encourage my heart in these homeschooling years.

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast.
    I can’t remember if Sara McKenzie has been on your podcast? But with your new homeschooling book, she’d be a great guest!

    Thank you for what you do! ❤️

  68. Samantha Brown says:

    Hey Monica! Thank you for always being that friend (even from a distance) that always brings on excellent guests to push us into more God-fearing people…along with becoming the parents God designed us to be.

    As for the questions…

    1. The thing I am most looking forward to in 2024 is finishing my first school year as a teacher in a new district I switched to this year (after 12 years in a previous one). I am a public school teacher with a 5 year old son, and while I don’t ever picture getting to homeschool, I still love all your encouragement and advice!

    Thank you for your emails and just pouring in to us while following your calling through Jesus! I hope you and your family have an amazing 2024!

  69. 1. What are you most looking forward to in 2024? Becoming a stronger family unit. Trying to love each other to the best of our abilities. Growing in our faith.

    2. What is the greatest challenge your family is facing this year? Having good attitudes towards church and related activities. Trying to have good attitudes despite the situation.

    3. Share a book or movie you recommend (for moms, dads, or kids!) – love Boy Mom and currently reading Raising Amazing of course ☺️, reading Atomic Habits and it’s great, also reading Make Your Bed (quick read with great little nuggets of wisdom), starting The Worry Free Parent (high hopes)

    4. Name a topic or a guest you’d love for me to have on the podcast. Anything boy related (I have 4 as well – 5,7,9,11), screen free activities, cheap or free family activities, simple simple weekly activities for families, favorite board games, family meeting ideas

  70. Don’t end the blogs… much much prefer reading vs listening to podcasts
    With 3 teens we have a full year of kid’s activities which is so fun. Dance competitions, TaeKwando tournaments, robotics competitions, archery, band concerts, track meets and cross country meets.

  71. Catie Hawver says:

    One challenge my family is facing for this next year is knowing the right school choices for our kids, knowing which activities are best use of time, and working on finding good friendships for all of us!