In this episode of The Turquoise Table, host Kristin Schell welcomes author, blogger, and parent, Tricia Goyer to discuss her book The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members, and One Impossible Goal. As a mother of 10 kids (seven of whom still live in the house), being married 29 years, and having authored over 75 books, Tricia has become Kristin’s go-to authority on all things parenting. Tricia shares how she keeps the family, even the kids living outside of the home, and her 90-year-old mother with dementia, communicating and sharing with each other. She uses Friday night board games and Sunday dinners as a way to get everyone in the same place at the same time. She also mentions the importance of accepting the imperfections of your daily cleaning and laundry duties.
The Grumble-Free Year was based on Tricia’s unique experience. There is an underlying grumbling and discontent that children and parents both express. She and her husband thought, “what if we could go a year without grumbling?” She knew it’d take a while to undo certain habits, but she was tired not only of hearing her kids grumble, but saw it spilling over into her relationship with her husband. It even says in the book of Numbers in the Bible that grumbling will keep you from God’s promised land! She presented the idea to her family during a road trip, which happened to also be a source of grumbling. Luckily, Tricia’s kids took to it well, making sure to catch themselves grumbling instead of scolding others for it.
One moment that was a huge turning point was an unforeseen accident – Tricia’s mother broke her back on Thanksgiving Day. Though she could not remember that she broke her back (even trying to get up and walk) due to the dementia, she would lie in bed and sing praise songs, remembering every word. This was eye-opening. Tricia and her children were shown how to be grateful and appreciative for what you do have. It also showed them that it’s important to praise God, even during the hard and even painful circumstances. Once she used these lessons to train herself to be appreciative, she’d find herself not grumbling about a dirty house, but being appreciative that she had a house to begin with. Tricia shares a few tips about accepting the state of your home during a busy season, sharing her Grandma’s pozole recipe, and what community means to her.
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Connect with Tricia Goyer:
- The Grumble-Free Year: Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members and One Impossible Goal
- Tricia’s website
- Follow Tricia on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
Connect with Kristin:
Podcast Discussion Guide
Goyer Favorite Games: