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Prepare Them For Launch

Prepare Them For Launch

By Natalie Washington and AJ Dean

Raising kids in today’s world is a challenge. Social pressures, shifting norms, and anxiety and depression are affecting younger generations like never before, and successfully navigating these issues can be tough. In "Prepare Them for Launch," a ministry of Friends Church, children’s pastor, trained counselor, and mom-of-three Natalie Washington is joined by youth minister AJ Dean, as they share candid conversations from the perspective of both parents and children.
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The Lessons We Learned
The Lessons We Learned
In this episode, AJ and Natalie share their highlights from this season on mental health.  Listen in as they share their top takeaways and their hopes for the future of this next generation!
14:18
October 19, 2022
Spiritual Dryness
Spiritual Dryness
In this episode AJ and Natalie explore what Spiritual Dryness is and how you can manage through it and into deeper relationship with Christ.  Listen in as they share real stories, and apply practical tools and truths to this part of a spiritual journey.
30:41
October 12, 2022
Wrestling with Your Faith
Wrestling with Your Faith
Jenna Masters is an amazing author, public speaker and mom of 4 beautiful children.  In this episode she talks about how her honesty with God created a deeper relationship with Him.  She shares ways to bring your children into your spiritual journey and explores the ways that creates the freedom for them to have their own authentic relationship with God.  You can find samples of her writing and connect deeper with Jenna at her website: www.jennamariemasters.com 
44:09
October 05, 2022
Managing my Anxiety
Managing my Anxiety
Ashley Hudson is a therapist and parent coach who is passionate about helping parents connect with and understand their teens.  In this episode she guides us into understanding anxiety both in ourselves and in our children.  Listen in as she gives practical tips and tools to help calm anxiety and create connection.  You can find more from Ashley at: Ashley Hudson Therapy www.ashleyhudsontherapy.com 
25:50
September 29, 2022
Learning to Pause and Give Grace
Learning to Pause and Give Grace
In this episode we have the extreme honor of connecting with Pastor Kenneth Curry of Friendship Baptist Church.  He provides beautiful insight on how to lead our communities, our families and our children into a world filled with grace. "If we can be personal with one another, we can do better communicating as individuals, as brothers and sisters in Christ and as humans". 
39:16
September 21, 2022
Caring For Your Soul Through Your Marriage
Caring For Your Soul Through Your Marriage
In this episode we sit with Elizabeth Miller, Family Resource Pastor as she shares her perspective on caring for your soul by tending to your marriage.  She shares an honest perspective on marriage, love and the powerful change a well thought out apology can bring.  Listen in as she teaches us to grow and learn through the careful protection of our marriage.
34:35
September 14, 2022
Healing Through Brokenness
Healing Through Brokenness
In this episode Matthew Cork, Lead Pastor of Friends Church Yorba Linda and author of "Broken For Good" shares his heart as a leader, a husband and a father.  Matthew shares how he led both his congregation and his family through a painful and broken period in his life.  Caring for your soul in the darkness can lead to isolation and despair.  Listen in as Matthew shares how God lit up the darkened places of his life and allowed him to be..."broken for good".
40:51
September 07, 2022
Season 3 Intro: Caring For Your Soul and Your Mental Health
Season 3 Intro: Caring For Your Soul and Your Mental Health
As a parent, your mental health and tending to your soul is vital to the health and well-being of your children.  This season we meet with Pastors, Therapists and Friends who each have a unique spin on how to practice self-care.  Listen in as we empower you to care for the deepest parts of yourself and learn how it can transform your role as a parent!
09:31
August 31, 2022
Chapter 9: Conclusion
Chapter 9: Conclusion
This season has been such a gift, sitting with friends and professionals as we listened to their stories.  Our hope is that you've learned the power of stories and the way they can show us the beauty God weaves into the every day.  In this episode AJ and Natalie share how they've been impacted by this season and their hopes and prayers for you, the listener.  Praying this "conclusion" engages you to open up new life stories full of vibrant and powerful characters!
15:38
August 24, 2022
Chapter 8: How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Boys
Chapter 8: How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Boys
The power of stories is their ability to define us.  But how does that effect us when the narrative no longer applies?  In this episode we sit with Katie West, LMFT as she shares her research into the changing stories of boys and men.  She gives us practical, tangible ways to help our boys re-write their stories and take ownership over their emotions.  Katie reminds us that together we can make small differences that will make a big impact in the stories written of the boys and men in our lives. 
31:49
August 17, 2022
Chapter 7: Raising Kids With Blended Ethnicities
Chapter 7: Raising Kids With Blended Ethnicities
Today's story is about the power of love and acceptance.  Co-host Natalie Washington introduces us to her husband Keith and shares a little about their life, their love for one another and God, and the gift of raising kids of mixed ethnicities.  The beauty of this story is found in the love that is woven between the characters, binding them together even in the toughest of times.  Listen as Natalie shares how her husband used a moment of prejudice to teach their children to be fully accepting of the beautiful humans God created them to be!
31:07
August 10, 2022
Chapter 6: God's Story
Chapter 6: God's Story
Our protagonist in this episode reminds us that she is living out "God's Story" for her life.  Letty was born in Cuba and came to America as a young girl.  In a late night game of dominos, her dad was inspired by a friend's passion for church which eventually led her whole family to know God.  It was the smallest of events that led to a much larger story. Her story reminds us that God is present in all of the small and the large moments.  Letty shares examples of that as she expresses her passion about the next generation and the children and families she works with through the non profit organization Lot318.  Her desire is to build a relational bridge between communities so that we can better understand life through the eyes of a different lens.  
27:24
August 03, 2022
Chapter 5: I'm Heading Into Motherhood
Chapter 5: I'm Heading Into Motherhood
Nothing re-writes your story or meanders the plot lines more than the introduction of a new character.  Becoming a parent for the first time infuses your life with emotions you never even knew existed.  In this episode we hear the beautiful story of Emily Hamilton.  She shares how God guided her into a life she didn't expect and blessed her with adventure, love and most recently...motherhood.  As she enters into this journey for the first time she shares with us how her story will help write her son's story and how grace will play a part in her life and in her son's life.  As a special treat, she concludes this episode by singing a sweet blessing over her her son. 
31:27
July 27, 2022
Chapter 4: Autism Spectrum Disorder: Raising a Family Full of Love, Faith and Surprises!
Chapter 4: Autism Spectrum Disorder: Raising a Family Full of Love, Faith and Surprises!
Stories have a way of surprising us, of taking us through doors we never thought we'd open and imprinting themselves on our hearts as we walk in step with the characters.  Today's story does just that, and as you listen your heart will be forever changed.  In this episode we sit down with Whitney who, along with her husband Collin, is raising three beautiful daughters.  Whitney's story begins with a surprise and as we turn the pages through the weeks and years that followed that surprise we are drawn in by her strength, her compassion, her faith, and her unconditional love.  This story is one the whole world should hear.  We hope you learn, grow and are blessed by this woman and her amazing family!
41:59
July 20, 2022
Chapter 3: My Story of Triumph: Life before, during and after Foster Care
Chapter 3: My Story of Triumph: Life before, during and after Foster Care
We learn to love and admire characters in stories as we journey, grow and overcome challenges with them.  The story held in the words and emotions of this episode allow us to do just that.  Ruby overcame unimaginable situations, found courage when most would succumb to fear and found a way to find peace and love despite chaotic circumstances.  Listen in as we journey with this amazing woman as she shares her amazing story of triumph!
23:34
July 13, 2022
Chapter 2: Helping Girls Find Their Courage, Strength and Identity
Chapter 2: Helping Girls Find Their Courage, Strength and Identity
Occasionally we can allow societal norms to dictate who we are.  When we do that, we are giving those norms the power to write unwanted chapters of our story.  Girls and women can run into identity and value issues as they navigate through who society tells them they can be and what they need to look like.  Terra Mattson is passionate about helping girls realize their full potential and to see themselves through God's eyes.  She dispels the pressure women feel to "Do more, be more" and fights against that message being passed down to the next generation of girls.  In this episode we sit with a friend who helps us see how the early chapters of our stories play into our parenting patterns and how learning to heal what is inside us can empower the next generation. Terra shows us that we can help our girls write their own story full of confidence, of strength and God's unfailing love. 
34:13
July 06, 2022
Chapter 1: My Life as a Single Mom
Chapter 1: My Life as a Single Mom
The best stories are the ones where the protagonist faces challenges, endures struggles, and in the end finds themselves a stronger, braver version of the person they once were.  That is the story of this episode's mom who lived in a world full of struggle and hurt.  She found the strength to pull herself out of that life and courageously began to step outside her comfort zone to learn and grow and....heal.  Listen as she shares her story and reminds us that God finds us and loves us even in our darkest moments.
40:15
June 29, 2022
Season 2 Intro: Stories
Season 2 Intro: Stories
The journey through parenting is filled with an abundant amount of unique experiences and challenges. It is easy sometimes to become so lost in our own story that we forget to slow down and take notice of the stories playing out around us.  In this season we will sit down with parents, mentors, and friends as they share their stories.  It is a rare opportunity to stop and to listen.  Join us as we turn the page and begin this new season.
18:09
June 22, 2022
Listen, Learn, and Grow
Listen, Learn, and Grow
In this closing episode for their first season, AJ and Natalie share how this season has impacted them, what they've learned and how they plan to apply it.  Listen in as they share their hearts for families and prepare you to launch into the next season!  
15:09
June 15, 2022
Grace-Filled Parenting
Grace-Filled Parenting
How can you be an ambassador of grace in your home? As parents, choosing to surprise our children with the unexpected gift of grace has never been more important than it is today. In this episode, we sit down with author and speaker Jonathan Pitts, who opens up about the loss of his wife, Wynter. As a pastor at Church of the City in Tennessee and the father of four beautiful daughters, he candidly shares his heart on parenting, grace, and the lasting impact of a sincere apology.
27:43
June 08, 2022
Parenting in a Complex Culture
Parenting in a Complex Culture
How do you engage your kids on topics like “wokeism” and cancel culture? Never have opinions been more polarized, and never have we needed wisdom like we do today.  Join in the conversation as we talk to special guest Kevin Zimmerman, a pastor at Friends Church in Orange, who encourages us to let Jesus be our guide in showing grace, empathy, and compassion to others, starting with our children.
23:57
June 01, 2022
Fueling the Launch
Fueling the Launch
What's the most important thing we can do as we prepare our kids for launch? In this episode, we hear from Raj and Lisa Qsar — the parents of Hannah — as they share what her teenage years taught them. Don’t miss this candid and enlightening conversation that dives into their successes and challenges.
14:35
May 25, 2022
Preparing to Launch
Preparing to Launch
Join the conversation as we talk to a teen who’s on the verge of leaving the nest and launching her life. What is she feeling and experiencing? And how have her parents made the transition attainable? Though launching is one of the primary goals of parenting, there are emotions to navigate when our kids finally spread their wings and fly. Listen in as we hear one teenager’s account of this complex and exciting season.
21:44
May 18, 2022
Is it Depression?
Is it Depression?
What is depression and how does it differ from anxiety? Can parents really know when their kids are battling it? These important questions are addressed by therapists Leah and Matt Heim as they share how to journey alongside teens who have moved from enjoying life to struggling to survive.
24:39
May 11, 2022
What Is Anxiety?
What Is Anxiety?
What’s the difference between anxiety and stress? How do you know when your kids’ everyday routines become too much for them to cope with? Join us as we welcome husband and wife Leah and Matt Heim, who are both licensed marriage and family therapists. Together, they unpack how to distinguish stress from anxiety and what parents can do to help. They also discuss “co-regulation,” or how mom and dad can mirror their children’s emotions to help them identify, express, and process their own.
21:03
May 04, 2022
A Teen’s Journey Through Anxiety and Depression
A Teen’s Journey Through Anxiety and Depression
Peer into the brain of a teenager dealing with anxiety and depression and see what life looks like on her side of the glass wall. Listen in as we welcome Mariah, Natalie’s teenage daughter, who shares about her own mental health battle, and hear how and when it started and what she needed to feel loved and supported.
19:00
April 27, 2022
3 Big Questions
3 Big Questions
Every teenager is a walking bundle of questions. In their book 3 Big Questions That Change Every Teenager, Kara Powell and Brad Griffin from Fuller Youth Institute get to the core of what kids really want to know: “Who am I?” (identity), “Where do I fit?” (belonging), and “What difference can I make?” (purpose). In this episode, co-author Brad Griffin shares the findings of the book’s research on the upcoming generation, and he offers us the rare opportunity to ponder these questions before they arise so we can communicate them to our children.
23:04
April 22, 2022
Glass Wall
Glass Wall
A glass wall is any barrier to having an authentic and transparent relationship with your kids. Though you may see each other and spend time in each other's presence, there are spaces of emptiness between you — hidden assumptions that you can’t or won’t truly understand. Thankfully, with empathy, insight, and the right outlook, glass walls can be broken, and a totally honest relationship is fully attainable. Listen in as we share this important discussion about tearing down barriers between parents and teens.
16:24
April 15, 2022
Trailer
Trailer
Natalie Washington and Co-host AJ Dean care deeply about raising a generation of kids poised to change the world.  Listen as they share who they are and why they care about you, the life of your child, and the journey you are on together.
00:46
April 15, 2022