The Waiting Warriors

Michelle Bowler - The Waiting Warrior

This podcast is devoted to helping Military and First Responder families and loved ones thrive.

All Episodes

Military spouse Kristen Christy shares her touching story of losing her first husband to suicide and how that effected her and her family. Kristen's story is filled will darkness, but also and bright and powerful amount of hope for all in the military community.  Follow Kristen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristenchristy?lang=en Get more Waiting Warrior tips and resources at http://thewaitingwarriors.com/

Sep 28

50 min 15 sec

A deployment is challenging enough, but a deployment during a pandemic presented many unique challenges for Charlotte and her family. She describes how she models reality and resilience to her children so they can work through their own personal life challenges.   "I don't think that we need to always be perfect and strong in front of our kids, little or teenagers, because I think that they need to see that that's ok and that's real."                   -Charlotte Hancey @charlotte.shares

Jun 21

34 min 51 sec

Jenn always felt the strength of "blue family", but it wasn't until her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that she saw the depth of those ties. She shares with us how the law enforcement community showed up in both big and small ways to support her husband and their family through their hardest challenges, and the lessons she learned along the way.   "Say yes to the adventures. And say yes to the memories, and just really live."     -Jenn Henricksen @jenn_henricksen   https://www.subscribepage.com/3waystosetupyourmarriageforasuccessfuldeployment.    

Jun 14

47 min 57 sec

In recognition of Memorial Day, Debbie shares the story of her son, Marc Lee, who willingly gave his life for others while serving as a Navy Seal. She explains the life she has chosen to live because of his example of love and service, and offers ways to honor and serve those who have sacrificed everything no matter what our circumstances might be. "There is no deeper pain than the loss of a child. And I could've curled up in a ball, I could've felt sorry for myself, but that wouldn't have brought Marc back... And so my choice was to put on Marc's boots, and pick up his weapon, and stay in the fight for every man and woman that serves, stay in the fight for every other family who has lost a loved one."    -Debbie Lee @americasmighty

Jun 7

47 min 46 sec

Amy has made it her mission to explore the benefits of being outside every single day. She explains the direct influence she has seen it have on her own family and in her personal life.   "I have seen just countless benefits: mental health, physical health, relationships, creativity, grittiness, perseverance. You name it, it's impacted by the experience of going outside and doing things that are outside of your comfort zone."                       -Amy Bushatz @humansoutside

May 28

44 min 39 sec

We wrap our our Month of the Military Child series with Jolynn Lee, a returning guest on the podcast. She addresses the common concern of "Is military life going to mess up my kids?" Spoiler, it won't.    "No, it's not going to be like this forever. No, I'm not screwing my kid up forever. It's just a moment."   -Jolynn Lee contact@jolynnlee.com www.jolynnlee.com

May 1

50 min 8 sec

Abi and Daena, co founders of Legacy Kids Magazine, share both their personal experiences as moms and professional expertise in mental health and counseling in regard to all of the incredibly positive ways that military life can affect our military kids.   "Parents play a huge role in helping the child navigate their narrative. So the parents have the opportunity to shine a light on the benefits of living a challenging life."                     Abi Ray and Daena Vandre @legacymag.kids   https://www.legacymagazine.org/ Get the free Waiting Warriors resource 3 Ways to Set Up Your Marriage For A Successful Deployment here: https://www.subscribepage.com/3waystosetupyourmarriageforasuccessfuldeployment

Apr 20

49 min 17 sec

Stephanie shares how the way she approaches her own life as a military spouse has affected her children's outlook on their experiences as a military family.   "I cannot change the fact that [my husband] is doing what he does. I can change my reaction and how we choose to face it."                    -Stephanie Howell @stephaniehowell

Apr 13

48 min 43 sec

We start our Month of the Military Child series with Amy Harding, mother of 7 and military spouse of over 20 years. She shares her experiences of developing strong family rituals and bonds and how that has helped her children handle the constant changes of military life.   "When you make a conscious focus as a family, there's a thousand different daily decisions and priorities that are going to automatically be made by that."     -Amy Harding     

Apr 8

45 min 35 sec

Liz likes to be organized, but has learned over several PCS moves that life doesn't always go according to plan. She shares her experiences and tips for how to plan for the unexpected.   "A lot of it is out of our control, but it's our response to those things that kind of shape our attitude and they shape our growth. Either we grow from it and we become better, or we become bitter."                   -Liz Cook @listandfile www.listandfile.com

Mar 22

40 min 31 sec

PCS season can be stressful, emotional, and downright difficult, and if you have kids it can be even more so. Michelle shares four tips that she has personally used to help her own kids deal with the craziness of moving.   "Negative emotion isn't something we need to keep from happening, but we can learn for ourselves and can teach our kids how to process it."    -Michelle Bowler @thewaitingwarrior

Mar 15

50 min 32 sec

After 13 moves in 13 years, Mallory is the DITY queen. She shares why she chooses to DITY each time, as well as tips on how to stay organized and simplify the move process.   "My goal is to make [DITY moves] less overwhelming. So I'm not saying that you're not going to be overwhelmed...moving is hard and there's a lot that goes into it and it's hard work, but the more organized you are the easier it feels."                      -Mallory @mamas_onthe_move www.ditymama.com

Mar 9

39 min 25 sec

As an army veteran herself and now a military spouse, Megan has loads of experience with PCSing. Listen as she shares detailed ways to keep track of current regulations, keep control of your move, and get through your PCS with as little stress as possible.   "What I tell people to not be stressed about [a PCS] is it goes into a lot of planning for your PCS, a lot of organizing."                 -Megan Harless   PCS Like A Pro: https://www.facebook.com/PCSlikeAPro Lost During My PCS: https://www.facebook.com/lostduringmypcs

Mar 1

48 min 14 sec

As an experienced army wife and as the executive director of InDependent (a non-profit passionate about military spouse wellness), Evie has come to understand that wellness is not a one-size-fits-all situation. She shares her tips on finding what wellness can look like in your own life, and how it can change depending on your current circumstance as a military spouse.   "For me, wellness is doing things that really feed me at the time and defining what wellness is at that moment in my life."                -Evie King @independentorg   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/independent-wellness-summittm-be-well-registration-132673172029?aff=waitingwarrior&discount=AMBIWS21   https://teespring.com/stores/the-waiting-warrior

Feb 22

37 min 10 sec

It's just Michelle today as we dive into ways to keep your marriage thriving and happy. As military spouses and first responder spouse we need to focus on making choices and being intentional with how we interact and love our spouses. Michelle also gives specific ideas on how to stay connected whether you are together or apart during deployments and separations. "I don't want to just wait for problems to happen, I want to strengthen my marriage now."            -Michelle Bowler @thewaitingwarrior  

Feb 16

36 min 8 sec

Shea is no stranger to the unexpected changes and challenges that life as a military spouse can bring. She shares her stories of learning to see the roadblocks that are getting in the way of her goals and finding detours around them.  "Life is written in pencil and we get to rewrite our expectations."           -Shea Sines @teamboxops www.boxops.etsy.com      

Feb 10

35 min 3 sec

Katie shares her experiences of learning to communicate her needs and ask for help- both in her marriage and with her friends and family- as she navigated her early years as a military spouse. "I had to learn that if I'm feeling something I need to say it, even if I'm scared of what the reaction might be."                           -Katie Hubbs @forthubbs    

Feb 1

36 min 16 sec

"I created my own community. I was like, if we don't have one I'm going to create one for us and create one for other families...I essentially created something that didn't exist for me."          -Ashley Weinert @countingourheroeshome As the spouse of a Reserve National Guard, Ashley's experience as a Waiting Warrior has been more isolated than most. She shares her experience of finding ways to support her children and other military families who aren't surrounded by an immediate military community.

Jan 25

44 min 47 sec

"Every day, if you're trying to do better than the last, then that's progress and that's what we want to achieve to make yourself happier."  -Elizabeth Shaw @elizaeshaw   Elizabeth shares how she learned to carve out time as a military spouse and a working mom for herself, and how focusing on personal wellness changed her life in many ways.    

Jan 18

33 min 5 sec

"As a military spouse we let our mental barriers stop us so much because we're beaten down, we're exhausted, we put ourselves last- and I was tired of putting myself last."           -Flossie Hall @flossie_hall   As an entrepreneur, military spouse, and mom of 4 Flossie has a lot of experience with the roadblocks that come with pursuing personal goals. She explains the benefits of prioritizing individual growth and passions.

Jan 11

31 min 57 sec

"Don't give up. There's always a reason and a purpose for what you're going through. We may not see it, we may never see it, we may never know, but just keep pushing through." -Aleida   Aleida shares the struggle she had with getting pregnant, especially during regular moves with the military. She walks us through her journey with IVF and how she was able to have hope throughout the process. aflores7533@gmail.com https://www.subscribepage.com/3waystosetupyourmarriageforasuccessfuldeployment  

Jan 4

36 min 46 sec

"Just enjoy the changes, embrace it...Even though it feels like it's going to be forever, it's really not." -Joanna @jomygosh1   Joanna shares the realistic truth of working through hard changes as a military spouse. She explains her process of going from grieving change to embracing it. www.jomygosh.com www.military.com

Dec 2020

24 min 39 sec

“A bonus lesson learned, is really taking ownership of the life that we do have- regardless of what’s going on around us- and making the most of it.” -Austin Bowler @thewaitingwarrior   Your host, Michelle, and her Army Chaplain husband Austin share what this crazy year has taught them in their own lives and invite you to think over what 2020 has taught you. https://teespring.com/stores/the-waiting-warrior

Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

"First adjusting to depending on someone else and then to adjust back [to independence] when the Army takes them...just being able to pick up and say "I remember how to do these things. These are muscles that haven't gone away, I just haven't used them in a while." -Julia @spouseserve The transition from independence to a military dependent when she became a military spouse was an interesting one for Julia. It became even more complicated when separations required her to lean back on her independence. www.spouseserve.com https://subscribepage.com/3waystosetupyourmarriageforasuccessfuldeployment  

Dec 2020

38 min 5 sec

"Whatever you give your energy to- whether it's positive or negative- you put it out it's going to come back to you." -Vanessa @vanessasholisticliving     Vanessa explains how she changed her life by focusing on a positive mindfulness, and how that changed affected her life in almost every way. She gives examples of how she has found peace and connection in her life as a military spouse because of it.

Dec 2020

33 min 14 sec

"Just because we sign up for something doesn't mean it's not hard. It just means we're going through it regardless and it's going to be hard the whole time, but we're going to get through it anyway." -Christina @themilitaryyogi   Christina is no stranger to the feelings of resentment, anger, and abandonment that often come from a life in the military. She shares her experiences of working through those emotions to keep her marriage intact and gives ideas of how others can do the same. https://www.facebook.com/groups/yogaformilitarywomen/?ref=share

Dec 2020

49 min 6 sec

"Don't ever wish away one year or two years or whatever of your life, because you're not going to get that back." -Yvonne Coombes @eevee_coombes   Yvonne shares her experiences of finding the good in every circumstance, no matter where you are. She describes her experience at a less-than-desirable assignment, which turned into one of her favorite places to be. She also describes her non-profit, Operation Deploy Your Dress, and how you can get involved. www.operationdeployyourdress.org

Nov 2020

44 min 5 sec

“[Force] the confrontation and [have] the conversations while you can have them.” -Suzanne @gracefinancialcoaching   Suzanne explains how she and her husband communicate and stay connected even though much of their relationship has been apart from each other. She emphasizes the importance of not waiting to have the hard conversations until there is strain in your relationship. www.gracefinancialcoaching.com https://teespring.com/stores/the-waiting-warrior

Oct 2020

31 min 26 sec

“It isn’t up to someone else to make you happy, it is up to you to be happy with yourself.” -Marla Bautista @marla.bautista.author   It is easy get lost in the life of a military spouse, and Marla knows all about it. She walks us through her early life of struggling with homelessness and building her independence and her later experiences of losing herself in the expectations of military life. She explains how she reclaimed and maintains her sense of identity, and shares her passion for service with her nonprofit organization The Bautista Project.   www.thebautistaprojectinc.org

Oct 2020

50 min 24 sec

“We’re working on a public health level to change things, but it also takes your every day connections to each other to save lives.” -Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee @yeeingrid   We conclude our series for National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month with Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee, who has dedicated much of her adult life working in suicide prevention. She shares great resources that provide helpful and confidential services to the military community, and emphasizes the impact that community members can have on each other.

Oct 2020

43 min 49 sec

"When we share our broken moment…it helps others realize that they’re not broken alone." -Jolynn Lee @starfishtalks Jolynn joins our September series for National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. She shares her family's experience with trauma, and how she believes the military community can influence the conversation around trauma and healing. Contact her by email at contact@jolynnlee.com or at her website www.jolynnlee.com

Sep 2020

38 min

“I can never ever ever get my dad back…but what I can do is live my life with purpose, spread my message, and try to change the world for the better so that we’re seeing less and less of this devastating epidemic.” -Kati Poston @the.eight.postons   September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, and we are kicking off a series on suicide awareness with military spouse Kati. Kati shares with us her personal experience with suicide, and how she chooses to learn from that experience by sharing light and hope with those around her.

Sep 2020

39 min 16 sec

“Be ok with where you’re at, what you’re doing.”  -Amy @tiny_troops_soccer   As a military spouse of 18 years, Amy knows how hard and lonely the military life can be. Listen as she gives her best tips on how to find what works for you, especially during separations and deployment. She also shares her passion, Tiny Troops Soccer, and explains how you and your kids can get involved. tinytroopssoccer.com

Aug 2020

50 min 16 sec

“Anybody can make an impact. Really.”  -Christal   Christal explains that foster care while serving in the Army is not only possible, but is much more accessible than people think. She walks us through her process of becoming a foster parent and the unique challenges and advantages that come with foster care in the military community. She also gives concrete ways that you can help those in foster care even if fostering in your home is not for you. christal@clement-arts.org  

Jul 2020

34 min 11 sec

“Community is everything. And just being there to support one another whether it is with business or whether it’s with life…at the end of the day we always have somebody, hopefully, to lean on.” -Monica @spouse.ly   Monica explains her inspiration behind the creation of Spouse-ly, an online marketplace to support Miltary/Veteran spouse and service member owned businesses. She also emphasizes the importance of building the military spouse community, and supporting those around you however you can.

Jul 2020

29 min 21 sec

”No matter what is going on in our life -no matter what the issues are, the circumstances that we are facing- they are not bigger than our marriage.” -Ashley Wallis  @_ashleywallis   Ashley takes us through her military spouse journey of discovering how to communicate fully with her husband, even amidst extreme hardship such as constant moves, 3 hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) pregnancies, dealing with her daughter's autoimmune disease, and more. She explains how she and her Army husband pulled together from the brink of divorce and have developed specific tools to help make their marriage successful.

Jul 2020

40 min 29 sec

“You have to keep on moving, adjust, and deal with it.” -Lily   Lily shares how she adjusted from civilian life surrounded by close family to military spouse life stationed far away from her support group.

Jun 2020

32 min 19 sec

“When we see a friend or someone we love is hurting, we want to jump in there and fix it. And in this situation there is really nothing you can say or do that is going to fix it.” -Wendi @strength4spouses Wendi shares her experiences as an army wife dealing with infertility and pregnancy loss when surrounded by families with children in the military. She shares ways to reach out to military spouses who are in similar situations, and what those suffering after miscarriage really need.

Jun 2020

36 min 50 sec

“You can NOT compare suffering. There’s no limit to the world’s empathy. We all deserve a piece of it, and every little pain that we feel and we think shouldn’t exist…that’s just not how emotion works.” -Morgan Slade @morganslade_ Morgan explains why military spouses and first responder spouses need to give themselves some grace and realize that being a military wife does not mean that you have to do it all. She explores self-compassion and the importance of leaning on the military spouse community around you.

Jun 2020

45 min 31 sec

“No matter how hard it is you dig deep and you find that resilience in you, that perseverance. Because it’s always there, you have just now decided that you are going to pull it from the depths and put it to work.” -Hannah Listen in while Hannah shares her experiences of being a twin mom and Air Force wife, and how her experiences have taught her how important resilience is. Hannah has realized that resilience always lives inside us, we just have to learn to tap into it. Check out her episode to learn how to draw on your own power. You can connect with Hannah at https://www.fleacefreelancing.com/

Jun 2020

38 min 36 sec

"Our loved ones have been called to help others, and so they're not always there to help us. So [self care] is...giving us back our power to be able to fill our souls and get us human again." -Noralee from @MrsNavyMama Listen as Noralee and I talk about our personal experiences of learning the importance or self care and how Noralee has broken down the process so we can make an individualized, full proof plan for our own self care. You'll walk out with steps you can take today to make sure your cup stays full! Also, make sure you listen to the end and join our salad and stinky cheese pun challenge :) Target gift card to the best one shared on social media (make sure you tag @TheWaitingWarrior and @MrsNavyMama)  

May 2020

43 min 3 sec

“If my husband’s watching your husband’s back and he’s watching my husband’s back, we need to have each other’s backs. That makes us family.” - Meagan Davis Listen as Meagan Davis shares how she gets her family involved in serving the community, and the experiences that have taught her just how vital it is for us to open our hearts and eyes to others. This life can be so lonely, can but it doesn't have to be!  Connect with Meagan on Facebook! And get more Waiting Warrior content on Instagram or Facebook @TheWaitingWarrior

May 2020

24 min 40 sec

"Never ever let them start a shift without kissing them, and never ever let them end a shift without kissing them and telling them that you love them.“ Julia  Listen as Julia, an ex cop and wife to a police man/national guardsman, shares her personal and professional experiences with loved ones fighting off demons. While this is one of the "heavier" topics for Waiting Warriors, these are very real and important things for us to be prepared for!  Connect with Julia on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/julia.woods.75 Make sure you subscribe and leave a review! Thanks for all your support!

May 2020

40 min 26 sec

“What you see in other people’s marriages- good, bad, or indifferent- that doesn’t mean that that’s what it has to be for you.” Bree Carroll from @HeartsStripes  Bree is passionate about strong Waiting Warrior marriages and shares how she went from having no desire to be married, to having a thriving partnership with her husband. Listen as she shares actionable examples of what they do as a couple to work together and thrive.  Connect with Bree on Instagram @HeartsStripes and listen to the podcast on your favorite platform! I also want share something that’s really helped me lately called Productivity Bootcamp created by Jordan Page. If you are feeling constantly behind on life, anxious, stressed, disorganized, or like you’re burning out I have something I really think will help you. I was there, swallowed up by so many changes, kids, and things that were all good, but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make things work. But then I found an online course called Productivity Bootcamp and it has helped me figure out so many things. What I love most and why I’m sharing with you all is that this course is moldable to your life. I do have an affiliate link (https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924) or on my instagram bio f you’d like to support the podcast . Please know, I am very particular about about what companies I let sponsor the podcast because I truly only want to share things that will help you guys thrive, and I know this is one of those things so go check out those links! https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924  

May 2020

32 min 16 sec

“Being a military spouse, or being a first responder spouse, is a hat you put on. It’s not who you are. And it does become a part of your identity, but it cannot become your identity.” Serena West from @ShopWestHouse Serena is no stranger to feeling of realizing that the life you envisioned for yourself is impossible while being a Waiting Warrior. But after years of wearing too many hats that weren't serving her, she figured out how to focus on the things that helped her most. You won't want to miss this solid, actionable and motivating advice!  Check out Serena's shop at https://www.shopwesthouse.com/  I also want share something that’s really helped me lately called Productivity Bootcamp created by Jordan Page. If you are feeling constantly behind on life, anxious, stressed, disorganized, or like you’re burning out I have something I really think will help you. I was there, swallowed up by so many changes, kids, and things that were all good, but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make things work. But then I found an online course called Productivity Bootcamp and it has helped me figure out so many things. What I love most and why I’m sharing with you all is that this course is moldable to your life. I do have an affiliate link (https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924) or on my instagram bio f you’d like to support the podcast . Please know, I am very particular about about what companies I let sponsor the podcast because I truly only want to share things that will help you guys thrive, and I know this is one of those things so go check out those links! https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924  

Apr 2020

39 min 29 sec

"It's very, very scary to put yourself out there and to try to make friends and put yourself in new situations, and awkward situations, and anxious situations." Kara @hey.pointdexter Kara is a naturally shy, stays in her comfort zone kind of woman, but military life (specifically moving to a small village in Germany with a brand new husband and then him leaving for training right away) has taught her how important it is to build your community. Listen and hear how she personally overcomes her social anxieties and fears and what you can do too! I also want share something that’s really helped me lately called Productivity Bootcamp created by Jordan Page. If you are feeling constantly behind on life, anxious, stressed, disorganized, or like you’re burning out I have something I really think will help you. I was there, swallowed up by so many changes, kids, and things that were all good, but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make things work. But then I found an online course called Productivity Bootcamp and it has helped me figure out so many things. What I love most and why I’m sharing with you all is that this course is moldable to your life. I do have an affiliate link (https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924) or on my instagram bio f you’d like to support the podcast . Please know, I am very particular about about what companies I let sponsor the podcast because I truly only want to share things that will help you guys thrive, and I know this is one of those things so go check out those links! https://productivitybootcamp.com/?cookieUUID=11109a2c-770b-47c2-a472-c56d329d8924

Apr 2020

35 min 13 sec

"If we can always keep the benefits and good things at the forefront of our minds then it just makes dealing with the challenges that little bit easier." Gems Collins This week Gems shares her perspective as an UK immigrant military spouse. She shares her experience with having to adapt to US life and military life, but also her strong belief of the benefits of a positive attitude! Get more Waiting Warrior content on Instagram or Facebook  

Apr 2020

29 min 32 sec

“If we are starting to get twisted up about x, y, or z and we pause and realize whether or not we have actually said it out loud, and we come to notice we haven’t said it out loud, then we are really at fault” -Austin  Austin and I realized a lot of similarities between what's happening with covid 19 and handling a reintegration from a military deployment. Listen in as we share how we are using tools we learned from our post deployment experience in 2019 to better navigate figuring out our new normal now.    Get more Waiting Warrior content on Instagram and the Website!     

Apr 2020

33 min 53 sec

"It's important, when he's not communicating, to realize he's not doing it on purpose." Morgan This week on the podcast Morgan gives us some really good reminders of communication basics, that we often forget or loose sight of when we are in the middle of the whirlwinds.   Be sure to get more Waiting Warrior content on Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/thewaitingwarrior/ Huge thank you to our sponsor: https://www.countdownsandcupcakes.com/ Check them out for all your care package needs!

Mar 2020

26 min 7 sec

"We definetly worked through it but it definetly cause some problems. It's not all rainbows and butterflies." Tara from @Realtalkwiththe_ms_s This quote is a perfect summary for this episode: it's completely honest but still hopeful.  Tara gives us a real and open look at how lonely this life can be and how important it is to communicate effectively. Listen for a few tips and call outs on things I'm sure most of us do!  Hear more from Tara on her podcast Real Talk With the Ms's: https://www.instagram.com/realtalkwiththe_ms_s/

Mar 2020

30 min 25 sec