Sophia Lebano: [00:00:00] You are listening to Hear and Now podcast where we dive deep into faith, hearing loss and lifestyle and talk about all the things that you need to be equipped in this journey we call life. I’m your host, Sophia Lebano, and this show is here for you to find encouragement in everyday life that God created for you.
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[00:00:30] Hello, everybody. What’s up, welcome back to another episode of Hear and Now Podcast. I’m very excited to welcome Rebecca Sanderson on today to talk about her faith journey, how to balance real life with pursuing your passion. That’s a big question for all of us. And what about waiting on God? When we don’t know where our passions are leading us?
[00:00:45] So, Rebecca, thank you so much for being here today.
[00:00:48] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:00:48] Yeah. Thanks for having me.
[00:00:49] Sophia Lebano: [00:00:49] You’re welcome. So why don’t you take some time to introduce yourself to the audience?
[00:00:53] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:00:53] Awesome. Um, my name’s Rebecca Sanderson and I am a wife and a mom to three kids who I love very much and I stay at home with them and homeschool them.
[00:01:05] And yeah, we live in California. It’s always sunny here, very different from where I grew up in Colorado. But you can’t complain. And about a year, just over a year ago, I started Lamplighter Podcast. So it’s, um, a story podcast for kids and it completely was not what I expected I’d be doing with my life.
[00:01:25] But looking back, I realized like God has been setting me up for this my life. And yeah, it’s just kind of the, it’s the surprise that I didn’t expect, but it’s been such a blessing and definitely learning how to balance being a mom, being a homeschooler, crazy pandemic times and everything like that.
[00:01:45] But, yeah, I really like it.
[00:01:47] Sophia Lebano: [00:01:47] Yeah. I was going to say, how does, how’s life out in California? What part are you from?
[00:01:52] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:01:52] We’re in Southern California. So very — a lot of population here. I grew up on 40 acres in Colorado in the middle of the Rocky mountains. So it’s like the opposite of where I grew up. But I’m trying, I’ve been here 10 years now and just, I used to really, really, really miss Colorado.
[00:02:11] But I think I’m, I’m seeing the blessing here now, especially with kids, like we can just walk out the door anytime we want. It’s sunny, it’s warm. We just bought our first house. So yeah, we’re pretty settled here, but.
[00:02:23] Sophia Lebano: [00:02:23] I’m jealous, ’cause I’m looking at all the snow that just dumped on us last night, so —
[00:02:27] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:02:27] I know that’s what everyone says.
[00:02:31] Sophia Lebano: [00:02:31] No, I can’t wait to have warm weather, weather soon, so yeah. So I’m sure life in California is probably impacted your faith journey, you know, whether it positively or negatively. So why don’t you talk about that a little bit?
[00:02:42] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:02:42] Yeah. So I grew up Christian. I became a Christian when I was six out of VBS. Just realize my need for Jesus. And I have been in love with him ever since. One thing I — I used to struggle with was thinking my testimony is kind of boring because like, Jesus, I just, it’s not that I haven’t struggled with things, but from the outside anyways, it looks as if, I’m kind of a boring person.
[00:03:10] Like I didn’t have a crazy, huge rebellion. I got married young. I’ve been married, whatever, 13 years, but I’ve realized like, that God uses everyone’s testimony. He uses the people who don’t look like me, like they’ve done anything bad, but I can make a list of all the things that I’ve really struggled with and the heart struggles and the mind struggles.
[00:03:32] Like I am no less, a sinner than anyone else just because it looks from the outside. Like I haven’t, you know, quote unquote done anything bad, but yeah. So that’s my faith journey, I mean, in a nutshell.
[00:03:45] Sophia Lebano: [00:03:45] Has moving to a new place, did that affect you? You know, whether it was moving from Colorado to California or moving houses or growing up with kids or anything like that.
[00:03:54] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:03:54] Yeah, definitely. My first move was to Seattle when I first got married to my husband and it was so lonely at the beginning, we were in a new church, but you know, I grew up in the same church. I was really close with my family who are strong Christians and yeah, the loneliness of moving each time to Seattle, and to Orange County here, it was intense, especially, I’m a really social person, I love people. And especially just Christian community. And it takes a long time to build those relationships. So it was hard each time moving. And, but God, I think He was teaching me. I mean, even this last year and the pandemic, like speaking of loneliness, teaching me that, like, what I have is Him. We don’t necessarily need other people.
[00:04:42] It’s a blessing and God wants us to be in community and we should pursue it, but sometimes it’s not available and we have to run into His arms and seek Him. And I mean, I was very honest with God this last year, I was like, “You don’t feel like enough. I want people,” you know, like just really laying it out, how I felt to Him and God is so gracious to meet us there and to listen to us and to bring me closer to Him.
[00:05:09] So, yeah, loneliness has been kind of in all the moves and stuff, something I’ve struggled through on and off in my life.
[00:05:16] Sophia Lebano: [00:05:16] Yeah. I mean, I can relate, I mean, I’ve lived in the same house for 15 years, but switching schools, you know, during middle school to high school and then high school to college, it’s like a whole new group of people.
[00:05:28] You have to find friends. And where do you fit in, in the world? But you know, like you said, we’re meant to be social creatures. We’re meant to find those community with other people. So do you think you finally settled in to your community where you are?
[00:05:40] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:05:40] That is an interesting question. I actually, we just bought a house, like I said, so we moved to kind of like half an hour away from where we used to be.
[00:05:48] So we’re kind of, and obviously it was in the middle of a pandemic, so we’re kind of finding our new community again. Um, I’m really into like meeting my neighbors, which again is difficult during this time. Some of them are like across the street waving to me, ’cause it’s awkward, ’cause they don’t know like if they should get close, but I’ve been able to make some friends there.
[00:06:08] And then we just switched to an Anglican church. I grew up Evangelical my whole life. So I never ever thought that I would end up Anglican, but I am loving it and I love the community and I feel like we’re starting to kind of make some more roots there, which is such a blessing because yeah, I loved our old church too, but, we just wanted something more local.
[00:06:28] Sophia Lebano: [00:06:28] No, that’s awesome. Yeah. I mean, so obviously, I’m Catholic, so I don’t know 100% about everything with the Anglican church, but I know for sure, even in the Catholic church, it’s necessary to have that community, especially when you switch to church, you’re like, where do I start? Where do I begin? So I’m glad that we’re starting to, kind of, and my prayer hopefully is that everything starts to kind of normalize a little bit, so we can start to socialize a little bit more because I need people, I need to see people. So the question everybody wants to know, how do you balance real life with wanting to pursue your passion?
[00:07:04] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:07:04] Yes. So. When I started Lamplighter about just over a year ago, I was so excited. I started writing stories for kids, putting it up, performing them, being super silly online. And I never, before that had written very much, except for like personal [storytelling] and poetry. So realizing first of all, how much time starting a podcast, starting a website, doing stories, performing, editing.
[00:07:32] It is a time commitment. And I think, I thought it was going to be more simple, but you sit down and you’re like, no, after four hours, I still just got the first draft of the story done and that’s it. So, yeah, as far as the balance goes, it’s a constant, like struggle, but, I, there was one thing that I just knew in my mind, which was that I am first and foremost, a wife and a mom.
[00:07:58] And I really, really don’t want to let that slide so that, I think is why, like I could probably grow my podcast, a ton faster if I didn’t prioritize my family, but I really like, I put my computer away, I try to do things at night, try to do things during the nap time. And my kids, they love what I do, and so they are supportive, but yeah, I really, I try to make my family first.
[00:08:24] And so the balance there is just like, do what’s right, and don’t don’t work when you shouldn’t be working. I’m learning how to be better at that. Like, I sometimes I find it kind of ironic, but I’ll be like editing a podcast in the middle of the day. Usually I try not to, but I’m like, oh, they’re all playing, so maybe I can sneak it in here. And then, you know, they’d come up to me and they want something. And I like snap at them. I’m like, this is ridiculous. I’m making a podcast for kids. And, and I just like snapped at my own kids.
[00:08:56] So trying to minimize, like, trying to be aware, I should say, of things like that and just, putting it away saving it for another day. It’s hard when you get in that flow mode to like put things to the side, but yeah, just being like, no, my kids are my priority. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get out two episodes this month — which is my goal, and I haven’t met that goal for like four months since we moved, but I’m just like, I have to put my pride aside. I have to put my successes to the side. Because, yeah, my kids are only small so long and I want them to feel like my priority, so.
[00:09:30] Sophia Lebano: [00:09:30] Yeah, I just was on another call with somebody where we were talking all about prioritizing. And it’s hard, especially when you want to do something with your life, and you know, you already have something else you’re committed to, which is of course your family.
[00:09:43] So I always give kudos to anybody who puts their family first while trying to do something like run a business or a podcast. But yeah, I think for me, yes, it’s tough, ’cause I’m getting my college degree. At the same time, I’m running a business and a podcast and I’m like, where does it end? There’s not enough hours in this day at all, but it’s like, okay, well what can I prioritize? Do I have to get this podcast episode done today? Or can I prioritize my sleep so I can get more time tomorrow?
[00:10:09] So it’s really just finding that balance in life, which is hard. It’s really hard. Especially when it’s your passion, and it’s not something that you’re like, I have to show up for this every single day. That’s kind of like, there’s not that, like, tether to what you’re doing.
[00:10:24] So what about waiting on God when you don’t know where your passions are leading, because you feel that stir within you, but you’re not really sure where He wants you to go.
[00:10:34] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:10:34] Yes, I am very passionate about this subject because I’m in my early thirties.
[00:10:41] And I feel like just in the last year, I’ve come to realize where God wants me and my passion, which is helping children. I’ve loved helping children since I was a teenager, I’ve been just heavily involved in all kids’ ministry and the crazy singing and dancing and storytelling. And yeah, I, I had this huge passion in my heart.
[00:11:02] And I always was looking, looking, looking like, where do you want this passion, God? Like kids ministry’s obvious. I volunteered at women’s shelters, babysitting, but it never felt like this is it. This is the thing that God wants me to do. And I mean, we went through, years of we tried to adopt, that fell through; we ended up being pregnant.
[00:11:23] So I was just like, how do I help children? And how do I help hurting children? Especially foster care, things like that. I have such a passion for, but I, I just didn’t know where God wanted me. So I feel like I was waiting on the Lord for so many years, like, oh, about 15 years on, what to do with this. And yeah, during that time, He was just growing me, growing my passion, helping me to rely on Him.
[00:11:49] He had other things in store for my life, but about a year ago, again, He gave me Lamplighter Kids and yeah, it really, when my husband mentioned, “you should start a podcast for kids.” It felt like there were angels singing. I was like, oh, this is what I need to do, and I can help children through the thing that I love most, which is like being silly and storytelling.
[00:12:12] You know, I used to think child psychology or social worker, but that’s just, it’s not my personality and this is my personality. I love making kids happy. I love being fun. I love being silly. And I used to think those things were lesser, like, well that doesn’t actually help kids.
[00:12:28] But when my husband mentioned start a podcast, it was like, that is it. That’s what God wants me to do. And I can, that can be the launching pad for whatever God has for me and the future. And I have so many dreams and hopes for even bigger things for Lamplighter Kids. But yeah, I, I still am scratching my head. Like I can’t believe it took so many years of this like unfulfilled passion, and God finally has brought me to this place where I feel like I’m starting to fulfill it.
[00:12:57] I mean, there’s so much more I can do, and I’m excited for the future, but it feels like so good right now. So exciting.
[00:13:05] Sophia Lebano: [00:13:05] Yeah. And it’s kind of just like that moment of realization, like you said, it’s like angels singing and you’re like, wow, this is exactly what He wants me to do. And it’s just like that sense of peace and fulfillment that you are, you know, going towards what He wants you to do. What are some of your big aspirations for Lamplighter and the future?
[00:13:22] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:13:22] So let’s see. Yeah, I was thinking about this. I, I feel like I always, I get so excited and my head like explodes with things, and my husband is — he doesn’t help me because. He has so many ideas as well.
[00:13:36] And so it’s like I have a million ideas, but ultimately, like I do want to reach into the foster care system somehow. And again, because I’m not a child psychologist, I’m not certified for anything. What I think I want to do is use stories and, yeah, and just use stories for like helping heal kids in that world.
[00:13:56] And I would love to partner — and looking into partnering with some actual child psychologist who can help me to know how to best do that. And yeah, I’ve had a lot of ideas of like giving boxes to kids in foster care, full of stories and stuffed animals and things like that. Or, yeah, just, I have so many ideas, but again, it feels a little bit like in the past when I don’t know exactly the direction God wants me to go yet. It feels very big, but it doesn’t feel very clear yet. So I’m excited, ’cause I’m like, God’s just telling me, take baby steps. Like one little step forward.
[00:14:33] The step I took a few months ago is starting a snail mail subscription service. And that was like a baby step towards growing the business and starting to monetize a little bit so that I can like use that money to pour into the next thing. Like, I want to write a book and both those things feel very small. They’re not like, oh, I’m helping hurting children. But to me it’s like, it’s like my life, it’s the baby steps towards something that God has for me in the future.
[00:14:59] And I’m willing and open for when it happens. And I’m just going to keep pursuing avenues of like, how do I do this? Continue to pray, continue to seek Him on it. And so. Yeah. I’m excited to see what He has.
[00:15:11] Sophia Lebano: [00:15:11] Yeah, me too. What has been some of the feedback and response that you’ve gotten from your listeners and the kids and your audience?
[00:15:19] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:15:19] Yes. That has been the best part to get emails from children. So many of them have drawn me pictures of like the stories that I write and the characters over and over. I get moms saying, thank you. My kid has memorized, all of your stories and they want more and I’m always like, I don’t have time for more, but, but yeah, they, the kids love them. And I also sing in each episode just totally silly songs.
[00:15:46] And so yeah, they’re like, my kids sing these songs all day. They pretend play this stuff.
[00:15:50] I think my two favorite — I’ve gotten this twice. My two favorite emails have been, “hey, my kid is having a birthday party and we’re in the middle of quarantine.” One was in England. One was here in America, like in the, depth of quarantine. And they were like, “They’re so bummed because they can’t see their grandparents. They can’t see their friends. So I know this is a big ask, but if you could just share like a little something with them from Momo” — Momo is my co-host squirrel AKA me.
[00:16:20] “But if you could like share an audio clip, that would be great.” And I was like, I went all out. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, I will totally have Momo send your kid an audio clip.” And I wrote them like personalized songs, and I was just like, that’s so crazy to me that God’s like, using me in a child’s life to make their birthday happier during quarantine. That is not what I expected in life, but I love it.
[00:16:43] Sophia Lebano: [00:16:43] That is so beautiful. I mean, it just made me think of like all of the shows I used to watch when I was a kid, but it’s how this has just become like a very 2021/2020 version of how you’re sending personalized message to kids. And I’m sure that’s so fulfilling for you too, to be like, “Wow, I have such an impact on a kid’s life.” Especially as moving into the future, you can kind of see those kids grow up with you. And I know that would be really cool too.
[00:17:06] But yeah. So what is a typical day in the life look like for you while you’re creating or writing and content?
[00:17:12] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:17:12] Yeah. So wake up, all the kids want breakfast, you know, I, I spend, the whole morning, playing, taking care, drinking my tea. And I have this schedule that I try to stick to unless life is really crazy, but I try to make two writing days a week.
[00:17:32] So one is at night and I usually try to write more than this, but this is like sacred time. So I put the kids to bed. I ignore the house, which this part, you have to have your partner kind of agree with you. And thankfully, my husband is so supportive in all this, but I have to ignore the house. ‘Cause if I start then I’ll clean for like two hours.
[00:17:51] So I ignore the house, I sit my butt on the couch and I make myself write story at it or whatever do fix my website, learn all the technology. So that’s one, one day. And then one of the days I also make nap time, that sacred time. So my son, my littlest goes to bed. My two oldest don’t nap, but I put on a show for a couple hours for them or a movie and I sit down and they ignore everything.
[00:18:18] And I, um, so those are my two, two sacred days. And then, once in a while we we’ll get like a babysitter if I really have a lot to do. We used to do that more before we had a mortgage. Now we can’t afford it as much, but yeah, and then sometimes my husband also helps me on a weekend if I want to get out and write at a coffee shop.
[00:18:36] So yeah, it’s kind of just finding those little times and keeping them sacred and ignoring TV, ignoring my phone, trying to just do some focus time. And it is amazing. I think, I am still amazed at how much I can get done with just a little bit of time every week. And it makes me realize how much time I’ve actually squandered, because before this, I used to think, “Oh, I can’t do anything like that.
[00:19:01] I don’t have time for that.” But now I’m like, “Oh, Even in just a couple hours every once in a while, you can write a whole episode and edit it and post it.” It’s crazy.
[00:19:12] Sophia Lebano: [00:19:12] Especially if you like put your mind to it, for sure. Just like pop in this ear buds and like get everything knocked out. Yes. So it’s like power hour. For me, it’s like, just like banging things out left and right.
[00:19:22] So that’s cool. I mean, for me, it’s kind of just like a touch and go thing where I’m like, “Okay, every now and then I’ll have, spare hours that I can spend between classes and editing” and things like that. So, yeah, of course, super, super kudos to you for dedicating that time to growing and passion and Lamplighter.
[00:19:40] So, yeah, I mean, is there anything else that you have that you want to cover about Lamplighter things that you want us to know or, you know, little hints to the future?
[00:19:50] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:19:50] Yeah. My big passion is just to encourage people that God, if He puts something on your heart, that it’s there for a reason and not to think like, “Oh, I’m not good enough at that, or I don’t know enough about that,” but if it’s something that’s been on your heart over and over for months or years, even, to look at that and to actually sit and pray and spend time pursuing those things with God in your mind. It doesn’t have to go anywhere except through prayer right away. And yeah, I think God will surprise people with what He brings to their mind in these things.
[00:20:27] And He gave everyone a gift and everyone has something they can give to this world to leave it a better place. And it doesn’t have to be big at all. Like I’m all for those little things that make the world a better place, but yeah, it’s just to, to look into what God’s given you and seek Him on it.
[00:20:45] And possibly one day He will give you the answer to how to fulfill that so.
[00:20:50] Sophia Lebano: [00:20:50] Hopefully, it doesn’t take us like 15 or 20 years down the road to figure it out.
[00:20:56] But no, hopefully that we can all start to kind of accept and just follow that little inkling of a call that we have inside of us. So, yes. So the last thing I would ask you is where can people connect with you and listen to lamplighters?
[00:21:09] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:21:09] Yeah, totally. So we are on iTunes, Spotify. If you put Lamplighter Kids Stories, it should come up on anywhere you get your podcasts. And, if you want to find out more about me or just Lamplighter, https://www.lamplighterkids.com is my website. And you can find out about my new subscription snail mail service with Momo, that the kids love.
[00:21:34] And then on Instagram, instagram.com/lamplighterkids. I post there pretty regularly, so, yeah.
[00:21:41] Sophia Lebano: [00:21:41] Awesome. Yeah. So all of those links will be in the show notes for you guys to check out Rebecca. Thank you so much for joining us today.
[00:21:47] Rebecca Sanderson: [00:21:47] Yeah. You’re welcome. Thank you for having me.
[00:21:49]Sophia Lebano: [00:21:49] Of course. Yeah. So this was awesome, and I hope you guys take some time to check it out, especially if you have kids in your life.
[00:21:55] I know I’ll send them over to my siblings and have them check it out for sure. And again, thank you guys for joining us on this week’s episode of Hear and Now Podcast. Have a wonderful week and we will see you next time. Bye-bye.
It’s the 83rd episode of Hear and Now Podcast! Thank you for joining me this week as I have Rebecca Sanderson on to discuss her podcast, Lamplighter Kids, how to balance real life with your passions, and waiting on God to direct your life.
Get in touch with me: email@example.com
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Thank you to Shae Taguba for editing today’s episode