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About Our Guest

On this episode, we’re joined by Karen Stubbs—the founder of Birds on a Wire, a ministry designed to equip moms through truth, encouragement, and community. Karen has also written three books on motherhood. She and her husband, Greg, have four grown children and reside in Cumming, Ga.

After graduating from Auburn University, she and Greg moved to Virginia Beach where Greg served in the Navy as a fighter pilot. It was during those early years that Karen, as a young mom gained her passion for motherhood. She is passionate about challenging moms to experience motherhood in the way God intended it for them and their families.


Tell our listeners about Birds on a Wire.

Years ago, when I worked at North Point Community Church, I started noticing moms who were struggling. I thought I could pour into some of these young moms, so I started a small group in my basement. That grew until I left the church to start Birds on a Wire in 2011.

What does Birds on a Wire offer?

We have small group curriculums. I have a 365-day devotional for moms, my weekly podcast, and conferences. The conference is called Soar, where we help moms soar in life. I do a weekly encouraging email with tips on motherhood—moms can go to our website to check us out.

Where did the name Birds on a Wire come from?

Back when I hosted the small group in my basement, one of the group members was an artist. And the group commissioned her to do a painting of all these birds sitting on a wire. I asked her the inspiration for the painting. She said it was Matthew 6:26 where Jesus says: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Moms are anxious, but we don’t need to be—God is going to take care of us and our children. I brought my friends together and told them I wanted to name the ministry based on the verse and the painting. One member kept talking about ‘birds on a wire,’ so that became the name!

How did you meet your husband Greg?

We met at a college camp that Dr. Charles Stanley was doing. We met in the dinner line and he kept following me around camp. 32 years later and we’re still married! He went to flight school as a Navy pilot and ended up travelling a lot.

Why do you think that healthy marriages are important for kids to see?

I don’t think people think about this enough. It’s important that children see a strong marriage because that’s what brings them security. You have the marriage that they’re looking at all the time, and that is their safety zone. You need to create a marriage that is loving, honest, and where children can count on their parents.

How can couples prioritize marriage in the midst of raising kids?

In order to prioritize marriage, you have to be intentional in your marriage. It’s not going to just happen. The thing that always stood out to me in my marriage to Greg was making him a priority even over my children.

If you do, the children will feel more secure and more loved. I have a great relationship with my kids and my spouse. One day your kids are going to leave the house and you still have that relationship with your spouse.  When we dropped off our youngest at college, we went to Italy for three weeks to celebrate.

How can couples who have recently become new parents still prioritize their marriage?

When you’re in those younger years, you are just exhausted. You get in bed at night—forget about sex, it’s just “good night”. Just keep in mind that it’s a season and it’s not going to last forever. In that season try to always give your partner the benefit of the doubt. He’s tired just like you are; it’s not a competition. Try to stay as civil as possible during that season.

When my kids were little, there was a desk in the kitchen that was a catch all. My husband likes a nice, neat house. He would always focus on that desk and he asked me to clean it up. It made me so mad that he was focusing on the desk. I called my pastor and he told me to just clean the desk. That made me so mad too!

I started cleaning it out of spite, and you know what? Greg noticed and started changing. He started helping me. The more he helped me, the softer I was to him, and the sweeter he was to me. It all started with me putting his needs above mine and cleaning that desk.

How does marriage look different when the kids are older?

The elementary years for me were easier. Middle school and high school you have to be involved and zoned in. We encouraged our teenagers to bring friends over, so nights were not our own anymore.

We had Fridays off at the church, so Greg and I would go on dates on Friday. We had to get creative—Mexican food and a movie always worked for me. But if you’re not intentional, it’ll never happen.

How do you keep up with each other as things change?

Greg and I mentor engaged couples, and we encourage them to make a ‘wish list’ of what they wish the other person would do. They have to start with either: “I wish you would do this” or “I wish you would not do that”. The catch is the person listening cannot defend themselves, they just have to practice active listening.

What have your kids learned from your marriage?

I asked my girls that are married this question and I was pleasantly surprised. They said:

  • When you argue, argue in private
  • Marriage is first; children are second. Don’t put children above your spouse.
  • Family mealtime around the table is very important
  • Date your spouse

How did you stay connected when Greg was in the military?

A lot of prayer—­and I do not say that lightly. Greg was a really good husband and I had a tendency to look to him to meet my needs. But he wasn’t around to meet my needs and I sort of fell apart.

God was there to meet my needs and I started to look to. If you’re in the same situation, go to God— I mean it sincerely. He is what makes marriages strong. I would go to God and tell him my needs and He mets them in ways you can’t imagine.

Your one simple thing this week

Put your spouse above yourself. If you do that, you’ll never go wrong.

Show Closing

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