Relationships are tricky (major understatement).

I think today’s podcast with my pastor’s wife, Vela Tomba, will give us words & imagery to help alleviate some of the trickiness.

Vela has been married to Neil for 30 years, is the mom to three grown girls and grandmother to one adorable granddaughter. She served with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) before staying home full-time.

Last summer Vela guest posted a 3-part series on the concept of “Hula Hoop-o-logy” (read the series here)

Honestly? Her thoughts on this topic have helped all (absolutely all) my relationships.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What it means to stay in your “hula hoop”
  • Why we need to stay out of others’ hoops
  • How to transition our children from our hoop (birth) to their own (jr. high-college)
  • Physical hoop issues vs emotional hoop issues
  • Whether or not it is a mom’s job to make her kids happy
  • Interacting with husband in light of “hula hoop-o-logy”–reflective listening
  • Handling a variety of relationships with this mindset–>adult children & their spouses; grandchildren; extended family
  • Difference between hula-hoops and “Boundaries”
  • A Christian’s responsibility to non-believers in relation to hoops

Show Notes:

Do you struggle with staying out of others’ hoops? Which relationship challenges you the most?

**How to listen to the podcast:**

1.Listen on the blog. Click through to and click the play button at the beginning of this post.

2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.

3. Subscribe to the Podcast – access the podcast in iTunes (Click here to access via iTunes). You can also search for it on your smartphone app (like the ones listed above) and subscribe.

*If you missed past episodes, you can listen via iTunes or click on this page of the GodCenteredMom site to find a listing of all the episodes.


  1. Kiki Gue

    Hi, Vela! Thank you so much for sharing. I do have a question….how does this hula hoop perspective apply to church discipline? By that I mean Christian relationships where I have understood the Bible to direct us to lovingly and humbly approach a sister in Christ (or our husband or family member) about a persistent sin that she is abiding in. I know it isn’t my job to fix something, and approaching someone about the “speck in her eye” is not something I enjoy nor do often or without prayer, but is that a case where I don’t just mind my own hoop? I would appreciate your wisdom and insight here!

  2. Heather MacFadyen

    Great question Kiki! I definitely think it is Biblical to approach another believer about his/her sin, in love. But I think what Vela is suggesting is not to take on responsibility to help them repent or change from the sin. I think sometimes we carry the emotional baggage of others or desire to control/change other’s behavior. I think in a discipleship/discipline situation, you are in a relationship of mutual care. Just like you would hope your friend would point out a sin they see in you. But you wouldn’t appreciate if they kept badgering you about it or took it upon themselves to make sure you stop sinning. Make sense? (of course, I’m TOTALLY speaking for Vela, which is me jumping out of my hoop. So just view this as my answer to the question…maybe I can ask Vela to answer for herself. ;)).

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