By “your hoop” meaning your emotions, your choices, your attitude, etc. Because the only person you can control is you.

Recently, our small group started attending a recovery program. One week I learned about the damaging affects of “co-dependency”. Relationships can be destroyed through a lack of concern with your own emotions/actions and an over-care and concern with others’ emotions/actions. Their happiness = your happiness.

A few years ago, my pastor’s wife, Vela Tomba, introduced me to the example of “hula-hoop-o-logy”. She even wrote a series about it on the blog (read the series here). Then I brought her on the podcast to share more.

Stay In Your Hoop

Vela has been married to Neil for more than 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.

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?

Featured Sponsor:


Kids fighting? Want a little peace and reconciliation in your home? (raising my hand. . .okay both hands!) Join me and check out Jim & Lynne Jackson’s awesome Sibling Conflict Online Course.  Their fabulous peace process will help you guide your children in conflict resolution and increase connectedness in your home.


If you live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, you should sign up to come hear Andy Crouch speak about “What Rules Your Heart–The Journey from Image Making to Image Bearing” at our church, Northwest Bible Church, Wed. Aug. 31st and Thurs. Sept. 1st from 6:30 – 8:00pm. For FREE! (ticket costs donated by the Recovery for Life program). Sign up here to save a spot.


  1. Colleen

    Your podcasts are amazing! I am hooked! Thank you for doing what you do and allowing God to use you in this way! Keep up the amazing work….and in the meantime, I will be sharing your podcasts with all my friends!

  2. emily perry

    Okay so this is an old one that I just listened too. And at the end you said unsolicited advice is criticism. Which totally struck me but it had me thinking-what or how do I handle it when it comes? I feel like I have a certain family member that does this alllllll the time to me.

    Love your podcasts! It’s how I get through nap time treadmill sessions!

    • Heather MacFadyen

      Great question. I think once again. . .we can’t control how other people act. If they give unsolicited advice/criticism. . .that’s their hoop. You don’t have to take the advice . . .that’s your hoop. And you can’t stop them from giving criticism. You can simply say, “thank you for sharing your opinion.” 😉

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