Media

041: Kristi Hayes

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Kristi Hayes joins me today on Thriving Beyond Belief! It was wonderful speaking with her and discovering our kinship with our hearts for women. We share a passion to help women thrive as their whole selves- physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Kristi does her life with her husband, Grant, and her two children now in Denver. She and her husband have a ministry called “Be Strong Story” that they began 2 years ago. What began as a simple note to their son that encouraged him to be strong and protect the weak blossomed into a ministry that helps families live in the same mentality.

A big discussion for us today is how we, as women, reevaluate life after children. For those that work hard in every way, we talk about the balance of thriving in our own story as well as balancing that with raising children well and being fully present with our families.

Kristi and I discuss the balance of her marriage, different communication styles, the importance of prayer with each other, and keeping the Lord at the forefront of the marriage. Date nights, marriage accountability partners, and adventuring together are some of the few things that have helped keep Kristi’s marriage thriving.

It was refreshing to discuss the glorification of the busy with Kristi, where so often we “do” a lot of things, but “sprinkle God’s name” in everything, without it truly being for the Lord. Kristi was asked to “stop” by the Lord and be truly content to just be with Him. We too often find our worth in the work we say we are doing for the Lord instead of our worth and value being truly in Christ Himself.

From the topic of true accountability to being vulnerable to fears that we share, this episode truly hits home with so many issues that we as women face today. We often struggle between the balance of who we think we are, what others perceive about us, and what the Lord tells us about ourselves that is the ultimate truth. He speaks to us through His Word that tells us who we truly are in Him. A challenge that this episode presents is if we are truly spending time with the Lord because we see it as a box to check off for the day or if we truly have a desire to spend time knowing the Lord more.

Please tune in to receive some true encouragement and wisdom from my talk with Kristi. It will bless your day!

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @bestrongstory

Website:  www.bestrongstory.com

Facebook: @bestrongstory

Youtube: The Be Strong Story

 

 

040: Kathy Izard

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Thank you for joining us at Thriving Beyond Belief today! I am so excited to introduce Kathy Izard to the podcast. It was such a blessing being able to speak with her.

Kathy is a fellow Texan that now lives in North Carolina. She is happily married with four daughters. Kathy recently wrote a book titled “The Hundred Story Home”, that will be released this month! This book is about her own story and hearing the voice of the Lord, and how you can listen to His voice in your own life!

Thriving, to Kathy, is defined as living joyfully and purposefully. We see this in her own story.

Regarding Kathy’s story, we discuss how mothers can so often put the voice of the Lord for their own life on the back burner to the lives of their children. Kathy was at a place in her life where she began seeking out that voice to begin change in her own walk with the Lord. In truly hearing  that voice, Kathy’s life suddenly had true, eternal purpose and direction.

We talk all about how age is not an issue for the Lord. He is using everyone for His glory for their entire lives. She encourages us to never discount dreams the Lord gives us and to truly believe God to fill your life with His purpose.

After reading a book about a couple that embraced homelessness, Kathy was haunted by the obedience of the family in the book to truly help the homeless in their community. She met Denver Moore, author of “Same Kind of Difference As Me”, and after some crazy circumstances, Kathy left her full time job to take on working for homeless community in her city, called Moore Place. What she believed to be a mere career change turned into a passion lit within her to build a shelter and run a ministry that truly helped the homeless in Charlotte.

Kathy says that God’s path isn’t without its trials and unknown moments. She faced fears and disappointments along the path the Lord was leading her down. But along the way of helping the homeless, Kathy found her own way home, she found her faith again through this process, and learned to trust in the Lord’s timing.

When discussing marriage, Kathy emphasizes the need for compromise and laughter to make marriage joyful. We emphasize the need to focus on eternity in order to prioritize what we do here today. And now with older children, Kathy talks about the balance between giving children roots and wings.

I hope you join us today for this podcast to be encouraged, challenged, and inspired by what the Lord is calling you to!

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @kathyizardclt

Website:  kathyizard.com

Facebook: @kathyizardclt

Twitter: @kathyizardclt

 

 

039: Katie Smith

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Please welcome Katie Smith today on Thriving Beyond Belief!

Katie has a new blog, KJSonline, where she speaks candidly about her journey. She also loves being a restaurant server because of the amazing interaction she has with others. (And fun fact, she is one of eight children!)

Katie and I have a special bond in that the Lord has used us to speak into other’s lives about divorce and the desire for a redeemed marriage.

We talk about Katie’s journey through marriage, depression, divorce, her years of rebellion, spiritual restoration, and so much more. We discuss the lies that creep in when we think marriage is the root issue of our discontentment. Katie also talks about the Lord whispering to her that intimacy with Him would lead to restoration in all areas of her life.

All of the world’s definitions of happiness happened for Katie, and yet she felt completely empty without the Lord being present in her life. Through slowly reading the Bible again, the one step of obedience after a season of running, Katie was overwhelmed with the peace she received from spending time with the Lord.

Katie talks about her Damascus road experience of realizing what the Lord wanted for her and her story. God was showing Katie that He still answers prayers today. He is the same God that He was in the Bible, and we can trust who He is.We talk about trusting the Lord with His timing. It became more about the relationship with the Lord than the marriage.

Through Katie’s journey, she is encouraging others with their own story. She is using what happened for good and to help others. Please take some time to listen today- it will leave you hopeful and thankful!

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @kjsonline

Blog: www.kjsonline.ca 

Podcast: Lessons Learned Podcast

Twitter: @k_sonline

 

 

038: Erin McCormack

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The wonderful Erin McCormack joins me today on Thriving Beyond Belief!

Raised here in Dallas, Erin met and married her husband of 5 years. She now tutors full time after teaching for a few years and has a lifestyle blog! Erin started her blog, Fun-sized Erin as a creative outlet and it has become a place where she can talk openly and vulnerably about her story.

Erin walks us through how she learned to lean into the Lord through terrible heartache, fertility issues, and hard life circumstances. She discusses how the Lord is so good to us by turning our most tragic moments into beautiful parts of our story.

Erin describes thriving as more than about a specific situation or circumstance, but it is rather about the ability to let the Lord teach you in every season. Thriving is learning in every aspect of life.

We talk specifically about the importance of the marriage partnership, intimacy, and ultimate belief in your spouse.

Erin also mentioned her passion for the Stand For Life Movement, and why it’s important to her!

Speaking with Erin was such a sweet time of authenticity. It is one of those talks that everyone can relate to in some aspect, and brings relief to your soul. I hope you enjoy as you listen today!

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @funsizederin

Twitter: @funsizederin

Facebook: @funsizederin

Website: https://funsizederin.com

 

037: Shannon Stewart Ratliff

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Shannon Stewart Ratliff joins me today on Thriving Beyond Belief! Shannon was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Stewart was the runner up on the 1st Cycle of America’s Next Top Model and appeared on the All-Star edition of the show, placing sixth as a finalist. She was also first runner-up in the Miss Ohio USA pageant in 2005, and a semi-finalist in that pageant in 2006.She went from super model to role model after giving up a career in modeling when the cost was too high. Shannon has been married for 10 years and currently living in North Carolina.

It is so great chatting with Shannon as we talk about some similarities in our pasts, the Lord being the Great Restorer, and what it means to thrive.

To thrive, according to Shannon, is living out the purpose and calling the Lord has given you in life. Even though life can be difficult, you can still live out the purpose He has for you in the hard seasons. Thriving is being a vessel for Him!

Shannon discusses her modeling career and her decision to bravely say “no” to a compromising shoot situation. She reminds us that the Lord is going to give you a dream that’s honorable to Him. He will give you an honorable path to the dreams He has stored in your heart.

We talk about Shannon’s new love for writing, and how the Lord can use her story to help others. She encourages everyone to share their story, because it leads to healing and can help those who are not able to talk about their story yet.

And we discuss different aspects of marriage like communication, quality time, and the importance of taking away how to put the Lord first even in marriage.

I hope you enjoy listening to Shannon Ratliff today on Thriving Beyond Belief!

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @shannonstewartratliff

Twitter: @shannonstewart1

Facebook:  @shannonstewartmodel

Websites:

www.shannonstewartmodel.com/blog

 www.shannonstewartmodel.com

 

036: Tara-Leigh Cobble

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On the podcast today, I am chatting with an incredible lady, Tara-Leigh Cobble, who I first met at a retreat about a year ago. Tara-Leigh has a quick wit, engaging presence on stage as a musician, and a passion to help others learn to love the Lord and God’s word more each day. Check this link out: mydgroup.org/thrivingbeyondbelief too! Tara-Leigh knew she wanted to study who God was and take the focus off of herself, so she began a ministry called D Group.  In 9 years, the ministry has reached an international level and thousands of people have engaged in this “Crossfit of Bible Studies.”

 

Tara-Leigh was a musician and speaker for many years, but found the best way to optimize how she served the Lord, was in writing, speaking, and teaching God’s word.   She encourages women to read John:15, which talks about abiding in Christ. Yes, life is crushing, but there is a sweetness as we feel Christ’s nearness and learn to lean on and abide in Him.

 

Tara-Leigh talks about single life and the various challenges and joys that come with this season of life. For her personally, Tara-Leigh tries not to let her feet hit the ground in the morning without hitting play on her YouVersion Bible App.  Incredibly, she points out that it is possible to read the bible through in a year by listening for only 12 minutes a day! She also encourages women to ask God for help when they need it, and to not be afraid of engaging in a personal relationship with Him.

 

The past few years have presented several challenges for Tara-Leigh.  She lost her sister to cancer, had two open heart surgeries, but in these challenges found the grace to know God will always show-up, provide, and take care of every detail.

I truly enjoyed my time talking with this incredibly strong woman.

Relax and join me in my interview with Tara-Leigh Cobble.

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @mydgroup / @taraleighcobble

Twitter: @mydgroup / @taraleighcobble

Facebook:  facebook.com/ilovemydgroup

Website: mydgroup.org / taraleighcobble.com

D-Group Thriving Beyond Belief Page

 

 

035: Jessica Youngblood

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The sweet Jessica Youngblood joins me on Thriving Beyond Belief today! Jessica is a wife of 15 years, mother of 4, and author of “Worth the pain: My Journey from Meth to Ministry”. I had such a wonderful time talking with her and we hope her story resonates with you!

Jessica tells us all about her journey and the many attempts she made to satisfy what only Jesus can satisfy. From teenage pregnancy to dealing with addiction, Jessica talks through her journey to find Christ. She talks about her amazing moment of realizing she needed Jesus, but how we as believers are then to work out our faith. Our God is too good a God to leave us where we are and we are to let Him renew our minds and transform our lives!

Jessica describes thriving as living in freedom from your past and truly enjoying the present to its fullest; to share the light you have experienced from Jesus with those that are still in darkness.

We discuss different aspects of marriage, the joys of parenting, and how crucial balance and boundaries are to all relationships in your life.

So pull up a chair, put in your earbuds on the treadmill, or turn up the dial in your car and join us on Thriving Beyond Belief today!

 

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @jessica__youngblood and @worththepainbook

Twitter: @WTP_Book

Facebook: @JessicaMYoungblood and @worththepainbook

Website: www.worththepainbook.com

 

034: Matt & Lauren Chandler

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Today’s podcast is so special to me because Jeff and I had the pleasure of interviewing our pastor and his wife on the podcast today: Matt and Lauren Chandler!

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church in North Texas. He and Lauren have three children and have had the blessing of being married for almost 20 years! Matt and Lauren have been able to write many books over the years, but we discuss in particular Matt’s book A Mingling of Souls, as it relates to love, marriage, sex, and dating.

Matt and Lauren talk to us about some amazing truths they have learned along the way while in marriage, growing their family, and even through incredible hardship. They give such wisdom and insight on the deeper issues that we all deal with and what to truly seek in order to work on marriage, family, and with the world.

They also give great advice to both men and women on things that each sex needs to diligently work at either because it does not come naturally or because culture has told us that men have particular roles and women have particular roles. The mandate of the Gospel, however, extends to everyone. So we discuss how to live in the freedom of the Gospel to be exactly who the Lord created and intended us to be.

We hope you enjoy this refreshing time of talking with dear friends and learning what we can from both our stories and other’s!

 

Social Media Links

 

033: Nancy Houston

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I am so excited to have Nancy Houston with me today on Thriving Beyond Belief! We talk about a topic that is necessary in our culture today and one that is good for our hearts. We discuss intimacy within marriage!

Nancy shares her story with us and how she has gotten to where she is today. Nancy’s book Love and Sex was released in February, which is the Christian guide to healthy intimacy. She wrote the book for those 18 and older to try and help others find their pathway to healthy intimacy. She is also a certified sex therapist who devotes her time to helping couples restore their relationships, seek healing and help, and to fully enjoy marriage the way God intended it to be.

Nancy had some beautiful things to say regarding her past and dealing with abuse. She reminds us that in Scripture, God shares that He is not ashamed of us or what has happened to us, but He wants to meet us and reconstruct from the ruins of our past. She also shares that we must recognize the need for healing. She discusses coming from a place to self-hatred to seeking outside help that helped reinforce that her past was not her fault and that your past is not your fault. We see that through His Word, the Lord wants to meet us in the midst of our hurt and be our great Healer.

Nancy’s definition of thriving is facing our negative realities and walk through them to experience the LIFE on the other side. We have to leave our Egypt to reach our promised land. It doesn’t mean it is an easy journey, but it is a worthy one. Our God wants us to thrive in this way in all areas of our life- including our sex life with our spouse!

Nancy reminds us that God specifically designed us with a purpose. He is not ashamed of sexuality because He designed us to be sexual beings that gain attachment and closeness within the bond of marriage through intimacy. He desires that your intimate life is enjoyable and strengthens the marriage! We as a Christian culture need to remember to connect our spirituality with our sexuality. Often we don’t believe they are connected. But, in fact, they are stronger when they are connected.

We discuss at length those that are currently dealing with a disconnect in their marriage. Nancy discusses the scientific reasoning behind our need for attachment within marriage, what leads to breaks in the attachment, and how we can work through better communication to repair the disconnect. She encourages couples to learn to tell your spouse what you need instead of keeping score against them. Rather than blame your spouse, ask for what you feel you are lacking. She also encourages those that have tried everything and their spouse is unwilling to change to keep seeking help. Continue to pray over your marriage and tap into resources to find that intimacy again.

We end with talking about how sex in marriage was not created to be an obligation to either party, but to be a beautiful and pleasurable experience. Nancy talks through Scripture that beautifully portrays what intimacy in marriage looks like for both people, male and female.

Join me today as we gain wisdom in being healthy in every way in our marriages.

 

Social Media Links

 

032: Paige Greene

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Please welcome Paige Greene to the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast today! I had the pleasure of meeting Paige through our pastor, Matt Chandler, a couple of years ago after she wrote an incredible article titled I Regret my Divorce”. Paige gets vulnerable and real with us about divorce on the podcast today. She discusses what can come from unbiblical divorce in a refreshing way that we in the Christian community truly need to hear.

Paige currently works for Lifeway, as she helps with their events and is able to minister to women all over the country. She is also pursuing her Master’s degree in counseling.

Paige defines thriving as walking with the Lord every day and laying down all that distracts in that time. (She is an extrovert and a communicator, so the phone has to stay away in that time- I can so relate to that!) She believes it is abiding in the Lord in the present. For so long, she focused on what her future would look like instead of being thankful for today (how many of us can relate to that?), and now sees that joy comes from gratitude to the Lord for the day we have been given.

Paige feels a burden to share her story, especially with young marriages, in this culture today. She discusses how divorce did not solve the problems she thought it would, and even prays that one day she will be able to be reconciled with her ex-husband. She gives Biblical wisdom to the weight divorce truly brings.

Remember that the enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy. He wants our culture to believe that the minute you are unhappy in your marriage, divorce is the only solution that can bring freedom. Paige shares that once the papers have been signed, the promise of “freedom” doesn’t hold up to what you thought it would be. She emphasizes so wonderfully that divorce is far more serious to God than our culture makes it seem.

Paige shares her heart in the most beautiful way about how to truly seek the Lord if you are thinking divorce is your only option. She discusses her own story and how when she came to the conclusion that divorce was the only avenue to bring freedom and happiness for her, that she was completely self-focused. She shares that we must “feed our spirit, not our flesh”. She encourages us to understand that God is a God of kept covenants. The thought of divorce doesn’t please Him because He knows the consequences of it; He knows what broken covenants lead to.

We discuss going to the Lord and asking Him how He feels about the possibility of divorce. If you seek His will and His word, you will not miss His answer to you. Remember that if you don’t feel a certain way, you must stand up in obedience. If you don’t feel that marriage should ever be difficult or sacrificial, you must let your obedience take over. Don’t let your feelings dictate how you treat your spouse or your marriage. Some days may be truly hard, but God will bless your commitment.

Paige ends with some amazing encouragement. For those that have gotten divorced, she reminds us that God hates divorce, but loves you. The two are not mutually exclusive. He will always take care of His children, and Paige saw it first hand when walking through her own divorce. BECAUSE He loves you, He hates divorce. She advises to read through Psalm 51 and wait for the Lord.

I am so thankful to know Paige, and I hope this talk today is eye-opening, encouraging, and makes you see the Lord in a new way.

Grab a cup of coffee and come join us today on Thriving Beyond Belief!

 

Social Media Links

Instagram – @paigegreene4

Twitter – @paigegreene and @LifeWayWomen

Facebook – Paige Clayton Greene

Websites – www.lifeway.com/women

 

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