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075: Debra Fileta

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I welcome Debra Fileta to this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief!

Debra is a wife, mother of three, and a licensed professional counselor, specifically dealing with relationship-focused issues. She also has written two books, Choosing Marriage, and True Love Dates!

Debra has such insight on working on relationships in a healthy and balanced way. There are so many issues that we discuss in relationships, specifically within the Christian culture. Just because you are a believer in Jesus doesn’t mean you will naturally be good at certain relationships. Just like anything in life, we need to put in time and effort and practice to make any relationship work.

For Debra’s definition of thriving in relationships, she says that “relationships don’t exist for us to just get through them. We are meant to thrive in all of our relationships and let them be testimonies in our lives.”
She speaks with such wisdom about what the goal of relationships are. The end goal is not happiness, and Debra dives into this to explain what our focus in relationships should be. We talk about the fact that healthy relationships are made up of healthy individuals and discuss the steps to take for yourself that will in turn help improve your relationships.

Debra brings up an amazing point: we see that Jesus had to go through the lowest of the low to get to the point of resurrection. We need to know that we may have to go through the dark season of exposing all of our issues in a relationship to get to where Jesus can resurrect it. Counseling is such a tool in this area. There is such an importance in counseling and learning to fight the stigma that counseling is for issues that have already arisen. But our culture needs to let counseling be something that helps us maintain health in our lives, whether in relationships or not.

Let’s not believe that passivity and selflessness are the same thing. Let conflict be a place to learn and discuss and be vulnerable. Discussing hard things isn’t just saying what you think. It is about digging deeper and wondering what the root of the conflict is. That is what leads to true healing.

All of Debra’s links

I can’t wait for you to tune in and listen today!

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074: Kaitlin Wernet

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Kaitlin Wernet joins me today on Thriving Beyond Belief and has such an amazing word for us today.

Kaitlin is a storyteller surrendered to hope. Forever passionate about holding the tension of darkness and light, she is grateful for the good news that acknowledges and redeems both. Kaitlin is the co-author of The Book of Comforts, and she spends her days writing everything from marketing strategies to creative essays. Living in Nashville, Tennessee, by way of Asheville, North Carolina, she’s always planning her next big travel adventure but vows to only plant roots in cities that rhyme.

Kaitlin moved to Nashville to work For she reads truth; she is now a writer and working in marketing and online marketing. She has written a book called “The Book of Comforts” that comes out this month.

This book came out of a time that was most devastating for Kaitlin. In a time where she felt she lost herself, her job at She Reads Truth led her to read the bible everyday, which was no accident for her. It really helped her stay anchored in her faith. She learned that the Christian community doesn’t really open up a lot about pain and Kaitlin discusses finding those people in the faith that could help her walk through the hard season. The need for this book became apparent to her when searching for a book that would help her in her time of sorrow. This book is a beautiful metaphor of her experiences and sees grief as a ground where redemption will bloom.

She also discovered truly seeing God for who He is in a time that made her question all that she had believed growing up.

She has refreshing insight on encouraging those walking through hard seasons to bring pain to the forefront. The enemy wants us to feel isolated in our pain and not think anyone has gone through what we are walking through. He wants us to believe that even Christ cannot empathize with us. Pain and loss can also feel like weakness. Fear makes us think we can never show any weakness or low days, especially as believers. It makes us think that we aren’t trusting God enough if we are sad. But the truth is that hardship is promised to us, and He has a purpose in EVERY season.

Kaitlin speaks on the balance of having grief in her life. She talks about always carrying the tension of light and dark. But seeing her worst fear come true, she saw that God is still good and is daily learning to release control of her life.

We think we can shield and things from happening if we worry about them. Fear is a liar. It makes us think we can’t come back from a painful experience. But we actually get to the other side of grief and see that God is with us in every step. He’s there on the other side too. The more we seek God, the less we need to know all of the answers.

We end with Kaitlin speaking on some helpful advice for those who are walking with someone going through grief and some practical steps to make sure those people never feel alone. I hope this episode brings healing, community, and a deeper hope in who God is in each of your lives.

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @kaitlinwernet

Website: http://kaitlinwernet.com/

Book: Book of Comforts

10 things I Wish My Friends Knew About Grief

 

 

 

073: Valorie Burton

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Welcome with me today Valorie Burton on this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief!

Valorie is a wife, mother, and writer. She became a writer out of a prayer for true purpose. Her mission is inspiring women through writing and speaking and now being a life coach.

We get to discuss Valorie’s new book “It’s About Time”, which is coming out April 30th. Her book encompasses subjects such as not wearing “busy” as a badge of honor on our lives but taking time to say no, and to only do the imperative. Valorie gives her testimony and how she has learned so much about the Lord through time. She speaks on how time issues were at the core of hardships in her life. Even now, we talk about creating margin and leaving space between obligations.

“God created us to be here for a purpose.” We are given unique, divine assignments based on the purpose He has given us individually. We can’t hear what that purpose is and implement it well if we are filling every minute of our time with noise. We speak on the fact that being present takes more effort, but it is far more fulfilling. We feel more relaxed and filled up, and that is where we will be able to meet God.

Some factors that have really ramped up in our culture today are pace, competition, and comparison. Instead of wanting to keep up with the other moms or coworkers, we need to ask ourselves what would be the more meaningful choice. Would you want to look back on time with your children and see yourself always on your phone? Or would you want to fill your time with things that aren’t directed towards the purpose God has placed on your life? We need to learn to let time go slowly sometimes. We need to get in a place where we are “okay with being a little bored”.

Valorie lays out some core vulnerabilities that keep us from making the wise decision in the heat of the moment. She speaks on approval addiction, perfectionism, and unrealistic optimism. But she also talks about grace for yourself and your loved ones. She gives personal testament about making peace with lost time. It begins with forgiveness and acceptance, which leads to gratitude towards future time. We may have not taken full advantage of today, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tomorrow.

This is such a timely episode and I hope you enjoy!

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram:@valorieburton

Website: www.valorieburton.com

Facebook: @valorieburton

 

 

 

072: Marriage Episode: Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs with Gerard & Jeannie Long

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We don’t get to do this very often on Thriving Beyond Belief, but when we do it’s one of my absolute favorite things! COUPLES INTERVIEW!! Today, we bring back Gerard and Jeannie Long to the podcast, along with my husband Jeff, to specifically talk about thriving in marriage. It is an episode you absolutely do not want to miss.

The amazing thing about talking with Gerard and Judy about marriage is that they have walked through some of the lowest valleys in life. Jeff and I’s story also takes us through some valleys, so it is wonderful to talk with a couple who can truly say that the Lord saved their marriage. And not only did the marriage survive- He has made it THRIVE. It is a testament to the Lord that the four of us could discuss what we have gone through, only to see victory on the other side because of who Jesus is. He is an advocate for marriage and wants our marriages to be walking testaments of His presence in our lives.

I had each person answer the question of what it means to thrive in marriage, and the responses are so beautiful. I love how Jeff shares the difference between our first marriage and our second and the secret to what has truly made our marriage thrive. Gerard talks about the purpose of marriage and that is is for others to see the Lord through our union. By having a God-centered marriage, the world can see how life is done differently in Christ.

We touch heavily on the subject of forgiveness. For both of our stories, there has been a lot of hurt and a long season of healing. The four of us dive in to what that forgiveness can look like for our spouses, what it truly means for a man to lead out in the marriage, and how we are called to forgive because the Lord first forgave us. This discussion is so beautifully interwoven with Scripture and reminders of being Christ-like in the toughest of times.

I love how Gerard and Jeannie answer some questions on what the toughest aspect of being a husband or wife is for them, how culture has warped what true, biblical masculinity and femininity are, and how our examples of Christ-like marriages can break those lies down.

What a refreshing time it was with this beautiful couple, using their voices for good and bringing us back to the center of what we are called to in every aspect of our lives: bringing glory to our God in heaven.

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @awakeningtogod

Websitewww.awakeningtogod.org

Facebook: @awakeningtogod

Twitter: @atg_ministries

 

 

 

 

Ellie Holcombe

071: Ellie Holcomb

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Today I have a lovely friend of mine on Thriving Beyond Belief: Ellie Holcomb! Living in sweet Nashville, Tennessee, Ellie is a musician, wife of a musician, mother, author, and devoted follower of Jesus.

Ellie brings such a fresh perspective of thriving, and how she learned to thrive by experiencing years of practicing the opposite. After seeking to be what others thought she should be and coming up lost, Ellie finally gave up that mentality to truly just be who the Lord created her to be. She talks about becoming “unburied” from the expectations of the world. As a woman in her mid-thirties, she speaks to fighting those whispers from the world more than ever, and feeling more free than ever from the lies.

We discuss what is truly the Gospel versus what we have set it up to be in our minds. She discusses her journey to discovering the beauty of counseling in her life and the healing it brought to her life. We are truly kindred spirits with similarities in our stories and seasons, and it was wonderful to dive in to how the Lord has used our journeys.

We speak on some fun things, like how Ellie became a musician and how she has been able to use music to connect people and their stories. We also talked about the children’s book, Who Sang The First Song, Ellie published last year, and how the idea of the book came to be. It was so fun to discuss the beauty of having intentional conversations with our children, seeing where our children are truly gifted by the Lord, and guidance we can have with our little ones. We are made stewards over our children, and we discuss what the full potential of that can be. So many of us parents get caught in the mundane tasks of everyday and forget to see the eternal purpose in what we are doing in parenting.

Celebrating others to foster community, learning to dream at any age, self care, and our roles as women are some topics we get to discuss together. Ellie and I also tackle what some of the difficult aspects of who we are can be. We learn to turn to Scripture and cling to His promises to then lay down what isn’t ours to carry.

Tune in to hear more about Ellie’s heart, what brings her joy, and her reason for doing yoga. 🙂 I hope you are inspired and encouraged by this sweet time with Ellie Holcomb!

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @ellieholcomb

Website: www.ellieholcomb.com

Facebook: @ellieholcombmusic

Twitter: @ellieholcomb

 

 

 

070: Judy Pogue

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I am thrilled to have Judy Pogue on this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief! From thriving at any age to princesses, to world missions, we discuss a gamut of amazing topics today.

Judy Pogue is a wife, mother, international missionary, and now an author. She has such a deep love for the Lord and amazing wisdom to share. She presses deep into who God has created her to be and feels blessed to be in the season she is in. I love the way Judy describes thriving: she says it is “running with arms open to the future”. I think this perfectly encompasses Psalm 31 when the psalmist describes a Godly woman as someone “who laughs at the fear of the future”.

Thriving is running wildly toward the future because you know it is in the Lord’s hands. And the Lord wants us to thrive at every stage of our lives. He is not surprised by the season we are in, whether that is motherhood, singleness, a job that seems so difficult, the loss of a parent, etc. Because He is not surprised by our season, He has fully equipped us and is walking with us through those seasons. Judy speaks on a young woman who feels called to being missional, but is in the middle of raising young children. Judy reminded and encouraged this woman that she IS being missional! She is right where the Lord wants her and is being missional in her home with her children. She referred to Scripture that states we go in and out of seasons, and this woman’s time of being missional outside of her home will come. But we are to see where we are at as our mission.

We speak for a while on the importance of mentorship and how different generations help others walk along life. This is what community is. Those that are older have such an opportunity to meet with the younger to let them know they are not alone in what they are walking through. And the younger generation has an opportunity to see what a Godly woman looks like as she walks through certain stages of life. I am so thrilled that we were able to discuss Judy’s book, Awaken Sleeping Beauty. I could not love this book more and what it entails. Judy expands on her inspiration for this book, who she hopes to reach with its message, and all of the different angles this story takes. Judy has such wisdom on discussing what all the Lord has taught her through marriage and motherhood. She discusses real issues that happen in marriage and learning to find value in the titles “wife” and “mother” in a world telling us those titles are not enough. We discuss believing in who your spouse is. Lay the groundwork of prayer in the difficult years that will yield fruit in the good years. This is an episode you won’t want to miss. So grab a comfy chair or put in your earbuds on a walk and enjoy this week of Thriving Beyond Belief!

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @AwakenWithJudyPogue

Website: www.judypogue.com

Facebook: Awaken with Judy Pogue

Awakening Conference Feb 22, 2019 Dallas: http://www.judypogue.com/index.php

Twitter: @AwakenwithJudyP

Book: Awaken Sleeping Beauty

 

 

069: Gerard and Jeannie Long

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Today I have two very special people with me on Thriving Beyond Belief, Gerard and Jeannie Long! The Longs have an incredible story of walking through the highest of mountain tops and the lowest of valleys. They speak so authentically about knowing the Lord in the good times and learning to lean into faithfulness during the hardest times.

We discuss suffering and what comes from the redemption of the most difficult situations. We learn to be heavenly-minded when walking through things that seem unbearable. Gerard speaks about how God’s plan for each of us is to redeem us, restore us, and have us triumph. We also speak about coming back from the darkness into the light in terms of our faith after incredible hardship.

One of the main themes of this episode is the power of God in a Christ-centered marriage. We see Gerard being a covering for Jeannie and truly leaning on the Lord so Jeannie could lean on Gerard. We talk about the supernatural strength of the Lord to help glorify the marriage to get through and THRIVE in every season.

The Longs could not emphasize more the power the prayer, the incredible presence of God in unusual places, and glimmers of hope that lead to rays of light in your life. We talk about how in the deepest sorrow, God embraced them and they felt that God was truly enough.

From hardship leads to true community. There is blessing in that we are never alone, and that what we walk through will one day comfort and encourage others. Also, the path He has set before us is what He has equipped us to handle. We may not ever understand the “why”, but that is when we look at the Lord and trust that He does understand the “why”.

This episode will have you clinging more to the Lord. It will challenge and embolden your faith. You will be blessed by these few moments today.

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @awakeningtogod

Websitewww.awakeningtogod.org

Facebook: @awakeningtogod

Twitter: @atg_ministries

 

068: Alex Seeley

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Welcome to this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief! With me today is Alex Seeley, author of the book Taylor Made, wife and mother, minister, and native Australian who calls Nashville her home!

Being in full time ministry since she was 22 was a calling Alex had on her life ever since she called Jesus her Savior at age 11.

Thriving is God’s promise to us if we know Him personally. Alex talks about the difference between being saved and being freed. Salvation is our justification, but our walk with the Lord is our sanctification. Alex shares such wisdom on the expectation we have of our Christian life without working out our faith. There is such negativity, gossip, hatred, judgement, comparison, and anxiety in our minds, yet we do nothing to transform our minds. It is one thing to know in your mind that Jesus loves you, but it is a whole other thing to let that fact resonate who you are.

Alex shares her amazing story, which begins with her life being considered an “accident”, continues through broken parents raising broken children, and led to thoughts of rejection and a sense that she would never measure up. These thoughts and the need for some control in her life led Alex to developing an eating disorder. Even though she knew the Lord at the time of her disorder, she didn’t believe the Lord could handle this aspect of her life and heart, which is something so many believers deal with now. We believe that the deep, dark hard places of our lives are something God cannot handle, which is precisely what the enemy wants us to think. But Alex talks about the journey from that and the wrestles she had with the Lord about speaking the truth out loud and receiving help.

Alex speaks on becoming free of so many burdens, such as insecurity. There is a difference between having insecurity about something and being bound by insecurity. She speaks so beautifully about the struggle and some steps to take to overcome the self-doubt you have about yourself. Once you focus on your Creator and what He did so that you could be His, the fears and doubts and insecurities will dissipate. We change our focus from ourselves to the Lord.

There are so many pressures on women today, so many expectations we put on ourselves of what we have to be all the time. We discuss the shift from that mindset to simply being obedient. We should cancel the noise from other people telling us we are and focus on the voice of God telling us who we are.

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @alexseeley

Website: www.alexseeley.com/

Facebook: @alexseeley

Order Book here: https://www.tailormadebook.com/

Media: http://www.alexseeley.com/media/

 

 

 

Lysa TerKeurst

067: Lysa TerKeurst

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I am thrilled to have Lysa Terkeurst with me on this episode of Thriving Beyond Belief!

And why am I thrilled…….let me count the ways:
1. We have a similar stories and the same Redemptive God
2. We both have had serious marriage struggles, but God still Reconciled
3. Both marriages have hurts, pains, resentments and anger, but God still Restored
4. Trust has to be rebuilt with time and consistency, and God never leaves us or forsakes us
5. Vulnerability happened for both of us, & God desires intimacy with all of us! He wants our heart!
Lysa just published a new book, “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” and it has resonated so deeply with me and I hope you each receive an opportunity to read it. One of Lysa’s goals with this book is to make sure others don’t feel alone in their journey, which so closely correlates with the ministry Jeff and I have given our life to.

The amazing thing is how Lysa has seen how the circumstances in her life have led to deep and painful times before the Lord, which leads further to deeper understanding of the Word of God and to be an even more reliable teacher of the Word.

We talk about the deep, difficult questions of who God is and how He could allow life-altering painful situations happen to His children. Lysa dives into her own journey of emotional healing through the church and Christian counseling and how that led so much to the content in her book.

We also discuss the redemption and restoration of the hard times, mainly with the Lord and then with others in our lives. From Lysa sharing her story, the Gospel is being shared and there has been so much healing for so many just by knowing that they are not alone, even in the valley. And what joins each of us in the valley is the truth of God’s Word and His character.

Lysa shares with vulnerability what she now has to work through because of what has happened in life, and beautifully clarifies the healthy difference between vulnerability in sharing and the importance of privacy. We even talk about no longer taking things for granted, but taking every situation to the Lord. We take our situation out of the center of our lives and replace that with the Lord. He is the only one that can bring peace and remove fear.

“God loves us too much to answer our prayer in any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.”

This is one episode you will not want to miss. I hope you join me!

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @LysaTerkeurst

Website: www.Lysaterkeurst.com

Facebook: @OfficialLysa

 

 

 

066: Christa Black Gifford

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I have Christa Black Gifford with me on this episode of Thriving Beyond Belief, and I could not be more thrilled!

Christa is an author, wife, and mother who shows true vulnerability in all areas of her life.

On this episode, we talk through trauma, performance, loss, reconciliation, hope, and who God is in the midst of all of those things.

Going through trauma at an early age, Christa discusses constant coping from that as she grew up. She tried to find identity in what she could control, and how that manifested itself in her life.

We talk about pain and how our natural inclination is to avoid pain at all costs. We have confused God’s peace with being comfortable. We discuss wounds and the roots of our pasts that affect our actions. But we talk about how God’s goodness is not that we have an easy life, but rather it is that our lives are reconciled to Him.

Christa talks about walking through some difficult life issues and how she has shifted her thinking from “this is happening to me” to “this is happening for me”. It is that shift to see every story can be used and redeemed by the Lord. We discuss what trauma even does to us physically and when you come face-to-face with the trials in your life, it leads to healing.

It was amazing to hear Christa speak of the hope of Jesus in her life. How He has revealed Himself to her in several ways. She discusses those methods of seeing Christ and restoring herself back to His purpose.

I hope you take a listen to this woman’s amazing journey, and how God is redeeming all of us.

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @christablackgifford

Website: www.christablackgifford.com

Facebook: @christablackgiffordofficial

 

 

 

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