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084: Mike & Jennifer Foster

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Marriage Episode:

You know it’s going to be a fun episode when we have my husband, Jeff, on the episode with me! We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike and Jennifer Foster on this week’s Thriving Beyond Belief.

We absolutely love what the Fosters are about. They are about simple, organic means of continuing to date your spouse in marriage. Married with 2 children, the Fosters journey has not always been easy, but they talk about how they have navigated the marriage journey together and how their relationship is stronger than ever!

We cover everything from good communication, seasons of the unknown, their story, how to date intentionally, and more. This episode is such an uplifting and practical look at how we can further believe in and fight for our marriage and our spouse.

One of my favorite topics we discuss in this episode is how fear can radically impact our marriage relationship. Mike and Jennifer talk about how fear erodes the qualities in marriage we long for: trust, communication, peace, etc. Marriage is worth fighting for and we need to be vulnerable enough to push past the fear to get to a truthful conversation. Those truthful conversations lead to healing and our spouse’s true intentions are made clear. Not having those meaningful conversations leads to disconnection. Let fear be the push towards conversation instead of being the reason to deter conversation!

Jeff and I’s first marriage is a classic example of what happens when couples do not communicate well and do not have Jesus at the center of the relationship. But through coming to personal relationships with the Lord and learning what a healthy marriage truly is, we learned, as Jeff so wisely said, that  we are to learn that each other’s voices and our own voices are important in the marriage. We are equal in voice in the marriage. We are equal in what we bring to the marriage.

Mike and Jennifer share their own story and realizing that they had fallen into a state of not really “seeing” one another. They had fallen into busy schedules and routines and just surviving. Can anyone else relate to this? But one day, through open and honest conversation, they realized they wanted their marriage to Thrive! This led to a stronger marriage than ever and even led to their current ministry to other couples.

Touch, communication and balance with schedules, and intentional date nights are keys Mike says that help with a healthy marriage. There are so many wonderful nuggets of wisdom in this episode that I can’t wait for you to listen along!

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Highlights:

  • They are about simple, organic means of continuing to date your spouse in marriage.
  • Mike and Jennifer share their own story and realizing that they had fallen into a state of not really “seeing” one another. They had fallen into busy schedules and routines and just surviving.
  • We cover everything from good communication, seasons of the unknown, their story, how to date intentionally, and more.

Related Links:

082: Dr. Will Cole

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Please give a warm welcome to a rare guest I have on Thriving Beyond Belief- a man! This week’s episode, I get to speak with Dr. Will Cole about all things health.

Dr. Will Cole is a doctor of functional medicine, author, husband, and father. He gives us a short overview of his upbringing and how it led him to committing his life to the well being and health of others.

As some of you know, overall health is a passion of mine (totally something I would also do if there was time!) and so this episode means a lot to me. The conversation with Dr. Cole is so eye-opening, because he discusses the shift we need to make in our minds about what being healthy truly is. We talk about what functional medicine is, what a good approach would be for all of us to take when it comes to our health, and how connected the parts of our body are to one another. Teaser: our brains and guts are very closely linked!

Dr. Cole describes thriving in his profession as “being able to hear patients say they feel they have their freedom back”. They have the freedom to play with their children or grandchildren, they no longer feel in a haze simply going through life, etc. Being able to help our bodies function the way the Lord intended them to is just as important to our lives as anything else. I even describe my own health journey and we talk about how seriously we should take the fact that the body is a temple for the Holy Spirit to thrive. It is not about punishing our bodies to another diet or putting ourselves down for the occasional indulgence. It is about a lifestyle of stewarding our bodies like we would steward our finances or our time.

I love these conversations because it reminds us that the Lord has made all things. For some reason, we give most things to the Lord, but how we treat our bodies is something we often exclude from what the Lord can control. Let that be something that we lay down before the Lord. He has promised that He would give us life, and life abundantly. This includes how we feel in our bodies!

I can’t wait for you to give this episode a listen. Let me know how it impacts you!

Dr. Will Cole, IFMCP, D.C., leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.

Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is a health expert and course instructor for the world’s largest wellness brands such as mindbodygreen and goop.

Dr. Will Cole, senior clinic director, is uniquely skilled and experienced at finding the root physiological, biochemical and hormonal causes underlying many diseases. Dr. Cole has broken free from the limiting approach of “standard care,” which most often calls upon drugs and hormones as a first defense against these diseases without a real inspection as to the root underlying causes and contributing factors to each individual’s presenting complaints.

Dr. Cole uses breakthrough diagnostic testing and analysis that’s rarely done in conventional settings to uncover the hidden causes of why people feel the way they feel. He also takes great pride in delivering personalized health care treatment to patients as well as providing an environment that supports and inspires patients to reverse their poor health.

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Highlights:

  • What functional medicine actually is and why we should consider it.
  • God calls us to take care of our bodies, the temple He has given us.
  • Excellent health includes physical, spiritual and emotional

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081: Jenny Randle

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Super excited to have Jenny Randle on the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast today!

As a speaker, author and creative ninja, Jenny Randle believes deeply in the power of story.

At the age of 18, she encountered the greatest love story ever told, the Gospel. The prayer that followed for her was simple: “God, use me to make an impact for you.”

Since that prayer, Jenny has worked as a video editor on billion dollar franchises in the heart of Hollywood. In 2009, She was recognized with one of the highest honors in the entertainment industry — an Emmy Award.
As a creative ninja, over a decade ago she found herself living in this performance mentality zone, riddled with anxiousness and comparison. God broke the chains of inadequacy, taught her about her identity in Jesus and brought her such freedom. In this space of freedom, God has equipped Jenny to challenge others to CREATE AND DREAM COURAGEOUSLY again.

Also to every wounded creative or procrastinating dreamer… Discover the freedom to create again. The world needs you to shine.

Creativity is a gift from God to each of us—including you.

Is a message weighing on your heart or stirring in your soul today, but you’re wondering how to communicate it?

This hands-on journey in Courageous Creative will give you the tools and encouragement you need to discover your God-given identity, cultivate your creativity, and express your thoughts. You’ll find fun, think-outside-the-box creative challenges that will spark your imagination and inspire you in fresh, new ways.

You’ll also learn the foundations of your creativity, find ways to overcome the obstacles that keep you from fully expressing yourself, and discover secrets to unleashing the courageous creative in you.

Experience creative and spiritual freedom in this one-of-a-kind interactive devotional.

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Highlights:

  • Jenny believes in the power of story—
    The greatest story ever told- the gospel.
  • What to do with insecurity and not feeling good enough.
  • Our creativity is our greatest weapon we can really hold on to and understand because God wants to use us as a solution-makers; God wants to give us vision.
  • As we age our creativity decreases because we are not being intentional. Stress and time are the two biggest creativity killers
  • Simple prayer: “God use me to make an impact!” God calls us to shine especially as a believer. But first we have to understand what our gifts are. Then we need to feel comfortable in our gifts in order to be able to express freely in that gift!

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080: Gwen Smith

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Gwen Smith’s tagline on her website says her purpose is “helping women know and trust God more”. After today’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief, you will have no doubt that is what God has intended for her to do! Gwen is a delight, an 8w7 on the enneagram (if you know what that is) :), and has such an amazing story to tell.

Not only is Gwen a follower of Jesus, wife, and mother, she is also an author, speaker, podcaster, and coach. Gwen’s story is one where she is able to personally speak about the goodness, grace, and faithfulness of God. She speaks of young love, heartbreak, and amazingly beautiful redemption.

I don’t want to give away her whole story here, but it’s one that has her cling to the story of the prodigal son from Scripture. She shares what she describes as her “mess-timony”, and the fact that our sin is never going to be bigger than God’s grace in our life. We cannot outdo the power of the cross! Once Gwen returned to the Lord, she spent so much time trying to “earn” her way back into the good graces of the Lord. She volunteered for every role she could in the church, trying to work her way back into the arms of the Lord, until she realized she was already there. Christ then revealed to her that in the midst of trying to earn her salvation, she stopped dreaming about what the Lord was going to do in her life. She felt “disqualified” from the race. How many of us can relate to feeling this way from time to time?

But in His goodness, God showed her the grace that was given to her, the fact that we can never earn our salvation, and that with thriving ALWAYS comes honesty about our story. I love how she reminds us that His arms are never too short to save and His ears are never too dull to hear.

We talk about Gwen’s definition of thriving. One thing that stuck out to me about what she had to share was that she always referred to herself as someone who was “dizzy”. She loved to spin in circles as a girl, and that same mindset carried into adulthood. But she claims that this leads to chaos and it keeps our eyes from ever looking forward. Gwen believes thriving is being able to look straight ahead to eternity and to keep from spinning in mindless directions.

We even cope together as we discuss the season of empty nesting, bond over being fellow podcasters, and discuss how the Lord truly uses all of our mess to create something beautiful and new. I cannot wait for you to take a listen today!

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Highlights:

  • Gwen’s purpose: to know and trust God more
  • She shares what she describes as her “mess-timony”
  • A quote from Gwen: “In every season, we have different opportunities to grow, but then also pave the way for the next season.”

Related Links:

Gwen Smith 🌸
Speaker / Podcaster / Author / Worship Leader
Helping Women Know and Trust God More
Co-founder of Girlfriends in God
Host of the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith Podcast
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

 

 

 

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!

 

Tune In

 

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

 

 

 

051: Christine Caine

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Please join me as we have the amazing Christine Caine on Thriving Beyond Belief today!

Christine Caine is an author, world-renown speaker, and social justice activist that focuses on ending sex trafficking.

We discuss in this episode today a topic that Christine has just written a book about: the unexpected. Her book came out in May and we talk about what happens to us when the unexpected happens, and how we can even look forward to the unexpected, so that we can see and believe God to be who He says He is!

Christine shares with us some incredibly hard circumstances that have happened in her life, from abuse, to earth-shattering news as an adult, to a health scare. But she shares that through these events, she was able to focus on who God is in circumstances rather than focusing on the circumstances themselves. Through this, she emphasizes the beauty of the body of Christ and how important the the local church was in her healing process.

Through the unexpected in our lives, we can learn to walk through that brokenness and experience the deeper level of healing God brings when we lean into Him in a hardship.

A main theme of our episode today is that we have to make what Jesus did for us be bigger than the circumstances that have happened to us. The lens with which you use to look at hardship will determine if it will grip you forever or if you will use it to be a part of the larger story.

One of my favorite moments of this episode is when Christine shares with wisdom that there are so many dimensions to who God is if we fully trust Him. We have such low expectations of who God is. She encourages us to EXPECT God to still be who He was in Scripture and that He is going to use us to do mighty things here in this life.

We discuss practical steps to hearing God daily and being ready for the adventure He has to take us on each day, how God is gracious in His timing of the things we can’t anticipate, and the vulnerability that none of us this side of heaven are so healed that we don’t need Jesus everyday. Subscribe to her daily devo here.

Finally, Christine reminds us to work through the fear of the unknown.
“If we have anything to fear, it’s not death. We must fear not living the life to the purpose that Christ gave us. Jesus did not come here and die and rise again for us to be safe. He sacrificed Himself so that we would be dangerous to the kingdom of darkness.”

Please join me today for an episode that relates to everyone. You won’t want to miss it.

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @christinecaine

Website: christinecaine.com

Facebook: @thechristinecaine

A21: www.A21.org

Propel Women/Activate: www.propelwomen.org

Daily Devotional: subscribe here

 

 

 

 

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