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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

 

 

 

 

063: Kathie Lee Gifford

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I am so excited to have Kathie Lee Gifford back with me on Thriving Beyond Belief! This episode, we focus on Kathie’s new book, The Gift that I can Give, that was written for children. With the holidays around the corner, this would be a perfect gift for Christmas. With the “me” culture surrounding us, this book is a breath of fresh air that focuses on seeing and doing for others, just as Christ leads us.

Kathie’s new book focuses on the story of David and Goliath, and particularly David’s stone. She shares something special about what that stone represented in David’s life and how we each have a “stone” in our lives.

We spend some time talking about changing our perspective from being entitled to being so thankful. There is far richer joy from living a Christ-centered life than having ourselves at the center. We change the conversation from feeling pressure to be perfect to finding freedom in Jesus to be vulnerable and authentic.

Fear is something that is all around us today and we talk about how to not be fearful of the world, but run to our Savior and be in awe of His power to take anything and make is beautiful. There is nothing to fear when our God can redeem anything.

We finish this amazing time together really focusing on what we can do for our children that will develop them into Jesus-loving individuals.

Kathie has some fun projects just around the corner, and I can’t wait for you to hear about them, along with the rest of the episode. Enjoy!

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @kathielgifford

Website: www.kathieleegifford.com

Facebook: @kathieleegiffordpage

Twitter: @kathielgifford

 

 

 

060: Brittany Price Brooker

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On today’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief, we welcome Brittany Price Booker!

Brittany’s story is one you will not want to miss. At 25 and with three little ones at home, she received a call that changed the trajectory of her life. She was told that her perfectly healthy husband unexpectedly died at work. With all she had dreamed and hoped in life, the Lord took her story and showed her that He is in full control and can take anything we walk through and use it for His greater story and plan. He assured her that she would know Him in ways she never would have without this part of her story.

During this episode, we speak on loss. Brittany explains that loss is not just related to death. Loss can (and will) show up in our lives in many ways, but what we can gain through our growth and faithfulness in the Lord and know of His love is what gets us through the loss. She talks about how God called her to be a widow and single mom.

She speaks on identity and how trials can refocus you on who Christ says you are. She reminds us that even in the midst of unbelievable pain, we have purpose. The Lord has purpose for us and He has light for us in the midst of the darkness. We have to remember that if the Lord allows us to go through trials, He has equipped us to do so and He will make the pain worth it. There is beauty that will bloom from the pain.

You are not in the season you are in by accident. So know that God wants you to thrive in this moment. In this season. In the now.

We even talk about focus and the balance of focusing on self and focusing on others. When we only look at ourselves, bitterness and resentment can shift our perspective. But the reality is that everyone has struggles, and we are to be Jesus to others. If we look out, we gain a perspective of gratitude because we remember that even in the midst of loss, we also see all that the Lord has given us.

Brittany even discusses the new challenges that come with remarriage. Success in any marriage, especially remarriage, requires humility, communication, and wise counsel in your life.

This episode is full of such amazing truths, that I need you to grab that coffee or hot tea and listen right now! You will not want to miss this one.

 

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Social Media Links

 

Instagram: @BrittanyPriceBrooker

Website: brittanyprice.com

Facebook: @BrittanyPriceBrooker

The Elm Music @theelmmusic

SPEAKING

Resources Brittany recommends

 

 

 

059: LIVE Thriving Beyond Belief Podcast Event with Cheryl Scruggs and her daughters Lauren Scruggs Kennedy & Brittany Scruggs Morgan

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I am extremely excited for this Thriving Beyond Belief episode because it is the taping of our Thriving Beyond Belief live podcast event from Oct 18th! It was such an amazing night and we are so thankful for everyone who was able to come out. For those who couldn’t make it, we wanted to bring the entire event to you in your living room, kitchen, car or wherever you listen to podcasts!

We had such a fun time the other night, and that was exactly what the night was for: to have fun and give some tidbits of wisdom about how to THRIVE in your life.

On this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking to the room about what THRIVING truly is. I break down my story and all that the Lord has taught me. We talk salvation, marriage, redemption, love, and healing. With five points spelling out Thrive, I use the word to speak on what is needed for a life that is chasing after Jesus and making him known in every area of your life.

Then I interviewed my two sweet daughters, Brittany Scruggs Morgan and Lauren Scruggs Kennedy, and then one of my dear friends, Brenda Bogart interviewed my daughters and me! We talked about so many things that I can’t count them all!

We experience so many different distractions and forces in our lives today, that we have to be disciplined and conscious of making the Lord a priority in our lives. We must take captive our lives and not let them get swept up in the current of this world. We must strive to daily make choices that lead us closer to the Lord.

I am so excited and humbled to be able to share this wonderful night with you, and I pray this episode brings you joy, insight, and a new perspective of Jesus. I can’t wait for you to hear! Enjoy!

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Social Media Links

Instagram:

@cherylscruggs

@brittanymorgan

 @laurenscruggs

Website:

www.thrivingbeyondbelief.com

www.hopeformarriages.com

www.laurenscruggskennedy.com

Facebook:

@cherylscruggs

@brittanyscruggsmorgan

@laurenscruggskennedy

Books:

I Do Again by Jeff & Cheryl Scruggs

Still LoLo by The Scruggs Family

Your Beautiful Heart by Lauren Scruggs Kennedy

 

 

 

043: Siouxsan Robinson

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I am thrilled to have Siouxsan Robinson on Thriving Beyond Belief with me today! After meeting at a retreat last year, her story has continued to stay on my mind. She has such a powerful story to share.

Siouxsan is a Native American that grew up on the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. She has been married to her husband, Charles Robinson, for 14 years. In their time together, along with growing their family by 7, they have created a ministry called The Red Road that seeks to build relationships on Native American reservations. They provide “Baskets of Hope” for those on the reservation, carefully praying over each basket and who it will serve. Along with household goods in the baskets, the Robinsons provide a bible and a devotional as well. As they build these relationships, they share Christ and the hope He gives and the love He has for each of them.

The beautiful part of this story is that Siouxsan now gives to others graciously after experiencing an extremely broken past. Siouxsan was exposed to every kind of abuse that came from a broken family system. During this time, she was prone to seeing dark spirits. After a conversation with a cousin, Siouxsan was exposed to the Gospel. She realized the strength of the Lord was stronger than the fear of the enemy (can I get an amen on that?!)

One of my favorite moments in this podcast is when Siouxsan describes her salvation experience. Before knowing Jesus, there was a real and true battle in her spirit. She could feel the pull of the enemy to keep her in fear. But then she met the Lord and her description of her salvation will bring you to tears.

In her relationship with the Lord, she no longer felt alone. Jesus was not only there for her, but was for her. She saw the beauty of His pursuit of her and how He just wanted to spend time with her. All of her life, people had taken from Siouxsan. But the Lord gave to her. She learned and talks about forgiving others because of His forgiveness of her past. She is able to be compassionate because of His compassion towards her. She even shares with us what thriving is to her because of her own walk with the Lord.

Be prepared for an amazing episode full of truth. We discuss issues that are so important to remember about ourselves, about others, and about the Lord. I can’t wait for you to listen with us today!

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @siouxsantheredroad

Website: http://www.theredroad.org/

Facebook: @siouxsanrobinson

 

 

 

042: Bill & Brenda Bogart

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Jeff and I co-interview our wonderful guests Bill and Brenda Bogart! Bill primarily works with the marriage ministry at Park Cities Presbyterian Church here in Dallas and Brenda is an artist. Both Bill and Brenda were married previously and have a big and beautiful blended family today.

One of the biggest issues that arises in marriage is communication. With Bill and Brenda meeting with married couples, they try to emphasize that good communication is really about a mutual understanding and mutual respect for one another in a marriage. This sweet couple shares different tools on this episode that can help with better communication and listening.

Some topics we discuss include validating feelings in your spouse, weekly dates with your spouse, and what healthy disagreements are. This episode really explores the freedom of truly working things out in your marriage in a healthy way. Bill and Brenda go into what it looks like to be intentional everyday with your husband or wife. When we work through loving our spouse well and what all that entails, it will naturally lead to greater intimacy in all areas of the marriage.

When we realize that our spouse is not the enemy, but rather our teammate that we are wanting to cross the finish line of life with, the whole outlook of what your marriage is changes.

Bill and Brenda speak wisely on the subject of forgiveness, the balance of discussion between internal and external processors, and how to make your spouse feel known. The world often tells us what a husband should be and what a wife should be. We are often overcoming those lies of the world to lean into what Christ calls us to be as husbands and wives.

When listening to this podcast, you can’t help but see the beautiful intention the Lord had for marriage and what He intends it to be- it is a representation of our walks with the Lord. We walk along with Jesus through life and learn how to better communicate with Him as we go, learning to grow in grace, humility, and how to truly listen. This is such a parallel of the lessons we learn through marriage. As we grow in vulnerability, we grow in intimacy.

This is absolutely a podcast you will not want to miss! What you will take away from this is the true pursuit of your spouse.

Social Media Links

Instagram: www.instagram.com/brendabogart

Website: www.brendabogart.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BreBogArt

 

 

 

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

 

 

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