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078: Melanie Dale

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Today I am thrilled to have Melanie Dale on the podcast with me today!

Melanie’s life has been anything but what she expected- leading her to a ministry opportunity she never would have imagined for herself. Thus, her first book and website are entitled “Unexpected”. Melanie pictured her life going as most of us do- getting married, having children, etc. But after a battle with infertility, Melanie realized the Lord had more in store for her life than she knew.

We discuss major issues today that are all separate but all connected at the same time- marriage, intimacy, infertility, and parenting to name a few. Melanie discusses how her new saying is sur-thriving. She believes that life is never going to get to a place where everything is perfect, so we need to learn to thrive while we survive!

We really tackle the difficult issue of not being able to bear children, and what avenues come from that in people’s lives. One of Melanie’s books was written intentionally in the midst of a storm in her life, so that she could claim the goodness of the Lord in the middle of the unknown. So often, we see people who discuss their issues after they have seen redemption in their lives. But we sometimes need to know what to do and what to pray in the middle of an issue where we do not know the outcome. Melanie’s sincerity, vibrancy, and authenticity are truly refreshing in a world that tries so much to cover up failures and hardships.

Melanie gives some great advice on intentionality in marriage, how to build authentic friendships with other women in a similar life stage, how to balance the many hats most of us are wearing, and how to do it all with originality and a little humor!

I am so thankful to have spent today’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief with Melanie, and I hope you are able to face the unexpected with ferocity, vulnerability, and to be able to laugh as you go.

 

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Highlights:

  • Melanie’s life has been anything but what she expected.
  • We discuss major issues today that are all separate but all connected at the same time- marriage, intimacy, infertility, and parenting to name a few.
  • We really tackle the difficult issue of not being able to bear children.

Related Links:

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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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

 

 

Lisa Bevere

055: Lisa Bevere

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I have Lisa Bevere with me today on Thriving Beyond Belief today, and I am so excited for this episode!

Lisa has been a long-time advocate for women, helping them to find freedom in their identity and purpose in the Lord. She is an author and just put out a new book, Adamant. We dive in to what Lisa discusses in her book today.

First, we talk about what thriving is to Lisa. Lisa explains that too many people in Christianity think that they just need to survive. Rather, Christianity is about serving the Lord in every area in our lives. And with that, we are living how God intended us to live, which leads to a thriving life.

When discussing Lisa’s newest book, Adamant, we focus on the topic of culture. The culture that is coming at us saying that everyone’s opinions are their truths. But she reminds us that God’s Word is THE truth, and that our stories are seen by God and are important, but to never replace that with truth. She defines how to live in Christ.

The world is so desperate to heal and find satisfaction through sinful means, which means the world is desperate for a Savior. Lisa discusses the danger of normalizing our behavior rather than imagining that God can discipline us in love to make us who He intended us to be. “Our truth should be like a rock, not a river.”

Any issues we have, whether it’s our marriage, our family, our work life, our friendships, stem from not having Jesus at the center. We even discuss the social media and how we are to take caution when being immersed with so many opinions around us that have no legitimate grounding. So we spend some time truly discussing our responsibility of being in the Word ourselves, daily, in order to decipher what truth really is.

Finally, Lisa and I talk about her marriage and family. We talk about how Lisa and her husband have learned over the years how to dream together. We talk about how to be good apologizers and repenters, and how your marriage is a daily model for your children. Our lives are walking testimonies to others, and so let us be advocates for our spouses.

May our lives be a testament to others that life with the Lord is one that is empowered, satisfying, and full of love. I hope you find some time today to listen to this amazing episode. You won’t want to miss it!

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @lisabevere

Website: LisaBevere.com and MessengerInternational.org

Facebook: @LisaBevere.page

Twitter: @LisaBevere

Lisa’s Books: Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Angela Paxton

049: Angela Paxton

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Today on Thriving Beyond Belief, we welcome Angela Paxton! What a joy it was to have Angela with me today on the podcast. From her being adopted to her many years in education to raising four children to now her run at Texas State Senate as her husband serves as the Attorney General, we discuss how the Lord has weaved together Angela’s story over the years to reveal His purpose for her life today.

We discuss what true ministry is and how to use your personal story to relate to others in order to share Jesus with them. Remember that whatever platform the Lord gives you, be present and obedient with His call for you. Angela talks about the fact that the Lord created her to be someone who truly resides in the moment and how she uses that gift for the Lord. She truly has a gift to make people feel seen and heard, and it is evident in the platform the Lord gives her and her husband.

We speak on the beauty of differences in others, especially in marriage. Angela encourages us that rather than getting frustrated with your spouse over your differences, we should anchor into those and celebrate how we balance each other out. She speaks on the healthy habits that her and her husband practice in their marriage, especially for them when most of their days are spent apart. We discuss the necessity to nourish the marriage by making time for one another.

We really take some time to discuss how the circumstances of our lives lead us to what we dedicate our lives to. As Angela runs for Texas Senate, she realizes that although she never set out in life to be in the political arena, the Lord had been preparing her, with all she had experienced, for this moment her entire life.

We speak on fear and how the Lord wants us to lean on Him in those times of fear rather than let it shut us down. Fear is an absence of trust. He wants you to trust in Him in the darkest moments and not lean on your own understanding. We are not called to win the battles in our lives but we are called to simply be obedient and see the Lord be victorious.

I hope this episode blesses you today. Enjoy!

 

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Social Media Links

Instagram: @angela.paxton.12

Twitter: @angelapaxtontx

Websitewww.angelapaxton.com 

Facebook: @angelapaxtontx

 

 

 

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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