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100: Alex Seeley

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Super excited to welcome Alex Seeley back again on the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week!

Alex Seeley was born and raised in Australia and spent seventeen years pastoring there. It is also where she met and married her husband, Henry. After relocating to Nashville in 2012, they founded The Belonging Co., a church where they minister together to thousands of people each week. She is a passionate teacher of the Word with the unique ability to reveal how the Word of God is applicable to our everyday lives.

In our constant search for a life filled with abundance, we often follow our human instinct, and then wonder why we come up short. God always has a better idea. And it most often requires us to move in the opposite direction.

We talk at length about Alex’s new book: The Opposite Life!

So what does it mean to embrace “The Opposite Life?”

“It means acting in a way that is contrary to what is expected in our world. The Holy Spirit living in us allows us to react positively, which is contrary to the negativity coming our way.”

Why is this book relevant now?

There is a desperate longing for goodness in the face of overwhelming anger, pain, and confusion in our society. We all want the blessed life but sometimes go about it in the wrong way. We are reactive, and not proactive. We can eliminate problems before they even become problems by opposite life principles.

Also, as Alex explains, we have become a body known for what we are against instead of what we stand for. The church has it all wrong… we should be talking the Gospel less and living it more. Rather than living an opposite life and changing the world, we’ve been filling up our time with knowledge from the Bible without going the next step of applying it to our everyday lives.

Summary:

  • An insightful, biblical approach to how God calls us to live
  • Unpacks twenty opposite-life principles that lead readers to living out what Alex refers to as the blessed life
  • Real-life testimonies of ordinary people who decided to do things in the opposite realm, and resulted in incredible miracles and blessings

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Highlights:

  • There is a desperate longing for goodness in the face of overwhelming anger, pain, and confusion in our society.
  • In our constant search for a life filled with abundance, we often follow our human instinct, and then wonder why we come up short.
  • The church has it all wrong… we should be talking the Gospel less and living it more.

Related Links:

098: Ashley LeMieux

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Super excited to welcome Ashley LeMieux to Thriving Beyond Belief this week!

Ashley’s story is a messy and complicated one, but one that she feel like is her privilege to share to help you go through your own.

Included here is an amazing article by her sweet hubby!

3 Steps to Turn Your Life Right Side Up by Mike LeMieux

My wife Ashley and I in our home in Arizona; May, 2017.

On April 22, 2013, my wife Ashley and I (pictured above) became parents over night to a 4 and 6 year old.

Up to that point we’d never thought about having kids.

We were asked to raise them and felt like it was the right thing to do —so we did.

We picked them up and brought them home to our house — I was now a dad.

A few years into everything, we wanted to make things more permanent and stable for the kids so we filed to adopt them.

It was unexpectedly and heavily contested.

We fought for them in a very heated legal battle for a year and a half.

We spent a large sum of money on attorney’s fees, attended a dozen court hearings, were deposed, and were drained of every ounce of mental and spiritual energy we had.

After 4 years of being a dad, my time was over.

Our kids went back to live with their biological family.

My wife and I and our families were devastated.

I stopped caring about life.

Nothing mattered to me anymore — work, what I ate, etc. I didn’t care.

For months, I cried every day because I missed them so much.

But several months ago something changed in me.

I realized what was happening to me and wanted to MAKE A CHANGE in my life.

I knew I needed to let myself grieve, but I was sick and tired of not being happy anymore.

I decided to live intentionally, every day.

I decided to work on things that filled me up.

I decided to surround myself with people who are happy.

I DECIDED to take my life back.

FIRST

Set Intentions For The Day, Every Day

Fill out a planner, write on a white board, create a Google calendar… whatever you need to do in order to stay on track with what you want to do.

When you write down what you want to do each day, you’re more likely to do it.

If you don’t write anything down, you’re not going to do anything you want. You’ll do what everyone else wants you to do.

You’ll be tossed to and fro like a bobber in the water

You’ll be aimless and tired all the time, “working”, but not getting anything done.

Start your day by writing out, physically or digitally, your intentions for the day and stick to them until your day is done!

SECOND

Let Yourself Feel Different Emotions

After we’d lost our kids, I had so many emotions, as you can imagine.

Most of them were anger, grief and sadness. Sometimes I felt despair and loneliness.

When I felt these types of emotions, I wanted to shove them out as fast as possible. They made me feel very uncomfortable.

I realized the more I tried to bury those emotions, the more they resurfaced and the worse I got.

I decided to let myself feel the emotions and just let things happen as they would.

When I did this, miraculous things started happening;

  • I could feel myself heal, literally.
  • I could feel happiness again.
  • I could feel hope.

By letting myself just be, I was myself again.

Not my old self, but my new self. It felt good.

THIRD

Take things one minute at a time

The pictures you see above are the last things we did inside of the home we lived in when we lost the kids.

The house was empty, new people would be moving in a couple days later and we would be moving to the other side of the country to Nashville, Tennessee.

I had felt so overwhelmed by the emotions I’d been having, I didn’t know how to take things even one day at a time.

I started focusing on each minute at a time.

I started recognizing things I still had in my life that brought me joy;

  • My wife.
  • My family and in-laws.
  • My dog.
  • My work.

I’d think about how helpful it would be to be able to sell what we owned and move to Nashville to “start fresh”.

I’d think about these things, one at a time, until I started to feel happy.

When I paid attention to what I had in my life that made me happy, I was happy.

If I did the opposite and focused ONLY on the difficult things, I was miserable.

My mind frame changed and my life started becoming mine again.

I was making choices about how I wanted to live and I was empowering myself.

Day after day of practicing these three habits has allowed me to go from devastated to determined.

When we stop thinking “We are the product of the things that happen to us” and switch our frame of mind to “I get to decide how I live my life and react to what happens to me”, our lives are fixed and we truly thrive

 

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Highlights:

  • She and her husband have been through a very traumatic experience of losing her two children.
  • She is the founder of The Shine Project.
  • It is very important for her to use her pain and her grief to help others.

Related Links:

This week’s featured product:

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Sarahjo.shopstevie.com

 

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.

 

Tune In

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @kaitlinwernet

Website: http://kaitlinwernet.com/

Book: Book of Comforts

10 things I Wish My Friends Knew About Grief

 

 

 

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!

Tune In

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.

 

Tune In

 

Social Media Links

Instagram: @alexseeley

Website: www.alexseeley.com/

Facebook: @alexseeley

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

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

 

 

 

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