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089: Eryn Eddy

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There are fewer things that bring me more joy than seeing people share their story with authenticity and vulnerability. That is why this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief has brought me so much joy- and I hope it does the same for you. I am so excited for you to hear Eryn Eddy’s story. It is one of overcoming, being true to what God has called you to be, and finding passions in unexpected places.

Eryn shares with us her story of how she has come to where she is. Eryn talks with us about being raised in a Christian home, finding herself working for a ministry, deciding not to go to college, and marrying young. She walks us through this relationship she had with her husband and what ultimately led to their divorce. Eryn is so vulnerable in her story-telling, sharing with us such wise words on truly coming to terms with the fact that nothing can fill the void in our lives other than Jesus. She talks about what voids she was trying to fill through her marriage and how her husband was trying to do the same in different capacities. Trying to fill the void of the Lord in your life with a person, a hobby, a career, children will only leave those voids being manifested in unhealthy ways in your relationships with others and with Jesus.

Eryn shares some life-giving wisdom on her journey and how the Lord taught her to only be satisfied with Him. What came from this broken relationship actually led her to the ministry she runs today- So Worth Loving. It is an apparel brand that prints life-giving and encouraging messages on apparel. She emphasizes that nothing will fulfill like Jesus and no one will champion who you were created to be like Jesus.

Eryn closes with some amazing and practical steps to healing. She shares some amazing ways you can begin to climb out of the pit that you are in and how to lean into the Lord in real ways during that time of heartache, loss, or emptiness.

I want to close with So Worth Loving’s manifesto, in that I hope it beings encouragement to your story and that the Lord wastes nothing. He uses each of our stories to glorify Him and help others in healing.

No matter my history, past mistakes, relationship status, or career choice, I am worthy of love. I am not defined by my past. I am prepared because of it. While my own voice and others may tell me different, I will lean into the safe people that affirm this way of thinking. When I encourage others to love themselves I am encouraging them to treat themselves with kindness, patience, respect, and all that embodies love. We live our life knowing we have worth.  So Worth Loving. It’s a lifestyle.”

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Highlights:

  • Coming soon…

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088: Mary Demuth

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Welcome to today’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief! I have a feeling that all of you reading this are going to absolutely love this episode. I am talking with Mary Demuth today. Mary and I have known each other for a while now and I am so thrilled that she now gets to share her incredible story with us.

Mary’s life is a testament of the Lord using broken things and creating something absolutely beautiful out of them. From a young age, Mary grew up in an environment of brokenness, chaos, instability, and darkness. From a place of distrust and abuse, Mary was exposed to the Gospel. She met Jesus and never turned back.

From this place of healing, the Lord gave her the gift of writing. Mary was able to write and work out her past in a way that would bless others through her gift. An author of 41 books, Mary shares what she is learning through both nonfiction and fiction.

We focus today on one of her books entitled The Seven Deadly Friendships. I love this topic because I feel like there are not many books on healthy relationships with friends, how to set boundaries, and how to handle a toxic friendship in a Godly way.

We take time to discuss each of these bad “friends”, all cleverly named in her book. She walks us through what each kind of toxic trait may look like in a friend, and finding the place of whether or not you need to step away from that relationship. Mary vulnerably discusses her past and talks about the fact that there are certain people she is naturally drawn to that are toxic, simply based on what she knew growing up.

Mary and I focus on recognizing those key negative traits that we are drawn to and how to avoid those moving forward. We even talk about the fact that each of us may be exhibiting one of these seven traits with others and how to recognize, repent, and change our actions with others from negative to positive.

This episode today is so important, life-giving, and practical for us not only for how we can be better friends and surround ourselves with healthy relationships, but also that the Lord doesn’t want us to stay in our circumstances.

No matter what your past is, what you have been through, he wants to lead you into a place of healing and a place of redemption. We are not meant to sit in our struggle forever. We are meant to strive to be all that the Lord created us to be.

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Highlights:

  • We focus today on one of her books entitled The Seven Deadly Friendships. I love this topic because I feel like there are not many books on healthy relationships with friends, how to set boundaries, and how to handle a toxic friendship in a Godly way.
  • She walks us through what each kind of toxic trait may look like in a friend, and finding the place of whether or not you need to step away from that relationship.
  • This episode today is so important, life-giving, and practical for us not only for how we can be better friends and surround ourselves with healthy relationships.

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087: Sarah Nuse

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What an absolute blessing it is to have Sarah Nuse with me today on Thriving Beyond Belief!

Sarah is such a light and is someone who naturally thrives. She is a wife, mother, and owner of Tippi Toes, a dance program that is built into schools during the school day. As a mother herself, she knows that afternoons running around and taking children to various activities can be exhausting, so the dance program is built for young children to participate in during normal school hours, complete with recitals and all! This amazing program has been adopted all over the country, and will hopefully soon be offered internationally!

Tippi Toes was actually birthed out of a time of desperation in Sarah’s life, a time when there was not much direction. She was encouraged to dream big and implement those dreams by her parents. We take some time to discuss the importance of the roles of parents in their children’s lives. In a culture where parents want to bless their children with more than they had, there tends to be a generation of people who don’t know what it is like to struggle, fail, and figure out what to do next. The story of how Sarah’s business came to be is so refreshing to hear.

We talk a lot about balance. The balance of being a good parent but also putting marriage before parenting. We discuss the balance of what to say “yes” to in your life. We talk about the balance of communication with your partner and taking time for marriage. We discuss the balance of figuring out how the Lord created us and what He wants to do with that creation. Sarah shares some amazing wisdom on all of these topics, reminding us at the base of it all that we were not created to live in fear. We were created to thrive. So anytime we begin to feel the fear creep up, we must turn to the Lord to be reminded that we were made for so much more than living in a “stuck” place of fear. We were created to live and live well. Let us cast away the thought that we “aren’t enough” in whatever capacity the enemy is telling us- whether that be our marriage, how we parent, our position at work, a dream that we want to come to fruition, etc. Let us instead lay those things before the Lord and find strength in who HE is that spurs us to do our best.

Tippi Toes is now franchised across the country with 35 franchise owners in 14 states. The company was recognized in Entrepreneur Magazine as a top 500 franchise company in the world.

Tippi Toes was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2012, where Sarah and her sister, Megan, landed a TV deal with Shark Mark Cuban.

As a company, Tippi Toes has had the opportunity to release four music CDs. The latest, “On Top of the World,” hit the Top 10 on iTunes and top 20 on Billboards chart on the Best Children’s Album chart. “On Top of the World” was also submitted for the Best Children’s Album for the 60th Grammy Awards. Sarah and her sister write all lyrics on each CD to ensure that positive, encouraging music is played throughout each class at Tippi Toes.

Sarah has co-authored, with her husband, Adam, a children’s book, Pink Ballet Shoes. Sarah is currently working to expand the company by adding a line of ballet slippers and dance wear due to come out early 2019.

Sarah is in the process of writing her first business book and has spent much of the last year speaking to all types of groups about dreaming big, being bold and using your God-given talents.

Sarah is engaging, inspiring and desires to share the practical tools that allowed her to reach her big dreams so that others can do the same. Sarah’s journey in business has made her very relatable and she wants to help others in their business life, as well as in their marriage and family.  Living outside of Nashville, Tennessee with her family, Sarah is the wife to baseball executive Adam Nuse, and mother to her three children: Lucy, Lola and Hank.

This episode is so sweet to me, and I wish we could have kept talking. I cannot wait for you to hear this today and be encouraged to live your best!

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Highlights:

  • Sarah is engaging, inspiring and desires to share the practical tools that allowed her to reach her big dreams so that others can do the same.
  • We talk a lot about balance. The balance of being a good parent but also putting marriage before parenting. We discuss the balance of what to say “yes” to in your life. We talk about the balance of communication with your partner and taking time for marriage.
  • We discuss the balance of figuring out how the Lord created us and what He wants to do with that creation. Sarah shares some amazing wisdom on all of these topics, reminding us at the base of it all that we were not created to live in fear. We were created to thrive.

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086: Louie Giglio

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Fatherhood. It’s an ever-growing issue of importance in our culture today. And who better to speak about that with than Louie Giglio? He is my guest on today’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief!

Louie is a well known pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and is the founder of Passion, a conference that is specifically geared toward 18-25 year olds who are setting up life for themselves for the first time. This conference is to help those in this season put Christ at the center of their lives and turn their focus on what is eternal rather than what is temporary. Louie is also a husband to his beautiful wife, Shelley, a speaker and an author.

We spend our time today talking specifically about the subject of Louie’s new book, Not Forsaken- fatherhood. We speak on the freedom that comes with finding our identity in being sons and daughters of the Perfect Father. This is a complicated subject, as we often project characteristics of our earthly fathers onto our Heavenly Father. That could be that He is absent, angry, distant, apathetic, and the list goes on. Louie talks about us beginning to see that those characteristics don’t exist in Heaven. He was Father first, which means He is perfect in fatherhood. The fall led to a broken view of what fatherhood needs to be.

We discuss the fact that the relationship of father and child is one that is vastly important to our life. It is one of the relationships on earth that effects us in such drastic ways. Our souls long for this relationship to feel whole.

Louie shares with us some amazing Scripture and wisdom on how to restore the relationship with our eternal Father, even when our earthly relationship may have  never been a positive one. Louie shares so vulnerably about his own father, the struggles in their own relationship, and how it led to remind him that nothing here is how it should be. Our souls are longing for the day when all will be restored.

We even speak some on mental health and how important it is to address any issues going on, the power of counseling, and the significance of authenticity.

What a blessing this episode is to me and I hope it is the same for you. May there be peace that comes to you after this episode!

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Highlights:

  • Fatherhood. It’s an ever-growing issue of importance in our culture today.
  • We even speak some on mental health and how important it is to address any issues going on, the power of counseling, and the significance of authenticity.
  • We discuss the fact that the relationship of father and child is one that is vastly important to our life.

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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.

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083: Jordan Lee Dooley

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I got to spend an hour with one of my favorite people for this week’s episode of Thriving Beyond Belief: Jordan Lee Dooley! Wife, speaker, soon-to-be author (and fellow Enneagram 3), Jordan is sunshine personified. We take some time to talk about some themes in her upcoming book, Own Your Everyday.

It is refreshing to discuss contentment in a world that is shouting for us to find our purpose. We break down what true purpose is, that small, intentional steps make up the large leaps in our lives, and that although we are called to steward our lives well, it is okay to not be “hustling” 24/7 if it means we leave out the Lord in the process. Jordan so pointedly reminds us that knowing the Lord IS our calling. He is our purpose. We so often run around and try to seek out the “one thing” that we are called to, instead of seeing that the one thing we are called to is to be faithful. Let us not be deterred by the enemy to chase the hustle rather than walk with the Lord.

Jordan talks about the fact that doing what we are called to do is not limited to what we do professionally; we are called to love others well, we are called to be good stewards of the bodies we have been given, etc. When we finally understand that life is not lived to reach a particular pinnacle, but rather it is a beautiful journey, we experience true freedom! The journey is filled with the mundane path, which is the everyday that we are given the opportunity to be faithful with. The journey also includes places of wilderness, which is where we tend to learn the most. And the journey is filled with moments in the garden, which is where the Lord wants us to intentionally rest and spend time with him. These paths and places make up our life. Let us make the most of them.

There are so many wonderful pieces of advice and encouragement from Jordan in this episode that you will find yourself taking notes to take with you into your day. Here’s to owning our everyday!

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Highlights:

  • We break down what true purpose is.
  • When we finally understand that life is not lived to reach a particular pinnacle, but rather it is a beautiful journey, we experience true freedom.
  • We so often run around and try to seek out the “one thing” that we are called to, instead of seeing that the one thing we are called to is to be faithful.

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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

079: Jessica Smartt

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Memory Making Mom

I’m super excited to have Jessica Smartt with me today on the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast!
Jessica Smartt is a former English teacher turned homeschooling mama of three. A week after her first baby was born, she began her motherhood blog, Smartter Each Day. Jessica and her husband live in beautiful North Carolina, where she loves hikes with kids(mostly), steaming coffee in the afternoon, family bike rides, and anything that’s ever been done to a potato.

I love Jessica’s heart behind this book and what came about for her to write it. She reminds us that celebrations are not man-created, but something the Lord created. We see biblically that there are festivals and events to remember what the Lord had done. We should do the same thing in our lives today, celebrating those moments that the Lord is faithful in our lives. Celebrations are a blessing from the Lord and something to embrace in our everyday lives!

Comparison and competitiveness are some other topics we discuss in the sense of motherhood. Our culture, with the influence of social media, has led to comparison in the circles of women and mothers. Jessica discusses how to make things special in your own home without the burden of trying to keep up with others. She beautifully reminds us of the point: that we are to do everything in our lives with our focus on the Lord. The point of these celebrations is not to make your calendars busier or more hectic, but for them to be a genuine time of enjoying your family and celebrating what the Lord has done in a special way.

Jessica will be the first one to tell you that her and her family’s life is anything but calm! In fact, all of what the Lord has laid on her heart about taking time to celebrate came from a season of busyness that left her family not seeing the Lord in the everyday moments. She felt the Lord telling her then and there to slow down and be able to see Him in the small moments of their lives. Jessica and her family still live in this fast-paced world like everyone else, and still have busy schedules. But they have taken on some traditions that are special to their family and have chosen to keep those sacred.

What’s the solution to gaining the balanced, meaningful life you desire with your family? Create traditions that bring joy and significance. Popular “Smartter Each Day” blogger and mom of three, Jessica Smartt explains in her book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home

She also offers practical encouragement to modern parents to keep on adventuring—even when they are fighting distractions, are on a budget, and exhausted.

I loved today’s episode because of the intentionality in which Jessica lives her life! I hope it inspires you to do the same in your own family!

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Highlights

  • Encourage families to make memories together
  • Building Traditions That Breathe Life Into Your Home
  • It’s never too late to become a memory-making mom

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