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122: Amy Olrick

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The Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week featuring: Amy Olrick!

From Amy & her hubby,
“Fifteen years ago, when our first son was born, we were living in a close community of friends who were also transitioning into the world of parenting. All of us were deeply yearning for a trustworthy roadmap for that joyful but sometimes harrowing journey. It soon became clear that, for a person of faith earnestly looking for sound advice on raising children, our options were limited. As a child clinical psychologist, Jeffrey began compiling helpful tools to share with us and his clients, and also to create resources that integrated sound knowledge of child development with Christian faith. For years he’s been pouring over parenting books, scientific research and scripture with equal passion.

Now further along in our journey as parents to three children, we can say that living at the intersection of science and faith has brought life and hope not only to our family, but to the many other parents and children Jeffrey has worked with over the past two decades. We’ve seen scripture illuminate and underscore scientific discovery, and we’ve found that understanding our kids wiring has revolutionized our relationship with them.

That said, we haven’t found parenting to be easy or clean-cut. In fact, it’s been quite a bumpy, messy ride. But that’s life. That’s humanness. And knowing the needs our kids were designed to have and how we can speak to those needs helps. It really does.

We hope the resources we’re sharing and creating will serve you well. We offer them to you humbly, as we have nothing mastered. Neither will you. And that’s ok. That may even be the point. It’s a process, not an outcome we’re aiming for.

And so let the intersection of science and faith lead you to this place first: choose to have a vision of parenting that is committed to seeing your child as a person in their own right, equal before God and unfolding alongside of you and with you. Allow yourself to breathe and release the idea that there is a wrong or a right way to parent. Instead, let’s offer our hopes and dreams and worries for our kids up to the God who holds them. The God of the wild and the wilderness, a God who is constantly calling us back to each other and on to love — a love that will not let any one of us go.”

Amy Olrick is an author and a techie who has spent her professional life working with organizations to build social movements grounded in the ethic of love. Her work and writing has been featured in The Guardian and USA Today, and she is an advocate for the global life-saving work of Help Refugees.

Jeffrey Olrick, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children and families. After earning his M.Ed. and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia, Dr. Olrick completed a two-year Fellowship at the Mary Ainsworth Child-Parent Attachment Clinic and now has over twenty years of experience in a variety of settings, including residential treatment, the public school system, community mental health and private practice.



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119: Betty Maxwell

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The Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week featuring: Betty Maxwell!

Betty MaxwellMiss America 2016 and the author of Miss Unlikely: From Farm Girl to Miss America.  Betty can interview on the following:

  • Put the Lord First in Your Life: Betty grew up in a faith family on a modest farm in rural Georgia. She trained tirelessly on her God-given operatic talent. She encourages young girls on kindness, humility and seeking the Lord’s will.
  • You Need a Support Team: There will be times you experience loneliness, frustration, and feeling like you don’t fit in. Find a support team to encourage and pray for you. You may need to separate yourself from those who go against your beliefs.
  • Use Negativity to Motivate You: We all will face negativity and jealous people. Stay strong in your faith and let that motivate you to become a more loving person. Betty faced intense cyberbullying over her appearance.
  • Betty’s Mother in Law’s Suicide/Mental Illness: Betty and her husband, Spencer, are advocates for mental health and suicide awareness. Betty’s mother-in-law, was a loving woman who struggled with alcoholism and childhood trauma, but tragically took her own life in December 2019. They share their testimony:

 During her time as Miss America, Betty served as the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and a partner with the USO. Her official website is  Here are a couple links of her performing: (“Soldier On” for the military and their families) (talent competition on Miss America)



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118: Tara Foley

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The Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week featuring:@tcofoley

Tara’s Clean Beginnings

I started my clean beauty journey over 10 years ago after realizing that my “healthy” lifestyle had a huge blind spot: I was exercising and eating clean, but I had no idea what I was putting on my body. That’s when I discovered all the toxins hiding inside my beauty products. I started a blog to share information and received an inspiring response from so many women with the same concerns. We deserved answers—and products that worked without putting our health (or the planet) at risk.

Soon I left my corporate job and immersed myself in the world of clean beauty. I hunted down the best products, continued researching and writing about everything from ingredients to regulation, began building relationships with brands and activists, and even moved to France to work on an organic lavender farm. But clean beauty still felt like a secret, and I wanted to help share it. That’s when I started dreaming up the idea of a store where I could educate and introduce people to the safest, most effective, and luxurious non-toxic products.

Follain opened in 2013 as the first of our kind: the first retailer to sell clean beauty exclusively. Years later, I’m no less amazed by the power of clean ingredients, and I love that I get to share them with you!


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117: Jason Thacker

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The Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week featuring: Jason Thacker.  Jason is an expert on current trends in AI. He is one of the authors of the Evangelical Statement of Principles on Artificial Intelligence and is the creative director and associate research fellow at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

In The Age of AI, Thacker thoughtfully explores the social, moral, and ethical challenges of our interactions with AI, which most of us now interact with constantly, often without even realizing it.

Thacker explains how AI affects our:

  • Medicine
  • Parenting
  • Privacy
  • Relationships
  • Economy
  • Warfare
  • And more


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116: Kreis Beall

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Kreis Beall is the co-founder of Blackberry Farm, an award-winning Relais & Chateaux resort in East Tennessee and one of the nation’s premier destinations. Entrepreneurial and artistic, Kreis expresses her passion for life in a wide range of pursuits, from running an inn to designing beautiful spaces–many of which have been featured in leading home magazines for decades. Born in Tennessee, Kreis is the mother of two sons and a grandmother of seven, and a long-term survivor of traumatic brain injury. When she isn’t writing or speaking about her book, Kreis is working on design projects, traveling with friends, spending time with her grandchildren, or dancing in the kitchen as she cooks.


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094: Stephanie May Wilson

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So excited to have my new and special friend Stephanie May Wilson on the podcast this week!

Stephanie May Wilson — an author, blogger, speaker, and best friend is here to help you have awesome relationships — awesome relationships with God, with your friends, with your significant other, with your work, and an awesome relationship with yourself.

There’s so much to figure out, and so many opportunities for us to get it wrong.

And as you try to figure out who you are, and where you’re going in life, have you ever wished you had a friend a few steps ahead of you who could guide you along the way?

What Stephanie has to say:

“That’s exactly what I needed — a girlfriend who had figured some things out to invite me over, hand me a glass of wine, and answer all of my questions. I needed to know I wasn’t alone, and I needed someone to help me find my way.”

She’s been a leader in women’s ministry for 8 years, and have walked thousands of women through the things we talk about in this interview. But most importantly — She’s been a best friend her whole life, and have walked with women in her life closely as we learn to have healthy, life-giving, life-changing relationships: Relationships with God, our girlfriends, our significant others, our work, and awesome relationships with ourselves.


Last Week’s Episode

Last Week’s Episode #93 with Karen Behnke- Founder of Juice Beauty


REPLAY: Matt & Lauren Chandler

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I’m currently away helping my daughter and her family adjust to the newest addition, so here is a special replay of one of my personal favorite episodes featuring my husband, Jeff and our very good friends, Matt and Lauren Chandler!

Matt Chandler is the lead pastor of The Village Church in North Texas. He and Lauren have three children and have had the blessing of being married for almost 20 years! Matt and Lauren have been able to write many books over the years, but we discuss in particular Matt’s book A Mingling of Souls, as it relates to love, marriage, sex, and dating.

Matt and Lauren talk to us about some amazing truths they have learned along the way while in marriage, growing their family, and even through incredible hardship. They give such wisdom and insight on the deeper issues that we all deal with and what to truly seek in order to work on marriage, family, and with the world.

They also give great advice to both men and women on things that each sex needs to diligently work at either because it does not come naturally or because culture has told us that men have particular roles and women have particular roles. The mandate of the Gospel, however, extends to everyone. So we discuss how to live in the freedom of the Gospel to be exactly who the Lord created and intended us to be.

We hope you enjoy this refreshing time of talking with dear friends and learning what we can from both our stories and others’!


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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!


Tune In


Social Media Links



Facebook: @valorieburton




Melissa Ice

058: Melissa Ice

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I am so thrilled to have Melissa Ice with me on Thriving Beyond Belief!

Melissa and her husband Jamey, along with their two baby girls, are taking Ft. Worth by storm! Melissa runs her own nonprofit called The Net that serves refugees, the homeless, and trafficking survivors in the Ft. Worth area. The Net even launched their own business recently. Her husband has a renovation company that she helps with, and they both run a restaurant called Brewed. So to say she has a lot going on is an understatement!

Melissa talks about this life simply being her chasing joy and doing what God has created her to do, which is loving God and loving our neighbors.

We discuss thriving and the importance of taking the pressure off of ourselves to have it all together, and instead truly value growth in our lives. We need to tap into community and fight for those spaces of learning.

Recognizing and combating fear, letting go of comparison, and embracing vulnerability are some of the things we discuss in this episode.

Melissa also discusses an article she wrote about all that she is learning about marriage. She talks about that she and her husband are each other’s biggest fans. She discusses that marriage is imperfect, but that there is value in vulnerability and honesty in marriage. Those things lead to growth and greater intimacy with your spouse. She even encourages that the important thing is when we need to jump start things in our marriage again, that there is freedom to do that. Rather than focusing on the drifting that happens in marriage, focus on getting back to being intentional with your spouse.

One of the most refreshing topics we cover is protecting our time. “No one is going to value your time more than you.” We can’t rely on others to know what is healthy for us, and we learn our capacities and boundaries for ourselves. We want to be good stewards of what the Lord has given us, but that doesn’t mean God is calling us to run ragged. He does not glorify busy. He values being intentional. We talk about the importance of adopting the sacredness of the sabbath as much as we adopt taking care of others in our lives. We need to trust the Lord with our margins.

We end with breaking some myths we establish about life as women, what motherhood is “supposed” to look like, and comparison.

This is one of those episodes that will make you feel at peace and give you comfort that you are not alone in the fight. Melissa encourages and is an advocate for women, so this is an episode you won’t want to miss.


Tune In


Social Media Links

Instagram: @MelissaIce




Twitter: @MelissaIce




037: Shannon Stewart Ratliff

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Shannon Stewart Ratliff joins me today on Thriving Beyond Belief! Shannon was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Stewart was the runner up on the 1st Cycle of America’s Next Top Model and appeared on the All-Star edition of the show, placing sixth as a finalist. She was also first runner-up in the Miss Ohio USA pageant in 2005, and a semi-finalist in that pageant in 2006.She went from super model to role model after giving up a career in modeling when the cost was too high. Shannon has been married for 10 years and currently living in North Carolina.

It is so great chatting with Shannon as we talk about some similarities in our pasts, the Lord being the Great Restorer, and what it means to thrive.

To thrive, according to Shannon, is living out the purpose and calling the Lord has given you in life. Even though life can be difficult, you can still live out the purpose He has for you in the hard seasons. Thriving is being a vessel for Him!

Shannon discusses her modeling career and her decision to bravely say “no” to a compromising shoot situation. She reminds us that the Lord is going to give you a dream that’s honorable to Him. He will give you an honorable path to the dreams He has stored in your heart.

We talk about Shannon’s new love for writing, and how the Lord can use her story to help others. She encourages everyone to share their story, because it leads to healing and can help those who are not able to talk about their story yet.

And we discuss different aspects of marriage like communication, quality time, and the importance of taking away how to put the Lord first even in marriage.

I hope you enjoy listening to Shannon Ratliff today on Thriving Beyond Belief!


Social Media Links

Instagram: @shannonstewartratliff

Twitter: @shannonstewart1

Facebook:  @shannonstewartmodel



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