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  The low-grade stress has slowly been clawing its way out of my body lately. Stress does that, you know. It makes itself known to you privately first, masquerading as a private issue you think you can hide. As it festers and grows, which it most often does, it always exits your personal, private world and makes its presence known in the public spaces you share. It may manifest itself in the short answers you give co-workers or the tongue-lashing you unleash on your spouse. It may show up in the headaches that keep you withdrawn or the paranoia that causes you to question people you love. Stress, though? It always shows up, and it always comes out. For me, lately, the stress hasn't been debilitating. It's been present, for sure, but as I've walked with God and learned to invite Him into it, it's been more manageable. But manageable, low-grade stress can quickly compound and grow into something more sinister. It's been trying to do that in me. And as I've tried to understand why I'm facing constant, low-grade stress, it's become remarkably clear that it's because I've been subjecting myself to constant, low-grade pressure. I've been exposing myself daily to expectations I can never meet. In...


  I know the exact moment my heart broke. It was a cold Friday night in February, and my children were sleeping upstairs. Cozy in their footed pajamas, they had no idea their lives were changing forever below them. Their father — my husband — was leaving. I could not have understood before that night how everything can change in one moment — that a stable and content life can be ripped from you, leaving indescribable destruction and heartache behind. But one moment can change everything. It did for me. That moment changed my physical realities — I needed a new place to live and a new job that would provide financially, and I had to learn how to parent my children as a single mother. The new physical realities were nothing compared to the new emotional realities, though. In the moment my husband said he was leaving, something shifted in my beliefs about myself and my God, and I fell into a darkness that consumed me for years. Satan began whispering to me in that moment of vulnerability that I was profoundly unlovable. He told me I was so deeply flawed I was destined to be alone, so unworthy of acceptance I would always be rejected,...


  My guest for episode #9 is Christie Thomas, and you are going to love her! She's funny, wise, and has a great laugh! Christie has three sons, and she recently left her job in children's ministry to pursue other avenues, such as writing children's books. The goal of her ministry is to cultivate authentic faith in the home, and she has incredible ideas for how to do just that. You definitely want to check out her website if you still have children in the home! I have her children's book Wise for Salvation: Meaningful Devotions for Families with Little Ones, and it would make a great Christmas gift for the people you love! One part of our conversation you will not want to miss is Christie telling the story of donating a kidney to a perfect stranger. I was so inspired by her faith, her obedience, and her perspective through it all!...


Episode 8 features my real-life friend, Amy Hickman. She is the mom of all daughters and the wife to a pastor, and I just love her heart for women. She leads the women's ministry at her church, and her passion is for helping people uncover their identity in Christ. We talked about it all in this episode, including why she never forces her daughters to go to church. She has great wisdom, and I can't wait to hear what you think of it!...