The Lifegiver Podcast for Military & First Responder Marriages
The Lifegiver Podcast for Service Marriages is hosted by Corie Weathers, a Clinical Military and First Responder Consultant. Corie started off her career as a licensed professional counselor serving families behind confidential doors. After a few years of working with service families, she found common themes that she wanted to address on a much bigger scale. The Lifegiver Podcast was launched as a way to start a much broader conversation. Each episode tackles a topic or interview that relates to the military and/or first responder lifestyle as well as marriage enrichment.
“The only thing consistent is inconsistency”. My husband and I coined this phrase 7 years ago when he left patrol for a full-time swat position. It has now become our family motto. It never ceases to amaze me how unsettling this lifestyle can be. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, just when I think I have all of the tools and all of the motivation…I find myself maxed out and stretched well beyond my limits. Like most supporting spouses, I love the good ole’ illusion of control. Structure makes me feel safe. Predictability helps me keep all of my bases covered. If you’re familiar with the Gallup StrengthsFinder, Consistency is number 34 of 35 on my list. To explain that bluntly, I’m terrible at being consistent…in anything. In my daily life, I have found two things that help me circumvent my lack of consistency: Personal accountability, and Routine (Not to be confused with a schedule). But what’s a girl to do when my number one personal accountability partner is absent and his service-filled lifestyle bombs my best effort to establish a routine?! Answer: scream and beat the tar out of a punching bag, cry, throw up and then watch Sleepless in Seattle all at 3 am. In all seriousness, I can tell you that when I am at my worst and overloaded with the waves of sabotage this lifestyle hurls at me,I quickly reach for change as an answer. “If only we could just quit.” “If only we could have a normal life.” My perspective focuses inward and my expectations become unrealistic. What exactly am I wanting? If I’m honest…I’m longing for a life free of suffering, pain, and hardship. I want things to be easy…I want them to be the way I dreamed they would be when I was a little girl fantasizing about home and life and marriage. When things get hard, I want solutions. I grasp at ways to control and when I can’t seem to find them, I turn to self-pity and resentment. But what if I choose a different lens? Life doesn’t turn out the way we dreamed or even the way we think it should go. But what if that’s okay? What if we stop trying to get rid of the things that disappoint us and instead hold them alongside moments of joy? What if I told you that your marriage could get better BECAUSE of the hardship the job brings? It is in the darkness of life that our senses can sharpen. We can learn to listen more closely, love more deeply, laugh more heartily. It is because of the hardships we can grow into something beautiful. So what can I control? I can control my emotions, my actions, and my words. Controlling my emotions doesn’t mean not feeling them. It actually means I need to be aware of them. Controlling my words doesn’t mean I don’t speak up. It means I need to figure out ways to communicate clearly, and kindly what is true. Controlling my actions doesn’t mean putting all my wants and desires on the back burner. It means making wise choices with my time and recognizing the season of life I’m in. Growth never comes without pain. Sometimes forging a new path or creating better habits involves the exposing and tearing down of old ones. Sometimes, to gain deeper intimacy, we must confront hard truths. Rather than seek to anesthetize the discomfort, let’s seek to hold it, sharpen the senses in our marriages and be better for it. ….and still punch a punching bag every now and then.
Are blogs dead? That’s the question we’ve been asking at Lifegiver recently. And honestly, I don’t know. More than that, I’m not sure I’m the best one to answer that question. You see, I am a lover of all things old. Antique furniture, pioneer ways, run-down farm homes…if it’s old and decaying I love it. Lately, I have found myself feeling so nostalgic. From longing for my old hip hugger flares, to missing 90’s wispy big barrel bangs, my heart aches for the past. I’m sure in some way or another, after these last two years, yours does too. I remember the good ol’ days, before social media really took off, I would sit and read mommy blogs while nursing babies in the middle night. I laughed. I cried. I felt seen and known in the midst of postpartum depression and spit-up sweatpants. But somewhere in the spinning, rushing world of technology and progress those blogs faded away. In their place came to the point, how to’s. Quick, concise, consumption. Sure it was nice for a while, and those type of blogs still have their place, but what happened to conversation? What happened to contemplation? Am I the only one tired of the echo chambers and quick fixes? Tired of everyone vying to give me as a consumer want I want versus what I need? Years ago, I was at the end of my rope with first responder life. It was 2016 and I remember googling “how to be a first responder wife”. You know what came up? Two things. The first, a to the point, three-step approach to packing lunches and getting sweat smells out of duty vests and the other, a very much drama-filled lament of a wife pining for the sound of Velcro in the middle of night so she could rest easy knowing her officer was home. My first thought was “I can’t live like that” and so I trudged forward into the unknown of this life determined to not let it destroy everything around me. When I look back and think of that woman, the one waiting for the Velcro, I can see past her lament now. Though her words were thick with theatrics, what she was really trying to communicate was that she just wanted to be seen. She, like myself and many others who have lived this life, was desperate for anyone to see how hard this life can be. How not normal it is and how very lonely and isolating it can all be. Does anyone know what it’s like to “hope” you make it to retirement with your serving spouse? Does anyone see how often I am alone, the sole bearer of consistency for our children? Does anyone feel that even if we physically make it to the end of this career… who in the world will we be? We may escape physical harm, but what the heck is this all doing to us psychologically and physiologically?? And mostly, does anyone know how to make a duty vest not smell of sweat?! First responder life is not for the faint of heart. Especially now. And even if blogging is dead, we as a community are behind the times anyway. For too long we have done this life alone, with little resource and little acknowledgment. We have been unseen. My hope is that Lifegiver can breathe life back into the blogosphere, Breathe life into the marriages of those who for too long have felt unseen and alone. My hope is to bring contemplation and conversation to this lifestyle and offer more than any quick fix consumption could ever give. Let’s not forsake the old and broken things, let’s breathe life back into them.
The USO is launching a new virtual series with Corie and Matt Weathers on how military families can stay strong while apart. Corie and Matt Weathers will share how they are keeping their military marriage strong through a season apart – as well as tips for how you can do the same. Tools and concepts discussed during the series apply to all types of military-initiated separations; from deployments and trainings, to geo-bachelor tours, unaccompanied tours, and even third shift schedules. Intimacy is a HUGE topic, especially for service couples. In this episode, Matt and I address sexual intimacy and many of the other types of intimacy couples can use to connect. Believe it or not, experts say there is between 5 and 40 different types of intimacy. We take some of the most popular questions surrounding intimacy, especially for couples who have to spend time apart. Don’t miss this one! To access the Series dashboard, including the videos and handouts: https://www.uso.org/campaign/mvp-youre-leaving-again Part 1: Part 2:
The USO is launching a new virtual series with Corie and Matt Weathers on how military families can stay strong while apart. Corie and Matt Weathers will share how they are keeping their military marriage strong through a season apart – as well as tips for how you can do the same. Tools and concepts discussed during the series apply to all types of military-initiated separations; from deployments and trainings, to geo-bachelor tours, unaccompanied tours, and even third shift schedules. This episode answers some of your biggest questions about parenting- especially while apart. Regardless of which stage you are in, there will always be times where you parent out of an imprinting from your own childhood or clash with your spouse on parenting techniques. Listen in as we share some of what we have learned. To access the Series dashboard, including the videos and handouts: https://www.uso.org/campaign/mvp-youre-leaving-again Part 1: Part 2:
The USO is launching a new virtual series with Corie and Matt Weathers on how military families can stay strong while apart. Corie and Matt Weathers will share how they are keeping their military marriage strong through a season apart – as well as tips for how you can do the same. Tools and concepts discussed during the series apply to all types of military-initiated separations; from deployments and trainings, to geo-bachelor tours, unaccompanied tours, and even third shift schedules. This episode covers how you as a couple can stay connected and on the same page during especially difficult Holidays, whether it is Christmas, Birthdays, or even an Anniversary. Listen as Matt and I authentically share how we are doing and what tools we re using to stay connected. To access the Series dashboard, including the videos and handouts: https://www.uso.org/campaign/mvp-youre-leaving-again Part 1 Part 2:
The USO is launching a new virtual series with Corie and Matt Weathers on how military families can stay strong while apart. Corie and Matt Weathers will share how they are keeping their military marriage strong through a season apart – as well as tips for how you can do the same. Tools and concepts discussed during the series apply to all types of military-initiated separations; from deployments and trainings, to geo-bachelor tours, unaccompanied tours, and even third shift schedules. This episode talks about the feelings that come with having to say goodbye. Everyone knows it is hard, but what if you feel a little bit of relief? Is that wrong? How do you set your sights forward and get on mission? Plus a special guest joins in the discussion… To access the Series dashboard, including the videos and handouts: https://www.uso.org/campaign/mvp-youre-leaving-again Part 1: Part 2:
The USO is launching a new virtual series with Corie and Matt Weathers on how military families can stay strong while apart. Corie and Matt Weathers will share how they are keeping their military marriage strong through a season apart – as well as tips for how you can do the same. Tools and concepts discussed during the series apply to all types of military-initiated separations; from deployments and trainings, to geo-bachelor tours, unaccompanied tours, and even third shift schedules. This episode is about “The Tension Before You Go”- So many couples struggle with tension and emotions all over the place before you rip the bandaid to spent that time apart. Matt and Corie cover what they went through and what many other couples describe as one of the most challenging times a couple can go through in the military. To access the Series dashboard, including the videos and handouts: https://www.uso.org/campaign/mvp-youre-leaving-again Part 1: Part 2:
Even though the season ended with a series on deployment, I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to interview two key people from the upcoming movie INDIVISIBLE, out in theaters October 26th, 2018. Bonus Episode: Sarah Drew talks Grey’s, Marriage, and her upcoming movie INDIVISIBLE Sarah Drew, often known from her character April Kepner on ABC’s hit medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy”. Listen in to my premiere interview with actor, Emmy nominated director, and producer Sarah Drew as she talks about life after Grey’s Anatomy, marriage, and her newest movie Indivisible that hits theaters Oct 26th. Indivisible is based on real life Army Chaplain Couple Darren & Heather Turner. Bonus Episode: Heather Turner Watch (or listen) NOW to my special interview with Heather Turner about the upcoming movie Indivisible that tells the story of her marriage to a US Army Chaplain, Darren. Heather and Darren vulnerably share their story of how deployment and reintegration almost cost them their marriage and how they found restoration and hope. INDIVISIBLE stars Sarah Drew , Justin Bruening, and Jason George from Grey’s Anatomy and opens in theaters Oct 26th, 2018.
Part One: The Deployment Series In this 2018 Season Finale, the Deployment Series brings an interview with Lizann Lightfoot, The Seasoned Spouse. We talk all about the struggles of deployment and how you can thrive through any separation with your spouse. Even if you are a first responder, this interview is for you. First responders live daily deployments and experience reintegration everyday your serving spouse comes home. Find out more about Lizann’s Deployment Masterclass by clicking here: https://seasonedspouse.com/ where she offers training, resources, private Facebook groups, and a series from “seasoned” experts ready to encourage you and prepare you. [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=hawky-9936f0″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 2: The Deployment Series [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=bxvde-99a0e8″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ]
Part 1: Be Confident in Your Superpowers In this series, join Katie Christy and I as we completely nerd-out on the power of living out your strengths. All of us are good at something. None of us are good at everything. What if you figured out what you are created to do really well, maybe already do really well- and then get even better at it? Welcome to being a superhero. [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=gh42t-97de5c” skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 2: What are YOUR Strengths? [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=uuuuc-97de5b” skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 3: Strengths Parenting [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=jre7t-980b46″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ]
Ep 1: Raising Emotionally Safe Kids Parenting is hard enough, but raising kids in a lifestyle of service sometimes feels even harder. For military there are constant relocations that make you wonder after a while if you are causing more harm than good. Accepting the call to a service lifestyle is a deeply personal one. Putting your life on the line for country and community is a sacrifice that impacts your entire family. In this interview I speak with Dr Joshua and Christi Straub, a couple doing outstanding work in the field of parenting. Joshua Straub, Ph.D., has two cherished roles—as husband to wife, Christi, and dad Landon and Kennedy. He serves as Marriage and Family Strategist for LifeWay Christian Resources and leads Famous at Home, a company equipping leaders, organizations, military families, and churches in emotional intelligence and family wellness. As a family advocate and professor of child psychology / crisis response, Josh has trained thousands of professionals in crisis response. He also speaks regularly for Joint Special Operations Command and for military families across the country. Josh is author/ coauthor of four books including Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well and creator, along with Christi, of TwentyTwoSix Parenting, an online community of parents offering discipleship tools for their kids. Together, they host the In This Together podcast and their weekly Facebook Live broadcasts reach tens of thousands of families. Joshua and Christi have the “In This Together Podcast” where they address topics on parenting and marriage as well as their 22:6 Parenting Curriculum that gives you everything you could possibly need to succeed as a parent including- – A supportive group environment, – Tools to use with your kids and – Monthly curriculum for you to download each month. To listen to our interview on their “In This Together Podcast” Ep 2: Raising Teens Do you have a pre-teen or teenager? I am so excited to share with you my interview with Gary Allen Taylor from Axis. Axis is an organization whose mission is to empower the next generation to think clearly and critically about what they believe and to take ownership of their faith. They do this not by outsourcing parents, but by resourcing them to disciple and transfer legacy to their children as they face life’s questions and challenges. We also support faith leaders in churches and schools by providing content and facilitators who effectively introduce and address life’s toughest topics. Raising Generation Z kids is all about having the right information and tools to parent in a loving and effective way. You will love the approach Axis is taking to equip you. Don’t forget to sign up for their FREE newsletter called the Culture Translator. It will arrive in your email box every Friday with updates on what is happening in the culture, conversations your teen might be having at school, as well as tips for conversations you can start with your kids. Ep 3: My Conversation with a Gen Z What could be more honest than a conversation with my own teenager? I could not have a series on Generation Z without bringing one in on the podcast. In this interview, I give Aidan full permission to honestly talk with me about his experiences at school with bullying, active shooter drills, academics, and what it is like to be a military kid that moves around a lot. Ep 4: It Takes a Village WATCH or listen to this episode! Full transparency- I am in love with Young Life. This organization changed my life during our first deployment, simply because they loved my family when I needed it most. Now that my kids are old enough to be a part of it, I’m shouting it from the rooftops. Young life seres middle and high school students but extends all the way into college while also serving specific groups in need like special needs, teen moms, and more. In this interview, listen as I talk with Alex Holryode from Young Life in Columbia, SC. He shares how you can get your kids involved for extra support and positive role modeling- not to mention tons of fun. Be sure to click the links for more on Young Life and Club Beyond!
The Family Series (4 Part) Part 1 I was asked recently to address how to communicate better with family members- especially when the service lifestyle has changed you and your spouse. This is a sensitive subject so hang on to your seats as we tackle perspective from many angles. This episode is all about how to understand what changes your family might see in you. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much we have changed until we go back home. We will talk about how to see your own changes as well as what family might see in you. But what if there are significant changes? What if your spouse has PTSD? Here we start the discussion on what you can do. [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=ccb2i-97de66″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 2 Has the service lifestyle changed you? Most likely it has and trying to explain to your families members how and why is difficult. In response to the requests for advice on how to talk with family, I decided to offer you a 2 part segment where I specifically talk to your family! In this episode, I explain some of the cultural dynamics that have contributed to changes they may have seen in your family. These conversations can trigger lots of emotions, so this is a great episode to share with those you love! [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=apct4-97de68″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 3 In Part 3, I speak specifically to family members rather than service couples. Many families describe visits like walking on eggshells and that is no way to enjoy a visit! If you have not heard Part 1, definitely start there. This offers practical tips for relating to your service family who might be struggling with PTSD, combat stress, or other changes that might stand out to you. [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=9qczg-97de69″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Part 4 There couldn’t be a better way to finish the Family Series than for me to interview Kim Weathers, my mother-in law and Matt’s mom. She is a proud wife to a retired police officer and also now knows what it’s like to have a son in the military. In this sweet interview, Kim shares the challenges of accepting her son’s calling into the military, what it has been like to see our family change and go through difficulty, and encourages other family members on how to maintain strong relationship with their serving family members. It was a vulnerable conversation for both of us, but so, so, worth it. [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=e3ny8-97de6a” skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ]
Tiffany Smiley In this amazing story, Tiffany Smiley shares her journey of excitement as a new military spouse and then tragically becoming a caregiver of her husband who was blinded during his first deployment. Over the course of more than 10 years, Tiffany gave everything she had to her husband and family only to burnout and ask whether God loved her or had a purpose for her. In her vulnerable story, she shares how she came back from a very dark place, renewed her mind, and discovered her purpose in bringing hope to others asking the same questions. Tiffany announces her upcoming conference in Washington state where she can help you write your story, be inspired, and discover a sense of purpose yourself. For more on Tiffany’s Story of Faith Conference, visit her website http://tiffanysmiley.com [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=vcwds-97de6b” skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ] Lindsay Swoboda: Coming Back from the Silence June 30, 2018 If you are looking for an inspirational story, this is it. Watch or listen to my interview with Lindsay Swoboda, a military spouse and new blogger. In this interview, she takes us into a difficult season of her marriage where she found herself feeling incredibly disconnected from her husband and decided to make an inspiring change. She took the Sacred Spaces Challenge and committed to pursuing her spouse in a new way for 365 days! She is currently the owner of the Uplifting Anchor blog where she encourages other military spouses in their everyday experiences. Find a link to her blog in the links above! [podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=ptjfx-97de60″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ]
Sometimes we just need a place to share our story. Every single one of us has been through something difficult and made it through. I love a good story- one that inspires me to think bigger, live bigger, and love bigger. What I want is to provide a place of encouragement where YOU can share your story with the hope of encouraging someone else. This video will walk you through how to develop your story in a way that will inspire someone else. I hope you will join me.
The topic of moral injury continues to be discussed within the military and veteran space, but many still are unclear what it is and how it impacts a person and their family. Moral injury is often described as the internal struggle a person goes through after being asked to do something that goes against his or her morals or values. For many of our service members, this is a real issues that deeply impacts their ability to recover. In this FANTASTIC interview, listen as I speak with Chaplain Timothy Mallard, a subject matter expert not only in moral injury, but soul injury. Soul injury, he describes, is an even deeper and sometimes more complicated injury to the soul- often not due to anything the person did- but more so done to them. Sit back with a cup of coffee and listen. You wont want to miss a word of this two-part conversation. Part 1:What is Moral Injury? Part 2: The Role of the Family Part 3: The Role of Community & God
My favorite stories are ones of redemption and restoration. Every one of us experiences some level of pain… some level of suffering. As a clinician, it is always an honor to step into someone else’s story and walk with them from darkness into light. Healing, though I have found, is only when we evolve to a place where we can bring purpose from pain by serving someone else. That… is when we see that God can indeed bring good out of all things. “Healing, though I have found, is only when we evolve to a place where we can bring purpose from pain by serving someone else.” So… introducing Lifegiver Stories. A place where you can read and listen to real stories of other people who have seen light come out of darkness. You will not find perfection here. In fact you will hear some level of healing still to be found because perfect healing is something we will not see this side of heaven. But I guarantee, you will hear a little bit of your own story in their’s, practical steps that may help you turn a corner, and hope that light can shine out of the darkness. Would you like to submit your own Lifegiver Story? Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as you think and I will walk you through some tips on how to get it ready. Click here to get started. *I reserve the right to not publish stories that are not in line with the values of Corie Weathers, LLC and the Lifegiver Podcast. All content published is owned by Corie Weathers, LLC to be shared and used to encourage others.
If you are looking for an inspirational story, this is it. Watch or listen to my interview with Lindsay Swoboda, a military spouse and new blogger. In this interview, she takes us into a difficult season of her marriage where she found herself feeling incredibly disconnected from her husband and decided to make an inspiring change. She took the Sacred Spaces Challenge and committed to pursuing her spouse in a new way for 365 days! She is currently the owner of the Uplifting Anchor blog where she encourages other military spouses in their everyday experiences. Find a link to her blog in the links above!
In response to the growing number of “listeners” rather than “watchers”, Lifegiver returns to its audio version. In this series, I return from a recent sabbatical to talk with you about how often times, “good things” can be just as distracting as “bad things”. In a service culture, we are often tempted to help, serve, volunteer, or do “more”. What if too much of that is pulling you away from your best potential?
In this episode, I talk about the similarities and differences found between military and first responder communities and why we need to find ways to better support each other. <iframe title=’More Alike Than Different’ src=’https://www.podbean.com/media/player/2nqcg-97de6f?from=yiiadmin&download=1&version=1′ data-link=’https://www.podbean.com/media/player/2nqcg-97de6f?from=yiiadmin&download=1&version=1′ height=’122′ width=’100%’ style=’border: none;’ scrolling=’no’ data-name=’pb-iframe-player’ ></iframe>
In this interview, Jonathan and Kylie share their experience as a law enforcement couple. Jonathan is part of the Dallas Fort Worth Police Department and shares his experience navigating the chaotic schedules and adrenaline spiked work days. Kylie shares how they have navigated keeping their relationship connected and the similarities they see with the military world.