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.
Loss can be a terribly difficult thing to talk about- especially when we exist in a lifestyle where it is both a fear and reality. We need to be able to talk about it and learn from those who have gone through it and found happiness again. In this Memorial Day special, Mary-Ann Rubado Kline joins the podcast to share the loss of her first husband, Charlie, during their first deployment while stationed in Colorado. She is now married to Jeremiah, a veteran and first responder. I ask her tough questions about what it is like to love again, how Jeremiah allows space for the time she lived with Charlie, and more. It is important to hear the stories of those who have gone through great pain. It acknowledges a Sacred Space that they lived through and were changed by. Even though this may be difficult for some of you to hear, I hope you will listen. There are so many wonderful truths and so much wisdom found in my interview with her. I have no doubt you will be encouraged and inspired to live and love more fully. Thank you Mary-Anne for sharing your heart and being so vulnerable with us! Interested in subscribing to the Lifegiver Newsletter? Subscribers get discounts on their first session with Corie and find more information on building a community of Lifegivers. Click here to subscribe. Want to give back? Send a monthly cup of coffee to keep us going by being a supporter on our patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/lifegiver
It is PCS (Permanent Change of Station) Season and if you listened to season 4 of Lifegiver, you know I struggle when it is time to uproot! MILLIE has been growing over the years in their efforts to make it easier for you to transition, and I need a whole lot of that! In this episode, Kellie Artis joins me to share not only how MILLIE can connect you to other service families in your new location, but how you can be fully prepared in finding housing, handling logistics, and more. We even talk about the emotional and psychological impact of starting over. Don’t miss this one! For more on MILLIE: check out their website, Facebook group, and all their toolkits to help you in the process!
When you are a parent, you will do anything for your child(ren). As a military family that moves a lot, a lot of thought and stress goes into making sure your child has everything they need to succeed. Especially when you volunteered for this lifestyle and they were born into it. In this episode, I invite Becky Porter, CEO of Military Child Education Coalition to share what they are doing to make all of this easier for military parents and educators. If you are a first responder family, this episode is still for you! Listen in to the vast resources that MCEC is offering that everyone can benefit from. Interested in subscribing to the Lifegiver Newsletter? Subscribers get discounts on their first session with Corie and find more information on building a community of Lifegivers. Click here to subscribe. Want to give back? Send a monthly cup of coffee to keep us going by being a supporter on our patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/lifegiver
The world looks a whole lot different lately. COVID-19 has the entire world on lockdown (or so it feels). We are all doing our part to stay at home, some of you have PCS and deployment orders that are delayed. Regardless of your situation, this has a great impact on your marriage. You might be spending more time with your spouse than ever before and that can definitely cause tension. In this episode, Matt and I share our conversation with the USO during their Coffee Connections Live event. We answered questions about communication, growth in your marriage, holding each other accountable, as well as how to help your spouse open up. If you are looking for more support, check out the USO for not only ways to give back, but for how they are also looking to invest in your overall wellbeing with their programming for spouses! Here are a few of the resources mentioned: Favorite Resources: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10Kl4WnHjnhUerU1cOc58nb3tHF7Ru8Tm/view?usp=sharing Sacred Spaces: https://www.life-giver.org/sacred-spaces/ Forgiveness: https://www.life-giver.org/forgiveness-in-affair-recovery-gods-design-in-marriage/
Corie and her husband Matt, both caregivers, unpack their thoughts on the movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the life story of Mr. Rogers starring Tom Hanks. The intentionality with which Mr. Rogers focused on the person he was with in each moment is an example to us today. Our culture is conditioned to multitask and to constantly think about what else we need to be doing, but Mr. Rogers let all else fade away when he spent time with someone. He set a good example for us as we in the service culture, attempt to be present with our spouses and friends. Interested in subscribing to the Lifegiver Newsletter? Subscribers get discounts on their first session with Corie and find more information on building a community of Lifegivers. Click here to subscribe. Want to give back? Send a monthly cup of coffee to keep us going by being a supporter on our patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/lifegiver
Dr. Kendra Lowe knows the challenges service members face as she is a Veteran herself. When she switched to the civilian life Dr. Kendra was surprised to note that she experienced just as much stress as a spouse as she experienced while in the service. “The concepts and perspectives derived from Dr. Lowe’s decade-long research, aims to provide command teams with an operational approach to combat the mission degrading effects of military spouse stress.” There is stress for spouse and it’s significant. We know that. But what now? Her book answers that question. Dr. Kendra has created a resource that walks the reader through 8 weeks of changing their thought processes. Her website states: This comprehensive and invaluable tool will help you accept the unique nature of military life, anticipate and persevere in the face of social-emotional setbacks, practice effective coping strategies, and learn to thrive on to new possibilities. Read more: Resources: Dr. Kendra’s website Her book titled Wake Up, Kick Ass, Repeat: A Guide to Self Perseverance Within the Military Spouse Life Cycle Interested in subscribing to the Lifegiver Newsletter? Subscribers get discounts on their first session with Corie and find more information on building a community of Lifegivers. Click here to subscribe. Want to give back? Send a monthly cup of coffee to keep us going by being a supporter on our patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/lifegiver
Lifegiver Live: Coronavirus Bonus Episode 1 Matt and I do our first live streaming episode where we talk about the impact of the virus on our community. We specifically talk about how to handle the tension of being quarantined in your home 24/7 with your spouse and children. For our community, couples are often not used to being around each other all the time or as FR families are now facing long hours with an invisible enemy. Listen in for tips to navigate your conversations. Here are a couple of resources we mention: Interested in subscribing to the Lifegiver Newsletter? Subscribers get discounts on their first session with Corie and find more information on building a community of Lifegivers. Click here to subscribe. Want to give back? Send a monthly cup of coffee to keep us going by being a supporter on our patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/lifegiver Bonus: Lifegiver LIVE Matt Interviews Army Chaplains on Sustaining Care & Community March 20, 2020 Matt interviews two US Army Chaplains about how they are creatively sustaining community and care using social media and other platforms. With the introduction of the Coronavirus, ministry teams and churches are looking to find new ways to care for each other, embrace the newest generations, and connect online rather than face to face. Bonus: Lifegiver LIVE Coronavirus Forcing Families into Homeschool March 20, 2020 To the surprise of, well, everyone… kids who were in public schools are now at home facing a homeschool-like situation. Parents are now scrambling trying to balance remote work, parenting, quarantines, and now overseeing their child’s education. If you are feeling overwhelmed, Jennifer Hamrick has words of encouragement for you. You can love your child and be a fantastic parent and still be very unhappy with this new situation. Listen in as Jennifer shares great tips for how to manage a house full of kids and still have time for you.
Join us as we take a moment to assess how we as service families are doing and what we can do to influence the change we need in our own lives. The Blue Star Families survey results were recently released and, not surprisingly, it was noted that we are struggling in several key areas. Listen in as Corie unpacks these and provides tips on how to ask for what you need. If you are a spouse and feel relegated to the back burner, we understand. We know that it’s often where we have to go… mission first. However, you can’t stay there indefinitely. Your marriage can’t stay on the back burner indefinitely. In this episode, Corie talks about what to do if you are struggling with the way things are.
Bree Carroll is an engineer using her skills as an event coordinator and wedding planner. Bree saw some marriages around her fail mostly due to a lack of resources to help them get through the challenges they faced. The resources were too hard to find. As a person of action, she made the leap from spectator to influencer, making it her mission to connect those hurting with those who have the ability to help. One of Bree’s passions is wedding planning, so watching marriages fall apart was counter to her very existence. How Bree communicates: 1. Through prayer – I’ve seen this change things in my marriage. Go directly to the one who created love in the first place. 2. With spouse – Keep timing and tact in mind when communicating with your spouse! Spouses are not mind readers. (Celebrate small successes and use that momentum to work on bigger challenges.) What Bree hopes to accomplish with her work: Hearts and Stripes is a Facebook community where people can find a one-stop shop for resources for their marriage. Connection to others who have gone through similar challenges. Support from others while seeking help for your own marriage. Great quotes: We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Dr. Seuss Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. Maya Angelou Be patient and give grace.” Bree Carroll Bree Carroll’s resources: Hearts and Stripes Podcast Meet Bree Other resources mentioned: Come Home Project
What we discuss: In this episode, Heather shares her story about being a registered nurse and her introduction to the challenges military families face. Because the stress of the lifestyle affects the whole family, she wanted to find a way to help an organization that was caring for the family unit. When she didn’t find one that was serving whole families, she created one. Project Sanctuary hosts 6-day retreats that focus on overcoming obstacles: financial, communication, family counseling, PTSD, and more. There are 10 different locations and in 2020 there are 32 retreats planned. Two hours a day are spent in therapeutic sessions. There are incredible activities at each location including fishing, white water rafting, horseback riding, ziplining, and snowmobiling. Some of these are once-in-a-lifetime activities while other activities are able to be replicated once the family goes home (hiking or playing board games). Licensed and trained counselors are on-site all week. Breakthroughs on the part of both the veteran and the spouse occur at each retreat! Once a family has been on the retreat they are welcome to return as volunteers. Resources and Links: About Project Sanctuary Apply to attend a retreat PS: Jennifer here… My family was able to attend a Project Sanctuary retreat at Snow Mountain Ranch and I had two personal breakthroughs during the PTSD session. As a chaplain’s wife I figured I’d heard most of the stuff they were going to cover so the fact that I had two major breakthroughs I didn’t know I needed was powerful. One is related to a minor change in my husband after deploying twice. After two tours he started bouncing his leg while sitting and it was incredibly annoying. (Still is, to be honest.) In the PTSD session the speaker mentioned that this is a common side effect of combat trauma. I constantly asked him to stop doing this. The PTSD session mentioned this was a natural and healthy way to release tension and that my asking him to stop was basically me asking him to keep that tension bottled up. The leg bouncing is still irritating, but after that session I rarely ask him to stop. I see it now for what it is. The other breakthrough was having my own deployment traumas validated. I didn’t know that the supporting spouse could have legitimate traumas caused by deployment. I didn’t face war. I didn’t face danger. I didn’t see death. And yet, I was changed, and in some ways, the changes were strange to me. I got mad when my husband mowed the grass. (It was my pet project during the 15-month deployment and he dared to touch it?!) I also didn’t like for him to drive once he got back. I had spent the entire time taxiing the kids around and once he got back I didn’t trust him behind the wheel. I had actual, physical manifestations of fear when he’d drive and he’s a really good driver! Looking back, I can see so clearly that both of these reactions were trauma-based but I had no idea at the time. How much easier reintegration would have been had we both known these things about ourselves and each other. These two breakthroughs were worth the time it took for us to drive from Texas to Colorado for our retreat, but there were many other benefits and experiences that made it spectacular. It was, in a literal and figurative sense, a mountaintop experience.
Welcome to Season 5! I can’t believe we are starting another year of the Lifegiver Podcast. This is the season premier where I update you on all that is happening with Lifegiver- including the new Lifegiver TEAM! A special welcome to Jennifer Hamrick and Lisa Walters for their help in making the Lifegiver Newsletter an AMAZING resource for all of you. (Hint: Catch my interview with Jennifer in the first season of Lifegiver!). If you haven’t signed up for the Newsletter, make sure you do!! In this episode we are talking about the importance of timing and tact with our emotions and words, whether we are in conflict with our spouse, in a leadership position, or even being a public advocate. Military spouses especially feel at times like their voice is limited and that any complaining can come across as being a negative spouse. The truth is, we have a right to our feelings and opinions, but have great responsibility in how we express them. Rather than become passive or perhaps worse- aggressive- we can learn to be more assertive in kindness and love. But… also with the right timing and tact. Listen in as I give examples and practical tips on how to be more confident with the amazing influence you have in your marriage, parenting, and in the world.