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.
We are celebrating the end of Season 4 with a big question that likely everyone has asked: “Who is really in charge?” Is it man? Is it God? When does God get in involved? Why doesn’t he? Perhaps you are waiting on orders to your next assignment (like we are) and wondering if the people involved are listening to God. Or maybe you are praying for a promotion or for your spouse to turn back to God. Some of you may have even experienced abuse at the hands of someone else and are wondering, “Why didn’t God intervene?” In this Sunday Special, I open up on my own journey to look into the sovereignty of God and tackle these big questions by diving into what scripture says about it. Thank you for a fantastic Season 4! Included in this episode: A portion of James Corden’s “The Late Late Show.” To listen to the full video, watch here: Kanye West Airpool Karaoke
We are nearing the end of Season 4 with a fantastic interview with Vernice Castillo of Military Spouse Advocacy Network (MSAN)! There is no one better to talk about the importance and trend of mentoring than Vernice. In this episode, we come full circle from Episode 1 with a discussion on how mentoring in our military and first responder culture is impacting the wellbeing of so many military spouses who are reporting issues of loneliness, fatigue, exhaustion, and resentment. Listen in and allow Vernice to remind you of why face-to-face is so much more fulfilling than online connection. It might open your eyes to what you’ve been missing. If you would like more information on how you can get involved with MSAN, click here: https://www.militaryspouseadvocacynetwork.org/ To listen to a previous episode on mentoring and the various generational shifts, listen to my previous episode: The Village.
Get ready to take some notes!! This episode is LONG overdue and chock full of so much information. I get asked weekly, “How do I find a clinician?” “What do I search for?” “How will I know if they are a good fit?” For years I dug into Psychology Profiles and even websites looking for clinicians that were not only competent, but understood the service lifestyle. This year, I launched the Lifegiver Clinician Directory – the first ever searchable directory and database of clinicians that have a passion to serve you. Some of them are even first responders, spouses, and veterans! Now you can find someone using the map or search fields to find the kind of provider that works for your family! In this episode I also cover: How to know if you need counseling The difference between a counselor, psychiatrist, and psychologist The different types of counseling and treatments My experience with EMDR What I look for in a clinician How to handle your counseling relationship when it doesn’t feel like a good fit Stay tuned, Season 4 is coming to a close soon. Listen in as I talk about the vision for Season 5!!!
Becky Hoy from Brave Crates joins the podcast to share how you can better your marriage even when you are apart. Becky Hoy believes that deployment is one of the best things that has ever happened for the growth of her marriage and her own personal development. As an Army spouse whose husband has been deployed or otherwise away from home for roughly half of their seven years of marriage, Becky realized quickly that wishing away the days during deployment could not be an option for her. To share this message with other spouses, Becky founded Brave Crate. She shares weekly tips and inspiration as a blogger for Brave Blog and has curated the deployment-positive support community for military spouses called Brave Board. ABOUT BRAVE CRATE For military spouses, counting down to being reunited with their deployed service member can feel like a never ending journey! That’s why each month Brave Crate sends a box of curated self-development and personal wellness products that allow her to shift her focus away from counting the days and onto setting goals and finding joy – so she can conquer the deployment countdown and meet her spouse at homecoming as the strongest and most resilient version of herself. To find out more about how you can subscribe to Brave Crates or gift someone else, head over to www.bravecrates.com
Dr. Les Parrott joins me for an episode that is all about how couples can use a tool like the Better Love Assessment to get a healthy snapshot or check-up on their marriage. Dr. Parrott is a globally sought after marriage psychologist along with his wife, Leslie Parrott, also a marriage therapist. Together, they have written several books and speak on how to improve your marriage communication, reduce conflict, improve your sex life, and much more. In this episode, Dr. Parrott shares more about how the Better Love Assessment (found at www.betterlove.com) can point out the individual strengths in your marriage. Better Love can be a great tool for date night discussions, working on your marriage during a deployment or separation, and even ways to talk through topics that are normally hot topics. To find out more and subscribe to Dr. Parrott’s resources, check out www.lesandleslie.com.
Matt joins me again for another episode where we talk about the impact of Family Readiness on the marriage. For years, decades even, the military has told families that their support makes the mission successful. Unfortunately, families are getting tired and are wondering at what cost. In this episode, Matt and I have an honest conversation on how families indeed play a part in mission readiness but also how we can change our perspective to a more influential one that can change the trajectory of our entire family.
Most of us know that there are stories of war in the Bible, but what does it say about the warriors? In this Sunday Special, we take a look at a specific warrior in God’s story and the impact of war on his life. We will address the tough topic of “What does it mean to have blood on your hands?” What does that say about you? Your marriage? When you are asked to be the good in the world, face evil, but to do so requires the willingness to take a life? Scripture actually addresses this and I’m excited to share with you what I’ve found.
In this Sunday Special, we address the biggest faith question I get during affair recovery, which is how and when do I forgive? Of course this is a difficult question to answer depending on the damage that has been done. Join me as I walk with you through scripture that gives us a blueprint for forgiveness and hope for restoration. I address: God’s purpose and design for marriage How and why the enemy wants to destroy your marriage What Jesus says about when to forgive, and How we are not called to repeatedly forgive without boundaries Sunday Specials on the Lifegiver Podcast are a chance for us to dive deeper into honest conversations regarding our faith and topics that come up in our marriage. In the last episode of the Lifegiver Podcast, I shared with you my strategy for affair recovery. If you haven’t heard that episode, listen to it here: https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-5jwg4-b63b20
Join Matt and I on a Saturday afternoon over coffee where we talk about our recent PCS (relocation). We talk about how it affected each of us, our marriage, kids, and ideas for how you can communicate through big changes your own family goes through. Referenced in this talk is a previous episode on Resiliency and Maslow’s Ladder.
Betrayal is unfortunately more common than you think- especially in the service culture. In this episode, I share with you the strategy I use to help couples work through affair recovery. There are three phases and couples will certainly stall, if not fail, in recovering their marriage if they miss important steps throughout the phases. Two people, if are both willing to work hard, can rebuild their marriage after an affair and go on to have a rich relationship. Here are some of the resources mentioned throughout the episode: My interview with Dr. Mike Sytsma Here is also my podcast on “Sin in a Christian Marriage” Part 1 & Part 2 More Resources: • Torn Asunder by Dave Carder. There is also a workbook available for this book. (faith based) • Unfaithful: Hope and Healing After Infidelity by Gary & Mona Shriver (faith based) • Secrets to Surviving Infidelity by Scott Haltzman • After the Affair by Janis Spring Rebuilding Trust Video – Using the image of a “trust bucket,” Dr. Mike addresses rebuilding trust after an affair. Setbacks in Marriage- The Podcast Episode Women & the Tough Bible Verses– (Topic of Submission and gender roles in the Bible- Authentic Intimacy) People Are More Important Than Marriage– Authentic Intimacy, When you shouldn’t fight for your marriage Sexual Intimacy and Post Affair with Mike Sytsma How do Affairs Happen? New Life Church, Brady Boyd Articles: So You’ve Hit a Marriage Setback: 3 Steps Military Marriage: When to Separate Mike Sytsma- Betrayal & Affair Recovery (articles and video) Protecting Your Marriage from an Affair Books: Mission Ready Marriage: My Life As An Active Duty Wife Claire Wood Sacred Spaces: My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage Corie Weathers
In this Sunday Special, I talk with Megan Brown, the If Gathering Military Outreach Communicator. Basically, that means she loves Jesus and loves to get people excited about Him. I met Megan (officially) at the AFI Military Spouse of the Year Awards 2019, but I’ve been watching her for some time. Her personality is as colorful as she is! After hearing her lead a couple of morning devotionals, I knew I wanted to have her on the podcast. In this episode, Megan shares the importance of friendship in this crazy military lifestyle as a “life or death” importance. Listen in as she shares how community and boundaries can breathe life into us from a biblical perspective. Go here to find out more about If Gathering Military
When a good friend approached me and asked why I had not addressed addiction and alcoholism on the podcast yet, I didn’t have an answer. I could not believe this topic had not yet been covered. As Alyssa and I talked, she shared with me that she had searched everywhere for solid information on how to address alcohol addiction in her marriage. Ultimately, I invited her to courageously share her story. In this two-part interview, Alyssa shares how alcohol in the service culture impacts so many marriages and families and how she approached her husband on his drinking. There are many different ways that alcohol, pornography, or other addictions can destroy your marriage. We won’t be able to address addiction from all sides in this interview; however, I am so proud of how Alyssa handled her situation. Alyssa does a fantastic job of not only respecting her husband and marriage, but also modeling healthy boundaries, asking for change, and supporting her husband through his recovery. If you are struggling with addiction, or your spouse is, there is help out there. No couple should approach a situation like this alone. Counseling, the military ASAP program, and 12-Step Programs in your area can provide the help you need to navigate the complexity of addiction and recovery.
Welcome to another Sunday Special! I am so happy to bring back my good friend Sarah- you may remember her from episode two when we had a roundtable discussion. I wanted to bring Sarah back because she is not only funny, but I just love to listen to her talk! In this episode, Sarah and I talk about what it is like to go through difficulty and feel like God is distant. Is He trying to teach me something? Is this happening because I did something wrong? It is so easy to try to rush through difficult circumstances and learn whatever you have to learn to end the struggle when what He really is trying to do is grow your character. Join us as we wrestle through this conversation of “Where is God in the Dark Places?”
We often hear from couples that the service lifestyle has made my spouse “cold, calculated, and harsh.” While this may be a nature versus nurture debate, the service lifestyle can definitely train a person to see the world in a different way. In this episode, Corie and Matt come together to talk about how this doesn’t have to create more conflict in your marriage- in fact, it can be a strength that you lean on! Matt shares how growing up in a first responder home shaped him into the man he is today as well as understanding the internal emotional world of warriors- in our community and military. Join us in a fun and moving discussion on how you can embrace who you are as well as how life has shaped you and become a stronger team together. *** SPOILER ALERT- We talk about Avengers: Endgame in this episode, so please hold off on listening until you have seen it!
Ok- so first a heads up- we are going there in this episode. We will be talking all about the female anatomy! Guys- this one is for you, too. There is so much women are not educated on and the pelvic floor is just one of them. Ashley Gammon, founder of M.O.M.S. (Military Outreach MUTU System) is my guest! After three C-sections of her own, something wasn’t right. She didn’t feel as strong, wasn’t making progress in her fitness goals, and was experiencing a whole lot of symptoms that you are likely experiencing but didn’t know there was help for. Ladies, the trampoline is definitely in your future and so are those HIIT programs and everything else you’ve been avoiding because… let’s be honest. After kids, things just aren’t the same. But Ashley says that none of us have to live that way. If you are interested in taking care of your own body and health again and are ready to reclaim your sex life, that trampoline, and get things back where they originally were, check out: www.mutustrong.com https://themilitarywifeandmom.com/diastasis-recti-mutu-strong-military/ https://militaryspouse.epubxp.com/i/10519 https://armywife101.com/2019/02/military-mamas-want-your-body-back-moms.html https://in-dependent.org/blog/connecting-with-friends-about-womens-health-issues Connect with Corie Weathers! www.life-giver.org www.corieweathers.com Join the conversation and participate in future shows! @CorieLPC
This is the second Sunday Special in Season 4 where we have honest conversations around faith in the midst of the service lifestyle. In this episode, I’m introducing you to Jim and Ashley, an Army chaplain couple, who recently went through one of the most difficult seasons of their life. Shortly after PCSing, Ashley found out she was having identical twins boys about the same time that their two-year-old son began to have seizures. Stretched thin with doctor’s appointments during an already busy season of being stationed at the Chaplain Schoolhouse, they soon found themselves in an overwhelming situation. Listen in as Ashley and Jim share how their faith was challenged as they fought for the lives of their sons. If you are going through a current season of loss, or have in the past, Jim and Ashley’s story will inspire you and encourage you as it has already done for hundreds of families who have watched them from afar.
I could not be more excited to share my good friend, Brittany Boccher with you. She was the 2017 AFI Military Spouse of the Year and has been traveling the country investing in military spouse by helping them define their identity and purpose. Originally, Brittany defined her purpose by advocating for special needs families as she has a son with multiple medical issues. However, she soon found that a bigger issue is plaguing our community- a lack of identity. Brittany continues to advocate for EFMP families, but her passion for helping spouses reclaim who they are and find new purpose has resulted in her partnering with the USO to create a workshop and workbook titled Discovering Your Spark. After the results from my latest survey came back showing the same issue, I knew I had to have Brittany on to talk about not only what she was finding as she sits down with spouses face to face, but also what she has discovered herself is a way to find our way back to ourselves again. Find Brittany also on FB: https://www.facebook.com/discoveringyourspark/
(WATCH or LISTEN to this episode!) Safety and security is more important than ever. In a time where foreign adversaries are actively targeting and using American social media accounts, we need all the help we can get to keep our family and mission safe. In this episode, I bring in my good friend, OPSEC Alex (Alexandra Panaretos) to give us practical advice and tips on personal and operation security. I met Alex in 2015 at the AFI Military Spouse of the Year Awards where we discovered many military spouses, now in the public eye, were targeted by adversaries and being investigated by the FBI. This hit home for so many of us and we realized it was time to take our personal information, including information on our family, seriously. Alex, a former military spouse herself, has made it her mission to educate military families and businesses on digital and personal safety. This episode may be tough to hear, but it is absolutely imperative to share with your friends and family, as well as the military families you serve with. This episode can also be WATCHED on the Youtube link below. Recommended Articles by OPSEC Alex: How to Declutter and Organize Your Personal Tech in a Few Simple Steps What should I do if I think my kid’s device has been hacked? A Traveler’s Guide to OPSEC With just $60, researchers found and tracked NATO troops and even tricked them into disobeying orders
It’s time for the very first Lifegiver Sunday Special. I received feedback that some of you would like faith based content AND hearing from Matt- so this episode is the both of us giving a talk at our old stomping grounds where we first met- Gardner-Webb University. The sound on this one is a bit different because it was recorded in a different place and format, but I hope the message comes through in a way that will encourage your story. Guess what- You can also WATCH this episode as well! Check it out here: I hope that you enjoy this episode. I personally am huge fan of Matt Weathers, so I’m happy to share the stage with him anytime.
What happens when a veteran, a military spouse, and a first responder spouse sit down and talk about life together? I often get asked, do we really have that much in common? Why would I have a podcast where I address the needs of both military and first responders? Because we have a whole lot more in common than you think. In this episode, I bring Ashley and Sarah on the podcast to talk about our different worlds and we would love for you to join us. Sarah is a first responder spouse, whose husband is now on the local SWAT team. She brings authenticity and humor that will brighten anyone’s day. Ashley, calling in from Italy, is a veteran herself by has retired and is now a military spouse. For those who don’t know, we call that a dual service family. She brings a perspective that all of use should pay attention to. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and pretend you are sitting at the table with us. You will definitely be changed by this conversation.
Welcome to the season four premiere of the Lifegiver podcast! I’ve returned from my winter sabbatical with new vision for this year and that includes great plans for season 4. When it all comes down to it, it’s all about YOU. In this first episode, I’ll briefly share about my plans to make the podcast far more interactive in 2019 as well as talking about the results of a spouse survey I created that went viral. Almost 750 spouses told me how they are REALLY doing and it turns out… We have lots to talk about. I wasn’t surprised that we are struggling as a community. Many of you aren’t doing well and you aren’t talking about it. In fact, many are burned out, exhausted, and borderline resentful. So in this episode we are going to get honest about that. But there are some of you who are really doing great. So what is the difference? Take a listen to find out where you fall with other spouses in the community. Perhaps you need some encouragement who are figuring out how to balance it all or maybe you have a lot more to offer than you thought… It’s time to breathe life into our family- the community family as well.
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