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.
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. Part 2: The Deployment Series
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. Part 2: What are YOUR Strengths? Part 3: Strengths Parenting
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. 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! 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. 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.
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 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!
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.
Part 1: Every marriage will deal with sin- that is a fact. But when there are destructive patterns like betrayal, addiction, and selfish behavior, what does it actually mean to love like Christ? How do you selflessly serve when firm boundaries need to happen in your relationship? Matt joins me for a 2 part episode on understanding scripture on marriage roles, submission, and dealing with sin. Part 2: Last time on the Lifegiver Podcast, Matt and I started a conversation about Christian marriage. In response to my message in Sacred Spaces that we should be pursuing our spouse, I commonly get emails that sound like this… “How long should I pursue my spouse when they aren’t reciprocating?” “What if my service member came home different and neglects me and our family?” “How long must I lead before my husband picks up his role as the spiritual leader of our home? These are tough questions and the root issue here is… “How do we address sin in a christian marriage?” -Here is some of what you can expect in Part 2: -Matt and I continue our discussion on gender roles in a godly marriage -We share some of our own story of how we addressed unmet expectations in our marriage -Matt talks to service members who have come home different and need hope.
Part 1:Wisdom with Deanie Dempsey In this sweet, but candid, interview- Deanie Dempsey shares how she and her husband kept their marriage strong after over 30 years in military service. Her husband, General Martin Dempsey was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff- overseeing the Joint Chiefs of all branches and reporting to the president. Part 2: Wisdom with Suzie Schwartz Known in the military world as Mama Suzie, Suzie Schwartz has rightfully earned her spot as a mentor for military spouses. Her husband Norton was the Joint Chief of Staff for the Air Force and together they inspired thousands. In this candid and inspirational interview, Suzie shares her wisdom on geo-baching, marriage during a 39 year service to the military, and how she uses her message of kindness to change the world.
After presenting “The Hero’s Journey” at the The Military Spouse of the Year Town Hall in Washington, DC, many remarked that it was very helpful to their journey and wanted it available to share. Every one of us is capable of becoming our own hero as we invest in lives around us- hopefully seeing the hero in them as well.
We all have hope for a marriage that lasts and is fulfilling. What we often don’t expect is how hard it will be when we disagree with our spouse on important values, military marriage problems or finding ourselves moving at a different pace. I haven’t met anyone who married thinking, “Gee, I don’t plan on making this last.” Setbacks can happen when we are least expecting it. An injury while training for a physical goal or a career put on hold for a relocation can be incredibly disappointing and discouraging. You may even be tempted to quit. Most couples have at least one area of their relationship that they are hoping to improve or fix. Parenting, finances and even sex can lead to heated disagreements and (hopefully) deciding together on ways to get on the same page and work together. Life’s interruptions or an impulsive decision by one of you can make it feel as if you will never reach that goal. In that moment or setback, quitting feels like a very real option. Sometimes, there are very minor consequences to military marriage problems or a setback that only require a deep breath, a good night’s sleep, and starting again tomorrow. But destructive choices such as too much video gaming or pornography use by one spouse can cause even bigger consequences, including feeling like this is a major rift in your ability to be a couple. For some, the marriage is already on thin ice if you are working through serious issues such as overcoming infidelity or addiction. Destructive scenarios like these involve a more detailed process of change and support to gain traction. You may feel like the setbacks will never stop, and you will never be able to move forward. No matter what you are dealing with as a couple, whether it’s small or large, setbacks are more likely than not to happen as you work toward a new pattern of behavior for both of you. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. With a few tools in your pocket, you can move through them. Instead of giving up, try these three steps. 1. Hit a pause button. Learning to develop self-control and hit a pause button when things get complicated is a great practice in general. Self-control gives you the opportunity to think through what is happening, feel any feelings that are naturally there and gain perspective. Relocations and deployments are a natural interruption in the military lifestyle when everything feels out of order. Basic needs such as food, shelter and safety all take priority, and you might feel distracted from the intense focus you had as a couple. For example, if you were dependent before your move on a counselor or group for support, it will take some time to find that again. Try not to rush yourself or your spouse through what you were working through when these bumps come along. Instead, agree on a healthy timeframe to reconnect with support or resume the plan when you are both ready. Having grace for each other and getting on the same page are more important than aggressively working on the goal. If you find your spouse is not as motivated as you are, invest your energy toward your part by reading an extra book on the subject or taking a deeper look through journaling. The important thing here is that you process how you are feeling about what happened and avoid doing your spouse’s work. 2. Check your progress. The actual definition of a “setback” involves a “check in progress.” Most of us see it as a failure, but it is actually an opportunity to think through the progress you are making — or not making. In addiction recovery, we teach that relapse is not necessary for recovery but can be “part of the process” if it happens. Setbacks can provide an opportunity to take a look at the deeper issues that caused it so you can avoid similar mistakes in the future. If you move too quickly, you will miss huge revelations of yourself, your spouse and your relationship. If you are dealing with a bigger issue such as rebuilding trust, a professional counselor can help you find these answers and build greater empathy for each other. Keep in mind that stressful times such as deployment, reintegration, relocations or trauma can trigger setbacks or relapses, making them more likely to occur. If this is an intense time for your family, be graceful if the setback happened by learning more about each other and doing a good check on whether the path you were on is working. If you know you are going into an intense season, discuss ways to be proactive to prevent one. 3. Move forward. If your spouse caused your setback, it can be incredibly discouraging to think about moving forward. How many setbacks are too many before you should give up? If you are struggling with this question, finding a counselor to talk to will help you determine what is right for your family. If you caused a setback, the shame is equally debilitating. Even when you don’t feel like it, take the next healthy step forward. In recovery, there is a phrase — “fake it till you make it.” It doesn’t mean you should be inauthentic. It means you decide to take the next step even when you don’t feel like it. Eventually, your motivation will come back. Shame (in you or your spouse) spirals into an unproductive place and is not the same thing as processing the present disappointment. Sometimes, the next step is a willingness to physically reach out and hold your spouse’s hand again. Embrace that mistakes in our own lives and our spouses are part of being human. One of my favorite phrases is “start simply, but simply start” and is likely to get you going again. Every couple has military marriage problems and issues to work through, which means setbacks are going to happen. Who will you be when it happens to you?
Parenting with Small Kids Marriage can often feel like a partnership more than a marriage during the years of raising kids. So many families talk about missing the intimacy they used to have and life feeling more like survival. Sure enough, it can feel like you are more shoulder-to-shoulder during this season. In this episode, we talk about how you can make more face-to-face time with your spouse as well as find ways to be more protective of it during the parenting years. We will talk about how to handle conflict, plan dates, as well as navigate the struggle of different parenting styles. A must-listen for military and first responder couples who often feel like ships passing in the night. Here is what others have said: 1. Always make an effort to treat each other as we would a guest in our home. Common courtesy and everyday kindness makes all the difference in the world. A simple “Can I get you anything” or “Can I help with that” have kept our marriage first. 2. Staying positive is really important and although it can be challenging at times I have found it always helps us get back to that sweet spot we long for. 3. Taking even ten minutes to talk to each other. It could be at 0500 or 2200….but either way, just spend some time not on an electronic device (provided they are not thousands of miles away at the time) and asking the other person about their day. We attend Bible studies and church functions where we can grow spiritually while the kids are doing the same. As the kids get older, the minutes will be easier to turn into hours. But for the very small and precious time the kids are little, my best advice is to make the most quality out of the little bits of time. Bullying: It’s Not Just Kids Anymore Bullying is a worldwide epidemic that impacts both children and adults. In today’s culture, we see cyber-bullying impacting adults like never before. Divisive conversations over social media, trolling, and mean-ness is causing people to think twice about staying connected online. During this episode in the parenting series, I sit down with Dr. Bina Patel an expert in workplace dynamics, conflict mediation with women, and conflict mediation between culture/religious groups. Dr. Patel offers strategies you can use in your workplace, volunteer circles and with your kids on how to confront bullies and build confidence. In today’s culture, ♣ 30% of teens in the US have experienced bullying ♣ School bullying: 1 in 4 kids at school have been bullied; 160K kids in the US miss school due to bullying ♣ Gay bullying: 2 to 3times more likely to commit suicide and 30% of all completed suicides have been related to sexual identity crisis in the US. ♣ 9 out of 10 LGBT students have reported being bullied at school within the past year. It’s not just for kids, though. Bullying between adults can make the workplace difficult to walk into each day. While many of us grew up being told to ignore a bully, Dr. Patel offers some ways to confront the bully immediately. Dr. Patel offers us an inspiring way to help our children build their self-esteem, find their words, get to the root of their feelings, and become assertive. Of course we all need a little bit of this too! Here are a few tips and resources that Dr. Patel offered: ♣ Confront the bully: don’t ignore it. Turn the negative into a compliment ♣ Love and respect: be confident and love yourself. If you respect yourself, the negativity and harsh words of the bullying will bounce off of you. – you control your own emotions, if you believe that you do, others will not be able to hurt you. ♣ Tell them to stop: point out they’re hurting you (assertive communication) – use the “put yourself in my shoes” technique. ♣ Silence: specific to online bullying- confront them through assertive communication, but do not continue the dialog. This is more harmful to the victim as others are reading it and it is set in writing. Note: if nothing else works, the silent treatment is the best treatment. As the victim, walk away from the bullying. ♣ Online bullying: block posts, delete the posts, report them to Facebook; reach out to the victim either via separate/private message, or stand up for the victim by responding to a bully’s post (assertive communication). Note to Parents: Know your child – know their behaviors, moods, and what makes them tick/happy. If you are cognizant of their behaviors on a normal basis, you will know that something is wrong if your child does not eat, becomes withdrawn, looks sad, etc. Monitor the social media outlets that your child may be using. It is wise to create an account to monitor them, more so that you are aware if someone is bullying them. Be a friend! When your child is depressed, sad, withdrawn, etc, talk them as though you are friends. It is important so that the child feels comfortable they can tell you what is on their mind. One of the books recommended: Confessions of a Former Bully Parenting Teens with Pam Brummett On this episode of Lifegiver, I sit down with my good friend Pam Brummett who has raised three fantastic kids, two of them still in high school. It turns out the military doesn’t ruin your kids 🙂 Win-Win Parenting In this final episode in the Parenting series we are talking about how to apply Steven Covey’s Win-Win habit of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families to parenting. Trying to get your kids to do chores can be a chore itself often leaving you feeling you are on the losing end. As kids get older, they start wanting to find ways of being on the winning end as well. Win-Win can help you both feel successful while your kids are motivate by their freedom to choose what they do. I also take some time to talk about how teens develop and how you can better understand what is motivating your teen to find his or her peer group or apply themselves to their school work.