Jeff

Physically Distant with a Strong Connection

 Jeff and Don explore what it means to deeply connect, even if you are physically apart. From being intentional about what you talk about (strengths, areas of improvement and worldview) to taking the conversation deeper to discuss the matters that are closest to your heart.



Transcription of the Podcast


Don:

But I also want to make it clear that I know there’s single dads, single moms out there, even married couples that are kind of, “Oh, the kids are all here. What are we going to do?” Well, we’ve got to adapt. We’ve got to adjust.

Jeff:

So welcome back to The Journey Podcast, where we really do care deeply about real and authentic relationships. This is Jeff and I’m sitting here today with Don.

Don:

Good morning, Jeff.

Jeff:

Good morning, Don. And we’re going to talk a little bit about connecting, about those relationships that really matter in life. And it’s a topic that is really important with all that is going on in the world, and we think it matters now as much as it ever has. So yeah, jump in and grab a cup of coffee wherever you’re at, and sit back and relax for a few minutes and we’ll chat. So a little background, and this just happened yesterday, in fact. I was at the grocery store. I probably spent 10, 15, 20 minutes at the grocery store, and I had three people just come up to me and start either talking or asking questions, and it was really cool. It was really neat because I mean how often have you gone down to a grocery store and have people come up to you and just start talking?

Don:

Well I can see why it would have been extremely rare to you because you’re always kind of about you don’t have a lot of friends. So when a lot of people started talking to you, you’re were happy.

Jeff:

I was like oh, a person.

Don:

I scare everybody, and they run away from me. A lady at the chiropractor’s office yesterday came around the corner, and she looked back at the secretary and said, “I don’t want to sit in there. I want to be further away from that guy.” And I’m like geez. I’m not that crepey looking. So yeah, I can really dig on how you’d like other people to start connecting with you because now you’ve got more friends, dude. But do you think maybe it’s because everybody’s in a little panic mode? There’s lot of stuff going on in the world right now.

Jeff:

Yeah, a lot of stuff going on.

Don:

A lot of scare, a lot of fear.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

I even felt lost this weekend. I couldn’t go to church. Everything’s different there because of this thing, so I felt lost and lonely for a few days there, trying to figure out how to reconnect with the world.

Jeff:

Well we’re back here today, right. And it’s you and I.

Don:

Yeah, chatting it up.

Jeff:

Yeah. Now you’re not going to hear these girls on the podcast, but Jen is here sort of running all the equipment here. You can even say hi Jen, from a distance. Say hi.

Jen:

Hello.

Jeff:

See she’s there. And Annie is joining us by this thing that I think is called Zoom. Oh. So she’s nodding her head up and down. Yep, I’m there. But what’s cool, Annie has a little sniffle, a cold and she’s actually in another city about a hundred miles away, but she can join us by Zoom. And we’ve had a good conversation this morning for about gosh, 20, 30 minutes. And so three of us are in the room and another one of us is a hundred miles away on the computer. But hey, got to love technology, right.

Don:

Yeah, and it works. I mean you would think a country hillbilly like me wouldn’t know about Zoom, but I’m on them a couple times a week with some home based businesses that I do. And I think this is going to be a way for people to possibly connect, especially on this church side of thing. We just got a letter in an email yesterday that we will be live streaming until further notice because of the state laws and stuff. And I know I was watching some videos last night, some farmer friends of mine that’s all the way out in Ohio, from the Illinois [inaudible 00:00:03:45]. We all know that.

Don:

So yeah, I think this is going to be another way to also … I’m going to encourage people that do listens to us on Journey to share with their friends to come and connect with us on Journey and listen to what we’ve got to offer the next three or four weeks. We hope the contents going to be good. And you’re not going to be able to get it with your normal social groups, so come hang out with us for a while. We’re pretty funny.

Jeff:

So today we’re going to talk about how to do that, how to connect and how to keep those relationships going, and actually maybe to even build some new relationships that are even deeper than relationships that you’ve had in the past. So yeah. So we’ll just kind of jump in a little bit. I think let’s go back a little bit, and I just love hearing your story, Don, and just how you’ve gone from disconnection to connection over the last year or so. And for instance, we were talking to your brother here a few weeks ago, and just really cool there, how that’s gone deeper. But it seems like every time we talk about … when we’re just talking, you are giving me another story of just how you’ve just sat down with somebody, how maybe you’ve had a family meeting and you guys have gotten closer. And then what you were saying just here a few minutes ago of just how distant it seems right now, right. I mean we’re seeing firsthand just how, because of what’s going on, there’s just a lot of distance.

Don:

Well, there is, like I said, with the emails just put out that we are no longer going to be there. I’ve only been actively back involved in church for a little over a year and a half. And prior to that I sat in my little home/shed for two and a half years drunk every day. We’ve done other podcasts. I have severe history of alcoholism. So to walk out of that, get better, connect God, and get right with the coaches from Journey, that was one of the biggest blessings to me is to connect with two fellows that want to come up alongside you. Yeah, I’m a guy, I’m going to go ahead and say it. They loved on me, dude. They cared about me, and they want to help. So for a year and a half now, everything’s been rolling pretty smooth.

Jeff:

And we’ve talked about that before too. The whole idea of more than just that conversation about your favorite football team, right. More than that conversation about, “Hey, what’s that basketball team doing?” Or what kinds of things are going on at work?

Don:

All we talked about was the Cubbies. I’m like I’m sick of all this. I lived in Illinois for years, and Gary would laugh, and he just rubbed me with it every week about the Cubbies. So we had fun, like buddies. It wasn’t just a coaching thing. We became, still to this day, friends. But when you spin off of that, like we were talking earlier, so I’m a single guy, so I ask myself when I hear the news about not being able to attend my local church anymore, been on a really good groove here for a year and a half, okay. I’m a big strong boy. I can handle things emotionally, but maybe not so much. I see a counselor. I have anger issues. I have a tendency to fall back on alcoholism. So if I wanted to let my life spin out of control right now, and I think there’s so many people out there, guys, I really do that are going, “What do we do? What do we do?” Well, and I’m not saying this that people would feel sorry for me, but how do you suppose I feel?

Don:

Went from drunk for two and a half solid years, reconnect to the world, plug into a large church that I had known in the past briefly, get actively involved, and now, based on the chaos, or whatever you want to call it, going on in America and all over the world, I’m forcefully being shut off from the things that I like to do. So what am I going to do? Whether you’re Christian or not, matters not to me, but I’m going to hone in on reading my Bible, and I’m going to work extra hard at staying connected with Jesus because I don’t have places to go now. And here’s a little catch 29. What if I were to just be discontent and full of fear again? That could lead right back to drinking again.

Don:

So I’m doing double time here for myself, but I also want to make it clear that I know there’s single dads, single moms out there, even married couples that are kind of, “Oh, the kids are all here. What are we going to do?” Well we’ve got to adapt. We’ve got to adjust. And we have here, at Journey Coaching, we’re going to try to bring you good content every week, please listen and see if you can pick up some little rabbit runs to follow along with us so that we can help encourage you in these stressful times. I mean they are stressful for the average person.

Jeff:

Yep. And the times are typically … There’s stress anyway, right. I mean it’s just we have more things to sort of cushion us. We’ve got that next basketball game, that next tournament series, we’ve got that thing that sort of can distract us. So let’s face it, we’ve just got less distractions right now, and so what can we do? And so it’s more than the podcast. So here’s the thing. What can people do? Well, we can all have those intentional growing healthy relationships. Well, how do we do that? At Journey, we’ve invested the last … It’s over five years of really developing some good core content. And it’s so simple. It’s so simple. It’s seven sessions, and it’s just a guideline. It’s just a guideline to help people to really look at themself in the mirror, and look at their strengths, look at areas for improvement, look at their worldview, and to sit down with somebody and to share your story guy to guy, girl to girl, couple to couple, but a way to really just say, “Here’s my life ,and here are a few steps that I can take to get better.”

Don:

It’s interesting you say that because you know I’m coaching a 16-year-old boy.

Jeff:

Yeah, you just jumped right into it.

Don:

Every Sunday.

Jeff:

Yeah, you jumped right into that, didn’t you?

Don:

And it’s so amazing, over the last couple of weeks, Jeff, the things we were talking about, just simple day-to-day life things, but it always kind of keeps falling back on his faith level. And I just tell him all the time, even last Sunday, I said, “I’m envious of you because you were born and raised a Christian child. My silly hillbilly brain didn’t get it completely until he was 59 years old. Look how much catching up I got to do.” And he smiles and laughs at me. And then in the other hand he goes, “Don,” he said one day, he said, “Geez, I feel bad for you. I mean I would have hated to miss out on what I’ve already seen,” and he’s only 16 years old, you all, and I’m 61. And I’m like, “I’m jealous of you, dude. You got a advantage on me.” But as we sit and talk once a week in our little journey session, it’s just interesting to see what this boy, I got to be careful how I say this if we need adding [crosstalk 00:11:57].

Don:

The average 16-year-old that I run across or bump into, and I have a nephew that’s 17, and as I sit and talk, there is such a difference of mindset between two boys, similar age, but based on their background and their faith, unfortunately they’re as opposite as water and oil. And that intrigues me so much that when it comes to faith-based boy, born and raised, other boy, no, not at all, just kind of went through the motions because parents encouraged or maybe leaned on him to do that, but he never grasped any of it.

Jeff:

And that’s you, right? You’re talking about yourself there.

Don:

No, I’m talking about another boy equivalent to the same age as the one I’m-

Jeff:

Oh, okay. I got you. Oh, okay. I see what you’re saying. I got to what you’re saying. Yeah.

Don:

Yeah, two boys, same age, but the difference is water and oil. Raised, believes in Jesus, other one pushed into it against his will.

Jeff:

Right, I got you.

Don:

And doesn’t have any of it, doesn’t have any knowledge of it.

Jeff:

Okay, right.

Don:

So another reason to hopefully connect with us here at Journey because we’re-

Jeff:

Right. And the thing about Journey is it is regardless of where somebody’s starting at. So it could be somebody, it could be that person regardless of age, that’s really far from God and really doesn’t even know if they believe in this at all. Or it could be somebody that’s been around it all their life. It doesn’t matter. Again, it’s about those connections, and it’s about getting outside oneself.

Don:

I’m going to let you talk about connections. Forgive me for saying this Jeff, but we talk a lot, and you and I have had personal conversations about the term coaching, coaching, coaching, but right now, I don’t know, this thought just came to me, isn’t our main goal here at Journey Coaching … Due to the circumstances in our economy, don’t we want to just be your friend?

Jeff:

Yeah, [crosstalk 00:00:14:00].

Don:

We just want to make friends with you right now. You can just hang out with us, listen to our podcast, and just be our friends. And then later on, we all know that this too shall pass, they say, and this will settle down, but while we’re in these kind of dire conditions, why don’t we all … why don’t you all listen to our podcast, tell your friends, and let’s just make buddies here on podcasts. And when all this settles down, then we could go back to, “Hey, now we’d like to sit down and coach with you.” And you might know some people out there as listeners and go, “I think I’m pretty good, but so-and-so, Sally or Bob over there, I think they could use some journey coaching.” Good. Invite them to the podcast, let them listen to what we’re doing.

Jeff:

But what you say is interesting because that is typical where there’ll be a time where there’s some anxious, be like oh yeah, I should do this. I’ll wait until things settle down. I would suggest that how about when there is that time, when there’s that anx, jump in and do something about it. And that would be a great time right now to jump in, and here’s what you can do. Grab a friend. Grab a friend that’s a few steps ahead of you, and this can be somebody you trust, somebody you respect, and just say, “Hey, I’ve heard about this Journey Coaching thing. Let’s talk about that.” They can go to journeycoaching.org. They can see what the whole idea’s about, not only a podcast but the actual seven sessions. And then you can just order those seven sessions, and sort of grab a friend, grab a couple of books, and get started. And you can get started over coffee.

Jeff:

And if you don’t even want to get together, like we’re doing again today here, I mean we’ve got Annie sitting on this Zoom thing, and she’s communicating. And so in fact I got to read her a question because I got to tell you how cool this is that this actually works. So as we’re talking, and again, she’s not in the room, I just want to again show this idea that you don’t have to be necessarily in the room, she says, “So how are podcasts a jumping board for connecting?” Well, the big thing that the podcasts do is they will sort of provide that fertile ground of what we’re talking about. They sort of encourage this idea of healthy conversations and what that’s about. So we’re just trying to sort of create an environment that just is good fertile ground for some relationships to start.

Don:

I think it’s key, those that we were saying a minute ago, I want to make sure that people are getting that right now, it’s just if you’ve been listening to any of our podcast, please, please invite a buddy, or a friend, or a neighbor, say, “Hey, I’m listening to this, and their content’s pretty good.”

Jeff:

Yeah, listen to it also, right. Yeah.

Don:

Yeah. “Hey, do you want to listen to this?” And tell your friend, neighbor, for some of you all, I’m going to go so far as to say you’re married, and invite your wife.

Jeff:

Oh, what a concept.

Don:

Sit on the couch.

Jeff:

Oh, hold it.

Don:

Listen.

Jeff:

Hold it, I got to take a deep breath here. Wow.

Don:

Since NASCAR, it’s only going to be televised for the next two weeks. So yeah, there’s a lot of people that are going to have to sit at home with their wives and do something.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Don:

They should listen to Journey Coaching.

Jeff:

And unless you want to watch repeats of games from years past, actually yes, [crosstalk 00:17:33].

Don:

Hook up. Make a friend with your spouse.

Jeff:

What a concept, right.

Don:

I’m just being stupid.

Jeff:

Anyway. But yeah, so again, we just invite you to take that step. If you want to grow, we to help.

Don:

Amen.

Jeff:

And what a great time to start doing that. So just to wrap up, let’s keep it really simple. Go to the journeycoaching.org website. On there you can find information on the actual seven session coaching process. The cost is very low. If you’re in a situation where basically you’re just buying the booklets, and just we can answer questions, through the journey website, you can ask us questions as you’re going through it. We have a audio three session training, a little program there where you can go through and get some input on how to … And you were even a part of that little training.

Don:

Yeah, all three of them. So Terry just gave us tips and helps on how to be a good coach. What are you looking for? So you’re a little well versed at it.

Jeff:

So this is not rocket science. Again, coaching, you’re not-

Don:

If it was, I wouldn’t be here.

Jeff:

You and me both, buddy. So this is not one person is the expert and you’ve got to take some big class or something, it’s just a matter of, again, developing those intentional relationships. So listen to some podcasts, order some of the material, and just grab a friend and give it a shot. And here’s the thing, personally, for me, if I’m sort of bothered, or I’m just into myself too much and worrying how’s this going to happen, or what’s happening, or what can I do, sometimes, or oftentimes, virtually all of the time, it helps to get outside myself to connect with somebody else. It’s just true for … We’re just wired like that. We’re wired for those relationships. And so this is a good way to just do that intentionally, and to do it through a little seven session way that is really designed over five plus years, a lot of people have been through this where it does just really help you to grow, and we do want to help. So thanks for listening. Any closing thoughts that you have, Don?

Don:

Just like I said, again, probably repeating myself here, but brother said it best, I think. Just dawned on me last week, Jeff, when he said, “I just wanted to be there and listen to what he had to say. I couldn’t fix him. But I wanted to listen.” So we’re in some stretchy, sketchy times right now. And if you need somebody to just listen to you, we’re here. Reach out to us.

Jeff:

Listen. And then get beyond just being sort of stuck in the times, and really use this to look at this as a huge, huge opportunity to invest in yourself, to invest in another person, and to do something different. This material is unique, it’s simple, but to do something different and to grow.

Don:

Exactly right.

Jeff:

Very cool. Well, thanks again for listening. This is been a great conversation with Don. Don, always enjoy chatting with you.

Don:

I love the invites.

Jeff:

I always enjoy it. So at Journey, we’re interested in the conversations that matter to you in your relationships. You want to grow. We want to help, not only with podcasts, but we encourage you to get into the one-on-one coaching relationships, and a good place to start is with that seven session coaching booklet. And you can find out more about that at journeycoaching.org. Have a good day everybody. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 4:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Hope In The Midst

In the midst of chaos and confusion, it is essential to cling to hope. Today on the podcast, join Jeff, Don and Jerrad as they discuss the importance of choosing the emotions we dwell on as well as finding the good from the challenges we face.


Transcription of Podcast


Jerrad:

You know, for me, I’m recharged when I walk out of there on Sunday after service. So I think that this is going to be a huge test of faith for a lot of people, but I think people are eventually going to… We have to turn to faith right now anyway because it’s the only way we’re going to make it through this.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Jeff:

Well, welcome back to another Journey Coaching podcast, where we care deeply about real and authentic relationships. This is Jeff. I’m your host today. I’m sitting with an old friend, Jerrad. I don’t know how old though. Not that old.

Jerrad:

Not that old.

Jeff:

But kind of.

Jerrad:

I’m getting to that age where I’m starting to feel a little bit older. I feel like I might be growing up a little bit.

Jeff:

That’s right. But we have worked together for probably about five or 10 years. Has it been 10?

Jerrad:

Eight.

Jeff:

Eight?

Jerrad:

Eight, yeah.

Jeff:

I have a business, and Jerrad works at another business that is a key vendor of ours, and has provided us great service, really good service. Yeah, we can even give them a little plug, I think. Albert Auto Service is a great mechanic. You’ll see Jerrad at one of their locations if you walk in. Can we do that? Can we give it a little plug?

Jerrad:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jeff:

There you go. Then Don.

Don:

Good morning, Jeff.

Jeff:

Don’s a new friend. I have known Don for coming up on a year, and that’s always great to have you in the room and be talking about things that matter, so thanks for doing that.

Don:

Fun to be here.

Jeff:

So anyway, well let’s jump in. There’s a lot going on in the world today, and we’re going to try to address those things just head on and just be honest and real. I mean, just yeah, different times. Do you want to jump into that a little, Jerrad? What are you thinking? What are you feeling, man? What’s going on here and how do we take what you’re feeling then move to something different or better? Yeah, what’s going on?

Jerrad:

It’s crazy. That’s the best word I can come up with to describe any of it. I called my dad the night before last and we were talking a little bit. He’s going to be 78 this year, and he said the same thing. “In all my years never have we seen anything like this.”

Jeff:

Yeah, yeah. Give us a little insight, because we know there’s a lot going on. We know that. We know all the things. But just again, guy-to-guy, let’s just be honest guys here sitting around the table. How are you feeling? Just sitting back there going, “Oh, just another day at the office. Everything’s rosy.” Maybe not that. How are you and your wife feeling about this?

Jerrad:

It’s been like that for quite a while. We’ve all known for six weeks, a month, whatever that this is on the way. It’s coming.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

To finally, within the last two days, it’s just been straight on top of you.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

My wife has been struggling with it, just this impending doom feeling and not even wanting to get up and go to work type thing. She makes herself do it. I think some of that has to do with the fact that none of our kids are at home right now. It’s spring break, they had stuff planned.

Jeff:

Well, tell us about that a little bit, because you’ve got three kids, right?

Jerrad:

Yup.

Jeff:

They’re not sitting all in your living room, which again, with schools closed and stuff, having kids all sitting in the living room is another dynamic, for another day, another audience, but you guys have some kiddos and they’re not sitting in your living room right now, so talk about that a little bit, how that feels.

Jerrad:

Yeah, with our oldest, we’ve kind of gotten to that point where we’ve put faith and trust in her because she has moved out of state and we don’t see her on a super regular basis. We just pray that she’s making the right decisions while she’s there. With the younger ones, like I said it’s spring break, we were expecting them to be gone for a week and then back, now they’re talking about maybe extending their visit out there a little bit longer.

Jerrad:

It’s tough because at the same time we want them home so we feel like we have some kind of control over what’s going on.

Jeff:

Yeah, exactly.

Jerrad:

But at the same time, if we’re going to be cooped up for a month together, maybe putting that off another week is not such a bad idea.

Jeff:

Right. Right, right, right.

Don:

A little peace and quiet for mom and dad, right?

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Kind of give you guys an opportunity to catch up on life and just have a little one-on-one conversations.

Jerrad:

Yeah, yeah. We’ve only got two years before we’re going to be empty nesters again, or not again, be empty nesters for the first time. Maybe this next month will be a good taste of what’s coming.

Jeff:

Right. Well when you say that, we were talking on an earlier podcast about picking our emotions. It’s so important any time, but especially now because it is that glass is sort of half empty, half full on steroids right now, right, because you can look at the glass is half empty with all the news and all the… Turn on any station, but it’s also just emails that keep coming through. It’s like, “Oh, my gosh. Okay, we get it. Yeah, we get there’s something going on here that is really different that we need to address.”

Jeff:

Yeah, it’s just one of those things where we can look at that and go, “Oh…” Or we can sort of pick that emotion and let’s use the whole idea of joy, peace and joy, but joy. Actually maybe we need to get to peace before we get to joy, right, a little bit?

Jerrad:

Yeah.

Jeff:

So some peace and joy, and to pick that emotion is just, sometimes it’s easier to do that when it’s rainbows and sunshine and chirping birds and everything. You sort of have those pictures in your mind versus some of the things that again, they’re just different.

Don:

Nobody ever promised us it was going to be easy, and neither does the Lord promise it’s going to be easy. He warns us that we’ll go through storms and whatnot, which has made me think as far as you were concerned, Jerrad, I know when I met you at your church last year, I think you’re now a leader of a church, so what kind of feedback are you getting? Kind of two-sided question, are you getting pushback from people that are upset because church, I know they know it’s been done by the state of Iowa, you guys have to. I go to a large church also. We’re done.

Don:

What kind of things are going on with you guys at your particular church? What are your parishioners and people thinking? What are the comments you’re hearing at the church?

Jerrad:

It’s tough because even, you ask my wife or any of my kids, I’m kind of the eternal optimist.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jerrad:

I usually have a pretty sunshiny outlook on most things, but that’s kind of really taken a beaten over the last few days. As far as from the church standpoint, I’m not an active member of the board anymore, but once an elder, always an elder.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff:

Good thing or bad thing, right?

Jerrad:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I do head up the safety portion of the church as well, and I’m part of our emergency response team and stuff there. I’ve actually been pretty active in getting in touch with the church via email and stuff like that over the last week saying, “Hey, what’s our plan?”

Don:

Right.

Jerrad:

We’ve been having Wednesday night Lenten meals and stuff like that, and pretty big turnouts. As soon as we heard the whole 50 people or less in a gathering, I put another email out, “What are we planning on doing? Are we canceling this? What are we going to do for services?” Finally have heard that from here on out the meals have been suspended, and we are going to be doing live stream of our services on Sunday and stuff like that.

Jeff:

It’s a change of paradigm, right? I mean, it’s a whole mindset. The whole mindset just changes.

Jerrad:

It is. Because everybody likes that feeling of community and being together, if it is only once a week, but at the same time I’m hoping that we see some good out of it. For five or six years we’ve been talking about ways to reach people that we’re not reaching that aren’t sitting in the seats, and I’m hoping that by doing some streams and stuff like this that we might reach some people that are a little bit nervous about coming and putting their butts in one of the seats.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Amen.

Jeff:

And it’s like today, so we’re sitting here today, there are four of us in a room. I introduced Don and Jerrad. Jen is here with us too running some audio, and then Annie is actually joining us virtually by Zoom. So you know, we’re all here whether we’re… Jen’s not chatting a whole lot. She’s just smiling over here.

Don:

She’s running all the buttons.

Jeff:

Yeah, hitting all the buttons.

Don:

Keep us all mixed.

Jeff:

Annie, I hope, feels like she’s in the room even though she’s not physically in the room.

Don:

Annie’s a little under the weather today. She’s struggling. Got a bad cough. I feel sorry for her.

Jeff:

Yeah. Using those cough drops and stuff.

Don:

Poor thing.

Jeff:

But you know, so it’s cool to get together, and the sun’s out, right?

Jerrad:

Yeah, it’s beautiful outside.

Jeff:

It’s beautiful outside. So we’re here. So yeah, if we look at, and talking to Jerrad about the church, we’re here as the church and we’re talking about those things that matter, and we’re talking about our lives, and we’re talking about how does God play into that? How do we fit into God’s story, which is what Journey’s about, sharing stories and strengths and weaknesses, and worldview and that kind of thing.

Jeff:

So could this be a time when we, however we do it, we just connect more.

Don:

I want to go back to what Jerrad said just a minute ago.

Jeff:

Go ahead, yeah.

Don:

I just had a thought. Jeff knows that I have sporadic random thoughts and I guess-

Jeff:

Here comes another one here now.

Don:

If I don’t say them, I’ll forget them, but when you were talking about reaching people, I like how you said that you might not normally reach and getting some butts in some seats. I like that idea, and I’m on board with you on that, but here’s something that I noticed last summer once I became involved with my first life group, and then we broke for the summer. It was like trying to collect sheep to get them back. Give me your thoughts on now basically nationwide, we’re all leaving the church.

Jeff:

Well we’re leaving everything. It could be jobs, working virtually [crosstalk 00:11:42] yeah, we’re working virtually from home or whatever.

Don:

[crosstalk 00:11:44] because it seems like watching that happen to my life group and others talking about it, so like, “Yes, we lost three or four. They said it’s not going to work. They can’t make it back together.” So has anybody thought about the concept that I go to a large church. There’s thousands of people there. Are we going to lose any, Jerrad? I like what you said. I’m with you, that we might reach people that are going to go, “Hey, I can’t go to my church. Jeff, I don’t see you go to church a lot, would you like to come over to my house and watch what my church says online because I can’t go to church anymore.” It could be a leverage or basic tool-

Jeff:

Or watch online together, right. You watch online separately and then talk about.

Don:

Has anybody thought about the concept that some of these people might get real comfortable, because I heard it said yesterday, “Well, since I tithe online and now we’re going to go live stream,” I’m not making this up, “Why would I want to go back to church if this isn’t my church?” Are we going to lose some butts in some seats?

Jerrad:

I’m sure we will. Even when things are perfect, it’s super easy to… You know, like for us with the kids being involved in activities and stuff like that, there’s a lot of weekends when we’re not in town so we don’t make it to church all the time. One week, two weeks, the third week we’re back, but it’s like this is our rest and relaxation day. You’re gone for more than a couple of times and it’s very easy to then drift away.

Don:

I know. That’s what I’m saying. I think we’re all missing the fact that this could be devastating to churches in America.

Jerrad:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Don:

People are going to get comfortable at home on Zoom and live streams and go, “Pfft.”

Jerrad:

But there again, like I said, there’s something, once you’ve been a part of a church, and especially, it doesn’t have to be a large church because I mean, smaller churches are super tight knit anyway, but just be involved in that community feel. For me, I’m recharged when I walk out of there on Sunday after service, so I think that this is going to be a huge test of faith for a lot of people, but I think people are eventually going to… We have to turn to faith right now anyway, because it’s the only way we’re going to make it through this.

Don:

I need my people. I want to go back. Yeah, I need them, because I’m a single person. That’s really important to me. We talked about it on the podcast before you got here. I’ve only been sober for a year and a half and really got connected to church and Christ and everything. This has been a struggle for me to know I can’t go hang out with my people on the weekends. You know what I’m saying? It was kind of sketchy ground for me, but it’s by the grace of God that I got sober, and I’m still sober today. It’s the longest period in my entire life, so I can’t wait to plug back in and the shaking of the hands that we can’t do even if we were to went last weekend, we couldn’t even shake hands. That’s not working. I can almost get angry about it.

Jeff:

Right. And what-

Don:

What are you laughing at, Jen? She knows that I’m angry. That’s not a secret.

Jerrad:

Well I’m thinking the other side too you know, that God uses everything for God.

Don:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jerrad:

So even in this next 30 to 60 days, this shadowy valley that we’re going to be walking through, I think that there is going to be people that are going to be recharged into having to start to rely on their faith again.

Don:

Amen, I like that.

Jeff:

And maybe to seek out that faith and to seek out God if they’ve never really looked at that, or if they’ve walked away from it too possibly also. So it’s one of those things that yeah, we don’t like the way it feels, but again, can we sort of choose to move towards peace and joy, and how can we do that? Any ideas, guys, on how we can really move towards peace and joy?

Don:

Well, like Jerrad said, they’re going to be so afraid triggered another thought. What really brought me this time, and you’ve heard it in earlier podcasts that I’ve done, Jeff, is fear. I say fear is a liar. Fear got me in October of ’18 again for the 20th-some time when I almost died again from alcohol poisoning.

Don:

At that point in my life, I got to be honest and say I think my fear factor was the highest it’d ever been, and that’s the first thing I did. Now you say that people might start looking, I like that, because yeah. And you’ve heard me say in podcasts, I hope people don’t have to get as afraid as I did to find Jesus. So I don’t want this to sound strange or weird, but maybe this will shell shock some people into going, “You know, this has been pretty overwhelming, and I’m under a lot of pressure here” and you said about your wife’s a little angry, everybody is. Good. Maybe the churches will overflow when we open back up again. Maybe, right?

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

I think this could possibly lead to a growing relationship with Christ.

Jeff:

And what can we do in the meantime? I think that’s a question. What can we do in the meantime?

Don:

Tell people about him. tell people about him.

Jeff:

What do you think, Jerrad? Some things that come to mind?

Jerrad:

Yeah, just try to stay positive. Right now everything in the media’s all this negativity.

Jeff:

Oh, so much. It’s like a fire hose, right? A fire hose of just, you’re just kind of like, “Whoa.” So you’ve kind of got to walk away from that.

Jerrad:

But yeah, you’re not hearing the stories about the people that have had it and they’re getting over it and had zero to 5% symptoms type thing, and you’re also not hearing about other areas of the world, they’re 30 to 60 days ahead of us on this, and they’re all of a sudden starting to come back to some amount of normalcy. So there is light at the end of the tunnel at least, trying to find some of that information out there.

Jeff:

Yeah. What do you think about, going back to churches, what are some things, and again Jerrad, that churches can do. Because you’ve been involved in big church stuff. You’ve been involved in small group stuff. Any thoughts there, maybe a thing or two that could be done immediately to just connect people, to kind of get people moving towards joy and peace?

Jerrad:

I really don’t know right now. Like I said, we all have to remember that everything that happens is done for good.

Don:

Everything happens for a reason.

Jerrad:

Yeah. So relying on that, like I said, knowing that there is better to come, that we can make it through. As far as the church stuff goes, with everything being shut down for the next couple weeks, even trying to do small group stuff I think’s going to be difficult because people are going to be gun shy about trying to get together even in smaller sections.

Jeff:

Now, here’s the cool thing about this, again, trying to look for what is cool is technology, right? Because as we’re sitting here and we’re looking at Annie on the screen, I mean, could small groups get together and use an internet platform?

Jerrad:

Yeah, it’s funny, it’s coincidence, but I was just introduced to Zoom like three weeks ago.

Jeff:

So there you go.

Don:

Geez, I feel pretty smart. I got it a year ago and I’m old.

Jeff:

Now there is another thing for those folks, and I would put myself in this category that’s not the real tech-savvy kind of person. There is that thing called a phone, and there actually are even landlines that you can pick up and talk to people. I’m just saying, there are ways to be connected here.

Jeff:

But yeah, I just wonder there along that line of just reaching out to another person just to start building some positive connections there, maybe a group like you say, a group of people that could connect. How cool could that be?

Don:

I’m still waiting to hear back. I got an email this morning when I pull in your parking lot out here. The guy that leads our Tuesday night men’s bible study said, “Guys, I hate to miss out on tonight, but I have some elderly relatives that I’m going to be going and visiting,” and they’re 70 and older, and that’s what they’ve been talking about, if you’re 60 and older it could affect you more. “So I’m going to have to stay away for now just because I don’t want to infect them.”

Don:

I feel bad for him because he just loves bible study and he’s a great leader, but he is forced to limit himself if we wants to go see his elder relatives. That makes me want to just pray for him right away and say, “Oh, what a shame. I feel bad for Mark, and hope that this can pass so he can come back,” because we depend on him. He’s a phenomenal leader.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Yeah.

Jerrad:

Well and going back to what you said, Jeff, about the one-on-one, getting back in touch with people you may have not talked to in a while.

Jeff:

Right. If this is four weeks, I can’t sit and watch TV for four weeks.

Jerrad:

Yeah, I mean, there’s only so many reruns of basketball games we can watch, right? In my life, my excuses to people all the time is, “I’m so busy. My kids are so busy. They’ve got so much going on.”

Jeff:

Right.

Jerrad:

Well, guess what? They don’t have anything going on. I don’t have anything going on. So it’s a good time to pick up a book, pick the the Bible, call somebody, talk to old friends.

Jeff:

Communication, what a concept.

Jerrad:

Exactly.

Jeff:

Well, at Journey, that’s an important core part of what Journey is about, not only this podcast but this seven-session little coaching outline that we have for people to share their stories, and have sort of a guideline to walk through, because let’s face it, it’s easy to just get stuck in what’s happening now or the negative or again, going back to that last game that was on TV and talking about that. But have this guideline that really helps you move towards some really healthy conversations. How cool could that be too?

Don:

Right.

Jeff:

Well, any other words of wisdom, guys? We probably should wrap up now, and appreciate you both being here today. Any other thoughts?

Don:

I like Jerrad’s last thought, pick up your bibles.

Jeff:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Don:

Call a friend or relative. I’ll say that with conviction, because you know the situation with my kids.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Not so much for the good, but we just, it’s time for them to start picking up the telephone because they’re not busy.

Jeff:

All right. Right.

Don:

Especially the Good Book.

Jeff:

Very cool stuff, guys. Well, thanks again for coming in. Don, it was fun. Jerrad, thanks for joining us for the first time here. A little bit different [crosstalk 00:22:58]. Yeah, very cool.

Don:

Good to see a new face. I was going to look at Jeff a lot.

Jeff:

At Journey we’re interested in those conversations that matter to you, and your relationships, and we’re interested in that regardless of those days when it’s sunny and those days that seem a little cloudy. If you want to grow, if you want to really take some steps to move from fear to peace and joy, we’d love to help you. You can check out picking up and ordering that seven-session Journey coaching booklet on the Journey website at journeycoaching.org.

Jeff:

Regardless though, you can just pick up the phone. For those tech folks out there, log in to Zoom or whatever platform you can to connect with people virtually, and hey, let’s move forward well. So thanks again for listening.

Announcer:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Relationship WorkShop: Disagreements

On this episode of the podcast, Jeff and Terry host a mini relationship workshop focusing on disagreements within our relationships. In this workshop, you will learn that you get to choose your response to a disagreement. They also offer insight on how to choose a response when all you want to do is react.


Transcription of the Podcast


Jeff:

Again, I’m looking out here at a beautiful blue sky. Now I can look at that blue sky and I can say a couple of things. I can say, “It is gorgeous out there, it’s a bright sunny day.” Or I can look at this flag waving in the background going, “Oh, I can tell by the direction that flag is waving, there is a cold north wind out there,” and I can pick, right? I can go, “Wow! I’m going to go outside and I’m going to freeze because it’s really cold out,” or I can go outside and go, “Wow! It’s a bright sunny day.”

Jeff:

(singing)

Jeff:

Hey, welcome back to another Journey Podcast and we are excited to talk about relationships today. In fact, we’re going to do a little relationship workshop because relationships are important. My name is Jeff. I’ve got Terry here. Terry is a licensed full-time counselor-

Terry:

Hi.

Jeff:

And deals with… Tell us a little bit about the sort of what you do during… What is your day job? You’re dealing with a lot of people walking in and they have some really deep weeds, relational stuff going on, right?

Terry:

Oh, yeah. I would say 90% of the time it’s a relationship workshop in my office.

Jeff:

Right.

Terry:

We’re working on different kinds of relationship issues that show up. We may have other things we’re talking about like addictions and affairs and things like that, but ultimately, it’s about relationships. It’s about that sticky icky kind of stuff that happens between two or more people.

Jeff:

Well, and the thing is for you and other counselors, the thing that I always sort of find interesting sitting back on the sidelines is that, and tell me if I’m off base on this, but a lot of people really wait and really get into a lot of hurt and a lot of struggle and it’s like, “Oh, what is the very last thing I can do on the planet to do… Oh, okay, I’ll go to a counselor.” Right?

Terry:

I had a couple come in one time years ago and one of them said… I asked what brought them here and they said, “Well, we sat down with a phone book,” how long has it been since we had phone books, right?

Jeff:

Yeah.

Terry:

They sat down with a phone book and they had one page open to counselors and they had one page open to divorce lawyers and they were trying to decide which page to look at.

Jeff:

Wow! Wow!

Terry:

It had gotten that far in their relationship. And so I think you’re right. I think in a lot of cases it gets to that point where we have tried everything we can possibly think of, nothing’s working, we either have to reach out for somebody or we have to break it off.

Jeff:

Right. Right. So the hope is here with the Journey, and there’s a lot of hopes that we have around Journey, but one of the hopes is that people will engage with these podcasts and that they can actually get some good counsel, although this isn’t counseling, this is coaching. But if we have people like you on the podcast, we can actually get some very good tips and some help to navigate some of these relational issues.

Jeff:

So yeah, let’s dive in here. And like I say, just sort of have this as a little mini relationship workshop here and talk to folks that hopefully aren’t in the deep weeds yet. So why don’t we start out, Terry, why really would we even want to address our relationships? Why would we want to be kind, gracious, to one another? After all, if I’m here and you’re there, why don’t we just go at each other and the last one standing wins?

Terry:

Well, yeah, you could try that. How’s that working for you?

Jeff:

Not real good, right. So…

Terry:

No, I think that’s the approach a lot of people have is they’re at such loggerheads by the time they walk in that there’s so much anger and there’s so much negativity and there’s so much… there’s just a lot of hurt underneath the anger. I tell people, I see anger as a secondary response, the secondary emotion. We don’t get angry usually unless we’re hurt and we feel somebody is responsible and those are the components that make us really, really angry.

Terry:

And then anger is a defense mechanism. It’s something we try to do to regain some of the power we feel like we’ve lost by being hurt. And so we get angry and it’s kind of like… One example I’ve used a lot of times, it’s just using anger, especially in a marriage or in a tight relationship, a good relationship, or a relationship you’re trying to make healthy, it’s kind of like using a hammer as the only tool in your toolbox.

Jeff:

Ouch!

Terry:

If you had to replace a light switch, would you grab the hammer?

Jeff:

Right, no.

Terry:

Well, no. You [crosstalk 00:04:45]-

Jeff:

Well, that’s right. Because I’m so terrible with tools I wouldn’t even know what to do with… But, yeah, right. You want to start-

Terry:

You want to start with a screwdriver-

Jeff:

Right, the right tool for that.

Terry:

You want to find another tool. A lot of times by the time people come into counseling they don’t have any other tools, the only tool they have in their toolbox is hammer. And that’s just not working.

Jeff:

Right. Right. And so healthy relationships, and let me just underline this here. We could just land on this and then just hit the pause button. But really healthy relationships are so important. If you’re not in one now, if you can think back to when you were and just the joy that comes from that and the energy that’s gathered versus the bucket draining-ness of unhealthy relationships, this is really important.

Terry:

Right.

Jeff:

Really important stuff.

Terry:

Well, and I think what happens a lot of times when two people, whether it’s a man and wife or whether it’s a brother and sister, it’s a parent and a child, when two people come in to talk about their relationship, a lot of times what I see is a lot of finger pointing. If he would just change, if she would just do something different, if he would just stop doing something, then this would be okay. And a lot of times I feel like one person is dragging another one in and they’re saying, “Here, change her, change him.”

Terry:

The reality is it takes two people to make this relationship work or not work. And it’s not just one thing or another, it really gets down to kind of what we’ve talked about is how do you talk to each other? Do you use that hammer of anger? Are you feeling justified in just being angry all the time? And how is that working for you? How’s that affecting the other person and how are you feeling? When you spend a lot of time being angry, I’ll just ask you back, “When you spend a lot of time angry, how do you feel? Energized or worn out?”

Jeff:

Right. Exactly. Well, and I think as you’re talking, it’s really easy and it always has been easy to avoid healthy relationships, right? It’s really, really easy to just be mad and move on kind of thing. And especially with social media, it’s made it a lot easier to just sort of get that jab out there.

Terry:

Right.

Jeff:

And so it seems like, and this is just what I found in my own life, is I’ve got to really put that relational piece as a priority and say, “Yeah, it really is worth the energy that it’s going to take to do this, but it is going to take some energy and it’s going to take some time.”

Terry:

Right. Well, you have to answer for yourself that question of, why do I even want to do that? Why not be angry? Why not be compassionate? At least I gain respect. If I’m angry, it feels like people are respecting me. But the reality is they’re not, they’re just avoiding you because you’re angry.

Jeff:

So what can you do if you’re angry, if someone’s angry consistently, but they don’t know how to change. That’s just their mindset, that’s just their life, right? They’re just an angry person. What are some tips there?

Terry:

Well, I think it depends a lot. If somebody comes into my office and that’s the situation, I have to do a lot of assessments. So the counselor in me just kind of do a little alarm thing that says, “Hey, we’re not going to be able to solve that here.” If somebody is as angry as you’re talking about, I really suggest that they find somebody to meet with, find a licensed counselor, a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, whoever you want, but really sit down and say, “Hey, I am angry all the time and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Jeff:

So really it’s that conversation before the conversation that you’ve talked about in the past, right? To really kind of come to a point where you can sit down with somebody else and to start having some healthy conversations.

Terry:

Right. If somebody is just feeling angry a lot and it hasn’t gotten to that point, I guess my encouragement would be, do something about it now because it will get to that point. It becomes a habit and it becomes a way. Our brain has pathways to it and the more we do something, it’s like a muscle. If you exercise one arm and not the other, what would happen?

Jeff:

It’ll be a little lopsided-

Terry:

You’d be lopsided. One arm would be a lot bigger and the other arm would get smaller. The brain neurons kind of work like muscles do too. You use them or you lose them.

Jeff:

Right.

Terry:

And so the more angry we are, the more angry we become. And so I think it’s really, really important for people to take notice of that and say, “No, wait a minute. I’m finding a pattern here. I’m getting more and more angry when I watch TV or when I talk to this person or when I do that.” And, again, if anger is a secondary response, anger management really doesn’t work. You can sit there and say, “Okay, I’m not going to act out in my anger,” but ultimately the anger is just going to keep eating you up inside. You’ve got to find out what’s causing that anger.

Jeff:

Right. Now, I’m just going to go a little shallow dive here. Terry, takes a deeper dive. I’m going to go a little more shallow dive is, I would just point out from, again, a simple perspective, if you’re angry, if there are things bothering you, if you are always sort of looking at the bucket of being half empty, half full, half empty. Again, I’m looking out here at a beautiful blue sky. Now I can look at that blue sky and I can say a couple of things. I can say, “It is gorgeous out there, it’s a bright sunny day.” Or I can look at this flag waving in the background and going, “Oh, I can tell by the direction that flag is waving, there is a cold north wind out there.” And I can pick, right? I can go, “Wow! I’m going to go outside and I’m going to freeze because it’s really cold out,” or I can go outside and go, “Wow! It’s a bright sunny day.” And so that’s just something that I do because it’s like you can pick, right?

Terry:

Right. And I think that’s a key point that you’ve said is you’re aware of your ability to choose. A lot of people aren’t. A lot of people don’t realize that. They just react to the anger. They just see it the one way and they don’t realize there are other ways to see it.

Jeff:

Right. Right. Well, and let’s hit that point and land on that for a minute. That people do have the ability to choose, right? You can pick that emotion.

Terry:

Right.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Terry:

And a lot of times people don’t understand that. Now, if the anger is coming from some deep hurts and there are some deep hurts out there, then I would encourage people to address those. We don’t want to. And I tell some of my clients, “Emotional hurts, emotional wounds feel the same way to our brain as physical ones.” And so when I’m asking somebody to kind of dive into that emotional hurt and figure out, “Why does that hurt me so much? Why is that bothering me?” In a sense, it’s kind of like if I told you to put your hand on the stove and then to keep it there, I know it hurts, but keep it there and try to figure out why it hurts.

Jeff:

Right.

Terry:

You wouldn’t do that. That would be stupid. Please don’t do that. But if you think about it, as far as your brain is concerned, I’m asking you to do that with the emotional hurt. It’s like typically we have something that really, really hurts us. We’re bothered because somebody said something unkind or they didn’t say they loved you before they walked out, we’re really hurt by something. And instead of staying with that hurt and figuring out, “Why that bothers us so much,” we jump into anger and then we try to get them back or we try to do something to rectify the situation, but it’s not working.

Jeff:

Right. Right. So how does somebody choose? So we can choose, that’s an option, we can pick. How do we choose when we just don’t feel like it?

Terry:

I think the first thing is to remind yourself there is a choice. I have chosen to be angry. Why did I choose to be angry? A lot of times we just feel like it’s we’re just reacting versus responding. I think that’s a really key point when we’re looking at things. When something happens, ask yourself, “Am I reacting or am I responding?” Responding takes a few minutes longer, a few seconds longer. A response is what I want to do, a reaction is what happens. Just kind of, it’s almost that animal instinct in us that comes out. A response is something we take a little bit of time for and we choose a decision, we choose a response, versus I just reacted angrily or a knee jerk kind of reaction.

Jeff:

So what if you’re in a conversation with somebody, and this could be about anything. It could be about politics. We had a podcast on politics here a while back. It could be about just something that’s going on in your life, whatever, but you’re responding with anger. What can you do?

Terry:

So you’re feeling the anger inside.

Jeff:

Right.

Terry:

You just had a conversation with somebody. Let’s say you’re talking with your husband or your wife or your somebody, your significant other, and this person has now said something that has offended you. A reaction would be maybe to kick them under the table. That’s not a good idea.

Jeff:

Bruised shins [crosstalk 00:00:13:57]-

Terry:

Because you’re angry, you’re angry. A response would be to say, “Whoa!” Again, this is an internal dialogue and you’re saying, “Whoa, wait a minute. Man, I’m really getting angry about something that they said. Where is that coming from?” Well, again, it only takes a second or two to kind of do that internal processing, that internal dialogue. And then my response might be, “Oh yeah, when he said, or she said, this, I took offense at it because I felt like it was a slam. I felt like it was an insult to me.” So-

Jeff:

So slowing down, right? Because it’s almost like a tit-for-tat sometimes, and it’s just slowing down, a little breath, taking a few seconds. It could be uncomfortable because it hasn’t been done before, it’s not that tit-for-tat. It’s just going, “Okay, let me get a little perspective here, a little breathing room, a little sense of where to move on next.”

Terry:

Right. Well, and then the reaction might be, “Okay, I don’t want to come across angry. That’s a decision I’ve made in my head. I want to come across as I’m curious.” So what I tell my clients is, it’s really, really hard to be angry and curious. Try it sometime. If you’re angry, it’s usually because you’ve come to a decision you’re not curious anymore. So it’s really hard to be angry and curious. So get curious and say, “I’m wondering why that affected me so badly. I’m wondering why he said it or she said it,” and then out of the curiosity then form your question and the question or the comment you might want to make back to that person is, “Wow! That really hurt. It sounds like you’re just really… that was quite the insult.”

Jeff:

Right.

Terry:

You’re telling that person the stuff that’s underneath the anger, you’re telling that person, “This is what happened.” You’re not giving it to them out of anger, you’re giving it to them out of curiosity. “Hey, why didn’t you just say that? That really hurt.” What do you think your response would be if somebody said that to you?

Jeff:

Well, yeah, you’re going to be like, “Oh, okay. Well… ” I mean, there’s just more of that sort of a fertile ground to cultivate some discussion.

Terry:

Right. Because then as a receiver on that end of it, you’re probably going to lean in and go, “Oh wow! I didn’t… ” Half the time it might be, “Why didn’t you?” “No, I never meant that. That was a slip of the tongue. I’m so sorry.” Or it might be a rare thing where you might say, “Yeah, I kind of did because I was angry about something else.” And then you get into this discussion about what’s really going on under the surface.

Jeff:

So a key word is curiosity, isn’t it?

Terry:

Yeah. Because otherwise a reaction might be, I get angry and say something back to you and you get angry at me and now we’ve got our fight or flight syndrome going between the two of us and we’re going to get into a really good fight.

Jeff:

Right. So a little curiosity, a few deep breaths can do amazing things, right?

Terry:

Absolutely. I think that works on a lot of different levels. We talked before on another podcast about politics and what happens, and I think this is one of those things, again, staying curious is one of the best ways to stay out of the anger zone.

Jeff:

Right. Right. And, yeah, and we don’t have as much as we think sometimes we have got the solution for the problem. There’s curiosity getting more input to be open. That really is a sign of maturity, right?

Terry:

Oh, sure.

Jeff:

Higher emotional intelligence and maturity, and it seems like we would all like to be a little bit more mature and…

Terry:

Well, it helps us to respond rather than react.

Jeff:

Right. Right. Well, thanks for joining us today on this podcast. Again, we want to talk about those topics that are really important to talk about and at the core of Journey are healthy relationships. At the core of Journey is that seven session coaching process where you can find someone, a guy to guy, girl to girl, couple to couple, and sit down and just start having some very good conversations to really focus on yourself as you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Hey, how can I bring a better version of myself to the world?” And we will promise you, promise, promise, that if you do the work, it’s worth it. That your bucket will be filled, that you will be happier, healthier, find more peace, patience and joy and that the people around you will also find more peace, patience and joy.

Jeff:

Yeah, so plug in to Journey and it’s a start to start building those relationships. You can contact us in many different ways and just reach out to us through the website at journeycoaching.org, and we appreciate you listening. And Terry, thank you so much for coming out of the counseling office and sharing some insights that… Again, you’re seen every day, right?

Terry:

Oh, yeah, and I love doing this. I love being able to kind of share some things with people on a broad scale so they can kind of work on their relationships. So I can only see one person at a time.

Jeff:

Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. So let’s do the coaching thing. Again, counseling is great, but a lot of us do the coaching thing so we might not have to necessarily go into the counseling office.

Terry:

There you go-

Jeff:

All right.

Terry:

Trying to put us out of business.

Jeff:

There you go. Thanks for listening.

Jeff:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Jeff:

(singing).

Negative Political Climate

The idea of 2 parties wrestling through politics isn’t a hard image to visualize. What is going on in the political sphere is creating this dichotomy of unrest in our nation with both parties seeing their own way as the only solution to the problems our nation is facing. In the face of a gloomy political climate, Jeff and Terry offer encouragement to those who are bombarded by the negatives.


Transcription of the Podcast


Jeff:

If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that. Welcome to another Journey Podcast. Today we are going to take a deep dive into politics but in a way that’s maybe a little different because we all know that there is a huge, huge negative vibe out there. And what we want to do with this podcast in the midst of all this political unrest feuding, is really offer some encouragement to family and friends that may be on opposing sides to maybe offer encouragement to people that are just bombarded by the negatives that are going on.

Jeff:

So yeah, we’re going to do that today. We’ve actually got Terry Carlson here and Terry is a licensed full time counselor and we thought maybe that would be a good perspective to have because really we can draw some parallels between the whole political climate and sometimes in marriage where you have couples that are fighting. So we thought we try to draw some parallels there and-

Terry:

Oh yeah, definitely.

Jeff:

… some things. So welcome Terry.

Terry:

Hi. Well, and I think you’ve got a really good point there. It’s really difficult when family and friends are on opposing sides. I remember growing up my mom and dad would go voting and they always talked about canceling each other’s votes out because one would vote for one party and one would vote for the other, but they’d still go do it and they smile and laugh as they did that. But I think you’re right, I think there’s just a lot of negativity out there now.

Jeff:

Right, right. Well, and I think years ago we could almost smile and laugh about some of those things and I think it seems to have gotten to a level now where the tone is just so deeply negative that the hope is here that today we can offer a little bit of constructive and positive solutions and ideas for addressing some of these things. So yeah, why don’t we dive in? I think one of the things that we have to say is that oftentimes… And you tell me if this is on target off target or somewhere in the middle, but oftentimes we look at differences, but don’t we really need to look at what we have in common, whether you’re dealing with couples or whether we are trying to solve problems from a political standpoint.

Terry:

Absolutely. I think sometimes if you can get down to what do we have in common and what do we really want at core? I think a lot of times what happens is we fight over, we come up with a solution to the problems that we think are out there and we fight over or we argue over those solutions. This is the right solution, that’s the right solution.

Jeff:

Our individual solution. Right?

Terry:

Our individual solutions. Instead of coming together and trying to solve problems as a team and saying, “Hey, how do we identify the question, what’s the problem and can we agree on the nature of the problem first before we start talking about what possible solutions are out?”

Jeff:

And here’s what’s crazy, just as an example that I noticed during the last State of The Union Address, the call went out that lower drug prices… We need to get lower drug prices and half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, great.” They’re standing and cheering. The other half of the chamber was like, “Oh yeah, there’s sombering.” So I think it’s gone down to a level that we’re missing the underlying mission where in this case it was lower drug prices. So we all not get excited about who lower drug prices. That’s the thing that we have in common that we would all like. Well, I guess 99.9% except I guess if you’re on the receiving end of the drug company, but the vast majority, right? We want lower drug prices. So, is that sort of it trying to find that common point that we can look at, tune out all the noise and then go, “Oh, let’s get after this. Let’s get all about this solution to this problem.”

Terry:

Right. I think… But again, as I said before, I think it’s important to identify what’s the real issue, what’s the real problem underlying all of it. It may be like you said, lower drug prices. It may be something totally different and that may be the reasons why the other side didn’t really clap and cheer and all that stuff because they’re seeing the problem from a different lens. And I think just getting to that place where we talk about what’s the lens I’m seeing the problem through? How do I define the problem? When I’ve worked with couples in my office, a lot of times I’ll ask them, can you both agree on the problem, name the problem and make sure that you’re both agreeing on that first. The next step I have them do is brainstorm. I say, before you come up with a solution, I want you to brainstorm all the possible solutions out there. Don’t, don’t pick out one and say, this is my favorite solution. Just what are all the possible solutions?

Terry:

Sit down with a notepad and say, “Okay, well we could do this or we could do that or we could do this or somebody else could do this.” And list out all the different ones, even if they sound stupid when you say them. Don’t even go through trying to problem solve until you’ve listed all the different possible solutions. Once you’ve thought of the solutions, then start talking about each one of them and the pros and cons of each possible solution. Once you’ve done that, you can kind get to a place where you can vote on your favorite solutions. And a lot of times your number one, two and three are going to look different than my number one, two and three. But we may both agree on the two. “Hey, maybe we’ve got an actual solution that would work there to both of our satisfaction.

Jeff:

All right, right. How do you know when to… And now we’re talking about more of, again in family situations and so forth. How do you know when to speak up and when to keep your mouth shut?

Terry:

That’s a great question. When in doubt keep your mouth shut.

Jeff:

Oh, okay.

Terry:

I tell some of my couples too, God gave us two ears and one mouth and I think that means we’re supposed to listen twice as much as we speak.

Jeff:

Right? Right. Well, and to hear what the other person is saying. So for instance, when I’m talking with somebody, I try to seek their view and really get their heart on it. Where are they coming from?

Terry:

That’s a really good idea.

Jeff:

Because maybe their solution isn’t necessarily the solution I would have at first pass, but… And I’m thinking about somebody in particular when they’re talking about the whole healthcare thing. It’s like, “Well, he has a great heart for people. He really wants to help people.” So again, what can we find in common and how can we get to that common ground? Something also to point out here is sort of the… I guess it’s a perspective thing maybe.

Terry:

Sure.

Jeff:

Everybody’s vote matters. It really does, right? We live in a democracy and it’s really great that we can go out and we can cast a vote, but I think the perspective of matters here to that our votes are one out of millions and that matters, but what really matters, is your life and your one-on-one interactions with people. And so maybe we can dive into that a little bit here because there is a lot of armchair quarterback and if you compare it to sports, we all have our teams, right? Let’s go Iowa, go Cyclones, go Hawks. But at the end of the day, we’re not playing in that game. We’re just cheering them on. And so like the political arena, we can cheer on our favorite politician, but we kind of step back from armchair quarterbacking and look ourselves in the mirror and say, “What can I do? What can I do?” For instance, talk about human rights things or homelessness or whatever.

Jeff:

“What can I do for instance, in terms of homelessness? Where can I get involved?” And I think that’s something that perspective thing, there’s just… And let me just toss this out and see if you agree or disagree Terry. But I just see a lot of lost human potential armchair quarterbacking where we could take that energy and oftentimes very deep energy and really go out and do something with that. So, another question that comes up here is, what do you do when you feel strongly that how someone else votes can negatively affect the direction of the country? You’re passionate about this issue and you’re talking to someone and you’re like, “Oh, why are they…” They’re not getting it. They’re just not getting it.

Terry:

Right. No. I think the question you just asked, it really gets to the heart of why the political climate is such a terrible thing for most people. A lot of people are… You’re sweating this, this is huge. There’s this really, really strong feeling that if you vote the wrong direction and if enough of you’s out there vote the wrong direction, then my country is going to suffer from this. And the perspective and the passion. You’ve got people who… I think if our son and how he really, really dives into this and researches something and he picks the best solution in his mind and it feels like if somebody isn’t going to… If the rest of the world or if somebody else votes the wrong way, then our country is going downhill really, really fast. And I think that’s a really important piece of this whole thing. And what I would say in response to that is to just be aware of how much it plays in the polarizing effect of the media and the news that’s out there.

Terry:

It’s really… When I talk about… When I’m talking with couples, a lot of times what I’m really struggled against with individual couples is this all or nothing thinking that it’s all one thing or it’s all another thing. It’s that all or nothing thinking that gets us into a lot of trouble. What happens with all or nothing thinking, is that it takes a grain of truth, is there a possibility that something bad could happen? Yes, but it takes a grain of truth, but it blows it up to 100%. And it’s saying, “Oh my gosh, if this person gets into the White House or into the Senate or whatever, oh, my gosh our world is ending as we know it kind of feeling. And the reality is that most things are not all or nothing. Most things.

Terry:

If we can just kind of back down a little bit and say, “No, wait a minute.” I think one of the best things to ask yourself is what’s the worst case scenario? What’s the absolute worst case scenario? And then play that forward and ask yourself if that worst case scenario, if this politician gets elected or if this politician gets elected, what’s the worst thing that I can imagine happening and play that forward and ask yourself, how would I survive that or what’s next or what would happen then? We may find that when you play that tape forward in your mind, you find that, “Oh, okay, so the world doesn’t end, the sky’s falling, it may not be my favorite thing, but in another two or four years we can reelect somebody who comes in and fixes things back.” I think it’s just reminding ourselves that the worst case scenarios rarely ever happen.

Jeff:

Right, right. And to keep in perspective, unless you just get raw here for a minute, there’s just a lot of media coverage out there that is just absolutely fueling this and it’s big money, it’s on different media that’s out there and it’s just a lot of talk that sort of fuel for the fire, right? You take the problems, but then you sort of toss this gas that media tosses on this and it really inflames that. Right?

Terry:

And if you step back and ask yourself, what’s the motive for a lot of these things? Whether it’s the news media or it’s the stuff you see on Facebook. Ask yourself, what’s the motive there? In a lot of the cases it’s to sell more advertising. It’s not to get a certain person or a certain idea or to get the country to come together. I’m guessing that most… CNN and Fox and all the other ones that we could name, I’m guessing that they don’t really get a lot of money when everybody speaks nice to each other-

Jeff:

And everybody agrees and-

Terry:

Everybody agrees.

Jeff:

… [inaudible 00:13:21] get along.

Terry:

Right. So, they get more money by more advertisers because they’ve got more viewers because people are inflamed and they encourage that kind of thing. If we just back away from that ourselves individually and say, “I’m not going to keep buying into that, I’m going to listen to both Fox and CNN. I’m going to try to find out, I’m going to try to just read the actual laws that are being passed, I’m going to try to make my own opinions from things.” We don’t get into that black and white thinking.

Jeff:

Well, I think… I come from business world and I think we need to learn something. And really… I learned some of it, it really put our business hats on when we go into the political realm. And that doesn’t say a business person has to be a politician. I’m not saying that, but there are some business principles which really evolve around and focus on solving the problem. Right? If we’ve got an issue going on, if I’ve got a business issue and I have got a situation where there’s something I’ve got to solve, I bring people around the table and we sit down and we come up with solutions for that.

Terry:

Sure. And a lot of that’s happening in our politicians. We don’t realize it because they don’t hit the news. But there are hundreds of bills that get passed that are bi-partisan, they both-

Jeff:

Why?

Terry:

They come around the table, they solve the problems, they meet the needs of the people out there and those things don’t hit the news.

Jeff:

And when they do, they start to get overlooked. And just to raise one up here, specifically, in the last year, the prison reform, that was something that you had people on both sides of the aisle go on, this is really a good step and this has taken years to move that forward. And this is really a positive stuff. So, let’s say, yay. Let’s do more of those kinds of things.

Terry:

When we just look at the negatives, that’s all we see. We go to bed at night with that terrible taste in the back of our stomach. When we try to look at what’s good and what’s bad. A lot of times we have a better outlook.

Jeff:

Right, right. Well, I’m going back to our family members and stuff. Our son and… At the end of the day, my relationship with him is top priority. So, we can see things differently politically, but I have a just locked and loaded in my mind that that relationship is above anything else. So, I think it’s going into that discussion, going into that… If you are a politician, going into that room and sitting around the table and saying relationships are really important here. This mission is really important, but let’s get together and roll up our sleeves and get about doing what we’re here to do in a way that honors each other.

Terry:

In that case, you’re talking two different levels, you’re talking about just around the table, you and your son and then the politicians around the table.

Jeff:

Exactly, yeah.

Terry:

And I think both of them can benefit from that advice.

Jeff:

Both of those. Right, right. Sometimes maybe us folks, us voters need to maybe model this and encourage our politicians to do what could be healthy and helpful. But yeah, politics is temporary and there’s going to be Republicans leading at times, there’s going to be Democrats leading at times, maybe some independents at times. Whatever the party is, but that will change… But really beyond the whole political climate is that eternal perspective and the spiritual matters and the whole reality that there is a spiritual part to our life that we’re only here for a short time and God is in control and people will hear that and go, “Well, yeah, but I don’t really believe that,” but lean into that for a little bit. Just go, “Okay, the sun will come up tomorrow.”

Terry:

Well, we hope so.

Jeff:

We hope so. So, as we’re wrapping up today, let’s tie this back to journey and what we’re here to help with in Journey coaching. Again, Journey coaching is all about intentional healthy relationships. And Terry, did you just want to throw out a thought there of just… The other thing that we should mention here is Terry helped to… And really was instrumental in writing the seventh session coaching workbook for Journey. And just how you see that workbook and people sitting down one-on-one tying into this whole negative political climate and how it might be helpful.

Terry:

Oh, absolutely. I think where it can come in handy is if you’re a person who has been kind of isolated from other people, you’ve been just sitting in front of the TV or just in front of your screen somehow and getting more and more upset over the political climate. Find somebody, find a friend, talk to… Get away from the screen, talk to somebody else from different opinions, get a coach, find somebody who’s willing to sit down with you. We’ve got this really great coaching process, it’s seven sessions where you learn how your story fits in with everybody else’s story and you learn about your strengths and maybe your weaknesses.

Terry:

And you put them all together and try to decide, Basically how do I move forward myself? And it takes your eyes off of the bigger thing, the political climate that’s out there and it gets it back onto how do I work on my own personal relationships and how do I build myself? It really comes down to the relationships we have and how we interact with them on a one on one basis that matters more to our lives than what’s going on in the bigger picture.

Jeff:

Well, that’s a great point Terry, because I think sometimes and we’ve talked about this before, you sort of have to have the discussion before the discussion. I think oftentimes we could all use some help of just how to sit down with another person, another couple, because again, Journey Coaching, do it one-on-one or couple to couple, but just how to have good open, honest conversations, right?

Terry:

Right.

Jeff:

That’s huge.

Terry:

And we’re going to talk about this more in another podcast. We’ve got some ideas coming up and how do we handle disagreements without beating each other up, that sort of thing.

Jeff:

Right,

Terry:

So, I’m looking forward to diving more into that topic-

Jeff:

Right, exactly.

Terry:

… time.

Jeff:

Well, and you talked about… In just closing here, you talked about a journey starts with sharing our stories with each other. And when we look at politics, we are in unison together all Americans. That’s the common thread we have here when we share our stories. And as-

Terry:

Unless you’re listening to this from another country.

Jeff:

That’s right. Would that be fun? But… So yeah, as we’re just trying to navigate this climate, let’s start there realizing that we are all Americans and let’s just talk well and humbly and with patience and to just pull the joy that we do have out of living in this really wonderful country. So, thanks again for listening, we appreciate that. As always, let us know how we can serve you. You can reach out to us in a variety of different ways and you can just check us out on The Journey website, thejourneycoaching.org. Thanks.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us @journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey@journeycoaching.org.

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE BUSINESS OWNERS WHO WANT TO SHARE THEIR FAITH AT WORK.

Have you stopped to think about the legacy you are creating? Part of the legacy that we are leaving is how we talk about God in the environments that we are in the most. Today on the podcast, Jeff, Don, Doug and Sarah offer encouragement to business leaders who want to share their faith at work but aren’t sure where to start.


Transcription of the Podcast


Doug:

It’s not about that. And that’s the sad thing is that getting people to have this grand understanding that it’s not about what we have here today. It’s not about what we have five years from now. It’s about the legacy that you’re creating and where you are going to be when all of this is over with.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Doug:

My name’s Doug Wagner, your guest host for this edition of the podcast, sitting with Jeff Carlson. Jeff, good afternoon.

Jeff:

Good afternoon.

Doug:

Thanks for allowing me to take this chair.

Jeff:

Thank you for just jumping into that chair.

Doug:

This is a wonderful idea. Don Evans along with us as well. One of the most fabulous voices I’ve ever heard. Don.

Don:

How you’re doing today, Doug?

Doug:

Wonderful.

Don:

Glad to be here, which I hope to learn some stuff.

Doug:

Could you say the alphabet to me?

Don:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G.

Doug:

And that’s the show, right there. That’s all it is. And Sarah Banowetz, whose studios we’re in, Banowetz Marketing and Communications. Thanks for freeing up your studios.

Sarah:

Thanks for being here.

Doug:

Well, okay, it’s something, especially this time of year when we get toward the big game, you have national championship games. March Madness is right around the corner. You have lots of athletes. You’re going out there and these athletes at the end of the game, they say, “Well, first of all, I want to thank my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ for helping me become the person that I am today.” And you get a lot of people kind of look funny at them. They used to look more funny at them until Tim Tebow came along.

Don:

Amen.

Doug:

Saw somebody who is really kind of the real deal. The question that we’re dealing with in this podcast today is, what if you took that same passion for Christ and you transferred it into a boardroom or into a business setting? Now, we were talking before about being at a conference where you had a number of people up on stage talking about what makes their company special or different, things like that. And the one thing that didn’t come up, Jeff, was…

Jeff:

The whole spiritual part, because I was really looking forward to this. This was a conference. It was about a very short compressed like hour and a half.

Doug:

Right, right.

Jeff:

It had all these-

Doug:

Panel talk.

Jeff:

Yeah, panel talk. All of these successful business people and I’m like, “Oh, this’ll be great.” We get to the end and there’s like zero mention of anyone’s faith or their spiritual walk or anything like that. And I’m like, “Well, somebody’s got to have something there.”

Doug:

Do you think it’s absent from what their life is or do you think it’s just something they may be scared of saying?

Jeff:

My sense is, it is something that people are just scared of. We don’t all have the spiritual gift of evangelism, like Sarah, so. But even beyond that, I think sometimes, there’s just so much noise out there on social media and people get attacked. And so, I think some of us, we just maybe get scared.

Doug:

Right.

Don:

Could be some men kind of feel inferior over it and just don’t want to… It’s been rough for me being a roughneck to lean into that based on all the people that I grew up with and around. They’re like, “What do you mean, Don’s going all this Jesus thing now.” And I get that a lot and I’m like, “Yeah, well, it’s pretty cool. You ought to try it.”

Sarah:

Wait, what do you mean by inferior though?

Doug:

Yeah, that’s what I was going to ask you. Explain what you mean.

Don:

Confidence.

Doug:

They feel that you’re inferior?

Don:

No. I think we do. I think we are afraid. When I first started being very public about my Christianity, even as forward as I am, I struggled with it, Doug. I mean, I just like, yeah, I don’t want to tell everybody. I mean, it’s just going to shock the whole world. But once you do it for a little bit, it’s like anything. It’d be like we talked about this morning. Now, it’s just become a habit. So now, I’m codependent on Jesus. I think that’s pretty cool.

Doug:

That’s not a bad spot to be.

Don:

Yeah, I think we’re good with that, right?

Doug:

Exactly. Sarah, what are the two things that we’re taught not to talk about in polite company?

Sarah:

Politics and religion.

Doug:

Okay. You think that might be part of it and it’s just being, that’s polite company at that point? Or is there, I mean, is there a place in the corporate environment for maybe evangelism or sharing one’s belief in Christ?

Sarah:

I think people might, business owners might be concerned that they will get sued too, in our day and age. I don’t think anyone really knows what the rules are. There is that talk about the separation of church and government, and we use that in schools. And how does that translate into the working world? I mean…

Doug:

Yeah.

Sarah:

Yeah.

Doug:

Legally, I mean, that’s a completely different proposition. It’s that whole concept of the first amendment as freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. I think so many people have interpreted it as it’s freedom from religion. So, they think everywhere they go, they could be free from somebody pushing it on them. But in a corporate environment, have you been around people who have said, “Hey, let’s take the opportunity to have a moment in prayer?” Or even something as benign as, “A moment of reflection so we can open up our minds and our hearts to what we’re doing today.” Have you ever been in a situation like that, Sarah?

Sarah:

I have done that at Banowetz Marketing.

Doug:

Okay.

Sarah:

I also know that… I’m part of EntreLeadership, which is Dave Ramsey’s business leadership program. And I know that at-

Doug:

Never heard of him.

Sarah:

I know that-

Jeff:

He’s on your station, man.

Sarah:

I know that Dave Ramsey does that with his company.

Doug:

Oh, that guy, he’s going places.

Jeff:

Yeah, right.

Sarah:

But otherwise, I don’t really have experience with that.

Doug:

For you, Jeff, what about you? You can maybe… And I know where you stand personally, but have you been in environments where it’s available, it’s an opening?

Jeff:

Other than my own business that I’ve… This’ll be our 28th year. We’ve certainly incorporated, very intentionally, being open to God’s leading with the people that work there, and even some outreach things. In fact, a few years ago, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Andy Stanley, but he’s got some very good teaching. And we actually invited people in to listen to some of his little teaching segments, so. But no, other than the company I own and run, no, I haven’t.

Sarah:

Well, have you? I mean…

Doug:

Yes.

Sarah:

Okay.

Doug:

Oh, yes, definitely. There’s a couple of different areas, in fact. As a leader of a nonprofit housing agency, I was… One of the things we did is, we had that act of prayer. But in addition to that, go into places where people had moved out or people were going to move in, pray for the people who left, pray for the people who came in, and this was something that was very reflective. Don, wanted to come back to you real quick because this is something where I worked with what you called yourself. I worked with roughnecks when I worked at an affordable housing agency. It took a while of seeing that, but what your experience was in corporate farming, was that a place where it was welcome at all or-

Don:

No.

Doug:

It was not something-

Don:

When I was in corporate America, in the agriculture business, all through the ’80s, ’90s and even the 2. The last go around with that was in 2012. There was nothing involved with any prayer of any kind there, just excessive amounts of drinking after work. It was horrible. If you even mentioned the word Jesus around there, you got the deer in the headlights look.

Doug:

Exactly. Well, the only way somebody would is that, “Oh, Jesus, I’ve got a headache.” And that’s when they came, from the hangover the next day. So, how do we do something about them? Is it something that we should be doing something about, is finding a way to bring spirituality into the boardroom, into the business environment? Or is it just a matter, Jeff, of saying, “I’m going to be an example for what Jesus can do in my life and by living that example, people can see it.”

Jeff:

Oh, yeah, that’s a great question. So, one of the things that I have drawn a line on is, we do not want to use Jesus to sell cars. I’m in the car business. Because I think too oftentimes then, in these kind of settings, we sort of put our faith out there and we wear it on our sleeve. And it’s like, “Well, gee, I am a good person. I’m a Christian. See? I’ve got my Jesus fish on the wall. Buy from me.” And I think that is, you really got to be careful there. For me, I’ve just drawn a line in the sand and I… In fact, people come in some time and they’ll say, “Well, Jeff, we’ve heard you run a Christian business.” And I go, “Oh, hang on here a second. If you hear that, still do your due diligence. Still walk in with eyes wide open because we don’t sell the perfect car. There isn’t that perfect car out there. You still need to do your due diligence, get it checked out,” so on and so forth.

Jeff:

So, I do think we have to be careful when and how, but I think we need to be open to those promptings. And for me, it’s after that sale’s been done or with employees and staff, to sort of sense, “Okay, what might be an opening here? And what opening might I actually walk through and be bold and clear?”

Sarah:

And I think one of the concerns that I have as I’m sitting here thinking about this is, we write the paychecks. So, how can we say, “Oh, you guys, it’s not mandatory, but we’re going to do a Bible study every Tuesday at lunchtime” or whatever. But then, I mean, you do realize that the employees are sitting there thinking, “Oh, well, that person writes my check.”

Doug:

They sign the paycheck.

Sarah:

Yeah. And so, I don’t want to manipulate or force anyone to do something that they’re not comfortable with it.

Doug:

Yeah. I think that’s some of actually, the court cases that have been in the past and they’ve had decisions one way and then they’ve had decisions another. What about, Sarah, just the whole concept of saying, “You know what? We are a Christian-based business.” Like Jeff said, “We don’t sell the biblically perfect car, but we’re going to do like every other failing Christian, which we all are. We’re going to do the best that we can to live within the rules set by the tenets of Christianity.” And regardless of the Bible study, is that fair game for employers? Is that fair game for small businesses?

Sarah:

What would that look in practical, in practice?

Doug:

In practicality?

Sarah:

Yeah.

Doug:

Okay. Walk into the office. Do you have a cross up? Do you have a religious or faith-based poster? Is it something where you do have a Bible on your desk and a Bible study that you do, whether it’s with other people in the office somewhere? Just, you do it, you example it, but you don’t make a big to-do about it.

Sarah:

Exactly. And that is what that is. I agree with that. I mean, we hit two years for Banowetz Marketing last week and we went out for-

Doug:

Congratulations.

Sarah:

Thank you, I appreciate that. We went out for brunch together. And I did, it was, I mean, the first two years of a business is incredibly difficult and I did feel compelled that we should pray over our meal. And so, I asked one of my employees to do that and she did. But even that felt like walking the line because you’re in a public place and everyone’s bowing their head and stuff and I don’t know what the beliefs are of all of my team members, nor do I ask them. But that felt like walking the line. But yeah, I mean, I have a Bible in my office and…

Doug:

And Don, I mean, when we’re taking a look at something like this, when you look at the ability for it, people are individuals. You’re also a truck driver. You have a completely different atmosphere in which to do that as well. Because there are some long-haul truck drivers I know. They’re the most competent, faithful Christians I’ve ever met because they have a lot of study time on the road that they take advantage of. And how do you, I mean, how can you on the road, how can you be an example for other people? Maybe not in a corporate atmosphere, but say for example, if you’ve got a group of people that run roughly the same route, and you see them over and over again, can you figure out a way to work Jesus into the conversation, where you’re not beating them about the head and neck with the Bible?

Don:

Oh, yeah. It was pretty simple. I’d done it for years, even before I would be what I would consider myself now, a follower of Jesus Christ. And I mean, I’ve said it in podcasts before, Doug, I’m on the Jesus train. I hear people, farmers back in the day, before I’ve gotten this devoted to Christianity, and as recently as now in the last week when his name is used in vain, and we’re not going to say it, but we all know what it is, the listeners do too, is just say, “No, he didn’t. He walked on water.” And they’re just like, “What?” I’m like, “No, think about what you just said. You used his name in vain, but the man walked on water and he died on a cross for us. So, could we just kind of skip over that from now on?” And luckily enough, based on my body size and my voice, I have not got any pushback on that other than-

Doug:

No.

Don:

They just turn and walk by me and go, “Okay, whatever, boss.”

Doug:

It’s definitely understandable. Definitely understandable. One of the things that you brought up, I think, that really sort of is, I guess, the concept, when you’re taking a look at people, the way that popular culture has denigrated, not just Christianity, but most other faiths too, in they’ve just completely diluted it down to something where people, if you say, “Well, Jesus Christ had walked on water,” “Well, that’s just because he didn’t know how to swim.” They tried to make him imperfect. With the point comes down it’s like, we’re imperfect beings as followers of Christ, and you admitted that. I admit that. But there’s an expectation, I think, of people who are Christians, who do believe that they live by the red letters. They’ve got to follow those red letters right down to the T and if you don’t, then you’re a hypocrite. What’s the difference between a hypocrite and a sinner? I mean, in reality, what is the difference between a hypocrite and a sinner?

Sarah:

Nothing, except for the fact that the hypocrite says that they’re not a sinner.

Doug:

There you go.

Don:

Yeah. Because we’re all sinners. I mean, the whole world gets the fact that we’re a sinner. Our pastor at church, our interim pastor, everybody noticed it right away. He opens every sermon in prayer, Doug. And right in the very beginning of the prayer he said, “Lord, forgive me because I know that I too am a sinner and I just hope that you open up the hearts of everybody.” He admits it every single week, four times a weekend, that “I am a sinner.” And we all are. And going back to what you said about Tim Tebow, and take the Kurt Warners of the world-

Doug:

Oh, yeah.

Don:

From Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I’ve watched Kurt, I’ve seen him in person. I shook his hand. So, what I would say and what I’ve been trying to do since October of last year, late teen, is be bold about it, and not be afraid of it. Because what do I got to lose? If there is no heaven and I’m walking around telling people about Jesus, then it doesn’t work out. At least I’ve had a lot of hope. And like Jeff says, about using Andy Stanley. I mean, I hope everybody in the world hears this. If a guy can predict his own death and resurrection in three days and pull it off, how are you going to deny that he’s not Jesus Christ, our Lord?

Doug:

Exactly.

Don:

It just blows my mind.

Doug:

Yeah. Well, let’s bring it back to the beginning here real quick. Talking with Don Evans, with Sarah Banowetz and Jeff Carlson, the original posit that we had out there was this concept that, why are businesses, why are business leaders maybe hesitant or reticent to address their spiritual relationship when they’re talking about the things that help them in their business, formulate what they do on a daily base, when you’re talking a best of kind of panel? I’m going to throw this out there and see what you think about it.

Doug:

Every business leader is expected to be perfect within their business. You look at Boeing, the big mistakes that were made here over the past year with regard to the 737 Max and some other things. They’re expected to be absolutely bulletproof. Maybe the idea that by stating your Christian principles that you are not standing on your own, but you’re standing on the shoulders of a risen savior, that makes you a little bit weaker, like you were talking about. What do you think about that idea from the outside looking in? Could that be a possibility, of why individuals are not interested because they’re not taking responsibility for their own actions? They’re leading at the foot of the cross.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Don:

Well, let’s go a step further, Doug. Let’s be honest. Totally honest. I just had a meeting with a quote-unquote leader, not a church leader, but a leader in a church atmosphere.

Doug:

Right.

Don:

We had this conversation and his comment to me was, “I don’t know that I’m based in the question you’re asking me, Don. I know I’m not really sure that I’m probably leading quite as well as I should be.” And I said, “I know.” Since I’ve been a young boy, I had been taught by old farmers. Some lead, some follow, and some just get the heck out of the way. And I just feel that leaders in corporate America don’t properly know how to lead. And they’re too afraid to step up and say, “No, this is what we’re going to do. This is the way it’s going to be. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. We’re going to lead this way. This is how I want my company to run.”

Don:

You’re doing it with your people, praying over lunch. And there’s a few athletes out there, they’re doing it. And I don’t know why everybody’s afraid to just say it. It’s just like it’s killing people to say, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, and without him, we’re all dust.” You can’t work your show and do what you do without Christ. I know you can’t. I don’t even know if you’re a believer. I just met you today.

Doug:

But here’s the thing. Some people, they don’t believe it. Or if they believe it, they just, it’s kind of in the periphery of what they do. It’s not the core of what they do. And I think that’s a big part of it.

Jeff:

Amen.

Don:

They like to pick and choose what they want to follow.

Doug:

You’re right. And we can’t stop them from doing that. That’s, I mean… So then, the question is, again, when you have individuals like that, is there something that we can do as individuals to help raise them up? Is there something we can do as individuals around them in order to empower them? Or is this just, you give them a direction, you pray, and then let Christ do what Christ does? Jeff?

Jeff:

Well, and I think a couple of things there, Doug. One is, to your point, as a first step to realize, none of us are perfect. So, if I’m a business leader and I’m out there giving a presentation on what has made me quote-unquote successful, I need to realize if I stand up and talk about my faith, I’m not perfect. There’s no perfect business person out there. So, I think just realizing that is helpful. And then the other thing is, just what Don talked about, the fear thing too, right? I mean, there’s just that fear of, okay, if I mention something spiritual, if I sort of blur the line of this separation, as much as that’s been mis-queued and mis-skewed, mis-talked about, separation of church and state.

Jeff:

But as long as I’m willing to step into that and blur that a little bit and say, “Well, this is a part of who I am, emotional, physical, and spiritual,” it’s all important. And if I’m willing to just step out there and in some appropriate way communicate that, I need to, “Okay, deep breath.” Yeah, might be a little scary. It might be. I don’t have the gift of evangelism, I just don’t do it naturally, but ought I not think about, “Yeah, I can do that. I can do that.” First couple of times, it might be a little scary.

Sarah:

Well, I think the piece that’s missing from this conversation is the why. Why would… Our business leaders doing it, why or why not? But the big why, which is, why would it even be needed that a business owner would need to say anything at all? And I had just gotten back from… Jeff made me… He is my father. So, although I’m in my late 30s, he still makes me do things.

Jeff:

It ain’t easy, though.

Jeff:

Here’s how I make Sarah do something. I say, “Sarah, don’t go do that.” “No, I’m going to help you.”

Sarah:

So, he sent me off to a leaders…

Don:

I have witnessed this happen.

Sarah:

Yeah, Don knows our relationship, Jeff and I, our relationship very well. So, Jeff sent me off to Chicago in December, this last month. And it was about city catalyst movements. Essentially, business leadership, and mixing business leadership and Christianity and impacting society as a result. And one of the speakers said that, and I did not know this, but when we’re talking about actual fishing, 90% of the world’s fish that we consume and use for products and stuff are caught in 10% of the world’s bodies of water.

Sarah:

So, let’s just say that again. 90% of the world’s fish that we use are caught in 10% of the world’s bodies of water. And so, what good fishermen know is that they go where the fish are at. So, they don’t fish where there’s not fish. And so, they were essentially saying that in today’s day and age, the fish, and this was two pastors. The speech was two pastors that I was just there at and they said that that’s where the… What would I say?

Doug:

Go to where the fertile soil is.

Sarah:

Yeah, go where the fertile soil is. And they were just calling to action pastors and saying, “You really do need to pay attention to the businesses in your church body, because you get to talk with your congregation on Sunday morning. But the business leaders are leaving your congregation on Sunday morning. And they are the ones that are interacting with the community where the fish are at, where the fertile soil is, the rest of the week. And so, you really need to take those business leaders seriously.” As a result, the global leadership summit started years ago. How many years ago, Dad?

Jeff:

Oh, my golly, yeah, decades.

Sarah:

It started as a training to train up pastors, and what it has morphed into is training for business leaders and their teams. And so, this is a nice plug for the upcoming global leadership summit in August, where business leaders can bring their teams and hear Craig Groeschel, Lysa TerKeurst, just some big names in the secular world, and in the Christian world, to teach their leadership teams and just their staff on solid leadership principles.

Doug:

Making faith a seven-day-a-week object and enterprise.

Sarah:

Yes. Yes.

Doug:

I mean, really, that’s… I mean, I guess that’s really the big thing is pulling this from the middle of this conversation is taking faith out of just a one-day-a-week on Sunday or the two-day-a-week Sunday and Wednesday, and making it seven days a week, so that not only are you exampling but you’re also creating an environment in which it can grow.

Sarah:

And Doug, I’m going to throw a question back at you then.

Doug:

Yeah.

Sarah:

Why is that important? Why is it important that we have human beings living out a Christian faith seven days a week?

Doug:

Because you have examples everywhere you go.

Sarah:

But what does that do for humans?

Doug:

What does it do for you? It gives them the ability… Well, it does a number that I could sit here. That’s a 30-minute program [crosstalk 00:23:21] itself.

Jeff:

That’s another podcast.

Doug:

Yeah. That’s a whole nother [crosstalk 00:00:23:23].

Doug:

No, but what that does is, it gives them the opportunity to not only learn but also become mentors, so that they can spread this and other people can learn. And you also can draw one another together in community because we are meant to be a people of community in Christ. That’s the whole point of it is that you can worship on your own. You ask any… John McCain, great example, that the folks who were in those cages in Vietnam, they worshiped on their own, figured out a way to worship in community by tapping out in Morse code Sunday services. And then pretty soon, it became more than Sunday services.

Doug:

We need that kind of community. We need to be able to do that, as brother and sisterhood in Christ, because that brings us closer to our creator, closer to our maker. That brings us closer to the ideals that we want to example, not only for the people that we work with, but also for the people that we live with, walk down the street with, the people that I honked the horn at because they were stopped on a green arrow and they were driving through a red light.

Jeff:

Those people.

Doug:

I am so sorry about that. I do feel bad, but it’s like I was like, “Man, I’m really going to do this right now, and I just did that.” So, yeah, I-

Don:

You never prayed they’d go to heaven, but real soon?

Doug:

So, for me, that’s it. I don’t know if that was a right or wrong answer.

Sarah:

Well, no. And Don, the community that Doug was talking about, what has that meant to you?

Don:

The community?

Sarah:

The community.

Don:

The people around me?

Sarah:

Yeah, the community and people around you and living for Christ seven days a week.

Don:

Just the raining of blessings. That’s why I’m so on fire to share the word of Christ with everybody, because not just 14 or 15 months ago, you could have considered me a homeless person, and I was in solitude. Our current message up right now is loneliness that you and Terry and I did. I just listened to it for the first night since it’s been aired, but… And here’s something that I want to throw out, not to get any sympathy, and only Jeff and Sarah know this, Doug. I physically… Andy Stanley, we use him a lot and we’re going to, I think, in Journey. The coaches that coached me, Doug, go into the Mount Pleasant prison. I’ve got certified, I can go in there with them now. And we watch Andy Stanley messages. He talks about all the time that people that are young, getting out of college, “Oh, I’ve got to hurry up, I got to get married. I got to do this because time is not in my favor.”

Don:

And he said, “You’re wrong. Time is in your favor.” I’m circling back. So, bear with me. Okay, in my case, to be very candidly and not wanting sympathy from nobody, time is not in Don’s favor because of the way I’ve abused my health. It’s very, very poor. So, I share at meetings, recovery meetings, “Please, I beg of you, don’t wait so long to quit and break your addictions.” Because then I have to go contrary to what Andy Stanley says, and tell everybody that you don’t want to be me, that time is no longer in my favor. So, what time I have left, I want to utilize that to the best of my ability, and let anyone I can touch know that I’ve had blessings. I’ve reunited with my kids two weeks ago, 13-year gap. There’s just been all kinds of stuff to answer, why I want to tell everybody. Do I to need to say anymore? There’s so many things you can receive.

Sarah:

There is. Well, and if anyone-

Don:

And we get taught in church all the time, the more you sow, the more you reap. I’m a farmer. If we planted right, we got more bushels. The more people I touch with Jesus Christ, I just keep getting more blessings. So, let’s, it’s-

Sarah:

And there are lots of episodes of the Journey podcasts where… Go on the website, search for Don, and listen to several of the podcasts that he’s talked about. He dives into that deeper.

Doug:

Now, mind you, and we’re going to wrap there. We’re not going to Wrap on a negative note, but we do have to say is that in all realism, is that, Don, it is a blessing what’s happened with you. But even if none of that happened and you still are a follower of Jesus, those blessings, the ultimate blessings are in the hereafter.

Don:

Amen.

Doug:

Where you know that you are going to be in the presence of and the glory of Jesus, right? And that’s the big one, is there are a lot of people who say, “Well, what about those Christians that don’t get those blessings? What about if I’m a business leader and I throw my whole lot in with Jesus Christ and my business goes belly up and I’m homeless and I lose my wife, my kids, and my cars, and their education, their whole future?” It’s not about that. And that’s the sad thing is that getting people to have this grand understanding that it’s not about what we have here today. It’s not about what we have five years from now. It’s about the legacy that you’re creating and where you are going to be when all of this is over with.

Don:

Well, we were never promised there weren’t going to be storms in our lives, and we’re supposed to learn from the storms and the trials that we go through.

Doug:

Absolutely.

Don:

And so, there’s a lot of ways to look at that.

Doug:

So, Jeff, what’s the best way as business leaders, when you go back to a place like that and you have these business leaders sitting in front of you, what would you like to hear when they ask, best practices, within your life, within your companies?

Jeff:

Nothing pushed, nothing forced. Just open, honest, “Hey, here’s the spiritual part of my life.” Just incorporate it in. It doesn’t have to be a hundred percent of your talk, but at least have something there, if it’s there, and just share that clearly and boldly.

Doug:

All right. If you’re listening, you’re getting a good coaching right here, because this is the kind of stuff that you’re probably looking for. Take this to heart. These are words that are just off the cuff. None of this stuff has been rehearsed. My name’s Doug Wagner. I’ve been sitting here with Sarah Banowetz, Jeff Carlson, and Don Evans. And thank you for inviting me on this edition of the journey. I really appreciate it.

Jeff:

Well, thank you so much.

Don:

Thank you, Doug. I appreciate you being here.

Sarah:

Thanks for being on.

Sarah:

You’ve listened to another episode of the Journey podcast. We’re glad that you are with us. Feel free to like and subscribe on your favorite channels. And we will talk to you later. Thank you.

Announcer:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org. And check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Speaker 2:

Your life, your journey starts now.

Ian’s Journey To College

At one point or another, we all are faced with new stages in life. Fear of the unknown can feel paralyzing at times until another person shares their story. You quickly find out that you are not alone and that many others are facing the same fears and struggles as you are. Join Jeff and Ian today as they discuss Ian’s Journey to College.


Transcription of the Podcast


Ian:

And you don’t really realize it until you start meeting people and they all have the same struggles as you. And you’re like, “Oh, I’m not alone. I’m not the only one feeling this way.”

Speaker 4:

You life, your journey starts now.

Jeff:

Hello everybody. We are here with Another Journey podcast. I’m sitting across from Ian Crumley. Hello, Ian.

Ian:

Hello.

Jeff:

I’m Jeff Carlson. We’re going to talk a little bit about sort of this navigating the stage of life called transition from high schooler to college dude. The last time I saw you and he was leaving the studio and he was kind of looking a little sheepish going to Iowa State and now he’s sitting high in the saddle.

Ian:

Yes, sir.

Jeff:

First year freshmen looking good. So thinking back to my days in college as a guy going into college, I think the big questions were a number one, where are the women? And number two, where’s the beer? So I don’t know if this changed at all over the last number of years.

Ian:

There’s definitely a big part. A pretty, I don’t know, a toxic part of a lot of people going into college.

Jeff:

Well, it’s that first step away right from home. And I think some people really just get out there and it’s party time and other people it’s kind of say, no, I’m going to be serious about this. Yeah.

Ian:

Yeah. I think there’s been a more like radical shift towards the education part. There’s a lot of like student run groups and student run clubs that like promote like just leadership and education and studying habits and all that stuff. And even on my floor we have individual floor names for my dorm. I live in Joe Free hall and my dorm, we have a parliament and we have, I’m actually the education chair for my floor. So like I can print out posters to convince people to study more or print out fun facts about studying habits.

Jeff:

Ah, yeah.

Ian:

It’s not as serious as some other stuff, but it’s still fun.

Jeff:

Yeah. Well, and you had mentioned before we started talking this morning just about all of the different things that are available, all the different activities and all the different social activities and that kind of thing too. So, I mean there’s just a lot hitting young people as they wander into college, right?

Ian:

Yeah. Like I was saying earlier, you walk into the Memorial Union, which is the main building on campus and you could stay in there for about 30 minutes and find something to do every day for the rest of the week because there’s just so many opportunities and so many people looking for volunteers and so many people looking for members for their club that it’s almost like how can you not fill your time when you’re at college?

Jeff:

Right, right. So let me just, let’s take our listeners back here. So you’re literally driving, did you drive yourself or have like folks take you?

Ian:

Yeah, my parents took me.

Jeff:

Okay. So let’s go back to that moment because you know, you are driving into Iowa State and you’re looking at this place, “Hey, this is different, right? We’re not at mom and dad’s house anymore here.”

Ian:

No, we’re not.

Jeff:

So sort of take us through if you could those first hours, days of what it’s like to jump into that whole college experience if you’re willing to do that.

Ian:

Yeah, so definitely I was extremely excited. So essentially the whole car ride just because I didn’t really know what to expect. But I’ve gone through a lot of change in my life, I’ve moved three times and so change really isn’t super horrible for me as is for some people, like my girlfriend kind of had a rougher time getting into the college transition because she’s stayed in the same home since she’s been born. She’s grown up in the same school district. She’s never moved obviously. And then just going from being super close with her parents to not having parental figures at all in college was a huge transition. For me, it wasn’t so much just because rather I-

Jeff:

Go with the flow.

Ian:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeff:

And it’s an adventure. So it’s sort of that mindset of the person coming in. It’s like, is this an adventure or is this terrifying? Or somewhere in the middle. So with your girlfriend, kind of maybe looking at that in a little bit different way than you, did you kind of give her some, a little bit of coaching, a little informal coaching of how to kind of look at that?

Ian:

Yeah, sort of. I mean, I wanted her to get involved and busy because when you’re involved and busy, you forget about all the bad things essentially.

Jeff:

Yeah. You’re focused on the good, the positive.

Ian:

So there’s like Destination Iowa State, which was this freshman orientation program, which was interesting. Not super fun, but it kept us busy and so we did that and we went out to eat and stuff and just kept our mind off of things until it became normal almost. And so that allowed her specifically to like relax and get settled in and finally focus on what’s exciting about this whole process rather than what’s terrifying about this whole process.

Jeff:

Now, that’s interesting you say that because in Journey we talk about more of a kind of a intentional, either there’s even a booklet of seven sessions, but what you were doing there was just informal one-on-one coaching. You were a little bit farther ahead in terms of like, “Oh this is a good thing. This is going to be a positive.” And she was a little concerned and so it was just coming alongside her and saying, “Here, let’s move forward on this journey, this next step into college journey in a positive way.” So what I’m hearing then is mindset really matters then because two people going into the same situation. Your girlfriend was looking at it different than than you. And so that’s probably a big factor of the kids that are going into a situation like that.

Jeff:

So again, moving forward then, what are some of the things that you saw that you experienced that you saw people maybe getting stuck a little bit maybe that you were encountering as you were moving into those next days and weeks getting acclimated?

Ian:

Definitely making friends was a boundary for everyone because, me included, actually. I consider myself rather social. I can make friends pretty easily, but I was still super nervous going in. That was the one thing I was most worried about for about two weeks. My first two weeks was just what friend group? Because what friend group am I going to have? What friends am I going to surround myself with? And so I was a little paranoid but.

Jeff:

And that’s huge, right? Because there are, let’s face it again, going back to the partying and stuff, there are the party folks, there’s a very serious folks. And then there’s a folks kind of in the middle. But that’s kind of interesting that you were really intentional. It seems like you were intentional anyway. Like looking at that going, I really need to make some good choices here going in, because that’s going to be important.

Ian:

Yeah. And so that being a main concern, well this wasn’t the only reason I joined this, but I joined a fraternity Phi Kappa Psi and I’ve actually met basically my best friends through that. I have like three pretty main friends through Phi Psi and that’s been a huge part of my college is just like all of these super awesome guys and yeah.

Jeff:

So again going back to, you said there was some nervousness about making friends and knowing you, you are a very personable guy. I mean it’s probably easier for you, I would sense, if you took a scale of how easy is it to make friends you’d be on probably the easier to make friends scale than a lot of people. But even for that you are looking at it like, “Wow, this is a little bit daunting.” How did you kind of go about that? Maybe, how did you even think about like the whole fraternity thing? Was that something that you looked at before you actually got to school or was that something after you got to school, you looked at fraternities, even that piece of it a little bit maybe of how you went about it?

Ian:

Yeah, so luckily I knew people from my old high school who are in the fraternity that I’m currently in. I know a lot of people who got to Iowa State and had no intention of being in a fraternity. But then on formal rush weekends, which are just recruitment weekends, they ended up actually joining one and being super happy about it. Other things I did to kind of push my making friends ability I guess was introducing myself to my neighbors, which is a pretty huge one because you live next to them all year and if there’s anything wrong or anything you need, you always have a friendly face to go to. So that was super nice.

Jeff:

So you took the initiative then in a lot of those cases to kind of step out and introduce you.

Ian:

And also not only me, a lot of actually people on my floor came. I left my door open for the first few days while the classes didn’t go on because that’s a common thing I guess. And people just walked in, they’re like, “Hey, my name is this.” And I’m like, “Hi, my name is Ian, nice to meet you. I live here.” And so that was cool.

Jeff:

Well and that’s neat because you guys, and that’s a unique situation about that first step in the college. Everybody’s in that situation. Is your dorm more freshmen then?

Ian:

Yeah.

Jeff:

Well there you go. So it’s the kind of thing where everybody’s put into that pool and everybody’s equally uncomfortable, which is pretty cool how they do that.

Ian:

Yeah. And you don’t really realize it until you start meeting people and they all have the same struggles as you.

Jeff:

Right.

Ian:

And you’re like, “Oh, I’m not alone. I’m not the only one feeling this way.”

Jeff:

If you could. And again, without breaking any confidences or whatever. What were some of the struggles? What are some of the things that people are talking about coming into their freshman year?

Ian:

Definitely the study habits. Because study habits from high school that got you by do not work in college and that is a fact. It was very hard to discover because I got by pretty easily in high school. I would just take my time during class to do my homework because like here’s the thing, high school 8:30 to whenever, 3:30 I think, you have classes all throughout the day and it’s your school day, but even those classes are split up. A lot of them are even split up over the year. So you have all this time to learn this little content over a whole year. So you’ve got lot of time in the class to work on stuff. In college, it’s over four and a half months and you’re learning a lot more than you would have in high school in four and a half months. And there’s no time during class and you just have to find time outside of class and it sucks at first, but you get used to it.

Jeff:

So it’s a discipline thing, right?

Ian:

It really is.

Jeff:

To say, and again it goes back to A, I can go party and have fun or B, I can study. I mean is it that simple?

Ian:

And there’s a strong correlation between those you see like partying all the time and their grades. Because you can have fun with your friends on a weekend or something.

Jeff:

Yeah.

Ian:

But if it’s Monday through Friday during the day or at night, school. And another thing, this is my education chair in Phi Kappa Psi said “Treat college like it’s your full time job”. So from 8:30 to five, your mind’s just there when you’re doing homework and you’re studying and you’re going to class and you just do whatever you have to do because it’s school and you’re paying for it and you don’t want to waste anything because why would you?

Jeff:

Well now that’s, but that’s a great comment though because again, I’m just looking at reality here. What percentage of the kids, and this is going to be hard for you to say because you’re right in it, but even at gut feeling what percentage of the kids going in and look at it that way. Because that’s a very conscientious way to, you’re paying for your parents, you’re going to take care of it. But then there are those folks that are like, “Hey, this is just a license to have fun.”

Ian:

Yeah. There’s a higher percentage of people who think it’s a license to have fun than that treat it like it’s supposed to I guess.

Jeff:

Yeah. So we need to wrap this one up Ian and we’ll get you back for like part two of the step into college podcast here or dive into the deep end of college or you know, paddle around the shallow end of the pond depending on where people are at. But just kind of to close, I do think one of the things I see in you and that I sense is there is that level of discipline of just sort of integrity. When you walked into those college doors, it’s pretty clear that you are not just looking for the next party. Here’s the challenge with what we’re doing here. I would love if some of the kids out there that are more on that party track could just kind of take a heads up directional reboot here.

Jeff:

Because here’s the thing, if a person is going into this situation and if they do look at it as a party and if they do just kind of blow it off, it’s not just affecting the next week or two or the next four years even. I mean it’s affecting the trajectory of their life. And so if people can just say, Hey, you know, and it’s hard to do because it is, right, right. You’re young and it’s like, “Hey, I’ve got my whole life ahead of me.” But the choices that are made at your stage of the game really do affect the rest of your life. And so that’s something that if somebody is listening and they’re like, “You know, I think the partying is fun but I think it’s not going to end real well.” Take a step towards us and you know you can check out a few more of these podcasts and you can just jump in here.

Ian:

I might go off of that real quick too. Because sometimes people find it hard to look in the long run.

Jeff:

Right. Because it’s easy to look at it in the next hour and the next day. Right.

Ian:

But one thing in the short run that I’ve seen a lot and experienced actually because about halfway through the semester I started going on a little slope towards, I’m not going to study as much because things are going well, which then kind of kicked me and I went back up. But if you just take time to study, take time to go to class, to go to class.

Jeff:

That’s right.

Ian:

Huge one.

Jeff:

Yeah. Be in the room.

Ian:

Because no amount of notes can suffice not going to class. That’s one thing I’ve learned. It will not only make you less stressed out, but you actually end up working less because if you just take the little amount of work it is to go to class and to study, you make up for the huge amount of work it is to make up for the lost time, the lost knowledge you could have had by going to class and studying.

Jeff:

Right.

Ian:

Because when test time comes and you’re stressing out and you want to pull your hair out and everything in the world is going horribly, that’s when you’ll wish that you went to class. So just do it in the first place, and you’ll never have to worry about that and then you’ll just be happy.

Jeff:

Right, right. Yeah. It’s a lot easier to move forward when you haven’t crashed and burned rather than having crashed and burned. So if we can help it all through Journey Coaching with that, just reach out. You can reach out to us in many different ways. And it’s as simple as just taking that step and finding out more of bringing some people alongside you. And you may have those, like you had said, Ian, you had those people, you reached out, but sometimes it just takes a little bit more intentional step. And so if we can help in any of those ways, let us know. Again, thanks for jumping in and taking out some your time on your time off here. So yeah, thanks for listening.

Ian:

Thank you.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org

Speaker 4:

You life, your journey starts now.

Sarah’s Story of God’s Grace

From a monumental panic attack to knowing that God’s grace is sufficient, Sarah’s story is inspiring and encouraging. Join Jeff and Don as they interview Sarah on her story of God’s grace in her life.


Transcription of the Podcast


Don: In a very short sentence, sum up what you believe grace is.

Sarah: That’s a really good question. Because I keep saying, when I keep saying the definition, which is God’s unmerited favor for sinful mankind. But if I was going to make it personal, it’s God’s unearned love for me.

Sarah: (singing)

Jeff: Welcome to the Journey Podcast. This is Jeff Carlson. And today we’re going to talk about the grace of God. We’re going to talk about it with Sarah, and Sarah’s here. Hello Sarah.

Sarah: Hello.

Jeff: And Don is here also. And Don will be asking Sarah a few questions. In an earlier podcast we talked to Don about this topic, and it was a great podcast. And Sarah just thought, “Hey,” she’d want to jump into this topic too. So, anyway, let’s just jump right in. And Don, do you want to just say a few words.

Don: Yeah. I want to say thanks, Jeff, first of all for introducing us. And I know that you’re getting better at that on a day-to-day basis.

Jeff: Hey, I’m trying man.

Don: We’re proud of you, your daughter’s sitting here looking at you-

Sarah: We’re getting a little better at this podcasting thing as we do it, right?

Don: Well yeah, we’re all just going to chill man, take a chill pill and get it on. Yeah, so I will jump right into this Sarah, because now it’s payback time.

Sarah: Thanks, Don.

Don: Yeah, you’re welcome. The last time we were talking, we finished up, you had asked me about kind of to summarize what I felt was the grace of God in my life because of my past. And for folks listening to the podcast, this will bait them to listen to another one if they’ll listen to that one first. So please keep listening.

Sarah: Yeah. Please listen to Don’s podcast first.

Don: Come on, listen to them all, not just mine, all of them. There’s so much here. And we’ll try to keep them in line. And that’s what we’re doing. So, with that being said, I gave you my spin on what grace means to me. And you’re not even about half my age, so can I hear what your definition of grace is?

Sarah: Well, yeah. So, I actually thought that grace was just a nice girl’s name. And I have an interesting story about God’s Grace. But before I get into that, I do just want to mention that, I do just want to mention that, if you listen to Don’s podcast you know that he struggled with alcoholism and he’s had a fairly rough life. That’s…

Don: That’s an understatement, it’s true, very true.

Sarah: … that’s of… yeah. And I’ve had a different story than Don’s story. So, I was actually raised by Jeff and Terry Carlson who are the creators of Journey. And I feel like Journey was really much… it came out of the way that I was raised. So, my mom, she was a nurse when I was young. And she went on to become a licensed counselor, and works as a Christian counselor. And Journey was written by her along with Pastor Mike. If you’re just listening you probably have a hard time understanding what I mean when I say that I was raised that way. But when you go through Journey I think that you’d look back at what I’m saying right now and be like, “Oh, that makes sense.” So the questions that are asked, the nurturing that is in Journey Coaching, that’s how I was raised. So meaning, when I had problems with my friends, and it was 9:30 p.m. on a school night, and I had a hard time falling asleep, my mom was there asking me these questions. Their similar questions in what Journey Coaching is all about. And so-

Don: So let me interrupt you there. You mean, so that the questions in Journey Coaching, then you feel are a lot like questions that you had the blessing and the grace to ask your parents?

Sarah: No, that they asked me, that my mom asked me.

Don: Okay, I got you.

Sarah: So, she took parenting and she wrote it down. I really kind of feel like Journey Coaching is kind of like parenting or nurturing for adults. I mean, kids could do it to. But it’s doing really good parenting and writing it down, and then helping us parent each other almost to an extent. Which is weird, and I’ve never really said it that way, but that’s when I went through the coaching. So, when you go through the coaching, and the questions that are asked, those were the things that my mom asked me. So, those were the things that she walked me through when I was growing up. Like, “What are your strengths, Sarah?” And helping lead me to finding my strengths, and dealing with weaknesses in a healthy way. And so that’s how I was raised. So I accepted Christ when I was eight years old. And then I was raised in a very healthy environment. I feel like, I mean, every family deals with their issues. Especially my dad and I, we have our-

Jeff: Oh, do we have any issues, Sarah? Come on. I think we’re enough alike where maybe there’s a few things. The sparks fly.

Sarah: I mean even this-

Don: You know, that father/daughter thing could probably get in the way every once in a while.

Sarah: Don even admonished us earlier today. He was like-

Don: I don’t even know what that word means folks.

Sarah: … oh good critique.

Don: I reprimanded them.

Sarah: Yeah. Just, enjoy your relationship and stuff, and don’t take it for granted. And Don told us that earlier. So, I was raised in a really healthy environment I feel like. And-

Jeff: Well, and can I just jump with just a thought with the environment and things?

Sarah: What’s that?

Jeff: So, you mentioned your mom’s grace, which I definitely agree with. And then there’s another thing that we talk about sometimes is truth. And the truth is, “Sarah, it’s 8:00 in the morning, the bus is coming, you really need to get on the bus today.” Now, there’s not a whole lot of grace there, it’s like, “Sarah, you need to get up and get on the bus,” right?

Sarah: Yeah. So what he’s saying is, that the grace came from my mom and that you know.

Jeff: Well, yeah, but yeah, it did-

Sarah: There was a lot of hard… I mean, I was held to a very high standard, especially since I was the oldest. And my parents owned a company, and I worked there. And my dad held me to a high standard. Which is funny now, when he tells me when I’m holding my own children to a high standard, and he’s like, “Can’t you just give them a little grace?” And I’m like-

Jeff: Drill sergeant Sarah.

Don: Isn’t it funny how we as parents kind of change our tune a little bit.

Sarah: Well, thinking because grandparents, grandparents not as hard as parents. I’m like, “Do you remember a similar situation?” I would not have gotten away with that. So, yeah.

Don: Yeah. But I think it’s really something that’s been hitting me lately, is this balance between grace and truth, and trying to get that… not that it’s going to be perfect, but get it well, so to balance those out, you know?

Sarah: I think they’re not opposite ends of the spectrum either. Because grace can be truthful too. But there’s… I don’t think God is an enabling God. He’s not going to enable you. So, let’s lead into this story. So, this is a story that I kept quiet. And you know what, Don? I’m going to let you decide if this is even… you guys are going to decide if this even something that we want to actually air.

Don: Okay.

Sarah: So, this is a story that I kept quiet for years. I did not tell people. Because I rightfully so would think that they thought I was crazy. So, this is my story with grace. I have always wanted to have children. I got married young, and we were married for three years when our oldest son was born. And I had my very first panic attack during my scheduled C-section with my oldest son. And I did not know what the panic attack was, I just felt like I was dying. And they even hooked me up to the heart monitor. So I really did think that there was a physical problem. And I had prayed and asked God to just let me live so that I could take care of my husband and my son.

Don: Amen.

Sarah: I was 21-years-old. And about seven months went by, and I really was convinced that I had almost died during my C-section. And about seven months went by, and I was actually at the movie theater watching a movie about firefighters. And it hit me again. And I had my second panic attack. And I went out to the lobby and that’s when I knew that, “Wait, this is a panic attack, because obviously I’m not in surgery at this moment,” and everything else was fine. And that was the start of a different kind of story about anxiety and panic attacks, and a long line of dealing with that. But what else was a catalyst at that moment was the fact that a month prior, I had actually found out I was pregnant a second time.

Sarah: So, having that second panic attack was actually a blessing, because I realized, “Wait a second, maybe I will survive a second child.” But a month prior to that second panic attack, I actually found out I was pregnant. I had a neighbor over at my house that night, and she had asked me, she said, “Sarah, when are you going to have another child?” And I looked at her and I said, I go, “Never.” And she’s like, “What?” Like, the look on her face was shocking, because you don’t usually have a 21-year-old with a baby say never. And I said, “Well maybe in five years I’ll adopt.” Because I was convinced that it was a death sentence if I got pregnant again. And she walked out. And it was about 9:00 p.m. that night. She walked out, I looked at my calendar, and I realized, I should probably check something. So I went into Hy-Vee and I got a test, and I came home and it turned positive instantly.

Don: Praise God.

Sarah: Well, that’s what-

Don: Not how you looked at it, was it?

Sarah: That is now how I looked at it. So I walked out of the bathroom, and my husband was just so excited, and he hugged me. And I said, “Don’t touch me, that’s how got into this problem in the first place.”

Don: There you go.

Sarah: And he knew well enough to just be like, “Okay,” he didn’t really say anything. And it was bedtime anyway. So he just want and laid down. And years later I found out he was actually awake this whole time. So this whole time that I thought my husband just went to sleep, he was awake and he was waiting for me. Because my personality is, when something’s bothering me I cannot fall asleep. I ruminate on it, and ruminate on it, and ruminate on it, and he knew that. And so he just left me alone. I wanted to call my aunt who I knew could possibly understand, but it was late and I didn’t want to bother her. So I called my parents, because I can always call my parents at any time. So I called my parents and my mom answered the phone. And I said, “Mom,” I was crying, and I said, “Mom, God has given me something that I cannot handle.” And she told me later that she thought that Matt or my son had died in a car accident.

Sarah: And she goes, “What is it, Sarah?” And I go, “I’m pregnant.” And she started laughing, because obviously that was a good thing instead of my spouse or my child dying in a car accident. And then I was like, “No, this is not…” like, I just couldn’t. And was like… then she’s compassionate, and she’s like, “Okay,” and she’s like, “Well, it’ll be okay.” And then my dad and my brother got on the phone. He was still a child and living at home, a teenager and living at home. And they got on the phone and they congratulated me, but that wasn’t helpful.

Jeff: You know, it was the… anything we can do to not help, just let us know.

Sarah: And so, granted it’s probably 10:00 at night on whatever day.

Don: So, can I interrupt you?

Sarah: Yeah.

Don: So, would it, from where I sit, double your age, would it be fair for me to say at that point in your life, one could say you didn’t have a whole lot of faith. When you said God gave you-

Sarah: I was, I-

Don: … something you couldn’t handle, I’m not sure that… and I’m not picking on you.

Sarah: No, don’t pick on me.

Don: I’m keeping you real [crosstalk 00:11:56]. So it’s very clear that you weren’t trusting God when you make a statement like that. And the reason I caught that, is because I’ve said it all my life, and I’ve always been told by what you call, really devout Christians, “Don Evans, God will never give you more than you can handle.” And my grandma told me something when I was a little boy, I was about six or seven years old. And I do, before I make this comment, I have big shoulders, I’m a big guy. And my grandma, I’ll never forget this quote, she goes, “Donnie, you got the biggest shoulders of any of the grandkids in the family,” and they had 12 kids, so there’s a lot of rugrats running around. And she said, “God’s got a plan for you,” at seven years old. But I didn’t know God. And at that point in your life, you weren’t trusting God.

Sarah: Well, and it’s amazing that you say that. Because here we’re doing a little Journey Coaching right here on this podcast.

Don: Yeah, man.

Sarah: Because, what is it that… there’s a bible verse that talks about, like without… what is it? Like, perfect, wait perfect love casts out fear. And something about a tie between faith and fear. And I can’t remember what that is. But there is a tie between faith and fear. And so what I will say is, my biggest struggle you just nailed on the head, is fear.

Don: Right, that’s, you know-

Sarah: So this lack of faith is coming from this immense fear. And I was very fearful.

Don: But you also know, and I’m going to plug Zach Williams a Christian singer. His song’s one of my favorites, we play it at church, Fear is a Liar. And it is. It’s a liar.

Sarah: Yeah. It is.

Don: And I believed that lie for 59 years.

Sarah: Yeah. No, it is.

Don: So I’m glad you’re opening up about it in your 30s.

Sarah: Well, and so what ended up happening was, talking about that lie is, that I got off the phone with my family, and I went into the other room where my son was sleeping. And he was, I don’t know, six, seven, eight months at that point. And he was sleeping in his crib. And I sat down on the floor. And this is why I haven’t told this story… that in the last eight years, the son that I was pregnant with is 14 now. So, I think about 10 years ago I started sharing it a little bit. And as time goes on I just don’t care anymore. So, I sat down on the floor and I cried. And I have been through some stuff in my life. And yet this was the… I call this day, it was February 7, 2005, I know the date, February 7, 2005 is the date that I call the worst day of my life and my best day of my life. It was the worst day of my life because it was so dark, it was so dark. I’d grown up in a pro-life family and I pride myself on being pro-life. But at that moment I could see it.

Don: You were asking some hard questions weren’t you?

Sarah: I was scared. I was very, very scared. And I looked at my son. I was dealing with a lot of baby blues and stuff too after he was born. And I looked at my son and I thought, “How can I take care of two babies when I don’t even feel like I can take care of one?” And let alone, how am I going to survive this. And I sat on the floor and I sobbed. And it was so dark, it was like a pitch black room in my mind, in my heart. I was sitting there sobbing. And all of a sudden, like a light switch, like when you flip a light switch and the room fills with bright light light, it was like a light switch switched. And I heard audibly, “My grace is sufficient.”

Don: Wow.

Sarah: And I heard Jesus’ voice. And there’s an Amy Grant song that talks about the peace the past is understanding. And I was filled with complete peace at that light switch, at that flip. “My grace is sufficient.” And I will tell you, that the words went straight to my brain. It was like they bypassed my ears, they were audible, they were like physically audible. But they went straight to my brain, they bypassed my ears. I know that if anyone else was in that room they would not have heard the voice, because it went straight to my brain. And it’s the hardest thing to describe. Also, I don’t remember any more, or remember what I thought. But I remember thinking that I’ll never hear that voice… the voice you don’t hear in a human’s voice, it had the strength of a man’s voice and the compassion of a female voice.

Sarah: And I’ve never heard any voice like that. And I will say that the first thing I thought was, like, I just thought, “What’s grace?” I was just like, “Grace is a female’s name.” But I was filled with so much peace, that I stood up, and I walked into my bedroom. I left my son’s bedroom and walked into my bedroom, and I literally fell asleep before my head hit the pillow. And Matt told me, I was telling this story to friends years ago-

Don: That’s not only grace, that’s peace, and peace.

Sarah: … yeah, that was grace. I was telling the story to some friends and Matt goes, he said something… and yeah, he had been awake the whole time. And he actually remembers me… he goes, “You were sobbing and you got up and I was waiting for you to start talking, and then I realized you were completely asleep.” And I was like, “Yeah.” So what ended up happening was, it took about three days, it kind of like Novocaine, it kind of wears off. Like, I was just filled with so much peace that it protected me, and it just slowly wore off. And then after about three days I had to start digging into scripture. Because the anxiety came back. And so one of the first things I did was to search out what grace was. Because, to me it was just a girl’s name. And so, I found out that grade is God’s unmerited or unearned favor for sinful mankind.

Sarah: And it is in 2 Corinthians 12, when Paul is boasting about the weaknesses that he has, because he says, “Jesus says my grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.” And the apostle Paul goes on to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more in my weaknesses and hardships and insults…” I’m not quoting it word for word, but… because God’s Grace is shown in all of those. So, in my weaknesses I did not think that I could… so here’s God’s Grace on my life, I did not think that I could take care of one child, and I now have six children. So we went on to have… God just showed me so much about his love and his mercy, and how much he adores children through in his care for me and our family. And we went on to have four biological children and two… we have legal guardianship of our fifth child, and we just legally adopted our sixth child. So that is my story-

Don: Wow. Yeah, that’s quite a story.

Sarah: Of God’s Grace.

Don: You know, for you to go back to the day we met, I’m looking at you and all those young ones, you know, I’m just a hillbilly, I couldn’t help [inaudible 00:19:19]. Okay, I’m looking at the one I’m going to coach, and looking at you, and looking at him. Okay, mathematically this aint working out, this aint right.

Sarah: What do you mean? Oh, the age!

Don: Yeah. Because he looks so much older than he really is, to me. I’m like, “Wait a minute, wait a minute.” But anyway, it was really funny, because I [crosstalk 00:19:36]

Sarah: Well, we also are different skin colors.

Don: Yeah, I know, right. I was looking at it, you know, I’m just a redneck and I’m going, “Wait a minute, where are they from?”

Sarah: Well, that’s funny. Because my oldest, who we just legally adopted, we have to wait until they’re… yeah, we just legally adopted our adult daughter, we’ve had her for many years though. But, she’s 20, she just turned 20 last week. And I’m 37, so you know, do the math there, but…

Don: So, back to you and the grace.

Sarah: Yes.

Don: Because I’m fixing to think you’re getting ready to close up here. I want you to do this for me, like we started out with. In a very short sentence, sum up what you believe grace is. In your own personal walk and spiritual…

Sarah: That’s a really good question. Because I keep saying, when I keep saying the definition which is God’s unmerited favor for sinful mankind. But if I was going to make it personal…

Don: Yeah, make it your story.

Sarah: … it’s God unearned love for me.

Don: Amen. That’s powerful. So glad you’re sharing that with me today.

Sarah: And for everyone.

Don: Yeah. They all get it, right?

Sarah: Thanks for interviewing me today, and sorry I just talked too much, oh my goodness.

Don: No, that’s why we get along so good, because neither one is going to shut up. Jeff’s over here looking at us like, “You know, I’m getting hungry over here”

Jeff: I always want to [crosstalk 00:21:00]

Sarah: I know, do you want to close this out?

Don: [crosstalk 00:21:01] Dad.

Jeff: Well…

Don: Come on Gilligan, close out this.

Jeff: Yeah. No, this has been really something to listen to, Sarah. As a father, it’s humbling. It’s very cool that your mom and I were just a part of your story, and that we’ve been a part, and hopefully will continue to be a part.

Don: You still are.

Jeff: Yeah.

Don: That’s what I envy in you, you still are. Some of us don’t have that luxury.

Jeff: Yeah. It’s very cool. And my hope, Don, is that the kiddos in your life understand what a really cool dad they have, because they do.

Don: Everything’s in God’s hand sir, and he’ll take care of it. Thank you for being concerned.

Jeff: And so, really I think in all this, as we’re relating it to Journey, one of the things that I think is important to say is, for a lot of people listening today, Sarah’s story is like, “What was she smoking?” You know? But guys, here’s the thing. Look at all the sort of things you hear every day and the way the world is. And just consider that maybe there is something to this. And maybe there is a God that loves us. And maybe there is a God that loves you, and how can you lean into that and move forward.

Don: they can start their journey right here with us.

Jeff: Just start the journey right here.

Don: That’s what this is all about.

Jeff: Exactly. So, reach out to us. There’s ways to do that, at journeycoaching.org, there’s Facebook, Instagram. But actually just reaching out and making those connections, and to help us to know where you’re at and how we can help you on your journey, we would love to do that.

Don: Leave a comment in the comment section on the website.

Jeff: Absolutely.

Don: Please do, leave us a comment, we’ll get back to you.

Sarah: Yeah, on social media.

Don: Wouldn’t you just love to have Don show up at your door.

Sarah: Yeah.

Don: Let me in, let me in.

Jeff: Thanks for listening today, and join us again,.

Sarah: Thank you.

Jeff: Take care.

Sarah: Bye.

Speaker 4: Thank you for listening. Tune in next time, and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Speaker 4: (singing)

Gender Stereotypes Debunked.

Regardless of gender, we are all meant for connection. Is there something keeping you from building relationships? Whether it be pride, unrealistic expectations or even stereotypes – you were meant to connect.


Transcription of the Podcast


Don: I know, I’m just saying this for me, I’m always too prideful to let anybody not know that I wasn’t Mr. Popular and everything was going smooth when my whole world was crumbling down around me. I couldn’t connect with my kids for lots and lots of years. [inaudible 00:00:16] rebuilding something that I destroyed 13 years ago. It takes time, but it’s not something I was ever willing to share with anybody until I started on my Journey Venture last summer.

Don: (music).

Don: Hi, Jeff.

Jeff: Good afternoon, Don.

Don: [crosstalk 00:00:43] so I understand we’re going to talk about relationships today.

Jeff: Relationships, yes.

Don: Awesome.

Jeff: It is.

Don: Those could be, between you and I, what do we want to go with, probably work, family?

Jeff: Yeah, it all fits in, right? It all fits in, yeah.

Don: How relationships maybe struggle-

Jeff: How they struggle, and especially with guys, right?

Don: Because we like to talk about football, NASCAR.

Jeff: Packers, oh the Packers. Yeah.

Don: We don’t have [inaudible 00:01:13].

Jeff: Dale Earnhardt, he just … Is Dale Earnhardt even racing anymore? I don’t even know. That’s probably back from the ’80s. Anyway, so yeah, before we started today, off air we were talking a little bit, it seems like gals can open up a little bit more, talk a little bit more about things that matter. But, what were you saying? Something like, “Guys could meet each other three years later-“

Don: Oh yeah, I know, right. You just bump into a buddy you haven’t seen. I had a trucking buddy just call me a month ago, true story. I hadn’t heard from Jimmy forever, and he called, “Hey, buddy, what are you doing?” I’m like, “Man,” we haven’t seen each other in 10 years, but after we said, “Hey and what’s going on? I’m still trucking.” I’m like, “I’m home, not working.” So we’re all caught up, but women, on the other hand, you’re worried about people’s hair, another child, a lot of dialogue there. Guys, we’re in maybe 90 seconds, we’re caught up. See you in five years, we’re good.

Jeff: Exactly.

Don: With that being said, what we were talking about earlier, of course, I know for me, we don’t get into that relationship thing as much as women do. I mean, I think there’s science out there that verifies women’s brains and men’s brains work completely different, and thank God they do.

Jeff: Right, right. Yeah, what’s that book? Men Are Mars, Women Are From Venus or something like that.

Don: Mars, yeah, Mars and Venus. We’re just from two different kinds of [crosstalk 00:02:45].

Jeff: And we could learn something from women in this thing, because here, us guys, we go through life and it’s … Especially like this American dream thing, we’re living the American dream.

Don: What is that?

Jeff: Yeah, what is that? But, man, we’re all about that and we’re going to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and when the going gets tough, man, we’re going to man up more. We’re going to man up and we’re just going to-

Don: Well, here again, don’t you think, Jeff, possibly that’s just the way we’ve been trained and brought up as our parents? You and I are basically the same age, 60ish. We’re just taught that men do this and women do that. I mean, this sounds cliché and old-fashioned, but it’s not that way anymore. All these women are working, they’ve got jobs, there’s some stay-at-home dads. But, when you mentioned to me, just before we started recording today, about relationships, it just made me think back to all the things that I missed out in life by letting money and jobs take over my life, that it very much did for so many years. From a young man to age 57, when I was forced to quit working because of my health and back and stuff like that. But, I didn’t realize until that point in my life, my gosh, if you were to say, “How was life for you, Don, with your family and kids?” To be real about it, it was all lost. I mean, I’ve had wives walk out of my life because, “He worked too much,” was the rumor that I heard. It’s not a joke.

Jeff: Well, that’s interesting that you say that.

Don: That’s what I was told.

Jeff: Yeah, and you didn’t say, “wife”, you said, “wives” so it’s more than one. So here’s the other thing I think, and this is … I don’t want to pick too much on guys here, because women … I think it all applies. But, isn’t it amazing sometimes as just human beings, how we’ll go a direction and we go, “Hmm, what could I have learned from that?” But, we keep going that same direction and it’s like … Which is what Journey … As people listen to this on the Journey site, or however they’re listening to it, if they’re Journey, that’s what we want to do is help people. If you’re heading south, that’s okay, right? We all head south at some point. But, lets re-calibrate and maybe we can’t turn true north, maybe we never get true north. Nobody’s perfect, right? But, at least lets re-calibrate and at least point more towards north.

Don: Well, we just got to find direction. Let’s pick that one apart [inaudible 00:05:29] would say. We’re going to unpack that.

Jeff: Unpack it.

Don: Direction. I was headed in a lot of directions in life. I’m a multi-tasker, if things we’re going on, I did farming at a young age, and all kinds of other sideline businesses, just again, thinking that I was being that good guy, that man that’s providing for the family. When I look back now, and even then, but couldn’t change directions, because in my 30s, so focused on … had a very good job at a management position, and it was a seven day week in the ag businesses. I didn’t realize all this stuff until just this last few years, “Wow, you sure missed out on a lot of stuff.” But, as a guy, here again, we just think that that’s what we’re designed to do. Boy, I’d hate to see … and that’s why we’re doing this today, I think, if I understand you right, is to let you guys out there know that there’s a whole lot more to life than working and money and the things that you have. Because, as Jeff mentioned the word journey, and that’s what we’re doing here, is the journey that I’ve been on for the last 14 months is the coolest journey I’ve ever been on, because it allows me to have time to pay attention to what’s going on in my life, which I always did in the working world, but I didn’t pay attention, obviously, to my relationships, because they all crumbled.

Don: Even with my children, those dissolved and still are just being rebuilt as we record this today. We’re still working on it. Things are going good, but I’m telling you, it’s been 13 years since the major break up with all three of my children, and we’re just repairing that now. I guess, my message to the guys is, slow down, take a look at your family, your wife, your kids. I mean, anything can be worked out, and Journey really helps us do that when we find another guy to mentor with and sit down and talk about stuff, because, let’s face it, Jeff, you don’t want to … You and I haven’t seen each other for six months, you don’t want to share your personal problems with me because you’re a guy. You don’t want me to see you sweating and struggling, do you, because that’s shameful.

Jeff: Yeah, let me … Let me run off on that a little bit. The way I was raised is, yeah, you just don’t divulge any of that stuff.

Don: Never let them see you sweat.

Jeff: Yeah, never let them … Exactly, never let them see you sweat. Now, that caused me a lot of internal angst and a lot of sweating over the years, some high anxiety times. I still … It’s hilarious, actually, that I’m involved in anything about coaching, because my kids will tell you that … Terry, my wife, has been the coach of the family. Here’s my idea of coaching, it’s like, “There’s the thing that needs to be done. Go do it. Don’t hurt yourself. Let me know if you need any help, but just go get it done.”

Don: Right.

Jeff: I’ve been really good over the years at keeping people at a distance. Yeah, before we started this podcast, Don and I, we had lunch, we talked for about half an hour, and that’s something that I just haven’t done a whole lot in my life. I don’t have 25 good friends in my life, so I look at this and I go, “Hmm, am I weird? Am I unique?” No, I mean, that’s kind of the common thing, right? I mean, we’ve got tons of maybe friends on Facebook, but how many real friends do we have that we can call up and just say, “Hey, this thing just happened in my life, this just sucks, and I just need somebody to talk about this thing.” Especially guys, right? I mean, we just don’t do that.

Don: Well, that’s why I think we just kind of spitball the idea of doing a little brief podcast on relationships, and you’re sharing now that you don’t have a lot of friends. I did not know that. This is why I think it’s important to say at this point, we didn’t even know that we were going to do this, but this is now meant so other men out there can hear that, “Here’s some guy that just admitted that he didn’t have a lot of friends when it comes to male friends.” I think all of us fit that mold of, here again, the man thing. I don’t want to beat this into the ground, but I know, I’m just saying this for me. I’m always too prideful to let anybody not know that I wasn’t Mr. Popular and everything was going smooth when my whole world was crumbling down around me. I couldn’t connect with my kids for lots and lots of years, as I said earlier, we’re just rebuilding something that I destroyed 13 years ago.

Don: It takes time, but it’s not something I was ever willing to share with anybody until I started on my Journey Venture last summer. So now I’ve been able to open up more about that and that’s why I think we’re laying this down and recording it, to let … We’ve done a lot of recordings. We’ve got women, Sarah, Terry, [inaudible 00:10:55] and stuff, but we really haven’t just heard a guy podcast, so we just kind of threw this together last minute, over a sandwich. We said, “Let’s just talk about some guy stuff.” So ladies, we love you, but you’re just not going to be here today.

Jeff: We need to wrap it up because I think it’s a good start, I think there’ll be some other good conversations along this line. But, the point being, “Hey, if you’re out there, you’re hearing this, and you’re sort of prompted, you’re sort of sensing, “You know what? I’m just tired of pulling myself up from my bootstraps. I’m tired of, well …” Well, Don’s got this term.

Don: I got the phrase. I mean, it’s so easy. Life is tough, right? I’m sure you want to get it right, don’t you, Jeff? You want more friends and good life, right?

Jeff: Yeah.

Don: Well, we at Journey want to help. We want to do that, and you and I will help the people. I’m going to start coaching next week, this coming Sunday I’ll start coaching for the first time, coming along side a 16-year-old boy.

Jeff: Yeah.

Don: Well, there’s a weird twist. A 61-year-old man coaching a 16-year-old boy, how much times have changed. But, based on my life, and the lack of good things and the relationships that were destroyed, I am just completely blessed that I’m going to get to work with a teenage young man that I’ve met and guide him in the direction where he doesn’t travel that path of no relationships like I did.

Jeff: Well, and that’s the other thing too. Let’s face it, and I’m not a counselor. I kid people, “My counselor wife, Terry, she swims in the deep end of the pool, I swim in the shallow end.” But, I do know that there’s a lot of people out there, 15, 16-year-olds, and their emotional maturity sometimes gets kind of stuck in that 15 or 16-year-old mindset. So there’s people out there listening today that are, yeah, 60, 70, 25, 30, whatever it is, you got to … It’s really important to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “How much deeper have I grown since I was a teenager, and would it be better if I grew emotionally in my emotional health, my physical health, and my spiritual health, and how do I do that?” Well, that’s where there’s some people around the table, there’s a great process, there’s a seven session coaching process. It has been really, really developed well by some really smarter people than I, over the last five plus years.

Don: It’s a great book.

Jeff: Yeah, 10 revisions on this little guide. It’s what? Probably 80 pages maybe?

Don: Yeah.

Jeff: Seven sessions. But, 10 revisions, coaching dozens of people, and it’s really good stuff. So I guess the call to action here is, first of all, thanks for listening, hopefully some people, some guys made it through the whole-

Don: Yeah, I hope so.

Jeff: [crosstalk 00:14:07], it’s like, “I don’t want to hear this. I just want to continue to be in my little bubble.” For those of you that are still listening that really want to find out more, just take a step, reach out to us, it’s journeycoaching.org. There’s a phone number there, there’s ways to connect with us. It’s just, again, by connecting, you’re not making a commitment for a lifetime, you’re not making a commitment even for seven sessions. You’re just taking a step to just find out more and how it applies to your situation, and again, how we can help and come along side and-

Don: Just take a look.

Jeff: We all grow together.

Don: What I’ll close by saying is just take a really hard look at a journey that I jumped on not even a year ago, that I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and it might become my trademark, “I hope this journey never stops.”

Jeff: Yeah, amen. All right.

Don: Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff: Thanks, Don.

Speaker 3: Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.Speaker 3: (music).

Special Interview with Life101.9 Station Manager, Matt Dean

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode Jeff and Sarah interview special guest, Matt Dean, station manager at 101.9. In this interview, Matt recalls his story of coming to 101.9 and the goals of the radio station.


Transcription of the Podcast


Matt:                Our goal is just in between those songs to bring encouragement, to put something positive into people’s lives because there so much that is negative in the world today.

Jeff:                  Hi, this Jeff. We are here for another Journey Podcast and great to have a couple of actually very good communicators in the studio today. So, we’ve got Matt Deane who is the station manager at 101.9.

Matt:                Yeah. Good morning. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

Jeff:                  Good morning, yes. Very fun.

Sarah:               Thanks for coming, Matt.

Matt:                Yeah, you bet.

Jeff:                  And that other voice you just heard is Sarah and she is here to interview and talk to Matt and to just basically hear a little bit about his story. So, I’m just going to let her jump right into this.

Sarah:               Well, thanks for being with us, Matt. I really appreciate you coming all the way down to Cedar Rapids.

Matt:                Yeah. It’s great. I’m just really glad for the opportunity. So, thank you.

Sarah:               So tell us a little bit about your story because you’re a newer manager. You took over for Doug.

Matt:                That’s right. So, Doug Smith was our station manager for 19 years and certainly some big shoes to fill. Just tracking back a little bit, our family’s been in Eastern Iowa for not a long time, about three and a half years now. And I came to Life 101.9 as the program director, which just basically means in charge of all of the things you hear on the radio. So the music, the stuff in between the music, everything basically fits that program director job description. And at that point when we moved here, I had been at a radio station in Wausau, Wisconsin, which is kind of right up in the middle of the state of Wisconsin, for almost 15 years and we had looked for new jobs at certain points and nothing was really a good fit and so we were just under the assumption that God was just wanting us to be in Wisconsin.

Matt:                And we were cool with that. And so we were raising our girls. And out of the blue one day, I got an email from Doug Smith. And at that moment I didn’t know who Doug Smith was. So, I literally almost deleted the email without looking at it because I thought it was a junk mail thing or something. But I opened it up and it was an invitation to come to Waterloo to potentially be the program director at Life 101.9, so that was different than junk mail message. So, we came down again. We weren’t looking, but it was an opportunity so we thought we’d come visit and several weeks later I accepted the program director position.

Matt:                So, that was something unexpected, but something we were really excited to start on. So, fast forward now a couple of years later, and I get a phone call from one of our big bosses at our home office in Minneapolis and he tells me that Doug Smith has accepted a new position in Fargo, North Dakota, at our Northwestern media station there and that he wanted me to replace him. Doug and I had talked about that. At that point, being the four- or five-year plan when Doug retired, but then this obviously turned it into more of a four-week plan when he was moving. So, this last few years have been various levels of stretching and stretching in a good way. I feel like God’s really grown me in a lot of areas. But yeah, it’s been about a year and a half now that I’ve been the station manager and I’m really enjoying it.

Sarah:               Very nice. So married with daughters. How many kids do you have?

Matt:                Yeah, so Anna just turned 14. Kate is 11 and so we’re in that teen tween whatever you call it these days land. And it certainly keeps us on our toes. Kate, our youngest is in cheer and so we’re going to competitions all over the Midwest several times during the season and Anna’s very involved in music. So, she’s in her middle school band. She’s in jazz band. She plays the piano. So, if one of us is not running Kate to all of her activities, the other one is running Anna to all of her music stuff. So, we’re busy. We’re on the move.

Jeff:                  And what’s kind of interesting is when you’re talking about your daughters’ ages is that’s kind of our daughters spread.

Matt:                Oh, okay.

Jeff:                  Close to their spread in ages. And I just think back to those years, 11 and 14, and I just go, “Oh my. Let me give you a hug man.”

Matt:                Thanks. I will accept that hug.

Jeff:                  Yeah, those are interesting times, aren’t they?

Matt:                It’s a challenge. And in fact, my wife, Jenny, and I were just talking about this last night. How different it is just because of the technology and the things that when we were teenagers that just weren’t available. I mean, we would listen to the radio in our room or pull out a cassette or a CD, which was brand new technology back then. And now they’ve got social media at their fingertips. They’ve got really the world at their fingertips with smartphones and different technology and that can be a wonderful thing, but that can also be a really scary thing too. So, trying to help our girls kind of navigate that whole world and make good choices is a challenge really on a daily basis. So, that’s the world that we’re operating in right now.

Jeff:                  Yeah.

Sarah:               So Matt, okay, you had mentioned just a lot of growing and stretching. I wanted to ask you a question about that, but I don’t know what to ask.

Jeff:                  Well, it’s interesting too because a lot of … my sense is you’re really good at what you do because people have really reached out to you, which is really cool. But that is often rare. I mean, it’s often rare in this economy, in this world today, because you can be really good at what you do but a lot of people hit those walls because companies downsize or get sold or restructure or there’s just different positions that move around and so forth. So, just the fact that doors open, I mean it’s almost good for you and in what you were doing for those in those roles that you served in because people saw that.

Matt:                Yeah.

Jeff:                  And those doors open, but it had to be challenging when all of a sudden, you said you had what you and Doug thought was like about a four-year plan moves into four weeks. What does that feel like? Because one of the things we talk about in Journey is growth and one of the things we just try to be honest and transparent and if that was me, I think just the level of angst would rise there because it’s like, “Oh, so you mean I’ve been sort of co-piloting this plane. Now I’m going to be piloting this plane?” I mean that’s got to be an interesting feeling, right?

Matt:                Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I will tell you when I received that phone call, I was actually driving from our Northwestern media station in Duluth where I was there helping out and driving home. So, I get this phone call, this great news, but this kind of scary news is shared with me and I can tell you for a fact, I do not remember the next 30 minutes of the drive. I know I was driving. I’m still here to prove that fact. I didn’t drive off the road. But just processing all of that in the moment was pretty amazing and then I remember thinking, “Oh, I need to call Jenny.” So, that was my next step. So, it was a crazy time.

Matt:                I’m super grateful for the four weeks that I had with Doug. It was kind of like station manager boot camp a little bit and he couldn’t teach me all the ropes and the things that he had accomplished over 19 years at Life 101.9 but having that time was amazing to help me hit the ground running rather than one person leaves, one person comes in and you just start from scratch, so to speak. So, I was really grateful for that. But yeah, to say it was stressful, to say there was anxiety that might be putting it lightly honestly. But I was just really grateful for the people that I had around me. Not only our team at Life 101.9 which is great and we’re super grateful to have the people that we have who I get to work with every day, but also the friends around our Northwestern media network.

Matt:                I got emails from everybody and texts from everybody saying, “Hey, whatever you need, if you have questions, let me know.” Having those relationships and having those people was super helpful to making the transition an easier one.

Sarah:               Well, and the fact that 101.9 doesn’t have a high turnover rate either.

Matt:                Yep.

Sarah:               I mean, I don’t know who the guy is, but there’s a guy on there that has been on the early morning or very late-

Matt:                Yeah. Lyle.

Sarah:               Yes, Lyle. Since I was a little girl.

Matt:                We lovingly refer to Lyle as the longest tenured part-time radio station employee in the country because he’s been doing Saturday mornings since the early to mid-seventies and he had a different full-time career that kept him busy and that he really enjoyed but he loved the opportunity. So, when I moved here, I did not know the history of Lyle and the great work that he’s done here.

Matt:                Yeah. We’re really grateful. We have several great longterm employees and that goes to show … and I’ve been here for roughly three and a half years, but it’s an amazing place and I’m just really grateful to be a part of it.

Jeff:                  Well, and the industry is really prone to turnover, right?

Matt:                Big time.

Jeff:                  Yeah. So, I mean, not only is that cool, but in the industry you’re in, it’s really unusual.

Matt:                Yeah. And radio can be an industry where if you want to move up, you have to move on, so to speak, because there’s only so many positions at any given radio station. So, that can be the case. It can be really a revolving door. So, we’re grateful for what we have in the way that God uses Life 101.9 in Eastern Iowa.

Sarah:               Well, let’s explain what Life 101.9 is because, personally, it’s my favorite radio station. I’ve listened to it since I was a little girl.

Matt:                Thank you. I appreciate that.

Sarah:               I was really happy when you guys got your higher range tower probably around 2000, 2001 because that was when I got married and moved to Ames.

Matt:                Oh wow.

Sarah:               Yeah, you guys got the longer range tower right before I moved to Ames and that was really cool.

Matt:                You could pick us up in Ames?

Sarah:               I could.

Matt:                That’s amazing.

Sarah:               Yes, I could.

Matt:                Yeah, we were really grateful for that. We had a great tower to begin with and we just were able to move. The thing with radio is power of your transmitter and how high your tower is. So, those two things. And so we have a hundred thousand watt transmitter, which is basically the strongest you can have and we are on a super high tower now. I mean, even higher than the one that we were at. So, that’s really great.

Matt:                But yeah. To explain, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, “What is Life 101.9?” So, Life 101.9 is a Christian music radio station. Our offices are in Waterloo, Iowa. We are owned by the University of Northwestern in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Northwestern Media Network, really, if you go all the way back, has its roots to Dr. Billy Graham who helped put KTIS on the air in Minneapolis. That was the first radio station. And he had this vision to share the gospel on the radio. In the 1940s this was like breaking technology. This was an unbelievable opportunity. So, that first station went on the air in 1947 and then in 1953 KNWS AM went on the air in Waterloo, Iowa.

Matt:                So, initially we started as just an AM station, which is still on the air today. Am 1090. Then, about 10 years later in the early sixties, KNWS FM went on the air. And it’s interesting to think about. People didn’t use to listen to FM radio for music. Everything was on am. And so in the 1960s, this was again kind of experimental, kind of new. But yeah, so we have the opportunity to share encouragement and share God’s love on the air in Eastern Iowa and wherever people are, they can listen online and it’s amazing what technology can do these days.

Jeff:                  Well, and what’s interesting too is before we started recording here, you said something about, was it like 30% of the people are sort of the non-church, maybe not non-Christian, not church folks though?

Matt:                Yeah.

Jeff:                  So, that’s the other thing to people listening is, check out the station. I mean, you’re not going to hear like organ music and church music. It really is really good uplifting music that if you have cross on the face, it’s great. If you haven’t, it’s just really good uplifting music.

Matt:                Yeah, thanks.

Sarah:               Well, the branding is amazing too. I like the billboards.

Matt:                Yep.

Jeff:                  Yeah.

Sarah:               And just the audio branding too, I mean, is just solid. And it’s true that when you’re driving around the country you can tell what is without … I mean, they say it a lot, but before you hit that, you can tell that it’s a Northwestern station.

Jeff:                  So, your new tagline could be, “If you’re feeling crappy, listen to the station and then you’ll feel happy.”

Matt:                Okay. Do you have a notebook? I’m going to write that one down.

Sarah:               That was super corny.

Matt:                Well, our goal at Life 101.9 is to speak to everyone. So, something we try to think about is to communicate biblical truth in ways that everyone can understand because if you’ve … like I grew up in the church, so people who grew up in the church are prone to using churchy words that “normal” people don’t understand. And so that’s our goal. The Christian music industry has come so far. Like I said, I grew up going to church and in Christian school and looking back I’m grateful for what was there, but a lot of them, the music just wasn’t really all that good and it wasn’t produced all that well. And fast forward to today and you have artists like MercyMe and Lauren Daigle who are making strides in mainstream music, selling out big arenas. That wouldn’t happen if the music itself wasn’t good and it wasn’t connecting with people.

Jeff:                  Well, I don’t know if we want to go down this road, but wasn’t it really … if you look back, a key person to move that forward … I think of Amy Grant.

Sarah:               Yeah, I was going to say Amy Grant.

Matt:                Absolutely. She was really one of the first to make that crossover and I remember back then-

Sarah:               That was hard.

Jeff:                  She got push back.

Sarah:               She did get push back.

Matt:                Yeah. Yeah. Big time. But she was making those strides. She was making good music and that was the case. I remember that because I was in middle school, high school and going to all of a sudden those really big concerts in big arenas. So, we’re grateful that the product that we have is better. And then our goal is just in between those songs to bring encouragement, to put something positive into people’s lives because there is just so much that is negative in the world today. So, if we can share an encouraging thought or say something that just puts a smile on someone’s face … I think if you make someone laugh or you put a smile on someone’s face, you’re encouraging them. So, that’s our goal with what we do on Life 101.9 every day.

Sarah:               I feel like Life 101.9 is like an IV, an infusion, of good news and peace and purpose. And I know this is all … you guys have these little audio clips all the time where people say that the right song came on at the right moment. And I just think all the time, I mean, multiple times a week, I’m like, “Wow, there must be a lot of prayer going into Life 101.9 because it’s so true. Years ago … it’s probably, well, I mean time goes by fast, but about seven years ago, I took my first trip overseas. I’m not a morning person and I had to leave really early in the morning by myself and I was super anxious. I’m very, very, very anxious. I was going to Ethiopia for my first time and I was going with people I didn’t know very well and without any family and I had to leave home around 4:00 AM and I was just incredibly anxious.

Sarah:               I ended up taking some medicine that my doctor had prescribed once I got to Africa, so that’s how anxious I was. I didn’t know if I’d actually get on the plane and I remember before I left the house thinking “God’s with me, Jesus is with me” and I felt in my heart that like Jesus was trying to pull me along saying “I got an adventure” and it’s been an adventure since and I ended up going back three more times. What was really cool as I got in the car and every single song on 101.9 got me from Marion, Iowa to the Eastern Iowa Airport, which is a 30-minute drive. 20 to 30-minute drive and I will tell you one of the songs was Give Christmas Away, which I had never heard before.

Sarah:               Never heard before. And it was Give This Christmas Away. I was leaving right after Christmas but before Ethiopia’s Christmas. It was literally like God was holding my hand through that and that was one time that it’s just amazing. And then another time was when we were homeschooling, we went to put our kids into public school and again, so incredibly anxious about that. And we were putting them in on a Wednesday and on a Monday, two days prior, was the first PTO meeting.

Sarah:               And so I was going to go to that and I was so anxious and driving just three minutes down the road. The song that came on, which again I’d never heard before, and I can’t even remember what song it was now, but it was about, it was like speaking directly. I’d never heard it before. I really haven’t heard it very much since. But it was like speaking directly to that like something about being the light, being a light. That’s what it was.

Matt:                Wow. There it is. That’s awesome.

Sarah:               And it was the first time. But yeah, I mean, that kind of stuff happens all the time and I can’t even imagine life without 101.9. I mean, honestly since I was a little girl, you guys have just been such a huge blessing to my life.

Matt:                We meet as a staff together on Monday mornings and we pray for each other. We pray for some of the needs that people call in or send emails and ask for prayer. But that’s really a big prayer for us too because it’s our job to run a radio station and to do all the mechanical work that makes sure that there’s music in the computer system that runs all of that. But at the same time, we can’t make what you described happen. It’s our job to make sure there’s songs on the air and people think, “Oh wow, you knew.” And we didn’t know, but God knew exactly what was going on.

Sarah:               But you’re faithful. You’re faithful with putting the songs on the radio and making sure that the technology is working and that the staffing is where it needs to be and that you’re sourcing the newest music and everything like that. You’re being faithful with what you can do and God is just taking it and running with it. And it’s amazing.

Matt:                Yeah. And so that’s our prayers, that God would take our efforts and the cool thing is he knows who’s listening at any given time. I mean, he knows everything obviously, but that’s just a mind-boggling thought to us in the building. So, he knows that you needed those songs when you were driving from Marion to the airport and when you were getting ready to go to the school meeting and he’s been so faithful to help us stay on the air financially in that way. We’re just grateful to be a part of what God is doing through Life 101.9.

Jeff:                  So, I’m sitting here going, “Wow, this is just so cool. I mean, it’s just really neat.” But, again, at another level you just go, “If you’re feeling crappy, listen to the station and you feel happy.”

Matt:                Here it comes again. He’s really trying to sell that one today.

Sarah:               And I do just want to play … Matt did not ask us to do this and I want to do this just because I think it’s important. You guys just finished your Winter Share last week and I will say that Life 101 … I’m going to speak for you what I hear on the radio. Life 101.9 does not run on advertising even though you do some very minimal advertising that’s done very, very well. It runs on the support of listeners.

Matt:                That’s right.

Sarah:               And so if anyone does want to support 101.9, how did they do that?

Matt:                So, you can either go to our website, you can give at Life1019.com, or you just want to call us, you can do that too. Our phone number is (866) 515-1019.

Sarah:               And I have a funny story about this. When I was a little girl, I was probably eight years old and I called in for my first sharathon. And I said $1 thinking it was $1 a month. I still remember this moment. I remember standing in the kitchen and the announcer was so sweet and she goes, “Sarah from Solon, Iowa.” because I was living in Solon with my parents at the time. I was little. “Sarah from Solon, Iowa donated $1” and she was so sweet. I was so embarrassed because I was like, “It was supposed to be a dollar a month.” Which to a little girl … $1, $12, or whatever. But I still think about that whenever I call in. I’m like, let’s make sure that …

Matt:                Well, there’s a lot of moving parts to a shareathon. So, stuff sometimes gets misunderstood.

Sarah:               Well, I think it’s just being a little girl. Like this little, seven, eight, nine-year old calls in or whatever. And I never ended up giving that $1. I was so embarrassed and I think they sent me the little form or whatever and I don’t know what happened, but I’ve made up for that because every time there’s a shareathon, I think about that $1.

Matt:                Awesome.

Jeff:                  And along with that, you have the sponsorships with businesses, which we do with Warehouse Auto. If you’re listening to the station … again, if you’re not listening, check it out. Again, it’s great music. But if you are listening give because it’s really nice. I don’t know how most people feel. I would guess I’m going to get agreement with 99.9% of the people. It’s really nice not to hear all the ads. And as we move into this coming year, it’s going to be really nice to not hear all the political ads.

Matt:                There’ll be zero political ads. There will be zero.

Jeff:                  Your listenership is going to skyrocket.

Sarah:               Well, that’s going to help the station too because I know with other … I don’t really listen to other radio stations, but if I ever do, I just flip them as soon as the commercials come on.

Matt:                I mean, it’s a different model for sure. But we are grateful that we’ve been able to get by for literally decades basically on listener support. We do have some businesses like Warehouse Auto that we’re grateful for that help us to even out the budget and solidify things that way. But it’s not something where we have a big team of people out on the streets trying to do that. So, we’re grateful to be able to do that. I mean, I don’t think we could say that we were positive and uplifting if we had political ads on Life 101.9.

Jeff:                  Nope.

Matt:                I don’t think that would work. So, heading into election year, it will be political ad and just politics free because everybody’s got an opinion. Man, you scroll through social media. There are some opinions being shared.

Jeff:                  I love this concept though. See, now you could go to all the politicians and say, “Guys, here’s the deal. We’ll let you on the air, but you only have to say what is a positive thing that you will be doing to help the country.”

Matt:                Yep.

Jeff:                  Boy, wouldn’t that be a movement?

Matt:                Maybe that’s an angle. Who knows? I don’t know if they’d be able to do it though. It’d start there and it would just go somewhere else. So, yeah.

Jeff:                  Yeah.

Sarah:               Okay. So before we close out this podcast, I have one question for you.

Matt:                Sure.

Sarah:               Okay. Well, I want to ask what is your most unique, surprising but fun thing that you’ve been surprised with about being a station manager? Like something that you really enjoy that surprised you.

Matt:                This was really surprising to me. As a program director, which again was the job I had before I was promoted, I was in charge of picking music and that’s a fun … I mean I got to pick the music that people listen to. I mean, that’s a pretty fun job and a lot of other things too. But I didn’t ever really do budgets. Didn’t do a lot of spreadsheet work. And so in my four-week station manager boot camp with my friend Doug Smith, I quickly realized that that was going to change and I was really nervous because I didn’t have a lot of experience with Excel and all of that kind of stuff. And I have come to find that doing the station budget is really fascinating and really interesting and I really love it.

Matt:                We have to obviously make sure that all the bills are paid and they’re paid out of the right accounts and all of that and I didn’t see that coming. At our house, my wife Jenny does the budget stuff and whatever, so I don’t even really have a lot of experience with it. But when I got done doing my first fiscal year budget, I was like, “That was kind of fun.” And I just got done with my next fiscal year budget and it was still fun. And so who knew that doing radio station budgets and combing over spreadsheets all day could be fun? I did not see that one coming. So, that was a surprise.

Sarah:               So, are you going to take over for Jenny at home then too?

Matt:                Maybe that would be too much and then it would be less fun.

Sarah:               Then it wouldn’t be fun for you.

Matt:                She likes doing that so we’re going to let her have her fun. I’ll have my fun and it’ll be all good.

Sarah:               Well, thanks for being on the journey podcast, Matt. It’s been a joy to have you on.

Jeff:                  Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun. And the thing is next steps, how do people again connect with, … I mean it’s probably pretty easy. You go to 101.9.

Matt:                There you go.

Jeff:                  But are there other ways to connect with you then?

Matt:                Yeah, absolutely. So, if you’re in Eastern Iowa, you can probably hear 101.9 on your radio. If not, you can listen at Life1019.com and see what we’re doing there. We’re on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter. Just search for Life 101.9 there and wherever you are you can tell your smart speaker to play Life 101.9. It’s just amazing what technology allows us to do.

Matt:                So, we’d love to connect with you. So thank you.

Sarah:               And your website has the most recently played songs. That’s very important. I find myself using that quite often.

Matt:                Yeah, remember that one song you didn’t-

Sarah:               Especially when you’re driving down the road at high speeds, you have to go back 30 minutes later, get the name of the song that was on.

Matt:                Yeah. Lots of good information, concerts, articles that we again, hope will grow and strengthen people in their walk with Jesus or maybe point them to him for the first time. So yeah, lots of good stuff at Life1019.com.

Sarah:               Your concerts are amazing too.

Matt:                Oh, thank you.

Sarah:               Love the concerts. Big Daddy Weave is my favorite though.

Matt:                Did you see them last year? They were here.

Sarah:               Every time they come I try to come. So, probably. I’ve been to too many. I’m sorry, I think they’re a better artist than MercyMe and MercyMe is like … you can’t say anything. You can’t agree with me.

Sarah:               So, MercyMe is huge and very popular, but I personally think Big Daddy Weave is hands down … I don’t know, just above and beyond. Their concerts are like …

Jeff:                  You’re a weaver. A weaving fan.

Sarah:               I’m a weaver. Yeah. Anyone listening to this, if you haven’t heard Big Daddy Weave, you got to listen to Big Daddy Weave and go to their concerts. Their concerts are great. They’re like church services but like the best services.

Matt:                Best picture of what that looks like, absolutely.

Sarah:               And they’re so neat. They’re just such neat people that have been through a lot. And I think that’s what it comes down to is, I don’t know MercyMe’s story, but I know that Big Daddy Weave has had a lot of health problems and issues like that and it just comes out in their music and if you’re hurting Big Daddy Weave is a great band or group to listen to. So, yeah.

Jeff:                  Well, thanks again Sarah for being a part of this. Matt, for coming in.

Matt:                Yeah. Thank you.

Jeff:                  It’s just very cool with these Journey Podcast to hear people’s stories. It’s cool to hear what’s happening at the station because you guys do reach out to a lot of people so it’s just really cool.

Sarah:               And you guys do it really, really well.

Matt:                Oh, thank you.

Jeff:                  You really do. So, thanks so much for being here. And again, if you are … it’s very simple. Just tune the dial, check it out and then after that, check out Journey Coaching at journeycoaching.org and thanks everybody for joining us today.

Sarah:               Thanks for joining us.

Matt:                Thank you.

Sarah:               Bye.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org. [Singing 00:31:31].

Difficult to Healthy

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, Jeff and Terry explain how to move from difficult relationships to healthy ones. 

Transcription of the Podcast

What happens through the conflict through the movie, the people develop, you see the characters more clearly, they may be grown, they change, they move, they evolve. There’s something that happens through the conflict that makes them better and stronger and movie more interesting.

So think of… A lot of people out there trying to run as fast and as far away from conflict in this kind of difficult relationships as possible. I’m suggesting you kind of dive into them a little bit. Don’t cause them necessarily, but dive into them and try to figure out how can I grow from this? How can our relationship grow from this conflict? 

Hey, hey, hey, we’re here for another Journey podcast, and we’re talking about really a core kind of a thing here. It’s something that’s very difficult. It’s something that a lot of people shy away from, and that is difficult conversations. I’m Jeff. I’m sitting here with Terry.

Hi. 

Hi Terry. So, yeah, difficult conversations. I mean they are kind of hanging out there consistently. How many times or how many instances are there when you go through a day, a week, a month where there’s actually not a difficult conversation that could be had? 

Not too many.

Not too many at all. 

And this is a followup to one that we did a little while ago on difficult conversations. We could call this number two. 

Yeah, number two, and there’s probably number five, 10, 40. I mean there’s a ton of these really to unpack. We had somebody ask specifically after hearing the first podcast we did about difficult conversations… A question came up, and so let’s just jump in and kind of try to tackle these, because, again, this is something that’s not really that easy to do, right? It’s a lot easier to talk about sports or what’s the latest movie, you know, that cool. 

Sometimes it even seems like as tough as politics is, it can be easier to talk about politics than those things that are really bothering us and deeply concerning us in terms of a relationship with another person.

So the question was say there’s someone… Say if I need to bring up an area in my life of hurt or frustration, there’s just some shortfall, you could even call it a sense of misunderstanding, something that’s really, really on my mind and my heart, and there’s this fear that the relationship really can’t handle that kind of a hard conversation. In fact, it might not even be the same relationship if I did bring it up, that the relationship might dissolve or become more distant. 

So what are some ideas of really navigating through something like that, of really getting into that kind of a conversation? 

Yeah, I think that’s… Definitely that’s one of the things that kind of brings fear and trembling to most people. When you think about it, really I think it depends a lot on the individual situation. When I work in my office… I’m a counselor and I deal with a lot of different things, and I don’t like to give advice until I hear the situation specifically, so this is kind of a tough one to give advice on.

Well, and can I just jump in too, because that was key, what you said. You never give advice until you hear what’s going on. How oftentimes in life do I or others may be that aren’t as attuned to… That has sort of that listening ear that you do, give advice?

And that’s kind of the first thing, right? We hear something, we jump right in, hey, here’s the solution. I got it. I got it figured out, and we don’t even have all the… We don’t have all the facts. We don’t even know what’s going on. 

Right. A lot of arguments happen that way. It’s like you hear just a little bit of what somebody is trying to say and you react to that little bit even before they’re done talking. I mean how many people out there have actually found themselves talking over somebody, jumping into the conversation-

What do you mean, like jumping over, like right now? I got that… Oh like that? Okay. I just wanted to show how that works. Go ahead, Terry. I’m listening. 

Well, and I think what happens is we hear a part of the conversation, we think we know what they’re going to say next… And this happens a lot with couples who have been married for a long time, in fact, the longer you’ve been married, the more likely you are to finish each other’s sentences. 

Anyway, when you think about it from that standpoint it’s like okay, I hear something and maybe it’s something at the dinner table or maybe it’s something… You know, you’ve got family coming over for Thanksgiving and uncle so-and-so says something and he starts going off on politics or religion or something like that, and people immediately roll their eyes and start jumping into the conversation, and before you know it uncle so-and-so is yelling and you’re yelling and the whole table is kind of getting ready to scramble and leave. Those are really, really tough kind of conversations.

Well, and it’s that sort of setting it up. It’s that environment, right? Because it sounds like it’s probably not a good idea to bring up those tough conversations just randomly at the Thanksgiving table and say, “Hey, Uncle Joe, who I had this thing I wanted to talk about for years, let’s just bring it up in front of everybody.” 

Yeah, that’s not… Timing is everything. Picking the right timing that says… Maybe take Uncle Joe aside at one point and talk to him and just say, “Hey, there’s something that I want to talk to you about and this has really been weighing on my heart,” and just kind of talk to Uncle Joe from your heart about what it’s like when these things happen.

Something that I have found helps is if I say to somebody, “Hey, there’s just a couple of things that I’ve kind of been thinking about actually kind of bother me a little bit here,” or whatever it might be… You know, just be honest and say, “Hey, something has been bothering me. Can we just grab a cup of coffee, and when would be a good time for you,” so put in… Again, trying to be very open to the person’s schedule and making it a very comfortable kind of a… As comfortable as possible situation.

Just say, “Hey, can we just grab a cup of coffee? When’s a good time that works for you,” so they have a little time… You might even say, “You know, we’ve been dealing with this thing about,” it might be a brother and sister. They say, “We’ve been talking about this situation about mom for a long time. Can we just sit down and you and I can just talk about that?”

Is that a good way to kind of just set up the conversation for success, because people both who are going into it kind of know what happens?

Yeah. You kind of give them a little bit of an idea of what your direction is that you’re kind of… What the agenda is, so to speak. 

Yeah. Yeah. This just seems so from what I’ve seen out there very unusual, because, again, it’s just easier to let things slide, but they don’t really slide, do they? I mean-

Not entirely. I think the other thing to kind of keep in mind does hone your listening skills as much as possible. That’s one of the things that we’ve kind of gotten away from doing. We do a lot of talking and not so much listening and realizing that everybody wants to be heard and they want to be understood, even Uncle Joe, even uncle so-and-so at the dinner table.

One of the reasons he’s bringing up the things is because he wants to be heard and understood, and if we jump in and jump over him and cut him down and shut him off, my guess is he’s only going to get louder and he’s only going to get more obnoxious because he has… Just like you and I, we all have a desperate need to be heard and understood.

So talk the time to listen to uncle so-and-so. Find out what it is… Okay, why is this so important to you that this person gets elected or that people understand this fact that you’re trying to impart. You don’t have to change your opinion, but I think listening and understanding where he’s coming from can help him feel heard and understood.

It’s funny when you’re saying that I think back to… And then you were in the room, Terry when this gal said this. But we were talking about a similar kind of topic and she said, “Well how can I love my neighbor when I don’t even like my neighbor?” 

Yeah, that’s a tough one. 

And sometimes I think ought we not just push through the well I really don’t… It’s hard to feel the love, but I can just… That person is important, I mean they’re an important human being. I may really disagree with them, but they’re still a person that I can care for, and to take that intentional, even though it might feel a little awkward kind of a step to say, “Can’t we just sit down and talk about this, because you’re important, this matter that we need to talk about is important.” 

Does that… I don’t know. Does it just seem like that is one of those kinds of intentional things to do that always doesn’t feel that natural maybe? 

No. For sure. But I think understanding people and where they come from and trying to hear their heart on an issue or on whatever is going on can help us to bridge that gap. I think part of the reason we may not like our neighbor is that we don’t really know them that well, or we know some things about them and we don’t like those things but we don’t… I think a lot of times we make a whole bunch of assumptions, that if I was in this situation I would do these things. Since they’re not doing those things, there must be something wrong with them. 

I think we just have to check to… Besides listening, I think checking your assumptions is really, really huge in working through difficult conversations. Check your assumptions, especially motives. If somebody does something that’s different than what you think they should check your assumptions of their motives. Why do I think they’re doing that? It may not be accurate.

All right. Right. Right. Well, yeah, so that’s kind of huge too, right? Because somebody doesn’t call me back multiple times and I assume they’re just blowing me off or… Again, it comes to the negative a lot of times, right? But until I really find out oh, they’ve been out of the country for a month, they couldn’t call me back, you know.

I mean this has happened a lot. I’ll talk to people in my office and they’ll say, “You know, I made a mistake the other day. I blew up somebody’s messages. I messaged them, they didn’t message me back, and so I assumed that they didn’t care anymore and so I just sent a whole bunch of really nasty messages.”

That doesn’t ever happen. 

Guess what happened to that relationship. 

Not good. 

No, it’s not… And I think it all fell down to the fact that she made an assumption or he made an assumption, whoever it was made an assumption that the other person was blowing them off, and in fact, they were sleeping or something, you know, less destructive than that. 

Right. So, Terry, anything else then that kind of relates to this that you’d like to put out there?

Yeah. I think it’s really important that we consider… I like to use the analogy of a pebble dropping in a pond. When you’re out in the woods or whatever and you see this nice little pond and you take a pebble and you toss it in, if you pay attention to it you see that this little ring of water, this little ripple just kind of starts where to pebble is and it goes out and then there’s more ripples and more ripples, and you see this really beautiful pattern of ripples all going from the center where the pebble is out to towards… It’ll go all the way to end of whatever pond you’ve got, it takes that much energy.

I think that’s a really neat analogy for relationships because if you think about everything that you say or do has that kind of pebble and ripple effect, if I say something kind to my neighbor hopefully the ripples that follow out, the way that they receive it is kindness.

If I get really, really short with my neighbor because they’ve put their trash and it’s fallen over into my yard, instead of going kindly and talk to them I just kind of get really snippy or snarky with them, that’s probably going to ripple out in a snarky sort of way.

Right. Right. It sounds like, using sort of a farming analogy, the farmer, he plants, he sows, and then there’s a harvest, there’s reaping. So it’s sort of along that line, isn’t it, which is actually in the Bible. I mean it talks about sowing and reaping.

If you plant seeds of corn you’re not going to harvest wheat. You’re going to harvest corn hopefully. 

Yeah. So if you really plant positive, affirming, those kinds of good things, ought there not to be more of that good that comes back to you? Not always, right, because there’s always going to be that… You know, this is not a perfect world, but odds are lots more goodput out there, a lot more good coming back. 

Right. And realizing you don’t have control over how it comes back. You can do what you can to control the message that you’re sending out, but once you send it out its kind of like that ripple. It just takes a life of its own. You may say something in a very kind way and uncle so-and-so takes offense at it and he comes back with it. A healthy relationship will be kind of well wait a minute, uncle, I didn’t mean it to offend you. How did you take what I just said and… Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.

You may not be sorry for what you said, but you can definitely be sorry for the fact that it affected him the way it did. 

Uh-huh. So what do I do when somebody confronts me? I mean they say, “You know, you keep doing this thing to me,” or, “What about this that’s going on what you?” I mean what do I-

Yeah. If you’re uncle so-and-so?

Yeah. If I’m Uncle Joe. 

Well, I think if somebody confronts Uncle Jeff, then I think Uncle Jeff really needs to listen. I go back to that word of listening and just-

What’s that? Okay. 

There’s something underneath the confrontation. There’s something that’s at the heart of what it is. Try to hear what their heart is and try not to take offense. Put the offensiveness on hold.

Okay. Deep breath. Yes. Okay, because I want to get right back at it. I want to just respond. Okay. Okay, deep breath and listen. Got you.

If you can put the defensiveness on hold and try to listen with curiosity it’s almost impossible, if not impossible, to be curious and defensive.

Right. 

If you can try to stay curious… Oh, wait a minute, I’m starting to feel a little bit defensive, but wait a minute, if I can stay curious and figure out why did that offend her, why does it offend people, then you might get to the heart of the issue a little bit easier and save that relationship. 

Right. Right. Yeah. It’s just stuff here that is just… I love talking about this because it’s not talked about a lot, right?

Right.

Relating With People Who are different Than Us

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, Jeff and Terry discuss how to effectively relate to people who are different than us. We want to encourage you that by practicing acceptance of another person’s perspective, you will be able to relate to those who are different than you.

Transcription of Podcast

Terry: You know, in the workbook, we talk about telling your story, we talk about your strengths, your weaknesses, your goals. How do you set a roadmap for your life and the future? Those sorts of things. What was missing was that piece about, how do I look at the world? We’re going to use the word worldview, but it really means, what’s my view of the world, and where does it come from? I think it really fits well into this concept because of the fact that nobody has the same worldview.

Jeff: Okay, today we’re going to talk about a challenging topic, and that’s how to have these conversations before the tough conversations, and why we really need to have the pre-conversation to the tough conversation. Which relates to, how do we relate to people that are different than us? So, relating to people that are different than us, that’s a key, key concept if we’re going to have those tough conversations.

Jeff: With us today, we’ve got Terry. She has had many tough conversations and many ways to relate to people that are different because she is a licensed, full-time counselor. So, you have lots of-

Terry: I do, yeah. Well, there are some, yes.

Jeff: Like, every day?

Terry: Every day, okay.

Jeff: Every hour.

Terry: Maybe every hour, not so much.

Jeff: I would assume that people coming into your office are not all the same as you, they’re not females that are … so on and so forth. They’re different-

Terry: Oh, yeah.

Jeff: Correct?

Terry: For sure.

Jeff: This is not just a conceptual topic, this is something that you have to deal with every day.

Terry: Yeah, yeah. We have some clientele that is similar to us, but, for the most part, people come in from all walks of life.

Jeff: Right.

Terry: They have all kinds of different issues, all kinds of different beliefs. It’s not my place, as a counselor, to change their beliefs, it’s my place to make sure that they’re aware of what those are, and how those affect them. Then, maybe, go from that point on to asking, is that something that you really want to hang onto?

Terry: No, there’s a lot of differences. As councilors, any other counselor that’s out there listening is going to understand this, that you have to know how to relate to people who are different than you.

Jeff: Right. For the other 99% of us in the world that are not councilors, we need to get a lot better at this. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of polarizing topics out there, there’s a lot of tension in the world over certain topics. Before we really can sit down with somebody and address those topics, we need to have the conversation before that tough conversation.

Jeff: So, let’s just jump right into it, with the first, really, focused point. How do we do that? How do we relate to people who are different than us?

Terry: Well, I think that’s a great question. I think, first of all, I think the very first thing we need to do is that there are people much like us, and look at the similarities versus the differences.

Jeff: Well, I just heard that the other day, that’s really a key point. So oftentimes, there’s this polarizing, pointing out differences, and that’s done a lot today. How is this person different? Pointing out those differences in a negative way. But, really a key point, isn’t it, of saying, okay, there are going to be differences? We are just made different. Isn’t that a huge starting point to say, well, what are the similarities?

Terry: Oh yeah, definitely. That’s why it’s so hard to do. Often, our differences are typically the things we focus on. We see skin color, hair, makeup, clothing styles, and so on. I think if you think back to someplace like middle school, or those years when-

Jeff: Oh, those dreaded middle school-

Terry: Yeah.

Jeff: Oh, no. Not that!

Terry: Well, I think that’s when we really start to notice the differences, and we’re affected by them. We start to be aware of what the norms are in our society. By society, I mean that society in middle school. The kids, the other kids, the ones that, if you wear the wrong kind of shoes or clothes, you get picked on. If you don’t have your hair exactly the same way as everybody else, you’re ostracized, basically, for not fitting in. I think that’s where the underlying message we get is that you have to fit in, or you won’t be accepted. In that way, comparing ourselves to others makes us weary of those things that are different, and it becomes an ingrained habit for us.

Jeff: Well, just going back to that whole middle school for a second. I mean, some things in life … For example, I’m looking out a window now. If I see a little bunny rabbit crossing a street that gets hit by a car, at my age I go, oh that was sad. The little bunny rabbit got hit by a car. It doesn’t really ingrain too deeply in me, right?

Jeff: But, take that back to junior high and middle school, and those kinds of times in our lives, and those things, and the way we see things, and the way that people respond … I mean, the bullying, for example, that goes on. It just really does get ingrained in our psyche, doesn’t it?

Terry:

It really does. It gets even worse than just ingrained, I think it turns into a series of different kinds of fears. It’s not just from middle school, it can come from influences such as family members, friends, neighbors when we’re growing up. Whatever the source is, we start to feel comfortable and safe with those things, with others who are like us, and we start to become fearful of those who are not. I think that’s where the problem really turns into a deeper problem.

Terry: If we don’t recognize this, and intentionally do something to counteract it, we’re really destined to live a life of just being around people who fit a certain mold.

Jeff: Right, right. Again, going back to those growing up times, it is the … I think back to when I was in school, and it was always fitting in. You know, we want to fit in. At some level, we are all sheep, aren’t we? We’re just-

Terry: For sure.

Jeff: We’re just wandering around, and we want to fit in. We want to not stand out, in either a positive or a negative way. The tough part about that is that we, at the core, are made different, and really need to not blend in. We need to lean into our differences, but when we do that, oftentimes, these negative things can happen. It’s on social media, too, now, right? If something’s a negative, it’s like, oh boy, let’s really pounce on this person.

Terry: I think social media is really a key part of this, too, because as we’re talking about trying to embrace the differences in each other, that’s exactly the opposite of what social media does for us. It feeds us. It learns the things that we’re interested in by the things we click on to read or the people that we connect with. Then, it just automatically tries to send us things that interest us, that’s their whole point. In doing that, we miss out on the opposites.

Terry: If you want to take something like a political point of view, all we end up seeing is that particular political point of view, and we miss out on some of the good things that we may hear from the other side.

Jeff: Right.

Terry: If all we’re getting our news from is social media.

Jeff: Right, right. In social media, it is really about posting the picture of oneself, or with your family and friends, on top of the beautiful mountaintop in Colorado. Everybody is smiling, and it’s a bright, sunny day. So, on that shallow level, life is good. Then, when we do a deep dive, and we want to say, here’s how I really feel about the things that are going on in the world, and in my life. And, I want to come alongside others, and share what I feel with them, and have them share how they feel with me, that’s where those differences come out, and where we have lots of challenges.

Terry: For sure.

Jeff: Yeah. So, then the question becomes, what do we do? What are some ideas? Yeah, this really stinks, this is tough. How do we actually take some deep dives, and get alongside people and really have those deeper conversations? What do we do?

Terry: For sure. Well, I think the first thing we need to do if we’re looking at really wanting to change this is to start to become more accepting of other people’s, and other’s perspectives.

Terry: Going back to the Journey material that we have. We’ve got this wonderful workbook that was put together by some very smart people.

Jeff: Well, that’s a first. I’ve never known you to give yourself a little pat on the back, there. Terry did do a lot of the writing on this, although we had lots of people we took through the coaching end.

Terry: For sure, yes.

Jeff: What was it? Nine or 10 different revisions?

Terry: I think we were on revision 10 when we finally went ahead and had it published.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. Anyway, it’s a lot of painstaking processes that went into the workbook. Anyway, that’s a topic for another day.

Terry: Well, when we were putting the workbook together, we started with a concept, we put it together, as you know. We went out and coached some people, and then we came back with their suggestions, and their perspectives. We made some tweaks to it, and we went back and coached some more people. We kept doing that, that’s why we had so many different versions of it.

Terry: At some point along the way, we realized there was something missing. That missing is this piece that we’re talking about today. How do we deal with … In the workbook, we talk about telling your story. We talk about your strengths, your weaknesses, your goals. How do you set a roadmap for your life and the future? Those sorts of things. What was missing was that piece about, how do I look at the world? What is my … We’re going to use the word worldview, but it really means, what’s my view of the world? Where does it come from? I think it really fits well, into this concept because of the fact that nobody has the same worldview.

Jeff: Well, worldview being a very specific example of one of those tough conversations, that needs to be had. It’s just like, okay, if we’re going to have a conversation with somebody else about their view of the world, again, how specifically can we do that?

Terry: Well, one good thing, and going back to the material … Session four of the Journey coaching workbook is really where we added that at a later date. We ended up moving some things around so we could put that in, and it’s all about worldview. The whole goal is to help you identify your worldview. Where does it come from? It’s a good way to gain insight into what you see as your perspective of the world. Until we look at this directly, we assume that everybody else has the same type of view of the world. If they just knew what we know, they’d feel the same way. Then, we get into arguments in that way.

Terry: I think the first thing is to understand, what’s my view of the world? Then, I can have a conversation with others about what their view of the world is. We can look at it from a curiosity standpoint, versus trying to talk each other out of their worldview.

Jeff: Well, the material was designed so that people could share their views of the world. So that the person coaching can, at some point, give a view of the perspective that the coach is going through. First of all, that person just has that freedom to say, hey, here’s what I see my view of the world is.

Jeff: In terms of that, what can we do kind of thing, doesn’t that apply, then, outside of the workbook, outside out Journey, as we have those conversations in life? It’s just asking those questions of people? Whatever it might be, whether it’s a worldview, or whatever, and just listening.

Terry: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really, really important that you ask that of yourself, first.

Jeff: Unpack that a little bit.

Terry: Well, that basically means, we’ve got to go back and look at our culture, and our worldview, and look at it from a lens that says, oh, I get it. I know why.

Terry: I was raised in the Upper Midwest. In our culture, if you want to call it that, it’s hard-working people, it’s mostly farmers that settled this area. There’s a lot of autonomy, there’s a lot of, you don’t ask for help until you absolutely need it, and you basically shoulder deep in mud. Then, you can call your neighbor.

Jeff: Pulling one’s self up by their bootstraps, right?

Terry: Yeah. That’s the kind of culture that my parents were raised in, and that’s the culture that they raised us in. One of the things I remember my dad saying, over and over again is … We went camping a lot. He would say, “You leave the place better than what you found it.” There were certain values and cultures that came from growing up. Not everybody had those, not everybody saw things from that perspective. They may have some of the same issues, but I think it really comes down to understanding, what is my culture?

Terry: By culture, I don’t just mean the American culture, I’m talking about micro-cultures. Every even home has its own little culture, its own outlooks, values, norms, goals, shared by the group of people.

Jeff: Let’s take a real simple dive down to what that looks like. For example, then, that person out of that environment most likely would say, if I have a place I’m supposed to be at nine o’clock, I’m going to be there at 8:55 AM, right?

Terry: Sure.

Jeff: But, let’s compare that to a different culture. For instance, our daughter has been over in Ethiopia many times. She really loves the Ethiopian culture. I think there, it says, if you have a nine o’clock, if you’re there by 9:15 AM, or maybe 9:30 AM because it’s all about that relational piece. Maybe that person isn’t necessarily … Again, it’s the relating part, it’s the understanding part.

Jeff: We may say, at the shallow pass, we may say, well, that person just doesn’t care, because they’re 20 minutes late to this important thing.

Terry: Right.

Jeff: But, the reality is, they’ve put such a high value on relationships, that they’re probably, in a relationship, connecting with somebody that causes them to be a little bit late. We need, again, to just take a deep breath, go okay.

Terry: Right.

Jeff: They’re not the nine o’clock person, they’re the 9:15 AM person. That’s okay.

Terry: Well, if somebody comes from a culture where being late is actually on time, then, they’re not going to understand our being-

Jeff: Yeah.

Terry: Come on, come on, it’s time.

Jeff: Those uptight people that have got to just be there.

Terry: Well, you can get into the conversation, and we’re not going to do it here, but you can get into a conversation about warm climate cultures, and cold climate cultures, and how they’re different, and how their approaches are different.

Terry: I think the main thing that I want to bring across today is just figuring out what it is that your beliefs, your worldview, your perspective is, helps you to, then, ask the right questions of the other person.

Jeff: Right, right. Again, it comes back to, just that understanding that let’s look at the similarities, rather than just the differences. Let’s take a deep breath, let’s ask some questions. Let’s listen. Then, at the core of all this, is really, love. All you need is love. Wasn’t that a Beatles song, or something? If you’re going to do this … It’s a lot easier not to do it, right? It’s a lot easier to just stay in our little bubbles and move forward. If we, again, take a deep breath, look beyond ourselves, love is important, love matters. Talk a little bit about that?

Terry: Well, what I’d like to do is I’d like to put that onto the next podcast if I can. I think we’ve covered quite a bit today. What I’d like to do is, let’s send people to another podcast. We’re going to have one talk where we discuss, how do we handle heavy topics? I think that might be a good thing to put in there, that unconditional love piece, and unconditional acceptance. I think that’s going to make it really important.

Jeff: This is like a little teaser to actually listen for the next podcast.

Terry: Ah, there you go.

Jeff: Oh! All right. Well, any other summary thoughts, then, before we end this one?

Terry: Not that I … Get involved in coaching! Come on, there’s a good workbook, here. If you give us a call, email, text message somehow-

Jeff: Yeah, just reach out.

Terry: We’re on social media. Just give us a call, connect with us, and we will try to help you find a way to do that.

Jeff: Right, exactly. The coaching is just, again, those one-on-one discussions that focus on relationships, which, again, focus on looking at the things we have in common, rather than the differences. Asking questions, listening, all important things that are just core to what we can, as just human beings, to connect with each other and grow.

Jeff: Anyway, Terry, thanks for coming in, for coming out of the councilor’s office, and talking to the rest of us. Thanks for being here.

Terry: It was good to be here, thank you.

Jeff: See you next time.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time, and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at JourneyCoaching.org, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at JourneyCoaching.org.



FAMILY TENSION

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, we’re talking about helpful tips in navigating through family tension especially during the holidays.


Transcription of the Podcast coming


Terry: Focus on the supporting family members that you do have. If we just focus on the maybe the toxic person in your relationship, then it seems like everything is a waste. But if you realize, no, this other aunt has been amazingly supportive. My grandmother, I have no idea how long she’s going to be here. Let’s focus on her and honor her for this time.

Jeff: (singing).

Jeff: Welcome to The Journey podcast. This is Jeff and today we’re going to ask the question, how do you survive and believe it or not even thrive during the holidays when there’s family tension? Not that there’s ever a family tension. And you got to go to these family gatherings and you just dread going, what do you do?

Terry: I think that’s a great, great topic for today.

Jeff: So in the studio with me is Terry. Hello.

Terry: Hello.

Jeff: And as a mental health counselor, it’s always good to have you here and to toss out a few specific ideas. And this is something that’s on a lot of people’s minds this time of the year. So, yeah. Welcome

Terry: Well, thank you. I am happy to be able to talk to you today.

Jeff: Why does it seem like there are so many relationship problems during the holidays? You would think with all the falala and all the good tidings and all that that everybody would be happy and getting along.

Terry: You’d think so wouldn’t you? There are actually though, there are a lot of people who dread family get-togethers for various reasons. I remember growing up, it kind of gets to the reason why we get together with family at the holidays, somebody requests it, usually, it’s grandma or grandpa or the matriarch, the patriarch, and somebody says, “Oh, we’ve got to get everybody together.”

Jeff: Yes. I remember those days in Tulsa having to drive back on the ice.

Terry: Having to drive back on the ice to get home for Christmas.

Jeff: Yes, I remember that.

Terry: Because if we didn’t, people would be unhappy.

Jeff: The world would end.

Terry: A lot of times those are happy times and I remember coming back from Tulsa and meeting with family and stuff and then it was hard to leave and go back to school and work and stuff.

Jeff: We probably should point out that we are married. Because they’ll be like, “Why are these two people going back and forth to Tulsa together?”

Terry: This is true.

Jeff: So anyway, yes we did that together during the holidays.

Terry: I also remember going when we were kids and having to go over to aunts and uncles homes where most people got along but there was always somebody who had opinions about something political or something religious. And then it would just seem to become an undertone under the whole thing. And you learn to kind of avoid that aunt or uncle. Not in mine, my family was perfect.

Jeff: Yeah right. Well, can you give us just a sort of a rapid-fire, some things that we can do here to address this?

Terry: Well I think the first thing before the events ever happen, I think the first thing you really want to try to do is to anticipate possible triggers or stressors or situations and develop a plan. In some cases, your plan might be setting some boundaries. I’m just not going to talk about politics-

Jeff: Politics, right.

Terry: … With that uncle or that aunt. I’m going to maybe formulate some answers ahead of time to what I might want to say, even rehearse it if possible. If you know that every time you get together, this relative is always challenging you on your beliefs or your politics, think through, “How do I want to react?” Because what happens is when at the moment, if we don’t have a plan, then at the moment, our emotions may go rampant and then the plan goes out the window and we end up just spouting off or saying something that we later on regret.

Jeff: Yeah. And that can be a simple thing, right? It’s like, “Yeah, the politics thing. Yeah, that gets a little dicey. Let’s just table that for another time, right?” I mean, it can be something really simple.

Terry: Well and have a backup plan. If something does go haywire, what do you do? I think also check your expectations, what expectations are you having of the event? A lot of times people, get a fancy new dress or they’re doing something and they are expecting that “When I get there, everybody’s going to go ooh.” And when they get there, it’s easy to have hurt feelings because well nobody noticed your new dress or your new hairdo or your-

Jeff: Your whatever, yeah.

Terry: … Yeah, whatever that is. So check your expectations.

Jeff: Well, and going back real quick to things to discuss. A lot of our family are involved in business together, so that’s one of the things that we say going in, “Hey, we’re not going to talk about business during the family get together.”

Terry: And the last family gets together we had, oh my gosh, I think we said that we reminded everybody of that, what, 15 times?

Jeff: Well you did anyway. We just kind of kept to it. So we didn’t do really good at that boundary. But we’ll get better.

Terry: No. And when you’ve got two businesses and a ministry in between five people, it really can be hard to not talk about business.

Jeff: Right. Right. So again, it’s not perfect, but we try. But yeah, it is good to try to set those expectations, and at least to let people have an out and say, “Hey, yeah, let’s just table this for another day.” So what are some other things?

Terry: Well, I think if you’re going to a big family event or a work party or something where you’re feeling uncomfortable already, maybe find a buffer, take a friend, a partner, a family member, somebody who can, if things get tight, you can just turn and focus on that person or they can be a buffer between you aunt so-and-so. I think it’s also important to remember don’t use the holidays, and I’m going to emphasize this again, don’t use the holidays to bring up old grudges, old grievances with family members or people there. This isn’t the time or the place. It’s not going to have a good positive outcome and other people are just going to have hurt feelings. Use other times to address those things with people one-on-one. But don’t use holiday gatherings for that.

Jeff: Right, good point.

Terry: I think some other things you might do too, is to consider strategies to cope with unexpected things that come up as well. Your best-laid plans are going to have… they’re going to fall flat sometimes. You’re going to avoid aunt so-and-so until she finally tracks you down and challenges you about the fact that you’re either not married or you’re married or she’s just going to have some kind of a thing. Consider a strategy to cope with those kinds of issues. Sometimes it’s just taking some time away, getting away from there, taking some deep breaths, going out for a walk and just challenging that person who’s trying to pull you into a fight even and just say, “No, I’m not going to fight today. This is Thanksgiving. We’re here to celebrate, give thanks and celebrate family and we’re not going to fight today. Call me up tomorrow.”

Jeff: Right, right. And what are a few other things then that we can do?

Terry: I think first of all, or fifth of all maybe, to stay positive, focus on the supporting family members that you do have. If we just focus on the maybe the toxic person in your relationship, then it seems like everything is a waste. But if you realize, no, this other aunt has been amazingly supportive. My grandmother, I have no idea how long she’s going to be here. Let’s focus on her and honor her for this time. Who can I help? Sometimes you can avoid a conversation in the living room by getting up, picking up dishes and going in and starting to help wash dishes.

Jeff: Right. Right. Yeah. Which no shortage of dishes and during those holidays sometimes.

Terry: Exactly.

Jeff: And finally, anything you can leave us with then?

Terry: Well, I think it really goes back to something we said at another podcast, remember the reason for the gathering that we’re doing, if you’re getting together for a party to celebrate somebody’s shower, remember that that person is the person you’re honoring. It’s not about you, it’s about them. And what can you do to help honor that person? And the same thing at Christmas time and at Thanksgiving, realize there’s a reason why we’re getting together and try to stay focused on that.

Jeff: Right. Right. Yeah. The reason behind Thanksgiving is to give thanks, Christmas, the whole birth of Christ and a lot of people may be questioning that or trying to figure that out, but it’s still important to get back to those core things because it simplifies things. Well, thanks again for being with us and sharing some good thoughts.

Terry: Thank you.

Jeff: And yeah, so to everyone out there, Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and I appreciate you listening. Tune in again.

Terry: Bye

Jeff: Bye

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org. (singing)

Thriving Through Holiday Stress

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, Jeff and Terry offer solutions to help you thrive during this holiday season.


Transcription of Podcast


Terry:

I’m trying to figure out why am I getting stressed out? Well, maybe it’s because I’m expecting too much of what I’m doing or too much of what other people are doing. You’re hosting a dinner party. Does everything have to be perfect?

Jeff: Welcome to the Journey podcast. This is Jeff. And today we’re going to ask the question, how can we survive holiday stress? In the studio with me this time is Terry. Hi, Terry.

Terry: Hi.

Jeff: She is a mental health counselor and I’m really glad that you’re here because holidays can be stressing. They can be fun, but they can also have a lot going on and really stress us out, so we could use a few good ideas on this topic.

Terry: Sure. Thank you. I’m excited to be able to be here today.

Jeff: So tell me about this a little bit. I mean, the holidays, when we think of holidays a lot of times they’re filled with happiness, good tidings, and joy, right?

Terry: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff: So families are getting together. Lots of good food and decorations. What’s this thing about stress and all that?

Terry: Well, you’d think it’d be all fun and joy. I mean, at least that’s what Norman Rockwell and Hallmark Channel want to make you think, is that everything’s all wrapped up neatly and tightly into a small little package.

Jeff: Well, and you talk about the Hallmark Channel and stuff. My background is in advertising and let’s face it, there’s a ton of time, money, and energy put out there, whether it’s the Hallmark Channel or whatever it might be. I mean, there’s a lot of time, money, and energy put out there to produce stuff, to sell stuff, and it’s just kind of overwhelming at times.

Terry: Right. Well, that’s one of the stresses and I think we’ll kind of talk about that today. There are other other issues, and we’ll have a couple of other podcasts coming up that talk about some of the family relationships. Family dynamics, loneliness and things like that. Definitely. I mean, the reality is that some of the people listening today may have no family at the holidays, or they’re part of a family that doesn’t get along very well. Even some toxic relationships.

Jeff: Yeah, that’s really rough, right? I mean-

Terry: Right. And so we’ll talk about those at some point too, because I think this is a bigger issue than just one podcast. But today what I’d like to talk about is, really the dealing with stress, the personal stress that goes along with the holidays. I think there’s a level where we kind of get into almost a chronic level of stress, starting about before Thanksgiving and then through the 1st of January and stuff. And I think that doesn’t necessarily have to be there.

Jeff: Right, right. Well, and I think even change of seasons to kind of combine this. I mean, we have less daylight. I mean, there’s just lots of … it gets colder in a lot of parts of the country. I mean, there’s just a lot of changes going on this time of the year. A lot of things going on.

Terry: And for those people who’ve lost somebody or they’re separated from someone that they love, holidays can be especially brutal. But apart from that, we also notice there’s a lot more personal stress. Fatigue, sadness, irritability, all increase over the winter months. Like you said, the winter season itself can be kind of stressful. You’ve got the extra cold and other things, especially you live in our part of the world.

Jeff: Right, right. Yeah, I think it was five degrees today. [crosstalk 00:03:33] drive it in so …

Terry: Yeah, exactly. And a lot of extra stress comes from the financial strain. Holidays are not cheap.

Jeff: So what can we do about it? What are some of the things that we can do to address this and to address it head on?

Terry: Well, I think one of the things to look at is kind of more from a general vantage point. We could look at each one of those different issues and really focus on any one of those and do them well. But I think for the purpose of today, let’s look at it from more of a general vantage point. If someone is having a particularly tough time with any of the issues discussed or if the sadness that they’re feeling, and this is the point I really want to point out, if the sadness you’re feeling interferes with your normal routine, has lasted more than a few days, I really encourage you to find some kind of professional help. Get a hold of a counselor or a therapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, somebody in your area, and let them know that you’re really struggling. Because that’s more than the usual stress for the holidays.

Jeff: Right, right. And you probably see, in your practice this time of the year, more people that are coming in with these kinds of concerns or just these kinds of things that are bothering them.

Terry: Yeah. Before the holidays we see people coming in saying, “I don’t know how I’m going to survive the holidays.” Afterwards we get people who have been stressed out so much that we’re dealing with some of the post stress.

Jeff: Right, right. Well, I think about, as we’re talking here on a little bit of a lighter note, the movie Vacation, the Chevy Chase Vacation movie.

Terry: Christmas Vacation.

Jeff: Christmas Vacation, yeah. And you’ve got all this stuff going on, and in a lighthearted way, I mean, it really does show all the mess that can can happen at the holiday. Again, what are some of those things, sort of those warning signs or those, even yellow light kinds of things flashing that say, “Hey, I might be stressing out over this stuff.”

Terry: Yeah, I think that’s a really good question. I think the first thing is just to really … I encourage people to really listen to what their body is telling them. That sounds kind of strange to somebody who’s not used to doing that. But knots in your stomach, chest, tension in your neck and shoulders. Those are all ways that our body is trying to get our attention. Some people, they get so many knots in their stomach they can’t eat, or they feel like they’re going to throw up. And those are all signs of tension. And there’s a lot of other things, headaches, just other kind of fatigue, irritability. Pay attention to those things. Our body’s trying to get our attention and saying, “Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t healthy.”

Jeff:Right, right.

Terry: I think, also, be aware of your own self-talk. Be aware of what’s going on. We all talk to ourselves on a regular basis. Our thoughts are going round and round about different things. Be aware of your own self-talk. First of all, examine your expectations. What am I expecting? Okay, I know I’m getting stressed out. I’m trying to figure out why am I getting stressed out? Well, maybe it’s because I’m expecting too much of what I’m doing or too much of what other people are doing. You’re hosting a dinner party. Does everything have to be perfect? What happens if somebody doesn’t have … you don’t have an equal number of pumpkin pie slices or something like that?

Jeff: Oh dear, not that.

Terry: Is that going to ruin the whole party? Just be realistic with your expectations. I think another thing to look at too is why am I doing what I’m doing? Am I trying to keep up with others? Do I have to have my house have at least two more strands of lights than the neighbor’s lights?

Jeff: Right. Right, exactly.

Terry: Just realizing, “I don’t have to keep up with others.” I think it helps to anticipate some of the other stressors that you might have coming up. What might some of the stressors be? If I’m having a family dinner and I know uncle Jeff is going to be there …

Jeff: Not uncle Jeff. No, no.

Terry: … and he sometimes causes a great deal of stress, anticipate that-

Jeff: Oh, no. That would never happen. Not anybody named Jeff, right?Never would happen.

Terry: … and then develop a plan. How am I going to deal with a stress? I know stress is inevitable. There are times when we have to have some … stress will happen. So what do you do with that? Come up with a plan on how I’m going to either distress or minimize the stress.

Jeff: Which would be how? I mean, what are a couple of examples?

Terry: Well, I think one of the ways to minimize the stress would be to stick to a budget, for instance. Financial stress can be really, really overwhelming at Christmas time. If you decide, I don’t want to spend more than X number of dollars on Christmas this year, and then divide out by how many people you have to buy for. And say, “You know what? Guess what? This is what we’re spending.” It kind of goes along with keeping up with others. Can you live with the fact that you only buy a $25 present and somebody gives you a $50 present? Does that cause stress?

Jeff: Well, the whole concept, January does come after December and credit card bills do come in January. So that will happen.

Terry: Well, and I think, like I said before, de-stressing is really, really important. What that means is after you’ve had a stressful event or you’ve had a stressful day or week, do something to distress. Usually that’s through some kind of relaxation, deep breathing exercises, meditation. It can also be through, go take a warm bubble bath if you’re that type of person. Or exercise. Burning off the stress can help a lot.

Jeff: Right. Right. Yeah. Just going a little deeper there. I mean, stress really is a thing, right? I mean, there’s some sort of science. I should mention, Terry’s background, besides being a counselor, is a RN, a registered nurse, so she’s got a little bit of sort of that medical background to some of this stuff too.

Terry: Well, yeah. I remember when I worked in the hospital that it seemed to me that a lot of people were there for preventable causes, and a lot of the prevention is dealing with stress. Stress causes us to wear out body parts. I think in some ways … I mean, I know there’s a genetic pattern to things like heart disease and stuff, but constant chronic stress can bring something like that on a lot faster.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Terry: Think of your body as a stress bank, I guess is a good way to look at it. When we’re under stress, our body secretes hormones as a way of helping us cope. But if we don’t give ourselves time to distress or empty the stress bank, it will continue to fill, fill, fill, fill, and eventually the results of chronic overstress will become evident.

Jeff: Yeah. Huh. Interesting. What are some of the ways that stress kind of shows up? I mean, what …

Terry: Stress can actually feel good at first. We feel competent. We feel valued. We feel like we’re really accomplishing a lot of stuff, and in some ways we feel like we’re more important in some ways because we have a lot to do. But pretty soon we can start to feel some resentment towards people around us, especially if they’re a lot more relaxed than we are at the holidays. We may start to feel like, “If you’d just start picking up some of the slack I wouldn’t be so stressed and then I could be relaxed with you.” We start to blame them for some of our stress.

Jeff: Terry, what’s something then that we can do about this then?

Terry: Well, I think one of the first things you might want to do is find a friend. Get ahold of somebody. Find a coach, talk to a counselor, a therapist. It might be a good idea to just even kind of look into sharing some of these things that are stressing you out with someone else and get their perspective. Maybe they could give you some coach tips of, “Here’s some things I did over the holidays to make myself less stressed.”

Jeff: Right. Well, and we’ve said this before, and I say it tongue in cheek, that at Journey we’d love to put counselors out of business. And what that means is, not that counselors would ever go out of business, because there are times, like you said, when counseling is really, really good. But how many people could stay out of that counselor’s office if they had those intentional relationships. If they had those friends and just cultivated those friendships. I mean, how important is it that?

Terry: Right. Well, I wish I could give you an answer for that, I really don’t. I know that there are oftentimes situations that somebody will come in and they’ll say, “Well, I was really stressed out over such and such a time, but I handled it well. I talked to one of my friends.” Did they need to come into a counselor’s office over that? Probably not.

Jeff: Right, right. And so, friends matter. Another thing that we can do is to look at simplifying. So for instance, Thanksgiving. We talk about Thanksgiving, and the word that is front and center there is thanks. So what can help sometimes, and really at core of what Thanksgiving is about, is to give-

Terry: Thanks.

Jeff: Yeah, that’s right. Same with Christmas. I mean, we hear about Christmas and think, “Oh my gosh, Christmas is coming up.” We have these ideas like we had talked about. All these parties and all this, giving gifts and all these things happening. But if you look at the word Christmas. Christ, the birth of Christ. It’s easy to overlook that sometimes.

Jeff: And sometimes people think, “Well, yeah, but I don’t even really know if I believe this stuff about a little baby being born and Jesus and all this stuff.” But we kind of need to think, “Well, if there’s this holiday that is pegged into our calendar that’s about this event, that is Christ mass, aught we maybe spend some time around Christmas looking at that core event and saying, ‘Hey. How might this actually have happened and how can it be just a meaningful thing in my life?'”

Terry: Well, I’d like to go back to what you just said because I think what’s really important is, if you stop and look at what the real reason is, it can … Because the way you said it, it sounds a little bit like you’re adding stress to what people are doing. And I think what your real intention was, is to help them to de-stress by looking at the actual reason for what they’re getting … the purpose of the holiday and try to focus on that. And if you do that then you might not get as involved in as many of the decorations or lights or … your focus is going to be different and hopefully less stressful.

Jeff: Yeah. Right. Focus on the meaning behind Thanksgiving and behind Christmas.

Terry: Right. And the reason you’re there as opposed to …

Jeff: Yeah.

Terry: Okay.

Jeff: That sounds good. Cool. Well-

Terry: Actually, we’ve got another podcast kind of coming down the road here and we’re going to talk more about the specifics of dealing with either loneliness at the holidays or dealing with relationships that are actually adding more stress. And so, let’s kind of wrap this up today and then we will deal with those at another time.

Jeff: Right. And just say Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to everyone. Right? Alrighty. Thanks for listening. Tune in next time.

TerryBye.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time. And make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Coaching Made Personal

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, we had the pleasure of having special guest, Don on the podcast. Don shares his journey to being an overcomer in a real and authentic way. From the purpose he found to the peace he is experiencing on this journey, their is encouragement for all.


Transcription of the Podcast


Don: I hope this journey never ends. I do not want this journey to end, and that’s one reason again that when you asked me to come and sit with you today and speak that I said, “Yeah, I would love to.” Because I want people to know what’s going on in the world and what they easily have access to with your podcast.

Your life, your journey, starts now.

Jeff: Hello everybody, this is Jeff. We’re here with another Journey Podcast and have a new good friend called Don and Don is here, Don Evans. And just glad to have him aboard. So welcome aboard to the podcast.

Don: Thank you Jeff. I appreciate the emphasis on good friend, because that means a lot to me personally because in my past I’ve not had a lot of good friends.

Jeff: Well it’s fun as Don and I have connected, I mean there’s some maybe personality traits or some wiring that maybe is close enough where I think we have had some good conversations and have connected and it’s been fun. Gosh, I think I met you what, about six months or so ago?

Don: Yeah.

Jeff: Something like that.

Don: Something like that.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, and one of the things, and we’re just going to do one of the things-

Don: Well it’s going to be laid back too, right?

Jeff: It will be laid back and sort of the one of the things that is really cool about Don podcast, so one of the things that’s really cool is just his openness, his realness and just combined with overcoming some stuff in his life. So I guess you really can’t unpack real, but you can unpack the overcomer part. So maybe talk about that a little bit. Kind of, what’s been happening in your life.

Don: Yeah, I would love to do that. But for your listeners, I just want to say this, we’re going to get something cleared up right away. Jeff uses the term unpack a lot. So right now we’re going to unpack a lot of stuff, because to be perfectly honest with everybody listening, when Jeff first met me, it was about a month or two later, he thought that I was something that I wasn’t, because of the way I carried myself and the way I spoke in public and acted. But truth be known, I have a good heart and I’m a good person, but I was a really odd person that nowadays by a lot of people is called a pretend-aholic.

Jeff: Well, can I just interrupt you one-

Don: Sure.

Jeff: … second here, because yeah, my first impression of Don was, well now you can tell by his voice, the deep voice and very, very authoritative-

Don: You have to work on it a little bit buddy.

Jeff: But I talked to him for five minutes. I’m like, “Wow, this guy’s like, maybe he could be a million … He could be like a multimillionaire. He just controls the room in the way he presents himself.” So, anyway.

Don: Oh, I appreciate that. But yeah, it’s just funny how we got started and my first impression to you was something that I wasn’t. I’ve struggled all my life with a lot of alcohol addictions and depression from that, just had a rough childhood. I don’t harbor any things like that. I don’t carry that with me. But see, there again, that’s where that word comes in, pretend-aholic. Because it really does bother even a rough guy like me. Bounced in bars. I’ve sang music in country bars. I’ve even danced on bars before. And no, I don’t know if the crowd thought I did pretty well, but that didn’t matter. It’s pointless. I just say that to be somewhat humorous because-

Jeff: I’ve now got that movie Coyote Ugly in my head.

Don: Yeah right. Well it was close to that. Some people said it was ugly, but the pictures I think were destroyed. But I just, I want to be honest with you Jeff, and let your listeners know that a rough character like me, and honestly I was, and I still am to a degree. I’m a big guy. I’m six foot, 250 pounds and God blessed me with this some sort of weird voice that everybody seems to like. So when I say that only to enhance the fact that please listen to what I have to say for the sole purpose of, if this thing can change me. This coaching thing has done so much for me that I just literally Jeff, I want the whole world to know about it. And I just, it so dramatically changes how I have viewed things on a day-to-day basis now.

Don: It’s just overwhelming to me that now I have a sense of more purpose and reasoning to just let people know that no matter where you’re at in life, I told you I was an alcoholic, but maybe you struggle with other issues, whoever you are that’s listing. And you don’t have to have problems to do this. I just simply want to clarify the fact that somebody that’s been through as much stuff as I have to come out on the other side and know that there’s hope for a better life, and I don’t have to keep spinning the little hamster wheel anymore.

Jeff: Well, that’s a good point because you have had life experience, been around the block a few times.

Don: Oh yeah.

Jeff: Been through some different connection points or programs or whatever it might be. What was the thing, if you had to core it down to like that one thing, what was the thing about coaching, about Journey Coaching that really was helpful?

Don: Oh that’s a really easy one now that you jogged my memory on that one. It was the day that I was going through my journaling that I’d written down the questions that I’d answered for that Wednesday meeting. We met every Wednesday, I don’t remember the other questions. There were boxes to check and there was only one empty box that I could not check to be honest. And that question I’ll never forget. It was, do you spend time daily reading and studying your Bible? And I was unable to check that box, even though I was always kind of a heathen, I’m at least honest about stuff like that.

Don: And I went into to this coaching thing to be honest and get my life straightened out and my coach immediately said, “We’d have to do something about that.” And we did. And that was just back in June Jeff, that was in the middle of June. And so my coach asked me very politely when I came back the following Wednesday, he said, “I want to know what chapter, what book you read in the Bible, and how much you read of it. And I’m going to encourage you that you do that starting today, every single day of your life.”

Don: And you know, I’m not a good reader, so I have a little audio that I follow along with my Bible, but anybody that does know things about the Bible, oh man, I’m telling you what. Once I cruised through the gospels as the truckers, I’ll say it for y’all truckers listing out there, I’m hammered down now, I’m just hammered down. So yeah, it’s been fun to dive into stuff like that and learn things that I just put aside.

Jeff: Right, right. Well, and I just want to throw it out there too. When you talk about reading your Bible, a lot of people listening may not have ever picked up a Bible before. And I think part of the coaching process, that’s good. I mean, if you just pick up a … I encourage everybody, pick up a Bible if you’ve never looked at one before. But it’s really helpful to have somebody alongside you that can help guide you through and like where to start.

Don: Absolutely.

Jeff: And you can bounce different ideas back and forth and that can be a really, really helpful thing is just not only have the Bible but that person that you can have alongside you through that whole thing, so.

Don: And that’s what my coach did for me. He was there, he knew the Bible very well and he was a reader of the Bible every day and still is. So he was able to share some things with me and places to start. And his theory was, just start with the gospels. Start with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A lot of information there because they not only were followers of Jesus but let’s … Now that I know this, that I can speak in this with authority, they hung out with Jesus. They followed him around. They did not only hear it, they saw it to validate it and once I got, even Luke was my most interesting chapter because this guy was like an Einstein back in ancient times. He was that brilliant of a man, but he just, he made all these scriptures and wrote all this stuff down and I’m just now a guy that’s on fire for knowledge and I don’t spend any time on Netflix or television or anything.

Don: I may be honest with people are going to laugh at me out there. You know, this guy’s addicted to YouTube. Now he was an alcoholic, but now he’s on YouTube all the time. Yes sir. Yes ma’am, I am. Because you know what, there’s a lot of knowledge there and there’s a lot of very smart people on there. If you want to move your life forward you doesn’t need to hook up with Don, I’ll tell you which places to go and what you need to listen to that will change your life. In a matter of a day you’ll go, “Wow, I’m inspired and I want to do something.” So please pay attention because the questions are going to get easier, I promise.

Jeff: Well, in that whole overcomer piece, and just as we’re wrapping this up, along with the Bible, along with … And you want to talk about your Bible, Matthew, Mark and so forth and hanging out with Jesus, that’s original coaching there, right?

Don: Yeah it is.

Jeff: The one on one, they were there. So it’s sort of that original coaching.

Don: Yeah, I call them my guys, Gary and Tom were there, and they would tell you about it.

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s taking that same concept and having people in your life, real one on one opening up and that’s a game changer.

Don: Well, it is. And see, I’m envious now of my coaches for what they did for me. I envy those two gentlemen that took, we actually spent 13 weeks doing it. And I can tell you this honestly Jeff, maybe I haven’t, that about week five we weren’t getting anyways close to getting to the end of the book. We were about the third chapter still. And I questioned them. I’m like, “Guys, I know you’re donating your time,” because that’s the way the program works. And I said, “I just feel guilty that I’m not going fast enough.” And you know, it’s really rewarding when two guys in their 70s, I don’t know their age, I shouldn’t be telling it, y’all ain’t going to know them anyway.

Jeff: They’re actually 40 years old, but they look that old. Just kidding.

Don: I’ve got them hid in a closet, they’re mine. But when they said to me Jeff, this is really, really sunk deep into me that day. When those two simultaneously looked at each other and then looked back to me, they said, “Don, we have learned as much from you in three weeks, probably more than you’ve learned from us. We don’t care if it takes 90 days to do this because you inspire us to make us want to continue to do this.”

Don: And that really took me back. I’m like, “These two old guys are so much more lifestyle improved than I am.” So see, I was judging myself when in turn they’re there, learning from me. So that’s why, when you asked me if I’d want to come and sit and visit with you a little bit on this thing today, I’m like, “Yeah, absolutely. Because it needs to be heard what things are available to people.”

Jeff: Yeah, and you hit on a key point about the whole concept of coaching. I mean, it’s not one person’s like the mentor expert-

Don: No.

Jeff: … and the other person’s the person that doesn’t know anything. I mean, it’s equal. We’re all on this life’s journey together and if we can come alongside each other and help each other and grow together, how sweet is that? So …

Don: Right man, I’ll tell you if candidly, this just entered my little pointed brain. I hope this journey never ends. I do not want this journey to end. And that’s one reason again, that when you asked me to come and sit with you today and speak, that I said, “Yeah, I would love to.” Because I want people to know what’s going on in the world and what they easily have access to with your podcast. You can go to these and listen to these and then make your own informed decision. If you think that’s something that’s going to fit in your life, it doesn’t take very much time, you know?

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. No, that’s very cool. Well, thanks for listening. We’ll I’m sure here more of a Don in coming podcasts. See, he can talk a lot clearer than I can.

Don: You need not worry about that, see. You just think about yourself, then you get overwhelmed. Let me close by saying that also. Let me add just a little more to that. Again, I mentioned that a little bit earlier, but for your listeners out there, it’s immaterial to any of us what you think you are in public. It’s what you think about yourself and how much self-motivation you want to allow yourself to have to make life better and easier so that … And you know, we hear about peace in the Bible a lot. For the first time of my life since I got out of this in July and we’re just here in the first part of the middle of September.

Don: My life is 180 degrees different than it was. So anybody that thinks, “Not really sure what I heard here today. I don’t know if I want to listen to that again.” God bless you man. But there’s plenty more to come and make your own informed decision and I just hope that you reach out and at least listen to some more of what they offer to you, because it’s good stuff. Thank you so much for having me here today, Jeff.

Jeff: You bet ye, you bet ye, very fine. So yeah, just on your own journey. You’re certainly welcome to listen to more of these podcasts, but at some point just take a step, a small step and reach out, journeycoaching.org. There’s ways to connect with not only the sort of the material we have, the Seven Session Coaching Process, but also to help you find a coach that can just get you started to move forward. And so yeah, glad to everybody with us today and till next time. Thanks for listening.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Your life, your journey, starts now.

Encouragement from a Busy Mom of 9

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, we had the pleasure of having special guest, Karlee on the podcast. Karlee shares her personal story with us on how she navigates a busy life from learning through trial and error to how she builds in margin time.


Transcription of the Podcast


Karlee: There are going to be things that don’t seem like they should have as much priority, but they are important.

Jeff: Okay, we’re back for another Journey podcast. This is Jeff, and I’m glad to be here with everybody today for another Journey podcast, and let’s jump right in.

Jeff: Not that this topic is at all relatable or identifiable with anybody, but the whole idea of busy. I mean, there’s a lot of busy out there in the world today. And so we have got Karlee here with us, and Karlee has maybe a few things to keep her busy. In fact, I’m looking at three busy kiddos out in the other room. So anyway, do you want to introduce yourself a little bit? And just, yeah.

Karlee: Yeah. I’m Karlee. I’ve been married 11 years. My husband Garrett and I have eight children, and one on the way.

Jeff: Congratulations.

Karlee: Thank you. Thank you. I stay at home with our three little boys currently, and our other five children are in elementary school.

Jeff: Wow. So just started school then, huh?

Karlee: Yes. Yep.

Jeff: So, that’s probably a little bit of that, “Whew,” after the summer, right?

Karlee: Yeah.

Jeff: Well, that’s exciting. And when your kiddos was came in, they’re just so sweet. I mean, just so sweet. But obviously high energy too, right?

Karlee: Very high energy. They are not shy little people, neither are any of our other children. They they love to be around just people in general, and they are not shy. None of them are.

Jeff: Before we started the podcast, I was saying to Karlee, it’s just interesting about how oftentimes busy takes over our lives, and that can be the case for even single people. A single person can go, “Well, I just have all these things competing for my time and there’s just so much going on.”

Jeff: We don’t like to really use the word expert when we’re doing the podcast, because we’re all on this journey together. We’re all really kind of taking a step at a time. But I do want to sort of position you a bit of an expert because you got a lot going on. There’re some of us that can make up excuses of busy, but you live in a a world of busy.

Jeff: So, we’re going to talk about being intentional to create some margin in our lives. I guess the first question is, so how have you found this whole act of balancing your to-do list, and the large family and the priorities and trying to navigate through all that?

Karlee: Through a lot of trial and error, and honestly, there have been plenty of times where I have failed, and I’m still definitely learning through just it all and the different seasons of life that we come into all the time. I used to be a … Well, I still am a list person, but my lists used to be a mile long, and I used to gauge the success of my day based on how much I could get done.

Jeff: So, you almost had to carve out some time for list making then?

Karlee: Yes, yes. Yeah. I realized that I was spending so much time doing all this other stuff, that while it was important, it wasn’t as important as what I was making it. So, just learning to really just step back and say what is actually important, and how do I go about that within my list to get it accomplished?

Jeff: Right. Right. So, it sounds like just, yeah, it’s trying some things and then just, what do they say? Sort of establishing a difference or deciding what’s urgent and what’s important kind of a thing. I mean, that’s got to be just that intentional step there to just go, “Yeah, these things are maybe something on my list that could wait or whatever,” but there’s just that prioritizing really seems to be key, I would guess.

Karlee: Yes. Definitely prioritizing, and also just talking to my husband about kind of our long term goals for our family. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up the short term stuff that needs to be done and realize they aren’t actually as important as the long term things that we need to be doing.

Jeff: Well, and those things can be really distracting, right?Just this last week we were planting some little bushes on the side of our house, and all of a sudden that became kind of a big project because we had to do the one call thing where you call and you find the buried cables and stuff and all this. It’s something that I thought would be probably about a two minute a kind of a thing, and it ended up to be a lot more than a two minute kind of a thing.

Jeff: Okay, so let’s move on into sort of, do you allow for margin time then? Because you’re taking care of all these people, you have to take care of you, right? So, do you have some margin time in your day, then? Some quiet time? Some time for you?

Karlee: Yes, I do. I try to always build it in. So today for example, knowing that I had to come here, and just knowing the outlook of our week and what I needed to get done today. And Mondays typically are more busy home days just because our kids are home during the weekend, and we try not to spend all of our time just cleaning the house and doing laundry and whatnot. So, I got up probably an hour earlier than normal just so I could have some time to myself and make sure that I got that done, because I knew it was important. It’s also important for just our family as a whole that they have a calmer mother.

Jeff: Right, right. So okay, so specifically, what does that look like? What’s the normal time to get up, and what’s an hour earlier then?

Karlee: During the school year I usually get up by 6:00, 6:30 and have my quiet time. So today, I got up at 5:30 and just went on a walk by myself.

Jeff: Wow.

Karlee: It was very foggy out.

Jeff: You just wander. Where am I at?

Karlee: Which I was not expecting. But yeah, just I spent some time in prayer during my walk, which was a wonderful way to start my day.

Jeff: Right. Yeah, well that’s cool. Yeah, and to reflect and just to really get centered, right?

Karlee: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff: And balanced. This is kind of an offsite or off … Are you naturally a morning person? Is it easy for you to get up at five, six o’clock in the morning kind of a thing?

Karlee: I’m a morning person, but not that early.

Jeff: That’s really morning, right? That’s hardcore morning.

Karlee: Yes. I would say since having kids I haven’t been able to, even if I tried, sleep past 7:00, but I’d say like 6:30 is pretty normal. So 5:30 though, feels early.

Jeff: Right. So anything else in terms of your margin time, that quiet time? So, today you said you went for a walk, you were praying. Anything else that … I’m just trying to unpack a little bit what a typical kind of quiet time looks like for you.

Karlee: So, usually my quiet time, if I’m not going for a walk, I just get my cup of coffee and turn on a light and read my Bible and spend time in God’s Word, and then praying through what I’ve read or people that I know who I need to be praying for.

Jeff: Right.

Karlee: And really taking that quiet time to focus my mind, instead of thinking that I’ll do it throughout the day. Which it’s possible, but I’m less focused and more easily distracted. And usually by the end of the day I’m like, “Did I really, really pray for that person? Or did I really understand what I read?”

Jeff: Right.

Karlee: Yeah, different things like that.

Jeff: And thinking here of people that may not even have a Bible, or they’re saying, “Well, geez, she sounds like a Christian. Oh, wow. Good for her, but I don’t even have a Bible. And pray, I don’t even know how to do that.” I just want to encourage people to start simple. God help me, right? You know?

Karlee: Yeah.

Jeff: Any books of the Bible, any parts of the Bible that somebody could pick up that maybe doesn’t even necessarily hasn’t crossed the line of faith, but just some real practical stuff that you’ve found? Because you know, like Proverbs and there’re some books in the Bible that can be really helpful even for people that are still kind of saying, “Is this for me?”, and it could be helpful. So, any thoughts there of just things that might be helpful to somebody that’s not only crossed the line of faith, but somebody that might be seeking it a bit?

Karlee: That is a … I would say for sure, Proverbs has just a lot of practical application.

Jeff: Yeah, there’s a lot of practical stuff, right?

Karlee: Yeah, for sure. And then what comes to mind is also Ecclesiastes. Just knowing that kind of what is important, and the things that we think are important aren’t usually as important as they are.

Jeff: Right. Yeah, so going back-

Karlee: If that makes sense.

Jeff: Well, it does. Because going back to planting those bushes last week, I could get really, really caught up in that, but at the end of the day there’s some bushes along the side of the house and I can only spend so much time on that. I can’t spend hours and hours and hours, so yeah.

Karlee: Yeah. But one book of the Bible that I tell people to read if they’re not a believer yet or have a lot of questions, is to read John.

Jeff: Oh, interesting. Okay.

Karlee: Just because I feel like it’s so … And read about who John was, too.

Jeff: Okay.

Karlee: So that you can really get a sense of the whole of that book.

Jeff: Yeah. Right. That’s cool.

Karlee: Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah. And it’s a matter of just, yeah, picking up a Bible and going to the front of it. So when we say John or Ecclesiastes or whatever, you just go to the front and you say, “Oh yeah, there’s the kind of the different books,” and you find them and you move forward. So, yeah. No, that’s very cool. That’s very cool.

Jeff: Any tips that you would give people who are struggling to make quiet time a priority? Because let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to not carve out some time than it is. It would have been a lot easier today if you did not get up an hour earlier, but any tips that you can give listeners who are kind of struggling to build that in?

Karlee: Definitely I would make a list of all the things that you do in a day. Like, pretty much everything. Even making the bed, showering, and then decide what has to be done. So if you go to work, probably taking a shower is very important.

Jeff: It could be.

Karlee: Yeah. But just those things, and know that those things do take up time.

Jeff: Right.

Karlee: And then also, just start numbering things. Like, what really has to be done? If I don’t do a load of laundry today, how will that really impact the rest of the week? So think bigger than just like today, too. What can be moved, what can’t? Because some days, laundry is very important. Like for me, laundry is very important.

Jeff: You’ve got to do the laundry.

Karlee: Yeah. I can’t always just put it off, and there are going to be things that don’t seem like they should have as much priority, but they are important, and to acknowledge that. And then also, just ask for, if you’re married, ask your spouse to help. If you have kids, they can help, too.

Jeff: Right.

Karlee: And let them all know, communicate with your family and say this is an important time for me to fill me up so I can pour it out. I do have some single friends who making quiet time is a priority. They talk about it as like setting a date with themselves, and just protecting that time, and being willing to say no to just like invitations to go out and do things because they’re setting that time aside.

Jeff: Right. Yeah, and this I would guess is not you Karlee, but there’s a lot of people out there, and I’m just being blunt and maybe this sounds a little judgmental, but it’s like how much binge watching of Netflix can we do? So again, not to be real judgemental, but I’m just saying you can maybe dial that back a little bit. Netflix is great, but maybe watch the first episode and then just not watch the other three that same day, or whatever.

Karlee: Well, even with I feel like smartphones, one thing my husband told me to start doing was just like looking at my … At the end of the week, my iPhone gives me a screen report and it tells me how many times I’ve touched my phone, picked it up, what apps I’ve opened, and how long I’ve spent with those apps.

Jeff: Yeah. That could be a surprising number maybe.

Karlee: Yes. The first time I looked at it I was like, “I don’t touch my phone that much.” And then once I realized, I was like, yeah, it was just a lot of mindless time that was not a good use and was definitely for entertainment, and did not do anything for me at all.

Jeff: Yeah, right. So finally as we’re wrapping up here, is there someone in your life, we use the word accountable sometimes, and that’s such a strong word. But is there someone in your life that sort of comes alongside you and just says, “Hey, how are you doing in this?” Because that’s what coaching is about. When we’re talking about Journey coaching, it really is a person coming alongside another person, a couple coming alongside another couple. Again, we’re all on the same journey of life together. It’s not that one person is better than the other, it’s not the one person is the expert, but it’s just another human being who can kind of come alongside you and say, “Hey, how’s that going for you?”

Jeff: Is there something in your life, when it comes down to this margin time or quiet time in your life, that is kind of alongside you?

Karlee: Besides my husband, who I will say does a fantastic job of just caring for me and caring for my soul, I would say one of my new friends, Erica and Theresa, they definitely keep me accountable. And Erica even will get up and go on walks with me, which has been-

Jeff: Wow, that early, huh?

Karlee: Yeah.

Jeff: Oh man, that’s a-

Karlee: Sometimes we’re both like, “Oh, this is so early,” but we always end and we’re like, “That was really good.”

Jeff: Yeah.

Karlee: But yeah, so just I’d say my friend Erica and Theresa, and if I share anything with them, what areas which I am struggling, they are the ones who speak into my life for those things.

Jeff: Right. Wow, that was cool. That is cool. Yeah, that’s what Journey is all about, is just having those relationships.

Jeff: Let me just unpack this real quick before we close. A couple of things that hit me there is, I mean it sounds like … I’m guessing you don’t have the perfect marriage, but you have a good marriage it sounds like.

Karlee: Yes. Yeah.

Jeff: And that’s huge because, in fact, I just talked to someone today who’s marriage is really going off the rails, and there’s a lot of that. I mean, a lot of folks in life just have those marriage relationships that are not healthy. So I mean, yay that yours is good. But even if yours is good, which it is, to have those people then outside and to have those friends that you can come alongside and just bounce things off of and to just do life with together. I mean, that’s got to be really a huge thing for everybody, right? I mean, you’re speaking into their life too, right?

Karlee: Yeah. Yeah.

Jeff: Yeah.

Karlee: Yeah, it is so important to have someone outside your spouse or significant other or whoever to be speaking into your life, just because they come from a different point of view and really can offer words of wisdom about a situation. Because even though me and my husband have a great relationship, there are still times where he frustrates me and I frustrate him, you know?

Jeff: Right.

Karlee: And I just need to ask advice about how to go about dealing with those frustrations, or to even just be told it wasn’t a big deal. You’re overreacting. Sometimes we all just need to hear that.

Jeff: Not as human beings we ever overreact, right?

Karlee: Oh no, never.

Jeff: Not that that ever happens.

Jeff: No, that’s very cool, very cool. So again, I’ve got to wrap my head around this one more time. So, how many kiddos are we talking about here?

Karlee: Once this baby is born we’ll have nine.

Jeff: Nine. Okay. So you know, I think Karlee, we’ve got to say that if you can do it, the rest of us can do it, right?

Jeff: So, just a couple of questions for people that are listening. First of all, do you allow margin time, personal, quiet time? And second of all, do you have someone in your life who can help to come alongside you? And if not, we encourage you to do that. And any way that we can help, we would love to at journeycoaching.org. You can get in contact with us through the website, and we would love to help you connect with others, and to grow.

Jeff: So, thanks for listening. Thanks for being here.

Karlee: Thank you.

Jeff: Take care.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time, and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org, and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

Handling Difficult Conversations

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode Terry and Jeff discuss how to handle difficult conversations. From learning how to approach the difficult conversation to what to say in the middle of the conversation, there is something for everyone to learn.


Transcription of the Podcast


Terry: This world would be a much better place if everyone offered and received unconditional love and acceptance. Unconditional, think of that word. It means there are no conditions where our love or acceptance would stop.

(singing)

Jeff: We are back today with a another podcast talking with Terry. Hello Terry.

Terry: Hi.

Jeff: Terry is a licensed counselor. She talks with people all day about tough, heavy topics. I can only imagine, person after person, heavy topic after heavy topic. I mean it’s got to get a little heavy doesn’t it?

Terry: It can sometimes.

Jeff: But you have to know how to come alongside people and work through those heavy topics.

Terry: Yeah and I think the conversation today I was hoping is that it’s not just for counselors to have to deal with heavy topics. Everybody seems to. A lot of what I see sometimes, I see in the office is people will come in and say, “We’ve got to go to Christmas and Uncle Joe is going to be there and he is going to talk about, I just know he’s going to talk about it and then everybody’s going to be angry,” and so these things happen. I mean, as we go into the holidays, this is going to be on the minds of a lot of people.

Jeff: So yeah, it’s great to actually have you in here, Terry and get you out of the counseling office because there’s so many of us that need to just relate to these heavy topics and how to handle those.

Terry: Sure.

Jeff: So, yeah. So why is it so difficult to talk about things like politics and these kinds of subjects that are just tough with people that hold a different view than we hold?

Terry: Well, I think part of it is that whatever perspective we hold on a topic or issue, we’ve usually gotten from some specific vantage point. And we come to a conclusion in our own mind about whether something is right, wrong, good, bad and what should be done about it. At this point, once we’ve made that conclusion, we’ve kind of locked it in. What we what we have come to makes sense to us and from our worldview and how the world works.

Terry: When we meet someone with an opposite perspective, we’re left with some choices. Depending on the importance of the issue and how strongly we take a stand, we can listen to their rationale and maybe possibly accept their perspective as being right. We can agree to disagree and say, “No, this is my opinion. This is your position. I accept, kind of respectfully disagree,” or we can attempt to change their perspective to match our own by firing out all of our own rationale at us, which tends to be the perspective that, the direction most people go.

Jeff: Kind of like machine gun arguing right? It’s like shoot off these topics, shoot out these comments, shoot them out as fast as you can. If you shoot out with enough ideas fast enough, maybe you’ll win.

Terry: Well, I think it’s, yeah, it’s that feeling that “I have come to the most important decision on this and if everybody else knew the rationale that I came to, they would believe the same way I believe.” I think that’s the mindset that a lot of … At the heart of this. It’s also what leads to those toxic family feuds around the holidays.

Jeff: We did a podcast earlier that talked about just understanding that people are going to be different. We’re all different, we’re all made differently. But to look at those things that we have in common, those similarities, and that that really helps kick off these conversations, doesn’t it?

Terry: Well, I think it’s important to go back if you haven’t listened to the last podcast that we did on relating to people who are different from us. I think there’s a lot of good points in there that I don’t want to bring up here again, so if you get a chance to go back and listen to that one.

Jeff: So what can we do that will make it easier to relate to others who do hold different positions and values? Because that’s going to be a lot of people. We’re not all clones of each other. So when we decide, “Hey, it’s important to have a conversation,” which is probably a good point to decide, not at the holiday dinner with everybody around the table maybe to start that. So maybe you want to have coffee with the person and say, “Hey, let’s talk about this and such.” How do we do that then?

Terry: Well I think first of all we have to realize that we want to do it in such a way that we’re not setting off the danger signals in their heads. And when somebody comes at me or comes at you and says, “You’re wrong about this subject,” or at least has that, they may not say those actual words, but their mannerisms and their perspective, it’s like, “You need to look at this.” Anytime somebody uses the word need, you need to do something, we’re basically saying that they’re wrong. And that’s really likely to set off alarm signals in someone’s head because-

Jeff: So need. The word need you want to get out of the vocabulary for this kind of discussion.

Terry: Yeah. Because if you come up to somebody and say, “Hey, you need to look at it this way,” you’re going to set off their alarm signals. When those danger signals are activated, becoming defensive is an immediate response. It’s not something they necessarily feel like they choose. It just happens.

Jeff: Right, right. What else then is sort of a thing that is a … Because you’ve got to have this mindset. You’ve got to have this roadmap when you’re going into these conversations, right? So what’s the next thing that’s important?

Terry: I still want to go back to that part about the defensiveness because what happens when we get somebody defensive, when we say or do something that the other person is defensive about is logic and reasoning skills go out the window and our emotion’s running the show. Emotion is really the motion set of our brain is now responding to those those warning signals. At that point, the smartest next step is to just stop talking. Just to let that subject rest at that point until everybody is calmer and then come back to it if you feel like it’s safe. And then from that point on, I would say first of all, don’t argue. Arguing just sets off those alarm signals.

Jeff: Right. And that may involve just taking a pause. Hitting that pause button, stepping away from the conversation, is that correct?

Terry: Absolutely.

Jeff: Because you don’t have to solve the world’s problems in one luncheon.

Terry: Right. Then when you come back together again, the first thing I would say is listen. And I guess when I-

Jeff: What did you say?

Terry: What did I say? Did you hear me? I said, “Listen.”

Jeff: Oh, listen. I gotcha.

Terry: And what I mean is really listen with curiosity and openness to try to understand what the other person is coming from. You want to really listen to their perspective. You want to listen to their heart. And that’s a really hard thing to do. If we’re busy in our own head thinking of the next thing we want to say or the next argument we want to say. It’s really, really important to try to listen without focusing because our brains can only do one thing at a time. They can either listen or they can focus on what’s in your head that you want to say next. They can’t do both.

Jeff: Well and it’s really easy for people like me who have a little bit of that high energy perspective who have some specific thoughts in their head to say, “Oh, I just really want to get this out. I really want to get this out.” And it’s hard. I mean it really is that, “Okay, take a breath and just understand that that other person has some thoughts they want to get out too.” And it really is some intentional discipline. I mean it’s almost a like athletics in a way. I mean, if you’re going to run a race, you don’t just absolutely run the race. You have to do some training. So this is really maybe a bit of a listening training in a way?

Terry: Absolutely. The more you can do to train yourself to listen the better. Even when you’re watching TV, if you’re all alone and you’re watching TV, just focus on your listening skills. What are they really saying? A lot of times we’re watching TV and we’re multitasking at the same time, but really listen to and try to hear the heart of the speaker if you can.

Jeff: So a question then, and again, not to pull this into the counseling office too much because we would love to with Journey, and I say this kiddingly but close down counseling offices. Because people are so healthy and the communication is so good, they don’t even need counselors.

Terry: Yeah, careful with that.

Jeff: I know. There’s other issues in people’s lives. We love counselors. But yeah, it’s just to do this in a way that is healthy and sort of consistent. There’s just really, again, it just goes back to being intentional about it, doesn’t it?

Terry: It really does. And I think what’s happening in our society is we’re losing our ability to listen with our hearts. We have so much noise out there. We have information available in so many different directions. Not even at our fingertips. We don’t even have to type any more to get information off the internet. All we have to do is say, “Hey, Siri or Alexa,” and we’re linked into this virtual world of so much information.

Jeff: So just real quick, of the people that come into your office, what percentage would you say are really listening to each other? They’re really sitting down. They’ve had good conversations. They’re walking in and they are good listeners.

Terry: Yeah, that would be pretty low. Of course, I think what it is is when I get couples who come in, by the time they make it to a counseling office, typically they have had years of arguing, yelling back and forth. And when you get into that pattern of talking over each other, yelling over each other what’s happening is neither one of you is listening and both of you are just trying really hard to be heard and understood and yet the other person’s not listening.

Terry: And so one of the first things I really do is I listen to people. I try to understand their perspective and their heart in the matter. And then I make sure the other person’s heard that. It makes a difference when you hear the heart of the other person instead of now arguing over the little things. I mean you can have people who come in and argue over who squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle, who leaves their dirty socks on the floor, those kind of things. It’s really not about those things. It’s about what does that mean about them, and to them, and how does that make them feel?

Jeff: And it’s so important. I had a really, it was a tough conversation. I mean on the level of tough, I don’t think it was a 10 but it was probably a seven of a heavy sort of topic of conversation with somebody last week. And after we got done, their response that I got was, “Hey, just thanks for listening and hearing what I had to say.” And it was a two hour deal. I thought it’d be 20 minutes. We talked for two hours. So kind of moving along. So you said don’t argue, listen. Anything else there in terms of what we need to do then?

Terry: Yeah. I think the third thing would be to apologize. And that’s a hard thing to do in our society. People feel like apologizing is weak. If I apologize, that means I’ve done something wrong. Well, yeah, you have, sorry. Own your own mistakes. Recognize your view of the subject may not cover all possibilities and own your things. And if maybe you don’t feel like you … Maybe you had a right to be angry, apologize for the way you treated the other person when you were angry and just say, “I was angry but I shouldn’t have said these things or done these things.” Own your pieces of whatever it is.

Jeff: Right. Right. Well, and I think there, and then tell me if this is close. It seems like a lot of times apologizing is hard because it’s like, well, we don’t think … It’s like we ran the car into the garage door kind of level of a hurt. I mean, it could be simply, “Hey, I was watching the game. I was really focused. It was the last quarter. I was really focused on this and I just didn’t, I ignored my spouse,” or whatever it might be. The person thinks, “Hey, that’s just a little, little tiny thing, but-“

Terry: Are you talking from experience?

Jeff: But the thing is, it’s still important to apologize because that other person, even though it seemed like a little thing to the one person, it could have been a bigger thing to another person. So apologies don’t have to be for running cars into garages. It can be for little things but a true apology too. Right?

Terry: Sure. Well, and when we do those things and we also look back at what we talked about before about the worldviews and accepting things that are different from us, we can become better at showing unconditional love and acceptance. And I think those are key. That’s a key thing right there. Unconditional love and acceptance is something you don’t hear a lot about.

Jeff: Right. Right, exactly. And that’s really undergirding this whole thing. I mean that’s really at the core of all this. It’s like why do we even want to bother? Because this is tough. It’s a lot easier to stay different, to not handle the heavy topics. It’s just a lot easier to keep things shallow. So this really goes to the point of why would we want to do these kinds of things? And it’s really all about …

Terry: Well, I think it comes back to the fact that when you think about something like unconditional love and acceptance, those words, love and even acceptance, are both feeling words but they’re also action words. And so I think what happens a lot of times is we may love our spouse and we may have that kind of a feeling from, but are we showing love? Are we doing something to show that love to the other person? Unconditional love and acceptance starts from the mindset that the person you meet has intrinsic value and worth. By intrinsic, I mean just that there’s nothing they can do or say that will either make you love them or take that away. They’re person, the value.

Jeff: Right. But why is it so hard? You know, what gets in the way of just showing this unconditional love to people?

Terry: Well, I think one of the things that gets in the way, probably mostly is fears. We have fear of the unknown, fear of being seen as condoning what we have identified as being bad or wrong and work to get rid of in our own lives. Also a fear that maybe something that they’re doing or their lifestyle would rub off on us a little bit. Or on our kids.

Jeff: Right. Again, it’s that differences, it’s like “Ooh, they’re different.” Or they’re coming at this subject from a different perspective and yeah, so the fear thing. It seems like fear is one of those things that just kind of permeates a lot of what we do, isn’t it?

Terry: Oh, I think so. And a lot of people are … Fear is one of those words that not only affects us in a lot of different ways, but we deny it, we turn it away because we think of fear as weak and we don’t want to be weak. Fear can cause us to look at the other person in a certain way. And then we don’t want to feel weak, so we do something to compensate for it.

Jeff: Yeah. Well, and when you talked about apologizing, I think sometimes for me it’s always been like, “Well, if I apologize, yeah, I’m going to kind of be like, come across as weak or it’s just not going to be really that cool of a thing.” So yeah, I think again, it’s one of those things where just stepping back and going, “You know what? Yeah, I can see this wasn’t quite on track. I just need to say I’m sorry,” and just pressing through that fear, that concern like, “Oh, I’m going to seem like a dweeb because I messed up.”

Terry: Yeah. I think being aware that being honest about your, not weaknesses, being honest about your mistakes and being honest about who you are, what your growth areas are. I like that word better. But being honest about those things makes us human not weak.

Jeff: Right.

Terry: And I think that being human like that makes us more approachable by other people or to other people. So in effect, I think what’s happening is by allowing ourselves to be human makes it easier for others to relate to us.

Jeff: So to wrap this up, why is all this important? Why is this stuff important?

Terry: Well, I think the short answer is because this world would be a much better place if everyone offered and received unconditional love and acceptance. Unconditional, think of that word. It means there are no conditions where our love or acceptance would stop. So for an example, I have three kids. They are not perfect. They have made mistakes. But there is nothing I could imagine them doing where I would no longer love them or accept them as my own child.

Terry: Longer answer, because when we’re coaching others, and if you go back to the coaching process, and this is one of the things that we talk about in the training for the coaches, when we’re coaching others, it’s important to see them as worthy of the same kind of unconditional regard. Let me try that sentence again.

Jeff: Take two. Hey, we can just do this.

Terry: When we’re coaching others, it’s important to see them as being worthy of the same kind of uncondition …

Jeff: See, it’s a tough word. It’s a tough word.

Terry: Sorry. I just got chocked up here. Try again. Take three. When we’re coaching others it’s important to see them as being worthy of the same kind of unconditional regard as we would want to be treated.

Jeff: Right. Right. Yeah, it is. This is just so important and so yeah, to wrap it up, this is what really coaching is about, and it’s one of those things where you just don’t hear this podcast and all of a sudden go out and go, “Okay, got it. I’m going to show unconditional love to people. I’m going to have those tough conversations. I’m going to listen better. I’m going to ask questions better. You know, I’m really going to learn how to apologize and boy, it’s just going to be like microwave instant kind of a thing.” That is not the case, correct? I mean, this takes practice.

Terry: It takes a lot of practice. And it means we’re not perfect. Practice means we’re not perfect. We’re not. The expectation is that as we practice, we’ll get better at this.

Jeff: So get out there folks, try this, understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. That you will move forward. You’ll reach out to people. That you will feel like you’re getting stepped on, but that’s okay. Again, we love others, we move forward, we care for them. It’s not always easy. The coaching piece, Journey Coaching can help. We’re here to provide some supports and framework and you can find out more about all those kinds of things on the Journey website, journeycoaching.org. And again, just resources to help as we all move through life and as we all step out of our comfort zones and to try to love others and to help those conversations that will really help us to grow deeper. And yeah, it’s just some cool stuff. So thanks for being here Terry.

Terry: Well, thank you for asking me.

Jeff: Take care.

Terry: Bye.

Jeff: Bye.

Thank you for listening. Tune in next time and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

(singing)

Reflection on Summit 2019

Reflection on Summit 2019

By Jeff C.

I want to encourage you to check out the content of the Global Leadership Summit!  It can change the trajectory of your life. It did mine!

After recently attending at a Cedar Rapids satellite site, it continues to amaze me how much of a leadership party this continues to be year after year.  I think it’s about perspective. To hear from such a wide variety of people who step out of their comfort zones to do something that matters, well that really matters.

For me, it was about a dozen years ago when I was rocked out of my orbit to do something different.  It was the spark that started Journey. While I’m a marketing guy in the marketplace, I’d been in church leadership for years.  But the model of people going to church once in week or once in a while and hoping to grow wasn’t working. And it was a source of holy discontent to me.  Something needed to be done that wasn’t being done in a way that was fresh. 1:1 coaching was key.  
There’s lots more to this story.  But that’s for another day. For now, please check out  https://globalleadership.org/global-leadership-summit/   Regardless if you think of yourself as a leader, EVERYONE has influence.  Your influence matters….

Commonly Asked Questions

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode, Jeff, Terry and Sarah discuss commonly asked questions such as, “What is coaching and is it the same thing as a life coach?”

Transcription of Podcast

Sarah: Hey, hey, hey! Welcome back to the Journey Podcast. I’m Sarah Banowetz, and I have Jeff Carlson and Terry Carlson here. Yes, they are married. They also happen to be my parents.

Terry: Poor kid.

Jeff: Hi, daughter dear.

Sarah: Terry was one of the two authors with [Mike Kolachi 00:13:32] for Journey books, and Jeff Carlson is the instigator, leader behind pushing. I’m going to use that word, instigator.

Jeff: Just had a little spark and just went with it kind of thing.

Terry: In the original version of the website, I had put down, and I’m sure it’s not on there anymore, but I had put down an explanation of how we got started, and I said a pastor, a counselor, and a car dealer got together and decided to put this together.

Sarah: That’s awesome. That’s actually what happened. It really was a pastor, car dealer, and a counselor.

Terry: I was afraid it sounded too much like a joke. You know, a pastor, car dealer, and a counselor walk into a bar.

Sarah: And then, I’m involved because this isn’t just a family deal, even though it’s the family on this podcast. I got involved because I have my own marketing company, and so my company is helping to facilitate the podcast, and then they liked me being the narrator.

Terry: Moderator.

Sarah: Moderator.

Jeff: MC, whatever you want to call

Sarah: That likes to give my opinion sometimes too.

Terry: For sure.

Sarah: I’m a very opinionated person.

Sarah: Okay. Jumping in. Today we’re going to talk about and answer commonly asked questions, and we’re going to go through this really fast, because we want these podcasts to be pretty short. And this podcast actually might be set aside on one of our pages to give you a quick overview of Journey Coaching. Not necessarily in what it is, because we have other podcasts for that, but in just commonly asked questions.

Sarah: So, getting started. Why don’t you answer this one, Terry.

Terry: I’ll try.

Sarah: What is coaching, and is it the same as a life coach?

Terry: Yeah, that’s a real confusing one. When we decided to put together this process, we used the term coaching, because it seems very peer friendly. In this case, Journey Coaching is kind of a peer-to-peer type of coaching.

Terry: Life coach often has some expertise. They may have some training in coaching that goes beyond the normal level of just talking with one another, that sort of thing. There are life coaches out there I know who have had several courses in life coaching. This is a little bit different than that.

Terry: This is more of a peer-to-peer. It’s designed to give people a really good idea of what is their strengths, what are their weaknesses, what’s their worldview, how does all of that relate to how effective or ineffective they seem to be in their workplace or in their ministry, if they’re in church ministry or just in life in general. One of the things we try to do in about seven weeks sessions is just get someone to look at their own story, identify the different things. The coach just walks along beside you and helps you.

Terry: Sometimes it’s helpful to see your life through another person’s point of view. It’s fun when you work with somebody, and you’re talking to somebody, and you say, “Hey, this is what happened in my life.” And somebody says, “Oh well, that’s really interesting. What did you learn about yourself through that experience?” And sometimes you see things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

Sarah: Let me ask this. How do I know if coaching is right for me? Jeff, do you want to answer that?

Jeff: You betcha.

Jeff: Well, if you are a living, breathing person, coaching is right for you. It’s kind of that simple. Now, will a hundred percent of everyone out there actually go through coaching? Well, probably not. We’ve got to have realistic expectations here.

Jeff: But it really is the kind of thing that we all need somebody in life, whether we want to acknowledge that or not, but somebody that can walk alongside us, someone we can open up to, someone that really will know us for who we are. And then, we can sit down and share our lives together, and we can look at where we’re at and where we sense we need to go, and then have someone who can encourage and challenge us as we move forward.

Jeff: You’ll know it’s right for you, first of all, if you just try it. And then, if you connect with a person who you feel comfortable with, that’s great. And then if not, just reconnect with another person until you find that person that you really resonate with and that can help you to grow.

Sarah: Another question we get is what is the difference between coaching and counseling? And I think Terry, you can answer this really well, because you are actually a professional counselor.

Terry: I am. There are some similarities between the two. There’s still kind of a one-on-one relationship. The difference is that a counselor is usually Master’s or further trained in what their skill set is all about. We are setting up a professional relationship where it’s really one-sided in the sense of you go in, and you talk to the counselor, and the counselor is listening to your story and hopefully helping you see your story through a professional perspective, asking the right kinds of questions. They’re trained in knowing how to sort between different kinds of things. Sometimes it’s like a puzzle. When I’m talking with somebody in my office, I feel like I’m trying to figure out what all the puzzle pieces are, and then how they might fit together, and to explaining why the person may be feeling depressed or anxious, but it’s more problem focused.

Terry: Whereas with coaching, it’s not problem focused in the sense of what you might see at a counselor’s office. But the coaching is more, you’re taking somebody who’s already fairly healthy, and they’re just wanting to grow and become even more healthier, go down that road a little bit farther.

Sarah: That makes sense.

Sarah: Is there a cost for being coached through Journey Coaching? And the answer is yes and no. So no, Journey is a nonprofit organization with a 501(c)(3) applied for. Yes, there is some cost for the participant guide that you go through. If that becomes an issue with anyone, then we can work that out. There’s scholarships available for that. The cost is very minimal, because it’s just for the cost of the book to go through it, the participant’s guide, so that is the answer to that.

Sarah: And then, how will I be set up with a coach? Terry, do you want to answer that question?

Terry: I think the first thing is just to contact us, and let us know, “I want to be coached.” We will do everything we can to try to match you with somebody who would be a good coach in your area. We are local here. Journey is a fairly young organization, and so we may not have coaches in some areas. It’s just a matter of getting in contact with us, and we’ll do what we can to try to match you with somebody who’s coaching at this time.

Sarah: And you say local. We are in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, so that is what Terry mentioned regarding being local.

Sarah: And what if I feel uncomfortable with my coach?

Terry: I think that’s a real easy one to answer. First of all, coaching is an important building, trusting relationships with somebody else. If you have a meeting with a coach, and you just really don’t feel like it’s a good fit for whatever reason. They may be a really good coach, but they just don’t fit your personality, or you’re not feeling comfortable enough to share the things that from your story that could be helpful to share. Then, I would just contact us back, and just say, “Hey, you know what, this person that I met with doesn’t feel like a good fit. Can I find somebody else?” And we’ll gladly try to find somebody else for you.

Sarah: I think that would be important that we actually would want to hear that feedback.

Terry: Absolutely.

Sarah: How long will I have a coach for?

Jeff: You’ll have a coach intentionally for seven sessions. The material was designed to take you through seven intentional sessions. We don’t say seven weeks, because sometimes it can take a lot more time than seven weeks, because again, you’re looking at schedules and what works and what flows. It’s probably two to three months. We’ve taken people through, and it’s been six months. It really depends on your situation, and your coach, and how you can schedule your time together.

Terry: I think, ideally, we tell people to plan on about an hour to an hour and a half per session and at least a week or so apart, maybe a week, maybe two weeks apart. It depends a lot on schedules. But there’s some homework to do in between the sessions where you answer some questions. Your commitment to be coached, would be about an hour, hour and a half a session for about seven sessions. I’m going to guess anywhere between 20 minutes to 60 minutes of homework in the in between time.

Sarah: Last question. I finished my coaching session. Now what?

Jeff: Well, there’s a couple of things that can happen. First of all, it’s really a healthy thing to then get together with other people. It’s kind of like if you’ve got a fire, and there’s a log in the fire, and that one log is burning red hot. But if that log just sits there by itself, and burns red hot, it doesn’t burn red hot for a long time. You need other chunks of wood alongside of it.

Jeff: Like in life, we need people around us, where we can just share our lives together. We were designed for that, and that is certainly a hope for Journey Coaching is that coached people get together in small groups, and then they continue to grow for the longterm. And then the other hope and the vision for Journey is that some people will then coach others. It’s the kind of thing where once you’ve been coached, and once you say to yourself, “Hey, this was good stuff, and I am not sure I could do this, but I think I could do this.” Step out, and take the chance, and go connect with another person and take them through the coaching.

Terry: I’d like to qualify that just a little bit. Not everybody is going to be wired up and gifted to be a coach. I think we need to recognize that from the beginning. Some people will say, “There’s no way I could do this.” And that’s fine. You don’t have to do that. The whole focus in the seven weeks is for you to get to know your story, learning your strengths, your weaknesses, learn about your worldview and how that affects the decisions you’re making and that sort of thing. And then, you come towards the end of the seven weeks, and the coach helps you set some kind of goals for some type of growth. The coach doesn’t tell you how to grow.

Terry: You are the one who discerns that. The last session is really a chance to get together and say, “Hey, wait a minute. How is my goal setting going? Is it working? Did the goals that I set, are they working out for me?” At that point, the coach and the person who’s being coached decide where do we go from here? Do we want to keep meeting and keep working on that particular goal? Setting some new goals. Do you want to try meeting with a different coach who might have a specialty in the area that you’re looking for? Do you want to get involved in a small group, a large group? There’s a whole bunch of different options at that point. And that’s the discussion to have with your coach in the seventh week.

Jeff: Right. And sort of to wrap it up. We’re all here on earth for a short time. We all are designed for purpose. So if we can individually just get in touch more with what we sense that is and if we can have some help doing that, how cool could that be? And really, the larger mission in serving the world is we link arms and move forward together.

Sarah: Awesome. Awesome.

Sarah: If you want to learn more about Journey Coaching, go to journeycoaching.org. Like and follow us on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook. And we would love to talk with you. Send us a DM, Instagram message, or Facebook message, and we will talk to you later. Bye.

Announcer: Thank you for listening. Tune in next time, and make sure you like and subscribe. Visit us at journeycoaching.org and check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Start your own journey at journeycoaching.org.

The Birth Of A New Concept From An Old Idea

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode Jeff and Sarah explore the topic of what coaching is all about. In this episode they discuss how they got to this point of developing the coaching, what it is and why it’s important.


Leader’s Leading: Everything Rises & Falls on Leadership

Welcome back to the Journey Podcast! In this episode Jeff, Lianne and Annie discuss why it is so important that leader’s lead in their area of giftedness.


Transcription of Podcast


Jeff: One of the things we want to talk to today’s topic about is really about leaders leading. It’s something that is a topic that is so important. Everything does rise and fall on leadership. We’ll unpack that a little bit and do that with Annie, and talk about this whole concept of leaders leading.

Lianne: Welcome to Journey. Welcome back. Today, we’re going to have another interesting conversation. I’m sitting here. This is Lianne. I’m sitting here with Jeff and Annie. First, we want to welcome Jeff because I’m quite interested to hear about the topic today. Can you share a little bit about your background? What led you to this topic?

Jeff: Well, this is actually a topic about life and ministry and relational growth and all that stuff, which is a weird topic for me because I’m a marketing guy. You think, “Well, what is marketing having to do with Journey Coaching or relationships or people growing in their emotional and spiritual and physical health?” I guess the common thing with marketing and the definition of marketing is you’re trying to meet the needs of a consumer. Well, if you take the word consumer out of there, and you say, “Well, in marketing, we’re trying to meet the needs of people, and what greater need do people have than healthy relationships?”

Jeff: There’s not many. Really just a quick synopsis of my background, I grew up in the car business. I swore I’d never get into the car business. I went away and got a degree in marketing. I worked at a very large ad agency. I worked in radio and TV media. I had a marketing consulting company and got back into the car business. That was 27 years ago. It seems like seven years ago, but 27 years ago. Through all this, even though my day job was in these different marketing arenas, I’ve always had a heart for the local church and for Jesus.

Jeff: It was an easy sell. It’s like when I was a kid, I even remember, “There’s a God. I’m not it, and Jesus is who He says He was.” I got that. I get it, there’s a lot of people out there that really have a lot of questions and they haven’t crossed the line of faith, but I was that easy, simple line of faith crosser at an early age. Anyway, in terms of my background then, so I’ve been around church world for a long time, and so one app that was opened in my life was this marketing thing. The other app that was opened in my life is church world, and these things came together and collided. That’s where this stuff is bubbled up to the surface, and where I just have helped Journey have been birthed over the last five plus years.

Lianne: Let me interrupt you real quick. Now we’re talking about marketing and we’re talking about things like this and car dealerships, but the big surprise here is that we’re really going to be talking to pastors today, so pastors, church leaders, we’re inviting you to lean in and hear a little more about the topic. I’ll leave that up to you to introduce it.

Jeff: Well, and before I introduce that, maybe we should introduce Annie here who I’ve gotten to know, and my wife and I have gotten to know over the last probably, what, six, seven, eight months. Annie brings a perspective of… Well, I’ll let Annie introduce herself. She can tell her own perspective.

Annie: Tell a little bit about myself, I too have a heart for the people, God’s people and the church, but being a church person myself, I’ve recognized that there’s something that there’s a hole that needs to be filled where connection has been lost or missed. It’s something that in the church world we’re craving just like the rest of us are craving. It’s just the desire for connection and desire for fulfillment, being around God’s people.

Lianne: Awesome. Welcome Annie as well.

Annie: Thank you.

Jeff: One of the things then that’s really been on my heart over the years is just a love and a care for people, because, again, whether it’s marketing, whether it’s church, whatever, I mean people do matter. One of the things we want to talk to today’s topic about is really about leaders leading. It’s something that is a topic that is so important. Everything does rise and fall on leadership. We’ll unpack that a little bit and do that with Annie, and talk about this whole concept of leaders leading.

Annie: That sounds like a great topic. I’m ready to get going on that. Let’s talk about what leadership is talking about different kind of leadership. Can you break down the difference between leadership and pastoring?

Jeff: Right. This, again, is something that if you’re not a church person, hang in there because you may get insights on how the church can be better and how it might attract you more. Maybe it might even help you to understand why maybe you’ve walked away from the church a little bit. Let’s unpack this a little bit. It’s between leadership and pastoring. There’s a lot of really, really sweet, a lot of really good hearted, a lot of really wonderful pastors out in the world. Most pastors feel the call, and they go into the ministry because they might be teachers. They might be more of that mercy, have that mercy gift, that caring gift where they say, “Boy, we really want to come alongside people in their hurt,” more of that shepherding gift.

Jeff: You’ve got these teachers. You’ve got these shepherds. They get into local churches, and then they’re also required to be organizational leaders. They don’t do a lot of teaching about that in seminary. In fact, most seminaries do very little teaching about that. On the other hand, in the marketplace, you’ve got some very strong organizational leaders.

Annie: One thing that I’ve heard it said, the difference between shepherding, pastoring and leadership is that pastors are really focused on soul care and the care of individuals, the care of people. However, leaders are focused on organizational care or structure where they take on the organization, the things that need to get done, and they’re the driving force behind that. They’re driving almost in two separate directions. One is focused on soul and one is focused on task.

Jeff: Exactly. Exactly. There’s another challenge that comes into play there is if you’ve got a very strong organizational leader, they’re looking at mission. It’s like, “What is the next big hill that we’re going to identify and then build a team around and then move forward on?” That’s very different than that pastoral shepherd person. They’re going to look at each person and look at their hurts. You come down to… You’ve got these very two different personalities. God’s wired these two different people very differently. How do they serve together?

Annie: By wiring, you mean strengths?

Jeff: Well, I just mean overall wiring, and so the strengths, the weaknesses. I’ve heard it said that’s cool is I would love a pastor there after the battle’s over, but I don’t want the pastor leading me in the battle. It’s how does that organizational leader who’s ready to go into that next battle or reach to that next initiative and really move that out well? How do those people work together? That’s a real challenge.

Annie: What do you think that means when somebody says, “I don’t necessarily want a pastor to lead me into battle?” What does that look like practically?

Jeff: Well, the reality is if you look at most churches out there, we, as people that go to church, pay pastors to lead and to do a lot of things, because it’s like, “Okay, pastor, teach me, care for me, marry me, bury me, baptize me. Lead me. Administrate all of this stuff that’s going on.” It’s about a 150-hour week job if it’s done well, which is a little hard to do for one person.

Lianne: Not only is that 150-hour a week job, it also draws on such diverse skill sets is what you’re saying-

Jeff: Exactly.

Lianne: … that it’s difficult for one person to traverse the whole entire skill set that that needs to have happen.

Jeff: That’s the model, but, again, in the world, that’s the model that typically keeps being worked, and so for the people out there that don’t go to church and they’re continuing to drive by these church buildings, it’s just showing that it’s not really working that well. I mean, we’d have to be leadership starts with defining reality. The reality is if you take a city, like we’re in here, the size of our communities, probably let’s say the surrounding community, 150,000 people, and if you take the number of churches, and if your church has 50 or 100 people and you add them all up, you ain’t going to get anywhere near 150,000 people are engaged actively in their churches.

Jeff: I mean, it’s maybe 10 or 15 or 20. It’s not the majority, let’s put it that way. I think what the call to action here is, “Okay guys, well, let’s look at doing something differently to better go reach people and help them grow. Again, going back to this marketing thing, if there’s a need, let’s try to meet it and do something about it. Let’s do something differently if we want something different to happen.

Annie: Practical speaking, what does it look like if a leader is leading in the church so that the pastor is shepherding? What do those two roles look like if they are worked out in action?

Jeff: Well, a leader is an interesting thing because a leader is one of these people that doesn’t do any one thing super well when you think about it other than lead. Let’s just look at a simple thing. For instance, if you are leading an organization and that organization has a building, and you walk into the building and the doors are falling off of it, the windows are falling off. The doors are locked, whatever. That’s not good, right? Well, he doesn’t necessarily or she doesn’t have to go and unlock the door and make sure everything’s in its proper place and the windows actually function, the air conditioning works, but you need that person that’s really has that skillset that can do that.

Jeff: It is about building. It is about building teams, and it’s just a very key thing that that person is able to build teams very well and to encourage and motivate. I forgot what the question was.

Annie: Practical speaking, what is leaders leading and shepherd like pastors shepherding.

Jeff: It also comes down to the fact that we have to look at, let’s say, that a pastor who is working lots and lots of hours. How do we help that person out? Well, there’s a lot of us, and I hope some of you out there really connect with this right now because there’s a lot of us, not necessarily marketing, but a lot of those marketplace guys out there who have sat in pews for a lot of years and listen to a lot of messages and patted a lot of pastors on the back and said, “Hey, nice job,” and maybe if they’ve been fortunate enough to be well resourced, given lots of money to churches and to hire more staff, but it’s like, “Well, ought we not change that model and ought then a few?”

Jeff: There’s probably not a lot out there, but there’s a few people who have the spiritual gift of leadership who have a proven marketplace experience. I mean, you can tell they just… When they ask people to move, people move. They have people around them, right? They’re growing things and they’ve got healthy families, because that’s another thing that this model can fall down all of a sudden, this hypothesis thought of leaders leading. This pilot thing we’re looking at can fall down.

Jeff: You can think of people right now, nationally known people, and they can take that next mountain. They can move that next initiative, but you look at their personal life at their character, and it’s just a wreck. That’s not good.

Annie: I think that’s biblical too. You look at examples in the Bible or the elders. What are they doing? What does their home life look like? What does their relationship with their spouse look like?

Jeff: Exactly.

Annie: Then they’re the ideal spot for the leaders who have managing their family well.

Jeff: There’s a sweetness about how they act and interact with people. There’s a sweetness there. Well, the call to action here is then for those gentlemen to step out of the pews and into that leadership role, again, it’s the difference. People go, “Well, we don’t do that. We just, again, we pay.” There’s some of these proven people that they can just do this on a volunteer basis. They’re resourced well enough. They have time. I know a guy. Actually, he’s had his own business for years, decades. His name is Tom. Tom, if you’re listening, get on board, man, let’s go. Tom gets done more.

Jeff: I mean, he goes in the morning. He’s done by 12:00 or 1:00 every day. He runs a multimillion dollar business, and he does it part-time. A lot of these folks have that margin where they can actually go and they can serve a church in other organization, a ministry, and do it really well and do it really well. That’s really the first step. That organizational leader needs to step out and say, “Ah, I’m really going to utilize the gifts that God has given me for the local church, which is just so needed.”

Annie: I think it comes back to we’re supposed to be the body of Christ and we’re supposed to be in that body of Christ. We’re working out of our strengths and our God-given gifts and talents. One of a God given gift or talent is the gift of leadership. Whereas, the gift of shepherding is a different gift. If we’re all in the body of Christ and we’re all utilizing our God given spiritual gifts that He’s given us, we are working together to be the body of Christ. We’re not one person is carrying the whole weight because not everybody can be the head or the arms or the feet. We all need to stand up and the gifts were given, and utilize those so that the church is a good example of Christ.

Jeff: Now, here’s the challenge though is as I’ve been starting to cast out this vision and talk to different people about it, and it’s… The concept overall is get into the game, the game of using your gifts to give a life, really get into the game, right? Well, right now, the model says the pastor is really carrying that ball. If you imagine this football and the pastor has it, he’s got it, right? He’s been hired. He’s a seminary guy. He’s gone to a lot of school, and he’s got the ball. I remember this one conversation. This is a years and years ago.

Jeff: We were offering to do this one event for a pastor to help him out because he couldn’t. It just didn’t work out. It was like, “We’ll do this.” Much of us started talking and laid out, “Well, we can do this and then this could happen,” but halfway through that conversation, he was like, “No, I can do it.” It was really his first. “I can do it.” He’s just grabbing that ball back. You guys hired me to do this. I’ll make it work. I was like, “Oh, rats.” It’s like, “Rats.” The thing is the path for this to work, the pastors have to be willing to pass the ball, and then that organizational leader needs to actually catch the ball and run with it well, but it’s that team thing there.

Jeff: You’ve gotta have both happening, because I can’t go up to a pastor, grab the ball away and say, “Guess what? I’m going to lead this thing really well,” and he goes, “Excuse me?”

Lianne: We’ve talked a lot about trust being something that you develop. It’s not something that maybe happens right at the first instance, but developing trust. Probably, it sounds like the people that are caring about that pastor and doesn’t want the pastor to go through the burnout and the stress of all the things being laid on their shoulders, so it sounds like the people of the church, those that maybe have the skill for leadership, but even other people can help and come in and just encourage and say, “This is something because we care about you. We care about all the people of the church, and maybe you’re stretched thin and we want you to be able to work to your strengths.”

Lianne: “So maybe let’s talk for a minute about the gains that the pastor and therefore all the people that the pastor would be serving my gain from having.” You were talking about football analogy, so I have to hit my head. I gotta picture. You said you got the one guy carrying the ball. The other guy carrying the ball. I don’t know much about rugby but I always see pictures and they’re all carrying the ball down the field. That’s the picture you gave me when you were talking about that.

Jeff: That’s a great point. I mean, a couple of great points there, Lianne. One is for others that come around the pastor and say… because, I think, sometimes, and again it’s just the mindset, it’s the mindset of the model. The mindset says if you lay this out that somebody else is going to take over point leadership organizationally. I’m not talking about executive pastor. That’s a role that I’m not talking about. I’m talking about point leadership of the church. If you’re talking to people in existing models and the pastors, they’re like, “Whoa, what am I doing wrong?”

Jeff: It’s like, “Okay, I’ll work 90 hours a week then. I’ll just buckle off [inaudible 00:20:38].” It’s like, “No, no. No. How about instead of maybe working even 40, why don’t you budget in like 28 to work?” Here’s the thing about being a pastor. If you budget in 20 hours to work with all the stuff that how life happens, things are going to come up. Somebody’s going to get sick. Somebody’s going to die. Somebody is going to have a crisis, some situation. To have that margin built into your life as somebody that’s always caring for people, frontline soul care things, let’s not budget pastors out at 60 hoping for 80.

Jeff: Let’s budget pastors at 20 hoping that maybe they can functionally handle 40 or 45.

Lianne: This is a call to action too for people that maybe have the gifts of leadership within the church that are sitting on the sidelines. It’s a call to say, “Hey, there’s a spot for you within the church to use your God given gifts of leadership to take off some of the weight that the pastor’s carrying so that they can truly focus more on soul care, and the people with the gifts of leadership can focus on leadership and organizational care.”

Jeff: Again, so biblical. I mean, you talked about the body of Christ and the hands and feet. We can talk about how Journey fits into that a little bit. Lianne, I want to go back to your comments there about how good they were of people need. I think this really does start with people that the pastor trusts, people coming around that pastor and just saying, “Hey, this is something different we’re talking about here. This is a hypothesis that needs to be tested. It’s not based on just butterflies and unicorns. It’s based on the Bible. Like, how can we live out the Bible today? Romans 12 kinds of things, leaders lead. Teachers teach.”

Jeff: To have those conversations and just say, “We care about you, but here’s how it could look if an organizational leader ran point, and let’s at least start the discussion. Let’s start talking about that.” That’s a really good point you make is just to have those conversations and not as hammers like, “You’re not doing a good job,” but as, “Hey, we all need to come together and serve out of our strengths and to do this well, because at the end of the day, this isn’t about just an organization. It’s not just about marketing and making more money. This is about God’s church and how we can steward and care for that in a healthy way.”

Lianne: I am anxious to know how Journey ties in with all this.

Jeff: Well, here’s the tie. Again, I want to go back now if by some miracle, there is still somebody listening that hasn’t crossed the line of faith and they’re like, “Man, okay, that’s nice all that church talk and pastoral talk and leadership talk, but I’m the guy or gal that keeps driving by the churches. I have really no interest in this whole topic at all.” Well, here’s where hopefully the interest is you have a wonderful life that’s been given to you, and it is a limited time here on earth. Whether you believe in God as the creator or not, I think we can all agree, we all have a limited time here on earth.

Jeff: Anybody listening to this, wherever they’re at on their faith walk or lack of faith walk, can jump into coaching and they can jump in with somebody else, and just start where they are starting at, wherever that is, and share their story, look at their strengths, look at their weaknesses, and they can just begin that conversation to say, “Okay, how has God wired me up? Even if I don’t believe God maybe wired me up, what are my strengths? What are some limitations or weaknesses? What’s my view of the world? What’s a healthy Christian view of the world?” Then to take a step and say, “Okay, what are one, two, or three next steps then that I can take?”

Jeff: It’s that very relational one-on-one step. That would be the first thing that somebody can do.

Lianne: Purpose, you have a purpose here. Your life is for a reason.

Jeff: Exactly, and getting a sense of that. That’s the first step. The second step then becomes this coaching champion. People who have crossed with a lot of faith, they’re healthy. They’re solid. They’re growing. They say, “Wow, this coaching thing, this is really neat, seven sessions getting together with somebody. I want to do more of that.” They’re like this coaching champion, so they take this out and they share it with other people and they coach another person in the next six months and then somebody else and somebody else.

Jeff: All of a sudden, they’re just coaching a lot of people. They’re this coaching champion. They’re like, “Wow, I’m just going to come alongside people, and I’m not the expert. I don’t have… We’re all on this journey together. I’m not this expert, but at least I’m willing to listen.” There’s this process that you we’ve put out there that people can follow. That’s the next step is that coaching champion. The third step would be these leaders lead this person, this guy that was saying, “Okay, I’m going to really step up and look at being that point person at a church big or small,” because there’s a lot of organizational leaders out there that have had organizational leadership experience with smaller kinds of organizations, so that might fit better.”

Jeff: Well, maybe not, but it might fit better with a smaller church. There are some really big churches out there, right? There are some what we call mega churches, but there are some organizational leaders that have had very effective, proven results with huge business marketing outside the church organizations. It could even be the guys who run a chapter of the United Way had 200 staff that he supervise, so smaller organizational leader, bigger organizational leader. Either way, they can apply that acumen to that small, medium, large church.

Lianne: Let’s say that I have the gifts of leadership, but I don’t know how to get started with church. Where do I fit in? Where should I go and how should I get started?

Jeff: Well, and this will probably sound like a broken record as we do more and more podcasts, but it’s a boring next step, but reach out however you reach out, through the Journey website, through… I think there’s a phone number on there, through whatever, reach out, and let’s talk about you, the person who is now going through the coaching. I had a conversation today. What people tend to do is a lot of people, and I’m not saying everybody, a lot of people look at the material and go, “Oh wow, this is like these.”

Jeff: It’s not huge, right? It’s like 80 pages or something like that. There’s these seven sessions like, “Oh yeah, this is really neat, and I’ll go look at it.” I say to people, “Well, that’s fine. You can go look at it, but then bring it back and either give it back to me or experience the coaching. Don’t just put it on a shelf because we don’t write this material so that somebody can put it on the shelf and it can be on their big bookshelf with the other 800 books there.” This is really the experience in it.

Jeff: The specific answer that will be always the answer when somebody asks what do you do next is go through the coaching with somebody, experience it, and take that chance. It’s something that I was sitting here listening when we were doing an earlier podcast where there is talking about sharing stories. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anybody who has said, “Hmm, sat down with you, Jeff. Shared my story. Oh, I’ve been there, done that. I’ve done that so many times throughout my life. It’s just what’s different about this journey thing than anything else I’ve gone through?”

Jeff: I mean, that’s zero. People just don’t have the opportunity to sit down with another person and actually have them with open ears listen to their story. I mean, that’s a pretty cool thing in and of itself. Even if you don’t go through the whole thing, you don’t have to make it like nobody here today needs to make a commitment for the next decade to lead their church. Nobody needs to make a long-term commitment to lead other people into coaching. Nobody listening even has to make a commitment to accept Christ or even become a Christian. Don’t even…

Jeff: Forget about all of that stuff. Just make a call. Find out more about the coaching and just sit down for that initial time where you just hear that person’s story, what coaching is about and then go from there. Take it a step at a time.

Lianne: Awesome. Our time is coming to an end so we’ll wrap it up. We have a few things left to do. One of them is I want to thank Jeff for bringing this topic and sharing insights that you have, and Annie for taking time out and being part of this conversation. I’d like to continue the conversation after we even go off the air. I have a couple of questions to ponder. The first one is are you a pastor carrying the weight of leading in all areas of your church? The second question is are you a leader and do you have talents and gifts that you can share and maybe step in and come alongside your pastor and step up and offer to be a leader?

Lianne: If you’re in either of those two categories, it might be nice to just do a little exercise. Make two columns. One of them would be pastoring or shepherding, and one of them would be leader or administration. Maybe separate out some duties and start to look at what types of things could be carried in a community manner rather than just piling on to one person. The third thing is if you are interested in Journey Coaching in either of those two categories or you are a listener out there who just is interested in Journey Coaching, please reach out to us and find out more.

Lianne: It’s been great having this conversation today and having you listening. Bye.

Jeff: Bye.

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