Today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features Grace Valentine, a young woman with a heart for Jesus and a passion for helping other young women find their identity and sufficiency in Christ. Today we are celebrating the launch of Grace's first book, Am I Enough: Embracing the Truth About Who You Are.
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In today's episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast, I chat with Cara Whitney, wife of Dan Whitney (aka Larry the Cable Guy). Cara shares her testimony of coming to trust Christ as her personal Savior and how caring for her horses gave her a unique glimpse into the heart of God. We also talk about how Christians can better support those who are just beginning to pursue a relationship with Christ and the importance of loving and disciplining those new to the Christian faith.
Click here to learn more about beginning a personal relationship with Jesus
Find complete show notes here
Heart Lesson: Have I done enough to tell my kids about Jesus?
Go Tandem (discipleship app)
How Christians behave has no bearing on whether or not the resurrection happened.
We can cast our cares on the Lord because He is in control.
God gives us the choice to love Him by giving us a choice not to love Him.
Christians are quick to judge but not to give you the good news.
God designed my life this way and it is the best way.
You can not expect lonely and hurting people to walk into church, but Jesus made house calls. He rarely said, "I love you," but showed it in action.
Get to know a new believer and tailor your discipleship to their specific needs.
The group that needs to be louder is the group that loves.
Allow yourself time to get to know Jesus after coming to faith.
On today's episode, I chat with Tracey Murtha, wife of the late Greg Murtha. We chat about what Greg's cancer journey was like from her perspective and some of the challenges of living without her beloved husband, but mostly we talk about how Greg's cancer diagnosis opened the Murtha's eyes to the needs of the people around them, and how Tracey continues to live with this same love and compassion for reaching others.
Heart Lesson: There are only two things that will last into eternity - the word of God and the souls of men.
The Broken Way (book)
More is caught than taught.
Our greatest area of service often springs from our greatest pain.
Obey the Lord. We don't have to fix the other person, we just have to do the small thing and He will do the rest.
Choose joy in the moment because you won't get that moment back.
Cling to the hope of Jesus because He's got you. He didn't bring you this far to abandon you.
Live in the present and the Holy Spirit will prompt you to serve whoever is in front of you.
Only two things will last into eternity: the word of God and the souls of men. That is where we need to invest our time.
Greg was not fearful of taking his last breath. He was all about making the breath before that one count.
This episode of the Heart Lessons Podcast features actor, producer, and author Candace Cameron Bure. We chat about her newest book, Kind is the New Classy, and why kindness is so important. We also talk strategies for how to be kind when you don't feel like it, and why Christians sometimes have a hard time displaying kindness to those who hold viewpoints that are different from their own.
Purchase Kind is the New Classy
Heart Lesson: Push into the Lord even more.
Galatians 5:22-23 (fruits of the Spirit)
I believe we can bring kindness back and change the culture. But it all starts with you and it starts with me - it starts with one person at a time.
You have to work at kindness and build it like a muscle and form new habits for yourself.
Kindness can still be bold it's just staying respectful in your character and treating the other person with dignity.
What will people say about Jesus because of me?
I trust God and I know that He has my back. I trust that He will give me the words or disposition I need in that moment.
Jesus's kindness was never conditional. He recognized the image of God in everyone and treated everyone with that appropriate level of kindness.
Kindness is love in action. It is something you do. Love is also a verb, but it can have emotions attached. I don't have to have an emotional feeling toward someone to be kind to them.
Steps to Choosing Kindness:
On this final part of the Father's Day series here on the Heart Lessons Podcast, Nigel Anderson shares his perspective on fatherhood, approaching racial issues with grace, and how we can all be unified under the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a very sensitive but very important topic, and I am so thankful for Nigel's willingness to share his heart and his wisdom and speak into these issues with such a spirit of grace. May you receive it with just as much love and grace.
Heart Lesson: Never stop trusting.
Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast
Philando Castile and Tamir Rice shootings
Come Thou Fount hymn (Prone to Wander)
Running from who you don't want to be isn't enough to keep you on the right path.
If we are not intentional about keeping Christ at the center of everything we will find something to put there.
If you're a Christian you should care about everything because of the Imago Dei and if not, you should fight to view all of it as important.
We need to get out of the identity of our camps and figure out what the meaning of a real Christian is.
The intentionality of the gospel is the restoration of a relationship that was eternally severed.
Everyone's perspective is valid and it is, by definition, incomplete.
The solution is knowing people.
A prayer before confronting another's perspective: In this moment, Lord, give me grace to listen and wisdom to know if I should say something and if so, what that something should be.
We are all different and that is fine. It is beautiful.
We should elevate the gospel above all else.
The Way (song)
My Role in Racial Reconciliation (blog post)
In this second part of the Father's Day series here on the Heart Lessons podcast, Chris Tate shares his heart and his journey with infant loss. He shares the story of his two beautiful baby girls, Ellie and Elsie, and speaks openly about what it is like to be a loss father, to support your wife in grief, and how to trust the Lord even in the midst of such tragedy.
Heart Lesson: Love God with all your heart and love people.
Find complete show notes at sarahrieke.com/podcast
Myers Briggs Type Index (personality test)
Enneagram (personality test)
The story of Eli and Samuel (Did you call me ...?)
God is for us and not against us and that knowledge allowed me to trust Him completely.
Stay the course and be there for your wife even if you aren't receiving instant feedback in that moment.
Spend more time together even if that means embracing the pain.
There isn't one way to grieve correctly. It is an individual process for everyone.
Advice to another infant loss father: Spend time with your spouse and continue to love her in the best way you know how because it gives you strength to move through it all together.
In Part I of the Father's Day Series here on the Heart Lessons Podcast, Jerrad Lopes from Dad Tired shares what it means for a husband and father to lead his family well, and to look to the perfect Father as the prime example of leadership and service to his family.
Heart Lesson: Recognizing that God is a person with his own personality, thoughts, patterns, and preferences.
Click here for complete show notes
3 Ways to Improve Your Marriage and Parenting (podcast episode)
Love and Respect (book)
The Heart Lessons Podcast Episode 14 (on foster care)
Three steps to leading your family well:
Behavior is always a manifestation of what is going on in the heart.
You don't need a bunch of rules to follow, you need Jesus to change your heart.
We will have three titles that extend beyond the grave: disciple, husband, and father. What do you spend your time on that does not make sense for the kingdom of God?
Take initiative and stumble your way through spiritual leadership.
The good news of the gospel is that you don't have to be the perfect daddy because you can point your kids back to the perfect daddy.
How can a wife help her husband lead well:
I love you simply because you are my child just as God does not love me based on what I accomplish but simply his heart toward me.
Purchase Unexpected (Christine's latest book)
Click here for complete show notes
Heart Lesson: He who promised is faithful. His mercies and grace are new every morning.
Jesus shamed shame on the cross.
To have been broken for so long and then to find healing in Christ, that is the message of the gospel.
We want to be delivered from our trouble but most often Jesus will take us through it.
What is abundant life in the midst of heartache and sorrow? That is the faith-filled life.
If I can have hope then maybe what I went through can help give someone else hope for one more day.
It is not sin to not want to go through something. The sin would be to stop there.
Allow your pain to make you better and not bitter.
Allow pain to make you better:
In this episode, I share the part of my story where I was most angry at God. You might be surprised to hear that it was not when my unborn babies were diagnosed or in the grieving months that followed my losses but rather, a time when I felt like God owed something to me.
Through Jesus, I, a sinner, am made righteous before the Father. He traded the death and eternal punishment I deserved for eternal life.
God owed me nothing but gave me everything.
I had forgotten that God owed nothing to me and that even the breath in my lungs belonged to Him.
I am to live my life in sacrificial surrender to the Lord because of what He has done for me. As soon as I forget that, I begin to feel entitled to certain things in life.
I had been clinging to the desire for a healthy baby so tightly, probably throwing a spiritual tantrum. But before the Lord could bless me in that way, I needed to calm my heart and remember my place as a living sacrifice and be at peace with God's good and pleasing and perfect will, even if that meant no more babies.
This is not a formula for getting what you want but rather, a reminder to surrender to the Lord's will because He owed us nothing and yet gave us everything, which is far beyond what any of us deserve.
Sophie Hudson, aka Boo Mama, shares what it is like to mother a teenager. From what she tells me, it's actually pretty fantastic.
Heart Lesson: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus's blood and righteousness.
The Lord is sweet in that just as He grows them up, He grows us too.
I want to enjoy the stage I'm in and not dread when it's going to end.
Where am I parenting out of fear? Because in the end, it's not healthy for either one of us.
Kids freak out about what we freak out about.
The sweetness of life is that it is a gift at every stage and these kids are a gift at every age and golly, it's so fun to get to be a part of it.
Conversations on sex and conversations on friendship need to be ongoing, not just one time.
Survival Kit for Parenting Teens:
Visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for complete show notes
Find the Dear Loss Mama, It's Okay If ... series here
Caitlin Mathieu of Due to Joy talks about what it means to be an invisible mother, a mother with no living children. She is a wealth of wisdom for leaning on the Lord during dark times and how to navigate the road of invisible motherhood with grace.
Heart Lesson: The Lord wants to turn my mourning into dancing and return my joy even in the middle of my pain.
Jesus wants to bring purpose to our pain. He does not want to waste it.
The devil wants me to believe that God has left me or that my body has failed me. But those are all lies.
We need to extend grace to people who say things and don't know your story and people who say things and do know your story.
I've had to release my white-knuckle grip on my fear because it's too heavy for me to carry and it isn't mine to carry.
You are not alone.
My heart that is so ready to love another baby is the same heart that already loves a baby who is a citizen of heaven.
Three Ways to Fight the Darkness:
My Invisible Motherhood (blog post)
Through the Lens Podcast Episode 8: Mothering After Loss (podcast episode)
My dear friend, Lauren Casper, joins us for this episode of the Mother's Day series and shares what it means to mother a transracial family and embrace the diversity of skin colors and cultures within her own home.
visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for show notes
Heart Lesson: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
Matthew 22:36-40 (The Greatest Commandment)
I want to be intentional to put in the time so I can raise my children as children of color, because they are, and not try to make them fit into my white world.
I need to learn about cultural differences because I don't want to erase the heritage they came from, as much as I possibly can.
So much of adoption is about loss. As beautiful as the process of adoption is, it is impossible to ignore that there is an enormous component of loss there, particularly for the children.
I do everything I can to embrace and celebrate their culture because I want to show them it is not something they were rescued out of.
It is our responsibility not to look away because how can we love each other well when we do?
This is how we raise racially aware children; by putting diversity in their world from early on.
I have recognized my need to have a lifelong posture of student and continuously be asking and learning and listening.
Empathy means to treat someone how they want to be treated and that requires listening and learning.
Journal and Reflection Page:
Katie Bennett, author of Heavenly-Minded Mom, shares what it means to mother in light of eternity and how that truth can transform our everyday lives.
Heart Lesson: God is holy and it is not ok for me to be unholy. He is holy so I must be holy.
I felt God leading me to make my faith my choice.
He called me to live the truth of an eternal reality and pursue the simple task of living for Him and obeying Him moment by moment.
All of our meaningless tasks are given lasting meaning because when we work hard and heartily as unto the Lord, we will receive an eternal inheritance as a reward.
It’s all passing away. Everything except how we loved, how we persevered, and how we faithfully accomplished the tasks that God laid out for us.
Determine what is best for the kingdom of God and put that above your own wants and desires.
What does it mean to throw off the things that hinder us so that we can pursue Christ with all we’ve got, running our race with perseverance?
Allow your sense of overwhelm and need drive you to the cross and ask for help.
Even if things don’t go how we expected, they went how God expected and knew it would happen. what is important is not the outcome, it is taking steps of obedience and trust in the midst of that situation.
It is important to let my children in on how I think.
Journal and Reflection Page:
Hayley Morgan, co-author of Wild & Free and the just-released Always Enough, Never Too Much, comes to the podcast today to talk about walking big and wild in who God made us to be, walking free in what Jesus Christ bought for us on the cross, and then the truth that staying tethered to the Lord will allow us to live in being always enough and never, ever too much. We also talk fearing ourselves, the enneagram, and how to discern the voice of the Lord over the voice of the enemy.
Heart Lesson: Be needy of the Lord.
There is a difference between knowledge of something and understanding of something. Knowledge comes when you learn something for the first time, but the understanding comes when you work it out in the day to day and apply it to many different situations and continue to preach those truths to yourself.
It is not about not having goals or not being ambitious, it's about a right ordering of your heart toward the Lord.
There is nothing you can do to make the Lord love you less, and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you more.
Our main job is to stay tethered to the Lord.
God's correction is kind and never feels like condemnation. It feels like a light has been shined onto something.
You've already been found out as a person who has a sinful nature and a person who lives in a fallen world. And also, you've already been redeemed.
[God's correction] is not indicting of our identity, it is God calling us His child who has done something wrong.
I want women to know they can't go too far one way or the other. Not that they lack the ability to, but that if they are intimately connected with the Lord, He is going to bring them right back to where they need to be.
God is secure in Himself and in His creation.
When we fear our own selves, it is almost clinging to what was instead of what could be.
My hope is that women would see this is a story more about God and not about them and they have a beautiful part to play in it, but they don't need to fear their capacity. God is not afraid of what they will do with how He has created them, especially when living a life that is yielded to Him.
Keys to A Successful Friendship:
Visit NellieTaft.com and enter 25heartlessons for 25% off your order!
Ginger Hubbard shares her insights, wisdom, and all-around awesome tips for reaching our children with heart-oriented training. She aims not to only change their behavior, but reach their hearts.
Visit sarahrieke.com/podcast for show notes
Heart Lesson: Trust that God is in control of my adult children and working in their lives.
Ginger's 3-Step Plan:
There is so much more to getting our children to act right; we need to get them to think right and be motivated out of a love for virtue rather than a fear of punishment.
Jesus himself asked heart-probing questions and in doing so, the people had to evaluate themselves.
It is never enough to train children what not to do; we need to tell them what to do. That's what it means to train them in righteousness, to walk in the wisdom of God's word.
We are administering grace and mercy when we take the time to diligently train our child up in the way they should go.
I love you too much to allow you to disobey and live foolishly.
There should be a clean slate and forgiveness after consequences.
We are responsible as parents to teach our kids the word of God, but it is God's word that actually convicts and brings about change. It is not about us, they still have a choice.
It is never too late to begin training a child in God's word.
How does God want you to obey? Right away, all the way, and with a happy heart.
Daily Prayer: Lord, help me to be wiser than my children.
Cori Salchert shares her heart behind fostering terminally ill babies and children. Her transparency as to the level of faith it takes to stay committed to this beautiful and yet heavy work God has called her to is such a perfect picture of God's strength working in our weakness.
Heart Lesson: I say I trust God and He gives me many opportunities to do so, many opportunities for me to look at God and judge my circumstances, and not judge God through my circumstances.
There is a heavy gravity to all of this. It is not light warfare and it is not all song and dance. Having a terminally ill child is not a walk in the park and I don't want to minimize the grief that goes along with that.
Courage is not the absence of fear, it is just determining that there is something greater at stake.
I want it to be so evident that I am doing all of this in God's power. I do not want to stand at the burning bush and say, "I stutter ..." I want God to use me.
You can't take this as all pain and you can't just take it as a gift; it's both.
song credit: Nichole Nordeman, You Are Good
When our life circumstances are so hard and leave us brokenhearted, can we still say that God is good?
Marshawn Evans Daniels, reinvention strategist and faith and business coach, talks about her newly released book, Believe Bigger, and encourages women to walk confidently in the purpose God has placed in their lives. We talk about the coexistence of both humility and confidence, what it means to find purpose in painful circumstances, and what it was like for her to be on Miss America. You are going to come away from this episode with a soul on fire for being ok to own whatever it is that God has called you to do.
Heart Lesson: Having permission to go at a slower pace and find the door opening in a time of pause rather than a time of pursuit.
5 Steps to Finding Your Purpose (Purpose Map):
Grace is what you need in the middle of battle when you're under attack.
When we see a need we can feel free to meet that need in that moment.
Believing something that seems too big to understand but believing in it anyway, that is the start of a greater purpose.
Purpose is a process. God is more concerned with our character than He is our calling and He wants us to have the capacity to fulfill our calling, so He's going to take us through a process.
Sometimes we don't know our purpose and so we just have to walk. We can't always make sense of what God is doing.
Your story will take you into a greater purpose.
God loves impossible circumstances. He loves to part the Red Seas.
His yoke is easy but we want to make it hard.
We need permission not to hide because then we are hiding what God has given us. And what if the very thing you are hiding is the very bridge someone needs to enter eternity?
God speaks in cans and not in can'ts.
Are we warrior princesses or are we not?
Christ was humble because He knew where His power came from.
Humility is about reliance and operating on an extension of who God is. Confidence is all about who we are because of who God is in us.
Godfidence is believing in the unseen and not being afraid to shine, but relying on who God has called me to be.
Giving ourselves permission allows us to take the limits off for the unlimited Holy Spirit.
Journal and Reflection Page
**This conversation is recommended for mature audiences only**
Mo Isom speaks openly and candidly about her sexual testimony and what her life looked like when she neglected to ask the question of why God calls His children to live a life of purity.
"It's about so much more than doing what's right and avoiding what's wrong. It's a reflection of preserving our bodies and our hearts for a God who gave His life for us first. " - Mo Isom
Heart Lesson: The realization and awe of the power of the Holy Spirit's operation within us.
Steps to overcoming addiction to porn:
We are creatures made to worship but quickly worship what we want.
We must begin by knowing what God calls us to and why He calls us to it so that we don't even give the enemy a foothold from the start.
The purity God calls us to is really a heart purity.
We can get lost in serving ourselves.
We need to get uncomfortable for the sake of our own lives. Eternity is at stake and yet we are often worried for a five-minute conversation.
Sin will win out every single time if we are not careful.
Sex (in marriage) is not just to serve ourselves, it is laying our lives down in service of another.
Sex (in marriage) is a powerful weapon against the enemy.
Journal and Reflection Page
Welcome to Part I of the Intentionality Series of the Heart Lessons Podcast! In this intro episode we talk about intentionality in Scripture, how God models intentionality for us, and share the resources you shared on social media about all the things that are helping you live with greater intention. This episode kicks off the series designed to help you stay on track with your New Year's Resolutions.
Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes on this episode and the other episodes in this series.
My guest today is Julie Rougeux, wife, mother, and executive director of the Pharoah's Daughters Marketplace. Julie also has a passion for fighting against injustice and standing in the gap for orphans and families who lack the resources to stand up for themselves. Our conversation today centers on her heart for adoption, her personal adoption stories, her involvement in the Pharoah's Daughter's Marketplace, and her passion for empowering women living in poverty to create a sustainable income. We also talk about the part you can play for standing in the gap for these people God loves.
Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes
Today on the podcast Erin Odom, aka the Humbled Homemaker, chats with us about being intentional with our finances. Today Erin shares with us the basic concepts for creating more space and margin in your budget as outlined in her newest book, You Can Stay Home with Your Kids, releasing on April 10th. We also talk about the importance of working within a budget and some really practical tips for setting up your own personal budget. If you have goals to maximize your cash dollars in 2018, this episode will be such a great resource.
Pre-order Erin's book at: youcanstayhomewithyourkids.com
View show notes at sarahrieke.com
Best-selling author, speaker, and all-around hilarious human shares her thoughts on living intentionally in the small moments, for it is in these small moments that life is built.
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As a mother, I want what is best for my children. I want what will keep them happy, safe, and comfortable. And while my heart breaks over the reality that two of my children are no longer here, isn't that what they have in Heaven? Through Jesus, my babies have happy, safe, perfect life. Praise God that through the death of His Child, He made a way for mine.
Prayer to Receive Christ as Savior:
Dear Jesus, I believe in You. I believe that you died on the cross for me and rose the third day and are now in Heaven preparing a place for me. I want to accept Your gift of everlasting life and spend eternity with You. Please come into my life and save me from my sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes
As the world turns to a new year, it is so common to enter into that newness with a handful of resolutions and a renewed sense of energy and intention for how to keep those resolutions. It's a new year, new page, fresh start. But what about those times when the difficulty, sadness, and grief from the previous year follow you into the next? This episode is dedicated to those listeners who are still feeling burdened by whatever hard things 2017 held for them and offers hopeful encouragement for how to move forward in that brokenness, keeping in mind that even broken can be beautiful.
Visit sarahrieke.com for show notes on this episode
Song: "Beautiful Things" by Gungor