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She's in the City by NaSHEville
34 minutes | Jan 19, 2022
The Beauty of Brokenness ft. Strings For Hope CEO, Emily Winters
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and we are so grateful to have the CEO of local Nashville social enterprise company, Strings for Hope, to share their mission with us. Strings for Hope repurposes secondhand musical strings to make beautiful jewelry, all made by survivors of addiction, domestic violence, and human trafficking with the mission to empower and employ women in recovery. Emily Winters took over the company as CEO at just 21 years-old and has since brought tremendous growth and expansion, with retail partners carrying Strings for Hope products all across the US. In spite of her lack of experience at the time, Emily fell in love with the survivors SFH employs and set out to build the company as one that could continue to support part- and full-time employees in recovery. Even at a young age, she realized “if I let this fail, I could get another job, but many of these women couldn’t.” Her whole focus became about them, and it remains about them even as the company grows. “I felt like I saw opportunities for the broken strings [and women] that a lot of people couldn’t see. What we do is provide these women a choice and an opportunity with work. I’m just happy I can play that role [in their lives] with my business.” Not only has she thrived as the leader of this gives-back company, she has also found remarkable beauty from the brokenness of her own story. As a survivor of domestic and sexual abuse by her alcoholic step-father, Emily has personally discovered the power that comes when we allow our own pain and trauma to become tools to empower and encourage others. “My story allows me to bring a sense of safety to these women and be an ally to them. As a young leader who ultimately doesn’t have a background in business or working with survivors, the pain of my past has made me feel worthy of being in this place.” No matter how isolated we feel or what shame surrounds our past, none of us are ever truly alone in our pain, are we? Past traumas and wounds don’t make us weak. As Emily attests, they can become tools for us to be better, more compassionate leaders. There truly is beauty in brokenness if we have the courage to uncover it. How do we support, follow, and shop SFH? www.stringsforhope.com *Retail partners & pop-ups all across US
36 minutes | Jan 5, 2022
Rhythms of Rest & Renewal ft. Rebekah Lyons
As we enter a new year, most of us find ourselves in the same place – between a finish line and a starting line. What do we want to change? Where do we want to go? What do we need from our people, from ourselves, and from the Lord? We’re starting 2022 with best-selling author and speaker, Rebekah Lyons, who encourages us all to “take inventory,” which, if you’re anything like me sounds like a nightmare of numbers, color-coordinating pantries, and realizing you may be more of a hoarder than you let yourself believe. But in her book, Rhythms of Renewal: Trading Stress and Anxiety for a Life of Peace and Purpose, Rebekah distills this idea of spiritual and relational reflection into four simple questions we can consider to better start this new year with transparency, peace, and renewal. She simply asks herself and asks the Lord to direct her in: What’s right? What’s wrong? What’s confused? And what’s missing? While seemingly daunting at first with a potential for skeletons to surface that we may not want to face, these simple questions are how we stop racing through life and start living into God’s best for us! “I don’t want to always have my head so down that I don’t see the bigger picture of what God is doing,” Rebekah says. Maybe taking inventory is just the place to start? But how do we do this if we’re not big journalers or if time feels so limited for things like reflection and prayer? Check out just a few of the practical ways she offers. Get quiet & do the heart work “So often we don’t know where we are and how we are because we will not give ourselves permission to stop long enough and ask. We’re afraid of what will come out.” Tech detox “I wasn’t being true to my voice. I started writing and posting [on Instagram] what others wanted to hear, not what I wanted to say. [I started] running out of original thoughts because [I was] consuming everyone else’s.” Trial and grief as a birthplace of fruit “The fullness of joy depends on the fullness of healing. And the fullness of healing depends on knowing what needs to be healed.” The heart of the matter is, we all crave, need, and are made for restful and renewing relationships with the Lord and with others. And we know how much courage it takes to prioritize and pursue that in our busy day-to-day lives! Rebekah defines bravery as “moving scared.” And sometimes that’s exactly what committing to rest feels like. Making a healthy move that’s scary; fearful of missing out, getting behind, or benching ourselves from all that’s before us. It’s brave because it’s hard. It’s brave because it’s counterculture. It’s brave because it reminds us that we don’t have it all together, that sometimes we have to fall apart, and that we’re ultimately made for a place where eternal rest will be found. “Rest reminds us that we will never arrive [on this earth]. It gives us permission to stop and remember life isn’t about getting to the next thing, it’s about obedience and faith growing in this next [year] more than it did in the last.” So let’s just take a little inventory, shall we? Let the Lord show us what’s right, wrong, confused, and missing and soak up the delicious truth that He will carry us through those things in the now and will make perfect all those things in the end. Happy New Year, everyone!
37 minutes | Dec 1, 2021
Lemons on Friday: Finding Purpose in Pain & Living from an Abundance Mindset ft. Laura Hutfless
Laura Hutfless’s resumé and credentials speak for themselves: Co-Founder of FlyteVu, a full-service entertainment marketing agency that helps mission-driven companies and brands, large and small, integrate into pop culture and create authentic emotional connections with their audience. 2021 Chief Marketer PRO Award Billboards 30 & 40 under lists Work with clients like: Bumble, Enterprise, Jack Daniel’s, Anheuser Busch, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Converse, Norwegian Cruise Line, Drybar, Spotify Truly one of the most driven and creative friends we know, Laura brings together pop culture and purpose to make some major impacts on companies, consumers, and the community. FltyeVu even operates on an OVER 20% gives back model, serving non-profits and individuals in need. She attributes her overwhelming generosity to her faith and to parents who raised her to live from an abundance mentality. “I never lived in fear [of giving away] because I was raised to live from a place of abundance.” Not only is Laura a business powerhouse, she is also the president of the board of the Onesite Foundation. She was introduced to Onsite – a non-profit providing trauma-informed counseling and emotional health education – when she found herself stuck on the “hamster wheel of achievement,” as FlyteVu became one of the country’s fastest-growing companies following its launch. “I was hustling for my worth and I didn’t know why.” And from there, Onsite changed her life, both personally and professionally. The foundation offers a variety of 5-day workshops serving both individuals and communities, especially persons affected by trauma, abuse, stress, or mental health issues. Her experience at Onsite’s beautiful, rural campus outside of Nashville equipped Laura with tools for healing and moving forward with a healthier, balanced life. She has since helped Onsite develop a program for victims of mass shootings, creating a space for survivors to face and heal the deep trauma from those events. Laura founded Triumph Over Tragedy after losing her significant other to a relapse in 2019. Austin had been a victim of the Columbine shootings and had struggled with addiction and untreated trauma for nearly two decades. Laura’s grief and acute awareness of the dangers of unaddressed trauma, especially for mass shooting victims, has resulted in a one-of-a-kind space for community and healing for many like Austin. “Pain and struggle always leave a gift,” she tells us. Because of her giving heart and hard work, Triumph Over Tragedy is quite literally changing the lives of countless shooting survivors. Even in the hardest seasons of life, Laura reminds us of the power of letting the Lord to work in and through our heartbreaks. “This life is hard. You have to look at each chapter of your life, even the hard ones, and see the gift in it. Because that is what we call hope.” Follow Laura @lehnashville and learn more about FlyteVu and the Onsite Foundation.
54 minutes | Nov 17, 2021
Lemons on Friday: On Choosing Joy & Letting God Love You in Grief
Over the past three years of my own grief and healing, it’s been crucial for me to have those whom I now call my “pace people.” You know, when you run a 5k or watch a car race, there’s always a pace person or a pace car who leads the pack and sets the pace. A runner or driver that goes ahead and stays a constant reminder for those behind that you can keep going. You can get keep the pace and eventually get up here to where they are. This week’s guests are my pace people. Ginger and Rachel, both having been widowed in their twenties and thirties, have not only found restoration and stability years after losing their husbands, but they have also committed their lives and hearts to, as they put it, “loving on the younger versions of ourselves.” They do this over coffee and lunch and all the things with women like me. They also do it through their non-profit, Never Alone Widows, where they create weekend-long retreats of intimate healing and comfort for widows, all rooted in the truth and hope of the gospel. We talk all about the retreats and their journeys to launching Never Alone three years ago, but we also just talk a lot about how to trust and walk with a good God through the tough seasons of life. Here’s a few highlights (because I could never list all their great nuggets of wisdom here!): We have a choice to let tragedy enrich us. We can come out bitter or better. There’s no middle ground. We get the choice to choose joy. No one can make you believe God is good. You have to actively pursue and encounter him to know he is always good. Don’t miss the good that’s there to be found even in your worst season. There is rich brook in suffering if we look for it. Everything tastes richer on the other side of pain. Faith is trusting that what doesn’t make sense now will in reverse. Grief is a chance to let God love us. Where do we follow/apply for NA retreats? www.neveralonewidows.com @neveralonewidows
60 minutes | Nov 3, 2021
Lemons on Friday: Faith, Forgiveness & Unexpected Fruits in Divorce
One of my greatest hopes through Lemons on Friday is to break feelings of isolation and usher in hope for all who have lost relationships, not just those who have lost to death. This week’s guests have both recently gone through divorce and courageously pour out their whole hearts for others struggling through the same experience. We talk about how difficult it is to face divorce as Christian women and the added layer of pressure and struggle and internal conflict that brings. “It’s like I felt this pressure to keep letting people know, it wasn’t my fault. Like I needed a disclaimer because there’s such a stigma [in the Church] when you hear the word divorce.” We talk about how their perspective on and expectations of prayer changed as they fought in prayer for their marriages but were ultimately forced to accept that reconciliation wouldn’t happen. “My prayers started as desperation for God to save the marriage. Like: ‘Please change him. Make him want to fight for me. Give me the words to convince him to come back to me,’” Hannah told us. They both speak to a desire for control over the situation and admit to putting lots of pressure on themselves in their prayers early on. But when it became clear that reconciliation wouldn’t happen, their prayers started to shift from asking for an outcome to calling on God for the fruits of the Spirit they needed despite the outcome they didn’t want. Looking back Hannah says, “When I released my need to control and gave the outcome to God, I finally felt relief and comfort and peace because I was no longer putting the pressure on myself and I could finally start healing.” Despite neither marriage being restored, both speak with palpable joy about the myriad of other ways they’ve watched God redeem their own stories. “I had a perfectly good idea of what God’s redemption story for my marriage should look like,” Madison says. “But since [it’s ended], I’ve started to realize God’s redemption story for me is in no way less real even if it doesn’t look how what I wanted.” Both women have truly relied on God’s sovereignty in the midst of anger and triggers and questions, and emerged stronger, more richly joyful women than ever before. They attest to the miraculous power of forgiveness and how it above all helps fend against succumbing to bitterness, even in the wake of such heartbreaking betrayal. “Obviously you’ll always be changed through the divorce process, but I didn’t want bitterness to take from me [the good things] that made me, me.”
41 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Lemons on Friday: Fighting to Flourish After the Loss of a Child
The broken world we live in is full of lemons on Friday. Rife with sour, bitter struggles that can break our hearts and tire our spirits; accidents and losses that leave us feeling as depleted and fearful as the disciples felt on crucifixion Friday. But sweeter days are possible. Sunday will come. This week’s guest, Jennie Lusko, is here to share her story of the unthinkable loss of her 5-year old daughter and powerful truths from her book, Fight to Flourish. In it she asks: What if the struggles of life aren’t a barrier to thriving but an invitation into your most vibrant days? Jennie’s call to explore this biblical truth of sanctification through struggle came not just from her work in ministry, but from fighting through her own horrific heartbreak. Just a few weeks before Christmas 2012, Jennie and her husband very suddenly lost their five-year old daughter, Lenya. She knew well God was near, that she wasn’t alone, and that God loved her deeply, but still questions and sorrow plagued. “What does this mean? How do I keep going? How do I get up the next morning?” Over the course of the days, weeks, and years, Jennie knew these questions and the thousands more her family would face were going to demand a fight. It’s in that fight that she saw first hand, our most broken days are often the ingredients God uses to make our lives more abundant. Fight the Flourish chronicles her strain to endure the loss of her daughter and also equips us to face our own day-to-day battles. If we are relying on and abiding in Christ, the trials we face don’t have to beat us down. They can actually be seeds God plants and sows in order to make our lives richer. Even in the grief and the grind, we are growing more and more into the abundance Jesus promises. “I used to think flourishing wouldn’t happen for me this side of heaven,” Jennie tells us. But the truth is we don’t just flourish once we get to eternity. We can flourish today, right now. We can live strong, vibrant, flourishing lives right in the midst of our struggle. The whole process of the growth is the flourishing. It’s not an arrival. It’s a marathon. It’s a fight. Often times we don’t even feel the growth, but there is peace in knowing and trusting that God is always at work. Because God loves us, He is constantly training us for the trials we’ve not yet faced. When we live from a place of consistently rooting ourselves in Him, there’s no battle we can’t fight. We can’t live out of skepticism or fear for what might come, but there is great strength in “pre-loading God’s Word into our souls.” Find more on Fight to Flourish and Jennie’s ministry @ https://jennielusko.com/thefighttoflourish.
48 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
Lemons on Friday: Losing a Parent, Finding God Outdoors & Following the Crazy Calls of the Holy Spirit
The broken world we live in is full of lemons on Friday. Rife with sour, bitter struggles that can break our hearts and tire our spirits; accidents and losses that leave us feeling as depleted and fearful as the disciples felt on crucifixion Friday. But sweeter days are possible. Sunday will come. This week we sit down with our friend, Mary O’Neill Phillips, a host on Outdoor Channel TV and co-founder/co-host of the Country Outdoors Podcast. Not only is she an avid hunter and Christ-follower, she has also played many different roles in music industry both in Australia where she grew up and here in Nashville. She shares with us the seemingly wild goose chase that led her from Sydney to LA to Nashville and how even though she didn’t know it was the Holy Spirit leading her then, how grateful she is to have followed his crazy calls on her life! Coming from a traditional Irish Catholic upbringing, an intimate relationship with God wasn’t something she experienced until early adulthood. She says most of her childhood and teenage years were marked by being “religious” but never truly connecting with Jesus. But after incident of rape at 16, losing a friend tragically at 19, and being mugged at gunpoint in Mexico in her early 20s, she felt God “kept trying to wake her up.” “It’s as if he kept saying, ‘I’m trying to show you something,’ and I wasn’t hearing it.” The turning point for Mary came after she felt something deep down (which she now says was the Holy Spirit) compel her to go to the Australian coast, just down the road from where she’d lived her whole life, one day at sunrise. In the dawn of that morning, she knew God was calling out to her. In that sunrise, she says he finally, fully revealed himself to her. She felt like saying, “I’m so sorry I haven’t seen you. You’ve always been here for me every day.” From there forth, she continued following the prompts of the Holy Spirit, even when she couldn’t make sense of them, leading to many miraculous “God-nods” in the days of and following the very sudden death of her father. “All those experiences [surrounding Dad’s death] have just taught me about being faithful. I never knew where I was going to go, who I was going to speak to, or how it was going to happen… and I don’t ever want to not be listening [to the Spirit] again.” Ultimately, she wants to encourage anyone who is grieving a parent or questioning God’s role in their pain to lean into the heart of who he is. She calls us to ask just what she did sitting at her father’s bedside: “You have two options right now. You either chose to lean away [from God] or you chose to lean closer than you’ve ever leaned before. Which am I going to choose?” She chose leaning in. And her story and her life have been made an even more beautiful testimony because of it. Where can everyone find you? @maryoneillofficial www.countryoutdoors.com Country Outdoors Podcast To pre-order Lemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak, visit www.LemonsOnFriday.com or anywhere books are sold!
50 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Lemons on Friday: Navigating Anger, Identity & Moving Forward as a Young Widow
The broken world we live in is full of lemons on Friday. Rife with sour, bitter struggles that can break our hearts and tire our spirits; accidents and losses that leave us feeling as depleted and fearful as the disciples felt on crucifixion Friday. But sweeter days are possible. Sunday will come. This fall we’re going to sit down with women of all ages who have experienced loss in a variety of different ways. We’re going to hear the truth about how they grappled with keeping faith in a good God when really bad things happen. We’re going to hear how they found hope, even through their greatest heartbreaks. Our first guest is a dear friend of mine, Hailey, who, like me, lost her young husband at age 25. By the total divine intervention and hand of God, Hailey and I met at a NaSHEville event in November of 2018, just two months after both of our husbands’ passing. From that day to now, we have walked this valley of widowhood together. Here, we sit down to share our experiences over these past three years of heartbreak and healing. She talks about the power in being honest with God even, and especially, in your most angry moments. She shares about the ways that, even in the blur of the earliest days of grief, she saw how intentional his work was to provide for her, recounting the places and times that he placed specific people in her path to encourage her and strengthen her to keep going. We talk a lot about identity and how being widowed so young leaves you questioning and grieving so many parts of who you are. “Besides actually grieving [your husband], you grieve every detail of your future. There are thousands of things besides just your spouse that you have to keep giving up.” And in spite of the fact that all we want to feel is normalcy and stability again, we both have experienced a real fear of moving forward. Can we move into new phases of life without leaving Ben and Eric’s memories behind? Can we start to date again while we will always, always love them? Grief, especially that of a young widow, is such uncharted territory. No one should ever feel they need to navigate it alone. Community and vulnerability with one another are crucial to our healing and living with hope even as we hurt. Whatever you’re facing, pray God brings you the Hailey you need to walk through hardship alongside you. As we’ve personally seen, he is able and willing to do so! To pre-order Lemons on Friday: Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak, visit www.LemonsOnFriday.com or anywhere books are sold!
42 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
Enneagram Pt. 2: Deepening Connection & Navigating Conflict ft. Evan Barbee
We’ve all been at the blood-curdling crossroads of conversation where we blurt out, “You have no idea where I’m coming from!” And the Enneagram tells us, that’s actually true! This ancient, now wildly popular system of understanding how individuals see and do life tells us that each of us falls into one of nine primary “types.” This means unless you’re in a conversation, relationship, or conflict with someone of your same type (i.e. same way of processing the world), they likely don’t have much of an idea where you’re coming from. Okay, so we’ve confirmed there’s a problem, but where’s the hope here? How can another personality test help mend the broken lines of communication and expectation in our marriages, friendships, and workspaces? Evan Barbee, Nashville enneagram consultant, and teacher, shares with us just how this system of understanding ourselves and others holds the power to help navigate and deepen relationships as well as to heal old wounds in previously broken ones. And don’t be overwhelmed by the science behind it, Evan assures us: “ALL YOU NEED TO GET INTO THE ENNEAGRAM IS CURIOSITY AND A SENSE OF HUMOR.” We talk a bit about each of the nine types individually but spend a good bit of time on what are considered the three “centers of intelligence” in the enneagram. Each type, Evan tells us, falls into one of the three centers – body, heart, or mind. When we look first at these centers and the primary lenses through which they see the world, we can then understand what “prevents us from extending or receiving love to our fullest capacity.” Here’s a quick overview of those centers: BODY CENTERS INCLUDE TYPES 8, 9, 1 HEART CENTERS INCLUDE TYPES 2, 3, 4 MIND CENTERS INCLUDE TYPES 5, 6, 7 And remember, whichever center your type falls in doesn’t mean you don’t use the other two to navigate relationships. It simply means that when you’re not working to be aware of your feelings and actions, reacting to your center is where you’ll go to in autopilot. The bottom line to applying the enneagram in relationships is this: awareness of yourself and open-handedness with others. The enneagram is not a way to dismiss or intellectualize conflict, but rather a way to see you and your loved one’s discrepancies as differences rather than as deficits. The ultimate goal of the enneagram is compassion for others by learning how to speak one another’s different “languages.” It gives us new frames through which to address misunderstanding and pursue resolution and deeper connection. Where do we find Evan? https://www.evanbarbee.com/ Instagram @evanbarbee email@example.com Follow Beth @yourenneagramcoach https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/ For more resources: New to Enneagram? Explore each type’s core motivation. More on Enneagram & Gospel: Your Enneagram Coach Podcast, episodes 64, 65, 66 Should Christians use the Enneagram?
39 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
Beth McCord on Enneagram & the Gospel: Overcoming Our Limiting Beliefs
Beth McCord is a best-selling author, speaker, and teacher, as well as founder and coach of Your Enneagram Coach, an organization whose mission is to help their clients to see themselves with astonishing clarity with the Enneagram through the lens of the Gospel, so they can break free from self-condemnation, fear, and shame by knowing and experiencing the unconditional love, forgiveness, and freedom in Christ. Love. This. The seeds for YEC that would eventually bloom into a coaching business that now spans more than 20 countries were laid early in Beth and her husband’s marriage. In a season of struggle, the two came upon the Enneagram, began learning more about it, and were blown away by “a clarity that wasn’t there before that helped our relationship immensely.” From there, they dove deep. But the more they learned, the more they realized very little, if any, of the material on the Enneagram was framed through a biblical lens. They thought, “Here’s something that really looks like truth, but how they’re seeing it isn’t how [believers] would see it. How can we put this in a theologically accurate perspective?” Beth began to work with her husband who is a pastor to simplify the complex truths and systems of the Enneagram and teach them from a gospel-centered perspective. And the rest is history. Twenty years later, they remain pioneers and champions of the Enneagram in Christian spaces. “The point isn’t to just focus in on yourself,” Beth tells us. “The point is to recognize who you are and how God created you to be, so you can know your true identity in him and live that out.” The goal is to understand the gifts and attributes God gives each of us and use them for his glory and to pursue healthier relationships with others. “The Enneagram is a tool, not the ultimate means of transformation. Jesus is the only true means of transformation.” We also dive into the limiting beliefs or negative self-talk that each type struggles with. What is the false message we’re telling ourselves, and how does Christ satisfy each of the core-longings behind those false messages? Get a quick preview here: Reformer’s false message: It’s not okay to make mistakes. Supporter/Helper’s false message: It’s not okay to meet your own needs and feelings. Achiever’s false message: I have to be successful to be admired. Individualist’s false message: I am too much and not enough. Investigator’s false message: My needs are a problem. Faithful Guardian’s false message: I can’t trust myself. Enthusiast/Optimist’s false message: I can’t depend on anyone for anything. Passionate/Protector’s false message: I can’t trust anyone. Peaceful Accommodator’s false message: I can’t cause discord or conflict. Follow Beth @yourenneagramcoach & https://www.yourenneagramcoach.com/ For more resources: New to Enneagram? Explore each type’s core motivation. More on Enneagram & Gospel: Your Enneagram Coach Podcast, episodes 64, 65, 66 Should Christians use the Enneagram?
30 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
You are Far More Precious Than Rubies ft. Katrina Pendergast
As women it often feels impossible not to question our worth or value among the constant assault of the filtered social media world. Our friend Katrina has committed her heart, her resources, and much of time here in Nashville to reminding women of their unshakeable, priceless value as daughters of the Living God. Not long after her move to Nashville from Los Angeles, Katrina found herself where many Nashville newcomers do – trying to meet new people and make friends in downtown’s bustling bar scene. But having recently turned her life fully back over to Christ, she was keenly aware that when you love Jesus, “he’s with you everywhere.” “He’s with you at the gym. He’s with you at the park. But she’s also with you at the bars,” she reminds us. And it’s exactly there, at Tin Roof on Demonbreun Street, that her boots-on-the-ground ministry began. Katrina tells us that sharing her faith in the bars wasn’t something she’d planned, but her message has caught like wildfire in Nashville over the past several years. She simply wanted the new friends she was making to know how cherished and valued they were by Jesus. And what began as a handful of friends at Tin Roof has since turned into hundreds gathering each week in her home to study Scripture, multiple women’s conferences and retreats, and her own ministry, Wildfire Ministries. Everything Katrina does is with one goal in mind: to bring girls in, teach them their unshakeable love by and worth as daughter of King Jesus, and then develop, disciple, and send them out to do the same for others. NaSHEville is thrilled to sponsor and be part of Wildfire’s upcoming Bloom Retreat on August 21, 2021. The weekend long women’s retreat will culminate with an incredible event, open to men and women across the city, with a Saturday night of food and drinks, fellowship and worship, and a teaching and live panel from author, Gary Thomas. Gary and his wife, Lisa, will lead us in understanding the sacred search for spiritually healthy partnership and marriage, as well as how to be wise when we are in dating or marriage relationships. To get your ticket to Wildfire’s event, just Venmo @wildfireministries $100 with your name in the subject line. We hope to see you all there! Who? Gary Thomas @ Bloom Retreat by Wildfire Ministries What? Apps, worship, 1-hour seminar with Gary & panel to follow When? August 21, 5-10pm Where? 8020 Oak Springs Road, Nunnelly, TN 37137 How much? $100 Find Katrina @treeenie or @zealchurchtv https://wfministries.squarespace.com/
37 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
How Faith Transformed Me Physically, Professionally, and Emotionally with Leanne Ellington, Pt. 2
On last week’s episode we heard from our dear friend and health coach, Leanne Ellington, about her 15-year struggle and journey to physical health and healing, as well as her business, Stressless Eating. This week, Leanne is back to share her incredible testimony – a story that reveals God’s intentional and steadfast work on her heart, ultimately leading her to spiritual restoration as she pursued bodily healing. Leanne grew up in a Jewish family in Orlando, but claims “it was never a faith [for me], never a religion, but more of a culture and a heritage.” She was active in Hebrew school, trips to Israel and part of all the Jewish traditions. She tells us she knew of God and believed in God, but was never connected to God. “[God] wasn’t part of the paradigm of how I lived.” Then, when Leanne found herself in a season of both personal and professional loss, something inside of her began to wonder: “I think [maybe] I need God?” From this point she began her quest to simply discover more about the Lord. Because she loves music, her first church experience was with a friend here in Nashville, one where she says she “came for the worship and stayed for the sermon.” For more than a year, she went to church, listened in on prayer groups, and simply allowed herself to be curious about God and open-minded to the possibilities of faith. At that point, she admits she didn’t know she was seeking Jesus, but simply wanted to know more about God and this church community. In spite of not understanding Jesus as Lord – and being resistant to it, at times – she approached the Bible with a blank slate attitude and asked any and all questions she had about God and the Christian life. “I gave myself permission to be a freshman and have childlike faith. I think God wants [us] to ask the hard questions and hash out [our] doubt with him.” Then after a year of searching, praying, and opening her mind to new possibilities of who God is and who he could be in her life, Leanne’s eyes were opened to full truth of the gospel. But from there it wasn’t all magically easy. Even after surrendering to Jesus, she says a lot of the darkness and shame she’d been living with came to the surface. She’d given up old coping mechanisms and was left to hold hard emotions as she faced some difficult things from the past. But even in those initial days, she speaks of “a sense of peace I can’t describe.” From there Jesus began to transform her heart, and subsequently, she began to change the way she does business, the way she dates, and how she relates to others in her life. She began to see miraculous flourishing as she surrendered her business, finances, and relationships to Jesus, results that “to the outside, may have looked like hustle and grind, but it was just the love and the grace of Jesus.” Leanne’s journey to faith in Christ, and a life totally transformed and enriched as she’s learned to follow him, will inspire absolutely anyone seeking truth and peace in God. Whether a believer or not, steady in your faith or skeptical, Leanne’s story attests to the power of pursuing the one true God and how walking with him brings hope, peace, and self-acceptance in every facet of our lives unlike anything we can muster up ourselves. Honest and real, Leanne is a light to all around her. Don’t miss how Christ has changed her heart, her business, and her life!
44 minutes | Jul 7, 2021
Stressless Eating with Leanne Ellington, Pt. 1
Leanna Ellington grew up what she calls a “couch potato kid.” From a young age she was overweight, even attending her first Weight Watchers meeting at just 8 years old. As a young adult, after years under the control of diet mentality and chronic shame, her whole life revolved around how she looked and what she ate. Can’t all of us identify with this toxic struggle to enjoy food but also stay thing and look how our inner critics tell us we should look?? Well, near the end of her college years, Leanne hit a breaking point. She did a drastic diet and lifestyle overhaul and lost nearly 1/3 body weight (about 100 pounds) in her early 20s. From there forth, she operated under a “results rollercoaster," leaving her more fit than she’d ever been but also victim to a self-rejecting relationship with her body and habits of disordered eating. After several years of nutritional and biological education, teaching, and even starting her own “Not your average bootcamp” business at home in Orlando, Leanne found the body she’d always wanted and a career she’d never dreamed of! She was a huge success, drawing thousands of women to her teaching, studio, and platform under the “fat girl to fit girl” narrative. She even launched a corporate fitness business which afforded her regular spots on CNN and Fitness Rx. Even still, her whole life felt plagued with imposter syndrome. Externally, she was healthy and killing it. Internally, she was still stuck. “I felt like a fraud. I had paid the ‘cost of skinny.’ I majorly hurt myself [and my body] and was so focused on being skinny and lean and fit, that I didn’t listen to my body and ended up needing major spin surgery.” She still didn’t like who she was. “I looked in the mirror and had the body I’d always wanted. My arms were toned; my stomach was flat, but inside, I just knew nothing had really changed.” From here, Leanne started a deep dive into the concept of “self-image” and spent several years studying psychology, behavior science, and neuroscience to better understand how they contribute to body image. Her true crisis wasn’t just with food; it was how her relationship with food was marring her identity. Now, Leanne’s business and podcast, Stressless Eating, combines philosophies from all of her studies as well as her decade long, personal journey to 3-dimensional health (physical, mental, social-emotional). Her work is a systematic approach, enabling and shepherding women toward the multifaceted health freedom she’s found and guiding them into a new paradigm through which to relate to food. Leanne reminds us that the eating problem is really "a thinking problem!” Our mindset shifts are everything, and the keys to stressless eating start here! Free webinar @ www.stresslesseating.com & Stressless Eating Podcast
26 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
Brooke's Adoption Story: A Living Picture of the Gospel
In our third “behind the scenes” look at NaSHEville’s three missions, this week we hear all about Brooke’s personal adoption story of her daughter, Louie. Her, at times heartbreaking, but ultimately overwhelmingly joyous journey to and through adoption gives us insight into all the “birth pains” that this process demands. And while data estimates around 60% of Americans have had some sort of experience related to adoption, many of us still know all too little about the process. Here are some basic stats: In the United States alone, 135,000 children are adopted every year. Each day there are around 430,000 children in foster care. A typical agency Home Study can take roughly about 6-8 weeks to complete. The full adoption process can take from 12 months to many years. The costs for all facets of adoption services can range from $5,000-$50,000+ depending on a number of circumstances. With all these variables and uncertainties, many families are left wondering: can we really do this? Even if we feel called toward adoption, is it possible and is it worth the heartache and financial strain that seems to often mark the process? Brooke admits that “this was the first time in my life I truly had to give up control; it truly was in God’s hands.” But in spite of the legitimate fears that her adoption could fall through, when asked was this the right decision, the answer continues to stand a resounding, “yes!” She says, “We could have over-thought the decision to death, but when God tells you to move, just move.” And as he does when we follow, he showed up in countless crazy, divine ways, leading them to a successfully finalized adoption. Brooke gives us insight into their consideration of international vs. domestic adoption, the initial anxiety of meeting and getting to know their birth mom, and how they intentionally included their biological son throughout the entire process. Despite significant legal setbacks at several points in their fight to finalize Louie’s adoption, Brooke says nothing has laid the foundation for greater faith and discipline in all aspects of her life than the adoption process. It’s an arduous walk that demands faith and endurance and selflessness, but as Brooke so beautifully reminds us, adoption in and of itself is a living “picture of the gospel.”
36 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Losing Love, Finding Hope: Mattie's Story
Though many of you have followed NaSHEville and She’s in the City for a while now, for both our long-term friends and our new ones, we want to spend some time taking a deeper look at the missions closest to our heart: trafficking victims, widows, and orphans and vulnerable children. This week the host becomes the guest, and Mattie shares her story of growing up in the spotlight and how her family’s platform enabled her to speak publicly about the tragic loss of her husband, Ben. From the first days of building NaSHEville, widows have been on our hearts, because Scriptures reveals over and over again how close they are to God’s hearts: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27 What many don’t know is that Mattie’s husband accident happened after NaSHEville was already in the works. All of the sudden she found herself widowed at 28 with an organization already committed to serving women across the country who were now just like her. Mattie shares about the twelve day battle of praying and hoping for her husband’s healing, and how ultimately, she didn’t get the miracle from God she and countless others had been praying for. Since then she has walked out nearly three years of grieving for the world to witness, hoping above all else to point anyone suffering back to Jesus, the only One able to heal our deepest wounds. “Ben was the love of my life. I lost my best friend, my marriage, and a lot of myself on the day he died. And while I’ve since questioned and bargained with and gotten angry at God for letting Ben go, I have also never known him or trusted him or relied on him more deeply than I do today. The valley of the shadow of death is a real place we will all face if not once, many times, in our lives. But God is just as gracious in the valley as he is on mountaintops, if not more! And hear me: Christ is more than enough to endure anything you may face.”
49 minutes | May 26, 2021
Someone Like Me: An Inside Look at End Slavery TN & Human Trafficking
Though many of you have followed NaSHEville and She’s in the City for a while now, for both our long-term friends and our new ones, we want to spend some time taking a deeper look at the missions closest to our heart: trafficking victims, widows, and orphans and vulnerable children. This week we sit down with Leslie Eiler Thompson, who works with End Slavery Tennessee and hosts their podcast, Someone Like Me. As our primary partner for human trafficking, End Slavery has been a pivotal pioneer in not just the local, but also the national, fight against trafficking, a term in and of itself that wasn’t even used or recognized until the last decade. Because of their work alongside many other advocate groups, sex trafficking is now legally defined as: any commercial sex act that involves force, fraud, or coercion or the exchange of value; and ALL commercial sex acts involving minors End Slavery not only fights for victims’ rights by way of national policy and legislation reform, but they are also the first point of contact for trafficking victims in Middle Tennessee. They bring a full circle approach to the fight, offering everything from education and public advocacy, to prevention, training, and holistic, trauma informed treatment and rehabilitation for victims in their care and their programs. If you’ve seen social media campaigns on trafficking or have it on your heart to learn more, don’t miss this episode where we get an inside look at what it’s really like. We explore questions like: What demographics are being trafficked? What are the red flags? What is the survivor’s journey to healing like once they are rescued? How crucial is community for their recovery? How does the average person help? Much like poverty and world hunger, the only approach to fighting this evil and serving its victims is to start locally, right here at home. Thanks to organizations like End Slavery, we can!
50 minutes | May 12, 2021
Marriage or Mortgage? My Unexpected Journey to Faithful Sexuality ft. Hayley Thoen
For the third and final week of our mini-series on Christian sexuality, we get the inside scoop from Hayley Thoen on her “backwards” journey to find faithful sexuality. We know Hayley from her role in the recent Netflix series, Marriage or Mortgage (episode 7), where she and her then fiancé, Andrew, are vocal about their choice to live separately in order to keep from having sex until they’re married. So, to be on a show where you either get to choose a dream home or dream wedding, you’d think the choice to hurry up and get married would be pretty easy, right? Well, no spoilers here, so go watch the show or listen to this episode to see what they picked. What you won’t find on the show though is the crazy and courageous journey Hayley and Andrew took to arrive at their choice for abstinence until marriage. While the show suggests they had been waiting for marriage from the start of their relationship, Hayley tells us quite a different story. Their timeline goes like this: February 2016 – they meet August 2016 – they move in together October 2018 – they get engaged August 2019 - they come to faith, are baptized, stop having sex, and Andrew moves out Fall 2019 – they film the show So, what sparked their hard turn away from casual sex in their relationship and their tough decision to stop sleeping and living together? When the couple got engaged, they sat down and picked a wedding date. But it was the next question they asked that day changed their lives forever. “We had no idea who we could ask to marry us.” With neither of them being part of a church, they began visiting different ones around Nashville in hopes of finding a church home and someone to officiate the wedding. What they found was an entirely new understanding of faith, of God’s design for sex and marriage, and deep, life-changing relationships with Jesus that neither of them had experienced before. I couldn’t love Hayley and her story more. She is honest about wanting to choose what was logistically easiest, and honestly “logical,” over what she knew the Bible says about sex. She encourages women who might be feeling like they want to hold off from sex with a partner but are afraid having that conversation could compromise the relationship. And she’s so real with us about how sexual temptation is a struggle too big for any of us to handle on our own without the grace of God and without community. When I asked Hayley if, today, she’d say their choice to hit pause physically and start, what she called, “actually dating again” during their engagement was the right choice, she gave a quick “absolutely!” Not only did their decision strengthen their faith as individuals and as a couple, she also attributes the emotional depth and trust and communication they gained over their year and a half of celibacy to taking sex off the table. “I think we were using sex to cover up [all our other issues],” she said. “Once that was off the table, that’s when we really began to grow.” This girl is honest, courageous, and so generous to share her story and encourage anyone in a place of sexual struggle or guilt or questions. And she’s emphatic – she’s here for you if you need her: DM Hayley @hayleythoen ! Join her at Zeal Church in Nashville
47 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
Sexless in the City ft. Kat Harris
Kat Harris is a podcaster, author, and full-time photographer in New York City. Ten years ago, she launched her account, The Refined Woman, which began as a style blog for those seeking fashion advice by way of her work in the NYC fashion world. But with time, Refined Woman turned into a much more personal platform, where she began sharing the ups and downs of her dating life as a Christian woman, saving sex for marriage, in a world of hook-up culture. From there she has gained a tremendous following, with women all over the world coming to her for dating advice, encouragement, and a safe place to break the shame and isolation that we often experience as Christian women surrounding sex and sexuality. Her first book, Sexless in the City: A Sometimes Sassy, Sometimes Painful, Always Honest Look at Dating, Desire, and Sex, released April of this year, addresses everything you can imagine about what God and Scripture have to say about sex and how she found her ultimate “why” to stay committed to a sexless life in New York City. Phase 1 – The Deconstruction When Kat suffered a tough breakup in her late twenties, she asked herself: “Why am I really holding off on sex when everyone around me (Christian and non) seems to be fine with having it?” She realized she just didn’t know what she believed anymore or why. Her break up and subsequent deep dive into what the Bible has to say about sex led her down a five-year journey of deconstructing what she had for so long assumed to be true and seeking out what God really says about sex and sexuality. “I grew up in purity culture, being taught [without question] to save sex for marriage and that my body is inherently bad, so I should cover it up.” Kat wondered, is all of this still true? I can’t really be the only one asking these questions, right? So, she took a leap. She decided to trade in legalism and strategic rule-bending and self-righteousness for the risk of asking hard questions. And her book invites us to do so right along with her. Phase 2 – The Reconstruction What she found when she began to break down the truths about biblical sex and sexuality is that there’s actually more freedom in God’s design for sex than she ever imaged. She studied everything from scripture to science, sought out both biblical and secular perspectives on sex, and talked with thousands of people, both who believe and who don’t, who are abstinent and regularly sexually active, to find out what they believed and why. She discovered that much of the science surrounding sexual pleasure actually backs up what scripture teaches on the power and beauty of monogamy and marriage. She reminds us that though we often associate sexuality as sinful and something to be kept apart from the spiritual, they both are fundamentally designed to point us to God and the deep connection we all desire to have with him. She gives a fresh and completely scripture-based assurance that God designed sex and sexuality with intention. She encourages us to invite God into our sexual lives, both into the good parts and to the areas where we struggle, because he created it. “God doesn’t make bad things. He created the body [and all its parts] before the fall.” Ultimately, she offers a liberating perspective on sexuality for those of us who aren’t married because sexuality means so much more than physical sex. “If sexuality was a book,” Kat tells us, “sex would just be one chapter.” Part 3 - The Practical So, this is all great in terms of reworking our biblical understanding of sex and sexuality, but as Christians pursuing biblical sexual ethics, how can we live that out obediently without feeling awkwardness or shame? Or as she puts it, “what does it mean [practically] for a single woman in her sexual prime who is seeking God, striving to abstain from sex outside of marriage, and feeling all the feels?” It means an invitation to ask why. For every belief you hold or boundary you choose to set for yourself and your sexual ethic, ask the hard questions. What do you believe God intends sex to be? Does the Bible back that up? Do you want or not want to live out these ideas? Who do you want to be sexually? Does whatever you’re participating in sexually help you move toward that? But ultimately, God is more concerned with our hearts than our behavior modification. 🙌🏻 He absolutely wants us to value and pursue the boundaries he calls us to regard sexual behavior, and he is faithful to empower us to live obediently. But he is also unendingly faithful to forgive and redeem us the times when we fall short. Scripture gives us a clear picture and invitation for what God’s purpose for sex and sexual flourishing looks like. But above all, our purity and salvation always come from Jesus, and Jesus alone. Where has this left us? For Kat, it means “shifting my approach from sexual purity to sexual integrity.” We can’t earn Jesus’s love or salvation through anything, including through sexual purity. That is a works-based salvation, and that’s not the gospel. So, she had to answer her own why questions: what’s my boundary? What’s my why behind that boundary? And how do I set myself up for success to be true to that boundary? “I do want to continue saving sex for marriage. But I will no longer worship sex and virginity as something contributing to my salvation.” Your questions aren’t too big for God. Your mistakes aren’t too shameful to be covered in full by the blood of Jesus. And sex and sexuality are far from embarrassing to the Creator who created these things. Why not bring your why’s to him and see where he leads you? Follow Kat: @therefinedwoman The Refined Collective Podcast Sexless in the City: A Sometimes Sassy, Sometimes Painful, Always Honest Look at Dating, Desire, and Sex
37 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality ft. Rachel Joy Welcher
This week we are about to get crazy, y’all. We’re diving into a quick mini-series on the ultimate taboo yet most universally human topic – sex. No, not the mechanics of it or politicized issues surrounding sex and sexuality, but we want to take a fresh look at what God intends for sex and sexuality. Why? Because we love God, and sexuality and sexual desire is something that every single human being experiences on the reg! In her book, Talking Back to Purity Culture: Rediscovering Faithful Christian Sexuality, Rachel Joy Welcher steps up to the plate and does a beautiful job tackling what is biblically true about sex. She also dives into ideas and messages, that though well-intended and based on scripture, were mistaught, misapplied, and ultimate mislead millions of youth over the past several decades of Christian “purity culture.” What led her on this daunting public journey to rediscover true Christian sexual ethics? She herself was a product of the “true love waits” movement of the 90s and early 2000s, obeying the teaching’s rules and saving herself for marriage. But when after five years, her husband renounced his faith and divorced her, it left here without any idea how to live out faithful sexuality outside the bounds of marriage. She was in her late twenties, no longer a virgin, what she’d been taught made her “pure,” and felt that “there wasn’t really a category for what [she] was going through.” So many of us can relate to feeling alone and in this position. Whether single, widowed, or divorced, what does faithful sexuality look like when we’re no longer teenagers and when marriage feels less and less like an option? Or what about when sexual expectations within a marriage don’t measure up, leaving us disappointed and in pain? After her divorce, Rachel went on a quest to find these answers, and many more. Not only did she re-read the purity culture books from her youth to see where they fell short of the truth of the gospel, but she also wrote her entire doctoral dissertation on the topic! In Talking Back to Purity Culture, Rachel addresses so many of the shaming, fear-based messages that the movement taught young Christians and she gives us a fresh, grace-filled perspective on the daily struggle it is to be a sexual human being who loves God. A few of the many topics she covers include: 1. The dangers of idolizing virginity. 2. Sex is a gift, but it is not a reward for good behavior or a guaranteed human right. 3. Sexuality isn’t sinful! 4. How to talk to our kids about sex and help them to expect their sexuality, not suppress it. No matter what stage of life or where we find ourselves relationally, Rachel addresses so many of the white-elephant issues that we shy away from as a Church. She reminds us that her ultimate goal is to address what we got wrong about true Christian sexuality, not in order to shame or blame, but so that we can do better moving forward. “I would love to see us be more honest in our community and to realize that sexuality is common to all of us. It was part of what it means to be human.” And ultimately, that our purity and worth come from Jesus, and Jesus alone. Follow Rachel: @racheljwelcher https://www.racheljwelcher.com/
32 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Live a Life of Reckless Faith ft. Beth Guckenberger
“MY WHOLE LIFE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A RISK TAKER. WHICH MEANS, WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, IT’S NOT REALLY THAT RISKY. IF GOD’S LEADING YOU, THERE’S ADVENTURE ON THE OTHER END OF THOSE LEAPS OF FAITH.” BE THE VESSEL For Beth Guckenberger and her husband, much of that adventure began in Mexico, where they lived and raised a family for 15 years. “WHAT WE KNEW FOR SURE IS THAT WE WANTED AN UNCONVENTIONAL LIFE.” When the couple felt what Beth described as “a magnetic force toward something they couldn’t see but couldn’t deny” – the pull of the Holy Spirit – they pulled all of their savings and went to Mexico with the goal of serving orphans and vulnerable children. Did they have a plan? Sure. Though it was anything but complete blueprint. Did they have funds? Sure. But only to last them one year. Since their move over 25 years ago, Beth and her husband have launched Back2Back Ministries, which has grown into an international non-profit serving orphans, vulnerable children, and the communities in which they live. Today it is in over nine countries around the world, operating with millions of dollars in budgets each year. Looking back, Beth reminds us: If we follow these prompts in spirit, “God is there to do work far broader and deeper than we could do ourselves. He’s just looking for a ready vessel who will stand in the right place, at the right time. And twenty-five years later, that’s still my story.” SUPER-MOM On top of serving countless children around the globe, Beth is also a biological, adoptive, and foster mom to 11 kids – 7 girls, 4 boys – from 17-34 years of age. Because of their experience as foster and adoptive parents, Back2Back has since developed a curriculum, Trauma Free World, for parents fostering or adopting kids with informed trauma. RECKLESS FAITH First and foremost, Beth talks about how the call to “wait on the Lord” doesn’t mean stagnancy. It’s not a stillness, like inactivity. It’s a stillness rooted in trusting the faithfulness and power of God to empower us as we take bold steps. As well as his power to re-direct us if and when we do move into the wrong directions. Beth’s 40-day devotion, Reckless Faith: A 40 Day Journey to Saying Yes, is a practical supplement to her original memoir, Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Lead, and offers not just insights into how Jesus has brought adventure in her own life, but also applicable ways to say yes to reckless faith in our own every day walk with Christ. “BIG STORIES GET TOLD THROUGH A BUNCH OF SMALL YES.” She also reminds us that reckless faith doesn’t always mean “high volume.” It doesn’t always look bold and loud. Your adventure is the exact, perfect one God has tailored for you. But get excited! Because where your reckless faith takes you is somewhere no one else has been before. As Beth says, “Sister, if I can do it, you can do it.”
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