Episode 01:
What's Friendship Got to Do With Holiness

In a world of counting Instagram followers and Facebook likes, the definition of friendship has become pretty shallow. We're friends with a lot of people, but let's face it, we only know a portion of most people's stories and they only know a portion of ours.

In this episode, we'll talk about what true friendship is, why we need friendships, and how we can form and nurture the types of relationships that will help us embody holiness.

Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

What has your experience with making friends or nurturing friendships been like in your life?


What do you look for in your friendships as an adult?


Do you find it more challenging or less challenging to develop deep friendships as an adult than when you were a child? What do you think the difference is?


Have you ever thought of friendship as an aspect of life that will help you grow in holiness?


Who are the people in your life that help carry your burdens, who you can be vulnerable and honest with?


“God loves and delights in the people around me and dares me to find beauty in them.” ~Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary


We talked about judgement, comparison, competition, jealousy, and envy as some attitudes and mindsets that serve as hindrances to healthy friendships. How do you see this playing out in your life and relationships?



We said that celebration is the antidote to competition. How easy does celebrating others' successes and joys come to you?


  • If it’s not easy for you, can you name why that is?


  • Listen for the unfulfilled longing or desire that might be causing an inability to truly celebrate others. Talk to the Lord about that.



“My best friendships are with the people who are willing to get in the muck with me, who see me as I am, who speak to me of our hope in Christ in the midst of it. These friends lives become a sermon to me. We hold up the experiences of our lives to the word of truth.” ~Tish Harrison Warren

Episode 02: Too Much Yes, Not Enough No - Losing Yourself in Your Calendar

Do you ever feel like you're losing yourself in your calendar? Is your day-to-day life a series of checking off boxes but never quite getting caught up? Are you just too busy? In this episode we'll talk about how we can release ourselves from the slavery of busyness and live in a way that embraces margin and makes room for the holy.

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Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

“When I ask people how they are, what they are doing or creating with their life, how they are using their precious time, their heart’s best attention. Their response is invariably the same: I am just trying to get caught up… When I hear this now familiar refrain, I cannot help but ask gently, ‘Caught up to what?’”

“Our whirlwind of fearful rush and hurry saturates our days with the feeling that we are already somehow inexplicably behind before we ever make in out of the house, even before we get out of bed.”~Wayne Muller, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough

Can you relate to the feeling of being behind or overwhelmed with everything you have to do before you even start your day? If so, can you name why that is?

Lindsey talked about being so busy at times that she felt like she was “losing herself in her calendar”? How have you experienced this?

We said that sometimes we can use busyness as an avoidance tactic (to avoid a difficult situation or relationship, to avoid stillness, to avoid self-reflection, etc.). Have you ever noticed yourself doing this? 

Have you ever noticed that your busyness is a result of an attempt to prove you’re “enough” or a desire to achieve?

We said that work without rest is a big problem. How good are you at creating margin and rest into your days?


“Jesus lived a rhythm completely different from anyone around him. The rhythm of his life was itself a prophetic act against the rhythms of the world.” ~A.J. Swoboda, Subversive Sabbath

Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus always had full days and many things going on, but he never lost himself in that busyness? 

How would you describe your pacing? Do you pay attention to your heart, mind, and soul and consider the pace they need instead of the pace in which your mind can keep up?

Self-Evaluation Questions:

  • Am I able to nurture my relationships? Is anyone in my sphere suffering in any way because of my busyness, my hectic way of living? (Spouse, children, friends, co-workers, etc.)

  • What is my body saying about how over-worked, overwhelmed, burned out I am?

Resources Mentioned:

A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough, by Wayne Muller

Subversive Sabbath, by A.J. Swoboda

Ep. 03: Finding Rest for Body, Mind, and Soul

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, "Come to me all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest." We're tired as individuals, as a community, as a nation in more ways than we even understand how to name. We're tired in body, mind, and soul. But as Jesus promised, rest is available to us. We don't have to live in a perpetual state of exhaustion. In this episode, we'll dive deeper into this topic of rest to discover how we can incorporate this necessary and healing practice into our lives.

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Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

“What if Christians were known as the countercultural community of the well-rested? People who embrace our limits with zest and even joy?”

~Tish Harrison Warren, Liturgy of the Ordinary

Have you ever thought of the practice of rest as a way to trust God more and release control of being responsible for everything?

Susan shared her story of hitting a wall physically that led her to search for truer and deeper rest. Have you ever experienced anything like that? 

How do you notice your body telling you that you aren’t resting enough? 

How have you experienced unrest in your “mind”? (Overthinking, trying to problem-solve and fix-everything, working tirelessly mentally, anxious thoughts, etc…)

How have you experienced your body reacting when your mind is in a state of unrest?

Have you ever tried a breathing exercise, breath prayer, relaxation technique, or meditation practice to help you find rest? (You can access practices like these and other resources in Susan’s book, You’re Gonna Be Okay - link below.)

“Without the essential nutrients of rest, wisdom, and delight embedded in the problem-solving process itself, the solution we patch together is likely to be an obstacle to genuine relief… In the soil of the quick fix is the seed of a new problem because our quiet wisdom is unavailable.”

~Wayne Muller, Sabbath


We said soul rest is not just an individual activity found in “quiet time” with the Lord, but it’s also found when we meet with others and share and process our life experiences together. Do you have a space to do this type of soul work? If not, what would it take for you to find that type of community?

Resources:

Liturgy of the Ordinary, by Tish Harrison Warren

Sabbath: Finding Rest Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives, by Wayne Muller

You’re Gonna Be Okay: Truth, Practices, and Encouragement to Give You Hope When You Feel Hopeless, by Rev. Susan Eaton and Stewart Eaton, LPC, CSAT

Ep. 03, Part II: Practicing Rest

With Tammy Kolbo

We all know we need more rest in our lives, but putting it into practice can be challenging for many of us. In this episode, Lindsey and Susan talk with Tammy Kolbo who will share with us her practice of rest, and lead us through a guided meditation that is sure to bring rest to you body, mind, and soul.

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About Tammy

A native Mississippian, Tammy Kolbo is the founder of The Yoga Room in Hattiesburg. Since 2001, Tammy has been studying, teaching and living yoga. In classes, workshops and private sessions she integrates the art and science of yoga as an alternative and complementary method for health and healing - infusing joy, compassion and spirituality.


A fitness enthusiast and instructor for over 39 years, she holds degrees in nursing and psychology. She is certified at the highest rank with Yoga Alliance and is an Internationally Certified Yoga Therapist with the International Association of Yoga Therapists.


Tammy is also the creator of the Behavioral Health Yoga Therapy program at Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Hattiesburg. Through personally designed postural sequences, guided meditation and  breathwork, she empowers patients to face each day with hope and courage. With a passion to educate and inspire, Tammy encourages her students to take the peace and freedom that yoga provides into their everyday lives.

Follow Tammy on Instagram @strengthandgraceyoga

Episode 04: Lost Keys and Dog Poop

When Your Morning Turns Into the Apocalypse

Have you ever had one of those mornings where everything goes wrong? You know the ones. You wake up late, you find dog poop in your closet, you forget that today's the day to bring snacks for your kid's class, and now there's water seeping from under the sink. Your morning has turned into the apocalypse. Now, how do you respond?

 

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Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

How do you respond when small things go wrong or your plans are suddenly interrupted? 

What does your response to these "small sufferings" reveal about your loves and fears? About your heart?

Is there anything in your life that  you feel you have a "right" to be annoyed about?

We talked some about our pet peeves. What are your pet peeves? Have you ever considered that those are places where you think you're better than somebody else?

What is your response to moments of sin and failure in your day? How might you meet God in those moments?

Episode 05: Accepting Your Wounded Self

Far too many of us suffer from a lack of self-compassion. We often speak to ourselves in ways we would never speak to someone else. On today's episode we discuss our own struggles with self-compassion and explore ways we can become more self-compassionate people.

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Self-Compassion and Belovedness

Questions for Personal or Small Group Reflection

How kind are you to yourself?  Bring into your mind the last few statements you've made directly to yourself over the last few hours or the past few days. Now consider: 

  • What messages did you tell yourself? 

  • What kind of tone did you use? 

  • How did that make you feel emotionally, physically?


"Self rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the beloved. Being the beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence."
Henry Nouwen

Have you ever considered that self-rejection can have a negative impact on you spiritually? If so, how have you noticed it affecting you?

If you struggle with negative self-talk, can you name when that started for you?

What seems to trigger your negative self-talk?

How would you rate your own self-compassion practice on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being "I'm terrible at practicing self-compassion" and 10 being "I've never been hard on myself. Self-compassion is so easy for me!"

What intentional practices of self-compassion do you incorporate into your life? If you don't have any, will you choose one to begin practicing this week?

"Our brokenness is what needs to be accepted. Unfortunately, this is what we tend to reject. Here the seeds of a corrosive self-hatred take root. This painful vulnerability is the characteristic feature of our humanity that most needs to be embraced in order to restore our human condition to a healed state. The spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self." ~Brennan Manning, Abba's Child

Resource mentioned:  Abba's Child by Brennan Manning

You might also like Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

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Episode 06: Going the Extra Mile

What Radical Hospitality Looks Like

Anyone who's been to Disney World has experienced some pretty amazing hospitality. Disney really gets hospitality. As followers of Christ we are also called to live a life of hospitality — a hospitality even more radical than Disney's. In this episode we'll explore Scripture for evidence of the radical hospitality of Christ and share stories of where we've experienced it in our own lives.

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Questions for Personal or Group Discussion

What's the best hospitality you've ever received?

Why was that act of hospitality so meaningful? How did it make you feel?

When you think about the hospitality Christ lived and taught, what are the most challenging aspects of his teaching for you?

Have you ever thought about how love and hospitality are the actions of freeing someone? How does that image open your mind up to what loving acts of hospitality might look like in your life?

Where do you need to be more hospitable?

What is one thing you can do today to share the hospitality of Christ with another person?



Resource Mentioned:
Radical Hospitality - Benedict's Way of Love, by  Lonni Collins Pratt and Father Daniel Homan

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, by Bishop Robert Schnase

With Special Guest Rev. Bruce Case

Conflict in life and relationships is inevitable, but conflict doesn't have to end in disaster. In this episode, we're joined by special guest Rev. Bruce Case to discuss how followers of Christ can learn to disagree, resolve the conflicts we tend to avoid, and create real change.

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Episode 07: Handling Conflict the Jesus Way

Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

How do you respond or react to conflict?

How do you see conflict being fueled in toxic ways on social media?

Have you ever considered that conflict can result in a gift? If not, how might this perspective change how you approach or handle conflict?

"If you discover yourself on the extreme end of anything but love it's time to reevaluate." Ashley Abercrombie,  Love is the Resistance

How do you put your own opinions and rights above love when it comes to being in conflict with others?

"The narrative of Scripture is trying to mark us as ambassadors for Christ." ~Bruce Case


As you consider the truth that followers of Christ are his ambassadors in this world, how do your words and actions reflect Christ in the face of conflict? What adjustments do you need to make? What attitudes do you need to confess?

Bruce said, "If you want to make everyone happy, sell ice cream." Where are you "selling ice cream" instead of leaning in and dealing with conflict in healthy ways?

How will you use what you've heard today to engage in better conflict? Check the list below. What on this list might be the hardest for you to put into practice?

  • Listen more than you talk.

  • Consider where the other person is coming from.

  • Consider that there is some truth in what they're saying. Look for it. Bring it out.

  • Find the common ground you share.

  • Pray and be reflective before engaging.

  • Don't handle conflict on social media or via text or email. Meet face-to-face as often as possible.

  • Don't ask loaded questions. Ask "help me understand" questions.

  • Give the other person time to process and think.


"What are you growing when no one is watching? What are your faithful ordinary practices and will they sustain you when conflict calls?" ~Ashley Abercrombie

Resource mentioned: Love is the Resistance by Ashley Abercrombie

About Rev. Bruce Case

Bruce is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as the lead pastor of Parkway Heights UMC in Hattiesburg, MS for the last five years. He grew up in Brookhaven, Mississippi, has served churches in central and south Mississippi, and also founded a church in Palmer, Alaska. Bruce is a leader in the group End Racism for Good  (ER4G) for the Mississippi Annual Conference. He is also a certified life coach.

Bruce is married to Jennifer, who is a fifth-grade math teacher at Oak Grove Upper Elementary School.  They have two children: Tripp, 23, and Susannah, 19.  They have a beautiful Great Pyrenees named Luna.  

Bruce will be taking a new appointment in June of 2022 where he'll serve as the lead pastor at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Jackson, MS.

In this episode we explore Chapter 12, "Confession and Laughter - Why Lightheartedness is the Truest Kind of Miracle", from Emily P. Freeman's book Simply Tuesday. Listen in as we explore our own reactions to embarrassments and failures, how to nurture a more lighthearted approach to your flaws, and why Encanto is our favorite movie.

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Laughter, Confession, and Recovering from Embarrassment

Episode 08: Well, That Was Awkward

Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

How do you typically respond to your embarrassing moments: Shock, shame, or lashing out?


How does shock over your embarrassments prevent you from apologizing or cause you to shrink back from others?


Can you think of a time when you were able to be lighthearted about an embarrassing moment?


What connections and experiences have you missed because you are either remembering a former embarrassment or fearing a new one?


What storylines do you tell yourself when you are humiliated?


How can taking your failures and mistakes to the Lord help you heal? What do you think the Lord would say to you?


How can talking to another person about a failure help you heal?


"Nobody escapes being wounded... The main question is not how can we hide our wounds so we don't have to be embarrassed, but how can we put our woundedness in the service of others. When our wounds cease to be a source of shame and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers." - Henri Nouwen


Have you known someone who has become a wounded healer? How did you see that lived out in their life?


And the most important question yet: Have you watched Encanto yet? If not, your homework is to drop everything you're doing, grab your tissues, and enjoy the beauty that is Encanto. ☺️



Simply Tuesday - Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World

With Special Guest Kristin McNair

In this episode, we talk with our good friend Kristin McNair about how she has learned to trust God during a season of infertility and how she continues to find hope in this season of waiting. We also explore a terrific book, Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren. 

Even if infertility is not an issue for you, it may very well be for someone you know and love. Kristin's perspective is good for all of us to hear. Also, the spiritual principles she's learned are applicable to all of us.  Thanks for listening!

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Episode 09: Trusting God During Seasons of Waiting

About Kristin

Originally a native of Mobile, AL, Kristin McNair has been a Hattiesburg, MS transplant for over 15 years. She attended The University of Southern Mississippi where she completed her B.S. in Child and Family Studies. Kristin is the Parish Administrator at Trinity Episcopal Church. While struggling with infertility issues for a combination of almost 5 years (& counting), Kristin became passionate about spreading awareness & normalizing the topics surrounding it. 

Kristin and her husband, Luke, of ten years are blessed with their 4-year-old daughter, Eleanor, and have a Bernese Mountain Dog, Penny. She enjoys roller skating, reading books, taking nature walks with her family, and singing in a local community choir called The Meistersingers.

Resource Mentioned:

Prayer in the Night by Tish Harrison Warren.

Episode 10: What If It's Wonderful?

Celebration and Play

If a spontaneous celebration broke out right now, what would you be celebrating? How easy is it for you to play? What do you do for fun?  We discuss all this and more in today's episode, so buckle up! This is a fun one!

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Questions for Personal or Group Reflection

Questions for Personal or Group Reflection:

If a spontaneous celebration broke out right now, what would you be celebrating?

What do you do for fun?

Have you ever noticed yourself being annoyed by other people's celebrations?

What difference does it make to understand celebration as a discipline rather than simply a reflex?

Name five delights that are present in your life right now.



What If It's Wonderful by Nicole Zasowski