Adventures in Odyssey’s Katie Leigh and Peggy Sue Wells

Adventures in Odyssey’s Katie Leigh and Peggy Sue Wells

On this special episode of Heart of the Matter Radio podcast, we are joined by the talented Katie Leigh, known for her iconic role as Connie Kendall in Adventures in Odyssey, and her dear friend Peggy Sue Wells. In a heartwarming conversation, Katie and Peggy Sue share stories from their journey, ranging from how Katie landed her role in Adventures in Odyssey to Peggy Sue’s personal connection to the series. They discuss the impact of their work, the importance of ministry, and the significance of cultivating friendships and connections. Join us as we delve into their inspiring experiences and the invaluable lessons they have to share.

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Cynthia:

We have a special guest today. Her name is Katie Lee, and you probably have heard her. Katie Lee has been Connie Kendall on Adventures in Odyssey for many years. And her friend is also here, Peggy Sue Wells. She’s going to talk about her ministry, too, as she also helps encourage families and encourage people. Welcome, Katie.

 

Katie:

Hi, Cynthia. Thank you for having me. It’s such a blessing to be on your show.

 

Cynthia:

Thank you for being here with us. Peggy Sue, you’re the one that introduced me to Katie, so I wanted to make sure that you’re in here, too. So thank you for that.

 

Peggy Sue:

It’s a pleasure to introduce friends to friends.

 

Cynthia:

Yeah. Katie, tell us a little bit about how you got to be on Odyssey and how did they end up hiring you?

 

Katie:

Well, I kind of forced myself into the situation, if you want to know the truth. It’s something that God answered my prayer because I wanted to work professionally on faith-based projects.

I was driving one day and heard the family portraits on the radio, on the Focus on the Family program. I recognized one of the voice actors, one or two of them, as people I’d worked with before. And I thought, wow, they’re using professionals for this.

I drove over to their office and I gave them my demo reel. I said, ”I would really like to work with you guys.”

They started using me for a few different things. And they told me they created this part when they were ready to do adventures in Odyssey, and they wanted me. I was fortunate enough to have it sort of handed to me.

 

Katie:

And I’ve been playing Connie for the last 36 years, which is remarkable in my book.

 

Cynthia:

So you have played Connie Kendall for 36 years. Wow.

 

Katie:

Isn’t that nuts? Yeah.

 

Cynthia:

And she sounds like a teenager. And you know how to sound exactly like a teenager. That’s wonderful.

 

Katie:

Well, I just know how to sound exactly like me. And luckily, they have Connie sound like me, so that helps a lot. Makes my job a lot easier, because there’s a lot of other work I do where I change my voice.

 

Cynthia:

When you were given this job, did you know what Connie was going to be like?

 

Katie:

I didn’t know anything at all. As a matter of fact, they just said, “We’re writing the show. We have this part for you.”

And when they finally got around to doing it, I had had my son, they called me when he was six days old and said, “Can you come into work?”

And I said, “No, I’m sorry, I’m kind of busy at the moment, and you’re going to have to get somebody else.”

And they said, “Okay.” And I thought that was it. I thought I had given it up, frankly. And then they called me six weeks later to ask.

 

Katie:

They said, “Can you come in now?”

“Well, can I bring my baby?”

“They said, well, we are focused on the family, I guess so.”

My first session, I dragged my kid with me.

And it was so wonderful because they had hired almost the entire cast of a show called Dumbo Circus that I had done for the Disney Channel. And all the actors on Odyssey had worked with me three days a week on Dumbo Circus. We all knew each other well.

And then as the scripts unfolded, the character that I wrote kind of paralleled my own life. I could relate to her. And we sort of developed who she was as we went, but I didn’t know anything about it until I showed up, which is kind of normal for voice actors.

 

Katie:

You usually don’t know what you’re doing exactly until you get the script. And back in those days, we’re talking, what, 1987? We didn’t have computers, so you didn’t see the script until you showed up. Now they can email you a script. Back then, you just show up and see what you’re doing.

 

Cynthia:

So that means that you had a few minutes to read it and then you were doing it, is that what you’re saying?

 

Katie:

Pretty near that.

 

Cynthia:

Oh, my goodness.

 

Katie:

Since we’re kind of talking about voiceover too, people think, “Oh, she can do really funny voices and stuff.”

But there’s so much more. You’ve got to be a good, cold reader. You’ve got to be able to act and get into character right away and read. And there’s a lot of other skills that are required to be able to do that sort of thing. And some people are just born able to do it and some people work at it. Yeah, that’s a big part of it.

 

When you get a script, they might tell you,” Okay, you’re going to be playing this main character. Then other ancillary characters will come along, and they cast them on the spot. Okay, why don’t you do this one? You do that one and make sure it doesn’t sound like the other character you’re playing.

 

Cynthia:

Wow. And you do that on the spot.

 

Katie:

Yeah, it’s fun.

 

Cynthia:

That would be crazy. Wow. Okay, well, tell me how it worked out with your baby.

 

Katie:

They’ve been putting up with me for 36 years because it was a little weird. But I kept bringing my son because they were an hour away. I was nursing him, and I didn’t want to be that far away. It worked out. We managed. People in the office probably held onto him for me, and his daddy came along. And then when he was in junior high. He ended up playing a role for a few years on Odyssey.

 

Cynthia:

Oh, my goodness.

 

Katie:

What did he play in the Novacom series? He played a character named Cal who was Alex’s cousin, and he got in a lot of trouble. But, yeah, I had fun working with him after a while.

 

Cynthia:

That’s neat.

 

Katie:

You figure that must have been what, like twelve years after we started.

 

Cynthia:

Wow, how neat.

 

Katie:

Yeah.

 

Cynthia:

Well, tell me, what drew your heart to doing voiceovers for Christians? What made you want to do that?

 

Katie:

Well, I’m a Christian. That’s a big part of it. I started as a voice actor. Soon after I started my career, I became born again and wanted to give glory to God. I worked on cartoons, I worked in radio, but I just thought, there’s got to be projects that are aimed at the Christian community, and I want to be a part of it.

 

Cynthia:

Are you aware of how many people you’ve impacted?

 

Katie:

I am only slightly aware, which is completely overwhelming. We do a YouTube show, called Tell You Later, and you can see some of it on YouTube. And we have a series called Adventures in Popcorn. We went to a popcorn store yesterday just to shoot, and it turned out the owners were Odyssey listeners.

They said, “We were just talking about the show yesterday.”

But we get letters. I have developed friendships with a lot of the listeners, close friendships, and supportive friendships. I get letters from kids who are missionary families who’ve taken Odyssey all around the world with them. Some people learned English by just listening to Odyssey. It’s kind of crazy.

 

Katie:

And that’s important to me because I do know that I’m kind of a role model. It does influence other jobs that I take besides that because I feel a responsibility, to my audience and my fans, when I call them that, I don’t want to disappoint them, misdirect them, or confuse them in any way.

 

Cynthia:

Well, I want to talk to Peggy Sue for a minute and talk about how you and Katie met each other.

 

Peggy Sue:

That was a fun story. My family and I listened from the very first of Focus on the Family. Then that rolled into adventures in Odyssey. My kids grew up on it. We time our trips with Odyssey tapes. “Get in the car, guys. It’s going to take us two and a half odysseys to get there.”

So it was a very strong part of our family. And then my second oldest wanted to be a screenwriter. When she was in college, she had to get a practicum. You had to go work in the industry somewhere.

 

Peggy Sue:

She got a hold of Marshall Younger out in one of the Odyssey writers and said, “I’d like to come do a practicum.”

“And he said, can you come out for the summer?”

And so she spent the summer there working as a team. They wrote a lot of adventures then, and then she wrote one all by herself that Marshall oversaw, as she did it, called the last I do about Valentine’s Day. Came back to Indiana and was going back to college.

Then Marshall called her and said, “We’re going out to California. We’re going to go record yours. Do you want to come direct it?”

And she said, “I would love to.”

She looked at me and said, “Do you want to come?”

So, I flew out there with her. We showed up at the studio, and I met all these voices that I’ve listened to for ten years.

 

Cynthia:

That’s so neat. Yeah, I’ve listened to them, too. We had vacation with adventures and odyssey every time we got in the car.

 

Katie:

Yep.

 

Peggy Sue:

And then Katie. Katie walked in.

 

Katie:

Yeah, when we went in the car, we played them all. I don’t want to interrupt Peggy Sue’s story. I don’t know how she did it with seven. My first one, he listened to them all right. He listened in bed. The second one listened to the third one.

 

Katie:

I want to know how Peggy Sue did seven.

 

Cynthia:

We only had five. My youngest son still listens to them. He’s disabled, and he gets them as they come out.

 

Katie:

That’s awesome.

 

Peggy Sue:

I met Katie and we connected right away. That was grace because then we became friends. Leilani has gone on to continue being a screenwriter, and she’s writing now for a TV show called Lily’s Lab. Lily’s Lab is a children’s animation.

When that all got passed and ready to go to production, she said, “Let’s have Katie audition for it.”

And the people she was working with said, “Oh, no. Somebody of Katie’s caliber. She would never want to audition for something like this.”

Leilani called her, and Katie auditioned and got the part.

 

Peggy Sue:

And so now the two of them not only are working together but it’s been nominated as a finalist for children’s best animation television show for this year.

 

Cynthia:

That’s great.

 

Katie:

That’s wonderful.

 

Peggy Sue:

Another fun story about Katie, too. She can go from voice to character too. Her brain rapidly fires that way. It’s like she’s created to do exactly this job. And when you go back and look at her report cards, they always said, “Great student, but talks too much.”

Whatever your kid’s getting in trouble for in school, they’re probably going to get paid for as an adult.

 

Katie:

Peggy Sue has helped me. When we met, we were both single parents. I cherished her experience and wisdom and the way she raised her kids. She has helped me write. I just came out with a book called The Itty-Bitty Book of Codependency. We sort of brainstormed it initially at her house when I was visiting. I owe a lot to her.

 

Cynthia:

Peggy Sue has counseled me as we’ve talked about family. She’s amazing. I want to thank you both for the ministry that you have given to the church because both of you have done that. I think that every Christian needs to have a ministry based on what their gifts are.

 

Katie:

Well, I do think everybody needs to have ministry based on what their gifts are. But when people say, I wonder what God wants me to do? The bottom line is he wants us to love and serve each other and love him. Where do we have the opportunity to minister every minute, every day? That’s our mission field in a way. You may be called to be a missionary per se. But we are called to be ministers and to serve each other wherever we are.

 

Cynthia:

That’s right. What about you, Peggy Sue?

 

Peggy Sue:

What does God put in my hand to do in this moment? How do I love in this situation? What does love require in this moment? Stay tuned into what is God telling me. That connection is so vitally important as I’m making decisions. Because a lot of times what I think is the right thing to do is completely not what God has in mind. Because God knows everybody’s story, and he knows what they need.

 

Katie:

Yeah, if I can add to that, Cynthia. Having a good friend, a couple of good friends who are also believers whom you can share ideas with is important. Because having friends who you trust, who have your best interest at heart, and who love God too. They can help you navigate what are some of the right things to think.

The other thing you were asking about, playing Connie Kendall. A lot of people think that I’m Connie. Right. Just like they’re having these issues now with Jonathan Rumi thinking he’s Jesus. He has to keep saying, I’m not. This is a role. I meet a lot of people who want me to be Connie to them.

 

Katie:

And I must be clear.  We’re similar, but I’m an actress who plays that role. Nevertheless, I’m here to listen and share what I have with you. But I’m not going to pretend like I have all the answers. You can’t call up Katie and get the wisdom of the ages. I know it’s important for me to encourage people to talk to their parents. Talk to God and pray about things. Don’t just ring me up and think I’m going to be able to tell them what to do.

 

Cynthia:

That’s great. Well, I just want to thank you both for what you’ve done and for what you continue to do. You are ministering to the church and the people and the families. That’s an important job. Any final statements?

 

Peggy Sue:

One of the things that I’ve learned from Katie that I’ve watched is she doesn’t hold grudges. She just doesn’t remember offensive things. That’s kind of a grace. But then also, she’s very eager to introduce people to one another that could benefit one another.

“You guys are both thinking of the same idea. Let me put you together.”

And then something even bigger than what you’re thinking can happen.

 

Peggy Sue:

That kind of generosity is just abundance. She lives in abundance. That has been something that I have loved. I’ve benefited from it, but I want to be able to do the same thing. And a little piece of trivia about adventures in Odyssey, I think, and Katie can verify this, but I think there was an astronaut that took adventures in Odyssey to outer space.

 

Katie:

Yes, that’s true. Mike Pence said he and his wife used to go on car trips listening to Odyssey. I’ve become friends with a guy who joined the Coast Guard and snuck his iPod in. He was so used to listening to Odyssey at night. During basic training he had Odyssey there listening to it.

I just feel like we have a purpose. And I just hate to see those opportunities missed. I don’t know, I can forget a whole lot of stuff, but I do have sort of a rolodex in my head of people I meet who are doing interesting things.

 

Katie:

And I just feel like God has allowed me to maybe connect people, to help them accomplish the things that they want to accomplish. They say that when you’re little, kids think everybody they meet is a new friend. And when they get older, they think everyone’s a stranger, but I still think everybody’s a new friend.

 

Cynthia:

Oh, that’s sweet. Well, I want to thank you for being with us and appreciate y’all. And blessings to both of you.

 

Peggy Sue and Katie:

Thank you, Cynthia.

Be a Brave-Hearted Woman

Be a Brave-Hearted Woman

Welcome to the latest episode of the Heart of the Matter Radio/ Podcast! In this episode, Cynthia is joined by the inspiring author, Dawn Damon, to discuss her book “Brave-Hearted Woman.” Dawn shares her insights on empowering women to rediscover their vision, embrace bravery, and cultivate a strong sense of identity. They delve into the importance of maintaining a positive mindset, practicing virtuous talk, and committing to excellent action. Join Cynthia and Dawn as they provide practical tips and encouragement to help women step into a bold and purposeful future in the year ahead.

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Cynthia:

We are today on the cusp of a new year, and today I have with me Dawn Damon. She has just written a book for women because she is on a quest to inspire women. And what she has written is called Brave-hearted Woman. Welcome, Dawn.

 

Dawn:

Thank you.

 

Cynthia:

So I would like to know, what would you say to the woman who may perhaps have lost her vision?

 

Dawn:

Oh, boy. Helen Keller is the one who said, somebody asked her, what could be worse than being blind? And she said, having sight but no vision. Vision is incredibly imperative for a full life. Jesus in the word of God. The Bible says without a vision, people perish.

 

Dawn:

And so I believe that God wants us to be able to see what amazing things he has in store for us, or at least to have a sense of it, to have an idea of it. For the woman who has lost vision doesn’t feel like she knows what her purpose is or how she contributes to the world.

What were you created to do on this earth?

 

Cynthia:

So you say that it’s grit and glitter. So give us some idea what a brave woman looks like.

 

Dawn:

Brave is fortitude, inner courage. It is when the heart begins to rise up and say, I think there’s more. And it takes bravery. It takes courage to reinvent yourself or to at least believe. We say it takes faith. It takes courage. It takes bravery to believe that God has something extra special in store. Anybody can say, oh, there’s nothing for me.

 

Dawn:

I’m just living one day at a time. But it takes courage to believe God knows you by name and has something amazing for you. It’s not how we go through life, it’s how we’re accessorized. When we do go through it, life is full of bumps and turns and u-turns. But that’s where I get the glitter from. Like, I need grit. So do you.

 

Dawn:

To keep on going, that we don’t quit, we don’t back up, we don’t stop. But also, I want to shine when I do it. I want to be accessorized with the smile of God. I want to have not just grit and courage, but I want to have joy while I’m doing it.

 

Cynthia:

And, you know, I know Dawn, and she is always dressed to the nines. She has that glitter, too, so you can depend on that.

 

Dawn:

Okay.

 

Cynthia:

You talked about how we camouflage ourselves sometimes to protect ourselves. Can you discuss that a little bit? And how we can kind of get past that?

 

Dawn:

Well, by the time we’re seven years old, we kind of have a worldview. Now, we don’t know that we have a worldview, but we have learned the language of our culture. We know what’s acceptable. We know whether our world is safe. We know what’s scary. We know what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t. And so we begin to hide parts of ourselves that we have learned are not acceptable. If you laugh too loud or you smile too big or you’re antsy or if you’re.

 

Dawn:

Maybe you’re a bookworm. There are parts of us that we’ve learned, this gets two thumbs up. No. People don’t like that. So, we start to hide parts of ourselves. We start to camouflage, if you will, those unique, wonderful, quirky, even parts of us that God created so that we start to look like everybody else.

 

Dawn:

And so we do a lot of dumping and stuffing on the inside. Instead of bravely facing that wounded me, that hurt. I’ve got to release the offense. I’ve got to walk in victory and forgiveness, but I must face those things.

 

Cynthia:

You’re saying that we camouflage because we’re afraid of being criticized for who we are and criticized for what we are. So how do we get past that fear?

 

Dawn:

Right? That criticism is really a part of something that nobody wants to experience. It’s painful. You and I are both authors. We put our books out there. We put our art out there, and then we kind of hold our breath and hope to know people like us. We do this on Facebook all the time.

 

Dawn:

But how we get past that is, first of all, to know that we are accepted in God. And I don’t want this to sound cliche. We really have to grasp a vision of how God sees us, that we are fully and completely loved by God, and that part of us that would cause us to feel shame or embarrassment because we feel different. Those are the very things that God created about us. So we have to grasp that, and we have to be willing to love ourselves as well. It’s God loving us. Of course. Jesus, our savior, our redeemer, he loves us.

 

Dawn:

You’re too tall. You’re too short. You’re too skinny. You’re too large. You’re too something. You’re not something enough. You’re not smart enough, bright enough, whatever it is.

 

Dawn:

So what’s the answer to it? We’ve got to get a grip and a vision of who we are in Jesus.

 

Cynthia:

I agree with that. And I just recently had an editor tell me that I have a unique voice. And she said, and that is a very good thing because she says a lot of people end up writing and they write like somebody else or they don’t know where they belong. She says, you have a unique voice, and I can pick up something, and I know immediately that you wrote it. And she said, that’s good. And I said, thank you, because I didn’t know it. I just write, and I go back and edit and so on. But it’s good to know who you are so that you can be that authentic person.

 

 

Dawn:

And be okay with that. I remember when I was taking vocal lessons. I would try to change my voice. Every now and then I would hear a singer that was just so good. I’d think, oh, I want to be more like that. That’s not who God gave me.  Every time I would try to change, it would just fall flat. And I can remember my vocal teacher saying, what are you doing? Who are you trying to be? Be you. You want them to turn on the radio and go, oh, that’s dawn.

 

Dawn:

So quit trying to be a copy. We’re born a masterpiece. Let’s stay that way.

 

Cynthia:

That’s right. I wanted to be a coloratura, soprano so badly that my voice is mezzo. And I couldn’t change that. So, yeah, I’m with you there because I wanted to be something else. Okay, so you talk about fortitude, and you have five different characteristics of fortitude that we need to have. And one of those is that you need to claim a bold vision. So how do we find our vision? How do we claim that?

 

Dawn:

The bold vision. And what a beautiful, amazing thing when you get a hold of it. I first believe that there’s a little flicker inside of each one of us about what we think that might be. I don’t think it just comes out of the blue. I think there’s something that’s very intrinsic within us that God put inside of us. I really encourage women to do the work, to get alone with God, to get a journal, to go deep answering some of these questions. What do I love? What am I good at? What would I be sad if I never got an opportunity to experience?

 

Dawn:

And I’ve led women through this adventure, if you will, but to find out and also pray, because God wants to reveal to you, about what he’s called you to do.

Cynthia:

So do you have any tips on how to do that? Because some women are mired up in that.

 

Dawn:

Again, how to do the whole discovery thing, to get alone with God, to get that journal and to pay attention to. So maybe we’ll start with, first, let’s just start igniting the dream life. So I want you to write 50 things down. Just dream. What are 50 things that you’d like to do?  Maybe they’ll get to 25, but you must go deep to get to about 50 things that you’d like to do. And then I would say, okay, so of those things, pull out for me the top 15 of what you really think.

 

Dawn:

And then we just start working our way through the process of saying what is inside of you. And also, Cynthia, I’ve done what we call a life map. We look back at childhood, and we start to thread through up until the current age of adult, and we start to see clues and we see threads there that you’re happiest when you’re doing this.

 

Cynthia:

I love that because it’s there in your past, because God makes you who you are, and you can discover that, and it’s not disconnected from the rest of your life.

 

Dawn:

I totally agree. It’s not. It might be dormant, and it probably is, but it’s not disconnected. That’s why Paul told Timothy, in the word of God, to fan into flame the gift that was inside of him. Sometimes we just need to have that gift inside of us. Fanned into a burning fire. Ignited.

 

Cynthia:

Right? And then you say, to cultivate a real identity. Now, obviously, we’re real. I mean, this is who we are. So how can we do this?

 

Dawn:

I giving them the acronym of Brave to make it easy, but a real identity. Again, talking about that word authentic, not what somebody wants you to be, not what you think the world wants you to be or expects you to be, not living up to everyone else’s estimation.

 

Cynthia:

Of who you should be.

 

Dawn:

Tapping in again who you genuinely feel and believe that you are, and that comes through personal development and growth. Go ahead and explore those things that light you up. I love reading. I love reading books. I mean, that’s why we’re on here together, because we both love that. But I love makeup. I love shiny things. I love glitter things.

 

Dawn:

I love clothing. So there’s a piece of that that is involved in who I am and how God wants to use me. Little did I know that I was going to be doing makeovers on so many women in my past that were in the process of growing in God and developing and becoming, and maybe their self-esteem was low. And I’d say, well, how about if we just play with makeup a little bit?  So a real identity is connecting with those parts that are authentically you. That is not someone else’s dream, but that is you. That is based on who God created you to be and who Jesus redeemed you to be.

 

Dawn:

And if you feel like you’re a failure, if you feel like you’re unlovely, if you feel like you’re not worthy, you’re going to stay stuck there. So we really want to help women grab this identity of who God says they are and make it there.

 

Cynthia:

Right, and you really know who you are. And I have allergies during COVID That was so hard because I’d be sneezing and I’d go, I don’t have anything to give you. I promise. I just have allergies, so that’s why I sneeze. Okay, so you’re cultivating your real identity, and then you cultivate an able mindset. So what does that mean?

Dawn:

I love the mindset, the mindset that says, I can do it. I can do all things. It was Henry Ford who said, those that think they can and those that think they can’t are both right. And that means that our mindset we receive according to our belief. If you believe that life is hard and you’re a victim and nobody loves you and there’s nothing great in your future and that your best days are behind you, then guess what? They probably are. But if you believe that there is yet another chapter to your life that your most significant season is still ahead of you.

 

 

And so that’s what I encourage people with the able mindset. I am able. I am capable through Christ, I can do this.

 

Cynthia:

And, you know, we don’t admire a victim. You admire people who overcome the ods. Those are the people that you make your idols and you look up to. And so that’s what we need to do, is to say, whatever has happened to me, that’s not my fault. I’m going to overcome it. That’s the way to go.

 

Dawn:

Absolutely. And even some things that are our fault, we still, you know what? Let’s get aligned with God. Let’s repent of those things. Let’s get free from those things and let’s move on. I think of the apostle Paul, who know I’ve wronged no man. And you sit back and you think, how can you say, know you were martyring Christians? But because he had such a new identity in God, he knew who he was in Christ, he knew that the past was gone. And behold, all things were new. So God gives us those new beginnings all the time.

 

Cynthia:

Yeah. And he wants us to look forward. Now, you can have that stuff in the back that you’re proud that you did, that you’re thankful for, but you can’t park there because you’ll become a person of the past.

 

Dawn:

So you need to move forward.

 

Cynthia:

And one of the things that you talk about is a virtuous talk, which probably helps you get there, right? Yes.

 

Dawn:

And the virtuous talk that I am speaking about, too, is, yes, speaking those things that are life giving. Proverbs 1821 talks about that. Ephesians 4:29, “…let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only that which is useful for building others up.” But you are with you. What does your own soul and spirit hear you saying? Does it hear you saying, oh, what an idiot, or so stupid? Or are you cursing yourself with your words? Or are you saying things that are keeping you held hostage, like you said to the past, or even in this present, but not prophesying a beautiful future. Use your words not to describe what is, but to declare what should be. I am going forward. I am doing great things.

 

Dawn:

I am moving. With God’s divine appointment, doors are opening for me. I’m always in the right place at the right time. So I teach women about speaking those powerful affirmations over your future instead of just what is right now.  We need to train ourselves to begin to speak life out of our mouth.

 

Dawn:

Maybe I don’t want to say that. I want to say, my body is a fat, burning machine, just as I want it.

 

Cynthia:

Yeah. As far as brain chemicals go, one thought, a negative thought, take five positive thoughts to overcome it. Yes, you do have to keep the positive going. And those thoughts will come into your mind, but you squelch them, and you start thinking more positive thoughts, because negative thoughts won’t help you a bit.

 

Dawn:

They will not help you. In fact, they will harm you. They will hinder you from going forward. And then thoughts create feelings, and it’s just one big vicious circle. Feelings produce words. And then there we are, stuck in that vortex. So, yes, choose virtuous words. Speak life.

 

Cynthia:

Yes, absolutely. And that is so important to realize that emotions and thoughts are connected. That’s important for women to realize, because we get hung in these emotions so easily.

 

Dawn:

We totally do. And it’s not very long before we start to ask ourselves then even the wrong questions. Why does this always happen to me? Where are my friends when I need them? Why would God allow this? And you could start to see that downward spiral. And so if you ask a better question, you get a better answer.

 

Cynthia:

Okay? And then we need to commit to excellent action. So how can we do that?

 

Dawn:

Yes. So I like to say, if you show me your habits, I can predict your future. Your habits are the secret to your success,  But if you don’t have goals, and that’s all part of it, too, to know that we have these things that we’re believing for and we’re reaching for, but then you’ve got to do it. We can have the right mindset. We can have the right words. But if we don’t get up and do the action, none of it matters.

 

Cynthia:

And it’s good to be disciplined and go ahead and do them. So, as we’re kind of closing up here, can you kind of give us a little map for maybe 2024, once we get past Christmas? And where can we go so that we have a better year in 24 than we had in 23?

 

Dawn:

Where can we go? Well, the first thing that I would do is I would create a vision board. I would put everything on that vision board that you have, a spark, a belief, a hope of faith that someday you’re going to see it, do it, go there, be there. And I would put that. I would put that vision.. But I would look at it every day and say, this is where I’m going. This is the direction of my life. The next thing I do, I would get a morning routine, and I would start to make it my habit.

 

Dawn:

I would also make sure that I had a journal. And I don’t just journal like a diary, but I journal around questions. How am I feeling today? What is God speaking to me today? Where am I feeling afraid? Where am I feeling frustrated and journaling around some of those questions, just to always make sure you’re staying in touch with. Then, you know, I would have to say, you got to keep moving, Cynthia. You got to keep your body moving, especially if we’re talking to midlife women. If you rest, you rest. You cannot rest. You must keep moving.

 

Dawn:

Move those arms, move those limbs. Get out. In nature, love life. And don’t let yourself end up with a very small existence. God’s got so much great greatness in store for you. Bye.

Live Boldly: Insights on Living Intentionally in 2024

Live Boldly: Insights on Living Intentionally in 2024

In this podcast, we dive into the inspiring conversation between Cynthia and guest Nicki White. They explore the theme of living boldly and intentionally in the year 2024. Through thought-provoking stories, they discuss reaching out to others, living outwardly, and standing firm in the face of challenges. Nicki shares insights from her book and draws from historical and modern examples, demonstrating how radical faith and purposeful living can impact our world today. Join us as we explore ways to live better and make a positive difference in the new year.

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Navigating a Nutty World: Hints for 2024

Navigating a Nutty World: Hints for 2024

In today’s episode, we are joined by Peggy Sue Wells, an accomplished author and speaker. Peggy Sue shares invaluable resolutions and hints for 2024. She emphasizes the importance of self-care, including sleep, solitude, stillness, and observing a Sabbath. Peggy Sue also discusses the significance of loving others, understanding the impact of our experiences on our beliefs, and the power of prayer. Together, we delve into ways to live wisely and make a positive impact in the midst of a tumultuous world. Stay tuned as Peggy Sue also announces an exciting book giveaway for our listeners.

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Cynthia

Anybody who’s following the news these days knows that we are living in an absolutely crazy world. How do we live in a world that’s crazy? Well, I have a good friend named Peggy Sue Wells, who is also an author and a brilliant lady, who has written tons of stuff, and she is going to help us with that. So welcome, Peggy Sue. Tell us a little bit of wisdom about living in this crazy, nutty world.

Peggy Sue

The wonderful thing to think about is that when Jesus showed up on the scene when he was born in the manger and then stayed on walking amongst us for 33, 34 years, he came into what they considered at that time a very crazy world as well. And I love the thought that even when it’s crazy and spinning out of control, that God is at work, even in this. So, while we can sometimes have little influence on others, I think the best way that we can do our part is to be the best that we can be. Because if I’m the best that I can be, then I can also be a catalyst for others, for them to be able to achieve their best. And that comes down to self-care. And there are four aspects of self-care that I think are important because if we are healthy, physically, emotionally, spiritually, that helps others around us be able to also come up to that level because it encourages them. It also means that when God calls, know, Peggy Sue, I’ve got this for you to do. I’m ready.

Peggy Sue

I don’t have to go do a bunch of push-ups first because I need to get well, but I’m ready. And so to be ready, we need four things that start with an S. Sleep, solitude, stillness, and Sabbath. The first is sleep. We need seven to 8 hours per night. And so it’s important to look back and monitor. Am I getting a good seven to 8 hours per night each night of the week? Solitude. Am I taking a regular retreat of an hour, maybe half a day, a day, an overnight, or sometimes multiple days.

Peggy Sue

And we can do that because God calls us to come away and to be still, and we can do that proactively. Or if I run myself down, it’s going to be forced because I will find myself sick and on my back for whatever reason that I need to get well. And so if we can practice solitude by having that once a day, take an hour and be still and be quiet and shut off from everything? Once a week, take a half a day. Once a quarter. Can you go away for a full day somewhere and be able to have solitude? Just the ability to ground and center and think and to hear the Lord, to hear the Holy Spirit as he’s speaking to me. And then the next one is stillness, having a healthy morning and evening routine that includes prayer and Bible reading and taking that time to listen to my soul and listen to the Holy Spirit get outside for ten minutes a day. They have studies that show that people get outside for ten minutes, and I live up in the north where it can get pretty cold. And the rule up here is there’s no such thing as bad weather.

Peggy Sue

There’s only bad clothing. So, get a decent pair of boots and a coat, get outside for ten minutes. Because they’re showing that people who get outside for at least ten minutes a day, their emotional and mental state is so much healthier. And then the last one is Sabbath. And God has asked us, he says in Exodus 20 312, that one day per week we are to come apart and do what refreshes our soul. He doesn’t say we’re to do nothing. He says, do what refreshes my soul. And at different seasons of my life.

Peggy Sue

When I’m a mom of young kids, the thing that refreshed my soul was a nap. I needed a nap, and so I decided for that to happen one day a week, at least on the weekend. But now I’m a lot more adventurous, and I have more energy now that I’m an empty nester. And so, my idea of a good time is to go water skiing or skydiving or snorkeling or hiking out in the woods, find something that is exciting and adventurous. Other times, I just need to read a book. So it’s like, what is that thing one day a week that refreshes our soul? Because God asked us to do that one day a week for our Sabbath. And so when we’re doing those self-care things, then when craziness comes at me, I’m going to handle it a whole lot better. I’m not running on the ragged edge so I just flare quickly.

Peggy Sue

I can take a breath, I can receive it. And what I’m finding is when someone comes at me, because they’re going crazy, and we all have different opinions. A lot of times if I just say to them, so what’s going on with you? And suddenly, all this stuff comes out because they needed a place to vent. And so, what I was catching was just their problems and their challenges. And so, for us, as authors, there’s times that we can give a presentation about something or give someone our book. And if someone comes back to me just so quick, like, your writing stinks, and this is a bad idea, and this is awful. And I’ve seen better. I’ve learned that that’s not something I take personal.

Peggy Sue

I’ve learned to say, so what’s going on with you? It’s not about me. It’s because they’re living in that crazy world.

Cynthia

Yeah. This idea of getting outside, is that the same idea as maybe going to exercise? Because I exercise pretty regularly, several times a week, and it’s aerobic exercise, but I’m not really much of an outdoor person. So, is that a substitute for that?

Peggy Sue

You can do that. I tend to do yoga myself. Had a back injury a couple of years ago, and the chiropractor said, if you do yoga, you’ll be okay. And I’m like, okay, who knew? And it is something where, for those moments, I come apart. And moving is Vital. However, there is no substitute for going outside. There really is something to it. And if you live anywhere near trees, there’s the pheromones that the trees produce. There’s the sun and the Vitamin D that comes.

Peggy Sue

And there’s something about that fresh air. Also, when I walk outside, suddenly, my world is so much larger than it is because I’ve decided to stay inside because it’s comfortable. I get outside, and the vista is bigger, and it’s like, oh, these things that I’m uptight about, they’re minuscule compared to the whole outside world. Sometimes we just must just buck up and do the right thing because it’s the right thing. The other thing is, one time a week, and possibly on that Sabbath or at the beginning of the week, is to just take role on your body. And just on a scale of one to 05:00, number one, running on empty, or number five, never been better.

Peggy Sue

And to rate physically, relationally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and vocationally, where am I standing? And if I’m fours and fives on all of them but one, then I can be like, okay, this one’s out of balance. What do I need to do this week to bring that back to where it needs to go? And so if we can, one day a week, take an assessment of ourselves, and then once a month, I like to go back and write what were my wins for the month, and then what are the three big goals that I have for next month? And Jim Collins has said, if you have more than three goals, you have none. We are not capable of focusing and achieving more than three. It’s just too much. So, if we choose anywhere from one, two, three goals, it doesn’t have to be three, it can just be one. But to say, at the beginning of the year, I’ve set my goals for the year. These are the three things I want to get done this year. This will move me forward in these areas, physically, emotionally and vocationally.

Peggy Sue

And then what is the thing that I can do this week that will move me forward in that goal? And so at the beginning of the week, set out, these are the three things I want to accomplish this week. And then the night before I set out, what are the three steps I can do tomorrow that will move me forward and then do those three things first thing in the morning. And then I’ve already made progress. Anything after that for the day is gravy. But that way we have this focus, and it’s something that we prayerfully talk to the Holy Spirit, talk to God about and say, God, beginning of 2024, it’s the beginning of January, beginning of February, beginning of March, what is it that you have for me? Write that down. It has to be written down or we lose sight of it. And then what are the steps to get there and then move forward with each week evaluating how’s it going each month evaluating how did I do last month? What do I want to accomplish next? And it keeps us on track. And rather than being pulled away on those rabbit trails, that isn’t necessarily what God had for us.

Peggy Sue

And then along the way, there’s going to be feelings of rejection that come up. And that, for me, is where I stumble. And so when something is said, not said done or not done, that leaves me feeling rejected. The fascinating thing about that is I get that pain, that zing, that, oh, my gosh, I’m rejected. I go into trauma brain, and so the thinking part of my brain goes offline. And so now I’m in trauma brain, which means I’m just reacting. I’m not responding, I’m not thinking. I’m in automatic pilot, and it’s never good.

Peggy Sue

And I always make up a story that’s negative about myself in it, and then I stay stuck in that. So, what I’ve learned to do to get my brain back on the thinking track is to acknowledge this hurts. This hurts. And as soon as I can acknowledge this and name it, I come back into thinking again. And then I can go back and say, what are the facts? And the facts are, this happened, and I felt rejected. Okay, but then stick with the facts. Don’t make up a story.

Peggy Sue

I can stick to the facts that say someone had an event and they didn’t invite me. You know what? It’s okay. They get to make that choice. Also, I don’t know what’s behind that choice. I don’t know what pressures they’re under. I don’t know what goes on. Because we must remember that people do what they do for their own reasons. It rarely has anything to do with us, because think about it.

Peggy Sue

When was the last time you offended someone you probably weren’t intending to? You’re just living your life the best you can. And so, I’ve learned to give that kind of grace to others when people are driving and they cut you off. And I’ve seen other drivers get angry about that. I don’t get angry because I’m like, that could be me. I’m just driving, thinking, putting my list together of shopping, and I don’t realize I’m cutting somebody off. I’m not doing it on purpose. And so I don’t take offense at that.

Peggy Sue

And that’s what we’ll start to do more often, is to realize, okay, I’ve just been rejected or just felt offended. But what are the facts? The facts are that car moved into my lane. They probably weren’t thinking and just move forward with it. And so then we cannot be tangled up in all these negative stories and these things that suck our energy away so that I’m not moving forward in my life.

Cynthia

Like you’re discussing the lizard brain that just reacts and gets upset.

Peggy Sue

Yes.

Cynthia

To get your mind working instead of your lizard brain. I love that. Lizard brain.

Peggy Sue

Yes. Trauma brain, lizard brain, they’ve got to be the same. Also, people talk about being foggy. They’re not consciously making decisions. It’s like making a decision is almost impossible because their brain is offline. To also remember that people make all kinds of decisions. We have family members that will make decisions that don’t make sense to us. We have neighbors that make decisions that you’re like, really? What? You have people that vote differently than we do, people that believe differently about different topics sometimes instead of thinking, oh, if they were just smarter, if they just had more of the details, surely they would think the same way I do.

Peggy Sue

But that will never happen because we all make the decisions that we make because we believe something, and our belief is based on our experience. So, like, for instance, if you had a great experience in school, you’re going to think school is a great thing. If you had a terrible experience as a student in school because you didn’t fit, your experience is very different, and you’re going to have a different opinion about it. People feel the way they do. They make the decisions that they make. They vote the way they vote. They have an opinion about a particular topic based on the experience they’ve had in their life. The only way that I can know why you feel the way you do, what your opinion is, what your experience is, is that I come close to you to help you carry your burden.

Peggy Sue

And as I help you carry your burden, I get to hear your story. So, for instance, I have a friend whose brother passed away, and she was overseeing his estate, and he had a wife that was quite the hoarder. And so they went up to the home to see what can they do to make arrangements so everybody’s in a healthy situation and what all details needed to be taken care of. And her and I were talking about it over the phone, and I said, gosh, you hear about hoarders. I wonder what’s behind that, what motivates people to have that type of behavior? And she said, oh, well, we know. She said her dad had been a Gestapo agent in a concentration camp. And as the war ended, he snuck over to the US and is living undercover, not wanting anybody to know who he was. And this is who raised this girl.

Peggy Sue

And I’m like, oh, well, then she’s doing horrific.

Cynthia

He has a perfect reason for being that way, of course.

Peggy Sue

And so that’s the thing. I can make a judgment from the outside, but then when I come close to this person, I had an uncle, a great uncle, anytime back in the day when the mod squad came on, which is a television show that some people aren’t old enough to know, but there was three young detectives and one was a black man. And every time that show came on, he would turn it off. And he just didn’t want to see anything that had somebody that was African American on it. And I was like, gosh, what is that? Because I’m living in California and I don’t get it, and we don’t have those issues. And anyway, I learned later he was a teenager when his dad was walking home from work, and he was jumped by a group of men who beat him to death. And so because that was his experience. He had that opinion.

Peggy Sue

So again, it’s not like if somebody’s opinion is right or wrong. It is, what’s the story behind it? What is the experience that they’ve had? And so if we can get close enough to hear each other’s stories and help carry one another’s burdens, we’re going to react to people that think and feel differently than us in a different manner. And so above all, it comes down to, how can I love today? How can I love in this setting? What does love require in this situation? And that’s where we must be so tuned into the Holy Spirit, because I can say to the Holy Spirit, God, what do you want me to do in this moment? And there’s times where God has given me a snarky comment because you know what? That was how that person needed to hear something. There are other times where it’s been a gentle hand on a shoulder. There are times where it’s a gift with a note that says, I am sorry for what you’re going through right now. And then there’s been other times where I’ve gone to my mentor and I’m like, I don’t know what to do with this. And she’ll say, well, what’s God telling you to do? And I’m like, nothing. He’s telling me nothing.

Peggy Sue

He’s totally silent. And she says, then do nothing because he will let you know when he wants you to step in. And in the meantime, sit back, pray, and just remember, God is at work, even in this. He’ll let you know when he wants you to participate.

Cynthia

Well, those are several issues. I mean, you’ve gotten self-care, you’ve gotten our mind. I think one of the biggest things that I see that kind of unsettles me is I see our nation unraveling. And even the whole mean, you know, all this stuff going on with Israel, which is just horrendous. These are things I can do nothing about as an individual. So how can I live wisely even in the midst of that?

Peggy Sue

Definitely we are in prayer for our brothers and sisters in situations like Israel, where, like you said, it’s abhorrent. And so we just pray and pray because the things that I cannot be involved with, God is there. And it’s like, God step in and any way that I can be there to be praying for them and lifting them up. And it’s like Daniel, when he prayed and prayed and prayed, and when Michael showed up and he know your prayers counted because I was at war with the enemy in the heavenlies. And so our prayers are important and to remember them constantly. And so if we can be holding them up before the throne, the priests would come in with their vests on, and they had the stones that represented each of the tribes. And they literally carried the tribes before God’s face every time they walked in for prayer. And so that’s what we do.

Peggy Sue

We carry the people that we’re concerned about. We carry situations that we don’t know what to do with, things that are way beyond anything that we can handle, because God is in charge. And so we be in prayer all the time, and then be the best that we can be. Because when the day comes that God says, I need you to move, I need you to do something, I need you to step up. We’re ready. And also, if we can show love to others in the same way that Jesus did, there’s a possibility that we can make a difference in people’s lives, so that someone who may be tempted to do something awful could maybe just have that opportunity to rethink something. But it’s definitely, what does love require in this moment? And being as loving as I can, you know, God gave us these two commands. Jesus took the ten and distilled them down to two.

Peggy Sue

Love God, love people. And loving God is not terribly difficult. I mean, God’s been awfully, awfully good to us. Loving people is the difficult one. And when we give our hearts and our lives to the Lord and make him Lord of our lives, that first commandment of love God with all your heart. We’ve done that. It’s settled. It’s secure.

Peggy Sue

Our eternal life is done. And so we don’t have to keep going back going, God, are you happy with me? Are you happy with me now? That’s all done. Instead. It’s okay. God, help me now to love your children. Help me now to love those that you love. Because the people that annoy us, they’re still God’s children. They are our siblings.

Peggy Sue

And we need the Holy Spirit to help us do that, because loving others is not easy. My little friend Katie Lee, we were talking the other day, and she said, if you’re a family that can get together for the holidays and not want to kill one another, she said, you’re unusual because people being together and being in close proximity, we bump up against one another and we irritate and we annoy, and it’s difficult even within a family. And so that’s where it takes the Holy Spirit to say, help me to be loving in this situation.

Cynthia

So it sounds like you’re saying, overall, to take care of yourself in terms of your physical health, your mental health, and then the best you can to love other people around us and then pray for those situations that we can’t do one thing about, even though absolutely, it drives us crazy. I mean, you think about the book of Habakkuk, and you saw his frustration as he was looking at God going, wait a minute, Lord, you’re not taking care of this. Look how this is falling apart. Well, we all, as Christians feel that way, but that’s when we drop to our knees in prayer and let him.

Peggy Sue

Know our frustrations, and we be good stewards of what he’s put in our hands to do. He’s given us bodies. He’s given us the United States as our home. For those that are listening here in the States, it’s like, where has he planted me? How can I be a good steward in the place where he’s planted me? And then let those ripples and those influences move forward from there? I want to be able to stand before the Lord and say, I was a good steward. Thank you for all that you’ve done and all that you’ve given. And I’m ready when you call me.

Cynthia

Right. And what you’re saying is you can do what you can where you are, because you can’t change where you are. You are who you are, and you can only influence a certain circle of people. And so you be the best you are for where you are and pray.

Peggy Sue

And also, there are people in this circle, because while something is happening on the other side of the globe, that’s happening there. But here in our circle, you and I can both look around and we can see neighbors that are struggling. We can see community members that are hurting. We can see friends that are in the hospital. We can see things that can use our help. And so we come to them in the way that we can be the most benefit to them.

Cynthia

Yeah, those are really good ideas. Self care, thinking about not using our lizard brain and then trying to love people today, as well as loving God and spending time in prayer. Those are good points. Excellent.

Peggy Sue

And the self care is so important because that way, I’m part of a solution, not part of a problem. Because how many people have we met where it’s like, golly, you know, to take better care of yourself, you’ve chosen not to. Now everybody around you has got to pitch in. In different areas. There’s a lot of things we cannot predict. And there’s a lot of things that we can’t help. But for the things that I can do my part for, I want to do my part for that so that I am part of the solution, not adding to the problem.

Cynthia

Right. Great topics. Now, would you mind sharing with me what you’re going to give away this month?

Peggy Sue

We’re going to have a drawing. Yes. I’m so excited to do drawings because I love to give my books out and you are so kind to give me the opportunity to do this. But I have a series called the Mark Wayne Adventure series. And so if you like fast Adventure and you like short chapters where a lot of action happens, you’re going to want to read this series. So there’s four books in the series.

Peggy Sue

And so the next book will be coming out in March. And so I want to give the four away. Now, they can be read as a standalone. If you read them as a series, you’ll kind of notice different characters that you’re like. Oh, yeah. So that’s their backstory. So they can stand alone, but you’ll enjoy them as a series. And I’m going to do all four of the series as ebooked as a giveaway.

Peggy Sue0

It’s a $32 value, but somebody will be able to read those all the way through and enjoy just a good entertainment. I promise. I will take you places you’ve never been before. I will teach you something about history you’ve never known before, and you will experience some adventures that you haven’t done before.

Cynthia

And, you know, the way you’re describing that I want to read them because I love adventure. So, I’m going to write those down for.

Peggy Sue

Oh, they are so fun. And they’re available on my website on ebook or paperback. But yeah, peggysewells.com, you can find them there. Of course, everybody’s got them on Amazon and they’re done at Barnes and, and, you know, the normal places, but you’ll always get a better price on my website.

Cynthia

Yeah. Okay, well, we’ll tell people that. So thank you, Peggy sue, for being with us, particularly here in the beginning of the year as we start this election year. So we know it’s going to be crazy, but we’re glad that you’re kind of giving us some grounding for that. So we appreciate you being with us.

 

New Year Thoughts: Leave a Legacy

New Year Thoughts: Leave a Legacy

Welcome to Heart of the Matter Radio/Podcast for the New Year. Cynthia shared a story about the origin of the Great London Fire to help us think about the legacy we are leaving.

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The sun had set, and darkness engulfed the 350,000 London residents. Shopkeepers closed their doors and prepared for bed. The king’s baker, Thomas Farrinor, who lived in Pudding Lane, stopped baking and doused his fire. However, he failed to put it out. After midnight on Sept 2, 1666, a spark escaped the oven and lit kindling nearby. Flames soon consumed the house, but Farrinor and his family escaped out a second-story window.

The city had no firefighters and was experiencing a drought, so the blaze licked up closely packed wooden houses nearby. Neighbors lined up to throw buckets of water on the fire, and churches rang their bells to warn sleeping residents. The fire headed toward warehouses on Thames Street filled with tallow, oil, spirits, and coal. The buildings exploded into flame. Aided by a strong wind, the fire burned out of control, and people could see the flames 30 miles away.

People eventually gave up fighting the fire and rushed to save their families and possessions. The fire raged until Sept 6 and destroyed 13, 000 homes and 38 churches, including St Paul’s cathedral.

Mr. Farrinor and his family survived. Can you imagine how he felt? His oversight caused a huge disaster. People still associate his name with the Great Fire of London. What a sad legacy.

We live in troubled times, yet God placed us in this time for a reason. What does he want us to accomplish in in the middle of this brokenness.

2 Corinthians 2:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Prayer

Dear Father, as we stand at the threshold of 2024, we thank you for the gift of life and our eternal hope. Fill our hearts with praise for our blessings. May we determine to think less of ourselves and seek to know you more. Guide our steps so we may live worthy of your lovingkindness.

Create Lasting Christmas Memories

Create Lasting Christmas Memories

Welcome to Heart of the Matter Radio/Podcast. Today Cynthia reminisces about a childhood Christmas memory. She also reflects on the deeper meaning of Christmas, emphasizing the hope found in Christ. As a special treat, Cynthia invites listeners to access her Christmas memories and a cherished cake recipe on the podcast’s website. Join us as we delve into the joy of creating lasting memories and celebrating the true significance of Christmas.

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 I’ve been encouraging women this year to create a memory at Christmas time. Because when you think about it, when your life is over, you are not going to wish that you had bought one more gift or that you had put up one more decoration. You are going to care about the people in your life.

And so I want to share a memory of mine with you.

When I was a little girl, they sold icicles to go on Christmas trees.

And the icicles were like little pieces of aluminum, little tiny strip. Mother wanted me to take one tiny strip and hang one of them on the tree at a time. Well, that was very slow and a little boring for me. I wanted to do something a little more exciting. And I discovered that if you threw the icicles up in the air, that they landed in such interesting shapes, and the light would hit them and it would make it really very pretty. So I would start to throw them, and mother would catch me and she would say, “No, you have to do them one at a time.”

And she’d show me again.”

After that I’d do them one at a time until she turned her back. Then I was throwing him again, because, first of all, it was faster and it was prettier. They made interesting shapes. Of course, now that I am grown, I understand that mother was concerned about money, and she didn’t want to have to buy more icicles next year because they were expensive.

Give Clear Messages

So sometimes when we are spending time with our family or with our kids, we don’t always communicate real clearly about what really is on our mind and what really matters. Because if she had explained, maybe I’d be a little bit more willing to have done it. And so we want to be careful that the messages that we give are carefully crafted so that our kids get them, that our family gets them. For instance, you want your family and your friends to know that you love them, even though maybe you disagree on something.

Well, back in Jesus day, they lived in difficult times. Just like now, they had to be careful how much money they spent. And they were worried about their provision and their food and their clothing. But Jesus made a very profound statement. I’m going to read it to you.

Luke 1223. He says, “…life is more than food and the body is more than clothing.”

Well, you know, that’s pretty profound.

In fact, when I was a kid, I thought that my body, my internal organs in my stomach did something for the world that was absolutely wonderful. And I couldn’t wait to find out what they did. And when I found out that all they did was keep me alive, I was very disappointed. Because you want to live for something bigger than that.

Let me tell you, you can live for something bigger than that, because that’s the point of this verse. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. And Christmas is a whole lot more than just simply purchasing gifts. The point of Christmas was God wrapped in flesh.

And because he came to live with us, Emmanuel, God with us, we can be reconciled to God. And he was the one who was the creator of all of life. What an amazing, amazing thing. And I love this verse that I had a teacher that used to talk to us all the time about “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” And she kept saying that. And finally, it really clicked with me that regardless of what happens in this life, that we can have confidence about the next life, about heaven, because of Christ in you, the hope of glory. I’m hoping that this year that you make memories with your family and with those you love. But I’m hoping that the memories that you make are clear.
I’m offering a gift for my listeners. If you will click here, you can sign up to get a few of my childhood Christmas memories and a cake recipe Mom used to make. I hope you do.
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