Stories of Hope in Hard Times

Oct 28 2020 48 mins 4

My mission is to provide motivation, inspiration, and hope to those who feel overwhelmed, exhausted, discouraged or anxious about their life’s problems and challenges. I am your host, Tamara K. Anderson. I am the mother of four children who struggle with autism, ADHD, anxiety, visions issues, and all bring me great joy. I invite you to join me every other Wednesday beginning January 23, 2019 to hear real stories and lessons learned through adversity’s refining fire. You will hear interviews from normal people (just like you) who have had scrapes with death, been fired from jobs, survived the death of a loved one, experienced extreme health challenges, mental illness, and disability. Come laugh, cry, and feel hope as you hear these heartwarming stories and the inspiration drawn from rock-bottom moments survived with God’s help. So, pull up an imaginary chair at my kitchen table as you listen and feel inspired by Stories of Hope in Hard Times.

Trina Boice: Parenting Truths from an Imperfect Parent
Oct 28 2020 45 mins  
Although she won the award of California Young Mother of the Year, Trina admits she is not a perfect parent. She shares lessons learned parenting along her imperfect road. Tamara K. Anderson interviews Trina Boice about life as an imperfect parent and the lessons she has learned along the way. Today we discuss: Miscarriages The "Whatever" Mantra Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Don't Be Afraid to Go Deep You can find Trina on her social media platforms of (Facebook), (Instagram), (LinkedIn) and (YouTube). You can also find her on the following websites: ( ( (FromBook2Business.c)om Here is the transcript of Trina's episode: Trina 0:02  It went from pretending to really connecting with my child. And it was a really hard conversation. There were lots of tears that were shed. But in the end, lots of hugging, and a greater appreciation for the paths and the journeys that we take and how different they all are.   Tamara Anderson 0:28  Welcome to Stories of Hope in Hard Times, the show that explores how people endure and even thrive in difficult times, all with God's help. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson. Join me on a journey to find inspiring stories of hope and wisdom learned in life's hardest moments. My guest today is a doctor and a number one best-selling author of 31 books and was named the California Young Mother of the Year, an award which completely amuses her four sons. She teaches online for Brigham Young University and creates online courses at She's also a movie critic at and has a daily podcast on Alexa called Daily Inspirational Quote with Trina. She worked as a legislative assistant for a congressional representative in Washington DC and was given the Points of Light Award and Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her domestic and international community service. She's taught classes at the famous Lake Cordon Bleu Culinary College, and she says she has the weight gain to prove it. If she told you everything that she really does, she'd have to kill you. Basically. I am pleased to present Dr. Trina Boyce. Trina, are you ready to share your story of hope?   Trina 1:57  Oh, thank you for having me, Tamara. You know, I adore you. And for those listening, I've known Tamara for, I don't know, two, three years now. Right?   Tamara Anderson 2:08  Something like that. I can't remember. But it's been fun. So question, Trina, how in the world did you end up being named California Young Mother of the Year? I mean, I know that people are named mothers of the year. I always imagine them to be like these perfect moms. I know that's not the right image I should be putting in my brain. But I guess when you get an award like that people assume that's what it is. Why don't you tell me a little bit of background on that? Were you the perfect mom?   Trina 2:47  Oh no, absolutely not. I always say I look really good on paper. But the title is awarded by a wonderful organization called American Mothers Inc. I was involved with it when I was living in Georgia. Then I moved to California and I was still involved. Then one year I actually received that honor. But it's kind of tricky. Because if they just said, “We just think you're great, have this award,” that would be wonderful. It's kind of a little bit of a competition, because people can nominate a bunch of women. From all those...

The Candy Bomber: How 2 Sticks of Gum Changed the World
Oct 21 2020 17 mins  
On today's episode, I get to tell you a true story the Candy Bomber after World War II and three lessons we can learn from it. 3 Lessons from the Candy BomberLittle Things Can have a Big Ripple Effect Serving Others Heals Inspiring Hope Saves Lives You can learn more about Gail S. Halvorsen, The Candy Bomber on his website: ( Here is the transcription of today's episode:Welcome to stories of hope in hard times, the show that explores how people endure and even thrive in difficult times. All with God's help. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson. Join me on a journey to find inspiring stories of hope and wisdom learned in life's hardest moments.  The Berlin AirliftMy true story today starts just after World War II in Germany during the Berlin airlift. You see, the city of Berlin then was starving due to the Soviet blockade. So in order to get food and supplies to the famished people, Allied Airmen flew over the city and dropped thousands of tons of food daily. I now quote from a history that talks about that time period, "It was determined that the city's daily food ration would be 646 tons of flour and wheat, 125 tons of cereal, 64 tons of fat 109 tons of meat and fish, 180 tons of dehydrated potatoes, 180 tons of sugar, 11 tons of coffee, 19 tons of powdered milk, five tons of whole milk for children, three tons of fresh yeast for baking, 144 tons of dehydrated vegetables, 38 tons of salt, and 10 tons of cheese. In total 1,534 tons were needed to keep the over 2 million people alive on a daily basis. And that number did not include necessities like coal and fuel."  So really what they ended up dropping was about 4,500 tons on a daily basis. Isn't that crazy? But that is what was needed to keep that city alive during the Soviet blockade. And they did this by dropping food from airplanes to the people.  The Candy BomberOne of the pilots who was part of this Berlin airlift was Gail Halverson and he just celebrated his 100th birthday this past week. So it is in memory of him and his service that I'd love to tell you a little bit about the impact two sticks of gum had not only on Berlin, but the ripple effect it had on the entire world.  Gail Halverson, known as "Hal" to his friends, was a rural farm boy from Utah, and he was serving as an Air Force pilot, then in the Berlin airlift. One day at the Tempelhof Airport, he noticed a line of children at the fence watching the planes fly over to bring them these life saving supplies. He felt he needed to go talk to these children. I now quote from his history.  The Two Sticks of Gum Which Changed Everything"One day in July 1948, I met 30 kids at the barbed wire fence at the Tempelhof in Berlin. They were excited, they said, "When the weather gets so bad that you can't land, don't worry about us. We can get by on little food, but if we lose our freedom, we may never get it back. The principle of freedom was more important than the pleasure of flour. "Don't give up on us," they asked. The Soviets had offered the Berliners food rations, but they would not capitulate.  For the hour I was at the fence not one child asked for gum or candy. Children I had met during and after the war, like them in other countries had always begged insistently for such treasures. These Berlin children were so grateful for the flour to be free, that they wouldn't lower themselves to be beggars for something more. It was even the more impressive because they hadn't had gum or candy in months.  When I realized this silent, mature show of gratitude, and the strength that it took not to ask, I had to do something. All I had was two sticks of gum. I broke them in two and passed them through the barbed wire. The result was unbelievable. Those with the gum tore off the strips of wrapper and gave them to the others. Those with the strips, put them to their noses and smell the tiny fragrance. The expression of...

Alma Ohene-Opare: Why I Chase the American Dream
Oct 14 2020 70 mins  
Alma grew up wanting to reach his goals, but he knew he wouldn't achieve them in Ghana. So he set his sights on the American Dream.  In today's show Alma and I talk about: How discontent plus courage equal innovation and creation. Recognizing and reaching for your full potential. How all things work together for good to them that love God. Always look to the glory of your destination and set your own rhythm and pace. Compete with yourself and not others. Be willfully positive in everything you do. Choose courage over comfort. Freedom of speech for everyone and what true unity looks like. The choice to be "offended." You can find Alma at ( or on social media under Alma Ohene-Opare. Alma Ohene-Opare 0:01  It just bothered me. Why couldn't I dream freely? Why couldn't I think about something that has never been done and find a way to do it? Unfortunately for me, I could not see that happening in Ghana. It became my quest and my goal somehow to come to America for some reason, because of what my dad had told me. I always thought America was the place where that could happen.   Tamara Anderson 0:31  Welcome to Stories of Hope in Hard Times, the show that explores how people endure and even thrive in difficult times, all with God's help. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson. Join me on a journey to find inspiring stories of hope and wisdom learned in life's hardest moments. My next guest is originally from Ghana, West Africa. He first came to the United States as a missionary in Los Angeles, California. After his mission, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Information Technology and later obtained an MBA. He and his wife have four kids between the ages of three and 13. He currently works as a senior solutions engineer at DOMO. His hobbies include public speaking, writing, entrepreneurship, and most importantly, spending time with his wife and children. I am pleased to introduce Alma Ohene-Opare. Alma, are you ready to share your story of hope? Alma Ohene-Opare 1:35  Yes, I am. Thank you for having me. Tamara Anderson 1:37  I am so excited to have you. Alma and I met through a connection a couple of months ago. He has just been so inspiring to talk to. I have had the chance to talk to him a couple of times. He is just amazing. I'm just so thrilled to have him on the podcast today. So Alma, tell me a little bit about growing up in West Africa. And how it is that you chase this American dream of coming here to America and why you did that. Alma Ohene-Opare 2:09  Well, how much time do you have? Yeah, it's a long story. But in a nutshell, my journey here kind of started a long, long time ago, long before I sat on the plane to get here. My life in Ghana, I would say, for the most part, was privileged in the sense that I grew up in a very stable family, we had everything we needed. There wasn't much that I needed that I didn't have. My parents were successful. My mom was an entrepreneur. My dad worked for the government. For all intents and purposes I would say I lived a good life as a child in Ghana. There was never a time where I was hungry or had any wants that were not met. In general, I would say I had a pretty good childhood. I attribute that to the various sacrifices my parents had to make. Because, from my perspective, we were well to do. Maybe not from their perspective. The reason I bring that up is that a lot of times we think about people coming to America as people who, you know, were potentially oppressed in some way where they came from. That wasn't the case for me. My fascination with America happened after my dad visited America when I was young, in 1989. When my dad came back, he brought pictures of places he had visited. All those things just fascinated me and stuck with me for a long time. So I knew as a child, I wanted to come to America. But that desire became more solidified as I grew

3 Truths Learned Hiking with my 73-year-old Mother
Oct 07 2020 14 mins  
While hiking with her mother last year, Tamara learned 3 great truths that can be applied to our rugged life journeys today. The Family TripJust before school started last year, our family took a last minute vacation to two National Parks: Yellowstone and the Tetons. I found out my 73-year-old mother had never been, so I invited her to come with us.  While in Teton National Park we did two hikes on the other side of Jenny Lake: Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Mind you, we were hiking with Nathan, our son with low-functioning autism, so we go at a different pace than most and try not to push our luck with him.  It was beautiful and memorable—and we even made it without any autism tantrums (a miracle in and of itself). But the lessons I learned from my mother (who has had a hip replacement) as we hiked Inspiration Point will stick with me the rest of my life. () The HikeWe have taken our children to the Tetons National Park three times, and we’ve always done half of the hike up Inspiration Point because there is this beautiful overlook at the halfway point.  We haven’t wanted to push our luck with Nathan making him climb the rest of the steep rocky trail the other half (although I’m sure he’d make it if he were in a good mood).  After several photos of us with Jenny Lake behind us at the halfway mark, my three other children decided they wanted to go to the top. So they took off.  As the next group of hikers descended, my mom asked how the rest of the hike was. They responded enthusiastically that, “It is worth the climb!” Hiking with MomMy mom then said she wanted to go too, but we weren’t sure she should. She decided to go anyway, and I followed her—leaving my hubby with Nathan at the halfway point.  Even though she did catch her foot on one rock and did fall down at one point she picked herself up and kept going. She happily chatted and paused along the way mostly to take photos of wildflowers.  When we got to the steepest part with the rockiest path, I offered her my arm. She told me that she had learned helping others who are getting a little unsteady on their feet that it is better to hold onto something solid like a chair, table, or in our case the rocky mountain wall beside us than it was for her to hold onto me, because I was moving. So, she slowed down, held onto the rocky ledge beside her and stepped carefully as we made our way up that final rocky incline to the top of Inspiration Point. () The view at the top was spectacular, but not as amazing as the many lessons I pondered as we climbed back down. Today, I share 3 that are particularly meaningful in this time of distress. 3 Truths Learned Hiking with Mom#1-When Life Gets Steep and Rocky, Hold to the RockAmerican author, publisher, CEO and religious speaker Sheri Dew said, “He rarely moves the mountains in front of us. But He always helps us climb them.”As a young child I remember singing the song, The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock. Since then, I’ve always loved the image of Christ being my Rock to build on. When we hit the steep and bumpy parts of our life path, we should follow mom’s advice and hold to the rock. It is sturdy, it is stable and it will not shift or move. God can be our strength in good times and bad. () The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 43:1-3, 7, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof… The Lord of hosts is with us.”So, the number one...

Diane Passey: Does Weight Equal Worth?
Sep 30 2020 81 mins  
At a dark point in her life, Diane Passey decided she was too heavy to keep living. Follow her journey from grief and despair to coach. Some of the points discussed are: There will be a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be just a tiny glimmer. But it's there. There is always hope. You don't have to feel God's hand to have Him there. He's there whether or not you can feel it. We are never really as alone as we feel. Diane strongly believes our trials are not just for our own experience and growth, but to help other people through their trials.  How important it is to have a survivor mentality vs. a victim mentality Satan will do anything he can to destroy your self esteem and make you feel like nothing. I almost took my life because of a number on a scale. It was only a number. When you're feeling stuck in that dark place, you have to talk. Talking is the hardest thing to do. Depression is so self centered and inward focused. As soon as you can reach out and look up, you'll be able to work your way back up again. There isn't a right or wrong way to cope with mental struggles. Medication, Therapy, Coaching, Exercise, Connection, all are good ways. The challenge can be to find the combinations that work best for you. The value of an individual is always more than a number on a scale or a pant or dress size. Numbers are neutral they are not good or bad. It's what your brain, Satan, and society tells you about the numbers that create those feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. Gratitude is very powerful and the fastest way to change the focus of your brain. Self care, self care, self care! Don't listen to shame. It's a liar. Don't listen to Satan. He's a liar. You are never truly alone. Enjoy the transcript from today's episode: Diane 0:01  Just one particular day, I went and stood on the scale to donate plasma and I saw the red lights of this digital scale flash 201 and I couldn't believe I was over 200 pounds. I though, “How could my family love me? How am I even going to face them again?” I was devastated. It's like something inside me just broke.   Tamara Anderson 0:31  Welcome to Stories of Hope in Hard Times, the show that explores how people endure and even thrive in difficult times, all with God's help. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson. Join me on a journey to find inspiring stories of hope and wisdom learned in life's hardest moments. My next guest has been married for 25 years and has seven children, three in-law children, and three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. She has a passion for teaching and has taught children, teens and adults in religious, personal and professional settings for over two decades. She started out her coaching career helping people through weight loss and emotional eating for eight years. Two and a half years ago, she became certified through the ICF and CCA and now loves helping parents and teens navigate the difficult path of parenting and adolescence. What a chore. I am pleased to present Diane Passie. Diane, are you ready to share your story of hope?   Diane 1:39  I am so excited. Definitely ready.   Tamara Anderson 1:44  Yay. This is going to be fun. Diane and I go clear back to high school days almost. She was one of my sister's best friends and so we kind of know each other from back then and then reconnected through Facebook after she shared a very, very personal story which I'm gonna invite her to share today, so I'm excited to have her on. But before we dive into that story, a little known fact about you is that you have a crested gecko named Creo. And I have to ask about this because we have a dog. And the reason we have a dog is because my children, it's one of their stress relievers, and they will love on this dog and talk to the dog and play with the dog when they are not as apt to talk or be as open to me sometimes because teenagers are tough.   Diane 2:32 ...

Why Authenticity is Worth It
Sep 23 2020 25 mins  
Tamara shares an outtake from a podcast, talks about 3 tips for authenticity and shares an announcement of a hard goal she's working on. Here is the transcript from today's podcast: Tamara Anderson 0:00  On today's episode, I have a couple of exciting things I'm going to share with you. First is that this will be the first episode that I ever do an outtake on. I'm taking an outtakes from last week's podcast that you guys didn't hear and I'm going to share it on this week's podcast. I'm also going to teach you three amazing tips and share a big announcement about something I've been working on that I've been really nervous to talk about because it's something new and different for me, so stay tuned. Welcome to Stories of Hope in Hard Times, the show that explores how people endure and even thrive in difficult times, all with God's help. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson. Join me on a journey to find inspiring stories of hope and wisdom learned in life's hardest moments. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Tamara’s Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. Last week, I had the opportunity to interview my friend (Rob Gentile.) We had a great time talking about his near death experience, about his life perspective and how it's changed, and how love is so important. But one of the interesting things that Rob and I talked about wasn't even on the podcast. It happened to occur at the commercial break. I had a quick conversation with him that I wanted to share with you because we talked about something pretty important. Now to give you some background before we dive into this outtakes clip that I'm going to share with you today, I have to tell you that Rob and I met several years ago at a premier author training put on by New York Times best-selling author Richard Paul Evans. One of the things that Richard Paul Evans emphasizes every single time he teaches about writing is the importance of being authentic. That is saying something coming from a man like Richard Paul Evans, because he is very, very authentic in his writing. People can feel that authenticity and that's why every book that he writes is a New York Times best-selling book. So one of the things that we talk about in here is a quote that he shared with us during this premier author training. I refer to Richard Paul Evans as Rick in the clip because that is what his friends call him. So that's who we're talking about when we talk about that. Here's the outtakes clip. “Okay, we're gonna pause there. And I'm gonna wipe my eyes again. Goodness, Rob, I tell you sometimes doing these interviews is really hard. Rob 3:18  Well, it's been hard on me on this. And so I've had to mute my mic a couple of times and wipe my nose. Tamara Anderson 3:26  Thank you, because these are the things that are meaningful to people. So I appreciate you being willing to share some tender things. Because I think people need to realize both the struggle but the blessing of the struggle. Rob 3:43  Right. Absolutely. You know, this book, you've seen because you've read it now. It's all about how I took a lot of risks. Here I am, you know, I'm an executive in the professional world. And when this thing gets published, some people might say “Holy cow, I didn't know this guy. This guy's kind of wacky or this guy. He's so tender.” I mean, but look, I had this revealed to me when I was writing, if God is anything, God's authentic. And I knew that if, if this book was going to have the kind of impact on people's lives that I wanted it to, that I better be authentic. I put myself out there in some of these vignettes and stories that I didn't have to share. But I wanted the reader to know, hey, this is real. Tamara Anderson 4:39  Yeah. Well, and I think people relate because it's like, I think Rick teaches this, you know, "slit...

Rob A. Gentile: Lessons of Love from a Near Death Experience
Sep 16 2020 60 mins  
Rob never expected a heart attack or near death experience, but he is thankful he learned more about God, love and connection because of these hardships. BioRob A. Gentile was born one of four boys outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Italian immigrants. His grandfather and father worked at a steel company where Rob also began his career right out of high school. For the past 25 years, he has worked as a sales engineer living in Texas, California, Tennessee and now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rob has won several awards for his sales efforts including diversity supplier award for the Minority Business Development Council. He's been blessed to have been married for 30 years and he and his wife have also been blessed with a wonderful daughter Maria, who is 23 and has been diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Photography CareerRob has a passion for photography that started in the seventh or eighth grade. Rob had always been very visual and his brother gave him a camera. He started to research photography and light, and even built a darkroom in his basement where he started to developing his own photographs. From that point on, he was hooked. When the steel company that Rob had been working for went out of business, he found himself out of a job and decided to dedicate that time to pursuing his photography passion. His older brother was working as a writer for Newsweek at the time. Rob drove to Guatemala to learn Spanish and then met his brother in Nicaragua and became a freelance stringer for the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. Rob spent a lot of time in combat situations. Often, young soldiers would dive on top of Rob to protect him while they were under fire. They told him they did that so that he could help the truth to come out. Rob says that living through wars was like training for the challenges that were looming in his life in the not too distant future. The Heart AttackIn 2016, Rob had surgery on his neck to remove some bone spurs he had developed from old sports injuries. It was a relatively easy procedure, so Rob was only in the hospital overnight to make sure there were no problems. Four days later at about 11 o'clock at night, Rob had a massive heart attack. He was screaming and writhing in bed, and his wife initially thought it was their daughter having seizures, as that was a typical occurrence for her around that time. When she realized it was Rob, she called the ambulance. Hospital & ComaRob was rushed to the hospital but the doctors could not revive him. He was unresponsive and without a pulse for 20 minutes. They did several injections of epinephrine and paddle shocks. They did everything they could and were on the verge of giving up when there was a small sign of a heartbeat. At that point they rushed Rob to surgery and fished a balloon pump into his heart to remove the blockage, (which that is commonly called the widow-maker), and they also placed two stents. But it was too late. Rob's heart was too damaged. He slipped into a coma for four days. When he woke up, he was told that the only way he would survive was a getting a heart transplant. He was just 56 years old. Looking for a TransplantSo Rob started on a journey to find a new heart. He went to a wide variety of regional transplant centers and was told the same thing: Hearts are in short supply. His only option was to be in the hospital for 40 days and be placed on the critical list. If a heart arrived, he would be there to get it. But if a heart didn't come, he would have to be put on a device called an LVAD, which is commonly used for people who can't get a heart. Rob didn't want an LVAD because of the challenges helping with Maria and trying to keep up with his life. It wasn't a good fit. So he was turned down by multiple transplant organizations. He was about to give up on his search. At that point he called his boss and told him what was going on and that he would have to resign. His boss...

Drained? Try These 5 Empowering Actions
Sep 09 2020 27 mins  
Tamara shares 5 empowering actions to take when you're feeling drained, exhausted, worn out, and just feel you can't go on. Drained? Take These 5 Empowering ActionsToday I want to talk about something that I feel is so needed in the world today. I don't know about you, but I look around and I see a lot of discouraged, drained, exhausted, and worn out people. This has been a physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging year. It's been challenging because of the changes. I have seen so many people who are depleted and I have felt that way myself. And so because of that, I thought, Tamara, you need to talk about this. God Changed My Object LessonI have to go back to April of this year when I was feeling the need to teach this "feeling drained" concept to my children. They'd been home from school for a month and they just found out school was canceled for the rest of the year. So they were feeling frustrated and bummed out. How do we replenish that inner supply of strength when we're feeling down? How do we do it? So going back to this lesson that I was trying to teach my kids: I started trying to think about how I could teach refilling our souls with an object lesson. In my brain, I was picturing taking a water pitcher and filling it one cup at a time as I talked about each of the things you can do to fill yourself up. And as I was thinking and praying about that concept, God said, "That is not how it works Tamara." Ha! I love it when when God tells you--Nope, that's not quite it. Anyways, the good news is, He gave me a visual picture of what would work better than that object lesson. The Real Object LessonAnd so let me tell you what I did. I ended up getting a big empty plastic juice bottle. I rinsed it out and I took a big drill bit and I drilled a hole in the bottom of it. And then I screwed the hose to our house outside into the bottom of it. Then I turned the water on and the water filled this bottle up until it was overflowing. () So God taught me and I taught my children that when we are tapped into the correct power source, we have enough inside that we can fill ourselves and then share and give to others. I love the symbol of Christ being living water. But really, I think what we're tapping into His light. Our Spiritual Umbilical CordAnd I've come to visualize it as kind of a spiritual umbilical cord which ties us to God because I believe that every person born on this earth is a child of God. We read about that in the Scriptures. As the Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, observed, "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." And spiritually, we are tied to God. We are His children, and He can connect with us. And He can fill us with whatever it is that we need. So let's get on to these five empowering actions we can each take to tap into that spiritual umbilical cord. 5 Empowering Actions to Tap into GodAction #1-Choose to Flip the SwitchSo the first thing that we need to do is we need to realize that we are the ones that control how much light or how much living water comes into us. It's our choice. Joshua in the Old Testament said, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).You'll see all over in the Scriptures, invitations for us to choose to turn our power source on. Here is an example: “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8).We Take the First StepSo God is saying, if you come to me, I will give this to you. He always lets us take the first step. The spiritual umbilical cord is there attached to us. It's ready to nourish us--to fill us with God's light, love, and strength beyond our own when we don't feel we can go on. But first He needs us to flip the switch needs us to turn the light on. The plug is in the outlet. But we need to be willing to flip the...

Jennifer Finlayson-Fife: Why You Really Need Self-Compassion
Sep 02 2020 53 mins  
Jennifer didn't start life with much confidence, but through several struggles she learned important lessons on self-confidence & compassion. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife: Why You Really Need Self-CompassionBioJennifer Finlayson-Fife is a wife, mother of three, as well as a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Illinois. She has a PhD in counseling psychology. Her teaching and coaching focuses on helping members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, both individuals and couples, achieve greater satisfaction and passion in their emotional and sexual relationships. Jennifer teaches online relationship and sexuality courses, workshops and retreats designed to foster self and sexual development and create happier relationships and individuals. She's a frequent guest on podcasts and writes articles for blogs and magazines on the subjects of sexuality, relationships, mental health and faith. Self-SufficiencyGrowing up, Jennifer was no stranger to hard work. With eight children in the home, there was never very much extra money. The basics were taken care of, but if she wanted anything she had to pay for it herself. Jennifer was born legally blind and had many eye surgeries. At 12-years-old, she wore very thick, coke bottle glasses. She wanted to get contact lenses. So she started making Christmas decorations to sell. The first year she made around $150. Jennifer saved that money and did the same thing the next year, as well as adding gingerbread house sales on top of her other decorations. That year she made $400, allowing her to buy her contact lenses. Jennifer was able to stay on top of the upkeep costs by continuing her Christmas decoration business. She also started doing exterior and interior painting in the summers to add to her growing income. At the time Jennifer saw this challenge as a burden. She usually didn't have as much money to spend as her friends with allowances, but now she recognizes the lessons she learned. She learned that she could attend to her own suffering and wants by working hard to make things better. Self DoubtDespite all of her hard work, Jennifer always felt very awkward. She typically only had two pairs of pants and two shirts for the year. She hit adolescence very late, so she was always very small compared to her peers. Jennifer wasn't very interested in the things her peers were interested in, and felt that they were immature. She was more connected to her family than the social world. She struggled to find a group where she fit in. Jennifer felt misunderstood by her peers, which made her very self-conscious. She didn't think she was very pretty either. She was a little afraid of being in a relationship with a boy because she felt that meant she had to be a step down from them. Jennifer acknowledges that many teens and even adults feel the same way she did. It's OkKnowing what she does now, Jennifer says that it is developmentally appropriate to have some self- doubt during the teenage years. It's ok to be uncertain about who you are and what you're really about, because you haven't lived long enough to sort it all out. The challenge is when we get stuck worrying about how other people feel about us and trying to keep other people happy as a way to feel good about ourselves. While it's normal to start out with referencing other people to make sense of ourselves, if we keep doing that then we will struggle to have a solid sense of self. If you need other people to make you feel good about yourself, you're either going to need people constantly telling you that you're ok or you'll be very demanding and always trying to get other people to yield to you. While being bossy may seem like it comes from a place of self-confidence, it's actually a weak position because it requires control of other people. Self ConfidenceJennifer says there are two important parts of developing true self-confidence. First, you have to live up to your own value. This means you...

The Secrets of Forgiveness
Aug 26 2020 24 mins  
Tamara discusses the miracle of forgiveness by sharing 3 people we can forgive and 4 tips to help us forgive. The Secrets to ForgivenessForgivenessOn today's episode, we are going to talk about a powerful word that is really hard. I've kind of got mixed emotions about it: forgiveness. And we're going to talk about three people you can forgive and four steps to help you do it. Last week, we had a very interesting conversation with our good friend, Debbie Ihler Rasmussen. and Debbie is an amazing author and a good friend of mine. We talked about courageous things, including being courageous in the ability to forgive her husband, when he had had several affairs. And that was something that was really really hard for Debbie. She finally said that one person told her that if you can't forgive someone, you're letting them rent space in your head for free. And we often carry this weight of anger and frustration against people. So today I thought we'd talk a little bit about forgiveness because I don't know about you, but it is something I've struggled with throughout my life. And I want to talk today about how we forgive and who we forgive. Who We Forgive1. Forgive GodThe first person I think we often get angry with is God. Maybe it's just me. But when my son Nathan had been diagnosed with autism I was very angry with God because I knew He could heal my son, but He chose not to. I wish I could say it was different. But it wasn't. Some people will close God out of their lives when they're angry with Him. Like they don't even want to talk to Him. And that's a normal reaction. So if you've ever felt that way, please don't beat yourself up over it. But I was one of those who felt comfortable talking to God about how I felt. I think God knows where we are, and takes us where we are. He knew I didn't like feeling angry or feeling frustrated. I didn't like feeling that my life was so completely out of my control and I felt God was causing it. And so, as I talked to Him about it, and I asked him to help me with it. He did. He blessed me with peace although it was not immediate. This process probably took over a year. I talked about the whole process in my book, (Normal for Me). (So if you want to read all the nitty gritty go ahead and read it there.) But it was a hard process for me. So if you've ever felt angry with God, know you're not the only one. But I think sometimes, especially in times like this when things have changed (like the coronavirus) or when things are just falling apart, we might have the tendency to point our finger and blame God. And there's a way to get past that. Great Bible VersesSometimes maybe we feel like David in the Psalms, where he says in Psalm 22:1 "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me and from the words of my roaring?" Do you ever feel like roaring at God? I know I do. Sometimes we feel He's gone far away. Maybe we've pushed Him far away because we're angry with Him, and we need to forgive Him. But here's God's answer to us in another beautiful verse from 2 Kings chapter 20:5, "I have heard thy prayer. I have seen thy tears. I will heal thee." So know that even though we may push God far away, He can and will heal us. You can't do anything to push yourself too far away from God. He's always there waiting like in the story of the prodigal waiting for us to "come to ourselves" and turn back home. And when we do turn to Him, He comes, and runs to us and embraces us. So reach out to God. 2. Forgive YourselfThe second person that we need to forgive is ourselves. Have you ever done something wrong and then felt the weight of that mistake on your head, shoulders and heart? You can't seem to forgive yourself. I know I felt that way before. The Tie Between Forgiveness and LoveI think forgiveness is tied to love. When Jesus Christ is talking about his great commandments--to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. We can't love...

Debbie Ihler Rasmussen: Rediscovering my Self-Worth
Aug 19 2020 54 mins  
Debbie never wanted her family to be a statistic, but finally knew it was time for a divorce. She shares how she regained her self-worth with God's help. Rediscovering my Self-WorthBioDebbie Ihler Rasmussen opened a dance studio and began teaching when she was 17 and that developed into a 44 year career teaching dance. Debbie was married for 25 years and then divorced. She has six children and 17 grandchildren, 19 depending upon how you count them. Debbie’s passion for writing has been there for as long as she can remember. She has been writing since she was 12 and finally published her first book in 2014. She's been able to express herself in happy times, sad times and hard times through writing. Debbie has written a book series called The Mystic Trilogy. Her three books take people into another world, if only for a little while, because it's just good to have fun and imagine. SkydivingDebbie is incredibly fun-loving and adventurous. When she was 18, she remembers seeing some skydivers with her mom. She told her mom that she had always wanted to try skydiving but her mom informed her, "One splat and you're dead." Years later, after her divorce, Debbie would go out to the Elsinore drop zone in California and watch people jump. She decided she really wanted to sky dive. So she worked at the diving school to earn the money to do it. She rode the plane up 13 times over the course of 3 years before she finally jumped because she was so afraid. Finally, she was tired of the painful pressure on her ears when the pilot dove back to earth, so she decided she would just jump. Back then, you didn't have to do a tandem jump so Debbie was just freefalling on her own and pulled her own ripcord. She loved it and went back often after that, but it wasn't the kind of habit she could keep up with because of the expense. But she would highly recommend it to anyone, even if you think you're too old. Marriage to BobDebbie met her husband Bob shortly after high school. After being married a few weeks, Debbie saw a different side of Bob. One day Bob was mad at Debbie and picked her up and dropped her. It didn't hurt her so much as it hurt her feelings. She was so surprised that she wanted to talk to her dad about getting an annulment, but she couldn't get ahold of him. Things calmed down a little bit and she decided to just ride it out and move past it. Thanksgiving rolled around and she remembers telling her dad that the turkey made her feel sick. Her dad said, "You're going to have a baby." He was right, Debbie was pregnant. So she doubled down and decided she was going to make it work. The First AffairFor the first 10 years, there were some little control issues with Bob but he was a good dad. But when Debbie was pregnant with their sixth baby, she discovered Bob was having an affair. Debbie had been pregnant off and on for three years and had lost two babies at that point. They had six children under the age of 10. She didn't feel very pretty and finding out about Bob's affair certainly didn't help. Debbie's dad came to visit them for Christmas that year and she told him about the affair. She did not expect what he said next. He said, "Well Debbie, just look as pretty as you can every day when he comes home from work." Debbie was shocked. Her whole life she had been her dad's girl and always felt like a princess. She distinctly remembers standing in her room after her dad left trying to figure out what to do. Again, Debbie decided to stick with it and push through and she believed everything would be fine. She stayed in her marriage for another 13 years. Two More AffairsAt one point, Bob left the family and moved to California. He would come to visit occasionally. Debbie decided to move the family to California to try and fix their marriage. After three years of trying, she was done. Bob had two more affairs and started to get abusive towards the kids. Debbie says she sort of just woke up and realized she didn't have to deal with...

Angels Among Us
Aug 12 2020 20 mins  
On today's episode we talk a little bit about angels--both the heavenly kind and the earthly kind. I also share a story from my family history which teaches about earthly angels. Are There Angels in the World Today?First, I need to do a shout out to Elizabeth Allen, who shared her wonderful story last week about her son Jesse passing away. She also shared how she learned to see signs of Jesse in her life--that his light would appear in pictures that they were taking, and he was often with them. So we're going to talk about those kinds of angels, friends and people we know and love who come and be with us from the other side. And we're also going to talk about physical angels that come into our lives at the moment we need them the very most. A Favorite Old Testament StoryA couple of years ago I was at a church event, and they invited us to turn to the person next to us and share our favorite story from the Old Testament. And this is the story that I shared. Because it is one of those stories that impressed me so much when I first heard it. Elisha and the SyriansThis story is found in 2 Kings chapter 6. And in this story, we have the prophet Elisha, and and there's a war going on between Israel and Syria. And every time the Syrians go to make a move, it seems like the Israelites are prepared, and they know exactly what the Syrians are doing. Finally, the King of Syria like, What's going on? Who is the spy among us? Basically, who is telling the Israelites about our plans? And one of the people who was advising the king of Syria said it's none of us. Israel has a prophet named Elisha, and he is counseling them what to do. And the King decided he wanted to talk to this prophet guy. Where is he so that I can talk to him? They said, He's in a city called Dothan. And so the Syrians went and surround this city called Dothan in the middle of the night. It says here in 2 Kings 6:14-17 it says, "They came by night and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early and gone for behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, (so he's talking to Elisha), "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" So at this point, He's like, We're dead. We are surrounded by our enemies. Elisha Sees The Chariots of FireSo Elijah, looking as only a prophet can, looked at the surrounding Syrian army and gave this powerful, powerful response. "And he answered, fear not for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elijah prayed and said, Lord, I pray thee open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire, round about Elisha." So often, we, like the servant of Elisha, look at the world around us, and we freak out. There are so many things nowadays that can bring fear into our lives. My message today is "fear not they that be with us are more than they that be with them." Loneliness During the CoronavirusI think one of the most challenging things about the coronavirus and quarantining us to our homes is that it has been a very isolating experience. Perhaps we feel more alone than we have felt our entire lives. We feel alone, forgotten, like nobody cares, and that nobody understands what we're going through. And so my response to you is first, God understands. Second, you're not alone. And I want to drive that home. Because there are horses and chariots and angels round about you. You may not see them, but they are there. And you can call on God, to have those angels be with you to help you "see" and feel the angels that are with you. You may not see them with your physical eyes, but you can see them with spiritual eyes. There are family members and loved ones who are with us in our deepest and hardest moments of trial. I've had too many experiences in my life, to be able to say different. Learning About...

Elizabeth Allen: 4 Lessons From Loss
Aug 05 2020 59 mins  
Elizabeth Allen was stunned when her healthy 16-year-old son died suddenly one day from HCM. She shares wisdom learned along grief's road with God's help. 4 Lessons From LossBioElizabeth Allen is the oldest of 10 children and grew up in California. She met her husband as a student at BYU and they have lived in Utah for almost 30 years now and have eight children. Through her husband, she was introduced to alternative medicine and she has studied the healing arts for over 30 years. Her daughter Glenna was the first to be diagnosed with the hereditary heart condition HCM, which stands for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This led to the diagnosis of her husband and two youngest children, Stephen and Jesse. Baffling SymptomsWhen her kids were young, Elizabeth remembers her kids having stomachaches on a regular basis, and they just seemed to be sick a lot. Some were diagnosed with H. pylori, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, but there was something more going on. At one point, Glenna was living with Elizabeth's sister in Connecticut. One morning, they weren't able to wake her up. They called the paramedics and testing began. The doctors were baffled. Her EKG, a type of heart testing, was more indicative of a 90-year-old who had had multiple heart attacks. They even sent her tests to Columbia University to have them looked at. Even they were baffled. Health professionals then performed a stress test where she ran on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. But throughout all the testing, they never performed any imaging tests. Elizabeth had Glenna brought back to Utah and they got an MRI done. Finally, she received a diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The doctors told them that this condition was hereditary and that everyone in the family needed to be tested. What is HCM?Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the muscles of the heart wall thicken. This makes the chambers that hold the blood smaller so that the heart can't pump as much blood. Additionally, the fibers in the muscles tend to be scrambled and stiff so the heart goes into atrial fibrillation, which causes sudden death. HCM is sometimes known as the life snatcher because it's young people like athletes who suddenly drop on the field or court. HCM often goes undiagnosed because here in the United States we don't offer any kind of screening. Because of this, Elizabeth recommends that all parents, and especially parents of athletes know what symptoms to watch out for. Common symptoms of HCM are a kids who tires out quickly and just often doesn't feel well. They are generally low energy. Getting an echocardiogram for kids with those symptoms is not very expensive but is an important test to visualize the thickening in the heart. The thickening that they saw in Glenna's heart sent the Allen family to Stanford University to do genetic testing and counseling with a specialist. Their family now knows the specific gene responsible for their HCM. After this testing, they were able to find out that Elizabeth's husband and two other children also have HCM. Some of their other children also carry the gene, though they don't actually have the disease. JesseElizabeth's son Jesse was one of her children with HCM. But he never complained. He had some trouble, but nothing that really stood out to Elizabeth. A few days before the 4th of July, when Jesse was 16, Elizabeth remembers noticing Jesse's hands shaking but not much else. Elizabeth remembers that he had an invincible spirit and really pushed himself. He signed up for things like weightlifting at school, even though he wasn't supposed to. Elizabeth didn't know that, and Jesse's health plan hadn't followed him from middle school over to the high school. Even though Elizabeth was frustrated with him pushing himself so hard, he was the picture of health. One afternoon, Jesse was out in Roosevelt with some friends. He collapsed. His friends didn't know what to do. They did their best and called the...

Stressed? Try These 3 Breathing Exercises
Jul 29 2020 39 mins  
Katy Willis found yoga and breathing exercises to be healing from trauma. Listen as she teaches 3 breathing techniques to relieve stress. If you prefer to watch a video of this episode, you can access that here: ( Stressed? Try These 3 Breathing ExercisesOur Guest for our Breathing Episode TodayOn today's Tamara's Takeaways I'm doing things a little different. Today I have an extra special treat for you. Since my last takeaways episode was all about stress, I've been researching some more amazing stress relieving techniques because I feel I need it. (And I know everybody else probably does, too.) And so because last week's episode was my interview with Katy Willis, I thought it would be so fun to bring her back on today because she has some specialties that she's willing to share with us. The cool thing about Katy is she has such a huge and broad background not only as a nurse, but she's also a certified Kundalini yoga instructor, a certified practitioner in quantum neuro reset therapy, and she is also a Christian. So, what is so interesting about this is she can kind of give us a Christian's take on breathing and yoga. In Katy's interview last week she talked about how yoga became a way for her to help the begin the healing process from the stressors caused by the addiction, and the betrayal trauma from her husband's addiction to pornography. YogaWhen I asked Katy how she was introduced to yoga to begin with, she explained she had several people recommend it to her when she was at that low point in her life, so finally she ordered some DVDs on Amazon, and did yoga for the first time. And at that point, Katy's husband Mark was working three full time and part time jobs, so she'd have a couple hours every night between putting the kids to bed, and before he came home. Katy then designated this as her self-care time and began doing yoga. The first time she tried yoga she was unsure what she was doing, but immediately recognized how amazing she felt physically and mentally, emotionally. She just felt so clear. And so the next night Katy popped another DVD in and every day since then. It has been eight years she has kept up a daily yoga practice. Benefits of YogaNow the research has been catching up as to the benefits of yoga, which is important to her medical training as a nurse. Due to how yoga has helped Katy process her own trauma, she realized quickly that she had to teach others how to breathe and do yoga to heal as well. For this reason she explains, "I've spent the past few years literally traveling all over the country, hoping to get in the best of everything. ...Yoga is helping me also spiritually to be more intentional about abiding in Jesus Christ from moment to moment and seeing God in my life. I'm more aware spiritually. The Difference Between Pressure and StressKaty feels like stress gets a bad rap, especially in western culture where we are going to die of stress. But she defines "the difference between pressure and stress is, is me where I'm at in that moment. If I have enough of a reserve, and or I'm able to adapt and adjust and shift into low low gear, I am able to rise to meet that pressure and it stays pressure. But when I am too depleted, I'm having a hard time adapting to what's happening" that is when pressure becomes stress. Katy explains that's important to differentiate, because "pressure is not 'bad.' It's a huge part of living on this planet. Pressure is what allows us to grow and become stronger physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Another way to think about pressure and stress is comparing it to a checking account. We have to have more in our checking balance than we're withdrawing or else we're going to get in trouble. The same is true with our physical, spiritual and emotional health. Two Key Components to Deep Breathing1. LifestyleYoga has been a key component in helping Katy maintain her well-being balance in...

Katy Willis: How to Be Still Amidst Trauma
Jul 22 2020 64 mins  
Katy Willis lived many years with stress and betrayal trauma. She found hope and healing through Jesus Christ for her and her family from pornography. How to Be Still amidst traumaBioKaty Willis lives in Brigham City, Utah with her husband Mark. She earned degrees in nursing and music from BYU Idaho and is always in the middle of a good book or two as a passionate lifetime learner. She shares that love for learning as a full time homeschooling mom with her four young, energetic children. And when she isn't with the kids, she's probably helping to lead and serve the women of her church congregation, teaching one of her yoga therapy courses, or working with one of her brain wellness clients as a certified practitioner for a protocol called quantum neuro reset therapy. She feels it is her mission to help people heal from trauma, increase their awareness and consciousness, and guide others to find Jesus Christ personally. Katy has used her medical training in lots of unique instances. Once she was at a meeting in a facility similar to a food pantry. There was a man there who started sweating profusely and his hands were shaking. Katy took notice, but thought maybe it was just too hot in the room. After a few more minutes, he slumped over. Katy went over to him and asked if he was ok and he told her that he was a diabetic and hadn't eaten dinner. There was nothing in the food pantry that was high enough sugar to help this man. But luckily, Katy only lived a few blocks away. She called her husband, Mark, and told him that she needed him to put some orange juice concentrate out on the porch with a spoon. Katy quickly drove to her home, picked up the orange juice concentrate, brought it back, and helped this man eat some to get his blood sugar under control. Katy is thankful for all the times that God has helped her to recall knowledge she has or just whispered answers to her. Deciding to Marry MarkKaty met Mark on a blind date. It was probably the most awkward date she had ever been on, but eventually they figured it out. During their engagement, Mark told Katy that he had struggled his entire youth with pornography, sex addiction, and masturbation. Right after he told Katy, his mom walked into the room so Katy didn't have the chance to ask him any questions or even discuss it with him. The rest of the night was a blur, and she couldn't sleep. As a Christian, Katy had made the choice at a young age to intentionally live a virtuous life. To find out that the man she wanted to marry had not made those same choices was very disorienting for her. After a long night of agonizing over what she had learned, as the sun was rising, God had something to say. He told Katy, "This does not change what I've known. Every time that you have come to me and asked if marrying Mark was the right choice, I've told you yes. Every time you've asked, I have known. This is changing what you know, Katy, but it's not changing what I know." Get Help, Don't WaitKaty's biggest regret at that point was that they didn't seek professional help right away. Mark had been "sober" for about two years, but Katy says there is a difference between sobriety and white knuckling, or just holding on and not acting on the addiction. While there may be some who are able to white knuckle through the rest of their lives, most can't and will relapse at some point if they haven't done recovery work. Mark hadn't truly recovered at that point. You have to dig the problem up by the roots and look at the patterns and allow Jesus Christ to change your heart. Just because someone has addiction in their past doesn't mean that's their future. But the smartest thing to do is get professional help to explore how far the entanglements of addiction are reaching in to their life. Katy says it's important for both the addict and their spouse or future spouse to receive counseling as well. Find the Right Kind of HelpKaty says it's important to get the right kind of counseling though. She

11 Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
Jul 15 2020 28 mins  
With all of the stressful situations in the world today, one of the most needed things we can incorporate into our lives is stress reduction techniques. 11 Quick and Easy Ways to Reduce StressHas Anyone Felt Stressed lately?Raise your hand if you've been feeling stressed. On today's episode, I get to talk to you about 11 stress relieving tactics I have used to feel more relaxed and less stress in my life. My life has been crazy lately, and I'm sure yours has been too. Welcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. Last week, I had the opportunity to interview Abel Keogh. And he lost his wife when he was very young in their marriage. But one of the things Abel commented on was one of the things that got him up and out of bed when he was stressed and grieving was this pull to get up and run. That was one of the things in his routine. And it was something that helped him, get up, get moving and process the stress one more day. An Interesting RealizationI had an interesting thing happen yesterday. I have an accountability call with a few fellow authors every Monday morning, and we report how we did last week with our goals and we talked about our goals for the next week. But I told my fellow authors, "I have been feeling an extraordinary amount of stress lately. Then I asked, "How many of you have been feeling stressed?" Almost every hand went up. And what surprised me about that was that so many people are under an extreme amount of stress, not only with the pandemic going on and the racial violence and rioting going on. Every time you turn around, there seems to be one more challenge one more complication. And this doesn't even include the challenges we're having in our own personal lives, with our families, and relationships. So there is a lot of stress prevalent right now. And I found that in the last couple of weeks with this burden of stress, I've had to start consciously thinking of and working on ways that I can personally relieve stress--just like Abel found running as one of his go-to outs to relieve stress. So today I'm going to give you 11 ways I have proven over the last many years of my life which have helped me relieve stress. Some of them you may have used before and some of them you may not have ever used before. So I hope that they will be helpful to you in the stresses that you are encountering on a daily basis. Please share them with friends who are stressed out as well. 11 Ways to Relieve StressTip #1. Prayer"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." ~ Oswald ChambersPrayer is not new. It's been around since Adam and Eve. Praying can help us develop a relationship with God who will guide us and help us through any challenge or stress we may face in life. Prayer gives us the opportunity to express gratitude, but to also invite God's Spirit into our lives. And having the Spirit can help us maybe think of ways to manage stressful situations in our lives that we maybe hadn't thought of before. The great thing is because God is smart and all-knowing, He can help us with these things. Max Lucado said, "Don't worry about having the right words; worry more about having the right heart. It's not eloquence he seeks, just honesty."I have found solutions to problems just in the last couple weeks to challenges that I've been facing. Ideas will just pop into my brain, maybe not praying, but later in the day in a quiet moment. So pray. Tip #2. Prioritize Exercising"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." ~ Jim RohnWhen I have stress, it seems I feel it like big ball in my stomach area. It's almost like this hard rock of energy that I need to get out of my body. I woke up Monday morning feeling particularly stressful. And since I was up before everybody else, I thought, I have got to pray and I've got to go run. And I'm not a runner guys--I walk. I've never been a runner, but this ball stress in my stomach was so big that I knew I needed to run. So I grabbed our...

Abel Keogh: Why I Believe in Second Chances
Jul 08 2020 59 mins  
Abel Keogh never expected the suicide of his first wife nor his terrible grief as a widower. Through God's grace he experienced the power of second chances. Abel Keogh: Why I Believe in Second ChancesBioAbel Keogh is a relationship coach and the expert on widower relationships. As a remarried widower he has successfully helped thousands of widowers and the women who date them know if they're ready to open their hearts to a new relationship. He is the author of seven books for widower relationship guides, two novels, and a memoir about losing his late wife to suicide and falling in love again. He is also an avid runner. Abel and his wife Juliana live in the beautiful state of Utah and, of course, have the requisite seven children. It's hard for many of us to think that running is something we could ever enjoy, but Abel truly enjoys running. For him, it's about getting up and releasing energy. Going for a run is the first thing Abel does each morning. Running clears his head and helps him think better. He says that any kind of exercise can do that for you, so you don't have to like running! Find a type of exercise you enjoy, like biking or lifting weights and have that be your way of putting your body and mind in the place they need to be in order to start your day. Life with KristaAbel married his wife Krista in December of 1998. Everyone else said it was freezing cold that day, but Abel doesn't remember the cold. Abel and Krista had practically grown up together, but didn't start dating until college. They found out they were expecting in 2001. Abel remembers being very excited, but as the pregnancy progressed, he noticed Krista's mood and attitude changing. This was very strange for Krista. She had always been someone who lit up a room and felt like your best friend. She was positive and upbeat. Abel says there wasn't one specific thing that he really noticed changing, Krista just seemed more depressed with life in general. PregnancyAbel remembers people at work asking how his wife was doing with the pregnancy. He would say that she didn't really seem like herself, and they would laugh it off and say that was just pregnancy. So he assumed it was normal. He couldn't wait until the baby was born so that things would go back to normal. Krista's SuicideEverything changed very quickly. They had spent the night at Krista's grandmother's house after moving into a new apartment, about 20 minutes away. Abel knew Krista didn't want to run the errands that they needed to get done, so he told her that he was going to take care of them and he would be back in a few hours and then they could go to the apartment. When Abel got back, Krista was gone. He figured she had gone to the apartment, even though they had agreed to go together. He called the apartment and Krista answered and told him not to come over. What started as a very strange conversation turned into a fight, ending with the slamming down of the phone and Abel saying he was coming over to the apartment. As soon as he arrived at the apartment, he knew something was wrong. It was the middle of the day but the blinds were all drawn and the lights were off. Krista's car was there though, so Abel knew she was there. He tried to calm down a little bit as he walked into the apartment. When he walked in, it was dark and quiet. Then, he heard a gunshot from the bedroom. Krista had shot herself. Everything was a blur from that moment on. The paramedics arrived and kicked Abel out of the room. Krista was seven months pregnant, so he was worried for both her and the baby. Finally, he asked one of the officers if she was going to be ok. The officer told him that Krista was dead, but they were going to try and take her body to the hospital and save the baby. Abel couldn't really understand what was going on. After a few more minutes, her body was gone and he was left at the apartment with some police officers. Losing HopeThe next few days felt like Abel was watching his life...

Why Seeking Peace is the Answer
Jul 01 2020 29 mins  
Tamara K. Anderson shares 3 actions to help us find peace amid times of chaos like the Coronavirus and racial division. Peace is the answer. Why Seeking Peace is the AnswerHow Do People Feel Peace in Extreme Circumstances?Welcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to share with you (Suzanne Earl's interview). I asked Suzanne an interesting question part of the way through the podcast. I asked if she ever felt overwhelmed by the thought that all her children have all these different allergies, EOE, and EGE? Did she ever wonder why God let this happen and feel completely overwhelmed by the challenges she faced? Suzanne was very sweet. She explained that each of her four children's diagnosis with different allergies and health challenges happened gradually and just built on each other. There were times she cried, Yes. But she pressed forward with an amazing amount of faith and courage. And I loved how she mentioned at the end that she spent time in prayer and that with God's help and strength. Suzanne seemed so at peace. How Do They Do That?Do you ever wonder how people do that? How do people go through extreme circumstances and yet they are at peace with their lives? I'm going to cover that today and also give you three things we can do to achieve peace in our own lives. And boy! Don't we need peace now? The w0rld is a crazy place with the Coronavirus, racial division, and major disasters happening. Today I'm going to tell you a story from my life about a hard situation I went through that I didn't have answers for. And the one thing I found that helped me pull through with hope, and faith, because I think that's what the world is really lacking right now. It's hope and faith and peace and maybe love to go get through what we're going through right now. Because it's, it's kind of crazy out there, guys. My Story of Personal DistressA Broken EngagementSo I'm going to take you back many, many moons ago, when Tamara was young and single. So it was a while ago. I met a guy that I really liked, and we dated for a while and we had a lot of fun. And he proposed and I said yes, and we were So excited. We were gonna get married and we, we dated, it was summertime we dated in the summer it was just so much fun. We went on several adventures together exploring nature. It was great. I mean, we had bumps in the road, like every couple, but it it was it was a great adventure. And somewhere amidst all this adventure, he came to me one night and said, "Tamara, I just don't love you anymore." And I remember being so shocked, like, Wait, what? Because I knew I loved him. I was shocked that he all of a sudden just didn't love me anymore. And so we just broke off the engagement and we still continued to date for a while. And then finally he just said, "Okay, I just need a complete break." It's hard to get over somebody if you're with them all the time. My Broken HeartAnd I felt like my heart had broken because I knew I loved him and I didn't understand why this had happened. I felt like I had prayed and gotten an answer that it was good to get for us to get married and then it just didn't work out. And so I was confused. I was so so heartbroken. I remember going to bed at night and just feeling the inside of my chest aching, so, so badly and waking up and the pain was still there. It wouldn't go away. Looking back, with a little more hindsight, I dropped into a situational depression. I felt heartbroken and sad for several months. And I prayed and I prayed. I tried as hard as I could to draw near to God. To help me process this, I spent a lot of time talking to his sister (a good friend) who still loved her brother too. I still loved him so much but the love just wasn't returned. The ChangeSeveral months into this heartbreak, I remember was Sunday evening and just feeling a little unsettled again. And felt like I just

Suzanne Earl: Look for the Sugar
Jun 24 2020 58 mins  
Suzanne became a baking queen as her four children were diagnosed with food allergies, EOE and EGE. She shares 8 lessons and 5 tips learned along the way. Suzanne Earl: Look for the SugarBioSuzanne Earl has been married for 19 years and has four children ages 17 to three. She has lived in Utah, Wyoming, Texas, and is now back in Utah again. All of her children have severe food allergies and eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE) or eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE). These challenges sparked a need and eventual joy for baking and cooking in her home. She also loves to work in her garden. On a personal note, Suzanne and I met when our families lived in Texas. When I found out that I did not tolerate wheat very well, she taught me how to make a gluten-free mixture before it became a thing that you could buy at the store. Suzanne is a baking queen. She knows the science of baking. She's had to learn this because of her children. Interesting FactAn interesting fact about her is that she and her family were on the show Random Acts and had a Bake Off with the Random Acts crew, which they won! Being on Random Acts TV ShowSuzanne's oldest daughter Christine went online and nominated her little sister Brooklyn to be a Random Acts recipient because she knew how much her family loves baking shows. Suzanne reads lots of cookbooks and watches baking shows like she's taking a college class. She pays close attention to all the science and every little thing that they do so that she can learn new ways to do things. They even like to quote their favorite baking shows. Sadly, they knew that baking and things like that weren't something that Brooklyn could ever really do because she's allergic to too many common ingredients. Imagine their surprise when Random Acts called and said they would like to have Brooklyn on their show and do some sort of baking show! Suzanne provided most of the ingredients from home to make sure they were safe. The staff of the show built a kitchen to ensure Brooklyn would have a safe place to bake. Suzanne says it was a great experience for their family. If you would like to watch their family's episode on the Random Act's TV show (click here) (and start at the 5:00 minute mark). InfertilityIt wasn't easy for Suzanne to get her family established though. After getting married and trying to have children, Suzanne learned that she has polycystic ovarian syndrome, but was asymptomatic. She had to take a lot of medications to even get her body to ovulate. It took a few years to get her first two girls here, between medications and working closely with her doctors. A few years later, Cristine was completely surprised to find out she was 15 weeks pregnant with her son. Miraculously they got pregnant on their own with him. He was born at 35 weeks, so it was a short pregnancy for Suzanne. They knew they wanted to have one more child after their son, but their doctors wouldn't give them anymore fertility medications. After a move they continued looking for a doctor who would help them. It took ten years until they were finally able to get pregnant again with twins. Unfortunately, they lost one of the twins at 12 weeks. Suzanne then had to take a lot of medications and be on bedrest to save the other twin. She was born and now they have their beautiful four children. Struggles with AllergiesHowever, the struggles didn't end there. They struggled to get their babies here, but once they arrived, they struggled to feed them. It all started with Christine and her food allergies. She struggled a lot as a baby and they didn't really know why. Then, when she was 15 months old, she ate part of a granola bar that someone had left on the coffee table and broke out into hives all over her body. They learned she was allergic to peanuts, and the number of allergies continued to grow from there. Many kids grow out of their allergies as they...

How to Navigate the Coronavirus/Change with Hope
Jun 17 2020 22 mins  
In today's episode I share the story of the Salmon who migrate through the Ballard Locks with how we navigate around the obstacles in our lives. How to Navigate the Coronavirus/Change with HopeThe Story of the SalmonIf you were a Salmon coming in from the Pacific ocean north of Seattle, Washington in the United States with the goal of spawning somewhere in the tributaries of Lake Washington, you would come into the Puget Sound, go into Shilshole Bay and continue up until you were stopped by a Dam. Now this dam is no ordinary dam. It separates the 20 foot above sea level freshwater of the Lakes from the salt water of the Pacific. Just like a dam stops the progression of water--it also halts the progress of the salmon and the boats. Unfortunately Sea Lions also know that the Salmon will be stopped here, and love feasting at this stopping point. Now, if you were a Salmon you might be thinking, What the heck! What happened to my goal to swim upriver and spawn. How do I get upriver when I am stopped by a dam and hunted by predators? I'm going to pause there and step back from this story and continue it in just a little bit. Navigating ChangeSo, what do you do when you hit a change--something that stops you--something that stops your progress? That is a hard feeling to have the rug pulled out from under you. There is nothing more frustrating than having your progress completely stopped. Many people felt this frustration when countries locked down during the Coronavirus outbreak. It was hard to have our progress--our normal lives--stopped, halted, or damned. Most experienced a decrease in bope. It think it is important to understand the concept of hope and what helps us have hope, so that when our progress is stopped or our normal is changed, you know how to pivot. Having Hope During ChangeOn last week's episode, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and I talked about hope. One of the quotes I read from his book was, (Personality Isn't Permanent), is “Research shows you cannot have hope without a goal.” Now, you might be thinking--"Tamara, that is crazy! Goals aren't connected to hope." But, the more I have studied hope, the more I have realized goals or how we envision the future has everything to do hope! If I were to ask you, "What changed in your future because the world shut down with the Coronavirus?" I bet you could tell me what changed or didn't happen in your life. Personal Example of Dashed HopesFor me and my family, we missed going on choir tour to California. Choir concerts were cancelled, piano and voice lessons were cancelled. School was cancelled. Heck--going to the store normally was changed. Our Spring Break trip to Yosemite and the Giant Sequoias was cancelled. I had hoped to go to Disneyland for my birthday in May--but it never happened. What happened to hope? It decreased because our family couldn't envision the future. It had changed. Life stopped. And it felt frustrating. People were clamoring trying to figure out how to solve problems and keep moving. How the Salmon Navigate Their ObstacleLet's go back to my story of the Salmon. They have come as far as they can go up the waterway and are stopped by the dam. But this is no ordinary dam. This is the Ballard Locks. The Ballard Locks and the Fish LadderNow, as the fish swim backwards and forwards trying to find a way through the dam, they'll catch the scent of fresh water, because they're drawn to it. Salmon have a very good sense of smell. And by following this fresh water scent, it requires them to go a different or perhaps a more difficult route up a series of what they call weirs--picture a giant water staircase. The Salmon press forward, propelling their bodies up and out of the water to jump to the next level 21 times before they reach the freshwater and can continue their journey. So my family and I had the privilege of visiting these Ballard locks back in...

Dr. Benjamin Hardy: Want to Change? You Can! Personality Isn’t Permanent
Jun 10 2020 58 mins  
Dr. Benjamin Hardy used to be a video game junkie who almost didn't graduate from high school. He shares how he was able to completely change his life and personality. Dr. Benjamin Hardy: Want to Change? You Can! Personality Isn't PermanentBioDr. Benjamin Hardy is an organizational psychologist and best selling author of the book "Willpower Doesn't Work." From 2015 to 2018, he was the number one writer in the world on During that time, he grew his email list from zero to 400,000 without having paid advertising. He and his wife Lauren adopted three children from the foster care system in February of 2018. One month later, Lauren got pregnant with twins who were born in December of 2018. They live in Orlando, Florida. His blogs are read by millions every month. His next book, "Personality isn't Permanent," will be released next week. Formative YearsDivorce and AddictionOne of the first big challenges in Ben's life came when he was very young. His parents divorced when he was 11 years old. Prior to the divorce they had been a very religious family, but afterward, they stopped going to church. Religion and faith were no longer part of their lives. Observing his parents was very interesting to Ben as they developed radically different habits. The whole process was not what Ben's father had expected and Ben watched as him sink into a depression that ultimately led to the path of addiction. Their home became a very dangerous place, with lots of strange people coming and going. Video GamesLooking back, Ben has no idea how he graduated from high school. He rarely went, and he never did homework. After high school he moved to his cousin's home. He enrolled in community college but dropped out quickly because he had no work ethic nor purpose. He was living at his cousin's home playing video games all day. Decision to ChangeSo his life was basically very sad, purposeless, and confusing. Finally, Ben looked around and realized that he needed something new. He needed to find direction. He decided to serve a church mission for two years. Ben says it was the church mission that led him to pursue psychology, not the trauma of his formative years. Despite the trauma that he experienced, Ben was able to reconnect with his father just before his church mission. His father was able to overcome his addictions and they have become good friends. Ben says that he doesn't have any negative feelings toward his father. He has asked him about the past and has been able to learn many things about his dad. Ben explains that having more information and context is important to being able to have more empathy for someone. In fact, Ben is grateful for the experiences he had because if he hadn't gone through what he did, he wouldn't have had resilience or faith in the same way. TransformationWhen Ben got out on his mission, he had a new role and a new purpose. It was a fresh start. He had great leaders, new experiences and a fresh perspective. Ben was connected with God. He felt free: Free from his past, free from constraints, free to grow and free to evolve. From that experience he realized that he wanted to be a writer. But when he got home, his friends didn't see the amazing changes that Ben had undergone. They assumed he was the same person that he was when he left. They continued to use vulgar language around him and got on with life as it was before. But Ben was now sensitive to those things and he knew his purpose. He knew if he hung around those friends too much, he would revert to his old self. He decided to attend a different college than his friends and started studying psychology. That was ten years ago. Now Ben is married, has five kids, and is continuing to learn and grow and be blown away by life. Step #1: Involve GodBen says that God was crucial in his transformation during his mission. His experiences with God refocused his path towards growth and development instead of just sitting and staring. Ben says that you can...

In Limbo Waiting for Answers to Prayer? Try These 4 Tips
Jun 03 2020 29 mins  
In today's episode Tamara K. Anderson shares a personal story of hitting a life detour and learning how to move forward when she was in limbo. In Limbo Waiting for Answers to Prayer? Try These 4 TipsWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. I'm your host, Tamara K. Anderson and I am so tickled to be here with you today. Recap of Rob's Prayer StoryLast week, I interviewed a man named (Rob Mooney). Rob was in and out of foster care just had really tough time growing up. But the thing I want to pull away from his episode is about the power of prayer. There was a day when Rob was hanging out with a couple of his teenage friends. They were just kind of bagging on their families and parents, like teenagers. Anyway, at the end of this, Rob kind of pulled this friend aside and said, You guys complain about your mom's your dad's and stuff, but I just wish I had a family. And this teenage friend of Rob's looked at him, he said, "Rob, you can have a family. So just pray and ask God for one." And it was a sincere statement of a faith filled teenager. But it made a difference. Rob, began praying that very moment for a for a family. Anyway, to make a long story short, an opportunity came up that Rob thought was the perfect opportunity. He'd been waiting in limbo forever, and it looked like this family was gonna adopt him and then it didn't work out. And Rob was very discouraged. Finally, as he was beginning his senior year, he met another family that wasn't exactly like him, but they had qualities that he was lacking. And these people ended up becoming who his children call Grandma and Grandpa, even though he wasn't officially adopted. Being in LimboSo, today, I want to talk about that that state of limbo that we sometimes find ourselves in when we feel we've been praying for something. And sometimes when you're in that limbo, you feel like the heavens are closed. You feel like saying, "God, where are you and I need you the most?" And, and so what do you do in those times when you know, God's listening, but it doesn't feel like He's there? What do you do when you don't feel you're getting answers or as clear of answers to prayers as you'd like to get? If you have been or are waiting in limbo--know this: You are not alone. Noah waited not only 40 days and nights, but also had to wait for the water to receed before he could leave the confinement of the ark. The children of Israel waited and wandered for 40 years in the wilderness before they entered the promised land. Jacob waited and worked 7 long years to marry Rachel. There is a lot of waiting and hanging out in limbo in the scripture stories. Let me tell you a personal story of muddling through limbo. A Personal Story of Limbo and ChangeAfter I graduated from high school, I went to Brigham Young University for a year. And like every college student, I was doing GE's (general electives). I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be when I grew up and I really had this intense desire to try to figure out my life. I wanted to figure out my major and make a plan. Back then I was kind of funny about planning everything, so having a plan was really important for me. Making a PlanI took aptitude tests, and eventually decided I wanted to do something in the medical field. But I had a challenge: I got queasy at the sight of blood, so that really limited me. So I ended up looking at what therapies were available at BYU and chose Therapeutic Recreation early in my sophomore year. I prayed about it and felt good about that decision. And so I grabbed all the information I could on what I needed to graduate with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, and I started laying out my life year by year, with every class that I would take through to graduation. I even put some space in there for me to serve a mission for my church. Then I figured out when I

Robert PK Mooney: One Foster Kid’s Road to Success
May 27 2020 70 mins  
Robert PK Mooney was able to overcome traumatic experiences in his childhood and change his future through the power of choice. Robert PK Mooney: One Foster Kid's Road to SuccessBioRobert PK Mooney was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up in an abusive home and then went into the foster care system from age six until 18. Rob beat the stereotype and graduated from BYU with a degree in finance. He went on to receive two law degrees, one from BYU and one from Northwestern. During his career, he specialized in intellectual property cases where he has been recognized as one of the world's leading IP strategists. Recently he quit his law practice so that he could spend his time with his wife and five children, who are his top priority. Home LifeMillions of children in America have parents who don't provide for their physical, emotional or spiritual needs. This was the kind of upbringing Rob experienced. His mother was very sick physically, emotionally and mentally. His father was very abusive, including sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in the home. Those experiences left some pretty significant scars. Rob grew up with seven siblings. His parents had previous marriages, and both of them had children from those marriages. His mother's two oldest children left to go to college on the mainland as soon as they could. Rob and his six biological siblings often didn't have enough to eat. The MarathonThe Decision to RunEven when he was very young, Rob was always filled with determination. He remembers living on Oahu when he was five years old. One Sunday he saw hundreds of people running near his home. He asked his father what all the people were running from. Rob's father explained they were running the Honolulu marathon. He went on to explain that it was a 26.2 mile long race. Well, Rob had no understanding of how far a mile was, but he decided right then and there in his five year old brain that he was going to run the Honolulu marathon the next year. TrainingRob had seen the movie Rocky, so he knew he'd have to train. So he convinced his older brother and sister to run with him. They did push ups, sit ups, and ran up and down a hill near their home (a distance of around three miles). Rob was also sure that to finish a race you needed to sprint. He and his brother and sister would see the finish line of their home and would just take off running. Rob says he lost every time, but it was ok. Sometimes their dad would come with them, sometimes their mom would drive the station wagon behind them to make sure they were ok. A few months before the race, their mom signed them up. The night before the race, Rob remember that his mom didn't come home until very late. Rob had been very worried, but she brought them matching white shirts and ironed on letters to spell out "Mooney bunch." She also got them matching, red runner's shorts and white tube socks with red stripes on the tops. Running the MarathonThe next morning they got up very early to go downtown. They had to park so far from the starting line that they had to hitchhike to get to the beginning of the race. The starting line was packed with people, and in their midst was the now six-year old Rob. The gun went off, and the race began. At first it was very slow going, but eventually the crowd started to thin. Rob's siblings were outpacing him, but, for all his shortcomings, Rob's dad stayed behind and ran the race with Rob. They reached one mile, then two, then they hit Rob's max of three. But he kept running. Around mile 20, Rob's legs started to seize up. They didn't have Gatorade or anything like they do now, and Rob was malnourished to begin with. He had never had cramps like that before. He fell onto the pavement and just started to cry, it hurt so badly. For about twenty minutes, Rob's father rubbed out his legs to try and ease the pain. Of course Rob wasn't exactly the fastest in the race, so the race organizers had started to open the roads back up to cars. Some

The Secret of How to Save the World One Person at a Time
May 20 2020 29 mins  
In this week's episode Tamara shares 9 Tips which can help you empathetically and lovingly save the world one person at time. The Secret of How to Save the World One Person at a TimeHello and welcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. I'm your host Tamara K. Anderson. Earlier this week, I was going to record this episode and do a completely different topic. And then I had a day where I spent several hours talking to friends and family members, checking up on them making sure they were doing okay. And I decided I needed to talk about something totally different today. So I've titled this episode, "The Secret of How to Save the World, One Person at a Time." What To Do In Seasons of ChangeWe live in unprecedented times. We live in a time where life has shifted for every single person on this earth. I don't care where you live. You have been impacted by the changes from the Coronavirus. And for all of us, change is challenging. It is one thing that is consistent, but change is challenging. And we all need help, as we process change and challenges in our life. Now one of the primary and best ways that we can tackle new and different challenges in our life is to talk to God about them. Jo Ann's Lesson: Giving Challenges to GodIn fact, in last week's episode, where I interviewed (Jo Ann Glim), she shared a beautiful story about how when she was a young mother. She had four major challenges she was dealing with at the time. And because she wasn't sure if God could handle these challenges as well as she could, she kept the big challenge for herself and delegated the three minor challenges to God. The interesting point is that within a week God had all three of those problems solved. And then Jo Ann thought, Maybe God can handle these problems better than I can. This is a really cute and sweet story, to help us realize that one of the primary people we can turn to in times of challenges is turning to God. He is the best person because He sees the beginning of our life to the end of our life, and He knows exactly what we need to learn and who we can become. And so we can trust Him--that He can help and guide us through everyday challenges. The Power of Listening in PrayerNow, the way that we involve God in our challenges, is talking to him through prayer. I found a great time quote by Mother Teresa where she says, "God speaks in the silence of the heart, and we listen. And then we speak to God from the fullness of our heart, and God listens. And this listening, and this speaking is what prayer is meant to be." So there are two principles we learn there, and they both involve the word I want to talk about today. It is the word listening. God is ListeningFirst of all, God is a great listener. You can vent to Him in prayer. any time of the day or night you can tell him about your joys, sorrows, excitements or gratitudes. But He is an especially great listener when it comes to listening to the challenges that we are facing. We Need to ListenNow, the other half of the equation when talking to God is us learning to listen back after we've talked to Him. And that is so much easier said than done because often God speaks to us as Mother Teresa says, He "speaks to us in the silence of our heart," and we live in a very noisy world. And so we need to learn to have times of quiet, where we can turn off the cell phone, find a quiet room, closet, or space. Or maybe it's just learning to meditate and listen with our heart, and with our mind. Often God's ideas come a little bit at a time. A Personal Story When I Didn't Know What to DoI was dealing with a situation just yesterday where I needed to talk to one of my children about something that he had been looking forward to, that wasn't going to happen. I was nervous about how he was going to react. And so I prayed to God to know...

Jo Ann Glim: Winning Tactics For Physical, Mental and Spiritual Struggles
May 13 2020 70 mins  
Jo Ann Glim's life changed instantly when she experienced a stroke. Listen as she shares the lessons learned through overcoming struggles. Jo Ann Glim: Winning Tactics for Physical, Mental and Spiritual StrugglesBioJo Ann Glim was born in Chicago, Illinois to a military family and raised in Anacortes, Washington in the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. It was an ideal place to raise a precocious child, especially one who is inquisitive and daring. Tragically, her mother passed away from a stroke when Jo Ann was 14. This was the beginning of a life path littered with many dark events. In her own words, "Instead of consuming me, they made me stronger. And I'm here to tell you, darkness can be replaced with light." Her three pronged career involving broadcast and print media, freelance writing, and business management formed her into the award winning indie author she is today. Her books, the award winning, "Begotten With Love," and her newest release, " (Trapped Within)," are both nonfiction life stories filled with challenges, hope, and humor. She now lives in Florida with her husband Bill, and their Scottish terrier Lucy, where her passions are writing, photography and travel. I had the opportunity to meet Jo Ann at a Premiere Author Training last year with Richard Paul Evans. Having a StrokeJo Ann and her husband moved to Florida and were just getting to know the area and their community. They wanted to continue working part time and Jo Ann was able to get some assignments through her former employer, where she had worked for 16 years. She went to work one morning and found the lunches had not been picked up for a meeting. Jo Ann offered to go pick up the lunches, but when she went to pay for them, something strange happened. She tried to ask how much she owed for the sandwiches, but it came out sounding like Russian. Jo Ann couldn't even understand herself. She tried to ask again but the same thing happened. Feeling frustrated, Jo Ann paid for the sandwiches and left. When she got to the car, she realized her knees felt weak. She knew then she was having a stroke. Stroke Symptoms and What to DoThe first symptoms of a stroke are often slurred speech, one side of the body being weak, or one side of the face drooping. For anyone experiencing these symptoms, call 911 immediately. If you are concerned someone may be experiencing a stroke, ask them to smile. If their smile is crooked because one side is drooping, call 911 for them. Knowing all of this now, Jo Ann wouldn't have done this, but she drove herself to the hospital. She says it made perfect sense to an addled mind. She was so used to making all of the decisions so she was sure she was still in control. Her mother had passed away from a stroke, but Jo Ann was sure she was home free. Her mother had smoked, she was overweight, she didn't exercise, and she had high blood pressure. Jo Ann eats healthy, she exercises, she's thin. But her stroke was caused by a weakening of an artery in her brain rather than a blood clot, like her mother's was. Side Effects of a StrokeDepending on where in your brain the stroke occurs, it can have different effects. For Jo Ann, the stroke occurred in her thalamus, the portion of the brain which helps to control your behavior. She still has to check herself to make sure she doesn't do something just because someone dares her to. One night in particular stands out when she had a hard time maintaining a grasp on her behavior. It was the first night she had been out of her rehab facility since her stroke. She was going out to dinner with her husband and neighbor. She wasn't doing very well walking on her own, but she refused to bring her cane to the restaurant because she wanted to do everything herself. Jo Ann then heard their name called for a table, but she couldn't see her husband anywhere. She knew she had to get to the stand before they gave the

Got Storms? God is At Work–Even in This
May 06 2020 22 mins  
In today's episode, Tamara shares 4 lessons we can learn from from trees, wind, and the storms life throws at us. Got Storms? God is At Work, Even in ThisWelcome to another episode of Tamara's takeaways in the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. This week we are going to talk about my takeaways from PeggySue Wells episode last week. And she is just unbelievable and amazing. And I am so inspired by her strength and courage as she weathered her divorce with faith and came out stronger and better and able to pass on so many incredible lessons. So there was one lesson that I loved in particular that I'd love to talk about and tell you a personal story as well, and that is the fact that God is at work--even in this. No matter where you are in your life, whether it's being quarantined because of the coronavirus, cancer, diabetes, or other challenges, know God is at work. He can take that challenge and have it turn out for your good. The Story of the Straight Line WindsNow, I want to take you back in time, probably about 25 years or so. And at that point, I was preparing to be a missionary for my church. On one particular day I was just hanging out, and all of a sudden this huge storm hit and began blowing like crazy. Of course, we ran inside and took cover. Ten minutes later the storm was completely over, and I went back outside. There I was shocked to see the extent of the damage. And what had happened was there was a weather phenomenon called a derecho, which in Spanish means "straight." Basically, it's a storm that has straight line winds. This storm happened to go through Utah and the Great Basin here of the United States. And these winds were so strong, that about a mile away from where I was, they clocked the highest wind at 121 miles per hour. So you can imagine there was extensive damage. What I noticed the most were the trees. Before the storm there were trees that looked beautiful and vibrant and totally fine. After the storm, those same beautiful trees were laying flat on their side with their roots tipped up. And what's interesting about this is that the trees that was stood the storm were the trees that had sunk their roots deep into the earth. The ones that had fallen over had shallow roots. In fact, I'm looking at a picture right here of me standing by a tree and it had shallow roots, because it it just hadn't been exposed to strong winds. () The Scientific Study on TreesAnd what's really cool is there was (a study done by a bunch of scientists on trees that were exposed to wind) versus trees that were not exposed to wind. And the little tiny saplings which were exposed to wind did a couple of things to the trees. The first thing is it stimulated diameter growth. So it made the tree trunk build thicker and stronger. The tree also sent out stronger roots. So exposing a tree to wind helped it have stronger roots, stronger branches. Lessons From Storms and TreesLesson #1 God is At Work--Even in ThisEvery situation you face in life can be interpreted as wind or a storm. And we can either look at the wind as something that's trying to uproot us. Or we can look at the wind as something that is trying to give us thicker roots and thicker branches so that when the next storm comes, we are stronger and our roots are more deep. And I love that is what Peggy Sue is able to now look back on her divorce and say, This gave me stronger roots. This gave me stronger branches. God was at work even in this. Maybe during this season of the coronavirus you're totally stressed out because you've been home. We all have situations in our life where the stresses and strains get to us. At that point, we can begin to build those stronger roots and branches so that we can withstand the next storm. Lesson #2 Nourishing the RootsPeggy Sue gave us an example of how

Peggy Sue Wells: The Secrets of Rebuilding Life After Divorce
Apr 29 2020 66 mins  
PeggySue Wells never expected to go through a divorce, but she shares the secrets of how she rebuilt her life and found peace through the process. PeggySue Wells: The Secrets of Rebuilding Life After DivorcePeggySue Wells is a mother of seven, has worked five years as a radio show host, is a history buff, and a tropical island votary. She parasails, skydives, snorkels, scuba dives, and has taken pilot training. She writes from the Hundred Acre Wood in Indiana and is the best selling author of 29 books including, " (The Slave Across the Street)," " (Slavery in the Land of the Free,)" " (Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries)," " (Homeless for the Holidays)," and " (Chasing Sunrise)." Facing DivorcePeggySue remembers the toll that her mother's two divorces took on her when she was young. Her grandmother, aunt, and uncle were also divorced. Almost everyone on her mother's side of the family had experienced a divorce. PeggySue was determined not to repeat the pattern. She was going to work so that she could live happily ever after. The problem was, it didn't work. When her youngest daughter was not quite two years old, the family sat down and PeggySue told her husband that this wasn't a good environment for her or their children. She didn't want her children to think that this was how men should treat women. She told him that either he had to stop being abusive or he needed to move out. He chose to leave. PeggySue was heartbroken because this was the one thing she was going to do right in her life. She didn't have a plan B. For PeggySue, the hardest part was feeling so betrayed by someone that she had given her whole heart to. She felt that she must not be valuable enough, because if she was he would have stayed and made the effort to make it work. PeggySue remembers that one of her daughters asked him once why he didn't try to date their mom again and win the marriage back. He told her that it was too hard. But after many times in court and mediation, PeggySue is sure that working it out would have been easier. The StigmaAfter her husband left, PeggySue went into crisis management mode. Her kids were embarrassed and didn't want to tell anyone. They didn't want to be considered a "broken home." PeggySue was sure he would come back within six months so she was ok with that. Looking back now, she wishes she had told someone, because they needed help. But there was also a stigma associated with divorce twenty years ago. If you couldn't keep your marriage together you were a bad wife, a bad mom, and you didn't have enough faith. You weren't a good Christian. When the news of their divorce finally broke, PeggySue says that there were people who dropped their friendship with her family immediately. She had to realize that those actions said a lot more about her "friends" than they said about PeggySue and her family. While things are different now and people are generally more accepting of divorce, PeggySue says that those who consider themselves churchgoers still face a stigma around divorce. We are holding on so tight to the ideal that we allow things to happen that shouldn't be allowed to happen until it escalates to a point where the situation is very toxic. How to Help a Friend Going Through DivorcePeggySue says that the best thing you can do if your friend is going through a divorce is to stay by them, no matter what. PeggySue has some friends who have stuck with her through everything. She has called them to cry, to tell them how she can't believe what is happening to her, and they have empathized and discussed everything with her with no judgment. Even if they are...

What Everyone Ought to Know About Rebuilding Hope
Apr 22 2020 26 mins  
Feeling discouraged? Today Tamara talks about the relationship between goals and hope, a personal story of healing, and one thing that makes her smile. What Everyone Ought to Know About Rebuilding HopeLast week we had just a wonderful conversation with author (Wendy Wilson Spooner), and she talked a lot about family and how none of us grow up in perfect families. But she also talked about two points I would like to discus today: First, is the message of never giving up, never losing hope. The second message is that you can heal from these hard times. And these are powerful messages especially for what we are going through right now as citizens of planet Earth. Lives have changed because of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. The Relationship Between Goals, Despair and HopeLast week I got to preview a book, Personality Isn't Permanent, that comes out in June from a friend of mine, (Dr. Benjamin Hardy). He has a quote in this book which I want to share with you today. He said, "Research shows you cannot have hope without a goal."So you need to have goals so that you can have hope. Now this podcast is all about having hope. And I want to talk about loss of hope, dreams, and expectations which we are all experiencing right now. We've all had plans that have changed. We've had school change for children and parents. Life is not looking anything like we expected. And when this happens, there is a sense of loss. There is a sense of discouragement, loss of excitement, and loss of anticipation. If you are anything like me, you have started to feel a little down. I just want to let you know that this is completely normal. And that is because all these goals or expectations or dreams that we had are now gone. And so if you're feeling down and discouraged, because all those old dreams are gone. What to Do About Lost Hope and DreamsSo first pause right now and say, "It's okay. It's okay to grieve these lost dreams." Secondly, I want you to start using the creative powers of your brain. Start imagining a Plan B, a Plan C, or a Plan D. Start letting your imagination and your brain hope again. What would that look like? I have already told my husband that when all this Coronavirus stuff is over, I'm going to go to Disneyland. For me, Disneyland is a happy place (for my husband it is not a happy place). But that is something I am looking forward to with hope. Begin BrainstormingSo start imagining future plans, but I want you to also think of and start brainstorming things that you can do that bring you hope right now. Is there something you can rearrange in your room? So try to think of things that will bring you hope and joy. Because as Dr. Ben Hardy taught, "Research shows you cannot have hope without a goal." So I would love to invite you to set a goal today. Set a dream or an expectation to replace those broken ones. It doesn't have to be anything big, it can be small. And start there because setting a goal means rebuilding hope. And that is what we're all about right now we need to rebuild hope and it starts right in our own minds and in our own hearts. If you're having problems, thinking of things, call a friend, and brainstorm together. Maybe you can do something together when this is all said and done. Because it's fun to share that dream with somebody else. Ideas to Get Your Brainstorming StartedI'm going to give you a quick list of possibilities. Do an art project or painting. When we interviewed Wendy last week, we found out she was an artist. Have you ever done or wanted to do a painting? Now is your perfect opportunity. You can even order the supplies online. Do Genealogy or Record Family Stories. Wendy is also an avid genealogist. Have you ever looked at your family history? Try setting up a free account on (Family Search.) You have ancestors that went through hard...

Wendy Spooner: 5 Lessons Every Imperfect Family Should Know
Apr 15 2020 44 mins  
Wendy Wilson Spooner shares how she healed from trauma and why it is important for every family to know it is okay to be imperfect (everybody is). Wendy Spooner: 5 Lessons Every Imperfect Family Should KnowBioWendy Wilson Spooner is a professional genetic genealogist by day, a writer by night, and an artist in between. Her love of what we can learn from history compels her to write the true stories she has found on earth doing research, and she has found that truth is indeed much more exciting and inspiring than fiction. She writes about family, faith, grief, art, and overcoming obstacles in life by coming to know who we truly are as children of God, and the descendants of remarkable people who paved the way before us, even if they really struggled. She believes in learning from our ancestors, honoring them, and then standing on their shoulders to become someone even better. As an award winning artist and author of professional articles and poems, Wendy turned to novel writing to share what she knows with a wider audience. Art in Every Aspect of her LifeWendy says that she was born with artistic abilities. She has been painting and drawing for as long as she can remember. Her mother encouraged her to enter her pieces into contest. She pursued a major in art in college. Other things became more important throughout her life, but art has always been a part of her life, even in unexpected ways, like cake decorating. A New NovelArt is an integral part of her new book, "Once Upon an Irish Summer." The novel follows the true story of an epic immigration from Ireland, but also follows his descendant five generations later, a present day 15 year old who is a gifted artist. She is suffering from debilitating grief that is affecting her art career. The historical chapters are actually about the family of Wendy's third-great grandfather. He left Ireland to find a way to save his family. The Daughters of the American RevolutionArt even brought Wendy national prominence in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) organization. Wendy says that proving your lineage all the way back to a patriot of the Revolutionary War is very difficult, even for professional genealogists, but that she loved the challenge. For Wendy, there was an even greater draw to the organization than the challenge of proving her descent. Every year, the Daughters of the American Revolution holds the American Heritage contest. There are lots of art categories that you can enter a piece in through the contest. All of these entries pour into the homes of vice chair members and the judging takes place in February. The winning entries go on display in Washington D.C. at the Continental Congress every two years. In 2018, Wendy's painting won first place. The national regent contacted Wendy and asked her to be vice chair or the art and sculpture category. Only 2% of members of the DAR will ever hold a national position, so Wendy was honored to be chosen. Early TraumaWendy's life wasn't always rosy though. When she was growing up, her family had some truly tragic experiences. Because of this trauma, the family had some attachment problems but they never got any help for the things they had gone through. Wendy was very close to her brother though, who is five years older than her. When she was 13, he left to serve a mission for their church. For her, it was like her lifeline was taken away. Wendy says that she looked outside her home for a replacement, but that she didn't attract the greatest people for friends. She started getting into a lot of trouble and lost sight of those things that are truly important. She lost all sense of how her decision would affect herself or her family. For a few years, she really struggled. You Make an ImpactAfter a particularly difficult day, Wendy remembers staring out her bedroom world and just loathing her family and everything else. Suddenly, a thought came to her mind and heart: "You are right where you belong, with the...

Why Does God Let Hard Things Happen?
Apr 08 2020 26 mins  
Tamara K. Anderson shares stories about storms, the coronavirus, why God lets bad things happen, and what all this has to do with the 2 great commandments. I am so excited to be here with you today. I'm feeling a little bit of the Coronavirus quarantine going on and I am excited talk about two specific reasons why God lets things like the Coronavirus happen. In (my episode with Scott Shay) last week, he told the phenomenal story of his father being a Holocaust survivor. And he talked about the golden rule, and how God lets people use their free will. And then He watches what we do with it. It's kind of a test, Scott explained. Why does God let Hard Things Happen?1. Free WillSometimes God lets hard things happen it is because of the free will of others. For example, in the case of Nazi Germany, and Scott's father. You can read more about Scott's thoughts about this in (last week's episode.) One of these reasons is because people choose to use their free will in a way that impacts others negatively. We see that all around us. But we also see the positive reaction of free will as well. Scott also talked about the golden rule and how we act to those around us. 2. Act of NatureSometimes, like in the case of the Coronavirus or earthquakes, it's an act of nature. Why does God let these types of things happen? Now, we happen to have had an earthquake here in Utah just a few weeks ago and it scared me. I thought, Oh my goodness, we're having this on top of the coronavirus. Dear Lord, what what are supposed to do? I'm thankful it was short. So why does God let things like the coronavirus, earthquakes and devastations like floods happen? I think that these moments when we experience hard times are defining moments for each of us to choose how we are going to react. The Tornado StoryI'm going to tell you a story about when a tornado went through our neighborhood when our family lived in Arkansas. We lived in Arkansas for seven and a half years. It was wonderful. We loved our neighbors. We loved the area. The only thing I really did not like about the area was the tornadoes or the chance for tornadoes. They had the practice tornado sirens that went off every week. It seemed like every thunderstorm that came in, that the tornado siren would go off. And so we kind of got used to it. But this particular storm, I remember going outside and looking at the clouds, and it just felt different. There was a feeling of heaviness in the air. And I remember looking at those clouds and they looked a little green and thinking, This isn't normal. This is different. So I ran inside and told my husband to move the truck in the garage as the tornado sirens were going off. Then we grabbed our kids and we ran downstairs to our laundry room, which is our innermost room. And just as we were getting the last the kids inside our laundry room, the noise became so loud. Projectiles were hitting our house. It felt like we were suddenly in a pressurized airplane. I remember my ears feeling the pressure suck air out of our house. It was it was surreal and scary. We sat huddled in that little laundry room probably for longer than we should have, because a tornado is over very quickly. I mean, it's like you blink your eyes and it's over. It's just unbelievably fast. The Aftermath of the TornadoThank goodness, we were only impacted by an F1 tornado. So, fences were down, windows were broken in our neighborhood. There were shingles from people's roofs everywhere. I mean, you couldn't go five feet in any direction without finding a shingle. Amazingly, our kids went to school the next day and everybody in our neighborhood took off work or was excused from work, so that they could start the cleanup effort. And I will tell you, that time brought our neighborhood closer together. It really did. We were out loving...

Scott Shay: Where is God in Hard Times?
Apr 01 2020 53 mins  
Financial icon Scott Shay grew up in the shadows of the holocaust his father survived. He shares tips to finding God even amidst life's hardest challenges. Scott Shay: Where is God in Hard Times?BioScott Shay has spent his life balancing both work and faith. He is well known on Wall Street and was a founding member of Signature Bank in New York. Scott has spoken on many podcasts and even on TEDx and Google. He and his wife Susan are the parents of four children and he is the author of "Getting Our Groove Back: How to Energize American Jewry" and his new book, "In Good Faith: Questioning Religion and Atheism." Scott's FatherScott's story starts with his father, who was born in a town called Švėkšna, Lithuania. He grew up in a shtetl, or a small Jewish town or village, like in Fiddler on the Roof. About 25% of the population of his village was Jewish and 75% was Christian Lithuanian. The same year of his father's Bar Mitzvah, the Nazis came in late June and rounded up all the Jews. Scott's grandfather was murdered before the deportation. All of Scott's immediate family on his father's side were killed sometime during the Holocaust. The closest relative Scott has on that side of his family is a second cousin once removed. Scott's father was deported to a work camp and after moving a few times ended up in Auschwitz in 1943. That would have been the end except he was put in a work duty group in Warsaw. From there he went to Dachau where he was liberated. Scott's father weighed less than 70 pounds when liberated and was certainly no more than weeks, or days from death. He was extremely fortunate to be taken to an Allied hospital and nursed back to health for about a year. Then he was sent to a displaced persons camp. A doctor in Chicago named Julius Mayo signed a form stating that Scott's father wouldn't be a burden on the US taxpayer and brought him to Chicago, where he began working as a carpenter. God in the DetailsThere was no doubt in Scott's father's mind that there was a God in heaven looking out for him. Any slight deviation in his path would have been certain death for him. He wouldn't have survived if he had been standing in a different line or been at a different place at a different time. Random chance couldn't explain it. But this didn't stop Scott's father from being angry. His own father had been murdered when he was 14 years old. His younger brother had been murdered and everyone he knew was gone. Unfortunately, he was not even welcomed back to his hometown. So while he knew God was there, he was angry with Him. It took a long time for Scott to understand that. Scott remembers that when he was young, they would always go to synagogue, but that his father would talk to others or doze off during the sermon. He wanted to make sure Scott went, but he was giving God the silent treatment. He, along with many others, could not understand how God had let such a horrible thing happen to them. But Why?In spite of all this, Scott has always felt that God was looking out for his family. "God was present at Auschwitz. God was present at Dachau." God knew what his father had gone through. How could God be in the details of such a horrific event? Scott spent his life thinking about this and other "Why" questions. That idea was a fundamental part of his first book. When he spoke with atheists, he found that the idea of God allowing such awful things to happen throughout the world was a large part of the reason why they didn't believe God could exist. Scott found that when he went on book tours, he would often be asked by people in all walks of life and with all kinds of difficulties, "How could God let this happen?" At the end of the day, Scott feels that those who believe in God have to be able to explain the why, while atheists have to be able to explain everything else. Free WillScott says there is no one answer to why God allows bad things to happen. But it does come down to one big thing for him: free will. No one

4 Winning Mindsets in Times of Crisis
Mar 25 2020 27 mins  
With all of the craziness of Coronavirus sweeping the world it is critical to examine 4 mindsets that can help us survive and thrive during these hard times. IntroductionWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times Podcast. The world in the last few weeks has just gone crazy. And I have to tell you that my life has seems to have been turned upside down as well. This is totally out of the norm. It is not how I expected March to turn out at all. In fact, I've really never been quarantined to my house before. So life is different. It's a good time for us to ask the question: What do we do in times when life gets turned on its head? This is a perfect time to reflect on last week's episode where I interviewed an incredible man named Matt Bowen. Matt's life completely changed in one day due to an accident which paralyzed him. Now, Matt gave us six amazing lessons that he has learned from his hard time. And these lessons were positive and uplifting. I'm going to pull from some of those today and kind of add on to them. Mindset #1. PatienceNow the first lesson I would love to talk about is the word patience. The word patience does not have a positive connotation. Matt said he had to learn to be patient with himself, that things were going to be different. It was like he had begun running a marathon of sorts. That is fantastic advice when we hit bumps in the road, like COVID-19, the earthquake we had in Utah, or other things that are totally unexpected. Sometimes life changes for a day, for a week, or even for a month, and we have to learn to be patient not only with others but with ourselves as well. That is tricky to do. I found some really awesome quotes on patience. There is a great scripture in the New Testament in the Bible where Paul explains a little bit about patience and the evolution of hard things in Romans 5:3-4. We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.So maybe you're not glorying in your tribulations right now. But those hard times help make us more patient. And when we have more patience, we gain experience. Then when we have experience, we gain something called hope. And this podcast is all about hope. A Personal ExampleLet me give you a personal example of that. When my children were diagnosed with autism, it was very hard. I really wanted to pray that challenge. I did not want that challenge. Would it have made me more patient? Yes, but I didn't want it. In my book, (Normal for Me), I compare it to the children of Israel when they left Egypt and got to the edge of the Red Sea. It's easy to look at these people and say, why were they complaining? They just left Egypt. They're on their way to the Promised Land. But they got stopped at the edge of the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army came. They complained to Moses that they'd rather go back to Egypt. Sometimes the things we know (either Egypt, Coronavirus, or life without autism) seems to be more comfortable than what we are currently going through. For example, we're quarantined at home and there's a shortage of toilet paper. Life is different than it used to be. So, we don't want the challenges we have--and yet by going through them, we gain patience and experience. And then we have hope that because we made it through that with God's help, maybe we can get through something else. And so patience is a great quality. We don't like getting it, but once we have it, it is a blessing to have. And I'm not saying I'm a hundred percent patient, believe me, I'm not. There are some days I'm more patient than others. I think a lot of that has to do with self care. So during this time of stress for you and your family, I have just one tip to help you with patience: get enough sleep! Everybody does better when they sleep better. So take care of yourself. As Paul says Hebrews 12:1, "Let us run with patience the race that

Matt Bowen: Not Letting Paralysis Paralyze My Life
Mar 18 2020 61 mins  
Matt Bowen shares how an accident that left him paralyzed transformed his life. He has learned, grown, and is now sharing his story of hope with others. BioMatt Bowen is a Utah native and has always been very active playing football, basketball, lacrosse, and anything else he could get into. He graduated from high school in 2009, served an LDS mission in France, and attended Utah State University. In March of 2015 he was in an accident where he broke his neck, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. He did not let this slow him down and he graduated from USU with a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems just six months after his original expected graduation date. Matt then married his sweetheart, Sloan. He has since gone biking, skiing, parasailing, scuba diving, skydiving, and more. He currently works for Master Control as an onboarding support engineer. His family lives just down the street from Tamara, so she has watched as he has dealt with his diagnosis without letting it paralyze his life. The AccidentMatt's accident occurred when he was on a spring break trip in California. He and his friends were hanging out on the beach and body surfing. On the last day of their trip, Matt was body surfing. He started to get tired and decided to catch a wave in, just like he had done dozens of times. But for whatever reason, this wave was different. The wave shoved Matt head-down into the sand and he felt a pop. He immediately knew something. Matt decided just to ride the wave out and not try to move or fight it in any way. After the wave subsided, he was floating face down and tried to flip over. That was when he realized he couldn't move. He held his breath as long as possible but couldn't see anyone coming. Once Matt got to the point where he was going to have to breathe, he said a prayer. He told Heavenly Father to save Him if he wanted and if not, he would see Him in a few minutes. Then Matt's body forced him to take a breath of water. A few seconds later he was flipped over by one of his friends. He remembers saying, "I'm dead, I'm dead." His friend told him that he wasn't, but Matt insisted that he was paralyzed. His friend helped him float to shore and the lifeguards put him on a stretcher and kept him alert. He was taken to the closest hospital where he had a few surgeries. At the hospital Matt was diagnosed with paralysis from the chest down without functioning hands or arms. The only thing he could move was four toes on his left foot. He is still regaining movement of his big toe on that foot. RecoveryMatt was on a lot of medication at first. Because he had taken so much water into his lungs, he developed pneumonia. He was connected to a breathing tube and in and out of consciousness. When he would wake up, he would thrash around and try to remove the breathing tube, so he was placed into a medically-induced coma. When he was brought out of the coma, Matt was very confused. He doesn't even remember the doctor telling him that he was paralyzed. He sort of came to the realization that he was paralyzed, but he says it seemed temporary. In his mind he was going to be up walking and back to normal. Matt was going to be just like the many stories he'd read of incredible comebacks. The diagnosis became harder and harder to swallow the further along he got without much progress. Matt says there wasn't really a definitive moment when he realized his paralysis was permanent. He remembers the doctors on the rehab floor showing him videos of paralyzed individuals who had learned how to navigate everyday life and he remembers thinking, "Good for them, but that's not me." He started going to a state-of-the-art outpatient facility with a walking machine and he was sure that was what was going to get him up and moving again. But as things dragged on, he started to realize that maybe it just wasn't in the cards for him right then. Even now, Matt doesn't believe that he won't ever get back to walking. He...

3 Tips for Hard Times You Can’t Afford To Miss
Mar 11 2020 20 mins  
On today's episode, we're going to talk a little bit about rolling hills, earthly angels, and an important lesson I learned after I broke my collar bone. Also I'm instituting a fun new tradition at the end of my episode today (so we aren't so serious all the time). So, read to the end. 3 Tips for Hard Times You Can't Afford To MissWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways on the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. Last week we had the opportunity to listen to the amazing story of (Roxanne Kennedy-Granada). She shared the story of her husband's challenge with pornography and how that affected her as his wife. She also taught so many amazing lessons. I found her story to be full of hope and faith and what an amazing testimony she bore of Jesus Christ and His ability to heal and fill her heart even though it was broken. It is just a beautiful, beautiful episode. So today I would like to talk about three principles I absolutely loved about Roxanne's episode. Tip #1--The Rolling Hills AnalogyOne of the principles Roxanne talked about was the principle of life and being like a series of rolling hills. Roxanne explained there are times when something hard comes into your life and then there's another thing and then you get a reprieve. And then there's another hard thing and then you get a reprieve. And sometimes you feel like it's just never ending. I know I've felt that way before. Sometimes you're going up and sometimes you're going down, because life is a series of learning experiences. A Pertinent Bible VerseOne of the things that came to mind when she was talking about rolling hills was a verse in the Bible in Isaiah 28:13 and it talks about how we learn and it talks about how God teaches us. The word of the Lord was unto them, precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.God teaches us in baby step increments. There are times when I've often wondered why can't I see five years down the road. Having that image of my future self could pull me forward. God doesn't work like that (unfortunately). A Great QuoteThere is a quote by poet Patrick Overton from his book The Leaning Tree, which I feel goes along with this Bible verse. “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”I love that quote. I love that life is a journey of faith and we often feel like we're climbing that rolling hill and we get to the top and we have to either go down or maybe it's just another step and it's a larger Hill than you originally thought. Rolling Hills With GodSometimes you feel like the whole world has dropped out from under you and God is all the sudden expecting you to fly. But he's not going to give you something that you cannot do with his help. He's going to give you challenges. Challenges will come into your life that are too hard for you to do all by yourself. I know I felt that way so, so many times--just burdened down and, and Roxanne felt that way too. And she shares in her podcast, "I come honest and broken. God knows how broken I am and the pain that is pressing on my heart and He just loves me. He loves me exactly where I am now. He doesn't think I'm a terrible person." And so the beautiful thing is God loves us when we're broken. He loves us when we're falling. He loves us when we are a completely overwhelmed and He is so willing to help us take that one step into the darkness. And then the next line upon line, precept upon precept learning is a series of building upon what we already know. I love how Roxanne shared how God took her where she was and helped her move forward at her own pace. She also talked about how sometimes she...

Roxanne Granata: How God Helped Me With My Husband’s Pornography Addiction
Mar 04 2020 67 mins  
What do you do when you find out your spouse is deeply involved with pornography and lying about it? Roxanne Granata shares her story and the lessons learned with God's help. Roxanne Granata: How God Helped Me with My Husband's Pornography AddictionRoxanne's BioRoxanne Kennedy-Granata was raised in Northern California and lived for 20 years in Idaho. The past six years she has lived in Utah. She has worked in sales the majority of her adult life, teaching and training others to reach personal success in their businesses. Roxanne is the author of Cutting Ties: Healing from Betrayal Trauma as the Spouse of an Addict. She loves tennis when she makes the time for it. Her true passion has become meeting and talking with individuals and groups about healing from trials and challenges addiction bring into a family and relationships. She recently married a man she dated in college 27 years ago after they reconnected through a friend. Together, they have nine children. Roxanne met her current husband in college. However, that relationship ended and they both got married. He had been married for 25 years and Roxanne was married for 21 years. Those marriages both ended. They had a mutual friend who was his roommate in college who read Roxanne's book. He sent his friend Roxanne's book, mostly to help his friend but also to help set them up. He read Roxanne's book twice and left her review, and that's how their relationship rekindled. Roxanne's First MarriageSix months into their marriage, Roxanne found the first clue her husband struggled with pornography. She was totally shocked. She didn't think it made sense. Roxanne remembers thinking they were married, they were intimate, so something must be wrong with her. She thought she wasn't cute enough or smart enough. But as Roxanne learned more about addiction, she learned it actually has nothing to do with the person and everything to do with the addict and what they're missing in their own lives. Roxanne confronted him and he admitted he had a problem. They went to see their church leader, who was very loving and shared his own struggle with pornography. He told them to continue to read scriptures and pray together. Roxanne says those things are good, but that's not what takes the addiction away. It's not just a choice. While they came away from their meeting feeling better, Roxanne's trust was gone. She felt anxious about what he could be doing while she wasn't home. Their lives had become extremely difficult. She wouldn't understand until many years later, but Roxanne was experiencing betrayal trauma. Betrayal TraumaBetrayal trauma is when someone you love (and who is supposed to care for you) lies, manipulates, and deceives. All of the sudden, your whole world has been turned upside down and you feel trauma and anxiety over things you didn't before. You might be triggered over something. For Roxanne, seeing someone not fully clothed might trigger her and make her worry about what he might think. When those things happen, your body goes into a traumatic response similar to PTSD. Your body could start shaking, your heart could start to race and it takes times to calm yourself down. Initially, Roxanne went into, "I can do this and I can save everybody" mode. She realized after going to counseling she was trying to make up for the fact this was all happening. She felt her husband was present and supportive, in spite of everything going on. So she was still very confused as to why he was making the choices he was making. Roxanne learned later her reality was skewed. She began to understand that being good dad but still choosing pornography was manipulative. He was lying to them so his other life wouldn't be discovered. Over 17 years, Roxanne continued to find evidence her husband was still having problems with pornography. Her trust in him was continually broken. Things That HelpedWhen she found more things indicating a bigger problem than she first thought, she decided she...

Tamara’s Takeaway: 4 Critical Choices in Hard Times
Feb 26 2020 28 mins  
Tamara shares her takeaways from her interview with Jeff Steinberg. They include some personal stories and 4 critical choices we can make during hard times. 4 Critical Choices in Hard TimesHello my friends and welcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. Last week I had an amazing interview with (Jeff Steinberg). Jeff was born with no arms and 'gimpy legs' as he calls them, and yet he was one of the funniest people I think I have ever interviewed on my podcast. He had such an amazingly optimistic outlook on life. And so it naturally begs the question, if Jeff can be happy having no arms and gimpy legs and live life to its fullest--How can each of us with whatever circumstance we're in, follow that same path? I would like to build on and dive into 4 choices we make during hard times which I got out of Jeff's episode last week.   Choice #1: Choose to Remember Your WorthThe first Jeff Steinberg quote I want to share with you is this: "God makes no mistakes. God makes no junk. God has a design that's bigger and better and that we have value and goes beyond appearances."  So the first thing that Jeff teaches us is you have to understand who you are. You have to understand your worth, that God knows you and that He isn't going to make any junk. This means you have value as His child. And our value goes deeper than what we see on the outside. I found a really great quote by Dieter Uchtdorf I want to share with you which goes along with this. "You are not ordinary, rejected or ugly. You are something divine, more beautiful and glorious than you can possibly imagine. This knowledge changes everything. It changes your present. It can change your future and it can change the world."This choice Jeff made of realizing who he really was flowed into the next choice he made.   Choice #2: Choose Better not BitterAnd we saw that in Jeff's life. He did not let his circumstance define who he was. In fact, he talks about that specifically. He says, "I'm identified as the guy who has no arms, has gimpy legs, but he seems that doesn't define me. But given the opportunity, my circumstance or my story can refine me, it can make me better, not bitter." And you'll notice that there's a choice there that he made because we each have that choice. We can make our circumstance or we can choose to have our circumstances make us better or bitter. There are days we might feel bitter and there are days we might feel better. It just depends on the day. And so remind yourself that you can actually make that choice.   My Better or Bitter ChoiceMy family moved to Argentina when I was eight years old and it was quite a challenge because I had to learn to speak a different language. I had to go to school where my sister and I stood out because we were American. And so every day at recess the kids would gather around us and stare at us like we were some oddity. And that was hard. But the great thing about being a kid when we moved there is that we were able to pick up on the language quite quickly and we learned to speak Spanish fluently.  The Bullying and the WarThe problem was the following year, the Argentine government declared war on the British over the Falkland islands. Now you may or may not know where the Falkland islands are, but they are these two islands off the Eastern coast of Argentina, which in Argentina's mind means that they are theirs. The only problem is that these islands have been under Britain's power for a very long time. Of course the United States sided with Great Britain. This meant that all of my cute new little Argentine friends now saw me as the enemy because the United States sided with Britain. Because of course, little 9-year-old Tamara Klein had total control over what America did, right? No, I was just the only American they knew and they didn't know how else to take...

Jeff Steinberg: Why Having No Arms Doesn’t Stop Me From Living Life
Feb 19 2020 72 mins  
Jeff Steinberg humorously shares the lessons learned after he was born with no arms and 'gimpy legs.' God taught him he is a masterpiece in progress. Jeff Steinberg: Why Having No Arms Doesn't Stop Me From Living LifeJeff Steinberg BioJeff Steinberg calls himself a masterpiece in progress, yet to see him, he looks anything but a masterpiece. You see, he was born with no arms and badly deformed legs and he grew up mostly in hospitals and homes for the disabled. His Professional CareerHe began performing professionally in 1972. He is a speaker, singer, humorist, author, and has spent his days motivating and inspiring others all over the world for more than 45 years. Jeff has spoken at high schools and universities like Notre Dame, hospitals, and churches. He has spoken to US military troops. Jeff has shared the stage with the likes of Zig Ziglar, Pat Boone, Christopher Salem, Justin Dart, Art Linkletter, Daniel Miller, and even Senator Bob Dole. The true highlight of Jeff's career was a memorable appearance on stage where he sang for Mother Teresa of Calcutta during her 1989 United States visit. He is the 13th inductee into the Good Shepherd Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities, located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, for his achievements in the field of music and his advocacy for the physically challenged. Jeff also won the 2015 and 2019 Heritage Award for Comedian of the Year from the Artists Music Guild. Jeff and his wife Ellen have a blended family of four children and he has nine grandchildren. His Humorous Current JobOne of Jeff's current jobs is as an Uber driver where he meets many different people and gets all sorts of questions from "Were you born like that?" One kid called him "Captain Hook" due to the hook he wears as one of his hands. Jeff's StoryJeff was born in 1951 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born with what doctors call phocomelia. Phocomelia is a congenital birth defect that usually manifests in deformed arms and legs. Jeff has a little stump that's about five inches long for his upper arm on his right side. He has no left arm. He also has malformed legs. When Jeff was born, his father made the decision not to tell Jeff's mother about his disability. His father was afraid his mother was not in a good place emotionally or mentally to deal with the news. So his mother did not find out about Jeff's condition until he was 17 months old. His mother blamed herself for his condition because she had been prescribed a medication to help her with the pregnancy that we now know is linked to phocomelia. Care at ShrinersJeff was placed into the care of Shriners hospital when he was two and a half years old. They decided to perform surgery to see what they could do for Jeff's legs. They cut open his right knee and discovered there was no joint, just two bones that had fused together. So the doctors broke the bones and refused them so that his legs would be straight. They did not know that the growth tissue was damaged in the process. His legs did not grow after that procedure. Jeff is 4 feet, 6 inches tall. Jeff then learned to do a lot of things with his feet. He learned to feed himself, as well as write and sign his name. At four years old he was fitted with his first leg brace and arm prosthesis. The prosthesis was a stump socket with a spoon attached. Jeff also went to school at the hospital. A teacher would come in every day, just like regular school. He would go home on some weekends. Another HomeWhen Jeff was nine years old, his parents decided that they could no longer take care of him as well as his three sisters, so Jeff was placed in a foster home. He was there for about eight weeks and was then moved to Good Shepherd Home for children with disabilities. He remembers his parents telling them that he was going to excel here and that he would make a difference one day. But all he could think was why were his parents leaving him here? The People Who Changed His LifeWhile living at the Good...

Tamara’s Takeaway: The One Thing We Need More Of
Feb 12 2020 22 mins  
Tamara K. Anderson expounds on the one thing the world needs in today's world, why it's important, and how to problem solve getting it in our lives. The One Thing We Need More OfWelcome to another episode of Tamara's Takeaways. I'm your host Tamara K. Anderson, and I am so excited to be talking to you today and sharing with you a few of the things that I gleaned from (Wendy Andersen's podcast) last week. Wendy has a son, Dexter, who was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis as a young child. She explains her life changed within 36 hours from something that was normal and expected to where she had to redefine what normal looked like for her family. Wendy and her husband had to make a choice. They were either going to take this diagnosis lying down and despair over what could have been, or they could rise up and do everything in their power to help Dexter get the best help available. And so, even though they were sad, they chose to see the good. And that is a powerful, powerful message. One of the things Wendy talked about was the idea to love your life. In fact, she talked about that it's important to love your life, embrace and redefine. And I loved those three key concepts that she taught. The One Key Thing We Need More OfIn this month of February, I think one of the most important concepts we can talk about is learning to love ourselves and our life. Love OurselvesWe often talk during February about love with other people. But I want to share with you a couple of verses in the New Testament that you have probably read, but maybe never thought of in this way. These verses can be found in Matthew 22:37-39. And this is Jesus's answer when a lawyer asks which of the commandments was the greatest. "Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all the mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."Notice that last part of the verse--we need to love our neighbor as ourselves. So often I think we forget that God not only wants us to love him, but he also wants us to love ourselves. Do we do we love ourselves? An Interesting CorrelationThe interesting correlation I'd need to point out with this scripture is "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." It's almost like there's a correlation between how much love we have for ourselves and how much love we can show to our neighbors. And I think it's directly connected to how much we love God. If we love God and ourselves a whole bunch, then our capacity to love our neighbor is amazing, fantastic, and great. If we don't love ourselves, then it, it's not. And so my question to you this Valentine's day time of the year is, what can you do to learn to love yourself and love your life more than you do now? Because you're going to have an instance where you have a day (or a 36-hour period like Wendy), where your world is going to tilt on its axis and forever change. For Wendy, it was when Dexter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis. For me it was when my son Nathan was diagnosed with autism. My world changed. For some it's another diagnosis like cancer. Or perhaps it is the sudden death of a loved one or abuse which causes their world to completely change. And all of a sudden they don't feel worthy of love and they don't love themselves. I think this is one of the saddest things. The Big QuestionWe need more love in the world today and it needs to start right in our own soul, right in our own home. We need to learn to love ourselves. How do you learn to love yourself? Learn God Loves YouOne of the first steps to loving yourself is learning how much God loves you. And there is a beautiful scripture in Romans 8:16-18 which says: "The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children then heirs, heirs of God and...

Wendy Andersen: Changing Expectations for a Happy Life
Feb 05 2020 52 mins  
Wendy Andersen shares powerful lessons and tips she learned about redefining normal after her son was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis and autism. Wendy Andersen: Changing Expectations For A Happy LifeBioWendy Andersen is an accomplished author, speaker, coach, and mentor. She is a wife and the mother to three amazing children. Having a special needs child has taught her the critical importance of setting up her world to fit the current expectations of her family over those delivered by the expectations of others. For most of us, life does not go as planned. It certainly didn't for Wendy and her husband when, in less than 36 hours, their seemingly normal life was turned upside down when their oldest son Dexter was diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex epilepsy and then four years later with autism. Her experience created a deep desire to redefine what normal looks like in her own life and instilled in her a passion to help others redefine normal for themselves. She is passionate about spreading her message and encouraging families to break free of external expectations and instead find the balance in life. The Day Everything ChangedWendy Andersen had a relatively normal life before her son Dexter's diagnosis. She had been married to her husband for eight years before having Dexter. They loved being new parents. Then one day when Dexter was six months old, everything changed. Wendy was working and her husband was in school when Wendy got a call from her mother-in-law telling her that she needed to come home right away. Something was wrong with Dexter. Wendy got home and Dexter was napping, but when he woke up she saw exactly what her mother-in-law was talking about. Dexter's head would bob up and down and his left arm would straighten. Wendy knew right away that he was having seizures. Tuberous Sclerosis DiagnosisWendy called the pediatrician and they took Dexter to the office and were then sent onto the hospital. Within 36 hours, they had received a diagnosis. Dexter was having infantile spasms, a very debilitating type of seizure, as a result of tuberous sclerosis. Wendy and her husband didn't even know what that meant. Tuberous sclerosis is a very rare condition, with 1 in 6,000 children being diagnosed each year. Wendy says that she and her husband didn't allow themselves time to mope about the diagnosis though. They went right into survival mode, trying to find any and all information about Dexter's condition. The timing of his diagnosis couldn't have been better. Two months prior, the FDA had approved a new drug that could treat his condition and stop the seizures in just one dose. What is TSC?Tuberous sclerosis, or TSC, is a condition that causes non-cancerous tumors to develop throughout the body. Dexter had these growths in his brain, which were causing the seizures. Dexter also has them in his heart, called rhabdomyomas. Fortunately, the ones in his heart were not causing problems. In fact, they grow as a child, then shrink and go away. When Dexter was two and a half they discovered another type of tumor in his brain, called a sega. A sega will grow if it is not treated, so Wendy and her husband had two options: they could try a new medication and see if that would shrink the tumor, or they could have Dexter undergo brain surgery. If they didn't remove all of the tumor during surgery, the sega would grow back and they would have to try the medication anyway. So they opted to try the medication first. Within six months, the tumor had shrunk by half. Autism Diagnosis and Choosing to Stay PositiveDexter continued to grow and Wendy started to notice some signs of autism, but he did not display all the common symptoms. He had some delays in his speech, despite being able to understand what was said to him. Wendy worked with him on sign language, and he was able to recognize all of the letters of the alphabet at a young age. He struggled with sensitivity to noise, a common symptom of autism, but he has...

Tamara’s Takeaway: 3 Tips to Build Momentum and Growth
Jan 29 2020 16 mins  
In this episode, Tamara K. Anderson shares 3 tips which build momentum and growth by sharing personal stories, quotes and examples. Welcome to another Takeaways Episode of Stories of Hope in Hard Times! Last week we had (Kelly Walker, The Queen of Manifesting) on the show. She is an a ball of energy and so fun to talk to. One of the amazing things about Kelly is that she completely changed her life from being depressed and being a video game junkie to becoming The Queen of Manifesting. She has her own podcast now, and she is a speaker who changes lives from the stage. 3 Tips to Build Momentum and Growth1. The Power of Tiny ActionsKelly's Story SummaryLast week Kelly talked about being in the depths of despair, starting to be suicidal and not being sure where she was going to go with her life. She was playing video games all night and sleeping all through the day. That all changed one day when she got an email inviting her to a personal development seminar. Believe it or not, she took the initiative and she went. This one tiny step attending one seminar made her want to go to another one, and then another one, and then another one. Soon she was at a speaking seminar. This little tiny step propelled her forward quickly. My Example of Tiny ActionsThis concept is true for any of us. As we start any new goal, whether it is a ginormous goal or a teeny tiny goal, sometimes we need to build up our confidence in ourselves that we can do this. In the fall of 2018 I joined Benjamin Hardy's, (Accelerated Momentum Program (called AMP for short). )It is a fantastic group! I learned so much. One of the first things Ben taught us was that taking tiny little steps of progress can help us build confidence in ourselves. For example, when I joined the group, he encouraged us to do some little goal that day (like clean out a drawer or delete an app that we were wasting too much time). He explained that by taking several of these tiny little baby steps of things that you know you can do in less than five minutes, that you are building confidence. Once you accomplish those little things you can do bigger and better things. And so I remember that first week after I joined AMP, I set little goals to tidy one thing every day. Believe it or not, these little tiny things really did help give me momentum. And there is something magical about having a clean space to work. It helps to somehow declutter my mind. Applying the Goal AgainAnd so my office had become quite cluttered again, and as I started this brand new year, one of my January goals has been to declutter something every day. And sometimes it has been as simple as going through my closet and removing 10 things to donate. Another day I cleared off my desk. Another day I cleaned out my desk drawers. Last night I actually helped my daughter clean off a cluttered surface in her room. And the amazing thing was, as I was cleaning in her room, all of a sudden she just naturally started pulling things out of her closet. The momentum is real, and it's catchy. So it's funny how when we take one baby step of progress, it kind of spurs us onward. There is power in taking tiny steps. It does build confidence. And so just like Kelly--you and I and anybody else can build confidence by doing tiny things which gives us momentum do then go on and do bigger goals. 2. The Parable of My Apple TreesThis parable comes from that Women's Conference that I spoke at last year. I'm a bit of a gardener. I really like getting my hands dirty. Everywhere we've moved, I have always planted some sort of tree in our backyard. A Tale of Two TreesAbout seven and a half years ago, when we moved to Utah, I planted a Fuji Apple tree and a Granny Smith Apple tree. The interesting thing about these trees is even though they got the same amount of water and light, one...

Kelly Walker: From Gamer to The Queen of Manifesting
Jan 22 2020 44 mins  
Kelly Walker completely changed her life from a video game junkie to become The Queen of Manifesting. She shares her journey and the lessons learned along the way on this week's episode of Stories of Hope in Hard Times. Kelly Walker: From Gamer to The Queen of ManifestingBioKelly Walker is a manifesting coach, international speaker, podcaster, and cruise retreat host. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and she spent her school years in Kansas. Now she lives in Spanish Fork, Utah with her husband and teenage son. She loves to help unlock the potential of women entrepreneurs who know they are meant for big things, but have been stuck playing small. She helps them tap into their purpose, take control of their inner chatter, build themselves in their tribe, and change the world on a bigger scale. Kelly Walker is The Queen of Manifesting. Hiding in the BathroomKelly decided she was going to be a motivational speaker after attending her first motivational seminar. Sitting in the audience, she realized that was what she needed to do. She was a graphic designer at the time but had just been fired, so she decided that speaking would be her new career. She went on the lookout for speaker training programs or anything that might help her on this new path. Every day, she said out loud, "I am a motivational speaker and I change lives from the stage." She had no idea how she would get there, but she believed she could. The Event & The BathroomDuring her search for training, she found an event on Facebook which was a cross between a TED talk and America's Got Talent. They have four contestants each month. The contestants speak for ten minutes to a panel of judges and then are given feedback. Kelly read this as free speaker coaching. So, she bought a ticket and went to watch. The judges were amazing and gave great feedback. When the judging was over, the MC stood up and told the audience that there was an open spot for a contestant next month. Kelly felt like this was her chance! She stood up and started walking over to sign up, even though she was scared. But she was so afraid she walked right past the table and toward the exit. She didn't even recall changing directions. As she was quickly walking away, she noticed a bathroom by the exit where she quickly went to hide. In the bathroom Kelly argued with herself about going to sign up. She sat there for at least ten minutes, trying to convince herself that she should sign up. Eventually, "brave Kelly" won and she went to find the MC and sign up. She asked if the spot was still open and when he said yes, she burst into tears of terror. But she did come back, and she won the contest! Kelly has spoken over 150 times since that contest. Years of Health ChallengesInfertility ChallengesLife wasn't always as easy as signing up for a contest and winning though. When Kelly was 38 years old, she struggled with fertility. She would leave church every Sunday because it was so hard for her to see other young moms with their babies. They tried fertility treatments but to no avail. Finally, Kelly quit her job and they went to Mexico, and she got pregnant! Kelly swears the lack of stress is what did it. Pregnancy ComplicationsHowever, the pregnancy itself was no less difficult. At 26 weeks, Kelly developed toxemia and had to go on bed rest. The doctors gave Kelly a steroid that helps the baby's lungs to develop faster because they were afraid they were going to have to deliver him early. Kelly remembers praying and praying that she wouldn't need to deliver her son yet. She stabilized and he ended up being able to stay put until week 38, with Kelly in the hospital on complete bed rest. AnxietyAs her son kept growing, Kelly felt claustrophobic and at one point she was having 24-hour panic attacks. Kelly was so anxious she doesn't know how her husband survived the last few months of the pregnancy. Neither she nor her husband got much due to the extreme anxiety. Everytime she tried to go to...

Tamara K. Anderson: How I Overcame my Fear to Podcasting
Jan 15 2020 21 mins  
In this episode, Tamara K. Anderson shares how scared she really was to start podcasting and the tips and goals which helped her overcome this fear. Tamara K. Anderson: How I Overcame My Fear to PodcastingI am so excited to announce an epic change in the Stories of Hope in Hard Times podcast. Starting today, I will be launching an episode every week on Wednesday. This is helpful for you because now you get twice the content. Sometimes I will take an episode to tell additional stories and expound upon the previous episode (like I will do today). These episodes will be considerably shorter than our typical episodes. Other times I might just launch a new episode every week. Last week I interviewed (Alan Gulledge) and we talked about his bike crash and we talked about the fear that went along with setting new goals as Alan tried to build his body back. I wanted to kind of piggyback onto that story and tell you a story from my own life. And that story is actually the story of the launch of this podcast. Overcoming Fears Launching This PodcastIn January of 2018 I decided I would spend that year learning all about podcasting and take all the steps necessary so that I could launch my podcast in January of 2019. I hit the ground running. I named my podcast (with your help), Stories of Hope in Hard Times. Then, I had my logo for my podcast professionally designed and people voted on it. And I even picked a format for my podcast. I spent a lot of time, learning about podcasting, from professionals like John Lee Dumas. I even recorded my first podcasting episodes of May of 2018. StallingAnd then in June I hit this dead stop when my kids got out of school. I made this conscious decision just stop and not do anything during the summer. Believe it or not I even stopped doing social media. Come September, I got my kids back in school and I started just really reexamining where I was with my life and what my goals were. Then I remembered the podcasting goal and I realized I was scared to death to start and launch this podcast. It really freaked me out and that's why I had stopped and had not made any progress. JournalingI really had to pause and think and write about it. In fact, I even drew a picture in my journal. () Here is what I wrote, "This is how I feel. My fear is real and it's keeping me stuck on my path." And so there I was--little me stuck on the path of this mountain that I wanted to climb. But there was this huge word in my way which said FEAR. Where to FocusAnd I learned that while I was looking at the fear, I couldn't move forward. It was too scary. I'd had some experiences where I was picked on and bullied when I was a kid. And so I, I realized that I had to raise my sights a little bit higher and start thinking of my WHY: What are the benefits of the podcast? Who will this help? And set my sights on that. I realized that this podcast had the potential to help people who are struggling to help people who have lost their hope. And as I focused on the benefit of doing the goal and not the fear itself (basically focusing on faith and I believed the outcome could be), then I was finally able to move forward again. I really had to detail a lot of this in my journal and figure it out. Podcast LaunchI launched Stories of Hope in Hard Times in January of 2019 and it felt so good to accomplish that goal. But it also felt good to not have that fear incapacitate me anymore. The Power of Fear and How to Overcome itAs imperfect people, we have goals that we set and get excited about and then all of a sudden we stop. And it's often because there's an underlying fear. So if you're setting goals this year and you're finding yourself at a stopping point, stop and examine that fear. Maybe you need to journal about it a little bit,...

Alan Gulledge – Setting Goals, Facing Fears and Recovering with Faith
Jan 08 2020 59 mins  
After a life-altering accident, Alan Gulledge learned to set powerful goals, face his fears, and move forward with faith. He now helps others learn reach their physical goals as a coach. Alan Gulledge - Setting Goals, Facing Fears and Recovering with FaithBioAlan Gulledge has lived in Virginia, California, Honduras, and Utah. He was a Division 1 collegiate track and field athlete in the pole vault who was fortunate enough to win conference championships, competed in the NCAA finals and appeared in the top 50 in the pole vault for world rankings in the 2000 Olympic year. Once he retired from pole vaulting he began to explore the world of triathlon/endurance sports and has been hooked ever since—having competed in over 200 competitive endurance events. Alan qualified for the Boston Marathon and became and All-World Ironman tri-athlete (top 5% division worldwide). After receiving his undergrad in Psychology and getting his MBA had a 13 year career in corporate sales. About 8 years ago he left the sales world to pursue his passion of working in the world of health and fitness. He is the owner and operator of TriFit Evolution a small strength, endurance coaching and personal training business located in Arlington, Virginia. His goal is to help others achieve their fitness goals. He married his sweetheart, Laura Dawn two and a half years ago and they have been blessed with a beautiful son. Loving the ProcessPole VaultingAlan says he could never sit still as a kid. He was always wanting to be running outside. Alan became a pole vaulter in high school, but he actually joined the track team after moving to Utah in order to make friends. At first, he was the worst one on the entire team at the pole vault. Alan was very competitive and started practicing more and more. He would drag his twin brother to the track on Saturday mornings to help him get better. Alan says even though he wasn't a gifted athlete, he believes that applying yourself and working hard is what it takes to become better. In college, Alan loved training for pole vaulting. Most of the time, he was running, working in the weight room, working on technique, plyometrics, running stadiums, and working on aerial and body awareness. Alan truly loved that process. He retired from pole vaulting in his mid twenties. TriathlonsAlan moved to California and that's where his friends introduced him to the triathlon. Again, he was not very good in the beginning. He could barely swim across a 25 meter pool doing a unique combination of many swimming strokes. He was familiar with challenging athletic goals, as he had tried to qualify for the Olympics in the pole vault the year before. Alan thought pole vaulting was difficult and that a triathlon wouldn't be as challenging since it was just running, riding a bike, and swimming. He was wrong. Alan did not do well in his first race. In triathlons, they put you in a division based on age, so your age is written on your leg for the race. He remembers women in their 50's just flying past him on their bikes, and he was this 26-year old collegiate athlete. That was very eye opening for him and made him want to work even harder to excel. He thinks that is a good life lesson to learn: even if you aren't a natural or something, you just work on the process and become something that you never imagined you'd become. The AccidentIn September of 2015, Alan was two weeks away from running an Iron Man. An Iron Man involves swimming 2.4 miles, riding a bike for 112 miles, and then running a full marathon, 26.2 miles. This was not Alan's first Iron Man and he was excited. He was poised to do well as an amateur in his division. On that fateful day, Alan decided to go out for an easy training ride of about an hour. He was riding across a bridge on a bike path alongside a major highway. There had been a car accident and another cyclist was distracted by the accident and crossed over into Alan's lane and ran into Alan head on. The force of the...

Dec 23 2019 59 mins  
As a Christmas gift to her listeners, Tamara shares two audio chapters from her book, Normal for Me. One chapter talks about her son's diagnosis of autism and the other how God helps us learn to problem solve the challenges we face. A Special Christmas Gift: 2 Audio Chapters from my Book, Normal for MeOn today's episode, I'm going to do something very special for you, my wonderful listeners, because it is Christmas. And to celebrate Christmas, I would love to give you a gift. The GiftI have two chapters I have chosen from my book, Normal for Me, that I am going to give you. This is partially to celebrate the launch of my audiobook, which happened just a few weeks ago. So I would love to share with you chapter three and chapter seven from my book, Normal for Me. Chapter 3: Diagnosis--Dead End or Detour?Chapter three is one of the most heartfelt chapters in my book. It is where I talk about my son Nathan's diagnosis. This chapter was hard for me to write, but it was also a hard for me to read--because everytime I read it I went through those same emotions all over again. I actually had to stop several times when I was recording it because I would get a little emotional. This chapter talks about the life detours that we face. And one of the fun things I did in this chapter was I wove in the story of Moses and the Children of Israel as they are leaving Egypt. They got to the edge of the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army was coming after them. And at this point in their journey they panicked and were angry with Moses for getting them to this dead end. And don't we all feel like that at some point in our life? We think, "God, I've been following the path you wanted me to take. I am at a total dead end. I don't know which way to go and I don't know why you brought me here." And so, in chapter three, I talk about how I went through all of those emotions and the grief cycle. I also explain how God opens up a path I probably never would have chosen. And it's through the Red Sea and into the wilderness called autism. This is where I was able to learn a lot of things on my detoured path. In this chapter you will be able to experience a lot of my journey and relate to it. Chapter 7: My ToolboxThis is a really fun chapter where I tell you a little bit about one of my hobbies, which happens to be using my toolbox and fixing things. I tell you a little bit about a Christmas gift that I got when I was 12 years old and how that plays into some of the things God expects us to do and learn so that He can help us know what actions we're supposed to take to get us through. So sit back and enjoy these gift chapters from my book, Normal for Me. And remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. Buy the Book or AudiobookIf you like what you hear, you can purchase the Normal for Me book or audiobook on Amazon. (Here is a direct link.) Shareable Thoughts and Memes () ()

Richard Paul Evans: Lessons From Brokenness, Bullying, and Tourette’s
Dec 11 2019 46 mins  
Did you know NY Times Bestselling author Richard Paul Evans was bullied as a child or that he lived in a home infested with rats? Listen as he shares the stories which shaped him to become one of the most loved and heart-stirring authors today. Richard Paul Evans: Lessons from Brokenness, Bullying, and Tourette'sRichard Paul Evans BioWhen Richard Paul Evans (Rick) wrote the #1 global best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. The story was written as an expression of love for his then two young daughters. Three years later, this quiet, simple story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than 8 million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. Eight of Rick’s books were produced into television movies and have starred such well-known actors as Maureen O’Hara, Rob Lowe, Christopher Lloyd, James Earl Jones, Naomi Watts and Academy award winners Vanessa Redgrave and Ellen Burstyn. He has since written 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and is one of the few authors in history to have hit both the fiction and non-fiction bestseller lists. There are currently more than 30 million copies of his books in print. Rick won the American Mothers book award, two first place Storytelling World awards, The Romantic Times Best Women’s Novel of the Year Award, the German Leserpreis Gold Award for Romance, is a five-time recipient of the Religion Communicator’s Council’s Wilbur Award and more than a dozen other awards for his young adult series Michael Vey. During the fall of 1998, Rick founded The Christmas Box International, an organization devoted to maintaining emergency shelters and providing services and resources for abused, neglected or homeless children, teens and young adults. To date, more than 100,000 children have been served by the Christmas Box House facilities and programs. Rick lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri. They have been blessed with five children and two grandchildren. A Personal ConnectionRick has become a great friend and mentor to me. I went to his first (Premier Author Training) almost three years ago. We had a lot of fun and I learned so much. I felt like I was drinking out of a fire hose just with the amount of knowledge he imparted on not only writing but on marketing books. The King of CrepesA little known fact about Rick is he is the crepe-making King. He first learned to make crepes at a friend’s house in Seattle. He then decided everyone should know how to make three things really well. So, Rick know how to make three things: French toast, crepes and fried rice. Writing from the HeartI love the ending of Rick's latest book, (Noel Street), as I think it gives us a picture of his life. He says, "I've always thought of God as an artist. One who uses our hopes, fears, dreams, and especially our tears to paint on the canvas of our souls rendering something beautiful. The hardest part I suppose is waiting to see what he's up to." So many of Rick’s books dive into people who are broken and waiting to see what God is painting on the canvas of their lives. He seems to write from a personal place of brokenness. Rick gave us a sneak-peek into the next book he is working on which will launch in 2020. He is taking his writings and blogs from the past 25 years and compiling these personal stories of things which have made him who he is. Some of these blogs have been read by millions of people, so they are very compelling. Lessons from Hard Times1. A Broken ChildhoodThe year 1970 was a really bad year for Rick’s family. They lived in Arcadia, California and his father lost his job and was blackballed in the community where he worked in Beverly Hills. As he tried to provide for...

Brad Neufeld: 14 Tips to Face the Holiday Blues with Cheer
Nov 27 2019 55 mins  
Today we are going to focus on the holiday season, and how we can overcoming the sadness and holiday blues which sometime accompany this time of year. 14 Tips to Face the Holiday Blues with CheerBrad J. Neufeld ( (who was previously interviewed on Stories of Hope about his personal story)) is back to discuss how we can overcome depression that often accompanies this time of year and find joy and happiness.  Brad's Experience With Holiday SadnessBrad says that there are many people who experience loneliness during the Christmas holiday season. Brad himself knows firsthand what it's like to be alone for the holidays. He has been supporting himself since he was 13 years old. Though he saw his family temporarily in 1980, six months later his parents moved from Utah to California. He was 16 years old at the time, living in Utah by himself. Brad had agreed with his parents to talk on the phone regularly but it was still a very lonely time. "When you are used to everyone being around, opening presents together, and experiencing the happiness of the holidays, watching the parades and the football by yourself just isn't the same," he says. Though he made it through the first year, the following year was even more difficult. The hardest was the year he was 18 but still alone for the holidays. Brad jokes that he almost considered himself a Grinch, but that changed slowly when he met his wife. Brad says his wife loves all holidays and celebrates each one, but that Christmas is a big one. She has always insisted on having a fresh tree each year. and that's something they have done for 33 years now. What Christmas is Really AboutBrad recalls that the most impactful holiday season for him was about 15 years ago. That year had been a financially challenging one for Brad and his family, and they weren't going to be able to get their children anything for Christmas. Brad felt himself shift back into the mentality that Christmas was no good for him and he truly did not want his kids to experience what he had felt growing up. But the members of Brad's community sensed that Brad's family needed some help that year. On Christmas morning, their family woke up to bags of gifts from "anonymous." Brad says that instance truly touched his heart and humbled him. He realized that is what Christmas is about, thinking of others. Brad says he knows that depression rates and other emotions run high during this time of year. He also experienced the feeling of wanting others to stay away, and even had suicidal thoughts at times. He says it's often we talk about just surviving Christmas, rather than enjoying it. Holiday Blues Tips Learned the Hard WayTip #1--Focus on the PositiveFor Brad, it's important to focus on the happy emotions that come out of the holidays, rather than just the commercial aspects, even though that can be hard to do sometimes. His experience with loving neighbors reminded him that even though it can feel like no one cares, "God is always is always looking over us. Neighbors do care. People care." Brad explains he used to look for and find the negative about the holidays, but ever since this loving experience with his neighbors, he had a shift in his thinking. Quoting Dr. Wayne Dyer' book title, ("You'll See It When You Believe It.") Brad...

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