Tammy Helfrich

Encourage. Empower. Connect.

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The Wisdom of Silence

I am excited to introduce you to today’s guest, Chris Morris. He is a CPA by day, a blogger before the sun rises, and a happily married father of 4 all the time. He writes about how faith and real life can collide in the brokenness of life, while still holding on to hope. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter @sometimeshope.

 

When a friend is in the midst of deep struggle, it is difficult to know how to be a trustworthy encourager. We don’t always have the answers. On occasion, we don’t have any answers, because it just doesn’t make sense.

Sometimes, the best thing we can say to a friend in pain is nothing at all. Just be there with them, share in their pain by being present. We don’t always have to try to fix the pain, or frame the sorrow, or remind them of God. The words we share to console our friends often do nothing but stir up dissatisfaction.

 

Well, you know that God will work this out for good at some point right?

…God still has a wonderful plan for your life.

…Maybe God is trying to get your attention, to root out some sin in your life.

 

Each time we say something like this, our heart is in the right place. We are trying to comfort our friends. We just aren’t doing it well. Instead of comfort, we might end up increasing sorrow, heaping doubt, or even producing anger in the hearts of those we love.

 

Morning of reflection

 

The funny thing is this – we know that is exactly what we are doing. We have all been on the other end of these well-meaning but misguided attempts at comfort. So why do we do this? Because we fear silence, despite what the Proverbs say:

 

In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,

But he who restrains his lips is wise.

— Proverbs 10:19

 

We think that if we say nothing, we have nothing to offer. So often the exact opposite it true. Many times, sitting alongside our friends as they weep amongst the apparent ruins of their lives, commiserating with them, and fiercely giving them a hug is the best thing we can do.

Truly, this is wisdom. We need not run from silence, but instead step into it, and in so doing begin to walk in wisdom. It is this wisdom that will eventually usher in God’s healing and His presence, not our chattering.

Brag it up Wednesday

Photo credit: Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious

Photo credit: Richard Masoner/Cyclelicious

 

One of the things I love to do is talk with other people about what they are working on.

I love to hear about their dreams.

I love to connect with new ideas.

I love to encourage people.

So, today is about you. Brag it up! 

Share with us what you are excited about. Share something you are proud of.

Don’t be afraid. Share away!

 

What would you ask a LifeChanger?

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Photo credit: Creative Commons

 

I have loved hearing all of the great feedback regarding my ebook, Becoming a LifeChanger. One of the things many people have asked for is to learn more about the LifeChangers in the book.

What were there struggles?

Were they afraid?

What was their turning point to take action?

I am excited about starting a follow up series on the blog. It will consists of interviews and conversations with the LifeChangers from the book as well as other LifeChangers.

So, here’s your chance.

What do you want to know? Ask away!

 

My Interview with Jeff Goins

I am excited to have my first podcast interview on the blog. I admit it has taken me so much longer to get this up than I expected, but I am excited for you to hear it.

I had the privilege of being on Jeff Goins’  launch team when his book Wrecked first released. You can read my review here. But Jeff was also kind enough to do a live interview with me. This was my first time attempting this and unfortunately the Skype portion did not record as I wanted. However, I was able to record the audio and make my first podcast post.

I am always encouraged when reading Jeff’s blog or speaking with him directly. He cares about helping others, and is a pleasure to interact with. Jeff works for Adventures in Missions, and recently announced that they are planning a mission trip to Guatemala in 2013. Several of my friends are going, and I will be excited to follow their adventure.

jeff-goins-wrecked2-570x854

We talk about why he wrote the book, how it feels to publish your first book, and Jeff offers his always helpful advice.

Enjoy the interview!

Have you read Wrecked? What questions would you ask Jeff?

 

Play

LifeChangers: No More Ordinary

tammyhelfrich_3D

LifeChangers

It’s a series about people like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

And they are willing to share their stories.

 

I am excited to introduce you to today’s LifeChangers. Evan Forester and his wife Morgan recently moved to New Zealand. After living in the same town for 26 years, he decided it was time to try something different. Evan is passionate about living a full and satisfying life, and even more passionate about helping others live the same way. He blogs regularly at #livefully. You can also connect with him on Twitter.

 

Tammy: What was the breaking point for you? What made you say “enough of ordinary”?

Evan: My wife and I had discussed moving overseas since before we married. In the beginning, I thought it was just a pipe dream. One night, however, she spoke about it with such vivid hope that something dawned on me. “Maybe this isn’t a ridiculous idea, maybe God has laid this on our hearts for a reason.” We prayed about it every night for two years, and the more we prayed about it, they more we wanted to do it.

There were two major breaking points for us. First, I never wanted to just talk about dreams and then never go after them.

I believe if you have a dream, you need to go after it. (Tweet that!) 

You might fail, but I think failure is much better than never trying. Secondly, we were tired of being so busy all the time. Both of us were working full time and in night school. We wanted to actually experience our newlywed years together, and we wanted to go on an adventure together. So we moved to the other side of the world!

 

Tammy: How has living differently changed you?

Evan: It taught us so much about trusting God. In the States I always said and believed, “we need to trust in God.” But trusting Him is much easier when you have everything you need. It was a whole new ball game when we got off a plane with no family, no car, no jobs, and no permanent home. We had no choice, the only thing we could do was trust Him, and it was amazing to watch Him provide.

 

Tammy: What would you say to someone who is scared to take a step outside of their comfort zone?

Evan: We came here to find adventure, and in the beginning it didn’t feel very adventurous. They have couches in New Zealand, just like America. The biggest threat to my life of adventure is my sofa. It is comfortable and convenient, and I found myself sitting on it too much here just like in the USA. But if you really want to live, you have to step outside your front door. Often, making the decision to get up and go is the hardest part. But from experience, I am always thrilled that I stepped out and did something out of the ordinary.

So whether going out of your comfort zone means speaking to a stranger or hiking through the mountains, I think you just have to go out and do it. It probably won’t go as planned, but don’t get upset. If everything went according to plan, then it wouldn’t be an adventure.

 

Tammy: Why did you move to New Zealand?

Evan: We spent a little bit of time here before we married. My wife studied abroad and I backpacked around with a friend. We loved the culture and the nature. The country’s beauty is stunning. What really makes it remarkable is how much diversity there is in such a small place. In just a few hours, I could be on the beach, in the mountains, swimming in natural hot springs, hiking on a glacier, walking through a rainforest, or snow skiing. We love it here.

 

Tammy: Were there moments when you wondered “what have we done?”

Evan: YES! The first big moment came before we left, when I sold my car. At that point, we knew it was a done deal. When we arrived, countless people here told us how difficult it would be to find jobs, and we even experienced a few (smaller) earthquakes. The most traumatic, however, was learning to drive on the left side of the road. I had no guide, someone just threw me a set of keys and said, “good luck!” We were terrified the entire way home, but somehow made it alive.

 

Tammy: What has been the biggest life lesson that you’ve learned throughout this process?

Evan: We have been amazed at the power of hospitality in our church. Two different families fed us and let us stay with them for a total of 6 weeks while we found our own home. Another family gave us their car for a few weeks until we bought one. Both of us learned about jobs from friends we made here. After leaving our families on the other side of the world, it was so encouraging to have people (who we had never met before) love us so well. It made a huge impact on us, and when we share the stories of what the church family did for us, they’re amazed as well.

I think we attempt to make things more complicated then they are. People want to feel like they belong, and when you love them well they’re going to appreciate it. It will probably even change their lives. It certainly changed ours, and we hope in the future we can show people the same type of kindness and hospitality.

 

Thank you, Evan. I am so inspired by your story. I can’t wait to see what adventures you have in store.

How are you living fully? What steps do you need to take today?

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