Tammy Helfrich

Encourage. Empower. Connect.

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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.

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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?

5 Ways to Encourage your Spouse

How is your marriage?

Are things going great?

Or have you had better days?

For many years, my marriage needed work. We were both in denial, but it was dull, and flat and ordinary. We weren’t working at it. We were just existing. We were both busy living separate lives together.

I’ve talked with several people lately who are feeling this way. It can be lonely, and exhausting, and hurtful.

One thing that really worked for me was to realize that my spouse needed encouragement from me. He didn’t need me being irritated and frustrated and angry. We were both already feeling that way too much. When I came to to the realization that there were things I could do right away, it changed everything. Sometimes, you need to be the one to make the first effort.

This list is just a start. It won’t work for everyone. And it might not be easy at first. But you’ll never know until you try.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Photo credit: Creative Commons

 

1. Pay attention

We think this is easy. But it often isn’t. We’re busy. Work. Life. Kids. Responsibilities. How often do you just pass each other without really talking? Pay attention to the cues and signals. Pay attention to them when they are talking. Spend time together. Sometimes this step can dramatically improve your relationship.

 

2. Compliment them authentically

Is your husband awesome at fixing things? Does he make the kids light up when he enters the room? Find it and compliment him. Tell him how much you appreciate what he does for your family. Catch him doing something great and be thankful.

 

3. Notice what makes them happy

Encourage them to do it. Let them know it’s okay. There’s a balancing act there, but your spouse could be waiting for permission. Many times, my husband thought I was irritated when he wanted to do something he liked. I didn’t realize how happy it made him to be able to do simple things. Those little things make a big difference sometimes.

 

4. Date night

For us, this is something we aren’t always great at. But when we are, I can tell a difference. I know this can be tough if money is tight, and it definitely takes planning if you have kids. It is worth it to spend time alone together!

 

5. Watch your words and tone 

What we say and how we say it makes a difference. We all know this, but aren’t always great at it. This one makes suchan impact.

 

What did I miss? What would you add to the list? What has worked for you?

Simplify

 

I have talked to quite a few people recently who have brought up the idea of wanting to simplify their life. Some lean towards minimalism, some just want to de-clutter, and some have no idea where to start. I feel like that sometimes, don’t you?

It has been a recurring theme lately.

I want to simplify.

I want to get rid of clutter in my life. I want to do less things so I can be better. I want our lives to be simple. I know that’s usually very difficult to achieve, but I think that moving towards simplicity can be helpful.

I also think it’s one of the reasons I love the beach so much. When I’m at the beach, life seems simple. I love to take walks on the beach. The sound of the waves are soothing, and it’s always calming and beautiful.

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I’m learning to simplify things when I can. We’re trying to get rid of extra stuff we no longer need in our house. We’re working towards keeping life as simple as we can.

What about you? How have you simplified? What strategies have worked for you?

 

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