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For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts. Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. You name it, we talk about it.

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Your comments and input for future episodes are joyfully welcomed at CathyKrafve.com, where women courageously talk about the tough stuff!

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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Music: Celebrating American Faith with Anna Krafve Pierce

In Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Music, Anna and Cathy talk about how patriotic hymns pass down truth to new generations of Americans. In this picture, Sasha Vukelja poses in front of a bright American flag mural in East Texas.

We’re celebrating life and liberty this week. Plus, Anna and I are throwing in a little good ole patriotic music in honor of American faith. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of music—sounds like a great theme for the Fourth of July!

The Pursuit of Music

“I was trying to find the one that has the verse about ‘land of the noble free.’” She couldn’t remember which song so she ended up reading lots of hymns. “It was so fun,” she adds, laughing about her own life, liberty, and the pursuit of music.

We think faith, freedom, and music go together. 

Land of the Noble Free

Sweet Anna mentioned “God being kind to us as a country” and my heart took note. Immediately, I asked her about how she’s using hymns to teach her kids about life, liberty, and the pursuit of music. (For more thoughts, including how to celebrate state borders with kids, check out today’s podcast. Or click here for more on raising liberty-loving kids.)

Pictured above: One of our family’s favorite first-generation Americans, the amazing Sasha Vukelja, whom I call the patron saint of oncology, poses in front of a patriotic mural in East Texas. (For Sasha’s story, click here.)

We touch on some fun, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Music” stuff in this interview. Which phrase in a hymn was changed for political correctness? How does Clara Barton still inspire us today? For this conversation and all our interviews, click here.

Author of Liberty

Anna found the thought she was searching for in My Country Tis of Thee: “My native country, thee, land of the noble free, thy name I love.” (For more from Wikipedia, click here.) But check out the following thoughts in another verse.

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King!

God’s Kingship Taught in Public Schools

If you’re like me, you actually remember singing this verse in school—the public school—every morning right after the Pledge of Allegiance. (For First Liberty’s Lathan Watt’s Book List for liberty-loving kids, click here.)

We were taught America didn’t have a king because God is our king, unlike many other nations on earth. Long before I decided to become a Christian myself, life, liberty, and the pursuit of music already impacted my ideas about freedom.

I didn’t take offense when other people believed in God. I just took the time I needed, many years, to analyze what seemed logical to believe. (For more on raising history-loving kids, click here.) In the meantime, I respected other people’s beliefs and they respected mine.

Freedom’s Holy Light

“Freedom is holy, it says it right there,” Anna adds, “‘With freedom’s holy light.’ It’s holy because He authors (freedom), therefore it’s holy.” (For more about knowing God, click here.)

The 1960s represent a special era in America, with many tumultuous changes. The civil rights movement. Assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK. Vietnam. We watched the first step on the moon on television as it happened. It was an amazing era.

We were taught Americans were kinda special because we had God as our king. Times have changed. Music has changed. But faith still undergirds our nation, still providing freedom for those who choose not to believe in God.

Faith in God undergirds freedom for all. Our forefathers’ faith is one reason Anna and I cherish the old patriotic hymns. 

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Music

In a world that seems to be falling apart because people can’t agree, certain foundational ideas bind Americans together. True liberty represents solid Biblical thought. Fortunately for us all, our patriotic hymns capture those thoughts. 

“Great art preserves and interacts with truth.”~Anna Krafve Pierce

Certainly, Our beloved patriotic hymns help us pass freedom along to another generation of Americans. (For more on how freedom and faith extinguish anarchy, click here.)

“I was an artist long before I was a mom,” says Anna, explaining why she loves the art of music, “That’s what these really beautiful, good piece of music with lyrics are.” (For more about how art and music can inspire our kids, click here.)

She loves the way good music alone powerfully pulls us toward truth. But add in great lyrics and our culture gains a beautiful masterpiece. A powerful tool for truth.

“That’s probably why I love these songs about patriotism because they’re all about what is true about freedom,” adds Anna.

United We Stand

In 1956, Congress changed our national motto from E Pluribus Unum—Out of Many, One—to In God We Trust.

“They are very similar sentiments,” says Anna. “The idea of ‘In God We Trust’ is a very unifying idea.” Why? She explains further, “There is an Ultimate Being out there who loves us and is all-powerful and we’re going to trust Him together.”

The idea is so strong, it also allows us to respect others’ free will. We can make room for people who don’t believe in God because we trust in Him ourselves. (For more on how hospitable hearts bounce back in blessings, click here.)

As Christians, we commit to loving others from our whole hearts regardless of differing perspectives. This kind of trust in God allows us to pursue peace, while we present the values we hold dear with confidence and patience. 

Stewarding Freedom

Our cherished patriotic hymns instill a sense of stewardship for freedom. As Americans, we are blessed with freedom. While other countries might have kings, the United States is a country of self-governing people accountable to a mighty God. We are responsible for passing it to the next generation in better shape than we got it.

The powerful message of past generations still comes down to us forcefully through our patriotic hymns. May you enjoy a delightful holiday with those you love celebrating life, liberty, and the pursuit of music this year! Happy Independence Day, our beloved fellow-Americans!

May we pray together?

Dear Father in Heaven, You are the God of our Fathers and we worship You. Thank You for the life and liberty we enjoy. Give us courage to live truth out in our lives b loving others the way You love them. Bless and protect this wonderful land that we love. Stand beside us and guide us with the light from above. Teach us to cling to Your truth and justice, setting aside our disputing. Heal our Land, O Lord. Let us reason together as Your beloved children. Grant us Your grace. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

What is your favorite hymn? How are you passing along truth to the younger generations? What’s your favorite thing about America?

Up Next!! Yay!! Finally!

Finally, yes, finally! Next week we get to share Deb Butterfield‘s interview. I can not wait!! With tender grace, Deb recounts her personal story about being slammed with pain when her beloved daughter was molested by a trusted family member. (To find Deb’s book in the meantime, click here.)

Plus, her beautiful daughter, the amazing Sarah Van Hook, has agreed to share all her wisdom in an upcoming interview. Please pray for sweet Sarah as she contemplates what to share to help the most

Wanna Give a Book a Title? I Need Your Help

Our marriage communication book is scheduled to come out this fall, but the working title feels too long. The Gentle Art of Companionship: Communicating Your Way to a Delightful Marriage. Anybody good at writing titles? Headlines are my weakness! (Well, one weakness of many.😉 )

I need some suggestions. Would you like to name a book? Please….

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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True Grit: Teaching Kids Fearlessness in the Face of Failure

We’re dedicating today’s blog to William Krafve, the biggest John Wayne and Davy Crockett fan ever!

True Grit isn’t about being extra brave or stubborn. Okay, maybe it’s a little bit of raw stubbornness. But, true grit is really about being fearless in the face of failure. How do we teach our children to get back up when they fall down? 

Many of us are wondering about all that’s happening in our culture. Is there hope things will settle down so we can have a decent conversation?

With so much confusion on the nightly news, how do we teach our kids to be the calm in the chaos? You’re going to love what Anna shares about inspiring true grit in our kids every day.

For this conversation, Anna and I focus on inspiring our kids with the confidence to overcome fear. But for more thoughts on facing down racism and rioting in our culture, keep reading below. Or click here for Stanley Cofer’s thoughts on “Living the Dream”—a desegregated life—today. To find more podcasts, including interviews with amazing friends who happen to bring an African American perspective to life, click here.

Fear and Pretend Perfection

As a kindergarten girl, Anna erased holes in her paper because she couldn’t write the alphabet to her satisfaction. She doesn’t even remember. But as her mommy, I was worried.

“Mistakes are an opportunity to be creative,” I told my sweet little creative daughter. (For more on defeating perfectionism, click here.

“That was so freeing. I think it’s one of the reasons I wanted to be an artist,” Anna says now. “Art was one of the places I didn’t have to be afraid. I could be inspired instead.”

I suspect it’s our insecurities—our fears—that keep us tied to old prejudices. With a little creativity, we can become people of true grit. Inspiration instead of insecurity–that’s what we want.

Trying Counts

Way back then, as a young mommy, I started feeling bad about my own bondage to my insecurities. We adopted another family motto, “Trying counts.” We wanted freedom from fear.

“Sometimes, you just have to give yourself credit for being brave and trying,” laughs Anna, adding that “trying counts” is a great motto for potty training. 

Whether it’s potty training toddlers or standing up for what is right, life demands true grit out of all of us along the way.

True Grit

“I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but the reason I tend to fail is because I’m afraid. I get undermined by my fear,” says Anna. (For more on the art of messing up, click here.)

“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.” ~John Wayne, American Film Actor, Director, and Producer

Often we fail to try before we really give ourselves a chance to succeed. Anna asks for faith in the face of her fear. She says grit is about perspective. I learned a valuable lesson about perspective when I was taking Spanish at Tyler Junior College, about fifteen years ago.

Racism in America

In class, I enjoyed a diverse mix of folks, mostly younger than me. One evening, a young African American man spoke up about systemic racism. Naturally, since I remember the civil rights movement clearly, I gently pointed out the progress all Americans experience. 

Hyphenated Americans? Caucasian? Black? Really? Remember, I’m the gal who writes “Texan” on all government forms whenever they give me the “other” option.

Respectfully, the young man responded by asking me a simple question. During that semester, how many times had I been stopped by law enforcement on the way to class? Answer: 0. How many times had he been stopped? Answer: 6. 

My perspective was valid, it just needed a little expanding. Thinking back, I wonder about that young man’s family. Where did he get that kind of true grit? (For multiple perspectives presented in a fast-paced fiction story, I recommend Ben Sciacca’s book, Meals from Mars.)

Sometimes we all need a little education. Not a brick through our window. Certainly, not labels. No self-righteous lectures. Just a little compassionate education. We need to cross self-segregating lines that frighten us and risk being authentic. It’s okay to ask honest questions from trustworthy, respectable people. Good questions hold us all accountable.

Outlasting Failure

Success is not the opposite of failure. Success is outlasting failure–refusing to give up and quit–through perseverance and true grit to accomplish blessings for others. Like the young man in my class.

“When I ask God for faith, it allows me to identify what is true success,” says Anna. Surprisingly, sometimes true success is not even what we originally sought. “Then, if I do miss the mark I still have the faith that God has given me,” she adds. 

As an educator, Anna has learned to break success down into steps for kids.

The Steps to Success

Anna gives the example of teaching kids to write the alphabet. Even a short phrase can feel overwhelming to a child. For example, Anna gave her son a sentence that was too long.

“His face fell. The opportunity was lost.” But a few days later he was ready to try again.

“The next time, I took his hand in mine.” Gently, she asked him what he wanted to write. Next, she helped him shorten his thoughts to fewer words. 

“On a scrap piece of paper, I helped him form one letter. Then he wrote it on his note.” 

After each new letter, his face beamed. With growing confidence, he even practiced some of the letters a couple of extra times on the scrap paper. 

Mistakes Open Up Opportunities

Clearly, steps are an important part of learning to succeed. As adults, it’s easy to forget how much we practiced and failed our alphabet way back when. We often think failure is permanent. Instead, we need to look for solutions and own our mistakes.

“Get this, we get almost to the end and I look at his note. ‘Something’s off,’ says Anna. “Some of his letters are a little wonky still.” Suddenly, she recognized the problem.

“I’m so sorry, mommy misspelled one of the words!”

Immediately, Anna’s mistake gave her a natural opportunity to model how to apologize and shake off a minor mistake. Plus, her son got to practice graciousness.

From A to Z, Give Yourself Credit

As adults, we still want to jump from A to Z, without taking the time to learn all that’s in between. In our impatience, we can get so frustrated we want to give up.

“Some days as a toddler mom, I feel like I haven’t done anything. I know I’m doing good work, but I get to the end of the day and feel like there’s nothing to show for it,” adds Anna.

It’s easy to feel like we’re in a rut. Like things will never change, only get worse. Given a little bit of fear, soon depression can sneak up on all of us. (For many ways to succeed as Mommy, find more podcasts here or sign up for our weekly FREE blog here.)

True Grit Expressed in Conversation

It takes true grit to welcome the people God brings into our lives and trust Him with any discomfort. To seek wisdom. Like the young man in my class, to give a positive direction.

 “I like the word ponder for describing the process of considering different perspectives and thus growing in our mutual understanding and respect.”~from The Well, The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversation, coming out soon. (Yay!!)

Sure, we can just stay shallow. We can judge and label and box other people in. Or, we can embrace real friendships, adding depth to our lives and hearts.

Mommy Of Toddlers: Changing a Culture

“Sitting in my den, holding my son’s little fist in mine while we make letters. For him, that’s really hard work. It involves practicing and he feels like he may or may not succeed,” says Anna. She knows those moments are precious.

“As his mom, I could be doing something else, something that feels more important or more successful. But that moment spent with him—that’s the most successful thing I could do with my time.”

Our hats are off to all mommies! Is there any better way to learn true grit than to spend a day with adorable toddlers? Take it from this “Super-Gram,” little ones are exhausting!

Your perseverance will inspire true grit and faith in your children. Fellowship in your family will feed faith. Faith dispels fear. True grit claims hope and perseveres. Grit makes for stronger, more authentic families and friendships.

Education, like friendship, begins with a fresh perspective and a respectful conversation. Dialogue, not shouting. Good questions, not gotcha.

When we hurt what we need is a friend. A real friend—one who understands that gentle truth is life-giving for everyone.

May we pray together?

Dear good Father in heaven, we want to raise amazing sons and daughters who stand free of old bondages. Allow us to teach our kids to embrace true grit, fearlessly stepping out in faith. Unite us in the things You love. Teach us to love each other and to love Your truth more than life itself. Give us perseverance and wisdom for today’s trials and joy in the victories. We praise You, O Lord. Thank You for being our unfailing companion in this life and the next. You open heaven to us, inviting us in, by way of Your Son. In His name, we pray. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

What’s your favorite thing about your friends from different backgrounds? How do religious, ethnic, and political differences make for a richer life? When other people reject your firmly held beliefs, what do you say? How does your family celebrate different perspectives and backgrounds with friends? 

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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When Burn-out Strikes: How to Refuel Our Hearts with Dr. Stan Ward

Dr. Stan Ward coaches other leaders with compassion born out of his own experience. When Burn-out Strikes: How to Refuel Our Hearts  with Dr. Stan Ward, CathyKrafve.comDr. Stan Ward coaches other leaders with compassion born out of his own experience.

 

Refuel our hearts when burn-out strikes? I might be too tired for that! Seriously.

Many people think burn-out is a work thing, but, um, there’s more to the story. Dr. Stan Ward expands the discussion he began last week with his personal story about how to refuel our hearts when burn-out strikes.

When burn-out strikes, most of the time the stuff that really gets us is happening at home. Issues at work or church further complicate our lives. But home is where our hearts are.

Dr. Stan Ward offers some practical advice from his own experience with managing home, work, and caregiving, all simultaneously. (For Stan’s personal experience with burn-out, click here.)

In our interview, Stan included some great thoughts about refueling our hearts when spiritual burn-out strikes. (Please click above to hear more or find more Fireside Talk Radio podcasts here.)

Out of Gas

If you’re sputtering for air, Stan tenderly points out there’s no shame when burn-out strikes. (For an article about burn out from Stan, click here.) He offers an analogy of a car.

“Think about what happens to a car engine when it runs out of gasoline versus what happens when it keeps running without oil,” he explains.

On one hand, a car engine just stops when it’s out of fuel. When it gets more fuel, it starts back up. On the other hand, when an engine runs without oil for a while, it will destroy itself.

“As human beings, we’re made to go through cycles of exertion and rest, excretion, and rest. To be worn out is to have gone all the way through the exertion cycle where you can go no further and then you stop,” explains Stan. “Burn out is you keep making yourself go even though you don’t have the resources you need just to keep going. Eventually, that catches up.” 

When burn-out strikes, the consequences can be brutal. So, what signs tell us we may be way beyond needing a nap? Watch for the following three things.

Emotional Exhaustion—

Stan says to recognize if you feel like you have “brain fog.” Burn-out is a spectrum, according to Stan. In my life, when burn-out strikes, my feelings can range from a little overwhelmed to truly feeling unable to cope, as when my mom passed away.

If your burn-out feels like an uncomplicated case, a weekend of rest may be all it takes to refuel. But what if it’s more complicated? It may mean reprioritizing, setting boundaries, and enlisting help.

“It’s important to address emotional exhaustion because it’s often where burn out starts,” Stan says. Emotional exhaustion can cause us to pull back out of sheer survival instincts. That’s when depersonalization surfaces. 

Depersonalization—

Depersonalization is a fancy word for disconnecting from people and our sense of purpose.

“You can see if you’re emotionally exhausted you’re gonna want to withdraw to protect yourself,” Stan reports, “It’s this idea of disconnecting, becoming cynical, withdrawing from relationships, even withdrawing possibly from your sense of purpose; a lack of meaning.”

Stan goes into much more depth about depersonalization in his book, How To Beat Burnout: For Yourself, Your Family, and Your Team. I really enjoyed his explanations. Stan’s book is the kind of info I keep on my shelf as a resource. 

For instance, his ideas made me wonder if people who seem difficult person in my life are just burnt-out. The fact is, we all experience burn-out sometimes. It seems unfair to label people “difficult” when really they may be suffering.

“This is why in the earlier episode I mentioned the idea of comedy vs. tragedy.,” Stan adds, “Depersonalization is when you put yourself on that tragic path toward isolation. For me, that’s one of the most concerning pieces of this thing.”

Okay, if you read my stuff often, you knew I was gonna quote my friend Sandy Bristow here, “Isolation is where the devil takes you to go in for the kill.” (To find more about trusting our gut from Sandy, click here.)

Ineffectiveness—

“Ineffectiveness is that sense I’m in a hamster wheel, running all the time and getting nowhere.” says Stan. One of his friends, a police officer, describes it this way, “I feel like I’m throwing pebbles at a freight train.”

“When all three of those come together, boom, that’s when you’re really in burn-out.

There’s no shame in burn out. The real question is how do we refuel our hearts?

Refueling Our Hearts

It’s okay to feel like you’re experiencing some of this stuff,” San explains, adding that we should ask ourselves a very important question, “Does it get in the way of the life I want to live?”

“The realization that I have these daughters that I wanted to raise in such a way that they did not marry a total jerk,” he says, tenderly referring to a story he shared in the first episode when God woke him up to changes he wanted to make at home. “That’s the point where I realized Okay, I’m on the spectrum in a place where I’ve got to take action now.”

If emotional exhaustion is a zero and joy on the other, where would you put yourself today?  Take a quick self-care moment and give yourself a number, dear one. Stan knows now what recharges his batteries.

“What I’m working on helping people proactively move the needle in the right direction so they don’t hit zero. They don’t hit total emotional exhaustion, total depersonalization, total ineffectiveness,” Stan is in his happy place. “Because really once you’re in that (burn-out) space, there’s a lot of other negative stuff. That’s where we start seeing the self-medication behaviors that go on, the addictive behaviors.”

He warns depression follows closely on the heels of burn-out. Getting help can make all the difference for regaining joy.

“So then they can be fully present for themselves, fully present for their family, and fully present for their work groups,” adds Stan.

Spiritual Burn-Out—

“There was a point where people would come up and say, ‘I’m praying for you’ and I just wanted to smack ‘em,” laughed Stan when I asked him about spiritual burn-out. 

We really ran out of time, so look for me to invite Stan again for this important topic. In the meantime, he had this encouraging thought when we notice burn-out in our Christian brothers and sisters.

“As you’re reading scripture, remember the main characters are not Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and these other folks that we often try to get four bullet points from on how to live our lives,” Stan says. “The main character of scripture is God. When you frame it that way it takes a lot of the pressure off us. Hopefully, you can feel (more effective) and embrace grace more.”

In Other News–

With the current protesting, I want to remind you about a terrific book by Ben Sciacca: Meals from Mars. Ben tells the story of how lives get off-track suddenly in an accidental car-jacking. Accidental car-jacking you ask? Yep, it’s a crazy ride, but tons of fun to read. In a world ready to talk about race (finally!), this book is an eye-opening parable.

Plus, Ben chose the adventure of crossing the self-segregating cultural divide for his own family. You’ll love Ben’s fast-paced fictional account, as he tackles the racism conversation from many perspectives. Truly a worthy read! (Plus, you can hear how he learned a thing or two in the interview we did together. For all Fireside Talk Radio podcasts, click here.) A shout out here to my friend Frankie Picasso who introduced me to Ben on her show. (Love ya, Franke!)

Coming Soon–

My interviews with Deb Butterfield are up next in early July. I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation! With tender grace, Deb recounts her personal story about being slammed with a devastating discovery. Maybe you, too, know the pain when a beloved daughter has been molested by a trusted family member. (To find Deb’s book in the meantime, click here.)

Deb has quickly become a beloved friend in my life. I know you will love her courage and integrity, not to mention her warrior spirit, as much as I do. This one is dear to my heart, both the woman and her wisdom! I can’t wait to share it with you! Plus, her beautiful daughter has agreed to come on the show just as soon as we can schedule an interview. Please pray for us as we pull together this wonderful tool for God’s glory.

Plus, in honor of all our friends who attended CrossRiver Media’s Audacious Faith conference, I created a wonderful freebie just for you: 25 Power Questions for Turning Arguments into Conversations. Click here and it’s yours free by signing up for our website. You’ll also get our weekly blog loaded with ideas about creating GREAT conversations, GREAT companionship, and GREAT community. Plus, Deb’s interview will come right to your email inbox. All FREE! Yep, free. I LOVE free stuff!!

May we pray together?

Dear good Father, with so much happening in our families and crazy world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. We get burnt-out and don’t even have the energy to know what’s happening to us. We disconnect for survival ad before we know it, depression has slipped in. Give us wisdom, O Lord, because we sure need it! Where but in Your presence can we find the hope, comfort, and energy we need for this day? Give us the courage to change what we need to change and to rethink our priorities. Fill us with joy in the living water of Your Spirit, we pray. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

When have you struggled with burn-out? How did a friend offer you help? How could we pray for you today?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Beating Burn Out: Conquering In Community with Dr. Stan Ward

Caregiver? Parent? Spouse? Leader? Boss? Student? Yes, all of the above!
 
Dr. Stan Ward shares his own experience and offers some practical tips on beating burn out.
 
You could say Stan is an accidental expert on burn-out.
 
I love this shot of Stan and Mindy Ward, shown above. What a devoted couple! Just in time for Father’s Day, Stan opens up about beating burn out.

Accidental Expert

 

“When our school receptionist met me with a worried look as I came to work, I knew something was wrong,” he writes in an article for Crosswalk, “‘Stan, Mindy’s been in an accident. She says she is okay, though.’” (For Stan’s full article about keeping your marriage vows for better or worse, click here.)

His beloved wife Mindy suffered a head injury. Instantly, Stan’s life as he knew it came to a crashing halt with her wreck. 

Suddenly, he found himself attending therapy sessions of all varieties with his wife. Plus he cared for their two young daughters, cooked meals, did laundry, kept family schedules, in addition to his regular workload and his doctoral program. Oh my!

When burn out slams us, what can we do to take care of ourselves? In our interview, Stan shares practical tips he learned by experience. (Find more Fireside Talk Radio podcasts here.)

A Community of Good Friends

For instance, something as simple as insisting on taking a walk once a week together can make all the difference when a friend is going through a difficult time. 

With Father’s Day around the corner, Stan’s story reminds us all how important good men are when we need help. Specifically, he names two dear friends, Les Ellsworth and Chris Legg. 

Both Les and Chris provided practical support when Stan’s life collided with harsh reality. (Find Chris Legg’s 2 Best Life Hacks for Fathers here. Les’s wife, Oncology Nurse Susan Ellsworth also came on the show to tell her story of beating breast cancer.)

Burn Out Isn’t For Wimps

“Not only am I a leadership coach who helps people deal with burn-out, but I am also a guy who’s experienced it,” explains Stan with deep empathy. (Find his book, How To Beat Burnout: For Yourself, Your Family, and Your Team.)

Even while he’s celebrating Father’s Day later this month, he’s thinking about single moms. Stan’s parents divorced when he was a boy. While he enjoys great relationships with all his family members, single moms hold a special place in his heart.

“Let me just say, on behalf of your children, thirty maybe forty years from now—they’re probably not expressing it very well now—so on behalf of them in the future, just thank you! Thank you for the work you do,” he shouts out to all single moms.

The sacrificial love of mother can work miracles in the life of a child. Stan knows how hard it can be to manage everything else and also learn to be the caretaker when someone we love needs us. 

Beating Burn Out

The way Stan talks about his wife has always endeared him to me long before her accident. Now, because of their experience together, Stan has a perspective rare for men. Seriously, caregiving falls on women a lot. We all expect that. However, Stan understands first-hand how it feels to be sandwiched between raising kids and caring for a beloved family member. 

Often folks think of burn-out as something that happens at work. But he thinks we need to look again.

“Extreme stress, whether it’s home-related or work-related, has a very similar impact on people.” It can have severe physical consequences if we don’t take care of ourselves. “Stress has very real implications, burn out is one of them.”

Conquering in Community

“The first thing is to ask who is your community,” he says. Self-care is not selfish, according to Stan. But self-care may require accepting help from others, a hard thing for many of us.

Immediately after Mindy’s accident, Stan’s friend Les Ellsworth reached out and suggested they take a walk together, just once a week.”

“He’s such a fun guy, he’s hard to say no to,” laughs Stan, “With Les, thankfully he was able—just with his personality—to tap into my desire just to want to hang out with him.” Stan’s best advice—let people help you.

“First thing I would say is when people offer help, allow yourself to receive it,” he adds.

Anger in Adversity

It’s common to feel angry when life doesn’t unfold as we expect.

“I was still in school and working and stuff and realized I was just angry all the time,” he reports, “by the way, that can be a sign of burn out.”

He believes the Holy Spirit whispered his next thought in his heart.

“’Stan, your daughters will probably marry someone like you.  Who do you want them to marry?’ I kid you not, I pulled over the car right then!” He turned to his dear friend, Chris Legg. 

“He’s a counselor. I respect him.” (I frequently recommend Alethia as a place to start when you need a friend who counsels. And don’t forget Samaritan Counseling Center of East Texas for wisdom and help.)

Comedy or Tragedy?

Amazingly, God used the full range of experiences in Stan’s life to turn him into the compassionate husband, father, friend, and leader he is today. With joy, I thank him for sharing his story just in time for Father’s Day. Next week, we’re in for a treat because I asked Stan to share his wisdom, too. 

A good man is a blessing to multitudes of people.

“The basic difference between a comic story and a tragic story is comic stories end with community. Tragic stories end in isolation,” he says. I liked the way Stan explained the choices we make in life.

“If you’re struggling with burn out and you’re trying to figure out what you should do, choose the path you want to take,” he says. “Do you want the comic path or the tragic path? If you want the comic ending, you’ve got to choose community.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day soon to all the GREAT dads we know and love. And to some mommies we know who are filling both roles. Also, I want to send a special shout out to two of the most fabulous daddies I know, Travis and Drew.

May we pray together?

Dear good Father, we are grateful for Your unfailing love. You are the one we turn to when we feel overwhelmed. For any reading or listening friends who today feel burned out, thank You for being their friend. Comfort them now with Your dear presence. Surround them with a community of people who will care enough to take a walk or pick up the phone for a conversation. Bless them with the strength, energy, perseverance, and quiet joy they need today. In Jesus’s name, we pray. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has a good man been a true friend to you? When you need help, how does your community stepped up? What topics would you like for us to talk about next?

Prayer Request for us at Camp Krafve—

What’s up with this–our hosting site will again increase our costs. I love sharing other people’s fabulous messages, but the business side is ouch-y sometimes. Has anyone used Patreon? What did you think of them?

Please pray for us. First, I have to call the hosting site and figure out what’s happening on their end. Then, I’ll decide if I should use Patreon, recruit sponsors, or turn to google ads to help our website pay for itself. If you have any experience and can offer ideas, PLEASE contact me. 

Finally, thank you for your prayers. What would I do without YOU, my praying friends?! I am grateful.

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Audacious Faith, Living Out Faith in the Real World

Maybe like me, you wonder if your big dream is simply too huge.

“One day you’re up. The next day down. Sunday morning you’re great, but by Monday it’s gone. For a lot of women, their relationship with God seems tedious, disconnected, one-sided, empty…the joy of salvation is gone, faded by the hardships of everyday life. But it doesn’t have to be that way.” (For more about audacious faith from CrossRiver, click here.)

On June 6th, CrossRiver Media hosted an event--Audacious Faith--honoring CrossRiver’s tenth anniversary of publishing books and other materials. CrossRiver is dedicated helping Christians in their daily walk with the Lord, including by publishing non-fiction, fiction, children, Bible study, and Christian living books. 

Join Me with Audacious Faith

“God is calling you to a vibrant relationship… an active affair with Him… something entirely audacious.” ~according to CrossRiver.

My talk is called Goodby Gotcha, Hello Authentic: Changing Arguments to Conversations(To sign up for Camp Krafve’s free weekly blog, click here.)

Arguing with your hubby? Wonder what that sullen teen is thinking? Feel shut down by your boss? Haven’t we all!

I’ll share the secret of my favorite Power Questions. You can also recieve my power question freebie by signing up for my weekly blog, here. Did I mention FREE stuff will come to you? All kinds of interviews, podcasts, and ideas for creating authentic conversations in your world!

This is powerful, life-changing stuff! With Audacious Faith great conversations are possible!

Amazing Speakers and Friends

Here are some of the amazing women who showed up to share their wisdom:

I love these gals. For instance, one of Nancy Kay Grace’s quotes wiggled into my upcoming book. Later this summer, Brooke Frick is scheduled for a Fireside Talk Radio interview. All of them meet together regularly to encourage new authors like me. Nice!

Recent Interviews of Yours Truly!

Stephen Tilmon, a new and very fun friend, just interviewed me for his podcast, Faith and Failures. Yep, I know quite a bit about faith because of my failures! I told my story of choosing abortion and how God’s grace changed me forever. (Find more tender stories and podcasts on Fireside Talk Radio, here.)

It sounds like a serious conversation and it is, but Stephen has a way of getting folks to say more than we meant to, so some of it is really tender. Plus, he is very funny. Watch for Stephen’s interview with me in two places: Faith and Failures on Apple Podcast. Or, Faith and Failures on Spotify.

If you like that episode, you may like the podcast, Bearded Cactus, Stephen does with one of his childhood chums. They talk about guy stuff like fatherhood with kids coming in and interrupting the show. It’s pretty hilarious!

May we pray together?

Dear good Father, You call us to be audacious in our trust of You and Your goodness. We see Your faithful, unfailing love all around us. You take our breath away! Teach us to boldly move ahead into the design and plans You have for us and our families. Thank You for this unexpected COVID-enforced retreat. Help us use the time wisely to bring glory to You today and forever. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has your faith been stretched this spring? What dreams will you pursue with audacious faith? Have you learned new things about your children and grandchildren that you want to cover in audacious prayer?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Recent Shows
Title Date
Life, Liberty and Music, Celebrating American Faith with Anna Krafve
06-30-2020
True Grit: Teaching Kids to be Fearless in the Face of Failure with Anna Krafve Pierce
06-22-2020
Refueling Our Hearts When Burn-out Strikes with Dr. Stan Ward
06-15-2020
Beating Burn Out: Conquering In Community with Dr. Stan Ward, His Story
06-09-2020
Domestic Violence: Anchoring Sisters with Paula Silva Her Wisdom
05-15-2020
Domestic Violence In the Church: Her Story with Paula Silva
05-11-2020
View All Podcasts
Connect with Cathy


A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

Warning: You may feel guilty pleasure for listening in on these sparky conversational adventures.

With her never-met-a-stranger attitude, Cathy asks "Why learn stuff the hard way, when experts want to share wisdom with us for free."

A columnist, speaker, writer, small business owner, education connoisseur, and middle class philanthropist, Cathy brings all her experience together to ask the questions we all want to know.

Like a friend you met for coffee, Cathy's guests share practical strategies for marriage, family, community, and life.

Why? Because all women deserve a break. By a break, we mean a minute alone with a strong cup of coffee and good podcast. For more great shows go to CathyKrafve.com.



Click below to visit her blog!