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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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Positive Change: Simple Steps are a Small Leap of Faith with Toie Martin, Part 1

From nurse to change expert, Toie Martin shares how to make lasting changes.Toie Martin, Positive Change Expert and yep, native Texan.

For ten years, tenderly serving patients matched her deep passion. Going to work each day was a joy. Her employers rewarded her with promotions. Then, she got her first bad boss. Things were about to change for Toie Martin. She can laugh about it now, but at the time change felt scary.

Have you ever felt stuck in your job? What about relationships going off course no matter how hard you try? In my case, what about the weight I lose and then regain? I wanted to know more from Toie about creating lasting change. 


Toie understand how frustrating it is to love what you do but feel stuck. Circumstances can seem beyond your control.

“I loved everything about nursing.” she says, but circumstances pressured her in unhealthy ways. “For the first time it felt more about business than about the patient. About that time I got my first bad boss, something I’d never had before.” 

(In this episode Toie shares about growing up in an entrepreneurial family and about losing her dad to cancer at a young age. Find more interviews at Fireside Talk Radio.)

A Leap of Faith

She was the director of nursing. She looked around for a different position, eager to change anything to make her situation more tolerable, but realized her heart was not leading her that direction. 

Instead, she quit her job.

“I took a huge leap of faith—a mid-life-crisis leap of faith, “ she laughs. “An awakening is what it originally was, followed by a melt down.” She followed her heart, but her head had different ideas. “You realize, ‘Oh my gosh, what have I done?’”

Instead of panicking, she began to ponder what was next for her. What were her possibilities? (For more on finding your passion and purpose, click here.)

“I knew the door had closed behind me,” she recounts, “I knew there was a door in front of me. But I had no idea what it was, where it was. I just knew it was important. That’s where I started.” She got her MBA while giving herself time to contemplate.

Creating Positive Change?

Toie reentered her career with a fresh perspective. Her nursing background and business training allowed her to begin to work with multimillion dollar companies. Her specialty was helping them create positive change. For more about what Toie learned and how she can help you create lasting change, click here.

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

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Five Steps to Change: Time to Reflect with Toie Martin, Part 2

Nurse and business consultant, Toie Martin boils down her five steps to all lasting change.

“Once I say them, you’re going to say, ‘dah,’” she jokes. But, honestly, I learned a ton from this gifted teacher, business consultant, speaker, and trained nurse. 

Toie noticed the five steps underlying all change while she was implementing Lean Six Sigma in multimillion dollar companies overseas. This came after her successful career in the nursing profession; first in patient care, then in health management. 

Hear her thoughts on this topic in her own voice, plus the stories she shared in our interview. (Toie’s story, here. Click here, for more Fireside Talk Radio.)

The Universal Blueprint for Change

In fact, when I joked about Alcoholics Anonymous needing Twelve Steps, she responded by saying even the Twelve Steps break down into her five steps. 

She claims all change breaks down to five steps and names several programs as examples, including Simon Sinok’s Start With Why and Shawn Achor’s The Happiness Advantage

“Having five steps takes away some of the scariness of change,” she adds. She sees her five basic steps as the blueprint behind all change.

Ready for Positive Change in Your Life?

Last week, Toie shared about abruptly quitting her job. (You can find that interview, here. For a link to her book, click here.Her story is very inspiring especially if you think it’s time for a change yourself.

“One of the most important things to remember is our brains naturally resist change, no matter how good or bad it is,” explains Toie, “That fear is our brain’s survival mechanism.” Our brains want to keep us safe and secure, according to Toie, so the first big hurdle is recognizing the fear.  

“Self-doubt sabotages most dreams and goals before they even get off the ground,” she adds. (For easy tips about raising confident girls, click here.)

All positive change involves getting past our own self-sabotage. We have to put aside our natural fear, self-doubt, and self-defense, she says.

Tattoos and Taking a Breath

Two things are true about change based on her years of nursing. 

“First, all tattoos change over time no matter where you put them on your body,” she laughs. “And we all take a first breath and a last breath.” She says what happens between those two breaths counts. (For insight about caregiving for aging parents, click here. For help with caregiving in your home, click here.)

No one’s life should consist of joylessly living paycheck to paycheck.

“When you’re doing the work you’re supposed to be doing and you’re passionate about it, things just fall into place. You can’t explain it,” she laughs.

Five Steps Underlying All Change

Here are Toie’s five steps to leading yourself and others with confidence, courage and grace:

  • First, realize that you need or want to make a change. Define the problem and start seeing the possibilities.
  • Figure out where you’re starting from. Start from where you are.
  • Figure out where you want to go. 
  • Figure out how you’re going to get there. What’s the path between where you are and where you want to go.
  • Fifth and final step answers an important question. How do you stay there?

Our Overloaded Brains

Modern people take in five times more information than 50 years ago. Virtually every aspect of our lives is a distraction now, according to Toie. (For fun tips on encouraging your children to be flashlight readers, click here.)

“If you think about our poor little brain up there chugging away trying to process all this information,” she laughs. “When we don’t stop to process, all that stuff tends to run around like a squirrel on a wheel.” When we can stop and reflect it gives our brain a chance to process, she adds.

How do I really feel about this? Is this important with me? Is this worth the fight? Do I really want to pick this battle?

“To take the time to dream about what you want to do is a big, big step,” she says. Self-work and reflection are an important part of the equation. Ask yourself, how you want to spend your time, money and energy.

For more on how you can create positive changes in your life, cllick here.

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

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Camping, Glamping, and the Glories of the Great Outdoors with Anna Krafve Pierce

Confession time: last time we went camping, I rented a room at a nearby lodge.

“That was so nice of you to let the baby spend the night with you,” laughed Anna. With grandchildren ranging from 1 to 14 years old, I felt good about my decision. Honestly, who am I kidding? There’s just something about indoor plumbing.

My plan created a fun overnight with our littlest angel. Plus, her big sister who boldly spent the night in a tent, showed up bright and early the next morning for a shower and breakfast with me, Super Gram!


Three kids hang three hammocks in two trees like bunks.

Camping, Glamping CathyKrafve.comCamping—or glamping in my case—is a perfect way to get the whole family together painlessly. Plus, I like the way everyone expects to eat cheap food. In fact, nothing tastes better than a flame-cooked hot dog followed by s’mores.


To listen in on Anna’s easy camping conversation (or how to’s on creating the famous Primer hammock bunk beds), click on the podcast. Or, find more at 

A shout out to my two amazing siblings today with our bunk hammocks flash from our past!

Christian Camps

Speaking of glamping, or glamor camping, we started our family’s camping adventures at Pine Cove Christian Camps, not far from our home. I’m pretty sure no one but me would think of Pine Cove as glamorous. But I love the way their people help you do everything.

As a mom of toddlers, I needed a break. At Christian camps, families enjoy lots of activities and fun together, while college-age counselors do all the heavy lifting. The cabins are air-conditioned, at least in Texas, and the food arrives at your table on real plates. Ah! All the niceties of home, including indoor plumbing, without the work. Anna offers an additional benefit of camps like Pine Cove.

“I wanted to be like that counselor who honored God all week in front of me,” she says, remembering many happy hours at Pine Cove. Plus, most Christian camps offer scholarships to families who may need a financial boost. 

Real Camping and Kids

“Once I got married I discovered I like real camping, too,” says Anna. “Tent camping is what I think of as real camping.” She married into the right family for real camping.

“I love the way camping allows kids to learn to be prepared,” Anna adds, suggesting the benefits fit all personalities.  But if that’s their natural inclination already, it also teaches them how to be flexible. It’s not just planning ahead it’s also being ready to change the plan.” 

For instance, if there’s a downpour on your campsite, you have to be ready to roll with it. She likes the accountability of being in the glorious outdoors. 

“In my daily life I plan ahead and I have the illusion of control,” she laughs. “I forget I’m watching God’s plan unfold.” (For more on how to get in touch with the God of the Universe, click here.)

Easy Does It: Living Room Camping

With small children, sometimes families are not quite ready to take on the great outdoors. Anna suggests seeing them up for success, no matter their age. (For more on staycations, click here.)

“Little children love to play house, and love to play school, and they love to play camping,” laughs Anne.  “My kids can set up their little teepee. They make little ‘camp fires’ where they stack every stick they possess—the hockey stick, every stick-like toy they possess–to be the campfire.” Anna’s children throw all their blankets and pillows in their teepee and play camping.

When they’re done, she insists they put it all away, just like they would at a real campsite. That way they are practicing great skills and etiquette for their next real family camping trip. (For how to set up a natural sanctuary in your own backyard, click here.)

Backyard Camping

When I was a child, we piled our sleeping bags on the covered porch out back. The gas grill became our ‘campfire.’ I’m sure our parents loved having us safe and happy in a backyard adventure as they slept in their own beds.

“For single parents, it’s really hard to go camping; one adult with a group of children,” says Anna. “There are so many unpredictable factors; the weather, the creatures, all of that.” She recommends making it easy on yourself. When you can camp in your own back yard, less things can go wrong, according to Anna. 

“You can get the credit for doing the fun, exciting thing,” says Anna, analyzing different parts of the adventure, “Going to the camping store and getting the tent. Your bigger kids can practice setting it up.”

When their friends invite them to go camping, you don’t have to go because you’ve already trained them to be safe. You can wave goodby, “Enjoy your camping trip!”

Warm Beds, Safe Kids

I soon learned our kids and their friends tended to wander in around 10:00 p.m. to sleep in their warm, soft beds. 

“That’s the other thing,” laughs Anna, “When it’s in your yard, unless you lock your door, everyone is probably going to move indoors for the air conditioning part way through the night. At least here in Texas.”

Safety concerns are real, though. Only you can judge if your backyard is safe from strangers wandering about at night or kids sneaking away for misadventures. You have to know when it’s time to bow out or change the plan. But the rewards of safe, fun, easy camping are countless.

Camaraderie of a System

Something as simple as setting up and tearing down a campsite allows you to teach your kids to be part of a team. Plus, they learn to steward nature wisely. Anna learned quickly that her husband had a whole different way of camping than what she learned growing up at our house.

The first time they went camping as a young married couple, her husband demonstrated his system for her. Then, he included her in the work the next time. She loved his system. (For more about our book on how to draw out authentic conversations with your family, click here.)

“It was like playing leap frog,” she laughs. “He would do something, I would do the next thing, and we’d fold it all up to go in together.”

It made Anna happy to be so efficient together. Plus, she loves the communicating and practicing together. She thinks it’s fun to set up, to pull down, and to take care of their gear together. (To find out more about our marriage communication book set to release next fall, click here.)

Leave the Campsite Better Than You Found It

My dad, an Eagle Scout, always said to leave the campsite better than we found it. I must have quoted him often as my kids grew up.

“You quoted him about the car. You quoted him about the hotel room,” laughs Anna. “It was your go-to quote whenever we were leaving somewhere.”

Just to be clear, Dad’s motto meant our family picked up other people’s cigarette butts in the 1960s. Stewardship of nature meant taking care of the glorious outdoors, not only our own camping gear. Campsites were butt free after we left. Can I even say that in public?

“If you do it right, stewardship involves fellowship,” explains Anna. Most importantly, even the hard work of stewardship should be fun–and funny–when a family does it together.

“If I’m at a campsite, picking up other people’s trash, I’m just never going to get it all done,” Anna adds. “But if I have a team of people doing it, it’s not overwhelming anymore.” Plus, there’s the fun of being part of a team.

Our childhood camping trips always ended with one special touch. My dad always insisted we leave a neat pile of gathered wood for the next campers. 

Where Eagles Soar

Family memories are made while camping or glamping. I’ll never forget one spontaneous, simple camping trip with my son and his dear friend. 

A large bird swooped down over us. Astonished at the bird’s boldness we ducked and looked up. Soaring up above us was a BALD EAGLE! I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. 

That was the same trip I forgot to bring the coffee, so we had to go to breakfast at a restaurant. Yep, I’m kinda spoiled that way.

Fortunately, kids remember the big moments. Even if mom insists on store-bought coffee, they laugh about it later. Finding easy ways to camp will mean sweet memories for your kids, even if it’s in your own backyard. Please get into the glorious outdoors. You and your kids will be glad you did!

We are grateful!

The numbers are in! Fireside Talk Radio downloaded over 2 million times again in 2019! What joy! 

YOU, dear listening and reading friends, are the reason we exist. 

We are grateful for all the experts who join us to share their sacred stories and wisdom, just for you. You tuned in! We rejoice to share our life with you. Thank you for sharing your sacred stores with us to add to our treasure. Thank you for passing our stuff on to your friends.

Don’t forget, there will be more ways to share this year when our first two books hit the market. Plus, Anna and I are hard at work for a fun book due out in 2021. We love you and can’t wait to share more fun stuff together!

May we pray together?

Good Father, Thank you for the glorious outdoors. We rejoice just to feel the sunshine on our skin. What could be sweeter than to sit around a campfire, telling stories, laughing, and savoring the companionship You designed us to enjoy. Give us energy and insight to create fun memories with our families. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

When have you shared a hilarious moment on a camping trip? Wat is your favorite hack for camping? Please send us your favorite glorious outdoors story.

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

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Anorexia and Freedom: No Exceptions, No Exclusions, No Exemptions to God’s Power, Part 2

Anorexia can be daunting, especially if you are watching someone you love suffer. But Beauty Beyond Bones blogger, Caralyn, says sufferers can get free of eating disorders. When it comes to anorexia and freedom, there are no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions to the hope God offers, she says. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Caralyn smiles at the future with great advice for those seeking victory over anorexia.


Caralyn won our hearts with her open, beautiful way of talking so authentically!

“You’re on a mission to save the person from themselves,” emphasizes Caralyn. “Eating disorders are all about control and they (the sufferers) are not going to be keen about giving up that control.”

When someone we love struggles with an eating disorder, like anorexia, people all around the sufferer are affected. How can we help?

To hear the full conversation and all the personal stories Caralyn shared from her own life, go to

Get Professional Help Now

If you suspect someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, don’t wait to get help. Truly, your loved one needs to be under professional care immediately, according to Caralyn.

“Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. They need doctors; they need therapist,” declares Caralyn. “Sufferers need professional dietitians. They need professional supervision because their body is literally wasting away. The organs are shutting down. The body is feeding off of itself for fuel to stay alive as a last ditch effort.” 

Loved ones who see the pain will want to offer comfort, but how? Further complicating things, sufferers use their appearance as a way of pushing people away, Caralyn says.

“People are wearing the illness on their bodies. They’re skeletal. They’re gaunt,” says Caralyn, adding, their appearance fills an important function even so. “It’s the walking billboard for their inner brokenness.” 

In families and churches, we need to talk.

How Do We Begin the Right Conversations?

When was the last time you heard the word anorexia mentioned in church? Perhaps in a whispered confession by a close friend. Maybe.

“Anorexia and eating disorders are so misunderstood. There’s such a stigma around them, like they’re some vanity disease,” says Caralyn. “That’s part of the reason I didn’t want to tell anyone I had an eating disorder. How could I call myself a Christian and have this vanity disease?” She says pride and concern for her family’s reputation kept her from asking for help.

Yet, churches need to address the hard topics we all face daily, including how mental illness is affecting families. So, I asked Caralyn what influential people can say at church to break down barriers to these important conversations? 

For instance, body image is a great place to introduce eating disorders as a topic for open discussion, suggests Caralyn. Naturally, everybody deals with body image in one way or another. (For fun, easy ways to inspire confidence in your kids, click here.)

We Can All Relate to Stress

Lately, she’s been speaking to churches who find her via her blog. (Click here to sign up for her wonderful blog.) Every time she speaks, she feels humbled. She finds people are interested because we can all relate to struggling. 

“There’s a common thread. Daily life is stressful. There’s a vein that runs through (my story) that everyone can relate to. I think people shy away from talking about anorexia because it really makes people uncomfortable.” But, once the topic is opened up for discussion, people respond with compassionate hearts. (For more info about how mental illness affects families, click here.)

No Exceptions, No Exclusions, No Exemptions

Caralyn recommends persistence as one of your best tools for getting through to people who are suffering with anorexia or any eating disorder. Love them, no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions.

“Keep it up and do not let them slip through the cracks,” she says. Knowing how to communicate you commitment is powerful. She suggests comments like these: 

  • I care about you and I’m going to keep caring about you. 
  • We are going to keep loving you. 
  • We love you enough to not let this be brushed under the rug. 
  • I see these things happening and let’s talk about it.

“You’ve got to do it (speak up about anorexia) with prudence and compassion and empathy,” she says, “Shining a big ole spot light on it, starting a conversation, I think people will find a lot more people who can relate than expected.” (Why churches need to talk openly about tough topics, here.)

Anorexia and Freedom

With the words—no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions—Caralyn explains how much freedom God offers us all in His Son, Jesus. “I want to shout it from the rooftops!” God offers forgiveness, power, and hope.

“Obviously the weight loss is a glaring red flag. It seems “kind of counterintuitive, but there’s shame associated with how skeletal you look,” adds Caralyn. (For more on the spiritual battle associated with anorexia, please find Caralyn’s personal story here.She describes shame as this horrible weight that presses on you. 

“Shame corrupts our way of thinking about ourselves,” she explains. “Shame says, ‘You are too just far gone. What you’ve done or what you’ve been through is so terrible that you are exempt from God’s love, from His forgiveness, His redemption, His healing.”

Nothing could be farther from the truth! In fact, the idea of no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions speaks to the core of the ministry God has opened up for Caralyn. 

You Shall Live!

Ezekiel 37:5 has become one of Caralyn’s favorite verses: Thus says the Lord God to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live.’”

“Jesus comes and He breathes life. For me that’s how I got rid of that shame is through the new Spirit God put in me,” she explains. We can all build up theses impenetrable barriers between us and God. 

“When we feel shame we want to keep anyone and everything at arms length,” she says, “We don’t want anyone to see the mess behind the smile we’re wearing. Or, we’re hiding under baggy clothes.” 

Caralyn says the message comes through loud and clear, “Stay away!” (For more wisdom from Sandy Bristow on how the devil wants to isolate us, click here.)

Caralyn reminds us to be courageous about speaking up when we see others suffering. She credits her youth pastor for getting in her face and insisting she get help. (For resources and her website, click here.If someone you love seems to have symptoms of anorexia or other eating disorders, I encourage you to contact Caralyn. For the symptoms, click here.)

May we pray together?

Good Father in heaven, oh, how we love you! You love us—no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions. In fact, You sent Your Son to seek us out. Jesus died for our sins. He took on the shame  we felt. By His resurrection, You free us—no exceptions, no exclusions, no exemptions. Give us grace to reach out and accept the free gift You offer today. Help us walk in Your resurrection power. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has a persistent friend thrown you a life line? When did you notice symptoms of suffering and what did you do? How could your church be more effective in addressing mental health?

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

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Redefining Romance to Fit Your Family’s Lifestyle with Anna Krafve Pierce
Redefining romance? If you’ve got small children, a new way to spark romance is a necessity.
I confess, I love dessert on Valentine's Day. But chocolate is not for everybody....

No time for candles? Do your children gobble up the Valentine’s Day stash before you get a quiet interlude? No problem! Anna sat down with me recently on Fireside Talk Radio to offer some sparky ideas for easy, romantic fun.

Anna and I invite you to listen in as we talk about how to inspire loyalty and faithfulness in the hearts of your children, plus all the fun romantic stuff. (More at

Personal Definition of Romance

“When we were first married I stumbled upon my own personal definition of romance,” laughs Anna. “There were some things Drew did that shocked me when I realized I thought they were really romantic.” 

For instance, her husband surprised her with some thoughtful treasures he found in the yard to add to her growing collections of leaves, butterflies, and lizard skeletons. As an artist, Anna loves to study the way flowers and insects are structured.

“I came to realize romance was about him knowing what I like. It wasn’t candlelight for me at all,” Anna says.

Redefining Romance to Fit Your Lifestyle

Anna tells of being swept off her feet by her hubby one drippy afternoon in Texas’s hill country. He wanted to stand outside in the rain with her, so they dashed outside to the huge live oak in their back yard, holding hands and laughing.

For more insight about sparking romance in a way that fits your family's lifestyle, don't miss this fun and fabulous conversation!


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Recent Shows
Title Date
Overcoming Blind Spots with Ashley Kutach, Her Story
5 Steps to Change with Toie Martin, Her Wisdom
Positive Change, A Leap of Faith with Toie Martin, Her Story
Camping, Glamping, and the Glorious Outdoors with Anna Krafve Pierce
Anorexia and Freedom: No Exceptions with Beauty Beyond Bones's Caralyn, Her Wisdom
True Love and Faithfulness Valentine's Day 2020 with Anna Krafve Pierce
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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.

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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

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