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In this episode, you’ll discover… 

  • How to step back from controlling every variable of your life (without drowning yourself in anxiety) (1:29) 
  • Why motherhood conditions every mom into becoming a control freak (and how to prevent it from tainting your family) (3:26) 
  • The “Onion Method” for prayer that finally frees you from crippling anxiety (8:03) 
  • How going to church every Sunday can crumble your relationship with Jesus (10:08) 
  • Does your husband always annoy you? Here’s the counterintuitive way to stop getting frustrated by your pet peeves (12:23) 

If you’re ready to rise up and become the best version of yourself, check out the 12-month mindset and accountability experience that will help you rise up here: https://befitandfierce.com/justbreath 

If you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it’s like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to https://befitandfierce.com and become unstoppable with us. 

Or, if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our Just Breathe Facebook Group

Read Full Transcript

Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.

(00:36): Hey there, welcome. And your fears. And as always, I love it that you are here with us today. As we have a special friend here with me, we actually met years ago at church and our connection with us, both being coaches and trainers. We hit it off, but this last year, this past year, our connection grew a little bit deeper as we are on our faith journey together. I just love it. How God places, the people in your life on purpose and her heart is so, so good. She and her husband, Steve are parents of three. They're, both personal trainers. They lead strong man contests and manufacturer strength equipment. And Steve runs a third generation family business. Talk about a full and busy life. Meet my friend, Susie Slater, a woman who was on fire for the Lord and is going to share her heart today. How are you? Good. I honestly can say with all the chaos that's going on around us, I have peace. So I'm so good. That is a good feeling. Something that women, I know, want desire, they crave, but they don't think it's possible. I mean, have you always had peace? No. Yeah.

(01:52): I mean, I was in control of everything and you know, if I wasn't in control, then the anxiety was through the roof. Yeah. And that was even, that was as soon as four or five months ago, a recent transformation, I can relate to that for sure. With the control, having things mapped out, I'm assuming you're a planner, someone that has schedules and that overwhelmed what kind of let's go back to that because I think there's so many women that are living this way and they don't realize that there's something different. There's a different way to live. There's a different way to show up in the world. Let's talk a little bit about if you don't mind the anxiety or the stress and how it impacted your life, your family, you, where were you? Like we can walk through this journey. Like I've had stuff like I had health issues years ago and I wasn't anxious then really start until about, I'd say six or seven years ago.

(02:52): And like people around me could just feel it, like they can sense that they could feel it so you can imagine my kids, you know, how they, how that manifested into just anger, just not joyful and just not really fun to be around, not depressed. I think I had moments of depression, but nothing. That, wasn't my main thing. Anxiety, definitely as far as you know, and I really think that anxiety, a lot of anxiety comes from like the root is not feeling in control. And so when you, I, I wouldn't say I was a control freak, but I, and I think as moms, we kind of grow into that. We do need to have, you know, a certain amount of control, just making sure that house, you know, everything's lined up in order, you know, that the kids have clean underwear to wear and there's food and school structure and, you know, get to places on a timely manner and, you know, you're the encourager and that you're also the disciplinary.

(03:53): And so I think that that just kind of grew and then you've got the outside things coming in that, so I think that the control was part of it, but then outside things come in in that cause worry and anxiety. The two just kind of worked together to, you know, where I was just kind of in that I guess, fight or flight mode where there were days that I just like, I was so anxious. I couldn't sit still. So, you know, cleaning, if I wasn't training, I was cleaning. I'm just busy. Busy-Ness staying so busy doing nothing. Yeah, I was just like wiping the counter down 20 times. Yeah. Going out and pull them, you know, cutting back bushes because you know, but I turned the last week, you know, just something to keep me busy because if I was sitting still, the anxiety took over or sleep, I would sleep a lot to escape, thankfully, you know, cause I know there's other ways to escape.

(04:48): So, you know, thankfully it wasn't some more harmful things, but you know, sleep when you're trying to escape can be pretty, you know? Yeah. I mean, that's, that's an addiction I think jamming your days and filling that in and the need to be productive, the need to be busy, the need to just, if it's an empty spot in your day or your calendar, because we're so in control of every minute of every part of our day, you jam it up. And if you're not doing something, those thoughts that come in that, Oh, well I'm being lazy. Why am I not doing something? What else can I do? I know that's how I felt when you said the energy or the, not the energy, but the, how it trickled in, like people could feel it. Are you saying that people could feel that stress within you?

(05:36): Like that's just kinda what you put off into the house. I think I did because you know, we, we become pretty good at wearing a mask and not COVID mask, but like putting on a happy face when our insight isn't happy. But on a lot of people you can tell when that's true happiness or when it's, and not that I wanted to walk through my day with, you know, showing everybody my anxiety and stuff because you, you know, you don't want to be like that either. But I had a friend that I hadn't seen for a few months and a couple months ago I walk dentures are so different. And I said, thank you. And she goes, just looking at you. You're so different. I said, was it that bad before? And she said, no, just gosh, you could tell that you were anxious. So yeah.

(06:22): Yeah. And I'm assuming now that it's like you've and we can kind of dive into like what changed and how that, because you are so different and how did, how did that change happen? But you look back and think, Oh my gosh, how many years, how many, that's, how I lived my life. And, and you want people to experience that. So you're probably looking at it through a completely different lens right now. And you could probably see some people that are exactly like you now that you've kind of completely changed. And you're, I know, like I see that in my heart goes out to them like you want to help them for sure. Well, and you know, I just remember reading something about, you know, cause I eat well, I exercise. So I take care of my body, but when you're an anxious person that is as harmful on your body as not being well and not exercising and you know, that was an eye-opener.

(07:21): But, but also I felt it physically, I mean, there were some days where I couldn't sleep or I would gag when I was eating food. You know, those were, those were at extreme anxiety moments, you know, and definitely not, you know, I, you know, there again, I was like, I don't want to go to the doctor. I don't want to be put on medication. I can fix this, I can fix this. And so part of, I will say just to kind of put it all with a bow on it, that God gets all the glory because it's not anything that Susie did to release this anxiety. It is definitely something. And it wasn't an overnight thing. You know, I had some great friends that started praying over me and I felt like, man, I just remember one night, several friends praying over me about the anxiety.

(08:08): And it was somebody I had met the very first night I met her. She just, we were praying and she just started praying off anxiety. And I was like, man, how do you know? What's that wasn't that bad because I thought I came in here pretty good. But you know, that I was like an onion. And like that was one layer that was like one layer. I felt so good the next day until then I was prayed over again. You know, somebody had a word of knowledge that you know about my anxiety and I was prayed over again to release anxiety and it was another layer. And so just all of these layers, there's so much power in that. Yeah. And I'll say it's not so much every day walk where I have to, but there are times where I can feel my old self wanting to come in and say, Oh, what are you gonna do about that?

(08:58): How are you going to fix that? And you don't have to remind myself, go to prayer first and foremost, go to God. Because that, that is where my comfort comes from not sleeping so that I can forget about it. It's not drinking wine. It's not, you know, trying to sick the situation myself. So man, just talk about feeling like I lost 10 pounds because of the weight that was lifted off of me. Just laying that backpack down. Yeah, for sure. I love how you said, you know, to go to God first and seek him that he's the one that's going to fill the need and fill the hole in our heart. It's not going to be food. It's not going to be maybe over-training or not training at all in terms of her body. It's not the drugs, it's not the alcohol. It's not the things that we think that are going to fill or what we currently do.

(09:53): I mean, we've all done them. We've all been there at some point, we all have some sort of addiction or release that we go to, but that doesn't fix anything that doesn't solve any problems. So you're saying, I mean, and I totally agree with you go to God first. Okay. So you had someone prayer view. I mean, you've always gone to church. I mean, that's how we met. You've always done. Like, so what, why is it different this time? I mean, you said there's this massive change in the last four or five months. What's the difference that relationship with Jesus? It is not. I mean, if I can just be transparent, that's kind of how I roll anyways, but just you know, we would go to church every Sunday. It wasn't the checkoff. I was not diving in. I mean, I would read scripture, we always prayed at dinner.

(10:44): I would pray before I went to bed. You know, just almost like a checklist though. But once I learned about the relationship that, you know, to have that relationship with Jesus and to go to him for advice and meet and knowing that God is in control of every situation and that was hard as a mom or even as a, just a, just a human, you know, having that Saint, that God is in control. But what you're seeing, you know, is not like, you know, where you'd like it to be and having to let go of that. Yeah. That was really hard. So yeah, definitely just knowing that relationship, the importance of the relationship and not just opening my Bible and reading the scripture, you know, not just reading the Bible in a year, because again, that was like a checklist for me, like okay.

(11:40): I read. Okay. And then tomorrow I'll read that one, but definitely, you know, when I, when I wake up in the morning, just thanking God for another day in new grace, new for sure. Oh yeah. Yeah. And I'll just tell you a funny little thing several months ago. Well, no, it was probably a year and a half ago. I started thinking, what does this empty nester thing look like for my husband? And I like, I mean, I love him, but do I really want to hang out with them? Is that, I mean, I'm going to miss watching TV with my daughter, you know, these things that we used to do together, what does this look like? Because there were some things about my husband that really annoyed me and I would point them out and, and my husband is he's so patient and he's so loving.

(12:36): And just so, but these little things, you know, leaving the cabinet door open or leaving trash, you know, from a package of something he cooked on the counter and actually started praying that God would change him because I was being annoyed by these little friends and Joe, what happened is God changed me. Wow. I'm not kidding. The things that steam does that used to annoy me. It's almost like I chuckled, like he's going to let me see him the way you see him. Lord not help him fix these little things that were just so annoying. He changed your heart. He changed my heart. And so, you know, then I started applying that to my kids, love them. Anyway, I started seeing that everywhere, you know, on Facebook and a t-shirt ad would come across and the lady would be wearing, love them. Anyway, sir. And I would open up just a daily thing and it would say, love them.

(13:39): Anyway. I was like, I hear you loud and clear. And that is what ultimately, I mean, that's what God does through all of our messiness and through all of our, our, he loves us anyway, all he wants is our surrender and our obedience. And so once you say here I am, Lord, you know, what do you want to do with me? Yeah. You know, put me on the wheel. And he is doing big things with you because you did that. And he spoke to you. I mean, he has placed a big old purpose in your heart. I mean, I share with everyone because you committed to him, it opened up so much space opened up so much space for you to actually walk out that has always had for you. It's just that maybe you didn't even realize the magnitude and the impact that you can make.

(14:34): I mean, let's you want to talk about that? Yeah. Oh gosh, Jill. So I really think God puts this on my heart when I was like eight, nine, 10 loving children. And I remember being aging, begging my mom, please adopt, please have a baby. And she's like, well, honey, you have any more children. And I begged her, please adopt the baby. And you know, I started doing this studying at a young age, just always loved children and just really had a special, I don't know if you call it a gift, but you know, it just seemed like everywhere I went, kids were attracted to me. And I joke now and say, it's because I am a kid, you don't have childlike faith. Then I come down to their level and, you know, joke all the time. My sister used to say after age, not your shoe size. And I'm like, no, now I want to ask my shoe size for sure.

(15:39): But when we moved to our neighborhood 22 years ago, a neighbor of mine would shave, volunteered with an organization that took in babies that were going to be adopted, but from birth. And then she would be like the foster mom until those babies went to there until the adoption process was finalized. And I told Steve, you know, we were just starting our family at that time. And I said, I'm going to do that someday. I'm going to do that someday. Well, so as the kids got older, you know, I started thinking, okay, am I still going to do this? Or cause her to have our children when we have a, a nine or 10 year difference in their age. And so, you know, as one started getting older and we still had a younger one at home, I thought, are we, are we going to do this someday?

(16:28): Because you know, I am going to have grandchildren one of these days, but boy did it just keep resignating that this was something I not only wanted to do, but I was supposed to do. And I'm a questioner and I'm doing better with that. You know, where I say, is that, is that you God? Or is that me like, is that how I feel? Or is that you telling me? So that was definitely something that I walked through and still do day to day a lot. But I started talking to Steve about, you know, the possibility of fostering or doing something. And he would say, so is he, I think someday, but probably not. Well, or while we still our own kids, but then that hunger, that just, that I couldn't quit thinking about it and picturing what it would be like to have a child here.

(17:19): And, and even the chaotic moments, you know, and just like, not all, you know, Oh, I'm just rocking a baby and everything's, you know, just teaching, but even in those moments of having to wake up in the middle of the night and all that stuff that comes along with it. So we started to move forward and I started calling organizations, the organization that just fosters baby newborn. Babies is no longer in Ohio. And this was probably about four or five. This was probably four years ago, but I really started, I said, Steve, I want to do this now because I'm afraid if we don't do it now, then we're going to have grandchildren. And I feel like this is not something that I just want to do. I feel like I'm supposed to do it. And you know, Steve's always been very supportive, but he wasn't like, okay, you know, it was well, you know, and then, you know, he, it wasn't him putting that doubt in my head alone.

(18:11): It was, you know me saying, hi, you know, maybe we need to focus on our own kids. So then it got put on hold. And then, you know, a year later started again, wanting to move forward. And I actually talked with an organization and then through that organization, they introduced me to an organization called safe families for children. And this organization, their goal is to reunite families. They do not take children away from families. This would be a family who's in crisis and they're asking for help. So maybe a mom, a single mom she's lost her job and now she's going to be evicted. So we would take in the children just until she gets her feet back on the ground. And, but then she would also have a coach through safe families that would help her get a job, you know, maybe do a resume, find a new place to live.

(19:05): And at the same time sharing the gospel, they also really encourage the host family that has the child to keep in contact, even, you know, meeting coffee shops or parks or whatever for visits and keep a relationship. And so the good thing about safe families is that they, these host families do create relationships with the families that they've lost host families, because even after that family is out of crisis that host family wants to keep in contact with that family that was in Christ and still offer them help as needed or still keep the relationship with the, with the children. So Steve and I, you know, we started looking into this organization and, you know, again, just thinking, I don't know, I don't know our lives are so busy and you know, we have children of our own and, and then we're going to have grandchildren.

(20:04): And I don't know, I don't know, have you the story? All right, we are going to pick up next week where we left off, but before we go, I want to let you know that you are being called to rise. And I want to invite you to the Jess Bree sisterhood, a 12 month mindset and accountability experience rooted in biblical truth for Christian women like you, who are ready to rise up, head over to beef it and fierce.com forward slash just breathe. Or you can check it out on our just brief face book, group heads up. Like I said, we are continuing this episode with Susie Slater next week. So be sure to come back and thanks much for joining us today. Please subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know someone that can benefit. And I would love it. If you would give some feedback and review as well, talk with you next time, be fit, fierce, be unstoppable. See ya.

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