Leslie Vernick
May 24th, 2016                                                                            
What's New?
  • Our giveaway, Distinctly You, is by Cheryl Martin, one of our Keynote speakers at our Conquer Conference. 

It Was All Because
Of A Toilet

By Leslie Vernick

Toilet problems often bring out my worst side. Years ago one of my children clogged up the second floor commode with toilet paper but I only became aware of the overflowing mess when the foul liquid began seeping down through my first floor light fixture and landed on my kitchen table. My response was not pretty.


Recently I just returned from a ten-day trip to Europe, specifically Paris and the Black Forest area of Germany. It was a great trip but the very first day I had a tough choice to make and it was because of a toilet.


Let me back up. We took the Sunday night flight leaving from Philadelphia at 6:20 PM arriving in Paris at 7:30 AM, which was actually 1:30 AM my body’s time. After landing, we got our luggage, grabbed a cab and headed for our hotel near the Champs- Èlysèes.


After we settled in our room and unpacked, we decided to start our vacation doing a historic walking tour around the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Our guidebook recommended downloading the audio tour to our phone, so that we could listen to the history of its construction while walking around the Cathedral.


Our hotel concierge gave us a map for the metro system and told us what stop would take us to Notre Dame. Hyped on adrenalin, we were anxious to see as much as we could of Paris in our short three day visit.


One subway ride later, guidebook in hand, we were proud of ourselves that we found the spot where the tour began. We put on our headphones, pressed play and started walking. Soon we were lost. We couldn’t find where the guide was telling us to go. Walking in circles became frustrated. Soon we turned off our audio guide. What the guide said was ahead of us, was not ahead of us. 


We walked around entire perimeter of Notre Dame without the benefit of an audio tour. Disappointed and exhausted, we headed back towards our hotel but first I had to find a bathroom. 


Finding a bathroom in Paris itself a challenge. I stopped in a department store, but when I asked where the restroom was, I only got a blank stare. Desperate, we finally stopped at a restaurant, ordered food we did not need, so that I could use the facilities.


Even though I ate and used the facilities, my mood grew sour. Tired and crabby, I was not being my best self. I was short with my husband, negative on Paris and not handling myself well.


Sometimes it’s the littlest things that get in our way to be all that God calls us to be. Big events like cancer or divorce often shake us awake and cause us to turn to God and ask what he’s up to. But the every day troubles and trials of life like a long stretch of bad weather, a pokey driver ahead of us when we’re in a hurry, or forgetting where we put our keys sends us over the edge.


Last month I wrote about God’s test. God often uses the little things to get our attention: to help us practice patience and perseverance, gentleness and love. 


When I got back to the hotel I had to have a heart to heart talk with myself and with God. I confessed that I wasn’t living from my wisest most compassionate self that day. I was living from a tired, crabby, emotional self. That small self (old man, the Bible calls it) is part of me but not all of me. It is not Christ in me and that’s not who I am or want to be (new creation in Christ). 


It was a powerful reminder that in big things or little things, God is always able to help us handle them in a way that glorifies him. This morning as I write this, I’m sitting in a hotel room. Guess what? The toilet isn’t working. 


It worked fine last night, but today, it won’t flush. 


I laughed.


Today I passed the test.


* Later on during the week I discovered department stores, even the best ones, do not have public toilets because of the threat of terrorism.



Do I Let Go Or Hang On?

Question: You’ve helped me understand boundaries and consequences these past few years and I’ve taken steps. I realized I’m stuck facing a new step.


My husband has had ongoing problems with narcissistic behavior, anger, conflict issues, and avoidance. He’s taken small steps here and there but has not taken responsibility for the roots, patterns, impact, or addressed some strained relationships. It is not an open subject.


I want him to address this seriously. The past few years, I keep feeling like I want some separation. I don’t want to bear all the responsibility for addressing this. It is hard. He has avoided knowing and seeing over the years. I wonder about the distinction between me being specific, and him taking responsibility to go after this. I don’t want to be passive, neither do I want to be burdened by this and not trust God.


I feel like I currently have a window of opportunity and if I miss it, things will just slide on.


If I tell him this is serious, we need some separation, I need to see specific acknowledgment and action before we move on…what does a step like that look like? How do I prepare?


I don’t know what else to do to break through the avoidance. If the decision is to separate, we could not communicate toward a good resolution. I’m not sure how to navigate this?


Do we have an in-house separation or one of us living elsewhere? Or, if there is another step that I am missing before that? I feel unsure of this step. Can you help me with clarity?


Answer: I hear you asking two different questions in your question so let me break them down for clarity.


1. Your husband avoids “seeing” himself truthfully. That is his pattern over the years. He doesn’t want to hear from you, yet you want him to work harder  to change his selfishness, anger, and avoidance of conflict. Yes, there have been some small steps but from your perspective, it has not been enough. You wonder what is your role here. Do your push for more? Is that your place? You don’t want to be passive but you don’t want to take God’s place to wake him up or make him change.


2. You don’t like the way things are between the two of you. You can’t talk to your husband about your feelings. He doesn’t want to hear it. He avoids conflict like the plague yet you don’t want to pretend anymore. You don’t want him to think that just because you don’t talk about the elephant in the room that it isn’t there. It’s a big deal for you even if it’s not a big deal for him. You don’t want to do a pretend “marriage” if he doesn’t take ownership of his stuff and work to change it. How do you approach the topic of separation and when you do, what does that look like?


Let me start by answering your first question….


Connect With Me

It Was All Because Of A Toilet


Accepting Coaching Applications
Click here to get started.
Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie
Distinctly You by Cheryl Martin. Cheryl is one of our Keynote speakers at our Conquer Conference. 

Do I Let Go or Hang On?

For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below:


Coaching Programs

Distinctly You

Cheryl Martin


All of creation is content to be what it was made to be except us. Fish flourish in water. Ants are not worried about their size. But we waste time on the three C's–comparing, competing, coveting. We aim at the bull's-eye on someone else's board, pursuing a race we weren't equipped to run.


Cheryl Martin shows women how to develop their God-given uniqueness rather than becoming fixated on what they are not or do not have. Distinctly You unveils the actions and attitudes that may be sabotaging women and explores ways women can engage and build up their unique talents, interests, and strengths. Readers will be inspired by examples in the Old and New Testaments of people who were exceptional for God's kingdom. As the author shares her ongoing quest to be distinct for his glory, readers see how God created them to thrive.

“I have always liked the quote, “Do what you want to do, say what you want to say, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who do mind don’t matter.” In a similar vein, Distinctly You, emphasizes that we do not have to let others define us; we can define ourselves. Instead of spending our time comparing ourselves to and competing with others. The book gives a great message, because Martin encourages readers to not be affected by others’ opinions or achievements, and instead do their personal best.”
-Oak Tree


If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide your name and email address.
Winners of Simply Beautiful by Jill Swanson are Melanie C. and Chara G.

August 23rd – 24th, 2016

The Village Church

Dallas, TX


September 15th, 2016

The Gatehouse

Dallas, TX


September 14th – 17th, 2016

AACC Marriage Conference

Intercontinental Dallas

Dallas, TX


October 1st – 2nd, 2016

Bethany Wesleyan Church

Cherryville, PA


October 14th – 15, 2016

Becoming the Best Possible

You – Both Inside and Out

Allentown, PA.


CLICK HERE to be notified when we open our registration doors.



“Thank you Leslie for your time and wisdom.  I really appreciated that Leslie is a Godly woman who speaks the truth with love.  She is very knowledgeable about the Bible and gives Biblical, Godly, practical advice that can be implemented in my life.  Leslie clearly helped me to see God’s heart and how my feelings are meant to help inform me, not control me.  

I am getting out of the destructive rut I was in and working towards being responsible for my own happiness and not being a victim.  Praise God for Leslie and her heart for women in destructive relationships!”


— Elizabeth L. 


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Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States