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What's New:

  • Are you ready to FINALLY move beyond the bad habits and mindsets that plague your life? Join my FREE five (5) day Moving Beyond Challenge and get a daily email with a simple teaching + an action item to get you unstuck. We start June 8th, you can sign up here.
  • Memorial Day: Our office will be closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day. We will be back on Tuesday, May 26th. Please take some time to take care of yourself during this weekend.
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Do You Want to Get Well?

by Leslie Vernick

God asked Adam and Eve an interesting question while they were hiding in the Garden of Eden after they ate the forbidden fruit. He asked them, “Where are you?” The question was not for his benefit (he already knew where they were) but for their benefit. They needed to stop and reflect upon what they had done and where they were right now – spiritually, relationally and emotionally.

In John 5, Jesus asks someone another perplexing question. He asks a paralyzed man “Do you want to get well?” Seems like a crazy question to ask someone who had been paralyzed for 38 years, lying on a mat, begging for sustenance his entire life. Why would Jesus ask him if he wanted to get well? Of course he would, wouldn’t he?

Here is where it’s important to stop, press pause and think more deeply about what’s going on or we might gloss over this familiar story and miss what we need to hear.

The man told Jesus, “I can’t, sir. I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Why didn’t this man answer, “Yes, Of course, I want to get well. Please, heal me.” Instead he came up with the reasons or excuses why he was never healed.

I wonder if Jesus asked this man this question because he knew that getting well would mean significant changes in this man’s life. Was he ready for them? Did he want to learn how to live differently than he always had? For example, this man would no longer be entitled to beg for his support. He’d have to find work to do. What about his friends? As a crippled man, apparently he had no one to put him in the pool. How would that change as an able bodied person?

God has given each of us an incredible and powerful gift and that is our ability to choose. We get to choose how we spend our time, what we do with our negative emotions, what we dwell and meditate on, moment by moment, day by day, week by week. These small choices repeated over time form habits and these habits shape your character and your lifestyle. Sometimes we get so used to being sick, we don’t even realize that we can get well and live differently.

Each week I talk with people who are afraid to get well because getting healthy requires changes that they aren’t prepared to make. They might have to learn to communicate more constructively, give up some bad habits, manage their emotions better, as well as learn how to think differently.

The apostle Paul refers to this process as “renewing our mind” (Romans 12:2) and “putting off our old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22,23)

Let me ask you the question Jesus asked this man. Do you want to get well? To be healthy?

God wants to heal you. He wants you to be whole, holy and happy. But your chooser is involved because getting healthy involves making changes only you can make.

As Moses encouraged the Israelites, I hope you choose life! (See Deuteronomy 30:11-20)

And to follow up, I want to invite you to join me and hundreds of others in a FREE 5 day challenge starting June 8 to help you Move Beyond some of your bad habits that are keeping you stuck, scared, and miserable. Click here for more information.

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Overcoming Hurtful Words: Rewrite Your Own Story

by Janell Rardon

Hurtful words can steal joy, distort truth, and create long-term struggles with understanding your worth and purpose. In this powerful new book, counselor and life coach Janell Rardon, MA, equips you to address and reframe negative words and labels that have hurt you in order to achieve healing and lasting freedom. By understanding and embracing your God-created identity, you will develop a healthy sense of self and build a foundation for lasting, positive relationships. Using Scripture along with tested and proven techniques, you can exchange unhealthy beliefs and behaviors for a new, joy-filled life.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter! (Giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of "Tending the Soul: 90 Days of Spiritual Nourishment" by Anita Lustrea are Calah H. and Melissa W.

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Upcoming
Events


Want to have Leslie speak at your event?
Click here to find out more information.


GT Church
Video Message by Leslie
August 16th
West Lawn, PA


New Hope Church
November 6th and 7th
East Lansing, MI


Center for Christian Counseling
November 20th and 21st
Madison, WI


The Village Church
December 3rd
Flowermound, TX

My Husband And Family Are Alienating My Kids. I’m Too Scared To Leave.

Question: I’m currently separated from my husband (7 months) and wanting out of this marriage desperately because he is emotionally unsafe for me. He has taken me down so low I thought I wouldn’t come back up. I am getting stronger with Christ as my center and your YouTube and Facebook videos.My question is – I’m staying in this marriage right now because of fear of the unknown specifically with our kids.His entire family (pastors) are controlling, manipulative, and spiteful people who claim to walk with God. They think so highly of themselves and their name, I feel certain they will try and turn our kids against me.

If I file for divorce that would allow them to tell our kids “your mommy did this.” My husband has even told our 7-year-old that when he is 15 he will explain how mom wrecked the marriage.

So there’s no doubt what other lies my husband will tell him. And his parents are the same. I know you focus on the individual – I don’t hear much about kid custody or co-parenting. Is there a place you could direct me to for help in this area?

Right now I feel if I stay, I keep my children and lose myself. If I go, I lose my children and keep myself. I’ve met with 2 attorneys and of course, they say to get out! But I feel like I am throwing my kids to the wolves if I leave the marriage. There is No physical harm, but mental and emotional harm.

Any contacts or YouTube channels or Facebook groups that you recommend? ANYTHING you can think of please let me know when you have time.

Answer: This is a huge and real problem for many women who are in destructive marriages with toxic extended family dynamics especially when the family is prominent and powerful.

I can’t tell you what the future holds for you or your children. However, it seems like you are telling yourself there are only two possible outcomes. The first, you stay in the marriage, shrivel up and die inside but you’re able to save your kids from being harmed or alienated from you. The second, divorce, and rebuild your shattered self, but your kids will be alienated and harmed and it will be all because you left.

Both scenarios sound awful. But I’m not sure those are the only possible outcomes.

For example, if you stay, lose yourself, and get beaten down again, how can you possibly protect your children? That’s not possible.

On the other hand, if you choose to stay, what if you didn’t shrivel up inside? What if you grew stronger, and more resilient instead of reactive and depleted? What if you focused on raising your kids and being a woman of strength and dignity and stopped trying to convince anyone that your husband is emotionally abusive.

Then if or when your spouse or his parents speak poorly of you to your kids what would they actually have to say?

Here is What People are Saying About Leslie's Moving Beyond People Pleasing Online Course

I was able to find greater peace about where I've been and where I'm headed due to this course. Don't doubt myself as much when my husband tries to bully me. More sure of me. I don't have a plan laid out for my marriage's future. But it is dead, if ever a marriage were dead. I feel quite 'done'. I don't have the heart to approach him about trying counseling. I know God has a good future and plan for me and it is unfolding everyday even if I can't see around the next bend in the road. Thank you for serving God and us Leslie-you are a great blessing. I find myself Holding my head up higher and walking in a little more confidence. Especially since some family members are still trying to tear me down. It helps to know that I am on the right track.

Leslie provides real-life techniques, role playing and straightforward, biblical wisdom. It is great to have practical and tangible ideas and action items to use in our day to day lives. I got the most benefit from Leslie's insight when discussing issues and reviewing and providing information and techniques from the homework.

LESLIE WELCOMES YOUR QUESTIONS

Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.

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