Clutter steals our peace and it also steals the peace of the ones we love. Join Kathi today in a great conversation with Amberly Neese, author of Common Ground, discussing how we can live at peace with other people. Clutter issues in our head, our heart, and our home often disrupt this peace and cause tension between loved ones. Join in the discussion to find out ways that we can clear out this clutter and live at peace with others by:
Finding common ground
Asking important why questions
Fully embracing and loving God, ourselves, and then others
Common Ground: Loving Others Despite Our Differences
Whether it is in politics, the professional world, a party, or a pew, we face conflict every day. As discussions get more heated and social media is deluged with opinion-spewing, hurt feelings, and broken relationships, we need hope and practical tools to navigate the tumultuous waters and live at peace with everyone.
Fortunately, the Scriptures hold the key to living at peace despite our differences. In Common Ground, a four-week Bible study, Amberly Neese combines stories of sibling rivalries from the Bible with personal experience, humor, hope, and her love of God’s Word.
Stories examined from the Old and New Testaments include:
Joseph and His Brothers: How to Combat Jealousy
Moses, Miriam, and Aaron: How to Work Together Despite Differences
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus: How to Appreciate the Contributions of Others
Rachel and Leah: Having Compassion for the Plight of Others
These stories point us to peace and reconciliation in all our relationships, reassuring us that it is possible to find common ground with everyone—despite our differences.
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Meet Our Guest
Amberly Neese is a popular speaker/teacher, comedian, author, and all-around encourager. She helps people like you experience the freedom found in meaningful relationships with God and others through her teaching and her books “the Belonging Project”, “Common Ground” and “the Friendship Initiative”. Amberly is a featured speaker and comedian for two national tours. She and her husband have two teenagers and live in Prescott, Arizona, where they enjoy the great outdoors, the Food Network, and all things Star Wars.
My husband and I were married nine years before we had a successful pregnancy. Before that, we suffered infertility, miscarriages, embarrassing questions, physical exams, and lots of heartache.
We spent a great deal of time in prayer beseeching God to grant us children and endured lots of “suggestions” (also embarrassing) from well-meaning people in our church.
I attended WAY too many baby showers, smiling my way through each of them while dying on the inside. I was so excited for the mother-to-be, but I was truly sad for me. I read every book I could get my hands on, and we tried various medical (both traditional and non-traditional) methods. My faith was strong enough to move mountains at the beginning of each cycle, but would be reduced to rubble when my period started.
While all this was happening, my husband and I were on staff at wonderful churches. They were filled with amazing people who we had the pleasure of serving and doing life alongside. We knew how to minister to people (or so we thought), but no Bible college degree prepared us for the heartache and emptiness that infertility and loss creates.
Statistics around infertility
According to the National Survey of Family Growth, my husband and I were not alone:
– Number of women aged 15-44 with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term) number 7.5 million.
– Percentage of women aged 15-44 with impaired fecundity is 12.3%.
– Number of married women aged 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant after at least 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex with husband) number 1.0 million.
– Percentage of married women aged 15-44 that are infertile is 6.1%.
That being said, although we were able to finally have two healthy children, one of the most fruitful lessons from that time in our lives was on HOW best to love on those who are going through a similar desert experience.
Ways to encourage a couple experiencing infertility
God proved Himself faithful and we came out the other side wiser and with some helpful tools for helping others cope. For those of you with someone in your life who is experiencing infertility, some ways to encourage them include:
1. Pray. Pray for those in your life who are struggling with infertility. Infertility involves all parts of the couple: their spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional lives. They need prayer support. 2. Be a friend. Just be their friend. Come alongside them. Ask how you can help; not everyone grieves and processes the same. Don’t be surprised if they need help with a meal or around the house. Don’t pity them, just love them. I just wanted someone to hold my hand and encourage my husband. I loved random cards and phone calls. 3. Think before posting or speaking. Avoid “meme-ing” them. Do not feel that trite Christian encouragement is the answer. Do not send well-meaning Facebook or Instagram memes without spending quality time with them. In fact, as someone who loves the Bible, I found that sometimes the most hurtful things people said were Scriptures not aptly timed. Romans 8:28 is an incredible wealth of truth, but right after a miscarriage, it felt like a dagger in my heart.
You are there for a reason
Infertility is a tough time in the life of a couple. It can often feel like a time of emotional and spiritual infertility as well. If you have someone in your life who is going through this, please know that God has placed you in their lives for a reason.
One Small Win: Love them and know that they will be forever thankful for your generosity of prayer, time, and encouragement.
Amberly Neese is a national speaker, author, and humorist with a passion for pointing others to the joy found in Christ. She has won hearts (and funny bones) of people all over the country at hundreds of conventions, camps, seminars, retreats, and chapels. She also serves as the program director at UCYC and an adjunct professor at Grand Canyon University. Amberly received her Master’s degree from Biola University.
Amberly has been married to Scott Neese since 1992. They have two kids, Judah and Josiah. They live in beautiful Prescott, AZ and love the Food Network and all things Star Wars. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Have you ever met someone and from the very first moment of that encounter you knew you’d want to become friends? I don’t have that happen often. Mainly, because the pace of my life seems to always be so much faster than I can possibly keep track. I can see it (my life, that is) running away in the distance and I’m huffing and puffing just trying to keep up.
It’s become rarer these days I am afforded the opportunity to slow down and really get to know someone. But from the moment I met Kathi, I knew I had to slow down…way down…to get to know this wonderful woman who has blessed the lives of so many.
You are among greatness. Those of you who visit this site often and read Kathi’s words. If you don’t already know, I am certain you will soon discover, you are among royalty. This post will probably be an embarrassment to Kathi but it’s simply on my heart to love on her and to encourage you to do the same.
Usually, when I guest blog on a site, I speak about a particular topic; usually marriage. That is what I write about most days on the Happy Wives Club. But as I sat down to write this blog post today, I can’t seem to think to write anything other than what a blessing it is to know Kathi. And how honored I feel to be among the thousands of women who look to her for encouragement.
In a world filled with inauthentic people, she is a breath of fresh air. In a day and age when friendships are developed based on what one can do for you, a person who gives expecting nothing in return is rare.
So please grant me this indulgence for a moment to sit among you and marvel at what God has done and is doing in the life of the woman we all know as Mrs. Kathi Lipp.
For those reading this and wondering what message God may have for you in this post, think about how He has placed Kathi on my heart to love on and encourage today. Is there anyone He has placed on your heart, maybe even at this moment, that you can reach out to by email, telephone, Facebook or any other method that connects?
Sometimes we’re looking for encouragement when we are meant to be the encourager. So I challenge you in this regard. If you take your sights off your own needs and desires just for a moment, who can you encourage today? Whoever just popped in your mind…go with it.
About Fawn Fawn is a happy marriage advocate and the founder of the Happy Wives Club (www.happywivesclub.com) with nearly 100,000 members in more than 100 countries around the world. Fawn works daily to change the tone of the conversation worldwide in terms of marriage and the negativity often accompanying that term. The Happy Wives Club is a go to place for wives successful in their marriage to share their thoughts and advice with others hoping to achieve a happiness and contentment in their own relationship. When she’s not blogging or connecting with her online community, she is the president of ValRent Corporation.