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The Kindness Epiphany

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2021 2:00 am

The Kindness Epiphany

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 22, 2021 2:00 am

Does your "inner meanie" get the best of you? That used to be normal for today's guest. Listen as hosts Dave and Ann Wilson talk with author, Nicole Phillips, about her book, "The Negativity Remedy," and the ordinary interaction that forever changed her perspective.

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Nicole Phillips remembers being in a place maybe you been here to where she was just ready to give up. I was worn out I was sick of laundry.

I was sick of warming up chicken tenders, all of seems like it just didn't matter and that this was as good as it was going to get instead of being a place of gratitude that I got three helping kids and now this is as good as it can get some I sought from the other side of that coin that I was the one that was being asked to give more than I had to give. This is family life today. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson and Bob Lapine. You can find us on so what you do with all of your thoughts are just negative when life just isn't pleasant.

How do you deal with Nicole Phillips has some thoughts for us about that today. Stay with us and welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us. So here's my premise. Oh here we go test me and see if the opinions or perimeters. The premise, a marriage will not thrive. Maybe will not survive unless there's kindness present in the marriage. You think that's right yes and I'm just imagining two unkind people and it's a miserable existence yeah yeah yeah there's gotta be a little of it somewhere for marriage to survive and I think sometimes unkindness is the thing that is on doing a lot of relationship yet. I'm sitting here thinking I am married to the most kind this kindness person ever. She wasn't always that way people though our story, but I mean I'm not kidding. I often think God and not often every single day. This incredible woman and brought Closing for good except you want to introduce to your newest best friend right tell everybody do this is first of all I want you to know what it was like when our guests walked into the room. Nicole Phillips walked into the room with this huge smile.

She's beautiful and she had it was like Christmas and she's got rid of Nicole's written a book called the negativity remedy see that mom sees a wife.

She's married to a basketball coach. Tell us more about your column that you write in the newspaper call tell us a little bit about yourself. I am a newspaper columnist. The column kindness is contagious runs in newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota. I would like to read.

Yes, a watch out world because, and to make it go everywhere.

Open the paper and not I have a podcast called the kindness podcast that were on season for right now this is your kindness is your thing, get your brand right kindness is my thing was to be everyone's thing but it's my thing. It has not always been your thing know I was the queen of negativity for a very very long time and I'm not even saying that humbly if my husband were here he would be like yes amen yes he was like, were you a negative teenager it it seems impossible to me seeing you now that you were ever a negative person. You know well 10 years ago I was on the edge of what anyone would call an alcoholic, so I was a drinker and a smoker and overeater, and I was angry at my husband all the time now. He is a college basketball coach that is his job which requires him to travel and I knew that and logically. I knew that he needed to be gone, but when I was home with three small kids and he was out eating steak dinners with the team that sit well with me is why we were negative earlier. Dave was traveling with the lion seems like that guy.

I'm home with three kids. So you're blaming your husband since my husband being about about that. You would think also that he would be like a good shooter so so this is the other thing that would get me is he would fill up the ice cube trays wrong because there's a right way to do it and then also you know I have a laundry hamper. My husband would take off his and he would show and he would ever play basketball like and so instead of getting up and putting them in the laundry hamper. He would just let them sit and so course that is enough to make me irate shooter shoot and somebody else gets the rebound and puts it back up that's out supposed to work the wife's. So that I was supposed to be playing close to the basket okay. My phone calls, written a book called the negativity remedy unlocking more joy, less stress and better relationships through kindness. So somewhere along the line, things change for you absolutely so again 10 years ago. This is where I am in this really place of depression.

Negativity on antidepressants at that point and it still didn't help so suffered there so it was that bad. Your unedited depressants you're medicating because your that negative. I was medicating and then self-medicating so both my kids at the time were 65 and about one at this time I took the three of them out for a day out because I had to get a house with them saw was gone, and you know it's the middle of winter.

I was living in Fargo North Dakota so I took them out and we went to our local mall a little playland called Dino land not only remember you talking to Dina land and there was this young woman there who was watching a little boy and my little boy and and this little boy were both about one 1 1/2 and they started to share food that they were dropping all of the Dina land floor. It was gross. I cannot giggle and like okay to figure this out and the woman. The young woman who is watching the other little boy and I started to talk and as we were talking, I realize that this wasn't just you know the world's best babysitter. This was indeed the mom tell us about the mom because she stood out to you. She she stood out to me. Honestly, when I first walked in, because she was showered like real. She likes cute jeans, cube boots, and she looked like she had taken care of herself morning and I am wearing you know maternity yoga pants and I don't know when the last time I had washed my hair was I just I was hanging on and I was hung over and out was not my best self.

And so I noticed her right away and I really thought to myself.

Must be nice to be the babysitter or to have a babysitter. You know, like and once we started talking and I got to learn more about her and how difficult really her walk what is being a young mom and something in me changed, but I think what changed was the fact that before we left that day.

She said I can tell your kids really love you and it was like an epiphany and that because I so needed to hear that I was worn out I was sick of laundry. I was sick of warming up chicken tenders. I mean all of it seems like it just didn't matter and that it would never end and that this was as good as it was going to get instead of being a place of gratitude that hey this is great this is. I got three healthy kids and you know this is as good as it can get some I sought from the other side of that coin that I was the one that was being asked to give more than I had to give in so she said I can tell your kids really love you and it just got me in that moment. And at that point I just felt like God was saying to me give her some money. She never asked for.

She never told me she needed it. She never insinuated nothing but I felt this really distinct voice telling me to give her money and I hadn't heard the voice very often, if ever, I wasn't really sure what that was.

I was beginning a journey with God. At that time and so I didn't quite understand, but I reached into my purse and I pulled out a couple of 20s and I handed them to her and we just had no really beautiful exchange and I was so grateful for her kindness that I just wanted to give her something in return. And so, because it was money. People would often think like I was the one who gave the kindness, but really that wasn't the case. I was just acting out of her generosity and her words are words fill you up and they felt me up.

You said you were just at the beginning of the spiritual journey of the point to go. Some good that you didn't grow up with the spiritual foundation I grew up Catholic and did spend time you every Sunday in the church and things like that and I grew up believing that God was a macro God that he would take care of all the things in the world. That was his job. My job was to take care of the things in my life in my world, and that God would never be interested in the details like the fact that I was taking antidepressants or sad about my life.

I should've been great or not drinking too much drink you wouldn't care about that God's caring about the big things so I was invited and this is now in 2011 I was invited to a Bible study by a friend of mine who was living in Fargo, North Dakota, who is from Brazil so you got a big personality if you're from Brazil and you're living in this frozen in a land anyone could be depressed at this point it would be your friend from Brazil.

Easy to go into that climate and he had lived in Brazil is great joy welling up inside of her. She was such such fun to be with and she said would you join this Bible study and I set I am not a Bible study girl and so she asked again a couple weeks later and I finally realized I'm not doing anything during the day right now and I have the time and she's no fun to be with and I would love to get out of the house so I said yes. So I show up at this Bible study and it should have been called an intervention because it was my friend from Brazil and her neighbor, and I was really wants is video by Lisa Torgerson in the video Lisa says two things she said number one, you are a child of God, you are just a product of the people who gave birth to you and some of their maybe feelings and troubles in life that you are a child of God. And so to me that that really helped to raise a lot of the guilt and the shame that I was feeling and then the other thing she said was God has big plans for your life and that to me was important. I was Ms. Wisconsin in 1997. It might as well have been 1927, right doesn't matter, but the thing was, I felt in the back of my mind like I had missed my big opportunity to change the world.

And so now I was just, you know that I cannot putter along until my time was done and in this Bible study hearing God has big plans for your life really changed the way that I looked at what was left of my life something that was asleep inside of you woke up.

It did did Bob. That was absolutely right and I'm a practical person, so I said to my friend from Brazil and her neighbor, our whole Bible study, that's great information, but what do I do with that and my friend from Brazil said why don't you just start by praying every day every morning every night. God make me a vessel for you God make me a vessel for you God make me a vessel for you and so I did and I had no idea what I was praying I know what the vessel and I had to go look it up eventually. But I was praying and I was listening because shortly thereafter, I met the young mom who really encouraged me with her word and shortly thereafter I started writing this weekly newspaper column kindness is contagious.

So also what happened to me in your sin, their dental land you know and and she says you watch her and you told us the story.

What is it that really changed you because that was a dramatic epiphany in a life-changing moment at Dino land meeting right of all places, but it really did mark you what you think back on it. What was it the change. It was packing up my kids and walking out of the mall with his totally different feeling than I had walked into the mall with every cell of my being was awake and I thought if everyone knew with this felt like everyone when trying kindness would be contagious and I just wanted somehow like to stand there and scream like and ends of the only way I knew how to do that was being able to share it through this newspaper column and it was interesting because the thing about the weekly newspaper column as they want you to write it like guess how often weekly so I misunderstood that weekly thing. I thought it was just when you feel like it, maybe so I asked people in the community. Send me your stories of kindness tell me the things you've done and how it made you feel because I want to know somebody else to go to the editor of the paper and so you want to write a column.

How does this work know the editor of the newspaper came to me. So remember, I was praying God make me a vessel no idea what I'm praying.

Well wouldn't you know that I got a call from the editor of the newspaper and he said Nicole I know that you used to be on TV and so would you write a section for our paper about politics.

Giggle about that really is for politics. Yes yes television Journal is right so yeah but you're laughing because that's not your thing, but it is more than I hate numbers so I said no and he said okay will what about cooking and I started to giggle and I said I have made lasagna twice and both times forgot to put in the lasagna. I may have been drinking but must be just so he said how about parenting and I said yes.

I will write about parenting as soon as I have launch these three small children out of my house like I'm still on trial here let their yeah so the publisher of the newspaper, threw up his hands.

He said when you figure out what you want to write about. Call me and so God had just set me up for a slamdunk right because I had this great feeling after meeting this young mom and I just knew what I wanted to share with the world. I had no idea that this was going to be my purpose. This was going to be my calling is about to step into it, but I just did the next right thing. I took the next step. So I called apologize and I want to write about kindness and I want people to send me their stories and tell me how it made them feel are times when they received an act of kindness that showed up at just the right moment and and I want to share those so back to the like they want you to write a weekly column weekly. The problem is people didn't send me stories right away so so you have to start doing random acts of kindness. Maybe a bingo yet to be able to write about it. Yes, I had to go out and starting random acts of kindness and then on the flip of that and I had to notice when people were being kind to me, even things that maybe they would've done before that, I just assumed well, that's their job. So now you have your antenna here looking for things different and I'm still stuck back at Dino land ventilators I want to know because it's beautiful. It really is and of the I know a lot of people even myself, who've done something kind and field what you felt walking around the mall. Whatever, you know, like you said your tingling. It's like all that was awesome. I watched her do it a million times but often don't sustain that by going to church and have a spiritual moment is like my whole life can be different than a year later, six months later, like what happened to that.

It just faded away years stuck like that moment wasn't just a moment. It tapped you when this some truth. Obviously, that were talking about what made it stick coming. What made it like I'm going to continue to be kind.

I'm gonna get stories of kindness. What was it because there's a lot of us to do a kind thing here and there, but it isn't like numerous in the law that is like. I found the secret you have found the secret. Well yes and so and now that I had like my antenna was not. I had to find those stories whether I felt like it or not. For the next column within a year of my antenna being up a year of being really intentional about kindness and noticing it as the giver the receiver or the witness. I totally quit drinking.

I had quit smoking I lost 30 pounds. I re-found love with my husband who turns out is a really great guy. Whether he makes the laundry basket or not with his socks. My whole home, changed, and so I think it's almost like you are someone who is dieting when you when you lose 2 pounds can do this and then you lose 5 pounds and you like something you know and if you put in your encouraged and so I was continually encouraged by the kindness I was seeing around me and then the letters that people started to send in.

It really meant a lot to me and I noticed in my own life. All of these changes that were really for the good did you continue to grow in your walk with God.

I got Bible study was instrumental to you, it was knowing I was a child of God, knowing that God had a plan and a purpose for my life allowed me to focus and I can hold that every time I wasn't sure or I felt untethered I can hold onto that truth. God has a plan for your life. And so, knowing that in just grasping onto that allowed me to go through the ups and downs of being a parent and being a wife without totally losing it and feeling the need to self medicate. So here's the question is because I'm the good listeners of your listener, an owner like this is the kindest woman in the world. She's probably never so, are you ever not crying anymore.

The meanie come over the intermediate chapter in the book about that but yes, so am I ever not kind. Oh I so wish my family were here on the floor laughing right now so I never call myself a kindness expert myself a kindness advocate because kindness expert means that you figured out the formula you cracked the code and you can get it right every time, and I don't get it right every time I enter meanie comes out and wants to be judgmental. My intermediate comes out wants to be offended, but I talked back to that. I've learned that I can talk back to that my husband always jokes that you know he's on version Nicole 8.0. Arriving is like you and when you said like like Dave mentioned that maybe you haven't always been kind in your life that are incredibly kind. Now right yeah you can grow and that you can change into me. That's encouraging and hopeful, but that doesn't mean that I always get it right. One of my favorite times. I remember I did not get it was I was living in Ohio, and Mrs. five years ago and my son who is a teenager had a friend over and he my son was supposed to clean up the entryway of our house. There was lots of shoes and lots of backpacks and lots of jackets and I said before, you have this friend over.

I need this cleaned and my son said, yeah, absolutely no problem. So I leave I come back and my son is there with his friend and I walked in the door and I tripped over the shoes in the backpacks and I yelled like the just all instantaneous like I will now scream at you without even thinking it and Charlie and his friend come around the corner and he is like yeah mom, I just let it go. I just I told you you were supposed to clean this up and Charlie's friend who was standing next to him looks at Charlie and says well I guess kindness is, and always contains notes that moment was because he was so good yet so once in a while I absolutely have to go back and say I'm sorry.

You know my words are my actions or my thoughts on that situation. They were not kind to answer this for listeners who were sitting there thinking I want to be kind, but I can't. I just try to keep Phelan.

Can you give me a tip or two or step to take the soak if you really want to start to become a kind person. Start here a number one, think about what you're thinking about get into your brain. God tells us to renew our minds to me. I never understood what that quite meant how do I do that I'm trying to that mean I just have to sit in the Bible all the time was making and what I feel is that what it means is to think about what you're thinking about and if it's a thought that aligns with where you want to be keep thinking about it, whatever is true, and noble and right. Think about that. If it's a thought that isn't serving you, then don't park your brain there replace it with the Scripture replace it with God's word replace it with something that means something to you an alternative thought that will help you to move away from those negative thoughts that will change a world great run practical right Broncos to talk more about that because there's a lot to that. That's really good.

The renewing of the mind is what the Bible tells us were supposed to do it. Of course, kindness is a fruit of this and so before walking with Christ and kindness is not what's coming out, there's a short-circuit in your book. The negativity remedy helps us with strategies on this unlocking more joy, less stress and better relationships through kindness were making this book available to family life to the listers this week.

If you can help support the ongoing work of this ministry. Those of you who are regular listeners who believe as we do in the mission of family life to effectively develop godly marriages and families believing the godly marriages and families can change the world one home at a time you make that possible. You make that mission happen every time you donate to support the ongoing work of family life to the you help us reach more people more often with practical biblical help and hope for their marriage and family. Again, if you can help with the donation today would love to send you a copy of Nicole Phillips book the negativity remedy unlocking more joy, less stress and better relationships through kindness.

Go to our website family like to make an online donation or call one 800 FL today to donate by phone. We should ask for your copy of the book, the negativity remedy when you call or when you donate online. And thanks for your support. We are so grateful for those listers who help advance the mission of family life today to make this daily radio program.

This podcast available to hundreds of thousands of people every day all around the world.

By the way, we are pretty excited around here about an event that is coming up in a few weeks. It is our annual blended and blessed event. It's all one day live streaming event for stepfamilies for couples, single parents, dating couples with kids. Anybody who cares about blended families. This event Is Gonna Be Taking Pl., Saturday April 24 it's online and by the way it's available in both English and Spanish.

There's gonna be a Spanish stream available for those who would prefer to watch the event in Spanish.

You can find out more about blended and blessed when you go to our website family like there's a link there that gives you all the details of the event.

You can get a group together and watch it at your local church, work, watch just by yourself at home get all information is available If you're in a blended family could know someone who is, or if you just care about for the families plan to join us for blended and blessed. On April 24 tomorrow working to continue talking about the power of kindness to defeat negativity in our lives. Phillips will be back with us again tomorrow could be back as well like our engineer today. Keith Lynch, we got some help from Bruce Goff this week along with our entire broadcast induction team on behalf of our host Steven and Wilson on Bob team will see you back next time for another edition of family life, family life to the production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow

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