I know that I've got tons of chaos. Like I feel for the people behind me because it's all like you've just got so much going on. And so there's going to be chaos. And we're in each other's chaos, whether it's in the chaos of our thoughts or the chaos of our actions, because we all have history.
You know, we all have it going on. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.
And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today.
OK, so let's talk about our experience with Whole30. Where are we going with this? I just thought, you know, I'll tell you where we're going in a minute, but I knew you'd start laughing. Why do you think I'm laughing?
Just go ahead and tell our listeners why you're laughing. Well, we did this as a group. Like, let's all do the Whole30. Well, it was just you and I and one of our sons.
Yeah, and there were several other people in it, too. I thought it was just Cody and Jen on us. And so we had a big text thread going like, oh, this is so hard and getting up sugar and giving up dairy, giving up flour. And Dave is like, guys, I don't know why you're whining so much.
It's not that hard. And then I'm seeing him at work and around the house. He's drinking Diet Coke. And I'm like, what? You're not allowed to drink Diet Coke? I did Dave's version of Whole30. Then you had like peanuts. I only added Diet Coke because I'm not giving up Diet Coke. And then you had chips.
Well, every once in a while, I edited a little bit. But you guys were pure. You guys didn't violate a single thing. And I don't know about you, I felt great.
I think we deleted you from our post thread. I'm ready to do it again because I didn't think it was that hard. But I figured you just got to edit a little bit. Now, the only reason I'm bringing it up, it was a 30-day experiment. And by the way, you felt great. I did feel great.
Yeah. You thought it was just awesome. Really hard, but really great. I wish I could do it again and make it. I don't know if I could. It was hard. Yeah. Well, we've got in the studio today, a woman who wrote a book about a better experiment.
30-day. I mean, when I saw your subtitle. Anyway, Kate Wyman is in the studio with us back on Family Life today. Welcome back.
Well, thanks for having me. It's been a few years. Because it was a play. For me, it was a play off the Whole30 to do a soul 30.
It was like off of that? I mean, I'm sitting here right now going, what's wrong with Diet Coke? Like why?
I don't get it. Seriously. There's nothing wrong with Diet Coke. You guys should do Whole30 together. Let's do it.
I just don't know. It says soul 30 is a lot easier than the Whole30 for sure. And it sounds a lot better for you. Well, and it did.
I know. And so it really was like, we do so much for our diet. Like if you're unhealthy, you'll do something to change your diet to make you healthier.
And the whole idea was, if my thoughts are not always productive and helpful, why don't we do something to help the thoughts? And that's where the soul 30 came along, just like a diet. But this is more of an instead of a fast, it's a feast.
Because it really is a feast. I like that. It's the truth, though. It is. And it's a lot easier because you can drink coffee with sugar and milk and all the good stuff.
That's my kind of fast right there. Yes, it is. Well, the book's actually called The Peace Project, a 30-day experiment practicing thankfulness, kindness, and mercy.
And I think all of us love something that's 30 days. This isn't your first book. I didn't realize this, but four books? Yeah. And we had you on a couple of years ago talking about you're not the boss of me anymore. Yeah.
Which is a great book. That was awesome, which was really interesting. I think it might have been our first week as co-host with Bob LaPine at the time. I think it was close to that.
Yeah. It was pretty funny. You said you didn't even realize when we were walking in the studio that we were going to be in there with you.
Interviewing you. You thought we were guests. I know, I'm not terrible.
I do so much prep work. But it was great. And I do remember that. I was so excited to come back and just be with you guys because you're a delight to be with. And I personally am encouraged with what you do. Thanks. So I'm grateful. So thank you for including me in your lineup. Well, you have encouraged us because as we've been reading your book, The Peace Project, it's going to inspire so many.
But Kate, talk about that. Let's talk about peace because it is a choice. And what prompted you to do this? Really? A bad attitude. A sorry, rotten attitude. I'm not joking. Isn't that pathetic?
What do you mean? Well, it all started a morning that I'd come home from carpool and I have a Bible study that meets at my house and has for almost 20 years on Tuesdays. And let's say, let's just tell our listeners, you have five kids.
I do. Ranging from 14 to? 25. And you've been married how many years? It'd have to be 26 or more.
That's for sure. Pretty sure 26. Okay. So I'm not very good at math. I signed up one of my kids at camp for the wrong year, the wrong birth year.
They put her in a cabin two years older. So I don't trust myself with numbers at all. I used to be an investment banker. I don't know what happened. I think I was a faker the whole time.
I can't even. None of my children asked for help with math. Like they quit.
They would run for the hills if I was going to help them. And I'm just terrible with numbers. So I'm not sure. I've been married for a while. So you've been married a while. You come home.
Yeah. So that morning I came home from carpool and I was getting coffee ready for the gals that were coming over. I opened the refrigerator.
I think you all can probably relate to this. There are two cartons of milk in the refrigerator. I pick up the first one. It's empty.
I pick up the second one. It's empty. And I'm like, why? It's the cereal boxes too. I guarantee you I could go in the pantry and there will be empty cereal boxes. And I'm like, just throw it away.
Like, why is it in there? Said every woman in the world. And so I was crabby. I'm feeling picked on right now. Well, I'm sure, I'm guessing it was me that thought there was just a drip still in there. It was like, oh, there's a drip.
We'll keep it. So I was, uh, I was a little unhappy and frustrated and I go get in the car to go to the grocery store. I started backing down our driveway cause we still have side drives and we are on a street that dead ends into a park.
And so often it's hard to get through the street. I see a car coming up down the street who actually pulls aside for me to be able to back out of my driveway. And I was like, this is wonderful.
It's so great. I start backing up and this huge black pickup truck, I guess thought the guy was getting over for him. And he's like, you know, barreling down the road at me. And I'm in this little mini Cooper that was, I'd stolen cause it was one of my kid's car. And whenever they're not there, I love, I pretend like I'm a kid driving that car.
And I had no choice. Like I'm sitting there going for real, like this is my street and I guess I will be now backing down the street so that you can go through. And as I started doing it, I looked up, I don't know what prompted me, but I looked up and it was such a beautiful sunrise.
And I was like, what am I doing? Like, why am I crabby? I am in a car with air conditioning. It's a hot summer day in Texas. I'm going to a grocery store where there will be refrigerated items and people will more than likely say, hello Kay.
Cause I go to the grocery store all the time and I know the people that work there. And I mean, in that whole moment, and I'm like just this sea of really actually thankfulness starts washing over me. And I instantly physically feel better. Like in that moment, I'm like, wait a second, I feel better.
And I think part of it had to do with breathing because when you look up, you breathe. And so my mood kind of changed and I was like, okay, please, you can like take the road. I mean, it's totally fine. And so my attitude had shifted from being forced into backing up to willingly backing up, which was kindness without me really realizing what was happening. Cause I was like, yes, please go. And as the guy passed, there was a young man driving. I genuinely had a moment where I was like, I have no idea what's going on in his day. He could be racing to the hospital for all I know. He could be late to work. He could be a jerk, you know, and jerks have long lives. And I just was like, I prayed for him in that moment, not in some over spiritual way.
Cause really it was a bad attitude that started all of this. And I prayed for myself. And then I went to the grocery store.
I got the milk and I came home. And when the ladies showed up, I was still again, feeling physically so good that I told them about it. I was like, the weirdest thing happened this morning, you know, and I told them all about going to the grocery store and they listened and just was so amazing. The next week they came back and one of the ladies said, can you tell that story again? And the gal sitting next to her goes, oh, I've been doing it because as I told them, I kind of was sort of like, I think it was thankfulness.
That's what was happening. I'm pretty sure it was kindness. And it was compassion. I did not know at that point that it really was mercy that was at play. And so when she said she had been doing it, we were all kind of like, what if, like, what if you did do that?
Like what if you actually practice those things? And it was one of those things, Dave, where it was just like, what about for 30 days? Because it was my soul that was impacted. And that's when it was like, let's do a soul 30.
I want to do a soul 30. And my kids are so nice to actually say yes to these harebrained ideas. So you brought them into it with you. I did, because I don't like doing things by myself. And I am Pollyanna a little bit kind of like, I do get in trouble with those kinds of things. I've started a few businesses that sounded crazy, that really weren't. And I just figured it's always better with friends.
And if it really is something, then it's going to be something for everybody. And it just was an idea. And because they said yes, it's kind of like you draw the line in the sand. And at that point, we did. And we started it. And I got little notebooks for each one of the kids, even though a couple of them were adult kids. And did you still have your group of women, were they thinking, yeah, we want to do this. Yeah. So we did a chunk of people.
We did. And I include especially the women in the book. And of course, the kids too.
They're very nice to let me do that. They all kind of have goofy pseudonyms that they hate. But it's really about the people more than anything else, you know, and that's what I always hope that no one engages with it.
And it thinks, oh, this must be her or this must be them because it isn't. It's for all of us. And this book, it is my fourth book. And so I hope the listeners will hear that this experiment was something the Lord gave us. And we didn't even know that we needed it when he did it. And so intimately, I know that he did it for me.
Because in that period, I probably did a soul 33 or four times. And it deeply moves you. And there's something about experiencing God through it that's so powerful. And the reason why I think it is is because those three things, thankfulness, kindness, and mercy, it's actually the greatest commandment.
And that's what I think the secret sauce is. It's because when you do those things, they actually are the greatest commandment for a reason, especially mercy. You cannot do that on your own. There's no element of us left by ourselves that has mercy. Well, let's talk about what you did. Okay. Because you're talking about thankfulness.
I'm diving right in. You're talking about kindness. You're talking about mercy. Part of me is sitting here going, of course I read, I know. But I want our listeners to hear like, what did you do? Like when I jumped into P90X, remember that? I do. That was years ago. I know. And it was phenomenal. But I'm watching Tony Horton, and I just follow what he's doing as a work out.
And a lot of us do that now. What did you do each day? That's David Ann Wilson with Kay Wyma on Family Life Today. We'll hear Kay's response in just a minute. But first, God does some of his most amazing work in homes just like yours, whether that's a small group Bible study or laughing on the floor with your kids or sharing a meal with your neighbors. The home can be the launching pad for God's work in this world.
And you can help make an impact for more families and spread that vision by financially partnering with Family Life. All this week, as our thanks for your partnership, we want to send you a copy of Kay's book. It's called The Peace Project, a 30-day experiment practicing thankfulness, kindness, and mercy. You can get your copy when you give this week at familylifetoday.com or when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329.
That's 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. All right, now back to David Ann's conversation with Kay Wyma and what her 30-day experiment with gratitude and kindness looked like in her family. Well, we really did have a little notebook that we pulled together, and it wasn't anything special. You know, I just went to the dollar store or got whatever was of interest to them or to me. You could do it on your phone.
I've done it on the notes of my phone where literally I practice. Like I do something, you know, practice gratitude, especially if you're feeling crummy. Like the time when the guy was driving down upon me, I'm unsettled and things are disoriented and there's discord.
And it's like, that's the perfect time to not let that discord mess with you. You know, actually find something in those moments that you can be thankful for and call it out. You know, I was thankful that I was in a car and thankfulness is so overused a little bit. It seems lame, but the reason why there's so many books on gratitude is because it is so powerful.
Like what it does for you, it actually does physically make you feel better because the dopamine is actually firing in your brain. I thought that was fascinating. It is fascinating. In the introduction of your book, you were talking about the brain science behind it. It's fascinating because you're actually made for this.
Like we're created for this. It makes you feel better because there are things occurring in your brain that don't happen outside of these things. And I thought that was fascinating. I wanted to know why they made me feel better. It was sort of like this genuinely is making me physically feel better.
Why? And so with thankfulness, that's one of them. I mean, it's scientifically proven for your heart health to deal with anxiety and worry, because what it does that's so powerful is it shifts your perspective. So, it gets your eyes off of whatever the moment is and what it's stealing from you, and it puts your eyes into another place. And I think that's why the Lord said, you know, love Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, because that's where the thankfulness is going. It's off my eyes.
They're no longer on me. They're on the bigger picture and the gratitude as I saw that sunrise. I mean, it was impossible to not for a moment have my thoughts be overwhelmed by the beauty of the sky that was even on a cloudy day, which speaks volumes into our cloudy days. You know, the sun is always there. It is always shining.
It doesn't matter what clouds are in front of it. And it's like, just take that the extra mile and apply it to your life. And so we did that. We practiced thankfulness. I asked them to do something different every day.
I wouldn't do that now. Like, it doesn't matter. You can be thankful for the same thing every day. It's irrelevant if you're genuinely thankful. So did you write down in your notebook, okay, today is our thankfulness day. No, I did thankfulness, kindness, and mercy every day.
So I have a TKM. And so I'd write down what I was thankful for. And then we legitimately looked for opportunities to practice kindness. And then we legitimately looked for opportunities to practice mercy, which is by far, and away, the hardest part of the entire process. Yeah, define mercy. What's that? Yeah, mercy is defined as compassion or forgiveness shown to someone that you could harm.
Wow. Okay. And I added to it even ourselves because I think we harm ourselves a lot. Here's where it gets complicated because you have these opportunities like forgiveness. We bump into forgiveness and we want to do it, but we don't want to do it because if we do it, it seems like we're saying that whatever happened is okay and it's not okay.
And so the mercy aspect is never a victim role. It is not let someone walk all over you because that is absolutely not what the Lord has for us. I mean, we are his treasured possession. You know, he calls us sought after. He has engraved us in the palm of his hands.
And so he has no interest in people walking over you. But there's a lot of interest in going into this compassion aspect. I looked for definitions. One of my favorite was from a Jesuit priest and he said that it was the willingness to enter into someone else's chaos. And I love that definition because I mean, I was sitting there going, I know that I've got tons of chaos. Like people, I feel for the people behind me because it's always like you've just got so much going on.
And so there's going to be chaos and we're in each other's chaos, whether it's in the chaos of our thoughts or the chaos of our actions, because we all have history, you know, we all have it going on. And the willingness part of what he was talking about is critical because the willingness can either come from me again, beating myself, rolling over, letting you walk on me, which we know is absolutely not what the Lord is talking about, or it can come from a place of wholeness. And I think that's what I loved the most about it, is that when you genuinely practice mercy from a place of wholeness, I am required to be able to believe just for a second long enough to put action on the idea that my significance has been settled. What do you mean by that, my significance has been settled? I don't have to do anything to be okay.
It's done. It's not a plan B, I'm the plan A. And I'm coming at it from a daughter of the king, because I am a daughter of the king and sometimes I forget about that and I'm not sure I've ever sat and lingered in that like I think we should. You're a son of the king, like of the king. Every single thing, seen or unseen, bows to our Father, everything. And to be able to come into a situation to have compassion on someone because I'm coming from a place of wholeness, I'm coming from a place of shalom, which is why this landed at the Peace Project, because shalom is peace, it's wholeness, it's completeness, it's the coming together of opposites, it's where light meets the dark.
And then to get to live that because you're acting on it, it's insane, it's so incredible. I mean, I can't tell you what it does for you because you're putting meat on the bones of actually trusting the Lord, not in some idea because you're going beyond the thought process to acting on it, and there's something that happens when we do that. Yeah, develop that identity piece because I picked it up throughout your book as you were talking about choosing thankfulness and kindness and mercy, and you just said it. There's this foundational identity in Christ. I mean, I think of Ephesians 2.10, you know, we are God's workmanship, talk about that, because it feels like if I don't have that, it's so much harder, but if I do, I can sort of live it out. Yeah, okay, so it's going to be great for you whether you know it or not. If you practice these things, it's good for you, period.
It's good for any person, any human, because it's like re-humanizing everybody, because instead of seeing someone as a product or an object or anything, you're seeing people as a human. I saw it in the plane on the way over here. I mean, there was a little girl that was drawing on a couple of rows ahead of me on these cute things. The stewardess walks by, comments on it. All of a sudden, there's like this beautiful connection going on two rows ahead of me, all having to do with a kind little girl who drew and gave the stewardess her pictures. And they've learned each other's names.
They're on a first-name basis. The stewardess had even taken her pictures and put them at the front of the airplane so everybody could see them when they walked out, because people are amazing. And sometimes in this culture, we've forgotten how incredible people are. And so in these actions, we're actually not canceling anybody. We're not discounting anybody.
We're not discarding anybody. We're re-humanizing the entire effort, even for ourselves. And that identity piece, if we can get there, what I found through this is it actually helped me start to believe that the things the Lord speaks of me might be true. It's so hard to receive that you're a masterpiece, because that verse where his workmanship, poiema is the other word that's used.
That's the Greek word that is right there. And workmanship. And then the masterpiece is another interpretation.
Yes. And to actually believe and lean into the fact that you are a masterpiece. And a masterpiece is unique.
There's not another one like it. Like the Hope Diamond, have you been to the Smithsonian and seen do y'all like rocks? Like that part of the Smithsonian is so unbelievable. Well, it's in a room with gems around the room, but the Hope Diamond is in the center of the room. It has lights all over it. It has guards next to it. It has a dome of like protection over it because no one can get to it. And it's like a small rock for all intents and purposes.
And that's nothing compared to you. Like the Lord's angels go before you in the same way that the Secret Service is going before our president. You know, it's like whatever is on this earth is exponentially true of what he feels for you, how he protects you, how he goes before you, how he is a provider every single day in abundance. It's those things you get to experience. And it sounds so ridiculous that you're doing it when having things like compassion on somebody else, which seems like such a weak place to come from, but it's actually the strongest place to come from if you're doing it out of wholeness.
I love that, Kay, because you're right. When our identity is fixed on that, on King Jesus, of the creation that we are, that God created, it takes our eyes off of ourselves, maybe out of the thinking, you know, because we can think highly of ourselves and often we think very little of ourselves. And either way, our eyes are on ourselves and our thoughts are on ourselves. But there's something about when we have our eyes on the King, we start to see the people around us as his children, whether they know him or not. I was in line at the grocery store and it's so hard not to keep your eyes on ourselves because we're all worried, we're all stressed, we're losing people.
Anxiety and worry is at the forefront of everyone. But I was in the self-checkout line and I had this overwhelming thought that I needed to pay the groceries for this woman ahead of me. By the way, this doesn't happen just once in a while, this happens quite a bit.
And I never even looked at the person ahead of me. I just felt this sense that I should pay for this person's grocery. I don't know, I'm kind of like, oh, I don't know, this is going to be weird and awkward, but I have this sense that God loves this person so much that he wants to care for them through me. And so all of a sudden, the person that's kind of helping everyone says, oh, your credit card isn't going through.
You've got to be kidding. And so then I'm like, see, that was Jesus, because you're always going, is that God, is that me? And so I go up and she's talking to the attendant and I go up and I just put my credit card in.
I just do it really quick. And she was about to come back and she was taking things away. And I said, oh, it's all taken care of. And when I looked at her, I thought, okay, people were judging her. She didn't smell great. She looked like she had been through a mess.
She looked like she hadn't slept in days or showered in days. But I just felt in that moment like, God, you're crazy about her. And I just hugged her and I said, God sees you and knows you and loves you. And it was just great opportunity.
And so often I miss those opportunities because I'm in my own head. It's true. And then, you know, the thing about kindness that you did right there, I know that it made you feel as good as it made her feel. Yes. And it seems like, again, that you're giving something away or that you're doing. And it's what you receive through is way better, phenomenal. And it always works that way. Exactly.
With kindness. I do know with mercy on the compassion part and stuff like that, sometimes that doesn't come back. Like you don't feel, someone isn't feeling great on the other side.
But I can tell you what it does to you individually is so significant. It really is. And it can be something small. And I love that, you know, it's like opportunities do present themselves in the grocery store. All the time. I have a friend, Courtney, who they will often just be able to let the checker know that she is a person because people can be so rude.
And especially now, you're right. It's just like everyone's on edge. And they will purposefully read the name of the checker and say hello and get candy or whatever it is on the way out. And they'll ask her, what kind of candy do you like? And so she'll say what she is. And the girls, her girls are picking out that candy so that they can give it to her so that she knows she's seen. She's known that, you know, that you heard her and you listened.
Just little baby things like that are so amazing. This morning, again, it's all day every day. I get multiple examples even from this morning. I'm going through the TSA. And of course, I got stopped.
You know, I don't know why. And the lady is like checking my arm or whatever. And then she goes, honey, I think your jacket's on inside out. And I was like, it is! And I was like, thank you so much.
I would have gone the whole day with it inside out. And I was just laughing because, you know, I could have been crabby because it was inconvenient or whatever. But it's just, I just love things like that because people are just people and people are pretty amazing.
And it's worth celebrating. You've been listening to Dave and Anne with KYMA on Family Life Today. If you've got a preteen, you know, they won't stay pre for that long. The teen years are coming and life's issues will change and get more complex. And conversation can get trickier with things like dating, body changes and peer pressure. Issues that, though totally awkward, make or break teenagers and teens to be. And we want to help you be there for your preteen.
You can start talking with a resource from Family Life called Passport to Purity. You can take 25% off with the code PASSPORT through Friday at FamilyLifeToday.com. And tomorrow, Dave and Anne Wilson are going to be talking again with KYMA about changing your neural pathways to be more positive and gracious. That's tomorrow. On behalf of Dave and Anne Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
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