I don't even want to talk about the hard stuff we live through, only because it might make people compare and go, well, she has every right to be sad.
Well, so do you, and whatever thing is going on in your life. For me, and this is just us, we have found that living life honestly next to each other has been the most helpful thing. 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. One of the things you talk about quite often is that I'm joyful. Football.
Besides that, yes, football for sure. But I've heard you say, like, she's so joyful. And honestly, sometimes I'm surprised by that because I don't see it. You are surprised? Yeah, I am surprised.
Like, really? Do you see that? Well, you're number one strength finder. Number two.
Number two? I think it's number one. Strength finders is wrong. I'm right.
What do they know from a test? But it's positivity. Yeah, it is. And all I know is, I'm not saying, you know, you're like perfectly positive all the time, but you are generally positive. And I don't know. I didn't used to be. All I know is a couple months ago, you had a day where you weren't positive, and I felt like I can't function. If my wife is a positive, I fall apart. It was like I realized, wow, you are such a source of strength for me because you bring an optimism and a positivity. And when that was lacking that day, I was like, wow, I want that and need that so much from you. But what I was going to ask, too, is- I took you somewhere you didn't want to go, didn't I? Thanks for saying all that, by the way.
That was really nice of you. Do you think it bugged our kids, though, when they became teenagers? Well, they've told us it did.
I think they told us that yesterday. Didn't you just have a conversation? It's like, Mom, could you just empathize with my pain rather than just telling me it'll be okay?
Yes. And that was really hard, actually. And we're still in conversation about that. Yeah, because I'm always jumping to butt God, and sometimes I wasn't good at sitting in their pain with them. And I'm still learning how to do that because I hate seeing our kids in pain.
But why are we talking about that? Yeah, well, we've got Kate Wyma back in the studio with us today. Welcome back to Family Life.
Thanks so much. Kate, we love having you with us. Oh, man, it's just so fun being with you guys because that is one bear of a topic because watching someone in pain is so hard. Obviously, you've written a book called The Peace Project, which is a 30-day experiment of being thankful and choosing kindness and practicing mercy. But I could tell, even as you were talking at lunch and then reading through your book, you've gone through hard times.
I mean, we all have in the last couple years. And you have five kids. Yeah.
And most of them are adults. Yes. And you have a 14-year-old. Yeah.
And you've been married over 25 years. Yeah. So you've lived through some pain. We have definitely lived through seasons of extreme hardship.
Yeah. So talk about what we were just talking about, how you choosing thankfulness, positivity, even trying to lead that and model that as a parent with your kids. So I think I'm so glad that you said positivity because it's got to go deeper than that because if it is the positivity, then I'm in trouble because then it's going to sound like they have to feel good all the time.
And that's going to leave them flat. Me too, quite frankly, because there are legitimate and sad days. And we've definitely, man, we've had some sad days, really, really sad. But hope reigns eternal. And that's the key. And it's not that you're glossing over the pain.
No, never. I think that's the difference. Right. If you're faking positivity. Or just wanting it so badly, you can't hurt. Yeah. The truth is, this world is full of hurt and full of not great things that happen to really great people.
We talked about that too. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. I mean, there's just, it's not always an A plus B equals C. It just isn't, you know, in the world's economy, it is like, if you do this, then you get this. And that's what we strive for because we live in this world. And so it's all been said, if I do these things, then my kids will have this GPA. If I do these things, they'll get on the team. And I know that your kids haven't made the team or gotten the part they wanted or been left out of a party or all these kinds of things that would trip us up. If we really buy into that ideology, then I'm handing a whole lot over to an outcome.
A ton. And these are human beings and they're worth a lot more than handing them over to stuff like that. Oh, yeah. Why does Solomon say that we can live all this stuff with joy? Because joy isn't circumstantial.
It just isn't. And when hope reigns eternal, it is the person of hope that has defeated everything. And so for me personally, I have lived a lot. I've lived calling out the name Jehovah Sabaoth, which is Lord of all the seen and the unseen, especially in a carpool line, because there's a lot going on. There's tons going down in that world in a middle school or in a grade school or whatever that is unseen. And we know how bad that can hurt. And to be able to put it in the place of the one who all of that bows to, that changes things.
So that when that kid gets in the car, that stuff is real and it's legit, but it doesn't own them. So what's that like? We talked earlier about how you started this 30 Brave Project and you brought your kids into it. I did. Yeah. And so let's say, you know, you're practicing thankfulness. Right.
And you've got a middle schooler that climbs in the car that just had a terrible day. Yes, I might have done that. And I think it was on our first day, actually.
Was it? I'm not kidding because I figured that the kindness might be hard. I knew that that kid, the middle schooler, had no clue what mercy was because I'm not sure I did either. But I was like, thankfulness. He gets in the car. I put his little notebook. I made notebooks for each one of them if they wanted it with a little TKM on it, practicing thankfulness, kindness and mercy every day. I put the middle schoolers in the car console because I thought it'd be fun. You know, to me, how fun to get to talk through these things. A middle school boy getting in the car. Yes.
I think I told you last time I'm Pollyanna and that just proved it because I don't live in reality because of course they're not going to do that. Who wouldn't want to do that after a long day of middle school? Especially with their mother. I mean, that's just gross. I gross myself out. Like, I would not want to do that with me either. I mean, ew.
So anyway, he gets in the car. I promptly pull out his little notebook. I'm dressed similarly. I'm in a dress right now, which I normally don't wear. Oh, I do every day. Do you not? No, I really don't. No, she does not. She's kidding.
And I'm gullible on top of that. And so this kid gets in the car and I'm like, what do you have to be thankful for? And he looks at me and he goes, nothing. And I was like, nothing? Nothing?
And he looks at me and he goes, not one thing. And I just was like, well, let me tell you what to be grateful for. She's me. That would have been me. And I was like, I had just come from a funeral from a family friend. You're making this up.
I am not. And the day before I'd been in a different funeral of a friend of mine who had cancer. Twight had your dress on. Yeah. And I still cannot believe I went there, but I did. I'm watching my child tear up because he's like, which I would be too, is a terrible thing to say to him. At least you're alive.
You know? I mean, it was awful. And, and he looks at me and he goes, I just want you to know that the one thing I'm afraid of is life without you. And I just was like, I'm so sorry. I'm profusely apologizing as we're all like literally bumping onto this road. So this isn't an experiment that was like, here's the golden things that happen all the time.
I mean, it's just real. It's sort of like, we didn't know what we were doing. It sounded like a great idea because we had walked through some stuff that proved to us that when you practice these things, thankfulness, kindness, and mercy, it bodes well for you. But we didn't know what we were doing.
And so that wasn't the, just a beautiful highlight. However, as is so often the case, meeting it honestly, where I was like, that was wrong. I was wrong to do that. I am so sorry for me to give myself a break and go, I really am sad. I'm sad because I'm sad for what's happened. I shouldn't have like brought it out on that kid, but he meets me there too.
And then he hilariously is finding something to be grateful for as we're leaving. But it just are these real moments. And for me, and this is just us, we have found that living life honestly next to each other has been the most helpful thing. I don't even want to talk about the hard stuff we live through only because it might make people compare and go, well, she has every right to be sad.
Well, so do you and whatever thing is going on in your life, there are hard things. And to be able to openly, honestly meet these and live next to each other, not in shame. I hate shame. Shame. You know, these things that are, aren't a part of heaven, please let them not be a part here.
All the woods, the coulds, the shoulds we've, you know, those need to leave. And so we walk that with each other, with the kids. Yeah. And I'm thinking, how can a listener do that? Let's say they haven't really done anything like this before. And they're listening and maybe they're thinking, I'm going to do this. And so they say they're sitting down at dinner.
Maybe they have elementary to high school. What would that conversation look like? Let's try. Will you try?
This is something I want to try. I think it really will help you. And here's how it helps. So that when you're going down the hall and you feel like in the school, which are big and everybody's watching out for themselves, because it is fight for yourself, you know, people's lives depend on it. Really they feel like that their social lives, their friendships, and that everyone's looking at them. They all have this feeling like everyone's looking at me. Well, one of the greatest ways to dial that one down is to actually look at somebody else in a way that isn't comparison, but then in a way that's complimentary to be able to walk alongside someone instead of against somebody. And yes, you may be the only one doing it really, but the fuel that it puts into your tank is significant.
And again, that sounds a bit Pollyanna-ish, but it's true because mine do it. And they're human beings in the middle of some pretty scary places, you know, at the cafeteria inviting someone to sit with you. Well, that could be social suicide. This is a human being that so desires to be seen and to be known just to have their name spoken, just speak somebody's name, listen to someone listening is one of the biggest acts of kindness that we can ever do listening to hear and to be able to practice that myself so that I'm listening to my kids, hearing them rather than formulating an argument or what I'm going to say next, actually what it does to them is it makes them feel like a human being of worth, okay? And then did you guys at dinner time, would you talk about how you demonstrated it or how it was hard?
What did that look like? Well, our dinner time probably, I'm going to set the bar low for everybody out there. We don't normally sit down at the table together. There was periods that we did do that, but as our kids got older, that wasn't really possible. And so our dinner time can often look like we're just on the couches, so I talk to them whenever I can.
So you just take whatever opportune moment you have. And when years ago I quit carpooling with people, I just decided that those moments of being able to talk to kids, especially a boy, were so rich that I never cared if they didn't speak, but I didn't want anybody else in the car that was not in our family just for those times. We did the same thing with family vacations.
We stopped having their friends come for a while. It seems selfish, but it really sort of was. We had some of the deepest conversations that maybe we wouldn't have.
It's really helpful. Yeah. And there's something about being in the car too. I mean, you're not looking at each other, so good stuff can happen in the car. Silence might happen in the car.
You're sitting next to each other, you're in the same space, so there's something good happening no matter what. Super inconvenient for me, but I have for years worked everything around those carpool times so that I could have those to be just exclusively for them. And that may not be what everybody does.
Choose a few times to be able to just simply be in the car with your kids. You can say something or not say something because it doesn't always have to be a quote teaching time. Just listen to them. Ask open-ended questions.
What did you think about this without telling them what they think? And the younger you can start doing that, the more they start formulating their own thoughts. And again, it's re-humanizing because most of the things in their world are objectifying them. It comes with grades, it comes with teams, it comes with where you are on a ladder. Those are just part of life here, but those make a person an object because it's like, if I have an A, I'm okay.
If I have an F, I'm not okay. Whatever those things are. And so anything we can do to re-humanize these amazing people that are next to us, that are yours because you can love them really well, like better than anybody. So do it because they just want to be loved and they want to be seen and known.
And guess what? You do love them. Like we do all this stuff because we love them. Spend time with them and like them too, because they're amazing people.
One of the things that we did too is I always had food on the island when they were coming. Coming home because kids just congregate to food and then they're sitting around just eating. I would just ask some open-ended questions even about like, you know, how did you feel today at school? And a lot of times boys wouldn't answer that. So I'd kind of have to go incognito and ask some other kinds of things before I went there. But I just wanted to hear how their heart was doing.
But I like that idea of getting their eyes on somebody else and that mercy aspect and the kindness. We just did it. I was with our grandson at Christmas and he was two. And I said, I grabbed him, I said, Bryce, like, let's look around. This is what I said to him. He's two. And I think it can start so early.
Oh, it can. Let's look around. And then I said, Jesus, who would benefit from this $20 bill today? I told you, she's always giving strangers money. We were in Chipotle.
Yeah. And I came back to the table and they had this story. So I just said, did you see anybody? And then this man was walking by and he bumped into both of us. And so I whispered in his ear, oh, that's the man. And so I said, excuse me, we just wanted you to. And this little two year old, he sticks out his hand and he says, Merry Christmas. And he hands this man this money.
And this guy's like, hey, dude, thanks, man. That's amazing. Thank you.
But I just thought, man, it's never too early to start to be praying. And I love that you brought that up. I had one of the gals, I don't have young children anymore, but I've had a reader that has reached out to me on more than one occasion because her daughter has been so impacted by this book. And even going to soccer practice, she shared a story about how the days had been tough because her best little friend wasn't talking to her anymore and it was getting very uncomfortable.
And so they had started reading this book together. She and her little daughter. How old was she? Do you know? She was probably seven or eight.
I mean, not very old at all. And so she texted me and she said, my daughter just got out of the car. And when she did, she got out with a different attitude than she had the days before. Because for a second, she started to think about the why, like, why is my friend not treating me very nicely? And she realized that there was stuff that was hard that was going on in her life. And so she took that moment to move it to compassion instead of doing what we do, where does her like, well, if you're going to treat me that way, I'm going to treat you this way. And it shifted her.
And that was a little child, like really. And that's where it's sort of like, why should we do this stuff? Because it can change a generation.
Do you want to know how to be able to have a Congress that speaks to each other like kindly and nicely with respect, start grooming it from the very young age. And by the way, it makes them feel good. It's not like do this, do this, do this, they're doing it because it makes them feel better. Which is where I hope that we get like to where it's just a reflex to be able to instantly go to compassion, just in that I have no idea what's going on in that person's life, or to the compassion with the people that are close to us, where you kind of do know what's going on in their life, but you don't like them being mean to you. Well, to be able to again, go from a place of wholeness, which is what this mother was doing for that child. Let me remind you whose you are, whose you are, and who he says you are, so that she could even get out of the car and not have it be some over spiritual thing, but just be able to be nice to this little girl that had kind of been mean to her because she was so hurt. Because we know that phrase hurt people hurt people. But again, this isn't a call to be a victim.
This is a call to come from a place of victory. Well, it's interesting. One of the stories that you tell, I'll never forget, and I've never heard you tell it.
I just read it was when you pulled up, I think to an intersection or as a homeless guy asking for teller. That's David Ann Wilson with Kay Weymah on Family Life Today. We'll hear Kay's response in just a sec, but first, I don't know if you have kids like I do, but don't miss this tip as your kids are getting older. Keep them talking. You want to be the go to person for the hard stuff with your kids.
So pry open the space for conversations that matter. And we've got your back with a resource called Passport to Purity. It's a weekend just for you and your preteen to talk about things like body changes, peer pressure and even dating. And if you have teens, Passport to Identity can help your son or daughter learn how to make their faith their own, uncover their calling and take responsibility. We'll make the talk easier and low prep so you can focus on showing up for your son or daughter and their future. Start the conversation with Passport to Purity or for teens Passport to Identity.
Today is the last day to get 25% off using the code passport at familylifetoday.com. All right, now back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Kay Wyma and a time when a homeless person did something totally unexpected at an intersection. Like I said, we've had some periods of really hard days and a lot of them involving our kids who I really love. And I really like them. I like them.
They're great people. And I was sitting there with one of mine that's very, very hurt. He's had some stuff that has just not been great that he's on the other side of that as far as on the other side, he was on the receiving end of things that were not good. And we had been in the car, he was in the car with me, he wasn't saying anything.
I was so happy to have him sitting next to me. We pull up to an intersection and it was during COVID times and people really are legit having a hard time. People still are having a hard time even though we're glossing over it and making it look like it's nothing. Inside, just below the surface, there's hard stuff going on in people's lives. We pull up and there's somebody standing there that was asking for money.
And at that period, I really did. I'm like you, Ann. I was like, what have we got? What food do we have? I rolled down the window. I'm like, anything we've got is yours. I didn't have anything. I didn't have much. I think I had a $5 bill and maybe a bottle of water.
It just wasn't much, whatever it was. And I handed it to him and I asked him his name and his name was Tuan. And I just said, Tuan, this is all we've got. I just want you to know that I see you and I'm sorry for what's going on and the Lord loves you. And he looked at me and he said, well, what is your name?
Which I've never had that happen before. And I was like, well, my name is Kay. And he said, do you mind if I pray for you? And right there in the intersection, he prayed for me and he prayed for all that was going on in our lives that he might not know about. And I was so moved by it. I didn't even know what to say. I, I sit there because right there was like, it was like a piece of heaven was occurring right there in an intersection with two people from very clearly different backgrounds, different situations going on in our lives, but coming together in this way that was so beautiful and rich and powerful that I just wouldn't have expected at an intersection. And so I rolled up the window and I sat there with my son and I just was, I was floored by it. And so was Tuan as he's waving us by and I don't know what that did for him, but it certainly did so much for me because what I needed that day was that prayer that he prayed over me.
That's what I needed. And if our little somethings that we gave him was something that he needed, what a beautiful way to have two people be able to connect with each other. And I think that's such a big part of all of this.
It's connectedness. It's re-humanizing because one thing about people, we're the Imago Dei, we're the part of creation that is created in his image, in the Lord God's image. It's a lot of people of great worth that are walking around beside us, dare we see each other that way and treat each other that way. It's interesting, you know, hearing you tell that story, it occurs to me that it's like in some sense, you hear the story and you think you're going to be a blessing to Tuan and he ends up being a blessing to you. And if anybody probably could have been ungrateful, it's him standing there, needing a handout from somebody.
And somehow he's choosing, and you don't know him well, but he's choosing thankfulness. He practiced your project. He practiced kindness and mercy. It brought dignity into everything. And in that situation was dignity. That's what the Father does. He always lifts us up and gives us dignity. And I think that's remarkable.
I mean, I was crying as you're telling it, just because we get to do that as Jesus' followers and as children. We get to display His love, yes. And we need each other. We do.
We really do. All I know is reading your book and talking to you is I want to look up. I want to look around. It could be a stranger at an intersection. It could be my sons and daughters.
It could be a neighbor. They're around me to be seen by me. And you said it earlier, I get to love them for Christ. Christ is going to love them through me, and I can't do it if I'm not grateful, kind and merciful.
It will not happen, but if I can allow His power to fill me, it will overflow literally into my cul-de-sac, into my family room. Which is such a mysterious and weird thing to say, you know, because like, what does that even mean? I don't know, but you get to live it. And maybe there are things we can't put words on. And I feel like that's one of them, because what does it mean for Christ to live through you? What does it mean to be His hands and feet? It's unbelievable when it is.
And that's where I think it's the sole difference. You've been listening to Dave and Anne with Kay Weymah on family life today. Our book is called The Peace Project, a 30-day experiment practicing thankfulness, kindness, and mercy. We'll send you a copy as our thanks when you partner with us by giving at familylifetoday.com. Now I've got the president of Family Life, David Robbins, here, and you know, we really need partners in order to see this ministry happen. It is people who make it possible.
Isn't that right, David? Yeah, I just want to take a moment and thank those who give generously every month to help family life today and so many other outreaches of family life, like website articles and We Can Remember Getaways and our global ministry, Thrive. I recently heard from a couple and the wife told me they've been married 25 years and she said, we were on the fence. We almost didn't come to the weekend getaway because we were ready to take a break after 25 years of marriage. This weekend was a godsend. God is using your ministry to heal and mend. Praise God for you. And I just want to say, as we hear that comment, I want to thank you. Praise God for you, those of you who are partnering with us and helping one home at a time grow closer to Jesus. Yeah, thanks so much for making this ministry a possibility and a reality. We appreciate you. Again, when you partner with us, we're going to send you a copy of Kay Weymah's book, The Peace Project, as our thank you.
You can do that at familylifetoday.com or by calling 800-358-6329. That's 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. You know, life's inconveniences, disappointments, and trials can leave us confused and cynical and eventually bitter. Well, how do we overcome all of that? We're going to talk about that next week with Dave and Anne and best-selling author, Paul Miller. 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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