Overcoming Obstacles

Does overcoming obstacles seem nearly impossible? They sure have for me. But, I’ve learned practical ways to overcome obstacles and find a path to getting unstuck that might help you and your children.

We all encounter obstacles, but not everyone has the tools to turn these challenges into stepping stones. With faith, a positive outlook, and a few actionable steps, you can learn how to overcome obstacles that can keep you stuck. Whether you’re struggling with work, your personal life, or your child is struggling, there’s a way to gain forward movement.

While obstacles are common, learning to overcome them can change your future. Challenges don’t have to defeat us or keep us stuck. That’s why consistent time with the Lord and a community of friends can change that.

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We all encounter obstacles, but not everyone has the tools to turn these challenges into stepping stones. That’s why I’m excited to share this episode with you and your family. I want you to learn not only how to get unstuck but also how to run your race with excellence.

Overcoming Obstacles by Identifying and Assessing

We can’t overcome obstacles if we don’t understand the problem. Which is why you have to be honest with yourself.

I like to begin by gathering as much information as possible about the circumstances, feelings, behavior, and thought patterns that are keeping me stuck. You can do this too.

  • Pray and ask the Lord to give you insights
  • Ask trusted friends or your family what they have observed about me
  • Write down why you feel the way you feel
  • Carefully examine where your thoughts and beliefs are coming from that you are believing about yourself.

The benefits of carefully assessing and identifying why you can’t overcome obstacles using these steps can be eye-opening. Once you or your child has completed these steps, I recommend looking for triggers and patterns that you might not realize are happening.

Understanding Triggers and Patterns

Learning to get beyond struggles that might be holding you back, requires identifying triggers and noticing patterns of thought and behavior.

  • What specific situation causes you to feel stuck?
  • What is your emotional reaction?
  • Do you have recurring thoughts and behaviors that cause you to pause?

By spending time on reflective listening, we can identify triggers and patterns of thought and behavior. The words we think and believe about ourselves are powerful, which is why we must not focus on addressing them.

Overcoming Obstacles Through Reflecting Listening

The purpose of reflective listening is to help one understand any deeply held beliefs about oneself or the world. When you take the time to pay attention to what you think or say, you can start to construct a plan that will move you forward.

  • I’m not good at ______?
  • I lack self-confidence.
  • What if I fail?
  • Fear of failure

Our underlying beliefs can cause internal frustration and emotional paralysis. The next step in getting unstuck is to identify where our thoughts, beliefs, and patterns are coming from.

Acceptance and Skills Development to Overcome Obstacles

Learning to accept where you are is a pathway to knowing what skills you need to develop to move forward. To do this well, we need to learn practical problem-solving skills to deal with specific situations that might be causing us to get stuck. Here are a few

  • Tell yourself the truth about a situation. Being honest with yourself is essential to learning.
  • Remind yourself that no one can make you feel or stay stuck. Others may say or do things that knock you down. They don’t have the power to keep you there.
  • Pray: Ask the Lord to help you develop problem-solving skills. Trying to get around obstacles on your own makes any situation more difficult. God has a plan for your obstacle; you need to know the plan.

Every new skill requires practice. I encourage you to write down the behavior you need to improve, the thoughts you want to change, and the patterns you want to challenge. Remember this: When God instructs us to lay something down, we are told what to pick up. It is easier to replace old habits with new ones. That takes practice.

Evaluate and Readjust

Throughout your life, you will be faced with many obstacles. For this reason, make it a habit to evaluate and readjust as needed. Consider what is working and change what isn’t. There is freedom in the pivot. Your approach to overcoming obstacles will change as you and your children grow and mature.

My prayer is that you can gain insight into the processes you need and learn effective ways to overcome obstacles so that you can move forward. I encourage you to tailor these tips to your specific needs and circumstances. The goal is to equip yourself with skills and tools that you can use when obstacles present themselves.

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Overcoming Rejection

Overcoming rejection is possible when we focus on our emotional actions, mental actions, physical actions, and spiritual actions! I don’t like to be rejected. And chances are you don’t either? Honestly, no one likes to be rejected, but overcoming rejection is a part of life that we must learn to do well. Today, we’ll continue our topic on rejection. Last week, we focused on navigating rejection. While navigating rejection is vital to understanding what is happening in your child, overcoming rejection helps us protect the bond during the healing process.

It is possible to overcome the sting of rejection and experience the joy of restoration.

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Overcoming rejection can be tough, but there are several action steps you can take to heal emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Here are a few suggestions to help you move forward and regain your balance:

To mend these breaks, try to understand the source of rejection. This might take several conversations and sincere prayer, but it does help your hurting hearts mend and see relationships restored. It isn’t easy, but it is worth every step.

Emotional Actions to Overcome Rejection

Understanding these manifestations of rejection is the first step in a long journey of healing and restoration. Verbal rejections cut deep, but they often spring from a place of frustration or a child’s need for autonomy. Physical withdrawal and the pursuit of privacy signal a natural progression towards independence, while criticism and embarrassment reflect their budding self-identity and social consciousness.

Allow Yourself to Feel: Acknowledge your emotions without judgment. It’s okay to feel hurt, disappointed, or frustrated after being rejected. Allowing yourself to truly experience these feelings can actually help us process them more naturally.

Express Your Feelings: Talk about what you’re going through with someone you trust. Expressing your feelings can lighten your emotional load and help you gain insights into your personal experience. Sometimes, just hearing yourself talk can help you understand more about what you need to heal.

Seek Professional Help: If your feelings of rejection are overwhelming, consider talking to a pastor or counselor. They can offer professional guidance to help you work through your emotions constructively.

While all forms of rejection are hurtful, learning to stay focused on your relationship goals will help you overcome the rejection with hope and healing.

Mental Actions to Overcome Rejection

I’ll be honest: being rejected by your child is painful regardless of the type of rejection you experience. The path to restoration is paved with open conversations, where listening is just as critical as talking. It involves acknowledging your child’s feelings without dismissing your own, creating a safe space where vulnerability could lead to understanding.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: Pay attention to and challenge any negative thoughts that arise from rejection. Replace thoughts like “I’m not good enough” with “I am good enough, but this wasn’t the right fit for me.”

Focus on Growth: Use the experience as a catalyst for self-improvement. Whether it’s enhancing skills, expanding your knowledge, or simply cultivating a new mindset, focusing on growth can turn rejection into a stepping stone.

Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness exercises such as prayer or deep breathing techniques. These practices can help center your thoughts and reduce the rumination often associated with rejection.

While practicing emotional and mental steps to overcoming rejection, there are physical actions your can take that will help you navigate the conflict.

Physical Actions to Overcome Rejection

Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and sadness.

Maintain a Healthy Routine: Ensure you get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods, and maintain a regular schedule. A healthy body can support a healthy mind, making you more resilient.

Do Something You Love: Engage in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Whether it’s painting, hiking, reading, or cooking, doing things you love can provide a great emotional lift and a positive distraction.

It was through prayer that I found the grace to release my pain and embrace hope, trusting that the strength of our relationship could weather the storms of rejection. God uses the rejection we experience from our children to cause us to read the Word and trust the Lord to help us work through the struggles.

God Will Help You Overcome Rejection

Remember, rejection is a part of life that everyone faces at some point. It’s not a reflection of your worth or capabilities. With these practical steps, you can nurture your relationship and overcome rejection. Someday, you will look back on those moments of heartache and learn to see them not as scars but as landmarks of our journey toward healing.

You might wonder what my relationships with my adult children are like. Well, they are deeper and more profound because of the challenges we’ve overcome. It’s a testament to the faithfulness of the Lord, of the love we cultivated over the years, and the transformative power of forgiveness. And it can be for you, too.

To any parent walking through the shadow of rejection, know that this is not the end of your story. With time, prayer, and a heart willing to heal, what was once broken can be made whole. The journey may be fraught with challenges, but it is also filled with opportunities for growth, understanding, and an even deeper connection with your child. Remember, the echoes of rejection can eventually lead to the harmonies of reconciliation and love.

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The Urgent Need to Retreat – ETB #175

As I’ve traveled this summer, I’ve heard many people talk about being tired and overwhelmed. Just like you, I can’t get everything on my list done in a day! As a part of a recent conference, I participated in a retreat. So today I’m sharing with you the importance of retreating, just as Jesus did in the Bible. There is an urgent need to retreat! Let’s talk about this need for finding quietness and rest amidst the chaos of life and how retreating can provide strength, joy, and a renewed connection with God.

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Sometimes quiet is something that we have to make happen. This act of retreating keeps us steady in the midst of chaos and near the heart of God.

“In quietness and rest is your strength.” – Isaiah 30:15

I’ve learned that if we don’t make time for this quiet and stillness, sometimes it is thrust upon us. It is vital that we retreat so we have the needed quiet to allow our minds to be still. God provides strength to us when we retreat. Rest moves us from burnout to breakthrough. Our lives are so busy and these things are robbing us of the time that we need to be in God’s presence.

When I say retreat, I’m not talking about activities that require money or days away. I’m referring to the simple daily time alone with God.

In Genesis, God modeled the practice of rest after He finished creating. In the Gospels, Jesus modeled getting away from the crowds. If God Himself rested and retreated, it seems that we should follow His example. It is a lifeline for us!

“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16

Exactly how you do this will look a little different from another person. Maybe you do this by taking a walk, sitting on the porch, or a chair where you can sit alone. You might be able to retreat for a minute or ten minutes or an hour.

Also, remember that your children are watching you. They will see how you take this time away with God and how you make spending that time a priority.

Things to consider:

  • Where can you retreat?
  • How long can you retreat?
  • What does God want to say to you?

More Verses to Ponder:

  • “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
  • “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” – Psalm 23:2-3
  • “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” – Psalm 37:7
  • “Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'” – Mark 6:31
  • “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” – Psalm 116:7
  • “The Lord replied, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.'” – Exodus 33:14

As the fall season approaches, I encourage you to incorporate retreating into your daily lives. I challenge you to add a time of retreat to your calendar. Guard that time like you do taking your children to their various activities. By carving out moments for stillness and communion with God, we can find strength, joy, and direction in the midst of life’s chaos.

References and Links

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Season 3: A Look Back at God’s Faithfulness – ETB #153

I want to take a moment to talk about God’s faithfulness. The Equipped To Be Podcast has reached a major milestone. With this episode and the transition to Season 3, we have marked three years of episodes! There were ups and downs along the way, but I’m so excited to have shared this journey with you!

Season 3: A Look Back at God's Faithfulness - ETB #153

The Equipped To Be Podcast launched in February 2020 right before the world was turned upside down by the pandemic. I couldn’t have done this without the team who works with me to get these episodes out to you each week. We wouldn’t still be on the air without you, the listeners, or our partners and sponsors. It’s such a testament to God’s faithfulness.

Equipped To Be isn’t just about one topic. We talk about things spanning the spectrum from parenting to education to faith and so much more because it’s all about helping you know and understand that you’re equipped to be a doer of God’s word. You have a calling and a purpose.

Many thanks also go to the guests who’ve been on the show. (See a list of some notable episodes below.) I also owe a shout-out to Libsyn, my host, who supported me and gave me guidance along the way.

This podcast started because Amanda Pelser from The Pelsers Media was sitting in my office and talking about starting the podcast. I didn’t have the technical skills to pull this off, but Amanda said she’d help me. She and her husband, Josh, have been with me from the beginning of this podcast!

Many days, I would come into the studio and just pray, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” I’d script it out or make some notes and then hit record. Then Amanda would clean and polish it and deliver it to you. Every step of the way, you were in mind because we don’t want to waste your time. It’s too precious and too valuable.

When God tells you to start something, just start. Start ugly as a book from a friend of mine says in its title. Start with what you have. Do the best you can. Go and grow as God leads. This is what we’ve done with Equipped To Be. We’ve added features over time like images and show notes and we continue to add value as God gives us the tools and resources to do so.

Would you take a moment and help us out? Your support means the world to us!

  • Join our email list using the box below
  • Leave a rating and review in your favorite podcast app like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc
  • Subscribe to the Equipped To Be podcast in your favorite podcast app
  • Share the podcast with a friend

(Links to a few top directories are at the end of this post for you.)

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I can’t tell you what’s coming next. I’ve been in a very difficult season. I’ve had to strip away many things in my life and ask the Lord what He wants me to add back in. I do know that I have some exciting guests lined up to share stories that will help you in your journey. Back in 2020, I didn’t know if we’d last more than six months, but here we are, still bringing you encouragement. Thank you for listening. This is your milestone as much as it is ours.

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It’s Okay to Rest – ETB #138

There’s a difference between resting and quitting. Many times I feel like I want to quit. Today, I want to remind you that it’s okay to rest, but it’s not okay to quit.

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In this episode, I’m being vulnerable and sharing some recent life events that have made me want to quit. I know I can’t quit, but I also know that God is calling me to a season of rest for a while.

For some of you, you might just need mental rest. A vacation or some kind of physical exercise like a walk or a trip to the gym might be just what you need. You might need time to read the Word and pray, even if it’s just five minutes. For others, like me in the season, you might need physical rest.

I want to say it again: It’s okay to rest!

How to Make Decisions About Seasons of Rest

Here are some things that you can do to help figure out how to prioritize a season of rest in your life:

Ask yourself in what areas of your life can you rest? There are things like raising kids that can’t be stopped, but there are other things that you could let go of. What are those things? Can they be let go of entirely or do you just need to press pause on them for a bit?

Don’t measure yourself by productivity. God isn’t measuring you by your level of productivity! He’s looking for your faithfulness. Are you doing what He has called you to do?

Pay attention to what God is telling you. Is this something that God is calling you to lay down? Is there something else that God is telling you to pick up?

Make a list of what you’re doing with your time. Are there places you can delegate? Can you hire someone to do a task? Can you ask a friend for help?

Don’t let fear dictate your choices. There are always new opportunities. You can’t do everything!

Bottom line: don’t quit when life gets hard. Live your life in seasons with the right perspective. God has a plan for you and He will lead you!

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Immerse Yourself in Today – ETB #130

Are you immersing yourself in today? Or are you wrapped up in taking pictures “so you won’t forget?” Or consumed with what someone else is doing? Or thinking about work that needs to be done? I have the same temptations and I want to encourage you to focus more on immersing yourself in today rather than the cares of tomorrow.

Immerse Yourself in Today - ETB #130

This episode is sponsored by Homeschooling Today Magazine. Learn more, start your subscription, and read my regular column about relationships!

How many times when you’re on vacation or on a nature walk with your kids, do you pull out your phone and take pictures? You start snapping pictures of everything because you want to remember it all. You want to be able to look back and relive the moment later.

I’ll confess. I have a ton of pictures on my phone. I tell my kids that I take so many pictures so I can remember everything. But, I feel a little convicted about the number of pictures.

Not Fully Present?

How often do you take pictures but forget to be fully present in the moment? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take pictures. I just want you to truly experience the moment you’re in. When you look back at the pictures, do you remember what was going on around you? It’s kind of hard to relive a moment that I didn’t really live in the first place. Was I distracted instead of present? I encourage you to embrace where you are whether is it a waterfall, a vacation destination, or a typical day.

Sadly, these days, when you’re out and about, everyone is on their phones. They are missing what’s right in front of them! Don’t get caught up in trying to do more or that feeling that you might be missing out on something. Stop missing out on what is in front of you because you’re looking five steps ahead. Immerse yourself in today!

What is going on in your life today that you might be missing because you’re not fully immersed in today? You can’t go back to where you once were in life. That’s now history. This moment only happens once. The enemy loves to rob us of our time. He loves to see us busy. The enemy wants to distract us. He is trying to make us believe that we can multitask. Resist and choose to be present today.

Regrets and Living in the Moment

What do you regret not doing or not doing more of? Do you wish you would have traveled more? Wish you would have been in the corporate world? Something else? I made decisions in my life that meant I had to pass up opportunities in order to be present with and for my kids.

If I was out on the boat with the kids when they were little, I couldn’t be consumed by what others were doing that might be more interesting or more fun. In some ways, you could say I was oblivious to what others were doing because I wanted to be fully present with my kids, but I also had the luxury of not having instant access to social media when my kids were that little. But, I could have easily allowed myself to be consumed with news headlines instead of reading that bedtime story. You have the opportunity today to help a child with a math problem, show them how to cook or ride a bike, and more. Be there and be present!

Be Interested in Your Kids for Long-term Relationships

Your kids want to know that you’re interested in them. When they know this, they want to be around you. My adult children pop over to the house regularly. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have a kid come by the house at some point. These relationships don’t happen by accident. It takes a vision of the future and intentional work on your part today.

Don’t go through life taking pictures of places and activities where you weren’t fully present. Immerse yourself in today!

References and Links

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