These crazy friends joined me in Fort Worth for a Fresh Grounded Faith event, and at the end of the conference, we got to be both silly and serious as we answered questions from the audience.
We talked about how to deal with loneliness, how to let go of hurts and disappointments, and how to find fulfillment in the monotony of everyday life.
Then Shaun nerded out about the Hebrew understanding of a story in the New Testament, Annie gave us the scoop on her favorite gospel, and I shared how my approach to memorizing Scripture doesn’t start with the goal of memorization. It’s true!
Oh, and you don’t want to miss Tammy spilling the beans about dating a younger guy. Seriously, it was hilarious!
This was one of the most fun, funniest, and life-giving Spill the Beans, so pull up a chair at the bistro.
Meet My Crazy Friends
Annie F. Downs is a best-selling author, nationally known speaker, and host of the That Sounds Fun podcast. Tammy Trent is a singer, songwriter, author, and now the co-host of the Life Today TV show. And Shaun Groves is a worship leader, storyteller, and singer-songwriter.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
Links Mentioned in This Episode
- Fresh Grounded Faith Events
- Audible Free 30-Day Trial
- Magic Spoon Cereal
- One Minute Pause app by John Eldredge
- 4:13 Podcast Episode with Max McLean [Episode 256]
- Spill the Beans With Angela Thomas Pharr [Episode 232]
- Barna Group’s Research on Pornography in the Christian Community
- The Practice of the Presence of God – book by Brother Lawrence
More from Annie F. Downs
- Can I Be Brave When Deep Down I’m Afraid? With Annie F. Downs [Episode 61]
- Visit Annie’s website
- That Sounds Fun: The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby
- Chase the Fun: 100 Days to Discover Fun Right Where You Are
- Follow Annie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
More from Tammy Trent
- Visit Tammy’s website
- Learning to Breathe Again: Choosing Life and Finding Hope After a Shattering Loss
- Stronger Music Album
- Follow Tammy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
More from Shaun Groves
- Can My Pain Become My Purpose? With Shaun Groves [Episode 77]
- Visit Shaun’s website
- Welcome Home CD
- Third World Symphony CD
- Follow Shaun on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Other Spill the Beans Episodes
- With Lysa TerKeurst at Fresh Grounded Faith Jackson, MS [Episode 261]
- With Laura Story at Fresh Grounded Faith Houston, TX [Episode 252]
- With Margaret Feinberg and Kelly Minter at Fresh Grounded Faith Springfield, MO [Episode 245]
- With Kelly Minter and Meredith Andrews at FGF Little Rock, AR [Episode 214]
- With Lisa Whelchel at FGF St. Louis, MO [Episode 189]
- With Jo Dee Messina and Nicole C. Mullen at FGF Springfield, MO [Episode 186]
- With Tammy Trent and Liz Curtis Higgs at FGF Chattanooga, TN [Episode 180]
- With Ann Voskamp and Laura Story at Fresh Grounded Faith Buffalo, NY [Episode 118]
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Spill the Beans LIVE with My Crazy Friends at Fresh Grounded Faith Fort Worth, TX [Episode 267]
Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, this is Jennifer Rothschild. You know, I love my audiobooks from Audible. That's how I'm able to read so many books in a year. If you've never tried it, you can get a 30-day free trial with no obligation. Plus you'll get a free audiobook of your choice that you can keep. So go to 413podcast.com/Audible to get started. And now the podcast.
What do you get when you put Annie F. Downs, Tammy Trent, Shaun Groves, and me at a bistro table in Fort Worth, Texas, together? Well, you get the craziest, most fun, deep, and inspiring conversation ever. Tammy spilled the beans about dating a younger guy. You're going to have to hear that. Shaun, he nerded out about a Hebrew understanding of a story in the New Testament, so the geeks need to hear that. Annie gave us a scoop on her favorite gospel and how to deal with loneliness. And we all weighed in on how to let go of hurts and disappointments. I'm telling you, this is one of the most fun, funniest, and life-giving Spill the Beans you will ever hear, so pull up a chair. We've saved a seat for you at the Bistro.
K.C. Wright: Welcome, welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and Biblical wisdom set you up to live the "I Can" life, because you truly can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
Now, welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Hey, Jennifer here. It's my goal to help you be and do more than you feel capable of as you live this "I Can" life. Me and K.C. are here in the closet. And this is going to be a great conversation, you're going to love it. But I have brought a treat.
K.C. Wright: Treat?
Jennifer Rothschild: Now, I wish I could share it with everybody. Okay. Well, and let me say this. I will share it with everybody. We'll have a link to it on the Show Notes. This is my latest obsession. And I just feel like if we're spilling the beans, we need to be spilling the beans.
K.C. Wright: I love it when you do things like this, because you have led me on to more products and candles and chocolates.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
K.C. Wright: I mean, I always love -- it's like -- Oprah used to have her favorite things?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
K.C. Wright: These are Jennifer's favorite things.
Jennifer Rothschild: Maybe someday I'll actually do a favorite things post.
Okay, so I just opened this. It's a box of cereal. I can smell it.
K.C. Wright: Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: It smells so yummy. Now, y'all know -- maybe you don't. You don't have to follow every obsessive detail of my life. But I am low carb. Okay? So I do everything low carb. Well, I found the best low carb cereal ever. I've tried them all.
K.C. Wright: Wow. Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: This is my favorite. So, K.C., it's high protein, it's low carb, and it's high dollar, because they always are. I'm handing you the box, and I'm going to take a bite.
K.C. Wright: Oh, my goodness, it does smell.
Jennifer Rothschild: Doesn't it smell good. Isn't this one maple? What is this one, cinnamon or maple?
K.C. Wright: This is -- can I tell them?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. The brand is Magic Spoon.
K.C. Wright: Grain-free cereal, and it's called Maple Waffle. Maple Waffle.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. So I'm just imagining right now --
K.C. Wright: Oh, my word.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
K.C. Wright: No, for real. This is --
Jennifer Rothschild: It doesn't have a bad aftertaste.
K.C. Wright: This is like Christmas.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. Okay. So how much protein is in it?
K.C. Wright: Okay. Twelve grams of protein per serving.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's health food, that's what I'm saying.
K.C. Wright: Four grams of net carbs.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Which is low.
K.C. Wright: And zero sugar.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
K.C. Wright: The white devil has been killed at last.
Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. Now, this will cost you your savings account, but it's worth it.
Okay, one last bite, because y'all don't need to hear us chewing.
K.C. Wright: Oh, man, those are good.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right?
K.C. Wright: I'm taking some home for later.
Jennifer Rothschild: You can. You can. I need a love offering to pay for it, though.
Okay, so I just had to share those with K.C., and I thought, well, why not share it with my whole 4:13 family.
K.C. Wright: Now, what kind of milk do you have with that?
Jennifer Rothschild: I don't do milk.
K.C. Wright: Oh, you don't?
Jennifer Rothschild: No, I just eat it like --
K.C. Wright: Really?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Because I don't do popcorn or --
K.C. Wright: Okay.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I use it as, like, my little snack.
K.C. Wright: I love it.
Jennifer Rothschild: But Phil does almond milk with it.
K.C. Wright: Okay, yeah. Curious minds want to know.
Jennifer Rothschild: Exactly. All right.
K.C. Wright: Well, I'm a huge, huge fan of that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, now you know, my people. It is so yummy, seriously, I will have a link to it so that you can find it on the Show Notes. But I wanted to make sure I spilled the beans about that.
And since I gave you a scoop of cereal, now I'm going to give you the scoop about what you're about to hear. Okay? So this conversation that we had was in the spring of this year. Okay? So it happened to be right after -- I hate to say this, but right after the shooting -- remember? -- at Covenant School in Nashville, which is where Annie F. Downs lives.
K.C. Wright: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: So I just needed to remind you of that context, because she's going to refer to that, or inuendo it, and I didn't want you to not understand what she was talking about. So that was right across the street from her, and very tender to her heart, but, of course, tender to all of our hearts. So I wanted you to know that that's what she's referring to.
But also, somebody in the audience asked a Spill the Beans question at this event about our 4:13 episode that I did with Max McLean. He was the -- you remember, the producer and star of The Most Reluctant Convert, one of my C. S. Lewis -- yeah, I, like, fan girl over him. Okay. Some of you already heard it because we had that episode during -- when I was in Italy, right? I think it was 256. So if you haven't heard it, go back and listen to 256.
Okay. But the story behind that was that I forgot -- or the person helping me forgot to press record when I had the first 52-minute conversation with him. It was a big traumatic moment in my life. And, of course, anything traumatic for me, I, like, spread the love, so it was trauma for everyone. Anyway, so that question was asked, and so that's what I'm referring to when I talk about Max McLean. I didn't want you to be confused. But you remember those days. They were hard days on all of us because that's when I was in Italy and K.C. was all alone, all alone in the podcast closet. He didn't even have Magic Spoon cereal to keep him content.
K.C. Wright: Nothing.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay. We're going to have links to everything you need to know on the Show Notes later, but let's get our conversation started.
K.C. Wright: And when you hear this, you'll want to come immediately to a Fresh Grounded Faith event, because these podcasts from Fresh Grounded Faith conferences, what we call affectionately as Spill the Beans, they are my favorite podcasts really. I love re-listening to them, because you miss things and you have to go back and hear different -- I love the different conversations and everyone at the table.
So pack your bag and come now to Fargo, North Dakota. Fresh Grounded Faith will be there on October 27th through the 28th. You can find all the info you need at freshgroundedfaith.com. That's freshgroundedfaith.com. And you can find all this information, of course, on the Show Notes too. Or if you are closer, come to Springfield, Missouri.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: And breaking news, I will be at this one.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, he will.
K.C. Wright: I am going to be there.
Jennifer Rothschild: You got to come see K.C.
K.C. Wright: I will get to hug you in person and love on you and thank you personally from my heart to yours for listening to the podcast. All right? So it is November 3rd and 4th in Springfield, Missouri, and I'd love to meet you. And Annie F. Downs will be there as well.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. It's going to be good. And by the way -- I don't know if you knew this -- Karen Kingsbury will be there also. Yeah, it's going to be a great weekend.
K.C. Wright: Wow.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
K.C. Wright: All right. Well, we just need to get to this. Annie F. Downs is the host of That Sounds Fun Podcast -- which I love that name -- plus an amazing author and speaker. Tammy Trent -- love her -- is a singer-songwriter, author, and now the co-host of The Life Today TV show. And, of course, Shaun Groves, he's a worship leader, storyteller, singer-songwriter. And you know our Jennifer. So let's do this. Let's Spill the Beans.
Shaun Groves: Let's talk about Jennifer.
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, okay.
Shaun Groves: So, Jennifer, you really do have an amazing memory.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Shaun Groves: It's so impressive to me. So this isn't on the card, but I'm wondering if your memory was always good. But what's on the card is where... I'm sorry, I got the question in the wrong order. But I'm going to skip to it. So what are, like, three tips for remembering things, memorizing?
Jennifer Rothschild: This won't be very organized. But when it comes to memorizing Scripture, I never start with the goal of memorization. I start with the goal of understanding. Because I always think in general with memorization, whether it's a verse, whether it's a message, whether it's anything, you have to have a global understanding before you can have granule recall. Okay? So that's super important, understanding first.
And then the repetition of hearing something, or if you can see it, reading it over and over, or combining the two. I've also understood that writing something with your hand helps enhance your memory. But for me, that means typing it. I will type things out.
But when it comes to memorizing, you memorize between the punctuations. That's a way to phrase things, just like you would memorize a song with phrasing. But, like, even this morning, it was 2 Corinthians 12:10. "For Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, insult, hardship, difficulty, and persecution." See, I do my fingers I'm doing that in my head when I'm talking to you. And I've spelled it out, WIHDP. So I know it's W-I-H-D-P. So I do little things like that. I'll create mnemonic devices within verses.
Shaun Groves: But then I have to memorize my mnemonic device.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right? It's hard. But, yeah, I do things like that. So I try to just come up with little techniques.
I will also put things on what I call a ladder, so that on every rung of the ladder is like a main point I'm going to make. And even if you notice when I just said 2 Corinthians 12:10, literally in my mind I will write those verses on the rungs of my ladder in cursive. So I'm very visual. And you can tell when I'm going through something that I've memorized. Often when I'm getting to a transition to the next point, I literally will kind of look up as if I'm climbing the ladder in my head to see what's next.
But it takes discipline. Don't think that, oh, she just has a good memory. Y'all, we all have the capacity for a good memory. It just requires intention, focus, and discipline. But you can do that. God has equipped you with an amazing brain, and I don't like it that women often don't regard highly enough their capacity for memorization and for intellect, because you got it going on.
Shaun Groves: That's good. That's really good. I'm going to go make some ladders in my head next time I have to speak.
So this is for all three of you guys. How do you let go of hurts and disappointments when you've experienced those? How do you let go?
Jennifer Rothschild: How do you let go?
Shaun Groves: -- of the hurts and disappointments?
Annie F. Downs: I think time is a healer, but it's a very unreliable healer without God. And so for me, it is a constant going back and letting go over and over again, and my grip is just less tight every time. But time -- I think time helps.
Jennifer Rothschild: Because emotion fades a little bit with time.
Annie F. Downs: Yes, yes, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Emotion fades, yeah.
Tammy Trent: I'm completely with you, and that's exactly what I said last night. For me, like, time doesn't heal. I think it helps, but I think only God can heal.
Annie F. Downs: Yes.
Tammy Trent: But even in my loss -- I'm 21 years into it -- I'm not stuck in any way. Thank God for that. But I still feel -- and I still have moments where I'm in the house that we built alone together, you know, walking up the stairs and just -- I'll see a picture on the wall and -- you know, or a memory or a card. I don't even want to start crying now. But -- it's the estrogen. It's the thyroid. Yeah, I'm going to pull it together. I have to make a joke to pull it together.
But I'll see something and I'm punched in the gut and I'm right back in that moment. And so I give myself permission -- I give myself permission to feel that, to visit that, but I don't camp there. I don't stay there very long. And even in that moment where I still feel the hurt or the sting or the pain, I still feel the grace of God too.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Tammy Trent: So you can't have one without the other --
Jennifer Rothschild: That's right.
Tammy Trent: -- and survive it and to keep moving forward. If you just take the one, you're going to get stuck and you're not going to keep moving forward. So it's okay, I think, for me, even all these years later, to feel that, but I quickly turn to the hope that I have in Jesus and what I know to be reality, that pain is fleeting and it will not last. Joy comes in the morning, so it's not going to last forever. But what do I have? What do I have? We focus so much on what we don't have. But what do we have?
Jennifer Rothschild: Good word
Tammy Trent: What do I have?
Annie F. Downs: Yeah, yeah. That's really good.
Jennifer Rothschild: You know, Tammy, too, as you say that, I'm thinking, like, what do I do in a very practical way too? You say you shift your perspective to what I have. One of the things that I have done -- because sometimes it's -- okay, it's hurts and disappointment with living people that you have to deal with every day. Right? I had an experience with a human being in the past where there was a -- it was just an ugly situation, and I felt hurt, disappointed, unjustly accused, you know, bad stuff, right? It was very hard to let go of that hurt because I wanted vindication. Okay. One of the things that I did, the Lord led me to -- John Eldredge has an app called Pause.
Annie F. Downs: Oh, I love it. Every day.
Jennifer Rothschild: Every day.
Annie F. Downs: I do it every day.
Jennifer Rothschild: So do I.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, so here's the funniest thing. He starts everyone -- he has this very soothing voice, but he has -- it starts with, "Jesus, I give you everything and everyone." Right? Well, it's our little joke with me and my friend, Paula -- because her son overheard it, and he goes like, "Mom, is he saying 'cheese puffs'?" Yes, cheese puffs. I give you --
Annie F. Downs: I give you everyone and everything.
Jennifer Rothschild: -- you cheese puffs. So it's my little joke now, whenever I feel the hurt and disappointment, I'm like, "Cheese puffs," and that's my cue to, like, "Okay, Jesus, I give you everyone and everything." And it does, because it releases you from the burden of having to manage the disappointment and the hurt.
Annie F. Downs: If you want to look up that app, it's called the One Minute Pause.
Jennifer Rothschild: One Minute Pause, yes.
Annie F. Downs: And inside of it, John Eldredge has read a bunch of one minute pauses, but then you also have three, five, and ten.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah.
Annie F. Downs: It is so beautiful.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love it.
Annie F. Downs: I do too.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love it.
Shaun Groves: That's good. Annie?
Annie F. Downs: Yes, sir?
Shaun Groves: As you have been reading through the Gospels this year, what story or passage has stood out to you? Is -- I'm so blind.
Annie F. Downs: Your glasses are literally right there.
Shaun Groves: I know, I know. Is there one --
Annie F. Downs: The Lord's already answered your prayer.
Shaun Groves: -- that just blows your mind each time you read it?
Jennifer Rothschild: Ooh.
Annie F. Downs: You know what's interesting is the funniest one that I did not know is -- there's a part where Jesus tells the disciples, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees," and they think it's because they've forgotten to bring bread. And so they start whispering to each other, "Is this because we forgot the bread?" And Jesus is like, "No, it's not." So that one, every time we read it, we have to stop because we laugh every time.
Do you know, the first one that -- the only real miracle besides Holy Week that's in all four Gospels is feeding the 5,000. And so that is really interesting to me, that the only one that all four of them wanted to tell was that. And so asking -- doing the curious game of why, and what did they share in their retelling, and what's different in their retelling, why is that the one that they all wanted to tell?
Shaun Groves: Interesting about that passage -- 'cause I taught it recently -- is that there are two feedings. One's the 5,000, once the 4,000.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah, the one's four.
Shaun Groves: In the feeding of the 5,000, they collect 12 baskets of leftovers, the number representing Israel. Jesus is the Bread of Life come first to Israel. But in the other feeding, there were seven baskets. There were seven nations in the land of Canaan. Seven is often the number of the Gentiles.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Shaun Groves: So it's this beautiful symbolism of God became bread to Israel first, but then also to the nations. And so just recently reading through the Gospels myself, it just hit me. I was like, why are there two, and how did I get this far in life not noticing that there are two?
Jennifer Rothschild: It's beautiful.
Shaun Groves: Why are they both there? Anyway, yeah, it's just amazing how this book can keep giving when you read it over and over and over again.
Annie F. Downs: That's it. The Bible is a universe that we will never get tired of.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
Shaun Groves: Yeah. Sorry I got a little nerdy there, but I get excited about this.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.
Annie F. Downs: I do too.
Shaun Groves: So, Tammy, can you tell us the rest of the story? I don't know why it's in quotes there, "rest of the story." Did you mention the rest of the story? So what has God done for you since the passing of Trent? Are you married? Do you have children? Pets?
Tammy Trent: Great question.
Shaun Groves: Friends?
Tammy Trent: Yeah, no friends. You're stuck with me now. Annie's my best friend now.
Shaun Groves: You do have a stalker.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah. Yeah, you got stalker now. We're going to call it friendship. I'm interested.
Tammy Trent: I love it. Gosh. So -- yeah, you know, I have dated, which is good, because it taught me that I wasn't stuck. And that was really important for me. It took me about eight years, though, to do that. And I remember, I was on my way to South Africa to do a women's conference and I saw this gorgeous guy walk on the plane. And I was with Anita traveling, and we were both like, "Mmm, he is gorgeous." We were both single at the time. And 12 days later I was on the plane heading back to America, and this same gorgeous guy -- not a week, not two weeks, but 12 random days, he comes walking on this plane. And we were like, Rrrrrr -- He was so good looking. And we sat down in our seats and I -- before we took off, I was like, "I'm going to use the restroom." When I came back, he had arranged to switch seats with the guy sitting next to me. So now he's sitting next to me for his 15, 16 hours home back to Atlanta. And we were talking the whole time and I just -- he was a believer. We grew up in the same church denominations. We had a lot in common, a lot of conversation. He was just so good looking and --
Shaun Groves: Was he attractive?
Annie F. Downs: Yes, but did you think he was cute? That's the part I can't figure out.
Tammy Trent: He loved God. But anyway, he was so good looking, and so -- he's a Christian.
Annie F. Downs: I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
Tammy Trent: He's a Christian, but anyway. He was so good looking and so I kept staring at his mouth.
So anyway, we get off the plane and so he says, "Well, I'm going to come to Nashville and I'm going to ask you out." And I was like, "Well, you know, I want to be open to this." And so we started dating. We dated for six months. They were truly some great times in my life, and it truly taught me that I could love again. But it's got to be the right thing. And I knew after six months, though, that this wasn't God's best for me. I mean, he was six years old, so it was really tough. It was a big age difference. He lived at home, he didn't have a car. Things got real tough. He was super young. But he was actually 26 years old, and I was 41 at the time and --
Annie F. Downs: Oh, girl.
Tammy Trent: Right? You know, I got it, Annie.
Annie F. Downs: She is a legend. She is a legend.
Tammy Trent: I am a legend.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah. You, trophies for days.
Tammy Trent: I know. I was completely flattered.
Annie F. Downs: Twenty-six?
Tammy Trent: Yeah. He was super young.
Annie F. Downs: They're all cute when they're 26.
Tammy Trent: I know, right? I know. I'm like, I can do this. I think I can do this.
Shaun Groves: So uncomfortable.
Tammy Trent: Yeah, but -- yeah, so uncomfortable. But, you know --
Annie F. Downs: Wait. So y'all broke up?
Tammy Trent: I did. I broke his heart. But he was like -- a few weeks in, he's like, "I'm going to marry you. I know that this is God's will." And I was like, "I know that it's not." I was struggling with --
Jennifer Rothschild: That's hard.
Tammy Trent: -- getting older. There was a lot of things about our personality. So many things, and I just knew that I knew that it wasn't God's will, and at some point -- you can't keep giving somebody a false hope --
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Tammy Trent: -- so I had to let that go. And I learned from that, and I'm grateful for it because it taught me something. One, that I've still got it.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Tammy Trent: That I am a legend.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah, you do.
Tammy Trent: But that you can never settle for something outside of God's absolute best for your life.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah.
Tammy Trent: I was starting to do that and I could almost see my life changing in not the right ways. So don't let that happen in your life. And I learned from it and -- see, God set the bar high with Trent, and so I realized, like, unless it's another Trent in my life, or something better, then I have to wait on God. And I will always wait on God. I'm 21 years still waiting. But I'm not looking. I think there's something different -- let things happen in your life that are a great surprise rather than trying to force things to happen. That's the season I'm in. I'm not looking, but I have love. It just looks very different than what most people think it should look like.
Jennifer Rothschild: Good girl.
Tammy Trent: But we did make out and it was real fun. I can't blame him for wanting to marry me. You know what I'm talking about? I can't blame the guy.
Shaun Groves: I'm definitely not being paid enough to be here this weekend.
Jennifer Rothschild: Go ahead, Shaun.
Tammy Trent: I don't blame him for wanting to marry me.
Shaun Groves: I'm switching the order of the questions because this actually is connected.
Annie F. Downs: Okay, great.
Shaun Groves: Let's see if you can make this uncomfortable.
Annie F. Downs: Part two.
Shaun Groves: So this person is writing from the vantage point of after a divorce, but I think this is true for anybody who's experiencing singleness. So how do you deal with the loneliness? How do I go back to finding joy in the waiting? I like how you put that. That's really, really good. There's a difference between looking and waiting. That's really good. So I wonder if any of you could speak to that. How do you find the joy in the waiting and how do you deal with the loneliness?
Annie F. Downs: I also just want to give permission that looking isn't bad. It's your season.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right. You know.
Annie F. Downs: There are seasons when looking for a job is the right thing to look for. There are seasons when waiting for the next right job is the right thing. So I am so with you. Seasonally you need to know is this a time when I am meant to invest with what I'm in or is this a time where I'm meant to look for the next thing?
Jennifer Rothschild: That's a good word.
Shaun Groves: Yeah, that's good.
Annie F. Downs: And so there isn't a right or wrong. It's seasonal.
And I have found that loneliness doesn't seem to leave once someone gets married. My married friends are not un-lonely, they're different lonely. And so instead of trying to defeat loneliness, I've tried to partner with it and go, what do I do with it? Today I feel lonely because of this, and then I do something about the "this," not the lonely. The lonely's the thermometer; it's not the mercury.
Shaun Groves: Yeah, that's good. That's good.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's exceptional.
Shaun Groves: That's really good.
Jennifer Rothschild: You know, I heard Angela Thomas -- by the way, I love Angela Thomas-Pharr. And one of the things she talked about when she became a single mom and she dealt with the loneliness, she said her most terrible hours -- and I'd love for you to talk about this too, because I just realized, Tammy, I think you've said something about this -- were at nighttime. And she said -- so she literally didn't give the devil a chance. She would take a Tylenol PM and go to bed early as soon as the kids did.
Annie F. Downs: That's it. That's right.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I thought what a practical way to deal with loneliness for a season.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah. That's exactly right.
Jennifer Rothschild: What about you, especially early on, Tammy?
Tammy Trent: Yeah. Early on, same thing. I would do fine during the day because I could see., There was life, there was movement and sunshine. And when the sun would set, everything shifted and changed. It was just [makes slurping sound], went like that. So I made a conscious decision I'm not going to sit in that. What could I do? So I bought a gym membership and I started going to the gym every single night. When it would hit dark, I'd pack my bag and I'd go there for three hours. I'd work out. I didn't work out for three hours.
Annie F. Downs: That's a good choice.
Tammy Trent: I know it's hard to see. I mean...
But I'd go there for three hours. But then I would do the sauna and I'd do the hot tub, I'd sit in the steam room. And it was always amazing to me how people would walk in and you begin to talk. It gave me an opportunity when they asked me what my story was. Ask the questions. Don't be afraid to ask the questions. People want to be seen and heard, and in that your own healing starts to take place.
Jennifer Rothschild: That's good.
Tammy Trent: And so that's what I did every single day.
And then I'd have girls' nights out at my house. I knew enough to stay surrounded with really healthy- minded, godly women. And so I would invite women into my home, just 20 of us, and just -- some I knew, some I didn't. Bring a single friend. We would just hang out. So once a month I'd have dinners where I had a chance to care for other people. Because now that was gone from my life -- Trent was gone -- that kind of care and nurture, so I would nurture and care for these girls and just love on them, and that brought me back to life.
Annie F. Downs: That's really good.
Jennifer Rothschild: Super good.
Shaun Groves: As a pastor, I meet with a lot of men who are having a pornography problem. These are married men. And I've never met with one of them who has close intimate relationships with other men. There's some science behind this. It's not just my opinion and my limited observation, but that for men even, that addiction isn't primarily about sexual gratification, it's about connection and intimacy.
One of the things that I tell these men is, you know, tell me about your closest male friendship. And they never have one. And just to be the person who initiates, "Hey, let's go grab coffee." "Let's go play golf." "Hey, let's get together and watch this movie together," or bring all your friends and let's do whatever. To be the initiator, I'm leading to I'm concerned for the next generation, because we know that there's a lack of practice at initiating relationship and connection in the real world. That the connection over social media has really taken away from us the skill, the soft skills of simply being a friend, and I'm concerned about where that could go. So we end up with people who aren't really good at intimate connection with other human beings and then we bring that into a marriage. And I'm seeing people expect the marriage to fulfill that need, and one relationship cannot fulfill all of our needs for intimate relationship.
So I'm with you, Annie, that if you're a lonely person when you're single, you will still be a lonely person when you're married. And that manifests in all kinds of unhealthy ways. So learn to make friends. I know that sounds super simple and trite. It is life changing. Just learn how to have one close friend. Just one. Some people, like Tammy and Annie, need, like, 50 close friends, but --
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, it's because there's so much to absorb.
Shaun Groves: There's a lot. There's a lot. You got to distribute it over many relationships.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right, right.
Annie F. Downs: It's my kindness to the world, Shaun.
Shaun Groves: Yeah, it is. It is. It is.
Annie F. Downs: Can I say one stat real quick, Shaun?
Shaun Groves: Sure, yeah.
Annie F. Downs: Barna does research on all sorts of things in the church, and their research on pornography is that 55% of women look at it or read it on a regular basis. And that's not out of the church, that's in the church. And so, yeah, while we're talking about men and pornography, I also, in a room full of women, want to say don't keep secrets. Don't keep secrets.
Shaun Groves: It's connected to a relationship.
Annie F. Downs: There is no sin that is just for men and there's no sin that is just for women.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes.
Shaun Groves: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Okay, so here's one. What is your life verse? Do you have a life verse?
Annie F. Downs: I can read it. Y'all can probably -- I know you have it memorized, yours.
Jennifer Rothschild: I don't know. What is it?
Annie F. Downs: Oh, yeah, I meant yours. But, yes, you probably have mine memorized too.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, I probably have yours memorized too.
Annie F. Downs: I know.
Tammy Trent: Annie's favorite verse is -- 'cause she's my best friend.
Annie F. Downs: Psalm 73:25-26.
Jennifer Rothschild: Is that about the portion forever, my heart and my flesh will fail?
Annie F. Downs: Yes, 100% it is, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: Go ahead.
Annie F. Downs: I knew it. It says, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that. That's beautiful.
Tammy, you got one?
Tammy Trent: I do. I tattooed it on my wrist. Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future." I did that after Trent went to heaven. And I remember I didn't tell anybody, and I didn't want to tell my pastor parents, and so I -- beforehand, so I sent her a picture and said, "Mom, look what I did. It's my life verse and I think it opens up a door for conversation with strangers sometimes." And she said, "Well, honey, I just have one thing to say to you. I hope it's your favorite verse forever, because you got it forever.
Shaun Groves: What about you, Jennifer?
Jennifer Rothschild: Because it's there forever.
Mine is -- it's been this forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we're wasting away, inwardly daily we're being renewed. And our light and temporary troubles are working within us a far greater weight of glory because that which is seen is temporary and that which is unseen is eternal." I love it. It's such an encouragement.
Annie F. Downs: What about you, Shaun?
Shaun Groves: Well, when God cast us out of the Garden and sent us to Tennessee --
Annie F. Downs: I was going to say, that sounds very personal. Wow.
Shaun Groves: -- I adopted a verse from Jeremiah 29, but it's not the one everybody goes to. So it's Jeremiah 29:7. These are the words that God spoke through the prophet, Jeremiah, to his people as he was sending them into exile in Babylon. He reminded them who they were, who sent them, and what they were supposed to do when they got there. So it stayed with me. This is good. So he says, "Seek the peace and the prosperity of the city I have exiled you to, that wherever you have been sent" -- whether they have good barbecue or not -- "God did the sending, and you are there to seek the peace and the prosperity of that place."
Jennifer Rothschild: That's good.
Shaun Groves: So that's been really good for us.
So this question is for me. So how long did it take you to write "Welcome Home"? Well, I stole the title from Tammy.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Shaun Groves: I wrote a song called "Welcome Home." I wrote that in 2000. What was the inspiration? And then they said some nice things to me. I really appreciate it.
Annie F. Downs: Can I read them?
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, Annie, read the nice things they said to Shaun.
Annie F. Downs: "Your music is a blessing," two exclamation points and a heart. "It's my favorite song ever. I love the entire album. I was a young mother working on myself and it spoke to my soul. Thank you for that gift."
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that, Shaun.
Shaun Groves: Thank you.
Jennifer Rothschild: So tell us how you wrote the song.
Shaun Groves: I wish it was a deep story.
Annie F. Downs: This guy traded seats with another guy on a plane.
Jennifer Rothschild: He was firming his butt.
Shaun Groves: So I was 26. I was on a flight.
Tammy Trent: I don't even -- I don't know. I don't even have any idea what that meant. I don't feel well, you guys. This ear is plugged up.
Shaun Groves: I met this lady and she'd written a song called "Welcome Home."
Annie F. Downs: That is so funny.
Tammy Trent: I probably should sit down.
Annie F. Downs: Dr. Phil is going to cancel this segment in the future.
Jennifer Rothschild: Seriously.
Shaun Groves: No. I actually was 26, and I was fairly newly married, and we bought a house. It was so cheap, but it was horribly decorated. There was just wallpaper on every surface that could take wallpaper. And so we were in there with the chemicals and the Paper Tiger and the whole thing removing that. And I don't know if it was the chemicals or the Holy Spirit, but I just felt immediately inspired. And I went into the next room and I had the chorus, I mean, the full-on -- the verse, the lyrics, and the music altogether.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow.
Shaun Groves: And it just all came out at once. We were in a sermon series at church about sanctification, how it's the process of God remaking your life so that you look more and more like Jesus in the way you think, feel, desire, believe, and behave. And I'd been thinking about that, and I guess it just kind of -- it took root. And so just all of a sudden -- and the best part is I got out of stripping wallpaper that day. It was so amazing. So I wrote a song that paid for new wallpaper and it got rid of -- I didn't have to scrape the old one off. So, yeah, that's what that was.
Jennifer Rothschild: I love that.
Shaun Groves: I really appreciate it. I don't make music anymore. I usually get asked at this conference -- I only come out of retirement occasionally when Jennifer calls. But other than that, I don't really do it anymore, so --
Annie F. Downs: We are worse for it that you don't make music anymore.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know.
Shaun Groves: Well, I appreciate that.
Annie F. Downs: Anytime you want to start again, we got ears.
Shaun Groves: There are younger guys who look better in skinny jeans than me, so I'll just let them do that.
Jennifer Rothschild: But the hair, Shaun, the hair.
Shaun Groves: But the hair. I understand. I understand.
So, Jennifer, did you get a chance -- I can't read. Did you get a chance to call Max McLean back? And if so, was he willing to redo that podcast?
Annie F. Downs: Oh, that story.
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, I'm so --
Annie F. Downs: It plagues me as a podcaster.
Shaun Groves: It's so heartbreaking.
Annie F. Downs: It absolutely plagues me.
Jennifer Rothschild: I know. It's painful. Well, I'm glad some -- whoever asked that, thank you, because I should have bragged about Max McLean. So, of course, when it happened, I called K.C. back, and called Paula back, and I was like, "You're not going to believe, this is the worst moment of my life," after it had been the best 52 minutes of my life. And both of them were like, "You need to call back. You need to call back." K.C.'s like, "I'll call him back." I'm like, "No. That's so indulgent, I can't ask." And Paula said to me, "Jennifer, if you had been the guest, would you redo it for someone?" I'm like, "Well, of course." "Well, then you need to ask." And that kind man was willing to do it a second time. I was so embarrassed. But he did it a second time. It was wonderful.
So you can check it out. It's on the 4:13 Podcast. Then I went to England. About two months later we were at a conference together, and I was like, "Hi, Maxie, it's me." And he goes, "Oh, yes, I remember you." I'm like, "Yeah, I bet you did." Anyway, I have such admiration for him. He's a true man of God.
Annie F. Downs: How different was the second conversation than the first?
Jennifer Rothschild: You know, the first one was a little more intimate. And probably it was the Lord's kindness in disguise, because only he and I would probably appreciate all the nuance that we went into. The second one was slightly shorter, and it wasn't quite as intimate, and I think that was better for the listener.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah, it's like the Lord gave you the conversation for you and then gave you the conversation for the listener.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. It was very generous.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah. How kind of him.
Jennifer Rothschild: Very.
Shaun Groves: So this is for all of you guys. "I struggle so much with the routine and monotony of everyday ordinary life. I feel bored. I'm a mother of young children, I work part time. How can I find more fulfillment in things like doing dishes and changing diapers? I feel tired, and tired of all the same things."
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, sweet thing. Well, first of all, let me just hit a couple things real quick. I feel "tired" is the loudest statement I heard there. Not "I can't find purpose" or "My routine is monotonous." I heard, "I feel tired." Because tiredness -- I can't remember who it was that said it, maybe Douglas MacArthur, fatigue makes cowards out of all of us. When we're tired, everything turns a different color when it comes to our view of life, and it's dimmer, it's darker, and it seems less purposeful. Trace the root of your tiredness. Sometimes it's you're not getting enough sleep. Sometimes it's you're not getting enough leisure. And sometimes it might be a situation that's maybe even chemical or endogenous, where you're literally dealing with a depression. So trace the root of your tiredness.
Secondly, if you can carve out five minutes or get an audiobook so that while you're washing the dishes you can listen to it, I might recommend to you Brother Lawrence's "Practicing the Presence of God." Because he, for me, helped understand the redemptive moments in everything we do that seems boring or dull, washing the dishes to the glory of God.
And then the last thing I will say before my friends give their wisdom here, I have a daughter-in-law who works ten times harder than me. She's a stay-at-home mom. And I know that she could probably feel that way too on many days. And I'm going to tell you from this side of the empty nest, everything you do matters. It may not feel fulfilling, but that doesn't mean you are not fulfilling a greater purpose that you can't see right now. Literally you are planting seeds, and you're never going to really see how the tree finally grows and what it looks like. That is significant purpose. And there's a lot of moms in here right now with an empty nest who think, man, I wish I had done such and such, I wish I had done such and such. Talk to that mama. She'll help you see there is purpose in everything you do. And I'm cheering you on. But I do want you to take care of you and trace the root of your tiredness. Those are some of my thoughts.
Annie F. Downs: Winter always ends. It always ends. Seasons always end. The earth is showing us in the physical what is true in the spiritual and emotional, is that seasons don't last forever. And so that's the hope I have for you.
I'll tell you, Jennifer, one of my pastors that speaks into my life, maybe a year ago told me about Brother Lawrence's book "Practicing the Presence of God." He said, "I want you to get the audiobook and I want you to listen every day for a month." And I thought, that seems terrible. And it's only a 30-ish minute listen, it's not a very long book, and it changed my life to hear them over and over again. So even if you get that audiobook and just let it kind of play while you're getting ready in the morning or on a commute or something, it's really impactful.
And one final thing I'll say is with what Nashville has been through this week, the one thing I would ask you to pray for the families at Covenant School is sleep, because none of the moms are sleeping.
Jennifer Rothschild: Of course not.
Annie F. Downs: And what is already an incredibly traumatic experience is also now happening on a lack of sleep. Many of the families are sleeping in the same rooms with their kids. Everyone's sleeping in the same room, and they're just not sleeping well. And so when you fall asleep tonight, that would be the number one thing I'd ask you to pray for our friends at Covenant School and for the staff there, is that they would sleep.
Jennifer Rothschild: Good word.
Shaun Groves: This is so hard. Jennifer and I've talked about this. I [inaudible] people who are hurting face to face. And I just wish that I could sit across from you and to just be fully present and just let you talk and just ask, "Tell me about the most tired day. Tell me what's under that. I want to know more." And I say that to say I can't be that person to you today, none of us can, but find that person.
Annie F. Downs: That's good, Shaun.
Shaun Groves: I want you to have a pastor, a mentor, someone who's a few steps ahead of you in life that you can sit down with and you can just be this vulnerable with them and let them ask you follow-up questions to hear the longing and the loss underneath this question. You need someone who can apply truth more precisely than we can in this setting. But also I want you to find community. And I love that this conference has the Bible Study Connection. That might be an opportunity, a door you could walk through to community, to be known and cared for. And I do understand, because I remember our lives when our four kids were little, that you're like, "When do I have time for that?" And I can't answer that for you. That's different for every person.
But the last thing that I feel compelled to say is have you told your husband? And I know not every husband is going to be responsive and know how to respond. I just know for me, I really want to know. I really want to know when my wife is hurting, when she feels that she's not enough. I want to know. I want to serve her. I want to care for her, to give her that opportunity to flourish, to thrive. I want to be a part of that. I really want to be her partner in life. So if you have that kind of relationship with your husband, please tell him. Maybe that's the secret Annie was talking about. Maybe it's not a sin, but it's just a struggle --
Annie F. Downs: That's right. That's right.
Shaun Groves: -- and you could just let him in and tell him what's happening.
Annie F. Downs: Yeah, that's good.
Jennifer Rothschild: Good word, Shaun.
K.C. Wright: That was so much fun. That was ear candy right there.
Jennifer Rothschild: It was good, wasn't it? It's so great.
K.C. Wright: So real. And this is my favorite part, like I said, of Fresh Grounded Faith, when the team just spills the beans together with Jennifer. It's so cool. So if you're near Fargo or Springfield, come on.
Jennifer Rothschild: Come on.
K.C. Wright: We'll save you a seat.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we will.
K.C. Wright: We got a place for you.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes, we do.
K.C. Wright: We will also have links to get you more information about Fresh Grounded Faith and all things Annie, Tammy, and Shaun at the Show notes at 413podcast.com/267.
Well, this one is a wrap. We love you, and we mean it. And remember that no matter how you feel and whatever you face, you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. I know I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
Jennifer and K.C.: And you can.
K.C. Wright: See you soon.
Jennifer Rothschild: See you Springfield in or Fargo. We'll be the ones with parkas and gloves on.
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