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Very few relationships succeed without first agreeing on values. Values, grounded in some sort of moral code, are the foundation of every relationship- business, marriage, friendship, or partnership.

Almost every organization or business depends on partnerships, grants, and the strengths of others to reach their goals for growth. Your business will never thrive if you have determined that you own a monopoly. And to be honest, I have seen businesses and organizations lose their reputation over their unwillingness to work well with others- both internally and externally. Teamwork and partnerships help you fill in the gaps of talent that exists on your team, bring in an entirely different perspective and audience as well as help you make a much larger impact. Together is always better, right?

Right. Unless the two disagree on the foundational values that you both represent. Values are the bedrock of our intentions, the “why” behind our mission, and the measuring stick we must use behind almost every decision we make. Your values are deep seeded determinations and definitions of the most important things in your life. In your personal life, your values of loyalty, being a person of your word, worth ethic, definition of family, honesty, and so many more are what solidify the bond you have in marriage and friendships.

Would you allow a neighbor to watch your children without first discussing the rules within their home? Would you jump into marriage without first talking about what loyalty means to you?

And yet, businesses partner with other businesses all the time over the idea of working together or the excitement about a project- without ever having a discussion about shared or unshared values.

Here are a few common values worth pausing whatever networking or project you have started in order get on the same page:

  1. Faith and Spirituality: If your faith determines how you run your business and conversations with that partner could involve faith, it is very important to share what you believe with that partner. They may not share the same faith system, or simply not expect faith to come up in discussions.
  2. Work ethic: Does your team work until the job is done even if it means overtime? Does your team have an expectation that everyone must be prepared to deliver their best? Every business is unique in their expectations- having an open conversation ahead of time removes assumptions and sets the tone of the relationship.
  3. Transparency: How do you want to handle the partnership when you disagree? Every relationship, even business relationships, will eventually disagree on something. Setting the expectation that transparency and talking about differences of opinion or values up front can make for a more trusting relationship with minimal paranoia.
  4. Loyalty: Just like in a marriage, business relationships must have an open conversation about what loyalty means to both sides. Hard to believe you might have different opinions on that, right? The project you are working on together may be something you want to be an exclusive project or product that isn’t shared with others. What if your partnering business would rather you talk with them first before partnering on a different project with someone else? Although your business has autonomy, loyalty still impacts relationships in various ways.

There are lots of other values that are the foundation of your “Why”. What are they? How do they feed your mission statement? Do you talk about those regularly with your team? Do you bring those up in interviews with potential employees? Values are the foundation of everything we do. What conversations do you need to start today?

 

 

 

I wish words could describe what it is like to be in a room with military and first responder families.  Some would think that they have little in common.  First responders are addressing the evil in our communities while military is going overseas where we can’t see them everyday.

But the Empowered Spouses Retreat through the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation brings these two together on a regular basis, which is why I LOVE working with them.  This program in particular takes the spouses of these heroes and gives them four days in the mountains with no connectivity to prove  just how much they are heroes as well.

We often see in the nonprofit space that there are a hundred and one services and programs for veterans, and sometimes the family.  But few, if any, address the spouse only.  And this where people get it wrong.  We think that veterans have all the influence, and they definitely bring in the donors.  But it is the spouse at home that manages the budget, signs kids up for camp, and makes sure the family is on track that holds incredible influence.  This is why empowering them to know that about themselves is critical.

So we, CKFF, take 24 military and first responder wives out to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to build their confidence in new activities that they may not have done before- at least in the presence of each other.  They have never met each other and have to immediately do what they do best, be vulnerable in order to find support.  Their husbands are at home, watching the kids and perhaps getting to know Murphy’s law.

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It is a time of self-care, deep reflection, and for me- a chance to meet many of them in person.  Those that have been on one of Chris Kyle’s Revitalization Retreats as a couple have spent up to 5 hours with me in online coaching sessions tailored to their needs as a couple.  So to see them in person, I am overwhelmed with gratitude, honor, and humility to serve them again.

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The Tetons command respect and silence, so it is a perfect place for quiet, reflection, and for these women- a chance to hear their spirit speak again.  Long has the world and chaotic schedule of the service lifestyle drown out their internal voices.

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If that wasn’t enough, we take them out of their comfort zone (in front of each other).  Many pick up shotguns and archery for the first time.  Conquering the fear of kickbacks, loud noises, and even rewriting narratives of negativity associated with weapons.  Without their sweet husbands over their shoulder, they find the inner strength to try.  That, of course is rewarded by the cheers of those around them who know what they are overcoming. The staff at Safari Club International are not only the most amazing instructors, but have a teaching heart- filled with patience for all who come there.  They serve with grace, love, and even the chef and his wife love each person who comes through the door.

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Of course I try to get in a few opportunities myself to stretch out of my comfort zone:

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It wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t push them to a new level emotionally.  I guess that is my reputation now, which I had to laugh at.  Many of them were afraid of me in sessions, knowing that I would see behind the curtain.  Of course, it is in deep love and respect.  But I know that what I love is to see people I work with reach inside and discover new truths, break down lies that have long held them back, and find encouragement again.  Challenge, sometimes, is what breathes life into us and our family.  It may not be comfortable, but it is usually rewarding.  Many of these spouses let me dig deep along side of them.  Many of them did it on their own, truly embracing the opportunity that was put before them.  Every single one of them went home better.

My favorite part of all of it is to see them walk back just a little taller than when they came.

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I could not be more honored to serve along side the amazing staff of CKFF. We all have different talents and together, it is a force to be reckoned with.  Every detail is considered, every gift bag made with love, and the trust they have in me as a facilitator leaves me free to do what I love and I do not take that for granted.

Special thank you to Taya Kyle for sharing her vision and making it possible to serve these families.  We could each not do it by ourselves.  Today… I am thankful for a team I have long prayed for.

In the words of one of the spouses:

Last weekend I had the honor to befriend 29 beautiful, BADASS women… we laughed, we cried, and we laughed until we cried. We were vulnerable, completely out of our comfort zone, yet we shared some of the rawest and trying times we have ever experienced – not only in our marriages, but in any and every aspect of our lives. Corie dug deep and sometimes without trying. We learned that we have things we can internally work on within ourselves to better our relationships and who can and cannot be invited to a backyard barbeque; we also learned about self-love and that it is perfectly okay to take care of ourselves, as we, military and/or first responder spouses, have an enormous influence on our households, whether our husbands are home or not. Though, we found to have many things in common by the end of the weekend, one thing that stuck out for sure is that love conquers all (1 Corinthians 13) – we love our spouses unconditionally and given our circumstances, being a service member’s spouse isn’t for the faint; it requires strength and sacrifice, yet these women do life so gracefully. We all have a story. We all matter. You matter. Just remember to remind yourself periodically to practice grace, show gratitude, and always, always choose to forgive.

My trip to Fort Lewis was a full one!  Three events in one trip.  I had the honor to again speak with the spouses of special ops soldiers.  They have a special place in my heart as they go through a rapid tempo of deployments and trainings.

The first event was with a small group who went through Sacred Spaces as a Bible Study.  I joined them on the group FB page at various points to connect and encourage them.

      

They gave me the best gift ever- one of their group shirts that just happened to have the WW logo on it 🙂

   

Next up: and evening of empowering some of the strongest, most elite spouses I have ever met.  We talked about resiliency, but more importantly GRIT

 

 

The following weekend was an opportunity to do another Strengths event for the Fort Lewis PWOC ladies.  We went to a gorgeous camp site where we stayed in cabins that looked like train cars.  It was a fantastic event that ended in a powerful prayer the ladies did over me and my friend Sarah.  I so love these ladies and their prayers (and yours) have more of an impact than you could know.

It was another great event at Fort Drum, NY!  The women’s PWOC invited the military spouses of Fort Drum to discover their strengths and find a new sense of purpose.  Each time I do this, I am more convinced that our military spouses are in need of encouragement now more than ever.  With an increase in military tempo around the world and the continued struggle to find employment, spouses are exhausted.  What I absolutely LOVE about living out your strengths is that it opens your eyes to who God designed you to be.  There may be talents that you don’t even know you have!  There may be talents that other people in your life have said were weaknesses- but only because they don’t see the world the way you do.

At Fort Drum, spouses were emotional as they discovered the truth about themselves.  That there was far more to love about themselves than they thought.  Lies from the enemy were shown for what they were and the truth of God prevailed.  Lives were changed.  Women were set free.  Women walked away affirmed in their current purpose and others discovered plans for a new direction in their life.

May 2017

I went back to Washington, DC for the annual Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year Awards. The day before, though, is a time for 250 of the most influential military spouses descend on Washington DC to not only network, but be empowered.  I was invited to speak at the TownHall and spoke on the Hero’s Journey, sharing the journey that ever super hero must go through in order to find their purpose.  By learning to embrace your back story, listen for your calling, and take the risk of adventure, every superhero must then be willing to enter the battle of their lives- themselves.  I provided and exciting and inspirational talk that was captured on Facebook Live and was later reproduced as an episode for my podcast.

May 2017

Corie had an amazing opportunity to go to Misawa Air Force Base, Japan to lead 120 women through the Gallup StrengthsFinders.  This full day workshop event not only invested in each person’s individual talents, but also in learning how to work better with others.  It was an amazing opportunity to invest in an OCONUS installation that often struggles with isolation and depression while being so disconnected from the states.  Lasting relationships were built during a fun and meaningful time together.  Special thank you to the incredible Women’s Ministry Board for all of their hard work pulling off an incredible event!  Day two was all about investing in key leaders to train them up as Coaches in the Gallup StrengthsFinder- a perfect opportunity for mentoring those who attended the outreach event the day before!

 

 

June 2017

Corie leads a group of spouses through a weekend retreat.  Spouses enjoyed fun, games, a Girl’s Night Out and workshops on how to be your own super hero.  Corie encouraged the spouses toward self-care, setting boundaries, and staying deeply involved in community.

        

Few authors get the opportunity to do book authors in a place like Barnes and Noble, so when I got the opportunity I was so excited.  Savannah was the perfect place, too because Hunter Army Airfield was mentioned in Sacred Spaces as a key place that is dear to our hearts.  Special thank you to Elva Resa Publishers for making this possible!

What a joy to bring Sacred Spaces to Fort Stewart, GA.  Matt and I had the honor to speak at a Valentine’s Couple’s event where we celebrated marriage with chocolate, games, and a heart to heart talk on the difficulties and victories of marriage in the military.  Everyone got a copy of Sacred Spaces!  We talked about how difficult it can be to connect and find intimacy in your marriage when each of you are experiencing very “sacred” moments separately.  Special thank you to the amazing leadership of Fort Stewart PWOC who made this event GORGEOUS!!!

As an added bonus, I got to give a HUGE hug to Regina Wages, who I met at FOB Fenty in Afghanistan.  If you have read Sacred Spaces, you know how amazing it was to run into her again. She was the USO representative now back home in Georgia after spending almost a decade in Afghanistan serving our soldiers there.  I am still shocked that the USO does that. I am amazed by people like her.

 

My favorite stories are ones of redemption and restoration.

Every one of us experiences some level of pain… some level of suffering.  As a clinician, it is always an honor to step into someone else’s story and walk with them from darkness into light. Healing, though I have found, is only when we evolve to a place where we can bring purpose from pain by serving someone else.  That… is when we see that God can indeed bring good out of all things.

“Healing, though I have found, is only when we evolve to a place where we can bring purpose from pain by serving someone else.”

So… introducing Lifegiver Stories.  A place where you can read and listen to real stories of other people who have seen light come out of darkness.  You will not find perfection here. In fact you will hear some level of healing still to be found because perfect healing is something we will not see this side of heaven.  But I guarantee, you will hear a little bit of your own story in their’s, practical steps that may help you turn a corner, and hope that light can shine out of the darkness.

Would you like to submit your own Lifegiver Story?  Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as you think and I will walk you through some tips on how to get it ready.  Click here to get started.

*I reserve the right to not publish stories that are not in line with the values of Corie Weathers, LLC and the Lifegiver Podcast. All content published is owned by Corie Weathers, LLC to be shared and used to encourage others.
 

If you didn’t know, I love Wonder Woman.  As a child, I zipped up my leather boots, grabbed my nylon yellow rope my Dad had in the garage and lassoed trees in the yard.  Forcing them to tell me the truth about where to save the woman or man held by the enemy.  I had little reference for this superhero other than Linda Carter on TV.  Bullets bounced off her bracelets and she could jump to the top of a building so after every show, I’d run outside and see if I could do the same- except for the bullet thing- but I imagined it.

There has always been something inside of me that wanted the truth to win.  I saw no good in secrets and lies other than good secrets like birthday parties and surprises.  Evil used lies all the time and I just knew, way deep down inside, that there was something powerful about the truth- and I wanted to fight for it. In John 8:32, Jesus tells the Jews around him, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I have lived my life, since I was very little running around in under-roo’s, seeking the freedom that truth brings.  So… I became a counselor, aiming to help others discover their need for truth as well.

In the past year, Matt decided that if I was going to be a real Wonder Woman fan, I needed to read her comics.  So we picked up the New 52 series one at a time.  I have to say that I have loved it.  I read it slowly, digesting it in pieces- what I assume a fan really does.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned…

  • Wonder Woman struggles with her identity.  She struggles with who she is and what she is here to do. She is always searching for her purpose and living that fully.
  • She struggles with what others expect her to be.  Trying to be all things to all people.  In this series, she is given the task of being the God of War.   Contrasting that is her strength is to love and protect all life.  It turns out, this new role practically eats her alive as she is tempted to be something she isn’t.  She has to dig deep to be who she truly is- someone who brings peace even when it still instigates war.
  • She sees the best in others.  She wants to believe that everyone is good and capable of love as well, and when they aren’t- she can’t comprehend it.  But every time, she can’t help but see the good in them.
  • At some point, she can’t trust her own judgement and has to use her lasso.  Forged by the gods, it is her only tool for seeing things clearly.  Yet, this very same tool humbles her and strips her of her own power.
  • Her desire to love others comes out of her own need for love and acceptance.  It is her greatest weaknesses and is often used against her.  It haunts her, but she brings purpose out of it by loving others.

It turns out… I really AM Wonder Woman.  As silly as that may sound to you, it brings me full circle and a sense of completion way down deep in my core.  My Father, the God of the Heavens, created me with a purpose.  I love others, deeply.  I hate to see pain in their eyes.  I dig for truth, fight for justice, sacrifice sometimes too much of myself for the sake of others to have freedom from whatever binds them.  I know that the truth of scripture is the answer- bringing clarity to confusion, strength to those who need it, and light into the darkest places.  I also know that it brings me to my knees every time.  Revealing the painful truth of my weakness and insecurity.  It reveals that I am not as strong as I think I am.  I largely serve others out of my own issues, and that I can wear myself out in the temptation of thinking that I, too, am a god- when I am not and never have been.  But I AM in the family of the one TRUE God- and that makes me an heir- able to live in the freedom that Christ died for me to have.  If only I could believe that all the time… but my own issues get in the way, confusion sets in, the lies of the enemy taunt me and I forget for a moment that I have a lasso of truth, the Word, at my side- glowing, ready to be used, ready to shed light, ready to free us all.

This is not a spoiler, but this picture showed up towards the end and it is so perfect for where I am in life right now.

 

I have given all I have in me lately… 

Out of my love for others…

Using every bit of my own strength…

Relying on the prayers that some of you have offered…

Trying my best to listen to His guidance…

Fulfilling the calling He has placed on my heart…

And I find myself in His arms ready to rest.

He has been fighting the worst of the battles for me, but I have been fighting the ones that he has allowed.

Here is the truth-

He has given each of you a calling:

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

He has given you armor:

Therefore take up the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

He has given you a lasso:

For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:4

But He has also given you an identity:

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Now Rest

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