It’s been said that life is one big transition. That sure feels true since nothing in life seems to stay the same for very long. It is even truer for relationships because they involve two people who are constantly growing and changing. The relationship must find a way to manage those fluxes if it’s going to survive. So it is no wonder that it is in those fluxes, those times of transition that problems usually arise. Things change and we struggle to adapt to the change.
In this episode, Jory and Jennifer explore different forms of transitions in a variety of relationship types. That includes the upcoming transition in their own relationship now that they will no longer be co-hosting the radio show every month. So, how do we prepare for change? How do we find healthy ways to adapt? And how do we embrace the new definition for the relationship?
About Jennifer Miller
Jennifer Miller is a Christian pastor, counselor, and author who has dedicated her career to helping individuals, couples, and families strengthen their faith and their relationships.
Her new book, “No Longer Two: A Guide to How God Created Men, Women, and Marriage,” available on Amazon, is a compilation of all the wisdom she has gained and shared over the years on what truly makes relationships work.
In addition to teaching and writing on marriage and family topics, she serves as the Co-Executive Director of The Center for Living Well, a nonprofit Christian wellness ministry, based in Phoenix, Arizona with divisions in Canada and Michigan.
Jennifer’s Success Tips
~ Be proactive rather than reactive with transitions that are foreseen and anticipated.
~ Recognize the necessity for clear boundaries as relationship definitions and expectations change with the transition.
~ Acknowledge that in transitions, you may be both gaining something and losing something which can stir up many different emotions. It’s okay to feel joy and grief over the change.
~ Get your own copy of Jen’s new book, Road Trippin’: A Parable of a Spiritual Journey, on Amazon.
Jennifer’s Quote of the Day
“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” ~ Isaac Asimov
Jory’s Success Tips
~ When you’re going through big transitions, keep some “normalcy” in your life. Don’t change everything at once!
~ When you’re going through big transitions, allow your friends and family to help you. Martyrdom is overrated.
Jory’s Quote of the Day
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” ~Reinhold Niebuhr
Listen to Jory and Jennifer by clicking the audio player below.
Piano music by David Nevue.
Transitions Are Troublesome
Heart & Soul for Women of Faith
Year 6, Episode 206
Jory Fisher: Hello and welcome to Heart & Soul for Women of Faith, a radio show designed specifically for Christian women leaders and entrepreneurs. My co-hosts and I focus our discussions on how to live a joyful and purposeful life by developing healthy bodies and souls, healthy minds and finances, and healthy relationships. Our goal is to help you nourish your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being so you can make the difference you’re called to make and glorify God through success. I’m Jory Fisher, a featured host on BlogTalkRadio with my
co-host: author, speaker, pastor, counselor, Christian yoga expert, awesome friend, Jennifer Miller: Good evening, Jennifer, and thank you for joining me for year 6 episode 206 of Heart & Soul for Women of Faith. How are you this evening?
Jennifer Miller: I’m doing great. What an amazing introduction. Thank you.
Jory Fisher: Well, you’re an amazing woman and to think I only listed a few of the “labels” that have been attached to you.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: Anyway, before we start our conversation, we’d like to tell you a little bit about who we are and how we fulfill our calling. As a Professional Certified Coach and Top Six Expert, I specialize in helping Christian leaders and entrepreneurs get crystal clear on their calling and create healthy lives and businesses so they can make a bigger, more meaningful contribution to the world. Please visit JoryFisher.com to sign up for free e-books and to enjoy hundreds of blog posts and radio show podcasts.
Also as an ambassador for the EMSquared or “Hope Bar Project,” I’m helping eliminate childhood malnutrition through the sustainable model of social entrepreneurship. Please visit JoryFisher.com/ShareHope to learn about this quickly growing global movement and how you too can get involved. All right, Jennifer, your turn, would you please introduce yourself to our listeners.
Jennifer Miller: Of course. Hi, my name is Jennifer Miller and I am a Christian counselor, pastor, and author. I currently have two books available on Amazon. My first book is a nonfictional self-help book called No Longer Two: A Guide to How God Created Men, Women, and Marriage. I now have an audio version available on my website which is NoLonger2.com. I also have my new book available on Amazon and it is a fictional book called Road Trippin’: A Parable of a Spiritual Journey and you can also learn more through my website about that or you can go directly to Amazon and find it there.
In addition to all of that, I’m the Co-Executive Director of a faith-based wellness ministry here in Arizona called the Center for Living Well. We offer wellness classes, workshops, and retreats including faith-based yoga classes as Jory just referenced and we also train people to be faith-based yoga instructors. In addition to my teaching at the Center, I also work with individual clients both in person and virtually for counseling and prayer therapy. You can learn about everything I do through the Center at the Center’s website which is CenterforLivingWell.org.
Jory Fisher: So let me tell you what’s fascinating to me. Of course there are many things that are fascinating to me about you, but here you’re all about health and wellness and you’re all about living a Christian life. I mean, you’re a pastor and faith-based yoga instructor and all of that, and yet here you are a wife and mother of two boys. I’m just curious, have you figured out how to squeeze more than 24 hours into a day?
Jennifer Miller: No, I have not figured that out. Quite the opposite actually, I’ve learned to build rest in which is so important for me. I almost did myself completely in by allowing stress, activity, and busyness to take over but what I do is I just balance everything out and I make sure that things come in waves. So when I’m super busy doing things, that’s not the time I’m trying to write another book. When I’m teaching a bunch of classes, that’s not the time I’m taking a bunch of new clients on. I just always know how much I can handle and if I have to turn things down or postpone or reschedule, then that’s exactly what I do.
Jory Fisher: All right, so wisdom and breathing really.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: Taking a breath.
Jennifer Miller: Taking a breath and making sure there’s breathing room.
Jory Fisher: Yes, okay. All right, well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, how Jennifer does it all and you too can do the same thing. So let me say a few words about how to listen to and participate in Heart & Soul for Women of Faith, which is currently airing on Wednesday evenings at 8:30 PM Eastern on BlogTalkRadio. You can listen to any of our archived on demand episodes, follow this show, and add Heart & Soul to your iTunes library by going to BlogTalkRadio.com/JoryFisher. We encourage you to share Heart & Soul with your friends and family using the social media icons on BlogTalkRadio and on JoryFisher.com, and to post your comments and questions for us on my Facebook page, Jory Hingson Fisher.
Well, Jennifer, why don’t you introduce the topic today and then I’m going to say a little bit about Heart & Soul especially for people who may not have heard our show last week? You go first.
Jennifer Miller: Well primarily what we’re talking about in tonight’s episode is relationship transitions. How we, I guess, redefine relationships when things need to change especially when things start to come to an end like we’re about to be facing. I think it’s just a really good topic to talk about in general but I think also it’s just part of a celebration of what we’ve been doing in our work together through the radio program.
Jory Fisher: Great, yes. Thank you. What Jennifer is referring to, for those of you who didn’t hear my show with Julie last week, is that I am bringing Heart & Soul to an end, not metaphorically but the mechanics of producing a show every week on BlogTalkRadio. I love BlogTalkRadio. I highly encourage you all to work with them, have shows with them. They have become my friends over the years, almost seven years.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: Yes, almost, almost. It has been great, but as Julie and talked about last week, there is a time and a season for everything and I am moving into a different venue of communication. I’m sure I will always do podcasts. I’m sure I will still continue to have conversations on air or recorded anyway with Jennifer, so this isn’t the last time you’re hearing “the Jennifer and Jory show,” so to speak. Heart & Soul for Women of Faith will be coming to an end at the end of June. So that’s right around the corner and this is the last episode with Jennifer on BlogTalkRadio with Heart & Soul for Women of Faith.
Jennifer Miller: I know.
Jory Fisher: It’s hard to believe, but I just want to honor you and thank you so much, Jennifer. You have been absolutely outstanding. You’ve been great about doing your homework, which I really, really, really appreciate. For those of you who are hosts out there, radio show hosts, you know that it can be challenging to get all the ducks in a row and everything lined up and pray that technology works so that it all works out nicely for your listeners. Jennifer, you have certainly done a lion’s share of pulling all of this off. Thank you; it’s such a pleasure working with you. For those of you who don’t know this already, Jennifer and I have never met in person. We truly are the personification of virtual friendship. That’s an odd way of putting it.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: I know that we will meet, however. I know that we will meet. I look forward to that time.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: So that’s what Jennifer is referring to and let’s just kind of go right into the heart of the matter here. Yes, relationships and transition. You go ahead.
Jennifer Miller: Well, I know that when we were first kind of bantering this idea around, it quickly brings up a lot of different areas of life but also a lot of different ways that relationships can transition. So just exactly what you just said, it’s not like we’re talking about bringing a relationship to an end. It’s not like we’re going to be talking about break ups today although that certainly is a form of transition, but there’s a lot of different ways relationships can change. Sometimes, they grow closer and more intimate, more familiar, and sometimes, they change function, purpose, and title.
So just exploring this idea of relationship transitions because as a therapist and a pastor, I have watched people who have navigated transitions in their relationships really well and I’ve also watched people navigate them very poorly. Just from what I understand about dynamics, both individual and relationship dynamics, is that issues usually arise at the transition point. It’s when things are changing that “symptoms or issues or problems,” that’s when they tend to show up. So talking about this idea then of transitions is really significant because whether the people who are listening are going through one right now or not, they will definitely go through one at some point. You can be prepared to understand how issues can arise at transition, so therefore if we can be mindful and intentional and have a really positive perspective on it, then that’s how we can navigate it successfully.
Jory Fisher: You know what? I just thought about this as you were talking; I hadn’t thought of it before. This also applies to relationship with self in the transitions we go through. It kind of goes back to a previous show we had about aging.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: That’s a transition to realize, “Oh man! I can’t do these cheerleading jumps I used to anymore.” Maybe you can still do the splits, but I can’t do them as well as I used to.
Jennifer Miller: No, I’m dealing with a slipped disc today so I’m not doing much today at all. That’s definitely transition, right?
Jory Fisher: Yes. How we deal with transitions with ourselves, how we deal with transitions in work, in our personal life, all of it. Yes, you and I came up with a couple of good examples. What are yours?
Jennifer Miller: I know that for me, like you said in that one episode we did which I think was last month on aging, I introduced this idea of how we know individuals go through stages of development but so do relationships. One of the things that I often talk to with parents is planning for that next transition. I’ve had to go through that twice now because I have a stepson who’s grown. He’s now 22. So I went through it with him because I have been in his life since he was 3 and then going through it now with my boys who are 7 and 9. So I find that transitioning with your children, it actually happens really frequently because when they are a toddler, you parent a certain way but then as they become more independent, you have to parent totally different.
That was something that I know came up when we were talking was just the transitions I go through with my boys trying to get them to be more independent but then on the other side of it, I look at my stepson whose an adult and my relationship with him has to be completely different. So that requires, I think, pretty frequent transitions and adaptations, our relationship as a parent with our children.
Jory Fisher: Yes, absolutely. Of course I could give numerous examples myself. My husband and I, some of you may know, we have a blended family of seven grown children now, six girls and a boy. I guess I need to say six women and a man. They are all transitioning still. The youngest one just graduated actually. I didn’t get to his graduation because I was attending my daughter’s graduation. So my husband went to one and I went to another, but yes. All of our kids have graduated from college now, which is pretty wild. But yes, things change.
An example I wanted to give was that my daughter, Jana Beeson, is home. She graduated from college. She’s 23 and she’s recently home here in Bel Air, Maryland and is my assistant, which I’m very excited about. She also has her own thing going on. She, too, is a social entrepreneur with EMSquared, the Hope Bar Project. I love that. So we are working together just while her boyfriend figures out where he’s going to be landing for good. He has his eye on a few jobs, so Jana is going to be with us until all of that kind of settles in. I’m very excited about it that now after she’s been away what, five years, I guess. You go to college and then you are out for a while. She’s going to be home and working here and I can hear some people now probably listening to this going, “Oh, that’s not going to go well.” But it is. I just know it is. We may have to talk about her doing her share of the laundry, etc., but it’s going to be great. But yes, it’s a transition. I’m certainly not going to be saying to her, “Now honey, you got to be back in by midnight.”
Jennifer Miller: Right.
Jory Fisher: Yes. So that was my personal example.
Jennifer Miller: Yes, exactly. I think the key thing, because I have a friend who she’s, I think, she just turned 30. She is staying with her parents because she moved back to Phoenix. She’s staying with them until she gets herself set up and gets her own place and all that, but in the meantime, she’s been going through, I have been hearing her coming from the other side because her parents actually do want her to be home at a certain time or whatever. Her mind is boggled because she’s a grown woman. The thing is, it’s about boundaries. Boundaries, I think we’ve talked briefly about or I can’t remember if we did a whole segment on it, but I know it has come up several times that boundaries are what defines relationships and they are what sets expectations. So making sure that we are intentional about where those boundaries are, and that we are clear when we communicate them with each other. Otherwise, it’s like we’re both operating off of two different pages in a play book. We are two completely different play books. That’s where a lot of miscommunication, misunderstandings, conflicts and things like can arise.
Even when it comes to my little children, when they are 2 or 3, there is no such thing as privacy. It doesn’t mean anything to them but once they have hit 5, 6, 7, it’s now that is a new boundary that you know that you can’t just walk into mom’s room. You have to knock first. There are a lot of reasons that go into why there are certain boundaries, but I’ve watched families who are chronically reactive instead of proactive. It’s like they are constantly chasing after issues. So instead, I try to be very mindful that these are boys that I need to teach how to be appropriate when it comes to privacy, when it comes to personal space, when it comes to women. So things like that and that has been my key to being successful is being proactive with boundaries and being clear in communicating them because then, that way, if they disagree, we can have a discussion about it rather than just either unspoken or passive-aggressive attempts to manipulate each other, which is unfortunately what most people end up doing. I think that that fits really well into what you anticipate happening.
Jory Fisher: It does. Yes, definitely. We talked before that if things are rough at home, if you are having problems in your personal space, it’s hard to really be living out your purpose in an effective, joyful manner.
Jennifer Miller: It is, it definitely is. On the flipside, and this is something we’ve talked about before is personal life, professional life and how they affect each other. That was another area we talked about, was also similarly transitions in a work-place because even though it doesn’t happen with the same kind of frequency as at home raising children, changes do happen. Whether you get promoted or move to a different department, or if something changes in the relationship, it’s the same sort of thing though. If you don’t have clear boundaries or if you don’t communicate clearly about these expectations or what have you, that’s when issues can arise. I know I’ve had that especially when I have been promoted or something like that because now people who were once my peers are now supposed to answer to me in some way. That’s always a very interesting transition.
Jory Fisher: It is an interesting transition. You and I were also talking about what it’s like to have our students graduate and then, instead of saying Professor Fisher, Dean Fisher, or Professor Miller or whatever, they are wondering if they should call us Jory and Jennifer, and you were at a situation where I guess a person just assumed he would, whereas in my situation, maybe they were more polite, I don’t know. They asked permission if they, you know, they didn’t ask permission, I remember now. I actually said to them, “Hey guys, you don’t have to call me Professor or Dean anymore. You really can say Jory.”
Jennifer Miller: Yes. I had a class. It was the last night of class and we were walking out and he’s a student and he’s asking me a question about something. In the conversation, he now says and goes, “Well, now that we are colleagues…” I’m standing here going, “Excuse me? We are not colleagues yet.” He’s not even graduated from the program. “You still have another term. I’m not your colleague yet.” So it was very presumptive. I’ve had interesting things happen with, because people don’t know I teach part time as a professor for a university where I train other people to be counselors. I firmly say at the beginning, I’m not a doctor so don’t call me Dr. Miller, but refer to me as Professor Miller. I send all my emails that way and yet some people just take it upon themselves to start calling me Jennifer. I had one woman who, granted she was probably 15 years my senior, but she tried calling me “kiddo.” She actually referred to me as kiddo and I’m standing there as her professor.
Jory Fisher: Oh my gosh.
Jennifer Miller: That’s the kind of stuff, no matter what the work setting is that you have to figure out, “how do I address that?” because that just isn’t appropriate. I’ve had people that I’m friends with that all of a sudden I work with or what have you and it can be very, very tricky to like draw those boundaries and say, “Okay, that’s not appropriate here. Don’t call me that here.”
Jory Fisher: Yes. I just thought of something else and I don’t think you’re at a place or you’ve ever had to go through this, but it was a little strange for me to step away from being a lawyer. I had that lawyer thing going for 20 years or so and then I moved to Maryland and I’m not about to take another bar exam. Thank you very much. I had enough trouble with the Virginia Bar exam. I certainly don’t want to pay malpractice insurance and set up a law firm, blah, blah, blah. Nobody knows me here as an attorney. I think a few people have found out but I don’t really talk about it. It took a while for my ego, my identity, to deal with that. I still have the ole JD after my name going on and every once in a while, of course in my bio, I’ll say that I was a professor or whatever, but I don’t usually. I’m not “talking law” with people. In fact, even my hairdresser the other day, I don’t know, I said something about being a public defender or something before or whatever. She goes, “Wait a minute, you’re a lawyer?” I have been going to her for three years and I thought, you know, I guess that’s okay. Because we talk about all kinds of stuff, and she said, “All those things that we talk about and I never knew you were a lawyer.” I said, okay, I guess that’s good. I guess that’s good but that’s a transition and it’s very much so. So let’s think of, I don’t know if it’s more true of men. I kind of think it is but you hear about people who are all caught up in their career, climbing that corporate ladder, get to the top and then a) they either find out their ladder is leaning against the wrong building, or b) they retire and they don’t know what to do with themselves. Their identity is now gone because they are no longer Mr. CEO or Mr. CFO or whatever it might be.
Jennifer Miller: Yes. That’s actually something that I address in my book, No Longer Two, under the section where I discuss gender differences because I did research on that. Research shows that men significantly have a harder time with unemployment and with retirement because they typically, and especially because just how they are wired neurologically, but then also socially as well that they are achievers, they are doers. They get things done. They are task oriented. That sort of thing and so they tie so much of their identity in what they accomplish and where their successes are and what they are able to do.
So when all of a sudden they are either unemployed or retired and they are not doing the same sort of thing, the ones who transition the best are the ones who can basically reroute it and find other things to do and find enjoyment and fulfillment in. The ones who struggle are the ones who aren’t able to make that transition mentally and redefine and really set new boundaries for themselves. It’s the same sort of thing. We can set boundaries for ourselves and shape the way that we interpret life and where we find fulfillment, but a lot of people struggle with that. I think you are right as far as research supporting the fact that men are typically the ones who struggle more with it, not to say women don’t but what I find is that women struggle more with their kids becoming adults. They struggle more with being empty nester than necessarily being retired. So we just put our identity in different things.
Jory Fisher: We do and going back to that children thing, I remember I was very career oriented. Then I had a baby at 35 and then I remember the first time I was at the mall like on a Tuesday because I was home with my child for a little while there. But I didn’t have my baby with me and I was at the mall; I didn’t have a baby as an “excuse” to be at the mall like on a Tuesday at 3 or something like that, isn’t this weird? But I just had that distinct feeling of, “Oh my gosh, people are going to think [like people really care, right?]. People are going to think, I have nothing to do, that I’m just a “lady who lunches.” I just felt so weird being at the mall on a Tuesday at 3 instead in a courtroom or something. That was weird but then when I had the twins, I had three under 3 at the same time, being at home, that was okay because it was like, this was my purpose now. That was okay. Then transitioning back into the workplace, that was fine too because I was able to do it gradually. Working part-time and then when the kids got older, I went to fulltime. All that was cool but what has been hard for me, absolutely was the empty nest thing and combining that with becoming a solopreneur and working from home.
I stepped away from the career when my daughter twins were 16, but I still had two more years with them. So I worked from home for two years with them there but then when they also went off to school and now I’m just working from home [and yay I have my three dogs that I talk about all the time], but that’s hard. That’s hard even though my whole identity wasn’t in them. I continued to work, to do other things. I just miss them; we just had fun.
Jennifer Miller: Exactly. That’s the biggest thing about transition is it’s not always because of a bad thing, but yet we do lose something when we gains something else. So it’s just as valid to be celebrating the new opportunity and the new things that are coming and the benefits at the same time that we at least acknowledge, if not maybe even grieve, the losses from the past station that we are in or what have you because even if we are being promoted at work, celebrate the promotion, but then let’s also grieve the fact that I’m no longer going to be doing the same thing I was doing or with the same people, or in the same way. Yay, my children are grown and they are being successful! That’s a great thing to celebrate, but then let’s also grief they are not home everyday anymore. I don’t have immediate access to them and that relationship was fulfilling. I think it’s very beneficial to acknowledge you can feel two very different things at the same time and they can both be valid.
Jory Fisher: I read a devotional on Readers Digest not too long ago, about a woman who loved being a nurse. In actual she said RN stands apparently for “real nurse,” right? So actually working with people and helping them. Then she got promoted to a more of administrative position, and she was grieving her former position but then this devotional was about that very thing that you are talking about, she came to terms with, “It’s okay to miss that and I am still very much a Real Nurse because look at the positive that I’m doing. Look at all the good that I’m doing,” and she’s able ultimately to ease into a role, but yes, perfect example of professional transitions that’s hard even though it’s good.
Jennifer Miller: Like I said before, being aware when transitions are coming and just know that that’s when issues typically arise, so we can be proactive instead of reactive. Revisiting boundaries and making sure that we may need to redraw them, we may need to scooch them somewhere. We may need to draw completely new ones and that’s okay, but let’s be clear about it, intentional about it. Then at the same time like just what we are saying, recognize that in transition, there is both a birth and a death. Let’s celebrate what’s coming and at least acknowledge what is going away and what will be no more, and it’s okay to feel two very different things at the same time.
These sorts of transitions happen everywhere, they happen at home with family relationships. They happen at work with career and they happen all over the place. Even though we didn’t talk about it, it also does relate to break ups, divorce, things like that. That’s also a transition. Friendships, when you move away. That was a big thing for me is moving to a completely different state and the relationships that we tend to be closest with the people we do life with. If I’m no longer doing daily life with you, it’s just naturally changes the relationship. So transitions happen in all sorts of ways and unfortunately, it’s just a fact of life. If we can be aware of it and recognize it, I think we can be much more successful when we make those transitions.
Jory Fisher: Beautifully said, you are indeed a communicator, an authentic communicator. I love it. Let’s use our relationship as an example, our strong virtual friendship.
Jennifer Miller: Yes.
Jory Fisher: For people who have never met in person and yet, I think it’s fair to say we talked about some pretty deep things.
Jennifer Miller: We have.
Jory Fisher: Just me reading your book and having my husband read it, No Longer Two. That’s pretty deep right there and kudos to you for writing such a personal book by the way. So let’s use our relationship as an example of what you are talking about. Obviously, you are not going to show up here a month from now and, “Hey, where is Jory? I thought we had a radio show to do.” So you’ve been given notice. That sounds awful.
Jennifer Miller: Things are changing.
Jory Fisher: Things are changing. Things are changing. You have been given a pink slip. You have been given a pink slip. I’ve given myself one too. So it’s equal.
Jennifer Miller: Right.
Jory Fisher: What are you going to do now that there is not going to be another Heart & Soul for Women of Faith episode for you to be on and then what are we going to do to keep our relationship alive? So I’ll let you address that.
Jennifer Miller: Like I said, with each transition it’s both a birth and a death. I know one of the things that I am going to grieve is having access to the people who have been listening to this show because in my heart and soul, I am a teacher, I am a mentor. I just feel my calling is to help people become a better version of themselves and to have a better relationship with God, with self and with other people. I have so enjoyed being your “relationship expert” and all the wonderful topics that we’ve been able to explore. Of course, that aspect of it will be lost for sure but yet, with that comes a birth and I love some of the ideas that we’ve already explored, that there are different mediums and there are different methods of exploring ways to put the same kind of message out.
Jory Fisher: Right.
Jennifer Miller: I’ll still be a guest blogger on your website, but I know that there are other ways that God will inspire us to continue to collaborate. I think that the important thing for us is, without having this regularly scheduled thing, we could easily slip into what I was describing about friendship after you move away. It’s like if we don’t have that regularly scheduled thing, we could easily kind of slip away. One thing you and I have talked about is maybe not with the same frequency we were having but still maybe once a month or every other month, still touching base and checking each other to foster the friendship and then as well continuing to share with each other as ideas come to collaborate because we work so well together. It’s not often that you find somebody that you work so naturally with. You and I really need very minimal prepping for this….
Jory Fisher: I know.
Jennifer Miller: …because we work so well together. There is no way we can let that go and never do anything together again. Being intentional, being intentional.
Jory Fisher: I know, being intentional, yes. I am sure a lot of people listening have moved and you guys know what it’s like. You’ve really got to be proactive and intentional, as Jennifer just said, about keeping up with your friends when you move. It really helps shake out the circle concept, right?
Jennifer Miller: It does, yes.
Jory Fisher: Jennifer, why don’t you go ahead and explain about what I’m referring to as the Jesus Circle.
Jennifer Miller: Yes. It came out a few times before, but this idea of kind of concentric circles and organizing our relationship that way because that’s exactly how Jesus demonstrated it in the Scriptures because He had His 12, but even within the 12, He did a lot of things exclusively with Peter, James, and John. It was almost like Peter, James, and John was His inner circle and yet He was still close to the rest of the 12. But then outside of the 12, we also know He had deep friendships with Lazarus, Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. So looking at His role modeling and saying, “You know what, not everybody has to be in the inner circle nor should everybody be in the inner circle.”
So just looking and saying where do people belong as far as kind of these circles of intimacy and closeness? Sometimes it’s time to move people out of a circle, sometimes unintentionally or because we haven’t been mindful, people slide out multiple circles and they become acquaintances when they were once good friends. We do need to be mindful about where we have people in connections because that helps us to focus on energy and our time so that we can foster the most important relationships and make sure that they don’t slip away. Making sure that we stay on the circle we are on and that we don’t slip away from each other.
Jory Fisher: I was joking with Jennifer that I didn’t want to be out there in Judea and Samaria somewhere. I wanted to be in kind of an inner circle with her.
Jennifer Miller: Jerusalem or….
Jory Fisher: Yes, exactly. Jennifer, you know what, I didn’t think about this when you and I were talking about it before. Let’s think about Jesus’s inner circle a little bit more. Those who were closest to Him were not “just His friends.”
Jennifer Miller: No.
Jory Fisher: The closer you got to Jesus really the more responsibility you had and He was training you as well, feeding into you, right, the bread and water of life to go out and teach and preach and carry the Gospel. So talk about being intentional with these close relationships.
Jennifer Miller: Definitely and it does, and that’s why it really isn’t feasible to have a ton of people in your inner circle because it is a bigger responsibility and it takes more of your time and more of your energy because you are pouring yourself into them, they are pouring themselves into you. That’s where you go to talk about the more deeply emotional and vulnerable things. It’s too much to try to be that and do that with too many people. So it is. It’s looking and saying, “Who do I have at that corner and who is in the ring just outside of it that plays a very close but not the same, just more of a supporting role?”
I’ve also had to create a whole new ring because at the Center, I used to have “clients” and “friends.” And now there are people at the Center that they are not really an official client but they are not really a friend either. They are people that come to my yoga class and my Bible study that are there to learn from me and be mentored by me. They didn’t fit on either ring so I had to create a whole other ring. That happens sometimes, is looking and saying, “how is life kind of shaking out and where do people fit?” That’s how I make sure that my kids, my husband, my family, that they get enough of my time and energy as they are really close in a ring and that’s where I need to spend the best of me is in that.
Jory Fisher: Well said. Jennifer, we have had fun. What have been your most favorite topics that we’ve discussed on Heart & Soul?
Jennifer Miller: You know, I love edgy stuff because I like shaking people up. Not in a mean, provocative way. I don’t like that but I like helping people to kind of break out of doldrums and stuff. So I have loved like the talk that we did on intimacy. I thought that that was a really important one. Even the talk we did not that long ago about our relationship with Jesus. I mean, how often do we stop and explore ways to intentionally grow closer in that relationship? I really enjoyed those sorts of topics where it’s more about the intimate. It’s more about the connection, whether it is with spouse or with our self or with God.
Jory Fisher: Bottom line, sex and Jesus.
Jennifer Miller: There we go. Those are my favorite topics.
Jory Fisher: I know you well.
Jennifer Miller: I think I see a T-Shirt being made.
Jory Fisher: My two favorite topics.
Jennifer Miller: Sex and Jesus.
Jory Fisher: Make sure you say on Heart & Soul for Women of Faith with Jory Fisher.
Jennifer Miller: There you go.
Jory Fisher: Tell people, I don’t know, I guess your one final call to action here on Heart & Soul for Women of Faith. Of course we are going to want to encourage you to go back and listen to all of our shows that we’ve discussed together, but what else do you have?
Jennifer Miller: I would say, just talking about transitions in general. A lot of times, we don’t like them. We’re creatures of habits. We like the predictable. We like what we can control and understand. While change can be exciting, it can also create anxiety. Just don’t ignore it. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t be the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand because change happens. It’s going to happen. It just happens much more smoothly and successfully when we are prepared for it and when we go toward it rather than letting it just creep towards us.
The idea that we’ve already mentioned, proactive, intentional, mindful, aware, just realizing that there is both good and bad at the same time sometimes, or happiness and sadness at the same time. That’s okay but don’t let it be something that paralyzes you. Don’t just let life happen at you. Be an active participant and recognize that change is inevitable and it just works out so much better if we are engaged.
Jory Fisher: Yes. Thank you so much. God, I would love it, if not a full-fledged prayer because of time. We sure talked a lot here but if you would be so inclined as to bless our audience that would be wonderful.
Jennifer Miller: Sure. Lord, I just pray a special blessing over Jory and over everybody who has been involved in this program and everybody who has listened. Lord, just be with everybody as we move forward and help us through this transition. Let us see the opportunity and the possibility and the beauty that comes out of it.
Jory Fisher: Thank you so much. Well, thank you everybody for listening to Heart & Soul for Women of Faith. This is Jory Fisher and Jennifer Miller encouraging you to create optimal health for your life, ministry, and business so you can fulfill your purpose with joy and grace, and glorify God through success. I encourage you to listen to this beautiful music by David Nevue, N-E-V-U-E, and go to his website, DavidNevue.com. Until we meet again. May the Lord bless you and keep you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord grant you prosperity and peace. Bye Jennifer. It has been a pleasure.
Jennifer Miller: Bye, Jory.
Jory Fisher: Bye, everybody. God bless you.
Transcription by Alma Noefe