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Behind the Scenes Podcast

EP 58: Dreaming Small, Debunking Mom Guilt, and Making Decisions with Liz + Ben Bohannon

EP 58: Dreaming Small, Debunking Mom Guilt, and Making Decisions with Liz + Ben Bohannon

Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode: 

Follow us on Instagram: 

Reviews are everything on iTunes and we would love to hear what you are loving from our podcast! Would you take a minute and click HERE to leave a review? 

If you have any questions, comments or stories about this episode or the podcast in general, send us an email at or connect with us over on the podcast Instagram


This week we are super excited because we are interviewing Ben and Liz Bohannan! They are the founders of Sseko Designs. Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity and community for women globally! We are going to talk through all things business, family, and more! Let’s get into it!

A Glimpse of the Bohannon’s

Liz and Ben are husband and wife, parents, and the co-founder team behind Sseko Designs  (more on that in a bit!). Liz is the author of Beginner's Pluck: Build your life of purpose and impact now. Among other notable honors, Liz was recently named a top three Transformation Leader by John Maxwell, Forbes listed her as a top 20 public speaker in the U.S. and Bloomberg Businessweek named Sseko as a top social enterprise.

Sseko Designs

Sseko Designs started after I (Liz) was living in Uganda. I met an incredible group of young women (who were between high school and university) who couldn't afford to go to college. That is where the passion started! 

Sseko Designs began and now operates to create income and employment opportunities for these young women. We have a factory with a staff of 60 women in Uganda. We have been able to send about 136 women to a university through our work-study program.

Sseko Designs is a socially conscious fashion brand that works to educate and empower women across the globe. By providing employment and educational opportunities, Sseko enables women in East Africa to continue their education and become leaders in their country and our world.

The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Inc, Fortune, and others. Sseko has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC's Shark Tank and Good Morning America.

Advice for People Who Want to Raise Awareness and Start New Businesses 

Beginners Pluck is all about building your life or business and how to have an impact and purpose NOW (not later). It is packed with Liz’s greatest advice and wisdom! 

My advice is to dream small. I am giving you permission to have small dreams… To be faithful with the small steps and small dreams that lead to building an extraordinary life of big dreams and big impact because of your small beginnings of faithfulness. 

Take your big dream, slow down, think of the small dream within it, and just do it. 

Whenever you are faithful with what’s in front of you, the next step becomes clearer.

Brick by brick, step by step. - Liz

Who is Beginners Pluck for?

Beginners Pluck is for anyone in any season of life. It’s for someone who wants to build a purposeful life and wants to create an impact not just for themselves, but for others. 

My hope is that this book is a kick in the butt, but also a woo towards a life that is a lot bigger than just you. - Liz

How do you use your weaknesses and strengths in working together? What is Your Process in Making Decisions Together?

Our skill sets are different, although our personalities are similar. We are more like fire and fire which creates really awesome opportunities but really unique challenges. 

One thing we really use in our marriage is- Who's the expert and who's the consultant?

We ask each other, what are you good at? And what we are good at and what we really care about is normally what we are “experts” in, while the other spouse is the consultant in that area. 

But, once a decision is made, it is treated as a decision that we both have made. So, if something goes south, it isn't a “me against you” thing. 

Trusting one another

Partnership and agreement. At the end of the conversation, an agreement is the only option. If there isn’t an agreement, the decision wasn’t made. 

There are specific areas that we trust each other to make decisions. And that was built from working through the hard stuff, together. We have a commitment to reconciliation. If our opinions aren't the same, we are committed to reconciliation. 


Don’t react and defend. Dig in and go beyond. The difference between building a great marriage or giving up is to just keep showing up, digging in and fighting for your better selves. It's there, but you won't find it if you give up. 

"It's better when we are together."

Kids & “Mom Guilt” 

Once we decided to build a family, we had to make some big shifts in our life. From a business perspective, having kids has been a huge asset. I feel so committed to treasure something outside of work, so it creates a natural boundary and drives me to get things done within business hours. Having our family creates natural rhythms in our life! 

Mom guilt… I was told, "get ready you're going to feel guilty for the next 18 years when you're working!" I have my own issues, but mom-guilt is not a thing for me.  

When I am at work doing what I feel called to be doing, it is not a problem for me. I don't feel guilty about it. If God has equipped and called me into, it's going to be right for my family. And, if it's not right for me, it’s not right for my family. If it's not right for my family, it is not right for me. You don't have to feel guilty.

Feel all the feelings. Missing your kids is not guilty, it's sad. Guilt is the emotion you get when you are doing something wrong. If you are doing something wrong, and you feel guilty, then check yourself. But, if you are doing what you are called to and are being faithful to the call, feel the peace of that call, and it's also okay to be sad because you miss your kids. The emotions can coexist. 


How do we raise children who are securely attached, without needing them to be securely attached to us all of the time?

We live in an intentional community with a few other families. What's important to our community is proximity, commitment and pushing each other to be more of who God created us to be.  We share life, we are committed to bringing the fullness of who we are to the table. The good, the bad and the ugly. We continue to show up, and all of our kids know how loved they are by just another voice loving on them and caring for them within our community. They are secure with us, and our community. 

Wow… what a super awesome episode! This one is a great one to share with anyone who runs their own business or wants to start their own. Their advice is so practical and inspirational. We so appreciated them & hope you did too!

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EP 56: 10 Ideas For Celebrating Your Anniversary

EP 56: 10 Ideas For Celebrating Your Anniversary

We love celebrating our anniversary every year! In fact, we treat it like a national holiday. We deeply honor it and set time aside to celebrate it ... in a BIG way!

Whether you plan a getaway, watch your wedding video, read your vows, go to a simple dinner, or exchange gifts, prioritizing your anniversary is important.

Remember, the health of your marriage determines the health of your life. So let's commit to making our marriage a priority!

Treat your marriage like a national holiday! We celebrate what is important to us.

— Jeremy + Audrey Roloff


We believe that celebrating your anniversary should be treated like a national holiday! The celebration of your anniversary should be like a lighthouse in the distance, that you can mentally have in the back of your brain all year long. You should constantly look forward to it, so that your anniversary becomes a positive association.

We realized that every organization. company, or business has landmarks or summits to remind them of their vision, structure, have check-ins, and most importantly ... to celebrate!

And while people place celebrations in business a priority, so many leave their marriages up for chance. They don't make check in's, date night nights, vision, and celebration a priority.

Remembering to celebrate your love is so important and should be a priority!

What is important to you?

Take the time to celebrate. It’s so easy to fall into the “we are too busy” trap! But, it's the one time of year you should take off or find someone to watch the kids. If you don't celebrate your anniversary you aren't placing value on it. You are setting a mental road that subconsciously tells you that your marriage isn't important. It's a small seed that gets planted and eventually festers.


The healthiest thing you can do for your family is prioritize your marriage. Marriage is the foundation for all of life. The health of your marriage determines a large aspect of the health of your life.

Celebrating your marriage subconsciously determines your values and what’s important to you! It’s for the health of your marriage. Reflecting on where you have been and where you're headed is key for your marriage. And let’s not forget, it is so fun!

The health of our Marriage is foundational for the health of our life.  

– Jeremy + Audrey Roloff

How do you PRACTICALLY do this?

If you are overwhelmed with the thought of planning your anniversary, put a reminder in your phone 10 days, 2 weeks, or a month before your anniversary date. This will give you a little nudge or reminder so you aren't feeling the last minute pressure to plan.

Another way you can release the overwhelming and pressure is to switch who plans each year. For the first couple years of our marriage we didn't do this ... and we began to see a problem develop. We were both trying to plan something and our ideas were always conflicting. We would end up ruining the surprise of our anniversary because we were forced to share what the other was planning to prevent any conflicts of ideas. It was so tough!

Now, we take turns planning our anniversary (we also switch off Valentine’s day too). This has helped us so much!

10 Ideas for Celebrating Your Anniversary

  1. Take turns to plan
  2. Anniversary letters - Every year, we sit down and write a letter to each other to be read the following year on our anniversary. (ps - remember to put the letters in a safe spot so you can find them the next year).
  3. Re-read your wedding vows - this is vulnerable but really healthy for your marriage!
  4. Watch your wedding video or look at photos
  5. Year boxes - We put all of our important pictures, letters, memorabilia, and keepsakes from the year in a special box. This keeps all of our memories in one place.
  6. Picture collages - print key photos from your year, make a collage, and frame them. This is really fun when people come over because they can see what happened over each of the years!
  7. Make a playlist - Add all your favorite songs from the year and listen to it together as you celebrate your anniversary.
  8. Scents - scents trigger emotions. For our wedding we both bought new perfume and cologne to be worn to specify our wedding day and a new beginning. Every year on we pull this out and wear it for our anniversary. Such a fun way to relive the day!
  9. Spend Some Time Reflecting on the Past Year and Dreaming for the Year Ahead - you can do this as you drive in the car, at dinner, or at a special spot. You can use the Marriage Journal to do this. There is a spot inside for your mission statement.
  10. Play - do something new or something that you both love, go to a new place or try a new activity. As long as you’re together, just have fun together!

A quick note on gifts ...

Gifts don't have to be overwhelming. A getaway or experience is a gift in itself. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas:  

  • If your spouse is a reader or has a favorite hobby, track down the first edition to their book or hobby.
  • A film camera - You can take intentional pictures without being on your phone all the time.
  • A Boudoir Book - This is obviously focused on wives to husbands. This is a special gift to give your husband.

Yearly Summit

Your anniversary is great for celebrating. A yearly summit is meant for reflecting.

It is intentional time where you go back to the basics of your marriage, look at your marriage mission statement, your goals, and your family values.

We make this a priority every year. We go away, spend time reflecting, talking, and dreaming together.

You can do this on your anniversary, but it is totally ok to just sit and enjoy one another without planning or discussing values. That is what a yearly summit is for!

We really hope this helps you understand how valuable your marriage is and how important it is for you to celebrate your anniversary and act like it is a national holiday! Marriage is so worth celebrating and reminiscing on!

The 10 Ideas are simply ideas! The goal is for you to choose a couple of them and work them into your anniversary. You definitely don’t have to do all of them because that could be overwhelming!

Just do something to celebrate your love in a special way! And if you use any of our tips, take a pic and tag us on Instagram. We cannot wait to see!

Until the next episode!

Jeremy + Audrey Roloff

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EP 62: The Impact Of Compassion

EP 62: The Impact Of Compassion

This is one of the most inspiring guest interviews we have ever done on the podcast. And it involves one of our favorite organizations - Compassion International. 

Kiwi is a Graduate Compassion Child from the Philippines. She started in Compassion at age 7 and now works in the medical field in Dallas, Texas. Her story is incredible! She talks about her journey of becoming a Compassion child and the impact it had on her life, her family, and her community. Now she is a sponsor to her own Compassion children.

Compassion is an organization that works with local churches around the world to sponsor children in need. One of the unique things they offer is this letter writing system where you can write letters back and forth with the child that you're sponsoring. And you guys know how much we love letters, so it is no surprise that we are big fans of Compassion! 

We cannot wait for you to hear this story from Kiwi. It is really going to touch your heart and inspire you to take action! 

Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode: 

Follow us on Instagram: 

Follow Compassion

Reviews are everything on iTunes and we would love to hear what you are loving from our podcast! Would you take a minute and click HERE to leave a review? 

If you have any questions, comments or stories about this episode or the podcast in general, send us an email at or connect with us over on the podcast Instagram



Our journey as the Roloff’s with Compassion 

I (Auj) have been involved with Compassion since I was 10. My parents sponsored 2 Compassion girls so my sister and I would write letters and send pictures back and forth. It was really cool that our parents empowered us to do this at such a young age! 

Writing letters to someone that you don't know is such a cool thing to do. It's also very powerful. Money is helpful and useful, but an actual relationship carries things across the line in the Kingdom of God. Letters go a long way to convey a lot of love and compassion to others. 

Writing Letters

Writing a letter to someone you don't know, whether that be through Compassion or letters to your future husband or child, leaves so much room for the Holy Spirit and God to lead you in what to say. You don't know the person, their story, or any life context - you have to give room when you start writing to let Him guide you. It is so powerful to go back and read those letters that you wrote or received and see how much God really was in the details and was leading your prayers. 

Our Special Guest, Kiwi

My name is Kiwi. I was born in the middle of the Philippines and came to America 10 years ago to work as a physical therapist. My first job was in Dalton Georgia. I met my husband there got married, then moved to Dallas for his job as an executive chef.  work at a hospital in Dallas, TX as a physical therapist. We have been married for 7 years now! I

How did you get to America?

I graduated from college in the Philippines and couldn't find a job. I started questioning, “Lord did I make a mistake in choosing this profession?” But God doesn't make mistakes.  I went to church and God's word for me was to go to this land and you will be a blessing. I didn't have much money so I said: “God if it's your will, it’s your bill.” I applied as a physical therapist in Georgia (which at that time I didn't even know where that was) and soon after they interviewed me, they hired me and paid for everything - including a signing bonus! I was super eager to go to work because I wanted to provide for my parents, sisters, and relatives in the Philippines. 

Let’s Backtrack… How did you grow up?

I was born in a very poor family in the Philippines. My dad is an alcoholic and I had three older brothers who all died due to a lack of medical attention. My parents couldn't afford it. I remember, we would go out, pump the water and boil it to take care of the germs. Often, I couldn’t sleep because I was so hungry. Even a rotten apple my parents couldn't afford to buy. 

But, this isn't a sad story though because God is so good. 

Growing up everyone would say “your dad is never going to change. He will die an alcoholic.” But one day, he picked up a Jesus track at work that invited him to a crusade. In that crusade, he heard about Jesus, gave his life to Jesus, and that was the first time my dad went home sober. 

At first, my mom was so confused she thought, “what's wrong? What happened?” But my dad said, “no, I just received Jesus and we need to go to church.”

This was the beginning of my Compassion journey. At this church, they had the Compassion Project and since we were poor, they enlisted me into the program.

Compassion Journey

We continued going to church but I was confused. I thought the Jesus we sang about didn’t care about us because he didn’t provide for us. Why do we live this way? Then I got my first letter (at the age of 7). 

My First Letter…

My first letter said, “you are a pretty person.” In the Philippines, we don't tell our children that they're pretty or awesome. So at first, I didn't believe it. But then I began to realize this is how the Lord saw me. 

“I'm beautiful in your sight, Lord.” 

The only mail I ever received from my sponsor. He didn’t know me but he stopped and wrote me letters. It was like I mattered. 

It’s not just resources being given, but it’s your heart and time given that really helps lift spirits and conditions. 

Compassion Project

I began to go to the Compassion Project often where they would teach us how to brush our teeth and wash our hands, we had medical check-ups, and we would write letters back to our sponsors. One day my teacher said,

This is your situation, you are poor, but this is not your destiny.” 

At that time, I began to open my Bible, dream dreams, and memorize the promises of God. I knew I wanted to go to college and I didn’t want to be poor anymore. I wanted a different destiny. 

Journey to College and More! 

At that time Compassion was partnered with 26 third world countries. And they didn't have a program for kids to go to college. But later that year they launched a college program and I was one of the first 42 students accepted into it. Now I am a physical therapist, working in a hospital in Dallas, TX. God is good! 

How I Met my Sponsors...

One day there was a group of Australian Sponsors who came to the Philippines, and since my sponsor was Australian, they asked me to give a testimony. After I shared my story, they invited me to Australia where I was able to meet my sponsors. I will never forget - they were coming up to the stage and I couldn’t wait to meet them! I ran over, hugged them, and kept saying thank you over and over again.

It didn't just change my life, but my family's life, and I know one day - my community

Today, my mom is a pastor of a small community church in the Philippines. Two months ago we opened a kid's church in our backyard called Glory to God Kids Ministry. 

All the honor, glory and praises to God! 

The Faithfulness of God

It is crazy to imagine - I was hungry as a child then I married a chef. Now I will never be hungry again! 

A faithful yes has such an impact on someone's life, family, culture and families.

I am always reminded of the faithfulness of Jesus! 

From Being Sponsored to Sponsoring

With my first sponsor child, I did it with other people because I didn't have a job at the time. We started sponsoring him at 7 and he is now 17. When I met him, he was crying and couldn't stop telling me "thank you." Now I sponsor 4 kids - 2 from the Philippines and one from Haiti and one from Bolivia!

Anything Else to Share?

We are blessed to be a blessing and to be His hands and feet to other people. So, if you think you can't, you can. He has given you all the resources, just obey His word to be His hands and feet to other people.

Compassion is a world-changing movement. It has 1.3 million sponsors today! One simple yes can have an infinite impact for somebody, their family, AND their community.

2 Ways to Sponsor a Compassion Child

Text ROLOFF to 83393 and you can sign up from there. 


That conversation with Kiwi really moved us and hope it moved you to. She spoke with such conviction on the word of God and we are so inspired by her story. We try to use our platform to share good things, and this is just such a good thing. The testimonies are true, and Kiwi is proof of the impact you can have on someone (and so much more than just one person) simply by saying yes. 

Sponsoring a child has the potential not just to change one person’s life, but also a whole family tree and community. Also, it changes your own life. Partnering with Compassion taught me compassion from a young age. If you are a parent, you can do this with your kids, but let your kids write the letters. If your young, and feel led to do this, you can do it with friends! This is such a great movement, and we truly believe anyone can be a part of it! 


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Ep 61: The Power Of Affirmations And Casting Vision In Your Marriage

Ep 61: The Power Of Affirmations And Casting Vision In Your Marriage

This week we are excited to introduce you guys to Stevie and Sazan Hendrix. We have been on their podcast, The Good Life Podcast, so we are super pumped that they are having a turn on our podcast now! We relate to the Hendrix’s a lot because we are in very similar seasons of life. This episode is like sitting around the table just chatting and catching up on life together. So take a seat at the table and enjoy with us! 

Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode: 

Follow us on Instagram: 

Follow The Hendrix’s

Reviews are everything on iTunes and we would love to hear what you are loving from our podcast! Would you take a minute and click HERE to leave a review? 

If you have any questions, comments or stories about this episode or the podcast in general, send us an email at or connect with us over on the podcast Instagram



About the Hendrix’s

We are just two people trying to navigate life together! We have been married for almost 4 years, have one daughter, Valentina (we call her Teeny!) We are full-time content creators on various platforms- YouTube, our Podcast, Instagram… all that stuff. We also have a subscription box company called Blessed Box. All that being said, we haven’t always done this entrepreneur life.

The Back Story

At first, Saz began with a little blog, and I (Stevie) was dedicated to becoming an actor. As time went on, Saz dedicated time to grow her blog & it had great potential ahead! I was acting, but she asked me to quit my job and come work for her. So, I did, and stepped into being her manager. As time went on, we brought my sister onto the team and she began to help Saz with the business too. Now, we do this full time and with a family business dynamic. 

The Book E-Myth

E-myth, entrepreneurial myth, is a great book for business owners or entrepreneurs. In the book, there is a section that talks about how we are all one of three people. We are either doers, dreamers, or managers. We can have bits of all, but we dominant in one of them. With that said, in our lesser areas we can hire someone to help us be stronger as a whole in our business. 


We live in a culture where we scroll so much and we are used to reacting to things quickly. Whereas, reading is a way to not be so overstimulated. Reading causes us to embrace humanity and slow down. We are focused on one thing for a period of time and it causes our brain to slow down and chew on one thing. 


For people who are in a lull, I believe it's okay to get busy because somehow it can help you get out of that lull. However, sometimes you have to slow down because you are too busy. Right now, we are in a season where the water has finally settled. We are in a season of stillness and calm. 

Seasons of Stillness

In seasons of stillness you learn to work smarter not harder. You learn how to master being productive. 

We have done small things to create organization and goals. Each week we have a structured template that we fill out - like having a roadmap to follow each week. The template keeps us accountable and helps us make sure we create free time in our schedule. This was we don’t miss out on spontaneity, fun, and rest during the week. 

Casting Vision

That same template helps us cast vision for the things that need to be executed for the week to come. At the end of it all this system and preparation help us actually have a good week and make sure things are going well within our business AND our family. 

The Vision for Family

We see each other all day every day - so we have to separate our personal life from our professional life. 

We have realized that life isn't going to get easier, but we can't let our marriage fall through the cracks. If that fails, everything does. The heart of our home is our marriage.

We would recommend taking time to affirm one another. This is so important, even if you aren’t a words person. It is so important to affirm one another. 

Another recommendation is to use love languages. Ask each other, “What did I do this week that made you feel really loved this week?” You will be surprised! Because sometimes we do things for our spouse that would make ourselves feel really loved, but for them, it doesn’t really translate the same way. And vice versa. 

We have to be intentional about loving our spouse the way they receive love best. 

What Have You Learned About Marriage So Far?

Marriage is all about being intentional. There are always moments in your marriage where you can stop and think “what can I do right now that will bless her?” Marriage is learning how to serve the person truly and selflessly.  A service that comes from love. We should reflect the heart of God whenever we come together. Also, keep choosing each other. No matter what. Whether it’s my feelings, my pride, or a really big issue that comes up - no matter what comes against you, you have to choose your spouse first. 

Each year we’re a new person because we are constantly growing and shifting as we walk with the Lord. This can be scary if you are afraid of change, but there is also such a sweetness that God wants to show you from this. It truly is like fine wine. Throughout the years you will change, but that’s when things become sweeter. 

I think that if more people would work through the tough seasons of marriage, there would be more couples who stay together and get to experience the sweetness of staying. 


I (Stevie) have experienced the faithfulness of God and there is victory and sweetness that God will bring to you after you go through tough seasons. For years growing up my parents struggled financially and almost 20-30 years later they are still together. The faithfulness of the Lord has shown. 

When I (Sazan) first met Stevie, I wasn't in a relationship with God. I was completely ruled by my feelings. I often compare the way I felt before Jesus to living on the moon - such an isolated and lonely place. But whenever Stevie shared the truth of Jesus with me, it was so exciting! I accepted Christ in my heart and it was like I felt like I was finally living in color and in the riches of Christ. 


At the beginning, our relationship was really hard. My parents (Sazan) didn’t come to our wedding because I was marrying outside of our culture, became a Christian, and was marrying a Christian. 

Stevie always said he knew it wasn't in God's plan to keep our families from one another and that he knew that God’s plan was reconciliation. It was hard. But there has been so much love and forgiveness over time. Now we are reconciled with my family and currently live with them. It’s been a beautiful story of reconciliation. 

How to Stay Grounded as Parents While Also Running a Business

When I (Sazan) work, I work, and when I am with Teeny, I am with Teeny. We stick to our template and keep business and family separate, as best as we can. 

A Little BTS of Life

I (Sazan) have been feeling like God is calling me to help out the youth. I really want to motivate and pour into our youth. I recently spoke at a youth conference and now I just feel this fire for the youth! I want to give them the tools they need to challenge themselves and also conquer some of those big mountains you face as young teens. 

For a while we have focused on the beauty sphere, but we are shifting our focus to the family space. We are constantly dreaming up ideas of how to create more content for that niche. 

Well, what a fun chat! It really was just talking and getting to know more of their story. We are super thankful for what they shared and hope nuggets of their life and wisdom help you along your own journey!

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Ep 60: The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry with John Mark Comer

Ep 60: The Ruthless Elimination Of Hurry with John Mark Comer

We’ve been exploring the theme of rest, living an unhurried life, and rhythms over the last few episodes. So, we are very excited and honored to have John Mark Comer with us to discuss his perspective on this conversation. 

We actually met at his church, Bridgetown Church in Portland - so we have a special place in our heart for John Mark and his church. We had John Mark on the podcast (episode 27) where he shared about marriage. But this time, we will be focusing on something completely different! Get ready because his way of teaching is incredible. He is so gifted in how he explains and delivers content and truth. This is such a timely episode, so let’s get straight into it!

Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode: 

Follow us on Instagram: 

Follow John Mark Comer

Reviews are everything on iTunes and we would love to hear what you are loving from our podcast! Would you take a minute and click HERE to leave a review? 

If you have any questions, comments or stories about this episode or the podcast in general, send us an email at or connect with us over on the podcast Instagram


John’s New Book- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

Long story short, I have been deeply shaped by the writings and teachings of Dallas Willard. His way of thinking about life in the kingdom of God with Jesus - as an apprentice/disciple of Jesus has significantly impacted my beliefs. 

Unfortunately, I was never able to meet him. But I have met with John Ortberg, a man who was mentored by Dallas for 20 years (so crazy!) A couple of times a year, I have lunch with John and just take notes on everything he has to say. 

While meeting, John told me this story:

I (John) was working at a megachurch, getting sucked into the speed of life that you have while working for a larger organization.  I called up Dallas Willard and asked him, “What do I need to do?” Willard took a long silence, and then said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” That’s all he said. I then asked, “What else?”  Willard said, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

This Moment

This story and moment were pivotal for me. At first, my mind thought "that’s ridiculous!" But then I felt something resonate deep in my soul. I hit me with reality and truth, overwhelmed and anxious but didn't know why or what was wrong. 

Sometime later, it all came together: I was living a hurried life. 

Naming What is Wrong / Diagnosing 

It is easier to live with a life-threatening illness than it is to live with ambiguity. When we put a name to the symptoms in our lives, we know what is wrong, and then we can create new possibilities for healing and a way out. 

This was my diagnosis-moment. By the external metrics, I was doing great. But by internal metrics (the things that really matter) I was asking myself, "am I becoming a person of love? More joyful, less anxious?" And the answer was no, no, no. 

What Changes did you Make When you Realized the Problem?

There’s a very confronting verse that is always in the back of my head that says- "What will it profit a person to gain the whole world but lose their soul?"

A lot of us will reach the moment where we NEED change. 

I had a moment of "Who am I becoming? What am I about? What do I actually want to do?” This was my point of change. There's a saying the business community uses, that says "your system is perfectly designed to give you the results that you are getting."

Your system is giving you results. If you want different results, you have to change the system.  


If you read the Book of Acts, long before they were called The Church, they were called The Way or Followers of the Way. In this little semantic shift, from followers of the way to the church and now to Christians, we have lost the idea that the way of Jesus is exactly what it sounds like. It is a way of life or a lifestyle. Christianity is language never used by Jesus or writers in the Testament. Christianity is religion. 

The Difference

If you create a vision of what it means to be a Christian - what that means is you ascribe to the religion of Christianity - you have beliefs about who God is and the Bible. And even have an ethical vision of what is right and wrong based on the Bible. But you don't actually have a rubric for a way of life or a lifestyle based entirely off of Jesus himself. 

Or, you can view your entire life as an apprentice or a follower of Jesus, attempt to copy the details of Jesus' day-to-day, and try your best to become a full person like He was - a person of love, joy, and peace. 

These two things are radically different. 

What Does Jesus Call “People” in the Bible? 

The dominant language used in the New Testament is disciple, apprentice, follower, or student learner. The second most used language is brothers and sisters, family, or siblings. Christian is used 3 times in the Testament, and it is not used by Jesus or the writers of the Bible. It is used by the critics of the way of Jesus. 

Jesus named us. I have a book called God is a Name. There is so much power in a name. There are a lot more implications to simply calling yourself a Christian.

Names are identity statements and visions of who we want to become

Explaining the Difference:

There is a difference between saying I am a Christian and I ascribe to the religion of Christianity and its basic tenants and saying I have literally built my entire life around apprenticing under Jesus as the most brilliant teacher to ever live, and I view myself as a member of the family of God, where God is the father and we do life together as a family.  

What is an Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is being an active learner - actively learning how to live - not just what to believe. There's a difference between active learning ideas about theology and actively learning practices and lifestyle patterns. There's a difference between actively learning Romans, and actively learning how to become a person who is more compassionate.  


The motivation behind why people read biographies is because they are used as a tool for self-awareness and self-growth. If we read about others, we discover who we have the potential to become. You pay attention to details and transpose them into your life. If we copy the details, we may end up with similar results. Unfortunately, most Christians don't read the biographies of Jesus that way. The Gospels are full of details about Jesus' life. They aren't just teaching blocks with records of miracles. 

For example. "Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up and went to a solitary place where he prayed."

This is a lifestyle statement. He didn't take a day off and watch movies, he got time alone and got his soul back. 

Reading Scripture Through a Lifestyle Lens

We have rightly emphasized theological convictions, but wrongly included the way, and only included the truth. If truth is not embedded in your routines and practice, then often truth just hangs there in your mental furniture. 

We should be looking and reading about the person of Jesus in a lifestyle lens. This shouldn’t be the only lens we read the Bible through, but it is an important lens to make sure we are seeing through.

Why is Hurry Such a Threat?

The sub-title of my book is, "How to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually alive in the chaos of a modern world."

Let’s look at this through a secular lens of emotional health: hurry makes us less happy and in the end, we end up exhausted and burnt out. But us as followers of Jesus, our end goal is to live with God and become people of love. At the center of the Kingdom of God, there's this triumph rate of love, joy, and peace. 

Love, joy, and peace aren't just emotions, but they are the settled conditions of our hearts. They are the kind of people we are becoming under the apprenticeship of Jesus. 

Hurry is incompatible with love, joy, and peace. There's very little that can be done with hurry, that cannot be done better without it.

2 Types of Busyness

  1. You have a lot to do- this isn't bad, Jesus was busy, anyone with a child or career is busy. This is a good kind of busy; you aren't just wasting your life.
  2. Too much to do, not enough time to do it, and the only way to is to cram it all in is to speed up your mind, body, and relationships to a pace that is incompatible with love, joy, and peace. This type of busy is not good.

A life of hurry is incompatible with life in Jesus' vision of the Kingdom of God.

For Those Who Want a Simpler Life, What Can They Implement Right Away?

Pull out your calendar and murder 3-10 things. Have a drastic DTR and redefine the relationship with your smartphone. We are big fans of creating a Digital rule of life in our family. 

Rules of Life

Rules of Life are from ancient Christian language, but they are still used in the church today.

They are a schedule and set of practices and relational rhythms that create a structure for you to live your entire life around abiding in Jesus and what matters most to you as a soul before God.

A rule of life helps create space for you to enjoy God and become a person of love and live into what really matters most to you. 

Digital Rule of Life

A digital rule of life is a schedule for how you relate to your phone and the internet in a way that doesn't let them take over your attention.  There is a book called Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch - and she talks about parenting your phone. We put them out of sight and out of mind at 8:30, and then we get them after we have spent time in prayer and scriptures in the morning.

Habits / Disciplines

Neuroscientists are giving an explanation about habits and what they do for our body, and why they are good in a secular context. Science is simply the discovery or rediscovery of God and is proving ancient thoughts. But they are proving what Christians have been talking about for literally thousands of years when it comes to disciplines and practices of Jesus.

There is a fascinating book called, How God Changes Your Brain by Andrew Newberg. He explains how all of the empirical data about Christians and says that if you are more Christian, you are more kind, tolerant, gracious, generous, happy and healthy. On the other side, lots of atheists will say that Christians are man intolerant and bigoted. Andrew himself isn’t a Christian. This is interesting because this shows that as we practice and discipline ourselves to be more like Christ, we become better more whole people. 

A Thought For the Listeners

Silence & solitude, sabbath, simplicity, and slow. These are ways to index our hearts towards love and to slow down and be present. Start with a daily moment of quiet, 15 or 20 minutes. Then, have a weekly Sabbath. Practice Simplicity, pair your life down, declutter, clear out your schedule. Build a life that really matters to you before God. And lastly, learn to slow your body down. 

Final thoughts…

One time at lunch with John, someone asked him, “How are you?” And his response was, “At this point in my life, I’m just trying to not miss the goodness of God every day, and to bring my best self to each moment.” This is spiritual maturity. With the world and all of its pain and suffering, the world is still so full of goodness. 

We are so grateful for people who have given so much of their time to thinking about these problems for the rest of us to acknowledge and bring about a solution. John Mark is full of wisdom and grace. We could’ve continued talking forever… We are always left so convicted and inspired to live more intentionally and walk more like Jesus after chatting with John Mark. We hope you enjoyed! 

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Ep 59: To Hell With the Hustle: Reclaiming Your Life in an Overworked, Overspent, and Overconnected World

Ep 59: To Hell With the Hustle: Reclaiming Your Life in an Overworked, Overspent, and Overconnected World

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If you have been following us for a while, you’d know that we are extremely passionate about helping people live more intentionally. To live intentionally, we must also be intentional with our time. Which means we must also be in cadence with the Holy Spirit to be more peace and joy filled. Ultimately, to be more human… 

This week we have Jeff Bethke joining us to share some wisdom and share about his new book, To Hell With the Hustle. This is a very exciting interview because we really believe that society, culture and the world needs to hear what Jeff has to say. The times we are living in right now need to hear this message. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the demands of work, family, community, or feeling anxious, tired or burnt out, this will definitely resonate with you. So, let’s get into it!

The Story Behind the Title

My wife Alyssa actually came up with the title, To Hell With the Hustle. It is supposed to have a sharp edge, and when we say to hell with the hustle, we mean that literally. My goal in this book is to help you reclaim your life in an overworked, overspent, and overconnected world.  

Often, we feel bad about having to say no in order to craft a life that worships Jesus better. But I want to give you permission to say no. We believe hustle and hurry is actually one of Satan's greatest devices and tools.

Let's Dive into the Problem That is Being Identified in To Hell With the Hustle. 

Hustle in and of itself is a great and beautiful thing. The Lord wants us to be ambitious. Sprints are okay for a goal you're trying to achieve, but if you don't realize your heart is sprinting to gain something that you'll never gain, that is super detrimental. 

The Beginning of the Problem

The beginning of the problem dates all the way back to the invention of the assembly line. You can trace so many cultural values to this because before the invention we were craft-oriented, but the assembly line made it to where we no longer care about people working on a particular task in a deep focused way for a long period of time. 

The Conveyor Belt of Spiritual Discipleship

Unfortunately, we have allowed this “assembly line” to infiltrate into church. We invite people to church, but don't go to their home, bring them to an event that is efficient and 45 minutes, someone asks you to raise your hand to accept Jesus, then we put you in a program. It isn't inherently wrong, but is it the best thing? 

The question we should always ask is what's the best thing? Can we get better and constantly pursue excellence? The God of efficiency has permeated itself into every facet of our lives. 

People in the West, specifically millennials, are being pushed to go faster, hurry and hustle. The pressure is insane. Add spirituality in there, but Jesus doesn't work in an assembly line version. He is a person; he wants people to sit at the table with them.

Social Media and the Hustle

The phone, social media, the internet connectivity is actually the very essence of the hustle. Scriptures make it clear that whatever you worship, you become like. Social media causes people to be fragmented, bite-sized, and non-nuanced. Our attention span is decreasing, and we are becoming more like social media, and are in a hurry more than ever.

Hustle and hurry in the world are like Bitcoin and following Jesus is like a Roth IRA. One wants to double investments immediately, but the other is a penny every day and you'll be wealthy when your 70.
Robust Resistant Spiritual Disciplines 

The way to combat becoming like the media, is to have an active ethic of social media. For example, we have rules for how we interact with our phones and where we take them. Unless you have these disciplines, you automatically lose. 

Why are you so Passionate About the Hustle?

Alyssa and I were reaching all cultural milestones, probably quicker than anyone around us. We got married, had jobs, a home, and kids. We were hitting all of the benchmarks but at the end of all that, we were full and weighed down. Our life started to show itself as lacking. We felt fragmented. 

Integration vs Disintegration

Disintegration leads to fragmentation; you go everywhere, but you aren't a whole person anymore. We were living disintegrated lives but still being seen as culturally okay. The American dream gets worse and worse, not better and better. You get busier, have more pressure, more responsibility, and so we just started wrestling through that, and we realized we had to make some changes in our life to be able to integrate. 

Our Journey

It was a long year journey where we realized how much of a slave we were to the cultural ethos of hustle and hurry, and we felt like God wanted to make us whole again. That meant letting go of some big things that would cost us a lot of money. That meant big drastic life decisions. We felt the Lord challenging us with the question, "If I asked you to do it, would you trust me to actually take care of it?" And, for a long time, I didn’t trust Him. 

Let’s Talk Solutions…

There is a book written by Kosuke-Koyama called 3 Mile an Hour God. He explains how the actual speed when you are walking as a non-anxious presence is literally 3 miles per hour. He argues this is the speed Jesus walked at, and if you go faster than that we aren't walking at the speed of love. Therefore, if you go faster, you aren't loving well. He wants relationship not outcomes or efficiency. We must refocus our relationship on being with Him rather than what we can do for Him.  

The Speed of Love

I took this concept and used it in my book… There is a speed of love. Jesus is real and he had a specific speed and pace. So many of us concentrate on the teachings of Jesus, but not on the pace of Jesus. They are just as important. When we do both, we learn how to live in the way of Jesus. 

So many people say they are walking with Jesus, but they are actually walking ahead of him. 

Spiritual Disciplines and Practices

We have lost our value for spiritual disciplines and practices in our culture because often we see them as curses, not as blessings.  In my book I bring up these practices and disciplines, some being: The difference between noise and silence. The difference between Sabbath and work. Obscurity and fame. 

I talk through the reality that this is a cultural value. But this is a "Jesus value." He wants to make us more into the image of Him… So, we need to be aware of both sides of the coin. 

The practices we do are creating us and forming us into a particular kind of person. 

Practical Advice for Silence and Solitude

Redeem the small moments throughout the day. For example, instead of looking at your phone at a stoplight, practice solitude. We overestimate what we want to try to do in a day and we underestimate what micro-moments are going to do to us over 10 years. 

The micro-moments are forming us. 


Silence is a good place to start. Don't expect it to be cute or romantic or awesome. It's not fun, it's horrible. You can't grab onto anything and make yourself feel awesome. Silence is a hump you have to get over to get into full humanness. You have to be okay with the brutality of silence before you can find the beauty of silence. Silence gives you space for you to face up who you truly are, whereas you usually use hustle to fill up or avoid the truth.  

Whenever you are silent, you may not like what you see about yourself, but the good news is that at that moment, Jesus meets you and says, “Yes, that is you.” But then tells us that He sees the YOU He saw and died for. He wants to heal and make whole. Until we are honest with ourselves at the feet of Jesus, we can't actually be whole. Silence is the practice of healing and listening. We have to carve in space to listen on purpose.

Start Small

Start incrementally small when you begin new practices. Jesus is such a process person and we are such results-oriented people. In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, he talks about the incremental little snowballs that make you actually do things better and we become an identity shaped habitual person than as a result-oriented habitual person. 

To Be Interruptible 

Most of Jesus' healings were healings of interruption. Jesus wasn't aimless. While he was on mission, he was open to the spirit of God. Most of us are good at one of those; either being good at being driven, mission focused or really good at being deeply relational. 

Hold the tension well and have a clear mission while being open to interruption. Some of us that are more driven don't actually realize that we are saying no to the power of God, or what he wants to do through and in us. 

Love Seen in Wastefulness

Be willing to waste yourself on Jesus. Be willing to give yourself wholly to him. Are you willing to look foolish? To be told you shouldn't be doing that or you're more talented than this? We should be willing to waste ourselves for Jesus. 

Jesus according to the world, was a waste of talent. He was God Himself roaming the earth, we don't know anything about him before 30, and even when he gets into 3 years of ministry, he was humble and would eventually be crucified. He looked like a failure, but Jesus Himself wasted Himself on us. Love is seen in the wastefulness. 

To Those in Transition

If you are in a season of transition, remember that you are not making decisions that are permanent. You are making decisions that are for this season out of obedience to the Lord. So many of us put pressure on ourselves - just experiment!  See what brings you health, and what makes you flourish. There will be seasons to say no and another to say yes. It comes back to living intentional spirit-led lives, that has its ebbs and flows. Take things season by season. Make your health the most important thing. You and the Lord, your family and the Lord, that's gotta be central. 

Wow... literally everything Jeff said was so amazing and insightful. Everything was so needed and necessary. The wisdom that he shared with us is so needed for this day in age… His book To Hell With the Hustle is absolutely incredible. If these words resonated with you today be sure to get that book in your hands! 

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EP 63: BTS Of Falling In Love On The Bachelor/Bachelorette

EP 63: BTS Of Falling In Love On The Bachelor/Bachelorette

Chris and Desiree Siegfried have a full life as parents and entrepreneurs. And while they are no strangers to the public life, the reality of their lives offline and out of the media is incredibly inspiring!

They hold nothing back as they take us BTS of their love story, raising and parenting two kids, setting healthy work/life boundaries, and their time on the Bachelor/Bachelorette. This episode is packed with gold and we know you will enjoy this laid back conversation with these guys!

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The Siegfried’s 

We were on Bachelorette season nine, six years ago. We have lived in Seattle for most of that time, but we have just recently moved to Portland to be closer to the family! I (Chris) was born and raised in Portland, and our kids - Asher and Zander - have cousins here in Portland. So we wanted to move back here, to raise up the family together. 

Luckily, we have the flexibility of having our own business’ so we can live wherever. I (Chris) am a mortgage loan officer and Desiree designs wedding dresses for her own brand. 

Desiree, how’d you get into design?

Ever since High School, I knew I wanted to design dresses. I went to school in LA for design, and that's where I realized my passion for bridal. I don't know if it's because of the meaning behind a wedding, or just because it is such a special piece of clothing … but I knew I wanted to design wedding dresses.

I used to do custom dresses, but that is a ton of work. So, now I design my dresses, get them manufactured, and sell them to stores all over the country. And also, we are starting pop-up shops and events across the country. 

BTS of your Bachelor/Bachelorette story

Being on the Bachelorette wasn't really something I (Desiree) wanted. I don't even like being the center of attention! But I was recently out of a relationship, broke, and working so hard to pay the bills. Honestly, I kept seeing the show and was like, “Oh, that could be fun,” and it just kept coming up. I emailed online and it just worked out! I had my first on-camera interview and the rest is history. 

What did you learn about relationships from the show? 

Well, on the show, you are dealing with so much, so quickly, and with so many different emotions. At first, we were both huge skeptics of the show, but whenever you are on the show you realize this could actually work out. 

When you are a contestant there are no distractions - you are just focusing on that one person. You put time and intention on what you are doing and who you're dating. Which if you want a successful relationship, intentionality really helps continue a healthy relationship. 

Whenever we were on the show, social media wasn’t too popular and we didn’t really have our phones. So for me (Desiree) being there with no distractions really gave me time and space to figure out my true feelings. I was able to write a lot and take time for myself too.

Watching the show now … 

When we had our kids, we kind had a hiatus from the show. But now we are back to watching the seasons! It can be hard to watch because we know that producers can lead the conversations and you can’t really tell whose intentions are pure. Because of the growth of social media, if you are on the show you will become famous. That’s hard to navigate! But just watching the show, after once being in their place, we know the feelings and emotions are real and hard. We know the reality of the pain and joy to come for so many couples, even when they can’t see it for themselves yet. 

Are there parts of your love story that were not shown that you guys with were shown? 

Yes! For us, we started off strong and steady. We felt so comfortable and felt like a true friendship where we could laugh and be ourselves. But, because there wasn't much drama between us, they didn’t show much of just us. We had a quirky relationship on camera that may not have been as good for TV. But not a lot of our relationship was shown because it wasn’t that dramatic. 

What  boundaries do you guys work on now to allow time and space for quiet?

We definitely need to work on this! But dinner time is where we put everything down and focus on the kids. However, because we both have business stuff happening all the time, evenings are hard. It is when we get a lot of online work done!

We have to remind ourselves that this is a season and we will get through it, and before we know it there will be another season. We have to be in the moment and find the good of it. 

We don’t work a 9-5 job, so teamwork is important! We have to work together to find the balance of life and work. We both have an office outside of the house to help us with getting work done and not being distracted. But we are in a season of life that is new and we are still figuring that out. 

Encouragement to those stepping into parenthood

It's important to have teamwork - divide and conquer with the kids. Be flexible to help each other wherever needed. 

We need to give ourselves more grace! We won't do everything perfectly or get things done all the time, and we just need to kind to ourselves. 

Advice and action for parenthood

Talk through everything! Literally, everything. Talk about what to expect for everyone in the family. It gives your children an expectation and time to adjust to things. Talk about the role of a big sibling and give them ownership to help their younger siblings. 

Communicate as much as you can!!

Incorporate your kids into your lives and activities, as opposed to constantly focusing on their life and their activity. 

Otherwise, you lose sight of what you like to do. Take them into your environment and join their routine with yours. Your children will get to see what we enjoy too!  Take action and do what you love … with your kids. 

Is there anything BTS you guys are working on?

We have zero routine right now - which for me (Desiree) I can deal with because it is easier for me to go with the flow. But Chris is used to discipline and routine. So the past couple of months we have really focused on figuring out the system that will work best for our family. 

We are learning to stay calm in the chaos. Life can be crazy, but we are learning to step back and incorporate things into our life that will help us get better. 

We really treasure hearing people’s story. And Desiree and Chris are a super interesting couple to learn more about and hear a bit of their Behind The Scenes. We hope you enjoyed this conversation! 

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