So I’m supposed to have a podcast out today!

And I’m going to tell you a little bit of a story to give you three reasons why I don’t. But don’t worry–I’ll give you some other stuff to listen to!

Here’s the first reason.

I’m out in Alberta right now on a speaking tour.

Tammy and I left last Thursday to fly out for an event Friday night, and then a big event speaking to 500 women on Saturday morning. Tonight I’m speaking at Centre Street in Calgary with my Girl Talk, and I’m super excited! I love getting out to Alberta (as long as it’s not in the dead of winter) and we’ve had a great time.

But it has meant that I’ve been super busy and it’s been hard to find time to record.

We’ve been having a blast, though! Last Friday night at my Girl Talk near Edmonton I met up with a long-time reader named Lois. She drove over 3 1/2 hours to hear me, and brought a bunch of women from her church with her. She’s been commenting and emailing for years, and as soon as she told me her name I recognized it. I just LOVE meeting people when I talk who have known me and follow me for a long time. It really is like meeting friends.

Sheila and Lois - On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

Lois and I at the Girl Talk at Westlock Alliance Church

By the way, if you’re not signed up to my email list, you should be! I send out emails to everyone who lives within 200 miles of wherever I’m speaking, so you’ll be notified if I’m going to be near you. That’s how I plan my tours, too–I send out announcements to anyone who lives in the province/state/country I’ll be going to to see if any churches want to be added on to the tour. So please sign up!

Incidentally, it’s been so neat to “meet” more of you on the blog this week! On Tuesday I asked all of you to comment about how you first found the blog (and if you haven’t commented yet, you should, because I’ll do a draw for my Sexy Dares in my Friday newsletter from one of the commenters!). Some of your responses have really made me tear up, especially about how God has used the blog. I love what Lindsey said:

I was first exposed to your blog when a friend on Facebook shared an article on submission years ago. At that point I thought you were a little too feminist for my taste, and I disagreed with your post. (I loved your sex articles, though, and they kept me around) Boy! Have things ever changed! I still would never refer to myself as a feminist, but my husband and I now refer to ourselves as having an egalitarian marriage. The other day my young son wanted to do something the opposite of how I had said, and he asked my husband “can’t you just overrule her?” Now, used to be when he would say something like that, my husband would back me up – but with the understanding that he could overrule if he wanted to. That day, for the first time ever I heard him say to my son, “No, I can’t just over rule her. Mommy and I are equal. We are a team.”. I’m getting misty-eyed just writing it. It’s my hope that the further we get away from bad ways of operating, the healthier and better example for our kids we will set. Thanks for your blog.

To me, it’s not about feminist or not feminist. It’s simply about Jesus. Are we making marriage about growing closer to Jesus and doing God’s will, or are we making marriage about doing a husband’s will? This stuff matters, and too often we’ve gotten it wrong. When Jesus isn’t front and centre, we’re going to go off base.

Incidentally, after last week’s podcast where I was talking about how God doesn’t want us just believing a bunch of things; He wants us actually living like Christ and bringing Christ to a hurting world, a woman commented on Facebook that she was worried that I didn’t believe that salvation was by grace alone because I was getting into works. This is exactly the problem I’m talking about. We’ve reduced Christianity to a set of beliefs instead of a relationship with the living God who should make a difference in our lives. So sad.

Then on Saturday morning I did something a little bit different for me.

Back in 2003, when I started speaking, I mostly did denominational events and women’s retreats. For about 9 years all of my speaking was for general women’s groups. But in the last few years I’ve mostly been speaking about marriage and sex. So when Beulah Alliance hired me to headline their big women’s breakfast, it was fun to write a talk that had absolutely nothing to do with sex at all.

Our theme was Wonder Woman: Strong. Courageous. Fearless.

Wonder Woman Event - On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

We had 500 women at the event, and I shared about how God wants us to live a big life–to stop trying to control everything, and to let go. When we do that, then we’re not ruled by fear. And that’s when we can step forward and do amazing things.

Speaking at Beulah - On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

I’ve just finished reading the absolutely amazing inspiring biography of a woman named Josephine Butler who was, in her time, as well known as Florence Nightingale. She campaigned for the dignity and right of prostitutes, who in Victorian England were demonized, while the men that used them were still considered high class. She fought against sex trafficking of children. She fought for greater economic opportunities for women. And she did it all in the name of Jesus. Her favourite saying was “God plus one woman equals a majority.”

She changed England, and changed the rights of women in Europe as well. And she did it even with such tremendous opposition. Really an inspiration. Here’s her biography:

Or you can watch a brief documentary of her life here:

And now about the Magpies

After speaking on Saturday, Tammy and I holed up in a lovely Air Bnb in Edmonton for a few days before we had to drive down to Calgary. I was hoping to record the podcast there, and brought my microphone and headset and everything along with me. But our Airbnb is in a very loud traffic area. And not just that–there is a magpie nest directly outside our balcony. There was just no way to get good sound quality!

behold  magpie nest - On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

(Although I must admit–even though magpies are awfully loud and are pests, they’re really much prettier than the crows and grackles that bother us in Ontario).

But being here in this Air Bnb also meant that we spent Mother’s Day with each other–instead of with our families. My husband sent me some chocolate truffles, which were wonderful. But I bought Tammy and me a really, really awful chocolate cake (we were both hot flashing, so we look terrible, and I’m keeping my hair back):

Mothers Day Cake - On Magpies, Jogging, and Listening to Podcasts

And now about Jogging

Actually, I guess that’s only two reasons I’m not doing the podcast this week. I can’t really think of another.

But I will tell you about jogging, because I’m hoping someone out there can help me out. I’ve recently started the couch to 5k running plan, and I’ve been LOVING it. I need to get more cardio into my routine. I’m quite good at stretching and doing weights, but I need to sweat. But lately my feet have been hurting. I have to wear shoes in the house or my feet hurt. Then, when I jogged here in Edmonton, my feet were really, really sore WHILE I was jogging. I thought it was maybe because they’re still swollen from the plane flight?

I have awesome running shoes (I just bought top of the line ones). When I get home I plan to see a physiotherapist and maybe get some orthotics. But anyone else ever have this issue? It’s like my feet are sore and they tingle all the time now. (It’s not MS because I haven’t lost any sensation, so don’t worry about that!)

And about podcasts

While jogging, though, I’ve been listening to some podcasts. I got Keith into them when he flew down to Louisiana to pick  up our RV and drive it home last month. That was a lot of hours in the RV by himself, so we downloaded some podcasts and he’s really enjoying them. And I am, too! If any of you have any good ones about women and the church, I’d love some suggestions.

So now about my podcast…

So I can’t record one today, although we’ve been brainstorming a whole bunch of different ideas about podcasts coming up. But I will tell you what the two most listened-to podcasts have been to date, and maybe you can catch up!

If “podcast” sounds scary and way too technical for you, it doesn’t have to be. Most of our phones come with a podcast app. Just go into it, and search “To Love, Honor and Vacuum” on that app. Then you can choose to subscribe (please do!) or listen to individual episodes. If you subscribe, then every time I record a new one it will be there for you. And then, when you’re out for a walk, or grocery shopping, or jogging (!), or driving, you can listen in. I’m seriously enjoying it. And I try so hard on my podcast not to waste time with too much personal stuff like what I had for breakfast and jump right in to the meat of it. I love making these, so I hope that you love listening.

And if you like the podcast, can you rate it 5 stars and leave a review, too? It helps other people find it!

On Thursdays, when the podcast comes out, I usually post an “extras” post here with links to some of the things I mentioned in the podcast or more ideas, if you want to go more in depth. So enjoy!

And I will be back next week, after I’m back at home, and hopefully after I’ve seen a physiotherapist!

What podcast have you liked the best? Have you listened in? Let me know! (And seriously–any tips about jogging?)

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