024 Personal Growth: Brenda Knowles on the Power of Being an Introvert


Some people feel energized when they’re in the company of other people, others feel energized in solitude. Our guest today, Brenda Knowles, is the latter, and she shares her experiences of being an introvert. She is a Myers Briggs practitioner and is trained in family mediation.

She has published her own book ‘The Quiet Rise of Introverts: 8 Practices for Living and Loving in a Noisy World’, and has her own blog Space2Live. We learn on this show how Brenda came to realize that her skills as an introvert meant that she can be a valued, deep listener.

Introvert and Extrovert – What’s the Difference?

Extroverts often feel stimulated through engaging with the outside world – they’re very good at small talk and can talk to (almost) anyone.

Introverts, however, feel more stimulated when they retreat into their inside world, or engage deeply with just a few people. Introverts tend to store long-term memory better, whilst extroverts don’t process information so deeply but speak more freely.

Brenda highlights how these traits are biological and heavily tied to our nervous system; so it’s important to acknowledge these attributes:

“Once we all feel understood, that’s when everybody relaxes. We need to feel seen and heard”

Being an introvert in a relationship

By not fully understanding introversion, people tend to think someone is just shy or has low self-esteem. In a relationship this can create tension.

Brenda has worked with lots of couples, addressing how working on calming the nervous system, and making sure the other person feels safe and calm through being present. It can be little things such as being glued to your phone and not giving your introverted partner your full attention.

Having Introverted Children

Brenda shares how when she was little, it seemed her extroverted sister was given a lot of attention and praise for being chatty and outgoing, and her parents often overlooked Brenda and her introverted behavior. Through her work as a coach, she’s learned that parents often force their introverted children to make more friends, play more sports, perform more, etc.

If you’re telling them to do all these things they don’t feel comfortable doing, then it tells them that they’re wrong and not living up to your expectations. Just make sure they feel safe being themselves.

It’s a fine balance between pushing a child too far, but a good push teaches them how to have relationships, how to connect with people, and that it’s okay to be outside of your comfort zone. The key is to listen to your child, and admire the different traits if you have an extrovert and introvert child.

Introversion and extroversion are deeply rooted characteristics that affect family and relationship dynamics. By making sure everyone is feeling safe, appreciated and heard then people can fully thrive with their traits.


‘The Quiet Rise of Introverts: 8 Practices for Living and Loving in a Noisy World’
Space2Live Blog
‘If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit’ by Brenda Ueland
Dan Siegel – Mindful Therapist

The Quiet Rise of Introverts by Brenda Knowles

Your Introversion Can Be Your Strength. Learn about the strengths of introversion and how to improve your relationships from Relationship Helpers interview with Brenda Knowles.

021 Personal Growth: Dr. Pauline Dillard Discusses Postpartum Depression and Birth Trauma


We too often focus on the health of a newborn baby and overlook the health of the parents. Over 40% of mothers in the USA have to undergo c-section, and such dramatic changes can leave mothers feeling powerless and traumatized.

Today’s guest, Pauline Dillard, shares her 30+ years experience of counseling couples suffering from PTSD or postpartum depression. She’s on a wider mission to break the taboo of postnatal trauma by teaching churches and pastors how to best support couples, as well as counseling couples at her practice The Dumas Center.

“We have a problem in our culture: we expect women to do it all, to do it well and to do it all alone”

Pauline has worked with lots of women, and she’s learnt that there are high social pressures for women to be “strong” enough to handle things on their own. Pregnancy and childbirth is a very vulnerable state for women. If they feel traumatized through these experiences, it can affect their mental health, and relationship with the baby and partner.

Having a strong support network helps the mother cope and feel safe. We need to empower women to seek support when needed. Pauline stresses that the same goes for fathers – they can be just as affected.

A Connected Marriage

A bad pregnancy experience is heightened in a relationship that doesn’t address it. Pauline describes how the ‘Silence Mode’ stimulates an isolating experience for the partner.

A connected, loving marriage helps share the burden, and spot the signs of depression or psychosis. Learning to engage with God for the family is also part of the process.

“Why is it so surgical today when we have babies?”

Giving birth in a surgical environment is common for many women today. For such a natural event, it can make the parents feel powerless and out of control.

Pauline explains how birth is a sexual experience. For mothers giving birth and having to undergo emergency c-section, or other sudden treatments, the risk of trauma is essentially a sexual assault.

To reduce such trauma or negative experiences, it helps to question and understand the procedures in your hospital. Pauline has seen how this simple approach of questioning during tours and consultations helps couples.

There are handbooks on her site free to download that help further educate people.

Breaking the Church taboo

Many of us today live in new places, far from family and friends. The church needs to step in to support these families.

Pauline finds postpartum depression and PTSD is still a taboo for many churches. So she’s educating churches and pastors to do their part.

Pregnancy and Birth is a profoundly personal and natural experience, which can leave people feeling vulnerable, isolated or powerless. It’s important we feel comfortable to share our experiences, and live in a community that doesn’t judge or overlook such overwhelming experiences.

Through knowledge, a strong relationship with the partner and God, and a supportive church, we help break the taboo of trauma at birth.


Free handbooks: https://www.dunamascenter.com/training
Phone: 719-231-7183

Dr. Pauline Dillard



What you NEED to know about birth trauma & PPD. Birth educator Dr. Pauline Dillard encourages parents to educate themselves about their options prior to delivery and offers support and encouragement to those postpartum.

020 Personal Growth: Feeling Like the Appendix of the Body of Christ


If you have ever been to a play, you may have marveled at the production process.  Actors appear magically onstage. Lights project from what seems out of nowhere.

For a brief moment in time, you suspend your disbelief.  You immerse yourself into the action onstage.

My Stage Help Experience

Years ago, I could be found twenty feet in the air in the dark, with a c-wrench tied to my belt loop.  I hung lights for my college’s theater.  Each afternoon I trod in my steel-toed work boots into the workshop directly behind the theater.

I would lift lamps one and two at a time up a catwalk that went above the shop and over the theater.  I would secure the lamps on rails and place colored gels through a slot on the bottom of each lamp. I used the ambient light of the lights hung below to be able to see.

This was a requirement of my theater lighting class.  When I learned that I would be doing this job, I was a little nervous.  It was the trifecta for fears: I would be working in the dark, up high, with heavy electrical equipment.

I took a moment. I braced myself and lugged those lamps up the catwalk. I began tightening the clamps and adjusting the lamps.  It was so much fun!

I got to the point where I looked forward to coming to the shop everyday to hang lights.  There was something dangerous about it, but it was so worthwhile.

I think the most fulfilling part was attending the performances.  The fruits of the collective labor were on display each night as the cast performed.

Working Behind The Scenes 

From working behind the scenes, I became keenly aware of what it took to create a performance.  The audience sees the actors, but they do not see the design team who designs the lighting, the costuming, the make-up, and scenic details.

They do not see the people who carry out the designer’s vision into fruition.  More often than not the team who created the show was much larger than the cast.

I learned that I was a terrible seamstress, but I could hang lights and do scenic painting quite well.  Every day, students, professors, and our technical director would put hours of work preparing for the performances.  Each student and professor had his niche.

Christ’s Body, The Church

That’s how we are as Christ’s body, the church.  When we all use the gifts that He has given to us, we work well off of one another. We are able to go above and beyond what one person can do.

Like the theater description mentioned above, the body of Christ can create so much more when many come together. One person trying to do all the work as well as things outside of that person’s gifts is not productive.

I may have puckered my seams as a costume seamstress, but I could hang and angle a light the way it needed to be.  In church, I may better serve as a cook or a greeter as opposed to a finance committee chair, because my gifts are not with numbers.

I encourage you to find out your gifts.  Take a spiritual gifts inventory.

Take a look at your hobbies and interests.  How do they translate into what you can do for the church?

Does it take stepping outside of your comfort zone?  You may be stepping out onto that catwalk with a load in hand, but you will be adding your part to Christ’s body, the church.

You may feel discouraged.  You may think to yourself, “I feel like the appendix of the church.  I’m here, but I’m useless.”

Jesus and Peter

Take a look at how Jesus handled the future disciples.  Peter, the future foundation of the church was in disbelief that he could have anything to offer to Jesus’ cause.  His response to Jesus was probably something like “I’m just a lowly fisherman.  What use could You have of me?”

Because Jesus is infinitely creative he took the one thing Peter could do well and translated it into what Peter could do for the cause.  Peter became a “fisher of men”.  He was scared to walk outside of his comfort zone.

Later on he denied Christ three times and acted foolishly on several occasions. But by his faith in what Jesus could do through him, he became the rock that the church was built on.

“If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?  If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?”  1 Corinthians 12:17-19 (NIV)

Not sure how you fit in at church?  In “What to Do When You Feel Like the Appendix of the Body of Christ”, Laura Ketchie, a Christian therapist, provides direction and encouragement for those seeking guidance in how they can become involved in their church.

019 Personal Growth: Why I Don’t Like Before & After Photos


Laura Ketchie is a Christian therapist, former group exercise instructor and mom.  As a teen, she struggled with restricted eating and excessive exercise habits. She has seen both sides of the struggle: counseled those with self-image issues/taught group exercise, and has experienced the issues herself.  Over time she has overcome these unhealthy habits, but is saddened by our culture’s glorification of “even thinner”.

Before and after pictures bother me.  Yes, I mean those photos of someone who “lost twenty pounds through this program” pictures.  Why?  Every time I look at a “before” picture, I see someone loved by God. Every time I see an “after” picture, I see someone loved by God. But for some reason, we are supposed to celebrate the “after” picture.  That’s sad to me.

Get this: Before and After pictures are only popular because we make them so.  They are a reflection of what our culture clamors for.  They place a premium on what could be rather than what is.  I’ve become astutely attuned to this lately.

I have seen more “before” pictures that make it difficult to understand why there would be an “after.”  In other words, I’m seeing fit people in “before” shots pushing for even fitter “afters.”  It all seems too difficult to attain and maintain.  It sends a message of “you’re not enough.  See this photo of a girl who wears a size two?  Well, now she’s a 00.”

Embrace Your God-Given Body

That’s why I’m so excited about what’s happening counter-culture.  People are embracing their God-given bodies for what they are.  

More and more people in fashion and exercise culture are tossing aside the illusion of perfection and are promoting health.  That means that we celebrate each day, not “the day when I weigh this or the day when I can fit that.”

This diversion from pop culture mentality allows us the freedom to be grateful for the bodies we have and have a gratitude mentality.  It is hard to have an attitude of gratitude when you are striving for illusion.  Punishing yourself for what you look like now does not foster a heart of gratitude for what you have been blessed with.

“We are ungrateful when we fail to recognize how He made us each unique.”


Don’t misunderstand me: I get self-image issues.  I’ve been there.  All the wasted time on pushing myself to extremes to be someone I’m not.  I get it.

It’s taken time through my own struggles with comparing myself to others that has taught me that I was designed intentionally different, just like you were.  The Maker did not make a mistake.  

We are mistaken when we try to force ourselves into a mold that looks like everyone else.  We are not valuing the differences God created in us.  We are ungrateful when we fail to recognize how He made us each unique.

Ouch… The point here is not to shame.  

I just hang on to the hope that others can experience the freedom of letting go of this need to strive for an illusion of perfection.

We have plenty of nay-sayers in this world.  We all need more encouragement.  I am blessed to have this forum to do so.

Join me in loving yourself and others today by stepping outside of yourself and considering how a loving God sees you.  It’s hard to be negative when you look at yourself that way!

God sees you differently. In “Why I Don’t Like Before and After Photos” I give my personal and professional experience coping with self-image issues and provide helpful tips on a healthy approach to wellbeing from a Christ-centered approach.

018 Personal Growth: Luann Grambow on Selfless Love


What do you do when you have strived for a good and perfect life, but life doesn’t go according to plan?  Our guest today, Luann Grambow experienced this conflict and chose to trust God’s actions and take action.  She’s been counseling since 1990 and runs her own practice.

With marriage being her main field of work, she’s learnt about the power of selfless love and spiritual trust.  Prior to all this though, she had an entirely different career and marriage.

The Perfect Struggle

It’s very tempting to strive for a paradisal life. In particular Christians often feel pillowed by God’s protective walls.

Luann takes us back to the scene in Genesis where Adam and Eve lived in Eden.  We’re easily deviated and long for such an Eden.  In reality – just like Adam and Eve’s fall from Eden – it’s a selfish, self-destructive chase for paradise.

Luann wrote her book ‘Hope Found In Paradise Lost’ to highlight the struggles  Christians often face against Satan.  Temptation leads to a divided heart between what God wants and what people around us want.  Luann stresses how deviations like a hurtful or negative thought patterns are mere “soul wounds” instilled by satan to distract our attention from God.

We too easily strive for a ‘perfect life’, where “everything is fine”.  But this pursuit is in vain, Luann stresses that the moment we drop this chase and truly listen to God, things follow the right direction.

“Focus on the creator, not the circumstances”

It’s up to you to listen out for the signs.  When Luann’s first marriage fell apart, she was at first devastated and didn’t understand how this came to happen – she was a good Christian after all.  The circumstances seemed unfair.

Through her trust in God, slowly, she started to recognize the signs around her, as more and more people would tell her she should be a counselor.  God always has a plan, no matter what the circumstances are.  She changed her career in education became a therapist.

Counseling enables people to sit down and piece the signs together.  Signs they may have never really noticed or taken seriously before.

Luann’s role as counselor is driven by God: “The best counseling session is when I’ve never even sensed my own presence, it’s just been tuning into them and letting God speak”.  It’s this very trait of selflessness and empathy that drives a rich relationship with God.

Serving The Right Needs

Luann refers to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’s book ‘Love & Respect’, which describes how men often yearn for respect, and woman want their emotional needs met.  Through working with lots of couples, Luann has seen how people feel trapped in relationships because they suffer from a divided heart: you want to please your partner as well as God.

The secret to a fulfilling marriage, according to Luann, is serving the needs of the latter – God.  A loved, happy person embeds a loving relationship.

“True humility is not thinking meanly of yourself, it’s not thinking of yourself at all”

We are all part of God’s plan, and we’re here to grow his kingdom.  Luann’s light bulb moment was when she realized she had been asking God the wrong questions: “Don’t ask why, ask what: Lord what do you want me to do?”.  Take yourself out of the centre of the picture and be a part of God’s bigger picture.

Through working with lots of couples, Luann sees how a happy relationship isn’t achieved by meeting the needs of your other half – it’s about meeting the needs of God.

Luann’s career has focused on building trust with individuals and bringing them closer to God through the power of listening.  She gives all credit to God.

She faces an exciting new chapter, as she retires at the end of 2017.  Her selfless love has led to a wholesome life, which includes a happy marriage and a family of children and grandchildren.


Order Luann’s book below:

Is selfishness coming between you and your spouse? Luann Grambow, Christian therapist, explains how she found “HopeFound in Paradise Lost.”