Handle Difficult Family Relationships by Changing Yourself First

In this episode:

Do you have any family relationships that are a thorn in your side? What if you could repurpose that conflict into personal growth, even if the relationships won’t ever be perfect 

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Inspired Life

Do you have any family relationships that are a thorn in your side? What if you could repurpose that conflict into personal growth, even if the relationships won’t ever be perfect 

Improving Family Relationships 

My guest Kolleen Lucariello did that. In this week’s episode, she and I talked about how we respond to differences between in-laws and family conflict. If learning self-control could help with the trouble our sassiness gets us into, that could save a lot of relationships, right? 

It was her little boy who woke Kolleen up to the idea that seeing a family member in a different way, through different eyes, she could heal the bitterness and anger that always came up when they were together.  

Self-Image and Identity 

Kolleen also talked about her writing journey and how her struggle with self-worth changed when she found her identity in what God says about her.  

“I was a very insecure stay-at-home mom for over 30 years,” says Kolleen. When her kids left home, she felt like she had lost herself and her purpose. When she started an in-home daycare, she was surprised to find her purpose in writing.  

It was while reading a story to a little girl in her charge that she had an idea for how each letter of the alphabet could stand for one part of our identity in Christ. She started writing those thoughts down and eventually they became a book for women.  

About Kolleen:
Kolleen Lucariello is the author of #beYOU: Change Your Identity One Letter at a Time. She’s co-director of Activ8Her, Inc where she and her ministry partner Chrissy seek to help women become courageous in their faith, build connection with other believers, and develop confidence as they lead and influence others. She’s mom to three married kids and Mimi to six comical grands. She and her high-school-sweetheart-turned-hubby Pat live in Central New York. 

Life, Repurposed

We talked about how our own perceptions, hurt, limited vision and such can cloud our vision. We can miss seeing who God created them to be. When God challenged that in her, it changed everything. It pushed her to change her thinking and changed relationships.  

Mom Identity and Sense of Purpose 

Kolleen was a stay-at-home mom for so many years living what she calls the “I can’t wait” life waiting for when they left home. But then she realized that she had put her identity in being a mom. When she came to that realization she cried! She had to figure out where she had lost herself over the years. Then God began to show her that her purpose was not in what she did. 

If you’ve wrestled with that too, you’ll appreciate Kolleen’s insight. If you’ve every described yourself as “just a …” you might be able to relate. “I’m just a stay-at-home mom” can diminish what God has called us to do. When we internalize other peoples’ comments about who we are, it confuses us! 

Where did she find hope? Kolleen went to Scripture to learn more about who God says we are. As she studied, she applied what she learned. I love that Kolleen isn’t preachy with her approach. She’s funny and down to earth! 

“My identity is not in what I do. My identity is in who I am because of Jesus.” —Kolleen Lucariello 


Recommended Resources

A Christian Group for Women 

Active8Her local chapters meet twice a month. Members are united with women of different ages, backgrounds, denominations, and walks of life. The connections that develop in their chapters serve as a catalyst for women to activ8 growth in three areas: spiritually, in leadership skills, and in relationship skills. Growing women in these areas will equip them to live each day with intention and purpose for Christ and thereby impact and elevate the church in their community and around the world. Activ8Her chapters are free to start and free to join. They are open to all women ages 14 and up. Kolleen or Chrissy would be happy to chat with anyone interested in starting a chapter! 

Kolleen’s Book About Finding Identity and Self-Worth 

beYOU: Change Your Identity One Letter at a Time

We find ourselves held captive by an identity crisis when we allow relationships, titles, perceived success, or the opinion of others to define us. Uncertainty and confusion are inevitable when the unexpected shakes our stability and plays with our emotions. In these pages, you’ll discover how to walk away from the false definitions and live with clear purpose and priorities.   

Using the ABCs as a roadmap along with authentic life stories from author Kolleen Lucariello’s struggle with identity, this book leads women on a back-to-the-basics journey toward discovering the foundation of their true identity in Christ. 

Find Hope for Difficult Situations 

You’ll also want to read Kolleen’s chapter in Life, Repurposed: Stories of Grace, Hope, and Restored Faith. 

Find comfort, inspiration, and wisdom in these stories from women just like you. Every encouraging account shows hope and renewed faith as they have come through trials and tough times, including family struggles, infertility, health challenges, doubt, fear, human trafficking, depression, heartbreak, loss, and more. 

More about the book at liferepurposedbook.com 

Consider joining our Life, Repurposed Facebook community to build connections and engage in conversation about topics from each episode. 

(Please note: books posted here on my blog are purely because I want to share them. Sometimes I receive free copies for review, and other times I purchase the books. Some I get from the library. Either way, any endorsement I offer here on the blog is simply because I want to talk about the book. )

Michelle Rayburn is the author of The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure, as well as a small group Bible study to accompany the book. Learn more about these and her other books here. A sample chapter of the book and Bible study are available for free download.

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