Category

Faith

Ann Gustafson

By Author, Caregiving, Faith No Comments
 

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, hear an inspiring conversation with Ann Gustafson, author of the book “Seeds Sown, A Walk of Faith with the Intention of Restoration.” Anne shares her unexpected journey from being a nurse for 29 years to becoming an author following her diagnosis and battle with colon cancer at age 49. Despite living a healthy lifestyle and having no risk factors typically associated with the disease, Ann faced what many cancer patients experience—a sense that their body has betrayed them.

Don’t miss this powerful story that could offer comfort or guidance for people facing similar battles or seeking comfort from someone who has walked that path before—to spread hope and knowledge that can make all the difference during challenging times! Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Use code “Gary” to get $89 off any service!)

In this Episode:

    • The transformative power of adversity and how unexpected life events can lead to growth and self-discovery.
    • Ann’s background as a nurse with 29 years under her belt, who faced her own health crisis when diagnosed with colon cancer at age 49.
    • The surprising revelation that despite leading a healthy lifestyle, she was not immune to illness challenged the misconception that disease always follows rules.
    • Insights into navigating healthcare systems during COVID times; from patient advocacy to questioning medical practices amidst pandemic protocols.
    • How faith played an integral role in coping with her diagnosis and treatment. Discover how spiritual beliefs can provide solace and strength even when confronting mortality.
    • Personal anecdotes related to farming life lessons which influenced Ann’s resilience and perspective on life challenges.

Ann has a special treat for the first 100 listeners of this episode: order her book “Seeds Sown, A Walk of Faith with the Intention of Restoration,” and receive an exclusive 15% discount with a special Andy “paw-dograff” bookmark! To claim your discounted copy, simply email Ann at rootedwisdomfromthefields@gmail.com to place your order!

Quotations:

“I didn’t ever anticipate being an author. I’m a nurse by trade and have done that for 29 years and so when this little pivot point happened I was called to write the book and tell my story.”  ~ Ann Gustafson

“I’m a nurse. We are horrible patients.”  ~ Ann Gustafson

“If I’m healed here on Earth because that means God has a plan for me. And I’ve got a purpose to fulfill. But if the healing is going to be on heaven’s side now, that’s okay, because I’ll be healed and perfect. I’ll be up in heaven. So I know it’s going to be healed either way. And that’s when I started to calm down.”  ~ Ann Gustafson

“As nurses, our job is to educate and be an advocate for patients, but also let the patients make their decisions.”  ~ Ann Gustafson

“I’m only doing this because I think I know you want me to do it. And this is not about me. It’s about reaching out and hopefully touching a couple of people.”  ~ Ann Gustafson

Bio:

Ann Gustafson was raised on a family farm in Northwest Iowa, where she was blessed to be nurtured by her parents and tolerated by her older siblings. She attended the University of Iowa, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Before Ann’s life-changing health experience, she spent many years as a Registered Nurse in Labor/Delivery. Her career path led her to serve as a nurse consultant in a corporate wellness company, where she provided positive health plans for clients.

After learning of her colon polyp diagnosis and the steps needed to remove it, Ann had a pivotal moment in her surgeon’s office. She turned her colon cancer journey from a quiet chapter to writing her story to help others navigate and overcome various obstacles they may experience far beyond colon cancer. Ann now enjoys sharing her story to help equip others to be prepared for a possible crisis moment/diagnosis in their life journey.

Guest Contact Info:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mamagustafson/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ann-gustafson-573242a/

Book Amazon Purchase Link: Click here

 

Walker Hayes

By Faith, Music, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, join us in this heartfelt and candid episode where we welcome back the multi-talented country artist and family man, Walker Hayes. Dive into an intimate conversation about life, parenting, and the journey through success and failure.

For anyone looking for inspiration and a refreshing perspective on what really counts in life, this episode has profound wisdom that will surely resonate with everyone! Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Effortless solutions for your junk removal needs!)

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you to receive a “Thank you” gift!)

In this Episode You’ll Discover:

  • How Walker balances making music, preparing for tours, and being an active father.
  • His approach to parenting that focuses on creating moments rather than material success.
  • The impact of losing his father in 2021 and how it has shaped his views on appreciating the small things in life.
  • The importance of teaching kids resilience through efforts like trick shots illustrates that success often comes after many attempts.
  • Why he believes the journey is more important than reaching a destination or achieving traditional markers of success.
  • An honest discussion about discipline, setting examples as parents, and having tough but necessary conversations with children for their long-term benefit.
  • A touching moment where Walker shares a personal story about encouraging his daughter to take action towards her dreams.
  • Insights into how families can improve by learning out loud from each other’s mistakes openly at home.

Quotations:

“I’m not the smartest guy in the world and I try to look at the lens through a kind of backward, view of like, you know, life’s pretty short.” ~ Walker Hayes

“One thing I want to do is set up my kids for success. And I don’t mean that as like to make money or to, to make dreams, you know, I just, I think if you have kind of a level of contentment and confidence as you walk through life and you are able to focus on moments and not the past or the future, it’s a very, it’s an asset, to society.” ~ Walker Hayes

“My point is I feel like just seconds on the clock with my kids might be one of the best things I can give them.” ~ Walker Hayes

“If you have kind of a level of contentment and confidence as you walk through life and you are able to focus on moments and not the past or the future, it’s an asset to society. It makes people around you. It makes their shoulders relax and go, Oh yeah, we’re just kind of in this life together.” ~ Walker Hayes

“So if you see me and you’re like, Oh, that dude’s a really great family guy. Trust me. It’s a daily battle. It’s a daily journey, it’s a daily reminder, like, Hey man, I want to, I need to help with these kids.” ~ Walker Hayes

“My music journey is funny. It’s like a 20-year trick shot.” ~ Walker Hayes

“When you’re doing those things in life, what it boils down to the most precious thing about it is who you’re doing it with.” ~ Walker Hayes

“Adults are no different than kids.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I don’t want to ever tell my kids what to do. I just want them to know  It’s up to them, man.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I hate when I start to feel like I sound like a teacher, but I guess I’m old enough to start sounding like a teacher.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I think we’re a better family when we are humble enough to learn out loud.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I really feel like a family is like a tiny little city that God gives us.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I don’t got it all figured out. I’m actually figuring it out as I go a little bit, you know, and, But I’m trying, like, anybody got some advice? You know, anybody got some help? And I think that’s just kind of a thing that community needs, starting in the home.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I thought by the time I was 35 I’d be a freaking genius. Like I would have it, I’d have it down, but all I do is figure out, there’s more that I’m not really understanding.” ~ Walker Hayes

“Things you will not regret are a positive attitude and a hundred percent effort. And really, that’s all you can control.” ~ Walker Hayes

“Every single life that you pass, whatever eight point something billion people every day. They have someone they lost, they have a heart that’s broken, they have scars like you wouldn’t believe, they have a future like you wouldn’t believe, and then some of them are going to be gone by next Wednesday, you know, it’s just insane to think how fast, how forgotten we will be, no matter how large your life is, you know, here on Earth. It is just a stop along the way of eternity. And I feel like the more we can grasp that, the more God can allow us to see the brevity of life.” ~ Walker Hayes

“When I pick up a guitar, it’s an escape, and it’s good because it feeds the kids and it takes care of the family, but it also, steals me away from things that are more important.” ~ Walker Hayes

“I love words, man I love lyrics, and I always have since I wrote my first song as a kid.” ~ Walker Hayes

“And so songwriting, it basically is just a beautiful file cabinet that I organize each day. And the songs for me are like, they’re what I wanted to say. They’re the feeling I want to hand people on a plate.” ~ Walker Hayes

Bio:

Walker Hayes is a popular American country music artist known for his unique blend of modern sounds and heartfelt storytelling. His hit song “Pants” propelled him to fame and showcased his infectious energy and memorable melodies. With his sincere lyrics and distinct vocal style in the country music industry, Hayes has become a rising star and has also been acknowledged and nominated for significant honors. In addition to his musical accomplishments, Hayes has had a profound social impact through his charitable work. He established the “Be A Craig Fund” in memory of Craig, a kind man who supported Hayes during a trying time in his life. The goal of the fund is to assist people and families in need, highlighting Hayes’ dedication to giving back to his community. His 2017 hit, “You Broke Up with Me,” which had tremendous popularity and chart success. Hayes reaped the benefits of his newfound notoriety by putting out hit singles like “90’s Country” and “Don’t Let Her.” He went viral again after his TikTok video dancing with his daughter to his song “Fancy Like” received millions of views.

Walker is well known for his musical prowess and poignant narrative, but he also has a full personal life that has influenced his artistic development. He is a loving father who finds motivation in his relationships and life experiences. He got married to his high school love, Laney Beville. The couple started dating when they first met while they were teenagers. Hayes’ personal and professional lives have been solidly supported by their enduring love and partnership. Together, they have six children, demonstrating their dedication to raising a strong family and providing a supportive atmosphere. He never ceases to motivate people with his openness, genuineness, and the devotion he shows to both his family and his profession.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://www.walkerhayes.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/walkerhayes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/walkerhayes

X: https://twitter.com/walkerhayes

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@walkerhayesofficial

YouTube: @WalkerHayes

Johnny Sirpilla

By Author, Faith, Grief, Leadership, Mental Health, Personal Growth No Comments

This week on the Here’s What We Know Podcast, our host Gary Scott Thomas welcomes our special guest, Johnny Sirpilla, an entrepreneur, founder and chief encourager of Encourage LLC, and the best-selling author of Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK. Johnny opens up about how he inherited not only a successful RV business from his father but also an ethos of hard work and integrity. He discusses how these values have shaped him into who he is today—driven, and perfectionistic, yet always striving to honor his family name. We also delve into the respective childhoods and parental expectations, highlighting both differences in upbringing and common threads such as love, support, and setting standards. This episode is filled with insights on personal growth and dedication towards family values. Tune in now!

This episode is sponsored by:

(Be sure to tell them Gary sent you so you can save 20%!)

In this Episode:

  • Gary and Johnny share amusing anecdotes about their distinctive hairstyles during their younger years. 
  • Discover Johnny’s impressively long bio and wealth of experiences.
  • Discussions on full-blooded Italian traits lead to light-hearted banter about food preferences between Italy vs America.
  • Insights into how family expectations shaped and influenced Johnny’s decision to continue his father’s legacy while creating new avenues within the RV industry.
  • Hear about reflections on parental expectations, love, and support while also setting standards around honor, integrity, and a hard work ethic without spoiling children materially.
  • As a board member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Johnny shares his passion for football and his favorite player.

Quotations:

“The simplicity is what makes it so amazing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I kind of wanted to make my imprint in the industry the way that my dad did in the fifties as a pioneer dealer.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“(RV) It’s taking the comforts of home with you on the road, right? Why sleep in a hotel bed and a stranger’s bed that other people have been in when you can have your own? So it’s a great way to see the country for sure. And great family time.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I was driven at 15 and had some pretty high expectations of what I could achieve. So I always put a lot of pressure on myself, too much.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“What was awesome about my parents is there is no boundaries to the love that they would give and the support.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can truly say that I never felt spoiled by my parents because while there might be nice things, the expectation of how we acted in our character in representing our family name. you know, you had to be, you know, at your best.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“They wanted me to have and I bet your mom was the same way. They wanted me to have the life experiences that they didn’t.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I bet our parents were similar in terms of, you know, where they came from and then maybe hopes and dreams bigger for us. Maybe my parents, because they’re full-blooded Italian each that they just talk so damn much that they verbalized it more.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It’s been an amazing experience to volunteer for the great sport of football and the Hall is such a place of excellence that, you know, any service that I can give to honor the heroes of the game.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I wrote the book to really help people when life is hard because I do believe that life is hard. Even if you have a good life, there’s plenty of things that go wrong in a good life and life is hard.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“There’s gotta be some blessings and graces that come out of this experience that makes me a better man, a better husband, a better business leader, and hopefully someday a better father.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“Practicing gratitude could make a great day really bright and sunny.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“We were able to experience something that God gave us this gift of parenting. even though it was short, it doesn’t mean it was insignificant. It was incredibly significant. And so their lives were incredibly significant.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“I can reframe anything that happens in my life with my anxiety. I can reframe it to something that’s really a gift and a blessing.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The gift of being a father, you know, it’s the greatest gift of my life.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“The empathy and the mindfulness that I had for situations, that’s actually one of the beauties and maybe superpowers of anxiety. Anxiety makes you extremely mindful and extremely intentional because my mind has to work and think.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

“It becomes a really mindful way of living that produces a lot of joy.” ~ Johnny Sirpilla

Bio:

John A. Sirpilla is a 1988 graduate of Miami University with a degree in Accounting and a special interest in Psychology and Finance, a 2000 graduate of the University of Phoenix with a master’s degree in Organizational Management, and holds a certification in Executive Presence and Influence: Persuasive Leadership Development from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

In 1992, Johnny became President of Sirpilla R.V. Center, Inc. Within a few years, he was recognized out of more than 3,000 dealers as the National RV Dealer of the Year for the best overall-run dealership in the country. In 2003, Johnny was one of the initial acquisitions by Camping World and sold his family business to become part of the executive team to attempt the first RV dealership roll-up plan in the industry’s history.

Johnny served as President of Camping World, a 140-store nationwide retail chain serving the RV industry, and was promoted in 2012 to Chief Business Development Officer for the parent company, Camping World and Good Sam with annual sales of nearly $4 billion. Johnny retired from Camping World in 2017 after a successful IPO.

His company, Encourage LLC, has various holdings in industries including leadership development, population health management, employee benefits, medical device innovation, e-commerce roll-up, executive leadership and consulting, fashion and interior design, and senior living communities, and has become an international best-selling author with his book, Life Is Hard but I’ll Be OK.

Johnny has been married to his college sweetheart, Susan, for over 30 years, and they reside in Canton, Ohio, and Naples, Florida.  They have three grown children, Beau, Bella, and Stone, who all reside in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

Guest Contact Info:

Website: https://johnnysirpilla.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnnySirpilla/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/johnnysirpilla/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnny-sirpilla/

Kerri Walsh Jennings

By Faith, Fun, Mental Health, Personal Growth, Professional Athlete, Sports No Comments

This week, Gary chatted with the legendary Olympic beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings. We dive deep into her journey of rehabilitation post-injury, exploring themes like expectation management, maintaining an active lifestyle for personal well-being, and setting examples for children. Listen as she shares valuable insights on handling adversity in high-stakes situations, teamwork dynamics, and overcoming fear – all while juggling career aspirations and family responsibilities. Tune in to hear more about how she continues to inspire others through her story of resilience!

This episode is sponsored by:

In This Episode:

  • Reading Bible verses and using the Bible Recap app
  • Teenagers’ desire to spend more time with their parents
  • The importance of staying active and vibrant as one ages
  • Pouring into and creating a legacy for one’s family
  • Taking time for oneself in a relationship and focusing on personal growth
  • Overcoming fear and maintaining a positive focus
  • The bronze medal game and the challenges faced
  • The power of love and support from trusted individuals
  • The importance of self-awareness and managing one’s energy
  • The role of fear in clouding judgment and perception

Quotations:

“So for your kids, for my kids, to see us wanting to be vibrant, to make it a priority to keep moving, and to pray and to do all these things that fill us up so we can be vibrant in life for them, for ourselves; it’s just such a powerful gift.” ~Kerri Walsh Jennings

“As parents can, to a certain extent, we can control so much of our children’s lives based on the environment that we create in our homes and how we respond to their stresses and their growth, and all these things. And we set the tone largely, and that is such a huge responsibility.” ~Kerri Walsh Jennings

Guest’s Bio:

Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings is an American professional beach volleyball player, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and a one-time Olympic bronze medalist. She is the beach volleyball leader in career victories as of 2016, having won 135 international and domestic tournaments.

Guest’s Contact Info: