Ep. 9: Longevity
ON THIS EPISODE:
Today we explore global gender equality, what it takes to build lasting friendships, and the importance that doubt plays in our lives and faith. Oh and in talking about what we’re watching on the screen, you’ll hear Morgan swoon over Chris Pratt!
- LGHtv Summer Sale: www.lgh.tv/lghstore/ - Use Code: SUMMERSALE
Women Driving in Saudi Arabia - https://www.npr.org/2018/06/24/622990978/saudi-arabia-lifts-ban-on-women-drivers
Article about Lifting the Driving Band For Women in Saudi Arabia: www.npr.org/2018/06/24/62299097…an-on-women-drivers
I’m Morgan Hansow and this is my husband, Dave - we’ve spent the last 20 years on a wild adventure that’s taken us to Africa, the Oprah show, and Hollywood.
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns… a podcast about giving ourselves permission to chase our dreams, explore our faith, and figure out who we are, all while trying to keep our crap together!
As Creatives, Humanitarians, and Parents, we’re learning (sometimes the hard way) that the hustle and pursuit of the elusive unicorn will never satisfy.
Each week we explore what it looks like to live authentic, passionate, and connected lives while being a part of a movement that’s trying to transform the world through story + grace.
Overview of today’s show -
Welcome to Chasing Unicorns! Today we explore global gender equality, what it takes to build lasting friendships, and the importance that doubt plays in our lives and faith. We’ll also follow-up with a Jadyn and her miraculous healing. Oh and in talking about what we’re watching on the screen, you’ll hear Morgan swoon over Chris Pratt!
If you’re a regular listener you’ll notice we skipped a week. Let me just say that this Chasing Unicorns community is awesome - we got a couple messages from a few of you wondering if we were going to do a release last week and we felt SO loved knowing that you’re connecting with this podcast and looking forward to it with anticipation. We want to thank you for your grace and understanding. We got back from our 2-week trip with all intentions of recording a podcast the night we got home without realizing how exhausted we were and how much we needed a few days of rest and checking-out.
It’s true, as we started to prepare the podcast I just knew that part of what makes this so special is the passion, joy, and you and I giving away what we have out of being filled up. Morgan, you’re so loyal and a person who will follow-through no matter what, but I knew that we weren’t filled up and we needed to take care of ourselves first so I made the call to hold off a week (which I know was so hard for you Morg).
Yeah, I’m a go-getter but I appreciate the call and the boundaries and giving ourselves time was so needed. It’s also a really good reminder that we need to be practicing self-care - realizing that what we give away and project is directly related to the current mood or status of our hearts. We can’t give away what we don’t have and we can’t love others well if we aren’t loving ourselves first.
Right - and we’re filled up... We’ve had time to catch up on work and home stuff and we’re SO happy to be back at this because we really do love this!
So how about we dive right into things with a Deep Dive with Dave…
Nothing like mixing it up… With all our travel time—time driving and flying—I’ve been listening to music, podcasts, and reading books so I’ve got all types of epic thoughts swirling around in my head but this week I thought I’d talk about Doubt, and faith.
There’s an artist we listen to called Andy Mineo and we’ve been listening to his latest album, entitled “I: The Arrow” which in some ways is a deviation from his past albums in that he’s gone through a lot of transformation in the last 3 years. This album is lyrically raw and real to his current season and his struggles with doubt and clarity. It’s made me think about a few friends of mine.
I have friends who’ve come into faith, and friends who’ve lost their faith. I have friends who are committed Atheists, and even more friends who are outspoken evangelists for their faith. Some have come to faith in their teens, 20’s, or 30’s, and some have lost their faith in their 30’s or 40’s. Often these things come about because of a life event, or a larger issue they’re dealing with; Whether it’s a divorce, loss or gain of friendship, or just happenstance. And so I’ve learned a few things about the acceptance and denial of faith over the years. And so the following are a few observations that I’ve had when it comes to faith in God.
When someone loses their faith in God, they are rarely stepping away from their faith. Actually… I’ve noticed that the opposite is true. The point in someone’s life where they take a serious look at God, at faith, or even at their morals…. may be the point in their lives where they feel like they are making a conscious effort to “step away from their previously held beliefs in God.” But what they’re doing has been a part of faith traditions since the beginning. In fact, what they are doing has been looked at as a critical step in faith traditions for centuries, but for some reason in our current faith cultures… doubt is looked at as a detriment or a “step backwards.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I want play a short clip from Madeleine L’Engle, the author of A Wrinkle in Time, and she puts this so eloquently that I knew I wanted to play it.
Madeleine L'Engle - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI7ljXpVRuo
Secondly I’ve seen that people of faith tend to hold the notion that their faith is a set of beliefs that are either something to be believed in or not, instead of a way of living. This was never the intention the Christ, nor most other commonly held faiths. It’s kind of like a couple who on their wedding day, say their vows, and assume the work is done. That the marriage will be fine because they’ve just said their vows. When of course the vows, as important as they are, are just a representation of the real work - the day in and day out of laying down one’s own life, our schedules, our to-do’s…. To only have the other person do the same with their life. A marriage, like faith is always becoming. It never arrives at a conclusion. The vows were never the thing. The vows were only the outward expression of an internal process of becoming a husband or becoming a wife.
Faith in God is not something that can be obtained, earned, or even held. Faith is lived.
And lastly, and this is the big one… where you are today in your beliefs are not where you will be in 5 years, or 10 years, or twenty. And hopefully your beliefs today aren’t where your beliefs were 10 years ago. And I say this because whenever I meet someone, or more likely, see them post on social media, these very strong opinions about what is right, and what is wrong…. It’s always confusing to me. I mean, I barely believe half the stuff I believed even 10 years ago about God, about politics, about myself, so what is it that makes us think our opinions at this very moment are worth shouting at the world? What beliefs do you hold so assuredly that you are willing to hurt your relationships with? Is it possible that in a matter of years you could see your life, or your faith differently? I hope so… because that means your faith is growing. Having doubt actually means you’re taking your faith seriously. So doubt away friends, doubt away!
Morgan - Yeah, wow, that’s good insight and it’s really good permission. I love that line from Madeleine L’Engle - “If you don’t doubt, you don’t change.”
I think of myself... Growing up in a non-denominational church I made everything so black/white. I look back and squirm at the certainty I had in my youth and my willingness to engage in debate, do a speech or write a paper about specific topic. I think God loved the passion of his little girl but I certainly wasn’t loving others well back then. If I’m honest, I just wanted to be right and prove my faith (which now is repulsive to me).
You know, As I’ve grown and experienced life—including the the jacked up things that happen in a broken world—life is much more gray. And it’s really about the heart posture - that’s what has changed - I’ve found freedom to have love and grace (for myself and others) and be okay with uncertainty.
The worst thing would be for us all to be stagnant - to be totally content with staying exactly the same, I mean think of a stagnant pond, it’s a place of muck and stink and breeding ground for algae and single-celled organisms—it’s not life-giving (and if someone does get stuck there, others don’t really want stick around that long b/c it’s pretty unpleasant to be around someone who’s reeking of certainty, judgement, and pride). We’ve got to give ourselves permission to find life and freedom in change and fluidity AND inherently that requires giving ourselves permission to doubt and not know but to choose love anyways because that was Jesus’ example. This morning I read a couple chapters of ‘Everybody Always’ by Bob Goff (which I know we’ll talk more about at some point) but I loved this line that he ended a chapter with and I think it’s fitting to end this segment with it too: “People who are becoming love stop faking it about who they are where they are in their lives and their faith.”
We’re all for making space for doubt but we’re also all about equally focusing on what’s GOOD, so let’s talk some GOOD NEWS - splices of what’s going right in the world
Even though we’re ‘hardwired’ to respond to bad news, we think it’s our mandate to be people who point out out the beauty and truth in the world wherever we see it
DAVE - A couple weeks I ago I met a guy named Branden Harvey and heard all about his vision to bring good news to the world. In fact, he started an entire newspaper focused on the Good News happening all around the world. The newspaper is aptly called GoodNewspaper. Personally I love that it’s a tangible way to celebrate the good being done in the world, by helping us become good news in the world. He was incredibly inspiring and I’d begin following The Good Newspaper on Instagram today and maybe even subscribe to the Good Newspaper.
How’s that? My Good News for the week is literally a Newspaper called Good News!!!
MORGAN - This past Sunday—June 24, 2018—was a celebratory day in Saudi Arabia as the law banning women from driving was lifted by Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia was the last country where driving was illegal for women (which is just crazy to me!) and so this day marks significant progress for the nation. It’s about empowerment and freedom and equality- enrollment in driving schools has skyrocketed in the last few weeks! In the article I read, I was also pleasantly surprised to see the proactive measures the country is taking - that because Saudi has been so dominated by an ultraconservative form of Sunni Islam, there’s fear of backlash on the lifting of this ban so the government passed a law against sexual harassment with a penalty of up to 5 years in prison for men that stalk/intimidate women drivers on the road. Crazy huh!?
You know, your uncle/aunt spent a few years living in Saudi Arabia teaching so we’ve heard some crazy stories about Saudi life and what it’s like for women. So it sounds like Saudi is heading in the right direction. This isn’t the first ban Prince Mohammed has lifted since he came into power a year ago - in this last year he’s also lifted bans which have allowed women to go to the movies and attend concerts with men. And overall, the Prince has launched a campaign he’s calling ‘Vision 2030’ which is a blueprint for Saudi Arabia’s future, and includes plans to reduce the country's dependence on oil, diversify its economy and develop public service sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure. The campaign is also aiming to create a future that’s more open and inclusive to foreign tourists and investors, and domestically creating opportunity for women's participation in the workforce and economy. I love that their taking the lead in transformation, tolerance, and innovation. You know, I’ve always shied away from a desire to travel to Saudi but I think this is changing my mind - I’m excited for them and the Middle East in general! People in the West are so quick to poo-poo the Middle East and make sweeping generalizations about culture and religion, but we have to be willing to point out the good stuff that’s happening in the world and celebrate victories with our brothers and sisters! So we celebrate the women all over the globe are free to obtain a driver’s license and drive!
ome (Office) Huddle - Talk about what’s surfacing in our current pursuits—both personally and professionally—as a Husband/Wife duo
Well with all our time traveling over the past few weeks, most of our time was been spent catching up… At the wedding we were connecting with friends we haven’t seen in 5 or 6 years. In our hometown of Grand Junction, we were catching up with friends/family about life, kids, jobs, and dreams and in our little escape to Lake Tahoe, we spent time building family memories with some beloved life-long friends. On our 4 hour drive back to Redding from Tahoe, you and I were relishing in fact that we have so many friendships that span time and distance - deep friendships that allow us to pick up right where we left off, even if it’s been a year, or two, or five….
It’s true… while in Colorado, I was having a conversation with the Officiant at our buddy’s wedding. He’s a well-known Vineyard Pastor and a good friend of several of our good friends. I have heard such great things about this guy over the years and was stoked to finally meet him in person. As we were chatting, He was telling me about a monthly get-together he does with a group of guys - all pretty well-known, successful and busy men - another pastor, an author, and a musician - They basically made a commitment to get together for a full day once a month, to go deep in relationship. Sometimes they’d travel for a day, sometimes they’d play golf, but their time always included play, laughter, sharing meals and getting real time of heart connection. And then he said something to me that just struck a chord….he said, “You know, I used to think that our time together each month was just a ‘good thing,’ but now I’ve realized that it’s ‘the main thing.’
And I that hit me. I started to think about the most important times in my life and he was right - all of them had one thing in common. They were are experienced alongside great friends and family. It’s so easy for me to think that my work, especially when it feels meaningful, is my quote, unquote purpose…. But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that even really meaningful work comes and goes. But my relationships…. And I mean, my real deep relationships are what bring the juice to life. Without them, I’m not sure all of the other stuff would have has much meaning.
It makes me think of our 13 year old son Asher - He loves to dance, and in particular loves hip hop…. And when the summer hits, there are less practices, and less reasons to get together with the people he practices with. So the other day, he was telling me about how he wants to get better at dancing, and so I mentioned to him that he can dance at home, and practice anytime he wants. And although he does practice at home, I realized, that although he loves dancing… what he really loves is to dance and practice alongside his best friends. And that’s a good thing - I think we were made for those kind of relationships.
I was thinking about the things I get excited about. Whether it’s golfing, designing, filmmaking, writing, or traveling, or even just something creative that I’ve worked on - And the truth is… it’s really only fun because I get to share it with you.
I guess what I’m saying, is that we tend think the things we’re doing are important, but really it’s the people we do them with that are the real thing.
I was recently texting with a friend about a shift in her friend circle and she was saying how much harder it is to make meaningful friends as we age and find ourselves in our mid-thirties. I do think life is busier and we’re pulled in so many directions, but I also think it’s partly harder because most of us know ourselves more and we’ve dealt with hard stuff and experienced pain of some sort so we’re done with the BS. I know that’s true for us - if we’re going to invest time into relationships we want it to be with people who aren’t surfacey - we want substance and meaning - people who know themselves and are full of life, freedom, love, and acceptance. We want people who are real and raw and authentic and vulnerable and aren’t into pretending or judging And people who make space for differences.
Yeah, that’s a great point. If we’re honest, you and I are ‘unlike’ most of our family and friends on a lot of social issues, most notably in politics, and so over the years we’ve had to let go of the lie that we have to have agreement on all levels in order to have relationship. Even though we wouldn’t necessarily label ourselves ‘liberal’ we’ve had be okay with being called the ‘liberal friends’ in our friend circles.
True, being united doesn’t mean having conformity. We have different views than a lot of our closest friends and it’s okay and have some really great conversations and at the end we just agree to disagree! It’s SO good! And I think the other thing that we’ve been so grateful for are friendships that not only make space for differences but that make space for mess. We have several friends that have been with us at our absolute lowest point - that have walked with us and loved us in the midst of brokenness, shame, and devastation. And as years have gone by we’ve stood by them in their grief, loss, confusion, and shame. There’s really nothing like relationships that can stand the test of trials, time, and now distance.
There’s really not. And I was telling Morgan this the other day, because you know, we moved a couple years ago so we’re starting over building relationships. Although we have great friendships that we can come back to over the phone or when we travel, we need tangible friends in the here and now. It’s easy to compare what we had to the lack of where we are now, but the truth is all the get-togethers and invitations and meet-ups for a drink that we are doing now are all building something. It takes intentionality to build friendships - invitations to dinner or happy hour, trips to the lake, conversations around a fire pit or a pool or a couch. We’ve got to pull back and see the big picture - that what we’re intentionally building now is setting the foundation for longevity of friendship.
Right, we most definitely maintain the long-distance friendships AND we realize that in 5, 10, 20 years, these new friendships/relationships we’re investing in will be just as deep, tested, and faithful as the those that we already have. When we’re celebrating graduations, weddings, and grandbabies - those celebrating around us will be the fruit of what we’re intentionally pursuing and making space for now. It’s a totally different way to think - it’s about the longevity and the building of hundreds of shared moments stacked upon shared moments - all made possible by intentionality - inviting, pursuing, and being real.
Holy Moments - segment where we reflect, reminisce and remember the most ‘Holy’ moment of our last week.
DAVE - ‘Juneteenth’ - want to know more history and specificity of dates check out Morgan’s instagram post of Jadyn in her Ugandan attire - @MorganHansow
Okay, before I share my moment from this week, I want to follow up on my holy moment from Episode 8 in which I talked about Jadyn being diagnosed with several cavities (7 to be real). You can go back and listen to get details but essentially I wanted to give her practical advice on things TO DO to care for her teeth AND her first response was “Yes, I’ll do all that, but I’m also going to pray that God takes them away.”
Well, we have a miracle in the house folks!!! Whether it was a straight up divine healing or a difference in medical opinion, we were all in relief after the kids had their dental appointments back in Colorado. We really wanted a second opinion for Jadyn by our trusted dentist because we found it so crazy that after never having a cavity that Jadyn could get 7 in the one year that elapsed since she saw a dentist. Our family Dentist doesn’t believe all the spots the dentist in Redding labeled as cavities are indeed cavities and felt that treating them as such would be very aggressive and unnecessary. He reviewed the x-rays and examined her and only saw 2 areas of concern (which he didn’t label as cavities) so we’re going to hold off and treatment and keep an eye on those. Jadyn was incredibly relieved to say the least - she was also celebratory and so thankful! So thank you Jesus! Super convicting as a mom - her faith increases my faith!!! :)
So this week, my holy moment was the time we spent last week in Lake Tahoe with my best friend and her family. I’ve known Jaime since I was 3 when our moms started meeting weekly at a Friday afternoon gathering. Even though we went to different elementary schools, we eventually ended up at the same middle and high school and we’ve stayed friends throughout the years and the geographical distance that’s been between us at times. We were in each other’s weddings and now we’re raising kids alongside each other. We have 33 years together, our brothers are friends, our parents are still friends that get together regularly, and now our kids are friends - we’re on the 3rd generation of friendship between our families and honestly it feels more like family than friends. It was just an incredible and holy few days together in a beautiful place - we explored, communed, reminisced, laughed, teared up, dreamed about the future, and watched our kids play. It’s a rare and treasured friendship for sure and a testimony to the power of longevity - it’s such a gift to do life alongside someone through the mess and beauty of 3 decades - I can only imagine what it’ll be like in another 3 when we’re in our 60s!
On the Screen - in which we visit and review what we’re watching this week
In these last few weeks we’ve had a few theater experiences and we’ve also sat down and watched a couple classic films
We saw the movie Adrift with family while in Colorado - it’s based on a true story of a couple who gets lost at sea when they sail into one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded sailing from the South Pacific to the US. It’s not an easy film to watch because the sea can be so ruthless and violent but at heart it’s a love story. The acting was great - the lead actress is Shailene Woodley who was Tris Prior in the Divergent series. We also know one of the producers so it’s always fun to see the new things he’s working on.
We also went and saw the new Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. We actually dropped our kids off at the theater for a birthday party because they were seeing the movie and we saw that the movie was playing in multiple theaters so we decided that since it was 110º we’d go see the movie too but assumed we’d be in a different theater since they bought the party tickets the week prior. Well, it turned out to be the same theater but we were up front in the 4th row and their group of 16 kids were in the back (although we did know it was them clapping in the final scene of the film)! Overall, it was entertaining and action-packed but it wasn’t necessarily fresh or innovative storytelling.
Morgan pointed out a little easter egg in one of the scenes - a tiny scrolling news report I actually missed in the movie said “US President questions ‘the existence of dinosaurs in the first place’” and this of course is after people have clearly been seeing these dinosaurs for years. It was a fun, yet pretty innocent jab at all of the fake news stories going around and just the craziness that tends to surround Trump. We won’t give away the plotline but it did feel like this was a setup film for the next film in the franchise! And lastly… although Chris Pratt was clearly in great shape for the movie, Morgan made it very clear to me after the film that she would have liked to see him shirtless at least once… you know, after all his hard work and all. ha
Morgan comments… In the heat of the summer, we’ve decided to watch as many ‘classic’ movies as we can with our kids, including some older films…
When Jadyn was gone at a sleepover with a friend we introduced Asher to ‘The Sixth Sense’ - haven’t watched that in 20 years so it was fun to introduce him to that classic film with a crazy twist. We also watched the second Bourne film - Bourne Supremacy which came out the year he was born.
And since Asher is gone for the week at youth camp, we watched The Little Mermaid with Jadyn because apparently she had never seen it. It was my favorite childhood animated Disney - I think Jadyn was blown away that I knew the lyrics to every song (and sang them). And Morgan and I were equally amazed that somehow that movie is 30 years old this year! Animation has come SO FAR over the last 3 decades!
This week we had a listener write in from Atlanta who saw some colorful unicorn poop candy while on an outing with his daughter and it reminded him of us so he took the time to send us a few pictures and write us to tell us how much he’s enjoying listening to the podcast. Thanks Jeremiah for taking the time to do that! And thanks for listening - We hope you have a great week.
That’s awesome and that candy looks delicious! Funny to say that about something labeled as ‘poop!’ But seriously, it makes our day to hear from and engage with you as our Listeners - We want to hear from you!
How do you process or make space for doubt in your life?
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Brought to you By
“Today’s show has been brought to you by the word ‘Longevity.” We know it sounds cliche to say life’s a journey, but it really is. It’s not about where you are now but where you will end up. That’s not to say we strive in the pursuit of the future or abandon the present, rather, we give ourselves permission to be on the journey. We give you permission to doubt and grow and abandon religiosity. You were made to be fully alive, not stuck in stagnancy. May you give yourself grace wherever you find yourself today and may you extend that same grace to those around you. May your life be enriched with the friends and family you surround yourself with and May your eyes be set on the longetivity of those relationships. You were designed for authentic community so be an embracer, a lover, and a bridge-builder. And above all, may you find joy and gratitude in the relational foundations you are growing through every invite, every gathering, and every meet-up.
“Until next week...keep embracing the mystery, asking questions, and giving yourself permission to enjoy the process. And watch out for those freakin’ unicorns...they’re glitzy and shimmery and full of crap!” ;)
Easter Egg? - in the edit :) Gotta go fill out our mail-in ballots