Certified Leadership Coach Rod Knoerr joins us on this episode to share his life and his journey of thriving in the storms of life. Rod is more than just a leadership coach. Rod is also a dentist, speaker, father of five, and grandpa of 13. Rod recently authored the book “Don’t Waste This Storm.”
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During the episode, Rod shares the inspiration behind his book and dives into the difficulties of dealing with the terminal diagnosis of his wife, Beth, and the subsequent loss of her. He’s learned some impactful lessons along the way, including the power in focusing on being of service and the blessings you have rather than what you feel you have lacking.
On this episode of the Live. Love. Engage. podcast:
- Why Rod decided to write his book.
- What the message “don’t waste this storm” means.
- How Rod felt influenced by the pandemic.
- The embarrassing thing Rod’s wife did and why.
- Examples of what your storm could look like and the best way to react.
- How a shift in perspective can be empowering in difficult times.
- The importance of counting your blessings no matter the situation.
- The way isolation influences people—in grief and in society.
- Why Rod started a “Be the Hope” Zoom group.
- The importance of community, gratitude, and service.
- The particular skill Rod brought to his career as a dentist.
- Why Rod says his book is not intended to be a love story.
- The role patience plays in creating change and growing community.
- The ways we talk ourselves into feeling bad and how to use it for good.
- How serving is less a burden, and more than anything it’s fulfilling.
Connect with Rod
Rod’s website: dontwastethisstorm.com
Rod’s email: rknoerr7 (at) gmail.com
Interview with Guy Bavli about the power of smiling
- Join the Live. Love. Engage. Community
- Intuitive Business Coaching
- The Live. Love. Engage. Book
- Support the Podcast with BuyMeACoffee.com
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You’re listening to the Live Love Engage podcast on today’s show. How to shift your perspective from victim to victor. Stay tuned. I am Gloria Grace Rand, founder of the Love Method, and author of the number one Amazon best seller, Live, Love, Engage, How to stop doubting yourself and start Being Yourself.
In this podcast, we share practical advice from a spiritual perspective on how to live fully, love deeply, and engage authentically so you can create a life and business with more impact, influence and income. Welcome to Live. Love. Engage.
namaste. I am Gloria Grace Rand and delighted to welcome you back to another addition of Live, love, engage. And I’ve got a guest with us today who has written a book and I’m very curious to know about his journey and, and what prompted it. And we’re gonna hear all about that in a moment. But first, I want to welcome Rod Knoerr to Live, love, engage. Good to be here. I’m excited to share my life and my journey.
It’s a, it can be a benefit to your followers. Awesome. Well, let me let all of you know, uh, a little bit about Rod so you have some idea, a little context of what we’ll be uh, talking about today. Uh, so Rod is actually, he’s a dentist. He’s a certified leadership coach, a speaker and devoted husband, uh, to his wife Beth, for 40 years, the last three in the storm of cancer.
Which we’ll talk about. He’s also a father of five and a grandpa of 13. That’s awesome. And as I mentioned, he is an author. He has written a book called Don’t Waste the Storm and the Founder of The Newly Formed Be The Hope Foundation. And, uh, soon to be open, Be the Hope Retreat and we’ll have to talk about those a little bit later as well.
So most would love to know more about that. But let’s start. Today just sharing with our listeners and our viewers on YouTube a little bit about this book that you wrote. So what, what is it actually about and, and why did you decide to write it? Well, my wife and I, after, uh, almost 35 years of marriage, she, uh, had a, this kind of health storm, I’m not gonna get into it.
It wasn’t terminal and it was very kind of intense about, supposed to be about two years long. And about 18 months into it, we’re seeing, end of the tunnel, a lot of insomnia and a lot of stuff that went with it, Malay and everything. She has weird blood tests and she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer and the diagnosis was 18 to 24 months to live no cure.
So yeah, so we went on that journey and, uh, it, uh, eventually and get into more of that, she did. You know, did, did pass away in, in 2019 and about, I mean, we had relocated to, uh, to Grand Rapids, the other side of Michigan for the last treatment. Our two married daughters lived here, and, uh, I chose to stay. Well, about eight months later, we’re going through our first Mother’s Day, and our anniversary was in May, and I’m, I’m feeling a little, little down and, you know, probably grieving and then I, I realized, it wasn’t grieving that what I was feeling.
We were just going into Covid in 2020 and the George Floyd thing had happened in May and I was grieving for our country. Mm-hmm. And I wasn’t, I didn’t go through Covid the way everyone else did because of the way and what we learned going through the storms of my wife’s terminal cancer for three and a half years, and I realized
I need to write this and, uh, yeah. I, I think when you hear the word storm, you think negative. And I don’t know where the name, somebody said, where did that name come from? And I, I, I think I read something, Don’t waste this grief, don’t waste something else. And I don’t know. And then in the back of my head, it was there, but it, it really sums it up because what many would think is negative.
The most intense trying five years of our life were the years we grew closest. And that doesn’t make sense, but, and, and our impact too. So that, that was kind of the genesis of it. And I, I had started writing it in June of 2020 with the goal of getting the rough draft done by the anniversary of her passing August 6th.
And that day, I, I finished the last chapter. I took another year or so to get it out then with Covid and publishers. But yeah. All that, all that fun stuff. Yeah. With trying to get a book published, I’ve, I’ve gone through that as well and also, experienced the, uh, uh, dealing with a loved one with cancer as well, and, and how now with, uh, the passage of time in really seeing that there was a lot of good that came out of it.
But tell, tell us a little bit about, So, so you, you say, don’t waste the storm. So what really do you mean by that? Well, and I, and I’ll, I think the subtitle of the book unpacks it a little. It’s hope filled, thriving, not just barely surviving the storms of life. And, you know, that’s what I saw when Covid hit and we all were isolated.
I mean, it’s not judgment, it’s something we’re living through. I just saw this, this hopelessness, this fear, and I can’t tell you how many times did we hear, I can’t wait to get back to normal. Yeah. So in essence, you’re saying, I’m quit. I’m gonna quit living. I’m putting life on hold until I get back to normal.
And you know, as we were going into the cancer, uh, we had been on some, uh, humanitarian mission trips to Romania for the two years prior to her, three years prior to her cancer. And we were supposed to go like a month after Beth was diagnosed. And I also had a class reunion in September. I hadn’t been to one since my 10th and it was gonna be my, maybe my 40th and I was, you know, athlete, student council, all that stuff.
And the first thing I did when she was diagnosed, we didn’t know how the cancer treatment was. They said she’s gonna do in, she’s gonna do outpatient and then she’s gonna go inpatient, University of Michigan. And I’m thinking, Oh, what if that’s the weekend of the reunion? So I cancel going to the reunion. Well then we, now, we, we were a couple weeks into it, we start the chemo in June and we’re supposed to go to Romania in July.
And I don’t know, we, we, we just thought about it, talked about it, and we said, You know, let’s just go, we’re going. And an oncologist said, Your cancer’s gonna, your immunities, you can’t fight infection, you can’t go. And we went and, uh, Gonna laugh, but back in 2016, my wife, a very kind of more mild-mannered person, did something publicly that was very embarrassing for her so she could live life.
Cause he said, Well, you can’t go to, you know, you shouldn’t go to big gatherings and let people hug you. You know, we, we, we do go to church. You can’t do that. So can you imagine what my wife did in 2016 that just totally was embarrassing. I can’t imagine. So please share. She wore a mask in public. Oh, is that joke.
Listen, a year after she passes, everyone’s wearing a mask, but everyone thought she had an infection. Was starting to give to someone else. But I mean, so that was that. So we did go to Romania and then after a lot of thought, I was active in a, in a men’s uh, growth group and she was active in different things and you know.
What responsible people do when a storm hits is they cancel their involvement cause they don’t wanna let someone down. And we somehow said, You know what? We’re gonna keep on keeping on and if we have to cancel, someone will step to the plate. My classroom reunion was the only thing we canceled in that last almost four years of her life.
And, uh, so, but I, I think the biggest thing I, I talk about when I speak is, uh, it was when we went about nine months later, eight months later at the University of Michigan, she had to spend three weeks at the cancer ward there at ma. And uh, as we were getting there, understand we’ve been doing life for 30 some years, so, you know, we’ve been through a lot of challenges.
But I looked at her as she was getting checked in and getting her room. I said, Beth, it’s not about us. And she knew what I meant. And it was, it was, and I, I’m gonna explain the perspective shift that I’m hoping as people read this book, no matter what storm they’re in, and I call it the who, what, when, where, why, and how
Perspective shift is when you’re hit with a storm, it can be lost of a loved one. Financial, divorce, you know, cancer. Uh, your first question is, Why me? Right? And my wife was the most caring, giving person. There was not a person on the earth that had a bad thing to say about her. Why Beth? Why, why, why, why? And you wear yourself out saying why.
Well, then the second question is, cuz not all storms are terminal is when will it end? Mm-hmm. And you wear yourself out. When will it, When, when, When? When. You know if you believe in a higher power, there’s only one person can answer those two questions. Not you or me. Well then the third question we try to get involved and, and.
We say, How can I get us out of this and you know, do your due diligence, but at some point it is what it is. Yeah. So now go to the other three questions. When I said it’s not about us, the first question is, what can we do with the gifts and experience that we have? Where we’ve now been placed in cancer centers, in clinics, in doctor’s offices in different cities with who is now around us.
Mm-hmm. we ended up encouraging staff at hospitals, fellow patients, doctors, nurses, and, and that’s where that perspective shift from Victim. And I gotta tell you, one of the podcasts hosts asked me this and it was so good. They say, What are you do when people put the victim label on you? Right. You can do it to yourself, but terminal cancer, everyone puts the victim label on you.
Yeah. You’re the, you’re the terminal couple and you know, and then, and victim. You don’t have purpose. You don’t, and you don’t, you don’t live, you just exist. Yeah. Or you know, as I, as I said, you just try to survive Right. To I call it Victor, or having value, finding purpose in the storm. And we’d always been active in our faith-based organization in the community and, and always tried to be a value and encourage people, but we were just, our, our, our influence just rose exponentially because we didn’t play victim.
Hmm. Well I think that’s a wonderful Message and also lesson for, for people out there, because as you say, there’s all sorts of different storms that people go through. They lose their job, they have issues with their relationships, and to be able to shift that perspective, uh, from being a victim to taking more control and deciding how do I want to be and act in this situation?
Because we’re going through it anyway, so we can either make the best of it or we can, or we can just cause ourselves more suffering. So I, I love that you did that. Now. Could you share a little bit more about like, what are some of the, you know, if someone’s listening to this, let’s say, and they’re like, they’re going through something, what would be something that they could do to help them to be able to start, you know, making that shift in perspective?
Well, I, I say there’s, I, I come up with five keys that I, as I reflect back and as I look at it, and I’m not gonna belabor it, but our first one is we, we did have a faith. We relied on our faith. And that, that was, that was huge. you know, every morning I’d have my quiet time and I, uh, I read this somewhere because a lot of time, you know, whether it’s a faith-based quiet time or it’s meditation, whatever it is, slow your brain down from the busyness of life.
Yes. And often with me being a business owner and having five kids, I would run a mile a minute. I’d try to fit it in whenever. Something changed the year before Beth started her healthcare journey. I read this and it said, When do you tune an instrument, before or after the concert? Mm. Before. I’ve played instruments.
My life has been totally different since then. I used to try to slow down and reflect or pray in the morning, and my mind was just going so fast. I’m a different person because of that quiet time in the morning. So that was the first thing. The second thing, Beth was having just this awful insomnia and it was kind of a dermatological thing.
She had been on topical steroids for her whole life and they weren’t working and they say steroids aren’t good for you. Then they’d give her more and more when it wouldn’t work. Cause she was so itchy. So the two year thing before cancer was her withdrawing from topical steroids. And it, it was way worse than the cancer symptoms, but a lot of it was itchiness and insomnia, and I would a lot of times try to keep her from scratching, generally caress her until two, three in the morning where she’d fall asleep and this would go on night after night after night.
One night I said to her, I said, Let’s, and I, I’ve tried to think I’m a avid reader and I did not read this. This is me. I guess I said, let’s say the ABCs of gratitude. She goes, What? I said, you say a thing or a person you’re thankful starts with A, I’ll say B, you say C, and we had Z covered. I have my oldest son-in-law’s name is Zach.
Gloria. In the last three years of my wife’s life, she, we never got to Z before she fell asleep. Never once and after she passed, I did it. The value of counting your blessings, when you’re in a storm, you just, you’re looking at what’s wrong. Why me? Why or why did this happen to me? What could do? Why did they do it?
Who are you angry with? Whatever. As opposed to, you count your blessings and it melts away. Yeah. But that’s not what our tendency is as humans. Ah, that. But gratitude was the second one. Yeah. I love that. The third one was, is community. And that was when, when we started going virtual, say, you know, faith-based organization.
Oh, it’s the same. It’s not the same. Uh, and we were in a, I was in a men’s morning breakfast group. She was in one, and then we’d actually started a group that met every Thursday night in our home a few months before. And it doesn’t have to be the same storm. But what I laugh and they say that one, I’d get up I’d, it was six o’clock breakfast.
And many nights I just barely got my wife to sleep. And I’d get up and I say, I gotta go there for me. Mm. Yes. More times than not, I was there to encourage someone else more times than not. And yet that encouraged me. And that leads into the fourth thing, besides having community. And I think, so when people are struggling, especially in the storms, they isolate.
And we saw what isolation did in our country. I mean, from depression to suicide rates to divorce. I mean, I’m not, I’m not blaming Covid, it just, but that’s the reality of it. the fourth one was service. And, and my wife always had the gift of hospitality. Got it from her mom. And, and like I said, we did.
And, uh, There was this, uh, young moms gathering every month that our church had for moms to get away, and this woman in our church would, would host a dinner for maybe 25 young moms. And Beth always, that was her. She was meant for that. But Linda had been doing it and, uh, Beth, I said, Ugh, I’d love to have done that.
Wouldn’t you know virtually the day the best diagnosis of terminal cancer? We told anybody. Linda announces her husband’s retiring. They’re moving out east. So our pastor’s wife called and asked Beth, Well, Beth didn’t know even what her cancer treatment was gonna be said. No. I called her the next day and said, If I have to make the meals and serve em, Beth’s meant to.
Beth hosted every month until we moved to Grand Rapids until two months before she passed. One time, Pam, our pastor’s wife, tried to cancel. It was when Beth was at University of Michigan Cancer Center. And my wife in her planning mode said, Wait a second. I have everything bought. The dining room was ready.
My daughter and daughter-in-law can host it. Never missed a month, but I gotta tell you, in her nights of insomnia, I would wake up and she’s not next to me. She’s downstairs glowing, decorating for the season, getting things ready, and everyone would think it wasn’t a burden serving that… Now, fast forward to the last trip to Romania, which, uh, in 2019 after being in a short remission her cancer came back 2018.
2019. we get back, we went on a trip down south and got back and she hosted the young moms group at night and she started this tradition two the year before where she’d have a word for the, for the year, and then you could, she would give ’em a small… and go get it. Here, I’ll show you the last one. She painted.
And, uh, the year before she passed four years into this healthcare storm, she, her word was joy. Can you imagine? Well, this year she painted it and her word was Hope. Mm. And she had a bible verse that had hope in it. Jeremiah 29:11. That was her verse. So she we, she does that at night. She has this gathering of young moms. comes back to her cancer appointment in the morning.
And without warning, we thought the treatment from September was knocking it down. Our oncologist goes, Have you thought hospice? With Beth’s numbers I’d give her three months to live. No warning. So that was the answer to it. Well, she made it all the way till August. But so we moved to Grand Rapids. Start treatment seemed to be working and it was time to commit to go to Grant to, to, uh, Romania on the mission trip.
We decide, we’re gonna go and her cancer numbers were down, thought we’re gonna seek the external treatment at Michigan. And so we go to Romania at the end of July and the day before we go, she’s having abdominal pain and they thought, Oh, it’s just from her spleen being enlarged. So we, they said, You can go.
So we go to Romania, my wife gives it, talks about her faith and her journey. It’s this little village. At the end, she says two things and she talked for like 15 minutes. That my quiet wife, she said, When you’re in the storms of life, just go. Listen to God and go, He’s God. But at the end she said to the Romanians, she said, When we come to Romania, everyone says how blessed they must be.
And she looked at him. She says, We receive more from you than we give to you. That whole phrase, More blessing to give than to receive. And, and I gotta tell you, people do not when they’re in the storms of life, think serving others will bless them. And that was, I can’t tell you. So the hope thing, I, uh, I went to this grief recovery thing in the fall when Beth passed in August, and then January, you could repeat this grief share thing again.
I went there and I thought, I don’t need more grief help. I need to figure out my, now what? Now that I don’t have a partner of 40 years, and now what? And so I, I wanna start a group with some of the things I had learned, I hadn’t even started to write the book yet, and I, I approached this widow widower social group in Grand Rapids and they thought, Well, my idea was crazy.
And this was month before Covid. Well month into Covid. I said, There’s something worse than grieving, a lost loved one. That goes, What? I goes, Yeah, put self quarantine on top of it. So we start, I started a Zoom group and there it’s called a Be the Hope Group. Uh, Beth, my wife’s name was Beth, and that’s where be the hope came from.
And I’m, You would ask about this not for profit and camp, that’s gonna be the name of it, but the basis of it was that we, that you have purpose even in your grieving, and it’s to lightly encourage a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, email them, whatever. Gloria, within months I saw depression rise as people,
just instead of isolating and just looking at themselves and being a victim, started to see they could be value. So service was the fourth one. Wow. And I you so Yeah. I’m talking too much. You need to talk, but yeah. So our faith, and then it was, what I say community. Yep. Gratitude and service. Yeah.
That’s what kept us focused and not victims. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And we’re gonna get to the fifth one in a second, but I, I, I do want to, uh, number one, thank you for sharing this. And, and, and, and also as a, I guess a testimonial in that I’ve seen this in my own life as well, and that it really, when I’ve had occasions where, and, and I think even in like the, probably the couple years after I lost my sister as well, is that
When I would be going through some, like, grieving things, all of a sudden I, I, I don’t know, I just remember one time I don’t even remember what, what it was that precipitated it, but I just decided to either write an email or, or reach out to somebody on social media or something and, and just be of service and my mood improved and so
you’re absolutely right to, you know, things like counting your blessings are absolutely so important and really that, that cultivating an attitude of gratitude. I know people are like, Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. But it does make a difference. It absolutely does. And, and community, as we’ve certainly seen over the last couple of years, that community is so important when you’re isolated, it just does no good.
So share with us what’s? And I… What’s number five? Professionally. Oh. People need community and in when you’re in a profession, they often don’t, They often wall off and it’s just, there is such a value to that. That’s why I got certified as a leadership coach right in the middle of a storm. I’ve not done a ton with it, but yeah.
The fifth one you’re probably not going to, uh uh, is laughter and why I’m gonna start with me as a dentist. Apprehension is kind of a big thing. And because I could one, relate with people, I’m, I’m pretty friendly, but I can’t tell you how many times if I could get someone laughing, they forgot they were scared.
if I could get that level relationally with them. So, you know, I wasn’t thinking about that, but that’s what I brought into the relationship. I was the one that was a more jovial and, I’m thinking of a, a couple instances where I, I used some humor. One was when I did those ABCs of gratitude. Mm-hmm. I can remember when I had to shave Beth when she lost her hair.
She felt so not beautiful. Yeah. She would wear her wig would not let me see her. It’s like, you’re beautiful. So I, I thought I gotta buy game. So I did the ABC as a gratitude one night. I said, A is for adorable Beth. B is for bodacious Beth. C is for cute. D. X is for X-rated D is drop dead gorgeous. Oh my gosh.
I can still, I, she’s, I can see her smiling, but now the best one was one night. And I, this, I dunno where this came from. Somebody up there must have gave it to me. I, I just said to her one night, I said, Beth, what’s your name? She goes, Beth, No. She goes, Beth Knoerr. I go, No, Beth Fritzinger. No. I goes, When I tell you, if you don’t repeat it, I will keep saying it until you do.
I gotta say, my wife was more of the gentle hearted one. Okay. I go Rod’s hottie. I the blush on her face after being married all 40, 38, 39 years. Right. She said it, and every once in a while when I could see she was down, it would just, And I don’t think when you’re in a storm, you’re not thinking it’s not okay to laugh.
Yeah. I read, I’m doing this physical meal plan workout thing for eight weeks, uh, online, and someone was saying the value of smiling in terms of the oxytocin, it’s kinda like the value of a hug, and I’ve read that too. A 30-second hug. Same with a smile. Yeah, same with a smile. It’s a physiological thing. But oh you feel like, Oh, you’re just being stupid.
It’s not okay to smile when you have terminal cancer or Yeah, been through a divorce. So laughter, Uh, yeah, absolutely. And for those of you who are listening and watching this, a while back, probably, I think it was in 2020, I actually interviewed someone who had written a book about smiling and the, and the positive benefits that it has.
the name of the man is escaping me at the moment. Actually, I think he’s a magician. I think it was the Magician I had on. Oh. So I’ll, I’ll put it in the show notes, so I’ll put a link to it because, uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. Well, this is a total aside, but I joined a social group here recently and we went six months ago, went to these standup and they were awful.
And for years I have said these funny things that I have said or done or happened to done, got laughs. I have a sitcom. I did standup comedy and it, but, but Beth’s up there going, what next? What next? This guy’s nuts, but, people enjoyed it. Hey, you know what? That is one of the greatest services that you can do.
So see, you’re, you’re, and you’re combining community. You’re, you’re, you’re hitting just about all of it, in being able to do that. But I, the thing about the book now, I, so as people have read it, they say, Oh, what a love story. That’s not what I wrote it. But then they go on, cuz at the end of every chapter I put what’s called refuge reflection questions.
And I can’t tell how many people have said the storm I’m currently in, I’m seeing, I’m seeing opportunity. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And that’s why I’m so passionate about getting this message of this book out is because of that. And I, I think people think, Well, I don’t have cancer. You don’t have to have cancer.
It, it applies. It’s working with this widow recovery group in a big way. And that’s why I’m hoping the retreat will be, we’re gonna use it for a lot of community things or faith-based organizations and, you know, let people get out in nature a little bit. That’s another thing. A year into my wife’s cancer, we, uh, this, uh, semi abandoned camp was across the road from us on 20 acres on a small lake.
And we, uh, what are you do when your wife has a year to live supposedly? Is you, you take a leap of faith, but that’s what be the hope retreat is gonna be. And, uh, Oh, that, that’s wonderful. Uh, how could someone that wants to really execute this to be able to start, you know, following like these secrets and that you talk about to thriving in this storm of life, how, how can they execute it and get it wrong?
Execute it and get it wrong? Yeah.
Well, you know, I, I, I think the biggest thing in your storm, uh, this sounds so positive there, there’s a time and a place for everything, and there’s stages where you, you, you barely getting by and, but that’s, I guess, where the community comes in, where you have more perspective. Like I said, we’re doing it together.
What if you’re a single person? Right. You know, I think that that was a difference. And the difference with us is we had some community and I, I think, would we have developed community once we were in the storm or like we had the pre-storm. So I, that’s that realization. I’m realizing that people really need to start implementing some of these things.
Cause they need them in the good times too, because they may not have the strength in the midst if they hadn’t had some in that place. Or like, Hey, I had a strong relations already with Beth, so to say it’s, it’s easy, but, and that’s where I’m trying to go out and speak and hope to be doing, you know, probably to be developing some courses and things or some virtual stuff too, because, uh, at least to plant the seed to get the book in their hand and then, you know, to, to be able to, to do some coaching with some people because that, that’s the that was well said.
Well said. Cause yeah. I mean it, and yet, I, I. I don’t know. How would you think I, Can you throw that? What do you think of an example and do it wrong? I then maybe that helped my brain. well, nothing question I haven’t been face. I think probably how they get it wrong is, is just not,
not committing themselves to it. I think, I think not giving it a chance, I think would be it. You know, and just giving up at like the first, you know, Instance, it’s like, Oh, well I’m not getting immediate results and so I’ll just quit. But I think maybe by not being patient and, and to keep at it. What do you think?
I totally agree. Like even community, it takes a while to form it. Even though you get a group of six or eight people together, it’s not gonna be instant results. And at first it’s gonna maybe be weird, but, uh, the service, I gotta tell you, and that’s, some people aren’t as outgoing, so what it looks like is gonna be different.
I’m a little more outgoing. You know, where my wife, it would be more behind the scenes, simple notes to people or writing this or, or a little phone call or drop off a meal if they’re hurting, you know, they were sick and everybody’s gotta do it. I dunno if, uh, read the book by Gary Chapman, the Five Love Languages.
Mm-hmm. Yes. You know, What’s your love language? Uh, my wife’s was acts of service, you know, and mine ended up really growing into it. That’s why I think we grew so close. What was I doing? But serving my wife the whole last. So, yeah, I was speaking your love language, but that would be another thing maybe to add to it in terms of that, to be able to do some of these things.
Do you know your love language or, you know? Yeah, there you go. But I think that’s the patience. No, it’s not immediate, but you’re getting a book that had a five-year journey and I’m reflecting back and, but I, I do another thing I, I came, I bring from dentistry, which I don’t really.
I found out with anytime someone comes in to have a tooth extracted, they’re expecting the worse or root canal. And I, I, years ago found out from the moment I, first appointment, if they’re a new patient or one is diagnosed, is tell ’em it’s no big deal. It’s gonna be, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be. It’s no big deal.
It’s that positive mental attitude. It doesn’t change everything. But now fast forward to, uh, to the cancer ward at University of Michigan, and I remember looking at the, uh, the staff. The one nurse was actually from Romania originally. I heard her, her, her accent, and sure enough she was, but I said it to them in our first meeting, and then a year later we had a checkup and they still, they reminded me of what I said.
They had never heard it before. I said, We don’t participate in side effects. I don’t know where that came from. And they, they never, if the whole point positive attitude and you know, what, Did she have a little bit of nauseousness and a little with it? Yeah, but not for three weeks. It was like a day. It was way reduced.
Now was it all positive attitude? No, but we can talk ourselves into feeling bad. That was a huge one. Positive. Trying to, And that’s where gratitude comes in and other things, you know? Absolutely. Yeah. And, and that’s important to note too, that as we, we sort of forget about that, we’re like, we can absolutely talk ourselves into feeling bad and, and.
Without even necessarily thinking about it. And then at the same time, we wonder why we can’t then also talk ourselves into feeling good. Why, Why can’t we do that? Of course we can. Well, that’s the things I’m trying to share here. I, I think in essence, that’s it. Yeah. We know when you focus on gratitude when you start.
I think so many people when they serve others think, Oh, I had to do it. Cause we had our oldest son and his wife live with us due to a change in their right during her cancer for two years, and they had a three year old and a one year old when they moved in. Do you know how many people said how imposing that was?
Oh, that was, my wife was born to have children. She had five. And that just, and my son and I, who had always locked horns most of his life. Uh, we have the closest relationship since then, and I, I remember when he moved in and he was kind of, Well, I’m living with my dad. I’m in my thirties and this and that.
it was exactly, again, seeing the opportunities in the storm. Yeah. And I so often, No, it’s all negative. There’s nothing positive that can happen. But some of the cool things we had, we had a couple couples in our church who once, you know, they got diagnosed with cancer toward the end of Beth’s cancer, and Beth passes away and I wanna go back to Marshall and visit him.
I was heading back and I thought up until she passed, they saw me as encouragement. The second she passed, I’m the guy they don’t wanna ever be. A widower. So I thought, how do I reach out to them? Right? So I put it on Facebook, I was coming. Anyone wanna meet for lunch? Only two people answer – the two guys. But one was a big farmer.
And from watching Beth and I for that four years, when his wife got diagnosed, she is, it was like in July, August, well Harvest is in September, October. He said, You know, Rod, he said, due to the rainy spring, and limiting some of what we planted. That’s giving me time. They ended up going to Mayo in Minnesota to be with his wife.
I wasn’t that strong in day one of the cancer to see that opportunity. Right. But because they watched us for four years and then the other one had similar stories and both their wives are, are doing well, they beat cancer. Both were breast cancer, but, so yeah, back service, service, gratitude, community.
Awesome. And laugh once in a while. Yeah. I’d leave you with a funny story, but I don’t know if your viewers want to hear it. Well, I was gonna ask you, is there anything else you’d like to share with our listeners before we close? So yeah, let’s, let’s have a little, we can have some more levity. Absolutely.
Well, it, it, it is, I am gonna bring my faith in. I’m Christian faith. It could be, you know, if you’re Muslim, whatever, something else. But it was after I wrote the book, there’s a story in the Bible where Jesus met this woman, Samaritan woman at the well. And he was telling all about how many people she was married to, whatever, and, offered her living water as it was.
Well, his, his fellow disciples come on the scene and this is the part, and I’ve read that story many times. But all of a sudden this verse stuck out to me and they come on the scene, they see him with this… the Jews weren’t supposed to hang out with Samaritans, right? So first off, when they said, Master, we get you something to eat, he says, What I have to eat you don’t know about.
And then this verse, he goes, My food, this is the guy who’s gonna die on a cross in a few. He goes, my food is to the will of the Father and to complete his work. So serving. That higher power fed him. Mm-hmm. And that was exactly what we found out. But I never, there was this verse, Yeah, you get fed when you serve other people and you do it whether you’re a Christian or whatever.
You’re right. It feeds you. And I don’t, it’s not a burden, it’s a feeding. Mm-hmm. and I gotta leave that thought. But I guess the last thing would be if, uh, Google, right? I mean, Amazon doesn’t have my book, so if anyone wants to purchase it, WestBow Press is the publisher I went through. WestBow Press and, uh, and if, uh, as far as speaking, my website is in the process with publisher coming up, but, yeah, my, my.
Email is r my last name k n o e r r seven at gmail, because I, I, I’m just passionate about getting this message out to people, to have them find purpose in the storm and, and see value and, and make, and be the hope to others. In the midst of the storm. All right, well, I’ll be sure and put that information in the show notes for everyone, so if they wanna be able to get in touch with you and be able to get a copy of the book and read it for themselves, I encourage you to do that.
And I want to thank you for sharing your story with us today. And, uh, I really appreciate all of the wonderful guidance that you imparted and wisdom to our audience today, as well as what you’ve been doing through the book. And good luck with the, you know, the, the retreats and the foundation that you’re putting together.
And, and I guess another segue over quick is I think as a business owner, I think so often when they go through storms of, in a business there, you do forget to count your blessings. Mm-hmm. You do forget to have community with your team, to encourage your team, to laugh with your team. And I, I think those, Cause I left dentistry for a period of time, came back to Michigan, bought two practice on east side of Michigan.
You’re from Michigan. That’s all General Motors area. Yep. And wouldn’t, you know, right after I bought it, GM files for bankruptcy, and virtually all of my patients lost their retired General Motors insurance. And I was, I had bought two retired dentist practices. I was heavily in debt and I, that was back early two what, 2006, whatever it was.
And I remember looking at the staff and I said, We aren’t going to just survive. We’re gonna thrive. Not even knowing, but it worked. Did was they did get a cut in pay, but they didn’t get laid off. And I got real creative and up working in another dental office, Got my practice down to days, did what I had to do, but, it was an opportunity for our team to grow closer and that’s not always the case in many businesses.
So yeah, true. Those same concepts. Try to apply it to your business world. Absolutely. Okay. I, Well, thank you for that. See, that was, that was worth its weight in gold right there. So thank you so much. Yeah. And, and really, yeah, thank you for being with us today and for, for sharing all of this information with us.
I really wish you much luck in the future. Much continued luck with the book and, uh, success, not just luck. Success spreading your message. Yeah, hopefully make an impact on the world for the good. That’s what you’re doing. Well, thank you. And I wanna thank all of you out there who are watching and listening, and I, uh, trust that you receive some value from this today, our interview.
And, uh, if so, I hope you’ll share it with a friend and, and invite them to subscribe to the podcast if they aren’t already. And until next time. And you know, if you’re a regular listener, you know what I say. As always, I encourage you to go out and live fully, love deeply, and engage authentically.
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