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29: Finding Beauty Through the Ashes (with American Wife author Taya Kyle)

Taya Kyle shares her story of forgiveness and moving forward while raising her 2 children after her husband Chris Kyle was murdered by someone he was trying to help.

Taya Kyle is the wife of the late U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle and the author of the New York Times bestselling book, American Wife. In her book she opens up about the trials and triumphs of life with and without Chris Kyle, and ultimately finding her place in the midst of the journey. Since the time of the tragic death of her husband Chris Kyle – himself the author of the New York Times bestselling book and Academy Award-winning motion picture, American Sniper – Taya has served as Executive Director of the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, which serves first responder and military marriages. Taya is a frequent speaker for various organizations. She is a proud mother and resides in Texas with her family.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Taya:

Micah 6:8 “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with the Lord your God.”

“Just acting justly isn't always being the nice person. Sometimes Christianity and justice and all that means you have to stand up and do the hard thing and have the brave conversations.”

Mother Theresa : “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

“Teaching people that they can count on you by loving them, giving them a safe place to land, investing in another person. All that stuff that can come from loving your family. I really do think that is what changes the world because it puts something different out from not only you but them.”

“Forgiveness is misunderstood by a lot people. Forgiveness means I can forgive you for being a human being which is flawed and who made that decision to choose evil over good. I can say that you are forgiven but that does not mean that you do not have the consequences. It does not mean it is okay. I forgive you because you are flawed. I am not going to carry around hate for you. I am not going to carry around the burden of thinking of you.”

“I have got love and light around me. I can focus on that and I can look at the beauty through ashes. I am never immune to seeing the good that can be done even through evil, and I find that inspiring. I think that is one of the bigger lessons.”

“Everybody suffers. Help them do better. Help them be better. Help them rise through it, and they will be so much better off.”

“There's a segment of our society that feels being a victim is fine, feeling entitled to something because they suffered. I feel so strongly that that's not it. That is so opposite of what we need to do. We need to give each other the strength to fight for themselves. That's 10 times the beauty of putting a band-aid on it and feeling sorry for somebody. Everybody suffers. Help them do better. Help them be better. Help them rise through it and they'll be so much better off.” 

Advice from Taya's Aunt: “I know you may not believe this now. I know that good things are going to happen in your life and I want you to put your feet on the floor every morning and thank God for what He's doing because it's going to be amazing. I want you to have this excited anticipation about what the future holds.”

Some of Taya‘s Favorite Things:

Personal habit: I am paying more attention to sleep.

Easy meal: Grilled cheese with some soup or whatever. Crockpots in the winter.

Possession: T2 Flask, Nespresso.

Taya's Favorite Book: Ranger's Apprentice Books by John Flanagan – The Ruins of Gorlan Book 1 and For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

Best advice received: “For 15 minutes do something light with your kids or whatever and then you'll come back fresh.”

Taya's Happiness Formula:

“Sleep and self care and when I have undivided attention time with my kids one on one. Good relationship time.”

A Challenge from Taya:

“To try and talk to God the way you would talk to a friend and pray that way. And have the patience and the courage to just sit quietly and see if you can hear anything or feel nudging.”


How to Be Happier in ANY Relationship (Even When the Other Person Refuses to Change!) Free online webinar hosted by Jen Riday. Click here to claim your seat!

Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

American Sniper: The Autobiography by Chris Kyle, Jim DeFelice, and Scott McEwen

American Gun: A History of the U.S. in Ten Firearms by Chris Kyle and William Doyle Ewen

American Wife by Taya Kyle

Ranger's Apprentice Books by John Flanagan – The Ruins of Gorlan Book 1

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards Book by Jen Hatmaker

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About jen

Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.

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