Find Your Sweet Spot


You find yourself getting to the end of your day, with barely enough energy to crawl into bed. You logged time at the office, played chauffeur all around town after school, and managed to pull together something remotely nutritious for dinner. Yet you find yourself dreaming about doing more, even through your bone-deep weariness. Can you really add one more thing to your day and have that one thing be for YOURSELF, no less?

We spoke with 4word’s new Director of Operations, Lori Berry, to hear her story of balancing working full time, raising three children, being the wife her husband needs, and, oh yeah, going back to graduate school.


4word: Tell us a little about yourself.

Lori: Growing up in Kansas, I had the opportunity to spend time every Sunday afternoon with aunts, uncles, and cousins at my grandparents’ farm. We rode horses, played board games, and went for walks by the creek. Grandma made roast and mashed potatoes every week, without fail. There was a consistency there that balanced out the hectic, overachieving pace of the rest of my week. I think those Sundays full of rest and family provided me with a desire for having an appropriate rhythm in life that would become one of my passions as an adult.

IMG_2377_smallThe story most people like to hear about my life is how I met my husband, Rich. We attended the same small Christian school with a class of 30 kids from 2nd grade through middle school. I thought of him as just one of those annoying, bratty boys…until somehow, during the summer between 7th and 8th grade, he got cute. (He’s still really cute!) He asked me to “go with him” during a skating party. We dated throughout high school and got married after our freshman year at Kansas State University, at the age of 19. We both worked two jobs while finishing our degrees and have been riding that roller coaster called life together ever since.

We have three children we certainly don’t deserve to have. They are beautiful, talented, amazingly faithful pursuers of God’s heart. They are way better people than we are. Carter plays on the Howard Payne University golf team and is studying counseling and ministry. Maggie is a worship leader, and as a junior in high school, hasIMG_2851 already written hundreds of songs. Bethany has the most precious heart of empathy for others and dances competitively. We can’t wait to see where God leads these three. It is our honor to shepherd them, and on the days when their ugly adolescent snarls come out, we try to remember how grateful we are to have the privilege of raising them.

Professionally, I’ve been a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve done the corporate, full-on career thing and the working short days to keep sanity while raising kids thing. I’ve tried being a stay-at-home mom a couple different times, but I’m wired to work. I’ve struggled over the years with not feeling like I fit in with the “career” women or the “domestic engineer” women. I think of myself as a woman who isn’t either/or but is both/and. (However, I will say I am undeniably craft-challenged and have panic attacks around glue…especially glitter glue. Who even thought that was a good idea to combine those two things?)


4word: You decided to go back to school to pursue a Masters degree. Tell us about your dreams for this endeavor.

Lori: I know!  How crazy is that?! I’m in my mid-forties…and in college! I am working toward a Masters in Christian Ministry with a focus in Pastoral Counseling through Liberty University. I am called to help other women navigate marriage, parenting, work, and their spiritual walks.  I want to point people toward Jesus and the freedom He offers. I can’t possibly dream big enough, so I’m letting God do the dreaming for me. Trust me, His plan is better than mine!


IMG_13054word: Have you found it difficult to be a wife, a mother, and a student, ALL while working? Have you struggled to find time for everything?

Lori: Of course! There is not a woman in the world who has gotten this exactly right. Since I LOVE to work, things get topsy turvy for me if I don’t surrender my time to God daily. I seem to end up fitting in work, school, volunteering, and kids, but leave my husband out, which is a big problem because his primary love language is Quality Time. Thanks to God’s grace, we are doing better at this now than in the past. We try to fit “together time” in where we can, like driving Bethany to and from dance class together. Those precious minutes of dedicated conversation in the car can really make a difference. We also have always been good at taking trips alone together, going on date nights every week, and serving and worshiping together at church. I pray daily for God to increase my capacity…and He does.


4word: A huge passion of yours is helping women walk in freedom through marriage and parenting. What inspired you to become involved in helping these women? Did you have mentors in your life that helped you walk in freedom?

IMG_2619Lori: I have had many women mentors. From Bible study groups to Po-keno groups, I surround myself with women who can speak wisdom into me. My all-time favorite advice came from a friend who had raised four kids who were a few years older than mine. She regularly reminded me, “This too shall pass.” I know it’s simple advice, but when you’re in the trenches, you need to be reminded your season will change, and your problems won’t last forever.

To me, walking in freedom is the difference between being saved, but holding onto your sin, guilt, bitterness, negativity, and anger, versus being free of all those things because of GRACE. When I finally learned to forgive myself and others, I was FREE to receive and give grace. Jesus died so I could have that privilege. How can I not let it bubble up out of me and overflow to others? This life I’m living now is so much more content than how I’d lived before. I can actually say I’m thankful for all the things I’ve gone through, including marriage and parenting struggles, that have brought me to this point, and I am stinkin’ giddy about teaching other people how to find this sweet spot. I can’t NOT share it.


4word: What are some tips you would offer a woman struggling through her marriage and journey as a parent?

IMG_2207_smallLori: There is hope! Connect with other women who understand what you’re going through and let them help. One great way to meet like-minded women is to join a 4word: Local Group. Also, look for other resources around you, like through your church or community. There are many faith-based blogs that offer inspiration. (I write a blog,, to support moms like me in the crazy dance world.) Attend events in your area to re-charge your soul and affirm what you already know. (I love teaching on realistic marriage and parenting strategies and speaking about my experiences so others can avoid certain pitfalls.) My favorite Scripture is Hebrews 6:19a (NIV), “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” I even got an anchor tattoo recently as a conversation starter and to remind myself of my hope.  That verse sums up my advice…there’s a safe place to anchor your hope, and it’s Jesus.


4word: You recently joined the 4word team as Director of Operations. How do you plan on using your knowledge and passions to help 4word’s impact on professional Christian women around the world?

IMG_2336Lori: First, I don’t want ANY woman ANYWHERE to feel alone in their struggles.  My goal is for 4word to reach as many people as possible so they can fulfill their God-given potential while feeling supported by our community. Women seem to respond to honest, down-to-earth stories that speak from the heart, so we will continue to use our platforms for maximum impact. Whether it’s through 4word: Local Groups, the 4word: Mentor Program, or our digital content, I’d like us to address real issues in real women’s lives as we help to further empower 4word women to live each day embracing God’s purposes for their lives. We have been blessed with exponential growth, and I know many more lives will be touched by God through 4word. I love getting to be a part of that! Ultimately, I plan to use my personal mission–to write, speak, teach, advise, counsel, and lead– to point women toward the freedom of God’s grace in their relationships, work, and faith.


Women often find themselves having to juggle a million different tasks and responsibilities, all while keeping a smile on their face and a finger on the pulse of their family’s life. Learn from Lori’s example and find ways that you can inject an appropriate rhythm into each of your relationships, whether that’s with your spouse, your children, your family or your friends. Taking the time to invest into those relationships will result in showers of blessings on your life.


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Lori Berry has a diverse background in business and ministry, as well as extensive experience in non-profit settings. She is an experienced writer, speaker, teacher, ministry leader, and corporate consultant. Married for a quarter of a century to her supportive husband Rich, Lori resides in Texas and has three children ages 19, 16, and 11. Lori is also a Master of Arts/Pastoral Counseling candidate at Liberty University.

With a heart for ministry to women, Lori adds value through strategic leadership and coaching and lives out her passion for encouraging and supporting women throughout their different life stages, including marriage, parenting, and career.