The Road Home to You

Finding faith in a broken world

Good Grief: The 5 Stages of Grief

November 12, 2019
The Road Home to You

“>Play episode here

In the wake of my grandma’s recent and sudden passing, I wanted to take some time to talk about grief. It’s one of those experiences that we’re all going to face at some point in our lives, whether it’s due to losing a loved one or losing a pet, a dream or a career. Loss is simply a fact of life and with it comes a process of grief.

In this episode, you’ll learn the 5 stages of grief according to the DSM-5 (the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). More than “stages” these are 5 ways your grief may be experienced. They don’t always follow any kind of order and logic and will often come again even after you’ve moved to general acceptance.

The 5 Stages of Grief:

  1. Denial and Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Listen to discover how each of these stages may present in your own experience, as well as how to help someone else who is going through the grief process.

*Note: We are not medical experts and this is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. If you are experiencing debilitating grief or thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate medical attention.

For the National Suicide Prevention Hotline:
1-800-273-8255 (TALK)

 

A few things to note about grief:

*Grief hits us all differently.
*There is no RIGHT way to grieve.
*Whatever you’re feeling…it’s probably normal.
*Allow yourself (or others) to grieve.
*Grief is a process that takes time. For some of us, that time isn’t very long. For others, it lasts a lifetime.
*You are not weak for grieving.
*You are not weak for seeking help as you grieve.

 

As well as a discussion on grief, this episode is also a tribute to my grandma, Lila Lee Barr. She died at the age of 92 on November 6, 2019. A lover of words and rhyme, Grandma was an avid writer, even starting up her own newspaper, The Town and Country, in Maupin, Oregon in the late ’60s. She was a prolific poet and I am honored to share a few short pieces that she wrote at the close of today’s show.

Screenshot_20191107-102557-03 (1)

(Lila Lee Barr circa 2014)


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Special thanks to James Page for his contribution to our theme song, The Long Road Home, written by Brandy J. Goebel and James Swanson. Copyright 2018.

This episode was recorded, edited and produced at 4G’s Studios in Sandy, Oregon. 2019. All rights reserved.

 

National Recovery Month: Everyone is Broken

September 10, 2019
The Road Home to You

September is National Recovery Month.

Who knew?

Listen to the full episode here

According to recoverymonth.gov “National Recovery Month, sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives. This observance celebrates the millions of Americans who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders, reminding us that treatment is effective and that people can and do recover. It also serves to help reduce the stigma and misconceptions that cloud public understanding of mental and substance use disorders, potentially discouraging others from seeking help.”

As a huge proponent to the belief that we’re all a little broken and we all use potentially harmful coping strategies to varying degrees, I am an avid supporter of recovery programs. There are a variety to chose from, from Alcoholics Annonymous, to Celebrate Recovery to my own favorite, The Genesis Process, there is something out there to help absolutely anyone. These don’t even take into account one-on-one counseling, group therapy or residential treatment.

The fact is, the only reason we stay stuck in our negative cycles is that we struggle to even acknowledge that we’re using faulty coping mechanisms. Like the Big Book says: The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

So what about you?

Do you find yourself, like the apostle Paul continuously doing the very thing you hate and unable to do the thing you want? If so, you are not alone!

Join me as I sit down with my own recovery mentor and guide, Dr. Kathy Rodriguez, PsyD, to talk about what recovery looks like, who needs it and, its place in the Church.

Be sure to comment or email and share your own experience with recovery. Or, if you are realizing that you’d like to find a recovery program but don’t know where to start, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to help you find some resources that are local to you.

If you happen to be local to my area, near Sandy, Oregon, I will be starting a Genesis Change Group at our church in October 2019. Again, feel free to let me know if you’d like to be a part of it!

Truly…from the bottom of my heart…I don’t believe my family would even still be together, much less thriving, were it not for the hard work that happened through recovery groups. It’s a difficult and on-going journey, but the rewards are too numerous to count and I can’t encourage you enough to take the time to examine the unhealthy areas in your life and then do the hard work of surrendering the root problems to God, who knows you better than any doctor ever could, and has the answers for your heart’s greatest longings.

Enjoy this conversation with my friend and mentor, Kathy!

Listen to the full episode here

You can find Kathy’s book here:
Healing the Father Wound

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Self-Care for Your Marriage

June 18, 2019
The Road Home to You

Self-care is quite a little buzz phrase these days. We’ve all heard the term and use it to mean anything from taking a nap to going on vacation to spending quality time getting lost in a book.

But what does self-care for your marriage look like?

Listen to the full episode here!

Matt and I sat down and compiled a list of 10 things we think qualify as marital self-care. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, we believe it covers some of the most important (and often overlooked) ways you can nurture your marriage and your spouse. Let’s face it, we could all use a little more tenderness in our lives and who better to give it than your spouse?

Here’s our first ever Top Ten List:

  1. Date Night – This goes without saying, right? Dating your spouse is super important, especially if you have children who you’re also trying to raise. I mean honestly, kids are pretty attention-seeking and if we’re not careful they will easily pull focus. But your relationship deserves the time and attention it got back when you were trying to impress each other.

    It also goes without saying that most couples can’t do a once-a-week date because that can cost a TON of money! So find creative solutions: go for walks, take long drives on roads you’ve never explored, have a picnic, light some candles and take a soak in the tub, give massages. Now, if you have kids, you’re going to have to get even more creative…or bold. Don’t be afraid to ask another couple if they’d be willing to swap kids once a month. That way you both benefit from a night (or at least a few hours) free of kids without the expense.

  2. Find ‘Hidden Moments’ – This goes along with the first suggestion. You’re not always going to have a lot of time to enjoy each other’s company, so use the time you’ve got. Maybe it’s just a quick changing of the guard as you pass by each other on your way to and fro. Take a minute to exchange a meaningful moment. Check in with each other.

    Maybe you have a little bit of downtime while the baby is asleep. Go ahead and take a nap also, but do it together. Pack the kids up and head to McDonald’s. While they play, enjoy a Coke and have a conversation. Even if it’s in fits and starts, it’s better than nothing. Or do like we do…our kids are older but our daughter still isn’t driving herself and we’ve had some moments sitting in the car waiting at the pick-up line at school or while she’s in dance class.

    These aren’t the moments that will likely be full of great memories, but they are the moments that remind you both that your marriage is valuable and worth putting effort into.

  3. Pray for Each Other – It’s really such an easy thing to do, but how often do you we simply forget to pray for the person that matters most? When was the last time you asked your spouse, “How can I pray for you today?” Those few words show your mate that what’s important to them is important to you, too. They speak volumes. Ask this question at least once a week. (Note to Self: Be sure to ask Matt how I can pray for him this week….)
  4. Plan A Future Together – Whether it’s figuring out what you want to do for your next date, planning your dream vacation, plotting your next move or talking about the career you’d like to step into, planning for future events together keeps your eyes out ahead of you.

    It’s easy to get consumed with the day-to-day and only focus on the tasks (or children) that are right in front of you. But you are more than the next crisis your face. You have hopes and dreams and big ideas and so does your spouse. Celebrate those together by talking about something that’s coming up or something you’d like to see in the future. It will help stoke the fires that drive your passion toward a common goal and towards one another.

    Listen to the full episode here!

  5. Share Your Calendar – It’s not a glamorous suggestion, but just checking in with each other and sharing what’s on your calendar can keep you casually informed about any number of things. It’s great to be able to glance at the calendar and see what big events are looming because it reminds us how to pray for one another but it also can be an indicator as to why your favorite person in the whole world has turned into a monster. If your work presentation that’s happening on Thursday is written on the calendar, it just might help your spouse understand why you’re a little on edge.
  6. Pick Up the Slack When Your Spouse is Weak – There are going to be those days (and weeks and months) when your spouse just isn’t going to be able to do all the things you’ve grown accustomed to them doing. You’ll have those days, too. And when they happen, nothing feels better than knowing that your spouse has your back and is willing to step in and do the dishes or run the carpool or cook dinner. Especially when those things are done without expectation or guilt trips. Nobody needs that foolishness.

    If your spouse is sick, help out. If your spouse is depressed, let them rest. If your spouse is going completely postal because they’re sick and tired of being the only person in the entire house who seems to know how to wash a dish and put it in the dishwasher….wait, I’m sorry. I think I started to wander….

  7. Find A Mutual Hobby or Interest – We really like to watch TV together. It’s a great chance for us to escape for a little bit then come back to reality with some funny one-liners from whatever show we just watched. We could repeat show and movie lines all day long and just giggle. It’s our jam. We also really like playing Pathfinder together with a group of friends. We get to pretend to be heroes doing brave and amazing feats. Then we talk about the shenanigans our characters got up to until we play again. It’s how we unwind.

    Those things might not interest you at all. But what about hiking? Or beekeeping? Or going to antique stores? Video games?

    Whatever you both enjoy, jump in and do it together. If you haven’t found your thing yet, keep looking. Maybe try cooking or gardening. The point is, find “your” thing and then make time to enjoy it. The bonding that can happen in these moments is worth its weight in gold. I honestly believe that one of the reasons our marriage has survived through all the garbage is because we shared so many common interests and that kept our friendship alive.

  8. Compliment One Another – This shouldn’t be that hard, but for some it truly is. Some people just have a hard time remembering to say out loud the things that are in their heart while others simply can’t find anything worth complimenting in their spouse anymore.

    If that’s you in that latter group, dig deep. There was something in your spouse that initially drew you in. See if you can find it. If you can’t, look for something else. Anything else.

    The fact is, words have power. When we receive compliments, it bolsters us. It strengthens our confidence. It encourages us to do more of the same. Words of praise can soften the hearts of both those who give it and those who receive it. Compliment with sincerity and do it often.

  9. Have Meaningful Physical Touch – It doesn’t have to turn in to sex, but take time to hug and kiss and hold hands and give massages. These little displays of affection say everything without saying a word. You don’t have to put on a show in front of others, but simply hugging your spouse for a good 2 minutes will do amazing things for your emotional well-being and theirs.
  10. Have Sex – Yep. Just do it.

    Sometimes couples have vastly different sex-drives. That’s not uncommon but it’s also not an excuse. When we said “I do” we committed to loving our spouse and putting their needs above our own. We promised that what was ours was also theirs. That includes our body.

    It’s important to be attuned to your spouse’s sexual needs. Even if you’re not in the mood, you may just need to do what you can to get there because it’s been 3 months and your spouse is starting to look a little green around the gills.

    The fact is, you are a gift to your spouse. You are the gift that keeps on giving.

    Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean you have to get your funk on every single day, but it does mean that you need to do your part to show up for your spouse in order to show them that their needs are important to you.

    Have some conversations. Find out what’s best for you as a couple. Work together to find a compromise and then enjoy your time together. This kind of physical intimacy is unique and wonderful and a beautiful celebration of your love and commitment to one another. Relish it.

Listen, that was a LOT! The bottom line is this: if you are married, you are in it for the long haul. Wouldn’t it be better to do what you can to nurture your marriage and keep that spark alive rather than watch it burn out, having wasted time and energy on someone you “fell out of love” with?

Listen to the full episode here!

You don’t fall out love. You let love go. You give up on love. The fact is, marriage is really, really hard. It takes courage and tenacity and dedication and sacrifice and a thousand other things. You never get to a point when you can simply coast.

If you took the next 2 months or so and focused on one of these tips at a time, adding a new one every week, you might just be surprised at how your attitude and heart have changed. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

 

Domestic Abuse and the Church’s Response

March 19, 2019
The Road Home to You

Listen to the full episode here

In Part 2 of my conversation with Crystalyn, we dig deeper into the response the Christian church often has in the face of marriages broken by domestic abuse.

Too often, we walk away from messy people and their situations because we’re afraid we aren’t equipped to deal with the level of need. Today, learn some simple ways you can come alongside a family who needs to be heard and supported, even if you aren’t a trained professional.

Abuse Hotline

or call: 1-800-799-7233

Find information on developing a Safety Plan

Abuse Recovery Ministry and Services (ARMS)

Additional information will be posted/updated as available.

 

The Road Home to You podcast can be downloaded from Google Play, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts and pretty much anywhere podcasts are available.
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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, “The Long Road Home” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, edited and produced at 4Gs Studios in Sandy, Or. All rights reserved.

Domestic Abuse: A Survivor’s Story

March 12, 2019
The Road Home to You

Join Brandy this week to hear the story of one woman’s experience in two domestically abusive marriages. Hear how she overcame the manipulation that threatened to keep her locked in a cycle of shame, as she reached out for help.

Listen to the full episode here

Hear also how the Church both helped and hurt her as she sought clarity and guidance and a safe place to land.

This is Part 1 of a 2-part conversation with Crystalyn Tadano Reed. This hour, Crystalyn shares her story of recognizing abuse and seeking help. Even as she walks us through the years of abuse she endured, her life continues to point back to the redemptive work of Christ.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS BEING ABUSED
please click on the following links to find resources for help.
You are not alone.

(ARMS) Abuse Recovery Ministry & Service
(This is located in the Portland, OR area)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline  

(NOTE: I WILL CONTINUE TO ADD RESOURCES AS AVAILABLE)

Join us next week for Part 2 to hear how we, as the Church can do a better job to come alongside those who are suffering in abusive relationships.

For more information and additional links, check out our website.

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Special thanks to you James Swanson and James Page for their contribution on our theme song, “The Long Road Home” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, Edited and Produced by Brandy J. Goebel at 4Gs Studios located in beautiful downtown Sandy, OR. All rights reserved.

Communication Barriers and How to Overcome Them

February 12, 2019
The Road Home to You

Listen to the full episode here

In this week’s episode, Matt and I cover 8 common communication barriers that most couples encounter and then explore 7 ways to overcome them.

Because let’s face it: sometimes communication can be difficult. Between the busy-ness of everyday life to major stressors that are bound to occur, it’s not always easy talking to the person who’s going through life by our side.

Eight Common Barriers in Communication:

While these lists are, by no means, exhaustive, they definitely cover some of the major topics that we’ve either seen, experienced or heard other people talk about.

  1. Life transitions
  2. Financial Stress
  3. Physical and Mental Health Issues
  4. Busyness
  5. Changes in Sexual Relationship
  6. Extended Family
  7. Changing Hobbies and Interests
  8. Loss and Grief

Seven Practical Ways to Overcome Communication Barriers:

  1. Scheduling time for both fun and difficult conversations to take place
  2. In the middle of a crisis, put everything else on hold
  3. Keep a Captain’s Log
  4. Take time to really listen
  5. Honor and respect one another’s vulnerability
  6. Own your own issues
  7. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior

To hear how these ideas are fleshed out, tune into this week’s episode.

You can listen to the full episode here!

 

Show Notes – Valentine’s Day: How to Say “I Love You” without A Hallmark Card

February 5, 2019
The Road Home to You

Valentine’s Day.

The day that half the population runs from and the other half hopes will make their dreams come true. It’s a day wrought with expectation and disappointment.

All in an effort to say, “I love you.”

So what do you do when you’re the half of humanity that dreads this day more than the thought of a colonoscopy? Likewise, what do you do when you’re the other half that simply wants to know that you are loved above all others?

Join Matt and me, as we discuss some of our past Valentine’s day mishaps and what we’ve learned in 20-plus years that has helped us to love and honor one another despite our vast differences in approach to this holiday.

Listen to the full episode here

You’ll also learn a little history behind the holiday and find out why Sweetheart Conversation Hearts aren’t being made this year.

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Special thanks to James Swanson and James Page for their contribution to our theme song, “The Road Home to You” written by Brandy J. Goebel. Copyright 2018.

Recorded, edited and produced by Brandy J. Goebel at 4Gs Studios in Sandy, OR. 2019.

 

 

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