Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, mental health, relationships, spiritual disciplines, spiritual practices

Hunger and Thirst No More: Beatitude #4

We all know what it’s like to be hungry and thirsty, longing for something to fill our bellies. But what about our souls? What if there was a way to fill up the mysterious void we all seem to have deep down inside us?

Join Brandy this week for a quick lesson on Beatitude #4 to learn how you, too can be satisfied to your deepest core.

Listen to the full episode here

You can also join us on social media:
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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.

This episode was recorded, edited and produced in Sandy, Oregon, the 2nd fastest growing city in Oregon. Please don’t move here. 😉

Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, depression and anxiety, divorce, grief, mental health, military, service, and veterans, motherhood, parenting, Podcast Show Notes, prayer, recovery, relationships, spiritual practices

Comfort in the Mourning: Beatitude #2

If we are born into this world we will, at some point, experience the exquisite pang of loss. We will weep for what was and mourn what will never be again. This world, it seems is the perfect training ground for grief and sadness.

But Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, as found in Matthew chapter 5, tells his followers, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

He doesn’t elaborate on this point, or frankly, any of the points he’s making in this exact moment of his discourse. He leaves it plain and simple. Essentially what he’s saying is, “The people who mourn will be happier than those that don’t because they’ll be comforted.”

Well, that seems odd, doesn’t it? Because like I said, if life teaches us anything, it’s that we’re all going to mourn at some point. So, what makes this statement so poignant?

This week, Brandy explores this brief beatitude by looking further into Jesus’ own suffering, the mission he was prophetically called to when he stepped into humankind as a man, and the mission of his second coming.

We’ll be looking at Matthew 5:5, John 11:32-38a, Isaiah 61:1-3, and 2 Corinthians 1:3.

The fact is, we are not alone in our suffering and grief. We have a God who can relate to our pain and has stepped into it with us.

Listen to this week’s episode to find out how well he can relate to us and what he promises us as our future with him unfurls.

Listen to the full episode here

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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.

This episode was recorded, edited, and produced at 4G’s Studios in Sandy, Oregon, home of Bigfoot…. We have a hotel to prove it. 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted in advice, christian living, church life, mental health, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Rewind: Jesus, Politics, and A Christian Response

As we enter into another Presidential Election, it seemed only fitting to review our approach to politics and people as followers of Christ.

Listen to the FULL EPISODE and a SUMMER ANNOUNCEMENT HERE

I’d also like to invite you to watch a sermon presented by our pastor, Gregg Chastain at Community Church of Sandy in Sandy, Oregon. We have recently started a series on the book of Daniel. It comes at a perfect time, as we as Christians find ourselves increasingly being marginalized and asked to conform to the world.

View the live stream of the sermon HERE

If you would like to help TRANSCRIBE our show or you have Pinterest expertise, please EMAIL ME.

You can also find links to all of our social media:
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Posted in May 2019, mental health, Podcast Show Notes

Help! I’m Having A Mid-life Crisis!

Well, it’s time to admit it: we’re officially middle-aged. And with middle age, there are some weird transitions that take place.

Join Matt and Brandy as they sit down and talk about their own experiences with a mid-life “crisis” and what the experts have to say about navigating your way through this oddly reflective and exciting time of life.

You can listen to the full episode HERE

Articles that were mentioned:
Very Well Mind
Women’s Day

Other resources you may find helpful:
WebMD
Psych Central – pertaining to men specifically
APA
APA also

 

You can also find us on our social media platforms:
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Instagram
Pinterest

If you would like to be a guest on our show email us at roadhometoyou@gmail.com

 

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 4G’s Studios in Sandy, Oregon. 2019. All rights reserved.

Posted in advice, christian living, depression and anxiety, identity, mental health, Podcast Show Notes

Show Notes: “Identity: Who Am I Anyway?”

In this week’s episode, Matt and I talk about how and where we typically “find” our identities and where, as Christians, we should look instead. Even if you’re not a Christ follower, there are a few things that God says about who you are and what you’re made to do.

BUT FIRST, a little glimpse into one of the towns that I, Brandy and the teens stopped in on our road trip this summer, Wallace, Idaho.

Wallace’s population, in its peak in the 1940s, was well over 3,000. It is now estimated to be a mere 758. But what it lacks in people, it more than makes up for in charm and history. Established as a silver mining town, it continues to thrive as such.

I share some fun facts about Wallace and laugh uproariously while doing so. Seriously…I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair while recording. (We really ought to video these things!)

For information about Wallace, Idaho or if you’re planning a trip that goes through the area and you want to stop and visit, please check out these sites:
Historic Wallace
Wikipedia – Wallace
Wallace Chamber

Left: The Stardust Motel still stands. The spaceship out front is part of a little diner where we had “The Best Huckleberry Milkshake.” The people inside this little diner were, hands-down, some of the nicest people we came across our entire trip. They were top notch with customer service.
Right: The manhole cover that declares that very location in Wallace, Idaho to be the Center of the Universe. I mean…there’s a manhole cover that says it, so it must be true.

Please, go check out this cool, historic town. There is so much to uncover here and I only touched on a few little things. I look forward to exploring it more in years to come.

Wallace, Idaho…thank you! You promised to be a great place to visit and you delivered!

 

And now…IDENTITY

Quote at the start of this segment was taken from Psychology Today. “Examining Our Sense of Identity and Who We Are. Written by Michael J. Formica MS, MA, EdM. Posted Oct. 25, 2009. Below is a link to the entire article:
Full article

Psychology defines identity as the qualities, beliefs, personality, looks and /or expression that make a person or group. It relates to self-image, self-esteem, and individuality.

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “identity crisis” as: the state of being uncertain about oneself regarding character, goals, etc, especially in adolescence.

Places we often look to for validation or in order to discover who we are:
* Social media
* Hollywood
* Friends/peers/co-workers
* Family
* Self-help instruction
* Personality quizzes and assessments
* Employment/job titles

WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS ABOUT WHO WE ARE:

Psalm 139:13-14
“For You formed me in my inward parts, You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works and my soul knows it very well.”

We have a RELATIONSHIP with God:
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.” – 1 John 3:1

We have an INHERITANCE:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” – Ephesian 1:3

We have been TRANSFORMED:
“He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the kind intention of His will…In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…” Ephesians 1:5 and 7

We are ACCEPTED:
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:14-16

We are SECURE
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword?… But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, no life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35, 37-39

We are SIGNIFICANT:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God…” – 1 Corinthians 2:12

We have PURPOSE:
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

And Finally…

“Woe to the one who quarrels with His Maker – an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?'” – Isaiah 45:9

A PERSONAL NOTE:
After the busyness that has been my life recently, I had a health-induced rest for a couple of days. That being said, I am still working on getting a PDF made with a bunch more verses that speak to our identity in Christ. I am also still working on getting transcripts for the most recent shows. Please forgive my delay. If you happen to know of someone who might want to volunteer to do our transcripts, please have them email me.

Our social media links are as follows:
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Intro and Outro Music: “The Long Road Home” Written by Brandy J. Goebel. Arrangement by James Swanson. Performed by James Page. Copyright 2018.

Love God. Love People. Pray hard.
-Brandy

Posted in advice, christian living, divorce, friendship, identity, Marriage and Dating, mental health, Podcast Show Notes, prayer, recovery, relationships

Show Notes – “Affair Prevention: Guard Your Marriage”

As a follow up to last week’s discussion wherein Matt and I shared what it looked like for us to recover after an affair, it seemed only fitting to also share with you some things we have learned that made our marriage vulnerable in the first place.

It is our desire to equip and encourage married couples to not only stay faithful but to thrive while doing so. It’s true that God’s grace and power are big enough to heal a marriage, but wouldn’t it be better to just avoid that crisis in the first place?

Listen to the full episode here!

Some common pitfalls that any marriage may stumble into:
* Pornography and an indulgent fantasy life
* Unrealistic expectations from your spouse
* Comparing your spouse to an idealized version
* Believing it could never happen in your marriage…every marriage is vulnerable!

Some practical steps to keep your marriage protected (this is NOT an exhaustive list!):
* Guard yourself against pornography and sexual triggers
* To “spice up” your sex life, look to Christian resources (a few links below)
* Understand that the person you marry isn’t a project; they may ever change (and               if you’re hoping they will, it might not be time to marry them, just yet)
* See your marriage as a team effort; you’re working toward the same goal. Act like               it.
* Tend to your own pasture…the grass is never greener. Trust me.

These are some of the things we talked about in this episode. Of course, we didn’t cover ideas about finding shared hobbies or interests, or how to effectively listen to your spouse or any one of a hundred other ways you can foster a loving relationship. Those, I’m sure will be covered in future episodes.

Christian resources:
//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=roadhome-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=1589975383&asins=1589975383&linkId=19026be85507a6566e457d86dc28429f&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>No More Headaches

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=roadhome-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0785264671&asins=0785264671&linkId=08541fcbc3cbf187e8db40bc2a132114&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>A Celebration of Sex

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=roadhome-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0307444945&asins=0307444945&linkId=42d9346345ac7e8c70fe2364700dc927&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>Intimate Issues

//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=roadhome-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=0800725840&asins=0800725840&linkId=fb42df6d3565da55f972b8e2ea88a87d&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=true&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff“>The Language of Sex

There are so many more resources available for the Christian couple. Whether you’ve got questions you’re uncomfortable asking anyone else, you want some ideas for how to put the spark back in your marriage or you simply want to know how to make your spouse feel more loved, there is a myriad of books out there.

To see Christian books only and not be worried about being bombarded with potential triggers or porn, check out Christian Book Distributors.

Please follow us on our social media links: Facebook Instagram Pinterest

You can also email us with questions, comments, show ideas or prayer requests.

NOTE: This week’s transcript will likely be out late. I will do my best to have it available as quickly as possible.

To become a Patreon supporter and help us keep the lights on in the studio, head on over to Patreon. We’d love to hook you up with sponsor only swag!

 

 

Posted in friendship, identity, Marriage and Dating, mental health, relationships

Summer and Smoke

“Life is full of little mercies like that,
not big mercies but comfortable little mercies.
And so we are able to keep on going.” – Alma Winemiller
Tennessee Williams; Summer and Smoke

We were sixteen years old when we met.

He was a transplant student, having arrived part way through our Junior year of high school. I was introduced to him along with a group of my friends, as we sat at our usual lunch table. Our theater teacher led him over and told us we had a new student in the drama program, would we please take him under our collective wing and welcome him into our group.

It wasn’t hard to do. He had shaggy blond hair, golden sun-kissed skin and dimples that melted my heart with his first smile.

Within that first year, we did a scene together from Tennessee Williams’ play, Summer and Smoke. He played the naughty little boy, John and I played Alma, the sweet minister’s daughter next door. (Our roles should have been reversed.) In that scene, we had our first kiss, a quick peck on the cheek.

Six years later, we walked down the aisle and promised to love, honor and cherish each other till death do us part. What easy words to say and mean when you’re caught in the throes of love and wonder.

Slightly harder when reality crashes in and you’re suddenly met with the very real fact that your life now includes caring for someone else’s needs more than your own on a daily basis. Oh, sure, you still mean what you said that hot June day, but actually living it out is harder than you’d imagined it would be.

And then one day, those vows get lost in the selfishness of your own desires and soon, the life you’d always imagined you’d build together begins to crack in a thousand different ways until you’re looking at nothing more than a pile of rubble.

When we sat across from each other 15 years into our marriage and decided that we were going to stay side by side and fight for what we’d built, we started with a very practical exercise.

We went back to the beginning.

What made me “me” and what made Matt “Matt”?

We shared stories of our childhoods. Going back to the earliest memories we could muster. We shared the first time we were let down by someone we loved, we shared the moment we first realized that Mom and Dad can’t always protect us from the bogeymen that walk among us. We talked about rejection and shame. We cried over the memories that scarred us, leaving us damaged, broken adults.

And what we realized in the space of a few hours was that, though we’d grown up in different places under different circumstances, we were really, pretty much the same little kid deep down inside.

We were both insatiably curious about anything and everything. We both loved a good story and had rich imaginations. We both felt really small and often unheard in a world full of giants.

litle Brandy little Matt in barn

Brandy, approx. 5 years old; circa 1978                Matt, approx. 4 years old, circa 1977
What we realized was simple: we were two adults that had been hurt in life as little kids (because let’s face it, we all get hurt in one way or another) and we had carried those hurts and fears into our adulthoods and ultimately, our marriage. Those places of childhood hurt had resulted in us each seeking different ways to fill or replace whatever we felt had been lacking.

It didn’t make us bad people. It just made us broken people.

Seeing each other through a new lens, that of a child has helped us to understand and appreciate each other more. We’re more patient and understanding than we used to be. We recognize more easily when the other is being reminded of a loss or hurt that reaches the depths of the subconscious. We’re gentler, kinder and more sympathetic.

We’re not perfect.

We still have our moments, but more often than not, when I look at Matt now, I don’t just see the adult version that stands before me, with a beard and a job and a mortgage to pay. I see a little 4-year-old, crouched in the barn, with a head full of dreams and a heart already feeling the effects of living in a broken and fallen world.

And it makes me love him even more.

Posted in christian living, depression and anxiety, divorce, friendship, grief, identity, Marriage and Dating, mental health, parenting, Podcast Show Notes, recovery, relationships

Show Notes – “Coming Out: I Had An Affair”

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery;’
but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
– Matthew 5:27-28

Adultery. 

Not a very pretty word is it? But there it is. In black and white. You can sugar-coat it and call it something different, but it’s all the same ugly sin.

This week, we dive headlong into our own journey of adultery and the grace and redemption that God provided. Eight years have passed since the news came out that shook our world to its core.

We invite you to step into this conversation with us because we hear, on a near daily basis of so many other marriages that are struggling with their own battles of infidelity. We want to bring hope and encouragement to those of you currently walking this path and in next week’s episode, we want to provide some common pitfalls to avoid or overcome that oftentimes lead to an affair.

Listen to the full episode here

If you are struggling in your own marriage, please listen. Please reach out. To us. A pastor. A counselor. There is grace. There is healing. There is a new beginning available to you and your marriage. You are not alone.

Read the full transcript here

Here are the links to many of the tools I used in my own recovery process:

“Breaking Free” Beth Moore
“When Godly People do Ungodly Things” Beth Moore
“David: A Man After God’s Own Heart” Beth Moore
“The Genesis Process”

Previous episodes can be found here on Google Play!

We can also be found in Apple Podcasts (formerly iTunes), Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Spotify and pretty much any podcast app. Please share with your friends, neighbors, people you love, and people you love to hate because everybody needs a little encouragement and grace.

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To become a Patreon supporter and receive some cool rewards click here!

Special shout-out to our friend, Phil who has recently become a Patreon supporter! We appreciate your encouragement and kindness!

Alright…Love God. Love People. Pray hard.

 

Posted in advice, christian living, depression and anxiety, mental health

Living with Generalized Depression and Anxiety: One Christian’s Perspective

I really struggled with what to write about this week. Nothing was coming to me naturally and every time I tried to force something out on paper, it was just that, forced.  And then it occurred to me why: my anxiety is pretty high these days, which makes me want to “go ostrich” and bury my head in the sand. (Though, now that I’ve googled that particular phrase, I am well aware the way we use it is highly inaccurate. I trust you get my point.)

So…here I am. Anxious. My heart is racing. My blood pressure, I’m sure is up, though testing it seems like wasted energy. Depression levels are sinking. I’m overwhelmed, under-rested, and would rather be in bed with my favorite blanket and the remote control.

This isn’t terribly uncommon.

In fact, if you’ve ever suffered from depression or anxiety, chances are you can relate. Likewise, if you’re a Christian suffering from either of these or a whole host of other mental health issues, you’ve also been told all the reasons you shouldn’t ever be depressed or anxious.

You’ve heard it, too, I’m sure…

 

It seems to me, the most-oft quoted scripture I hear is Matthew 6:27, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” This is, of course within the context of a much larger portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gave his magnum opus in the preaching world.

To be sure, there is great wisdom in that verse and the ones surrounding it in regards to trusting that the God who created us will also care for our needs. I dig that. A lot.

But here’s the thing: anxiety and depression have little to do with those concerns. When someone says they suffer from anxiety, they’re probably not talking about worrying about how the bills are going to get paid. That can certainly be a part of it, don’t get me wrong.

Anxiety vs. Worrying

 

Anxiety, though is less about ‘worrying’ about things and more about being paralyzed to do anything about what causes normal worry. At least, for me.

Most people, when they worry about bills getting paid, they find a way to increase their earnings, through a second job or selling some goods. Likewise, most people, when their homes start to get messy and cluttered, they take a day and whip things back in to shape.

Sometimes I can do those things, too. A lot of time, though, I become completely overwhelmed and unable to see what next step to take. That leads to frustration because I know I should know the answer. You know?

Instead, I pace the house, seeing clutter and mess all around and I can’t figure out how to make it go away. I get jittery and snappish with the people around me. Even if they try to help in one way or the other, odds are their help will feel threatening and they’ll still get snapped at, anyway. (It’s a barrel of laughs, yeah?)

Christians Suffer, Too

 

It’s just not enough to tell Christians that they shouldn’t suffer from these issues. It’s not fair to say that because we’re Christians we shouldn’t need medication or therapy and even then, continue to battle with it on an on-going basis. To suggest, in any way, that followers of Christ are supposed to somehow be happy and content at all times, is dangerous and needs to stop.

The fact is, we live in a fallen and broken world. If you turn on the news or look at social media for five seconds, it’s pretty clear just how broken and fallen we are. It’s easy to find 100 things that cause stress on a daily basis without even trying hard.

When we look through scripture, it is riddled with people of faith who suffered greatly and wrestled with their own falling societies and cultures. Moses, Gideon, Jonah, Ruth, David, Esther, Paul, Jesus himself. They all lived in times of serious upheaval and societal pressure. Only one of those listed (and the list is quite a bit larger, just read your Bible), was perfect. I imagine Jesus, though He grieved at the knowledge of what He was being asked to do in His final hours, didn’t succumb to worry or anxious thinking.

But I do. And so do lots of other people of faith. You might even be one of them. You’re not alone.

Stop the Stigma!

 

The more we address this very real and growing epidemic that is ravaging the people in our churches, the less stigma there is surrounding mental health care. We are bold to pray for healing for people with cancer, but mental disease is the modern-day plague of Biblical times and we run around crying, “Unclean! Unclean!” as though depression were highly contagious. (Hint: it’s not.)

So, here I sit with this anxiety weighing me down. I’m able to stave off an anxiety attack; I’ve learned pretty well how to fight those back. But the general sense of overwhelm and lack of motivation is a very real battle I fight almost daily.

Look, I know where my Hope is. I know who I am and to whom I belong. I know that God has my present and my future safely locked in His hands and my eternity is secure. But that kind of knowledge still won’t help me get my To-Do List done.

So, if you’re feeling like I am today, let this be our plan: one foot in front of the other. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Repeat as many times as needed. Take a nap if possible. Do the next thing.

And at the end of the day, find that cozy blanket and remote. You did amazing.

Love, B.