The Road Home to You

Real conversations about mental health and faith

The 12 Self-Care Days of Christmas

December 13, 2019
The Road Home to You

Christmas may be the hap-happiest time of the year, but it can also be the saddest. Tune in for this brief look at 12 things you can do this holiday season to help you stay grounded, focus on what matters, and enjoy Christmas even in the midst of pain.

On the 1st Day of Christmas – Let Go of Expectations

We all have an idea in our mind about “how” Christmas ought to look. We’ve all seen the magazines and Hallmark movies. We know there ought to be decorations galore, fresh baked cookies piled high, and perfectly wrapped gifts spilling out from under the tree. But the simple truth is, that’s just not realistic. And if that is someone’s reality, they are definitely the exception to the rule.

Most of us just don’t have the time, money, or energy to have that kind of idyllic vision of Christmas, but somehow we still manage to be disappointed when we don’t deliver the kind of holiday glow we envision.

This year, let it go. Especially if you’re in a new season due to the death of a loved one, a recent divorce, a newly empty nest, or any of the other hundred things that might have you feeling anything but merry and bright. It just doesn’t have to look the way you think it “should.” Do what you can – and want – and know that it will be enough.

On the 2nd Day of Christmas – Meditate on Scripture

Read John 1:1-9 and reflect on what it means that Jesus came as a light into this world. What about the world was dark? Why did we need light? What kind of light did He provide? What is the quality of His light? And finally, how does His light influence your grief or pain?

On the 3rd Day of Christmas – Set Boundaries

“No” isn’t a word any of us like to hear, and quite honestly it’s a word most of us have a hard time saying. But it’s time to work out your “no” muscles.

Only you can determine what is actually reasonable for you to do this holiday season. Maybe hosting everyone you’ve ever known feels overwhelming this year. Maybe baking cookies with your favorite 5-year old exhausts you before you even get out the first mixing bowl.

Figure out what will drain and deplete you and then say no to it.

I promise everyone will survive, as much of a shock to the system it may be to hear you say it. Who knows? It might even encourage someone else to step into a role that they’re quite gifted and enthusiastic about. Or not…and that’s okay, too.

On the 4th Day of Christmas – Write Down Your To-Do List

But don’t stop there.

Write down everything you want to accomplish this holiday season. Put up lights, trim the tree, bake all the cookies, make snow angels, feed the homeless, start a diet, wrap the presents…

You know the list. It’s a mile long and just seems to grow.

Once everything is written down, I want you to evaluate it and cross off 3 things.

There. You’re done. You don’t have to do those 3 things. Give yourself permission to let them go. Ask someone else to fill in for you if it’s something that MUST be accomplished, otherwise…your list is now a little bit lighter and Christmas will still be just fine.

On the 5th Day of Christmas – Turn Off Social Media 

Pinterest. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. TURN THEM OFF.

For one day this holiday season, just do it. Stop comparing your experience with everyone else. I promise they are also having anxiety, stress, sadness, and feelings of isolation and inadequacy. They might be hiding it behind a filter, but it’s there.

Today, don’t get caught up in the madness. Turn it off and just enjoy where you are, who you’re with, and what you’re doing without turning it into a social event for the world to see.

Likewise, when you do look at social media this holiday, remember that the people you’re viewing are only giving you what they want you to see. It’s only a piece of the bigger picture.

On the 6th Day of Christmas – Find Ways to Serve Others

One of the best, and quickest, ways to get out of an emotional funk is by serving other people.

It seems counterintuitive, but it’s a fact. When we take our eyes off our own troubles, as real and as big as they may be, and we serve people around us, we recognize that we truly aren’t alone in our suffering. It turns out, everyone has pain. By working to encourage another person, whether it’s through charitable work or by simply opening a door for someone, we see humanity all around us and realize that we’re all in this together.

This won’t solve all your problems. It might not even dull the ache for very long, but it will take you outside of yourself for just a moment and maybe in that moment you’ll see there is room for hope.

On the 7th Day of Christmas – Light A Candle

Find yourself a quiet little corner of the world and light a candle. Then, reflect back on the passage in John 1:1-9. You’ve had a few days now…how have your answers changed? Are you beginning to feel The Light stir inside your heart?

On the 8th Day of Christmas – Allow Yourself to Be and Feel

Sometimes, when we’re in the midst of grief, it seems impossible to let out emotions out. Laughing feels disrespectful to the enormity of our pain and crying feels so useless and unproductive.

But the truth is, God has given us our emotions. They are a good thing. Today, just let yourself feel.

If there’s something that tickles your funny bone, go ahead and laugh! Laughter really is great medicine for the soul.  But maybe you just can’t take another Christmas carol and the sight of others with their joy and glee is sapping you of any energy you have left. That’s okay.

Just be there with your emotions. You’re not going to let them control you or take over your life. You’re going to honor them today by feeling them and acknowledging them and letting them co-exist with you.

On the 9th Day of Christmas – Journal Your Gratitude

Even in our darkest days, there are still things to be thankful for. They may be hard to find, but I want you to dig deep and find 3 things you are thankful for. Write them down and write down why you’re thankful.

It seems like it’s good enough to just do this in your head, after all, it’s not like anyone’s going to be checking your work, but you will benefit more by actually taking the time to write them down.

And hey, if you get done with that and want to keep writing whatever is on your heart, go for it!

On the 10th Day of Christmas – Take a Walk in Nature

Now, for you city folk, this might be a bit harder. But…find somewhere you can go today that is as far away from the noise and the hustle and bustle.

Then close your eyes, breathe deeply, and just listen.

What do you hear?

What is God saying to you right now?

Take some time to get quiet and see the trees and birds and leaves. Really look at nature. Examine the details. What do they tell you about God?

On the 11th Day of Christmas – Create a New Tradition

A new season in life often means we’re leaving behind something that we valued and grew accustomed to. Things are different now. But that doesn’t mean they have to be bad.

This year, find something new to incorporate into your celebration. Maybe it’s as simple as driving around and looking at Christmas lights, or maybe it’s serving in a shelter for abused women. You could do something fun and silly like eat only desserts for an entire day or have a crafting day.

Whatever it is, find something that makes you happy and start doing it this year!

On the 12th Day of Christmas – Take A Nap!

Whatever emotional roller coaster you’ve been on the past few days, weeks, months, or years, emotions are exhausting! Even laughter leaves us all tuckered out.

So today, find a cozy corner with your favorite blanket and let your eyes and soul rest.

You’ve done a really big thing: you’ve made it through what’s arguably the hardest holiday season. You’ve faced your emotions and felt them, you’ve worked on managing your expectations, you’ve tuned out toxic (albeit addictive) social media…You’ve done a lot.

You deserve a rest.

May God bless you this holiday. Merry Christmas, friends!

– Brandy and Matt Goebel

 

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Special thanks to Dee Yan-Key for the use of their Christmas music, “Pleasant Anticipation.” 

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

Listen to the full episode here

Experience God this Christmas: An Interview with Eric Nevins

December 10, 2019
The Road Home to You

Christmas is a magical time of year full of sparkle and anticipation. It’s easy to get distracted with the gifts and the carols and food and fun. With that in mind, how do we get quiet enough to really celebrate the birth of our Savior? What does it mean to experience God?

Join me this week for a conversation with the host of the podcast, Halfway There and author of “Jesus is Willing: An 8 Day Experience,” Eric Nevins as we dive into how to more fully experience God this Christmas holiday. You’ll learn a great way to spend meaningful time in scripture without feeling overwhelmed and pressured to ‘do it right.’

Listen to the Full Episode here

 

Books Referenced:

“Celebration of Discipline” – Richard Foster

Adele Calhoun

“How the Bible Actually Works” – Peter Enns

 

Eric’s Info:

https://ericnevins.com/

The 8 Day Experience ebook

 

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

This episode was recorded, edited and produced in Sandy, Or. 2019. All rights reserved.

Rest Stop: Psalm 9 & 10

December 3, 2019
The Road Home to You

Every journey requires a rest stop. Let’s stop here and take in some Psalms. Hear what the psalmist says about Jesus. Rest confidently in the promise that the Lord is your stronghold, even in times of trouble. Give thanks to the Lord today, with all your heart.

 

Listen to the full episode here

 

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New American Standard Bible used with permission by The Lockman Foundation.

Special thanks to the 126ers for the use of their song, “Rainy Sunday” as the intro and outro.

4G’s Studios. Sandy, Or. 2019.

Gratitude Even in the Storm

November 26, 2019
The Road Home to You

It’s easy to be thankful when everyone you love is gathered around a Pinterest perfect table, the turkey is golden and a light snow is accumulating outside. But what about when life isn’t so perfect?

Listen to full episode here

How do we have a grateful heart when we get the diagnosis, or the emergency phone call, or the news that we’ve been betrayed and the bank account is empty? Where does a thankful heart come from?

Join us this week as we explore the difference between being grateful in our circumstances versus being grateful despite our circumstances.

There is hope in Jesus that goes far beyond what we see and experience here on Earth. We will all experience heartbreak and loss, there’s simply no getting around it. How will you get through the storms that life brings your way?

Listen to full episode here

 

Scriptures Used:

2 Kings 6:8-17

John 16:33

1 Peter 1:3-9

Psalm 56:8

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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. 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Listen to the full episode here

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.

 

Disillusionment: Evangelical Politics

October 29, 2019
The Road Home to You

With election season well upon us, it seems like the right time to talk politics. Specifically, how has the Evangelical church used its platform as a means to change the political landscape and at what cost?

Having grown up in the ’70s and ’80s, we’ve seen the church raise its banner high in an effort to bring salvation to our nation. Now, in the 20-teens we are watching our nation divide over the political and evangelical agendas of so many.

So what does Jesus say? How should we view our politics in light of our faith? Should the two intermix and if so, to what extent?

Join Matt and Brandy as they talk about what they experienced growing up in the era of the political church and how that’s impacted them and those around them.

Listen to the full episode here

 

Scripture Referenced:

Romans 13:1-10

1 Timothy 2:1-3

1 Peter 2:13

Other scripture to look up:

Mark 12:17

The stories of both Joseph and Daniel

 

Additional Reading:

An article from the National Association of Evangelicals: https://www.nae.net/evangelicals-and-politics/

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Six Months to Live

October 15, 2019
The Road Home to You

“If you knew you had 6 months to live, what would you do differently? Would you change your priorities, where you invest your time? If so, how?”

This was the question that was posed to us so join us today to hear our thoughts on the matter, as well as our challenge to you, our friends.

Listen to the full episode here

It seems like a relatively easy question to address, and pragmatically, it is. But when you stop and let the question hit you – when you feel its weight – it requires that you take more time to truly evaluate what you’re doing with your life and what, if anything, needs to change.

This question comes directly from the Genesis Process Change Groups Book 1 written by Michael Dye, CADC, NCAC II.

The Genesis Process has been a huge part of my own recovery process over the years. It helped clarify why I continue to do things that I know are bad for me, even when I don’t want to do them. That being said, like everyone else, I am a complicated being and easily find myself stumbling into the same bad patterns. In short, like you, I am in need of sanctification and that’s what Genesis does. If you have the opportunity to join a Genesis Process for Change Group near you, I’d highly encourage you to do so.

For more information, check out: Genesis Process

The other book that I mentioned is called “One Month to Live” by Kerry and Chris Shook. The subtitle is “Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life.” That pretty well sums it up. If you get the audio version, it is read by the authors, which is always a nice little addition. You can find the link here:
One Month to Live

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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 where the full splendor of fall is on display and the skies are sunny and bright. 2019. All rights reserved.

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