Posted in advice, Beatitudes, christian living, humility, Podcast Show Notes, recovery, relationships, spiritual practices

Mercy Me! I Oughta Try That!

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” – Matthew 5:7

Mentioned well over 300 times in the Bible, mercy is a word we probably ought to pay more attention to. Especially in this day and age when politics and religion are getting co-mingled in ways that often make us forget that first and foremost, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.

Mercy Defined

The biblical definition for the word mercy, as used by Jesus in his sermon on the mount, is this: to be compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace); have compassion (pity on).

Meanwhile, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines it this way: 1. a refraining from harming offenders, enemies, etc., 2. imprisonment rather than death for a capital crime, 3. a disposition to forgive or be kind, 4. the power to forgive, 5. a lucky thing; blessing.

Listen to the full episode here

Live A Life of Mercy

This episode, as well as talking about what mercy is, we also focus on how to live a life of mercy in our day to day lives. We’ll look at 1 Peter 3:8-12 in the ERV (Easy to Read Version).

So all of you should live together in peace. Try to understand each other.
Love each other like brothers and sisters. Be kind [compassionate; merciful]
and humble. Don’t do wrong to anyone to pay them back for doing wrong
to you. Or don’t insult anyone to pay them back for insulting you. But ask
God to bless them. Do this because you yourselves were chosen to receive
a blessing. The Scriptures say,

‘If you want to enjoy true life
and have only good days, 
then avoid saying anything hurtful, 
and never let a lie come out of your mouth.
Stop doing what is wrong, and do good.
Look for peace, and do all you can to help people live peacefully.
The Lord watches over those who do what is right, an, 
and he listens to their prayers.
But he is against those who do evil.’

Listen

Listen in to this week’s episode to see some examples of how this might look in your own life.

Listen to the full episode here

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.

Posted in christian living, March 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Domestic Abuse and the Church’s Response

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.
You can also follow 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.

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

Posted in christian living, March 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships, Uncategorized

Domestic Abuse: A Survivor’s Story

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.

You can also find us on the following
social media platforms:
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

You can also Email Us with any comments or questions.

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.

Posted in February 2019, Marriage and Dating, Podcast Show Notes, relationships

Communication Barriers and How to Overcome Them

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!

 

Posted in January 2019, Podcast Show Notes

TRHTY Flashback: Depression: When Dreams are Broken

[Notice: This post is not in release order with the actual episode. Apparently, I dropped the ball and failed to post this portion. My apologies for any confusion. – BJG]

Listen to the full episode HERE

This week the Way Back Machine is taking us to one of our earliest episodes where we talked about depression and the toll it takes on us when life doesn’t work out quite like we’d planned.

We talk about generalized depression, anxiety and we also touch on grief.

In a world that consistently disappoints us or leaves us comparing ourselves to Pinterest and Instagram, this is a timely and relevant conversation and we trust it will bring you encouragement.

Listen to the full episode HERE

Here’s a link to the episode we ran the week after this episode originally aired. I encourage you to listen to it as a follow-up.
Reasons for Hope

For additional resources:
https://roadhometoyou.com/
Facebook Group
https://www.instagram.com/theroadhometoyou/
https://www.pinterest.com/roadhometoyou/

Email us at: roadhometoyou@gmail.com

 

Posted in October 2018, Podcast Show Notes, Uncategorized

Amazing Grace: One Woman’s Story of Redemption, Identity and Showing Up

After a week off for a vacation, we are pleased to introduce you to our friend, Trinity Pratt, who was a co-speaker at a recent women’s retreat with Brandy.

Trinity has an amazing story of God’s grace and redemptive work. After years of physical and sexual abuse, neglect and the trauma that resulted, including a trip to the “looney bin,” Trinity shares how she came to meet Jesus and how He has relentlessly pursued her throughout her life.

This was recorded live at the women’s retreat in September 2018 in Silver Falls, Oregon.

Listen in as Trinity shares her incredible journey with God and encourages us to combat the enemy’s lies with God’s unshakable truths. She will inspire you to “just show up” and let God use you right where you are.

Content warning: There is talk of sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction, child neglect, and suicide. While it is non-graphic, it may be disturbing for some listeners.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Contact Us: 

Website
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Email us – We want to hear your questions, suggestions, topic ideas, prayer requests, praises and your own testimonies. You may even be asked to be a guest on our show!

Check out this episode!

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 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.

Our social media links:

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Pinterest

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.