SMM 060: Why You Can Have Joy in the Middle of Hard Things || Stephanie Piacitelli

Stephanie Piacitelli, my guest for episode 60, is someone who has learned to find joy in the middle of hard things.

In October 2014, Stephanie and her husband, Bryant, were living a normal life with their four children. But near the end of that month, everything changed in an instant. Bryant was on his way to work as a police officer when he was struck on his motorcycle by a driver who ran a red light. Bryant was killed and Stephanie was left a widow with four young children.

Losing Her Husband

In the interview, Stephanie shares about her life before Bryant passed away and the details of the day he was killed. She talks about how she shared the heartbreaking news with her children that their father had been killed.

One of her first thoughts was forgiveness for the person who hit her husband. Her second thought was that she and her family were loved. She knew they had so many people around them who loved them.

Stephanie shares the tender mercies she received from God prior to her husband’s death that did not lessen the shock but did leave her with the knowledge she was loved. She didn’t know it at the time, but as she looks back, she can see how God was preparing her and giving her what she needed.

Submitting Her Will to God

During her grief, Stephanie had a pivotal moment when she was able to turn everything over to God. She said, “This was a test for me. Am I really willing to put my trust in my Heavenly Father, in an all-knowing, all-loving God? Am I able to do that?… These experiences that we go through, are for our own good. We may not see it in the moment, but if we will allow the refiner’s fire to allow Heavenly Father to mold us into the person that He needs us to become, we will be better off than what we may have thought.”

Stephanie used the word “liberating” when talking about surrendering her will to God. We discussed the miracle of giving your will to the One who matters most and how surrendering will change your life.

“God will not forsake me” was on repeat in Stephanie’s mind for months after her husband’s death and is how she ultimately got through the darkest days.

Knowing Her Children’s Needs

Stephanie also shares how prayer and relying on the spirit have helped her know the individual needs of her four children who lost their dad. She also talks about how she uses these same skills to help the four step children she is mothering since remarrying.

Joy in the Middle of Hard Things

Overall, Stephanie’s story illustrates well it is possible to have faith and trust, even during difficult challenges. Stephanie knows “Joy is possible, even in the midst of hard things.” God makes this possible.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayStitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Other Episodes Dealing with Grief

Episode 2: Navigating Loss, Special Needs and Fostering as a Young Mom with Alie Jones

Episode 5: Choosing Happiness in Motherhood Despite Grief and Tragedy with Maralyn Nava

Episode 7: Turning to God Through Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage with Kay West

Episode 58: Why Gratitude for Little Things Will Make Your Life Better with Heather Herbert

Follow Stephanie

Instagram: @stephaniepiacitelli

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

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Instagram: @spirituallymindedmom
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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 035: From Sex Trafficking Victim To Survivor With Life Full of Love || Elizabeth Frazier

On today’s episode of the Spiritually Minded Mom Podcast I interview Elizabeth Frazier, a wife, mother, sex trafficking victim and survivor and creator of Hero Bands.

Sex Trafficking Victim to Mother and Advocate

Elizabeth’s story starts with an extremely difficult childhood where she was sexually trafficked by family members starting at the age of four. In the interview, we talk about Elizabeth’s upbringing  that seemed “charmed” on the outside but was really anything but normal. Despite her traumatic childhood being a sex trafficking victim, Elizabeth became the mother of a beautiful family of 5 children. She is also an advocate for others who have been exploited and abused.

Overcoming Trauma

Elizabeth talks about the tipping point where she started to realize the disturbing truth about her childhood.  She shares some of the experiences with her trials, the self-harm she endured and how she started to deal with the trauma of her past.  Although she didn’t see it at the time, Elizabeth knows God was aware of her. Looking back, she can see His had helping her during her difficult childhood.

Ultimately, Elizabeth has created a much different life for her children than what she experienced. She readily admits that she still has hard times. Elizabeth shares how she acknowledges those feelings and then seeks to keep moving forward.  She also shares why she models kindness to herself to her children.

Inspiration for Hero Bands

She concludes with sharing how her healing led her to start her company, Hero Bands. Elizabeth makes and sells leather bracelets with an inspirational word stamped in metal. In the interview, you’ll hear why starting Hero Bands was so important to her.

Elizabeth donates $2 of every product sold at Hero Bands to Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that rescues children from sex trafficking. In addition, she also allows customers to purchase one of her bands for a rescued child. She hopes the bands let survivors know someone cares about them.

Elizabeth’s story is a beautiful example of God making “beauty for ashes.” (Isaiah 61:3)

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Elizabeth Frazier

Instagram: instagram.com/hero_bands/
Website: herobands.com

To donate a Hero Band to a child rescued from sex trafficking, go HERE.

To learn more about Operation Underground Railroad, go HERE.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 019: Connection Through Trials + The Power of Vulnerability to Bring Women Together || Danelle Beckstrand

Today my guest is Danelle Beckstrand. Danelle is married to Tyler and they enjoy traveling and watching movies. Danelle loves connection with others and started a blog called We Call it a Journey as a way to find a support system and open up about her struggles with infertility.  She has learned we don’t face the same trials, but we have so much in common with each other that connects us together. 

Show Recap

If I could use one word to describe what this episode is about, it would be “connection.” Danelle shares about her and her husband’s 5 1/2 year journey through infertility. Through her own experiences she has learned that “pain is pain and hurt is hurt.” We don’t all face the same challenges in life, but we are connected a lot more than we think. 

We discuss how to avoid feeling like we have no control in a challenge and how we always have a choice. Danelle shares how her trials with infertility are similar to the trials of motherhood and how woman can unite and help each other.

Infertility has brought heartache and loneliness to Danelle, but she knows isolation is not the answer. Danelle believes connection comes from vulnerability and sharing. “Humanity is connected through trial.”

I really loved our conversation about how to help someone who is struggling. Danelle said, “Compassion is about being observant.” And Danelle completed shifted my perspective on the word “brokenness” and shares how she pictures God molding her and shaping her into the person He wants her to be.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Danelle:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/wecallitajourney/
Website: www.wecallitajourney.com

Check out Danelle’s shop. All proceeds go to help Danelle and Tyler raise funds for IVF treatments. I have the gold Journey necklace and I love it!

Quote by Sheri Dew: “Motherhood is more than bearing children. … It is the essence of who we are as women.”

Listen to other episodes of the podcast and read interviews with discussions about infertility:

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

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Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 013: Overcoming Anger + Showing Faith When Your Motherhood Plan is Not God’s Plan || Misty Trendler

When Your Motherhood Plan is Not God’s Plan

“I’ve had good days and bad days and I think that’s okay. I think that I am definitely more aware of the good days because I have had the bad days of not believing and the anger, so when I have those good times and I feel that, that he’s there,  I can build on that. … I am so grateful for Heavenly Father and what He’s blessed me with. And I’m so grateful that I have Him to lean on at times of hardship and good and know that He is there. Not always can you hear Him when you want Him but He will be there at a time that’s maybe unexpected if you truly listen and you truly look back and think, ‘He was there for me,’ and you look at the positive.”  –Misty Trendler

Show Recap

I have never personally known anyone who has faced as much adversity in motherhood as my sister-in-law, Misty Trendler. She has had numerous trials from her first child being stillborn, to being given a choice to abort a baby to enduring struggles in adoption. Misty is no stranger to adversity in motherhood.

In this interview, you’ll learn Misty’s story of motherhood and her relationship with God has many layers. At times, she’s been filled with faith and had the ability to totally turn things over to God and trust Him and yet, in other situations, she has experienced anger and frustration and has questioned God. Her story shows that we don’t have a static relationship with our Heavenly Father. We go through ups and downs with Him and that’s okay. It’s all part of the process to help us grow and become closer to Him.

You’ll see how Misty has learned to see the miracles and the blessings through the difficult situations she has endured. Most of all, you’ll learn how she has been able to keep her faith and come to know that God’s plan for her and her family was not her plan but was exactly what she needed to become the person God wants her to be.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Get access to the Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom workbook by clicking HERE. Checkout the story highlights on @spirituallymindedmom on Instagram for videos.

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

 

 

SMM 007: Turning to God Through Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage || Kay West

On turning to God, Kay West had this to say:

“When I  turned to Him, I found that I am a daughter of God and that is worth so much. Nothing about me is broken. He sent me to this earth at this time with the body that I have for a reason. He put me on my path in life for a reason and whatever that reason is, it’s perfect because He wanted me to do something that only I could do.”

Show Recap

I haven’t met many mothers who have been through as much as Kay West has on the journey of motherhood. Her story has a happy ending with the adoption of two long-awaited and beautiful children. However, Kay also knows the heartache of infertility, miscarriage and the grief of a third adoption that did not happen. Her story is so heavy and full of trials that I was completely caught off guard by how happy I felt during this interview. Even as she shares the most painful moments of her life, her hope and joy shine through and I walked away feeling so uplifted by her words.

We talk about her expectations of motherhood and the fun way she deals with strangers who ask why her children don’t resemble her Asian background. Kay also emotionally shares her anger toward God and her ups and downs in her relationship with Him. During infertility, her husband told her one thing that changed her perspective. He said, “You can either turn away from Heavenly Father or you can turn toward Him.” Kay knew she had a choice. It wasn’t easy but she chose to turn toward God.

Though her daughter has special needs that are easy to see, Kay has learned we all have something that makes us not whole. She knows her trials of motherhood are not a punishment and she isn’t broken. Kay shares a beautiful message of hope for any mother who feels she is less than another mother in the eyes of God.

How to Listen

Listen to the podcast below or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or Sound Cloud.  If you like the show, please subscribe and leave a review.

Show Notes

Follow Kay:

Blog: threetoquesandatiara.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/threetoquesandatiara
Facebook: Facebook.com/threetoquesandatiara

Follow Spiritually Minded Mom:

Blog: spirituallymindedmom.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/spirituallymindedmom
Facebook: facebook.com/spirituallymindedmom
Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes