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

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SMM 049: How to Pursue What Will Really Make You Happy in Motherhood|| Richard and Linda Eyre

Today I’m sharing an interview with best-selling authors, Richard and Linda Eyre. The Eyre’s have been married for almost 50 years and have raised 9 children. They have authored numerous books and spoken around the world to very diverse groups about families and parenting as well as balancing work and family with personal needs.

Although they are seen as parenting experts, the Eyre’s were quick to point out in the interview they do not have a perfect family. Both Richard and Linda shared how they work hard to make family and communication a top priority.

You’ll hear the Eyre’s answer to my personal question about how they keep their large family connected. They shared many great ideas including having a monthly family testimony meeting. They talked about how spiritual things can bind families together.

In preparation for this interview, I read Richard’s newest book, The Happiness Paradox. The paradox Richard writes about is pursuing things we think will make us happy but which are actually making us unhappy.

Both Richard and Linda discuss three false concepts that are “joy thieves” and how they relate to parenting.

Richard believes you can’t shun a bad habit. His philosophy is you have to find a replacement for a habit you want to change. So, the second half of his book shares three “joy rescuers” you can use in your life to replace the “joy thieves.”

The interview is a great discussion of both the thieves and rescuers of joy. Both Linda and Richard share how all the concepts apply to motherhood, our relationship with God and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

At the end, I asked the Eyre’s my usual final question about how they have seen and felt God as a partner in parenthood. They both gave answers that  gave me new insights on my relationship with both my children and my heavenly parents. You’ll will want to listen to the end to hear this.

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.

Show Notes

Book Discount

I loved the book, The Happiness Paradox, and found so many great truths to help me in motherhood and life. If you want to dive deeper into the concepts the Eyre’s discussed in this episode, I highly recommend reading the book. (And no one is paying me to say this!)

And, you can purchase the book (plus others the Eyre’s have written) for 40% off plus free shipping by going HERE and entering “TrendlerFriend” as the access code. 

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