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

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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 048: Faith and Hope in God’s Promise to Not Leave Us Comfortless || Brittany Frank

My guest today is Brittany Frank. Brittany is a wife to her husband, Trevor, and mom to a cute one-year-old little boy. When Brittany was a junior in college and competing as a track and cross country athlete, she was involved in a rappelling accident that left her with a spinal cord injury.

In the interview, Brittany shares about her accident and how she dealt with her recovery. She explains how she felt so much hope from God from the very beginning. She also shares how she dealt with the difficult periods when the reality of her injury and the lifelong consequences started to sink in.

She shared a beautiful scripture found in John 14:18: I will not leave you comfortless. Brittany explains that although she felt alone at times, she knows that feeling was necessary for her to understand the atonement of Jesus Christ and begin to heal.

Before having her son, Brittany didn’t know exactly how she would care for him but has learned through trial and error. Brittany talks about the practical ways she has had to modify everyday tasks in motherhood and how she makes it all work. She had a hard time finding resources on mothering with a spinal cord injury and now actively shares her experiences on her instagram account hoping to inspire and help others.

“Being present is being productive” is Brittany’s motherhood philosophy and she shares what this means for her and how she implements it in her life as a mother.

Brittany talks about a beautiful message she hopes to share with her son as he grows up. Overall, she has amazing faith and trust in following the promptings God gives her, even when they don’t make sense in a worldly view.

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

Follow Brittany

Instagram: @brittanyanne278
Website: brittanyannefisher.blogspot.com

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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 038: Faith and Trust in God’s Plan for Motherhood || Ashley Williams

God’s Plan for Motherhood

Today I am sharing my interview with my friend, Ashley Williams. She has an inspiring motherhood story involving fertility issues and a rare medical condition. Ashley’s interview also highlights her choices about balancing her talents and passions with motherhood. Through everything, Ashley has had faith and trust in God’s plan for motherhood.

Trusting God’s Timing

Ashley shares about the struggles and the years she and her husband spent trying to become parents. Though it was a difficult time, she looks back and sees how God was guiding them. She now sees how the timing was perfect, even if she didn’t understand it all at the time.

Receiving Guidance

A big part of Ashley’s story is her career as a professional oboist. She talks about how she got started on the path and how she got to the pinnacle of her professional life.

After having her first daughter, Ashley continued to pursue her musical career. She started to wonder how she would balance it all. She gives her insights on how God guided her in an unexpected way through a rare medical condition she developed.

Ashley knows God has directed her path. He guided her in treating her medical condition, making career decisions and ultimately, knowing how to focus on motherhood. As a result, Ashley knows she is never alone in motherhood.

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 Ashley

Ashley is a talented cake decorator and I can attest to the deliciousness of her cakes! Check out her Instagram account.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/inlovewithdessert/

Other Episodes about Infertility

  • SMM 007: Turning to God Through Infertility, Adoption and Miscarriage || Kay West
  • SMM 017: Life as a Military Family + Appreciating Motherhood After Infertility + Trusting God’s Timing || Noralee Jones
  • SMM 019: Connection Through Trials + The Power of Vulnerability to Bring Women Together || Danelle Beckstrand

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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.

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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes

SMM 034: Why I Am Grateful For the Hardest Time in My Life || Darla Trendler

Over the past several weeks, I have felt prompted over and over to share more of my own story of growing closer to God and learning how to rely on Him. What I am sharing in this episode is the hardest time I have experienced in my life. It revolves around a lengthy trial that went on for years and hasn’t totally ended.

Share Your Story

I always hesitate to share about hardships I have experienced. I know so many who have gone through so much more than I have. However, as I learned from Danelle Beckstrand in episode 19 of the podcast: “Pain is pain and hurt is hurt,” and “Humanity is connected through trial.”

I am learning there is power in being vulnerable and sharing our story and ultimately, part of ourselves. My trials are not the same as yours, however sharing what we learned and how we were blessed during our hardest times allows us to help each other.

Lessons Learned

In the episode, I share some of the lessons I learned during this difficult time including:

  • How God is aware of me and my family in big and little things.
  • “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.” (Stephen R. Covey)
  • Why I have to act for the Lord to help me.
  • Turning my trials over to God and not relying solely on myself is possible.

Trial Helps Us Grow

After I recorded this episode, I found this quote by Orson F. Whitney, an early apostle of the church, that describes what I have experienced.

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”

I don’t know completely why I have felt prompted to share this. It’s probably more for me than anyone else. However, I hope you will find something from this episode that will help . If anything, I hope you will be able to reflect on the the lessons you have learned as well as the blessings you have received from the hardest time in your life.

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

At the end of the episode I mentioned the workbook you can download called Five Ways to Become a More Spiritually Minded Mom. Get access to the workbook by clicking HERE.

You can also listen to Episode 12 to hear more about the challenge.

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Podcast: Spiritually Minded Mom on iTunes