how to help with porn addiction

We are One!

Can you believe it? I can’t!

For many of you, this may be like watching the pregnancy of a friend. Time always passes faster when it isn’t you, right?  I remember watching one of my close friends while she was pregnant and thinking, “wow, that went fast.” I know from my own journey that the one carrying the baby doesn’t think it’s gone fast at all!

pic courtesy of Unsplash.com

On June 17th, 2018, I sat at this very same computer, and hit send as I submitted our 501(c)3 documents. I remember the overwhelming emotions. I took a huge inhale and felt like I was being transported to the ascending hill of a roller-coaster, knowing the coaster was about to plunge over a very steep drop. Screaming, laughter and total terror were about to overtake me, and they did.

These past 12 months have been nothing short of a miracle in so many ways, and I don’t use the word miracle lightly. I have watched the hand of God move in ways I never saw coming. I watched him secure a location for a retreat before it was even imagined. I witnessed women coming into a community and feeling connected with other people for the first time in a very long time. I sat in awe as surprise donations showed up in my mailbox and He graciously provided instruction on how to spend it.

In the middle of these gifts were also pockets of doors closing and chapters ending. Something I still don’t navigate with a ton of grace. But, reflecting back now, those times of uncertainty and insecurity make total sense.

A few months ago, the Lord highlighted Ananias as I reflected on the story of Saul/Paul’s conversion. In the past I have always been curious of Paul’s conversion, but this particular time He brought Ananias to my mind. To refresh your memory, Ananias is the one that God called to go lay hands on Saul as he lay blind on the road to Damascus. Ananias reminds the Lord of the risks involved in carrying out His request (see Acts 9:10-19), yet he still gives the Lord his yes. And then he goes.

I believe the Lord offered this story to remind me that I can not only converse with Him, but remind Him of my insecurities. Eventually, I can give Him my yes and I can go. 

As I put together a slide show to celebrate all that the Lord has done through this ministry this year, I just wept. Several of the memories I had forgotten, and along with those, the memory of how He answered the prayers we lifted up to heaven. It was truly a gift to sit and take in the captured moments and also remember the moments surrounding those photos. 

For those who have been a part of this ministry in ANY capacity – thank you. Women who have participated in support groups. Women who have attended the retreat. People who have bowed their heads, even for just a moment, and lifted us up. Mentors who have encouraged me to keep going even in the face of fear. 

Thank you to those who watch from afar like a momma bear. Thank you to those who show up, roll up their sleeves and get in the middle with us. Thank you to those who share our ministry with hurting friends. Thank you to those who send cards and encouragement to keep going, reminding me, “the work matters.” My words don’t seem to capture the gratitude that I feel within my heart.

So here I am, one year later, still reminding God of my insecurities. But, still giving him my yes.

Please celebrate with us and watch the video below. I also hope you will continue to watch for His goodness all of your days.

Happy 1st Anniversary, Hope Redefined community.


family

Equipping our kids for tech and gaming

Join us on July 29th, 2019 for a webinar designed to open up the conversation between parents that can help equip us for our kids as they face a tech saturated world.

I get asked often how to protect our kids at home. Parents need help from identifying filtering software to how to “talk” about it. This evening will be dedicated to those concerns and more.

Join us for a two hour webinar event that could help you stay ahead and move you into proactive parenting.

This will be a fundraising event for Hope Redefined. We are asking for a $30 donation.

Special discount codes will be offered for those who attend and are looking to expand their knowledge or their filtering software.

Our presenters will be Chera Meredith, game developer, mom and Board Member for Hope Redefined as well as Lyschel Burket, Founder of Hope Redefined and mom.

We will be covering topics that are for children 14 and younger. This is not an event you to bring your children to.

Join us on July 29th. Register through our product page below. Please be sure to include your email address so we can send you the call in information before the 29th.

friendship, the everyday

Who can hold my heart?

I just wanted to feel the comfort of another. I wept when I realized I didn’t have anyone who was safe or available to “hold my heart,” to catch my tears. I cried out and asked for the friend. “Lord, lay that person on my heart. Tell me who can handle this. Show me who can sit in this with me for five minutes and tell me it’s going to be ok.” I felt hopelessness sweep over me as I ran through my list of friends…all of them would be too busy for my mess. Working, taking care of kids, tackling the crazy season of Christmas. “What’s the point,” I thought. “Besides, I don’t want to burden them.”

As I drove to grab a last minute gift for a friend, I felt the weight of these thoughts. Just as the weight settled on my shoulders, the devil began his antics of whispering “you are so alone, you are forgotten by everyone around you, you are too much for the world, besides you signed up for this work, now you want to cry about it?” As I began to feel my soul agree with these lies, I also felt my spirit inviting me into the big T truths. 

My friend Marisha has this teaching where she talks about the importance of us recognizing little T truths and big T truths.  Little T truths are our reality. In this situation, the little T truth was that I was needing support from others because i was facing a really difficult reality. I desired safe connection with another, I wanted a shoulder to cry on for a minute and someone to hold my face and say “it’s going to be okay.” I wanted someone to hug my heart with their presence and words.  Those were all true things in the moment. And then…and then the Father of Lies showed up on the mental scene and did what he is only capable of doing…he lied.  

If I took Marisha’s words to heart, the only way for me to stop those lies was to battle them with big T truths. The truths that come from our Father. The truths that come from the One who made me, knows me and cares for me.

So I showed up to the shop that ALWAYS soothes my heart and I began the mental steps to remember the big T truths. The truths that I have written out 100 times in my journal, put on my mirror for daily reminders. The truths that are on post-it notes in random places. The truths that have seeped into my soul simply because I kept coming back to them instead of the lies. 

I began thinking on Matthew 11:28-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

This was so true, I felt weary and burdened. His offer was to give me rest. It was also to take His yoke, easy and light, not the heaviness I was currently feeling. And to learn from Him. Not be scolded for weariness or reprimanded because I have taken my eyes off of Him in this moment. But to learn from Him because He is gentle and humble in heart.  If I committed to learn from Him, I’d find exactly what I was looking for— rest for my soul. A place for my heart to be held. A safe space to lay it out there, surrender the heaviness of it and put on His light yoke. 

I envisioned me taking off the yoke that you’d find on oxen when they are plowing and instead, putting on a scarf. I imagined it was really colorful and beautiful.  I could also imagine the difference in their weight, but what about the difference in comfort and my ability to keep going? I wouldn’t make it far with that huge oxen yoke, but I could move through life easier with a scarf over me.

So as I browsed, wept a little and did my best to focus my mind on the big T’s, my eyes fell on a sign hanging in the shop. The sign contained three simple, yet powerful, words that my heart needed to feel and my eyes needed to see in that moment.

I AM HELD

Milk Moon House

There it was, the biggest big T truth that I needed to feel that day. I am held. At first I read it as a reminder, then I read it a second and third time and began to claim it in my heart. It was big T truth. I AM HELD. I am. And so are you.

The Lord has an invitation for us. His invitation is to focus our minds, body (eyes) and spirit on His truths.

I remember being told this by others or reading it in a well put together bible study so many time. Promise…I have been there. But when I was able to let it play out in my real life…it stuck. And now it’s one of my greatest weapons.

So you know what happened to the Father of Lies as I stood there agreeing with the truth that I was, indeed, held?  He left me alone. He felt the defeat and he retreated. He knew that was not a battle he would have victory in that day. We won! The Father led me out of darkness and we won that day. 

Friend, I left that shop with new tears in my eyes. I left with a bit of a pep in my step and rested my mind on the truth that He’s got my back and He does know all my needs. 

I wanted a tangible friend in the moment, and He was. He met me in that space and He cupped my face with his Spirit, He directed my eyes to that sign and offered me far more than I could have asked for or imagined. He held me and offered me a lighter yoke for me to continue walking through my day.

My prayer is that you let Him hold you, too.

Merry Christmas.


Thank you to my friend Jo with Milk Moon House for being the vessel that the Lord has asked her to be. Thank you for following His lead and creating with Him. She is the amazing artist of this photo.

Thank you Bradley’s for always being the space that others can go and exhale. You create a space like no other. It’s cozy! (that’s for you Joy H.)

recovery, the everyday

The Harvest isn’t the point

I confess, I’m not a gardener. I WANT to be a gardener, but alas I have failed for 4 years in a row. My dream has been to feed my family of 7 and then have a basket at the end of my driveway for all of my neighbors to reap from our harvest too. Wouldn’t that be dreamy to come home from a long days work and be able to grab a few fresh tomatoes on the way to your suburban abode?

So with this “bounty” goal in mind I have been working my backyard for several years. This past year I even lasagna layered my soil as I put it to bed for the winter in hopes of having this amazingly rich soil and HARVEST. Because it’s all about the harvest….right.

So this spring/summer growing season has come and I have managed to grow 4 peppers, 9 green beans and possibly 12 tomatoes. Yes, you read that correctly…9 green beans. 🙁

This year our struggle was pests. We had squash beetles, bunnies and squirrels. Squirrels who deserve a rant all on their own but I will save that soap box for another time.

As I walked through the rows of my garden a few weeks ago and griped about the condition, I said out loud.

“Alright Lord, this is it. I’m done. No more gardening for me. I am chalking this hobby up to epic fails and will buy all my goods from the store. I’m done!”

I heard His voice whisper in my heart. “But Lyschel, you love watching things grow. You have so much joy in seedlings.”

He is so right. I do love watching things grow. I love coming out to find a new seed popping through and the height of my tomato plants increasing as we begin to cage them. I’m ridiculously giddy during this phase.

But obviously when you hear God’s whispers you sit with them for a bit and ask for more. So as I began to process what he meant by “you love watching things grow” I began to realize that the delight I take in the process is just as special to me as the dream of a basket full of colorful goodness.

So what’s your point Lyschel?

Well, I started laying this realization out over several areas of my life. I wanted to see how this delight was transferring to other places or how the frustration of no harvest was weighing on me.

Our journey of sobriety and healing was one of the first thoughts that came to mind…second to parenting.

I could see how much I DIDN’T enjoy the growth process in these other places. I wanted to have the fastest growing season ever and fast forward to the harvest. Right…who wouldn’t want that. Am I alone?

I know I’m not alone because I sit with you all each week and we wrestle in this growing season together. We cry over the seeds that don’t seem to be taking root. We shake our fist in fits or rage at the squirrel who has yet again stole something that was NOT intended for him. We walk the row in prayers of anticipation and greatness. Then walk the same ones in defeat and are ready to throw in the towel…or trowel. (See what I did there,lol).

But the growth and advancement of our healing or my garden hobby don’t happen in one season. My soil will continue to get more rich with each season of planting. My skills will get stronger with each season of fighting off the pests and my harvest will increase ever so slightly with each season that passes. It’s no different for my recovery. With each struggle I will press further into the word of God. With each slip or relapse I will bring out the tools and skills I am learning from others as I continue to work on myself. We will take better steps forward as each season passes.

See, my harvest is not guaranteed, I think that has been proven. Not in my garden or in my marriage. But its something we go in full of hope and lots of unknowns. I had no idea that the little bunny family in my neighbors yard would have sooo many babies this year. I also had no idea this sin would snatch so much of our hearts and joy.

I don’t want to make light of our stories but I do want to offer HOPE. He sees us, he hears our grumbling in the rows of despair and he knows what brings us joy when we quickly forget and focus on the results verses the progress.

I’m praying you exhale today and determine what brings your heart joy in the gardening of your marriage. I pray he whisper to you too.

*full disclosure, the photo is not my garden, lol

Battling with you,

Lyschel Burket
Hope Redefined