[00:00:00] Darla: Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. If you’re a woman who is ready and willing to be a follower of Jesus, you’re in the right place. Join me as we dive in deep to learn how to embrace your journey on the covenant path with checkpoints instead of checklists. I’m your host Darla Trendler, and I’m cheering you on.
Welcome to your journey.
Before we get to the interview, I wanted to let you know today I’m going to be talking with my guest, Jessica. And one of the things we’re talking about is purpose. I talked about that in last week’s episode, a little bit with EmyLee and today we’re going to talk about it a little bit more, and I wanted to let you know that I have a free resource that you can get that will help you and kind of honing in and knowing more about what your purpose is and what you should be doing in your life right now. So it’s a free resource. If you sign up for my email list, you will get a video all about prayer journaling. And then a couple days later, you’ll get an email that will give you access to my resource library. A lot of the stuff in my resource library is free, including a video and a printable that will help you to discover your own purpose. And it gives you three ways to be able to do that. So, if you’re interested in that, you can go to the show notes and just sign up for my email list, get the free prayer journal video, and then check your inbox because a couple of days later you will get access to my resource library. I’m excited to share this with you. And now here is the interview.
Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla. I am thrilled to be with you today as always. I love doing these interviews. I love being able to share other women’s stories because I think there is so much power in us hearing other people’s stories and hearing how other people are journeying on the covenant path.
So today my guest is Jessica Peterson and Jessica, welcome. I’m so happy that you’re here.
[00:02:00] Jessica: I’m so excited to be here. It’s an honor. I am Jessica Brite Peterson. I am a wife to my wonderful husband. We’ve been married about 16 years and we have four kiddos–.. 13 all the way down to two and all that goes in between. We are entrepreneurs through and through, and we live in the great state of Missouri and it’s very hot in August here. So as cause you’re in Arizona, we just have that buggy sweaty yucky thing in Missouri.
[00:02:32] Darla: We’ve been having the best monsoon season ever that I’ve lived here for 22 years and never had a monsoon like this. Like it has rained every night. And it’s been really humid and I don’t like it. The temperature has been lower, but the humidity’s been higher. So I don’t know how you do that. I’ve lived in the humidity before. It is hard. It’s really hard.
[00:02:50] Jessica: You’re just, it’s always keep taking multiple showers.
[00:02:54] Darla: Yeah. You’re always just feeling so sweaty. Yeah. Sticky. That’s a good word for it. Yeah. I’m really glad that you would take time today to come and talk about your journey and a starting off point that we talked before the interview and you wrote some things to me about what you wanted to share, and I really loved what you wrote.
So you talked about how early in your motherhood journey, you put a lot of emphasis on your husband and your children and your home and the things that you were doing there. And there came a point where you really felt like you had lost yourself and your light. I’m very intrigued by that. So I would love to know what kind of led up to that.
Was there an epiphany moment where you were like, I’ve lost myself. I’ve got to do something and then, we can explore a little bit more what that looked like, but what led up to that to you feeling like I’m losing myself?
[00:03:38] Jessica: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll give you a little bit of background.
So my husband, we got married really young. I was just shy of 19 years old and he’s a couple years older than me and we immediately moved away from home so that he could go to the school of his choice. And I found schooling. We waited a couple of years to have kiddos and as soon as we had kids in my mind, the right choice and good moms were stay at home moms and nothing else. So I bought that idea from, I don’t know where because I come from a family where my mom worked. So it was ironic that I thought that, and he was going, he is a doctor. So he went through all that schooling. So when we were having young babies, I was pretty much a single mom doing this by myself.
And trying to find ways that I could feel fulfilled in ways that I normally am not since I went to school as a music theater, that was what my degree is in musical performance. And so I thought, oh, I’m going to be performing. And I wasn’t. I was singing lullabies at night, which I love love.
But I wasn’t doing any of that. And so I would find book clubs or I would create clubs in the ward I was in or anywhere, and it wasn’t really filling my cup, but I kept trying and searching. And then after we had our third baby, I realized that I needed something for me because I wasn’t showing up as my holly jolly self cause I’m a very jovial person.
And I had recognized over the years that I wasn’t fulfilling myself and I wasn’t sharing any of the gifts that Heavenly Father gave me. So I started losing myself. I wasn’t showing up. I might’ve looked happy, but inside I was dying because I wasn’t doing anything for me. It was all about, oh, okay.
And at the same time, we were really financially just like when you’re starting out having kiddos, it was a struggle. Doing anything extra that you might enjoy, that wasn’t in the sphere at that time. Extra only went to more training for my husband or for my kids. And so anything for me would have been maybe like peace at night, but they went to bed early or something.
So I, I realized after our third that I, I needed something and Heavenly Father, he knew it too, because I had been praying for a long time. I am struggling. And funny enough, that’s the year that my husband said, Jessica, I want you to come work in my office. And I was like blown away. I’ve always been a stay at home mom.
This is a new thing. We’re going to have to pray about it. The next month, my stake says you’re going to start teaching seminary. Okay. Let me just think right now. So Heavenly Father knew that I needed those things because by working for my husband, I don’t work for him full-time anymore.
But during that time I found myself again because I started having interactions and doing things I love. Like, I love the marketing side of business and oh yeah. I could talk on that. I found out through his business that I love it. And then I found out through teaching seminary, I’m on my seventh year, that I love teaching the youth.
I love sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and how that doing those two things really helped me center and focus on what does Heavenly Father want me to do? He wants me to find ways to use my talents in unique ways. And I was only looking at ways to share my talents in a box. They could only be this way.
And then through those experiences, He taught me, Jessica, I have such a big plan cause he has big plans for everybody. You need to get out of your own way so we can get this going. And that’s how He did it. Since then I’ve started my own coaching business helping mothers that feel lost and stuck, help them get out of that.
And then just now just new ventures with my kids. It’s just been phenomenal to go through that process. It was really hard. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I would say I just was, I was on dim and I’m more of a let’s be on fire type of a person. It was just always on dim and then sometimes on bright, but it wasn’t all the time if that makes sense.
[00:08:18] Darla: Yeah, I’m totally relating so much to what you’re saying, because I had a time in my life where I felt that exact same way. Like I’m not using any of my talents and gifts and I’m totally overloaded with just motherhood and same exact thing where I thought that I had to be a stay-at-home mom, that was the only option for me. And I realized for me, it was about eight years into motherhood. Like I’m not really wired that way. I need something else. And Heavenly Father guided me too to slowly figure out things that I needed to do to live in my gifts. I love that you’re sharing that message.
So what would you say to a mom who is where you were, who was where I was. What’s that first step? It sounds like you started praying. What can a mom do to get out of that and to start to feel like she is contributing again, and that she’s got that light back. Like you said, you were on dim. Like, how do we get that light back? What’s the first step that a mom can take?
[00:09:09] Jessica: Absolutely. The first step I say is, get out some piece of paper and then start writing down all of your gifts. What do you love to do? And I have some women that go, my list isn’t really big. I don’t really know what I’m good at. And I go, what are the things that you do best without anybody reminding you?
Maybe you’re one of those people that like, I love to run. Nobody has to remind me to run because I love it. Or maybe you’re one of those people that loves to meal plan and write those things down because we don’t notice them as gifts because they come so naturally to us. So write that down .
Then if you’re still stuck, ask the people around you, what am I really good at? What talents do you think I have? And that’ll spark a lot of creative energy in you at the same time. It’ll also be a good self-esteem boost because if you’re feeling stuck, you also need some good self-worth because you’re not feeling as strong as you normally are when you’re in that predicament. You feel like, oh, I’m not as important. I don’t know what I’m doing. Even though you’re not completely lost, but you feel like you’re floundering a little bit. You’re wandering. So figuring out what you’re good at is the first step to all of the pieces. And then from there, which I’m going to share a scripture about that because everybody has gifts. In Doctrine & Covenants 46:26 it says, “All these gifts come from God for the benefit of the children of God.” Everybody has gifts and they’re for everybody to benefit from. So I don’t want anybody to think, ‘Oh, I feel lost because I’m not good at anything.’ No, you are. You haven’t recognized that you’re really good a lot of things. So start there.
That’s what I tell people.
[00:11:01] Darla: That is such a great place to start. And I would say that’s probably what I did too in a different way, but yes, that is what I did. I remember reading my patriarchal blessing and scanning that and going, what did He tell me? I got my patriarchal blessing when I was 13. So this was many years later and I was able to pull out some things, oh, I’m really good at this.
Or He’s telling me I have some gifts in this way. I love that. Just being able to pull that out and learn how you can shine again. When you said that, we all have gifts and that scripture is so great. I was thinking like, I like to think of this. We have this sisterhood. We have these women who want to follow Christ and we are a force, like I’ve said, I say that all the time. We can do so much good in the world and all it takes is for you to do what you’re good at, for me to do what I’m good at, for somebody else to do what they’re good at. It’s not like you have to go out and do these really hard things.
Like you said, like what comes naturally to you? What do you feel good about? And when we do that, then we become this collective force. I just see us coming together in this sisterhood. I don’t know. I can’t explain it, but it’s in my brain, like we are just, when we all do that, we can do so much good, not only in our own sphere, but it’s like we come together and we all just help each other and we help other people in the world.
I just, I love that vision of such a great place to start is to just know who you are and what you’re good at and write those things down as such good advice. You said that prayer was something that you involved as well and that Heavenly Father put opportunities. How do you think prayer fits in with being able to share your light with other people?
[00:12:28] Jessica: Because Heavenly Father wants so badly to communicate with us and of course my seminary is going to come out here. Scripture study and prayer go so hand in hand and for me music, of course. But when we are really pray in any form, I remember some of really prayers that you might not be proud of because you’re like crying or you’re angry.
You’re like, why are you doing this? Why aren’t you helping me? And, but then I’ve had the biggest breakthrough during those prayers because Heavenly Father will also during my breakdown, He will bring a breakthrough. It’s happened many times when I’m and I’m talking to Him and sharing my thoughts. And I tell my kids that all the time, please don’t be shy.
If you’re upset about something, share it with Him. If you’re happy, share it with Him. Because He wants to know just like your dad or your like, you know what, I’m not feeling it today, but I’m going to let you know I’m here. Of course, we do it in a respectful way, but sharing our thoughts and emotions connects us with Him
And so when I was going through that, I would share all of my feelings. Then I would go to my scriptures and read and things would just pop into my mind. Like, Jessica, have you ever thought about doing this coaching program? But I started getting, receiving coaching before I did my own. And I was like, I don’t know if I should do that?
And my husband, he lovingly with Heavenly Father. They’re like, yes, you need that. It’s time to work on yourself, Jessica. And so through that prayer and scripture, I was able to connect what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. At the same time, I’m tying so many thoughts in here, I learned how to trust myself by trusting Heavenly Father with prayer. Because that’s so much in hand and we can go into that later. If we fully want Heavenly Father to speak to us, we need to fully speak to Him. And sometimes we do things that are like, oh, I’m going to do my prayer, but did you really talk to him?
Those are my ones. And sometimes they’re very emotional, to say the least. I know that was a big, long answer, but yeah.
[00:14:51] Darla: Yeah. Just to really talk to Him like a father, like He is our dad and He wants to hear all of it. That’s how you build a relationship with anybody in your life. If we were all just robots and just saying these same things over and over to our friends, like we would never build a relationship.
I feel like it’s the same thing with ourHeavenly Father. And I really like that you were able to recognize that and bring that out. That you could go to him with the hard things, the fun things, the good things, like He’s there for all of it. He wants to hear it and wants to be a part of it. I really love that you’re bringing that out because I think that is so true. That’s such a crucial part knowing our journey is to know Him better and to have a relationship with Him.
Something you said about learning to trust yourself when you trust Heavenly Father, you were trusting yourself. I would love to explore that more.
I know you have a quote by Elder Uchtdorf that goes along with that. Would you share that? And just tell me what that has looked like. What that has meant to you in your life?
[00:15:48] Jessica: Yeah. So Elder Uchtdorf said, “Our loving Heavenly Father has not given us every answer. He expects us to figure out many things for ourselves. He expects us to believe even when it’s difficult. He expects us to straighten our shoulders and develop a little resolve, a little backbone and take another step forward. That is the way we learn and grow. Would you honestly want everything spelled out in detail? Would you honestly want every question answered, every destination mapped out? I believe most of us would tire very quickly of this sort of heavenly micromanagement. We learn the most important lessons of life through experience.” And I loved that so much because so much of the time we’re afraid as mothers to make mistakes. We’re afraid that if what’s the ripple effect, if I go down here and we live in, what if for so long that we never experienced some of life’s highlights and that’s what I was living in.
If I do this then I don’t know how it’s going to turn out. And so through prayer and through living by the spirit, I had to start trusting myself and many times in business and in raising my kids, I’ll pray about something and the answer will be you’ll figure it out, Jessica.
And those are not your favorite answers. But they’re the best ones for you because how many times do we do that to our own kids? It’s because we trust them. We’ve taught them in correct truth. So they’ll make a good choice. Heavenly Father does the same thing for us. Okay. I’ve taught you. What are you going to do?
And the beauty is that He’s got a plan. So if you go off, He’ll let you know, but it’s not going to be too far off before he goes, okay, come back over here. That’s not kinda what I was thinking, but the plan of me wanting to find something to fulfill myself during motherhood, that was something that was going to enrich my family.
And I realized that by investing in myself, oh my goodness my kids got a better mom. And all that time, I think back, oh, if I had learned this before. No, I needed to go through that. I needed to know that what it feels like to feel lost because I know what it feels like to feel found. So knowing, not knowing every answer, learning to trust the spirit, learning to know that Heavenly Father always has my back and just go and do, instead of sit and stew, man, it was good.
[00:18:22] Darla: That is so good. Go and do instead of sit and stew. I like that a lot. And I really like what Elder Uchtdorf said in that quote that you shared about experience, because that is really what heavenly father sent us here for. Our Heavenly Parents want us to be here to have experience and nobody likes to be micromanaged. We might think that we want Heavenly Father to tell us everything, but we really don’t. I don’t like people telling me everything to do. So He gives us this opportunity to make decisions and then we get experience and we get to learn how to navigate the things in our life.
And, oh, I went down this way. I don’t think I’ll do that again because this happened or, you just learn all those things. I really love that He trusts us. He trusts us and we can move forward and know, okay, I’m going to just move forward. And like you said, He’s never gonna lead us astray. He’s never going to let us go too far away from that.
[00:19:14] Jessica: He loves us so much. I’ve realized that if it’s something important to me it’s important to Him because I’m important to Him. I’ll tell my kids that I’m like, okay if it’s important that we do this design work, then okay. That, that, you know what, it’s important, then we’ll do it together.
It might not be important to me because I don’t like that, but that doesn’t discredit it. And that’s the same way things are in our life. So if we remember we’re of value, He trusts us and start doing something. It will fill your cup.
[00:19:48] Darla: Totally. Yeah. Like I’ve shared before. He rarely gives me a big picture. I don’t really ever know like the whole, this is why I’m doing this. And this is why I’m feeling prompted to do this. He just says, okay, Darla do this. And then he lights the path about this little, much, like one more step. And that’s how I built everything that I do on the podcast. That’s how I’ve done it.
Okay. I feel like I should do this next. Okay. I feel like I should do this next. Okay. That didn’t quite work. Let’s redirect. That’s how He operates in my life. I know some people might see the big picture, but that’s how He’s operated in my life to the point where I don’t get so worried now because I, and I’ve never connected it in quite the way that you’ve shared it.
But I think it is because I know He trusts me and I know that He knows that He’s guided me. I know that He’s guided me and that I can make those decisions. So I really think that is so great. Love the love, those thoughts, and that, that quote by Elder Uchtdorf. We’ll put that in the show notes because that is so good.
Another thing that I know we talked about at the beginning, that we’re both passionate about is women sharing their stories. And one of the things you told me before is God is weaving a beautiful story for each of us to share. So what does that mean to you? How have you seen that play out for the people that you coach or in your own life?
[00:20:57] Jessica: I realized that in the beginning of my journey, I was afraid to talk about my journey because I thought that nobody else felt like me everybody else was loving every moment of motherhood. I was the only one that was having a hard time.
And so I better just be quiet because I’m the weird one. And then I realized that shame, guilt, the mom guilt, that all lives when you keep it to yourself. And it grows and festers. When I started sharing my story, I was able to help people because I believe that some of the challenges we face in our life are to help other people.
So I was given this opportunity to go through the experience that I had in order to help other women that are going through the same thing. And so when we hold that light in, we are not able to be better servants of Christ. We aren’t able to, as community of women, part of what we love is to serve. And when we hold our stories in and don’t share them, we’re not able to serve.
And sometimes we feel like, oh, if I share my story, I look like I’m a weakness instead of a strength, but honestly, it’s a strength to share because then others feel like they can share, and then we can buoy each other’s up. We all know the quote. When one boat rises, we all rise together. And that’s how I feel about sharing stories.
That’s why your podcast is so great about connecting with women because when we’re all sharing our light, we’re like, oh, I connected so much with that episode. It was like and that might’ve been an answer to a prayer. Those are my favorite moments when we can be an answer to someone else’s prayer and connecting. So that’s why I feel like when you share your story, you’re sharing the light of Christ and helping others.
[00:22:47] Darla: Yeah, I love that you use the word connect because the whole time you were talking, I was thinking connection. That is what sharing your story does. It connect us to other people? And it lets light in.
I think the adversary, Satan tells us, don’t share your story. Don’t speak up. You’re the only one that feels this way. Nobody else feels this way. No one’s going to understand. Those are all the lies that he’s telling us, but when we open up and share a struggle that, even if it makes us, we might think it makes us look bad.
It doesn’t, like you said, it gives us power. It gives us strength. And don’t listen to what Satan’s telling you because he wants you to stay in the dark. When you share your story, you’re bringing in light and you’re helping others to have that light as well. Which is, what we talked about at the beginning that you were seeking to find yourself again but also be able to find that light.
And so all of these things that you’ve shared so many ways that, that we can just do that and help each other, like you said, buoy each other up. I just love that so much. So thank you for sharing that message. Jessica, I have one final question for you, and that is how have you seen and felt the Savior in your journey on the covenant path?
[00:23:54] Jessica: That’s such a big question. But I feel the Savior’s light and love as I walk on the covenant path when we are having beautiful family relationships. When we are come follow me. Our five minute nightly scripture routine where maybe somebody is upset. But I feel like these small moments is when I feel the Savior in my life. He’ll give me like a tender, like that was a good job, Jessica, that you taught them tonight about the word of wisdom, or I feel the Savior as He’s guiding me through my business all the time, as we are diligently doing our best, there’s nothing too great or too small that I don’t feel Him in. And I’m going to say it when we are living our truth or living our our talents, I am full of the spirit. And when I’m full of the spirit, I know Heavenly Father and the Savior are with me. And I feel that throughout my whole day.
And it’s not just when I’m reading my scriptures, not when I’m saying prayers, but while I’m making dinner or when I’m working in my business or marketing for my husband’s, whatever it may be as we really focus on our gifts and talents and how we can better people through Christ, He is with us. So I hope that to generalized answer.
Staying on the covenant path helps me be a better person. And in turn I can be a better servant of Christ and I feel Him closer to me. So I hope that answered it. I was trying to contemplate the best way to say that.
[00:25:26] Darla: No, it is a big question. It is hard to articulate sometimes. I really liked what you said, that you’re fullof the spirit when you’re doing that, when you’re sharing that light. And I think that’s because it’s who you are. That’s who we all are. We are spirit children of loving Heavenly Parents. And when we are doing that, then we are our best selves and we are just, we will be filled with that spirit and we will be able to make a difference for other people like you have.
So I’m just really grateful that you would come on and share your story and your message. I have been uplifted by it. So thank you so much. If people want to reach out to you or find out more about the things that you’re sharing, where are the places that they can go to be able to do that?
[00:26:03] Jessica: You can find me on Instagram or Facebook, Jessica Brite Peterson there. I do quite a few summits. Darla was on one earlier this spring. We just ended another and we’ll have another in the fall. So if you hang out in any of those places, Facebook or Instagram, you’ll find me there. And please DM me. I love to hear how you’re growing your gifts and talents, how you’re showing up as a mom, wife and all the things.
[00:26:28] Darla: Yeah, I really love your summits. You do such a good job of putting the right, putting people together to just help share a message. And you heard that right? Her middle name is Brite. I just thought that was so cool. So that’s your name on social media is Jessica Brite Peterson and we’ll link all that up in the show notes so everybody can find you and just thank you so much for taking the time. And I have loved talking to you.
[00:26:51] Jessica: Thank you. It’s been a privilege, so thank you.
[00:26:54] Darla: And now here are this week’s journal questions.
Jessica shared this quote from Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Our loving Heavenly Father has not given us every answer. He expects us to figure out many things for ourselves. He expects us to believe even when it’s difficult. He expects us to straighten our shoulders and develop a little resolve ,a little backbone and take another step forward. That is the way we learn and grow. Would you honestly want everything spelled out in detail? Would you honestly want every question answered, every destination mapped out? I believe most of us would tire very quickly of this sort of heavenly micromanagement. We learn the most lessons of life through experience.” [ end quote] What are you holding back on in your journey because you’re afraid of making a mistake? How can you trust yourself and your Heavenly Parents and move forward in faith?
What are your spiritual gifts? If you aren’t sure, do what Jessica suggested. Get out a piece of paper and start writing out your gifts. What are the things you do without anyone reminding you? What are you good at? You could also ask the people closest to you what they think your gifts are and add their suggestions to your list. Read Doctrine & Covenants 46 and your patriarchal blessing for more inspiration. Keep a running list of your own spiritual gifts.
One of the things Jessica shared that I absolutely loved was this. ” Breakdown brings breakthrough.” [ end quote] Jessica shared that Heavenly Father wants to hear the hard stuff. We don’t have to sugarcoat our prayers to Him. We can go to Him with anything. Take some time to think about and maybe even journal the hard stuff in your life that’s breaking you down. Then go to Heavenly Father in prayer about it. Remember, it’s okay for your prayer to feel messy or like a huge breakdown. After, right about the breakthroughs you feel as you pray, read scripture and ponder on the hard things.
I hope you enjoyed the podcast. And if you did, please share it with a friend. I would love it. If you would leave a review and rate it on Apple podcasts, this actually helps more women find the podcasts and embrace their own journey on the covenant path. To find more ways to be a part of the Spiritually Minded Women community, head over to spirituallymindedwomen.com. For more inspiration follow along on Instagram @spirituallymindedwomen. Have an amazing day.
I’m cheering you on in your journey.