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Between Bookends…

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Mom moved into an assisted living facility this month. She turned 90 this year, and she’s been legally blind for several years so it’s probably overdue.

Still, it comes on the heels of me finding out I’ll be a grandma in a few short months.

I feel sandwiched in the middle of two life altering events. Mom easing into her final chapter, my grandson soon to make his debut chapter.

 The timing is odd, the emotions hard to describe.

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The Starfish Story

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The Starfish Story came to mind recently when I let someone know how much of a difference they’ve made in my life.  I have been the starfish, now it is my turn to be the boy.

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Throwing Stones

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It would be easy to make a poster-child of Adrian Peterson.

A powerful man hitting a defenseless child?  What a lowlife, coward, and disgrace.  Let’s all throw stones at him.

But wait.

What if…

What if Adrian Peterson was simply parenting the way he’d been parented.

How can we be expected to do the right thing if we’ve never been taught what the right thing is?

I am in no way condoning or excusing this behavior, nor that of any version of domestic violence.

But I believe there’s more to the story.  Much more.
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The Difference Between Feeling Better and Getting Better

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Feeling better seems to be a universal goal of humankind.

When we’re experiencing physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, the instinct to feel better can take on a life of its own.  Most of us don’t even realize our subconscious is in overdrive doing whatever it takes to avoid bad feelings.

The problem is this:  what makes us feel better usually isn’t what makes us get better.

Feeling Better More

From Estrangement to Reconciliation

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Estrangement stories cross my path often lately.  It’s a painful and sensitive topic, for both sides.  Some people are hurting because they’ve chosen to estrange themselves, others because they don’t understand why a loved one has estranged.  Still others long for the relief of estrangement, but the pain of setting that boundary is clearly too difficult.

The journey of coming to terms with why we need to estrange ourselves can be grueling, depressing, and exhausting.  Desire for belonging to family is strong, and it took considerable pain – and 3 attempts – before I was finally able to definitively draw my line in the sand.  More

Finding Healing in Unexpected Places -and a Book Giveaway

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The theme of adoption has always been of interest to me.  As a child I used to tell people I was adopted.  I always thought if you were adopted it meant you were wanted, therefore special.  It never occurred to me there might be pain involved in being adopted, or giving a child up for adoption.  Over the years I’ve spoken with people on both sides of the adoption picture and now understand it’s not the fairy tale I used to fantasize about.

**Spoiler Alert

The British movie Philomena caught my eye recently because of the adoption theme.  Then it captured my heart because of the healing and forgiveness in her story. More

The Old Violin

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While joyful and exciting, the holidays can also be a difficult time of year.

There were many Christmases I bounced between having fun and enjoying the season with my husband and kids while struggling with deep-seated depression.

My lack of family-of-origin connection during the holidays magnified feelings of rejection and worthlessness; especially related to my dad.  A sweet and tender story about an old violin touched me many years ago during an especially difficult time of depression.  Though not a cure, it was balm to the soul.

If feelings of loneliness, worthlessness or rejection plague you during the holidays I offer you this story.  I hope it reminds you that you are indeed worthy and loved.

The Old Violin

~Myra Brooks Welch

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while to waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. More

Letter to My Younger Self

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theindiechicks.com

theindiechicks.com

Dear Denise,

I understand how trapped, lonely, and sad you feel right now.  Being ten years old is hard enough without the added burden of an abusive home.

Dad is a mean and angry man.  He takes it out on anyone he can overpower, and many times that ends up being you.  This isn’t your fault -it’s not because of anything you’ve done, or not done.   I know how hard you try to do the right things so he’ll say nice things to you.  I know how much it would mean to you for him to say he’s sorry for the awful things he’s done. He is supposed to take care of you, not hurt you.

Mom doesn’t protect you because she’s busy surviving him in her own way.  Unfortunately, that means she can’t let herself see what’s happening to you.  She uses the wine to escape into her fun, happy world.  It makes things easier for her, but harder for you.  I know one day you will be angry with her about this, but then More

The Mom Factor

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It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since my mom and I reconciled after a 12-year estrangement. It’s been quite an adjustment having a renewed relationship with the truth about my dad as the foundation. Though it’s not perfect, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her. It has been an incredible time of healing for us both, I think.

Depression and PTSD rendered so many dreams and goals in my life impossible and I had given up on most of them.  The long-term effects of Mom not protecting or believing me have been devastating. The good news is I’m seeing (and feeling) the boost from just knowing she believes me now. It amazes me that no matter how old we are, a mom can make such a difference.  There are some very deep emotional holes being healed as we nurture the relationship.  I believe there will always be scars, but the open wounds are closing.

Another gift our relationship has given me is More

Book Review “Sober Mercies” by Heather Kopp

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Heather Kopp’s book “Sober Mercies” is so much more than the courageous story of a woman facing her demons.

Sober Mercies

She weaves her story of childhood experiences and adult choices in a vulnerable and honest telling.  She doesn’t play the victim card, but rather takes us through her journey of recognizing what led her to her downfall and why faith alone wasn’t enough to save her from alcohol.

Heather also powerfully and purposefully addresses More

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