Resting From Heaviness

  Addiction in a family system looks like somber heaviness.  Family interactions are intense, reactive, hurtful, and blaming.  Even after sobriety is reached, the relational dynamic of heaviness can linger. Family members tend to get stuck in obsessive reflection along with critical and negative thinking. Joy isn’t around.  Fun feels foolish or irrelevant. This heaviness comes from the cumulative weariness of ungrieved losses and battles for control.  But what if letting go, just for this day, looks like trusting God enough to relax, even in the middle of trouble in… Continue reading Resting From Heaviness

The Blessed Set-Up

  Have you noticed that your spouse’s way of living tends to aggravate your way of living? Have you noticed that their reaction to pain and their selfish habits hit you in a vulnerable spot?  Prior to marriage, my typical response to pain was to control people and things to make myself feel a little more secure.  And my husband, prior to marriage, often felt controlled by others.  My self protection bumps up against his, and fireworks ensue. It feels like a total set-up.  It is. Our old messages about… Continue reading The Blessed Set-Up

Letting Go

I have never loved that feeling of the upward climb of the first hill on a roller coaster. I know what’s coming next; the peak and downward rush when my stomach flies into my throat and I grab the seat bar in white-knuckled fear. Let’s be honest: I don’t really love the whole roller coaster experience. I will endure it for the sake of a funny memory or time with someone I love, but the whole “strap you in with a five point harness in a little car barreling along… Continue reading Letting Go

Grief is a Journey

“There was no sudden striking emotional transition.  It is like a room warming up or the coming of daylight.  When you first notice healing, it has already been going on for some time.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed Grief is a journey, marked by movement.  But most people experiencing depression are not moving. They feel stuck, until they receive help.  Yet, the two emotional experiences feel so similar. Anyone who has walked through grief following a major loss can remember times of feeling depressed. If movement is what sets grief… Continue reading Grief is a Journey

Chasing the Light

“A family is like a small orchestra.  Each of us has an important part to play. To achieve harmony, we tune into how others are sounding. We recognize that every orchestra needs a conductor, a center for direction. We rely on [God] for this support and guidance…” Today’s’ Gift: Daily Meditations for Families, Hazelden Meditations, 1985 . I am honestly unsure of how old I was when I began to “tune in” to how the others in my family were doing.  This habit has been my companion as long as… Continue reading Chasing the Light

First Forgiveness

I had broken the cardinal rule of the firstborn child, and I still remember walking to my mom’s car feeling the downward tug of dread and disappointment.  I had gotten my name on the board of Mrs. Fanny’s kindergarten class, having been caught in the act of exchanging one too many comments and giggles with a classmate.  For as long as I can remember, I memorized rules and expectations, trying so carefully to stay within the parameters set for me by the adults in my world.  I am sure that… Continue reading First Forgiveness

Shalom at Advent

“Come, Thou long expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free. From our fears and sins, release us; let us find our rest in thee.” Charles Wesley This fall I had the chance to retreat with friends to the mountains of North Carolina.  We ate good food, visited, laughed and I, for one, was able to deeply rest.  We sat under the teaching of a winsome woman who asked us to remember and to watch for Jesus’ presence in our current days. Our first task was to  remember a picture… Continue reading Shalom at Advent

Labor Plan

“Yeah, you might just want to go ahead and tuck that away somewhere; we rarely use birth plans here, and I think you’ll find that things tend to not go like you have planned on them going.” These were the words of my kind, but weary nurse.  It was 10pm, Wednesday night, and I had been experiencing significant back labor pains since 5pm on Tuesday.  I had been laboring at home for over a day, and now was at the hospital. “Could I have misheard her?” I wondered, sure that… Continue reading Labor Plan