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Category Archive for: ‘Surviving a Childhood of Neglect and Abuse’

Tara — You told me I was nowhere near done reconciling.

  I recently received an encouraging note from a real-life friend from grad school. She references a telephone conversation we had years ago, but most of you will, I’m sure, recognize in her story that ALL I did was share with her the exact same love and counsel that a friend had shared with me years ago. Plus, ironically, even …

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Family Holidays with Drunks, Addicts, and People Who Do Not Like You

It wasn’t until God saved me as a teenager and I began to be invited into people’s homes and holiday celebrations that I learned first-hand that sometimes, families really liked to gather with one another at the holidays and that sometimes, decorations were lovely; music was redemptive; and food was delicious. (I had read about such things in books as a child, but …

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Back When I Really Didn’t Care if My Mother Went to Hell

I usually share bits and pieces of my testimony whenever I speak at women’s retreats and conferences. (If you’re curious, you can hear my testimony, a Christmas keynote on “Peace at the Holidays,” and a bunch of other teachings for free on this “FREE AUDIO DOWNLOADS” page of my website.) And afterwards, I am almost always asked the same question: How did …

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Sticking with People is Frustrating … You Will Suffer Pain if You are Committed to People

What a contrast in articles! The first is what I would charitably characterize as a, well, not very gracious, thoughtful, or helpful article on why every woman should “ditch the guilt” dropping her little baby off with the “professionals” because staying home with young children can “drive you bonkers,” “give you a back problem and a brain ache,” and women …

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The Most Scared I Have Ever Been in my Entire Life

On the drive home from church today, my ten year-old daughter asked me when I was the most scared in my entire life. I thought for a moment and then I replied that the saddest I had ever been was when our second child died on that fateful Easter afternoon in 2007 and then when my best friend, my mother, passed away in …

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Peeling Back the Layers of our Complex Pain: Our past is important, but not determinative

Angry people are sometimes sinfully angry; and sometimes angry people are fearful people who have no idea how frightened (and frightening) they are. Avoidance of duties may be sinful laziness and sloth, but sometimes it can be genuine exhaustion that comes from our trying (consciously or unconsciously) to stomp down and avoid deep grief and pain. Some of us are sinfully proud and foolish …

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Trauma, Anxiety, and Hope

If we don’t interact in real life or on Facebook, you may be slightly concerned about me, since I am currently not blogging on a regular basis. Please don’t worry about me! 🙂 I am doing very well, but just busy writing for publication, preparing for my busy fall speaking season, and living real life. If you are in search of a …

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Before you slip into those mental ruts you’ve pretty much mastered from childhood on …

In 2015, at age 45, I can honestly say that I truly enjoy the holidays. I love celebrating Advent; I think icing sugar cookies is fun. I even like the chaos and clutter of the tree and decorations, etc. etc. But it is the quiet of the holidays that I love the most. I know that may sound strange to many of you …

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Your Childhood Does Not Determine Your Life

This past weekend, Fred and I had more time than usual to just talk and visit. It was such a grace to me because I am currently so tired—tired to my bones tired (physically); tired and weeping a lot (emotionally) … intellectually, relationally … spent. So listening to Fred tell me new stories from his childhood—and replaying various moments from …

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Should a Christian Put Up “Boundaries” with a Mentally Ill Addict (Who Happens to be Her Mother)?

As a Certified Christian Conciliator with The Institute for Christian Conciliation (a division of Peacemaker Ministries), I have the privilege of participating in webinars with Christian conciliators from around the world. Yesterday, we discussed the topic of forgiveness and how hard it can for us to forgive and to help the parties we serve to forgive, especially when there are complicating factors like dangerous situation, …

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