This time of year brings nostalgic memories, painful losses, and a whirlwind of a running to-do list. It’s the most wonderful time of year, and yet the hustle and bustle is so counter to the meaning of the season.
We said good-bye to Thanksgiving before Halloween even started. All my favorite stores were stocked with green and red before October could close it’s last pages. We are all in a hurry in every sense of the word this time of year. Anxiety is high and expectations are even higher. I, for one, am pledging to strike and not participate in the overwhelming any more. You with me?read more
Two weeks ago, a four year-old boy riding a scooter in his apartment complex was tragically hit and killed by an adult driver turning into the neighborhood. Police indicated that the driver was obeying all laws and that this was truly an accident. My wife and I were invited by the local police chaplain to an event he organized and was hosting last night at the police station for members of the apartment complex community hurting from what they witnessed. We were invited along with other mental health providers and local pastors to be present to care for and resource those needing care.read more
Sara and Sam are 30 years old, have been married for five years and are finding themselves overwhelmed by his new social entrepreneur business, her blog and home business, their two small children and their big dreams. She finds herself on social media and not able to find a way to connect with her husband. He is struggling with pornography and dealing with all the stress. Both are lonely, tired, and wonder if the marriage is not working, rather than assessing what they are each are doing to contribute to the demise of their ideal dreams. It’s just not what they thought it would be…marriage, that is.read more
He told her he would not look at porn once they were married. She believed him. Ten years later, she worried about the late nights at work. Finding texts from another woman sent her spiraling and from that point, nothing would be the same. This story strikes a painful chord for many spouses of sex addicts. The disclosure of hidden behaviors acts as a punch in the gut with each new reveal. As I sit with spouses of sexual betrayal and addiction, the symptoms they experience mirror those of abuse survivors because of the very nature of addiction.read more
Can you picture it?
The waves crash lightly as they rhythmically come in and out. The smell of sea air with it’s slight aroma of seaweed and salted perfume sifting through your nose. The grit of the sand wiggling in-between toes as you walk the length of the beach. With each deep breath, you notice the color palette of the setting sun painted with peach, pinks, and reds along the skyline. Stretched out cotton balls are gently placed along the horizon as far as the eye can see. The warmth of the air mixed with a tempered breeze lightens your load with every brush across the face.
The other day I attended the funeral of a friend. I met Billy over a decade ago on a fly fishing trip on the Deschutes River in Oregon. At that time, he was in his late seventies and looked like a small version of who I imagine Moses to look like. He had a big white beard and calloused hands that were a dead giveaway of a lifetime of getting stuff done! He was kind-hearted and took an immediate interest in getting to know me among the other men in the group.
Needless to say, we hit it off pretty quick as I realized I was in the presence of an uncommon man.read more
One of my favorite mom moments recently was hearing my husband walk through the door and say, “Did you plan on Nevie and Laney playing in the mud?” “Well…” I thought, “I did say they could do some puddle jumping.” To my utter surprise and only 20 minutes to spare before Laney needed to be home for her family dinner, I walked outside to ﬁnd the two girls in full glee. Covered from head-to-toe in mud and no shoes, they were literally dancing in the rain. Leave it to my eight year-old free spirit who loves creating memories and her dear friend, Laney, who is up for anything to make a profound point. I had to capture their moment. Two friends, hugging and loving each other, IN ALL THEIR MESS!read more
After a full day of seeing clients, I am left with one of two feelings: incredible hope or incredible sadness. Once in a while you might ﬁnd me ranting in anger about the hardships of this world or singing God’s praises as I get to witness His miraculous work in the lives of my clients as we navigate messy, dark, and many times what seems to be hopeless circumstances.
Being a helper of any kind is truly sacred work. We sit in the conﬁdential places where secrets that have never been shared are brought into the light, memories once pushed deep aside ﬁnally surface, and gold plated masks are laid to rest. Unfortunately, though our training and skill-sets may help us enter into these places, our humanity is not exempt from the impact of venturing into the trenches of such pain and sorrow.