The Hope of Haley

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 hosted last night. The event was intended for members of the apartment community hurting from what they had witnessed. We were invited, along with other mental health providers and local pastors, to be present to care for and resource those needing it.

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Sara and Sam are 30 years old. They have been married for five years and find themselves overwhelmed by his new social entrepreneur business, her online blog and home business, their two small children and big dreams. Sara finds herself engaged with social media and unable to find a way to connect with her husband. He is struggling himself with pornography and juggling the stress that comes with his lifestyle. Both are lonely, tired. They wonder if marriage is just not working, as if marriage were an entity itself doing the work for the pair, rather than assessing what they are each contributing to the demise of their shared dreams. It’s just not what they thought it would be…marriage, that is.

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Spouses of Sexual Addiction & PTSD

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.

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The Present of being Present

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, sifts through your nose. The grit of the sand wriggling 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 lay gently 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.

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An Uncommon Man

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 quickly as I realized I was in the presence of an uncommon man. 

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One of my favorite, recent mom moments was hearing my husband walk through the door and say, “Did you plan on Nevie and Laney playing in the mud?”

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Shrinking the Integrity Gap: Help for the Helpers

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 seemingly 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 aside, finally surface, and gold-plated masks are laid down to rest.

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Four Simple Ingredients In Lasting LOVE

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. The chocolate is eaten and the flowers have faded and dropped their petals. 

Life continues as everything around us turns from shades of red and pink to a vibrant green, as we anticipate the celebration of an Irish Saint. But before we move on, let’s stop and remember the essence of what Love truly is.  

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