14December 2018

The Christmas Effect

December 14th, 2018|

Our daughter, Mary Addison, is now 26 years old. She is mentally and physically challenged.  She has skills of a 12-year-old but enjoys the innocence of a small child. That being said, you can imagine her love of all things “Christmas.” (She and Buddy the Elf have a lot in common.) We start listening to Christmas carols right after Halloween. We patrol neighborhoods in the car at night looking for Christmas light displays. With each new discovery, we shout and high-five like we scored the winning touchdown.

The absolute best part of Christmas for Mary Addison is what I call “The […]

18November 2018

Dodging Holiday Depression

November 18th, 2018|

The holidays can be difficult and depressing. Shorter days, gloomy weather, family chaos with everyone at home, and changes in schedules can intensify our challenges of caring for a family member with exceptional needs. The complaint I hear the most is, “Christmas and all its traditions no longer bring me joy. It’s just extra work and stress – financial and emotional. They just remind me how much our lives have been changed by this disability, how different we are from other families.”

Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I […]

8January 2018

Who Told You That You Were Naked?

January 8th, 2018|

Each January, millions of us make resolutions. We examine ourselves and our lives and decide what needs to be improved. The idea is that a resolution is an optimistic way to approach each new year, but in reality, it’s the perfect set-up for failure.

Studies have shown that fewer than 20 percent of New Year’s resolutions are followed through, and then for only a limited time. Why? Because rarely do resolutions really get to the root of dissatisfaction – self-judgement and loathing.

This year, as I sat down to draw up the list of things about myself that need to change, God […]

24July 2017

Love That Creates Value

July 24th, 2017|

“Be_________ so that you can be loveable.” We send this message to our children, our neighbors, the people we hire, our spouses, etc. Be a certain way so that I can love you, employ you, marry you, etc. That’s the criteria we use to make decisions. I will choose it if it conforms to what I like – whether it’s a dress, a neighborhood, a political party, a cookie, a friend. That’s not an unreasonable way to live, but what do I do with the things and people that don’t fit my criteria and expectations? Not seeing any value, we […]

14December 2015

The True Story of Mary and John

December 14th, 2015|

This is an old photo of my daughter, Mary Addison, and her friend Joseph. I love this photo for many reasons – mostly because our dear friend, Joseph, always saw angels and now he is with the angels. But this story is about an encounter Mary Addison had with a young homeless man and the blessing of never being in a hurry. For those of us who are often frustrated by how our loved one slows us down, I hope you enjoy!

Each Advent, our family prepares for the birth of Christ by re-committing to focus on the purpose and meaning […]

30November 2015

Becoming People of Peace

November 30th, 2015|

The post read, “We’re looking for people of peace to join us in this project.”

People of peace? What does that mean? Would I qualify? Am I a person of peace? Why a person of peace? What difference could that make as long as I’m qualified? But that was the only qualification. I was captivated and determined to know what a person of peace was and why that was so important.

I read that post over 30 years ago when I was young and starting out in the world, looking for my first “real” job. I quickly lost interest in “people of […]