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A Mother’s Prayer

Here is a prayer I said every morning and every night for months. It really helped me remember my connection to God while I was struggling to find some peace and recovery:

God, I give thanks to you forever (psalms 31:12)
You cover me with your feathers;
    Shelter me beneath your wings. (Psalms 91:4)
Your promises are my armor and protection (Psalms 91:5).
You are my strength and my song —
     You give me victory! (Isaiah 12:2)

Christ makes His home in my hearts as I trust you
My roots grow deep in your love,
     You keep me strong. (Ephesians 3:17)
Christ lives in me, and you assure me that I share
     in His Glory (Colossians 2:27b).

I pray that you continually grow me
     to use my freedom to serve others
     in love. (Galatians 5:13).
I pray and thank you that I share in your abundance
     as you send one blessing after another (John 1:16)

Thanks to Jesus for revealing God to us (John 1:18).

God, I lift up my children to you.
Love them.
Protect them every day,
And draw them closer and closer to you.

I pray for the resources to provide a home for my family.
And above all, that your will be done.

Send your Holy Spirit to all who long to know you
     and to all who suffer.
Renew our spirits, God.



Hi Friends. Mind if I vent?

I did a first run-through of my taxes this morning and it looks like I’m going to owe money. Owe money?? Oh yeah…I didn’t plunge head-first into poverty for the right reasons.  Let’s see, first, I got divorced. Then, I worked part-time jobs so I could be home as much as possible for my kids. Of course, I did overuse credit at that time so their lives wouldn’t change too much. Then I took money from my retirement account to pay the credit….

OHHHH…then my boys became heroin addicts. Rehab. Stolen goods. Stolen money. Oh yes…then moving cross-country to help my daughter – I took a loan from my remaining retirement funds for that. Couldn’t find a job. Tried real estate. Bad timing. Took a low-paying part-time job. Still couldn’t pay the laon on the retirement account so … I defaulted, making all that money = to an early distribution = taxes and penalty taxes because … I’m not 55 yet, I didn’t take it to make mortgage payments (oh yeah, the house I didn’t buy because I knew I couldn’t afford it), I’m not a displaced *this* or unemployed *that*. 

The result is, I have $400 total in my bank right now, and I just might end up owing the IRS $1500, and the state of South Carolina another $350.  Great. I make $950 a month.  Awesome.

I’m going for a long walk by the beach to pray about this, but right now, I’m feeling the vibe of the Volcano!

p.s. Thanks, just needed to vent. I know that this too shall pass and someday this will be history. But I’m not feeling the love at the moment.

A Community Affair

I believe in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. Love they neighbor. Be Jesus to the world. But can I help everyone who asks? Can anyone? The situation in my old neighborhood challenges me – and moreso my ex – to ponder this.

When my boys used heroin, it wasn’t just them. Almost their whole group of friends (not the girls as far as I know, but the guys) became addicts. I can easily name eight of them … maybe ten. And it probably reaches further than that. We’re talking about a middle- to upper-income suburban community; the place where people move to get away from this stuff.  But I digress.

Recently, my ex came home from work to hear a phone message from the mother of one of my son’s childhood friends.  This young man is now in the court system for charges stemming from his drug use. The mom has seen how well my son, Dan, is doing, and she asked my ex if he would be willing to meet with her to talk about it all.

Here’s the thing: This young man has been trouble with a capital “T” ever since we first met him (which was when the boys started kindergarten). He was in the court system before they were out of middle school … before any of these kids were using drugs of any kind. And the family has always had a reason why the things he did were not his fault.  There is a deep root of co-dependency there beyond what either me or my ex feel able to step into.

So my heart aches for these people, but I’m going to be honest: I pray for this young man and his whole family but if I did not ever see them again, and if my boys did not ever know this young man in their lives again, I would be fine with that. I feel heartless! I’m not heartless … I’m just a little bit afraid. I’ve been lied to by this boy way too many times – before heroin and after. And they’d all have to show me that they are honestly and wholeheartedly working a serious recovery before I could reach out in any way. My ex feels the same. And yet we struggle with the decision to stay detached from them because we know how important it’s been for us to have people give Dan a chance, you know?  I guess it’s all in God’s hands.

Heroin.  Addiction.  Lord knows it’s a communty affair.

Photo Op

My family has had the most wonderful Christmas ever:  All the kids and me and my ex and a few other extended family together, clean, and all getting along.  I’m so amazed and thankful!

I have a few photos that I would love to post.  And I’ve appreciated seeing photos that some of you have added to your blogs of your families. But I can’t bring myself to post pics of my kids. I know that many of the friends of my boys ended up as addicts as well, and I don’t want to expose my boys’ identities on the off chance that someone out there would recognize them and then read all the stories I’ve told about them.

I know the chance of this is low, but I guess I’ll stick with it for now.  So instead, just imagine it in your own mind: me the mom, my ex-husband, my two boys, my daughter, one girlfriend, my grandmother, aunt and cousin, all smiling and being silly for the camera in front of the Christmas tree.

It’s a pretty picture. I promise.  Smiles and love to all.

In Gratitude

The man I was dating before my move was a retired army officer. Before I knew him, I really did not understand — at all — what life was like for the people who serve our country in the military.  I did not understand — at all — the sacrifices they and their families made.  Now, it brings tears to my eyes. Please take a moment to pray for veterans today, and their families.  They pay the price for our freedom.

Just call me …

GRANDMA!  Yes, it’s true.  My 19 y.o. son who is living with his 19 y.o. girlfriend, both of them in recovery (and doing very well), just announced they are having a baby.  So in 2012, I will be a grandmother for the first time.

Since this news, I have seen a change in Al.  He seems more focused, more calm, and more upbeat than he’s been in awhile. It’s not as if the demands of his life have been removed. Far from it! But … I think he has, perhaps, a new sense of purpose.

Thankfully, my ex-husband and I, and Al’s girlfriends parents (who are also divorced) are all on board and ready to walk alongside them as they bring our newest family member into the world.  I pray that this child is born healthy, and that these new parents find the strength and support they need to walk their own healthy path.

Life goes on.  It sure does!  God bless!

Letting Go

I received this in an email from the Harmony Foundation – the first residential program my oldest boy attended a couple of years back, located in Estes Park, Colorado.  I hope you like it!



To “LET GO” does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “LET GO” is not to cut myself off, it’s the realization I can’t control another.
To “LET GO” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “LET GO” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “LET GO” is not to try to change or blame another, it’s to make the most of myself.
To “LET GO” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “LET GO” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “LET GO” is not to judge, but allow another to be a human being.
To “LET GO” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To “LET GO” is not to be protective, it’s to permit another to face reality.
To “LET GO” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “LET GO” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To “LET GO” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
To “LET GO” is not to criticize and regulate anybody, but to try and become what I can be.
To “LET GO” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To “LET GO” is to fear less and love more!!
— Anonymous

Jump for Joy!

Gosh. I realize that I left everyone with that picture of grief. But my real message is … grieving is not the end! Grieving is something we should value because when we’re done, we are able to fully experience JOY! 

Do you know JOY? I’m not talking about that everyday happy feeling we get when we bite into a good slice of pizza or shop for a new pair of shoes.  I’m talking about the JOY that we have, always, in the core of us:  the joy that comes when you really know your Higher Power is walking with you.  We don’t always feel it, but it’s always there – waiting for us to decide that, despite our circumstances, we want that JOY to shine.

Am I a woman who walks with a constant glow of JOY?  I wish!  No, I’m human and we all have times when we look more like Ms. Grief.  But the more I focus on JOY … the more I define JOY and practice JOY … the more I know that there’s a light in every darkness.

Life is colorful!  Let’s enJOY it whenever we can.  Thanks for being here!

Addiction as Disease

Most of us know this — but new people show up every now and then.  And I still like to read more research confirming that addiction is not some moral or emotional flaw in our children (or in our parenting for that matter):




Heal Thyself

Ever since Al was in the hospital, I have been a mess.  I haven’t been sleeping well at all.  I’m nervous.  I cry easily.  I pray and pray and still I fret about him.  So I call him.  “Are you okay?”  “Are you going to meetings?”  “Do you understand that if you’re using, you have so much to lose?”  “Remember to pray and go to meetings, I’m worried about you!”

He says, “I know, Mom.”  “I know, Mom.”  “I am, Mom.” 

It’s just today that I realized … It’s not Al’s responsibility to calm me down and help me sleep and make me feel better.  And sure, maybe he is using.  And we know he needs to be going to meetings.  But what I just realized today is that I need to be going to meetings!  I need some counseling.  I am my own responsibility – not Al’s! 

So I called him and told him that he’s not reponsible for my feelings.  And he felt glad to hear it.  This is sure a ride, isn’t it folks?  I feel a little better already.  Now to research government-supported counseling programs for me

God bless you all!