I watched the turmoil in his eyes as our son Douglas wrestled with envy at the news his younger brother, Jonathan, had just bought his first house. And when his little sister, Joanna, completed her master’s studies, Douglas struggled again. After all, he was the eldest. Shouldn’t he be first in all things? Continue reading
Watching over, caring for, supporting a loved one with mental health challenges has forced me to learn many new things I never thought I’d need to know—things like how to apply for SSI, how to get a mental health warrant, how to research psychotropic medications and how to recognize and mitigate “triggers.” It has also helped me to learn to pray differently, trust God in deeper ways, be more empathetic with others and, most surprising of all, how to wait.
I have five grandchildren. Three live about 30 minutes away while the other two live with their parents in the apartment on the far side of my kitchen.
Other friends have grands who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away. To develop close relationships with their little ones, they have established very specific and deliberate ways of staying in touch, like regular Skype calls or recording readings of favorite children’s books. Those strategies are somewhat effective, but all ache for hugs and lap time. Continue reading
I’m the first one awake in my household most mornings. I grope my way in the darkness to resurrect myself with a cup of coffee as I curl up in my favorite chair. In the stillness and silence I turn on one soft lamp and then begin to read, pray and mentally prepare for the day. Gradually dawn streams into the room. Once again the light overcomes the darkness and I can see beyond my book to the rest of the room and down the hallway.
For so many years we were lost in our journey amid the darkness of mental illness. There were so many days when we couldn’t see where to turn or how to find our way. At times we felt the darkness would overcome us and we would be swallowed by the uncertainty of it all. Continue reading
As a mother, I am drawn to Mary in the Christmas story, but I am also drawn to Mary in the story of Golgotha. I identify with her joy at the manger and grieve alongside her at the cross. From the beginning to the end, Mary is there, pondering the miracle of her baby’s birth, preparing for the burial of her Messiah’s body. What bewilderment must have danced in her head. What prayers must have crossed her lips. What tears must have carved her cheeks. What courage must have mounted in her heart. Continue reading