The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect

"He leads me beside the still waters." Psalms 23:2

"A ripple effect is a situation in which, like ripples expand across the water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally." - Wikipedia

You Can’t Stop Mother Nature

Have you ever thought about the ripple effect a crisis like addiction brings into the family? Throw a rock into a lake and watch the ripple effect in action. No matter how calm the water, even the tiniest pebble causes movement. When a bomb drops, we race to try and control its collateral damage, but it is impossible because the ripple effect is already in motion.

Every action has a reaction. Our addicted children become the epicenter of our homes, and their behavior dictates how everyone else in the family will react. It dictates how friends and acquaintances will react. It can even effect our jobs and our health because there is always a reaction to their action, unless we choose to stop it. The truth is that no one can make us react a certain way.

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A Spacious Place

A Spacious Place

“When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.” Psalm 118:5 NIV

“I can’t breathe! Get me out of here!”

I have to admit that I am claustrophobic. I don't do well in tight places. Whether it's cramped elevators or tight MRI imaging booths, even being squeezed too hard or for too long, you’ll find me scrambling for the nearest escape.

Trying to talk myself out of it is pointless as the “all to familiar” signs that a full blown panic attack is imminent begin to take my body and mind hostage. My heart pounds in my chest and my breaths becoming deeper and more frequent as my brain starts shouting, “Get yourself out of here!" Hyperventilation is inevitable if I don't keep reciting over and over again, "Keep it together! Keep it together!"

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Living Fearlessly by Faith

Living Fearlessly by Faith

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I have always wanted to walk in faith, to live in faith, to be a woman of faith. It hasn't always been easy.

Anyone whose loved one struggles with addiction or behaves recklessly has felt fear, even terror, at times. We understand the feeling all too well. We are scared to death when the phone rings at an unexpected hour. Our heart sinks at every unannounced knock at the door. We lay awake imagining the worse-case scenarios.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Even if you are not living with the chaos of addiction in your family, fear can take you hostage for so many reasons. Marriage problems, financial burdens, the state of our world, and so many other concerns fight to take up real estate in our minds.

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The Cure for Anxiety

The Cure for Anxiety

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm‬ ‭94:19 NIV‬ ‭

An Anxious World

Anxiety is a very real emotion for most of us at one time or another.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year." ADAA

Anxiety is very real. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, anxiety is described as "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about something with an uncertain outcome." It can lead to apprehension, excessive uneasiness, and panic attacks.

When your child, spouse, or loved one struggles with addiction, anxiety becomes our constant unwanted companion. Worry is part of everyday life. We obsess about our loved one's safety and the dangers of their risky behavior to the expense of our own sanity.

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Why I Finally Decided To Love Myself

Why I Finally Decided To Love Myself

"For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body." Ephesians 5:29-30 CSB

If someone in your life is struggling with addiction or mental illness, it is hard on the whole family. It sneaks into our lives taking captive everything that is precious to us. It steals our peace. Anxiety takes its place. Joy is lost. Hope is replaced with a desolate spirit.

We wear out and give up. Worry about our loved one consumes us. For me, it took a toll on my body, my mind, and my emotions. I felt nauseated 24/7, and sleep was next to impossible. My thoughts were harried and unfocused, except for one thought, fixing my broken son.

Emotionally, I had a short fuse and became fearful and untrusting. My spiritual life took a huge hit. I spent my days crying out to God in desperation. "Heal my son. Rescue him!"

My self-worth was virtually non-existent. I lived with a constant feeling of shame. I put on a good show, but deep down inside I believed I was somehow to blame for my child's addiction.

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The Healer of Our Brokenness

The Healer of Our Brokenness

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 NIV

‬Wounds hurt. We don’t like pain. We are anxious to be healed. We hope that the resulting scar will be minimal, unnoticeable. It might be. It all depends on how deep the injury is and how well it heals.

I have worked in the field of plastic surgery and dermatology for over twenty years. In our office we have seen all types of injuries. From the clean-cut of a surgeon's scalpel to the jagged tear of a dog bite or deep incision made to remove a cancerous growth, wounds come in all shapes and sizes.

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How To Stop Fixating on Fixing

How To Stop Fixating on Fixing

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Oxford Dictionary gives the definition for fixating as: "to cause (someone) to acquire an obsessive attachment to someone or something." Synonyms are: obsessed with, preoccupied with, obsessed about, focused on, gripped by, engrossed in, fanatical about, hooked on.

Fix-It People

I am one of those "fix-it" kind of people. I am also an over-thinker. Okay, I'm a control freak. Hey, before you judge us control freaks as all bad, remember that we are the ones that keep the order in the family. We put balance into what could be complete chaos. But like any personality strength, there is also some weakness.

As the mom of children who struggled with addiction, mental health issues, and one on the Autism Spectrum, fixing (or should I say saving) them became an obsession. I would wake up thinking and praying about how to help them.

Truth be told, I actually got very little sleep most nights as I ruminated over the countless things that could go wrong and probably would go wrong if I didn't intervene.

If you're anything like me, you might also have an over-weighted sense of responsibility to get your loved ones out of their present messes. You may even struggle with self-blame, as I have, which can hold you hostage in fixation mode.

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What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 3 of 3

“Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’” ‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:16-17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Wow. How could this chapter get any better?!!

2 Chronicles is so rich in God's promises to his people, assuring them that He will go before them and fight the battles for them (and for us). Through observation, we have already seen how vital it is when the enemy threatens us that we take his threat seriously.  We are told to pray and fast and call in the troops (our prayer warriors). We are to use our mighty weapons of worship and prayer, and always remember the Lord and his faithfulness when he delivered us in the past. We are reminded of his promises to continue to save and deliver his children, and we speak those promises from His word back to him.

Now, we take all that faith he has given us and we take action!

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What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part 1 of 3

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do - Part  1 of 3

"Our God, will you not judge them. For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles‬ ‭20:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This thing called Addiction had me duped for a long time. I have to admit even after growing up in an alcoholic home, I was caught off guard on more than one occasion by my sons' addictions and their resulting behaviors.

Having previously gone through it with one son, I still found myself standing with egg on my face as his brother's behavior became even more unpredictable. Nothing could prepare me for the lies, the manipulation, and the desperation that became a necessary part of his survival as he struggled to satisfy the insatiable appetite brought on by his cravings.

2 Chronicles chapter 20 became an anchor for me during those years of struggling to understand how to fight for my sons, while I tried to learn to surrender the false sense of control I had in their lives.

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Faith When You’re In A Funk

Faith When You’re In A Funk

I’ve been distracted lately. The result? I’m tired and feeling flat, just not myself.

I'm in a Funk

I thought a little transparency was in order, so naturally I picked up a pen (or in this case, hit the keys) to write and hopefully bring about some mental clarity.

The first words that came to mind were from the book of Hebrews. I've been spending a lot of time in that chapter lately.

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

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