The Words I Wish All Women Would Read

motherhoodMy mother was an angry woman, understandably so. My birth father was, in her words, an “evil” man; he never had a job, self-medicated in more ways than one and abused her both physically and emotionally.

They were married for 13 years before I was born, but divorced when I was three after he was incarcerated for a crime I’ve chosen not to investigate. Read More

My Response to the “Santa Killer”

imageA few days ago, I prematurely published a post with the working title, “Killing Santa“. That title was misleading; I didn’t mean to imply I wanted to “kill Santa.” I was just trying to verbalize the desire I had as a child to spend more time with my mother. I’ve since renamed that post, “Presence, Not Presents.”

That incident was timely. Yesterday, I watched the video of a Pastor telling children –who were waiting in line to sit on Santa’s lap– that Santa wasn’t real. Read More

Presence, Not Presents

christmas2As a child, I loved everything about Christmas. Especially the presents.

In fact, the quality and quantity of presents I received were, to me, an indication of how much I was loved. The more gifts Santa gave me, the more Santa loved me. And he must have loved me more than my friends because he gave me more gifts than he gave them.

That was important. Getting more. Getting the most. Presents made me feel loved. Because every other day of the year, I felt completely unloved.

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Like a Moth to the Flame

My Mother, Circa 1964

Yesterday was one of those days I can say, with complete confidence, was entirely orchestrated by God.

I’ve been struggling in so many ways these last few years, especially these last few months: my family’s finances have been severely impacted by my decision to quit teaching and start Giving Families, causing a significant strain on my marriage. This makes it difficult for me to parent from a positive place, and easier to fall back into old, unhealthy habits. Read More

Taking Time to Listen

image1Several years ago, when my son was only a few months old, I stumbled across a great sale on perennials at a local market, marking the end of the season. For less than $50, I loaded up my truck with about 75 bunches of lilies, not knowing which ones were which… what color they would bloom… IF they’d bloom… or where I’d even plant them all, but it didn’t even matter; it was a good deal (and I love feeling like I got a good deal!).

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That Time I Applied to be on Survivor

image2In 2002, I was twenty-five-years-old and had been teaching kindergarten for three years when I ended an eight-year-long, live-in relationship.

Looking to “find” myself and escape the monotony of day-to-day life, I applied for the wildly popular television show, Survivor, after watching the beautiful friendship unfold between Elizabeth Hasselbeck (nee DelPadre) and the older, gentlemanly, father-figure, Rodger Bingham (from Crittendon, KY) during the show’s second season.

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My First Panic Attack… Caught on Film

Beth Nowak

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to go to New York City for the first time with a few friends.

We had plans to go shopping and see a few Broadway shows, as well as visit The Empire State Building, Central Park, China Town, etc.

Wanting to honor the victims of 9/11, we also visited Ground Zero by taking a walking tour from our hotel.  Read More

We’re Giving Santa the Day Off This Year

santa letterWith only six years of parenting experience, I’ve realized just how EASY it is to fall into the trap of an over-commercialized Christmas, purchasing WAY too many gifts for my children.

I’ve tried the “3 Gifts…Just Like Jesus” and “Something You Want; Something You Need; Something You Wear; Something You Read” suggestions, but I’ve always found them to be a bit too limiting.
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