Jessica

(Help Support this site – this post contains ONE Amazon affiliate link) Wow! I cannot believe I am finally writing January 1, 2017 across the screen. Taking a deep sigh into the new year. Years seem to go so much faster as you get older. As a child, this was never the case – everything seemed to go so slowly (are we there yet?!). But now that I am on the upward climb to 40 the whole wide world and life seems to race passed at a speed I can never catch. So, I am going to stop trying. My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions? StopRead More →

It was not the hardest year I have ever known. There have been plenty of those, but it feels like a year of significant losses. Where did it go? This year? All the seasons? I feel it – the hard sigh after an exhausting undertaking. 2016 for many of us was a difficult undertaking. It wasn’t simply because so many icons from our childhood passed away or because a horrid man was elected president, but what we uncovered about ourselves and the people around us which left us feeling broken open and bleeding out. There were many things we had to push through, redefine, andRead More →

If you’ve been around this blog block for any amount of time you know I love books. I am adamant about raising readers. The best way to raise readers is for them to see a you reading. This year was the year of feminism and creativity, thinking broad and focusing my writing. It was the year of discovering great stories and great books. Here are a few of my my favorite 2016 books. My Favorite 2016 Books (AFFILIATE LINKS FOLLOW – see disclosure and help support this site) Memoir Paul Kalanithi – “When Breath Becomes Air” – Powerful. Keep a tissue handy. Mary Karr –Read More →

Assumption Kills Parent Child Relationships A year ago, a parent decided to visit my website and peruse the articles. I guess someone had mentioned he might find the stories helpful. The only problem – he tends to make everything about himself. So, stories which had nothing to do with him which I had written from my own truth and experiences became all about him. I learned a valid lesson: assumption kills parent child relationships. When People Do Not Change How They Treat or See You While I tend to be a realist, I see life and navigate life as it is (or at least asRead More →

I am a high empathy person. Often inappropriately labeled “too sensitive” or “emotionally immature,” I feel the emotions of others and can easily read the emotional climate of a room. This ability came in handy as a social worker. I could tell you in a matter of moments what was going on in a foster family or a family of origin simply be spending time interacting with them. However being a high empathy person is not as helpful during say – family disputes, faith shifts, facing the extreme emotional reactions of others, standing beside someone in physical pain, or dramatic election seasons. As an emotionalRead More →

Donald Trump Won – What Do We Tell the Children? When you finally wake up this morning and dare to sneak a peek at the election results, you might be left with one question: Donald Trump won NOW what do we tell the children? If you have spent much time talking to them about the election, the candidates, watching the debates together, giving them the opportunity to form their own opinions, discussing what kind of character is essential for a president, AND THEN TAKING THEM TO SEE YOU VOTE – today might start off rough. Honestly I need Kahlua for my coffee. Because NOW weRead More →

Writing Tips Skim Scum Off the Top Sometimes I start writing first thing in the morning and I need to skim the scum off the top before I begin to dig down far enough into the unbroken, truthful parts. Here I am wading through emotions and a history which are not necessarily what I want to focus my energy on, but they are roaring their ugly, little heads wanting to be acknowledged anyways. I ignore the scum at my own demise. So, every single time I begin to shape my morning pages I spend about five to ten minutes removing the emotionally crusty top layer.Read More →

First they came for Ann Voskamp and we shook our heads and wondered “Have they lost their minds?” Then they came for Rachel Held Evans and we hung our heads and questioned, “Who fed this group of angry, entitled beasts?” Finally, they came for Jen Hatmaker – and we looked at her life, her love, her brave extension of grace and declared, “Well now they have gone and done it.” First, They Came for Ann Voskamp – the Farmer’s Wife I remember when they (the pitchforker-wielding faithful of sincerely held Biblical beliefs) came for Ann Voskamp. One of the first success stories to come outRead More →

When I walked out those church doors for the last time fear clung to me. Heavy across my chest I felt the pressure of it – of letting life on scripted-terms go. I didn’t understand at the time, but the package of religion I had inherited included a heavy dose of fear-mongering faith. The first step beyond those doors is frightening. “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” – Pema Chodron ““Self-deception is the enemy of wholeness because it prevents us from seeing ourselves as we really are. It covers up our lack of growth in the Spirit of the truthfulRead More →

“We’re all put to the test… but it never comes in the form or at the point we would prefer, does it?” – Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins from the movie, “The Edge”) Failure is an option? We like our tests a little more clear-cut then they tend to come, don’t we? We’d like a trumpet announcing, “This is a test.” Or some gigantic neon arrow sign. Sometimes we feel something is important, but we have no clue what the tests we face look like before they happen. So we’d really like one of those annoying “This is a test of the emergency broadcast system” announcementsRead More →