Friday, July 31, 2009

Safe Travels

TP is leaving to go back to Michigan this afternoon, so I pray that she has a safe journey. She had such a good time with her birthmom and her half-sisters and other relatives. It's going to be difficult for all of them to say "goodby", but it's not a final farewell; in fact, it's just the beginning of their relationships. I know BMP will be having a hard time saying goodbye; but hopefully it won't be as painful as when she said goodbye 21 years ago in the nursery. But I know her heart, and I know her concerns about TP's current situation, so in some ways, it may be even more difficult to part this time around.

May you have safe travel back to Michigan, TP. And may the journey ahead of you bring you the security and love and stability for which you long. I pray your journey brings you back home to Ohio, where we await to embrace you once again. Love, Momma

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

There is No Place Like Home!

TP was a little tired tonight when I talked to her, and had some pregnancy-related nausea. They were up all night, and she didn't go to bed until around 8:00 a.m. They weren't sure what they were going to do this evening, but hopefully, it will be something fun!!! It's great to listen to her laugh with her half-sisters and her birth mom - they "snort" when they get to laughing too hard!!! So, I'm sure this time has gone by quickly for her - but I'm so grateful that she has had this opportunity to meet and spend time with her other family. The bond she has made with all of them will never be broken, just like the bond that she has with us will never be broken, no matter what. We love her dearly, she is precious to us, and we want what is best for her and her baby. Our prayer for her is that she remains safe and healthy and emotionally close to us always.

I love you, babe - and I truly do miss you! I could use one of your big hugs which used to take the breath out of me. Actually, I physically ache to hold you once again - that is how much I miss you. Enjoy whatever time you have remaining at your birth family's place. And always remember - there is NO PLACE like home! I love you, forever and always.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Please and Thank you

Please say some prayers for me. I am not in very good shape right now. Thank you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Somewhere Out There

This is the song I ussd to sing to you, TP, as I would rock you to sleep when you were just a little thing. I would think of your birth mom, who was underneath the same big sky, probably thinking about you and wondering about you - and always loving you. You are now in her arms tonight, and life has come full circle. I am now the one who's thinking about you and loving you tonight, wishing that we were together, and knowing that love will see us through. So, look up at the sky tonight, sweetie. Know that we are looking at the same star. Know that our love can span over all the distance - whether the distance is geographical or emotional. And when I look at that star, my wish will be that you will find your way back home to us. And that your life will include not only us, but your birth family as well. And that KM will be safe and sound in your arms while you sing her this same exact song. I love you, Babe. I miss you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Prince of Egypt:There Can Be Miracles When You Believe

I understand you sang this song the ohter night, TP. I believe in miracles, and I believe one is going to happen very soon. I love you and miss you so very much. Momma

The Iowa Trip

TP's Iowa trip is going well. She and her half-sisters could be triplets, and she looks just like her birth mom! They are spending a lot of time doing a lot of fun things together and meeting tons of relatives. I think she is learning a lot of valuable life's lessons while there - how important family is, how to defend your family when others are putting it down, and how a man is supposed to treat a woman (with respect and tenderness and not with name-calling and control and manipulation and anger and just plain meanness.) This whole experience is giving her food for thought.

Just remember, TP - you are loved by your birth family and your adoptive family. We want what is best for you AND your baby. We want you to be free from stress and control and people making you feel like you are worthless. The names you are called by others and that I have been called by others are cruel and nasty, and are being used to purposefully hurt you. Is that the kind of life you want for KM? Did you ever see your Dad treat me like that? How was I being "hypocritical?" Haven't I always strived to walk the talk - by living out my values in thoughts, words, and deeds? I will not sacrifice my values for anything because that would go against God's commandments and His word. Thank you for defending me - that meant the world to me!!! The baby you are carrying needs to be nurtured and loved in a stress-free environment, especially over the next few months before it is born, because it is critical for her emotional and physcial well being. We love you, and know that KM is at the top of your priority list right now.

We will welcome you home with open and loving arms. There are so many possibiities for you and KM here, too - church, school, jobs, and a stable environment. But most of all, the TENDERNESS you crave for, and which KM will need so much of and which she will thrive on. I love you and miss you bunches.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On a Wing and a Prayer

TP leaves Friday morning on a long-awaited journey to meet her birth mom in real life.

TP was adopted at birth, and we have always been open about this. Over the years, she expressed curiousity about her birth mom and a desire to meet her, and she knew that it was possible to do when she turned 21. Well, on May 4th, she had her first contact by phone with BMP (initials I will use when referring to this beautiful lady), and they have been developing a strong relationship via phone, emails, Facebook, and IM's. TP allowed me to get to know BMP by giving me her contact information, too, so it's been quite a wonderful experience getting to know this woman who gave us the greatest gift of all.

I have no qualms or reservations about this - I embrace this process without fear or anxiety. I look forward to the day when I get to meet BMP and the members of her family, too. But, I am especially grateful and excited for my daughter to FINALLY meet this woman who gave her birth, and who has loved her from afar all of these years. I am glad that TP will have all of her questions answered.

TP has enough love in her heart to love two mothers. She's very fortunate to have two moms who love her very deeply. I know that I can't ever be "replaced", and all TP wants is the opportunity to get to know and love her birth mom. She and I are growing closer once again, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude that our connection is getting stronger everyday.

So, I send you to Iowa on a wing and a prayer, my beautiful daughter. May you bask in the glow of your BMP's love and nurturing and care. May this journey bring you peace, happiness, courage and strength - may it complete the circle which began at your birth and make you "whole." I love you, and you are so precious to me. Have a safe journey, and I can't wait to see pictures!!!

And thank you, dear Lord, for bringing this about. In your wisdom, you knew the time and place that this would happen, and it is happening at just the right time in TP's life. And thank you for BPM, and our precious daughter, TP.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Linda Newton - Blog Tour

Linda Newton, author of 12 WAYS TO TURN YOUR PAIN INTO PRAISE: BIBLICAL STEPS TO WHOLENESS IN CHRIST has stopped by my blog to deliver an interview to my readers.

Please leave a comment to enter a drawing to receive a FREE copy of her book. Please note that Linda's comments are in regular print, while the questions or comments directed to Linda are in bold print. I hope you enjoy the interview! As a Christian counselor myself, I found this book to be powerful and amazing!

Linda's opening: I'm delighted to be here with you sharing about something that puts wind in my sails - helping people heal from emotional pain and lead empowered lives.

What a timely book, 12 WAYS TO TURN YOUR PAIN INTO PRAISE; BIBLICAL STEPS TO WHOLENESS IN CHRIST! With our current economic and political climate we certainly need steps to turn our pain into praise.

I agree. I find that the same tools that help us deal with our damaged past can guide us through an insecure future. I wrote this book to help people who feel "stuck" because of the dysfunction, divorce, depression, abuse, grief and guilt in their lives, but I am walking through these same principals each day in my counseling office with folks who are dealing with the difficulties of job loss, anxiety, and marriage issues in a struggling economy.

You're a counselor and an abuse survivor. Will you tell us a little of your story?

I grew up in the deep South and I wish I could say we spent happy hours saying, "Yes Ma'am" and "No Sir" and "Good Night, John-Boy." But nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, I was ten years old before I realized that God's last name wasn't damn! My Daddy took off when I was five, and raising four kids alone brought out the worst in my mother. She became abusive with a bust-your-lip, black-your-eye kind of punishment - the kind of pain that stings your face for a while but sears your souls for a lifetime.

The neighbor-lady from across the street took me to church. I found Christ and He changed my life. That church helped me get to Christian college. On my quest for my own healing, I became a Christian counselor and have had the privilege of working with God's precious people for the past seventeen years in my office at a growing church in California.

You talk about one of those people, Donnetta Jean, as she moves through the steps to get the healing she needs. Is she a real person?

Donnetta represents the many damaged people in today's postmodern culture - distanced by pain from the God they desperately need.

When I read a self-help book, I love to see personal examples of the tools presented, but I find myself wondering how the person in the example turns out. In 12 Ways you get to walk through the process from start to finish as you see the healing of Donnetta Jean unfold. Then you know the path for your own healing.

You started each chapter with a word that starts with the letter "P." That had to take some work.

Each chapter is one of the steps, and I did that to make them easy to remember. I'm at the stage of life when I stop and think and forget to start up again! Alliteration helps things stick in my head.

My first "P" is Perspective. Chapter 3 and 4 include Prayer and the Power we find in God's Word. They are pivotal parts of recovery, to be sure, but until we adjust our perspective to see what's good in life, we can't reap the benefit of prayer and scripture reading. Before I shifted my perspective, God could have parked a burning bush by my front door to convince me of His love, and I would have stamped out the fire and complained about the inconvenience! It took a long time for me to train myself to see the cup half full instead of always seeing it half empty. But without that fundamental change, it wouldn't matter how much God intervened in my life to bring good, I wouldn't see it as such.

Can you share the rest of your chapter titles?

1. Predicament: Donetta Jean Jones

2. Perspective: Honey Let Me Tell Ya

3. Power: I Got a Rock (Which tells us what the Bible says about us.)

4. Prayer: Present In His Presence

5. People: We're In This Together

6. Patience: Locust Lunch

7. Plan: Jesus In the Rearview Mirror

8. Pardon: The Healing Power of Forgiveness

9. Provision: Jettisoning Emotional Baggage

10. Priorities: Making the Main Thing the Main Thing

11. Passion: Warts and All

12. Purpose: The Real Thing

Epilogue -- Praise: Chocolate Chip Muffins

This book can serve as a workbook for the reader as well, right?

Yes, at the end of each chapter, I've included an exercise titled, "Truster Reconstructer" to help the reader pause, ponder and personalize each step. I told you I like alliteration! If you complete the exercises in this book you will have the equivalent of 12 sessions of therapy. At the national average of $80.00 an hour, the price of one book is quite a deal! But don't stop with just one book, 12 Ways works as a powerful small group study. Each chapter presents an obstacle to faith and the scriptural solutions for that obstacle. Women have shared with me they feel like it is equivalent to 12 weeks of applicable Bible study.

In your chapter on People, you mentioned the importance of confidence only you didn't call it self-esteem. you called it "Jesus-teem." What does that look like?

We have heard enough over the past few years about self-esteem, but Scripture tells us that when we embrace the Lord's view of ourselves, we're free to be comfortable in our own skin. God's view of us is revealed in his Word and through the compliments of others. In Chapter 3 about the Power we find in the Bible, I have included a page full of verses with the personal pronouns left out and a blank space provided for you to write in your name. That way you can take ownership of each verse, let it soak into your soul, and change the way you feel about yourself. When we can fully get our heads around how God feels aobut us, it changes the way we feel about ourselves. that's Jesus-teem!

You mentioned compliments defining us. Can you explain that?

My old pastor used to say that compliments are bouquets thrown from the hand of God. When we don't take the compliments given to us, it's as though we are ripping the heads off the flowers God has given us, throwing them to the ground, and stomping on them. Compliments are God's way of telling us who we are. When we receive them, it builds our confidence in the qualities and gifts He's given us. But when we don't, we remain static and self-critical.

I took those words to heart and stopped dismissing compliments some twenty years ago. In that time God has had the opportunity to remake my self-image. Before that I had to climb a ladder to look an ant in the eye!

"Jesus in the Rearview Mirror," now there's a title. Tell us about that chapter.

God has a plan for us, but many times the view we have of what is happening around us as we cruise through life is often challenging, even frightening. From our viewpoint, looking through the windshield, we only see calamity, but all the while God is working. Later, when we look back over our lives, as we peer into the rearview mirror, we are able to see the Plan that God was working out all along. Recognizing God's plan builds our faith.

In your chapter on Pardon you share about the healing power of forgiveness. It's not always easy to forgive someone who has caused us pain. Was that difficult for you?

It was one of the hardest things I had to do. That's why I walk through the process with you. We learn that forgiveness doesn't make the offender right; it just makes us free. We also see that forgive and forget is not a biblical concept. Instead it's forgive and set boundaries.

Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is ourselves, and many times we find that we have to forgive God because He didn't do things the way we thought He should.

You present a powerful prayer exercise to help people unpack their emotional baggage in the chapter on Provision. What can you tell us about that?

Years ago a wonderful Christian counselor taught me this life-changing prayer exercise to help me dump the anger, hurt and resentment of my abuse. Until that point, I thought I would have to bear the burden of my painful childhood forever. But I walked out of her office that day a new person. I have had the privilege of sharing this gift many times in my office and now, I am sharing it for all to read. It's enough that abuse victims have experienced pain, we don't have to keep reliving it. We can be set free, thank God!

You tell Donetta's story of healing and your own story in a way that keeps us turning the pages to see what's going to happen next. Have you always been a storyteller?

I've always loved stories especially ones I can relate to. I recently published two stories in Chicken Soup for the Chocolate Lover's Soul and one in Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul and now What I Learned from My Dog, due out in October 2009. I believe everybody has a story - a string of stories that make up life. In fact one of the the steps in my book to turn pain into praise is to write down those moments in your life when God shows up - the stories of his faithfulness. I call them "Monumental Moments." After writing down my monumental moments for years, I filled a book with stories that was recently published by Warner Press.

My book of stories, Better Than Jewels: 31 Days of Biblical Insight for a Woman Seeking God is a devotional that starts each day with a scripture from Proverbs and a short relevant story to illustrate that verse. In it, I share more of how God miraculously intervened in my life to turn Tennessee trailer trash into a fully loved follower of Christ! It's currently available thourgh Barnes & Noble, or on my website

The pain in your life hasn't hindered your sense of humor, has it?

I hope not! My goal for all the books I write is for the reader to laugh, learn, and leave each page feeling closer to the Lord.

Are you working on another book?

Yes, My working title is You Can Fix Stupid: Seven Savvy Choices for Mind, Body and Soul. I deal with people everyday who are in terrible situations that were preventable. I want to give folks information to make better choices and avoid being "stupid." I am working on a blog on my website that addresses these issues.

What else is on your agenda?

I love speaking and since my books have come out, God has opened doors for me to share with groups all over the world. Folks in today's busy culture like to have teaching material accessible to play in their cars or on their computers. So I am making CD sets available for each of my retreat topics. Each set has 4, forty-minute talks in a handy labeled holder. They are available on my website

Joy for the Journey: Peace for Your Path reviews some of the topics in 12 Ways to Turn your Pain Praise.

He Delights in You: Rest in His Love helps the listener make the 12-inch drop from the head to the heart to truly understand how crazy God is about His kids - namely the one sitting in your seat!

Communication Drive: The Road to Caring Communication is a series prsented at a communication workshop that teaches you how to "talk with the hand" not talk to the hand as often happens when we find ourselve in conflict!

Stress Management for the New Millenium: What to Do When Your Reality Check Bounces to offer tools to help the listener deal with the anxiety, anger and depression that modern culture manufactures. I've recently finished a series on how to get the most out of your prayer life. Women's retreats are my passion and I would love to speak at yours. You can contact me on my website.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your book?

Since the book's release last fall I have heard feedback from readers and I can say with confidence that whether you are seeking tools to empower those you are helping or needing the tools to transform yourself, you will walk away from this book spiritually stronger as you learn to :

*remove your offender's face from God and stop blaming Him for life's pain

*stop renting space in your head to bad memories and offenses

*relinquish the stinkin' thinkin' that causes you to emotionally circle the drain

*stay constantly connected to Christ with time-tested tools to process the pain

*realize your full potential as you seek God's divine purpose for your life.

Closing: Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I hope your readers will visit me online at . Please remember that God deeply desires to turn your pain into praise.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blog Tour and Book Give-Away

On Sunday, I will be posting an interview with Linda Newton, author of the book entitled 12 WAYS TO TURN YOUR PAIN INTO PRAISE: BIBLICAL STEPS TO WHOLENESS IN CHRIST.

Please stop by to read this interview, and post a comment. Your comment will then be placed in a drawing for a FREE copy of Linda's book. The book is amazing, in my humble opnion!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Perfect Fan - Backstreet Boys (with lyrics)

I remember when TP used to sing this to me.

I will always be there for you, babe - I am your biggest fan!

This still brings tears to my eyes!!

I love you, sweetie! And I miss you more and more each day.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Phil Collins - You'll Be In My Heart Lyrics

Dedicated to TP

Just know you will be in my heart always, no matter what.

I'm keeping you close in my prayers, and pray for your courage and strength.

With love and tenderness - Momma

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I'm praying for a miracle. Won't you help me, please? I would truly appreciate it! Thank you!

Thursday, July 02, 2009


My doctor has me on an antibiotic and Allbuterol for a sinus infection and a lung infection which is close to becoming pneumonia. So, I'm exhausted. If I'm not better by Monday, I get to go on steroids. This morning, I expanded my business by moving into the adjoining office space next door to the current office space - and I probably did too much because I'm back home in bed. Nice day to take a nap - although DQ has lessons and work this afternoon, so I'll be busy transporting her hither and yon. Can't wait for that girl to get her license.

The last monthly edition of CWO came out yesterday - Darlene decided to "retire" after three and a half years of publishing this wonderful Christian woman's ministry online. It was time for me to break away from writing my column, too, so my decision happened to coincide with hers. However, she will keep the ezine up so people can go back and browse through the archives.

It's been nice not writing often. Too much going on in my life about which I don't want to share. Eventually, when I am feeling less vulnerable, when I'm stronger, I may write again. Suffice it to say that God's grace is helping me through and I am ever so grateful for His comfort and strength and guidance. I'm busy, too, with my little family and with my expanding business and a couple of other projects in the works. Those things keep me focused and less likely to dwell on who's missing in my life. TP and I are leading separate lives, but we remain in contact. There is still a huge hole in my heart, and I miss her so much it hurts.

Looking forward to the 4th with our usual family traditions - cookout, outdoor symphony concert at OWU (free!), and fireworks. Traditions keep memories alive and famiies together. Forever. Wishing you and yours a Happy 4th of July!