I want to help you keep your relationships healthy and vibrant so you can have a happier life. Because when our relationships are working well, there’s no greater joy in the world.
I believe growing healthy relationships is our highest calling. Why? Because when Jesus was asked to sum up all of the laws and commands in Scripture, this is what He said: “Love God. Love others as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT)
That’s it! When we learn how to love God and others well, when our relationships with God and others are vibrant and growing, we are fulfilling our purpose. And nothing brings us more joy and a happier life than knowing we are doing what we’ve been created to do.
So how do we tackle this big assignment? How do we grow our love for God and love others the way He loves us? And how should we love ourselves? That is what you and I will discover together!
But first, let me tell you how I arrived here – shouting from the rooftops about all the ways we can grow healthy relationships and live happier lives.
I grew up in a small Oregon town under the watchful eyes of three generations of strong women. My grandmother and great-grandmother lived just across the driveway from the little house our family occupied on a peach farm for several years. They taught my mother – who passed on to me – the tenacity, strength, and sense of humor that are hallmarks of the women in our family.
When I married my college sweetheart and moved across the country to South Florida, I brought along the lessons I learned from these women: to love fiercely, laugh often, and to never give up. I believed my strength and optimism combined with our freshly minted love virtually guaranteed us a happily-ever-after life together.
Eleven years later, a crisis in my marriage sent me reeling. There was unfaithfulness, deception, and deep hurt that seemed beyond repair. But in the midst of all the tears and confusion, Jesus found me. And with God’s help, my husband and I found forgiveness and began working to restore our marriage. A year later we were both Christ followers.
How the Lord healed our marriage became our testimony. And we shared it freely with others who needed to hear that God can work miracles. So no one was more surprised than me when 15 years later my marriage ended in divorce.
I started on a quest to understand how and why I lost one of the most important relationships in my life. I was determined to learn everything I could about what makes relationships work – and why sometimes even Christian relationships fail.
I read, listened to, followed, and hung on the words of every respected relationship expert I could find. My journey took me through years of personal counseling and spiritual direction. And eventually led me to seminary where I earned an M.A. in pastoral care and biblical counseling.
Before my marriage fell apart, I thought I was doing everything I could to love others the way God wanted me to. But the truth was I was still relying heavily on my own strength and sheer determination to make things work.
I had to learn new ways of thinking about the relationships in my life. And new ways of relating to the people I love.
My quest for understanding turned into a passion. A passion for sharing with others how to keep our relationships healthy and strong. And the habits and assumptions that can keep them from thriving.
Here is what I know. Relationships are complicated because we are complicated people. So relationships can get messy. But God specializes in bringing reconciliation, peace, and joy to the messiest of situations. So even the most complicated relationships can grow healthy and strong when we learn to trust God for His wisdom and learn to love the way He asks us to. Even when life looks different from the one we were expecting.
Today I’m living the unexpected life of a single empty nester. My three grown children plus one daughter-in-law are out in the world making it a better place (in my humble opinion!) I’m crazy-stupid in love with my dog Scout. And coffee. And I fill up my days with writing, hiking, traveling, photography, reading good books, and spending time in lively, laughter-filled and sometimes irreverent conversations with my family and friends.
While I don’t claim to have any extraordinary super-powers where life, faith, and relationships are concerned, I do have a LOT of life experience (yes I know, age is just a number, but it sure seems to help!), a deep and abiding love for Jesus, and a passion for getting to the truth and finding ways to help when life gets complicated.
And I’m looking for others who value their relationships as much as I do. Friends who want to learn how to love God and others in healthy affirming ways, while caring for themselves the way God wants them to. Maybe that friend is you?
If so, I hope you’ll stop by often so we can learn together the truths, tools, habits, and beliefs that will keep our relationships thriving through all the stages and seasons of life. And celebrate together the happiness and joy we find when our relationships are healthy and strong because we are becoming the people we’ve been created to be.
With love and joy,
Daughter, mother, sister, friend, and writer of encouraging words.
M.A. Pastoral Care & Biblical Counseling
My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace. (1 Peter 5:12 NLT)