Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Alanis Morisette simply makes me cry. Wish we were both here.

Love and money

As if I needed a reason to marry "well," from the man who brought us The Millionaire Next Door comes this tidbit:
"Millionaire couples have one-third the divorce rate of nonmillionaire couples."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Children who divorce

I'm not surprised to see this article, and glad that someone is addressing the needs of parents whose children are going through a divorce. Parents have dreams for their children, but those dreams never include divorce. When people divorce, the effects ripple through an entire family. More and more parents have to deal with their own grief at seeing their children divorce. When grandchildren are involved, the issue is complicated further since grandparents have no legal right to visitation except in very rare cases.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You've got betrayal

From an article on Steve Case in Washingtonian magazine (which, I can't believe I lived without for the last 10 years!):

The AOL juggernaut changed the face of Northern Virginia, creating an economic boom of car dealerships, new brick mansions, private jet sales, and restaurant openings. No segment profited more from AOL's success than the area's divorce attorneys. Infused with wealth, AOL employee-investors cashed out their first wives and acquired new ones, generating complicated questions about how to divide stock options that a handful of attorneys were able to exploit. The lawyers called them "AOL divorces." Case epitomized the trend with his own messy divorce from his wife, Joanne, who had been with him since Williams College. They'd married in 1985 and had three children. Eleven years later, in 1996, Case announced that he was having an affair with Jean Villanueva, a fellow executive of the company since the days of Q-Link.

Monday, February 19, 2007

How the church can help

From Tod E. Bolsinger in It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian:

When I was a relatively young Christian, my family was in a time of turmoil. My parents had gone through a divorce, and we stopped going to church. As a college student and a staff member for Youth for Christ, I was asked to serve on the evangelism committee of my church. And at my first meeting I met Howard and Alice Thomas, a dear elderly couple. At the end of the night we prayed together, and they mentioned a dozen people or more. They prayed with a sense of passion and care for these people, none of whom were their own children. Afterward I went up to them and told them, "I'm so deeply touched by the way you pray for these people. It's like the way I picture parents praying for their children." I had never
met Howard and Alice Thomas before that night. But Howard looked at me and said, "We will pray for you every day. What is your name, son?" They put my picture on their refrigerator. When I got married, Beth's picture was added and when my children came along, theirs too. Until first Howard and then Alice died, they prayed for me every day. Today, in no small part because of those prayers, all of the members of my family confess Christ and my mother and stepfather are both elders in the Presbyterian church. That is the kind of relationship that we have to offer the world--prayerful interdependence lived out because of Christ by the Spirit.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

News News News!!!

I am thrilled to announce that InterVarsity Press will be publishing my book for the grown children of divorce in 2008! This has been in the works for several months and has been a blessing every bit of the way. The official signed contract arrived today. Big huge thanks to Catherine (who introduced me to my wonderful editor at IVP!) and Lori, my fabulous writer friends who have given me the joy and will to write. Please pray with me over the coming months as I write, that God will give me the right words of hope and grace and insights into His character and love for us.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dad and chocolate

From Dawn Eden:

For most of my life, there have been two certainties about Valentines Day: I will not have a date, and my father will send me a jumbo box of chocolates. Dad moved away when I was a kid, a few years after my parents split. I knew him then as a workaholic who sometimes had to be reminded of my birthday — but he never forgot February 14. As a child, although I never minded getting candy, Dad's Valentine gift made me a bit sad because it left me wanting more. It reminded me how much I wanted his presence — not just his presents.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Divorce and the church

Perhaps I'm a little slow, but the irony of this has only just occured to me. Read about the split in the Episcopal church and inevitably you'll see the word "divorce" used to describe the contention. Churches leaving the Episcopal denomination are aligning themselves with the Anglicans, whose origin is the Church of England. If you remember your history, you'll recall that the Church of England began because of...ironic drumroll, please...a divorce. Henry VIII, determined to have a son, wanted to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn. The Catholic church would not grant him the favor, so Henry decided to break with the church and declare himself head of his own denomination. Not an auspicious beginning. But I have to believe this is one of the times when what men intended for evil, God intended for good.

Divorce and heroin

From NPR:
You don't expect your child to grow up to be a heroin addict. From the moment of her birth, you have hopes and dreams about the future, but they never include heroin addiction...When the initial shock wore off, I analyzed and inventoried all the whys and hows of Katie's addiction. I searched for someone or something to blame. I blamed her friends. I blamed her dad. I blamed our divorce. But mostly, I blamed myself.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Those words come from a hymn written by Charles Wesley, and I was put in mind of them this morning, the day before Valentine's Day, as I sat down with my One Year Bible. I'm not on the read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan this year, but I picked up my One Year Bible this morning for my time with the Lord, and the passages from the Old and New Testaments were both so appropriate for this love-ly time of year.

In Exodus 35 and 36, we learn that the Israelites were to build God a gorgeous, portable dwelling place, a tent that could be moved with the people during their wilderness wanderings. This was no pop-and-throw. Everything in it was first-rate. We're told that God had, in fact, raised up men who were extremely gifted artisans for just this time. They were the Mozarts of sewing and weaving and smithing, and they were also skilled at teaching others how to do these things. These men worked diligently and happily on the Lord's Tabernacle. The rest of the people had a part to play as well. They were to bring all the materials needed for the work, including fine cloth and precious metal. They gave so joyfully that the workmen eventually had to take a break to go tell Moses that the people had to stop giving! They had already given more than enough!

When was the last time you heard that news from a pulpit? These people had just seen the glory of the Lord covering Mount Sinai, they had just received instructions from the Lord, through Moses, for how they were to live, and they were so in awe of this magnificent God that their hearts overflowed with love and they gave so much that it was too much. Would that we would have hearts so full of God's grace and power!

In Matthew 27, we read of another outpouring of love, this time love directed at us from our Creator. The familiar tale of the crucifixion of Christ reminds us of God's great love for us. As Jesus hung on the cross, He suffered intense physical agony, mental anguish, and the mockery of onlookers. Yet, in all these things, He didn't sin by cursing God, or cursing us, or giving the whole thing up as just not worth it. What kept Him there on the cross wasn't nails; it was love.

What is our response to such love? Charles Wesley got it right, I think:

Finish then Thy new creation, Pure and spotless let us be
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee.
Changed from glory into glory, 'Til in heaven we take our place,
'Til we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Playing it too safe

I was vegging in front of the television last night with a couple of magazines and couldn't be bothered to change the channel when Extra! came on. Hollywood fluff can be amusing, so on it stayed. Then, I heard this little gem. Jim Carrey was being interviewed, specifically about his relationship with gal-pal Jenny McCarthy.

Jim: We're never getting married.

Reporter [disappointed and shocked]: Never??

Jim: Never...BUT, the good news is, we're never getting divorced [looks smug]

Well, now there's a life philosophy for you: You can't lose if you don't risk. Hint to Jim--neither can you win. Let's imagine how this philosophy would work out if others jumped on the Jim Carrey 'Fraidy Wagon.

Tony Bennett: I'm never singing a live concert...but, the good news is, I'll never get booed.

The Gipper: I'm never running for President...but, the good news is, I'll never lose a Presidential election.

Stephen King: I'm never submitting my novel to a publisher...but, the good news is, I'll never get a rejection notice. (Okay, this one almost happened; thanks to Tabitha for saving Carrie from the garbage can, literally.)

Wilbur Wright: I'm never pushing this thing off a sand dune...but, the good news is, I'll never crash an airplane.

Christopher Columbus: I'm never setting sail...but, the good news is, I won't be ridiculed when I fall off the end of the flat world.

Greatness takes a willingness to dare, to risk, to step out and stand for something. Faint heart ne'er won fair maid, and all that. Yes, there's a risk that you'll lose it all--but it's only a risk; the actual good news is, you might grab the brass ring and take home the prize. Sigh, where have all the heroes gone?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No crystal stair

Today (because I'm up way too late) is the first day of Black History Month. This has become one of my favorite months--well, okay, it's always been one of my favorite months because it's my birthday month--but, really, it's become one of my favorite months because for the last six years or so, this is the month Miss Lillian comes to devotions and leads us in singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing," also known as the Negro National Anthem, written by poet James Weldon Johnson with music by his brother. Read the words here and listen to a funky arrangement here.

Another famous black poet was Langston Hughes, whose birthday is today. Hughes was a child of divorce, his father having abandoned the family, and was raised mainly by his grandmother. This was in the first decade of the 1900s, not a time when we think of divorce even being around, though of course it was. Hughes eventually reconnected with both his mother and father, but his relationship with his father particularly troubled him. And I'm reminded, reading of his mother's long absence from his life, of Hughes' famous poem, "Mother to Son:"

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.