Navigating Depression in Community

Navigating Depression in Community

The first time I went to a counselor for my depression was sixth grade. At a loss for how to address my issues, my parents sent me to see Mr. Mac, the counselor at my elementary school. As if I weren’t already misfit enough as a new kid that year with my bowties and Madonna socks and gloves (in addition to calling Mr. Ibbotson, our teacher, “Mama” in front of the entire class), I was taken out of the classroom once a week to talk with Mr. Mac. And everyone knew it—one wall of his second-floor office was all windows, overlooking the school’s common area.

I hated sitting on his orange sofa surrounded by motivational posters, as if I would feel better simply by smiling more often or “hanging in there.” Hanging in there until what? What would change how I felt? And was anyone going to help that kitten hanging off the tree branch?

Kara’s Collection: This One Voice of Mine

Kara’s Collection: This One Voice of Mine

From an article originally posted December 9, 2013…

Recently someone kindly wrote me and encouraged me to write letters for my children for their futures. My heart thought, I am. Every blog post is a letter for my people. This voice of mine, it’s what I have. I write, and write, and write, and truly at the heart of my prolific writing is that my kids will one day journey here and hear my heart. My guy, my kids, my community, it feels like a legacy. I want to be here to walk through their hard days and offer them grace, but knowing my story, I feel compelled to come to this place, and my own journal, so they can know me, hear me, be pointed to Jesus, and find grace to see their way through hard days.

Unknown, poured out, and lonely

Unknown, poured out, and lonely

You know the loneliness even in the midst of a crowded room? You’re at the party of your colleague’s birthday and no one approaches you or seems to notice you. The sermon has wrapped up and everyone seems to have friends and a reason for  conversation while you’re awkwardly standing there, not sure where to go. You start a new school or new job... On and on the list can go. It even happens to me, the extrovert who will talk to anyone at a get-together; I often leave a gathering feeling unknown, poured out, and lonely.

Kara’s Collection: Proudly on the Naughty List!

Kara’s Collection: Proudly on the Naughty List!

From an article originally posted December 5, 2013…

I have been quietly struggling with the paradox of the American holiday we find ourselves in the midst of today. I do not wish to enter the Santa-no-Santa debate. It is one Jason and I have wrestled through and come to a comfortable peace in our home. The debate is intense and often unkind;  it’s almost as unkind as the political conversation in our nation. For that reason, I have backed away. But I will comment on a heart to the holiday that I think is troubling.

The Grace of Presence

The Grace of Presence

One day last year, I was visiting Kara. After a short time, she excused herself to the sanctuary of her bedroom to find rest; her hospice nurse had been there earlier and had increased her pain medications, making her feel nauseated and tired. I offered to help her up the stairs. The cancer had spread to her bones and muscles by that time, making simple tasks difficult. She said she would be okay on her own, so we kissed goodbye and I gathered my things to go home.