Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This is how I feel

My mom--former Realtor and staging expert extraordinaire--came to visit this weekend to help me get my house ready to sell. I really wish I didn't have to sell, especially since God hasn't shown me where my next move is going to be...yet!

My health has been an issue again so I knew I needed the help to get things ready. Mom is really talented with this stuff so it was great to just follow her instructions.

Thanks to Mom, the following items have been checked off the to do list:

Front walk:
• planted flowers
• hung hanging plants on a shepherd’s hook
• put brick red mulch on both sides
• replaced the storm door with the screen door
• swept and cleaned the walk

• swept out the garage
• touched up paint
• cleaned the door
• moved the shoe rack
• brought lots of stuff to the basement
• tossed the old carpets
• hung my key rack in the garage
• took the hat/mitten thing downstairs
• brought extra shoes to the basement

• threw out the extra linoleum
• painted the closet
• touched up the door and baseboard
• touched up the wall
• hung a green mirror
• moved the bookshelf in the entryway to the living room

Guest Bath:
• repaired the hole in the guest bath and repainted the back of the door that Bailey scratched
• hung a new print above the towel rack

Dining Room:
• touched up the paint
• put border paper in the dining room and moved the table 180 degrees.
• hung up a new picture
• bought a large candle holder and runner for the table, used greenery from the living room as a centerpiece

• spackled holes and touched up the paint and baseboards
• put up greenery and a swag
• polished table
• printed picture of house in the fall and hung in frame

Living Room:
• touched up paint and baseboards
• rehung big picture
• moved the loveseat from the living room to my bedroom
• bought a 27” flat screen TV to replace my 20” for a steal, along with the TV stand I originally wanted for $25 at the Second Time around
• moved the old TV to the basement
• moved the old TV stand to my bedroom for a bedstand stand
• borrowed a suede chair, matching ottoman and end table from the neighbors
• moved the old end table to the office
• bought a purple and green tree for corner
• put framed picture of house on the CD shelf with purple vase with greens

• bought two chairs from Mel Trotter
• brought up plastic end table from basement
• hung plant

• removed picture from stairway and rehung in master bath
• touched up paint on walls and railing

Master Bedroom:
• moved the headboard from my bedroom to the basement
• hung pictures and a mirror from Salvation Army in my bedroom
• installed the ceiling fan in my bedroom
• moved the shelf I was using for a bedstand and the other shelf to the office
• moved the lamp from the living room to my bedroom
• hung print from the stairwell in the bathroom

• touched up paint on walls
• fixed my gold record and hung it the landing

Office Bath:
• hung a plate holder in my office bath and put rolled washcloths on it
• bought a basket at Mel Trotter and put rolled towels and toiletries in for the office bath
• hung the bulletin board in my office

At any rate, Mom and I are both exhausted. Bailey, as you can see, is well rested.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Couldn't Have Said it Better Myself

I'm in serious downsizing mode. After ten years in publishing and a lifelong addiction to books, I'm paring down my 3,000 book library. I've started with my fiction books, many of which have sat on my shelves for years, unread. So I'm in a bit of a reading race.

Today I finished a Sins of the Mother by Patricia Rushford. There's a great conversation between two characters that articulates well the idea of the sleeper effect and how child's "resilience" is often just a coping mechanism.

From p. 190:

“Most of us have childhood wounds that need to be dealt with. I’m convinced that God gives children the ability to overcome or forget the abuses or traumas they suffer until we’re old enough to cope. It’s like we stuff the bad things in a garbage bag and hide it in a corner of our minds. But eventually, when we’re old enough and mature enough, the garbage starts to ferment. It bubbles to the surface and needs to be sorted through and disposed of in a healthy way.”

“And keeping it stuffed down isn’t healthy.”

“No. The healthy way is to let each issue rise to the surface, examine I from your adult perspective, and hand it to God. He’s the Great Physician, Shanna. He’s the ultimate healer. It’s like if you have a ruptured appendix—if you don’t have surgery, the infection will kill you. With surgery and antibiotics, a doctor can restore you to health.”

“So you’re saying God can make everything better?”

“Only if we let Him. The Bible says to cast all your cares on Him.”

"Guess I have a lot of garbage to sort through. Where do I start?”

“You already have.”

Monday, July 17, 2006

Media Alert: The Abel Hour

A few weeks ago, I came across Abel Koegh's website. Abel was widowed in his early twenties and began blogging a few month's after his wife's death. Over the course of a few days, I was drawn into his story and spent many late hours reading his mostly-daily posts as he came to terms with his wife's death, dealing with issues like how/why to remove his wedding ring, dating again, and his eventual remarriage. Abel is working on a memoir and I wrote to offer my help. He sent me a few chapters and the proposal, and I'm even more hooked!

I have a link to my own blog and website in my email signature, and as a result of our correspondence, he checked out my blog. Abel recently began a new job as the host of a radio program and invited me to be a guest.

So tomorrow, Tuesday, July 18th, I'll be on The Abel Hour 11am-noon Mountain Time (1pm-2pm Eastern). Utah residents can tune in to K-Star 1400 AM in Provo. Everyone else can listen online.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

ABC-TV’s SUPERNANNY Seeks Divorced Parents and Stepfamilies

ABC-TV’s SUPERNANNY Seeks Divorced Parents and Stepfamilies
Free Best-Selling “Supernanny” Book For First 5 Families That Apply

Are you and your ex sharing custody? Are the rules between the two households different? Are your stepchildren having a hard time adjusting to your new family dynamic? Do you and your ex-husband or ex-wife have completely different ideas on disciplining your children?

Supernanny Jo Frost can help you!

If you’re interested in applying to appear on the show Supernanny, email Lisa Cohn at She’ll connect you with the folks at ABC-TV’s Supernanny.

The casting department is offering a free copy of Jo Frost’s “Supernanny: How To Get The Best From Your Children” (Hyperion Books) to the first five families that apply. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for 10 weeks.

If a family gets selected to be on the show, the production crew visits them for two weeks. Jo Frost and the crew come to give you and your family hands-on advice, but within your normal routine. Supernanny wants to give you tools to deal with the frustrations you meet in the course of the day. The show’s producers may ask for a couple days off work or school depending on when Jo is in your house, and for that inconvenience the makers of Supernanny offer a stipend.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Making Peace with the Unknown

There's a saying, "The more I know, the more I know I don't know." In this season of transition, there's very little I take for granted. I'm no longer driven to make my mark on the world, but I am interested in making a mark in my world. My approach to time has changed, too. I'm much more of a day-by-day girl, now. One benefit of this approach time is being able to appreciate the process of life rather than only the outcomes. This weekend is a good example.

On Saturday I had a first date with a guy very different than my typical type. We've been getting to know each other for a few weeks now and the best word I can use to describe my interest is "intrigued." I don't know enough to know whether we should pursue things, but I don't know enough to say we definitely shouldn't either. In the past, I would have avoided the unknown by ruling him out. But I'm trying to do things differently. So we met and ended up having a really good time.

One of things that most attracted me to him is that it's clear from his relational history that he is able to love well. By well, I mean unconditionally. He's weathered some things I can't fathom, and has come through with a remarkably positive view of love and marriage. Those of you who know me and my own relational history understand that this is a rather irresistible trait. As we talked throughout the day, his outlook challenged me to be more free (less fearful) about the process of loving and be loved.

I'm reminded that everyone we meet has the power to influence us for better or for worse. As for my Saturday date, I'm better for having met him. I hope he feels the same way.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Good Day

A variety of people, in a variety of ways, have asked me a variation of the same question, "What are you going to do with your life now that...?" I don't think anyone is more surprised than I am that I don't have a tidy answer. I'm just open. My constant prayer for the last several months has been for God to show me where and how He can use me, as I am, post-injury.

I've always been a security girl. Give me a steady paycheck and clearly outlined expectations and I'm good to go. It fits real well with the independent streak I've been nurturing for the last 30 years.

That streak has ended.

There's a term thrown around a lot in post-modern circles, deconstruction. In the Jen dictionary, it's the idea that you have to completely breaking something down, set aside all assumptions to get to a new starting point, after which, presumably, you then build it back up with a new/better/more solid foundation. I've had to deconstruct much of what I've believed about love, relationships and marriage. In this current season of life, I'm deconstructing my faith in some ways

I was talked to a friend recently about my relationship with God. I said I feel like I'm in a bad marriage with Him right now. Neither of us are going to divorce and I know that the only thing worse than where I am is being where I am without Him. So it's rough...for now. We aren't communicating well. We aren't (I'm not) hearing well. But it's a valley, not the end of the relationship. It's been miserable, but I think maybe I've needed the misery. (I hate that I've needed the misery). I needed to get good and mad so that I could be good and mad at God. I've needed to come to this place of being utterly unable to put on a good front. I needed to get messy and raw and broken to see that even when I'm messy and raw and broken, I'm still of value to Him. I can lose my job, my house, my bank account, my friends, my boyfriend, my hope...and still be loved and worthy of love. I've known that truth with my head, but I think maybe I needed to experience the truth of it with my heart to let it sink in.

I'm optimistic today that I've started re-constructing. Last night I had two separate conversations with out-of-state friends who shared with me how God has used to post-injury me to bring healing to others. I so needed that affirmation. I still don't have a good answer to the question, but I'm seeing the return of hope that there is an answer.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I'm very grateful to a few friends who invited me to join them up north for the holiday weekend. After dropping the K family at the airport, the last thing I wanted to do was be home alone.

On the way up, I listened to John Mayer and was reminded of his great song, "Daughters." Another great addition to the child of divorce soundtrack, this song hits on a couple of important points. Of course, the overall theme is the generational effect parental choices have on their kids. If parents teach their children that love is fickle and fleeting, their kids are going to struggle to receive and relay love, especially as adults in their own romantic relationships.

But the first stanza is the one that really gets to me. John muses about the girl he loves and how, despite all the hoops he jumps through to prove his love, she is still an emotional chameleon. He realizes that her inability to be secure with him is more about her father's love than his. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the perfectionistic view of love I've held--that it is something we earn for what we can offer--not only with my parents, but with my friends, the guys I've known, my friends, and especially with God. This weekend I was around a couple that inspires me with their picture of imperfect, yet faithful love. It fuels my hope that I will someday love and be loved well. In the meantime, I wonder if there will be a man patient enough to figure out the puzzle that is me.

w/m John Mayer
from the album, Heavier Things

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
but she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change

And I've done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Ooh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left
cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without warmth from
A woman's good, good heart

On behalf of every man
looking out for every girl
You are the guide and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters, too
So mothers be good to your daughters, too
So mothers be good to your daughters, too.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

OPPORTUNITY: Upcoming CBS Early Show segment on divorce

CBS The Early Show
Upcoming 3-part segment on divorce

A producer at the Early Show is looking for adult children of divorce interested in talking about their experiences on camera, AS WELL AS divorced parents of at-home children who are going through some of the typical stresses of divorce and joint custody.

If you are interested, or know someone who is, please contact Kim Kennedy, producer, at