Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Edition to the COD Soundtrack

Thanks to anonymous for alerting me to Lindsey Lohan's song, "Confessions Of A Broken Heart" It's found on her album, A Little More Personal (Raw).

The video offers an insightful look at Lindsay's private pain in the midst of her parents' very public divorce.

Confessions Of A Broken Heart

I wait for the postman to bring me a letter
I wait for the good Lord to make me feel better
And I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders
A family in crisis that only grows older

Why'd you have to go
Why'd you have to go
Why'd you have to go

Daughter to father, daughter to father
I am broken but I am hoping
Daughter to father, daughter to father
I am crying, a part of me is dying and
These are, these are
The confessions of a broken heart

And I wear all your old clothes, your polo sweater
I dream of another you
The one who would never (never)
Leave me alone to pick up the pieces
A daddy to hold me, that's what I needed

So why'd you have to go
Why'd you have to go
Why'd you have to go!!

Daughter to father, daughter to father
I don't know you, but I still want to
Daughter to father, daughter to father
Tell me the truth, did you ever love me
Cause these are, these are
The confessions of a broken heart

I love you,
I love you
I love you
I love you!!

Daughter to father, daughter to father
I don't know you, but I still want to
Daughter to father, daughter to father
Tell me the truth...
Did you ever love me!!!?
Did you ever love me?
These are.....
The confessions...of a broken heart


I wait for the postman to bring me a letter..

Friday, November 24, 2006

Becoming a Buckeye

It's official....I have my Ohio driver's license. Now if only I could sell my house in Michigan! I'll be shuttling back and forth until January when I hope to start vocational rehab in Canton.

Not sure about a school with a nut for a mascot, but Ohioans are quite nuts about their team. If you want to show a little love for my new home state, click here to purchase the children's book pictured.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Coping with Christmas

Next week is Thanksgiving, ushering in what is often the most difficult time of the year for families affected by divorce. With that in mind, here's a article Ann Byle wrote for Christianity Today a few years ago.

Coping with Christmas
For adult children of divorced parents, the holidays aren't as happy as they are supposed to be. Author Jen Abbas has some advice.
By Ann Byle

The holiday season can be a difficult time for adult children of divorce. Family gatherings are often hard to attend with family members spread across the country. Traditional activities such as caroling or baking or even going to church can be stressful as memories of happier holidays haunt the present.

Jen Abbas, author of Generation EX: Adult Children of Divorce and the Healing of Our Pain has twice felt the pain of divorce. Her birth parents divorced when she was six; her mother and stepfather divorced when she was 18. Abbas, 32, says other adult children of divorce can take steps toward making the holidays happy again.

Realistic expectations

"You must be realistic about your expectations," says Abbas, an associate marketing director at Zondervan. "There will probably be tension. There may be a situation where you can't be in two places at once, where it's not practical to see both parents."

Abbas recommends setting another day for holiday celebrations with divorced parents. She travels to Minnesota, where her mother, father and stepfather live, over Thanksgiving and celebrates Christmas then. "You can't control what your parents' responses are; you can only control what you do," she says. "Parents do the best that they can, but Christmas is not going to be the way it used to be."

Abbas has reclaimed Christmas for herself, a task she urges other adult children of divorce to do. She spends Christmas with friends because she knows the holidays will never be same with her family. One person she knows has a Christmas party featuring the traditions and food of a different country each year. "It's kind of embracing the idea that things always change," said Abbas. "Embrace the change and create your own traditions."

Be proactive

While relationships with parents may be strained, Abbas encourages adult children to tell their parents what they want to do for the holidays. She says adult children should tell their divorced parents they can't be in two places as once but they want to spend time with both sides of the family.

"You're regaining a sense of control because you're not caught in the middle of their expectations," says Abbas. "If you're proactive about saying what you can do, that takes you out of feeling guilty. It's your right to take a little control over how you spend the holidays because you didn't choose this to begin with."

Build a support system

Abbas, who lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan, is far from her birth parents and stepfather. She's gathered a cadre of friends around her who understand her struggles as a child of divorced parents, and who know how difficult this season is for Abbas.

"A support system is important because if you have people who know the holidays are hard, as well as why and how you respond to that time, they will be intentional about reaching out to you," she says. "This year I had some friends say in October that they expected me at their home on Christmas morning. I never had to worry about where I'd go."

Friends who are part of your support system will draw you out at this time of year, help you acknowledge your feelings, and remind you of the truth of Christ. They also affirm their commitment to you despite "this not being our finest moment," Abbas says.

Abbas says adult children of divorce should tell friends about their feelings and actions so they know what is going on. "A support system will be intentional about reaching out. For me, my friends are the family that I choose when my family of origin is my stressor."

Manage the triggers

Abbas recommends managing the many memory triggers that occur during the holidays. A smell, a place, a song can bring you back to your past.

"If you recognize that those triggers will come up, you can acknowledge them, then choose your response," she says. "If people are aware of a trigger, they'll do something different. Maybe if cutting a tree is too painful, you get an artificial tree and make it special in your own way.

"My mom's favorite carol is 'O Holy Night,' so when I heard it I would think about sad things. Now when I hear it I've reclaimed it for myself. I tie it to new memories," she says.

With 33 million adult children of divorce and a million children affected by divorce each year, Abbas has a ready audience.

Generation EX has highlighted the controversy over the long-term effects of divorce. Many believe divorce does not affect children throughout their lives

"People ask when is the best time to get a divorce. But divorce is always horrific, traumatic," says Abbas. "Your life will never be the same again. Just like a child who loses a limb can live a full and happy life, you can't deny there is still a loss. So it is with divorce."

Abbas wrote Generation EX, her first book, because she wanted to read a volume like it. She found plenty of books on how to get a divorce, books for children and teens on coping with divorce, but not many books on how divorce affects us over a lifetime. She also saw it as a way to process her own parents' divorce.

"It's not a book about blame or saying that your parents should have stayed together, because that's their issue. The book says that divorce hurts, that you must accept that, and then asks what you are going to do to heal. It's about what I've learned."

Friday, November 03, 2006

House STILL For Sale

I'm coming up on the third anniversary of my first head injury. I've been pretty amazed by the way God has provided for my needs during this time. I continue to learn and accept the way this injury has changed my life, and while I'm sad by many of the changes, I can also embrace the blessings.

One of the blessings for which I'm most thankful is the new family of friends He has given me in Canton, Ohio. When I moved to Grand Rapids seven years ago, I knew no one. In short time, I grew to love this area and the many friends that made this place home. In the past several months as I've felt God pulling up the tent pegs on my life here, I have become more aware of how He has been preparing for my life there.

Since August, I've been spending at least a week a month in Canton with my new friends, developing not only a picture of my new life, but solidifying the new me. Everyone in Canton has met me post-injury and their love has helped me learn to love the post-injury me. This past trip, I had the opportunity to stay with a couple's three children while they were out of town for the weekend. It was great to be in a position to serve others. Though there's still so much I love about GR, I'm increasingly feeling that my life is on hold here in GR, and in play when I'm in Canton. I'm excited to get started on my new life in Canton...spiritually, emotionally, professionally (in whatever shape that might take), and especially financially.

The greatest financial pressure comes comes my home. I've come to accept that, like most who have sustained MTBIs, I can't do the same work I did before. And quite likely, that I won't be able to earn or sustain the same standard of living I've been blessed to enjoy before the head injury. I've made my peace with it and already I'm started to come up with ideas of new jobs I'd like to try. But first, I need to move. So far I've been able to pay my mortgage, COBRA and other utilities with savings, my advance, a few gifts and downsizing my stuff. Though my budget is lean, my income is leaner. With the snow swirling outside as I type this, my constant prayer is that the house will sell quickly so I can move before the Michigan winter really hits. I just dropped the price, and I posted this message today so that those who live in GR--and maybe those who wish they did!-- could spread the word to those they know.

My townhouse is in Bailey's Grove, a wonderful neighborhood with a community center, pool, and walking paths. My neighbors are amazing and many have become friends. All of the townhouses in our development have been completed so the only options are previously owned homes. What distinguishes mine from the others is brand new carpeting and padding, fresh paint, a furnace humidifier (our homes get a bit dry in the winter), contemporary ceiling fans in each bedroom, a big, clean basement ready to be finished, and now, a new low price.

Learn more about it here. Even better, take a peek inside here.

Regardless of where you live, I'd appreciate you joining me in prayer that God would quickly unite my home with its new owners.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

MEDIA ALERT: The River 100.5 and Lite Rock 95.7

Today I braved the Michigan snow to meet Judy Wagley from The River 100.5 FM here in Grand Rapids. We had a great time recording 20 minute interview that will air next Sunday morning, November 12th on both The River and their sister station, WLTE Lite Rock 95.7

The inteview will air at 8am on WLTE and 9am on The River. If you're not here in GR, you can listen online.