seespeakhearmama : mothering with my senses

mothering | parenting resources | adoption advocacy | infertility support | hope

Something New

Re-post from early March

It’s a brisk pre-spring day in NYC and the chill in the air is helping  keep me awake after last nights online craziness.  I went to bed at 3:30 a.m. – way too late for a mama like me. The lovelies are in no way concerned with my late night hi-jinx and prefer that I keep it moving in the a.m. No excuses.

So….I am in the process of upgrading from to  I am not a computer wiz…not by far – so this is me – stretching again.  I am jumping off a very steep cliff with this and feel uncertain but I’m pressing through.  Please take a moment to explore the site ( and offer any feedback or tips that might make this transition a little smoother AND don’t forget to subscribe/follow  me here. I have so enjoyed walking,sharing and connecting with you – our journey together has just begun so let’s keep it flowing. The good nerves aka butterflies are fluttering and spring is upon us…I’ll take that as my cue to keep watering my little seedling called a blog and enjoy the new.

P.S. wanted to take a moment to urge you to consider lurking outside of your comfort zone. We serve a God of limitless creativity and He deposited some of it in all of us. Have you ever experienced the thrill of “the try”?

dreams2on my grind…

A few things…

  • I am officially launching the new site at  I’m having the usual self-hosted site drama and not sure how any of this is working yet, but I miss you!
  •  I posted a new blog today…
  • you can find it here:
  • Stop by for a visit and make sure to subscribe.  
  • set your hearts to hope all and have a blessed day….

Five Minute Friday: After


my favorite picture …. of my favorite lady

After. I’m bothered that the word “after” brings you to mind.  I am your youngest daughter , the one with your eyes, your creamy coffee skin tone, your hands…at 47 years old I am grateful to God for allowing me to have a mother for so long. Others have not been so fortunate and  I am at an age where attending the funeral of a dear friends parent is becoming an all too frequent activity.  Yet, I am not ready to say good-bye to you.

You are getting older. At 70 you are as pretty as ever.  I can see the girl/young woman you used to be. But I also see someone else taking her rightful place, as you transition to the next season of your life.  You as a senior citizen. You, in old age.  The skin on your neck, your hands, and more importantly, your mind is not what it used to be.  I cover for you most of the time…repeating snippets of conversation and reminding you that I forget too.  My attempt at camaraderie, joining you, in the irregularity of this ugly break down. The doctors say we have to wait this out. Supplements, powerful nutrition and engagement have been prescribed and I am happy about that.  It may stay the same or it may get worse. Not so bad now that they’d recommend medication. So we wait and wonder.  But I sometimes worry – that your best days are already past – that your quality of life will be permanently shifted by the need for the kind of help you would absolutely refuse.  That this mental deterioration is hereditary.  I wonder if it will escalate and finally end in you..not Words like Alzheimer’s and dementia are frightful and I don’t want to think about – after.   I rest knowing that you are intimately acquainted with the One who loves you most but I don’t want to think of life without you. After.

After you are gone I won’t be able to call you and chat about our favorite celebrities on Dancing with the Stars.  After you’re gone my favorite babysitter won’t be available – even though as the years go by you want less and less to be called upon for this task. I won’t have my life line. My matrix. All selfish reasons but they are the reasons of a daughter who needs and will miss – her mother. After.  Being a mother now, I know the importance of having one.  A mother. I am often overwhelmed by the significance of the  role. The inspiring role you have played in mine. The work and sacrifice – the overwhelming  and beautiful responsibility…of mother. I will miss my mother. After. And I am not ready for any of this.  I don’t want to think about it and I’m glad this link-up exercise is only 5 minutes long.  But you came to mind and perhaps its healthy for me to give voice to my fears.  Free them from my head and heart so that I can simply love you in the moment. Now. It’s late, but I’ll call you anyway because I really don’t want to think about….after.

Dear Lord, I am so in love with the mother you gave to me.  We are both your daughters and I know You hold her life in your hands.  I lift her up to you now. Renew. Restore.  In Jesus name.  Amen.


Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday @  The writing prompts are a blessing along with the beautifully inspired work that follows.  Visit her site to see more.

again, it took me 20 minutes to pull this together but I’m working on it.

Unless otherwise noted, the contents of this blog are copyrighted by Lisha Epperson. Please do not reprint any portion of these posts without prior written permission. Thank you.(c) Copyright Lisha Epperson, 2011-13

Sweet Dreams…in the Land of Maybe


I learned to hate the word maybe. Maybe wasn’t always, but became, murky, middle of the road, nowhere. Maybe was getting lost in a fairy tale.  The miraculous now scary forest. It was easy to fall out of love with this word. Maybe once represented optimism and a sun-filled future…now, because of broken dreams – only confusion and pain. Maybe felt lost. Infertility is a big maybe. Maybe yes. Maybe no. We can’t say. We don’t know.  Before infertility takes its stance as dreaded no, or prayerful yes, you can spend a lot of time in the land of maybe.  It’s hard to make decisions about anything when a simple question can’t be answered. Should we move? Should I buy those jeans? Should I sign up for that class.  Living with unanswered questions left me dangling.  My life hanging by an invisible thread that bound me in stillness.  There was no room for movement in maybe.  The crippling inactivity left me lethargic. I could do no more than breathe. That alone is not living. Alive? Yes. Living? No. MP900382674

My first miscarriage shook me. Still green from the newness of love in a god-ordained marriage, I couldn’t grasp the loss experienced when told that the baby in me no longer lived. I walked away from the doctor’s office that day a different person. As I struggled to comprehend what was going on – doubt and fear made swift introductions as my newly appointed companions.  I wish I could have been stronger or had the wisdom to recognize these bullies but I was so weak and they… so powerful.  For every positive word I forced myself to whisper they attacked with facts and statistics that at the time seemed irrefutable.   I rationalized that I couldn’t win and accepted their false friendship. Hence I believed and was thus overtaken by doubt and fear. It wouldn’t be long before a  shadow  of unbelief was cast over everyone and every thing around me. Unbelief  kills hope and maybe should be hopeful. Maybe is nothing without hope.

Infertility may not be your issue. Yet I trust in the predictability of life. You will find yourselves in a situation where you’ll want desperately for an answer but will instead, be told to wait. To pack your things and take up residence in this place of seemingly dismal stagnation. When that happens remember this…write it down and hold fast to this lesson.  I want you to know NOT to be moved by the stillness of maybe. Sit with it. Honor it. Respect it. God will speak and you will hear. You will emerge a new person because you weren’t afraid of maybe…like I was.

dreams1Maybe represents opportunity. Maybe means that you have the blessing of choice. There’s maturity in maybe – the beauty of standing in the middle of a situation and not being consumed by the weight of the word or world. Not feeling compelled to act, but willing yourself to stay still.  Maybe can be strong.  It takes strength to live day after day without an answer. It takes strength to dangle from that indecisive thread.  Simply holding on will build character and develop faith.  Maybe demands silence – so God can be heard. Shhh…before the choice is made you’ll have to listen. The blessing of maybe will gently guide you to realign your vision so that it matches His. Waiting supports the process. Clarity of mind is the reward. When you experience it, you’ll know it – God-given and granted PEACE. Your waiting time will bring it forth.

Maybe brought you to me.  Each of your entries into our lives was birthed through a time spent quietly but reluctantly with maybe.  For you LiChai, time spent with maybe helped me to consider the possibility of you..making you real while I slowly adjusted to extraordinary life changes and choices. The complete surprise of Ila was perhaps the biggest maybe of all. We weren’t looking when you arrived but we chose the maybe of you and happily dived in. An unexpected longing and two years of prayers marked the maybe of Chailah. And finally, Ade’ was the tangible expression of maybe that literally altered my physical body. So many maybes that turned into babies, our greatest wish for the future – exponential potential.  I hope you’ll live expectantly in a land of possibility – not moved by the challenge of maybe.

p.s. I wrote this post for my children but recognize that the question of maybe looms large for all at one point or another. I urge  you to endure this season of waiting and unanswered questions with optimism for your future. With Him as your guide, it’s sure to be bright and peace will reign.  Post below, your comments and testimonies… your trials and triumphs with “maybe”.  I’d love to hear them!

Story LineJoining friend Kathi Denfeld @ for StoryLine Link-up

Unless otherwise noted, the contents of this blog are copyrighted by Lisha Epperson. Please do not reprint any portion of these posts without prior written permission. Thank you.(c) Copyright Lisha Epperson, 2011-13

I’ve Been Nominated for the Liebster Award!


I’ve been nominated for The Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers by their peers in the blogging world.  So just what does Liebster mean?  Did a little poking around the blogging world and found out that it’s German….it means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. I am encouraged by every word and could not be more honored.  Thanks to Marcy Hanson at NoMaybeBaby , for the nomination!

Below you’ll find 11 random facts about me, my answers to specific questions and finally I will list 11 other bloggers that I am nominating for this award.  Please take a moment to visit their blogs.  I have been blessed by and have enjoyed reading/connecting with this loving and talented community.  Each of them has so much to share…truly..take the time and be encouraged.

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I used to be a professional ballet dancer.

2. I am a grandmother of 2. Always thought I’d have a long gray braid before that happened but

3. learned to endure and perhaps enjoy the world of maybe. In the past I felt lost in the middle and only felt peace in the definitive – Yes or No. Again…Life.

4.My favorite animal is the hippopotamus.  Do any of you remember Henrietta Hippo from the New Zoo Revue?  in Swahili you’d say kiboko.

5. think I came out as a Christian as a result of social media.  I didn’t realize it but I sort of lived in 2 worlds.  My NYC homeschooling mama life ( where we just don’t get into the politics of faith) and my church life where I served in the ministry.  but they always remained separate.  getting involved on twitter and FB introduced my communities to each other and brought my faith out to be shared with all.  Amen!

6. I am ticklish.  I would tell you where but you might use it against me someday – my husband and children do.

7. I love a long dress. The longer the better.  Trailing skirts, tattered and dusty hems…love. love. love.

8. baking by candlelight puts me in touch with my inner pioneer girl.

9.I love rain.

10. I’ve only been to 2, but curriculum fairs excite me.

11. I have a serious problem with paper clutter.

And now the specific questions: 

1. What is your favorite day of the week?  Wednesday. Because of the way it is spelled.  W. E. D. N. E. S. D. A. Y.  Say it with me Wednesday!

2. Are you a morning, noon or night person?  have become a night owl since parenting.  kids asleep..I can get into the groove of housework,exercise,writing…whatever.  All with a smile.

3.What’s your dream car? I love our Honda Odyssey – Virginia is her name.  Don’t tell her that I’d trade her in for a newer model.  She’s 10 years old and I really like some of the changes.   Same color just – new.  I know, I feel horrible.

4.What movie would you say describes your life?  Penny Serenade.  I watched it for the first time at the recommendation of my daughters birth aunt.  courtship, marriage, baby dreams, loss, adoption – life.  melodramatic but I love it.

5. Beach, country or city person?  I’m a city girl who thrives in the country and loves the beach.  I can’t answer that question.

6.If you had an extra hour a day, what would you do with it? I’d dance pretty, I’d dance for Him!

7.What’s the meaning behind your blog name? a reminder to myself to be tuned in as a mother – to mother with my senses. see – truly see, with vision  speak – words of life/respond in love  hear – listen   mama – universal term for the matrix of the home

8.If you knew you wouldn’t fail, what would you do? minister the word of God around the world.  missionary work

9.You inherited a million dollars but can’t spend it on yourself. What would you do with it?  Donate it to adoption agencies that heavily support counseling and services for birthmothers and that provide long-term support for families built through adoption.

10.Who inspires you? Why?  My mother – Mary Gh’Rael.  Her bravery and life choices have inspired me. Also my children’s godmother Nisaa Christie – seeing, talking to and spending time with her always leaves me recharged.  She has the ability to transform situations with her ideas and creativity and is a master at re-inventing her life simply by choosing life.  every day.  Love her.

11. If you could trade places with one person for a day who would it be?  I’d trade places with my youngest. would love to know how it feels to be the baby of a family and to just be 2 for a day. naps, snack time, free play all day, loads of hugs and kisses. I’m intrigued.

and finally my list of nominees….            liebsterAWARD

Five Minute Friday : Broken

broken.  this word.  ugly. not good enough. useless. deformed. waves of words that threatened to overtake me as I fell naked into the river of infertility.  How could I be beautiful and broken at the same time.  I wrote a piece a few months ago called “The Broken Doll”. My infertility made me feel like  a lovely packaged doll , who upon closer inspection revealed imperfections – irregularities.  Something was wrong. She was no good.  And neither was I. The lone egg in the carton that will be discarded.  Broken. My infertility made me feel broken.



I have to be honest I fought this feeling for a long time.  Rather I believed this lie for years. Adopting my first daughter made me feel beautiful again.  Something about the way she sort of magically appeared in our lives – when we weren’t expecting it, or looking for it, was beautiful to me.  That beautiful moment stayed with me.  Holding, loving and being mama to this precious girl washed away the ugly suit I’d been wearing.  I realized then, and even more so now that my brokenness made me beautiful. I was never perfect and will never be but the imperfections and scars – the wearing of life on my soul, my very person, made me stronger, wiser , bolder and more beautiful than ever.  In my brokenness I saw Him and He drew me closer. I recognized His complete surrender in having been broken for me. In my pain…I fully accepted… His.  In my brokenness He healed, restored and repaired. He lovingly left little beauty marks of remembrance (scars) lest I forget, lest I need proof of the work He’s done. Because of these scars, I am ready for service.

Broken is no longer ugly – broken is free to be used.


I am challenging myself this week and have linked up with Lisa-Jo Baker ( friends for Five Minute Fridays …this post took me 10 minutes to write and by the time I placed pictures another 10 had gone by but I really wanted to be a part of the fun this week. will work harder to stay within time limits.. How do you guys do it?


Wedding Gifts…for the lovelies

Our wedding was a community affair.  I honestly don’t think our day would have been as love-filled without the village of friends who surrounded our lives during that time. I tell you this story because I believe you guys were a part of it – our wedding being the moment of conception for the family we one day hoped to have.  I pray you will remember it and take part in the blessing of a union not your own, helping to bring to fruition the dreams of a friend.

I never had plans or dreams about what kind of wedding I’d have.  When Dad proposed to me on the platform of the uptown 1 train my seedling notions of what a wedding might be like were given free rein to form. I began to “see” myself as a bride. Having recently watched the movie First Knight I’d fallen in love with every article of clothing worn by the actress Julia Ormond. I wanted a dress like that. The simplicity, lush fabrics, the modest yet beautiful design – these were practical princess gowns that satisfied my wish for a dress with purpose.Where would I get a dress like that and how much would it cost? I wanted to get married outdoors but where in NYC and how much would it cost? The reception I saw as a room full of our favorite people – but where in NYC and how much would that cost? Our love was big, beautiful and inspiring to many of our friends but we just didn’t have the money to make any of my wedding dreams come true.

The rocker and the princess. 


With a budget of about $2500 we began making plans and saying prayers.  The first blessing was my dress.  Inspired by the movie and designed by Dad and I, “my dream gown” was constructed by a designer/ friend , Karen Berry. Swathed in silk gazar,  my inner Lady Guinevere was given life as  I stood on the cutting table in Dads Chelsea studio.  Our meetings were kept from Dad who had done the original sketch but never saw me in the dress until our wedding day.   As a fashion designer there really was no way around having Dad  “not” be a part of “the dress” in some way or another,so we met quietly after hours or very quickly in the studio dressing room. Karen made the dress for me as a gift – charging only for fabric.  Dad would  not be left out of the fun of designing or collaborating with another designer on his own wedding attire.   He wanted to look like a rock star – dressed in white.  Another designer friend stepped in and did for him what Karen did for me.  Carlos Alberto created a white,slim legged, raw silk suit  that perfectly complemented my princess bride.

conservatorygarden1 (2)

Conservatory Gardens – Central Park NYC

The castle grounds.

The rest of the plans fell together picture puzzle-style. One piece seamlessly connecting to another, fitting together perfectly – and us trusting that the expanse of cardboard shapes spread out over the  living room of our minds would  result in the finished product –  with no missing pieces.

I’d done a student film that spring at the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park .   Captivated by the view of the beautifully manicured gardens from the wisteria covered pergola – I knew.   This would be  the place I’d become Mrs. Epperson.  The only requirement – a $250.00 permit. When our dear friends LeAnne and Carlton Jackson offered their loft space for the reception we were convinced that God indeed set aside special blessings for weddings.  Dawn, John Moore, Robin and Omayra stayed up late into the night decorating their already fabulous place with tulle and fresh flowers. When the Berry brothers offered to cater food from their restaurant Soul Fixins, the love was pouring in at such a rate it was impossible to deny the hand of God at work, helping  us orchestrate our special day. Unbeknownst to me, our honeymoon site had also already been secured by friends Renee and Rena Cruz.  We would spend two amazing weeks at their spacious  Bal Harbour condominium.  All we had to do was arrange a flight.

Ever after…


holding on to God and each other
what you don’t see are all the hands behind us – launching us with love into the future

Walking into the garden was surreal.  The love of the congregants tangible. My very happy tears. an outpouring of thanks for the blessing of living a miracle. Every detail of the day had been lovingly bathed in prayer by friends who made it their business to fulfill His will. God brought together our wedding day vision using the people we loved, a few  of whom we were just getting to know, but all humbly obeyed His call to service. I tell every engaged couple I know and I tell you now that wedding blessings are real. Expect God to move when you can’t see your way through. When you have the opportunity to serve in this capacity jump at it. No effort is too small and none goes unnoticed. You can be the distribution center for the dreams of a friend – and that, my dear children, is the best wedding  gift of all.

Linking up with Kathi at for StoryLine with this post…remembered the community that lovingly launched us into our future and pray the lesson of giving be imprinted on the hearts of my children..

Story Line


Humbled. Not sure how to proceed but I know I want more. I am often caught off guard by my desire. It wells up in me unexpectedly and in those moments I know the beauty of His presence is all I want, all I need and I have to go deeper.  The intensity of my longing tells me it won’t come easy – this next level.  I want more…and I…will have to give more.

I want to know You

I want to hear Your voice

I want to feel You

More than before

The Lord woke me up at 5 a.m. this morning. This… significant only because I’d been praying about having more time with Him. Talking about how I wanted more time with Him. Wondering how I would find the time to have time. With Him. And He woke me up. Suddenly alert, I imagined myself at our meeting place. The slightly opened terrace doorway always letting in just enough sweet air to baptize me in His spirit. I know He’s there. But I walk into the kitchen instead – fully aware yet unresponsive to His call. This was His doing and I missed it.  My mind firing questions like some sort of mental bubble wrap. Pop! Pop! Pop! I find myself looking for other things to do. Should I eat? Check email? Write? Exercise? What? The thought of picking up my bible and sitting before Him – last on this list of crazy what-to-do’s. Drained and struggling with the effort required to walk back down the hall, I crawl into bed and sleep comes quick. I ignored His call and now wonder, just what I so foolishly missed.

Sometimes, in all my wonderful and thoughtfully prayed for “mommyness” – I miss it. He calls and I’m too busy. I’m wondering if it’s the same for you? Are you longing for more? How do you find the time to have the time…to go Him?

On Enjoying the Win…


pregnancy after loss…a journey of FAITH


healthy mama, healthy baby…We won!

I’ve been thinking lately about a trend in the world of childbirth. Perfection. Current thinking has new mothers and mothers-to-be wrapped in a quilt of confusion called perfection.  This quest for the perfect birth distorts a mothers vision for the  blessings in front of her and will ultimately lead to dissatisfaction and guilt. The collective cry is for a “perfect’ birth. The new standard has been set and it includes a medication free, doula supported, home birth complete with lactation specialist at hand.  I was the original infertile girl birth junkie.  I support birth workers and am a postpartum doula so it’s not about my lack of support for women or faith in their bodies to perform a natural function.  I come to the table as a woman who struggled to conceive and carry a child. I think my perspective is unique, valid and one that might take the pressure off women to be “perfect” when it comes to birth. So let’s be clear ” if you walk away from the game healthy…with a healthy babe in arms”…Well… lady, you’ve won!

I loved watching “The Business of Being Born” and other documentaries on the benefits of natural birth. The information presented was powerful…necessary. I felt empowered by the beauty and strength of women and the options in childbirth presented. However, the transmission of this information gets warbled for some reason and women are hearing a message very different from its original intent. Because of my reproductive history I was given a first class seat on the c-section train.  Still, watching these documentaries and being a woman at this particular point in American birth culture – I felt bad about it.  I wanted another ticket when I should have just been grateful to be on the train. My number one concern and goal of faith was having a living baby. Period. But knowing how I would have to deliver him made me feel sad. And so began the mommy guilt surrounding my son’s birth – and it didn’t end there. My son was born premature at 34 weeks.  At 5 lbs 1 oz he was a good size but he couldn’t latch properly and I was given poor information on breastfeeding from a member of the nicu team. (another post,I know)  I struggled to develop a sufficient supply despite visits with lactation consultants.  Our nursing relationship lasted 5 months and I felt guilty about this –  the collective societal whisper “you have to nurse…for at least a year or two or three…” twisting its way through my psyche.

No. It isn’t just me and my formerly infertile girl insecurities.  As a postpartum doula I get to see the effects of this overt conditioning.  Women struggling with breastfeeding and embarrassed to use formula.  We all know breast is best but even a lactation consultant will tell you to first “feed the baby”.  Women often need help to get nursing off to a good start.  I am aware it takes work and that you shouldn’t just give up the moment an obstacle presents itself –  but when you get to the point of having done all you can…well, I want women to forgive themselves. I watch as they gaze down, subconsciously refusing eye contact when they “reveal” a c-section birth. The c-section rate in this country is high and it is true that the procedure is often misused but many times – C-SECTIONS save lives. The look of defeat and regret is disheartening.   At a time when women should be rejoicing they are instead tasting the bitter tea blend of guilt and remorse.   Motherhood is hard.  Childbirth is a natural process but it not a process that is exempt from complications or imperfections.  I don’t think it can be blamed solely on postpartum hormones.  These women are feeling the shame of not having had a media imposed perfect birth and are missing the beauty and inherent perfection of the simple gift of life.


my perfect birth!

Ade’, my  mid-life surprise, is now 2 years old.  He was arranging and rearranging colorful wooden magnets on the refrigerator as I busied myself in the kitchen. Chopping, slicing,checking email, washing dishes,sorting mail,cleaning… I was BUSY – but I caught a glimpse of him and all of his terrific 2-year-oldness and remembered our first months together – all the sorrow packed guilt I felt.  I recognized how I had let the enemy in. He was not happy about our clear triumph over infertility and swept in to tarnish our victory. With him it always starts with a lie and he used an old one – the lie of perfection. But God prevailed as He always does.  In the midst of our nursing struggles I heard the Lord say to me “no judgement”. With tears in my eyes I whispered that sweet, God-given pardon in my son’s ear.  There was no judgement for him and none for me.  No condemnation. God honored our efforts. I had presented my prayer for help to Him and He responded.

No judgement.

This moment marked a paradigm shift in our relationship.  We were free. I was grateful and God remained good. I’m still a birth junkie but now, more a lover and supporter of women than details of a birth.

Dear mother’s give your children..your very lives to God.  Ask Him to bless and cover your efforts and keep it moving. Many women are blessed to have a completely natural birth and those who simply need access to services and information to attain it should have it. But lets not choke the life out of the blessing by smothering it with the perfection quilt. If you are healthy and are graced to hold a healthy child in your arms – my sweet friend – you are blessed and you have won! Your perfect birth is your own!

I understand this is a tender topic but  I would be honored to hear your story and opinions.  Please share.

Small Victories..


my little nutty professor

This post is about LiChai our 12-year-old wunderkind. He was a little over a year old when the family began calling him “the professor”.  At that age he could already speak…not toddler babble.  He could speak. He could rattle off the names of more dinosaurs than I ever knew existed.  His thought process, critical thinking skills and perspective on life were impressive. As parents,we were delighted with his obvious brilliance, but also reminded of the importance of making sure a spiritual legacy was securely implanted. Because of his “book knowledge”, we felt it all the more important that his heart remained pliable to the Lords leading.


LiChai is analytical, a voracious reader and thinker. You have to explain things to him and they have to make sense.  He is methodical and mathematical. Faith – belief in God, a God you can’t see, a God whose thinking is so far and above our own – well, I just didn’t know how this all would pan out for him. The part of him that is a child believed…as children do.  I know this and was grateful for it, but I wondered what would happen to his faith as he got older…when the simple answers no longer satisfied his intellect.

Living in a city fosters some of the challenges we face. Children are exposed to so much. For example: we can’t get on the subway without being exposed to even the subtlest hints at pornography.  Central Park is our back yard, but as wonderful as that may sound,  it comes with ANY number opportunities for conversation about ANY number of things. A walk in the park is never just a walk in the park.  Especially when they’re young.   I am hoping to guard their hearts and keep them focused on Christ in the city that never sleeps…but how?

Email.Facebook.Cable.  – We have said no.  Video games come with restrictions.  Yet none of this assures us of anything. Living in NYC isn’t even our problem really.  It’s the world we live in.  I get it.  Yet I am reminded how easily things slip in without your permission…before you’re even asked the question. Little things, like walking in a store with him as a toddler and him screaming out “Blues Clues”- when he had never seen the show. Or bigger things, like the time he used profanity, the chill in my bones and instantaneous remembrance of where he’d heard it.  We were flipping  through channels at a friend’s home – I’d heard it too but it was so quick. I was amazed that he picked it up, brought it home and used it in context.  How does that happen?

I know I can’t be there to shield him from everything. I recognize that his path is his own to walk and that I am merely a guide. But I take this parenting thing seriously and accept fully the charge to train him up in the way that he should go.  I know too that God can and will use him  – in this world and for this world.  But only if he is willing to be used.  Will he be?

Last week LiChai turned 12.  I asked him what his vision for the year was.  Did he have any particular dreams or goals that he wanted to carry out.  Typical birthday talk …the anniversary of ones birth being a perfect time to look back at Gods grace as it followed you the previous year and to look ahead and dream about the future.


he told me the holy spirit was with him at a science program interview – he’ll be okay, right????

Me: What are your plans for this year? The year of 12?

LiChai: I want to grow.

Me: What do you mean?

LiChai: In God, spiritually…and physically wouldn’t hurt either.

A response like this is the sweetest affirmation I could hope for. I will not stop praying but am confident that He who started a work shall be faithful to complete it. We will go ahead with our plan of action – which started with prayer – for him and with him, reading a children’s bible, little stories of faith, regular church attendance, long talks, family devotions, encouraging him to read his own Bible, long park walks and exposure to the vastness of God’s creation. It is an everyday impartation.  The seed was planted. First the sprout and now a seedling of faith…that we must continue…. to water.

Parenting…always on my knees…giving it all to Him.  over and over again

Have you considered the spiritual legacy you will leave for your child? Do you have a child/young adult that you think about in this way?  How have you handled it? Do you have any advice?

timewarptuesdays1Linking up with Darlene Schacht of Time -Warp Wife for Titus 2sday …encouraging all to read the beautiful words of these women.

Sins of the father…a daughter speaks


Grateful even for this…the last time I saw my father..lots of non-verbal communication but I “heard” him

My father would have turned 89 years old last week. I credit a half-sibling from one of my fathers “other” families with providing this information. His birthday has come and gone largely unnoticed for most of my adult life and I don’t think of him often.   There was a time when the thought of him made me feel small. My shoulders would tense and the beat of my heart would change. Barely perceptible – but it would change. When I think of him now, its as I watch my husband gently shepherding the hearts of our girls. I am blessed to know they have been redeemed from the curse of daddy issues and I am grateful to God for teaching me the importance of forgiveness.

My father was a powerful man who believed in control. He only did things his way.  He was honest,hard-working and a decent provider.  But he spread himself way too thin in deciding to share his love with 3 sets of children.  That’s right my friends – my childhood was spent in a cheaply contrived version of HBO’s now defunct show “Big Love”.  My serving from that gigantic bowl full of family was terribly small and I’d say because of it, we, the children, were all malnourished.  Growing up in this dysfunctional dynamic makes a girl-child feel under-valued, jealous and insecure.  A wicked potent brew for future failed relationships.  A girls first love is her Daddy and when he isn’t there to adore her into adulthood – well lets just say – she grows up….but the woman she could be is stunted, by the trapped and hurt little girl who is just too scared and insecure to leave.

There just wasn’t enough time.  Time to dance with my daddy.  Time to sit on his lap. Time to walk hand in hand with him.  How could there be?  I do have memories however – I remember him calling me bunny the one time he took me to school as a 1st grader.  I actually hopped out of the car and into the school yard. I remember that. I can’t forget the hate and fear he instilled in us by using the phrase ” the white man is the devil”. I remember the scent of money.  My dad owned and operated a stuffed toy manufacturing company and had many clients on the East Coast. He would come home with worn canvas bags full of money – stacks of bills and coins we’d stay up late sorting.  The sight of all that money was tempting and the little hands that were veiled in the filth of that almighty dollar, also stole some of it to buy her 1st boyfriend a birthday present.  I remember that. I can’t forget the panic my siblings and I experienced as we ran up stairs to get inside before he came home (when he was in town).  My sweet mother tried hard to soften his need for control and against his wishes, sometimes allowed us to play outside. I remember him taking me to McDonald’s –  the one time he picked me up from college. I can’t forget the disbelief and relief I felt when he showed up at my wedding. I just didn’t know if he would. Memories.  A few of these being things I remember,  the others… things I can’t forget.  It seems there’s a difference between the two. The remembrances are things upon which I smile…the things I can’t forget –  the things I probably should.


Psalm 45:10 Listen o daughter, Hearken o daughter, Hear o daughter consider and give ear: Forget your people and your father’s house….

In 1989 the Lord called me daughter and I found the daddy I’d longed for.  I began to heal from the unhealthy relationships I’d been in – all trying to find my way to Him.  At the time I didn’t connect with the term sinner.  I certainly wasn’t a sinner like all those other people.  My issues were hidden behind a delicate and finely fashioned  facade.  It was almost impossible to unearth the piles of broken dreams secretly held by my heart. But God prevailed and began the process of freeing me. In my late twenties I wrote a letter to my dad.  My daddy issues were resurfacing since coming to know the Lord and it was time to deal with my “stuff”.  I had not seen my father in years.  I was a woman now and single , travelling with a dance company. I wrote the letter in a dressing room – full stage makeup and costume, hot bright lights all around.   I felt led to write this letter while waiting for a 5 minute curtain call.  It was brief, telling him of my resentment over the years…ending with I forgive you.  I love you.

I mailed that letter to the address of the family he was being a father to at the time and got no reply.  The following Christmas he showed up for dinner.  Suddenly. He did not mention the letter but hugged me as he left in a way that made me know.  He’d read. He knew. He loved me. As best he could. I never saw him alive again but I was free.

My father died on my mothers birthday in 2006.  He never met my children. At his memorial service I sat in a section designated for his 9 offspring.  Three different families. Five girls. Four boys. We’d all met over the years.  Connect. Disconnect. Sibling rivalry magnified to a level no child should have to process. I saw my father that day, through the eyes of his other children.  My mother’s story is hers to tell so I’ll just say this –  she didn’t want to play this game and refused to do so very early on.  Never speaking ill of him she simply refused to go along with the program.  Their fragmented partnership a sure power player in the drama that is my family saga. So I “met” another side of my dad at his memorial.  He was a singer.  He played the guitar.  My siblings and I were drop-jawed at the revelation of this mans personality.  He shared none of this with us.  There just wasn’t enough time.

Driving home from a teaching job on the West Side Highway, my father said goodbye to me.  I’d received the news of his passing while at work and had left early. Something about the way the sun hit the water and the stillness of the highway during rush hour on a road he travelled so often.  I sensed his spirit and said goodbye.  I did not cry.  No tears. Not then, not at the memorial and not now.  I am a big girl and have been saved, loved and healed by the presence of the Holy One. He called me…daughter..when I needed a father.  Amen.

Forgiveness frees you…do it for your destiny!

Have the sins of your father plagued you? How has your relationship with your father shaped your connections with others?  Do you feel free? How did you find your freedom?

Daddy Issues copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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