A Personal Letter

Dear Friends, Today I offer a personal letter – and a confession of sorts – to those of you who know me and also to those of you I have never met, but take the time to read my blog. Thank you! I find myself in a somewhat dark season right now, a time when I feel like I am going nowhere and unable to accomplish much. Even writing a blog feels difficult. I find myself posting less and the blogs I do write feel hollow. My mind feels like it’s stuck in neutral and has been for over 8 months. That’s when my life took a “detour” with my 89-year-old mom moving in with us. Immediately the pace of my life slowed down. I no longer had the freedom to come and go as I pleased or to do much outside the home, except for those activities that could be done with a person in late stage Alzheimer’s. My greatest challenged morphed into how to find contentment in these circumstances –  In doing the same things all day long, day after day.  In trying to be interested in the same limited, circular conversations.  In serving my mother even in the most simplest of tasks.  In maintaining the simplest of schedules in order to accommodate her needs.  In continually having to answer the same questions.  In keeping her safe while allowing for her need to be independent. I consider myself pretty tough. Resilient. I am a Finn with SISU. I have learned how to meet major challenges and to rise up when I have fallen, but God is teaching...

Sometimes Miracles are Found in What Does NOT Occur

Yesterday started out a peaceful day on our family property. Alisa was spending time at the pool with her close friend Ranelle. Together they kept a careful watch over their combined seven young children, who were enjoying their time together in the water. Living very near the family pool, Alisa carries a constant sense of anxiety over the safety of her children. Her six year old swims well and her four-month old is still to young to find her way into the pool, but Alma and Asa, as two and three-year-olds, are in the highest risk group for drowning. So she takes care to put them in puddle jumpers each time they entered the fenced in pool yard. Then she snaps on safety turtle wristbands when they were outside the pool gates, which sound an alarm if they fall into water. Vigilant over their safety, she takes the matter of pool safety seriously and is even about to take on learning infant water safety. Drowning. Choking.  Both forms of suffocation that are terrifying thoughts for mothers.   Both almost happened by the pool within thirty minutes of each other. The morning had been fun.  They took a break from playing in the pool to eat lunch.  Sandwiches. Juice. Grapes. Chuckling over their tendency to be overly cautious, Alisa and Ranelle decided to NOT cut the grapes in half for their children and instead placed a cluster of grapes onto each child’s plate. As Alisa finished her lunch, and began to nurse baby Beth, she glanced over at Asa, and was horrified to see him choking and completely unable to make a sound....

Links for Parents Regarding 50 Shades of Grey

Parents, Whether you plan to see the movie, or not, please consider what these authors have to say on behalf of your impressionable teens. A Letter to All Parents Regarding 50 Shades of Grey by Erin MacPherson I heard something very disturbing yesterday.  I was sitting in a coffee shop when a group of high school students (wearing uniforms from a local private Christian school) walked in and sat at a table near me.  They were talking loudly and I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation as they made plans to sneak out and go see the 50 Shades of Grey movie on Valentine’s Day.  My heart dropped when I heard this.  I have no idea who these students are, but I am terrified for them. Let me give you a little background:  About a year ago, my friend Kathi Lipp asked if I would consider co-authoring a book about sex, women and modern Christian culture.  The book idea stemmed from a blog post that Kathi wrote about 50 Shades of Grey.  Kathi felt that 50 Shades of Grey was not only demeaning towards women and demonizing towards men, but it also was greatly affecting the state of Christian marriage in our country.  She also believed that sadistic, erotic literature led to the normalization of violence in marriage. The response to Kathi’s blog post was… shocking.  Christian women defended the book, saying it was “a love story” and it was “just a way for women to start thinking about sex.”  They even went as far as accusing Kathi of being “prude” or “boring” because she felt God intended more...

A Plea for Moderation

For our family, holidays and special occasions mean eating together. When our whole family gathers to celebration a birthday or enjoy a Thanksgiving feast together, it’s not exactly a leisurely occasion – not yet at least with all the young grandchildren in our midst. But they are learning  and growing from these experiences. There’s much to glean –  from the shopping and preparation to finally getting to gather around the table filled with a wide variety of home-cooked entries. Yum! Meals are meant to be fun engaging times, but do you find yourself enjoying them less because you worry more and more about what you and your kids are eating? Recently my daughter Alisa, a dietitian, wrote a blog post regarding healthy eating obsessions. Like her, I wonder how current ideas about eating will impact our children down the road. Here’s what Alisa has to say……. A Plea for Moderation By Alisa Dusan  As a dietitian, I am all for healthy eating (duh!).  I mean seriously, I’ve made it my career.  However, I am so alarmed by the healthy eating obsessions that I’ve seen grow over the past decade.  As parents, we want the very best for our kiddos.  And that includes the foods that go into their stomachs.  We don’t want them to eat anything that could harm them and we want what we feed them to fuel them in a way that helps them reach their full potentials.  But this has gotten a smidge out of hand… and instead of making kiddos that have healthy relationships with healthy foods, we’re creating a food obsessed culture.  Instead of...