Three Essentials That Will Revolutionize Your Holiday Season

Years ago, shortly after Thanksgiving, I learned my son had been horribly assaulted. Suddenly, all thoughts of a joyful holiday vanished. The last thing on my mind was giving thanks.

Family Eating Dinner
(Image from Pixabay)

Though the trees displayed the colors of autumn, my heart was the shade of deepest sorrow.

I remember two specific things about the holidays that year:

  1. It was the first holiday season my husband and I had shared as a married couple. With our new blended family of five kids, I wanted to make it super special . . . until I found out about my son’s assault. What timing!
  2. The deluge of police reports, doctor’s exams, new diagnoses of PTSD, moderate traumatic brain injury, tics, flashbacks, and nightmares smothered my ability to do more than show up and breathe.

My most beloved holiday season became scarred by an irreversible, deep wound that affected my whole family.

How Do We Move Forward?

How do we move forward when life hurts? That’s a question we all ask when life forces us to find a “new normal.” Some of us want to wait out the hard times because we’d like to believe that time heals all wounds.

Unfortunately, that’s a huge lie. Another way we try to move forward is by glossing over the pain with a thick coat of denial. We varnish over our pain by presenting behavior that appears happy and well-adjusted. Sometimes that looks like . . .

Bitterness can settle down deep into the soul and provoke us to retaliate or to try to prove something. If there’s something you’re holding on to . . . I encourage you to let it go.

Life Can Be Hard and Full Also

No parent expects their high-achieving child to end up with a life prison sentence. Shattered by this reality, Carol Kent had to reframe what it means to live fully amid unchanging, hard circumstances. She now has multiple opportunities to benefit inmates and their families through her speaking, writing, and the organizations she and her husband have founded.

Seizing Life’s Shocking Surprises with Help and Hope

My son Jon let out a yell. Chairs tumbled over, and his cell phone slid across the wood floor. By the time I reached Jon, the grand mal seizure had started.

Mom and Son
(Image from Pixabay)

Without warning, Jon’s body was suddenly bombarded by legions of electrical and chemical blasts that slammed him like tidal waves of shock.

Let’s all be clear here; I’m not the “stay-calm-during-a-seizure” sort of person. That’s like saying, “just stay calm” to passengers on an airplane as it suddenly takes a nose dive directly toward earth.

Not gonna happen.

I did what we who live in the most insanely unpredictable space of seizure disorders have somehow fashioned into our second nature:

Life Can Be Hard and Full Also

Most parents cringe when the school principal calls you for a meeting about your child. However, the school principal pales in comparison to being called by a prison inmate . . . who is also your child.

The last place we expect or desire our child or loved one to live out his or her days is in prison.

Jason Kent, son of Carol and Gene Kent, was a parent’s dream to raise. Everything Jason did, he did with excellence.

From graduating at the top of his class from the U.S. Naval Academy to marrying a beautiful woman, life for the Kent family was ideal. Until . . . something snapped and Jason was arrested, then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

What You Must Do to Live Fearlessly

My husband’s work hours have been crazy due to the recent natural disasters. He was called into work every Sunday in October. I had just returned from a speaking engagement.

(Image by Samuel Foster on Unsplash)

I had yet to unpack . . . I was tired.

Church is often a struggle for me. It’s tragically amazing how creative my excuses can be for not going to church. (Notice I said “excuses” and not “reasons.”)

The Priceless Value of Shattered Things

It’s confession time: I have an addiction. It started years ago. Short on cash but high on creativity, secondhand stores and antique shops became my go-to spots for getting stuff.

(Image from Pixabay)

I figured someone’s trash could become my treasure, with the help of some power tools, paint, and my sewing machine. (Thanks to Pinterest and DIY Web sites, how-to videos are plentiful when I’m in a pinch.)

Over time, I’ve noticed a trend. A lot of great stuff gets tossed out because of a little chip or dent, a scratch here, a tear there. How quickly we tend to diminish an object’s value if there’s a slight imperfection. We want something . . .