The Joy & Pain of a Broken Empath

Empathy. Many days, it's awful. Being a broken empath? Nearly unbearable. I understand the "gift" of empathy. I understand that those of you who connect with my writing & have encouraged me to *finally* finish my memoir -or any book for that matter- see the spiritual gift of empathy in me. Being able to see & speak into the pain of others is a tremendously beautiful gift God has graciously allowed me to have to make my sista-frans & beautiful brothas a bit more at home in a world full of rejection. But. Empathy is the taking on of others pain. And I am a "high empath." Which means I'm feeling another's pain *almost* as if it were my own. If I'm closely connected to someone who's pain is unleashed in irresponsible ways, I am literally absorbing toxicity much like the dude on the 1st season of Heroes who absorbed others powers after he killed them, except I don't kill people so there's that. I digress.Yesterday I had a safe space conversation in which I ran through … [Read more...]

On Fear

This morning I woke up afraid. There was a bit of a thunderstorm and the slow rumble while I slept jerked me awake in fear of an earthquake.  Earthquakes are incredibly rare where I live but the accompanying fear was now present despite its unrealistic origin. Instead of being able to roll over and go back to sleep the fear latched on to other things, as it almost always does because gripping fear is a miserable shrew.I wanted to hold my husband, desperate to be covered by him like a Mama bird engulfing her chick in her wings. I find complete safety in his embrace, particularly in the morning, providing me that extra courage typical from intimate human connection. But he’s not here this morning and I feel the loss of his physical presence acutely.  In the very next moment, I’m overcome with gratitude for his friendship and I know in the next few days he’ll be home. My love will be home and my anticipation momentarily calms.Yet, the fear of my waking moments coupled with overwhe … [Read more...]

When your First Born Son is Half Way

You, my first born son are halfway to Becoming A Man.  At 9 yrs. old, I've had your for half.  Lord willing, I'll "have" you for 9 more years before you carry all your earthly possessions off to a an overly crowed dorm room.  In 9 yrs. you'll still be my baby -always- but in the eyes of the world, a man capable of making decisions that grown men make.  For good or for evil, your precious shoulders will take on all the tension and joys involved in adult decision-making.I started praying for you -intentionally and actively- praying for you in 2000.  You arrived in October 2005.  For 5 years, I begged God for the gift of a life I could call my own.  I prayed for your soul. I prayed some of the very same prayers you hear me pray at night. I pray God would keep your heart and mind rooted in Him.  I pray God would keep you safe from every sort of danger.  I prayed then, as I do now, that God would give you a soft and tender heart before Him, that He will keep you surrounded in the freedom … [Read more...]

Intentional Parenting Through Your Spritual Gifts

Ever wondered how your spiritual gifts play out in your parenting style?  It’s pretty easy to assume the way you parent is due to your wonderful planning combined with the 55 gajillion parenting books you’ve ingested.  Ever considered that the healthiest aspects of your parenting style are all bound up with your spiritual gifts?Well, duh.  I hadn’t.Like most areas of my life I hadn’t realized I was “leading” my children out of my spiritual gifts because a) I tend not to notice the things I’m doing well that I haven’t horded enormous effort into and b) the connection between spiritual gifts and parenting styles is talked about so infrequently.Due to all the duty and responsibility wrapped up in being a parent it can seem daunting right to figure out which is which.  But, we are leading our kiddo’s and we may as well do that in an informed way.  We should do that in a way that invites them to share with us in our work to expand the Kingdom of God.  When the hubs & I parent … [Read more...]

Do you care enough to Act?

“If a man, woman or child 100 miles away was suffering at the hands of torture and murder would you not run to help? Why then, do you not help when men, women and children are suffering at the hands of torture and murder, 3,000 miles away?” –Raphael Lemkin, the father of the word, “genocide,” who narrowely escaped death during the Jewish Holocaust.I attended an informational meeting at my school today about the horrors currently being experienced in North Darfur. I was challenged to amp up my efforts to care for these issues by creating awareness and aiding advocacy efforts.  I may even consider running another marathon to raise money for the cause.  Would anyone be interested in joining me?Anyway, the suffering of the people there is tremendous. Some say up to 400,000 have been brutally murdered. Over 2.5 million have been displaced. Many hundreds of thousands of women & young girls have been savagely raped –multiple times.  There is no sight in end.  We as a world community ca … [Read more...]