It's never too late to begin the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. It's never too early to fall in love with the person God created you to be. Long ago someone made a choice to take away your innocence, but today that someone can't touch your freedom to heal.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Some Momma Battles Are Best Left Unfought

I’ve been thinking a lot about boys lately—my boys. I have three of them, one taller and meatier, and two not-so-tall and on the lean side. They’re all adults now, so we talk about stuff—stuff you don’t chat about when they’re younger because all you’d get is a grunt, a groan, an eye roll, and little perspective. Now they indulge me. I like that.

Today I was talking with one, of the not-so-tall ones, who is on the lean side. He said something that I thought was worth posting (with his permission, of course).

He said, “Some people were meant to move boulders and others were meant to climb them.”
Imagine courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/
 That made this momma smile. Smile from my gut.

You see, for far too long, he’s felt bad about not being able to physically move boulders. I’ve observed that it’s tough being a not-so-tall, lean young man, in this world that honors height and strength. I would imagine it’s even harder when the taller, meatier males decide to demonstrate their strength using your lean body as their weights. This happens. I’ve witnessed it, not from his taller, meatier brother—he’s a gentle soul, but from others.

You stand there, as his momma, watching, as all the dudes laugh it off, but you notice—not everyone’s laughing. It’s all you can do not to march up to the big guy and stamp on his foot and yell, “Put him down. NOW! You ... YOU, BULLY!” But you don’t, because you know that would only make your son feel worse. He doesn't want his momma fighting his battles. So you watch. You wait. You pray. And you guide him into other areas to build his confidence.

And on that day, when he realizes that he was meant to climb boulders, you celebrate and cheer him on as he climbs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Lesson from a Little Boy and a Big Tornado

I smiled as I listened to the little boy, an Oklahoma tornado survivor, give an account of the reunion with his dad, after the devastation, during a radio interview.

“I saw you [his father] and I just jumped, because I knew you’d catch me,” he said.

He jumped because he knew.

He jumped because he trusted.

What a beautiful image, after such a devastating tragedy—a son jumping into his daddy’s arms with abandon, without a second thought.

I love that!

And then I imagined—a different child, a boy or a girl—after a different kind of devastation saying,

“I saw you and I just told, because I knew you’d listen to me, believe me, and take action.”

The child tells because he knows.

The child tells because she trusts.

And then I smiled as I thought, If adults would begin the conversation, regarding sexual abuse, with the kids they love, more children could live life without a devastating secret.

I love that!

Image courtesy of Ambro/

When we teach our kids about sexual abuse, we build a trusting relationship with them. It’s summertime. Time to relax. But don’t relax until you’ve talked with your kids. Begin the conversation. Build the bridge. Break the silence.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Not Feeling Like an Amazing Momma? Advice from a Second-hand Mother

“I could have been an amazing mother if I could have just parented our kids a week at a time,” I said, confessing to my husband.

“You are an amazing mother,” he said—always the encourager.

“Well maybe so, but I just had the best week with the girls. We baked, did crafts, read stories, I didn’t even need to worry about dinner. If I didn’t have to worry about cleaning this house and cooking, I’d be the most amazing mother!”

Can you relate?

It’s the stuff we have to do in life that gets in the way of our amazing. I know this, because, you see, I’m a mother parenting for the second time around.

My four kids were nearly grown, launched, out-a-here, when God brought three little sisters to my door step. We started keeping them a week at a time. A momma for a week. It worked.

I had time to plan. I knew when they were coming. The dates scratched on my calendar months in advance. Craft ideas planned and purchased. Check. Meal ideas, planned and groceries purchased. Check. Check. A thorough cleaning before they arrived. CHECK. I was ready. My ducks were in a row. And, perhaps more honestly, I knew there was an end. I could shop and clean next week. It was time to play and do mother stuff. The fun stuff.
Image courtesy of Stewart Miles/ 

 And I was AMAZING! And I felt AMAZING!

Then came a summer.

Then the summer ended.

And then . . . the point of no return. Literally.

They came. They stayed. Oh, and yes, they conquered.

I could barely breathe. So much to plan. No time to plan.  So much to consider. No time to consider. It was no longer camp at Aunt Carolyn’s. It. Was. Life.

“Sorry kiddo, I can’t help you with that puzzle, I’ve got to go make a grocery list.”

“Stop what you’re doin.’ Everybody in the mini-van, NOW! We’re outa milk.”

“Sorry Squirt, I can’t read right now, the cat just used the mound of dirty laundry for his litter box.”

You would think because I’d already parented before, it would have been easier. I’m a second-hand mother for crying out loud. Ha! So much for thinking.

Oh, if motherhood, well . . . could just be motherhood. If we didn’t have to be a maid, a teacher, a personal administrator, the cook, the house keeper, the taxi driver, the recreation director, the “If you don’t get this right, you’re going to screw up the lives of three otherwise healthy human beings” director. Yeah. Did I miss anything? (Please feel to comment below.)

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I’d just like to parent a week at a time. So then I can feel amazing.

But somehow I think it’s in the feelings where I can lose perspective with AMAZING.

My kids do need clean underwear, whether doing laundry makes me feel amazing or not.

My kids do need meals, whether grocery shopping or making dinner makes me feel amazing or not.

My kids do need a semi-organized home, whether cleaning up makes me feel amazing or not.

Yes, I think we can be amazing mothers, whether we feel that way or not.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Can a Mother Find Rest? HOPE for Too-Pooped-to-Party Moms

I sent my pal an email today. We had bailed out of the last day of a training conference last week to go home and be moms. I wrote, “So glad we didn’t go Saturday. I needed to be a mom and rest—not sure rest and mom fit in the same line, but somehow I managed to do both.”

Is life tugging at you? Are you too pooped to function, let alone party?

Yep, I get that way too. I no sooner run toward one end the see-saw and the other end soars up into the air. My stomach rolls. I do a flip with a twist. Land with bent knees. A jolt. Facing the opposite direction. Racing toward the other end, I attempt to bring balance back to this thing called life.

Exhausted. Grumpy. Overwhelmed. Out of balance. Dizzy.

This does not make for a happy contented Carolyn. This does not make for a peaceful, contented mom. And if mom ain’t happy . . .

So how did rest and motherhood collide for me last weekend and land in the same sentence on Monday?

I ignored a bunch of crap. Yeah, crap. Crap like dusty furniture, sticky floors, and dirty laundry. Crap like weedy flowerbeds, empty flower pots, and grimy porch furniture.

And I played. Yeah, played. My daughter had a craft project she wanted to complete for a teacher who is retiring. So we hopped in the mini-van, went to Lowes, and got our supplies. Then we made a mess. A big mess. But in the mess, we made a gift for someone else. And a memory.
Image courtesy of Lisa McDonald at

I don’t know how you play. Perhaps for you, a craft project is torture. I get that. But have you played recently? Do you remember how? Take some time to reminisce and then play. Play with one of your kids or all of them. Play until you giggle. Play until you don’t care about the mess. Just play. And in the play, I promise you—you will find rest.

We will always have the crap. But we won’t always have our kids. I know this to be true, because I’m a momma parenting for the second time around.

When was the last time you played? I'd love to hear about it. Add a comment, and I'll draw one winner at random for a FREE copy of Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom. The winner will be posted next Thursday. So, be sure to stop back.

Share this post with a friend. I humbly thank you.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Summer Rest

Thanks for stopping by. Tamar’s Redemption seeks to bring hope and encouragement to survivors. In order to do this well, we invite you to share your needs with us. We know it’s difficult to hit the comment button. That is why we invite you to share your needs privately at What do you want to hear about? Where do you struggle most in your healing journey? Where do you feel most alone? We will collect your questions and requests all summer and be ready to serve you best in the fall.

Image courtesy of  Pixomar at

Until then, please send your questions and comments . . . and rest. Yes, rest. Just be. Feel the grass tickle your toes. Feel the sun warm your face. Listen to the crickets sing their evening songs. And know that the sun will rise again, each and every morning, with the promise of hope and an invitation to rest.
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