Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Do you know the warning signs of an abusive relationship? You must, for yourself or someone about whom you care. Maybe you’ve had it with so-and-so, but you stay in the relationship with thoughts like, “Maybe it’s not that bad. There must be something else I can try to fix this.” It’s not abuse until he hits you, right? He has so many good qualities. Besides, other people don’t think he’s that toxic. Maybe it’s just me and I need to shape up a little bit. But as much as you try to change, it’s not getting any better, is it? It’s time to stop the abuse. But how? The Bible tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” James 1:5

Relationship expert Laura Petherbridge speaks to us this week on Woman to Woman® with the warning signs of an abusive relationship and what you must do to protect yourself when you’re in one. We all experience relationship issues that make us feel occasionally uncomfortable or where we get our feelings hurt, but Petherbridge talks about when the line has been crossed from normal unpleasant encounters into emotional abuse. It’s crucial to recognize the warning signs. Talk to someone you trust, because you’re isolated by this and that makes it worse. Expect resistance from the controlling person and also expect God to guide your emotions and thoughts to either working toward resolution or getting you out of harm’s way.

This show will be a walk of relief and just what you need to get you thinking and moving in the right direction. Let me know how it helps you!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My out-of-balance life was obvious the day I dropped our son off at soccer practice and left his younger sisters, 5 and 6, on the swings nearby while I drove 8 miles home before realizing what I’d done. Racing back to the soccer field, I beat myself up over how much was on my mind and schedule to make me that unaware of keeping the main thing the main thing! We’ve become so skilled at multitasking, at overbooking our calendars and our lives, that it’s considered a badge of honor. As if there were such a thing as a happy workaholic! Whether you’re clocking more than 40 hours a week at the office or not, you’re most likely the typical 21st century woman who bites off more than she can chew. Maybe you’re convinced there’s no such thing as a balanced life and besides, who needs it?

Well, guess what? “Balance is crucial, more so than ever, because we’ve been robbed of it!” insists physician and futurist Richard Swenson, MD, who joins us with some life-saving secrets for a fulfilling and stable life this week on Woman to Woman®. Dr. Swenson combines his physics and medical background to specialize in the intersection of culture, health, faith and future. He wrote the bestselling books Margin, The Overload Syndrome and More Than Meets the Eye.

This week he pulls us into his latest book, In Search of Balance, which I was privileged to endorse on the back cover. This futurist, who watches and warns with precise brilliance, captures and decodes facts floating beyond our reach. Take advantage of thousands of hours of research that translate into the questions we need to ask and the answers we can find. To sum it up, he asks, “What’s your hurry and where’s it taking you?” We can downsize -- and often eliminate -- the exhaustion, crankiness, and unsatisfying personal relationships, as well as the physical price we pay with illness and the general underlying angst that keeps us from enjoying every day to its fullest. Dr. Swenson urges us to seek God’s help to catch our balance before it’s too late. Read his work to get a better read on yourself and what to do about it! Dick makes me happy to be alive! Tell everyone you know about this show, please!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Freshman 15

My freshman year in college I gained weight. Was it dorm food or the “Freshman 15”? I have no idea, but food became my best friend. We hung out when I was happy, sad, stressed or glad. On a visit to our family doctor, he handed me one bowling ball and then another, asking how it felt to lug those around. It was horrible, and he said that’s what I was asking my body to do. He also handed me some little pills to help me get started on weight loss. They worked like a charm and by the end of the next semester, I’d lost 40 pounds. I loved my new look and my newfound energy, so you’ll imagine my surprise when I ran out of pills the next semester and slept for almost two weeks straight. As it turns out, those pills were doing a lot more to my body than miraculously shedding the pounds…and the effects were so harmful that those pills are now illegal.

But even if they weren’t illegal now, I’d tell you there are still much healthier ways to manage our eating habits and our weight. With all of the talk today about obesity in kids and adults, we have to evaluate the right and wrong ways to approach the dilemma. To help out with that, this week on Woman to Woman®, we visit with Dr. Linda Mintle, who studies people’s relationships with food. She says that the emotional reward from food is so great that we don’t realize it’s controlling us. Dr. Mintle is convinced we can change our eating habits if we push Pause before we eat. Her interest in the topic goes beyond diet and weight loss, too – she says that our spiritual hunger can also be related to problematic eating. Dr. Mintle explains, “When craving meets Creator, fulfillment happens.” We need His intervention in our unhealthy attachment to and relationship with food. I hope you’ll tune in to pick up some healthy eating tips as we enter into spring!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I’m keeping different hours these days, assisting my daughter with her new twins. They’re 10 days old, and we’re trying to establish a schedule. Their dad said to me at midnight, “This is what it’s like for the next 18 years, right?” Yep! When my two youngest children were born 18 months apart, I felt so isolated and asked God, “Is 200 diapers a week all there is? Something more, please!” God answered that prayer with an indoor singles tennis league invitation. Childcare for those three hours not only helped me get my game back, but also my energy and my sense of self, being out of the house and away from the intensity of it all for a wee bit.

The other half of God’s answer to that prayer came from a neighbor who invited me to a six week home Bible study. Eight of us from different churches studied under lovely, sweet, patient, winsome Mary Jane, an older and wiser woman of God. She’d been tested by life in ways I would never know, but she was steady, calm and trusting. I’ll never forget her saying she was such a mess that if she didn’t spend each morning in prayer and Bible study for an hour, no one would be able to stand her. We doubted the “mess” part, but we got the point about spending time with Jesus in prayer to be able to bring His sweetness into our days and our relationships. I committed to that more often and a year later started a Bible study in our home. Two years later the Lord used me to begin the “Wednesday Woman” Bible study in our church. One hundred women from 14 different church backgrounds attended for the ten years I facilitated, and it’s still going! Amazing how God energizes a busy mom for the task at hand. How’s he energizing you these days?

My daughter with the twins may eventually hear this week’s Woman to Woman® show with Lisa Tawn Bergren, who understands that when you have a family, suddenly time seems to stand still. People you used to talk to regularly don’t call so much. How do you preserve your self while fulfilling the demanding tasks of motherhood? Lisa says to stay invested in relationships outside of immediate family. When God gives us children, He knows our key relationships will change and intends for us to stay connected with family and friends for mutual support, in service to Him and in response to His love for us. Lisa lists six key relationships that can change for the better during the demanding years of motherhood, when Mom takes time to cultivate vital, healthy connections with others. Girls’ night out will not always involve a burp cloth, and meanwhile you’ll learn how those outside relationships can help you become the best mom you can be.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I’d been married about a year and was standing with my husband outside a Chicago theatre waiting for our car. Up drove a gorgeous, lavish car and a laughing, handsome couple enjoying one another hopped in and were on their carefree way. My brown eyes went green at that moment. I don’t really notice cars, but in that moment, I decided that if we had that car, we would be happy, carefree and laughing more. Obviously, to this day, I still remember that car and that couple – a pretty good marketing campaign for that car!

How distracting for my mind to get its exercise by jumping to conclusions. My assumptions could have been absolutely false; I certainly knew a car doesn’t bring the kind of happiness I thought I saw. They might have been miserable, or they might have been just as happy getting into a beat-up jalopy. Actually, that was my biggest assumption – presuming they were happier than we were because of their car. The incident left me to deal with a covetous heart that evening. What was I really looking for? A car? A perfect smile and grooming to match?

No, I needed to find what St. Paul talks about in Philippians and I needed to find it fast! God had helped him figure out that contentment isn’t about our stuff or our situation. He writes in Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” That was the beginning of a life lesson that serves me well every day! Now, when I think I have to have something or want something to happen right now, I go back to that verse, say it out loud and my contentment peacefully drowns out the “have to!”