Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Children of Divorce with Andrew Root, PhD

Just like I’ve shared my favorite recipes with you for years, I love to bring you the best ideas for coping with daily life. However, I know this next sentence you may not take seriously. But just try, because it’s gourmet for dealing with something we’ve swept under the rug for decades! Adult children of divorced parents are likely to struggle with personal angst they’ve never felt permission to explore and resolve. There, I said it. As a junior high counselor in the 1970s, I watched divorce become easier and more accepted as I pulled alongside those children in their struggles. I’m still in some of their lives to this day. I saw them blindsided. I saw them get through it. And most of the time, they were told it would be a bump in the road, it wasn’t their fault and it was “better this way for everyone involved.” All of that can be true, but in this week’s show you’ll hear a thirtysomething man (whose parents divorced when he was a young adult) share his extensive research on the pain, potential healing and hope for grown-up “kids” like himself. He says he still has scars from his parents’ divorce, but that he’s whole and healed because of the Christian community to which he and his family belong. Find out what that means in this show. It’s not sitting around in a kids-of-divorced-parents support group. It’s more about being with people who are knitted together in the family of Christ and reach out to one another with mercy and grace as a normal part of living.

Dr. Andrew Root admits kids grow up and get on with their lives, some very successfully. But he says the pain experienced by children of divorce is what he calls “a loss of being.” You can get it back, his research indicates, through soul searching, support and the redemptive power of Christ and the church.
Dr. Root is assistant professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He wrote The Children of Divorce. He is very personable -- not bitter -- but concerned about these now grown-up kids. He warns against minimizing the impact of divorce on a child’s life, even the now-adult child. This quote from Dr. Root addresses part of the issue: “As painful as watching the last act of my parents’ marriage was, the problem with divorce, for children, is that its ending is never an ending.” He goes on to say that its secondary effect is to impact a child’s psychological stability.

I wish everyone could read this book and hear this Woman to Woman visit. I believe it to be vitally important to the putting back together of a part of our society that can respond to mending and healing. Dr. Root has done our culture a gigantic favor by writing this book. Please take advantage of it. You may be divorced. Your parents may be. Someone you know is. Pass this on to them. It’s better than any recipe I’ve ever shared! Trust me on this one!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interracial Marriage: Questions and Support with John Nunes and Pam and Tom

The 1960’s film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? opened conversation about interracial dating and marriage in circles where the topic hadn’t been discussed much until then. Now, according to a report from the Pew Research Center, one in seven new marriages in the U.S. is interracial or interethnic. Those stats would seem to tell us it’s more acceptable these days. Or is it? We explore the tensions and the benefits of interracial relationships this week with John Nunes, president and CEO of the worldwide humanitarian organization, Lutheran World Relief, and with the parents of a daughter in a successful interracial marriage.

My guests are well informed, open about the facts, their personal experiences, feelings and the struggles and successes of their own race relations. This energetic visit brings a whole new perspective to the word “interracial” and on how people -- all created by the same God and who can share blood transfusions -- have more in common than not in common!

This candid show can help us examine our own feelings about interracial relationships as we hear how it’s approached by and affects those involved -- both individuals and families. How much do race and ethnicity matter in your everyday life? And what about interracial marriage? How do your feelings play into that mix, so to speak? Although interracial marriage is on the rise in the U.S., it still remains highly unusual. Unusual enough that interracial couples face some added stressors for their relationship to succeed. I hope you’ll join us to look at interracial marriage, as well as some very basic race issues. John Nunes’ work takes him around the world and immerses him in global issues. Hence he is able to articulate observations that can help us better appreciate and understand the globalization of America, which is happening whether we want it to or not! You’ll be surprised at how he discovered he’s “a person of color”!

Tom and Pam have three adult children and live in Ann Arbor, Mich., a multi-cultural community. One of their daughters opened the door to their understanding of interracial relationships when she became friends with and then dated a person of another race. They share this story with her permission, BTW! The couple tells us when they included neighborhood kids from different races in their family events, it came as no surprise the kids would all get along, paying no attention to differences among themselves. We’ll hear how that relationship developed and continues. How do they deal with their uniqueness as a bi-racial couple? What about grandchildren?

I appreciate, respect and learn from Nunes’ theological insights on the question “Is there even such a thing as race? How does he propose we engage for success in getting along together?” The Pew Study, published February 2010, quotes scholars who say examining interracial marriages is important, as they act as a barometer of sorts for race relations and cultural assimilation. And what again is The Golden Rule when it comes to relationships? What does God have to do with interracial issues, anyway? The Bible makes it clear God holds us accountable for how we treat each other. Hopefully, this show can help us get on track with that in the area of race relations!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

“Sing Your Song” with Vocalist/Songwriter Jetty Rae and Jason Stewart

Sometimes a Woman to Woman show introduces itself to me before the guest even knows it! That happened with this Valentine show. When Jetty Rae performed last fall for the 14th annual Women’s Retreat at Camp Arcadia, Mich., she not only sang her heart out, she grabbed ours with her personality, her message and her tunes! I invited Jetty and her husband/manager Jason Stewart to meet you on this week’s show because when you learn a young couple’s first meeting was through an online search and then you see how beautifully it’s working out, well, that’s some serious W2W talk!

Jetty, a singer-songwriter based out of Ann Arbor, Mich., released her first full-length album Blackberries in 2007; in November 2009 she released her first EP entitled Nobody. She’s been the focus of music entities like OurStage.com who flew her to New York to perform during JetBlue’s opening of the new Terminal at JFK. Oh yeah! Then MTV.com interviewed her for its Needle In The Haystack series. Her song “I Love You” was selected for a free download of the week and featured on MTV’s up-and-coming artist blog. Most recently, Jetty shared the stage with Sarah McLachlan, Miranda Lambert and the Court Yard Hounds at Lilith Fair in Detroit, where she was selected by Sarah McLachlan and Terry McBride as the featured local artist.

With us, you and me that is, Jetty and Jason talk about all of that and more. I figure everyone has a song; most of us just don’t know how to sing it! She sets an example for that, as she serves the Lord with her “song” in pubs, on main stages, at church youth groups and camps! You’ll hear how she and Jason met and reconciled their differences early on. She comes at life from a Christian perspective. He, on the other hand, wanted no part of that until … You’ll find out where she gets her inspiration, how her mom’s acting company got her started. This show is full of ideas on how to harmonize with those we love musically, spiritually and otherwise. These two tune each other up. Find out how that works … this week on Woman to Woman!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

“Overcome Emotions That Destroy” with Dr. Becca Johnson

Dr. Becca Johnson, with a private practice in Washington State, has been counseling as a licensed psychologist for 20 years. She writes on guilt and child abuse. She co-authored Overcoming Emotions that Destroy to offer practical help in dealing with those angry feelings that trash our relationships. She says we can turn anger into a choice and explains how to overcome anger to use it positively. She’ll walk us through how to accept our anger, examine where it comes from, be honest about how we use it, be open to change and willing to forgive … even to forgive ourselves and, then, and this is brilliant, be willing to feel something besides anger!

The biblical advice found in Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not be easily provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.” We can actually teach ourselves to minimize our stress and maximize God for the combination that stifles anger. Dr. Johnson reports that all of us have anger issues, so how’s that for leveling the playing field! Bring those issues to our Woman to Woman chat this week. Your relationships will thank you. So will your calmer self!

Here are a couple of quotes on anger to keep in mind in this month of hearts and loving!

“The greatest remedy for anger is delay!” ~ Seneca

“If you let anger get the best of you, it will get the worst of you.” ~ Anon.