Truths About a Child's Identity in Who They Want to Be

Truths About a Child's Identity in Who They Want to Be

Lately, I've been talking a lot about children. As a Mom, my kids are really my number one "job". I wouldn't say they're my first priority because God and my husband do come before them (whoops! Sorry kiddos, but God is King and hubby will be around longer than you will!) but regardless, they are extremely important. Part of being a mom in a family affected by addiction means being hyper-sensitive to our children's needs. Not only are our kids dealing with the "normal" aspects of childhood (which is tough enough!) but they're living in a stressful home environment.

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Dear Diary: It's Better than Prison

Dear Diary: It's Better than Prison

When I was younger, I used to love the book, "The Diary of Anne Frank". I have always felt that I talked to myself much in the same way. I have introspectively narrated my life story and to be very honest, I wonder what would have been said about it if it were someone else looking in, instead of my own perspective. I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes. However, I do believe I've been a good wife. A traumatized one, but a good one. 

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If I Were the Devil

If I Were the Devil
“We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts].”
-1 John 5:19 (AMP)
“Gone are the days when it was safe for kids to ride their bikes outside unsupervised and come home when the street lights turn on…. things were different back then.”

Have you heard anyone say that recently? I’ve heard it way too many times. Yes, things were different. Before the technological era and the media frenzy that have taken over the world, things were simpler. I can totally see it. But evil is the same as it was when it first met with mankind in the Garden of Eden as it says in the book of Genesis. Is Satan “gaining ground” on us? No. I would say he takes two steps forward and three steps back. We just happen to live in a “two steps forward” era. 

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Does Your Spouse Have a Porn Addiction or Just a Bad Habit? The Difference Matters!

Does Your Spouse Have a Porn Addiction or Just a Bad Habit? The Difference Matters!

Before anyone gets upset with me for being insensitive, let me preempt this post by saying I know how much it hurts to have your spouse “cheat on you” with porn. It’s beyond awful. It makes us feel like dirt. We can’t stop thinking about it. We unwillingly compare ourselves to their internet history, “Large chest and big butt?! But I have a TINY chest and NO derriere… He must not like me” or, if you’re a man it may go more like, “I don’t have abs! Obviously, she thinks I’m fat too. No wonder she’s looking at porn. She’s probably having an affair too”.

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Dear Diary: Free From Condemnation and I Feel Fine

Dear Diary: Free From Condemnation and I Feel Fine

It’s the end of the day and I feel as though I’ve been writing in my head for weeks. I have so much to say and so many times I have wanted to write but I am waiting for the right moments so I can write with wisdom. It’s been a difficult day and evening. I can feel that Satan has been taunting me but I am persevering in the Lord. Part of my covenant resonated with me today, “...so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light”.

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How One Heroin Addict's Death Led Two Hundred Souls to Jesus

How One Heroin Addict's Death Led Two Hundred Souls to Jesus

As many of you know, I recently moved from Canada back to the USA. Same general area, different community. This time, I’m lucky enough to call the ever-popular Hillsong Church my family’s home church. It’s pretty cool, I have to say. If you ever get the opportunity to attend a Hillsong service, I highly recommend it. One of the things I love the most about the church is tho opens and welcoming attitude of the patrons. Everyone comes as they are. A big sign at the front says, “Welcome Home” and you’re invited in with smiles, jeans and a lot of really, great music.

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Forgiveness, A Gift that Sets the Giver Free

Forgiveness, A Gift that Sets the Giver Free

There she sat next to me in the pew. This time her recovery included a commitment to go back to church. I fought hard to no avail to keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks. My emotions were running high as she sat there as tangible proof of an answer to so many prayers. I didn't know then, that it wasn't going to last but I remember so vividly what God showed me that day.

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Dear Freckles: I Miss the Simple Things

Dear Freckles: I Miss the Simple Things

As you know, once a month I've been posting an excerpt from my personal journals in The Grey Diaries to show you my journey from where I was to where I am today. Though the story I've been sharing with you is mine, it is largely also my husband's. I've tried to be respectful of his story as it's not my place to tell it but in order to give you a true picture of how God's love can change a life, he has graciously allowed me to share his letters to me, with you.

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My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

My Loved One Has an Addiction, What Can I Do?

This is a question I hear often but has a very complicated answer. While the definition of addiction is the same across the board and the behaviours for each type of addiction come out, in the same manner, the actual addiction itself does need to be treated differently. So I’m going to say, it depends on what your loved one is addicted to. 

I’m going to split this into the “big four” addictions. Some of these, I have up-close and personal experience with while others I do not, so if you’re the spouse of said addiction and you’re like, “Ummm, Leah, that’s whack advice!” I'm so sorry, that’s totally okay by me.

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How to Deal With Guilt and Shame as the Parent of an Addict

How to Deal With Guilt and Shame as the Parent of an Addict

When I reached this point in my story I looked up and sitting directly across from me was a lady whose eyes I could see, were filling with tears. I spoke to her directly and said, "This is the toughest part isn't it?" and she nodded.

This is the point in my story where I talk about the guilt. This was the hardest hurdle for me to get over.

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No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

No Need to be a Scaredy Cat! Faith Guide for Crisis Situations

I know I’m, “Preaching to the choir” when I say this but there’s nothing like addiction to bring a spirit of fear into your life. Whatever anxieties or insecurities may have been present before, that you were able to disguise, push through, convince yourself weren’t there, they all come back with addiction. They say addiction is a “family disease” and while I don’t believe in the disease aspect of it, I do believe it’s a family affair! 

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Dear Diary: A New Covenant Begins

Dear Diary: A New Covenant Begins

Today, I'm jumping ahead in my journals about a year. My husband had just gone to treatment and I was home alone, new baby, recommitting myself to God. I thought my righteous behaviour would somehow "save him", and therefore save my marriage, but it was the beginning of God saving me. Things were very hard that past year. I will likely go back and reveal those journals but for now, I'm here. Up until this point, I had been living in New York since 2013. For the past year, I had believed my husband was an alcoholic.

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The Year I Lost Christmas: A Story About Grief and Addiction

The Year I Lost Christmas: A Story About Grief and Addiction

I distinctly remember the year I lost my Christmas. I didn’t lose the meaning of the season or my appreciation for the birth of my Lord and Saviour. It was His strength that got me through it all but hovering above my Christmas was a dark cloud, a memory. For me, this cloud hovered almost a decade. I felt it every time she relapsed. It lifted during times when she was doing well and then returned with each stumble backwards. Its name is grief. 

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God Gave Us a Spirit of Power, Love and Sound Mind (So, why am I freaking out?!)

God Gave Us a Spirit of Power, Love and Sound Mind (So, why am I freaking out?!)

"You're not listening to me!” 

“No, you don’t understand.”

“Can you put yourself in my shoes for just three [Un-Christian word] seconds?!”

“Ah! Never mind! I don’t even know why I try explaining to you, it’s useless!”

These are the things I find myself saying to my husband over and over again. As he fumbles and bumbles and tries to understand my range of complex emotions stemming from childhood wounds to the scars from our relationship to the present situation. He doesn’t know what to say and I know it.

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Top Five Books to Change Your Thinking While In a Crisis

Top Five Books to Change Your Thinking While In a Crisis

When you have a loved one struggling with an addiction it can be really tough to find the right resources. There's a lot out there! Over the years, I've received both good and bad advice but every time I looked for help, the best advice usually found in books. That could be because I'm more comfortable reading a book than talking to a human being but with young kids, it can tough to find time to read! 

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You Can Love Your Child and Hate Their Substance Abuse

You Can Love Your Child and Hate Their Substance Abuse

Blonde hair, blue eyes and a wealth of talent. She was my first born; Beautiful, funny, smart and excelled at anything she put her mind to from track and field, dance and figure skating. She had a beautiful voice and sang like an angel. She had the drive and determination of an Olympic athlete. She could have done anything she wanted but ended up doing none of the things she dreamed of because deep inside her lived a little girl who felt unworthy.

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Dear Diary: Wall to Wall

Dear Diary: Wall to Wall

Here we go again. I don't know if I'm ranting and rambling on or if my thoughts are some kind of trigger from warped perspective but regardless I have plenty to say. 

Here I am. New York City. Watching people chase their dreams while I sit idly by. What are you expected to do when you're doing nothing? Find something to do, right? Yet, I feel blocked, surrounded by invisible walls I likely created.

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How to Faithfully Deal with Chronic Insecurity

How to Faithfully Deal with Chronic Insecurity

Whack! Strikes of pain shot through my butt as we slammed into yet another pothole. I moaned softly, strained my neck against the window and lifted my eyes to the flaking roof of the van. When would we get there? Or rather, the more pertinent question: when was I going to get there? Emotionally, physically… spiritually. I sighed and turned my head to watch the billows of dust surface in our erratic wake. 

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