What does it mean to honor someone who hurts me?

Forgive to Live_06


On Monday I shared the story of my friend, Cheri, whose dad verbally abused her for most of her life.

I met Cheri on a mission trip. She was vibrant and funny. She was beautiful, and her love for Jesus was evident.

She was also insecure, and uncertain.

One night we talked late into the evening and somehow the conversation turned to family.

With tears she shared how every Sunday she climbed into a car with her family to drive to her father’s house. She told me about the words he said to her in front of her children, and how she never said anything.

She told me that it impacted her children and how they viewed her. She said that the fights between her and her husband were all linked to her refusal to let him stand up for her, and that when she looked in the mirror, her father’s words blotted out everything that was good.

“Why do you keep going?” I asked. “Why are you showing up every Sunday?”

She looked up in surprise.

“We’re supposed to honor our parents, right?” 

[Read more...]

Week #3: The beauty of boundaries


Cheri’s (not her real name) dad verbally abused her while she was growing up.

He used words that made her feel shame. That made her feel small.

He was was respected in the community, but turned into a bully when the doors closed.

Cheri grew up thinking that she was bad.

She grew up thinking that she didn’t have the ability to make her own decisions, because her decisions were always seen as less wise than that of her father.

She grew up thinking that if she would just push the ugly words down, then one day they would stop.

Except they didn’t.  [Read more...]

What if I’m afraid?




Excerpted from my blog post at Incourage, it goes along with this week’s teaching because changing our perspective involves trust.

Cheek to cheek, my eight-month-old grandson, Josiah, and I dance in the pool. When his feet dip in the cold water he sucks in his breath and scrunches his face to cry. I pull him close and he smiles. We dance again.

Somehow my presence is enough, in spite of his fear.

Years ago when I was a young mom, I was afraid.

Afraid that I’d mess up the role of motherhood.

Afraid I’d never get it right.


Afraid that I had been so damaged that, like a banged up old suitcase, I’d carry the clutter of my chaotic childhood into the lives of my babies.

There were times I sat on the floor with a child in my arms, tears brimming as I rocked and prayed.

God, this is hard. Lord, how can I be a good mom if no one showed me how? I’m so afraid I’ll mess this up.

One day these words whispered somewhere deep in response.

Do it afraid, Suzie. {Read the rest of this at Incourage. . .}

Today’s study:

  • Read the rest of today’s blog post at Incourage.

Q: What fears do you have about motherhood?

Q: In what way do you feel ill equipped?

Q: Read Jeremiah 17:7-8. Put your name in the verse. “Blessed is {your name} who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. {Your name} is like a tree. . .

Read that out loud. Write it down in your journal. Stake it as your promise.

Q: Where will you place your trust today? How will that shift your perspective from you to Him?


How do I shift my perspective?

 If you came over from Incourage, I’m so glad you are here. We are in week #3 of a study called The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future. Today’s post on “Do It Afraid” goes hand in hand with what we are learning together. I am so glad you are here with us today!  ~ Suzie



How do you change your perspective?

You grow a new groove.

My friend, the one I talked about in the last post, she’s growing a new groove. When she does something different — different from the old patterns, different from the old thinking, different from the way it’s always been — we celebrate that because it’s a big deal!

When you fall into a trap of negativity, it’s hard to climb out.

We think, act, respond in familiar ways. That creates a sort of a groove in our brain. Everything filters through and down that “groove.”

Let’s say that your teenager talks back.

If you do what your mama did, then you might react in anger. You might hit or say words that are hurtful. You might use labels that mark your child’s heart.

That’s familiar.  [Read more...]

Week #3 Mom I Want to Be: I’m so stinkin’ blessed


This morning I walked with a friend. We walk several times a week, and it’s become a special time as we talk about our children. Our dreams. Our issues.

God.  We talk lots and lots about God.  [Read more...]

How do I trust again?


If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome!

Today I promised you that I’d share three things to do when someone is destructive or unwilling to change. I also offered a free chapter (actually two!) of my book, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.

{{Click here to download your free chapter!}}


Is trusting a huge issue for you?

It used to be for me, too. 

A long time ago, you kind of got one chance with me and if you blew it, you were out.

Later I discovered the power of forgiveness. I acknowledged that people were messy, and that I was a work in progress myself.

I also gave myself permission to work through conflict as a healthy alternative, because handling harder situations are a part of loving each other.

But that brings up an important question.

What if they aren’t trustworthy?

What if they are destructive to you or your marriage or your faith or your children?

[Read more...]

The real and genuine you


I used to be afraid to talk to people.

If I were in WalMart and I saw you across the store, I’d go down a different aisle. It wasn’t that I didn’t like you, or that I didn’t want to be your friend, but I wasn’t sure what to say.

If you spotted me first, I’d chat and put on a good face and pretend that I wasn’t afraid, but afterward I’d wonder. . .

Did I say the wrong thing?

Or a dumb thing?

It’s so weird to consider the girl I once was, because today I’d put my hands on the cart and march across the store to say hello.

And I wouldn’t give a thought about what I said, or didn’t say. I’d simply enjoy the conversation.


When you discover your true identity, you don’t have to pretend (or be afraid) anymore. 

[Read more...]

Week #2: The way you see yourself impacts the way your child sees himself

Look in the mirror.

What do you see?

And what does that have to do with being a mom?


Maybe someone who should have nurtured you used words that hurt you instead. Words like:





Did you know that we don’t form our sense of identity on upon reality, but upon how we believe others perceive us?

When that person fills a big place in your life  — a grandparent or parent, spouse, or  guardian — their words take up a lot of space in who you think you are. [Read more...]