“You Complete Me” or Do You?

The title of this blog post was taken from a quote in the 1996 movie “Jerry Maguire”.  It is in the final scene of the movie when the main character in the movie, Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, returns to his estranged wife Dorothy, played by Renée Zellweger, and tells her that she completes him.  For all the women readers out there, let’s just breathe a big sigh as we silently think to ourselves, “if only my husband felt that way”.

Wedding ringsI was in my mid-thirties at the time this movie came out and although I was already married for over ten years, I was still naive enough to think that kind of love was possible.  It’s not that that kind of love isn’t really possible.  It’s that we shouldn’t expect our spouses to complete us.  Yet that is the message that we are constantly bombarded with in the entertainment industry.  It is all over our television sets, in the theaters and in the fantasy romance novels that women can get wrapped up in.  In fact, it is fed to our children at an early age in Disney fairy tales as well.  No wonder women expect to live happily ever after when they walk down the aisle on their wedding day.

Complement, Not Complete

We are meant to complement our spouses, not complete them.  We are each to be made whole through our relationship with Christ and partner with our spouses in creating a Godly marriage.  When we expect our husbands to complete us, we are setting ourselves up for huge resentments and unmet expectations.  It is an enormous burden to place on them.  They are only human.  It is enmeshment and co-dependency at its worst.  Without the communication tools to deal with that, we end up living in misery.  I know because I lived in that place for many years.

I’ve been working on my own healing and recovery for the past nine years.  It was in a variety of spiritual and emotional healing classes and reading books like “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend that I first started to realize this and put the pieces together in my life.  It’s been a very painful process to come to terms with my own character defects and emptiness that I had in my heart.  I had to learn to turn to God to fill that hole and connect with other women who, for the most part, had also put their husbands on a pedestal and expected them to meet all of their needs.   It is epidemic in society.  I would venture to guess that unmet expectations are probably one of the leading causes of divorce.  But it doesn’t have to end that way.

There is Hope for Your Marriage

My husband and I just returned from a marriage workshop in California held by New Life Ministries.  New Life is also responsible for airing “New Life Live”, America’s #1 Christian call-in counseling ministry, hosted by Steve Arterburn.  It is a ministry that I whole-heartedly support, list on my website and use as a resource in groups that I lead.New Life Ministries

This weekend did not disappoint as I saw God show up in amazing ways and heard many testimonies of life transformation.  For me, this weekend was a wonderful opportunity to really connect at a deep level—not just with my husband, but with the other couples in our group sessions.  We left refreshed, hopeful for the future and more equipped and willing to bring healing and restoration into our marriage.

I cannot recommend New Life highly enough.  Whether your marriage needs a tune-up or a full-blown resuscitation, I encourage you to contact New Life Ministries at 1-800-NEW-LIFE to get it back on track.  You’ll be glad you did.

Writing: My First Year, Part 2 – First Steps

I’ve had a burning desire to be a writer ever since my mother died about 1½ years ago.  But it wasn’t until I voiced that desire in a support group meeting one year ago last week that my desire started to become more of a reality—emotionally on the inside and visibly on the outside.

Since that day, I have received one confirmation after another.  Coincidence? (more…)

A Year To Remember, Part 1

It may sound cliché, but 2011 was a year to remember.  If you received our annual family newsletter you have heard some of these amazing things.  I hope that it will eventually be a published book.  Until that time, I’m sharing this more openly in my blog and any other avenues that God leads.  Part 1 is about how writing became such an integral part of my DNA this year.
I started out 2011 trying to just take one day at a time with the uncertainty of my terminally ill mother’s fate hanging over me.  I had made three trips back home in the 17 months since my mother’s stroke and was longing to see her again.  In the midst of this waiting, I was also comforting Rosa, Pedro’s mother*, with the news of her mother’s passing.  And then three weeks later, my mother suddenly passed away.
I was initially in shock as I felt certain that God had told me I would see my mother alive again.  I didn’t understand how God could take my mother so suddenly.  I returned home to St. Louis to handle my mother’s final arrangements and burial. 
That painful trip ended up being such a blessing for me.  I was able to speak at my mother’s memorial—something I never foresaw myself doing.  My mother was mentally ill for pretty much all my life and so I wasn’t very close to her.  Over the months preceding her death though, God was giving me glimpses of how I am like my mother in ways that I hadn’t seen before.  The eulogy ended up being a beautiful tribute to my mother and a way I could share those things with her. It was incredibly healing for me.   The revelations and healing were so significant to me that God laid it on my heart to start writing.
A few months later, my connection with New Life Ministries and Steven Arterburn, led to an interview about my experience.  The interview was distributed nationally to supporters of the ministry.  And so I continued to write.  Shortly after that I was asked to join the team of devotional writers at my church.  I was just getting used to the idea of being a ‘writer’ and I certainly never thought I’d write devotionals.  But after prayer and thoughtful consideration, God gave me the confidence and His words to do it.  I also took some writing classes over the summer and wrote a few short stories.
                In the fall, I began to take my writing more seriously, started my blog and joined the Northwest Christian Writers Association.  It was through this group that I heard about a story submission to a Christian publishing firm for stories of mother/child healing relationships.  That led to the writing and submission of my first manuscript just over a month ago.  That was a huge leap of faith—fingers crossed and praying.
So I started out 2011 with lots of uncertainty in my life around my mother’s passing.  I ended 2011 with closure, wholeness and a new sense of purpose.  God has given me a story and a desire to write it.  That is pretty scary at times because it is a big commitment, but also because I didn’t see it coming.  But isn’t that the way God does His best work?  If I went down this road on my own, I’d want to take the credit for it.  But since I know this is something that I couldn’t do on my own, I have to rely on Him.  He is the author of my story and I’m blessed to collaborate with Him on making it known in whatever way He leads.


*Learn about my Spanish connection and who Pedro is in Part 2.

Wanting Versus Committing

Today I am a writer.  Yesterday I wanted to be a writer.  What’s the difference?  Commitment.

June 13, 2011, that is when I first ‘outed’ myself as a writer.  It was at a support meeting that I regularly attend where we share our struggles and encouragement through the ups and downs of life.  I made the decision to tell everyone I wanted to write a book.  That was a spiritual marker for me.  After I voiced my intent, God opened the door for several things to start aligning with that desire.

Exactly one week later, I was asked to be interviewed by Steve Arterburn, author of over 60 Christian books, founder of Women of Faith and host of the nationally syndicated Christian counseling radio program, New Life Live.  My interview was published on their monthly CD that goes out to supporters of this ministry.  It was through my writing a few months before that this even became possible.

Two weeks later, I was asked by my pastor’s wife to be on the church’s devotional team.  Again, it was through my writing that she even became aware of my desire.  After having our beloved adopted host son from Spain in our home for a month, I turned my attention to trying to write devotionals.  My first one was published the end of July.

Since that time I have started to feel and act like a writer–going to writing classes, attending writers meetings and journaling like crazy.  But there was no concrete writing on my book.  I was overwhelmed by the prospect–not knowing where to start, the structure for it and so on.

Then things started to align with my desire.  At the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association (NCWA) meeting earlier this month I purchased a book called The Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path.  I immediately started reading this book to see where I was on the steps–or even if I was on a step.  Afterall, if I was really a writer I needed to be able to see myself on a step.

It was easy to find myself.  I was in Step 2–WANTING.  I wanted to be a writer.  I was putting myself in the position to become a writer–except that the main reason I decided to take a leap of faith and give intentionality to my writing–to write my book–was not happening.  I knew what lie ahead–Step 3–COMMITMENT.

I didn’t want to read that chapter, but the more I sat in wanting, the more I knew I needed to.  I needed to see what was ahead and see if I could do what it took–and to get unstuck.  It was hard to read Step 3.  It was about the sacrifices that writers make and the changes that they need to put into place to make writing happen.  So that is what I am doing–making changes in my life that realign with my desire to write a book.

So on Saturday, October 15, 2011, I heeded to the voice in my head that gave me the place to start on my book.  Funny how it wasn’t at all in the realm of what I was thinking about over the past few weeks.  When I let go of where to start, God gave it to me.  It was the introduction–why I am writing this book.  Once I wrote that the next piece just seemed to flow.

I only have a vague idea what I am doing with this, but at least it is a start.  I am thrilled.  I am elated.  I am scared.  I am nervous.  These are all signs of being in Step 3, so that is a good thing.  I am honored that God would call me into this journey.  I’m praying that He will keep me focused on it and that it will glorify Him.  I am grateful to not be wanting any longer, but to be committing to this partnership with Him.

Where are you sitting in a state of wanting?  What is it going to take for you to commit to your goal?  Ask God to help you take the bold steps necessary to realign your life and commit to His purpose for your future.  And then watch God show up.

  • WELCOME to my site!

    I'm an author, writer, speaker, mentor & mom. I've struggled to find my voice all my life as I lived in the shadows of a mother with mental illness. Thankfully that was not the legacy that she handed down to me. It took a lot of recovery and deep healing work to rise above it.

    I am thankful to God for Making Me Bold in the process. Now I use my writing and speaking voice to help others on their journey to turn healing into hope.

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