Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher

Nancy Boucher is the ninth of thirteen children born into a first generation Italian American family. The importance and value of family has been an enduring force in her life. She taught special education for 24 years in public schools, starting programs for children with behavioral challenges. Her responsibilities included screening, observation, and evaluation; developing and implementing goals with students; consulting with teachers, administrators, and parents; and providing in-service assistance to staff. She loved my job, and was always attentive to and thankful to each of her students who taught her how to become a better teacher. She is well aware of the challenges facing families and their children when dealing with a serious condition, not yet totally understood. Twenty four years ago her youngest son got sick with a serious mental illness and her family's life as they knew it veered off course. They were catapulted into a wilderness [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher2022-02-27T15:31:56-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.

Tina G. was raised a farm girl near Columbus, ND.  She spent many summer weekends at our lake cabin at White Bear Lake  Saskatchewan Canada.  She has loved the outdoors all her life.  She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Business Admin. She never cared much for indoor work so she spent about 20 years working with golf course landscaping.   During this time she raised 3 kids,  a daughter and 2 sons with their Dad.  They later divorced.   She then met Tim and he has a daughter.   They celebrated 12 years of marriage this year.   During that time all 4 of their kids graduated high school, their daughters have both married and they now have 2 granddaughters and are expecting a grandson in March!  They have 3 dogs that are theirs together!   Tina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 and borderline personality disorder at the age of 33.  However, she feels [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.2022-02-20T16:08:22-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.

Dear Claudia, As I sit here anticipating the 2022 New Year and wondering what joys and sorrows it will bring, I remember you. Our world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, that frankly, I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. It’s an experience akin to living in a sci-fi horror movie. I sometimes wonder if I could magically change the fact that you developed a serious mental illness when I was a child, if your brain had remained healthy and you were still alive, would you have been the kind of mother I could call and kavetch with about what a struggle the pandemic is for us all. However, you died seven years ago.  You were 74-years-old when you died alone with both serious mental illness and dementia in an Atlanta area nursing home. Even with the dementia, you always remembered both me and Chris (your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.2022-02-13T18:21:35-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson

MY MIRACLE CHILD It has not been easy since day one. Actually, before that. I had fertility problems that required tests, treatments, and lots of doctors visits. What came so easily for others was an uphill struggle for me. I just wanted to have a baby. Jeff and I married young, worked hard, and saved up enough money for a down payment on a house. After we moved in, my biological urge to become a mother really kicked in. But my body was not cooperating. Finally, after four long years, my dream came true. I was pregnant! by Donna Erickson Dear Ryan, I loved and wanted you so much, before you were even born. When you came into our lives, your father and I were over the moon and filled with happiness. But it was hard to raise such a defiant child. Tantrums lasted longer than my friends‘ children, and [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson2022-01-30T19:50:19-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Mother’s Search for Sanity

Michelle B is a loving mother, daughter, and child of God. She is working hard at surviving, maintaining sanity and positive thoughts, staying in the word of God and following his commands to live a good clean life.  Dear mom, I’m writing you this letter to tell you how much you mean to me. You have been there for me and for that I am grateful. As you know I have 7 months clean. I want to express how deeply sorry I am for disappointing you with my drug use. You always tried to help me with my mental health even when I was young. I never listened and would suffer. You saw the outbursts, the psych wards, and the melt downs. I felt them. I self medicated through meth use. It was like magic. Now I know this not to be true. After going to a psych doctor and [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Mother’s Search for Sanity2022-01-23T21:57:14-05:00

A Father’s Literary Blessing: a review of Ben Palpant’s Letters from the Mountain

Dear One, a father desires to share some of his hard-earned convictions and half-formed ideas with his daughter, whom he hopes will come to terms with her gifting and calling. He longs for her faith journey to culminate at the peak where the 360-degree view will undo her, where she will weep for sheer joy, where she will laugh with exhilaration. These letters are my attempt to reach out over the miles and clasp your hand as you climb. To whisper encouragement in your ear as I did when you were young. To spur you on toward love and good works. To remember our story. To lean my forehead against yours and give you my blessing: from the humble to the humble, to the glory of God. Amen. If there is one thing I did right as a father it was to pass on to my children a love of [...]

A Father’s Literary Blessing: a review of Ben Palpant’s Letters from the Mountain2021-12-02T10:37:24-05:00

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Advent Hope in a Season of Grief

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. There were 11 of us gathered for fellowship and feasting. My 21-month old great niece dubbed Princess Nora provided the entertainment. We listened to a Spotify music playlist of holiday music. We told family stories and gave thanks for making it through another year. It was a bittersweet celebration, for as much as we enjoyed those who could make it we were mindful of those who could not. 2020 took a great toll on our family. We lost my father in July of cancer and my mother in December of COVID. Grief has since been a ever present companion in our lives and sometimes it can be disruptive to our family relationships. Fortunately, yesterday, it was was present as a gracious friend reminded us of good memories and things that live on. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in a time of grief as well. According to History.com [...]

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas: Advent Hope in a Season of Grief2021-11-27T05:18:42-05:00

My Life Partnership: In Sickness and in Health

I'm writing this intro section shortly after midnight on Susan's birthday. She is reclining with her granddaughter Rose who is congested and unable to stay asleep in her crib. I'm praying we all get the rest we need to enjoy the day that lies ahead. The genesis of what follows was first published in February of 2019. I'll tack on an addendum to bring it up to date. Over Labor Day weekend in 2018, I met the woman who would soon become my wife. Susan is all I could ever ask for in a life partner. She is intelligent. She has a beautiful smile. She has a great sense of humor. And, most importantly, she loves me and shares my faith. She accepts my identity as one who has bipolar disorder and affirms my mental health ministry. She is a definitive example of “ezer,” a help-meet who enhances my life, [...]

My Life Partnership: In Sickness and in Health2021-11-20T06:26:35-05:00

So you want to marry someone who has bipolar?

I've been putting myself under a lot of stress lately. I say putting myself because really I have many, many good things going on. I am happily married, live in a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood, have plenty of friends and family who care about me, and spend my time pursuing a meaningful vocation with my loyal lab Briley by my side. So why am I stressed? Do I need a reason? It occurred to me some time ago that as one with bipolar disorder, not only am a more vulnerable to stress, but because others are more stressed relating to me. Not because of who I am, but because of what my illness does. If you love someone with a brain illness, what do you think? If you have a brain illness, do you accept this? For today's post, I thought I'd share a humorous piece I wrote [...]

So you want to marry someone who has bipolar?2021-09-29T16:36:53-04:00

One Angel Who Did Not Fear to Tread

I want to tell a story I've told many times before. But I can't tell it enough. It's the story of what happens when someone with a mental illness falls into the pit of despair is lifted up by the loving faithfulness of one who cares. December 1, 2016. I am in the Goodman exit lane off I-490 in Rochester, New York. An unusual light shines in my rearview. In seconds, I hear a loud crack and feel a tremendous lurch. Someone traveling too close, going too fast, hit me. Hard. I called 911 and a policeman showed up, followed by an ambulance. I was taken to Strong Memorial hospital where they ran tests and found nothing conclusive. But I became increasingly agitated. I became convinced that I was paralyzed. Three doctors ran tests on me at separate times and concluded that nothing was wrong. Physically. That's when I called [...]

One Angel Who Did Not Fear to Tread2021-09-21T21:58:37-04:00
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