Join us for Training 2019!Apply Now
Two Gifts Children Need

Two Gifts Children Need

Children are human just like parents, except that they are younger. A great separation between the parent and the child, however, is that children neither know, nor have they experienced all that the parent has found out or been through. With that reality in mind,...
Boundaries Start with Me

Boundaries Start with Me

Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help differentiate you from someone else, or communicate where you “begin” and “end.” Using an analogy of land ownership with fences and gates, boundaries are the fences around your land. Gates are the passageways that...
The Wheel of Functioning

The Wheel of Functioning

A primary responsibility of a healthy family system is to help develop children into capable human beings. Two hallmark expressions of the emotionally and spiritually capable human being are the ability to work and to love, i.e., to be able to live fully in...
Belonging

Belonging

A famous rock star said that she never felt more alone than after a performance in front of thousands of admirers. After the performance ended, she had no one to turn to who met her need to belong. Heroin became her closest companion and the counterfeit experience of...
Created to Need

Created to Need

What is a need? To put it as starkly as possible, needs are deficits that require biological, emotional and spiritual gratification for fulfillment. Deficit fulfillment keeps us fully alive. Needs have to be gratified to be alive. The specific needs we have are the...

Thriving and Prosperity

You and I are created as emotional and spiritual creatures, created to live fully. We find life to the full through emotional and spiritual relationship with ourselves, others, and God. We cannot find full life otherwise. We are predesigned to find fulfillment in...

O Holy Night

My father died December 18, 2010. The song O Holy Night was sung at his funeral. It was beautiful and fitting. It celebrates a light in the darkness, a rescue for a people in need, and the conquering of death in a world where we still must physically die. It tells us...
What Makes a Good Listener

What Makes a Good Listener

There are three basic components of every good listener: 1. Good listeners know, and act on, their limitations.   Knowing our limitations is the work of learning our own stories and the makeup of who we are. When we know ourselves, we can plan around and sometimes...

A Parent List

Our lives as parents must not be about perfection, but about the courage of affection. We live our affection clearly and courageously through confession of the following, and we must do so imperfectly because that is the nature of life. Remember that affection is no...

Life Doesn’t Stop

The river of life never stops and the cycles of living move in never-ending circles. The sparrows keep chirping in the nearby trees while a casket is being lowered into the ground. Life itself stops for no one, but we can. A famous, ancient story tells us about...

Laying Claim, Not Blame

When you or I say to someone, “I feel sad” about some loss, or “I feel lonely” about some disconnection, we are simply laying claim to our own internal emotional experience. The “I feel” statement, followed by our reference point to...

A Friend’s Prayer

A good friend recently took the time to send me a prayer that he has been praying for himself and his friends for some time. I’m very grateful to be someone he prays for. He told me to pass it along, so other friends and loved ones could be reminded to pray for...
Encompassing Love

Encompassing Love

Please read the words below about the power of love from Song of Solomon 8:6-7. In an intimate whisper, the words tell us about the deepest connection and richest surrender our hearts can ever make. They call us to receive and give our hearts to love. To the...

Taking Love for Granted

What a gift to be able to take love for granted. Much of my life, I thought that for me to take anything for granted was somehow an expression of ingratitude or callousness towards something or someone. Or ingratitude or callousness towards me, if someone took my love...

What Children Need

Children really have only a few essential questions of caregivers. Will you grow with me? Will you help me become grown up? Will you live in the struggle of remaining present with me? Children need to be able to take the affirmative answers to these questions for...

A Better Goodbye

In English when we tell someone, “goodbye,” it can mean much or almost nothing. If we are referring to something final with our goodbye, we have to use more words to communicate finality, or more words to wish great things for the other’s good as we depart. Or goodbye...

Trees

When my sons were little, we planted a slim stick of a poplar tree beside our driveway. We must have planted it during the exact sign of the moon in Farmer’s Almanac, or something like that. The poplar grew very fast, from no more than a stick 18 inches tall to four...

5 Ways to Engage Your Partner

Are you familiar with the song “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson? If you have ever seen the movie Free Willy, it is the epic ballad playing as Willy traverses the wall that has held him captive for his entire life, singing him into the sweet freedom that the...

Honoring Mrs. J.M. Blair

When I was ten years old, my family moved out to the country. That is where I met Mrs. J.M. Blair, who at the time was in her later sixties. She walked across the road where I was helping my father work on a post and rail fence. She brought him a glass of water in a...

Risking Loving

If we let ourselves love well, allowing ourselves to be “all in,” we will undoubtedly have experiences that evoke pain in our lives. Our perseverance in this life is built upon the capacity and ability (capability) to continue to love in the midst of the pain that...

Where Are You?

Ayeka is an ancient Hebrew word that is still used in daily life today. It means “where are you?” It is used today when a person, parent, friend, compatriot wants to know about your inner-world, the heart experience of you. It is a question spoken towards...