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Spending a week with your teenage daughter looking at colleges is one part absolute joy, one part incredible sadness. That was last week. As a family, we’re entering a season of transitions with both of our kids: from living at our home to living on their own, from requiring more hands on care than I ever imagined possible at this point in their lives and ours to requiring no care at all. With a little fear and trepidation, I state that we seem to be exiting a time of dramatic stress, long-undiagnosed illness and mental trauma to a new season of peace, strength and healing scars. 2015 was my ‘year of tears,’ but not 2016. Even with the presidential election … Continue reading
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The Mind of Christ Bible study by TW Hunt and Claude King details the qualities of Christ’s mind, as well as the opposites, and the perversions. The perversion of a pure mind is being pharisaical and self-righteous. Without humility before God, who sees everything – and we don’t – the self-righteous heap spiritual abuse on others who need not only truth, but His grace. This whole situation just reeks of what the secular world hates about the Christian community. As stated in the referenced study, “…understanding them (biblical passages on purity) apart from their manifestations in the life of Christ can lead to perversion.” To be clear, the way the church involved in this situation (see link below) has handled this … Continue reading
Since biblical times, mental disease has existed and been documented. (Matthew 4:23-24, among other biblical sources of mental diseases, not to be confused with demonic possession). But mental disease as told through the eyes of the person suffering has been a recent phenomenon. From the book Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents, I learned the story of Clifford Whittington Beers, a Yale graduate in 1897, who wrote of his own struggles in a book titled A Mind that Found Itself. Beers’ family had extensive mental illness. When mental illness spans multiple generations within a family, the disease is almost certainly the result of genetic defects. In recent decades the 5-HTT allele (different … Continue reading
A week or so ago I mentioned an excellent book Behind the Wall: The True Story of Mental Illness as Told by Parents. From this and other recent research, here are some things you can do today if someone in your circle of influence struggles with mental disease: 1. Be a friend to parents with a mentally ill child. Because of the stigma of mental illness, there may be no more lonely parenting experience. Bring meals when the child is having a rough time. Offer to stay with the child so the mom or dad can get a much needed break. 2. Be a friend to the siblings of the mentally ill child. The illness as well as the stigma … Continue reading
There’s progress on the Outside In Ministries website; hopefully I’ll have a ‘Coming Soon’ page to share within a week or so. In the meantime, I’ve been reading, researching and meeting with a variety of people with a variety of connections to the Church and Mental Health. In all honesty, the Church has nowhere to go but up in terms of investing time, people and resources into bringing the mentally ill into the Body of Christ. The challenges presented by adverse mental health generally cause fear and revulsion, even among the most saintly. But like many challenges, what’s really needed is simple: spiritual maturity. Mark 9 talks about a father struggling with belief regarding his son who could neither hear … Continue reading
Cancer sucks. Cancer quickly took the life of my father; it slowly took the life of a teenage friend. Cancer is currently wreaking a bit of havoc on a dear friend in the last stages of recovery from surgery and treatments and more surgery (he’s going to be fine, praise God). But millions of people live with genes and brain chemicals that interfere with and wreak havoc on and frustrate their daily lives. Day in, day out. Year after year. With no end in sight. Those of you who know me know I had an eating disorder in my late teens through mid twenties. It wasn’t until I came to Christ, giving Him my all – or what I … Continue reading
In every crowd, in every class, in every family, in every neighborhood, in every workplace. Count off the individuals in that group. Every time, 1 in 5 has had or will have a mental illness. For some, it’s obvious. For most, no one will ever know. Our families and friends and faith communities rally around to support those of us with financial difficulties, relationship difficulties, parenting struggles, health crises. But too often, the very real struggles associated with mental health issues are never shared. There’s too much stigma. In this blog and in many other ways, I look forward to sharing what I have learned and am learning about the genetics and science related to mental health, and … Continue reading
Today is officially Day 1 of my leap back into ministry. God has been quietly speaking this entire year that the time was rapidly approaching for me to go into the new unknown, that place He has prepared. I don’t know exactly where He’s leading, or what this entails, but I do know it all has to do with the body of believers, who the Church is really supposed to be. It also has to do with mental health, and supporting those who struggle with mental health issues. And it has to do with abuse within the body of Christ. I’ve started some preliminary research, I’ve met with a few people. I now know enough to be dangerous. … Continue reading
It’s not healthy to be jealous of a woman who died too young. But somehow, in a fit of self-pity, I managed to feel that basest of sensations, practiced though I am at shoving unholy thoughts out past the edges of my acknowledgement. This woman, who I do not know, managed to amass thousands – maybe tens or hundreds, or gosh maybe millions – of social media followers, as she wrote publicly about her struggles with cancer. Pictures of her bald head, smiling and grimacing with beloved family members, accompanied her posts. Strangers from around the globe shared her messages with their e-friends, prayed for her, wished her well. In the dark corner of my amygdala, or wherever all the … Continue reading
Pa grew up in a seaside town on the gulf coast of Florida, so at least annually we spend time at or near his hometown beach. In recent years, due to the unfortunate timing of our treks to the coast, the Discovery Channel has made my life a waking nightmare with visions of sharks coming ashore to eat me, Pa or our offspring. We typically manage to be at or very close to a beach right before, right after, or smack dab in the
Little House cover art is progressing nicely, don’t you think? Yes, it’s our version of American Gothic. Publication will commence shortly after the cover art is finished!
My dearly-loved son was born almost 17 short years ago. Leading up to his birth, I struggled mightily with whether or not to return to work as a professional moneychanger. Deep, passionate spiritual wrestling took place in my heart during the latter days of my pregnancy and the early days of my son’s life. I so did not want him or any future children to struggle as I had financially. Struggle shapes and molds the character, but too much struggle can crush the spirit. But even then I had lived long enough to see how little changed for many work associates after giving birth. No noticeable difference in the long hours, no apparent re-ordering of priorities. More than once I … Continue reading
According to Shakira and Wyclef Jean, hips don’t lie. Other body parts are not as honest, but not the hips. I can confirm this is true. In the last couple of weeks, my right hip has revealed some interesting truths. Persistent pain drove me to yet another doctor for more questions, probing, tests, nitroglycerin patches, special braces and exercises. No offense docs, but I’m not sure any of you know with certainty what’s going on. At least the current doc admits there are multiple things happening in my hip. My pain conundrum of the past four years resembles a multi-variate
Here’s what I shared last Sunday about being a spiritual parent, or a spiritual kid. Your comments – especially the nice ones – are welcome! If you don’t see the video below, click on “Mother’s Day Video” above.
I was born and raised in Roanoke, Virginia – in the country. Growing up in the country, one of my favorite places to retreat was the cow pasture behind my house. These quiet moments led me on a journey to discover the grandeur of God and began my lifelong love of the written Word.
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I am SO very honored to be listed as a ‘Be the Change’ alumni from James Madison University for my work with Northfield Ministries, May 24, 2012.
Read my CNN/Money Magazine interview (“Secrets of Couponing Pros”) about my couponing expertise and strategy. Also available in the August 2011 print edition of Money Magazine. Creative saving is a great way to be a suburban pioneer!
I was Correspondent of the Day in the July 13, 2011 Richmond Times-Dispatch, responding to columnist’s article promoting abortion as a means of population control.
Cultural Christian or Spiritual Pioneer? March 2013 presentation to Community Bible Study group, focusing on James 1.
A Story To Tell: In this presentation to elementary school students, I shared that God loves a good story, and to think about the stories He is writing in each of their lives. They loved it!
“Stand and Deliver” – Marilyn McGee interviewed me about “Hungry Souls.” This was my first author interview!
Hungry Souls…has been used as source material for a master’s level seminary research paper.
…has been compared to the insights and wisdom of C.S. Lewis.
…received reader comments such as “One of the best written books I’ve ever read.”
“I read a lot of books; most people don’t know what they’re writing about. You obviously do. You should write more books” (television talk show host).
“What you wrote regarding God’s judgment is profound.”
…inspired a reader to write a poem of gratitude for helping him understand his loved one’s struggle.
Dynamic speaker. Overcomer. Wife. Mom. Business whiz. Spiritual Pioneer. Female Billy Graham. Former anorexic. Cat person. Delightful. Former bulimic. Virginia native. Wickedly funny. Righteous through Christ. Free from eating disorder. Bible scholar. Runner. Captivating. Seamstress. Joyful. Powerful. Grateful. Free.
Be a Spiritual Pioneer. Feed your hungry heart.
With a history of eating disorder and intense craving for love, Catherine learned that only God can feed the hunger of her soul. Catherine transparently weaves lots of humor and meaty scriptural teaching with her various struggles, past and present, to challenge audiences to feed their spiritual hunger with God.