Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Guilt Trip that was Aborted


Help! I’ve been kidnapped and taken on another guilt trip. 


It was though guilt came in the form of stout and scowling Aunt Hilda.  She sweeps into my life, packs my bag full of past guilt trip paraphernalia.  When I ask what she is doing she answers gruffly “You asked for this.  I don’t like coming here like this any more than you do but you asked for it.  It is your fault.  It is always your fault!” When she is satisfied she pulls me like a small child across the hall, drags me down the stairs and out the front door, away from the security of home.  After effortlessly tossing my luggage up to the carriage driver she forces me into her four wheeled monster and hurries away from leaving peace and serenity far behind.  


Aunt Hilda is not a pleasant person to travel with.  She chatters constantly from the bouncy carriage seat with frayed, navy cloth reminding me of my mistakes as well as everyone around me.  She knows everything bad about everyone.  Sometimes our miserable trips last for minutes, sometimes weeks and a few times they have lasted for month.  


Her chatter seems endless but finally she begins repeating herself like a broken recording and I begin thinking of a way to escape.  Finally when I have “had it up to here” with her critical rendition I grasp at the faint memory of a past relief and cry out in prayer “Father, please cast Satan far from me.”  Abruptly the car comes to a halt.  Aunt Hilda’s balding head turns to stare at me.  She pouts and acts hurt as she throws my luggage from her carriage and pushes me out and I land face down in the dirt. 


She stays right where she is, glaring out the window.  I suppose she is waiting for me to come to my senses.   


By now I am standing on the deserted road like a figure from an old cowboy movie.  I wish she would go away, I wish I had a compass; I wish I had a bottle of water and I wonder how I can ever find my way back home alone.  Then you appear out of nowhere motioning for me to follow.  You are an ordinary person yet so extra ordinary.  I know you but I don’t know when we met.  I can trust you fully, completely.  I wonder if you can lead me back but then as though you read my mind you say “I can help you because I’ve been this way before.”


Aunt Hilda fades away as we walk along the well-worn road, patches of weeds line our way and the sound of the wind plays with the trees like harps in a musicians hands.  You remind me of good times, of things I have done right and you create pictures in my mind of past memories that embrace the essence of love and goodness, kindness and hope. 


Somehow the miles pass, the sun dips down in the forgiving sky and the horrors of my guilt trip fade away and are replaced with your hug or your arm occasionally loped across my weary shoulders.  At last I see home in the distance with its lights and soft music.  The trees bow across the road with honor and the crickets sing their happy welcome. 


I rush forward to stand on the front porch then look back only to find you are gone.  Vanished in the folds of the night yet somehow integrated in my heart and I smile as I open the welcome to my home.


Gratitude: a Gift from God

treesAs I was walking yesterday I noticed how green the trees were and I felt gratitude seep into my heart filling it and lighting up the corners with love.

Gratitude has not always come easy for me.  Sometimes it eludes me as anger, hurt or frustration invade the walls of my heart shutting windows, locking doors and barring entrance.  Other times depression has filled my heart with darkness, absorbed my every thought. and kept me from happiness.  Other times I have written lists of things I should be grateful for,  but true gratitude never made it from the paper to my heart.

What made the difference from today’s brilliant colors and yesterdays drizzling grays?

I believe that my new attitude is the divine gift of God– a miracle as great as the parting of the red sea.  And I believe it is given to me in portions like manna.  It comes in seasons: “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” (Eccl. 3:1)     When it is my season to learn to be long-suffering my exercises in gratitude are just surface. When it is my season to rejoice and be glad I can FEEL the joy of people and things around me 

How can I invite this divine gift of God so that I can feel gratitude heart-deep more often?

Sometimes I must wait.  Sometimes I must ask for it.  Other times giving service warms my heart and helps it to become a vessel ready for light and truth. 

In all cases I have found that recognizing gratitude as a gift from God brings me closer to magic, wonder, and exquisite joy.

Newsletter August 5th-Small Ideas Making Big Differences


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January 10, 2009 Issue #3


Aug. 4, 2009


Patricia Potts has written an incredibly insightful ‘insider’s guide,’ describing what it is like to suffer from depression and bi-polar illness. [ASIN:1419694952 My Journey >From Darkness to Light: How to Overcome Depression and Bipolar Illness One Step at A Time]. Reading her book, one cannot help but be overwhelmed with sadness and empathy for those who suffer from these illnesses. I am embarrassed at how little I truly understood about the feelings and struggles of those suffering these illnesses. I am ashamed to think how many times I may have ignored pleas for help, been insensitive to sufferers, or made comments that were not helpful.

Happily, the book is not just a description of the daily struggles for those suffering these medical problems, but is a story of hope and a way to cope — if not overcome. Patricia has written an indispensable guide book that will assist not only sufferers but also family members and friends. Her vivid writing style and emotional descriptions clearly teach the reader that it is not a solution (for the sufferer or the well-meaning friends) to say “just get over it,” or to ignore the problem.

There is so much to learn from this account of Patricia’s struggles, on several levels: The reader learns the importance of help by family, neighbors, friends, and fellow church members. Patricia’s story recounts the amazing patience and loyalty of a loving spouse. The value of medication (and recognition of this as a medical problem) is convincingly illustrated.

The most powerful moral of the book — and the source of its uplifting theme — is the compelling story of how Patricia came to know God as a result of her experiences. At great cost, she has come to know God in ways and to a degree known by few others. The question for me, as a reader, is whether I will ingrain into my life the wisdom, insights, and personal relationship with God that she has gained — without having to undergo the same wrenching experiences that led Patricia to her spiritual state.

(Book available through

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Hello my friends,

Summer has been busy and is scheduled to get busier still with a Family Retreat coming up at Moon Lake so I haven’t been writing very much lately. We have some great sites for you to browse though.


Dan and I on our fishing day (he did the fishing, I did the hammock)

New Ideas/Blogs/Videos and more

Check out this site offers additional insight on depression and bipolar:,,20188216_3,00.html

Check out this site. It has a helpful video about bipolar on it:

Till next time-

Thanks for spending time with us.

J Patricia

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