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Judgment and Shame: Fishing for Validation

When we judge and shame, we become the fisherman. We cast a line and hope to hook and reel in validation. We even find a little thrill in the fight.

Sometimes we hook the person we are shaming and they shame themselves… we want to believe this will change their behavior. Sometimes we hook someone who will agree with us.

This is usually catch and release, but there is as much thrill in setting the hook as there is in fighting the desperate attempts to escape. When we reel someone in, especially after a fight, we’ve won! It’s over and we set them free. After all, if we don’t, who will take the bait next time?


When the fish aren’t biting, we change the bait, the line, the spot… we keep casting and angling. Sometimes the thrill dies without a bite and eventually, the only thing left to do is reel it back in and go home.


Try as we might, we may never really be able to retire the rod, but we can try again each day. We can’t control others from casting, but we can do our best to control whether or not we take the bait and what we do when we’ve been hooked.


I will learn to be the fish that doesn’t bite. Someday I will not be pulled into shaming others or myself. Someday we’ll bore the fishermen and rods will be retired, especially ours.

Until then, when I take the bait, and the fisherman reels me in, I’ll resist the urge to pull back and defend. He’s hooked me and I’ll go in without the fight that thrills him.

When he reels me in to release the hook, I’ll stare back with compassion and reflection and grace – for the fisherman and for me – and I’ll resolve to not take the bait again.

I will remember that at any given moment we ALL – including myself and the fisherman and me AS the fisherman – are doing the very best we can.


Five Minute Friday: Together

Writing today from a cabin up in Palomar, with the kind of quiet you can taste, as a group of women chat and share their hearts to celebrate 40 amazing years of an amazing friend, Lori. And when I saw Lisa-Jo Baker’s 5 Minute Friday topic, I knew it was meant just for our friend and I thought “God’s really showing off today.” We’ve all been asked to share our favorite memories of her today. It’s impossible to pick one, but this FMF is dedicated to her. Love you, Lori!!!

Everything I Needed to Know about Together I Learned from Lori

Together is love. Together is covenant. Together is not doing it alone, because no one was meant to do this on their own. Together is His design.

Together is the ultimate accomplice in pulling off a surprise wedding to bring two people together, and being there again when that marriage ended, to mourn the loss together. Before I made a matron of honor speech for my best friend five days later, she helped me pull it together. And in the years that followed, she was there to help me keep it together.

Together is a collection of memories and documenting the development of a child, enjoying her delight in pumpkin patches and petting zoos. Together is chosen family showing up on your first married Thanksgiving and in your first divorced apartment.

Together is a creative session and inspiring each other, even hair-brained overly complicated 3Day donor thank you notes.

Over heartaches, pains, memories, and shames, and returns to His Kingdom, we’ve cried together.

Over escaping the perils of the 3am-last-leg-of-the-road-trip shark apparition that turned out to be a Best Western sign, Whose line is it Anyway, Lime-a-mole, an evening with Colin and Brad, and a very confused Tio Leo’s waitress we’ve laughed together.

Together is together even when you’re apart. Together is a handmade card in the mail for an obscure holiday, with a message that still brings you a tear and then a laugh as you exclaim “Darn that Lori! Over-achiever!” Together is knowing you’re never alone, even when you think you are.
To celebrate an extraordinary and compelling life we’ve all been inspired to live, we’ve come together, we’ve been brought together… by Lori.

Humble as Lori is, she might sometimes think her impact is small… but we all know that Lori’s special exemplar of together runs deep within her and she plants the seeds deep within us.

One of my favorite tag-lines is “We belong to each other… together we can do hard things.”
But Lori teaches us that together we can also do beautiful things. Together we can do bold things. Together we can do warm things, creative things, thoughtful things. And particularly in this very broken world, together we can do healing things… And there is no better reason for together than that.

Five Minute Friday: Last

My heart aches to understand why a certain love didn’t last… but it hopes for a love that lasts in the future.

This Friday is my last day amongst an office of new friends, and my daughter’s last day with a teacher with whom she has spent two months and come to love… but I am comforted to know it’s not the last time we’ll say goodbye and our memories will last a lifetime.

Five minutes will never cover the bits of empty and ache that last has left me…. nor will it cover the fulfillment of friendships, family, and memories that have lasted through beautifully turbulent times.

Sometimes we think about how we want to leave lasting impressions or how we should end all of our interactions with kindness and love… just in case it’s the last we ever get to say to that person.

It’s incredible to me how “last” can leave a hole in one’s heart and yet lasting, particularly lasting love, can fill it.

And while this FMF post is short of a full five minutes, I can’t imagine how different and plain “last” might feel without the voice of Etta James… “At Last”


Five Minute Friday: Broken

With enormous gratitude for this topic, I am thankful for Lisa-Jo Baker at and the Five Minute Friday community. Tonight’s prompt for five minutes of free write is “Broken” and I absolutely most certainly positively and definitely got5onit…


Broken glass, broken mirror, broken things
Broken promises, broken trust, broken hearts, broken families, broken spirits
Broken world…

In our world, that which is broken is often discarded
But all that breaks is not broken…

Waves break, dawn breaks
We break silence, we break records, we break barriers

And much of what’s broken can be restored…

Restored by love
Restored by faith
Restored by Grace

In my journey, I’ve found myself broken and made new time and time again…
I have been inspired by those who take discarded relics and restore them to beauty and new purpose. It reminds me of Someone…

Yes, this is a broken world… but as my heart breaks to witness it, my desire to be part of mending it is restored. Restored by heart, restored by His promise, restored by kindness and love, by compassion and patnership. Restored by Him through us.


This prompt has been a Gift, on a day I learned of more broken-ness in the world, which broke my heart… and he made me new with a desire and a passion and an opportunity to be part of restoration, following a day I was inpired by a group that does the same using discards from a dump to make musical instruments for poor children in Latin America who would otherwise never have exposure to music that connects them to the world in ways they nor their parents imagined. And in a time in my life when the idea of “Beautifully Broken” means more to me than it ever did. Grateful.

Five Minute Friday: Belong

Hello again to #FMFParty at I’m excited to give this 2nd post of unedited, unplanned, free-flowing writing a GO…

I write from a place where I am an outsider, as I’m on an international assignment for a couple of months. The people I’m around are wonderfully warm and inclusive and I really couldn’t be more fortunate… Nevertheless, there are moments, I recognize I’m not “belonging” in a typical way here.

But thankfully, they are fleeting moments… I belong to many groups and in many places and even here belong in my own way and above all, I belong to Him.

One of my fave blogs has the tag line of “we belong to each other” and the best sense of the word “belong” strkes me from there… We take care of the people who belong to us. We love them and share our space, our resources, our patience, our time… And through that they sense their belonging.

I’m grateful for those who give me the sense of belonging when I least expect it… and I aspire to give that sense back to them, and to many many more. This belonging to each other is something that I believe is a powerful tool in healing a broken world. It’s so much more than inclusion and tolerance and acceptance. It’s wrapping our hearts around the people with whom we come in contact, be it for a moment on the street, or on a daily basis…


PS aforementioned blog is 🙂

Five MInute Friday Topic: “Present”

A warm hello to Lisa-Jo and her merry band of 5 minute free writing Flash-Mobbers. I am excited to join the party. You can learn more here: 

This week’s topic is “Present”

Present (v) – you present something to someone/people… you show them or give it to them or something is presented to you or presents itself

Present (n) – 1) a gift: give someone a present

Present (n) – 2) refers to right now: live in the present

Present (adj) – describing something or someone is there: he was present

It’s interesting that this homonym represents a few different things, isn’t it? Or is it? Perhaps if we think about presence, it’s a state or even a feeling of being “there” “now” physically or otherwise. What a gift we have that things we love and cherish do not disappear moments after we experience them. And yet, what a gift we have in the opportunity to think nothing of yesterday or tomorrow, but just soak in and experience any moment we are currently in! 

***How can time be up already??? Someone tell me this gets easier, will ya!***

Strategy for Rescue from the Bremuda Triangulation

On the heels of a big revelation about Grace last night, and in thinking about a situation that got way out of control likely due to a phenomenon called “triangulation”, my mind followed to places about where I think I should apply some Grace and where I wish some people in my life might do the same… and how triangulation gets in the way of Grace and resolution of problems that lead to healthier relationships. And then a potential solution dawned on me. I’d reserve this for another night, but seeing the pic below on Facebook tonight appears to be God’s gentle nudge that sometimes thoughts like these can’t wait. So tonight… I’ve Got5onit…


A close friend recommended me a book called “The Dance of Anger” focusing on understanding women’s anger, but was truly applicable to anyone. One thing they talked about was Triangulation… where instead of talking to the person with whom you have a conflict, you talk to another person ABOUT that person and create an ally. This is more than venting, and it’s not direct resolution, and I promise you it lurks in your relationships and in your family, as it does in mine. I decided when I learned about Triangulation I would apply a new mantra when someone tried to pull me in: “How about we talk TO people instead of ABOUT people” and I started holding myself accountable for the same. Vent? sure… but then let’s talk about strategies to resolve so that you/I can go handle that directly.

Enter Brene Brown and Daring Greatly… and I want to live boldly and in full integrity and honesty. It’s a practice I’m committed to… and it helps me battle temptations of triangulation yet forces me to take care of issues directly and vulnerably…

Enter Grace. The best we can do when we are upset with someone sometimes or we think poorly of them, is love them exactly where they are at. So here’s my new strategy… When someone wants to bash another to me, I’ll listen empathetically to their frustration and then I will say… “You know what? We’re really struggling with this rignt now, aren’t we? Let’s give them Grace and love them right now.” I’m sure the first few times they will look at me bewildered as I call up the target on the spot and say something BOLD like “Hey friend! How are you? Listen, So-and-So and I were just talking about you and we wanted to reach out and just say we imagine you’re really going through a tough time right now and that we just love you, head to toe. We love you, we believe in you, and we’re here for you and we just needed you to know that right this very minute.”

*** And TIME***

If you give this a shot, do it with care and caution and compassion. It’s not a punishment for the triangulator… that person needs your love and Grace too (not alienation!)… and really, sometimes we all need a 3rd party sounding board to make sure our valves aren’t sealed too tightly. We just don’t get anywhere when the conversation ends drenched in “ugly.” This idea is meant to be a life raft from the raging sea of ugly, tossed out to rescue the triangulator and the target, and maybe even you (the triangulee???)… because what cuts through “ugly” better than Grace and Love?

I don’t know where it says it, but I know somewhere in the Bible Jesus says “Love one another as I have loved you.” I don’t think you have to love the Bible to see how that can only be good and I promise you it beats the heck out of contributing to shame culture!

Credit where it’s due…

Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner:

Source of the pic unknown, but it was posted on Fit Yummy Mummy facebook page:!/FitYummyMummy?hc_location=timeline

get this party started…

By now you’re probably starting to wonder if you’ve stumbled upon the blog of a person who was just looking for a place to randomly use lines from hip hop songs and you have no idea what this is really about. Well, truth be told, I do love to throw an unexpected hip hop song line or reference out where I can, and I have no idea what this blog is about either.

What I do know is that I was inspired. A beautiful path of followed links during some deep self-discovery led me mainly to a book and a blog. The book is Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s stunning and just might change the way you see the world… and in addition, it’s a delightful read. The blog belongs to Lisa Jo Baker and she has started a beautiful movement where she posts a topic every Friday and her daring, bold, faithful followers free-write on that topic for 5 minutes, give feedback to the person who posted prior, and post their creation for all to see (you can find out more at

The book, and recent re-discovery of faith, brought to light what a valuable exercise this would be for someone like me… and perhaps I could practice this bold, unedited authenticity more than once per week. The exercise certainly seems worth the try!  So this blog is born… and I hope to fill it with many minutes of bold vulnerability!