Saturday, October 15, 2016


 I awoke to 2 cats sitting on my chest staring at me... the food bowl was indeed empty so they were on the brink of starvation. I had to laugh at their tiny serious faces.

Next up were the dogs. After feeding and treats and meds I ended up with about 150 pounds of dog in my lap alternately kissing me and cleaning each other's ears.

Starting the day with strong coffee and animal antics is an antidote to the stressful week I have left behind.

I am so grateful for these whackadoodle fur faces.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Just another week

21 patients... 1 crisis... calming staff... checking in... checking out...

"He had his knee on my throat trying to kill me... then he raped me."

"I don't know if I believe in God anymore. It all feels fake... like I was lied to."

"They just see me as V from the wrong side of the tracks... Old V with the drunk ass son..."

" I don't know who I am anymore. I lost "me" somewhere."

So much pain in such a broken world. I pass out tissues, I listen as they pour out their hearts, share their secrets and release their pain.

I see them at their worst and at their best. They are there in that small room with me because they want to change, because they haven't lost all hope, because they are fighting their demons to survive...

It's a sacred time, a sacred space. I sit and often I pray "God help me help them".

I want to save them all. I want to heal them. I want to love them all back to safety and sanity.  I want them to know that they matter, that their words are heard, that their lives have meaning.

Some days I leave exhausted. Some days I am on the verge of crying but suck it up because it's not about me, it's about them. Some days I arrive in the dark and leave in the dark. Some days I feel like I make a difference. Some days I feel like I have helped. Some days I leave feeling hopeful...

"I feel better. I am not crying everyday."

"I feel hopeful"

"I am 90 days sober."

"I haven't had a panic attack in 3 weeks." 

"I am happier than I have ever been..." 

Saturday, September 24, 2016


I spent a week in Colorado with my brother at the start of September.
It is hard to describe the grandeur and intimacy that I experienced with Nature.  It ranged from high craggy mountains to the tiniest most delicate flowers... pictures don't do it justice but I will post a few!



Rio, the new addition to the family...

Feeling strong and empowered!

The Aspens were just starting to turn in the high country!

"Follow me" he says....

Old Steam engine in the middle of mining country.

The Spruce Beetle has decimated the evergreen forests...

One of the best days of my life! I learned to ride an ATV and lived to tell the tale!

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

A Servant's Heart

A Servant's Heart

This week brought me to my knees at times... mostly with gratitude though.

I have the opportunity to see people at the clinic who otherwise might not receive therapy. I am honored and humbled to be a brief part of their lives.

This week one of them asked "How can you do this job? How can you sit in a room and listen to people whine? How can you deal with all the depressing shit they bring? Why would you even want to?"

Another person asked how, as an introvert, did I deal with the constant contact of humans who are broken?

First of all, we are all broken and in various stages of healing. Secondly I am learning the balance between helping others and helping myself.

As for the first question, how do I do this job? I feel it was something I was called to do. I look back on my life and see how the journey of 56 years has prepared me for pretty much anything I hear from other people.

While I have not had their exact experience I have had my life experiences that have taught me lessons that brought me wisdom. While some of those lessons were soul shattering and heart breaking, they made me not only stronger but more understanding and compassionate.

I truly believe that we connect through pain, that our most vulnerable point is the thin place where we can touch each other's souls.

As for the gratitude...
The day I got this job, I cried all day out of gratitude. For many reasons I was hoping to be hired at the clinic. I love the world of medicine, it was close to home, the salary and benefits would finally offer me some security and I could let go of anxiety... but mostly I was going to be a therapist again.

When I look in someone's eyes and see a bit of relief and know that I was helpful, I am so grateful for the opportunity that God has put in my life. I am stunned at how often people turn and hug me. I am still amazed that they come back and work on their issues. I am amazed at their resilience, their hope, their courage, their trust...
They inspire me. They give me hope. They teach me. They touch my heart. They have honored me with a sacred trust to let me know them, really know them, at their best and worst. I am so grateful to be able to serve.

I remember a sermon from long ago about "the servant's heart" and I pray every day that I go out to have that heart, to be a channel for love and healing. It's not about me. It's about God working through me. It's about being allowed to be a conduit for healing.

I find I pray more. I pray to be open, to be humble, to help God bring healing to these broken people, these children of God. I am so incredibly blessed that each day, I look into the eyes of Christ, the suffering broken Christ. I am so grateful for this holy time, this holy job, this holy time.

I am so grateful to serve...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Friday 8 am: Standing appointment

You lift your sleeve and show me
the scars
where the razor
bit and bit and bit
to take away the torment.
You hold out your wrist
the raised white line
like a remnant
of despair.

You look at me
with eyes that have seen
too much too soon.
In the past
tears shimmered on your lashes
spilling down your cheeks
but today,
today you smiled
you laughed
you spoke words of hope
heroic words

Today you win
against the dragon
today you win
against the world
against pain
tragedy and trauma
today you win.