How Great Thou Part






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As the saying goes…breaking up is hard to do.

It’s difficult to describe the excruciating pain of separating one heart from another.

But is it possible we can actually make it harder on ourselves?


At the very least, it is possible we may extend the heartache longer than necessary.

By limping along and rejecting rather than accepting it and by failing to establish some necessary and healing boundaries.

3 Ways to Mend a Broken Heart

Be Honest With Yourself

A lot of tears are shed over people who no longer deserve them.

The type of Significant Other who has been showing us who they are for a long time only we didn’t want to believe them.

It could simply be someone who is apathetic about the relationship, a cheater, a liar, someone who suffers from an addiction, an overly controlling person, an extremely selfish individual, etc.

No matter what the relationship malady is, the problem has often existed for quite some time before we find the strength to leave.

The tears are over someone we created in our mind. A better version of our partner. One who either didn’t treat us as well as we deserve to be treated or who never had the ability to truly love us. Yet, we choose to see the best in them or we choose to believe we can fix them.

If someone has disappointed you, hurt you, ignored you, made your life unpredictable or chaotic repeatedly over and over again then you must face a hard truth. You stayed invested in a losing investment for too long.

Part of releasing the pain of a breakup is accepting and acknowledging the truth about that relationship.

In other words, we can cry far too long if we choose to believe the romanticized version we created of our significant other.

And likewise, the salty stream will disappear quickly once we recognize the person and situation we are really leaving.


Don’t Be Stuck Between Two Worlds

A breakup demands an emotional leave of absence.

There will be commitments we must keep and those we can politely get out of.

We must keep those which are important for our children and family and profession. The school events, sporting events, and work events which require our attendance.

However, some of the painful social events and happy hours which we associate with being a couple can be avoided.

This is a time to heal and what type of healing is something we must determine for ourselves. Grief and loss are intensely personal to each individual. One person may want to retreat from the world and another may want to rejoin the world.

Regardless, we must make it our new world and define what that means.

Don’t waffle between feeling lost at ‘couples’ cocktail parties and claiming what single life now means.

True friends never leave us.

We may need to tell them we are not up to attending certain functions or ask them to spend time with us alone. We may need to plan a spa treatment or watch movies all day. Or maybe a morning coffee or a girls lunch. A way to stay connected without the pain or the reminders of the breakup.

Whatever it takes to get over the emotional hump of once again being around couples in a world we are now uncoupled in.

Carve a new little pond rather than feeling like a fish out of water in one which dried up.


Know What and Who to Avoid

It’s very hard to let go of the past especially one we wanted to resuscitate. 

This is a time for physical and emotional decluttering and self-preservation.

We should pack away painful mementos and reminders. We shouldn’t listen to ‘our’ songs or watch ‘our’ favorite movies. And we definitely should not visit those great shared vacation spots, restaurants, clubs, or other locales.

Unless it feels like an incredibly safe place to us even while solo.

If the relationship ended with being replaced don’t feel tempted to peek at their social media. Take that initial, gotta know who he/she left me for glance and then don’t look back. It just prolongs an already excruciating pain from people who don’t deserve us.

Social media, in general, is tricky. 

It’s either going to make us feel connected to the world or remind us of what we lost so tread lightly.

We need to avoid anyone who will make us feel judged or bad about ourselves. We need to surround ourselves with people who see our light even at our darkest. We need to gravitate to those who create our emotional support system.

In general, we must avoid any and all emotional triggers.

Be it pictures as a couple, a special item purchased together, music, or a well-meaning but criticizing friend.

They are different for every individual but we can identify ourselves which they are.


It is possible that time will soften even the most painful love.

But we need to establish necessary and healing boundaries to process the hurt first.

The heartache doesn’t disappear because we get validated by the one who hurt us, that rarely happens. 

It dissipates as we accept hard-earned lessons in love, acknowledge our circumstances, and grieve.

And finally, allow faith and good counseling to resolve any residual bitterness.


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Most people do not believe their spouse is capable of hiding money.

Yet, divorce makes it abundantly clear they are not only capable of it but of other unexpected behavior.

It’s not possible to control another person’s actions but it is possible to control your own.


The problem?

When a marriage begins to deteriorate one tries to save it (as they should) but emotions take over and smarts take a back seat. The fighting or anguish over an affair or other stresses climb into the front seat.

There’s no plan for the long-term future.

The immediate future takes precedent.

How can this relationship be saved?

One thing leads to another and an individual can become so removed from the practical side of life they are in danger of being taken advantage of.

It’s possible to work on a marriage and still be responsible for your own personal and financial future.

10 Critical Financial Moves If Your Marriage Is Struggling

Request All Bank Statements

If you are experiencing marital problems it is time to request seven years of bank statements.


Banks only go back seven years.

Therefore, assume your relationship limps along for five years. You then retain an attorney. At this point, you will no longer be able to see what transpired financially in the early years of your problems.

If you own a business together make sure the bank has not let your spouse open a business account without your knowledge.

A common divorce tactic is opening and closing accounts as an effort to hide money or taking out either large withdrawals or many successive small withdrawals.

Thus, it is critical to keep abreast of any and all accounts both personal and/or business and what banks you both are using.

Request All Retirement Statements

It is imperative to understand your full financial standing and assets from the time problems initiated.

This is the time you should still be aware of any assets or accounts you may have.


As problems persist, it is common for spouses to drain retirement accounts and shift them to other accounts.

This is often done without leaving a trail. Money is withdrawn rather than transferred. And money can be hidden in illegal trusts or other accounts which will prove difficult if not impossible to ever locate if you haven’t kept abreast of the situation.

Request Your Mortgage Documentation

Call your mortgage company and request the most recent documentation detailing your mortgage.

It’s important to find out what your approximate equity and payoff amount is.

And determine if there are any home equity loans or anything you are unaware of.

It is also a good idea to get them to send you a record of your payments received the prior two years. 

This way if your spouse is financially abusive in divorce and goes behind in the mortgage there is evidence that there was no history of this before the divorce. Hence, a pattern of financial abuse exposed once the divorce was initiated.

Investigate Your Insurance Policies

Insurance policies depending on the type can sometimes be borrowed against.

It’s important to find out what policies exist and that no changes have been made.

This doesn’t have to be a Dateline or 20/20 sinister scenario it could simply mean a spouse has stopped paying a policy without the other spouse’s knowledge.

Critical information if the other spouse is a stay at home parent and could become homeless.

Regardless, this is personal and financial information every person should remain educated and in the loop about.

Don’t Just Sign Your Taxes

Do not just sign your taxes.

Look at them.

Assess every single detail.

Is the income still approximately the same, deductions, business still structured the same? Are taxes still being paid?

This way you will see over the years of marital problems if any changes have been made. If income suddenly seems to be dropping, etc. However, spouses who want to hide money are willing to do illegal things. Therefore, they could file another tax return and forge your signature or they could file personal taxes and not business taxes if you own a business together.

That way they can make their income appear lower.

If you are having marital problems every couple of years you should request a copy of your tax return directly from the IRS.

Run Your Credit History

Run your credit history as soon as your marital struggles begin.

Know your credit score you will need it to move.

You need to continue to run your credit report at least once a year to make sure no credit cards or loans have been taken out in your name.

This is a common and financially abusive tactic used in divorce. 

Know your own credit.

Assess Your Transportation

If you have a car which is old or which has a high car payment it is time to assess your situation.

An older car could need repairs and you may not have the money to maintain it in divorce.

Likewise, a high payment may be unrealistic.

A new car with a lower payment or a car which is paid off is a good goal to strive for the minute problems begin.

However, problems may persist over a long period of time and a car is critical for maintaining a job so keep assessing it.

Determine Where Bills Are Being Sent

It is common for spouses who want to hide money to establish a P.O. Box.

This would be where hidden money in retirement and bank account correspondence would be sent.

It would also be where credit cards or loans that have been taken out in their spouse’s names would be sent.  It would also be where credit cards they are using for things they do not want their spouse to see are sent.

Be alert to changes made in mailing addresses.

You may not know how to determine if your spouse has gotten a P.O. Box. But you can take an inventory of the bills received at the start of marital problems.

Has a bill stopped arriving?

Are all retirement accounts, credit cards, etc. still coming to your address?

Look For Financial Facts Not Words

Financially abusive spouses like to set up the story.

If they are suddenly claiming a huge drop in income or that they are struggling to pay the bills you need to educate yourself.

Do not simply believe words.

Stay abreast of income earned, monthly income, and monthly expenses.

Check to see if the amount of salary or 1099 actually match the deposits made in the bank account for that year.

In other words, are all paychecks being deposited or are large sums missing? Is the amount deposited $40,000 for the year when the pay is $50,000 for the year? Are the typical business earnings vastly different than the money deposited?

The most abuse is with the conventionally self-employed or those who are independent agents or contractors and receive 1099’s because it’s easier for them to hide money but claiming more business expenses.

Get A Job Before An Attorney

It’s really important to get a job before you get a divorce attorney.

A stay at home parent is the perfect candidate for financial abuse.

It matters less you may get a few dollars more in divorce and more that you are not in a position to be abused or bullied by another individual.

Some stay at home parents want to give their youngest children the same experience their oldest children had.

That is understandable but get some type of higher earning part-time job to position to a full-time job or whatever education and training may be needed to support yourself post-divorce.

Financially abusive people don’t want to be fair and they will use the fact you stayed home to raise children against you even though they benefited from it.

They want to win.


If your marriage is suffering it is time to take control of your own life both personally and financially.

It’s a given divorce provides a sense of loss and losing control.

Preventative measures can lessen the devastating outcome.

At the very least, it can diminish a spouse’s ability to be financially abusive.


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I spent years being intrigued by women’s Second Acts or reinventions profiled in the media.

These great stories of self-empowerment. 

Women seizing the day and going after the life they’ve always wanted.

While I haven’t lost my lust for them I believe labeling them Second Acts is a misnomer.


It’s not a Second Act.

It’s not a reinvention.

It’s not a career or life makeover.

It is our First Act.

It is resurrecting who we have been all along.


What I call our ‘Once Upon a Time Story.”

Each of us has one.

The little child we were born to be.

And the young girl who faced the wild world to begin her path in life.

It’s not so much about reinventing who we are but more about re-establishing who we’ve have been all along.

Who God created us to be.

The dreams placed in our hearts.

The nagging whisper which calls us to achieve something we feel deeply intended for. 

The desire to pick up a paintbrush, teach, do missionary work, tend to the sick and more.

It is the personal resurrection necessary to fulfill our intended purpose.

It isn’t a chance at a second life or dream. It is far more powerful than that. It is acknowledging I am a child of God and I intend to be who He created me to be. I deserve to resurrect the most precious parts of who I am. I deserve to resurrect my God-given gifts and instincts. I deserve to create the life and career I want.

I deserve to take the experiences, adversity, and joy life has presented me with and build upon them. I deserve to rise above challenges and grow and evolve as the person I was originally created to be.

Not hold onto unfortunate circumstances which threaten to change rather than enrich who I am.

I will emerge out of these depths, keep what is necessary, shed what is not, and resurrect who I am.

These are not the Second Acts of women.

These are the stories of strong women who reclaimed who God intended them to be.

I know because I am one of those women.

I am a woman resurrected – #WomanResurrected.

And make no mistake about it…

Every woman deserves to be.


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I know a woman who spent two years becoming an EMT in the Fire Department.

I paraphrase our conversation, but essentially I told her I thought she was a bada** (you can fill in the blanks) for having the courage to go for it. I was impressed with her strength.

Her response caught me off guard. 


And again I paraphrase…

“No different than what you have done,” she says.

I am bewildered.

“What do you mean?” I ask “What have I done?”

“Your writing,” she says. “You are brave enough to share an intimate glimpse of your world.  Most could never do that.”

I laugh because to me she has now joined the ranks of superheroes.

People who care enough to rescue and aid the common man –  even at their own risk.

“Um, I beg to differ,” I say. “You now save lives.”

This led to a more in-depth conversation – again paraphrased.

I asked if this was something she had always wanted to do and she responded with a yes. However, while the medical field had always intrigued her she had gone to college for journalism. She told me she never had what she felt was the type of bravery to write so openly.

I could clearly see the irony.

One of us from a first responder family and one with a journalism degree.

Both identifying bravery in one another.

It’s not the first time I have been called brave.

People will tell me they admire the strength it takes to share openly and honestly.

Yet, this was the first time it struck me as my own personal truth. 

Perhaps, because I have long admired my family of first responders.

And more importantly, because I felt I never possessed the same degree of bravery. I couldn’t imagine facing life and death every day and picking yourself up to do it again tomorrow.

I now realize I was called to be a different type of first responder…an emotional first responder.

People often ponder why writers bare their souls.

In fact, almost as many times as I have been called brave, others question why I share.

It is a reference to an implied embarrassment.

Why would anyone want to air their dirty laundry? Why would you share what others try to hide? Why would you want the world to know your life is imperfect?

Writers don’t turn to pen and paper nor keyboard strictly for themselves.

They share to help the divorcing, the caregiver, the new mother, the breast cancer survivor or the grief-stricken.

The ones they do not know but the ones they seek to reach.

A few years ago I lost my beautiful friend and New York Times Best Selling author, Jan King. In the months after, I pounded the keys of my computer to try and capture her best I could.

She listened to life.

She spoke to love.

She felt the underbelly of humanity.

The humor in the frailty.

She understood us.

And we understood her because she showed us who she was in all her glorious entirety.

We all possess bravery.

It simply manifests itself in different ways.

We can fear it because it’s difficult and takes strength.

We can fear it because others may question why we would take such risks.

Or we can embrace our inner fearlessness.

We can find our own particular brand of bravery.

Because in it, lies what we are most called to do.



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Feeling the need to quench your spiritual thirst?

You may want to visit The Crowning Glory Tea Room in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

A divine destination where chamomile meets Catholicism and sacred meets sweets.

Before you nestle in for some scrumptious conversation choose which parlor suits you best.


This faith-inspiring locale has dedicated each room to a different country and saint.

Or in Crowning Glory Tea Room’s own words, “The exceptional lives of people who have given us a glimpse of heaven.”

Order some Mother Theresa Chai or a beverage in honor of another of the Catholic faith’s most holy. Even better? Sink into comfort while reading pillows etched with the words of the saints.

For larger celebrations enjoy ‘Mary’s Garden.’

A beautiful English Cottage Room devoted to the Blessed Mother. This room is large enough to host family gatherings, book clubs, office parties, and showers or intimate enough for a few.

Not a detail to be forgotten, servers will bring your steaming sip of spirituality while wearing rose-covered attire.

No doubt because the rose is a significant Catholic symbol. 

It grew with the absence of thorns in paradise and the Blessed Mother Mary was called  ‘a rose without thorns.’

Call ahead for reservations to experience what Crowning Glory calls a “Heavenly Atmosphere.”

A respite to feast with faith, family, and friends.

We couldn’t agree more.

Sounds divine.


For more information on The Crowning Glory Tea room



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Most do not choose to divorce.

It is the unfortunate result of exhausting all options.

Many make this decision not only for themselves but because they want to return their children to a safe and loving environment.


Yet, whether a divorce is swift and seemingly painless or extreme and exhausting, children do pay a price.

But the message sent to them can mean the difference between increased hardship or healing.

In terms of parenting, divorce could be viewed as any other excruciating adversity we wish we could rescue our children from.

The difference?

Other childhood hardships from the smallest to the largest, i.e., failing a test, hurt feelings, not making a team, the first heartbreak and bullying (to name a few) are not induced by the two people who brought them into this world.

Therefore, it’s easier to be hard on ourselves about divorce.

After all, we chose this person, either worked at or didn’t work at the relationship, didn’t leave soon enough, didn’t make ourselves financially independent soon enough and so on.

But at some point as parents, we must accept we played a part in our children’s pain and forgive ourselves.

So we can free them from any further angst.

And so they can view this time in their lives as something which shaped rather than defined them.

We raise our children based on core principles and core values.

We do this so their foundation will be unshakeable. 

The same can be said in divorce.

A few core principles and values can ease emotional suffering, anger, hurt, and sadness.

And hold their foundation down until their emotional world stops shaking.


5 Things I Told My Children Throughout Divorce 


If  We Have God and Each Other We Have Everything

We can face any adversity with God and each other.

It bears no explaining.

It’s that simple.

Hope and faith blind the opposition.

And as it goes…the greatest of these is love.


God Is Making You Stronger

Our faith tells us we are made better and stronger by adversity.

No matter how much as we resist and fight it.

God gives us trials to promote our emotional growth.

And to place us in the path to help others who have experienced similar suffering. 

This will make you stronger and more capable of facing other challenges in life.


This Is The Path God Intended for You

This is not what we wanted for you; however, it is the path God intended for you.

No parent wants this for their children and every parent feels responsible for it.

Yet, no healing will ever occur if we do not surrender to our faith.

Our spirituality defines whether we feel victimized or utilized.

Grace and faith make us confident we are being shaped and not defined by our heartache.


Every Child Deserves to Love Both Their Parents and Feel Loved by Both Their Parents

Divorce is emotionally ugly and parents will say things they shouldn’t say especially in prolonged or abusive divorce.

They will disparage one another because they are human and in pain and worried about their children.

It’s not right but it will happen.

However, despite what we say and the mistakes we have made one thing is certain.

Every single child deserves to love both their parents and every single child deserves to feel loved by both parents.


Remember Our Overall Lesson Not the Shortcomings We Presented in Divorce

Parents make mistakes in all aspects of life and divorce is no exception – these must be acknowledged and corrected.


It takes great strength to leave a marriage because divorce is difficult, emotional, and stressful.

In turn, as parents, it will more than likely fail to be our finest hours.

Even though no one in this world is more important to us than our children we are human.

Please focus on the times we said and did, or followed up with saying the right thing rather than the times we failed to do so.


These five core messages can take a child out of a position of conflict.

Let’s rephrase that.

It can take a child out of a position of permanent or prolonged conflict.

Yes, some divorces involve two incredibly mature and healthy and respectful people who do more right than wrong.

However, equally as many others involve what could be called a ‘third party.’ A parent who is absentee, narcissistic, abusive, alcoholic, etc. Or a parent who makes divorce a battleground and an opportunity to take down another spouse. Be it because they have other underlying issues or because they have not dealt with and healed from their own anger.

At least one parent but preferably both need to keep reinforcing the foundation.

Keep reinforcing Hope.

Keep reinforcing Faith.

And the greatest of these…



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