15 Ways We Shame Our Children

As I work more with our adopted son and in the foster care/adoptive world, I see a connection between trauma and shame. Even if a child never makes a bad choice in their life, the things done to them, and what they see others do causes shame to pour over their soul like a bitter, sticky molasses.

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Abusive, broken homes are a sick petri dish for cultivating shame. I don’t think that surprises anyone. If a child is old enough to remember leaving a home to enter foster care or adoption, they often wonder what is wrong with themselves. Even a child who was a baby when placed in foster care or adopted seems to struggle with a deep sense of shame as they grow older.

Sadly, many children live in shame-based homes, not just ones that end up in foster care or adoption.

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Can We Remove the Stigma of Asking for Help from Our Culture?

5 Causes of What Makes it Hard to Ask for Help

I am the classic guy who struggles with asking for help. Thank goodness for GPS maps! Seriously though, as I age I have gotten better. These days I readily admit I need help from time to time.

What Causes the Stigma

Even though we joke about men refusing to ask for directions, a stigma really is attached to asking for help. I can think of a few reasons why it exists:

  • Shame. In the work I do with lower income families, it is very common for a person to ask if we can do work on their property without the neighbors knowing. Their question is laden with shame.
  • Failure. As a foster care and adoptive parent, I have seen many foster families struggle to the point of burn out. Why? They don’t have an adequate support system around them. Maybe they think that if they ask for help it communicates failure to fulfill their commitment to foster.

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How I Decided to Publish My Next Book

I invited you along for the journey as I work on my next book, so here is an update. When I began I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the self-publishing or traditional publishing route. I finally decided. I will share with you what I decided, a couple of reasons and where I am in the process.

Why I chose traditional publishing

Westbow Press published Adopting the Father’s Heart. Many call this way of publishing assisted publishing. We used my money; I made the final decisions on design, editing, when to release the book, etc. Westbow provided their services I purchased.

I like the outcome, and Westbow continues to offer support and guidance.

With this book about toxic shame I am looking for some things that I don’t think self or assisted publishing provides.

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The Secret to Intimacy with God

Can you imagine a relationship with someone who knows everything about you—good and bad? Every desire, dream, fear, ambition, and regret. Every thought and emotion. Every deed done by you and to you. Every wrinkle and blemish. Every defect and shortcoming. Every mistake and wrong-doing.

For most, the thought of that is unnerving. But what if you had nothing to hide?

That is exactly the relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the beginning. Adam and Eve walked before God with nothing to hide. Not even a hint of wanting to hide.

Now that is intimacy. To be completely known and have no embarrassment, no shame.

No wonder Satan wanted to destroy that relationship.

Something very wrong changed that day when God looked for Adam in the Garden.

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2 Reasons I Am Writing a Book about Shame

Shame. Is it ever a good thing? Are shame and guilt the same? Do you hide stuff in your life or past because of shame?

I am working on a book currently entitled, Beyond Shame. Strange topic for my next book? Especially since my first book was about foster care and adoption. And, I blog about living a sent life. Why would I want to write about this powerful emotion that has a lot of people in bondage?

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Want to Help Me with My Next Book?

Yes, I began writing my next book. Will you consider helping me with it? Because I know I can learn from you.

A few months ago, I blogged about some book ideas asking for your advice. Thank you by the way! The book idea that received the most votes was “Beyond Shame”.

That was my vote too! I have stashed away notes and research for the last several months. So, last week I spent time setting up the project in my Scrivener application (which is a great tool for writers by the way).

And, thanks to a challenge from Jeff Goins this month to write 500 words a day, I began writing.

Ready to know how you can help?

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Survey—What Should My Next Book Be?

If you have not heard, I published my first book this summer. You can find out more about it here. Even though I am focused on promoting and marketing the book, people are asking me what I am going to write next.

So, far my answer has been that I have outlined a few ideas, which is true. I also want to write a short e-book to give away on my website. My plan is to write the e-book first within the next couple of months. Then in January begin writing on my next book. Want to give your input on what I write about next? I hope you do!

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