Parenting Through Valleys

By Ashley Christian

Dear fellow burnt-out foster, adoptive, and special needs parents: I know those high-fives and near saint-hood you get from people because “I could never do what you do”, but inside you are buried with shame at how often you lose patience with kids who have already endured so much.

You know you need help but barely survive each day of therapy, appointments, visitation, calls from the school, and behaviors before you crash into a chocolate/ice cream/carb/wine/Netflix coma at night, and you simply don’t have the energy for ONE more thing. It’s not like you set out on this journey wanting it to end up like this.

What you may be experiencing is called Secondary Trauma. Your nervous system has started to respond to your children with the same cortisol levels as a combat veteran. Your child’s trauma or disabilities, and the way it affects them is not their fault, but it’s still hard for their caregivers and that’s not your fault either.

What you need is more than just a bubble bath and a long walk. You need simple, effective, Jesus-centered steps to recover from Secondary Trauma and caregiver burnout so you can show up for your child. Parenting Through Valleys is 6 simple steps to overcome burnout for adoptive and special needs parents and is founded on the hope of the gospel and brain-based strategies to help you recover in just 20 minutes per day. You can purchase on Amazon.

Ashley also has written “Enough — 7-minute devotions for foster and adoptive moms.” This beautiful devotional delivers the truth of God word for moms in a way that matches their busy season of life. You will find a scripture, a two paragraph devotional, and three journal prompts all surrounding the topic of being enough through grace.

To Love

Rather than a sweet Hallmark special this is a ragged story, frayed at the edges with more drama than reality TV.

A virgin…a young girl who has never intimately known a man is found to be “with child”…pregnant out of wedlock. And this is just how the story starts! Murder, politics, family drama, and even miracles ensue. Maybe it's time to give Mary’s story another look?

Simple and straightforward, just as the young girl that Mary herself was when God’s story became hers, this is a look through the eyes of a scared young girl who said “yes” to God. Mary’s “yes” opened up for her experiences she never could have imagined; from great joy pouring from the lips of angels to the piercing heartache of a mother’s anguish.

What did she think? What did she feel? Imagine being able to look again at the story of the One who would change the course of history, from a different angle, from a mother’s watchful gaze. If Mary had a diary, what would she have written?

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To Love book cover - click to view book on Amazon