Are you happy at the moment?
Yes! I absolutely LOVE my husband (we recently celebrated 20 years of marriage), my children are growing into wonderful people, my family is healthy, I have recently started a new job, and I am blogging for GEM!!
If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?
My oldest daughter is 16 so I tell her the things that my loved ones told me when I was a teen. That living a good life means working hard, being responsible, making good choices, honoring God, living clean and being honest (with yourself first and then with others). Watching people’s behaviors rather than trusting what they say is the best way to know their true intentions. And that the high school classmates you spend so much time trying to impress don’t matter much in the long run.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?
This is not a new learning for me, but I am always blessed when God shows me that he takes care of his people. God is a miracle-worker, a restorer, a provider and a protector. Sometimes we forget that in the midst of trials. But if most of us look back over our lives, we will see how all things work together for good in the long run. I’ve learned that even the worst situations can become blessings.
What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?
I’d like to be successful in my new job and begin writing another book. I can’t believe that it’s been 6 years since I wrote my first book, Daughters of Men. I’d also like to finally plan a fabulous extended family vacation someplace exotic.
What’s your secret to happiness?
Doing things that make others happy and finding time for my creative interests. Making decisions that allow me to sleep well at night. Meditating on God’s goodness and how he has taken care of me always. Spending time with my husband and kids. Laughing with my girlfriends.
What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?
Spending time outdoors – the beauty of nature calms me and helps me realize that God is bigger than anything that I’m dealing with.
What’s your biggest regret?
Not reaching out to my estranged father sooner. As a young adult I wasn’t able to forgive his abandonment. But when I finally connected with him in my mid-thirties, we were able to form a great relationship that lasted until his death in 2011. He had changed and I had matured. Wish we had had more (good) time together.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?
To be generous, kindhearted people. There are enough mean-spirited folks in the world! And that the house we live in doesn’t have their name on it….they have to get their own!!
What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?
At this point in my life I don’t get involved with any of the obvious ones – drinking, smoking, drugs, lying, scheming, foul language. But I would like to be less judgemental of others and more patient. I am actively trying to put myself in other people’s shoes these days to find more common ground. It is hard, but an individual’s behavior is almost always due to some key life experience that has formed them. Understanding what that experience is helps.
Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?
Securing a publishing deal from HarperCollins for my book and hosting the book launch party in Los Angeles, which was insane! So many individuals of note came out to celebrate with me, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Serena Williams, Jim Brown and others! More importantly, the book has helped so many people understand the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. It was also an opportunity for me to encourage women to forgive and reconnect with their fathers, as I had.
When were you happiest?
Living in London as a college student…never felt more free When I knew I’d found my true love, Don.
At my graduation from college…a big accomplishment for me and my family.
On my wedding day…everyone was so pleased for us.
When my children were born…healthy and happy.
When I re-connected with my father….finally filling that void.
When I met my half sister…my father’s child; this was the blessing I never expected.
What ten words best describe you?
God-conscious, family-oriented, loyal, determined, responsible, creative, hard-working, honest, helpful. I hope others would agree!!