Wednesday, June 26, 2013

impossible pains

I have so many new things I want to share with you but it will have to wait.  Mr. Scabs has been overly anxious (as in, I'm tearing my hair out running around the house getting ready to go) to wisk us away for a week of camping, catching trout and swimming in the river.  We will be unplugged, drinking in the summer and creating genuine memories.

But mostly, know this: 
In a world that doesn't believe deep, impossible pains can be healed, 
I know they can.
That's the truth.

Do something for you this weekend.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Utah/Idaho Camp Survey


To answer some questions:

Yes, Camp Scabs Utah is on the radar and Camp Idaho is in the works.  Thank you for wanting this.  As always, I'm in awe of you!

I thought I could pull Camp Utah off in August, but now I'm leaning toward something in the new year.  My plate is getting too full:

* First of all, it's summer.  I can't be busy in summer.  It's against my personal constitution.
* Second, Camp Scabs Idaho is on the calendar for September.
* Third, I'll be attending a one-day women's workshop this fall in Salt Lake City.  I will be there presenting (eeek!) and I hope to see many of you would-be-camp-scabs-campers there! More info to come.
* Fourth, fall is busy with school, holidays and birthdays.

In the meantime, plan for Camp Scabs Idaho to be held this September and Camp Utah in January 2014.

In fact, we are working right now to find the right location for Camp Scabs in Idaho and Utah.  Jane from His Struggle My Struggle, and one of my blogging BFF's is helping out.  She happens to be from that side of the world.  Thank you Jane!

So, with these two camps in the planning stages, we need your help.  Please fill out the survey below.  I deleted the survey on the sidebar so if you took that one, kindly fill it out again.  thx!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Fatherhood Mystery Part 2

Mark and Dad Acrobats
My Father is the builder and architect 
of my self esteem

by HX 

Despite coming from an intact home and  a father was home every night at 5:30, my Dad remembers only ever speaking to his Dad on a handful of occasions.  Theirs was a deeply strained and difficult relationship, that unfortunately never healed in this lifetime.  My Dad had been raised in a selfish, suspicious, unhealthy environment that to this day still seeps into how he deals with life. 

I have friends who excuse their husband's absentee parenting with a sad, "He just never had a good relationship with his father -- he doesn't know how to be a Dad."  

It makes me even more grateful for my Dad.  His relationship with his father was lacking in every single way and yet, I could not have a better Dad.  He looked at his childhood relationships and said, "What did I want?  What would I have changed?  What did I resent?  What hurt?  What can I do so this doesn't repeat itself for another generation?"  

I learned about redemption from my Dad.  

He took a bad situation, don't we all have bad situations in one part of our life or another and improved it.  

This shows me just how capable we are of changing our lives.  

He encourages us to let go of baggage, to find what works in life and leave the rest behind.  Learn from the past, but don't revisit it so often that we leave the door open to it.  He may not be able to leave it all behind in his lifetime, but because of his efforts, my childhood wasn't like his.  He did it, in one generation he changed our family forever.  That is the power of one person making themselves better.  

All of my strongest spiritual experiences and dearly held beliefs came from my less-than-ideal-Dad.  Because he talked to us, we knew we were the most important part of his life, we were loved.  

If my imperfect father loved me that much, it was not hard for me to imagine a God who loved me infinitely.  

The gospel of Jesus Christ made sense to me from a young age.  I had complete faith in the reality of great and limitless love.  Later on, in my early 20s, my Dad had a renewal of faith and has since become a very active, believing member of our faith.  There was something about watching his struggle and slow journey to a testimony of Jesus Christ that helped me in my own.  

My father never expected us to fit some mold faith, instead he actively encouraged us to find our own answers and conclusion.  Then, he was completely respectful and proud of our decisions on faith, even when they were different than his own.  

He challenged us to think deeper, uncover the truths behind random rules and figure out why it was we were doing what we were doing.  He never wanted us to blindly obey him or anyone else.  

He was honest about things he didn't understand. I knew that his most sacredly held belief, the very core of his spiritual self, was the belief that family was the most important gift of God.  The one thing that kept him searching for any belief in Jesus Christ was that he felt too richly blessed as a father and husband for it to have not come from somewhere bigger than chance.  

I don't know if I can put into words what that meant to a young kid.  

Your mere existence was something so incredible, such a blessing, that it kept even the weakest of men searching for greater meaning in the universe.  

If I had to identify the one thing that made the biggest difference in my life, it was my Dad's open communication. He was open and truthful about himself in ways that were age appropriate and that formed the ongoing conversation of my childhood.  He drew lessons from his mistakes and taught us from them.  

He weaved in the parables of his youth with whatever we were going through.  He'd been there, gone through it before, he was an ally in my life.  A wise general in the battles of my teenage years, who had fought this all before and learned from his mistakes.  

We took frequent road trips during my childhood and rarely had the radio on.  My Dad will tell young Dad's whenever he can,

"Time in the car equals a trapped audience." 

"If you want to know what's going on in your kids' lives, teach them young how to apply practical math--Seven snakes are crossing the road, OH NO! We just ran over three of them and squished their guts all over the road!  How many snakes are left-- or share with them your thoughts about the world, what better time than in the car?"  

Some of my fondest memories of my Dad were of staying up late talking on long drives to Lake Powell or California.  I'm pretty sure I learned the mechanics of menstruation, conception and birth on one of these trips. 

I always knew I could talk about anything with my Dad, because what hadn't we already talked about?
When my little brother was 16, he walked in to my parents bedroom where they were both lying in bed watching TV, and said,

"I was messing around on the computer and came across some porn -- I spent like, 45 minutes looking at it before I really thought about what I was doing!  Can you guys help me with this . . . I want you to change the password on the computer, and check in with me."  

When I first heard this story, I was in the middle of dealing with my husband's porn addiction.  I was so supremely proud of my parents.  They had built this kind of relationship with their son.  

I had aspired for as long as I can remember to be the kind of parent my Dad is, with improvements, of course.  He always told us to learn what we could from him, use the parts that worked and then follow our instincts.  We'd be the best parents we could.  

If there is one thing I will get right as a parent, in the sea of mistakes I will make, I will talk with my kids.  

I will be honest. I will apologize when I need to. I will respect them as individuals with their own opinion., I will never put up walls that would prevent them from coming to me with their most vulnerable questions and mistakes. I won't pretend to be perfect. I will set up clear expectations and talk with them about their aspirations.  I will talk with my kids.  

Just like my Dad.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Fatherhood Mystery Part 1

Circa 1979
Re-blogging from last year.  This story is just that good.  Thanks again HX!
Father's are a mystery to me.  

A few nights ago I met HX from Working Towards Healing.  Enthralled by our conversation about her Dad, I found myself actually taking notes in my little orange journal.  Like a complete nerd, mid-conversation I jumped up and said, "Wait, wait I have to write this stuff down."  Then scrambled to find my too short, too dull #2 pencil and scribbled every word that spilled from her lips.  

I was fascinated.  

Her words coaxed tears from my eyes and laughter from my belly, but most of all, I was inspired to act.  I went home and have been practicing HX's Daddy-isms ever since.  Even though I am not a father, I have found value in translating his ideas into my own.  Take note Mr. Scabs.

Lucky for us, she has agreed to share all the fabulous secrets of her father's greatness here. 
Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

My Dad is the builder and architect 
of my self esteem
by HX

Remember the, "Who is your hero?" mini-essays you'd write in third grade?  Mine were always about my Dad.  God sent my Dad five daughters because this man knew how to raise daughters.  He knew who they were and what they were capable of.   

My Dad is far from perfect.  He has a temper and is fairly selfish by nature.  He wasn't the model "father" I heard about in Sunday School.  He didn't call the family together for prayer.  In fact, my Mom stopped trying because he'd get us so giggly kneeling around their bed that it wasn't worth the fight.  He wasn't active in our faith.  He went to church to be with us.  He would go anywhere with his family . . . even if it was a boring waste of three hours.  

His fondest church memory was when he took my baby sister out of Sacrament Meeting, went outside and played on the grass.  It was a warm spring morning and they fell asleep cuddled in the grass, not waking until the congregation came filing out. 

 My Dad never put up the 'perfect' front.  This made all the difference for me.  

He was so honest and forthright about his flaws and never tried to convince us that he had all the answers.

We brought our arguments to him about why some punishment wasn't fair or why we should get a allowance raise.  We never 'ruled the roost', my parents were unequivocally in charge.  

But , we did feel like we had influence on, and responsibility to, how our household functioned.  

He had a knack for storytelling and told us about the stupid mistakes he made as a kid and teenager.  

He shared his doubts and weaknesses, and challenged us to find our own answers in life.  

He admitted his more selfish instincts.  My Mom was so completely charitable and kind to others, this was one of the things he'd found so attractive in her.  

I didn't realize that my Dad was selfish, or shy, because around us he was gregarious and fun.  He gave us everything.  He worked 80 hour weeks to provide for our family and spent every spare minute with us kids.  I never saw anything selfish about him.  

In my teens, I realized my Dad's difficulty in giving time, attention, money or possessions to anyone not in his family.  He looked to my Mom and us daughters for guidance. 

He tells me how proud he is to be part of raising daughters who are better than him.

My Dad had a parenting theory, if each generation raised up another generation a little better, a little kinder, a little smarter and a little more successful, than the world would be an amazing place.  He wanted each kid to take the best they could learn from their parents and become something better.  

He often told us how proud he was that we were the fulfillment of his parenting dream.  

When I was 7 or 8, he'd tell me all the positive traits he admired and how proud he was when I worked on my negative ones.  I felt like a success in life, with limitless potential, for as long as I can remember.  These weren't just platitudes tossed my way, building up a superficial facade of self-esteem -- 

but a real recognition and discussion of my strengths, weaknesses, personality and potential.

My Dad taught us we were capable.  He can build or repair anything and whether he was changing the oil or building a four car garage, you'd find him with a few of his girls.   We were involved in every project, we got our hands dirty.  I remember drawing up the blueprints for my new bedroom he added to the house when I was 16.  

I loved working on projects with my Dad.  

He answered our questions, considered our suggestions and used the time to tell us all his theories in life and hear all about ours.  He'd talk about our strengths and aspirations.  

We'd talk about education and where we wanted to end up in life. He told us how smart and capable we were and he'd challenge our young brains with conversation, bits of trivia, riddles and story problems.  There were few things I learned in school that he hadn't already taught me.  There were never 'girl/boy' skills, jobs, chores or talents.  We were expected to do well in whatever we set our minds too.

My Dad believes in natural consequences. Er, semi-natural consequences.  

You didn't get your laundry put away? 
Then it might just be scattered out on the front lawn when you got off the bus after school.  

Didn't take the trash out after being asked?
It would end up being dumped out on your bed.  

Didn't get your school bag out of the entry way?
It may just end up on the roof of the house. 

If you were making life any harder on Mom, Dad found fun and creative ways to assure you'd think twice before doing it again.  He loved to help us clean our rooms.  If Mom had ask too many times, he would carefully dump everything we owned right in the middle of our room and we'd start sorting and putting things away.  It was at this point he got bored of 'helping' and would wander off to get a bowl of ice cream.  It took hours to get everything put back where it belonged.  Our rooms were never cleaner or more organized and we followed through next time Mom asked.

We had a big 130 lb. rottweiler mix and one day he had accidentally been locked inside all day.  The dog snuck down into the darkest recesses of our basement in desperate need of, um, doing his business.  That deep, dark corner just happened to be my sister's room. The day before, my sister had found the bathroom trash, full of bloody pads and other such teenage trash, dumped on her bed after not taking it out for the third day in a row!  This day, she walked into her room to find a giant pile of crap!  

She stormed up the upstairs, marched up to my Dad and said, 
"WHAT did I do now?! What could I possibly have done for this to be a reasonable consequence?!" 

The look of complete horror on her face was priceless!

Part 2 will be published tomorrow.

I can't wait to throw my daughters school bag on the roof!  I love these Daddy stories.  Honest, ridiculous and full of love.  How have you been influenced by fathers?  

I'm so thankful for all the good Dad's who are imperfect and wonderful.  

Saturday, June 15, 2013


watermelon popsicle
There's something I really love about sweltering weather.  The kind of sweltering where it's still 90 degrees at midnight and we live in a merry-go-round of swimsuits, sunscreen and sweet tea.  Life's pace slows to a gentle pulse and the heat is detoxifying and we roll with it.

This is self-care.

With that thought, I want to link you to my kids favorite popsicle recipe.  We use about half the amount of sugar and my daughter doesn't like chocolate so we skip the chocolate chip "seeds".

It's a perfect sweltering heat-attack snack.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

the afterglow-hangover
Camp Scabs Alumni

It hasn't been since my wild college days that I had less that 7 hours of sleep in a weekend!  7 HOURS OF SLEEP!!  It feels like a summer camp afterglow-hangover and it's taken me over a week to recover.

There is an enormous amount of courage behind a woman who flies into an unknown city, is picked up by a stranger then driven out to a cabin in the woods of Arizona!  Is it courage or crazy?

And, it takes a blinding amount of bravery in a woman to drive across town, meet with strangers from your own neighborhood, then get in a van and be driven out to a cabin in the woods of Arizona!  Is it bravery or is she bonkers?

As one camper said, "This is the stuff CSI episodes are made of!!"

We laughed till we *almost* peed our pants, we cried, we had a water fight in the ice-cold river, we told our stories, we ate great food, we got scolded by the fire marshal, we hugged, we took siestas in the hammock, someone put my bra in the freezer, we hollered into the woods "WE ARE AWESOME!", we climbed mountains and tree-houses, we cuddled babies, we stayed up all night laughing, we meditated, we did yoga, we released the things that no longer serve us, we burned things and made space for new ideas, we danced, we nurtured our hearts, we learned and we even had a spiritual moment with an albino frog, thanks to our inspired yoga teacher!  (weird but completely true)

Camp Scabs was everything it needed to be.

A certain magic happens at camp, and it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with you.  There is a reverence between those cabin walls, a humble acknowledgement of love and acceptance.  Each of us experienced the surfacing of hard emotions and each of us experienced the acceptance and releasing of those feelings.  We felt them guide us to stand in new places of strength and resilience.  I have felt so much comfort in your wisdom and your individual power.  This is your time and I am reverenced by the incredible force that is you.  

Some of us feel lost and confused, but I know the answers will come.  That voice that speaks within us will grow in volume until we feel the answers beating in our hearts, guiding our choices, protecting ourselves, our families and our children.

These women have nurtured and taught me.  I don't know many things and I only have my own story, but I know this: there is no amount of damage that cannot be healed.  With every word you spoke, I felt the truth of this like a beating drum in my own heart.  That is the voice speaking to me and it says:

"There is no amount of damage that cannot be healed."

Camp Scabs was everything it needed to be!  Thank you ladies!


Camp Photos



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