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Leslie Vernick

Experiencing grace

Several years ago I experienced something that was terrible and wonderful at the same time.  My mother died of lung cancer; she was only sixty-nine. For most of my adulthood, my mother had not been a part of my life.  She didn’t attend my wedding, nor, before her illness, had she ever been to my home.  She missed seeing her grandchildren…

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Finding hidden treasures in dark places

I’ve never been good with waiting. My husband never understands why I purposefully read the end of a novel just to know what happens and yet still go back and finish reading the rest of the book. When we watch a movie, if he knows how it ends, I want him to tell me, then I can settle in and enjoy the rest. When I was a little girl, I discovered…

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Tired of keeping all those Christmas traditions?

I used to go all out for the holiday season decorating, cooking, and making homemade gifts. I’d send out cards with yearly letters and photos, make videos for the grandparents, and shop for unique and well thought out presents. By Christmas Eve I felt exhausted and crabby but I was determined to make Christmas feel like Christmas.…

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The gift of acceptance

Aimee and John were arguing even as they entered my counseling office. Aimee announced, “I just found out John’s been smoking again. I can’t believe it. What’s wrong with him?” It was John’s turn to blast Aimee. “She treats me like I’m 15 years old. I know smoking is not good for me. I don’t smoke in the house and I don’t smoke when I’m around…

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How to stop making Christmas happen for everyone

The holidays can sometimes make you feel angry, hurt and tired. Often times, it seems like you’re the only one doing all the preparations for making the holiday a nice one. If it weren’t for you, there’d be no tree, no presents, no cookies, and no Christmas dinner. Maybe it’s not only the holidays that make you feel this way. Sometimes…

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Thanksgiving – It’s good for your soul

Thanksgiving is a time for food, family gatherings and football. Once everyone is gathered at the table, my husband asks us to share what we’re thankful for. I’m sure many of you do likewise, but from now on, don’t make thanksgiving a once a year occasion. I don’t mean regularly cook a full turkey dinner,…

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Do you know how to ask for what you want or need?

In my last blog I talked about a woman who wanted to get her friend to stop commenting to her about her parenting style but she feared offending her friend and losing the friendship. Sometimes it can be tricky to express our feelings and needs wisely. One of most useful skills we can learn when we want to know how to express our feelings…

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