a blog about daughters in crisis and the moms who love them

Archive for the category “Verse”

Ain’t No Grave . . .

Some of my favorite lyrics, melodies and “vibes” are found in old spirituals and hymns. The people who wrote them and many who sang them (and some who sing them now) really knew God intimately. I can wrap myself up in these songs like a blanket, finding warmth and deep comfort.  However, I can rarely sit still for this one…

Ain’t No Grave

Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down,

Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.

When I hear that trumpet sound

I’m gonna get up out of the ground.

Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down!

Look down yonder Gabriel,

Put your foot on the land the and sea,

But don’t blow that trumpet, Gabriel,

Until you hear from Me.

I looked on down the river

What do you think I see?

I see a band of angels

And they’re coming after me!

I’m going down to Jordan,

I’m gonna bury my knees in the sand;

I’m gonna sing, “Hosanna to the Son of David”

Till I reach that promised land!

Meet me Jesus, meet me

Meet me in the middle of the air

And if these wings won’t carry me

I won’t need another pair.

♫ Accentuate the Positive ♫

Some days are better than others! Tempting as it often is to take a peaceful interlude as an opportunity to “address” a loved one’s problems, it can prove more fruitful to take it as an opportunity to bond over something — anything — positive. There is always at least one great thing to notice. Notice it. Leave the problems where they are this time. Pour out some love and grace. You’ll thank me later.

Accentuate the Positive

by Johnny Mercer

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark?
(Man, they said “We’d better accentuate the positive”)
(“Eliminate the negative”)
(“And latch on to the affirmative”)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between (No!)
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

(Ya got to spread joy up to the maximum)
(Bring gloom down to the minimum)
(Have faith or pandemonium’s)
(Liable to walk upon the scene)

You got to ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
No, don’t mess with Mister In-Between


Tiger mom. Hipster mom. Mama bear. Good enough mom. Helicopter mom. Soccer mom. Stage mom. Super mom. Moms like to label themselves and each other. We may shift back and forth between labels depending on our confidence level or our mood, but we typically like to keep our identities nailed down as precisely as possible! Mostly, we want to do our best to raise our kids right and we want to see evidence that our chosen approach is working.Mother Bear With Five Cubs

What happens, however, when we find ourselves in stormy, uncharted waters, when the tags we use for ourselves (or others) no longer seem adequate? This dilemma is the reason the title of this blog is entering the mix  — Spoudazo. It’s the Greek word for diligence. To be exact, it means ‘to hasten, make haste to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence.’ I’ve taken this word and turned it into a new label: Spoudazo mom!

So, what, exactly, does this mean in terms of motherhood???

This kind of mom holds on through the dark nights, when what she sees vexes her beyond all measure, when confusion, strife, and frustration tempt her to drop everything and walk away, even abandon the project altogether. It means surrendering to love without conditions because people are worth it even if you get nothing in return. It means fighting for someone’s life when they think they want to destroy it.

My daughter, a high school senior, was diagnosed with depression as an 8th grader. She struggles with self-harm (cutting). She attempted suicide twice, both occasions accompanied by stints in psychiatric facilities. There have been run-ins with drugs, bad boyfriends, stupendously negative peer influences, and all types and sorts of high-risk behaviors. We’ve become intimately acquainted with the ins and outs of the mental health system. I was unprepared for all of it.

Please join me as I attempt to define this new category of mothering. There are many Spoudazo moms out there, an army’s worth of lone soldiers whose circumstances force them to reach beyond their comfort zones and find a way to rise to the occasion of unforeseen challenges and confrontations. We need each other, for there is strength in numbers!

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