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August 2018

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Rachelle S

(((Hugs))) Hopefully you can enjoy your time in Seattle despite everything, and I hope a positive outcome comes from it all. I understand about thinking things will be better at the weeks-end, and I think a lot of that has to do with working from home. We (those of use who work from home) don't have that physical distance from our work or that mental change when you get to "leave" work for the day and I find that it can really wear at me.... I hope the change of scenery helps rejuvenate you. And as far as Courtney's roller coaster, I think its the age~ Peyton is Full of drama lately. So we'll hope it ends soon for both! : ) Sending lots of positive thoughts for you all, and remember that you are doing a Great job and despite all the small challenges, the bigger picture has your kids being good/ loving (normal!) kids : )

Nicky from Okotoks

Love you lady - God Bless
May you know that all the difficult times we have with our children in keeping them on the straight and narrow is never an easy path, but the payoffs are huge when you see them grow to be the most incredible adults because you continue to guide them through the good and the bad.
I think the same goes with our marriages - we have to stand beside each other through good and bad, be vulnerable and be loved and carry on knowing that Life is Good and continue to count our blessings.
Enjoy your time with Ross - always good for the soul and don't feel guilty.
Miss you


Wow, that was the most extremely honest post that I think I have ever read. I love your transparency. We all go through that stuff with our kids, with husbands and with family. It is difficult at times for sure. We will never be perfect but fortunately we have a Perfect heavenly Father who is merciful to forgive us.
Lately I have been reading Andy Stanley's book 'Enemies of the Heart' - this is an excellent book for helping to get rid of the stuff we do that we don't like.
I am glad that you took the drive and were able to listened to sermons that got your focus back on God.


I'm hoping your time in Seattle helps you!


So many prayers Karen Russell. You are amazing and I love how you spread God's word. Many fond and heartfelt prayers to your family, your marriage, your motherhood, and your commitment to the Word. God Bless.

Rachel Millington

Karen, you're so real, I love it! Sorry you've had a crappy time but it sounds like you've worked through it. I'd love to see some shots of Seattle if you have time to take some. It's somewhere I've always wanted to go and seeing it through your lens would be awesome! Hope you have a good break.


Prayers and HUGS and I am where you are..our situations may be slightly different. Yesterday, I got into my van and drove around because the situation at home was too much to bear. I only had 30 minutes before dinner had to be prepared and a busy schedule that I had to prepare for today but I think a 9 hour drive may help me bring clarity because the 30 mins only allowed me time to breathe-something I have been having a hard time doing lately. The picture of Courtney is beautiful. I hope you enjoy your time with Ross and your sister. You need to recharge the batteries that get drained from being a mom! Take care! <3


Well said, Nellie. And THANK YOU JESUS for YOU and the men you place in our lives who are the anchors to our wishy-washy souls!!! :)


I just love you Karen! And if you lived in NC, I swear we'd be BFFs. =)

Robyn :)

Karen, I love your honesty and insight. I am about to become a new mom and I appreciate what you are willing to share on your blog, good or bad.

Jennifer S

Hang in there Karen!!!! Many of us out here can sympathize, its all too much sometimes! we all have flaws, and this trip is exactly what EVERYONE needs. For you and for the family! A little time to get your head clear again! I have felt like this some lately too...bitter, snippy, impatient. xoxoxo

Julie Pilch

Karen, thank you again for putting your life "out there" and not just painting a perfect picture of family life. I know how you feel and some of what you are going through as my middle daughter is very challenging. I spend quite a lot of time at our school being judged by the other mums and I end up going home and wanting to hide under the covers. I feel that we do the best job we can as parents and every challenge, even though they can be awful and embarrassing or humiliating, is a lesson learned. I hope this week is better for you, know that we've all been there and are sending you virtual hugs xxxxx


Wow! I am just speechless and cannot even read the rest of the post right now.

This line..... "- It is a choice (and a fight that requires strength) to remain open and soft and vulnerable as a woman in a world where those things are looked upon as a weakness and in a world where it it feels safer to put up walls of protection and to become cynical and jaded."

It sums up my existence and my daily struggles in this life.

How do you do that so well? Eloquently articulate what is in my heart?!!!!! If you only knew what the last year has thrown at me in an attempt to build those walls and ruin my opened heart.

Thank you. Doesn't seem strong enough... but, just THANK YOU!

Cindy Swainson

I read and re-read. Karen, you have a gift. Or two...
I am sharing this with my daughter, who is expecting our first grandchild (a boy!) in June.

This is life in a nutshell. (My husband would chime in here and say "Life is a nut roll")

God bless you and your family.
Soldier on. The drama will always be there. :)


BTW I've been revisiting your class handouts and fabulous new Focus PDF to prepare for this blessed new life in our midst.
I never did contact Apple about the download problem with my iPad Mini. Your PDF file is better viewed on my MacBook or my iMac...too big and rich and beautiful for the iPad.


This post went straight to my heart. Loved it. Love you. You constantly remind me how good God is. xxoox D.


"By trying to avoid challenging, painful, uncomfortable situations in my life and in my children's lives, I am avoiding the very things that bring about growth and richness and wisdom and empathy and endurance." Love this. My favorite quote at the moment is, "Without struggle, there is no progress." (Frederick Douglass)You nailed it.


Thinking of you.....knowing that you are strong, loving and willing! Theresa's quote that she shared is perfect. Hang in there.

Michelle B

You have the most amazing heart, Karen. Your ability to so honestly and eloquently share not only the good times, but the most heartbreakingly difficult ones, takes my breath away. Who knew when I signed up for a photography course that I would get so much more? I'm sending all of the good thoughts in the world your way.


Thank you for being you, and for sharing. We are all on a journey and we will get through it with God's grace and overwhelming love. Thank God you hear His voice. Blessings xx


will you please write a book already!? oh....but in the meantime. share your podcast list so i can list to 9 hours of this truth too! and if that's too much, can you share the link to your church again. i know i listened to a series you posted on your blog before, but I've since gotten a new computer at work and didn't save my links/favorites before the transition.

Lacey Meyers

My heart and prayers absolutely go out to you, Karen. I am so thankful that you've shared and that you were able to have so much time to yourself to come to so much wisdom. Your openness, humility, and honesty continues to amaze me, and is such a blessing to all of us to read your blog.


I wish you were my neighbor...I'd love to talk about all this over a cup of coffee...

Liz H

Karen, my heart is with you. My 15-year-old daughter is struggling with depression and anxiety, which has ripple effects with the whole family and most days I feel like I'm failing as a mom. Somedays are great, others are terrible. I came across this quote on Pinterest and have a print out on my desk at work. "Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about." I'm working on remembering this every day. It's very brave of you to share, and I really appreciate your strength. One day at a time. Hugs!


Thank you for those deep thoughts about what marriage is.... Just what I needed right now... In fact, I was in a storm myself (because my husband tryed on plumbering and now I can't even do the dishes anymore and I'm pregnant for only 3 more weeks and I am full of hormons and have a 2 and a half year old in the terrible twos who was hungry and tired and I was cooking lunch and I had a dough wanting into the oven and it was not the morning we had planned and so on...........)and tryed to stay calm... and love him nevertheless because he was just trying to do his best to avoid the horrific costs of professional clumberman coming.
*deep breath in* *deep breath out*
Much better....

Tonia Grant

So empowering! I think a "red light" went off in my heart when reading about loving a person who has hurt you the way God would have us to do it. So deep and I'm definitely working on that one. So easy for me to just be cordial and avoid them. Thanks for sharing!


So, so happy I read this today. I needed it.

Nancy Wyatt

I have been a terrible blog follower of late. And today your popped into my head and I decided it was time to catch up with you and the family. So glad I did! I just love your transparency and you make me think deeper. Thanks for being you Karen! Hugs from Conroe, TX


I haven't visited your blog in quite some time. Catching up, it seems a bit coincidental that I happen to be reading THE best book(aside from the Bible, of course) on relationships right now and I can't not share-especially after seeing you post a link to PAUL WASHER! I mean, who's ever heard of Paul Washer?!? His sermons are perfect for long car rides! Greatest preacher ever...

Anyways, if you're one for reading, go for "What Did You Expect(redeeming the realities of marriage)" by Paul David Tripp. It's not a best selling, "love language," learn to communicate type book. It's one that makes you squirm. :)

teresa b

Somehow I feel you were speaking to me...I've had a few battles over the last year that I haven't had the strength to face nor do I have any idea on how to handle it. I'm going to check out the series you mentioned and continue to pray. Thank you for sharing and I wanted to mention something I found a few years back..but haven't had the means to attend. It's a women's conference called Pursuit 31. I'm not affiliates with it in any way..I just think it's where my heart keeps pulling me and wanted to share it with you. Wishing you well Karen Russell and hoping our paths cross again!!


Karen- I love that you share this with us, because sometimes we think we are all alone in the struggles and that everyone else's lives are so much better than our own.
Although just to let you know, each time you write about your struggles I dream about you the night after I read it and dream that I am fixing everything for you. I know I can't, but I wish I could.

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