Archives for December 2012

A = ASSEMBLE a Support Group

SANITY Support - Allison Bottke










Many parents in pain have grown accustomed to maintaining a kind of “silent shame” concerning sharing the circumstances and issues surrounding our adult children. Attending or assembling a support group is the last thing we want to do.

Yet it’s one of the first things we must do to gain strength in a season of life that will most certainly require every ounce of fortitude we can muster. At times when our strength runs low, we must have others willing to intervene on our behalf and hold us up. We must begin looking at our circumstances objectively, emotionally distancing ourselves from our situations in order to gain a healthy perspective.

Making clear intentional choices based on facts and not on feelings will be critical as we move ahead. The best way to do this is through prayer and group support.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken”.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Find out more about starting or attending a SANITY Support Group in your community by visiting our website.

S = STOP the Insanity of Overspending

Stop Sign just released its holiday e-commerce numbers for the week, and according to the report, this past week was the heaviest five-day online shopping period on record. So far, retail e-commerce spending for the first 44 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season was $33.8 billion up 13 percent. Read that number again, folks… 33.8 BILLION. And that’s just online purchases. Yikes!

If you’ve already blown your budget for this year and next combined, it may be too late to say this, but love is not spelled, M-O-N-E-Y.

This holds especially true for those of us who enable adult children and/or grandchildren. They really can’t afford a cell phone, so we buy one for them. They can’t swing the cost of a laptop, so we charge one for them. Wearing designer clothing is way out of their budget, but we manage to find the money for that pair of Nike’s. Some of us are even gifting house payments, car payments, insurance fees, and the list goes on…and on….and on. And we’re not just doing this at Christmas time.

Believe me, I’m not a Grinch. It’s great to see the looks on the faces of loved ones when they open their holiday gifts. But as a chronic enabler, I had to ask myself WHY I was going broke buying things for other people that I couldn’t afford…and during the times when I could afford these things, was making the purchase a wise choice? What was my motivation for costly gift giving?

Please do not misunderstand me, not all gift giving is enabling behavior. However, if this season already has you tied up in knots because of financial challenges, it’s time to STOP, Step Back, and Start the road to SANITY.

Change STARTS when we STOP repeating our own negative habits. And when it comes to setting healthy boundaries with adult children, a major component is to STOP the Flow of Money. How can we give from our hearts and not our wallets?

Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, Six Steps to Hope and Healing by Allison Bottke © 2008. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Visit the Setting Boundaries Books website today for more information. 

Finding SANITY in the Season

Share your Sanity Story - Allison Bottke










The Seven Days Until Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … the time of year when all the family members gather, those we can’t wait to see…and others we wish we didn’t have to see. There, I said it. You know the ones I mean…the family members that seem to carry their drama, chaos and crisis into every situation. The folks whose choices bring a black cloud over every gathering, often turning festive occasions into frustrating nightmares. Let’s face it folks, some of our family relationships (and members) are a tad dysfunctional.


If you can relate, take heart! SANITY is possible,

and it’s going to be my gift to you this week before Christmas.

As the author of the Setting Boundaries ® book series from Harvest House Publishers, some people think I’m an expert at setting and keeping healthy boundaries. However, that’s not entirely accurate. The truth is, I’m often faced with situations and circumstances where my boundary setting ability is tested beyond belief. Times when I find myself repeating the Six-Steps over and over in my mind as I make choices in how to respond to a person who is pushing my buttons.

During this season of peace and goodwill toward others, let’s remember that it is possible to be loving and firm at the same time. This season, instead of letting those difficult people get under your skin, make a vow to respond in an entirely different manner. Confound them with your new communication skills.

My prayer for you this season and throughout the New Year is that by using the principles of SANITY, your life will change…and just maybe the lives of others in your sphere will change, too.

Join me tomorrow for the first step on your journey to live the kind of life God intended you to live, a life of love, joy, peace and prosperity.

Allison's Signature Scriptina Font

New Material NOW AVAILABLE for Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

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New Material NOW AVAILABLE for Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

I know many of you can relate to walking in the valleys of trial, tribulation, and testing this past year. I know it’s been a hard year for many of us as I read your e-mail, and pray with and for you as you struggle to set healthy boundaries and find SANITY in sometimes out-of-control insane situations.

As you prepare for the new year it is my prayer for you to know and believe that SANITY is possible! I’m excited to share that resources are now available for you to gather a small group of people, like you, who have challenging relationships with adult children. People just like you who are ready to stop the insanity and start the journey to SANITY in the new year. Don’t wait for another year to go by.

The 6-Steps to SANITY and 12-weeks to Freedom program will help you learn if you are an enabler in your adult child’s life—and if so—how to stop; what steps to SANITY you can take; how to yield it all to God and how to develop an action plan allowing God to make a way where there seems to be no way. This 12-week curriculum is now available in a vibrant full-color, spiral bound Study Guide, designed as a companion to the best selling book: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents. Used in conjunction with the book, the SANITY Support Study Guide can be followed in any number of settings, including home, church, and business environments.

**PLUS** We now have a separate Leader Guide that contains step-by-step information to plan, organize and facilitate the 6-Steps to SANITY and 12-weeks to Freedom program in your local community or church, even if you’ve never led a group before. Group facilitators will also need a copy of the Study Guide and book, as the Leader Guide is intended as a companion to the 12-week program.

Visit our website storefront for more information on acquiring these life-changing resources. Tell a friend in need, help change a life.

The 6-Steps to SANITY Prescription!