• Recognizing Your Mom as an Individual

    By Jessica Fackler

    I am probably the worst person in the world to offer mother-daughter relationship advice.  In fact, I’m absolutely terrible at navigating my own dynamic. But over the years, I have learned a few things about this fickle female fraternity.  I’d like to share with you some lessons I’ve learned, some tactics I’ve tried, and some prayers I’ve prayed. It all began with love: Whether you are joined at the hip or you keep at an arms length distance,  your mother loves you. All of you. No matter where you go or how far she pushes you away, she loves you. She may not even realize it. She may never say or show it, but the love is there. You were created by a loving God. Whether or not she is able to translate and articulate that love does not mean …

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  • Helping Your Kids Process the Crucifixion

    By Jessica Fackler

    My son LOVES cars.  I mean is OB-sessed with them.  I don’t know if it’s the shiny and sleek shapes or the thunderous sounds of the engines. All I know is once his work is done, he is either memorizing the 423rd episode of Top Gear or racing his umpteenth lap in Forza. As a mother, it’s terrifying.  In 4 years he will be legal driving age. Notice I didn’t say will be driving. Just because the law says you can doesn’t mean you should.  Just sayin’.  But that’s another blog altogether. Sometimes I’ll sneak in the basement and watch him race.  Now, his racing game is nothing like the Pole Position I played. It features precise replicas of actual race cars and real race tracks from all over the globe. The graphics are completely INSANE!  So accurate that there …

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  • My Life as a GT Volunteer

    By Jessica Fackler

    In my experience, serving has always lead me to good things.  In my mid 20s I found myself struggling with the whole dating scene. I was ready for the picket fence and 3.2 children. I just had not found the right guy to help me accomplish these goals. Motherhood was something I desperately wanted and according to my calculations, this needed to happen before I turned 30! At the suggestion of my grandmother, I found myself signing up to be a mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. It was a chance to interact with children and maybe calm the maternal flames down a bit. After about a year or so, my ‘little’ as they called them and I were at a BBBS fall picnic. She and I were meandering through the Lancaster County park on a scavenger hunt looking for a …

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  • Saving Ink

    By Jessica Fackler

    I come from a long line of improvisers.  We call ourselves the ‘MacGyver’s’, named after a popular TV series that aired in the late1980s and early 1990s.  The show was about a man who worked for an agency that was hired by the government to ‘get the bad guys’.  He possessed a great amount of scientific knowledge and was constantly able to defeat evil with simple, hand made contraptions containing found objects. Surely handcuffs and ammunition would have been more practical but where is the fun in that? My mother is an expert of this skill. I have seen her fix a toilet, hang a light fixture, and change a tire all with just the contents of her purse.  It was her wisdom that taught me the value of a good roll of duct tape and the magical relationship between …

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  • Stellar Sidekick

    By Jessica Fackler

    I can remember the day like it was yesterday. Me with my handed down, acid washed jeans, last years’ hi-tops, and unruly curly hair.  Her with her department store cable knit sweater, shiny white Keds, and perfectly smooth blond hair.   It was the first day of middle school.  She was new.  She didn’t know a soul.  I had a circle of old friends buzzing around me laughing and gossiping about the boys of summer.  She happened to join our circle by chance.  No one really knew where she came from. I sized her up quietly in my head.  I mean if there ever was a 6th grade girl who looked like they had it together, it was her. A friend standing next to me in the circle asked me to settle an argument between her and her boyfriend.  Being the …

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  • Just Call Me Jacob

    By Jessica Fackler

    When I was a child, I would count my tragedies. I know, twisted, right??! I would often ask my mother if God was punishing me for something I had done in a past life. She was a devout Catholic but also had an odd attraction to the concept of reincarnation. She believed that purgatory was a holding tank, if you will, where if we didn’t measure up, we were recycled and sent back to get it right. It was a different way to look at things but that’s how she made sense of it all. So needless to say, I had a few self-esteem issues growing up. Just a few. I struggled with my identity and had a ‘woe is me’ mantra.  My tragedies were just who I was.  I believed I was cursed from birth and Gods favor was …

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  • I’m Angry and I Know It

    By Jessica Fackler

    Anger. This is a tough one. I’m not really sure why I volunteered for this topic. Perhaps I am hoping to resolve my own anger issues with this piece.  I have dealt with this little demon for many years. I’m not sure why or where it comes from but when it shows up it leaves nothing but a trail of hurt and regret. I feel I must put something out there before i continue. If you are experiencing the type of anger that causes you to have the urge to severely hurt someone or yourself, please, I beg you, allow yourself to seek help.  You and your loved ones do not need to live with these chains any more. There is help. You need only ask. I think we all have moments of anger. Call it what you want, a …

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  • I <3 My Church

    By Jessica Fackler

    I did not grow up attending GT.  I was raised in a small Catholic Church in Lancaster. I went through CCD, did all of the sacraments, and even sweated out 4 years of Catholic high school with the wrath of Sister Alma Rose. Detention would have been a welcomed penalty compared to the task of doing chores for Sister Mercita after class. But I survived and somehow graduated as a devout Catholic. In my late twenties I got married. My new husband and I wanted to find a church to grow in as a couple. We tried a few churches of many different denominations.  A church like GT, however, was of no interest to me.  Too big. Too flashy.  I made assumptions about those ‘kind’ of churches. I even judged those who attended such ‘worship centers’ calling them snooty and …

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  • The New Normal

    By Jessica Fackler

    My sister and I have a bit of an inside joke when it comes to our mom and her taste for interior design. Don’t ever walk around in her house in the dark. She is constantly changing things. Moving this chair over there, that rug to another room, a picture swapped here and there.  Thank God for 3M Command hooks and my dads dry wall skills!  Perhaps originally it was her way of trapping us girls’ when we were younger and wilder. We’d stroll in at way-passed-our-curfew to find a recliner moved just far enough to make us stumble. She called it freshening up her perspective.  We called it entrapment. (Love ya, Ma!) These days, I have my own home and in a few years I will be setting traps for my own daughter, Lord help her.  I find myself …

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  • Reset Your Password

    By Jessica Fackler

    Ah spring. Like the sweet and innocent little sister that follows the 3 elder, more harsh siblings of the seasonal family. Everyone praises her spirit of rebirth and charm. Some celebrate her with new wardrobes and outdoor activities.  Some welcome her with open doors and windows.  Well friends, I’m not a fan. Never have been. As a matter of fact, she’s at the bottom of my list.  I see her as the schizophrenic type. It’s supposed to be warm, it’s not. The sun is supposed to be shining, it doesn’t. I just don’t see the draw. Now before you flip your lid like a dandelion head, hear me out. I see a correlation between ourselves and spring. To me, she resembles the reflection of the human heart. The heart that waxes and wanes with insecurity. The heart that turns on …

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