This will be the last blog post on my Allison Bottke website. Please join me twice a week on the new SANITY Support blog at the Setting Boundaries Books website where hope, healing, and freedom is possible and SANITY is making a comeback!]]>
Book three in the acclaimed Setting Boundaries (TM) series from Harvest House Publishers is now available at bookstores everywhere or online at
Don’t miss the 5th Annual Roaring Lambs Christian Writers Conference, Sat., July 23 from 9:30-3:30 at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas. Learn from TOP industry pros like Karol Ladd, Steve Laube, Thelma Wells, Terry Whalin, Debbie Wickwire and more! I’m excited to be on a panel discussing marketing with Tina Jacobsen, Karyn Brownlee and Damian Skinner. Early Bird Registration ends Fri. 7/15. Only $59! Register online now.]]>
Whether your child is eighteen or fifty, there are steps you can take to free yourself from the overwhelming bondage of guilt, fear, shame, anger, frustration, grief, and denial. You can get off the catastrophe carousel that has been spinning out of control for years. You can find hope and healing.
You can take back your life.
Parents, please realize you are not alone. Do not feel you are a “bad” parent when you do not give in to every request your adult child makes, especially concerning money. One of the greatest and most beloved men in history, Abraham Lincoln, had to apply tough love principles to a family member. Lincoln wanted his brother to experience independence, and to pass that experience on to his children as well.
As parents who love our children, we really do want to do the right thing—we always have—but what really is the right thing? For me, the right thing turned out to be far different than I ever imagined.
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children is a book about tough love. It’s about coping with dysfunctional adult children, whether male or female, living with us at home or not. It’s about recognizing our own enabling patterns of behavior and how to finally stop the part we as parents play in the vicious cycle of repeated irresponsible behavior in our adult children.
On this our Independence Day, my prayer is that you will find freedom from the enabling epidemic that is sweeping our country. And like Abraham Lincoln, you will learn that one of the best things we can do is to say “no” with love.
God bless your journey as you set healthy boundaries and find S.A.N.I.T.Y. .
Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children (2008) – Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents
Setting Boundaries with Aging Parents (2009) – Finding the Balance Between Burnout and Respect
Setting Boundaries with Difficult People (Fall 2011) – Six Steps to S.A.N.I.T.Y. for Challenging Relationships
Washington, Dec. 24th, 1848.
Your request for eighty dollars, I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little, you have said to me, “We can get along very well now,” but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day’s work, in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting time, is the whole difficulty; and it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children, that you should break this habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it easier than they can get out after they are in.
You are now in need of some ready money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work, “tooth and nail,” for somebody who will give you money for it. Let father and your boys take charge of things at home—prepare for a crop, and make the crop; and you go to work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any debt you owe, that you can get. And to secure you a fair reward for your labor, I now promise you that for every dollar you will, between this and the first of next May, get for your own labor either in money or in your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other dollar. By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty dollars a month for your work. In this, I do not mean you shall go off to St. Louis, or the lead mines, or the gold mines, in California, but I mean for you to go at it for the best wages you can get close to home, in Coles County.
Now if you will do this, you will soon be out of debt, and what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting in debt again. But if I should now clear you out, next year you will be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost give your place in Heaven for $70 or $80. Then you value your place in Heaven very cheaply, for I am sure you can with the offer I make you get the seventy or eighty dollars for four or five months’ work. You say if I furnish you the money you will deed me the land, and if you don’t pay the money back, you will deliver possession—Nonsense! If you can’t now live with the land, how will you then live without it? You have always been kind to me, and I do not now mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth more than eight times eighty dollars to you.
Affectionately your brother,
The above letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his brother is in Public Domain.
Christopher recently joined me at the Thelma Wells – Ready to Win Conference at Harvest Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He was in charge of my book table and was every bit the professional as he handled sales and greeted attendees. As the second speaker of the day, I had the opportunity to introduce Chris to the 1,000 + attendees…many knew of him from my book, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, but very few had met him. Countless women approached him after my talk to encourage and hug him, saying things like, “Your mom’s book changed my life, I’m so glad you are doing better!,” and “You give me hope that my son might turn his life around,” and “Keep up the good work, God is using you!” It will be one year on May 1 that Chris was released from prison in MN and moved to Texas. It’s been a rough journey, but God is good and His mercy endures forever! I’m so proud of how far Chris has come! Hang in there, moms and dads, SANITY is possible!]]>
I’ll be joining internationally known author and speaker Thelma Wells at the upcoming Ready to Win (RTW) Conference in Fort Worth on April 2 and I’d love for you to join us!
Twelve hundred women are expected – all different ages, backgrounds, stages, and abilities – all inspired and encouraged to reach her greatest potential through this moving one-day event!
Formerly one of the core speakers with the acclaimed Women of Faith Conference, Thelma launched the Ready to Win Conference in 2009 and I’ve been blessed to speak at RTW events in Garland, Grapevine and even on the high seas at the RTW Cruise.
RTW is not your everyday, ordinary women’s conference. It is an experience of a lifetime! Women take away a legacy of faith, hope and love to share with their families, neighbors, communities, workplaces and beyond. RTW is a safe place to laugh, grow and learn.
This one-day event features Thelma and friends as we bring relevant, timely messages of hope and encouragement motivating each woman to “bee” the best she can be. The conference showcases one program after another without break-out sessions so attendees see and hear each diverse speaker without missing a beat.
Thelma will speak throughout the event, focusing on the fun and thoughtful “Putting On the Armor of God” based on her latest book, Don’t Give In – God Wants You To Win (2009). She says to “fix your hair, pad your heart, tighten your girdle, and put on your stomping shoes!”
Thelma’s featured friends and heart-to-heart speakers are Allison Bottke, Suzie Eller, Janee’ Harrell, Sharon Hill, Sonja Samuel and Donna Skell with messages on setting boundaries, crossroads, overcoming struggles, finding balance, self esteem, singleness and amplifying your faith.
Worship Leader Kristi Brown and musical sign language artist Lisa Smith, with Down Syndrome, will lead RTW women in heartfelt song throughout the event. Vocalist Renee Rollins-Wheat closes RTW with a powerful and dynamic performance.
Thelma Wells, OnCall Prayer and Harvest Church present Ready To Win Women’s Conference 2011, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 2, 2011, at Harvest Church, 7200 Denton Highway, Fort Worth, TX. Tickets are only $15 per person and feature seven speakers and three musical artists, door prizes and an hour lunch break.
Tickets are available online, just click here. Full color posters and flyers are also available to share with your church or group.]]>
One of those amazing blessings has been the friendship of a Godly woman who walks the talk each and every day of her life. Thelma Wells calls her a, “Prayer Shield,” my son calls her, “Mama Sharon,” and I am supremely blessed to call her, “Friend.” Sharon Hill is truly a gift from God. Her red sweater and red hair shine visually, just as her inner beauty shines spiritually.
The beautiful blond woman on the far left is every bit a gift from God. When I moved to Texas from Minnesota, Victorya Michaels Rogers was the first friend on my doorstep to welcome me, flowers in hand and open heart ready.
There are countless reasons these two women have touched my life. Yet, the key reason is that they both listen to God, and allow God to work through them. I am a better person for having known them.
Do you have a friend who is a gift from God? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Please post a comment and share your gifts of friendship and of God’s love today.]]>
A friend recently sent me these words of wisdom:
Forget the rain, it seems to be monsoon season for many of us these days, myself included.
I was feeling particularly drenched one day when my friend Heather sent me a photograph she had recently taken at an airport gift shop. “Look, it’s your book!” Sure enough, there it was, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children.
It’s been a really difficult season as I struggle to make sense of what God wants me to do with this passion He has given me to write. I’ve been blessed beyond measure to be able to write full time for many years, yet as the economy changes and my responsibilities shift, I find myself struggling with clarity of purpose. And just when I think I’m at the end of my rope and ready to retire my keyboard, God sends me a sign. Like this photo.
There will always be trials and tribulations. The storms of life are never going to entirely cease.
That said… Shall we dance?]]>
It’s been quite an exciting journey these past few weeks as I’ve had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with several gifted writers who want to make their writing dreams come true. It was a blessing to teach a Book Proposal workshop at the Roaring Lambs Christian Writers Conference last month just as I launched my private consulting business. The timing couldn’t have been better as it enabled me to connect with several talented individuals to explore next step options in their writing careers. God’s timing is always perfect and I continue to marvel at how creative He can be in making introductions!
There is such joy in working with people who have a sincere desire to take a message God has placed on their heart and share it with others in book form. Do you have a story on your heart waiting to be born? Are you ready to give your dreams wings and watch your ideas soar? If so, I encourage you to be bold and persevere. Don’t give up on your writing dreams.
I’ll be conducting two workshops at the upcoming North Texas Christian Writers Conference on September 17 & 18 in Keller, Texas, and I encourage you to attend if you live nearby. You can check out the Faculty and our Workshops on the website, I’ll be teaching; Develop Your Vision Plan and Can Your Testimony Be Your Ministry?
Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you are doing to make your writing dreams come true.]]>
Greetings and thanks for stopping by to check out my new blog. I’ll be launching the “Attitude Adjustment” series in a few days, but in the mean time, I’d like to introduce you to my son, Chris Smith. Some of you may have read about Chris in my book; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children – Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents. Check out Chris’ blog: BAD GUY GOES GOOD.
And….drum roll please….we are now officially accepting true short stories in an upcoming new volume of God Allows U-Turns!]]>