Dear Ginger…

How to Heal After Infidelity

How to Heal After Infidelity - Ways to cope, take care of yourself, and learning how to forgive on this journey to healing a broken heart.


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I’m sharing from my heart about a question that I hear pretty often… How do you heal after infidelity?


Each one of the messages that I receive about this pulls at my heart. I want to reach out and give each of you a giant hug. I would fix us some comforting tea, and then I would sit down next to you and share the ways that helped to heal my broken heart.


Just breathe.


When I found out about his unfaithfulness, my heart raced, my veins turned to ice, my stomach revolted, and I couldn’t breathe. Every time I discovered a new aspect of the betrayal, feared for my safety, or relived the hurt – it felt as if an elephant were sitting on my chest. I purposely let myself slow down enough to concentrate on breathing in for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), and then out for five slow counts, (1…2…3…4…5…), until the feeling passed. My world was crumbling and spinning around me, but when I spent a few minutes throughout the day on my breathing, I felt a little more in control of my situation.


Do the next thing.


Write out a list of routine activities you need to do today, and just concentrate on one thing at a time. Walk the dog. Read your little one a bedtime story. Take out the trash. Go to the grocery store. Pay the electric bill. Try not to focus so much on the unknown future – but continue on the little normal tasks in front of you. These might feel small and nearly impossible at the same time. You may feel easily distracted, but these will help to keep your body busy and your mind on track.


Take care of yourself.


Sometimes the best thing a mom can do for her family is to give herself grace. ~


Shower. Brush your teeth. Fix your hair. Go for a walk at sunset with a friend. Eat something, even if you don’t fee like it. These might sound simple, but when you are truly wrestling with such devastating news, it can be hard to gather enough focus and energy for even something as routine as shaving your legs.


I know it doesn’t feel like it, but each time you do something to take care of yourself, it’s another step forward on your journey to healing.


Make an appointment to see your doctor.


I hate this part, Friend, but I can’t stress how important this step is in your healing. You need to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Call your doctor’s office and set up a time for you to be seen. Take a supportive friend with you, if you can. I was so lucky to have a friend there holding my hand, and a caring doctor who got me in that same day for a whole panel of tests.


Once you have the results, a large weight will be lifted off your weary shoulders. If the tests are negative, you can move forward. If something does turn up, you can be treated as early as possible, and then continue moving forward.


*I would also highly recommend requesting that your partner be tested for the same large panel of STDs, and have the results printed out for you to see. They may not like it, but you have every right to know if they brought anything concerning into your bed.


Allow yourself to grieve.


Be still and heal.


You’ve just been through so much, Friend. The news that your spouse has been unfaithful is one of the most devastating betrayals that you could ever experience. Take the time that you need to process what has happened. There will be so many moments when you will need to be strong, but it is okay for you to let yourself crumble sometimes. Just don’t stay down. Allow the tears to fall, but then get back up again. You really will smile again. You will get through this… I promise.


Explore healthy ways to vent your anger and frustration.



No good can come from taking, “a Louisville slugger to both headlights,” like the country song. As much as you might want to hurl obscenities or your wedding China at your spouse, I promise that it won’t help.


This is the time to remain calm – almost businesslike – around him. There are other ways to release some of the frustration, anger, and hurt that you are feeling. Write in a journal, write a letter to your husband or to the other woman, talk to a friend, go for a run, or join a kickboxing class. Lock yourself in a room and scream into your pillow. This way you won’t do something that you will later regret.


Surround yourself with love and support.


Seek out family and loving friends right now. Find a support group through a church. This is not the time to shut yourself off from the world. It’s hard to let down your guard and say the words out loud, but I think you will be surprised at the love and understanding that you will find. I will be forever grateful for the support of my family and friends. I couldn’t have done it without them.


Keep things as normal as possible for yourself and your kids.


Whether or not you talk to your kids about what is going on, they need stability. Keep your routine as normal as possible, and it will help you and them as you process and heal.  If your children know about the betrayal, please consider having them go to counseling where they can express and work through their confusion and hurt as well.


Chapter 5


See a counselor by yourself.


I’ve shared before how important therapy was in my healing. I grew so much during my time in counseling. Having someone comfort, guide, and challenge me on this journey was incredibly helpful.


I’ve also recently learned about peer counseling. Infidelity Counseling Network is a wonderful FREE resource for women who need to talk over the phone to someone who has been through it, too.


Attend counseling together.


Making an appointment for marriage counseling was one of the best things that I could have done, even though our marriage didn’t survive. A good couple’s therapist will listen, see through the hurt, and identify ways that the two of you can start to heal.


Your spouse will learn how to begin earning back your trust – cutting off communication with their lover, calling you throughout the day, being home when they said they would be home, reading books with you about healing and marriage, attending a support group for men with a lust addiction, and living transparently before you. This isn’t about punishing him – it’s about him respecting what you need as he works toward restoring broken trust.


Don’t rush. Work through healing slowly and intentionally.


As hard as it is right now, try to be logical and reasonable in your decisions without letting emotions get the better of you.


Don’t rush.


Don’t rush things back to “normal.” So much healing needs to take place, and that will take time, patience, and hard work by both of you.


Don’t rush into seeking separation or divorce either. Only time will tell if your marriage will survive. It takes two to tango, and to be restored, but you can do everything in your power to facilitate reconciliation. There is no rush when it comes to ending a marriage. Getting a divorce will not suddenly make everything better. Only healing, time, and forgiveness can do that – whether or not you stay together.


Don’t seek to get even.


You might feel desperate for them to know the searing pain they are putting you through, but do not look for comfort or revenge in someone else’s arms. It’s not worth it to bring more devastation into the relationship.




I believe this the most important way that you can heal after such a devastating betrayal. You can go down the list and check everything else off, but if you do not forgive, you will not feel whole again. Forgiveness is not a gift that you give to them – it is a gift that you are giving to yourself. Forgiveness releases you from their power over you. It frees you from the pain that bound you to them. Once those chains fall away, your heart will be free to heal once more.


Sometimes forgiveness is a daily practice – every time he comes to pick up your kids, when you see him with another woman, or even if he blames you for his affair – you can take in another deep breath and remind yourself that the worst is over. You have come so far on this road to healing, and you should be deeply proud of yourself.


And you are not alone… I promise.




What about you?


Do you have any advice for our friends? Can you think of other ways that we can heal after such a dark time? I’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!


Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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Dear Ginger… 7 Ways to Help Answer Your Kids’ Tough Questions About Divorce

Dear Ginger... Answering Your Kids' Tough Questions About Divorce


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I’m answering another question that I receive pretty often…


What should I say to my kids when they ask me why their daddy and I are divorced?


First of all, I wish that I could give you a great big hug right now. This situation can pierce a mommy’s heart. Each time our boys have looked up at me with their dark eyes and asked me this question, I had to swallow the lump in my throat and send up a quick prayer for help in how to help them understand.


My boys were only 5 months, 3, and 4 when our marriage fell apart, and 1, 3, and 5 years old when our divorce was finalized. Because they were so little, and because of the betrayal and hurt that led to the end of our marriage, I had to find a way to help them understand without putting the weight of our circumstances on their little shoulders.


My Littlest Gift -


I heard a story when I was growing up of when Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom was little girl, and she asked her father a deep question when she was still too young to understand the graveness of the answer. Her father’s analogy has stuck with me all these years, and I have used it when I talked to my own little ones about divorce in our family.


“Honey, I love you so much, and I know that you have so many questions. I wish that I could give you a better answer – but the truth is that the reason we are divorced is like holding a heavy suitcase. It’s just too heavy for you to carry right now, so I will carry this for you. And someday, when you’re bigger, if you really want to know, I will tell you more. Please know that I love you so much – to infinity and beyond! Thank you for coming to me. You can always ask me anything, and I will do my best to help you understand.”


Here are a few other tips in answering those hard questions:


  1. Take their questions seriously.


Look into their eyes and acknowledge their pain and wondering. As much as it hurts you, welcome their questions and keep that line of communication open between you both. This will help in your own growth, you can assess how your kids are coping, and help them with their own healing.


  1. Be honest, but guard your privacy and their little hearts.




They don’t need to know all of the nitty-gritty details. They will never need to know ALL of the details that led to your divorce.


  1. Don’t bad-mouth your ex in front of your children.


Co-Parenting After Divorce


As much as you might be tempted to pull back the curtain on your ex’s character, please don’t. This is not the time to vent your frustration. Nothing good will come from it – only more hurt and confusion about loyalty to you both as parents. Instead, find a loving friend who will listen as you cry, yell, question, and process your own pain. And then you can be there for her when she needs it.


  1. But you don’t have to sugar coat things either.


You don’t have to pretend that everything is just peachy. It’s okay to let them know that you are sad about how circumstances turned out, but also let them know that you will be fine, they will be fine, and that you are working with their dad to parent them together as a team.


  1. Explain that it’s just too much for them to carry right now.


It isn’t time for them to carry this information. You’re not putting down their age by saying that they’re not old enough. You’re also not giving them a time frame of when they will get those answers. You may feel the need to carry most of this heavy information for them for the rest of your life. This isn’t just about protecting the other parent’s reputation. Children are much more perceptive than we give them credit, and over time they will see things about each of us as parents – good and bad – for themselves.


  1. Find ways to help them ease into this transition.


11 Ways to Help Children Cope With Divorce


Secretly tuck notes or funny cards into their bag when they leave with the other parent for the weekend. Give them a stuffed animal that they can take back and forth to remember you by. Take them to counseling so they can use play therapy and projects to work through their own pain. Keep a routine at your house that helps the children feel settled during this time of change.



  1. Show love for their dad.


Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?


Affection might be the last emotion you feel for the other parent, but it’s important that you maintain a civil relationship with their father. You don’t have to be best buddies, but I’ve learned that being at least casually friendly to their dad will go a long way to your children feeling settled, loved, and a jump-start on their healing after the divorce.


Offer him more time with your children on his birthday. Wish him a happy Father’s Day. Seek out his opinion when your child is sick. It might feel as if you are giving him more and more influence, but he is their dad. When you put the ball in his court, you are giving him extra opportunities to graciously co-parent together. He may or may not respond the way that you wished, but at least you gave him that chance, and your children will be better for it.



What about you?


Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


Can I ask you for a big favor? Do you know anyone who might be encouraged by this blog post? Would you please consider sharing it with them? I want nothing more than to help others to know that they are not alone in this journey.


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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Dear Ginger… Should I tell her?

Dear Ginger... Should I tell her that her husband is having an affair?


Dear Friends,


I am always so touched by the messages and comments I receive here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!


Today I am answering questions that I receive often, but have been afraid to address here “out loud” until now…


Should I tell my friend that her husband is cheating on her?


Yes, I believe that she has the right to know what is happening in her marriage.


Infidelity is a malignant cancer. It will devour your relationship, your family, and you personally if it is not brought to light. When my Beloved and I discovered that he had a tumor growing on his kidney, it was frightening. There would be pain and a long road to healing for him, but we knew that we had to take action. After the surgery to remove his kidney, we learned that the tumor had been much worse than we had anticipated. It was Stage II cancer, and it was a blessing to have it removed before it spread to the liver, lungs, brain, and other parts of his body. Pretending like it didn’t exist was not a healthy option for us. In fact, it could have been deadly.


The same thing is true in relationships. I have also lived through the devastating effects of learning that infidelity had weaved its way into my first marriage. I had suspected his cheating, but I continued to bury my head in the sand of my own denial. A friend lovingly removed my blinders and helped me to see what was really going on. The evidence of his betrayal was crushing, but her friendship, engulfing love, and gentle way of guiding me to the truth was the greatest gift that she could ever give me.


Being aware of the unfaithfulness is the first step to your friend having a fighting chance to save her marriage. You can’t save what you don’t know is lost.


Should I write a letter? Or tell her in person?


Sadly, both my Beloved and I both have experience with this. While my friend told me over the phone, my Beloved’s friend gave him the news in person. We both agree that there really isn’t any one good way to tell a friend that their spouse is being unfaithful. Don’t stress too much over the method – but do realize that the most important thing is actually the tone in which you tell her. It’s all in the delivery.


I can’t stress this enough… Be kind. Come to her from a place of love. Your friend will soon find her marriage crumbling around her. Please be sure that your attitude is one of love, grace, and concern. Never slip into an “I-told-you-so” attitude. You may have thought this guy was a loser to begin with, and even if you had already expressed your dislike for him in the past, this time you need to approach her without any judgment. Just love.


Do I have to tell her? What if she doesn’t believe me?


No, you don’t have to tell her, but consider the analogy that I used before of infidelity acting like a cancer. If you knew that your friend had no knowledge of a deadly tumor in her body, would you tell her about that?


Not only does she deserve to know what is going on, it has now become a health and safety issue. This may not be the first time that he has engaged in an affair, and it might not be the last. She should have the right for the chance to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and to insist on him being tested. Please do not think that you are doing her a favor by not telling her.


I understand why you might not want to tell her – but I ask for you to consider what you would want if the situation were reversed.


What can I do to help her through this time?


Another way you can be there for her is to offer to help in any way that she needs. Offer to babysit while she goes to counseling. Be a listening ear when she needs to vent, and a comforting shoulder to cry on when it all feels like too much. Chances are that she won’t feel like eating, but you could bring her a meal or chocolate. Or flowers. She will need your friendship, love, and acceptance now more than ever.


Pray for her. Send her a card. A text message just letting her know that she’s on your mind will mean the world to her. One of the things a friend did for me was to let me borrow funny movies and TV shows on DVD. It was impossible for me to fall asleep in the beginning, but I was finally able to relax enough to drift off to sleep after watching a couple of her SCRUBS episodes each night. Eventually I smiled, a while later I could laugh again – and her thoughtfulness played a huge part in my healing.


I honestly couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my friends and family. They walked beside me, encouraged me, let me lean on them when I needed it, and celebrated my growth and healing along the way. I wouldn’t wish this devastating news on anyone – but it is my hope that through our willingness to stand in those dark places with our loved ones, that we can let them know that they are not alone.


What about you?


Do you have any suggestions for our friends? Can you think of other ways to help friends who has found themselves in this heartbreaking place? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!


Until next time,


~ Ginger


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What I’m Into ~ March 2015 Edition

Is it really that time again? The month of March has come to an end, and we’re back with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing what we’ve been into this past month! Are y’all ready for spring? As much as I love boot and leggings weather, I’m pretty happy to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and soak up the feeling of everything being new and fresh again!


What have you been into this month? I just love seeing what everyone is reading, watching, and up to! Call me nosey! I’m always looking for a new movie or series to watch with my Beloved, or on my own for some much-needed girl time! And I love adding to my GoodReads list with new books to devour. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? I hope so!


So here’s what I’ve been into this month…


Spending time outside ~


Since the weather has warmed up, everything is getting green and lovely again! I’ve been perching with a book on my bench outside while I listen to the boys play basketball in the driveway or ride their bikes. I love this time of year… until my allergies hit! Ahhhhhh…CHOO! Have you found anything to help with seasonal allergies? I’m trying Claritin this year, but I’m thinking I might have to get out the dreaded NetiPot!


What I'm Into


Taking Back My Health ~


In preparation for my 34th birthday coming up this month, I decided to tackle the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene! I shared a few of my thoughts on the first week earlier this week… Will this help me welcome the next year with a bang, or will it kill me first?!


Take a Little Time for You! header


Read in March ~


I’m a little in awe of how many books I read this past month. I had been feeling a little homesick for diving into good books, and I spent quite a bit of time getting back to one of my first loves – reading. I felt like I had been given an IV and felt so much more refreshed, invigorated, and like myself when I give myself time to read. Do you know what I mean, or am I just a weirdo? Anybody? Bueller? Nevermind. *wink*


Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I have been waiting my whole life for this book! I can’t tell you how much I loved reading her original Pioneer Girl manuscript, and the added notes on each page that went into deeper detail of the history of Little House and the interaction between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.


Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder


Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win, Christine Caine – An amazing friend mailed me her copy after she read it, knowing how much this book would touch my heart. I could have underlined every word. There were so many areas that were convicting, encouraging, and inspiring – and it really lit a fire in my heart!




Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker – This one had been on my radar for quite a while. I put out a plea on Facebook to see if any local friends had it to borrow, and people ended up suspecting that I was pregnant! Yikes! A dear friend sent me a copy, and I have really treasured my early morning quiet time reading this sweet book every morning. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have been recommending it to every mom I know! This would be a PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for the special ladies in your life!


Surprised by Motherhood - an awesome book by Lisa-Jo Baker


Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker


On Writing, by Stephen King – I read this back in 2013, but decided that it was time for a refresher. I loved this book EVEN MORE this second time through it. I am a very new King fan. I’ve never read any of his scary books. I started 11/22/63 a while back, but had to take it back to the library before I got into it, but I think I’m going to give it another try soon! His years of honing his craft, the advice for new writers, and learning more about his life was surprisingly both entertaining and inspiring!


On Writing


Fooling Houdini, by Alex Stone – I’ve always been curious about magic. I mostly flipped through this book before I had to take it back to the library. I found his explanations pretty interesting, and I’d love to know more about the way our brains see what they want to see when it comes to illusions!


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty – I’ve seen this pop up on many to-read lists recently, and it was finally my turn on the library hold list. She had some really crazy stories about working in cremation!


I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich – Shauna Niequest recommended this in a recent blog post, and I was excited to see it available at our library. This lady is the fashion guru to the NYC elite, and she has led a fascinating life.


Astonish Me, by Maggie Shiptstead – I always love learning more about the world of ballet. This story jumps around to different dears and lives that all intertwine. There’s a love triangle, drug use, depression, and the Nutcracker. Kinda crazy. I skimmed through the last few chapters, wanting to know how it turned out, but not wanting to read through every single line. I’ve been in the mood for more comedy lately, and this one just wasn’t cutting it.


The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, by Jessica N. Turner – This was another great book! I loved reading it at night and thinking about how I can better use the “fringe hours” in my own life as I fell asleep at night. I’ve already recommended it to a friend, and I’m sure that my copy will be out on loan quite a bit!


The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money, by Ron Lieber – A very different look at teaching kids about money! Loved mulling over different ideas and talking with my Beloved about them. I think this is one we should get for our collection someday. I was sad to take it back to the library!


The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – I listened to half of this book while I was on a road trip by myself, and then I finished it while going on walks or doing the dishes after the boys were in bed. It’s in the same family as Gone Girl, but not quite as messed up. If you’re looking for a page-turning thriller, this is a good place to start!


The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan – This is the first book I’ve read from Kelly Corrigan. I really enjoyed her Medium Foreword interview series, and I wanted to get to know HER a little better. I’d heard awesome things about this book before, but I had avoided it because it dealt with cancer. Because of how cancer came into our family, I hadn’t wanted to “go there” just yet, but I’m really glad I went ahead and read her story.


Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear!: The Go-To Guide for All Shapes and Sizes, by Shari Braendel – A fun look at clothes, fit, and color! This stuff fascinates me. I love the science behind why our bodies are the shape that we are, and why color does or doesn’t work on a certain skin tone. With my olive-ish complexion and a straight up and down shape (complete with a bit of a muffin top), and it can be difficult to find the exact shade or fit for my body. I loved her explanations and ideas on new colors. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut – but she inspired me to shop my own closet and use things in new ways!



Reading in April ~


The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – I saw my friend Andrea reading this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest!


The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I can’t believe that I’ve never read Margaret Atwood, but I recently watched her interview with Medium Foreword, and decided that I had to remedy that in April!


Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward


Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan


Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell


In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote



Screen Time ~


This month my Beloved and I watched House of Cards, Blacklist, and March Madness! I’m a Kansas Jayhawk fan, so I was pretty disappointed when they were knocked out by our in-state rivals Wichita State University. Humbug.


I finally got around to watching Capote. Philip Seymore Hoffman is beyond amazing in it.


I tried to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I fell asleep. It seemed to interesting that maybe I’ll give it another shot this month when I’m not so tired.


On the Blog ~


I shared a very personal and painful look at forgiveness





I shared my very first VLOG with you and asked for your help


We talked about what THEY don’t tell you about parenting


What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years



I shared 7 simple ways to help when a friend is hurting


Dear Ginger


Gave you a peek into a day in the life of a #BoyMom


It takes a lot more than that to scare me - I have boys!



And had fun designing several #boymom photos! (Click here to see more!)


Yes, I do have my hands full... #boymom


If I step on one more LEGO, so help me... #boymom


Put your weapons down and eat your breakfast! #boymom


No, Mommy doesn't have one of those... #boymom



What About YOU?


I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this month! Have you read any good books? Watched a must-see movie? I’d love to hear all about it!

You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!


Wishing you an exquisite month of April!



~ Ginger

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What I’m Into ~ October 2014

What I'm Into - Trying New Things October 2014

I’m so excited to be back and linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer again this month! Her WHAT I’M INTO link-up is a highlight of my month! Pour yourself a steaming cup of apple cider, curl up with a blanket, and check out the other awesome links! I know I will!

He’s home!!!

My Beloved finally came home! Deployment is over! My friend Katie told me recently that I’ve been glowing since he returned! I went to meet him at the airpot. My eyes began to overflow with emotion as he walked toward me at the baggage claim. The instant that he put his arms around me, I felt the weight of the world being lifted off my shoulders. I cried as the realization set in – He was home safe and sound. The months of fear, stress, being alone, and trying to be tough were finally over. It was so good to be at home again in his arms…and I melted. *Happiest of happy sighs*

We came home and pretty much hibernated for the next two weeks before he had to go back to work. We did school with the boys, went on family outings, cooked, played, and watched movies together – soaking in the feeling that our family was finally complete!

Daddy Joe's Bedtime Story

Joe also began a new project – designing and building a new TV stand for our living room! We decided to go with a clean, almost mid-century look. I think it will mesh beautifully in our living room once it’s finished!

Joe's TV Stand Plans

Joe's TV Stand - Wooden cuts

He went back to work after his two weeks home with us… but the exciting news is that his time in the Air Force is coming to an end! He’ll be moving home very soon – and we will finally get to begin the new phase in our life together! *Happy Snoopy Dance!*

New ‘do ~

It was one year ago that I made a big change. My Beloved was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2014. Caring for those touched by cancer became close to my heart, so I cut off twelve inches of my hair and donated it to Children With Hair Loss. I loved my long hair – but I honestly wasn’t sad to see it go. I knew that it was going to a little girl who needed it so much more than I do, and I haven’t regretted it since!

A Year of Trying New Things

I decided to bring a little color into my life recently. I’ve never really dyed my hair, but I’ve always wanted just a little color peeking through my dark mane. I went to my hair magician last week, and I couldn’t be happier! A little chop-chopping, straightening, and color will make a girl feel like a brand new woman!

Can you spot my little wild streak of color? It’s temporary – only lasting through a few washes – but I love it so much that I might take the plunge and do something a little stronger!

New Hair

Pucker up ~

My beautiful friend Heather and I went to Sephora last week! It was her first trip to that heavenly place – and we were on a mission. She was looking for lipstick and ended up with the lovely NARS shade “Charlotte”. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but you know how it is when you walk into Sephora… it’s nearly impossible to not by something. And, boy, did I strike gold!

Do me a favor, and head to your nearest Sephora. When you get there, try Marc Jacobs Lust for Lacquer lipgloss. It’s infused with champagne grapes – and it tingles your lips with an awesomely cool feeling! Just try it and let me know what you think!

Here we are with our new kissable lips!

Heather and Ginger

Between the pages ~

While I was so busy snuggling with my Beloved that I actually didn’t get much reading accomplished this past month, but here’s what I have been reading lately:

Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change Your World, by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand  – An inspiring and challenging read for all women!

The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful, by Myquillyn Smith – Filled with beautiful pictures, practical advice, and engaging stories from a favorite blogger, it encourages us to bloom where we’re planted! LOVED!

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn – The sequel to my favorite book from last year, Half the Sky, that tells the stories of amazing people all over the world who are making a difference!

Magic Treehouse #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark, by Mary Pope Osborne – Quinn has been reading this out loud to me in the afternoons after school. His reading is improving every day! I have loved revisiting this series with each boy around this age! So fun!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixby J.K. Rowling – Aiden and I are reading this together at bedtime. He laughs at my Dumbledore accent, and I love experiencing this story for the first time with him!

On my nightstand ~

My lovely friend Jan, (and fellow Jojo Moyes fan), lent me her copy of Sheltering Rain. I think it’s one of the few Moyes books that I haven’t read so far, and I’m excited to get lost in another one of her stories! Her writing allows us to see many sides of the story. I may not always like the decisions her characters choose – but she always makes me think!

This week I was thrilled to see Amy Poehler’s new book, Yes Please, arrive on my doorstep! I’ve been a fan of Poehler’s since her SNL days, and I have been excited to dive in to her memoir!

If you need me over the next few days, you’ll find me curled up with my nose in one of these books!

Yes please

Screen time ~

Since he’s been home, my Beloved and I have been catching up on episodes of The Blacklist, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, New Girl, and The Big Bang Theory. I started watching the first season of The Good Wife recently. Whoa. I think I’m hooked!

I’ve also been keeping up with Downton from across the pond. Shhhhh…I don’t want to give anything away. I’ve loved this season so far, and I can’t wait to see where these stories lead!

Swing dancing ~

We also went for our very first swing dancing lesson! Joe and I tagged along with friends, and we learned the basics of the Jitterbug. SO MUCH FUN!!! I can’t wait to go back! I’ve always had two left feet, but maybe I’ll actually learn how to dance after all!

On the blog ~

I shared my struggle with finding ways to show love to my ex-husband, and I received so many kind and encouraging responses from you! I can’t tell you what that means to me!

Mommy, Do You Still Love Daddy?

I also answered more of your questions in the DEAR GINGER series:

Dear Ginger

~ 10 Ways Counseling Changed My Life…

~ Why Homeschooling?

~ My Husband is Having an Affair…

 We also had some wonderful IN HER SHOES guest posts:

(Click on the photos to read the post…)

In Her Shoes ~ Just Breathe

In Her Shoes ~ I am the Kitchen Sink

In Her Shoes ~ 7 Things I Didn't Know About Entreprenuership

What about you? ~

What have you been into this month? Seen any great movies? Found any books I should add to my GoodReads list? I’d love to hear all about it!

Wishing you a lovely November!


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Dear Ginger, My husband is having an affair…

Dear Ginger

I have been so touched by the messages and comments I have received here on the blog. I can’t tell you how much hearing from you has meant to me, and I am so honored to spend a little part of your day with you!

Today I want to talk about the heartbreaking messages I receive every week from women who are going through the devastating storm of seeing their marriage end. Each story is a little different, but the pain is the same.

I just found out my husband has been cheating on me…

First of all, I wish that I could give you a big hug, and that we could sit and cry and talk over a cup of tea. My heart aches for what you are going through right now. I know that it doesn’t feel like you will survive this. I remember how broken, alone, and lost I felt – but please, please know that you really will get through this. I know you will.

What should I do now? Please help!

The first and biggest advice that I would have for anyone is to find a counselor that you can talk to. I could not have done this without my wonderful therapist. Having someone who can help guide you through the darkness, who can help you heal and grow, was a huge part in my journey to healing. There are many ways to go about finding a therapist, but I found mine through a local church. Find one that makes you feel safe, someone you can trust during this storm, even if you have to visit a few different ones. They will also be able to help if your children would benefit from having someone work through this with them. My therapist used play therapy to help my boys work through processing their emotions, and I would do it again for them in a heartbeat.

Should I get tested for STDs?

There is something else that you need to do: Go to your doctor and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. I shared here about how embarrassed I was to be tested, but you have to do this for the sake of your health. I wish that I could be there to hold your hand through it, but just know that I am with you in spirit. Don’t delay – just get it over with. You won’t have to wonder any longer – and you won’t regret it.

How do I pick up the pieces?

As far as how to move on and start to heal – all I can tell you is to just do the next thing. Read your precious little ones a story. Give them a bath. Go get groceries. Walk the dog. Concentrate on the next thing that you have to do throughout the day. It helped me to not be so overwhelmed by everything I was facing alone. One thing at a time. One moment at a time.

Keep things as normal as possible for your children. Take a break and go into another room to cry when the tears start to fall. Do whatever helps for just a few minutes – pray, scream into a pillow, or call a friend. Then come back out and tackle the next thing on your list. That is how I made it through those rough days.

Try to keep up your strength and health. I lost 23 pounds in the first five days after finding out about my husband’s infidelity. I tried everything I knew to do, but my milk supply still dried up and I was no longer able to nurse my 5 month old baby. I wish that I had taken a little more time to care for myself – but I did my best while trying to navigate through the pain.

I feel so alone…

You are not alone. Sadly, there are so many women going through this very thing right now – and there are those of us who have already walked through this very same nightmare.

Do you have a support system? Ask a friend if she can be there for you. Have someone that will let you cry on their shoulder when you’re overwhelmed by the pain and your heart is breaking. Someone that will let you vent when you just can’t hold all of the emotions in any longer… And this can be a two-way street. You can be there for her, too.

I have those special people in my life. My friend Heather sat with me while I had my locks changed. She also lent me funny DVDs to watch and help me relax a little at night after my boys were in bed. My friend and mentor Becky was only a phone call away when I needed to vent. Joanne got me out of the house for a little bit of fun. Andrea hugged me through it, watched my boys while I went to counseling, and cried with me. So many volunteered and encouraged me as I began earning a small income selling jewelry when I became a single mom. My family babysat and camped out on the living room floor when I needed it. I’m telling you…I could not have made it without their love and support, and I will always be grateful for each and every one of them.

Even when you have kindred spirits you can turn to, you might still feel very alone. The betrayal and hurt that come from an unfaithful spouse will cut deep, and can leave you feeling vulnerable and fragile. Don’t build walls around your heart, but instead use this time to grow and heal. I know that it doesn’t feel like it, but you can emerge on the other side of this stronger, healthier, and more whole than you could possibly imagine.

Remember that you’re not alone. I promise.

What about you? ~

Do you have any advice for our friends? How have you made it through incredibly rough times in your life?

Do you have any other questions for me? I aways really, truly, sincerely love hearing from YOU. Just leave me a comment here or email me at

Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section right under the picture  on the right – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!

Until next time,


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Dear Ginger… Why Homeschooling?

Dear Ginger


Hey, Y’all! I am always beyond thrilled to hear from you! Your questions, comments, and messages always brighten my day!


Lately I’ve had a few questions about our homeschooling journey, so I thought this would be a good time to share with you how our family came to homeschooling!



A little background ~


I attended public and private schools for Kindergarten through the 4th grade, but then my parents decided to enter the world of homeschooling. My brother and I started the 1st and 5th grade that fall at home, and our three younger siblings followed in line.


We spent our days learning the Greek alphabet, prepositions, Latin roots, algebra, dissecting frogs, multiplication tables, extensive memorization, and writing book reports all around our kitchen table. In the style of a one-room schoolhouse, my younger siblings learned many of the same things that I was learning.


Why Homeschooling? ~ Gingerbread Parthenon

How did it prepare you? ~


The self-discipline and responsibility that I developed while learning at home has been incredibly valuable to me. My mom also cultivated the skill of writing in my life. I had daily writing assignments on many different subjects, and my love for words grew. I became a stickler for spelling and proper grammar, and I thirsted for as much knowledge as I could get my hands on!


I was able to get ahead in my studies and graduate from high school a year early, which paved the way for my dream of going to Russia to come true when I was only seventeen. I had studied the Russian language at home before I moved into a Moscow orphanage with other young adults who had also been educated at home, but immersion really is the best teacher! I went out into the city with several different teams of students. I taught English as a Second Language at another orphanage, took part of the prison ministry, taught character in schools, delivered food to widows, led service projects with Russian teenagers, went on Bible distributions in rural parts of Russia, and attended a wonderful church with my Beloved’s sister Amy!


I’m sure that I would have found my way to Russia even if I hadn’t been homeschooled, but this was the path that my life took – and I might not have met Amy (and her handsome brother!) if my parents hadn’t decided to keep us at home.


Back Camera

Is that why you chose to homeschool? ~


When I had Camden, I did what every mother does – I taught him the names of animals, colors, numbers, and letters of the alphabet. I read him stories, took him on walks where he discovered nature, and I started teaching him how to hold a crayon.


By being a regular mom, I discovered that I was homeschooling. Sure, he was tiny, but he was learning and I was teaching him. I loved being the one that helped him discover the world, and I did the very same thing when Aiden came into our lives. By the time Quinn was born almost three years later, I was doing preschool and kindergarten work with our older boys.


There wasn’t a specific moment where I sat down and decided – Okay, now I’m going to keep my kids at home. Homeschooling had become our lifestyle.


Why Homeschool? ~ Oreo Moons

What’s your approach? ~


You see, each of the boys must start attending the local public school in the fourth grade. It was not my decision, but I have to make the best of this situation for my little ones. Last year was Camden’s first year to attend public school, and next year Aiden will go, too. In a few years, Quinn will join them.


Because the time I have with them is so limited, their education is incredibly important to me. I am devoting this time to making sure that I have given them a good foundation before they head to school. I have studied different approaches to homeschooling and learning methods, and settled on the Classical Method that has worked well for our family. Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Trained Mind is my favorite book on classical homeschooling and supplementing classroom education.


An emphasis on language arts, exposure to exciting stories from history, learning mathematical facts, and laying a foundation for studying more advanced sciences are all part of the Classical approach to homeschooling.


We have mummified a chicken, learned the names of the States and presidents to songs, built a ziggurat temple, erupted volcanoes, dropped eggs from balconies, written fairytales, built the Parthenon out of gingerbread, made solar systems, learned the phases of the moon with Oreos, built the Great Wall of China, diagrammed sentences, memorized poetry, and learned how to cook recipes from around the world.


We also supplement our school week with PE classes and by attending a homeschool co-op where our kids (and about 50 others) come together to go on field trips and learn together once a week in a classroom setting.


I was just looking back at the videos and photos I have taken over the last several years, and tears filled my eyes as memories flooded over me. I know that I don’t have much longer with our younger boys being taught at home, but I have treasured each and every minute with them. Homeschooling is hard… Being a mom is hard… but both have been more than worth it!



What about you? ~


Do you have any other questions for me? I aways really, truly, sincerely love hearing from YOU… and now everything is fixed so I can do just that! Leave me a comment here or email me at if there is anything that you’d like to hear from me.


Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section right under my picture – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!


Until next time,


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Dear Ginger… Did you get my message?

Dear Ginger

As I have said before, I LOVE hearing from y’all so much! It always makes my day when I get an email, comment, or Facebook message from you! But today I wanted to apologize to you…

I sent you a note through your blog…Did you get my message?

I have heard from a couple of people, asking me if I had received their messages to me through my blog – and I searched my inbox and comments here without finding the messages that they were telling me about. I had chalked it up to technology glitches losing messages – but I found out over the weekend that I was very wrong.

I am so sorry…because now I realize that I wasn’t getting any of the emails that were being sent through the Contact page on my blog. I didn’t realize that there were 67 emails waiting for me there!

I feel so horrible about this. I really do try to respond to every single email that I receive – and I feel awful that these have sat for so long without a response. I will be answering each of them, but I wanted to apologize to those who have written to me and haven’t heard back. Would you please forgive me?

The issue with the Contact page has now been resolved, and each message should come straight to me! 🙂

This blog is helping me to become a teeny tiny bit more tech-savvy, but I still have so much to learn. Thank you for coming along with me on this journey! I am truly honored that you let me spend a little time with you each week!

What about you? ~

Are we kindred spirits? Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed by technology and gadgets? Please tell me that I’m not the only one!

Do you have any other questions for me? I aways really, truly, sincerely love hearing from YOU… and now everything is fixed so I can do just that! Leave me a comment here or email me at if there is anything that you’d like to hear from me.

Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section right under my picture – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!

Until next time,



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Dear Ginger… 10 Ways Counseling Changed My Life…

Dear Ginger

Hey, y’all! I am always beyond thrilled to hear from YOU! I’m toying with the idea of making this Dear Ginger series a regular thing because I’ve been getting some wonderful questions that I’m hoping will be able to encourage even more people.

I’ve received a few messages asking me to share more about my time seeing a counselor, so today I wanted to chat a bit about counseling and therapy.

How did you pick your counselor? ~

The very first time I stepped into a counselor’s office was only a few days after I discovered and confronted my husband’s infidelity. I called a local church with a well-known counseling center, and we had an appointment that week. Our counselor gave us books to read, projects to try, and listened to both sides of our story. It was about six months later that I knew for sure that our marriage was over, and as heartbreaking as it is to file for divorce, I also had peace in my heart that this was what I needed to do.

I also began seeing a therapist by myself, to work through my betrayal, hurt, and rebuilding myself into a stronger wife and mother. This was absolutely the best thing that I have ever done for myself. When hurting women write to me saying that their marriages have just ended and want to know what they should do next, my answer is always the same: Please go see a counselor. Find one that you trust and feel comfortable with. I could not have made it through that devastating time without her.

I have continued seeing my personal therapist, even six years later. She has been there guiding, challenging, and inspiring me through picking up the pieces in the aftermath of the affair, helping me to save my marriage, strengthening me when I became a single mom, celebrating with me when I married my Beloved, wisely counseling us as we began life as a blended family, and holding my hand through rough seasons of co-parenting after divorce. She has inspired me to face other difficult things in my past, and to come out stronger and healthier on the other side – for my boys, for Joe, and for myself. She truly helped to change my life.

How did your counselor help you?

– She gave me practical steps to know what to do next when I was too overwhelmed to go on.

– She helped me to see the bigger picture, even when I couldn’t see past my hurt.

– She urged me to write a letter to the Other Woman.

– She gave me homework that helped me to heal in a productive way.

– She gave my children a safe and trusted place to talk about their feelings after the divorce.

– She gives me assignments that continues to help me to grow as a woman.

– She challenges me to do what I’m good at – to follow my passions and calling.

– She is on my team – and I know that I am not alone.

– She has never once invalidated my feelings – but gives me a safe place to be vulnerable and open about the things going on in my life.

– She urged me to write and share my story with others – so I started this blog.

– She didn’t leave me where she found me – and I am so much better because of seeing a therapist!

How do I find a therapist of my own? ~

There are several ways to start looking for a counselor. I first asked my doctor’s advice and received a list of recommended names. I ultimately decided to find one associated with a church, but that was my preference at the time. You could check out local churches and counseling centers in your area. I love giving the name of my therapist to friends who are looking for someone to see – so ask a trusted friend if they have any recommendations for you.

I am so thankful for the reader who recently gave this wonderful advice, and said that I could share it with you:

I’m a person who has been in therapy and I’m also a counselor-in-training (working on my master’s degree), so I wanted to let you know a few ways to find a therapist. :) Sometimes you can get a referral from your physician, but also, the American Psychological Association and American Counseling Association both have website tools to help you find accredited professionals in your area. Here is the website for the ACA: and here is the website for the APA:
Also, this website from the APA has some questions and things to look for to make sure the person you find is a) a good professional and b) a good fit for you:

What about you? ~

Do you have any other tips for readers who are thinking about visiting a counselor? Has one helped in your own life? I’d love to read how counseling has helped you!

Do you have any other questions for me? I always love hearing from you, so please don’t be shy! Leave me a comment here or email me at if there is anything that you would like to see me answer here!

Until next time…


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Dear Ginger, About the Other Woman…

Dear Ginger

I have recently received a few messages from readers that were very different than the many encouraging comments that I have received through sharing Our Story.

When I first read the notes, I honestly considered quietly deleting them. No muss, no fuss. I am a quiet, introverted, peace-loving kind of girl. Conflict just isn’t for me. The last thing I wanted was for someone to come here looking for hope and encouragement in the midst of their nightmare, only to find negative comments that could inflict more agony on a breaking heart.

So, your husband had an affair. What did you do to make him cheat?

It was actually my Beloved who inspired me to look at this from a different perspective, and to share with you a little more about my story, in hopes that it might somehow help or encourage others who are facing their own broken marriages.

This is not the first time that I have been confronted by these questions, and I am sorry to say that I am not alone. If you have gone through the betrayal of adultery in your marriage, unfortunately, you may be faced with someone who implies or even comes right out and says this at some point as well. I felt so very alone while I was going through the breakdown of my first marriage, and I wish that someone had prepared me for the different struggles that I would face in the aftermath.

Who is to blame?

I have never placed the blame on the Other Woman in my first marriage. This is where the negative comments seem to point to me putting all of the blame on her, and none on my ex-husband. This simply isn’t the case. The readers have a point in that the other woman didn’t force my husband to cheat on me – at least not that I am aware. They are also correct that she was not the one who vowed before the Lord, our families, and our friends to forsake all others until death do us part. He did. When he chose to have sex with someone else, he alone destroyed our marriage vows… and our family.

If your spouse decides to have a sexual affair with someone outside of your marriage – he broke the vow. Not you. Not the other woman.

But what about her?

We’ve all heard the stories. There are scenarios where the other woman has no idea that she is involved with a married man. Sometimes a spouse can hide a double life so well that she won’t realize that she is also being played.

However, there are also many stories where the other woman is aware that he is married. She may not have broken the vow between you and your husband, but there is a general moral belief in many cultures that you just don’t sleep with someone else’s husband. She knowingly took something that was yours. It was not hers to take, and you have every right to feel hurt because of it.

Deciding to forgive the other woman for her part in the story was a big step early in my healing. As painful as it was to release all of the hurt, it was something that I will never regret.

What about him?

I try to use discretion when I share about my ex-husband and his role in the death of our marriage. This is the father of my children. They don’t know the full extent of our story, but somewhere down the road that may change.

That said, of course it was more difficult to forgive him. The excruciating pain, the doubts, the lies, the crippling fear, the threat of my exposure to sexually transmitted diseases… There is no comparison. Having to make an appointment with your doctor to be tested for HIV, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Chlamydia, and more, when you believed that you were in a monogamous and faithful marriage, is humiliating and devastating. Thankfully, my doctor’s nurse is my friend. She held my hand the whole time, listened to my heartache, and gave me her shoulder when I needed to cry.

Are you responsible for any of the blame?

As I shared in Chapter Eleven of Our Story, there is a common belief that if a man has an affair, the wife must be to blame for his infidelity. I have even heard those who have been the Other Woman make it clear that if he wasn’t getting what he needed at home, the poor guy had no choice but to find comfort in someone else’s arms.

No. Just no.

As much as I agree that men generally aren’t forced to commit adultery, one of the things that I still had to confront on my own path to healing was taking responsibility for my role in the breakdown of our marriage.

I never cheated on him, but there were ways that I failed my ex-husband.

If you could go back in time, what would you have done differently to save your marriage?

I allowed myself to become a doormat. I didn’t drag him to counseling until it was already too late. I didn’t respect myself, so I didn’t gain his respect either. I didn’t hold him accountable. Because of several devastating things that happened in our marriage, I shut down emotionally and physically. If I told you what occurred, you wouldn’t blame me. This is where counseling and accountability could have been game-changing. I turned a blind eye to the late nights, mornings where I discovered that he was still gone, and weekends away. I trusted him to be where he said he would be. I found evidence of his unfaithfulness, and yet I couldn’t bring myself to see the truth. As hard as I tried to be a good and submissive Christian wife, I still failed.

This was almost six years ago, and I am a different woman than the diminutive, naïve, and idealistic girl that I used to be. If I could go back, I would put our marriage first, and not our children. I would speak up, unafraid of rocking the boat. I would stand up and fight for myself – and for my marriage. I would get us into counseling and into accountability relationships with strong mentors. I wouldn’t have agreed to stay away from his computer. I would not have hidden my pain from my close friends and family – the ones that love me most. And I would have reached out and begged for help.

Even then, I don’t know if these would have changed the outcome.

The trust that is severed when marriage vows are tossed aside takes a long time to regain, even in the best of situations. I am blessed to know couples who have been through the agony and betrayal of adultery in their own marriages, but who walked through the fire hand-in-hand, and have found healing and strength on the other side. They each put in the hard work, the dedication, and lived transparently while they fought to earn back trust and save their marriages. They are such inspirations to me, and it was my prayer that we could have joined them. I also want you to know that it is possible to find forgiveness, healing, and trust in each other again.

What should I do if I’m ever confronted by these comments?

Be prepared for the possibility of feeling the finger of blame pointed at you somewhere in your healing journey. Even though this may happen, I can’t stress this enough – If you were faithful to your spouse, it is not your fault.

Do you hear me? This is not your fault.

You are not alone. Even when you don’t know which way to turn, who to trust, or how to survive the physical pain of your heart breaking in two… Please know that you are not alone in this.

You will find the strength to do the next thing. You will smile again. You will heal.

You are not alone… I promise.

I hope that I cleared things up a bit.

~ Love and hugs,

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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