Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings

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Sue writes blogs 2-4 times per month under two threads.  The first, "Building Bridges of Hope" offers reflections, insights and tips for professionals, parents, caregivers and others who work with children who have experienced trauma and their families.  The second, "Hope for the Journey" offers devotional reflections on the insights, questions, and applications Sue gleans from her own spiritual journey and Bible study."

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If You Give a Man a Fish

Posted by Sue Badeau on March 2, 2017 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Maimonides


This quote has captured the spirit of a great deal of social justice work particularly around poverty. I always thought it was a good sentiment and have quoted it myself on more than one occasion.


And then, this week, I had an “aha” moment about this quote while working with a team dedicated to improving family and youth engagement in their community. Suggesting that the solution to hunger, poverty or other challenges a community might face is in “teaching them to fish,” begins with two assumptions. (1) Fish is what they need, and (2) they don’t know how to fish.


But imagine you are this hungry person in this storied community by the river. How likely is it that you and your family are going hungry while dozens or hundreds of healthy, edible fish are swimming past you down the river on their way to the sea? The only thing standing in the way of you and a good nourishing meal is some heroic outsider to come along and teach you how to catch those fish.


No. That’s not so likely.


More likely scenario.


You learned to fish from your grandparents and other elders. You know that the river flowing through your community should provide an abundance of food for your children and neighbors. Well-meaning outsiders keep coming to town to offer classes on “how to fish.” But they don’t listen to you when you tell them what the real problem is. There are no more fish in the river.


Why not? The river has become polluted. Years ago, you started to notice that people got sick when eating the fish. And now the fish themselves are all dead.


You don’t need a hero to teach you to fish. You need partners who will help you solve the pollution problem and make it safe and possible to fish in your community again.


Perhaps it is not pollution. Perhaps people in your village have developed a severe allergy to the types of fish that populate the river and a new food source altogether is needed. Or . . . . well you see, I could go on and on because there are many scenarios I can’t even imagine. I would only learn about them by truly listening to the people of the village before I decide how to partner with them.


I simply can’t be so sure I know the answers before listening with an open mind and open heart.


And in the meantime, if I do have a fish, it’s OK to share it. I can’t be so stuck on solving the “big picture” problem that I let people starve in front of me because I don’t want to give them a fish that will only last for today.


Sometimes, we need a friend to help us simply get through the day.


So here is my new take on the old quote:


“If we give a hungry person a fish, he will be nourished for a day and experience renewed energy, strength and hope so that together we can figure out what it will take to create a community where he, his children and his neighbors are nourished for a lifetime.”

Voting my Values

Posted by Sue Badeau on November 8, 2016 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Today, as I post this, it is the day before the 2016 election. It has been an ugly season filled with hateful rhetoric. I want to take today to step back and look at how my deepest beliefs have shaped me and influenced the kind of person I have become as well as the decisions I make in the voting booth. I first penned this list in 2007, and updated it today to ensure that it still reflects my deeply-held beliefs. Every single candidate I vote for tomorrow - from the top of the ticket to every local office here in my home of Philadelphia will be the candidate who I feel creates the best path for these values to be implemented and sustained in our communities, our country and our world. Yes, for me, this includes a vote for Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket. I hope you will read the entire blog, below, to understand the thoughts and feelings behind that choice.

 

 

 

"This I Believe"

 

 

 

I was in the audience at a “Faith Forum” in 2007 and the following day, I wrote a few reflections. Today – on the eve of the election of 2016, my reflections seem as relevant and true as they were then, but also even more urgent. So, I share them today almost a decade after originally writing them. These are the beliefs that will underlie my votes tomorrow.

 

 

 

Jim Wallis posed a question to the panelists in 2007, “If you were the president, what kind of moral and political imagination would you bring to finding some real solutions (to issues of poverty)?” When it comes to taking a serious, faith-informed approach to solving significant social justice issues such as poverty, I think the answer is that it requires BOTH personal AND corporate (societal) responsibility. So I will say a little more about both in terms of how this shapes my own approach to advocacy, politics and voting. –

 

 

 

Here is my top ten list:

 

 

 

1. I believe in taking personal responsibility for one's life and choices, including working hard to support yourself and your family.

 

 

 

2. I believe in taking personal responsibility to "do no harm" - ensuring that one's actions do not harm other persons or property (including the natural environment) and leaving other people we come into contact with AND the environment in a better condition than we found them.

 

 

 

3. I believe that we have a corporate responsibility to ensure that the social/economic/political environment is structured in ways that enhance and increase the likelihood that ALL participants in that society can be successful in taking the above personal responsibility. Recognizing that education and good health (both physical and mental) provides an essential foundation, I believe we have a corporate responsibility to ensure that genuine opportunities for and access to quality education and physical and mental health care are available to all. We also must recognize that systemic, structural, and historic racism, misogyny, and other forms of both implicit and explicit bias and historic trauma exist and need to be acknowledged and addressed through meaningful, respectful dialogue and action in communities and in our laws and policies.

 

 

 

4. Similarly, I believe that ANY person (including persons with disabilities) who is taking personal responsibility to work should be able to take home a life-sustaining paycheck, being safe and free from harassment while at work. Therefore, I believe we have a corporate responsibility for creating workplace regulations such as labor and industry health and safety standards, hiring and firing laws (anti-discrimination, etc) and wage standards.

 

 

 

5. I believe in what I call a "consistent ethic of life" and this covers a lot of ground from pre-birth, through death penalty. I believe we have a corporate responsibility to carefully analyze and act upon policies that are most likely to RESULT in the outcome of LIFE rather than just sound bites.

 

 

 

6. I believe in corporate responsibility for protecting and promoting the safety of the citizens, both in terms of national defense and civil safety - which is why while I believe that first and second line responders to safety situations (from the military to police force to fireman to social workers responding to abused children to emergency medical personnel to FEMA) need to have the resources, tools and supports needed to do their jobs well and efficiently and effectively we also need a hard look at and bold action related to our laws and policies related to gun violence, law enforcement, and mass incarceration, dismantling many of the very structures that promote and sustain a country in which far too many of our citizens are not safe in their daily lives.

 

 

 

7. I also believe there is a corporate responsibility to provide care and safety and well-being for the "least of these" among us particularly children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and those who are truly trying to take "personal responsibility" for their lives but are unable to do to circumstances out of their control, whether natural disasters in their communities or man-made disasters on a socio-economic scale.

 

 

 

8. I believe we have a corporate responsibility to care for our environment and to ensure that there will continue to be safe air, water and other natural resources for our children and future generations.

 

 

 

9. I believe that government serves us best when it focuses on the areas defined as true corporate responsibility and when it gets out of the way otherwise. So I believe in less government intrusion in areas related to personal lifestyle choices.

 

 

 

10. Finally, I believe every person in our society should have the freedom to worship - or not - in the manner or their choosing. As for me, personally, I am a Christian who loves Jesus and takes my faith very seriously and it is precisely that faith that informs and motivates all of the other beliefs that I have put forward above. I believe that these views are completely consistent with Biblical Christianity, however, I do not feel that a person would have to be a Christian to share these views and I believe that my fellow citizens, family members, and friends who are atheists, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, of from any other faith traiditon should have equal access to every opportunity our country affords and be treated with equal dignity and respect in their day-to-day lives without fear for their safety.

Art in the Family!

Posted by Sue Badeau on October 13, 2016 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Sharing this "cross-over" blog my publisher posted about our new book and inviting any of my blog readers to join us on Friday October 14th, 7-9 PM at the Big Blue Marble Bookstore in Philadelphia for a local launch and book signing. We will share stories, free sample coloring pages, wine, chocolate and good times. If you live far from Philly but would like us to come do an event in your area, please contact me!  Thanks 


"Art Draws Our Family Closer Together"





The Magnolia Still Rises

Posted by Sue Badeau on September 26, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

When, in my travels, I come upon a magnolia tree, I cannot help but to hear the hauntingly painful and yet beautiful voice of Billie Holiday singing "Strange Fruit." (written by Abel Meeropol in 1937) You can listen to it here if you like.


Today, I shared a profoundly moving experience with two close friends, sisters, comrades in social justice work. We stood at the foot of an exquisite magnolia, a magnolia that had served as the "whipping post" on the former slave plantation, transformed into a school and college to educate African American students and transformed more recently by the UCC into a retreat center (learn more here)


Whipping post.


Tears came, almost immediately as we approached this grand tree with such a complex and profound history. 


I used to write poetry a lot. I don't so much any more, but today, the words spilled out and formed a poem. I share it with you here. - First the photos of the moment that inspired this poem:








The Magnolia Still Rises


Mighty magnolia

Rising skyward, powerful aroma

Roots deep in the rich soil

Soil darkened by the blood

of my African brothers and sisters

Sons, daughters

Men, women, children

“Unruly” slaves they were called


Brought to Franklinton to break them

Whip them

Lash

Lash

Lash

Are you broken yet?


On this earth

In this soil

blood mingles with tears

Tears of weeping mothers

whose babies’ backs

Are shredded and ribboned with scars


On this earth

In this soil

blood mingles with

Sweat and saliva

The sweat of slave overseers breathing heavily

as they wield the whip 

The saliva of slave masters as they spit at the men,

Women, children who brave the pain stoically

Or with shrieking cries

Spitting at them to deny their humanity

Spitting so not to see them

Not to hear them


Whip them

Lash

Lash

Lash

Are you broken yet?


But look,

the magnolia still rises

Her branches still strong

Her scent still perfumes the air

Triggering Pain,

tears

Memories deep in the core

of the soul


The magnolia still rises

Her branches laden with seed pods

Ready to salt the earth with new growth

New hopes

New dreams

New visions for a brighter day

When the magnolia blossom

may once again smell fragrant


In solidarity we press our hands

Into her trunk

Sharing the pain of generations

Expressing the hope within us


The magnolia still rises

We will not be broken.



Let's Be Brave Together

Posted by Sue Badeau on August 31, 2016 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A few weeks ago, I gave a speech at the North American Council on Adoptable Children's Annual Conference. I have had several requests for copies of this speech, so I decided to post it here as a blog post. This is longer than my usual blog, but I hope you enjoy it. 


COURAGE Good afternoon. I am here today to talk to you about courage. The courage it takes to keep moving forward in your journey even when the path is dark, the clouds are gathered and the terrain is terrifying.


How many of you remember watching the movie version of The Wizard of Oz as a child? Then you may remember this speech….


“Courage! … What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the Sphinx the Seventh Wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the ape in ape-ricot? What have they got that I ain't got? (Courage) You can say that again!”


I’d like to share a few things we can learn about courage from the cowardly lion and a few other sources that have meaning in my own life – I hope they will be meaningful to you as well. I need to start by telling you the truth – it is taking a tremendous amount of courage for me to stand up here in front of you to give this speech today. You may not realize that because I am a speaker. I speak in front of crowds like this nearly every week. Why would today be any different?


Exactly 4 weeks ago today, on a sunny summer Saturday just like this one, my fourteen-year-old grandson, Destin, died. He drowned in a tragic and wholly unexpected accident that nearly ripped my heart out and tore my legs from under me. I wasn’t sure if I could go on with my responsibilities to my family, my work, or to this speaking engagement. Continuing to put one foot in front of the other after losing a child requires a super-human kind of courage. A kind of courage no person, least of all me, has on their own.


So how is it that after such an unspeakable loss, so recent, so raw, I am able to stand before you today? It is in part because of my faith, but I will tell you the truth, the loss of a child is something that rocks even the foundation of your faith – in moments like this, I need more.


It is in part because of my family – and I am so thankful for my entire family - especially for the three members of my family that are here with me today – Hector – Chelsea – Renee. We draw courage from one another. And yet, I tell you the truth – when an entire family goes through a trauma such as this, we need more.


And so I think of another time I was at a NACAC conference in Columbus Ohio. One of the days before our time ended, I took Renee and my grandson Daniel to the Olentangy Indian Caverns to explore the underground caves. When we were at the top of one particularly dark and deep portion of the caverns, I saw Daniel’s eyes widen like saucers. His mom, Renee, asked him if he was frightened. He didn’t reply. I could see the fear on his face and it mirrored mine – it DID look a little scary down there.


“I wouldn’t blame you if you were scared, Daniel,” I said to him – peering into the abyss. “It looks scary to me; I am not sure I want to go down there.”


At that moment, his face changed as he reached his small hand out to hold mine. “It’s OK, Nanna,” he said, grasping my hand. “We can do this. Let’s be brave together.” “Let’s be brave together.” He shared a bit of his courage with me, I shared a little of mine with him, and together we had just enough courage to take the next step on that dark and scary path.


I learned something about courage that day, and out of it came the title for this talk, a title and a talk I planned months ago, long before I knew that tragedy would befall me in the days before I was to arrive at this podium.


So, while I am shaky both inside and out, I want to go forward and share these thoughts with you – because I know there are times when we all need just a little bit more courage to get through the day.


Of course, surviving the loss of a child takes courage, as do some of the other “BIG” crises or events that many kin, foster and adoptive parents often face –


The times when a child is arrested

Tries to burn down your house

Steals your car.

The call from the hospital that your child is injured from a car wreck

Or suffering from a drug overdose

Or experiencing a psychotic break


These are but a few examples of the BIG moments when we need more. No matter how deep our faith, no matter how close-knit our family, in moments like these – we need more – we need someone to come alongside us and say, “You can do this – let’s be brave together.”


But there are also many, many moments every single day as we live with and love our children, or seek to support older youth on the brink of that big scary abyss of adulthood – there are so many moments in everyday life that also take courage. It takes courage to………..


Return the 14th phone call from the school about your child – when it is only Tuesday


It takes courage to tell your relatives you will NOT attend a family BBQ because your will not expose your African American children to your racist uncle John.


It takes courage to call your boss – again – explaining why you will be late for work as you try to coax a child experiencing a trauma trigger to come out from under the kitchen table.


It takes courage to fire a therapist because you know that they are not helping your child.


It takes courage to open the door to your house and let the social service agency worker come in when you have no idea how they will judge your house, your parenting style, your kids . . . .


We expect, we demand courage from the children and youth we serve, from the families that care for them and from the professionals that serve them in ways both large and small and sometimes we don’t even realize how much courage it takes just to get through the day.


A week ago, Senator Cory Booker shared an African proverb at a political convention. Funny, I don’t think he knew I had planned to share it with you today, but hey, great minds think alike – right? He said, In Africa we having a saying, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.


Friends, family, fellow advocates for children – we want to go far.


We want our children to go far. We have HIGH HOPES for health, healing, wholeness and happiness for ourselves and every child we care about. And the only way we are able to do that is if we go together. You are not alone. Do not try this journey alone. We only come out standing at the end of the day when we take this journey together.


The Bible has another way of saying a similar sentiment, in Proverbs it say- Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


A cord of THREE strands – a cord of three strands is called a braid. We need to knit and weave and braid ourselves together in order to be the strongest cord, the unbreakable cord that carries us and sustains us through the everyday challenges as well as life’s BIG crises.


We need others as mentors, guides and companions. We need their leadership, expertise, experience and fellowship. That is essentially what post-adoption services are about. Ensuring that every parent, every caregiver and every youth has their cord of three strands. And we need a full array of services - Peer-to-peer mentors, support groups, information and referral, quality training, education and therapeutic options, respite care, treatment programs – the full array.


Each of those types of services or supports are strands, strands that when braided together form the cord from which families can draw the strength, wisdom and courage to continue walking the path with their children. We can’t go it alone because we were not designed that way.


Brene Brown says, "We are hard-wired for connection. There is no arguing with bio-science…Connection, along with love and belonging, is why we are here, and it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives.”


Trauma experts talk not about the cord of three strands but about the three pillars of trauma-informed care – safety, emotional regulation and connection. Parents and children need all three of these crucial pillars, which in turn, form the foundation for increased resilience and well-being.


I want you to reflect for a moment on a favorite memory – a simple memory – maybe a spring day, a walk, a delicious meal, shared laughter. As your favorite memories come to mind, notice who you are with. Who are the people that have been and continue to be there for you in good times, once-in-a-lifetime moments and mundane events of everyday life?


Some memories are sad. Tears may flow. Let them come. Notice, again, who is with you? Who has been there to share your tears, understand your sorrows?


Think about a time you asked for help. Who did you call? If you needed to call someone for help today – who would it be? Who will you call when you need advice, help with a child or aging parent, a health issue?


Remember a time when you were the one reaching out, lending an ear, a shoulder, or a hand to a loved one in need.


You are part of many circles of support, giving at times, receiving at other times. Repeat this exercise from time to time, reflecting on those who make up your circles of support. Savor and value the consistent and lasting relationships in your life. Help your child to create and value their own circle of connections the people that affirm for them that they are loved, supported and cared for over time.


One of my own favorite childhood memories takes me back to the character and movie scene I quoted for you at the beginning of my talk. The Wizard of Oz. Back then we didn’t have 24-7 Television, Netflix or the internet. If you wanted to watch a show, you had to plan your time around watching it when it actually came on. So it was a big event we looked forward to every year – that special night when the Wizard of Oz would come on TV. You watched it with your own family, but you knew all your friends were watching it too. It was a shared, communal experience.


Today – when we can get instant access to everything, we need to remember the value of those shared, communal events. We need to provide ourselves, our families and our children opportunities to see and viscerally feel that they are not alone.


WE are not alone. I am not alone. YOU are not alone.


We are ALL in this together, we are stronger together, we will go farther when we go together. We have more courage when we share little bits and pieces we do have with one another.


The so-called cowardly lion learned that he had all the courage he needed through his relationship with others – through walking a scary path and completing a difficult journey with Dorothy, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow – he both gave and received courage. He stepped out and acted with bravery even when he didn’t know if he had any. And at the end of the movie, the Wizard didn’t need to give him courage, the wizard only had to give him a medal of honor to affirm and validate the courage that was already within him.


The medal read: “For meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, conspicuous bravery against wicked witches I award you the triple cross – you are now a member of the legion of courage”


Remember - “You are not alone. You can do this. Let’s be brave together.”


THANK YOU 


Please Sir, I want some more

Posted by Sue Badeau on March 25, 2016 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (2)

There is a famous scene in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, vividly portrayed in the movie version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4iEdMMjqdA ) when young Oliver, filled with both terror and bravado, takes his empty gruel bowl to the head of the table and says, “Please Sir, I want some more.”


This scene encapsulates many of Dickens’ themes in the novel, as he calls out the inhumanity of the gross structural systems that existed to fatten the wealthy and powerful, while keeping the poor in their place - starving not only for food but for the basics of human kindness, affection and dignity.


Last night, I attended the traditional Maundy Thursday Service of Tenebrae, the commemoration of Jesus’ last supper on earth with his disciples prior to his betrayal and the events that led to his death by crucifixion on this day, Good Friday. It is one of my favorite services of the year, deeply moving and emotionally powerful.


However, as we read and reflected on the familiar passage in I Corinthians chapter eleven about the Lord’s Supper, I was struck more than ever before with the lines that are often overlooked – verses 17 – 22. This is one of Paul’s harshest admonishments of the early church. He is sharply criticizing the manner in which they have been conducting Lord’s Supper services. As we read his words and dig deeper into the historical context, I realized that a communion service in the early church would have looked more like the scene I described from Oliver Twist than any ritualized communion service we might be familiar with today.


And what was the substance of Paul’s criticism? Was it about their theology? Was he teaching them the finer points of biblical exegesis? NO! He was chastising them for the way they allowed the existing power structures to infiltrate their relationships with one another even in this sacred meal. Many were becoming drunk and fattened, while others were starving not only for food but for human kindness and dignity.


Jesus did not come, live among humans, suffer the cross and rise again merely to introduce a new theology. He came to bring about dramatic change in the very structures of how we, as humans, relate to and interact with not only God but with one another. Just as he totally upended the tables of the "money-changers" in the temple, he wants to totally upend the way we live our lives not only as individuals, but collectively in community. He wants us to disrupt the evil nature of the structural systems that fatten some while starving others.


We may have cleaned up our approach to communion services, but we still have a world in which s a few grow fat while many starve. Paul’s admonition to the early church is reminiscent of of the words in Isaiah 58:


“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread [c]with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn,"


As we take moments for silent reflection on this dark Good Friday, waiting for the great light of Easter morning to break out like dawn, let us imagine a world where every child, every little Oliver Twist, has enough – a belly filled with good food, a heart filled with genuine love and compassion, a spirit filled with the tender touch of God offered through human hands.


Hands such as ours.


Will you divide your bread with the hungry today? Will I? Let us engage in the chosen fast and rejoice together then our light breaks out on the dawn of Sunday morning.

Color My Word with Hope! New Book Announcement

Posted by Sue Badeau on March 17, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)



Check out the blog my publisher, Helping Hands Press, just posted about my upcoming new release: Building Bridges of Hope: A Coloring Book for Adults Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma. 


The Top Ten list on Speaking UP with boldness, wisdom AND grace

Posted by Sue Badeau on March 14, 2016 at 10:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Some call this the "silly season" - that time on the U.S. calendar when politics reaches a crazy and fevered pitch. I would suggest this year it has become the "ugly season."  Language and actions - both by the would-be leaders and their followers -  have become hostile, hateful and harmful. Its enough to make you want to crawl under a rock until it is all over. 


But that is not really an option for people of faith called to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet of justice and mercy here on earth. 


I have shared some of these principles in past writings but today it felt like a good time to re-visit and post my "Top Ten" list for speaking up in this wildnerness of the modern age.


The Bible is filled with people – Esther, Micah, James, Isaiah, Timothy - who plead the cause of the poor, oppressed and afflicted in a constructive, humble and loving manner while not compromising on God’s truths and desire for justice for all. If you’re a writer or speaker advocating for the voiceless, consider this list of  “Top 10” tips to add power to your words.


1. Identity as an advocate - An advocate is one who “pleads the cause of another,” a role God has clearly charged us with– “Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless . . .”(Psalm 82:3-4). Don’t be afraid or ashamed to call yourself an advocate.


2. Choose your cause wisely - Deuteronomy 15:11, Psalm 82, Isaiah 1:17 and Hebrews 13:3 and many more scriptures guide us to align our passion with God’s causes. You can’t be the voice for all people. Choose and target your message. Pray. Ask God to give you a laser focus for your message. God is particularly concerned with those who are on the “margins” of society – often named the orphan, widow, alien, stranger, or identified by their current lot in life such as those who are sick, imprisoned or impoverished.


3. Prepare - Gather information. Know your facts. Proverbs continually reminds us to gain knowledge and wisdom before spouting off! Isaiah 1:17 instructs us to “learn to do good,” – being a powerful advocate doesn’t come naturally. While stories touch hearts and open minds, it is important not to base your writing or speaking on a single story – read and study about your topic so that your stories, writing and speaking will be infused and informed by the facts.


4. Speak with confidence – “Open your mouth!” Proverbs 31:8-9 proclaims. Be bold! Open your mouth – and direct your pen - for those counting on your voice blasting through the cacophony of useless or meaningless or even false and misleading information bombarding us daily.


5. Speak with grace – Never let passion, boldness and confidence be an excuse for being angry, hostile or strident. Season all your writing and speech with messages of grace and hope (Colossians 4:6) Tweet this


6. Speak with humility – You can be bold and humble. Don’t be a “know-it-all.” You will be wrong at times. Be willing to adjust as you gain new understanding, wisdom and allies. Remember, for now we only know and understand “in part” and one day we may be surprised about the things we were wrong about. I Corinthians 13:12


7. Be respectful of the “other side” – We know about loving our enemies, but too many Christians speak with arrogance, disdain or outright hostility. Remember, even those with whom we disagree are created in God’s image. . Understand that there are real human beings with beating hearts, tender spirits, strengths and frailties on both or all sides of any issue. Never villainize those you disagree with. Never disparage the opposition, speak truth with passion, grace and humility- the Spirit will do the rest.


8. Persist! - Remember widow and the judge? He didn’t care about her cause - he wanted her to stop pestering him. When you feel that your message is falling on deaf ears, it’s time to dig in and double down, not to quit! (Luke 18:4-5)


9. Be Political –Don’t shy away from politics. God’s passion for justice is needed in halls of power. Orphans, widows, aliens, prisoners, the poor, the disabled, the needy – they rarely have a voice in these places, so don’t shy away. Read Isaiah 10:1-2, Isaiah 58 and I Timothy 2 when you need a biblical pep talk!


10. Be Grateful – When we speak for the voiceless we draw closer to God’s own heart! What a privilege! Demonstrate gratitude, and remember how God views your advocacy: "


"He defended the cause of the poor and needy,  and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?"        declares the LORD." Jeremiah 22:16

Interview with an Author

Posted by Sue Badeau on March 3, 2016 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

My friend and fellow author, Peggy Blann Phifer, recently interviewed me and features this interview on her blog this morning. Hop on over and check it out!  Interview with Sue Badeau - Peggy worked with me on the Sweetland stories (see my store for the series) and then developed a spin-off of her own using some of my characters - teen girls in foster care yearning for a permanent family - to create her own wonderful stories.  What a fun collaboration and a great way to continue spreading the word that no child is ever too old for a family! 

Velvety Curried Broccoli Cauliflower Soup

Posted by Sue Badeau on February 18, 2016 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Perfect Soup for Lent

So, I have only used my blog to post a recipe one or two times in the past, but today I could not resist.  When Hector and I were first married, we loved broccoli-leek soup and I have made variations of it over the years.  But they all used chicken stock as the base and included milk (cream).  Now that it is Lent, and I am eating a totally vegan diet (Daniel Fast) I wanted to experiment and create a vegan version.  


Oooooh laaaa laaaa - it is to die for if I do say so myself, so I just had to share!


It is my turn to make the soup for our church "bread and broth" shared Wednesday night meals, so the recipe below makes enough for a crowd.  But I am sure it will freeze well if you want to make a big batch and then freeze some for quick meals on hectic days.  Anway - I do hope you will try it and send me your thoughts!


The star of this recipe is really the homemade curry powder.  I use equal parts coriander, tumeric, chili powder, cumin and about half as much cardamom, cinnamon, fenugreek and cayenne. Then a dash of ground cloves and black pepper.  You can also find lots of homemade curry powder recipes online or use a commercial blend.


Here are the rest of the ingredients: 




1 large onion, diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, diced and crushed with the back of your knife

3 TBSP olive oil

8-10 large mushrooms, sliced

1 TBSP salt

1 TBSP Adobo seasoning

2  tsp each black pepper, oregano, thyme, parsley, garam masala and red pepper flakes

6 cups vegan broth

2-3 cups water

1 large head of broccoli, chopped

1 large head of cauliflower, chopped

2 large carrots chopped

1 cup leftover mashed potatoes

1 16-ounce can coconut milk

1 16 ounce can condensed tomato soup

Coconut-milk plain yogurt for garnish (optional)


Directions:

1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot, then add onion, garlic and mushrooms, stir for several minutes until mushrooms are softened and onions are golden

2. Add 2 TBSP curry powder and all other seasonings, stir until veggies are coated with seasonings

3. Add broth, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, bring to a boil

4. Once it is boiling, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 30 minutes until veggies are fork-soft

5. Add mashed potatoes and stir thoroughly

6. Turn off heat and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes

7. Add coconut milk and condensed soup, allow to cool for another 30 minutes

8. In small batches, blend soup in blender or food processer until smooth and velvety

9. Reheat and Serve with a dollop of coconut milk yogurt as a garnish (if desired)






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