Monday, October 24, 2011


I've had a lot of you inquiring about what is happening and I figured I should update you all here.

Jay is still at The Retreat. He is doing well. I won't say it is all sunshine and roses, because it is most definitely not. But the light is shining brighter in him and each day he moves forward a little more.

Physically, he just looks better. His skin has color and his eyes have light again. He has a spark of life in him that has been missing for many years. At times, he is angry about things and I see that as a good sign--he is finally FEELING. After many years of numbing himself with alcohol, those feelings can be both good and bad. And the compulsion towards addiction isn't ever going to leave him--but he is learning how to manage it.

We talk several times a day and I spend five hours with him each Sunday. We are communicating differently than we ever have before, even before things got really bad. I have great hope for our future. I don't want our marriage back--I want a new marriage that is honest. We were both playing the roles that we thought were right but we managed to screw it up. I'm just thankful we get a second chance!

Next week I will spend four days at a family retreat at The Retreat. I won't spend much time with Jay--this retreat is meant for the family only. I will learn so much about how we got here and how we move forward. After all, alcoholism is a family disease and this will be part of us as we move forward.

So that is where we are at! I am doing pretty good, although I don't know how single moms manage! I am beat by the time dinner is done. I'm taking as much work as Bethel will give me to try and pay for this treatment which takes away any "free" time I might have. But all of it--the stress, the exhaustion, the aloneness--is worth it if it means I get to have my family back together.

While we were separated, the kids would ask me if Dad was going to come home. Since I really didn't know (and was pretty sure at times that he wasn't) I instead told them that God has a plan for us and His plan is good. It may be different than our plan but His plan is always better than what we want. I truly believe that now, really for the first time in my life. I've never been tested and always assumed that what I wanted was best so of course God would want the same. But this time I had to accept that God's plan for me might include divorce and it was out of my hands. I can look at all that has happened and see God's hand in all of it. I can see how it all had to happen in order for my life to be set right again. I think that is what keeps me from feeling bitter and angry--we had to go through the darkness to reach the light.

My new favorite song: Thank You for Hearing Me by The David Crowder Band. I nearly fell over yesterday in church as we sang it--so simple yet so perfect.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Retreat

Many things have transpired over the last five days, culminating in my husband checking himself into The Retreat for addiction treatment and recovery. I am so proud of him for taking this step that I can't really find the words to explain it.

This is by far the hardest, most uncomfortable thing he has ever done. It isn't easy and from the brief talks I have had with since yesterday, he desperately wants to check himself out. I hope he can stick with it because treatment became one of my non-negotiables in moving forward.

I will write more about this later; in the meantime, here is his address until November 12. Please drop him a note of support or encouragement if you feel led to. Thank you for all the support you have given me during this time-- now we have the chance to support Jay.

Jay Olson

C/o The Retreat

1221 Wayzata Boulevard East

Wayzata, MN 55391

Thursday, October 13, 2011

beautiful disaster

Proverbs 16:9

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.