Dee's Blog
Fri 04/24/2009
Living as if the Present is What Matters Most
Topic: Making Changes

Since I last posted in February, I've been learning the joy of living as if the present is what matters most.  I think I've always lived that way, to an extent.  Yet, the older I get, the more I tend to forget this.  There's something about aging that can keep one focused on the past more than is healthy.  OR be concerned about future needs that may appear to be somewhat threatened, by one issue or another.

This morning, I got up with my day all planned out.  Was gonna start with this blog.  I had a list of fun things and 1-2 not-so-fun.  Managed to get in a picnic with my hubby since spring has briefly arrived today.  Oh, how glorious!  

Then, the day got re-arranged with a frig problem that is reminding me of how much I depend on this freezing luxury.

Tomorrow, perhaps I'll get to something of more substance.

Yet as I was removing the magnets from my frig this afternoon, I stopped to contemplate a very deep thought.  The magnet says something about surviving being a good thing, but "thriving is elegant." 

As meaningful as this has been to me, I'm just wondering today.  Maybe it's a good thing to sometimes say:  "Thriving is a good thing, but "surviving is elegant."  I say this after visiting a 93-year-old neighbor today.  And just hours after getting the call that my oldest former student (also in his 90's) died yesterday.  I really think this is the important lesson that I've learned from him, come to think of it. 

So, I'll pass it on to you.  Surviving is NOT bad at all.  It's when we are striving to "thrive" that we often get into the valley of unrealistic expectations. 

For just today, try living in the present.   Enjoy the springtime!


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 3:17 PM CDT
Wed 02/11/2009
Focusing on Podcasts

Some have written out of concern that I am either ill or abandoning my ministry of education and support to those who are wrestling with the questions of collusion with sexual and domestic abuse.

I want to assure you that neither is the case.  I simply have felt the need to use my time more efficiently and to focus on other avenues of this ministry. 

Much of my focus has been on preparing podcasts for the use of  that will be available to visitors on that site.  All of these can be found at   You'll also find each of these individual podcasts referred to at various locations throughout the site.  However, ALL podcasts can be accessed at

If you find any of these helpful, I'd like to know.  And I want to continue hearing from any visitor to the site who wishes to write.  I remain committed and hope you will take time to explore the topics that are found on this blog already.  Each one is as timely as the day it was written. 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:29 PM CST
Fri 01/02/2009
Accessing Entries

The blog entries are organized by topic.  They can be accessed through the links at the right.  Regardless of the date of each entry, I trust that you will find them just as applicable to your needs today as they have ever been.

If you have questions about anything on this blog or on anything you find at , please do not hesitate to let me know.  I will answer as promptly as possible.

Dee Ann Miller

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Thu 01/01/2009
A New Year with New Aspirations
Topic: Making Changes

Happy New Year to all of you!   I hope you are looking forward more than you are looking backward, as you anticipate a new year. 

As the song says, "time keeps slipping into the future." 

I hope that I am able to make a ton of positive changes in 2009, in the "story" that living this life allows me to "write."  I also hope that I have many more years to make a difference in the lives of the people I meet. 

After twenty years of advocacy writing, I'm making a major shift this year.  Always with the option of shifting back as my heart leads me. 

What I have written about collusion, as well as all the other topics that I've touched on, through this website and through books and publications, is out there.  The written word continues to do it's on work and have a life of it's own.  That's the beauty of it.

For me, the greatest part about writing is having the opportunity to connect with readers.  That's something I plan to continue doing, as I hear from people with specific questions or needs.

My mission in life has not changed.  It has only changed focus throughout my adult life.  Always seeking to give of myself in whatever I do, as an expression of my faith, my spirituality, my sklls, and belief system--all of them constantly evolving.

I am not closing this blog today.  However, with this entry, I am taking a break in order to explore some other avenues of reaching out and personal development. 

As I will explain again tomorrow, in a much briefer note:  The blog entries can always be accessed by topics (found on this page), and I hope that you and other readers will return to review each topic as it fits your needs.

Please feel free--each of you--to drop me a line.  I will do my best to answer, as always, as quickly as possible, while returning to my focus of responding with the most urgency to new contacts. 

If you wish to be informed, when and if I resume the almost daily entries, please drop me an e-mail.

Thank you for walking with me this far.  I wish you the best as you seek to develop companionships on your individual journey.  Please embrace that journey, wherever it leads you.   Remember that I am there in spirit and interested to hear from you.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 4:09 PM CST
Mon 12/29/2008
Out of the Mouth of a Grandchild
Topic: Aliens

Sometimes discrimination just sticks out like a sore thumb.

Other times, we adults see differences and find ourselves feeling very awkward as we try to show sensitivity to someone who has an obvious burden or handicap.  

Little children can be so good at accepting differences.  I suppose it's because they haven't had a lot of time to practice rationalizations that allow them to feel separated from people with differences.  In fact, they have a way of seeing "handicaps" in a different light altogether.

Like all of our grandchildren, 4-year-old Kellyn has never seen her grandfather walking without a serious limp, caused by a severe spinal injury 45 years ago.  In fact, I suspect that one thing children adore most about him is that this limitation never allows him to get ahead of them.

Tonight as Kellyn and her sister made their way upstairs at bedtime, I didn't pay much attention to Kellyn's waddling side to side, until she proudly announced:  "I'm trying to learn to walk like Papa!" 

Oh, that we could have such a perspective about so many things that set others apart!

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 8:24 PM CST
Updated: Mon 12/29/2008 8:26 PM CST
Thu 12/25/2008
A New Carol
Topic: Christmas

Sojourners magazine ( calls it a subversive carol.  They invite us to all sing it this year.  I just sung every word.  Living it will be much harder, but I'm working on it as I'm trying to re-imagine Christmas in some new ways this year.  I think you'll know, as soon as you read the first two lines, what tune to bellow out.

May you have a very merry christmas and a peace and justice new year, as well--all year long!

Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,
Set your heart a-right.
Flee the malls and focus on Christ’s guiding light.

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,
Give your time a way.
Share God’s love, And serve “the least of these” today.

Here we are, as we pray for peace,
We’ll live simply and give more.
We care for those far and near to us,
Which brings cheer to us, once more.

God brings down
The haughty from high places,
And lifts up the low.
God cares for the hungry and the humble, so –
Forget the stress and let the peace and justice flow!

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Wed 12/24/2008
Time to Connect
Topic: Christmas

Many victims of violence say that they feel disconnected from the world, as if they no longer belong.  Christmas offers us a time to connect in some ways we may have forgotten, through meaningful traditions that have not been ruined by the actions of others.

May you focus this week on the ways that remain and the people who are still strong in your life, rather the ones who may have brought sorrow or, through their actions, have robbed you of a sense of well-being.

More importantly, may we all find ways to connect and be compassionate toward those whom we may have harmed.  Especially those that we have unknowingly harmed through omissions.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Tue 12/23/2008
Healing Shame
Topic: Shame

The church is responsible for finding it's own healing from shame.  It will only come when it is able to separate it's own collective guilt from shame--same as every individual among us. 

What better time to allow this process to begin than at Christmas. 

As the words from the carol "Let All Moral Flesh" say:

"Christ our God to earth descendeth," Note that this is on-going, not exclusively past nor future.  Always giving us new opportunity.


Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Mon 12/22/2008
Topic: Shame

Sometimes when I'm feeling threatened or shamed, I can so easily fall into the ditch of arrogancy.  Same as people of institutional power.  Isn't it odd how the powerless and the powerful can so easily fall into the same ditch?  The powerful, hiding their immense shame with denial, while fearing they will lose power if they admit to having it.  The powerless (or less powerful, actually) fearing shame at being beaten down further.

Recognizing this in others, we can smile inwardly.   If both parties could simply be honest enough to talk about the things that unite us all--shame and insecurity, for whatever reason--then, and only then, is there a hope for real change. 

Perhaps that was what Christ was trying to say to us all.  That's the Joy that can come from the dark night--if only we all stop trying to be perfect, stop expecting others to be, accepting the fact that we can only work for things to get better.  Thereby, acting with true compassion. 

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST
Sun 12/21/2008
Time to Stop Being Cool
Topic: Shame

Today in Iowa, we aren't cool.  We are downright cold, with several inches of ice under our feet and snow on top of it!

That's not the kind of cool that endangers us if we are trying to live an authentic life, a life where we are emotionally honest and not ashamed to say how we feel.

Society doesn't encourage authenticity.  Western cultures encourage us to be "cool."

Being "cool" in the church isn't the same as being "cool" in our culture.  Yet either kind of "cool" is a killer.  To authenticity, that is.

Shame resiliency means that I am confident, rather than easily shamed by people who need for me to fit into the belief system or feelings of everyone else.

Posted by Dee Ann Miller at 12:01 AM CST

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