Kate Motaung

Share Your Secret and Save Someone’s Life

Keeping Family Problems a Secret Three years ago, when our youngest daughter agreed to co-write a series with me on her mental health journey, I felt trepidation. Would telling our family secret—that we suffered from a mental illness—change people’s opinions about us? Sure, blog readers and close family friends already know that our family had struggled—one daughter handled her teenage angst by cutting. The other by eating too healthfully (when it becomes an obsession and you lose weight they call…

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Do We Adapt to Injustice From Lack of Awareness?

May We Never Adapt to Injustice The name Trayvon Martin brings an instant image of a young man looking out from the hood of his sweatshirt with soulful eyes. We know the facts—a young black man walks through an ethnically diverse neighborhood when a vigilante half-Hispanic man shoots and kills him during an ‘altercation.’ Twenty years ago, the incident might not have garnered public attention. Due to social media and the Black Lives Matter movement, we have learned to adapt…

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When I’m Stuck at a Genius Bar Miles From Home

Stuck at the Bar I’m stuck at a Genius Bar waiting for my scheduled 6:15 Genius to show up and magically solve my problems. He shows up at 6:50. I struggle to remain patient and civil when he informs me that he can’t fix my computer tonight. They don’t have batteries for my computer in stock. Replacing it takes time. I did not have time. A visit to the Apple store requires a 3 1/2 hour drive, a personal day…

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How to Turn a Burden into Blessing

A Turn in the Trail The trail twists and makes another turn, I lift my eyes, hoping to see the narrow, wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff. Three-mile Resthouse seems further away than the sign had promised when I left Indian Garden. I leaned on my hiking poles, hoping to ease the load on my legs by doing some of the work with my arms. When the building came into view, I heaved a sigh of relief…

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How to Release Racism From Your Life

Release. Relinquish. Give up. A furor on the campus of a small Christian university has brought home, once again, the power of ignorance to hurt and shame others. The scenario? Five students with facial masks (apparently charcoal masks), had their photo snapped. The owner of the phone posted the photo on Snapchat and added the university’s logo filter and the hashtag #PrettyHurts as well as the word Wakanda. Racist or ignorant? Overt racism or an innocent moment wrongly interpreted by…

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What Happens When You Settle for a Theory Without Investigation?

Never Settle for a Lack of Knowledge The whole Flat Earth Theory started me thinking about how, throughout history, people have espoused theories without testing them for truth—and ended up hurting other people. Take the theory that North America only had a few people living on it in the 1400s and needed a new race to settle and tame the land. I learned that theory back in grade school, and nothing in my high school or college classes taught me…

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Five Routines to Deepen Your Spiritual Life

Routines Build Relationships Face it, without routines in relationships, the relationship would slowly dry up. Back in the days before Internet, when Pedro and I first started dating, we wrote to each other on a daily basis during the long summers we spent apart. Those letters represent a routine of communication that built our relationship. We didn’t write flowery poems or repeat the same sentiment over and over again. We just shared with each other how our day had gone,…

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The Perfect Prescription for Tired

What Wears Me Out Tired creeps into my bones. Projects. Meetings. Frustrating reports that I have to do and re-do because the manual doesn’t give clear instructions. Grading papers. More meetings. Preparing for classes, but always just one step ahead of the students. Did I mention meetings? People wear me out. Cold, dry days and freezing, dark nights march across the calendar. An occasional stunning sunrise breaks the monotony. Pink and gold fluffy sunsets yield no rain, though. The lawn…

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Regret is the Piranha in My Soul

The Piranha of Regret Regret eats away at the soul, nibbling tiny piranha bites from memories. Unlike the murky waters of the Amazon, though, regret lives solo in the fish tank of our souls. Woulda, shoulda, coulda, form relentless chanting as we shake our memories over the tank. Envisioning different outcomes if only we had noticed sooner that our daughters sliced in pain. Surely, we could have orchestrated other outcomes by better vigilance and deeper understanding. A kinder word, a…

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Beauty Lurks in Unexpected Places

Beauty Lurks Beauty lurks in unexpected places hoarfrost springs from a shriveled red berry beneath a subzero sky Beauty hovers at wood’s edge speckled fawn twitching elegant ears, blinks slowly in dappled sunshine. Beauty hides behind dark clouds sunrise stretches fingers out across the water filled with snowy geese. Beauty peeks from angry eyes, of a girl too young to carry life’s burdens on slender shoulders, itching to escape Beauty manifests hope as a young man reaches out a hand…

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