Serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change

Hello, friends! I’m flying to Seattle on this beautiful, snowy morning for an attachment and trauma training, followed by the Refresh  Conference.

Actually, I was supposed to leave last night, but my flight was canceled due to the lack of a plane. At our small airport, the plane has to arrive from Seattle in order for the next group of folks to board and take off.

The wind was blowing and it was snowing hard as the incoming flight prepared to land. After three passes of the runway, the pilot determined the visibility wasn’t good enough for him to land and he headed back to Seattle.

I rebooked my flight for late this morning and came home with a very happy son who was glad to have his mom home one more night. We snuggled up and read Wonder before he went to bed.

There was a time when a glitch like this would churn me up, make me super intense and unhappy, or at the very least, twitchy. God is teaching me to let go of the things I can’t control.

This is a learning process for me, but I’m becoming more adept and determining what I can control and what I can’t. I can’t control weather, flights, my children, my husband, my friends. I can only control myself, and I often struggle enough with that.

The Serenity Prayer asks that we will know the difference between the things we have the power to change and those we don’t.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

This may require learning new skills, like deep breathing, praying without ceasing, and caring for ourselves in stressful moments. We may need to give up old habits, like frantically looking for solutions when there are none, pacing, making ourselves physically sick, or self-medicating with substances or food. We may also need to learn to be quiet when we are tempted to say harsh, critical things.

This is a life lesson worth embracing.

I’ve made a couple new videos you can see here, or on my OTM Facebook page, OR  on my new OTM YouTube channel.

If you are coming to Refresh, be sure to say hello! I’ll be easy to find Saturday morning at the early morning mom’s gathering. Don’t miss it!

I can’t wait to write and share what I learn from the attachment and trauma training. I know there will be many gems for you.

I will be posting on my OTM Instagram and most likely a lot on my Insta Story.

I send you my love! With courage and hope for the journey,


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. AmyE
    February 26, 2018

    After years of wishing I could go to Refresh, my husband and I are finally going to be there. The likelihood that I will burst into tears when I meet you is high. 💕

    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 26, 2018

      Tears are all good! I look forward to meeting you too, Amy. Be sure to find me.

  2. Sarah Pulliam
    February 27, 2018

    Looking forward to seeing you at Refresh also!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      March 5, 2018

      I’m glad I got to see you, Sarah, if even for a minute!

  3. Regan Garner
    March 5, 2018

    Thank you for elaborating on your tips for hard and sad days. Good reminders tonight.

  4. Paula
    October 2, 2018

    I’m going to Refresh in Chicago this weekend! Wish you were speaking there. I’m attending with a college friend who is also an adoptive mom. Looking forward to both the conference and catching up with one of my besties that I haven’t seen in too long!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      October 4, 2018

      Wish I could see you too! Have a wonderful time with your friend.


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