THE BATTLE STILL RAGES

Traumatized SoldierHave I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

 

When I was a child, my family visited my mother’s brother Norvel and his wife Mabel. Norvel had been an American soldier in Germany during World War I. During trench combat, he was one of many soldiers exposed to “mustard gas,” a toxic chemical used liberally by all the “antagonistic” nations during that way, including Germany. Although the use of chemicals in warfare had been banned worldwide in 1899 and 1907, the practice killed and wounded 1.3 million allied soldiers during World War I. Besides coping with lung problems, Norvel also experienced “shell shock”—now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—from the psychological wounds of war. Aunt Mabel scolded her husband when he tried to talk to us about what happened to him. “We don’t talk about the war,” she said.

 

Fortunately for our veterans, nations throughout the world have come a long way in the understanding of and treatment for both medical and psychological combat experiences. The symptoms haven’t changed: my Uncle Norvel and many other veterans past and present carry the scars of war with them every day. It is commonly accepted today that the path to recovery from trauma is to talk about one’s feelings, sometimes—but not always—recounting the exact atrocities that occurred. How sad for my uncle and countless others past and present who have not been allowed or felt comfortable speaking about the unspeakable.

 

It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear; courage is fear that has said its prayers. The Old Testament recounts many tales of fierce battles fought by the people of God. They were never promised that the battles would be easy, but they were given Someone to turn to when the situation seemed unbearable. As long as flawed human beings live at odds with each other in this world, there will be conflict. But God promises to be with us through any battles we face. He will uphold us with His righteous hand. The victory belongs to the Lord.

 

Heavenly Father, on this and all Veteran’s Day, stir us to give thanks for the brave men and women who fight to preserve freedom and justice in this world. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

WHY DOESN’T SHE JUST LEAVE?

The Battered DoorHusbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that she may be holy and without blemish….husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Ephesians 5:25, 27-28

 

A friend’s Facebook post reminded me of my long-ago job as a county social worker helping victims of domestic violence. Rarely did one of these victims—mostly women—leave her partner; rarer still did she have money to hire an attorney. I often accompanied the woman to court, to face her batterer and his attorney. I was an advocate, not a legal representative, and I was raked over the coals in those courtrooms. One of the most frequent questions asked by the man’s attorney was, “If it was so bad, why didn’t she leave a long time ago?” The complex answer to that question was the subject of my friend’s Facebook post, written by a woman named Rachel Smith:

 

Because he has her so brainwashed that it’s all her fault…she’s no good to anyone…no one will want her or love her…there’s no way she can possibly make it on her own. She thinks that if she just tries harder…if she’s a better wife and a better mom maybe he will be happy with her and wouldn’t get so angry. And maybe he will be the same sweet, charming man that he was when they first met. He has her convinced that if she leaves, he will hurt or kill her or her family. He has threatened to tell the judge she is a bad mom and she will lose her kids and never see them again. He has taken away her money and convinced her that she cannot make it on her own financially and she will always need him.

 

More people are concerned with why women stay in abusive relationships than why men are abusing women. Unless you’ve been in an abusive relationship people have no idea how hard it is to escape. Abusers fool those outside the home because they usually only abuse those inside the home.

They need your support. They need your love. They do not need your judgement.

 

Jesus, You said husbands and wives are to be subject to one another out of reverence to You. Help us end domestic violence throughout the world. Amen

 

OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THESE VICTIMS DID NOT ASK TO BE ABUSED. REMEMBER TOO THAT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS A FAMILY DISEASE AND A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM IN OUR NATION AND IN OUR WORLD.

SMILEY FACES PAIN CHART

smiley faces pain chartHe will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4

 

Chronic pain is so…chronic. It is present, to some degree, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, year after year after year. And many types of chronic pain are invisible, so people—doctors, physical therapists, health care workers, counselors, and even close family and friends—tend to view those of us who suffer from chronic pain as malingerers. A friend of mine says she believes people with invisible chronic pain are not faking being sick; they are faking being well. I have severe, persistent, progressive osteoarthritis and I’ve tried for most of my adult life to act like I am not hurting. I have pushed myself every day to get as much done as I can so that I don’t feel like I am “less than” someone with no pain. But after ten orthopedic joint surgeries, it is getting harder and harder to “play well.”

 

Anyone who has persistent pain—including emotional pain—has been presented with the annoyingly clear Wong Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale of the increasingly distressed-looking smiley faces and asked, “How would you rate your pain/mood today?” And we all probably want to ask, “Which pain? What body part? If three parts hurt and three parts are pretty good today, does that cancel out the score I would give myself?” I’ve literally never been a “zero,” and I’ve been told that a “ten” means “call me an ambulance.” I can function with a score of “three” to “five,” but above that, things can go downhill (or uphill, depending on one’s perspective) rather quickly. A “nine” finds me curled in the fetal position in bed with the electric blanket turned up to nine (to match the pain rating). Given half a chance, I’d call that ambulance, if I thought it would help my pain.

 

Psalm 73:23 tells me that God “takes hold of (my) right hand and says to (me), Do not fear; I will help you.” When my pain is at its worst, I always have God. And His all-surpassing love is enough.

 

Healing Lord, hold me in my worst hours. Keep me in Your loving care until the storm has passed. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

JUSTICE

JusticeHe will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. Matthew 12:20

 

Jeffrey Epstein is dead. This week the billionaire American financier, indicted on numerous charges for running an international child sex trafficking ring, was found dead in his jail cell by apparent suicide. His victims thought this was their last best hope of obtaining justice for his kidnapping, rape, and “sale” of possibly hundreds of underaged girls.  Now, his co-conspirators (some female) and other men named in the court proceedings are shouting for joy, believing Epstein’s death will give them a pass from a similar fate to his. His victims may try to bring civil charges, but it won’t be quite the same without the monster in the courtroom, facing his victims.

 

What is to be said of justice that never comes? Of peace of mind that is ripped from the survivors’ hands and hearts? Of a real sense of closure lost to the winds of fate? Our indwelling sense of right and wrong says offenders should be punished and victims protected. Deuteronomy 3:4 says The Rock, His work is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He. His justice is compared to a plumb line, ever straight, never faltering (Isaiah 28:17).

 

There is no perversion of justice with the Lord our God (2 Chronicles 19:7). But human actions are never as “straight” and pure as God’s plumb line. Somewhere, in this broken world, survivors of trauma induced at the hands of others must come to grips with the fact that justice is not always assured, peace is not always promised. We are left to figure out what justice might look like, in the absence of perfect law, perfect courts, perfect circumstances. As a survivor of sexual violence never brought to justice, I have learned a hard lesson, but a good one: sometimes justice is just knowing that God believes us, feels our pain, collects our tears in a bottle, and tells us, “Keep going, My child, you are precious in My sight and for that reason alone, you must keep going.”

 

God of Justice, hold close to You those who never see justice in this world. Help them know Your justice prevails in the end. Amen

NO MORE SNATCHING

My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

 

Members of the temple leadership asked Jesus if He was really the Messiah. “Jesus answered, ‘The works that I do in My Father’s name testify to Me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to My sheep.’” The leaders couldn’t understand what He was saying because they did not “belong” to Him. They were “Messiah deniers,” in today’s vernacular. They had seen the miracles Jesus had performed, and they had heard his crystal-clear interpretations of ancient Scripture, but they would not humble themselves to believe that Jesus was the Christ, Who had been foretold in the very Scriptures He now quoted with magnificent authority.

 

As a survivor of a brutal sexual assault at gunpoint—an incident which nearly cost me my life—I am shaken to the core when I hear or read about “sexual violence deniers.” A legislator stated that a woman’s body “shuts down during a true rape,” preventing pregnancy. Arguments have abounded about women “asking for it,” and “men who can’t help themselves.” A talk show host recently opined that women have abortions so they are free to party on a tropical island. My own home state of Minnesota took until 2015 to pass a law that correctly labels sex trafficked minors as victims, not perpetrators. Survivors of sexual violence can tell you that (a) she/he did not ask for it, (b) was not a willing participant, and (c) lives with the trauma from the horrible experience for the rest of her/his life. Women who become pregnant as a result of sexual violence pay double, triple, many times over, regardless of the outcome of that pregnancy.

 

Sexual violence is a global problem which is not going away unless and until “deniers” start hearing the voices of the living survivors as we speak for ourselves and for those of us who did not get to come home. Jesus says those who know Him will not be “snatched” from His loving embrace. His sheep “know” His voice, the voice of peace and love and compassion. All we can ask is for deniers to just listen.

 

Lord, we know we live in a broken and hurting world. We ask that Your voice will be heard throughout the globe, and that we will end sexual violence of all types soon. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

HUMANITARIAN. CHRIST. US.

Kids In CagesBlessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

 

Here’s the thing: I feel totally helpless. I watch the news night after night, and some days there is coverage of the unconscionable treatment of migrant children at the southern border of the United States. But most often now, other news cycles dominate the airwaves and we’re “moving on.” I can’t get those images out of my head. As surely as there is a God in heaven, can we agree that this isn’t right? Whether you belong to the Republican or Democratic party, the Coffee party, or the Friday night party, can we just agree: this needs fixing now? Could any person in his right mind take his own child or grandchild—the younger the better—and place her in a cage with a Mylar blanket for a bed on a cement floor, with only the absolute barest of necessities, with perhaps well-meaning but overworked and way understaffed adults to take care of her, to hear the visiting pediatricians’ and child psychologists’ warnings about the enduring emotional and psychological damage these conditions are doing to this child—and not be on his knees with sorrow and compassion in five minutes? Would any person who is not a complete sociopathic lunatic think that this is the way to deal with the global migrant crisis?  Does the color of a person’s skin really make the cut for why these children—and their parents, for that matter—should have to endure these conditions for even one minute? I believe the vast majority know the answer to that question. In our heart of hearts, we know.

 

Then why aren’t all of us totally outraged? Why aren’t we listening? Why aren’t we contacting our people in Washington? Why aren’t we doing more than “sending thots and prayers?” Jesus said, “Go.” He didn’t say watch the news, and say, “Ain’t it awful?” He said, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The word “therefore” refers back to all that Christ taught. “Teach all nations” means there are NO EXCLUSIONS to those we are called to serve. That includes each child and adult, no matter the nation or color or creed. So go. Go.

 

Healer of All Nations, we implore You to light the path for this nation to work together to solve this migrant crisis now. Amen

 

To locate your Congressional Representatives and Senators in any state in the USA, use this link: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members

 

Special Note: The Lord woke me up at 4:30 a.m. this morning to write this blog. He’s been telling me to do it for weeks—maybe months—and He finally got my attention by putting Matthew 28:19 on a loop tape in my brain, 24/7, for a couple of weeks. It didn’t “click” until this morning. Lesson learned: I need to stop and listen to what God is telling me!

 

GINGER AND THE DELIVERY TRUCK DRIVER

Ginger 2I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15

 

My husband Patrick and I adopted a rescue dog named Ginger three years ago. Ginger is half Bassett Hound and half Beagle, and reportedly has had five homes. Her tumultuous life began in an Oklahoma  puppy mill. Ginger is a sweet and loving animal who loves to run until one would think her lungs would burst. She takes a break and then runs some more, all around our half-acre fenced lot. She is smart, usually follows directions, and adores both my husband and me. She has only one bad habit: she cannot stand men in delivery trucks. When one comes, she completely loses all decorum, slams herself against our front window, and poises herself to attack any delivery man who comes to our door.

 

Last winter on a blustery January day, a delivery man entered our driveway and walked toward the front door with a box of my books. I was alone that day—no hubby to hold the dog—so I decided to step outside in my fuzzy slippers while Ginger continued her tirade inside. The delivery man handed me the box and I turned, carrying my load while attempting to keep Ginger from escaping. The nice delivery man said, “Let me get the door for you!” Ginger charged through the partially opened doorway, encountering what she thought was this evil delivery man—but instead her jaws connected with my knee. She didn’t break the skin, but I was badly bruised, and she was instantly ashamed. I scolded her. She sulked for three days. In her completely unwarranted frenzy, she had hurt the one she dearly loved. She paid for it in spades of guilt.

 

How like Ginger I am sometimes! I have created mountains where not even a molehill existed, for the sake of being right, or having the last word. When I miss the mark, as the Apostle Paul said, “…I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do…..evil lies close at hand” (Luke 7:19,21). Paul says staying as close to Jesus as possible is our best chance to avoid sinning.

 

Lord, be my constant companion so that I am able to avoid sin. Amen

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work.  She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com    MegCorrigan@comcast.net

 

THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY

Through a Glass DarklyFor now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

One of my very best friends has survived cancer twice in the past two years. She has survived a heart attack and a stroke, both events happening while in the hospital after yet another surgery. Then, about two weeks ago, she woke up to discover her husband, who had apparently been in good health, died in his sleep.

My question to God is, “Why her? Why now? Is this part of some huge divine plan?” and “Why not me?” I have no answers. Am I to trust and not feel any emotion in the face of this injustice? Is this just the way of nature and not some lesson in sanctity?

Then, two weeks ago on a Friday, I read these words by Abraham Joshua Heschel: “In Jewish tradition, dying in one’s sleep is called a kiss of God, and dying on the Sabbath is a gift that is merited by piety. For the pious person, my father once wrote, it is a privilege to die.”

Again, how do I comfort my friend? Do I simply sit with her and say nothing?

I am brought to the Book of Job: “This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:1, 1:8, 2:3).

An upright man who lost absolutely everything, and I mean everything, yet he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22).

God knew we would hurt and struggle greatly in this life, some more than others. Jesus, His only Son died on a cross, misunderstood, even hated for the message of salvation that He brought. We can look to Him and will find that anything we suffer, He has also suffered. We will find peace and comfort in Him, no matter how great our pain.

Lord, only You know me, the real me—Your fickle, sometimes angry, ever questioning servant. Thank You for Your patience. Comfort my friend in her grief, and stay with us. Help our unbelief. Help us grow in wisdom, grace, faith and love. Amen

 

Midwife-turned-author, Stephanie Sorensen seems to swim seamlessly through cultures, religions, superstitions, raw fear and ecstasy to the first breath of a new baby. She invites her readers to join her, taking us on a tour to the innermost workings of another world in her first book, Ma Doula: A Story Tour of Birth. She lives among one of the most diverse populations on earth and has given birth to a book that takes us on a bizarre journey, giving us a rare, intimate glimpse into her daily life. With graphic prose we enter with her into the Land of Birth. Midwife, mother, grandmother, doula, world traveler and author, Sorensen lives and breathes birth. She has five children scattered around the world, grandchildren, and over a thousand babies she calls her own, even when she cannot pronounce their names correctly. After writing three books about birth, she has begun the next phase of her writing career: A memoir about death. Stay tuned.

Email: ssskimchee@gmail.com   Blog: www.callthedoula.blogspot.com

WALL OF SHAME

Berlin_Wall_1961-11-20There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

 

The year was 1990. I was with a tour group in what had been called East Berlin, Gemany, during the Cold War, a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and its allies after World War II. East Berlin had just been opened for tourism, and the city was a strange sight indeed. Our group agreed that East Berlin was not ready for visitors! The “hotel” where we stayed had been a barracks for occupying Russian soldiers and their families. The beds were iron cots with army green blankets, rough muslin sheets, and a peppermint on each pillow (a nod to more advanced tourist destinations). A huge armoire served as a closet, but behind it was plumbing that must have connected to a small kitchen. From the window, we could watch the last remnants of Russian troops goose stepping through the Brandenburg Gate. Checkpoint Charlie, once the only passage from East to West and back again, was now just a curiosity rather than the heavily guarded gate that few qualified to pass through.

 

Berlin Wall Decorated 1986But nothing could have prepared our group for the sight of the Berlin Wall, a heavily patrolled barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 until the year before we stood before it. The “Wall of Shame,” as the Westerners called it, was constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It divided West Berlin from all of surrounding East Germany and East Berlin, included guard towers and a wide area known as the “death strip.” The Soviet Union and the GDR built the Wall to “protect (their) population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the ‘will of the people’ in building a socialist state in East Germany” (Source: Wikipedia.org).

 

Today, repressive governments still cause many to flee their homes and seek asylum in other countries in which they are not always welcome. As Christians, we have an obligation to seek fair, equitable policies that build bridges, not walls. The lesson of the Berlin Wall must not be forgotten.

 

Lord, You are gentle and humble, and You will give us rest from life’s burdens. Amen

Photos courtesy of Wickipedia.org.

 

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .

SCAPEGOATS

ScapegoatBut the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat. Leviticus 16:10

 

Webster defines “scapegoat” as “a person who is unfairly blamed for something that others have done.” A scapegoat in an abusive family is one who is singled out and blamed for things another family member (often a parent) is responsible for. In a marriage, one partner can be the scapegoat, blamed for actions projected on her instead of the spouse accepting what he has done or not done. Ignoring, labeling, magnifying, and sabotaging are other behaviors often directed at the designated victim. Scapegoats can also appear in institutions and systems such as schools, the workplace, and even agencies serving the marginalized and disenfranchised. Many who find themselves serving as someone else’s scapegoat carry scars of that experience for years.

 

The word “scapegoat” in Hebrew is Azazel, described in Leviticus 16 as a goat which was released alive into the wilderness to atone for the sins of the nation of Israel. Although the animal was not “sacrificed”—not killed—the scapegoat was believed to ritually cleanse the sins of the people. I like this version of atonement better than animal sacrifice, and I’d like to believe that the poor goat just got to live his days out happily in the wilderness. But other animals were sacrificed as part of early Jewish rituals, so they weren’t so lucky.

 

Jesus was the ultimate scapegoat: the occupying Roman forces and Jewish leadership blamed him for an uprising of the people. The Spirit forced Jesus into the wilderness immediately after He was baptized (Matthew 4:1-11). Satan tried to tempt Jesus, to no avail. Jesus quoted Scripture to deflect Satan’s hairbrained enticements. Then Jesus began His ministry of love, grace, healing and forgiveness. John’s Gospel says “He will show the world how wrong it was about sin, about who was really in the right, and about true judgment” (John 16:8). During Lent, we celebrate the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry: His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper with His (mostly) faithful disciples, His arrest and phony trial, the crucifixion and His final emergence from the tomb to conquer sin and death.

 

Risen Lord, stir us to pay attention to all we can learn from the amazing events of Lent. Amen

 

BOOKS BY MEG BLAINE CORRIGAN:

 

Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian by Meg Blaine Corrigan: Readers will be intrigued by Corrigan’s amusing titles and devotions that are grounded in reality. A great read for those in need of a spiritual lift, and a wonderful gift for anyone we hold dear.

 

Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child by Meg Blaine Corrigan: Both candid and humorous, insightful and ponderous, this memoir takes the reader through the author’s chaotic childhood with an alcoholic mother to a violent assault that nearly ended her life. But this story has a happy ending, when Meg finds solace in a God she didn’t think she’d ever believe in.

 

Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist by Meg Blaine Corrigan: This fast-moving, hilarious novel is based on real-life adventures of the author during the years she spent playing drums for a Polynesian revue. Follow these wacky escapades with some very imaginative characters traveling throughout the Continental United States, proving that `ohana—“family” in Hawaiian—can consist of folks other than blood relatives.