Hey! I’m Susanne. I’m a wife, mom, farmer, author, recovery advocate and founder of Grace Rising.
I’m church-going Christian who lives in the Bible Belt, keeps bees and chickens, wrangles goats, and loves a little flock of sheep. I love my donkeys but I’m afraid of the cows.
I write childrens’ books (they can be found here) including the Piper Periwinkle series which I write with my daughter. I’m working on a book for big people and I have a middle grade idea rolling around in my head. Right now it’s just rolling around. I haven’t actually written anything. We’ll see.
I live on a beautiful farm in upstate South Carolina with my husband and two children. One is a teenager and one is a tween. We raise a menagerie of animals.
I’m in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and am passionate about recovery and especially recovering with grace.
A Little About Me
I was raised by a schizophrenic MS-afflicted mother whose alternate personality, Olga, hated me and my sisters. Olga was sexually and emotionally abusive. My dad was gone for long periods of time for work and didn’t do anything about anything when he was home. My childhood is wrapped up in darkness and secrets and loneliness.
We went to a Methodist church and then became Christian Scientists and then Pentecostal. That’s a whole mess of religious confusion for any child.
My mother spent years in and out of nursing homes while I was growing up. We raised ourselves. She left for good when I was in high school and died at the age of 51. I can’t imagine her life.
I battled infertility for years. I know that pain and struggle. I’m still not over it.
My teenage son has Tourette Syndrome. As a mother, watching your child suffer with something like that breaks your heart. I want – I need – to make it go far, far away. He’s amazing though and we might finally be getting a handle on his treatment.
I’ve been a model, a bridal shop owner and now I’m a farmer. I became a farmer by accident and I love it! This farm and the animals that we raise here bring me peace and healing. I need a lot of healing.
I’ve spent the last 20 years in the trenches of addiction. First with narcotic pain medicine and then with wine. I fell madly in love with wine. I didn’t want to quit drinking. I just reached a point where I had to quit. My body couldn’t keep up with what my addiction wanted to put it through every day.
So here I am. A little battered. Maybe a lot battered. It’s time for me to live authentically, in my truth, and see what God has planned for me. Do I want the world to know all my secrets? Nope. In fact, I’m terrified of it. I want to throw up just thinking about it.
But I know this for a certainty: it feels right and good and true. Sharing my story is one of the most honest things I’ve done in a very long time.
God is calling me to recover out loud and for once, I’m obeying.
My secrets were killing me and I believe in my heart, they are killing many of you. Abuse, alcohol, drugs, food, sex, gambling, marriage problems, loneliness, depression, mental illness. The list goes on and on. We are hurting and not sharing it because we are ashamed and embarrassed.
So I’m stepping out into the light. Being broken is not who I am. It’s part of who I am, just like being sober is part of who I am now. I’m a lot of other things too. Things that are good and worthy. And you are too.
I’ve been through a lot in my life. A lot of bad and dark and scary. But I’ve also been blessed with so much good and I thank God for every bit of it. I have a strong and happy marriage that is still deepening after 18 years. I have two really amazing kids. I live on a magical farm that is beautiful and fun and more than I deserve. I have godly women in my life that I call friends. I get to go to church every Sunday in a place where people truly and honestly love the Lord and not what you are wearing or the car you are driving. I have a spouse who supports and encourages my dreams no matter how crazy they are (and some have been a little crazy… like when we ended up with 500 chickens). My gratitude list is long and full.
Most importantly, I have a Father who has never left me. He loved me in spite of my stumbles. He loved me when I ignored Him and loved my wine more. He loved me. That is huge.
Somehow I crawled through all this chaos and ended up on the other side. Healthy, whole, alive. There are scars. Of course there are scars. But there is also healing. And each scar reminds me of how far I’ve come, how lucky I am and how much I am loved. Thank you, God. Thank you.
Thank you for being here! I hope you’ll stay awhile.