Charlotte Melcher Smith singing “This Little Light of Mine” at 18 months of age.  My purpose in life to “point and shine” has been documented since I was a year and a half old.

About Dr. Charlotte

I’m a boomerang woman. I progressed from a shy country girl who once sported pinafores sewn from feedsacks to a respected and highly educated professional wearing designer clothing. However, recently my trajectory has brought me back to living in a secluded cabin in the woods. I mostly still wear designer clothing, but I delightedly glean those Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren plaid shirts from Goodwill during their once-a-month 50% off days.

I started school as a naïve Kansas farm girl, the only female in a rural one-room schoolhouse filled with mean, rowdy boys. I survived and escaped to graduate with highest honors from the University of Kansas. I found a relationship with Jesus after Cru founder Bill Bright shared the Four Spiritual Laws with my boyfriend and me one night at the K.U. student union. I then married my high school Sweetheart before completing my senior year, and we spent nineteen fruitful years “winning, building and sending” as staff members of Campus Crusade/Cru. Raising our three bright and beautiful children was a lifetime dream come true.

My next chapter included earning a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky despite professors’ opposition to my Christian worldview. My husband Chuck and I founded Focus on Relationships Inc., in Lexington, KY, a non-profit counseling and coaching agency where I served first as Clinical Director, and later as Executive Director for 32 years. I was licensed both as a Psychologist and as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and then added Coaching and Spiritual Direction to my skill set.

Four months before we would have celebrated our Golden Wedding Anniversary, Chuck’s body died after many years of horrific health challenges. The last eight years of his life, my husband was completely homebound, and eventually confined just to his bed. Despite the grueling years of Chuck’s decline, I continued to see clients. I even swallowed big and made two solo trips to Russia to counsel native missionaries with team relationship problems. Despite my role as caretaker, I also occasionally managed to travel alone to visit my adult children and five grandkids: Deborah on an island off the coast of Seattle, Daniel in Chicago and West Palm Beach, and transatlantic several times to spend time with David in England and later in Italy. During those challenging years I began writing my book, Life’s Third Tri: Wisdom for Mystified Mothers Who Love Adult Children.

The year after I became a widow brought profound changes. I continued to counsel hurting people, but something inside me had altered. I down-sized Focus on Relationships from multiple therapists to just me. My experiences in caring for Chuck as he lost more and more functions both exhausted and inspired me. Seeing my own name etched on the other side of the gravestone with only the year of departure still to be engraved, propelled me to an enhanced perspective on what is important in life.

And then the big shock! I realized I wanted to marry again and felt God’s approval, so now I’m a veteran of dating sites, with a list of good and bad experiences. God, however, had other intentions than my do-it-myself plan. Through a miraculous set of circumstances, God brought a grieving widower named “Tooger” into my life on Christmas Eve, 2016, and we were married 4 months later. We happily reside by a 30-acre lake scooped out by Tooger’s bulldozer on his forested farm in Indiana during the warm months and head south to Florida for the winter.

Much has changed for me over the past few years, and my books and blog reflect all that. As I look back, I see a thread weaving throughout the 75+ years of my life. Like Esther, I recognize God has been preparing me for “such a time as this.” Women are at a crossroads after their children leave home. An all-consuming era of motherhood simply vanishes. At this juncture, some moms blossom and others shrivel. For many women, the biggest adjustments come after retirement, a divorce, difficulties involving grown children, a frightening diagnosis, or following losses of loved ones. All of us are looking for peace and purpose in life, a meaningful reason to get up in the morning, and a plan for finishing well. Like Mother Teresa, who declared she was just a pencil in God’s hand, I hope to compose in my books and blog what His Holy Spirit imparts to me. I write for Him and for you!

Charlotte Melcher Smith singing “This Little Light of Mine” at 18 months of age.  My purpose in life to “point and shine” has been documented since I was a year and a half old.