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A Full House of Growing Pains: A Hollywood Mother's Journey

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A Full House of Growing Pains

By Linda Michaels – Her children were child stars, making more money than they had ever imagined. But when Barbara Cameron discusses the successful careers of her son, Kirk, and daughter, Candace, she sounds like she's talking about her children's involvement in a local theater group.

It's that humble, down-to-earth perspective that makes A Full House of Growing Pains such a delightful book. It's a candid conversation with the neighborhood mom, sharing the struggles and triumphs of everyday life, even if it is set with a backdrop of Hollywood.

In addition to Kirk, who starred in the TV sitcom Growing Pains and Candace, who played DJ Tanner on Full House, Barbara and her husband, Robert have two other children, Melissa and Bridgett. And when the kids were growing up, their house was the one in the neighborhood where everyone seemed to gather. "I used to say, 'I don’t understand why people always come over here,'" says Barbara.

However, as the years passed, Barbara gained some insight into why their home was the most popular one on the block. She realized that many visitors were looking for a sense of family that was missing from their own lives. "They were alone, and they knew they could come here and have a meal and they could spend the night if they wanted to and it was ok," she says.

On the outside, they seemed like the typical American family and in many ways, that is exactly what they were. But as with all families, they were not without their struggles. In the book, Barbara shares candidly about the difficulties in her marriage.

"Sometimes Robert wasn't kind," says Barbara. "And I can remember just not understanding why I was being treated this way -- why my marriage wasn't the way I thought it was supposed to be. And I can remember, early on, saying, I don't know how much more of this I can take and I'm not going to leave my kids now because they are too young. But I made an oath to myself that when my kids are 18, I'm out of here because it was getting more difficult and I just didn't feel like I deserved it.”

Working as her children's manager gave Barbara the opportunity to grow in confidence. It also provided relationships that were supportive and one of those relationships seemed to provide the perfect alternative to life with Robert.

"I started getting validated by somebody else and I'm like, ‘wow, this really feels good and I do deserve this and I should be happy and God must have sent this guy to me. This is all a sign that I need to be happy and I deserve to be happy,’” she says.

It was during this time, that her son Kirk accepted Christ into his life. His conversion had an effect on the rest of the family, including Barbara, and brought about a change that altered the way she thought about her marriage.

"I realized through prayer and other teachings and understanding the Bible more that I don't deserve anything. And what I was believing was not coming from God," she says. "Satan is just so clever and so great at getting his foot in that door to get us to argue and fight and think that we deserve more."

Slowly, Barbara's heart began to change, as did Robert. "We didn't want to hurt one another, but when we talked about divorce or separation, we were hurting each other and we didn't want to do that," she says.

Although it was difficult, Robert and Barbara began to work through their struggles. And now, her children share how thankful they are that their parents stayed together, for their sakes and as an example to their grandchildren.

Today, Barbara and her entire family are devoted to serving Christ. And what she mostly wants people to understand from reading her book is that there is always hope in Christ -- hope for marriages, hope for children and hope for salvation.

"God talks about denying ourselves," says Barbara. "We really don't deserve anything. Everything is from God and He will bless us if we just repent and we are obedient to what God has called us to do."

For more on Barbara Cameron, you can visit her web site at









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