Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Being Secure In Who We Are Helps Others


definition: fixed or fastened so as not to become loose or lost

sure, certain, confident, assured, steady

How secure are we? 

When we dwell in God's presence we are secure.

When we are fixed on God's word we are secure.

When we are confident of God's love for us we are secure.

If you are dwelling with someone more powerful than the enemy you will surely be secure.

When we are secure in God's love for us we can then embrace the freedom that brings...

Being secure in ourselves and those we love.

In Dark Passage starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, a film noir from 1947, Bogart stars as Vincent Parry falsely accused of murdering his wife. The movie opens with him escaping San Quentin and holing up in Irene Jansen's apartment (Lauren Bacall). Vincent sees a surgeon for plastic surgery to change his appearance which results in a bandaged face for weeks as it heals and having to succumb to a liquid diet. Irene keeps him secured in her apartment and slowly nurses him back to health and their relationship unfolds. Think how vulnerable Vincent had to be with Irene, wondering if she would take advantage of his weak state or protect him. Yet she was loyal to him and as he grew stronger so did their relationship.

Vincent knew he had been given a raw deal and knew he'd been framed. But he also knew he could heal, have better and a fresh start. But how often do we sabotage ourselves in life by thinking we don't deserve any better? It keeps us stuck. Stagnant and down. We don't have to place ourselves in a personal prison or allow others to by subjecting ourselves to a victim mentality.

We can all choose to get out of our pits in life. We can choose to wade through the darkness, slowly climb out and turn toward the light. God loves us and values us just as we are. No matter how much negativity we've experienced in our life God doesn't expect us to live in a negative emotional state.

We are not meant to keep our life experiences negative or positive hidden from others in this life. Modern society has programmed us to keep our poker face set, our challenges buried deep and a facade of perfection plastered over our lives. In turn this causes other's to believe they are the only ones struggling and feel as if they are drowning in their own isolating pit. They begin the agonizing comparison we now often see through social media sites like Facebook etc....comparing our behind the scenes with someone else's life reel of perfect highlights.

Instead we can take that step out. That risk. To be ourselves. To not hide our flaws, imperfections or life challenges. We can each make the conscious choice the next time we meet a friend for lunch and they ask "How are you?" to be open, honest and free with our response.

We are not designed to internalize our life struggles, as they become like an internal sponge and cause sickness, anxiety, grief, despair, depression, isolation and darkness. We can each let go of fear of judgment when we know our great value and security in God's eyes and step out in kindness toward others sharing our struggles because it does something great...

It makes them feel safe to do the same. 

© ~ 2013

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading! 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Divorce & Children: 50/50 Custody

Winter 2012

names have been omitted in this post


I stood under the bright lights at the bench flanked by attorneys. Before me sat the Judge in her position of deliberation and consideration she was to hold. Behind me was a courtroom filled with onlookers awaiting their own cases to be heard. Dressed in black slacks and a jacket I stood waiting to hear what the Judge would say. As I stood there listening to her words my heart sank. It had been well established by an expert I was by far the better parent for my children. It had been well established that the expert believed all children of divorce need a primary parent and residence....but even more so if one parent is by far less skilled. I listened as the Judge explained that although she had been given an expert view of the circumstances and extreme differing of skill levels by the parents she had decided she would allocate the child custody 50/50.

I stood there feeling as though I'd been struck.

Clearly there has been a mistake, I surmised.

A Judge is to consider every aspect of a case. And then actually take the information and testimony given to her and follow it. Not to follow a misguided personal vendetta of the flesh merely because she wants the world and its divorced parents to be on a 50/50 child custody schedule because…
it's just what she wants.

She states "this is what's fair… 50/50"

For who? The parents? Yes, possibly. Yet this should NOT be about being fair to the parents. Fair is defined differently from the term best interests. The court system chronically touts their favorite term of "best interests" but their actions don't back them up when they choose fair. Fair is not looking out for the children's best interests if one parent is severely lacking in parenting skills. That is criminal. "Fair" should have no place in a situation where one parent is creating havoc and stress for a child.

Just like a child responds to positive does an adult. The carrot is the children. If the parent is not where he or she needs to be, by all means give them ample time to learn those needed skills. Encourage them. Help them through counseling. Recommend they read the necessary books. Urge them to take classes.

But not to the child's detriment in the interim.
This is the problem with the
family court system today. 

Just like when a child is learning new skills they take baby steps. Then take on more. If someone doesn't know how to swim, you don't toss them in a pool. You have to hold their hand and guide them bit by bit until they can try it on their own....only then to gain more confidence and freedom with their improved skill set… even more so if their skill set is so lacking or inept its dangerous.

Standing up there it was a disheartening moment and a grave reminder of how much we need people everywhere to fight for the greater good. We need people to step up and use their voice when something is not right. We need people to become lit with passion when there is injustice in this's the only way to make a difference.

Each of us has the opportunity to make a difference. Especially in the lives of children. It's up to each of us to step up, roll up our sleeves and do what's necessary either through better parenting, giving encouragement as a mentor, step-parent, aunt or uncle or even consideration as a Judge. If we choose what's fair over what's right and best for our children that is an extremely unhealthy state of mind. Fairness limits us under the false guise of equality in our skills and morals etc. Fairness means we should always expect perfect balance in every life situation and circumstance even when were putting our children at risk.

What does that teach our children?

To always have their hand out.

To always expect equal in all situations.

To have entitlement.

To always justify.

None of that helps mold our children into responsible adults one day.

Instead it breeds a narcissistic nature without addressing behavior.

Fairness doled out in the form of child custody protects the one who is orchestrating the damage upon their children.

People who have walked this path, who have been in the depths of the courtroom battle, fighting for their children's best interests know that God is right there, He is their strength and power to forge forward…

As parents concerned for their children's safety we could care less about fair…

We care about them.


To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Investment: Love Or Money?


names have been omitted in this post 


I stood there listening to him talk about the many ways the home would be a good investment. An investment that would serve us well in the future he told me. A home we could fix up and then later years down the road sell it for a nice sum of money.

"I don't believe it's a good idea..." I told him doubtfully. "I mean... sure, it sounds like an investment. But I'm perfectly content and happy where we are." I said.

"But we could use more room." He responded, trying to win me over.

"I just don't see why we can't merely add on to this house." I shrugged.

"Because it wouldn't make good sense in re-selling." He pressed "We couldn't make any money off of it if we sold it down the road."

"Should we even consider re-selling?" I replied "I don't want to move. I thought we were happy here. I love this house. We could add on here at some point, the lot is plenty big enough. I can't justify moving merely because of an investment opportunity. This should be about family... not money." I pointed out.

Where is yours?

In a home?

A car?

A boat?

A wardrobe?

A jewelry collection?

I know where I want my investment to be. I want my investment to be in love. In the things that matter in life. Family. Children. I want the "investment" of my home to be centered around creating a place where there is love, laughter, bonding, and sweet memories.

I don't want my investment in a home to be wrapped up in what I will get out of it in monetary value one day. Because if love is not first and foremost we won't be investing where it matters and it may all crumble anyway.

Love is the greatest investment there is. It doesn't require loans, short sales, banks, record books, etc. It doesn't require realtors, re-modeling, construction and debt.

It just requires you.

We can all delight in investing loving someone else. We have the choice to invest in love each and every day. God wants us to.

God loves us. His love for us is greater than any monetary investment we could make. Without God and his love we are all truly bankrupt.

God's love for us is one we can all share.

Anytime we are spending our money in ways that please God we honor him. Whether we purchase a book on devotionals, tithe or selflessly use our money to help someone in need we are...


In love.

"They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:18–19 (ESV)

© ~ 2013