Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Divorce: 5 Changes

“A Woman Jumping On A Beach” by Jomphong via

October 2012 

names have been omitted in this post 


" With change comes growth 
and in that beautiful 
things can happen." 

The very first thing I did when I entered the pale bedroom with it's mahogany four poster bed, beautifully embroidered Cynthia Rowley duvet, nubby textured sheer curtains in cream and set of matching neutral lamps was to begin stripping the bed of it's charcoal gray sheets. The afternoon sun filtered through the curtains bathing the room in warm light. Ripping the sheets from the bed I gathered them in my arms and proceeded downstairs to the laundry room. Shoving them in a messy wad into the front loading washer I slammed the door shut and began filling the tray with liquid detergent. Soon the cycle began and the sound of water churning into the spinning tub filled the room. Pulling the door to the laundry room shut behind me as I left I already felt better... those charcoal gray sheets would be donated and thankfully soon out of my life. That afternoon I began shopping for a new sheet set.... finally selecting sheets that were ultra feminine... pink and flowered to match my new life.

When we go through a divorce we may find ourselves surprised by the many changes that soon take place. With great change always comes reflection and thus more change almost inevitably. Ripping those sheets off the bed was my first step in emotionally detangling myself from my marriage and soon to be ex-spouse. There certainly may be things we don't necessarily count on happening or are even prepared for emotionally. Everyone is different and some situations may vary but here are a few things that  may occur during the divorce process and even post finalizing.

1. Some things must go immediately... think sheets, photos, gifts and cards he bought you, wedding mementos, etc. Anything that ties you emotionally to your spouse or the memories you intimately shared would probably be best removed from the home... that way with your fresh start you can have a fresh environment and perspective also. If you aren't to a place where you feel you are ready to discard the items, packing them away is always a good alternative too. This helps begin the healing process and aids in finding some bits of peace along an otherwise likely bumpy road during the divorce process.

2. People will judge you even if you were in a not so great marriage. For some odd reason we are still living in an age where divorce is stigmatized by some. It may not be right but it is an unfortunate truth. Just hold your head high and remember... they weren't married to your ex. People will take sides and even if you were cheated on there will always be one person who huffs "Well, you should have done this or that to prevent it!' Take heart in knowing that although some people may make misguided assumptions about your intimate relationship, you know that they know nothing of it or the specifics. Your marriage may look quite differently to the outside world or even in what you share... to what really went on behind closed doors. Remember that you know your truth and so does God... and at the end of the day... that's all that matters.

3. Surviving at first but then replacing it with thriving. When my divorce was finally finalized I bought myself a gold strand necklace with the word "love." It cost virtually next to nothing but I thought it was fitting to commemorate the event considering the timing and the long arduous process that had spanned nine months of my life. For me, it's a reminder that God loves me no matter what and I'm not just going to survive this phase of my life but thrive!

4. There is way more freedom than anticipated... and that's a good thing. If you were living with a controlling spouse who dictated all the finances, your schedule and even the decorating (?!) you may be relishing the newfound freedom you have in making sole decisions about anything and everything... and that's okay... embrace and go with it.

5. Try something new. There is a whole new world to discover out there and it can begin in your own backyard, the city you reside in, or even during a quick, inexpensive weekend getaway. Trying new foods, traveling to a new place, learning a new recipe, volunteering, beginning a new workout class, learning a different language... all of these things and more are great ways to set the tone for your new adventure in single-dom and learning more about yourself and what you find interesting and important.

© ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Divorce/Child Custody Trial: 10 Tips For Moms

November 2012

names have been omitted or changed in this post 


It seemed unbelievable that someone could spend an entire day in court enduring their trial regarding the custody of their two children.... it was a picture perfect day outside. As I stood at the floor to ceiling windows looking out over the city from a third story view at a stark blue sky with perfectly whipped white clouds, I wistfully wished I was out there too... it was by all means a beautiful summer day with the sun shining full force. Thankfully the temperatures had dropped slightly due to the recent rain and now hovered around the eighties. As I watched traffic and people move about down below I spotted college aged girls in brightly colored tanks and running shorts laughing and chatting with their girlfriends as professional men and women in suits rushed by holding briefcases heading to the court house. It was close to one thirty and my stomach grumbled not at all satisfied with the mere bag of chips I'd inhaled from the vending machine. Leaving for the building for our lunch break had seemed like more effort than it was worth and sitting alone with my mother in the empty conference room after the stressful morning in court was preferable to noisy crowded streets and fetching the car from the garage nearby just to scarf down a hamburger. The quietness of the courthouse was comforting, the ability to wind down a moment and just regroup from all the testimony heard that morning before the Judge.

We wouldn't finish until six thirty and when we did the cleaning crew had begun their rounds, their machine making a whirring sound as it cleaned and polished the floors throughout the courthouse leaving them sparkling. Walking through the heavy glass doors to the concrete jungle outside and the setting sun, the humidity hit us and yet I gasped with relief the tough day was coming to a close... my long length gray skirt flowed around my boots and even though it was July I was glad I had dressed for fall that day, as the courtroom temperature had been cold. Retrieving my vehicle from the now empty garage and paying what I owed in parking we departed onto the city street headed to buy something comforting for dinner that I knew would have to include some chocolate.

Over the past nine months I have learned a lot although I wish I could say that it hadn't been necessary to learn these lessons to begin with... and that the events that led up to me filing for divorce had never happened. But yet here we are and in everything that has happened I can say I have walked away knowing much more than I did nine months ago when this process began back in October 2012. Having acknowledged that I also see where I could have handled the situation better and yet also where I believe I handled it completely on target. It's these things that have prompted me to write this post... I want to share what I've learned with other women and for those of you who are going through divorce and child custody or may in the future I would hope that by my sharing some of what I have learned will help you in your own case. I also know that with child custody issues, we as parents are never truly "done" and there will inevitably come a time in the future that my now ex-spouse and I will go back to court to present new issues or evidence showing that our current arrangement is not working, etc.


1. Make An Effort. 

It's really important to make every effort you can to reach an agreement. Generally speaking, it's best to choose your battles wisely. Learn to compromise on the little things and decide what your big issues are that are absolute deal breakers. What issues are weighing on your heart and most important to you? It's important to choose these and realize getting worked up and fighting about every little issue is going to cost you not just financially but emotionally as it becomes more and more taxing as the process goes on and you become wearier. The more you can agree on then the last few issues left that you want to present to the court will be fewer... and if you can show that you have been very reasonable throughout the process the Judge will look more favorably upon you seeing that you are not trying to cause waves and create chaos. This will help your case.

2. Don't Text. 

This was one of my biggest issues during my process. A simple text can come back to bite you later. Personally, I would not have any text communication with your soon to be ex during the divorce process at all. It's too risky and if you lose your temper and send a caustic text telling your soon to be ex exactly what you think of them... trust me, everyone will receive a copy of it later in court and you will be held accountable for it. You may feel justified for sending a little zinger to them in the heat of the moment and no one for a minute does not see the hurt that has been inflicted upon you yet.... yet you will still have to explain yourself on the stand. In that though.... if the opposing counsel begins badgering you about your less than stellar conduct in your text you sent and even speaks of how "that was incredibly immature behavior, don't you think?" you can first point out your soon to be ex's behavior whether it's been cheating, lying, drinking, endangering the children, etc and THEN agree that your text was immature. Whatever you do... when dealing with the opposing counsel cross examining you... do not simply answer yes or no to any of their questioning. First and foremost make your point and THEN answer the question. This does two things... one, it balances your answer by pointing out your stance and then two, it ruffles the feathers of opposing counsel because it is in fact likely annoying them that you are bypassing answering their question first. If you can do this very calmly and in a neutral tone they will often become exasperated which in turn the Judge will not like as they may become more aggressive and harsh in their questioning of you. It worked for me and very likely may work for you. In the future I will not have any text communication with my ex. By knowing what your weak spots are and where your ex can use ammunition against you... then you can make the necessary changes to head them off and prevent bigger problems down the road.

3. Follow Your Mama Bear Instincts. 

Hating your estranged spouses behavior is understandable because if you are a mom and have children the last thing we want to witness as mothers is seeing our children suffer. It tends to make our mother bear instincts rear their head and in that we become fiercely protective of our children's health and safety. If your husband has placed the children in any danger such as having them around women who were incapacitated in some way... either through alcohol or drugs or were just plain crazy and were a threat to the safety of your children... as a mother you naturally worry about the toll all of this is having on your children....  especially over time as scenarios of your husband dating (technically cheating) continue like some bad rated movie. Being a protective mom, if he has shown patterns of abuse you may take it upon yourself to take action. I did take matters into my own hands after an incident at our home after I had filed for divorce. My husband got up in my face within an inch screaming at me to write up a receipt for the buyer of our pool table while my children shrank back in horror. When my mother verbally intervened on my behalf he began charging her like a wild bull. Placing a sign outside our home that in reference to the penal code (you can look online for a penal code regarding trespassing) he was not allowed access anymore. In court I faced an extensive line of questioning regarding my decision to do this and yet I stood firm. Opposing counsels stance was I had the sign hung on the mailbox outside the front door where my children could view it. They argued this was a negative action considering the children could see something regarding their father in a negative light. (the truth was, my children and I entered and exited through the back door) I argued that in fact the sign was a good thing because children must be taught that there is such a thing as boundaries.... the fact is we as parents (especially mothers) must teach our children that just because someone is your parent, aunt, uncle, sibling, boyfriend, friend etc... love doesn't include abuse. And that by standing strong and teaching our children that setting boundaries is extremely important. The sign I had posted merely stated my husband's name and the penal code which speaks for itself.... there is no need for any other words. After explaining why I had made such a choice I followed it with "It worked... it kept him out."

4. Another Word On Boundaries. 

If your divorce has been contentious you may want to exchange the children somewhere neutral. This is in your children's best interests (and yours) in terms of peace of mind and safety. McDonald's is a popular neutral choice for divorced parents versus choosing your individual homes where a struggle of power and turf can take place like opposing gangs. It may be wise to exchange the children at your local police station if there is a history of abuse especially physical.

5. Keep A Daily Record.

Keep a daily journal of all conversations, incidents etc between you and your estranged spouse and anything negative that happens between him and the children. Get a big spiral notebook and take detailed notes with the date each day. Let's say for example you were emailed the time and place your son's swim class was by your spouse and yet when you get there no one is around.... you realize your spouse purposely told you wrong information so you'd miss it. While you are there take a photo of the swim location and then email the photo to yourself. The email will now have a date and time showing you were there at the time your spouse specified. You also have copies of his email showing the wrong time. Now you have evidence for court.

6. Don't Engage.

Keep as much communication with your estranged spouse to a minimum. It creates less of a chance you will say something inflammatory in the heat of the moment. If you are dealing with someone who is sociopathic in nature and tries to twist your words... use extra caution. If they begin trying to badger you with questions one or two phrases will help to turn the tables on them so you don't feel at the mercy of their power.

 1.) "I don't understand."

 2.) "I don't know what you are talking about."

The Apology. 

7. At some point in time your estranged/ex spouse may apologize to you for his behavior and how he's treated you. Only you know by your situation if there is a chance the apology is sincere and followed with actions of empathy on his part. If there has been zero empathy shown on his part and instead he has continually served up verbal abuse, physical abuse, cheating, stonewalling, manipulation, pity parties, guilt trips imposed upon you and the children etc.... DON'T BELIEVE IT. As soon as our trial was over my then ex-spouse confronted me in the courtroom with an apology and although I sweetly smiled and said thank you I knew it stood on nothing... it had zero actions behind it to make me believe it for a nano-second due to the continual hell he'd inflicted upon me and my children for nine months. Don't get sucked back in... don't give them your trust again because they will take it and then gladly make you regret doing so.

8. The Softie Vs The Pit-bull.

You have hired an attorney because likely you need someone who is experienced in wading through the legal system and all of it's tricky legal lingo and paperwork. It's important to hire someone you mesh with and whose desire is for you to have a favorable outcome in your case. With that being said... if you hire an aggressive pit-bull you may have someone who also unnecessarily ups your costs and your anger fanning the flames in a case that is already emotional and contentious. Likewise, if you hire a softie who is a sweetheart to a fault it can become a detriment to your case as you may feel as if you are having to lead the battle yourself. Both scenarios can have drawbacks. It's important to find someone who has a balanced view and wants to work amicably with the opposing counsel yet also will step up and fight for you when needed.

9. Active Participant. 

No one knows your case better than you. When you go to court take a sticky note pad with you and pen. When opposing counsel begins their verbal barrage you need to be ready to hand your attorney a sticky note with your stance on it to voice for you and interject. Being familiar with your case, the facts and details etc can help you when going up against the other side.

10. Passports. 

If your estranged spouse has continually shown bad judgment regarding his choices in general and particularly regarding his children... as a mother you have to look out for them. Making certain any current or future passports are in your home will keep the power placed more in your pocket versus your estranged spouses. He should have to request the children's passports from you so many weeks in advance and give you a full itinerary showing where he plans to stay during his trip out of the country. In this agreement you can have it stated that you have daily phone contact with the children to ensure they are okay. Putting safeguards like these in place is imperative when it comes to the safety of your children and your peace of mind.

Life is not over... 

When we are kids we never dream to be divorced one day... as children we always believe we will have the fairy tale ending and live happily ever after. The good news is our day in court doesn't equate to the end of our life! We can still live happily ever after... we can write a new story and in that we can be a living testament to the grace, power and strength God has given us to get there!

© ~ 2013

This blog has had such a huge response that I've added the link below for Part 2: 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting & sharing!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Family: A Snapshot Of Health & Happiness

“Portrait Of Mother With Her Baby” by David Castillo Dominici via

As I sat in the hairdresser's chair at the salon she whisked the scissors around my head snipping here and there in quick flourishing movements. My hair stylist was speaking animatedly about her children and how wonderfully they were doing these days. It was clear that she was an extremely proud mother and as she spoke she admitted their life hadn't always held a rosy outlook. Now her children were nearly grown and her life had significantly changed over the years from one of upset, frustration, anger disappointment and worry to success, calm, peace.

She spoke to me of how when her two children were little her husband wouldn't seek employment which left her having to be the main provider for their family. Consequently this led her to having to make a decision for her and her children.... to stay and take the chance his behavior would eventually change for the better or file for divorce. Ultimately she left with the children, filed for divorce and he has not been involved nor interested in the children's lives since. That was over ten years ago. Imagine her fears at the beginning of her journey and how she had to make such a difficult decision for her family. This woman took a leap of faith trusting that God would provide for her and her children not only financially but look out for them in every way He could. Standing tall, strong and smiling she was a sweet example of God's love.

Often when we are looking in at a family from the outside the issues that need to be addressed and what needs to be changed can often leap out at us and make us want to yell exasperatedly what those changes should be. All too often though, sadly one of the adults in the home either does not see the changes that need to be made... living in denial or does see them and yet refuses to make the necessary changes or minimizes the issues. All of which by doing that compounds the issues with frustration on the part of those who know what needs to be implemented for the betterment of the family.

What are some ways to help your family become as healthy and happy as possible? 

There are things as parents we can do to build on what we already have to ensure an even more successful family. 


Each parent needs to be there for their children. By being present not just physically but also checked in emotionally it shows your children that first, you care about them. But secondly and if not just as important, it shows your children that you are connected. By spending quality time with them through your actions your care for them is affirmed. Quality time doesn't have to involve a grand or expensive gesture. Sometimes the little things are what children like best... blowing bubbles together, a game of tag or catch or just cuddling in a fort and reading a book.

Use Your Speech.... 

Word's of communication are vital with establishing a strong feeling of trust between you and your children. Expressing your love for them often and keeping line of communication open is essential to your children believing they can trust you. One of the most important things as a parent we can tell our kids other than "I love you" is... "You can always come to me and tell me anything. I will listen." Doing this continually throughout their childhood ensures a better chance of them then during the often tumultuous teenage years they will be more likely to come to you when they are having a problem... whether it be a friendship, peer pressure, sex, grades, drugs, etc. By letting your children know they can always come to you about anything and backing it up by not yelling or losing your cool with whatever they confide to you... it will go a long way in building that trust we need with our children from an early age all the way into adulthood.

Morally Sound....

Instilling morals is essential for a child's growth and praying for our child that they are guided with God's word, praying with them, reading bible stories together... all of these things help our children spiritually and morally. Setting a good example for our children is vital as our actions always mean significantly more than our speeches of what to do or not do. Not speeding, not being brash with the waiter, using good judgment in general will always relay to our children what is acceptable and what is not. We are the gatekeepers for our children and we have to be the ones who guard against anything they see that is not appropriate for their eyes or hearts which includes video games, television, movies, music, websites, etc.

God, Then Your Spouse, Then Your Children... 

Putting your spouse first right after God is essential. When we do this we then ensure a solid foundation for our children. When we stay connected to our spouse, spend plenty of quality time together each day, take vacations together and not put our careers ahead of our relationship but instead put God first... then our marriage can thrive. When our marriage thrives our children thankfully see two adults who are deeply devoted to one another, who love each other selflessly, who communicate without fault or wounding words, who work as equal partners.... two people who are fiercely devoted to the Lord and place Him first shows their children that to be led in God's love is the greatest walk they can ever take.

© ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting & sharing!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

31 Things To Teach My Son

“Son And Mother On Bikes” by Vlado via 

31 Things To Teach My Son:

1. Feelings are perfectly ok... sad, angry, hurt, disappointed, etc. You are not less of a man by admitting you are upset. No one should dictate how you feel. However, how you handle your feelings is important.

2. Responsibility. Whether it's for yourself or a wife and children too... you have responsibilities in life you must follow; following God, providing, caring for your family, just to name a few.

3. Give yourself credit. You are incredibly smart, witty, and kind.

4. Realize your worth but don't become fixated on ego, love of self and materialism. This leads to the destruction of not only yourself but others around you.

5. Pray and pray some more. Stay connected with God and give thanks daily.

6. Ask for help when needed. This doesn't equate to weakness... nor does going to therapy or marital counseling.

7. Dating; be vulnerable, tell her you love her if you do. Don't keep her wondering or you may lose her.

8. Open doors, say please and thank you, use table manners, make eye contact and give a firm handshake.

9. There should not be expectations behind everything we do. Doing nice things for others "just because" is a loving way to live. Don't keep score.

10. A Godly man doesn't whine or complain about having to support and/or lead his wife and children. He steps up and does the honorable thing with pleasure.

11. Follow the rules... traffic laws, paying taxes, business ethics, etc.

12. Being a leader means guiding not controlling. Finding solutions and compromise, inspiring those around you and setting a good example is much more important than dictating other's behavior.

13. Physical, emotional and verbal abuse is not acceptable. Especially toward women. Always treat women with respect.

14. Focus on saving money for retirement. Don't place all your money in a house, car etc.

15. Contribute to the household by always cleaning up your messes. Put the toilet lid down.

16. Control yourself and your impulses. Road rage is not a pretty sight.

17. If you marry, your wife will be your equal. Treat her accordingly; ask her opinion.

18. If you aren't ready for a baby (and preferably married) you shouldn't be having sex.

19. Take care of yourself; use sunscreen, brush and floss daily, see your doctor/dentist regularly, eat right and exercise.

20. Admit when you are wrong. People will respect you more when you humble yourself.

21. I will always be your mom but your wife should come first. When you marry your wife you marry her entire family and you'd better all get along or your marriage will suffer.

22. Tailor your purchases specifically to the woman you are dating/married to... her favorite flower, (may not be the standard red roses) her favorite perfume, her favorite chocolate, etc.

23. Cleanliness is important; clean clothes, a daily shower, deodorant, groomed hair and nails.

24. Cooking... learn how to cook at least a handful of good meals.

25. Your bible.... read it often and as a family.

26. Humor should involve more than the potty... what is funny at 18 is not usually at 35. Same for burping contests.

27. Love unconditionally. The best way to raise Godly children is to love your wife and put her first right after God. By doing this everything else falls into place.

28. Don't pick favorites amongst your children, as it creates unneeded rivalries, jealousies and manipulation tactics between your children for a contentious life long relationship.

29. Stand up for yourself calmly and respectfully.

30. Stand firm under peer pressure. Don't cave in to the evils of the world like drugs, excess alcohol and any addictions.

31. No matter how old you are I'll always be here for you and love you with all my heart.

© ~ 2013

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting & sharing!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Toxic Ties: The Soul Ties That Bind Us To Another


this post contains language 

 some names have been omitted in this post 


We had spent the afternoon strolling around the mall... and we had happened upon a photo booth... him spontaneously turning to me with a wide grin and taking my hand. 

Come, he had said to me and I let myself be led by him to the tiny booth. 

He fed the machine with some paper money then pulled back the small black curtain to reveal a seat inside. I ducked my head, climbing in and he joined me. It was dark and intimate inside the cozy booth and the sounds of the bustling mall outside it became muffled... children's gleeful laughter on the carousel, the merry music it made as it spun in circles of dizzying delight... the sweet scent of cinnamon pretzels baking for hungry stomachs dissipating once we were behind the dark curtain. Sitting cramped inside the booth beside him, I was keenly aware of our close proximity, his crisply ironed Ralph Lauren dress shirt, his masculinity, his beautiful golden skin like that of caramel and my smallness in size next to him. The scent of his Boss cologne with notes of spice, citrus and suede filled the tiny booth overpowering it and I glanced at his profile, feeling the intimacy of the moment.

He pointed to the camera and we put our heads together, both smiling, waiting for the camera to count down to the final flash. It took our picture and we climbed out waiting for it to print. The black and white photo slowly emerged bit by bit, finally dispensing, he taking it. We both looked at it. There we were smiling together at the top of an eight by eleven crisp sheet of white paper with a tiny calendar printed below it on the bottom half of the page. He smiled quietly and handed it to me. I carefully took it so as not to wrinkle it and we left the mall.

Once back at the apartment I took a clear plastic pushpin and pinned the black and white photo calendar to the bulletin board on the wall next to the dresser mirror. He smiled and slipped his arm around me, looking at the photo. He turned to me and said into my right ear,

Anh yeu em.

What does that mean? I asked him, not understanding.

It mean I love you Jen e fur. He replied, affectionally giving me a hug using the three distinct syllables as he always did for my name, then retreated to the kitchen to prepare lunch while I stood there absorbing this new revelation by him. 

Oh, Shit! 
I thought to myself. 

I gripped the edge of the black dresser with my fingers to steady myself from this new jolting news. My breath came out in ragged spurts, my fingers and nail beds turned stark white on the edge of the dresser and I glanced back up at the smiling photo pinned to the cork board. It was our first photographic proof of our time together. I looked intently at the girl in the photo smiling back at me. What the hell was happening? He loved me? No... this can't be. But yet how was it in this sick twisted mess that I had developed feelings for him? Oh God... I thought despairingly. How was that possible after what he'd done? He had committed at that time the seemingly unforgivable yet here I was standing in a quagmire of conflicting emotional hate and affection for him. How had this happened? It wasn't normal... surely it wasn't.... and yet I had no idea what to do or if I could even leave. Leaving... I knew he wouldn't take kindly to that.  

Now I had a tie to him however fucked up that was. 

Soul ties. 

However it comes about... whether it's your boyfriend, a long term relationship, a one night stand... a rape that turns into some kind of bizarre relationship when you are seventeen and you've left home... regardless of how it manifested... maybe you feel tied to this man, this person whom you've had sex with... and now you feel tied to them however destructive the tie may be... it may resemble anything but love... 

you realize it's not a tie of love and what God desires for you but more like zip  ties of bondage and subjugation.... 

that consequently brings a flurry of feelings... of control, helplessness, despair and a confused connection that isn't healthy. 

That is not a good thing. 

That is a tie that must be broken. 


A soul tie is an emotional/ sexual bond developed with a person that we know is not healthy for us but yet we continually feel a pull toward that person. This is can prevent us from moving forward in life and leading us to the good, healthy relationships that God desires us to have. Soul ties can leave us stuck and unable to move past the baggage we need to deal with. It can be in the case of a one night stand, a long term relationship that ended, a divorce, etc. We have to cut these toxic ties to others so that we can go on to live the life God has planned for us... cutting these ties pleases God and living to please Him is much more important than living with the gravitational pull toward another human being that is not in our best interests. God wants us to ask for help in cutting soul ties we may have with someone and praying for His help is one of the wisest things we can do. It will take time...  there may be setbacks, but by staying in God's word, admitting to Him you need help and cutting all contact with the person whom you have a soul tie with... will greatly benefit you in moving forward. Eventually over time we will find that we no longer think of this person and finally feel free! 

When we run... flee from the ties that bind us in sin.... 

When we say "no more" and shut that door... 

When we obey God and what He desires for us... 

We will be incredibly blessed and live in peace.... 

what great freedom there is in that!

© ~ 2013 

Cutting soul ties: 

1. pray to God for help with cutting your soul tie
2. find healing by searching your heart for any un-forgivness toward the person 
3. cut all contact including email, phone calls and texting
4. ask for help and to be held accountable by a friend who is supportive but non judgmental 
5. throw away any mementos, cards, photos etc you have from the person 

To My Readers: 
Thank you for reading, 
commenting & sharing! 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Finding Comfort In The Divorce Process

It had been an incredibly long day of interviews, appointments and errands.... and it now unfortunately also included sore callused feet, clothes that pinched and pulled, black heeled shoes that needed to be kicked off, a hungry irritable stomach and a mildly throbbing headache at my temples.


The shoes were kicked off...

The callused feet massaged and soaked in bath salts...

The headache treated with the popping of an Advil...

The uncomfortable clothes were replaced with comfy grey pajamas...

I walked into the dark kitchen and opened the stainless steel refrigerator, the light from within revealing it's highlighted contents of a family size package of fried chicken, potato salad, green beans and chocolate pudding cups alongside a tub of cool whip. Reaching in, I hauled the family sized pack of fried chicken to the counter where I grabbed a plate from an upper cabinet and began the process of piling chicken legs onto it... then nearby on the speckled granite countertop I spied a clear plastic package of plain donuts drizzled in glaze.

I stuck the package of the remaining chicken back in the fridge and began prying open the plastic package of glazed donuts. Setting three donuts on the plate alongside the chicken legs, I then headed downstairs to the den where I promptly set up on the couch with my plate piled high, plenty of napkins and a glass of ice water. Covering up in a cozy blanket, I picked up the remote, aiming it at the blackened screen, ready to watch the Bachelorette.


Sometimes we need a little comfort. Depending on our changing circumstances we may even need more than a little. Maybe we require a lot. There is nothing wrong with finding comfort in the little things in life, like soft sweaters, buttery mashed potatoes, blankets, warm cocoa, coffee, chocolate cake, well worn pajamas, bubble baths, a favorite movie, journaling, the warmth of our bed, etc. These are all wonderful things that God gave us and we can enjoy. But we want to make sure the comforts of the world aren't replacing our greatest comforter.... God.

When we are in need of comfort we can ask ourselves... 

What are we turning to for comfort but also who are we turning to for that comfort we so desire? One of God's great promises for us is comfort along with peace. We may find comfort in fried chicken, donuts and a soft blanket curled up.... but we can also always find comfort in God's word... reading it, meditating on it and praying.

We don't have to fear that God will make us go it alone in life... He is there and always ready to lend His hand, to wipe our tears, to share His shoulder. He is forever faithful and ever-lasting unlike the worldly comforts of fried chicken and donuts that are fleetingly filling and then leave us empty once again.

We may in the midst of life changes such as divorce feel an emptiness around us... after all, one side of the bed is empty, one closet is empty, one place setting at the table is empty... but God's presence is still there... He has not left you for a moment. He is right there beside you and although divorce saddens Him and He hates divorce... God doesn't hate you. He hates what it does to two people who were joined in a covenant before him, who had lovely expectations and hopes at one time that have now been infinitely altered. He hates the pain, the anguish, the disappointment, the tears, the breaking up of a family and the sin that brought it to that state.

Ex spouse vs God: seeking comfort... 

We can't expect our soon to be ex spouse to provide the comfort we need during the course of a divorce. In a healthy marriage, we are able to seek and feel the comfort we desire from our spouse because it's a healthy union with two people selflessly loving each other. With every marriage there will be hurts however unintentional along the way. But, in a case of divorce, it's already been established the union as it is IS unhealthy, comfort is not attainable, it may be one-sided or requires lengthy intensive therapy to get it where it would need to thrive if it ever would. We don't have to worry about God abandoning us and not giving us the comfort we seek from Him... He is always ready to comfort us, to selflessly love us with unconditional care and compassion.

Affirmation: comforting words from others... 

There is some comfort to be found in knowing other's have survived divorce. When we learn of other's who have endured the often lengthy trials of divorce and the wide range of emotions that go with it... it gives each of us an additional glimmer of hope. We can take comfort in knowing God led them too through the darkness to the other side where light and a renewed self stands in strength and victory. Divorce changes us and may very well shape us to become even more compassionate toward others who later go through the same experiences.... we can nod and affirm their feelings... and confirm that God will see them through just as He did for us!

The process: take your time... 

We can't hurry the process of healing from divorce overnight. There is unfortunately no "quick fix", bandaid or magic pill to swallow. Many well intentioned friends may try to advise us to "rise above", "cheer up" or "get out of the pit" etc. But it takes time to go through the healing process and we may need comfort over well meaning instruction on how to feel or grieve. Naturally if anyone is tired of feeling the way you do... it's you and having someone dictate how you should feel and process your emotions including a time line to do it in is certainly not helpful. Having the freedom to grieve in your own way and time frame is essential to seeing the process through and not getting stuck.

You're of great value: don't blame yourself... 

If your divorce stemmed from a betrayal and you now feel rejected... take heart in knowing that without a doubt it is no reflection on you. Just because you have not been a "perfect" spouse, (surprise! there is no perfect spouse) ...  just because you were occasionally cranky or didn't make his favorite dinner more often, etc doesn't mean he had any right to cheat on you. A spouse being "unhappy" in their marriage does not give them the green light to cheat. Someone choosing to betray you... that is not a "mistake". A "mistake" is a mathematical error. A betrayal on the other hand is a conscious decision to make a negative sinful choice and to lie. A person cannot cheat without also lying. The two acts go hand in hand. To cheat one must lie regarding their whereabouts, their activities, their loyalty and love for you. You are a valuable, worthy person that God loves and cares for... He sees your pain and is right there to comfort you and help you in working through your anger. The good news is... your anger can actually fuel you forward, to motivate you to push yourself to new outward limits whether it be personal goals like fitness, your career, your passions, etc... your anger can be a positive thing to help propel you into your new life!

God: walk boldly with Him...

We can walk boldly in life knowing God is there beside us ready to give us comfort during our trials and that no amount of fried chicken or glazed donuts will ever come close to replacing that. Thank goodness we can look for a greater comfort from the Lord above... that He is always ready with a comforting love so fulfilling we must use our napkin to blot our eyes in eternal thankfulness.

© ~ 2013 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading,

 commenting and sharing! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Comparison Trap: Don't Compare Your Path In Life To Other's

"What do you do?" 

"Where did you go to high school?"

"Where did you go to college?"


In my twenties I would cringe when these questions were posed to me in social circles.

Perhaps some of you have too.

Finding our way... 

When I was little my dream was to be a ballerina.  However I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for years after it became very clear being a ballerina wasn't going to happen. Having posters of ballerinas in your bedroom and yet zero lessons.... does not quite cut it.

It understandably it can be unsettling when everyone around you seemingly has everything figured out and is sailing through life with zero uncertainty about what their profession will be. This may then lead to anxiety ridden moments during social settings when someone asks you "What do you do?" But even if you struggle with not knowing what path career wise you aspire to take in life... rest assured you are not alone. The truth is, each of us reach our destination of discovering where our heart lies, what our passions are, what is important to us in our own time. This is why it's so important to try our hand at many new things to see what we flourish in...  yet have not yet discovered. Just because we may take a little longer than others to realize what we know in our hearts we are meant to do does not mean for a second we are less than others who have it all figured out from the start of childhood.


Likewise we may decide that being a mom is the only job we desire. There is nothing wrong with that and in fact is often the most under appreciated (and unpaid) job as a whole by society today. There is never truly "off time", as raising children also comes with managing a home, overseeing appointments and caring for sick children. Any mother who has drudged out of bed like a zombie at 3 am to administer fever medication and a cool washcloth to a sick child knows the sacrifices a mother makes. A mother's joy supersedes her sacrifices in the long run even if during that 3 am moment she questions procreation however fleeting. Being a mother is a noble job that we are blessed with by God and one each of us should take seriously and in no way ever regard as less than. As women we are preparing our children to live in Godly character as adults one day. We don't ever have to be ashamed to say we are mothers... we are actually beyond blessed to call ourselves "mom" and to have a little one refer to us as theirs.

High school... 

We may not have made the typical decisions others have made during those four years and in fact may have made less than stellar choices... perhaps we became involved with people of shady character, maybe we skipped classes... regrettably finding ourselves planted in detention or summer school more often than a regular classroom. Whatever decisions we made back then and however long ago, they may very well have impacted us for quite some time. For some who sailed through high school on the high of popularity, excellent grades and esteem and were rooted in a positive family life their high school years may be in stark contrast to what their peers experienced. What holds us back in life is choosing to continually subscribe to the false notion that we are less than due to our past or the mistakes we've made in it. We don't have to beat ourselves up and instead can look back at how far we've come. We can stand firmly in Christ's love for us. Turning from our old ways has set a new life before us and that includes our hopes and dreams coming to fruition despite a rocky beginning... what a testament to living in victory!


Our sense of self worth shouldn't be founded in our degree, campus of education, sorority, etc. Your worth is not grounded in the image of how others perceive you, or the alumni sticker on your vehicle's back window or lack thereof but instead God's unwavering love for you. Today there may be enormous competition in social circles to be what others expect you to be and live up to the ways of the world when it comes to status and image... but we don't have to place our faith in things that may very well be fickle and uncertain. Instead we can place our faith in God and realize that no matter if our beginning was rough and more closely resembled "school of hard knocks" we have been finely chiseled by God each day since to stand where we are now.... in strength and celebratory triumph. I can think of no greater degree of success than that. For when we stand in celebratory triumph with God we encourage others to also.

No matter what path we choose in life we can rest assured that we are each walking our individual journey. We don't have to compete or compare ourselves with others... doing so only serves to trap us in comparison and cause us unneeded stress and self doubt. Instead, we can meditate on our passions and set goals for ourselves that enable us to become better each and every day... with God's guidance and prayers on our part we can not only survive in life but actually go a step further and thrive!

© ~ 2013 

To My Readers: Thank you for reading, commenting & sharing!