Saturday, August 31, 2013

What Women Like: Romance + Godly Character

"I know what women like!" my son announced to me with a confident tone in his voice. 

Amused, I had to hear what his pearls of wisdom were and paused, setting aside the box I had been unpacking filled with his legos and Lionel train accessories. 

"Oh, really?" I raised an eyebrow with a grin... "Tell me." I prompted him.

Excited to share his thoughts, he continued. 

"They like romance, sunsets, walks on the beach. They like you to tell them they are beautiful. Oh! And they like cruises. They REALLY like cruises!" my son added with certainty. 

I wasn't sure why he was so adamant about cruises but as we talked in more depth about what women like I realized he had placed romance before morals and Godly character. I made a mental note to myself that it was important to discuss a man's character in on-going conversations with him as being what women want also... because if we don't have a man of good moral character is a cruise really such a draw for us? 

Romance is like icing on a cupcake and without it our dating or marital relationships might be equated to a boring muffin. Add icing to the top and suddenly there is desire... sweetness and sparks flying from the candle atop it lit. But depending on the person romance doesn't always come easy. For some it comes easier than others... but when it does come easy... even then, there is such a thing as so many hours in a day, limited energy and perhaps creativity. 

Romance takes at least some effort on the part of each individual and despite the enjoyment of (expensive) cruises, much of showing how we feel for the one we love is in the little everyday things... showing the other person your appreciation for them. A lack of romance leads to staleness, boredom and feeling a sense of just going through the motions in life. We can choose to actively romance our spouse each and every day through small gestures of love and appreciation.

Attraction is obviously a good thing and what may initially bring two people together. Yet how often does someone's personality and character make them even more attractive to us? Attraction is of course desired in any relationship between a couple that is married or dating. If we marry someone whom we are not attracted to we will undoubtedly run into some problems later down the road. The last thing any of us would want to do in a marital relationship is to unwittingly jip the person we are spending the rest of our life with or ourselves by realizing later we simply lack any chemistry and are merely remaining stuck in the friend zone.

With that being said, beauty also comes from within; in the Godly character of each spouse and is incredibly important in terms of choosing who we marry. Man's automatic fleshly desire is to choose someone based on the outward   appearance. But the Lord always looks at our heart. Someone may marry "eye candy" and gush about what "beautiful babies" they will make. But what is this attraction or union solely based on? Lust? Image? Narcissim? We can all look intently at what our driving force is in who we are choosing to date and one day marry. 

Have you ever been around someone who was stunningly beautiful on the outside but inside had an ugly heart and treated those around them as inferior? Have you ever known someone who you found physically attractive on a lukewarm level but were all the more attracted to once you got to know them and realized what an incredibly wonderful person they were? 

Naturally we all want someone we are physically attracted to but we need to remain cognizant that the other attraction we must search for is biblical. We can remember that our inner warmth and genuineness from within shines brightly more and more as time goes by... 

and inner beauty aka Godly character is worth far more than any fleeting superficial appearance. 

Romance & Attraction: 
Some of the most important things a man can ask.... 

What makes her light up from within? 

What makes her heart light and free? 

What makes her heart happy and smile? 

What makes her draw closer to me in regards
 not in worldly things like materialism and cruises. 

© ~ 2013 

              To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

            commenting and sharing! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Sacrifice: A Man's Love

"We can't expect a man who has an ugly view of women
 to sacrifice for his wife as he will see himself as superior
 to her along with her needs and desires being less-than his." 


What could possibly be wrong with sacrifice in a marriage as there is beauty in it.... just like Christ's love for us. Imagine how much more marriage can be with a man who is living by the word of God alongside his wife... two people who are truly committed to one another. How beautiful it is if a husband is encouraging his wife to become everything she can be also... when both individuals feel the freedom of balance and one not being weighted down like a brick while the other experiences the joy of floating. We are meant to be encouragers in life and by supporting each others dreams we build up those we love, not drain and take away leaving little left. 

A Man's Self Vs SACRIFICE... 

Is he willing to sacrifice the comforts of life he desires to provide what you need if necessary? 

Is he willing to sacrifice his life for you?

Is he by your side when you are sick, sacrificing his other pursuits as he knows you are the most important person in his life? 

Is he on your side, are you working together as a team or do you feel as though he is living for himself within the marriage?  

A Man's View Of Women... will affect his view of sacrificing for his wife.

Is he walking in the light and not in the dark ways of the world; the crassness and vulgarity spoken of women? The dirty objectification of women? 

Does he deem women without value and useless to him other than being used for sex? 

Does he see women as invisible after age 30? After age 40? After age 50?

Does he view women as people with actual feelings, thoughts and intelligence or merely a once attractive woman now used, over the hill and riddled with aging imperfections? 

When there are sacrifices extended in purposeful love by each partner in a relationship, in a marriage... this creates a healthy environment where each spouse is encouragingly propelled by the other to pursue their personal goals however large or small. It may not always be perfectly equal (and likely won't be) but if attempts are made so each person feels heard, their dreams valued and encouraged... beautiful things can happen in a marriage as each person grows individually, reaching their own potential, ultimately bringing each of you closer together in communication and love! .... this being an example of a healthy marriage. 

"As women, we may sacrifice nearly to a fault, becoming people pleasers and ultimately becoming dissatisfied and depressed. We need to guard against sacrificing so much that we become a doormat and lose who we are and what we wish for in this life. Teaching our daughters this is essential and that marrying a man who understands and lives the concept that sacrifice should be mutual is vital to her future marriage being a healthy one." 

We can't have light and darkness in our marriage and thus if we marry someone we should share the same beliefs and purposely live the same walk. We may marry someone who sold us a facade of being a follower of God and then once the "I do's" are exchanged and we are behind closed doors come to realize it was all a good talk without action to back it up. 

2 Corinthians 6:14 

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Genuine love is always marked by the hallmark trait of being open, trusting one another, loyalty and giving each spouse the freedom to live authentically. 

Alternatively, unhealthy love is demonstrated by selfishness, disloyalty and love of self... shown by destructive behaviors such as using one's spouse to fuel solely their own ambitions and dreams. Expectations may be placed incredibly high upon the sacrificing spouse that it causes each spouse to become frustrated... eventually the one who continually takes and takes feels his never ending needs and desires still aren't being met... so he seeks additional fulfillment through sins like affairs or addiction.

      God gave us the ultimate sacrifice... 

               His son Jesus Christ

When we live boldly, fearlessly, walking in selflessness with each other in our marriages, choosing to marry someone in which we both share living out God's purposeful love through action... we have the opportunity to be a beautiful example to others in their marriages... 

To be sacrificing and encouraging. 

That doesn't have to be merely a dream. 

It can be a beautiful reality. 

© ~ 2013 

                     To My Readers: 

                 Thank you for reading,

               commenting and sharing! 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Sociopathic Ex & Preventing Your Child Becoming One

You had no idea when you married he wasn't a healthy person you were saying "I do" to... but instead a sociopath. You may not have known for years, you may not have discovered it until during the divorce process or even until after the finalization of it. 

Once you realize you are/were married to a sociopath the first question that may come to mind is: 

How do I deal with him? 

First and foremost the absolute most important thing you can do with a sociopath is to cut contact with them in person, via phone and text. Email and www.ourfamilywizard are great ways to communicate. Communicating this way does two things.... one, it will make your life much more peaceful and two, it will help you get the distance needed so you can heal from the emotional destruction and abuse your ex has wielded for years over you. 

Working with a therapist who is skilled in dealing with sociopaths and who can guide you in setting healthy boundaries will go a long way in building the invisible security fence you need to keep your ex out of your yard, your heart, your mind and lastly, your life as much as possible. 

The next question you may inevitably have is:

How is a sociopath created?

Sociopathic behavior is said by experts to be a seed originally planted by family genetics but often later triggered to grow by the environment the child lives in; the mother or father's style of parenting. Not all children who are born with the predisposition go on later in life to become sociopaths. Most of whether it develops lies solely on the parent(s). If intervention is begun early enough in life, before puberty hits, children can receive the help they need to become healthy, well adjusted adults one day capable of loving others besides solely themselves. 

A sociopath is all about himself. These are typically the dads who are neglectful or just outright abandon their children, walking out and leaving the mother to solely care for them. In reality, this is the best thing that could happen and though it may be difficult for someone to wrap their head around that notion, it's the horrific alternative of having an abusive dad in the picture that makes him walking off the best case scenario. 

If the sociopathic father stays in the family picture it will indeed be an uphill battle. In fact, the father is likely capable of winning 50/50 custody due to his cunning tactics of showing how "devoted" a father he is... ultimately winning over the court systems with his "refreshing over the top" fatherly devotion to his children we see so little of in today's world as a whole. The court system is typically so pleasantly pleased to see what they view as a "respectable and nice man stepping up to the plate" that they dismiss away any talk from the mother that he's a sociopath painting a facade of care for his children when in reality behind closed doors he's a manipulative, cunning, controlling, lying man who will use his children as pawns at any cost to get the control he wants over you and them. This unfortunately often leaves the mother feeling a loss of control, her hands tied, her words cut off and no one believing what she knows in her heart is happening and no one believing what she has seen this man is capable of behind closed doors. 

But fret not..... 

There's hope. 

Children often see through a sociopathic father's behavior early. And they often see it much earlier than their mother does. They see the evil cloaked in kindness and they know what their father is capable of along with instilling fear in them... of creating confusion and havoc... of twisting their words, minimizing or dismissing their feelings, wants and needs. 

There are things as the normally functioning parent you can do even if you share custody and co-parenting with a sociopath to thwart their attempts at attacking your character, bad mouthing you, lying about you, twisting your words, etc. There are also things as the mother you can do to ensure you don't raise a sociopathic child who patterns after their father one day as a adult. 

10 Tips to help in dealing with a sociopathic ex 
& ways to prevent your child becoming one:

1. If your sociopathic ex who has cheated is lying and tells your children:

"Mommy cheated"... act cool without indignant alarm in their presence when they relay this information to you. When they begin telling you what he's said the lack of reaction by you gives his words zero power. You know it's a lie and he's continuing pitiful attempts at planting a seed of doubt in your children's minds about your character (because he wants the heat off him and placed on you. Sociopaths love creating drama and interaction even if it's negative. Sometimes all you can do is laugh)... then he casually follows his outright lie to them with a "Ohhh, I shouldn't have said that.... that wasn't appropriate. I won't say anything further, I'll talk to you about it when you're older and grown up." 

You, of course, see right through it, you see the evil. You know what he's doing. The children see it too and hence their loyalty is to you. So listen to what they say and then respond with "Hmmm, well, I never did that. Sounds like another one of those times people are just making up crazy stories. You may hear lots of stuff that isn't true." Then move on. 

2. Always, always document everything your ex does. It can't be stressed enough. Documenting what he's doing (or not doing) could certainly build you a viable reason to take him back to court at some point in time.

3. As a mother, guard against having a relationship with your son where he is your "pal", your best friend or emotional crutch aka husband figure. It's imperative you watch the "Mama's boy" dynamic  and make sure you are not leaning on him, allowing him to be "the little man", "the mini man of the house", etc. Children need to see their mother as fully capable, strong and self assured in her decision making, financial earning and emotional health. Even if at times you don't feel it. At times like those when you may feel less than confident it's important to lean on a friend. Children need to see that "mama has it all running smoothly and together and there is zero reason for worry". It will give them comfort by reminding them every so often of this.

4. It's imperative we give our children a voice. A sociopathic father wields great control over his children, as he voices what they need, their desires and most importantly their feelings as he sees fit. Anytime your children voice a hurt, an upset or an injustice the sociopathic father may react with visible irritation responding with a dismissive "You're fine!"  Sociopaths are narcissistic and always place their needs before others. They are the ones who spend what they want, evade taxes, come and go as they please, lie, cheat, praise status and image and look out for themselves. They will not give any life to your children's voices. But you can! Encourage your children daily to talk to you, use their voice and share their thoughts with you. This is vital. Ask them how they feel about different situations and experiences... how they feel when they are treated less than well by others and listen attentively with undivided attention. Be a good example, treating others with kindness and respect... letting your children learn by your actions that helping others, speaking nicely, using manners and caring about others is a wonderful thing! 

5. Teach your children not to fear their father. The sociopathic father parents his children through fear. He doesn't want to be questioned, he doesn't want to hear they don't like his rules, that they don't like who he's dating, that they don't like how he's torn their world upside down. He's running a dictatorship not a peace loving home with the right to use their speech intertwined with respectfully sharing how they feel. Tell your children each and every day they are absolutely worthy of God's love, your love and the love of others. Affirm this to them. Encourage them to boldly (but respectfully) tell their father how they feel and to not shrink back in fear from him, for when they lose their fear of him he loses power to hurt them as much.

6. Give to others. An important thing for your child to see you doing is volunteering or helping others even if its on a small scale like offering a bag of raisins, water and crackers to a homeless person, letting a person cut in ahead of you in traffic, leaving a large tip for your waiter, etc. When your children see you doing nice things for others they will see the beautiful value in giving unconditionally to people without expecting anything in return unlike the sociopath who only has time for helping others if they find them useful to them and their own needs. 

7. Children are shaped by their parents. If one of their parents has stayed in the picture, abused them physically, verbally and emotionally, as the sociopathic parent does... this instills insecurity, fear, distrust and a general lack of control in their lives. Which leads the child to not receive the comfort and security from their parent(s) that they so desperately need to become a healthy adult. What develops instead is a child who acts aggressively toward others as a need for control in the name of protecting themselves. This may be a child who behaves defiantly, has incredibly low self esteem, bullies, is cruel to siblings, animals, plays with fire, etc. 

8. When we guard against acting aggressively toward our children we receive the same positive behavior we role model... back from them. When we guard against yelling at our children and instead implement positive ways to reinforce behavior through active praise etc, we are teaching them that gentleness is a vital part to discipline. 

9. Once a child grows into an adult who is a sociopath the damage is done and there is unfortunately no undoing it through medication or therapy.... that's why it's essential that children receive the intervention they need during childhood. 

10. Sociopaths attack you; your character without merit due to their deep rooted insecurities within themselves stemming from an abusive childhood. They criticize and transfer all their negative behaviors, traits, feelings, self hatred etc, onto others... and if you are divorcing one you may very well have become their favorite target. They will outright lie and say you've said things you never said, they will twist your words until they no longer resemble what you did say, they will create confusion where once there was clarity. The defense against these manipulative tactics is to disengage. This goes back to distancing yourself from them for your own mental health. Just when you believe things "may be different" and you attempt to dip your toe back in by communicating with them it undoubtedly will send you running back to safety... because each time the sociopath will delight in going for the jugular once again proving they cannot be trusted. 

No one prepares for marrying a sociopath 
nor one day possibly divorcing one
and unfortunately having to co-parent with them. 

But by sharing our experiences with others who have lived it we can raise awareness of how to handle the situation so none of us feel at the sociopath's mercy. Doing this is a great thing and although someone who hasn't experienced the wrath and craziness of a sociopath may question our coping strategies and may chalk it all up to "psycho-babble" or us behaving as disillusioned or less than nice.... those of us who have lived it know otherwise and what it requires in self preservation.

We can take the steps needed to keep a sociopathic ex at a healthy distance and instill the things needed to prevent a child becoming one themselves. The parent who is functioning as a healthy parent does have the power to make a difference in the child's life and help offset the destruction the sociopathic parent is attempting to create. There is hope!

We don't have to live as a victim at the hands of a sociopath or one who is our ex. We can walk in peace, freedom and victory! We can take heart in knowing there are others who have lived it too and have come out on the other side past just "survival mode" into healthy living and thriving! 

What a blessing that is.

© ~ 2013

 Revelation 21:8 

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, 
as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, 
and all liars,their portion will be in the lake 
that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.

- English Standard Version

                 2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to 
salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
- English Standard Version

                To My Readers: 

                Thank you for reading, 

              commenting and sharing!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When We Deem Those An Inconvenience


What or more specifically who comes to your mind? 

Is it the elderly? 

Is it people with Down syndrome? 

It is people with learning disabilities? 

Is it people with Autism? 

Is it people with speech and language delays? 

Is it people with Aspergers?

Is it people with ADHD? 

Is it people with dementia? 

Is it people with hearing loss? 

Is it people with Tourette's? 

Is it a pregnancy? 

It's sad to say that some people are viewed less than in this world based purely upon their looks, their abilities that don't match the typical individual's, perceived flaws, or perceived as humans with wrong timing to enter our world.  

We, as a whole in our society, seem to have a huge issue today with being inconvenienced with what's in our way or what's not pleasing to our eyes and holding a skewed view of how things "should be" in the name of perfection and perfect timing and the perfect plan. Even if we don't hold these views ourselves it's an issue for everyone today because it affects us all. 

Babies are aborted everyday because they are viewed as an "inconvenience." They aren't part of someone's plan and instead of being viewed as new life are instead being viewed as a choice. When as women we already made our choice...

to have sex. 

We know by making the choice to have sex we are taking a chance at creating life. 

Therefore why are we being given the choice to act as God and end it? 

As someone who at twenty was pro-choice and now many many years later is now pro-life.... I've witnessed the anguish, grief, tears, regret and self imposed shame and un-forgiveness many women go through after choosing to abort life... and it's not pretty. It's a long walk, a harrowing shadow that often follows women who mourn in secret because they feel its much too risky to speak, to share, lest they be harshly judged.... when they are already judging themselves. These women may feel they have no place to land, a soft spot if you will, as women who are pro-choice may not understand her grief and those who are pro-life may judge her for her past choice. She may feel as if she's in the desert, in no man's land because either way she feels she has no niche or another woman who will softly say "Me too", hug her, sit with her in silent grief and in her quiet, loving presence, acknowledge her similarly wounded heart. Abortion does more than kill babies.... it kills the mother whom God also loves, causing a lifetime of grief and regret. 

People who were born with all ten fingers and toes, average to higher than average intelligence, seamlessly functioning cognitive abilities and mental health.... are they considered any better than the child with sensory issues and dyslexia? 

Aren't the individuals who may be deemed "perfect people" by society really seen as imperfect in God's eyes each and every day and yet given grace.... (each of us are) as there is no "perfect person" on earth. A "perfect person" is just a false idea society has repeatedly attempted to sell us through lies, image and photoshop which ultimately does nothing but make people feel inadequate, buy into the comparison trap and succumb to depression.

The child or adult who has disabilities may be treated as an inconvenience to others and society as a whole. People with disabilities are indeed fully capable of feelings, of love, of contributing to society and working a meaningful job. They are capable of dating, marrying and having families. They are not less than, nor should ever be treated as such as that backward mentality has chilling similarities to what led to the Holocaust.... because at the end of the day one group of people were erroneously viewed as "less than"... by far our worst example of human hatred demonstrated in history. 

People with special needs want the services they need to reach their personal best to succeed in life. Just like the child who benefits from an aide in the classroom a man who is blessed to have a ramp to access his place of work via his wheel chair... both are different examples of how they are then achieving their best in life through services provided to them. They both also want what everyone wants... friendship, love, warmth, kindness, humor, affection, respect, an education, a job, earnings, shelter, clothing, food, etc. 

Who is anyone to deny them that? 

Who is anyone to tell them they are inferior or should be treated less than? Who is anyone to tell someone they don't deserve a chance? Whether that someone is a kid with Asperger's denied a chance to play in a team sport or a baby being denied life.... no one should hold the right to deny.

Because when we deny people by viewing them as an inconvenience we deny LIFE whether it's a little boy's spirit broken on the side lines of a field or a baby being yanked from it's mother's womb in the form of birth control after the fact. 

God doesn't want us to engage in anything that doesn't bring light and life to others. He doesn't want us to view others as an inconvenience. We were made by Him. Each of us. He knew us before He formed us in our mother's womb... and be certain it pains Him for anyone to view anyone God created as inconvenient. 

We were put here to help and love others… 

to not view others as an inconvenience but as an opportunity to bless!  

© ~ 2013 

                 To My Readers: 

            Thank you for reading, 

          commenting and sharing! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Timing & Sacrifice: When God Uses Us To Bless Others

summer 2013 


I slowly pulled my SUV into the deserted CVS parking lot,
 lights from the building welcoming me like a beacon in the dark. 

It was 2:30 a.m.

Pulling into a front parking space by the door I put the vehicle in park and sat hunched over my steering wheel resting my head on it momentarily trying to gain my wits about me. My heart was racing and my entire body was shaking like a leaf barely attached to a twig fluttering in the wind. I felt incredibly small in my jeans, paint spattered crew neck top and  baseball cap. Despite sweaty palms that clung to the leather steering wheel, I couldn't seem to stop my shivering and my teeth were chattering like I'd been outside in the snow and 30 degree temps. 

But it was July. 

God, please let them be okay, please let them be okay, please let them be okay....

My thoughts continued like a frantic loop praying to God that the horrific scene I'd just witnessed was going to have a good ending. 

It felt like forever that I sat there waiting for the shaking to stop so I would feel steady enough to exit the vehicle and go in the store. 

All the while praying.... 

My running shoes hit the parking lot pavement and letting my purse hang on my right arm, key fob in hand, I strode toward the doors that automatically opened revealing brightly stocked shelves of merchandise... candy, beer, makeup and summer travel essentials. 

I headed to the candy aisle.... 

All the while praying.... 

And there between the caramels and Hershey chocolates I lost my appetite I never really had to begin with. It was just a nervous desire to eat, I realized.

I headed to the cleaning supply and paper products aisle to get some essentials I'd needed for my new home, the original reason for my outing. 

All the while praying.....

Returning home much later and setting my keys down on the Queen Anne style entry table alongside my two plastic sacks of purchases, I felt incredibly blessed to be walking in my door and coming home that night because not everyone did.... 

All the while praying..... 

Brushing my teeth, washing my face and rinsing it with cool water, carefully flossing and applying cold face cream, I continued praying up until I drifted off to sleep, my head heavy upon the squishy pillow, my mind mentally drained and my body weary from sheer physical exhaustion, adrenaline now long passed.


The streets are slick, I notice from the downpour hours ago that night, creating slippery spots where oil has pooled in the street and not washed away. Halos of light from the street lights highlight the street every few feet giving drivers just enough guidance to make their way along the inky tree lined street.

I approach the wide intersection ahead flicking on my blinker to make a left turn as the traffic light turns from red to green. As I make the turn something catches in my peripheral vision and I glance to my left. 

My heart skips a beat. 

Oh God, no.... 

My stomach feels like its been misplaced. 

I see skin. 

I see bare legs. 
Laying on the ground. 

"Is that.... ? Noooo... It can't be..." I whisper under my breath. 

But it is. 

I immediately make a u-turn. 

The small black car ahead of me does the same and comes to a stop, it's red hazard lights pulsating at me. A man gets out and begins waving his arms at me. 

I roll down my window. The surprising cool summer night air hits my face.

He says he will stay with them if I'll call for help and try to warn oncoming drivers. 

I agree and quickly turn my SUV around. 


"911... What's your emergency?" 

"I need paramedics, an ambulance, someone please!" 

"Okay, ma'am, what's going on?" 

"There's been a motorcycle crash. There are two people laying in the road. Please hurry.... they are not moving."

"Okay, are you with them?" 

"No, a gentleman is staying with them while I try to warn oncoming traffic so they don't get hit." 

"Okay, ma'am, please be careful. I'm sending help right now." 

I pull my SUV into the median facing oncoming traffic. It's 2 a.m. and luckily not many vehicles are on the road at this time of night but the chance someone would come along was enough to warrant a need to deter them. I press the button on my dash for my hazard lights to flash and then intermittently begin flashing my head lights at an oncoming car. It doesn't appear to be slowing down so I begin blaring the horn which causes the driver to brake and slow their speed, looking over at me with a look of bewilderment initially but then coming to a stop by what they see ahead in the road. By that time a truck is barreling in our direction and once again I lay on the horn and flash my lights at it. The driver chooses to ignore my warning and narrowly skids to the side of the street into the gutter hitting the curb at the last possible minute. 

Just then the blare of a fire engine siren can be heard as it turns the corner, lights flashing and heads toward the scene thankfully to help. 


Sometimes we come across situations in life that we don't plan for. Who could ever plan for a night like that? The couple on the motorcycle didn't anymore know they would be in need of dire help later that night than I knew that a very simple late night trip out to fetch some supplies after a long night of painting would put me and the gentleman who also stopped in a position of perfect timing to help them. 

We never know when God will use us to help someone….  

To be in a certain place at just the right time. 

God calls us to step out in this world and help others, to care and sacrifice for all those in need... to take risks and live boldly.... for if we died doing the right thing would that be so bad?

How blessed are we… 
To be chosen by Him! 

© ~ 2013 

             To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Divorce: 6 Practical Tips For Healing


names have been omitted or changed in this post 

this post contains language 


"I would just like us to reach a point where we can be friends... you know, I'd really like to be friends and maybe go to dinner occasionally with the kids. I don't see why we can't do that." He told me very casually, sitting beside me. 

My body language was one of distance as I shrank back away from him sitting beside me and I hugged the left side of my hard backed plastic chair attempting to put some space between us to my right. 

"Friends?! Friends with you?!" I exclaimed.... no longer willing to hold back any more as this had been a continual issue cropping up for months.

"You want to be friends?! You don't treat a friend the way you've treated me and our kids! You don't treat a friend the way you have destroyed our whole family!" I snapped at him gaining momentum to continue.... 

"You ran around on me with multiple women, you now add insult to injury by being so insensitive toward the children as you now have a girlfriend you are telling the kids about and having in the house, you traveled all over the country for "work trips" all the while I was at home doing EVERYTHING while you were NEVER around, you were always gone, you always had "to work", you missed all the doctor appointments the kids had and then suddenly we were getting a divorce and you swoop in and act like some star parent like you are involved and now attend all the appointments when all you've previously been is an absentee dad and a sperm donor... the kids themselves cry you've ruined their lives... not to mention the fact you've put my physical health at risk because you were selfish and caused me to have to go get a full std panel done! Yes, yes, that makes a woman really happy to have to go do that.... and then you want to whine to everyone about how I'm so mean because I can't be your "friend" and go to dinner as a family and how I must be turning the children against you because they vocalize they don't want to be at your house... No, no and no.... You did this. This was all your choice. This is all you... so don't try to continue this innocent facade you've continually tried to paint the past nine months of this process like you are "super dad" because in reality you have decided to continually act like a sorry, sorry sack of shit! And then you want to know why I'm angry and don't want to be friends?"

"Ahem.... Ummmm..." our son's psychiatrist interjected with a clearing of his throat, slicing the tension in the air of his office. He looked at me and spoke empathetically, "I'm glad you got this out and said what you needed to... " he acknowledged understandingly to me, then turned to my estranged spouse with a wary look... 

"Look..." he began... "Let me say something and this is very, very important what I'm about to tell you... " he paused taking a deep breath... "Do not... Do not ever, ever, ever tell her ever again you want to be friends. Is that clear? Because you may be fine with everything and in a good place but she is dealing with raw emotions and hurting and also hurting for the kids too... You two being friends.... not a good idea, okay? The expectations are too high. No dinners, either. You both need space and time apart. And any communication would best be done by email not phone, text or in person. This relationship needs to be kept strictly professional. Maybe you can have a binder of information you pass back and forth on exchange day.... does that make sense to you? Because we really need to get some distance between you two." he affirmed once again, shooting me a quick look of sympathy as my lower lip began to quiver and I silently cursed it to stop so the tears wouldn't begin.


When we use ugly, accusing, attacking words, it's a sign we are not just angry but truly hurt. We are suffering in a deep quagmire of hurts, injustices and disappointments. We may not just be feeling our own hurts but the hurts of those around us.... especially any hurts our children are experiencing which as a mother are always felt ten fold to our own pain and grief. 

It might take months or years to heal from the pain of divorce. For even if you were in a less than great marriage or one that smacked of abuse, you can rest assured it's completely normal to be upset, sad, hurt, disappointed and angry... the reason for this being because we are grieving "what should have been" and what we wished for our marriage and children. Naturally no one marries  planning to get divorced. 

Practical Tips For Healing: 

1. Just grieve. Trying to stuff the grief, anger and pain down will only serve to stall healing. It's important to allow yourself to feel the emotions of anger and sadness so you can eventually reach the goal of healing and forgiveness. Some people take longer than others to heal from the pain of divorce and each person is unique in their grief. 

2. Explore what it is that is possibly holding you back in the healing process. If you had a spouse who refused to acknowledge that what they've done has been detrimental to the family then it's understandably frustrating and infuriating... if you've felt there has been a lack of closure due to one spouses inability or unwillingness to discuss the dissolution of the marriage, the healing process may very well take longer. If you are expecting an apology in order to move on that you never get.... it may be about accepting the fact you may never recieve what you are desiring. Exploring the reasons why we may be stalled in the stage of anger may be greatly beneficial to us.

3. If you were unaware your spouse was cheating during the marriage, once you find out it may be comparable to being hit by a Mack truck... despite any existing marital issues perhaps you didn't see a betrayal coming and with that we may find ourselves reeling from shock while our spouse has already moved on because they've started their new life within the marriage some time ago... it was just you who didn't get the memo. When this happens the grief may feel one sided. It's understandable to feel insult to injury when our hurts may feel overwhelmingly in our face yet the other person appears to be sailing through their new life largely unaffected. This may compound our hurt but also know that this doesn't necessarily mean the other person is 100% healed... they may be squashing and stuffing feelings that will come back later with a vengeance.Try not to focus on where you believe the other person is in their healing process as it will serve no positive purpose.

4. Some people may want to have a post divorce friendship with their ex and others may have zero contact... the choices have a wide spectrum and you have to decide for yourself what is best for you and your personal situation. If there has been physical or emotional abuse in the marriage then it may be best to keep contact to zero. Utilizing email, a binder or www.ourfamilywizard may be beneficial to keeping the lines of communication open regarding any children but no more than needed. It's up to you what type of relationship you are willing or comfortable in having with your ex. People may believe you are not making the right choice but it's your life and your decision and only you know the intricacies of your unique position. At exchanges of the children, soccer games, school plays etc, keeping conversation minimal and polite is always a good rule of thumb no matter how much animosity you may still currently feel for the other person. 

5. When there are children involved you may occasionally feel placed in the middle. If your son or daughter is calling you crying that "Daddy is being mean  and yelling at me.... come pick me up" and/or your ex is talking to them about their dating life, it's going to pull you in and there will be decisions that have to be made of how to react. A good rule of thumb is to tell your children "I'm sorry you are upset and I see that's really frustrating you. But... you are at Daddy's and I am not able to pick you up. This is something you need to try to talk to Daddy about, tell him how you feel" or "I'm hearing from you it hurts your feelings that he's dating someone. Have you told him how you feel about it?" By encouraging your children to use their speech and express themselves in a healthy manner but also being a soft spot for them to go to from a distance when they are on the other parents turf is a win win for everyone involved. 

6. Whatever personal issues your ex and you have between you can be eased when each parent is stepping up and being the parent the children need them to be. If one parent is lacking skills and makes a concerted effort to improve and makes wise decisions in not flaunting their dating life in front of the children too soon after the divorce is final when wounds are still fresh... not only do the children benefit from that but the other spouse does also. Because when a mother can see that the father of her children is making good decisions to not inflict further pain upon the kids it does something positive.... it allows her to see him in at least some positive light. At that time she can at say to herself "Okay, he and I may have all this mess between us but at least he IS being a wonderful dad!" This does so much to benefit not just the children but mom's healing because she knows the children are being well cared for and loved. That may very well be the stepping stone she needs to move into a better place and heal. 

Divorce is hard. It's always a mess of muddied emotions and each person's situation is unique and their own. Being friends may not be possible and setting the bar too high may certainly place unrealistic expectations upon us and unnecessary pressure. Post divorce it's not a written rule that friendship is a must or even a preferable goal for exes. What is the goal for divorced parents in particular is one of just being polite as we would any stranger or acquaintance we occasionally see. Keeping things polite and professional will go a long way ininstilling  healthy boundaries needed in the post divorce relationship. Being too chummy with our ex may send a mixed message to our children who may think if we are able to be so friendly with one another why did we divorce to begin with? The other extreme in delivering regular doses of bashing in front of the children to our ex which will not only create further strife but land you in court. 

Taking healing one day at a time and placing whatever amount is nescessary of distance between you and your ex will go a long way in getting yourself to a healthy place. We can meditate and pray for God to intervene and help us in the process, having faith we will make it through... but only after acknowledging to Him our hurts and sinful actions or words we've inflicted too. When we do this we open the door to that first step and can find sweet victory in that very act.

© ~ 2013

                      To My Readers: 

                        Thank you for reading, 


                         and sharing! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

When We See Our Old Selves In Others & Extend Love & Grace


Thank goodness God has extended it to us and we can live our lives as less of a reflection of our old self but now... instead a better person... living a renewed life being more compassionate, empathetic, understanding and giving. 

When we walk a closer walk with God we don't also recieve a shining sticker to flaunt like a proud pre-schooler, claiming that we are better than others. This walk of superiority is not only without justification but also harmful. Instead, we should be humbled and walk in graciousness that we are further along than we once were. 

We can look back and see how far we've come and by examining specific areas see the progress we've made in life. This beautiful progression is from God's hand as is the grace extended by Him. Grace is given to us despite the ugly, dark and less than lovely sins, stumbles and flailing about.... yet there we are with His love. 

Stop in the name of love... 

By stepping away from the sins we've committed and firmly saying "No more..." and asking for God's help to stop re-committing them, we can take a significant step toward a new platform... one of betterment yet not better-than-thou. We have to take care not to allow ourselves to become haughty in nature or    judgmental toward others who are not sharing the same platform. There will be times we may fail miserably at this yet don't fret... carry on. 

There are platforms of all levels of progression yet in no way does one justify superiority. For we are all works of beautiful progress and no matter how further ahead, we are undeniably all still sinners.... and knowing that we have Christ's love. 

If we didn't have God's grace think of what we might still be doing.... the saying "I'm not where I need to be but thank goodness I'm not where I used to be!" is so true and reaffirms that we can be comfortable with ourselves and who we are yet always ready to embrace further chiseling by God's hand. 


I set my car in park and grabbed my leather clutch from the passenger seat. My daughter was excitedly removing her seat belt from the back seat almost giddy from anticipation... that moment we were on a donut run... although it was extremely early, still dark out and not being a morning person... I smiled at her vocal spattering of what she planned to order... it always being like this... a long list of so many donuts she desired that we could easily feed a small country if finances allowed. As she jumped out of the SUV and I took her warm little hand, clasping it in mine, we strode to the sidewalk with her pulling on my hand trying to lead the way. 

As we did she saw something that made her pull back and pause to allow me to take the lead instead. Ahead of us on the sidewalk coming toward us was a young woman give or take around twenty... she had just exited a small car that had seen much better days.... she however was strikingly beautiful... her face like that of a classic beauty like Grace Kelly with long lovingly cared for blonde hair that looked conditioned and shiny .... yet she was dressed in skintight black pants with baring holes, a long sheer top revealing flesh and high heeled booties. However disarming her clothing may have been we can choose to take pause and not judge... to not look at the superficial outside but to remember this is a person with feelings, a past, present and future. 

Reminding myself that once when I was give or take twenty years old, I myself would have thought nothing of wearing a similar outfit and chronically walked a path of stubborn pride, casting God off as requiring too many constraints on the fun life, the here and now. Yet here and now, I opened the door for her with a smile and was met with her startled expression. 

Her initial reaction by her facial expression said to me "You're opening the door? For me?" followed by a gracious thank you and smile back.

Yes, yes I am.... 

I'm opening the door for you.

Just as God opened it for me. 


When we see someone who resembles our old self either by their actions, their words or their dress, etc... we can stop the automatic fleshy desire to judge them and take pause.... and say to ourselves "Instead of shutting down and turning away... instead of spurning this person... I'm going to keep my heart open, walk in love and remember I was once in their shoes too. That instead of turning away I'm going to smile and say "hello" and ask God to bless them." as God has shown mercy unto us. 

            How blessed are we 
            to have God's grace

Ephesians 2:4-9 

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

© ~ 2013 

            To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

            commenting and sharing! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

In-Law's & Approval

 “Couple Sitting Of The Couch Having Problems In Their Relationship” 
by David Castillo Dominici via 

Approval: the belief that someone or something is good or acceptable.


We may (initially at least) desire their approval. 

But in reality the idea of in-laws may not be picture perfect and far from it. 

The word in-laws alone may conjure up images of two sides screaming it out on Dr. Phil as he assesses the friction filled dynamic to offer up some sense of sage advice for all involved. 

Whether it's a father in law, sister in law, brother in law or the often cursed mother in law.... in-laws can be a challenge to live in harmony with... to put it nicely. 

My own marriage was riddled with meddling from my in-law's that seemed never ending and truth be told, was. 

As a young woman when you first marry you may have idealistic expectations of family gatherings.... you may picture yourself helping your mother in law make the fruit salad, helping your sister in law bake a pie etc at Thanksgiving each November or laughing at family gatherings over a glass of wine or pouring over family photo albums with the warm and fuzzy feelings you wish and hope for. 

Instead you have issue (valid) with something your in-laws have done 

And all of this could have been prevented with a little thing called boundaries. 

Exasperated, you may turn to your husband with hands in the air "What the heck is going on?!" You may exclaim incrudeously. He may shrug and point out that she is only trying to help. 

"Help?!" You cry... "Oh My God... that's not helping. That's interfering, meddling and just plain rude." 

If he does not see what you see is an issue this is when the situation becomes incredibly much more difficult. If he is not willing to admit his mother needs some boundaries then your issue with her will translate to an issue with him. 

I remember feeling incredibly frustrated and thinking when I was first married "Why doesn't he grow a pair? I mean, seriously.... get some balls!" 

Now I will say that the issues with my in-laws grew to gigantic proportions once we announced we were pregnant. Announcing we were pregnant was met with a "Maybe it will turn out retarded!" followed with a cackle reminiscent of an evil witch. 

Stunned, I stood there speechless that anyone would have such ineptness and mean spiritedness. Who are these people? I'd always think... and yet if I voiced any opposition about anything they said or did it would be twisted to "Well, you are too sensitive." or "She's so whiny." to my husband. And their favorite one was dished out with a dismissive shrug, "Well, you'll get over it."

(I didn't know at the time I was dealing with emotionally toxic individuals who gas-lighted, projected and made me truly believe their awful behavior wasn't really them but me being too sensitive.)

Moments like these continue for so long and so often you may begin to think your own family looks pretty normal by now even with whatever hair raising dysfunctionality they bring to the table. I mean, at least you are used to their dysfunctionality... these new people? Not so much. 

We had only been married about three years and my mother in law was constantly advising how to parent our newborn and I was fed up. Thinking she clearly needed something constructive to do with her time and since she was a widow, I signed her up for a dating service online. Great idea in theory perhaps, but obviously not well received. I highly wouldn't recommend going that route. 

What I would recommend if you are having issues with an in-law.... 

Try to be the bigger person. I know, I know, that may be like pulling nails but the truth is... when we marry, on some level we want our in-law's approval. We want them to like us. At first we may be willing to take a lot of... ahem "poo" to feel accepted into the inner circle. But as the marriage progresses and we as women become more confident in our roles as wives and mothers we may find our mother in laws advice more off putting and critical than helpful. Holding your tongue is best if the issue is something minimal like she doesn't care for your new haircut. Picking your battles is wise, and should be saved for deal breakers (like she's putting your children in danger such as letting them walk on railroad tracks in which someone must speak up). Setting boundaries in a firm way is best. When you feel your mother in law is pushing your limits (and buttons) just say "You know, that sounds nice, we'd love to stay but we are going to have to leave at the time we said because my parents are anxious to see the kids too."

Your husband. It's important you talk with him about how you feel. If he's a Mama's boy and believes his mother is behaving just fine and appropriate... if he states "I don't have a problem with her", then you have a really big problem. He needs to acknowledge your stance and needs and wants for the relationship and family as a whole. It's technically his role and place to stand up to his mother and say "Mom, I know you mean well and want to help, but we've decided to go with such and such or do so and so...." If he is not willing to do this and set a boundary in a nice and loving (and consistent) manner I would advise marital counseling. 

It's extremely important that when we are dating someone we mesh with their parents. If they treat you luke warmly, act as if you are invisible, say cutting and rude remarks or act inappropriately... stay alert to any of these red flags. They will make their initial first impression of you and if they decide they don't like you their opinion likely won't change over time. Even after you marry they may be gunning for any reason to put pressure upon their son to ditch you. If you believe your in-laws have a huge issue with you while dating it may be wise to reassess your relationship with the man you are potentially planning to spend the rest of your life with... 

Is he willing to go the extra mile to protect your relationship? 

Is he willing to cleave to you and make you his number one priority after God?

Is he willing to actively set healthy loving boundaries with his parents? 

Do you have anything in common with his parents besides him?

Is there purposeful love being demonstrated between his family members? Or is everyone filled with friction and turmoil? 

When a hurt has occurred is there apology and forgiveness? Is it discussed or swept under the rug, dismissed or trivialized?

As a newcomer they shouldn't view you as a threat but as an additional family member embraced into their circle. Each side should feel included and the husband's family should not take priority over the wife's or vice versa. 

When we don't feel accepted and know that we are not what our in-laws forsaw their son marrying and they make it clear to us... that can be extremely disappointing. But here's the truth: 

You are not defined by their lack of approval.

We can pray for the relationships in our family regarding our in-laws and hope that each heart will be softened, that each will be sensitive to each others feelings and at the end of the day each will treat the other how they would wish to be treated. 

As we all know, unintentional hurts may occur within a family (we are human, not perfect) but if overall we are each attempting to be sensitive to how we would feel if someone attempted to treat us like an outsider or less than.... we can create a happier, healthier, loving family. 

And at the end of the day that's what a family should be. 

© ~ 2013 

               To My Readers:

                Thank you for reading, 

              commenting and sharing!