Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Saying Yes To God And No To Excuses

Are we spending time with God? 

If the answer is no what is our excuse? 


Who do we not want to be? 

How do we not want to behave? 

What is our excuse?

"I'm Busy!".... 

Some people take claim to busyness in their life as to why they don't have time to connect with God. They continually shove God to the back burner of their life yet always seem to be in search of something undefinable and always yearn for a love that is never quenched. It takes self discipline to make the necessary time with God... we have to choose what goes on the front burner versus the back in life. 

Saying "Yes!" To Hope... 

Some will mistakenly claim that God could never love someone like them... as if they are too far gone and a hopeless case. Perhaps they've never realized that there is a love out there that is unconditional and pure... free from any agenda... God's love is the best ever.

"Hey God, I Need Help!"....

Some may only cry out to God when they find themselves down in a rabbit hole like Alice... wondering how to get out, ready for a magic solution so they can carry on, yet once out and back on steady ground they move on without so much as a "thank you God" in return. They walk away in pride and misguided self reliance.

Say What???.... 

Some may live their life with a misguided philosophy of "Ask for forgiveness not permission"... aka meaning they just do what they want (sin) let it all hang out, have fun in the sun and then at the eleventh hour before their last breath THEN request God's forgiveness. They may squeak into Heaven but will they have lived a life of joy? 

But I Have "This Or That".... So I'm Off The Hook....

Some people may attempt to use a "get out of jail free" card because of Narcissism. Someone with Narcissism may erroneously believe that they are owed this or that, lacking empathy or showing it... differences due to a mental and or emotional state may certainly impact their life. But having these things doesn't let them off the hook in loving and serving others and walking a humble path. Likewise, a man or woman with Aspergers that involves a natural self-focus on their likes, desire and interests doesn't condone living a life doing just that… they must seek balance and have an interest in others. 

God sees our struggles

God sees our limitations, our capacities, our strengths, weaknesses, our mental and emotional limits, our damaged selves. He sees when we've inherited genetics that create more difficulties with staying in His word. He sees when we are struggling with the impulsivity and restlessness that goes with ADHD. Yet these aren't excuses to sin... Having ADHD isn't a free ticket to act out or fly the coop because the monotony of Monday through Friday is comparable to being stifled in a closet. 

Believing But Not Pursuing... 

When I was in my twenties I believed in God yet didn't pursue a relationship with Him. When I married my ex husband at twenty two I was adamant we get married in a church. It's amusing to me now to look back on that because I was so well intentioned but yet so incredibly misinformed. In my young naivety I truly believed getting married in a church would stamp my marriage with His approval and it would be blessed. It never once occurred to me that perhaps it might have been wise to have God in the marriage not just at the church. Not until after many years, two kids and a very stressful marriage did I see the true importance of this and how miserably lacking the union was in the spiritual sense. We can't expect to slap a bandaid on a situation later and expect it to work out if we haven't laid the proper foundation to begin with. 

What was my excuse? None. Perhaps many contributing factors but no real excuse. If we believe in God who are we to then dismiss Him as if not having any true relevance in our life? Doing so leads us to a path that's not the best for us. 

Injustice As An Excuse... 

God sees when we feel jipped in life... when we feel wronged and if we believe we are owed something. We may try to justify our actions due to past injustices but these are zero excuse to push God away or commit sinful behavior. We may fail but we can turn to God in humble spirit and ask for forgiveness knowing His love is greater than any sin we commit. 

God sees our busy days, our packed schedules and yet He would love to have a minute of our time... He would love to be included in our day, to be asked "What do you think about this, God?" Instead of us filling every waking minute with noise and media... the truth is... silence is golden. It's in those quiet moments that God can whisper "I've missed you." or "You need to apologize to this person..."  or "Stop. Doing. That." ... whatever He is trying to tell us we can remember: His conviction is not to condemn, not to hurt but instead between each word He touches us with there within lies the weaved message of: 

I love you. 

That's a beautiful message to share with someone we love.

No excuse. 

© ~ 2013

              To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing! 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Value = When The One You Love Knows Everything About You

I watched him carefully as he winced, his facial expression one of pain. It was a look I knew well and had known for years. I watched as he reached down to grasp his knee. 

"It's going to rain tonight." I said quietly. 

He looked over at me "It is?" He asked. 

"Yea..." I trailed off. I glanced over at our son, waiting for him, so I could leave and head home. Above us, the evening sky was streaked with colors of salmon and dust blue from the setting sun. 

"How do you know?" He asked me with curiosity. 

I spoke without hesitation "Because your knee hurts." I told him. 

He paused, looking at me first with quiet shock, as if I'd taken him off guard... that I remembered. Then his face broke into a smile... "Yeah..." He nodded, "You remember." 

I nodded and briskly moved on. 

Of course I remember

It's hard to forget all the little things about someone you've known since you were nineteen and now thirteen years of (broken) marriage later... considering that means knowing this person nearly half a life... you don't forget it... or all the other little things about them overnight. 

There is VALUE in someone knowing everything about you. 

I wondered fleetingly if he realized that. 

If he knew that.

If he missed that. 

At the end of the day that was his buisiness not mine and internally I shrugged knowing regardless it really made zero difference now... it was a mute point. But I realized something... very defining in that moment... that I had noticed I'd been working toward for awhile but now it settled over me like a comforting shawl-like blanket around my shoulders. 

I had peace. 

I had lost the rage, the anger, the hate... slowly dissipating bit by bit in tiny increments. 

It had been diminishing more and more with lots of prayer, reading God's word, His conviction... 

I had reached a new destination in my journey of healing. It was freeing. 

It was peaceful. 

It was indifference. 

And maybe a little pity for him. 

By no means did this mean I would forget what he did in that I certainly wasn't going to open the door to hand out trust or invite unnecessary crazy in my life. Because unlike that song I don't want crazy calling me maybe. The best part was I didn't feel a need to fight. Fire doesn't need fire, it needs a strong spray of water. And a good exit plan so you don't get burned. 

Instead I knew my boundaries. And it was what it was.... I didn't owe any explanations or soft peddling or compromising for the boundaries I chose. It was suddenly simple, so not complicated and all very matter of fact. 

Later that night as I listened to the thunder rumble... predictably rolling in, becoming closer as my children set up a board game for us to play and soon hearing the rain hitting the roof... 

I thought of how much sin hurts families when poor choices are made that reflect a lack of value... appreciation... for the person who knows everything about you... every glance, look, pause and the silence that speaks between you. Some people would give their right arm to have that... to have that with someone because they are unhappily alone. I can think of nearly nothing better than knowing someone so intimately you finish each others sentences, you clasp their hand when you know they are struggling, you know just when to crack a joke to lighten the mood and when feeling beyond exasperated with them you turn the kitchen sink sprayer (true story) on them with a gleeful laugh along with it...  only to be wrestled and tackled for it and get soaked back. 

One day I will have that. But better yet someone who appreciates it.

The opposite of love is not hate. 

Hate requires as much energy if not more than love. It's a flashing sign of pain within. It's all-consuming. It's real and yet so not pretty. It's undeniably exhausting. It's boiling and acidic and makes you feel... feel awful... you waffle like a red light green light game between feeling justified and feeling convicted... knowing you need God more than ever before. 

Peace can be yours... 

Peace can be for each of us

If we don't do but one thing today... one thing at all... let's tell one person who loves us, who we are blessed to know in our life, who knows everything about us... 

how much we value them

© ~ 2013 

                   To My Readers: 

              Thank you for reading, 

              commenting & sharing! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage: That's Not The End


We tend to think of it as the end. 

After all, Cinderella found her prince,

lived happily ever after and.... 

the story ended

Novels and romantic films have so often led us to believe that when boy meets girl, they get married, consummate the marriage and inevitably it's the end of the road for those folks... with nothing left to look forward to and live for.

But this couldn't be further from the truth. 

Marriage is the beginning

The exchanging of "I do's" at the altar is a significant starting point for two people coming together in love. It's saying "I choose you this day and every day here forward. I choose to love you and give myself to you entirely. I choose to obey God and by doing so our marriage will bear beautiful fruit." 

We begin with a pocketful of hopes and dreams, we dream of the simplicity of a quaint apartment, we save for the house with the picket fence, we picture ourselves sharing coffee over kids and a dog in a cheery kitchen adorned in finger paint art. We can see it with starry eyes and although we want to get there it's certainly not a final stop. 

No, marriage is the beginning... 

It's the beginning of a beautiful life to be shared... including many little beginnings...  pockets of them like tiny treasures found along a shoreline in this journey we call life with the one we love. 

The intimacy we share with the one we love in a marriage is unlike any we will ever find. We know this person's thoughts, grumbles, gripes, scars, warmth, joys, laugh, sorrows, losses, kindness, dreams, goals, scent, facial expressions... we know their silence... we know often just by their body language, a glance... or what they aren't saying when something is wrong or right. We see them at their best, worst and lowest and yet the ride continues... God uses marriage as a way to shape each one of us... to make us more like Him and less like the world. 

We consummate our marriage and it's not a grand finale announced with streamers and horns but instead the beginning of a constant stream, a long river for us to ride, to float, to explore and delight in.... it's the beginning of many new beginnings to know this person initimately unlike any other on earth and to know they are ours and we are theirs... that together we are one and it delights God. 

In marriage we choose again and again to forgive this person we married and this may be incredibly difficult to do when you live with them... when we are in such close proximity to one another... sharing a bathroom and a bed, it may often seem impossible or beyond daunting.... but God calls us to forgive. Because we are so undeserving of forgiveness ourselves yet God forgives us. It certainly doesn't mean we don't act like it didn't happen, however badly we were wronged... we don't stick our head in the sand, act like our spouse didn't do anything sinful, we don't lay like a doormat or even trust them anytime soon. Trust has to be earned bit by bit over time. 

But we can still choose forgiveness also knowing it gives us peace and a chance to move forward. How do we know when our spouse is repentant? When a spouse is truly sorry for their hurtful actions they take responsibility and back it up with new actions to prove it, showing humility and love. It may take a long time to give them your trust again and at the end of the day it may not even be possible. Only you know depending upon your specific circumstances. But whether we choose to stay or move on... in that both being new beginnings... from a marriage we can still choose to forgive, squashing that fleshly desire to not. 

Marriage is choosing everyday to obey God... to honor this person you've chosen to share your life with, for when we obey Him it consequently affects others for the better also.... beginning with the one we love and our children. Obeying God's word has a domino effect on our loved ones and each day we have a new beginning to do just that... to choose to turn from our old ways... alcohol, abuse, neglect, working too much and so much more to begin again.... to have a fresh start and walking in light not darkness. 

Marriage is....

A beginning of two people coming together... yet it's also a beginning for you... for each and every one of us... to chisel us bit by bit to become not what we wish but what God desires us to be. 

That sounds like the best story ever

© ~ 2013

                    To My Readers: 

                Thank you for reading,

               commenting & sharing! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

3 Common Triggers In Marriage: Fighting Fair

A couple fighting -- best done when they are doing it constructively... and fairly

When we take the time to listen to our spouse, repeating back to them (affirming) what they are telling us and showing we understand each other, great things can happen in our relationship... 

greater closeness 

deepened respect 

connecting as a team not as adversaries 

understanding another's view other than our own 

showing empathy toward one another 

and more... 

There are unfortunately things every couple find themselves fighting about at some point and always the typical triggers in every marriage. It's normal to argue as long as we are doing it in a healthy manner. 

These triggers/arguments tend to be what create small rifts between couples and what can over time if not adequately addressed lead to strife, resentment, distancing etc. 

No one wants to find themselves in that disappointing predicament down the road however much they are or are not to blame... have unwittingly or knowingly contributed. 

There are three commonly known triggers that we can all be aware of and thankfully with mutual continual conscious effort try to overcome! 

1. Sex

In many marriages there is a cat and mouse game in continual play. One spouse is the pursuer and the other is the pursued. This may be played out during the courtship time period and then later reflected sexually in the marriage. There's nothing really wrong with this but one aspect to consider... is it a pattern that's becoming an issue for one person? 

Is one person feeling continually rejected? If the answer is yes and there are genuinely hurt feelings the issue needs to be addressed. Equally important, is the other person tired? For example it may be challenging for one person to be excited about having sex if they are chronically exhausted... especially at the times the pursuer (it may the husband, or it may be the wife) is initiating it. If a wife is worn out at 9,10,11 pm at night and does not feel sexy... merely wants to crash and go to sleep then having sex at that time may not be feasible and lead to frustration on both sides, argument, hurt feelings, etc. Unfortunately it may lead the husband to feeling rejected when that's simply not his wife's true intention.

It's important for husbands and wives to have these honest conversations (as unsexy as they may be) and just be forthright in saying "In a perfect world I wish I had the energy at 11pm... but I just don't. All I want to do is sleep. But a lunch date at 1pm... or early morning... 5pm, etc... would be great!" 

We need to make sure we are having these honest conversations... because it's not that you're incompatible but your ----> timing <---- may certainly be!

One of the other issues for couples in marriage seems to be related to romance. When were dating everything is so deliciously unpredictable and unexpected... ... a caress with his hand on your cheek leads to a kiss which leads to a warm embrace. If we can remember back to when we dated and still try to implement some of those little things into our marriage instead of always (reject becoming stagnant) going through the motions of straight to the point robotic sex (wham, bam, thank you ma'am) it brightens the entire marriage including in the bedroom. We can remember that if our timing is better suited to 5pm... walking in the door and taking a few minutes to set the mood (candles, dimmers)... finding your spouse and merely initiating (not asking or commanding... but instead "shut up and kiss me") goes a long way in not just our physical connection but investing in our marriage long term.

2. Money

He/She who holds the purse strings has the power... and that's why money isn't really about money at all. It's about power and fear. Are you fearful of not having the sole power? Maybe. Are you fearful of not having any power? More than likely, heck yes, you are. This fear may undoubtedly (and understandably) be heightened if you're a stay home mom. 

Couples can alleviate this fear by realizing they have TWO choices: 

1. Let the person who manages the money best do it yet let their spouse have access to everything so they can review it on a continual basis. 


2. Manage the money/pay the bills together

No one wants to feel like they are in the dark and don't have a voice in the budget so to eradicate any fear of this it's vitally important that we have candid conversations with our spouse when it comes to money management.

There should be common goals you both stick to financially. One could be a minimum amount you both must commit to keep in your savings account at all times. This helps you reach your goal in saving toward retirement. Another could be if you can't agree on spending money on something whether it be a new house, a pricey vacation or remodel then it may be best to hold off for six months. It's okay to agree that you disagree and agree to revisit the issue later. 

3. Chores

Couples may squabble over who should do which chores and they may each believe they are doing more than the other spouse. Keeping score is a no win for both people. Creating and managing a home is not to be a source for marital battle yet it often becomes one. 

Instead of expecting each person to do x,y,z equally, perhaps it would be wiser to realize some chores are best done by the woman and some are best done by the man or aka whoever does them best. 

If a wife enjoys doing the dishes but a husband enjoys (or is more efficient) at tossing the laundry in to be washed... then allocating the jobs to the person who enjoys them or completes them well is likely best. When we are dating we enjoy spending time with each other and even doing the little projects together brings fun and closeness. Some of my favorite memories (in the very early married years) spent with my ex husband were projects around the house... painting together, doing laundry at the laundromat together, cooking together etc... it helps keep your relationship playful, alive and close. It's these things that deepen your bond while bringing a sense of accomplishment to your marriage. 

When we take the time to affirm our spouses view point, to acknowledge their frustrations, to contribute problem solving ideas and to speak affirming words that give life to our marriage... 

we not only enrich our sex life and our  money management but our home... 

knowing that fighting fair for our marriage, arguing it out, is incredibly worth it...

every day of our life. 

© ~ 2013

                   To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

When Sons Emulate Their Father: Drawing The Line At Abuse

Bang... Bang... Bang... 

"911... What's your emergency?" 

"I need an officer... I need some help with my son. He's out of control." 

"What's he doing?" 

"He's banging something against his bedroom door. I've told him to stop and he won't. He's already hit me." 

"Has he ever done this before? Has he attacked you before?" 



What do you do when your son is showing signs of turning into the last person you would wish him to? 

Your ex husband

When men treat their wives poorly, when they stonewall and don't give an answer, when they dismiss their wives and act indifferent, when they treat them as less-than and give them zero respect... when they say "I don't care what you think!"... or "I'll do whatever I want!" or the real kicker: "When someone tells me to do something the more I WON'T do it!".... when they cheat and lie, when they act out with rage over nothing... it sets a terrible example for their sons. 

As a mother you can only do so much... you can only offset the damage being done to your children so much. It appears to be an uphill battle and it is. It's despairing to witness your otherwise sweet son beginning to walk a path you know will lead to destruction, tears and pain. 

      *****  Draw the line at abuse  *****

We are meant to be loving yet firm and certainly not enablers. 

When we enable we are guilty like the perpetrator himself.

It's in all the little (and big) things that your ex does and continues to do that waters the seed of what does not make up a Godly man within your son. When he must have the newest iPhone the day it comes out because "he deserves it"... it's teaching him that he doesn't have to wait for anything because he's entitled and special unlike "those other people"... it's needing everything to be a "big deal" with lights and confetti, not appreciating the little things in life... you see it when your son scoffs at you about taking his basketball outside to play and he replies "you act like that's a big deal"... it's when  you tell him to take his ADHD medication and he refuses and says "I don't need it! I don't have a problem! I can do fine without it!" ... because like his dad there is a deep rooted denial there is any issue. 

     As mothers we can only do so much. 

No one tells you about the continual battle you will be engaging in... more so if your ex is in denial his behavior will affect the children, more so if he won't admit he has an issue himself or simply doesn't care because he'd rather use the children as pawns to score big against you in the short term rather than doing the right thing in the long term. 

Yes, it's incredibly frustrating. 


The thirty-something male officer with dark hair and handsome features stood beside me flanked with two other officers as I spoke to my son... 

"Now... this is what happens when you hurt your family and act out and don't follow directions and destroy property. I'm not putting up with you tearing up my house or hurting anyone. You act like this when you're twenty five or thirty and treat your wife like this she WILL call the police on you and they will GLADLY take you away. There are consequences to how we behave." 

Inside, I'm thinking to myself... if God forbid, this behavior continues please spare some poor woman, don't get married... do her a favor and stay off the dating circuit

He scowled at me... angry... and stomped off to his room. The officer said he was going to talk to him and followed him to his room. I stood outside the door listening to him tell my son that he would NOT treat me with disrespect and that he WOULD behave himself and not hurt others, that women are not to hurt. 

This man, this officer was telling him everything he needed to hear. Everything that he needed to be told. What he needed to be told everyday. And not just told... but SHOWN. Inside I mourned that my son didn't have that... that my son didn't get that. I wanted to cry and although I kept up a strong front, inside I was crying. Crying out to God. Thanking Him for this man in my home. Thanking him for this help. 

It's the downward spiral... the negative cycle of society today... if a man doesn't set the example his son needs his son may become like him, affecting yet another generation... affecting yet another family and causing great grief and unnecessary chaos.

The officer spoke with me assuring me, letting me know I did the right thing, telling me to not hesitate to call again if needed to and that I did not have to put up with that behavior. His twinkling dark eyes were sympathetic to my situation and I guessed he saw this often in the aftermath of divorce or even families still together but yet not truly united. Part of me deep inside wanted to ask him to stay... as if I could borrow him, check him out like a book from the library to help... but that was fear talking, worrying about the future, so I hushed it, pushed it away and very simply but graciously thanked him for his help, closing the door behind him with weary resigned thankfulness.

Later I would be accosted with a barrage of accusing verbal assaults "Wow! How could you do that?!", "You called the police on your son?! ...Wow!" 

Yes, yes I did. 

Because I don't have to take abuse.

As mothers it's unfortunately sometimes up to us to teach our sons not to abuse. 

And yet in teaching our sons it also teaches our daughters they don't have to take abuse either. 

And neither do you.

© ~ 2013

As parents we must pray for our children, 
remembering God can work in small ways now that
 later show in big ways... we must have hope. 

                    To My Readers: 

                Thank you for reading, 

              commenting and sharing!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Behind Closed Doors: Who Are You?

Do you pour a little something on the rocks?
Slide down the hallway in your socks?
When you undress, do you leave a path?
Then sink to your nose in a bubble bath?

My oh my, you're so good-looking
Hold yourself together like a pair of bookends
But I've not tasted all your cooking
Who are you when I'm not looking?

I wanna know
I wanna know
I wanna know

Do you break things when you get mad?
Eat a box of chocolates 'cause you're feelin' bad?
Do you paint your toes 'cause you bite your nails?
Call up momma when all else fails?

Who are you when I'm not around?
When the door is locked and the shades are down?
Do you listen to your music quietly?
And when it feels just right, are you thinkin' of me?

(song by Blake Shelton)

Who Are We? 

Who are we when we are all alone behind closed doors, (when only God is looking) or just spending time with our family, etc? 

God sees who we are

We can't compartmentalize our life into neat, organized sections where God is only present in certain areas and then wonder why we don't have peace. 

We can remember that God wants to be involved in every detail and aspect of our life! He wants to be involved in our career, our schooling, our studies, our dreams and goals, our dating, our relationships, our marriage, our parenting and more! He wants us to reach out in the tough times and the seasons we sail through without a glitch. We don't have to limit what areas God is involved in nor do we have to wonder if we should ask Him about this or that... the answer is unequivocally "Yes!" 

God Sees Everything... 

God sees how we interact with our children... how much time we make for them, how much we are on our cell phones and "Hmm" at our children because we are too digitally distracted by a gadget. When He convicts us of this distracted behavior or spending more time cleaning the house, watching tv, shopping or surfing the web than spending time with our loved ones we need to move into a new (better) direction with that nudge of conviction. 

What God Is Not Doing... 

God is not condemning us but teaching us, bringing awareness to our situation so as to bring accountability. Awareness brings accountability which brings the knowledge that there is a need to change. Our children, our spouses and our life suffers when we don't take action upon conviction from God. When we are moved to change and ask God for help with changing, great things can happen which has a domino effect on others. 

God sees how we spend time alone and whether it includes time spent with Him. He sees whether we are greedy with our time in general and with Him. He is jealous for us. He sees when we don't make time for our spouse and make work an idol, when we don't date our spouse and make them a priority after Him... when we don't take the time to invest in the person we've made a covenant with, to make genuine love to them and take the time to communicate with them on a deeper level rather than the superficiality of many relationships. 

Self Reflection...

How are we spending our time? Are we willing to acknowledge God in all areas of our life instead of just the convenient times like church and prayer at dinner? Are we open to His taking the lead and also His correction? How open are we to surrendering to Him? Or are we gripping on with tight control? Are we walking in pride because we have everything "taken care of" in regards to certain sections of our life like our career, marriage, etc? What areas do we believe are superiorly "fixed" and fine?

God Gives... 

God wants us to relinquish all areas of our life to Him... we often don't want to rely on Him or wish to wait, so we get grumpily discouraged like a kid who has to wait for a Popsicle at the end of a run. We tend to want everything yesterday... (insert a 3 year old's stomp and bottom lip stuck out) hence the fleshly desire for instant gratification... but this isn't pudding in a box, it's God's timing and work in us.... in His time which is often much slower than ours... albeit sometimes gratingly slow in our minds. But that's okay.... because God is faithful, slow and steady, unfailing, honest and good... even when we aren't behind closed doors, our sin seeming so cringe worthy under our microscope of self examination filled with misguided shame, regret and defeat. 

The next time we are alone painting our toes... in a bubble bath, reading a book... driving along the freeway... we can take a few minutes. A few minutes to spend with God knowing that this time spent with Him is nourishing and essential like the air we breathe, the water we drink and the bread we eat. 

The next time we are with our kids and they say "Daddy, Mommy... Look!" on the slide at the park, or making a silly face, showing off their latest Picasso masterpiece, dunking a basketball... we can drop the "Hmmm's", ditch our phone, step away from the computer and  engage with them thus honoring God and the children He gave us in a time so fleeting it disappears in the blink of an eye.

The next time our spouse gives us a disappointed look when we've been on the phone all evening with work as they idly pick at their dinner, or lay beside us quiet and sad as we tap away at our laptop, or alternatively as we resignedly sigh "never mind... it's not important" as they rush off to another "important" business dinner, meeting or flight... we can all choose to act upon feeling convicted by patterns beginning to set in. These "small signs" are not just signs... they are red warning flags that if the detached behavior continues deeper damage will be done which grieves God... He wants a meaningful, close connection for you and your spouse not one of detachment and separation. 

Path Of Progress... 

We can ask God to convict us, to surrender to Him, to ask Him to lead, promising to follow and although we will certainly have set backs on the path of progress we can live victoriously... 

knowing that God sees who we are 

and thankfully He loves us more 

than anyone ever will! 

© ~ 2013

               To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Wife's Expectations Of Her Husband: Honey Vs Vinegar

Expectation is the root of disappointment between a husband and wife in a marriage 

Expectations = "He should... "

How easy is it to go into marriage with a whole laundry list of expectations to be filled by our husband? 

We may have a mile long list of what we expect him to live up to... silently compiled in our head without even realizing it until later after the exchanging  of our "I do's". 

He will clean up after himself 
He will care for the children just as I do
He will be home by a certain time
He will want as many children as I do 
He will do exactly half the chores

"He will" = "He should"...  =  Disappointment 

When we become disappointed our internal check list of "expectations" remains unchecked which can create self-defeating scenarios to play out in our marriages... a wife gets mad, chooses to punish her husband which in turn causes him to avoid her... creating further problems which is now distance and alienation where once there was closeness and warmth. 

Already we can see a recipe for disaster. A husband is not a reflection of his wife. Nor her expectations... however well intentioned by her yet misguided in flesh.


There are things a husband should be doing... or else we question why he's married to begin with. 

Part of being a husband is staying faithful. 

Part of being a husband is loving his wife. 

Part of being a husband is putting God first. 

These three things are pretty safe expectations to hold by a wife and naturally expected by a husband for his wife also. We all go into marriage with these three expectations as they are part of our wedding vows in which we create a covenant before God. Unfortunately, in some marriages these basic promises that make up the sacredness of marriage are broken. 

But what about the other things? The other expectations a wife may hold for her husband once the nitty gritty of daily married life sets in? 

It's when as a wife we begin the "He should have cleaned up this mess!" when we see crumbs on the counter and dishes in the sink... that our expectations have been shot and now we are opening the door for resentment to sail in. We are also taking on the role of his mother.

He's a big boy. It's his mess. 

Instead of focusing on what he's not doing and the EPIC FAIL 
he's committed in our eyes we can remember an old truth... 

Honey vs Vinegar 

We catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

We can instead choose to let go of what we believe he's doing 
wrong and build him up in the areas we see him already shining! 

If his strength is being a great provider then build on that. If his strength is he takes the time to listen to you whenever you're having a bad day or feeling insecure or experiencing difficulties with a friendship... build on that! If his strength is he speaks words of encouragement to you or buys little gifts for you to surprise you with "just because"... build on that! If his strength is he's passionate at love making and kisses you in ways words can't articulate build on that! 

Whatever he does that you love... whatever it is that stands out about him in a positive manner ... that's the thing to speak loving words to him about! 


Don't be shy about sharing with him how much you love it when he does x, y, z. He will swell with joy when you do this! It actually brings him closer to you and makes him reel with warmth reflection... 

"Wow! She really appreciated that! It meant a lot to her! I'm glad I did it!" he thinks to himself and it makes him want to do more versus less. It makes him have a spring in his step, feel lighter, not weighted down with the burden of always feeling as if he's failing in your eyes.

We can remember that one of the reasons dating someone is so freeing and beautiful is because we may have fewer expectations when dating than once we marry. Yet in that we are supposed to be able to be so much lighter and free within our marriage because we are to be ourselves and love the other person unconditionally allowing them to be themselves also. There should be a sense of a safety net in that... that in our marriage we don't have to fret or worry that we aren't meeting every expectation of our spouses. Because the truth is... 


It's not possible. We can't expect perfection.  It's a union of two imperfect people coming together and in that encouraging each other to grow to become the best version they each can...

 Speaking words of honey not vinegar.

© ~ 2013 

               Thank you for reading, 

             commenting and sharing! 


Friday, October 4, 2013

When No One Believes He Is A Narcissistic/Sociopathic Person


She's your best friend. 

He's your dad. 

He's your now ex-husband. 

When we realize that one of the significant people in our life exhibits narcissistic/sociopathic behavior, and we are/were their prey, that realization can lead to a varying range of emotions. Some of the things you may find yourself dealing with are confusion, stress, (perhaps long term) anger (at the person and possibly yourself for being duped for however long) sadness, and questioning how this happened to you to begin with. 

If you were raised by someone who is a narcissist... if you were healthy and realized the destruction the parent was constructing... you are then at a higher risk later to marry a narcissist and or have a friend who is one. The reason for this being is we automatically go to "what we know" and if your mom or dad is a narcissist you may very well be dealing with one later in life. If you are the type who will question, doubt and ask yourself internally:

"Am I a narcissist? Am I like that? Because I don't want to be! I fear being that! I abhor that!" 

Then rest easy. Because more than likely you aren't a narcissist. A narcissist doesn't have self reflection to ask those critical questions of themselves, of their behavior, because they are all about self preservation... they are all about painting a facade of perfection and they are their own biggest fans. 

I truly believe the worst aspect of dealing with a narcissist (and there are plenty, take your pick) is after enduring their craziness for however long... in some cases years on end.... is no one believes you when you try to explain that your dad or husband or ex or ex-friend is a narcissist. People are looking at the person at face value... they see a bright, friendly, likely outgoing person whom you are saying is a narcissist. They don't see it nor believe it for a second. In fact, as you rattle on about some of the ways they've behaved over the years you see doubt staring back at you in the form of growing silence, stiffening body language and replies like "Well, I just can't imagine that... I mean, he/she has always been so nice to me!" 

As you stand there you may begin to doubt yourself (which is one of the cunning purposeful tactics of a narcissist) and second guess, wondering once again if you have your facts straight. But here's the truth: 

You do have your facts straight. 

You may begin to feel anger and defensiveness rising up in you because suddenly everything you've been through... the abuse at the hands of a narcissistic parent as a child, the abuse of a narcissistic ex spouse, or whether it's the abuse of a narcissistic friend... has supposedly according to this person standing before you not ever really happened... yet it did really happen. Deep down you know this to be true but it's when seeing others speak of the narcissistic person with praise, adulation and even reverence you pause if even for a split second, having a fleeting moment of doubt within. 

But this is a common reality for people who have dealt with narcissist's firsthand. I promise you it's real. You didn't dream it up. You didn't invent it. It really happened and it was/is reality. 

A few months ago I was out shopping when I ran into a woman who has known my dad for many years through business.  After chatting a moment she invariably asked "How's your dad?" I replied I didn't know but from what I heard through the grapevine he's fine. She came back with "I just love your dad!" 

Awkward silence ensued. 

Images of him having fits of rage while growing up, breaking things, glass flying, mugs flying, his fist going into walls while I listened to his raging cuss-a-thon from my bedroom, twisting and turning everything I said, denying any wrong doing, the worshipping of a pristine image of himself in the eyes of the community, making money under the table, always playing the martyr, the victim... generously doling out heaps of guilt to use as a form of control, the ugliness he displayed behind closed doors, the plain ugly things he'd say... it all flashed before me, washing over me, sweeping my shoulders and making me so so so incredibly tired this scenario was now playing out yet again... that here stood yet another person he knew through business that was charmed and blind to the real him behind closed doors. That once again I was being told what a simply wonderful human being he was and the adorement for him was radiating in their eyes at me. 

"Everyone says that." I tell her stiffly and although my words could be viewed as affirmation, instead through detected tone and body language the truth is I'm saying anything but that without saying much at all. She catches the difference and carefully scrutinizes me for a moment then abruptly says she must get going. I nod and with goodbyes we part... once again I'm reminded of how powerful the narcissist is.... they've constructed such a careful facade for so many years in their social or business circles of being respectable, honest, friendly, etc that no one will believe for a second it's them and not you. 

It's a battle not worth fighting. 

Because it will drain you dry and leave you feeling even more powerless than what you've already experienced at the hands of the narcissist. Don't beat yourself up... drop the invisible bat and realize that you may have been duped by a narcissist or endured significant sociopathic abuse at their hands but it doesn't define you. 

You aren't "stupid" or "dumb" etc for falling for their lies, their confusion, gas lighting, crazy making, delusions and sociopathic behavior... you were an innocent, good person they knowingly took advantage of and treated miserably. You can stand in victory knowing you survived it and came out on the other side... 

even if you stand


© ~ 2013

              To My Readers: 

               Thank you for reading, 

               commenting & sharing!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

An Ambulance = A Fighting Chance & Hope

It's late at night…. 

between those hours of nine and midnight that I hear sirens wailing in the distance... on their way to someone... an ambulance soon to arrive on the scene and give aid, help and most of all... 


  We all need it at some point or another. 

Hearing sirens in the still of the night, in the midst of a quiet house after everyone's gone to bed and there's not any background noise from a tv or radio to subdue it brings it to my attention front and center. The flashing lights and siren  are not symbols of tragedy, of fear, of despair to me but of hope... pulsating hope that's not been put out but that shows there is someone who still has a fighting chance. 


Not everyone gets an ambulance. 

Not everyone gets aid. 

Not everyone gets help. 

Not everyone still has a fighting chance. 

My sister who was killed by a drunk driver didn't get an ambulance. 

It was too late.

Years ago I used to cringe when I'd hear the sirens of an ambulance but now I pray... in the siren itself is a call to send up prayers because I realize whoever they are they still have a fighting chance... prayer always has the ability to make a difference in someone's life. 

We never know when it might be us needing a call for help, a helpful hand, a small window of need that could be filled in the form of prayers sent above. 

In the blink of an eye things can change so suddenly. In the blink of an eye our life can take a turn for the better or worse. We are never guaranteed tomorrow and yet in that we all stand a fighting chance to make today great. To make today something special to remember. To make TODAY be the beginning of the best chapter of your life. 

In the blink of an eye we can lose someone we love and although it always takes our breath away, it always jolts us to the present, to sit up and pay attention... we're always undeniably struck by how unexpectedly life can change so quickly but yet in that shock why should we be? We aren't given any guarantees, we aren't handed a letter in writing promising so many years or a winning ticket guaranteeing our health, youth and life... these are all fleeting and numbered. 

No matter how much time we have left in this life... whether it be a little or a lot we can all stand in victory knowing we are taking that chance to do great things, to love our families, to love our friends, love our children, to reach out and simply say "thanks for being you", to love a stranger... we still have a fighting chance to change what we don't like in our lives, what isn't pleasing to God, what isn't producing fruit.... we can still become who we are meant to be, we can still choose to live a life in which we drop the mask, the poker face and instead be ourselves... we can still choose to love freely, to not hold back, to fold into our spouse's embrace and whisper "I love you, this moment and our life together", to call that person you've been meaning to call, to reach out to those you've put on the back burner, to tell those you love those three little words... "I love you."

You still have a fighting chance. 

© ~ 2013 

            To My Readers: 

             Thank you for reading, 

           commenting and sharing!

Related Posts: 

An Open Letter To Judge Jean Boyd: 
Ethan Couch, Drunk Driving and Words Of Love To The Families

A Season Of Change: Sensing God's Presence 

Grieving = One Of The Most Basic Human Needs