Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Beware The Narcissist; The Beginning The Journey The Joy

I never really understood the meaning of Narcissism.  There was no mention in primary or secondary school.  I don’t remember mention of it in my psych classes in nursing school.  How can we protect ourselves from something we don’t know or understand?  With that in mind, I will be doing a series of quotes from Pinterest to help us all better understand and protect ourselves from the narcissist.
The Beginning

The Journey

The Joy
(Not all divorces are a product of a narcissist but many are, and that is why I am doing this series)
Always remember God's promise.  "I will never leave you or forsake you."
Thank you God!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Morning Motivation; Healing from Divorce by Tony Evans

Words of encouragement from Tony Evans.  This short video needs no commentary, it speaks lovingly for itself.

God Bless,

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Thoughts from a TV Show about Divorce, Grace and Frankie. I Wish You Joy!

I find myself relating to Grace and Frankie in many ways.  I am nearly in my 60's and my husband of 37 years just decided to up and leave with no warning.  It was a bit like that for Grace and Frankie too.  I am going to watch the series and pull out quotes, situations, and emotions that seem to fit the theme.  Here is a description of the show that I found online....

"Two married women in their 60's are shocked when they find out that their husbands are leaving them, but even more shocked to find the reason why; they are gay and in love with each other! Now Grace and Frankie have to figure out how to deal with their lives now and how to move on in this original comedy series from Netflix."
The Beginning
These two men had been cheating on their wives, with each other for over 20 years.  Of course, they could rationalize this by making excuses that they were never happy and neither was the now shocked wife.  They would say things like "change is a good thing" in an attempt to sugar coat their actions.
There is mention of the hidden lives of the male characters in this show.  I can relate.  I have had conversations with the spouses of two women my ex-had relationships with.  They too had no idea what was going on, what was hidden from them.  One of the men said to me that on one particular day that "the scales fell from my eyes and I knew." Extremely sad.  Not a proud legacy to leave behind.

I  agree with what the Divorce Minister has to say.  The blame tends to be displaced.  I have spoken to many women going through a divorce who are the subjects of the blame when they are the innocent party.  Most of these men make excuses and take no responsibility. 

"Ever notice how Christians quoting these words from Jesus have no problem “casting stones” at faithful spouses? Pointing out their alleged spousal failures.

The double-standard of avoiding talking about the cheater’s sins and failures while going into lengthy explorations of the faithful spouse’s “contributions” to the marriage’s demise happens all too often in Christian circles. It is absolutely insane!"...Divorce Minister

The Journey
In the early stages of my trauma, all I could do was give it to God.   Through prayer, music, and scripture I was able to find the strength to get through the fog of each day.  When you know, there is nothing you can do about a situation you have to give all aspects of it to God.  He will equip you with the courage and strength to endure until you come out of the darkness of the event.  And you will:-)
The Joy
I am 3 years out from the initial shock, and in the beginning, I thought I would never find joy again, and I nearly gave up.  If you just hold on you can find joy again.  It takes time and determination and faith and friends, but you can do it!
Initially, I lost all connections to the things I used to love. I was so damaged, but over time I started to read again, to enjoy photography, and to cook again.  I was beginning to heal.
This week joy has come in many forms.  Going out with friends, sleepovers and swimming with my Grandson, seeing my daughters, and trying a new recipe....Greek Pork Chops with Potatoes and Squash...Yummy:-)

Wishing you joy!
(Full disclosure.  This post is a past post.  When I wrote this post, I was three years removed from the initial pain.  It is now about 4.5 years since this began.  Am I completely healed?  No, there was damage to my heart my mind and my entire being, but I am improving every day.  Don't get me wrong, at this point, I would not change the outcome.  I was living with a man that I thought I knew but did not.  I am much better off).

Monday, January 8, 2018

Morning Motivation Fear of the Unknown; Brodie and the Grocery Bag

So do not fear, for I am with you;
 do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

On your typical day, my dog Brodie is not afraid of bags of any kind.  He is not fearful of handbags, grocery bags, or trash bags.  He is not even afraid of tea bags.  But this was not your typical day.  It was cold, and the sky was gray.  There was a slight breeze, just enough to transform a plastic bag into an object of fear, at least for Brodie.

We were taking one of our multiple daily walks when Brodie's confident gait altered.  His tail went down, his fur began to stand on end, and I heard a low guttural sound that I only hear when the UPS truck stops in front of the house.  I scanned the horizon in search of the cause of this behavior, and there it was, a small plastic grocery bag in a bush swaying in the breeze.  I knew what it was and because of this, I felt no fear.  Brodie, on the other hand, saw something that he could not interpret and because it was an unknown, he was struck by fear.

Do I think that because of our faith in God that we will never experience feelings of fear?  When we get a devastating diagnosis do we walk away smiling? When our spouse files for divorce do we laugh as they walk out the door? When a tragedy of any kind invades our lives do we dance in the streets?  I would have to say no to all of those questions.

I believe that we, like Brodie, can't always interpret the full meaning of our fear.  Many times it is a fear of the unknown that is the most disconcerting. I too believe that what we fear is not unknown to God and that is why He says to not be afraid.  God walks beside us, strengthens us and understands the outcome of all of our circumstances.

Dear God,
You understand us and know that there are times we are afraid.  Please help us to give You our fear; we know You can handle it far better than us.  Help us to deal with the situations that make us fearful and please guide us in the direction that You would have us go and help us to be a light for You no matter what our circumstance.  Amen

God tells us not to be afraid because He knows more then we do. When the feeling of fear begins, stop for a moment pray for guidance, and give that fear to God.  Remember He is always with us and will never leave us or forsake us.
God Bless,

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018 from Jeremiah 29:11

I chose this verse for New Year's Day because it speaks of "future" and "hope."  Not only a future and a hope but a blessing wherein God says he plans to prosper and not harm us.  Happy Day!  Life is going to be a piece of cake from now on. I am going to have a ton of money and be joyous in the future that awaits me.  Well, it may not be that easy.  

As I was reading a few commentaries on this verse, I found that Jeremiah was writing to God's people who were in exile.  They did not have a carefree life; they were outcasts.  I am sure, at that time, this verse was a blessing of comfort to the people who received it, as it was for me when I faced the betrayal at the hands of my husband and demise of my decade's long marriage. I leaned heavily on this verse to get me through each day, each minute.  I do believe the context of the scripture and that God does want us to have a wonderful future and hope for each day.  

In one writing I found that to prosper means that we grow in relationship with God.  (..but if you have any extra cash God I will take that too:-)  I also believe God is the hope for our future, our today, and for the life after this one.  

As I look forward to 2018 I have no idea what to expect.  There have been many unexpected twists and turns that I could have never predicted.  Regardless of what road we find ourselves on, I think we can prosper in our relationship with God and through that relationship grow in character and faith.  I believe God is our hope and future and for that, I am thankful.  

Happy 2018 and God Bless

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Friday, December 22, 2017

Divorce and the Holidays...Just Breathe

It’s Christmas, and for those of us trying to reinvent our holiday traditions due to unexpected life events, it can be a difficult and challenging time.   Yes, things will never be the same, and we can’t force a return of what was “normal” we have to devise our “new normal.”  So that you know, it does get easier with time, but that does mean it is easy.
Things have changed, and because of that some of our traditions have to change.  I think we need to work on developing new traditions while possibly tweaking some of the old ones that are still doable.
One tradition I am hoping to keep is the PJ exchange.  In the past the kids would come to our home and we would exchange pajamas on Christmas Eve.  We would wear them that night and for most of Christmas Day.  It was a joy to open our Christmas gifts in our new Christmas attire.  There has been a kink in this tradition this year it seems there will be a partial exchange.  Deep breath and move on.  Just a reminder that we need to flex our flexibility muscles during the holiday season.  For those of us going through a divorce, it seems to be constant flexing.  Again I say take a deep breath.
Photo from Pinterest
One tradition that I started this year, and I would love to continue,  is a page taken from Icelandic tradition. It is called the Christmas Book Flood.  On Christmas Eve you exchange books, settle in somewhere cozy,  could be by the fire or in your bed,  and read until you fall asleep.  Eating chocolate is highly encouraged while reading your book.
We did a version of this earlier this Christmas season. My daughter and my grandbabies were spending the night.  I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a book for everyone including myself.  Then I stopped by World Market and bought some chocolate. Now we were set for our Christmas book flood.  What fun! I want to do this again next year, but I want to add wine to the list of indulgences:-)
When stress hits me hard here are a few things that help me…
I take a walk. The cool air in winter is refreshing and helps take the edge off.
Have a good cry.  It is ok and even therapeutic.  I did that last night and I am not ashamed of it.
Read a book or magazine.  Reading is a form of stress relief.
Exercise is a great stress reliever and you feel better about yourself after a great workout.
Don’t sweat the small stuff…move on.  Easier said then done but it is possible.  Again I say deep breath.
Plan some events you will love.  Force yourself out even if you don’t feel like it.  I have found Meetup has an extensive list of activities to pull from when your family has been divided, and you need to find things to do on your own.  I am going to a brunch today with some folks I have never met, and I am going to an ugly Christmas sweater dance this weekend.  There are many times I have to force myself out due to what I will call “Chronic Divorce Funk” but once I attend I am always glad that I did and the Funk just seems to fade away.
Whatever you do this holiday season I hope you can find peace and joy.  When you feel like you don’t know what to do and you feel the pressure building call out to God.  He loves you and has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you.
God Bless you and Merry Christmas