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

Monday, December 18, 2017

God is Here a Short Devotional from Youtube...Morning Motivation

As I was reading along with this short devotional, I soon realized that my go-to verses in my time of greatest need are incorporated in the text.  Thus making this devotional that I found on youtube very personal to me.
"Be still, and know that I am God."
Psalm 46:10
My interpretation of this verse is simple.  When things are more difficult then we can begin to imagine that is the time to take a breath, trust God because He is with us and put everything in His hands and then rely on Him for the outcome.
Watching my father die was one of the most challenging times of my life.  He did not have a peaceful passing; he had a very painful passing.  He had pancreatic cancer a very cruel ending.  As I cared for him, my job was to keep him pain-free with the medications provided by Hospice.  I took this task very seriously providing him with pain meds round the clock.  In dad's confusion, he would not always understand what I was doing or why.  It was an immensely trying time, and I cried daily.  There were times that I felt  I could not even take a breath and on those occasions, I would repeat over and over again "Be still and know that I am God" I would find peace in the God's promise and  I would regain enough strength to continue.
I am thankful that I was at dad's side when he died.  I remember holding his hand as he took his last breath. There was peace with his passing and again I remember saying "Be still and know that I am God".

"Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you."
Deuteronomy 36:1

This is the verse that has helped me survive the most traumatic time in my life.  My husband of 37 years just walked out.  A promise to God and myself cast aside as though meaningless.  I call it "like a death but with intent."
I was in shock, and the devastation affected my body, mind, and soul.  It was the most emotionally painful time of my life.  I found solace in God's promise, "I  will never leave you or forsake you."  God holds true to His word and loves more then I can comprehend.

Dear God I want to thank you.
In the moments I feel alone I know you will never leave me.
In the times when confusion and fear grip my life, I find comfort in knowing you will not forsake me.
In the times I felt like I could not take another step I heard you say "be strong I am beside you, I will never leave you or forsake you."
Through the pain of death and divorce, and also in the amazing times that this wonderful life you have given us can all things I can take a deep breath and just "be still" because I know that you are my God and you are in control.
Love you!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Morning Motivation, "You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important", The Help

I have just recently finished the book "The Help"  When I found out there was a movie I could not wait to see it. There were many times in the movie I found myself angry at the injustice and other times touched by the tenderness. The love in the quote repeatedly spoken by Aibileen to the little girl in her care touched my heart.
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important" 
Words we all need to hear when we are little and continue to hear as we age.  They are words of encouragement, support, and love.  In our humanness, we sometimes fail to encourage others with words they may desperately need to hear.  Sometimes we fail to give the hugs, the support, the time.  We get caught up in life and its problems, its busyness.  In the times when we feel alone, when we feel unimportant, or feel downright stupid, we need to remember that is not how God feels.  To God we are important.
"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us."
  ~St. Augustine

To all my blogging friends and to Erica, T-Josh, Stephanie, Josh, Caleb, Maggie, Bruce, Carol, Brandon, Vanessa, Kristin, and Melissa and to everyone else that brings joy to this world,
"You is kind. You is smart. You is important"
Happy Monday Everyone!
Enjoy Your World:-)

(This post is a blast from the past.  I have Maggie my 15 month old grandbaby this week, so there will not be much blogging going on.  There will be a lot of Nana and Maggie cuddle time, and I can't wait for that.  I wrote this post before Joseph Voshell left me in 2013.  Initially, I gave him credit at the bottom in the list of names but no longer.  I have added Maggie who warms my heart and of course T-Josh who is wonderful:-)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Beware the Narcissist Quotes from Pinterest...

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.
 Beware the Narcissist, the Beginning The Journey The Joy
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, December 4, 2017

Morning Motivation "Wait on the Lord"

I will be the first to admit that it is not always easy to wait on the Lord.  If we love God and trust Him, then wait we must for He "knows the plans he has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11.

For many of us going through a separation and divorce, our path has been drastically changed. All of our plans and dreams have been shifted.  We may not know which way to go and that is when we need to trust and wait on the Lord and his timing because His timing is best.

Timing is so important! If you are going to be successful in dance, you must be able to respond to rhythm and timing. It’s the same in the Spirit. People who don’t understand God’s timing can become spiritually spastic, trying to make the right things happen at the wrong time. They don’t get His rhythm – and everyone can tell they are out of step. They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams. – T. D. Jakes

I don't believe that waiting means just sitting still.  It means to be active in out waiting.  We need to go through the doors God opens. We need to strive to know God's will in our lives and work at our faith.  I too believe he wants us to enjoy our lives and serve others while we wait on Him to fulfill His will in our lives.  In other words, we need to live our lives for Him daily while we wait.

"If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord's people have always been a waiting people"
- Charles Surgeon

"Lord thank you for your love and your promises.  Help us to rely on your timing and not our own.  Sometimes we think we know what is best and push for an outcome that is not in your will or your timing.  Please show us when to stop and when to go forward.  
Help us to put our lives in your hands.  Amen"


Friday, December 1, 2017

Finding Joy Sept 2017 "The Joy"

There is always joy to be found. 
Memories that brought me joy Sept 2017 along with some quotes I found relating to joy.
Hope you EnJoy:-)

"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain." 
Joseph Campbell

Erica's Birthday Party.

"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." Richard Bach
The joy of travel...

Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It's the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps. 
Sharon Draper
The Joy of my Grandchildren.
"Joy is the serious business of Heaven." 
C. S. Lewis
The Joy of Writing
Thank you God for the Joy!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What ways are adult children affected by their parents divorce? A YouTube Video

There is a lot I would like to say about this video.  I am afraid it would turn into an endless justified rant toward someone who has hurt my family and others.  I will say that I do agree with what they say in the video and I realize it is just the tip of the iceberg of family damage.  Yes, some divorces are warranted, but many are not.  Some are just pure selfishness.

So how do we help our children?  Reassure them that you don't ever plan on leaving them and that you are always there for them I guess would be a start.  Along with lots of prayer and lots of love.  I think you need to be honest as well.  I don't sugar coat it.

Please Lord be with our children.  Help them to remember your promise 
"I will never leave you or forsake you." 
Thank You, God!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Morning Motivation from the Book of Esther 4:14

I just listened to a sermon from the Summit Church in Durham NC.  The focus of the talk was Esther from the Old Testament. She was placed in a situation, not of her choosing.  But it was the choices she made in this "time" that made all the difference.  Her impact was far-reaching, saving the lives of many and also bringing justice to some. She decided that she would step out on faith, even though she was afraid, and make a difference.

God can take our situations and use them for good.  God can use "such a time as this" whatever the circumstance in our lives may be and use it to help others if we are only faithful to this calling.

"Dear God, you know I did not want a family divided and all the pain and chaos that goes along with that division.  But I am in this situation now, and I pray that I use "such a time as this" to help others and for your glory.  Please direct my path.  Thank you, God!" KathieyV

I don't know your situation, but I pray that God leads you in this time to be faithful, and use whatever the circumstance to bring glory to Him and to others.  God Bless

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Article Review, "21 Tips to Survive Divorce and the Holidays" by Dr Karen Finn

Yes, it is the holiday season.  Back before my separation and divorce, the holidays had an air of magic about them.  A time to celebrate our family and our faith.  This is no longer true now that we are a family divided.

The first holiday season I spent alone was in 2013.  I remember the confusion and pain like it was yesterday.   The holidays are more comfortable for me now, but I hate all of the complicated plans that my kids have to make to be sure they include everyone in their newly divided family.  I will repeat myself as I have over the years "I would never have done this to my family.  I feel that in this case,  it was a very selfish act."  

Take a few minutes and read Dr. Finn's article, "21 Tips to Survive Divorce and the Holidays".  I am going to read it and base my thoughts on 2013 vs 2017 and see how my views have changed over this four year span.  I will focus on just a few from her writings.

#1 Be Patient and #2 Be Flexible.
"Be patient with yourself, your kids and the rest of your family as you navigate the holidays. This is new and different for everyone and a little patience will go a long way toward making your first holidays post-separation/divorce more enjoyable than you might believe they can be right now. Dr Finn.
"I remember clearly the pain of facing my first holiday as a separated woman.  My children were in pain, and so was I.  The only one who showed no regret was the one who divided us." KathieyV

"Today I am still disturbed that someone can do this to a family especially for nothing other than selfishness.  I no longer miss him, and I do not want to be around him.  I now realize I never really knew him.  My only concern is the example being set for my children and the instability that comes with that example.  I will not see my family on Thanksgiving Day, but that is not an issue for me.  I know we can celebrate the holiday on any given day." KathieyV
#14 Count Your Blessings.  I don't know that I did that in 2013 the pain was too intense.  Now four years later I have so much that I am thankful for.  My kids, my grand babies, my friends, my home and of course my dog Brodie.
#7 Make New Family Traditions, #10 Continue your Traditions, but simplify them.
Back in 2013, I can't seem to recall how the holiday celebrations went.  I know I was upset that we were no longer a family. In 2017 we are continuing some of our traditions such as getting our yearly Christmas PJ's.  It seems like each year there are tweaks, but that is ok.  I guess we are learning what does and does not work.
I don't know where you are in this process.  If this is your first holiday season hold on it will get better.  I find the best thing to do is cling to your faith and spend time with your family and your friends.  That is what pulls us though, what I have found to be, potentially, the most challenging time in your life.
Always remember God's Promise "I will never leave you or forsake you."
God bless you this holiday season.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Morning Motivation from Corrie ten Boom

I am extremely thankful for God's promises.  My favorite is "I will never leave you or forsake you."
Thank you God!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Beware the Narcissist...Quotes From Pinterest

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.
 Beware the Narcissist, the Beginning The Journey The Joy
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, November 13, 2017

Monday Motivation "Where Is God In The Storm" Bishop T D Jakes

I came across this "snippet" on Youtube. Where is God in the Storm?
We have all been through or are going through some manner of a life storm.  The list of potential problems and challenges that we face is seemingly endless.  Please take the time to listen to this short excerpt from one of Bishop Jakes's sermons on just where to find  God in our storms.  I found it to be most encouraging.

Pastor Jakes says that "you cannot see in a storm, that is why He told you to walk by faith and not by sight."  He explains that God lives in trouble, He lives in the storm, and that he is with us in the storm.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.
Isaiah 43:2
Thank You God!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Divorce in the News-Alimony and Tax Deductions

News FlashDivorce is Genetic?I don't believe it!-2
As I understand it, a new tax law is about to be introduced.  As it stands now, and in my case, my Ex gets to claim his alimony as a tax deduction.  That never seemed fair to me.  I have to pay taxes on the alimony I receive, and he gets a benefit for paying alimony.  Wait a minute there is something wrong here!  My husband leaves me thus taking away my security, breaking a multitude of promises to God and me, damaging my family, and then he is rewarded for this breach of contract with a very nice tax break.  This is a miscarriage of justice in my opinion.  If this proposed law goes through it will go into effect at the end of this year and will include future alimony rulings.  The past judgments for alimony payments will not be included, and the slackers of the past can skip away with their high tax deductions.  Whoever said life was fair?
There is concern that this could affect the alimony payout amounts.  The worry is that the courts would consider the amount to be paid out along with the taxes that are no longer deductible thus decreasing the payout amount to protect the payor.  Well, that is not fair either.  The one who created the problem needs to pay out what he owes the one he or she has harmed.  I don’t think anyone worried that I would be paying taxes on the monies I would receive.  I don’t remember taxes on alimony ever mentioned in any of our legal proceedings.
So what is my hope with this new law, if it passes?  I hope the ones who cause damage to others do not continue to be rewarded for their behavior with huge tax breaks.  I hope the ones that have been lied to and harmed through the breach of marital contract get the money they deserve.  I wish that the government would not grandfather anyone in, but as my mom used to say “if wishes were horses beggars would ride.”
I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Spiritual Short Story. The Carrot The Egg The Coffee

I found this short story on a site called Spiritual Short Stories. The title of the story and the author are unknown.  As I read the story,  I thought of myself and others that have experienced pain and despair caused by an unwanted and unnecessary divorce.    
The Story
A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one would pop up.
Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire, and soon the pots came to boil. In the first pot she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.
Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied. Her grandmother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The grandmother then asked the granddaughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the grandmother asked the granddaughter to sip the coffee. The granddaughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma then asked, 
“What does it mean, grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. 
My View on the Story
So, which am I?  Initially, I was the carrot.  I was so hurt and confused that I wanted to give up.  I thought life was not worth living; the pain was too intense.  
I can see how you could become hardened like the egg.  You harden yourself to protect yourself and then you can easily become bitter.  I may have built a few walls, and I do protect myself from the one who caused me and my family damage but I am not bitter, and I fight hard not to be.  
I would love to be like coffee.  I am not thankful for the pain, but I am glad that I am in a better place.  My marriage was such a lie but I did not see it until I was in a position to look from afar.  I now am in a place of peace not of turmoil, I am in a position to help others, and I have a family that I love and enjoy.  
Dear Lord help me to rely on your strength and not grow weak.  Help me to be wise but not bitter.  Lord help me to be like "coffee" and to change the things around me for the best. 
Thank you, God,
How do you see yourself.  Are you the carrot, the egg, or the coffee or a combination of the three?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Morning Motivation, How Can I Survive the Pain of Divorce? | Jason Gray

"The initiative against despair is to rise and do the next thing".
Oswald Chambers
We may not understand why some things happen in our lives.  Some of these things may seem insurmountable but guess what.  God still has a purpose for us, and we can "rise and do the next thing."

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
Thank You God!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Quote Day... "My Story My Divorce God's Promise, The Beginning" by KathieyV

This is quote from my book, "My Story My Divorce God's Promise".  You can check it out by hitting the link below.  I would be grateful if you would buy the book and then let me know what you think.  I would love to hear your story.
The link above is where you can buy the book if you are interested.  I am an Amazon Affiliate and will get a small percentage of any purchase you make on Amazon if you go through this link.  Don't worry it is of no extra cost to you:-)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Morning Motivation...Give Thanks...Blast From the Past...2013

Monday Morning Motivation…Give Thanks blast from the past…2013

I am reading a book that a lovely and caring person gave me.  She knew I was going through a crisis in my life and so she gave me a book that she thought would provide me with comfort.  It is called “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp.  It reminds me, on a much grander scale, of the way I have always tried to live my life, seeking beauty in the midst of pain.  The chapter I read the other night was on giving thanks in all things through Communion, as Christ did before his death.
After reading this book, I had a strong urge to take Communion.  I was hoping to take Communion at an area Methodist Church on Saturday, but I was not able to attend.  So I thought to myself, that’s OK,  I can take Communion next week.
Caleb spent the night with me last night.  He is a blessing and a diversion from the pain.  We played, we ran, we spun in circles, we ate ice cream.  As I was putting him to bed, he kissed me and told me he loved me thus warming my heart.
Got up Sunday morning and went to church.  The pastor spoke of a Greek word “Iupeo” which means stressed, grieved, deeply distressed.  I guess I now fit into that category. I am in a horrible amount of emotional pain. This church is a large church,  I don’t know many folks, but I always come away with something.  Today it was Communion.  They did not offer it in the service, but as I was leaving, I saw a door in the very back of the room that I had never noticed before, on it was written “Communion.”  I hesitated and then decided maybe this was my gift for the day.  I went in.  There were two tables each with small candles, a little cross plus the wine and the bread.  There were several chairs and probably about ten people silently praying. It was a peaceful place. I did not stay very long, but I took the bread and the wine and gave thanks to God.  Not so much for this mess but His love.
Never forget God’s Promise…
“I will never leave you or forsake you”
Thank you God!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Divorce in the News, Divorce is Genetic? Hogwash!

News FlashDivorce is Genetic?I don't believe it!-2
I was reading an article that speaks of the possibility that divorce may be genetic.  I found the article on The Sacramento Bee Divorce May Be Genetic.  
The study focuses on families of divorce and the outcome of adopted children vs. biological children of the families going through a divorce. Most past studies have focused on the psychological aspects of divorce and the effects on children of divorce and their marriages.
You know what?  I don’t believe it.  I spent 37 years with a man who did nothing but condemn his father for the way he treated his mother.  His father cheated on her numerous times with more than one partner, left her, and then divorced her.  I was there during the initial days of her devastation; I remember the adverse effects on her and her children.  (They did remarry many years later).  Well, lo and behold even through the voiced negative views of what his father had done to his family my husband did much of the same to my family and me.
In my opinion, the fact that divorce could be genetic is hogwash.  It is a moral and ethical decision.  It is an action based on selfishness.  To say it is genetic is akin to all the folks that have been caught in the many sex scandals in the news.  They typically say “it’s not my fault, I have a problem, I think I will go to rehab and then everything will be ok.”  To say lying, cheating, and divorce is genetic gives the marriage destroyers nothing but a candy-coated excuse.  “Sorry, It’s not my fault.  It’s genetic”.  Hogwash!
News FlashDivorce is Genetic?I don't believe it!
I am not alone in my views.  In The Daily Mail, I found some opinions on this topic.  I thought I would share a few.
“Total Nonsense”.
“I cannot understand how they think it can be genetic. If there is a family with a laisse faire attitude to divorce any children will be brought up thinking its all no big deal. If a family is brought up to make effort to preserve a marriage, or not to marry in haste then any children will make more effort too”.
“Who employs these fools?”
“There was a time when to make a promise before God would not be broken”. (I do agree with divorce when cheating and abuse are involved, kv).
“Genetic? Genetic? That’s ridiculous! If there is a link it’s probably, learned behaviour like intolerance, disloyalty or something like that. Genetic? Like a rogue gene? Never.”
Interesting article.  I would love to know what you think.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

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.
 Beware the Narcissist, the Beginning The Journey The Joy
(Photos from Pinterest)
The Beginning
The Journey
The Joy
43b4296d33fbeaa03731645f38e34d9bHugs and Prayers,