I just don’t understand! Warning: Controversial subject

Let me first say that this is hindsight talking. It has taken many years of soul searching, God seeking and therapy to reach this place but that being said:

I JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU CHOOSE TO REMAIN STUCK!! I remember back in the late eighties or early nineties saying that to the Christian counselor I had sought help from. He asked me “how does that make you feel?” I replied, “I feel stuck!” His next question to me was “what do you need to do to feel unstuck?” And then, rather than giving me the answer he let me work it out in my own way and in my own time. He was an EXCELLENT COUNSELOR and I will be forever grateful for the many sessions that I had with him. He really helped me!

Why do you continue to blame your past for why you are the way you are? Why do you continue to blame others for your faults? Why do you continue to hold a grudge about your upbringing? WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO REMAIN STUCK IN YOUR SUFFERING? Why are you still mad?

Now, if you are offended by my questions, you might have to do some serious introspection and soul-searching yourself. There are many of you that I have come in contact with thru my years of recovery and I wanted so badly to show you the error of your ways. It’s like a new convert wanting to tell everyone about Jesus after they get born again! HA! 🙂 Unfortunately, most of it falls on deaf ears. That’s why I’ve resorted to not saying anything and just praying for you. I love you. I hurt for you. And I do know a better way. I’ve not “arrived”. I still struggle. My previous blog post will attest to that fact. But Matthew 5:43-48 speaks to how we are to behave towards those that dislike us etc; It says:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I hear you saying, “but you don’t know how bad it is. You don’t know the atrocities I’ve suffered. I was absused, molested, left alone, not fed, neglected. I can’t imagine how a loving God would allow such a thing to happen”! Well, I don’t have all the answers and this will seem unsympathetic – but IT DOESN’T MATTER! God sees your pain. And He wants you to turn it over to Him. Hanging on to it is harboring unforgiveness. Some folks CHOOSE TO wear the hurts of their past like a badge of honor. It allows them to never really achieve all that they desire to achieve in life. As long as they can blame someone else for things they don’t have to take responsibility for what happens or doesn’t happen. Is that you?

Dr. Phil would ask you, “how’s that working for you?” Resentment is grudge holding. And it’s a sin! I can’t be saved if I stay mad at you, or vice versa. I love you. Do you hear me? I don’t care what your socio-economic status is; your heritage is or anything else for that matter. But, I admit – I do lose patience and have a harder time loving you when you CHOOSE TO continue to wallow in it! Get over it!! Life is too short!! I tend to look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty. No, it wasn’t always that way…but there is too much life to be living to continue to feel sorry for yourself.

I like what the Life Connection in my Recovery Devotional bible says about getting past it.
It says,

Ultimately, what happens inside of us is more important than what goes on outside. Yes, we are accountable for both our behavior and our attitudes, and at times we need to “fake it in order to make it,” but true, lasting change in our behavior patterns needs to happen from the inside out. Even if we do good things such as give to the needy, pray regularly, fast, or stop drinking, we will not grow much emotionally or spiritually unless our actions stem from our inner being–the part of us that has submitted to God.

So, forgive me if I seem preachy sometimes, or seem like I know it all. I don’t! But, I do know that “letting go and letting God” has gotten me to where I am today. I’ve been around that block more than once.

To “Let Go” Takes Love:

To “let go” does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off, it is
the realization I can’t control another.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow
learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which
means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to change or blame
another, it is to make the most of myself.
To “let go” is to not care FOR, but to care ABOUT.
To “let go” is not to FIX, but to be SUPPORTIVE.
To “let go” is not to JUDGE, but to allow another
to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes
but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To “let go” is not to be protective, it is to
permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search
out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires but to take
each day as it comes, and to cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to criticize and regulate anybody
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow
and to live for the future.
To “let go” is to FEAR less and to LOVE more.

I have tried to live by this creed for many years. Some days are easier than others. Unfortunately, I am carnal – and still wear a coat of flesh. And I still have many friends and family that I still want to rescue from their despair. The way I see it – rescuing is enabling. They will remain STUCK by their own behaviors and attitudes but I can also facilitate them remaining STUCK if I don’t follow the Lord’s leading. Right now, the Lord is prompting me to remain SILENT and pray and fast.

If anyone knows the author of the above creed, please let me know so I can give proper credit.

TO BE CONTINUED…

BE YE ANGRY,

AND SIN NOT; let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Ephesians 4:26 It is not a sin to be angry, but the expression of that anger can become sin.

I received some upsetting news lastnight. I admit – I was angry! I was perplexed and didn’t know what to do with the news. My first human instinct was to lash out. I wanted to rage, rant, vent – call it what you may. And in earlier days BC (before Christ), I would have. It would have been WAR! But, then I did what every spirit filled, spirit led Christian SHOULD DO. I took it to the Lord in prayer. My flesh still wanted to argue with God. My flesh still wanted to lash out. My flesh still wanted to get even. But where would it get me? Things would just get worse, wouldn’t they? Surely, they wouldn’t improve! I wanted to “right fight” (as Dr. Phil often says). But, as I continued in prayer I feel like God reminded me of one of my favorite quotes and tag line on this blog:

“Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it”. And so, I’ve chosen NOT to react to it, AT ALL.

Another version says it this way: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4: 26-31

I’m sad at the news I received. But, I’m no longer angry. I hurt also. But, the Lord doesn’t fail. He will fight my battle for me! “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 I often pray for those that don’t like me. “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44 I always try to walk in forgiveness towards those that have hurt me. Hurting people hurt others. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”. Ephesians 4:32

So, I went to bed lastnight and slept peacefully. I didn’t obsess about the situation because I had prayed. God answered. Today, as I continue in his word…he continues to answer. I’m thankful for a God who knows me. He’s numbered every hair on my head! I will have more to say on this subject in a week. Stay tuned.

Interesting conversation with my 12 yr. old grandson

Preston is my 12 yr. old grandson. I don’t often have an opportunity to spend much time with him, so I’m pleased that for the past month he has come over with his two younger brothers while his mom was at work. (Most of the time he and his 15 yr. old sister stay at home during the summer or stay with friends.)

Let me preface what I’m about to say first by saying I don’t like “indecisiveness” or “wishy washyness”. I like people who are resolute! They know what they want and what they don’t want. Maybe that’s a tall order for a 12 yr. old, but it’s at least a “teaching moment” the way I see it. Preston is very “wishy washy” or “diplomatic” in his responses to me. I feel like he gives me the answer that he thinks I want, rather than what he really thinks. Often he will answer a question with a question. He often pauses before he answers trying to figure out if he’s “in trouble”. I need to point out that my grandson is a very polite young man and I have very little difficulty or challenges with him. But this little personality characteristic has become quite obvious and apparent. I have my theory on where it stems from but don’t care to blog all the details.

After several episodes that Paw Paw and I both witnessed where Preston seemed to be “tap dancing” around an issue, I decided it was time to talk about it. So, I began by quoting the scripture that says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways”. James 1:8 As we continued to chat, I encouraged Preston to take a stand on things and if he truly believed a certain way to let his yes be yes, thus quoting the scripture in James 5:12.

Preston is such a sweet boy. I worry though about his tendancy to want to be a “people pleaser” and therefore reminded him of the well known quote that says, “a man who stands for nothing will fall for anything”. Our kids are bombarded with so much nowadays and have way more pressure on them than I had back in the day. I pray for all my grandchildren daily. For them to be strong, resolute and as Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true” is just a small part of what I desire for them.

“Do as I say, not as I do”

Dad & my baby girl (2)

This is “Bob” and my baby girl, Tanya back in 1981. He was my step-dad but the only “dad” I knew growing up. Bob died in 1995, but I can still hear him saying,

Do as I say, not as I do

!! I once had a psychologist tell me that when I had a thought ie; (message, life lesson) playing over and over in my head, that I should ask myself

whose voice it is

so I would be able to better judge it’s truth or validity. It’s been my experience that upon entering adolesence we begin to question the philosphy of our parents; their belief systems etc; Therefore when I was told

you need to…, or you should have…,

my come back was often,

why? you don’t do that,

or

you’ve always…

and I would hear,

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO!!

Isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy? I think so! And if so, then shouldn’t I reject, rather than embrace the teachings/instruction of my parent? And what about myself as a parent? Did I repeat the mistakes of my parent with my children and do one thing, but say (instruct) another? This reminds me of a poem we had hanging on our wall when my children were little… it said:

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

How many of us grew up being told not to smoke, but yet our parents smoked? Or how many of us grew up being told

drinking is bad

and yet our household was a drinking household? Or better yet (coming from this former Weight Watchers leader), how many of us grew up in a household eating whatever we wanted, were not taught any type of nutrition and yet as soon as we began gaining a few pounds were told we should go on a diet? 😉

If you are reading this, please don’t read BLAME anywhere in it. I am way past my

victim status/blame game

and have no need to blame anyone to feel better about the choices and decisions I made in life. I only wish I had done better sooner. But, in order to do so, I would have had to question the teachings of my upbringing sooner.

I’m sure some of you have discovered the same thing I have: I’M A MUCH BETTER GRANDPARENT, THEN I WAS A PARENT!! Or maybe, you learned some things from an older sibling, growing up?

I tell my grandson, Ethan (5 yrs old) almost every day,

don’t do that, Ethan, because Kash (20 months) is watching you and he is going to try and do it too! Your little brother is watching you, and he’s learning from you every time you do something. He doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong, like you do. He’s still learning.

In closing: If you are reading this, you are reading the ruminations of an insomniac. Pondering is what I do when I can’t sleep…if you liked what you read, please spread the word – I would love to have more followers to my blog and would also love to hear your thoughts.

Givers and Takers…

I was feeling a little ‘burned out” today and got to thinking about my philosophy on “givers and takers”.  I’ve always aspired to being a giver, so much so that when I “take” I feel guilty!!  Where do you fall with the spectrum of givers and takers?

My life’s work always seems to fall into the category of “helping others” whether it be in some type of management position, teaching/training position, sales (where I’m offering a service or a product) – but definitely HAS NOT BEEN in the healthcare or medical field. Hmmm…a paradox of sorts.

In fact, my last job (abt 2 years ago) was working as a Weight Watchers leader, “paying it forward” by teaching others the program and assisting them in their weight loss endeavors.  Some weeks, I held up to 9 meetings with groups of individuals.  I loved the job! 

So, fast forward to today when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and burned out…I was thinking of the terms “caretaker” and “caregiver”…hmmmm (I might add, I haven’t picked up the dictionary to see what it says are the differences.)  I would rather hear your perspective on them, since I’ve heard them used interchangeably.  Personally, I think of property when I hear the term CARETAKER, and human beings when I hear the term CAREGIVER.

My newest job/responsibility for the past 2 years has been to take care of my 92 yr. old bedfast mother-in-law here in my home.  Then a year ago I also took on the responsibility of taking care of two grandsons who are now 18 mos. old and 5 yrs. old.  Am I a caretaker or a caregiver?  I am “taking care of…”, but I’m not “taking” anything!!  I’m “giving, giving, giving” and today I was feeling “all gived out”!!

So, there’s a lot more to be said about giving and taking.  Why do I feel so selfish when I take or do for me?  It wasn’t always that way.  When I was living the WW life, I had to be a good example and so I took care of me, by eating right, exercising, etc;  But, now I’ve gained back 10 – 15 of the 55 lbs. I lost, because I’m too busy taking care of everyone else and just get stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of taking care of me!  I am also exhausted!

I love Granny and those boys!  They light of my life, but REALLY?  When is it my turn again?  I’m feeling like I need to be a little bit more of a taker, but I don’t know how to work it into my day, and if I do take time for me – I feel guilty!  I once learned that there are two different types of “GUILT” – FALSE GUILT, AND TRUE GUILT.  Anyone else ever heard about that?

That’s another blog – so stay tuned.

If I can’t be AUTHENTIC I’d rather not Live!

By people who like me, I’ve been told that I’m “real”.  Others will say, that I “tell it like it is”.  Some say, that I’m “all business” or that I’m “brutally honest”.  I’m sure there are other things that I’m forgetting but suffice it to say that I agree with all of them.

On the other hand for those that don’t like me or don’t know me well some of the adjectives that have been used or things that have been said are that I’m “rude”, “brash”, “snarky”, “too outspoken” etc; I’m sure there are MANY other adjectives in the “don’t like” category as well, but if they don’t like you, they don’t usually tell you to your face what adjectives they are using.

My husband’s favorite depiction of me is that I am “short spoken”.  I had never heard that one, until marrying him 14 years ago.  He blames it on me being born a Yankee, transplanted and grown up north, and then migrating to East Texas.  People here “just don’t understand me”.  Ha!

I freely admit that I’ve had my fair share of relationship difficulties, with friends, family and bosses.  And yes, I’ve asked myself the age old question, “what’s the common denominator?”  DUH, that would be ME!  That realization has caused me much soul-searching, many hours of therapy, and tons of pain and heartache.  But, the most important thing it has done for me has caused a hunger to grow in my heart for something bigger and more powerful than me – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!

I’ve heard it said that “the only person you can change is YOU”.  I couldn’t agree more, but to reiterate the title of this blog, “if I can’t be AUTHENTIC, I’d rather not live”.  So, although I have changed a lot over the years it has not been of my doing. It has been because of my hunger for God. It has been because of my willingness to turn my will over to God’s will for my life.  It has been a “divine” change.  Minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day I am becoming who God created me to be. He chose me for more.

MARK 8:34-35

Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

How many mores times & ways does it have to be said?

Matthew 10:39, Luke 17:33, Matthew 16:25, Luke 9:24

Those relationship difficulties still exist. I am not FREE from pain or heartache.  I still struggle to be who God’s wants me to be and to not offend anyone but especially those I truly love. (I’m also referred to as a “people person”.)

But, as I continue to abide in Him and abide in His word I find myself being made over in His image.  That is what He desires for me, and that is what I desire too! He gives me strength and He gives me peace and He shows me in His word how to be “authentic” in Him. Non-believers would call it being “brain-washed”.  I call it “finding the REAL me, the one He intended for me to be.

Actively pursuing a relationship

My life nowadays  consists mostly of what I like to refer to as “lightbulb moments” and so while deep in thought over my morning breakfast, I asked the question, “why am I closer to my youngest child?”  I desire to be close to all three of my children, my son whose fixin to turn 43 next month, my middle child, a daughter who will be 36 in April and my baby girl who’s just turned 33.  Many would suggest that she’s a girl, and she’s the baby…blah, blah, blah as the reasons for us being the closest but I believe it’s because as an adult she has actively pursued a close relationship with me.

That is my LIGHTBULB MOMENT.  My son has never pursued a close relationship with me as an adult.  Doesn’t change the fact that I love him very much and want one.  Although more than a thousand miles separate us currently, it wasn’t always that way, so I can’t use that as a reason or excuse either.  When we lived in the same town, or 40 miles apart we still weren’t close and spent little time together.

My oldest daughter has matured to the point where I think she is working hard to pursue more of a relationship with me, but part of the hinderance has been her five children!  LOL  Less miles actually separate us than any of my three children and yet my youngest daughter and I spent the most time together these past few years and have great and wonderful moments together!  It’s because she initiates times with me.  It’s because she pursues a relationship with me.

After all, I’m getting old and am pretty conservative therefore my life is pretty boring!  My hubby and I are homebodies.  We don’t do a whole lot.  And yet one example of my youngest daughter’s “pursuing a relationship” with me is when 3 years ago for HER 30th birthday she suggested we go to Corpus Christi, TX for a “girl weekend”.  We ran a 5k, shopped and went to the spa for a manicure and pedicure.

More importantly, we had each other’s undivided attention!  It was awesome.  My prayer is that it’s not too late for my other two and I to have the same.

Next Newer Entries

Follow dancingthruyears on WordPress.com