A Big Picture Of Emotional Healing

A quote from The Patriot Post, 8-26-2011:
“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”
John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1780

This sounds very familiar to me….but rather than cultural development, I’m thinking about emotional healing from the natural downward progression of the sins of the fathers being passing on to the 3 and 4th generation.

To change the direction of the spiral, the first generation (grandparents) must do the hard things, break the cycles, confess and humble themselves in order to break the bonds to actual factual sin….so that….

The second generation (parents) can work on the emotional fallout that came from the parents’ or grandparents’ sin(s) which robbed and hurt them, especially when they were vulnerable little children ….so that….

The third generation (children) can put into practice healthy balanced principles that their parents have taught them from their own experiences,(often following the parents’own parenting years) ….so that….

The grandchildren can grow up in a healthy balanced atmosphere during their formative childhood!!!

It requires trust in those teaching us and in God who is guiding us!!

Now the cycle is completely broken!! But if any of us drops the ball and goes back to making sinful self-destructive choices which will start a downward spiral again, then the healing process must starts all over again. May God help us to quickly see ourselves and repent and ask God the Holy Spirit to help us turn and start up the spiral again!!!

I’m so thankful that my grandparents and my mother started me on the right road. They broke some cycles! It’s my job to keep headed in the right direction, so that my family members can positively build on what the generations ahead of them have done!

Our individual decisions will start or keep our children going up or down the spiral! I want to keep our family’s spiral headed up!

This is reality. It’s easy to quickly tear down and destroy. It takes time to rebuild.

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Filed under Dysfunctional traits in families, Growing up, Knowing ourselves, Living emotionally only, Maturity, Uncategorized

The Mystery of God

I’m reading a book called IDOL LIES by Dee Brestin. Here is a thought from her book that has really spoken to me, taken from pages 91-93.

….A six-year-old may not understand a parent’s reasons for depriving him, and he may truly suffer. “Is it possible we are all six-year-olds when it comes to understanding the ways of God?”

The Mystery Of God
When my firstborn, J.R. was three, he and I had the respiratory flu. I was trying to watch him and his newborn brother while resting on the sofa. When all was too quiet, I found J.R. sitting cross-legged behind the bathroom door with orange powder around his mouth and an empty bottle of baby aspirin in his lap. In a panic, I called Steve and he told me to give him syrup of ipecac right away to make him vomit. As the ipecac took effect, I held my little boy, rubbing his back as he retched over the toilet. He thought I was punishing him—a cruel and unusual punishment. Between his violent spasms of vomiting, he would gasp for air and plead, “Mommy! I’m sorry! Please stop! I promise I’m sorry!”

I was not bringing judgment but mercy—but at three, he could not see it. Likewise, when God shakes the world of a believer, it is no longer judgment but mercy. We have stones in our hearts, and shaking can loosen those stones so that they may be removed. God’s purpose is healing.
End quote.

God has done a lot of work in my heart making some of my own stony places flesh. The first experience was very painful…something I never want to go through again…but neither would I exchange what I learned during that time for anything! I know I still have areas that need to be “made flesh” yet. But I have learned and I am still learning that God is completely trustworthy! He will do nothing that will not be for my good. Even if it hurts at the time.

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Filed under A redeeming God, God can be trusted, Growing up, Knowing God, Knowing ourselves, Maturity, Trust, Uncategorized, Value of crisis

The Other Side Of Divorce

I would like to make a very serious suggestion. If your marriage is in trouble and/or you are even thinking about divorce, make yourself go through a “Divorce Care” seminar. The realities of actual divorce may motivate you to do the hard work on your marriage. No matter how painful the work on the marriage, the pain of divorce is greater…and if you have children, the pain is never ending. No one said relationships were easy, but they are worthwhile. God is our example. His relationship with us has not been easy…but apparently He thinks it’s worth it! I believe HIM on the subject of relationship!

So, please understand this post is not to debate the validity of divorce and remarriage. It’s not about accepting and/or approving divorce and remarriage. It’s about facing our society’s reality. There are some very real truths in this DVD I viewed with a friend of mine at the one Divorce Care group meeting I went to.

Video #7: New Relationships

95% of you are going to remarry, but there is a 76% failure rate of second marriages, 87% failure rate of third marriages, and 90% failure rate of fourth marriages.

The problem is entering a relationship too soon. People use the relationship as a medication.

Children are very stressful to a second marriage. You don’t cease to be a single parent even in a second marriage. It is a combustion ready to blow.

If you are not humble, not willing to serve, don’t get in a blended family.

Step children are often abused. The new husband may have a porno problem that never showed up during dating.

Avoid being a statistic!

Illusions:
I’ve learned from my past mistakes. No. What you learned is that you made a mistake. It’s very hard to learn what the mistakes were! Previous pain can make it very difficult to let go of control.

Someone else can make me happy. Not true.

Wait before entering a relationship! Everyone hates the answer to how long to wait.
In general, allow for one year of healing for every four years of marriage. Hard work may pare down the time, but this is a wise statistic.

If you don’t wait, you can’t heal. You either heal or get hurt again. And the hurt gets worse.

If you enter a rebound relationship and you’re not ready for it, you will have an even greater sense of failure, plus you’ll know you are hurting someone else too.

Regroup and heal before a new relationship. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, (your name), plans to prosper you….”

You are making decisions in an emotionally unstable state. It may take five years to regain stability.

Am I living more in the present? Just because you shared your past with someone and they were understanding doesn’t mean you are experiencing intimacy. Intimacy comes when sharing dreams.

Overcome any tendency to rescue or need. Choose companions, not a nurse or a doctor. Stay away from needy people.

What is my response to loneliness? Am I content with my present state? Can I be alone without being lonely? Can I live by myself happily?

Do I have a problem-solving attitude or am I in panic mode? Am I emotionally reacting to old stimuli?

Have I identified personal weaknesses? Am I working on it/them? Rebuild yourself first. Your future relationship depends on it.

How do I approach my past adversity? Am I thankful for the lessons learned? Thankful for the trial? Much wisdom is much sorrow. (Proverbs…)

Am I willing to be accountable? Find a same sex person who can come up any time and say, “Are you okay with everything? How are you doing?” Go through a counseling time. Understand what has happened to you.

If there are any feelings of hope for reconciliation with an ex-spouse, you are not ready for a new relationship. You will still feel married.

For reconciliation to work, all third persons have to be removed. Don’t even do casual relationships while waiting to see what happens to your marriage. Join a support group and be in safe relationships. The group may meet to eat out Friday and Saturday so you’re not looking for a “date” for the weekend. No coupling in the support group.

Cooperate with God. God must be God –not other people.

Is my divorce final? “Well, it’s only a piece of paper…. The marriage is over already really.” Is it? Is a car registration only a piece of paper? You’ll be arrested for a stolen car if you don’t have it…! Married people do not date.

Have you developed a personal sexual code of ethics?

Tony Evans:
Fire in the fireplace is wonderful but fire in the curtains is BAD!!
Sex in marriage is to be wonderful, but sex outside of marriage is a disaster!

Waiting for sex gives you time to find out—Do I love this person’s character?
This is foundational to a future relationship!

Second time virginity. Be the purest person you can be.
When dating, be prepared for the expectation of sex.

How well do you know the character quality of this person?

Could you be happy and successful and satisfied in your single state? We can be complete as a single person!

You’re ready for another relationship when you don’t need another relationship. God is enough.
Don’t enter a relationship out of neediness or pitifulness. Then if someone does come along it’s a sweet addition to life, not a necessity.

Evans: God will take you to where your future spouse is. God knows where the person is located. Don’t seek a spouse. Seek the Lord! Find the Lord, He’ll find the mate.

The consequences of moving too fast are painful.

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Jesus Christ has no dark side. In Him is no darkness at all.

Two comments I read this morning during my quiet time that are very meaningful to me from the booklet “The Promise of Security” by Beth Moore:

“Although we may have something unhealthy deep inside of us, those in whom Christ dwells also have something deeper.  Something whole.  Something so infinitely healthy that, if it would but invade the rest of us, we would be healed.”

“Jesus is NOT unhealthy.  Not codependent with us.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  This thought never grows old to me:  He has no dark side.  In Him is no darkness at all.”

End quote.

The more we are like Jesus, the healthier we will be, not only spiritually but emotionally! God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit can be trusted!!   God is love!    The Father loved us enough to be the ultimate giver.  Jesus was willing to experience and feeling every temptation we will feel so He could show us the way.  And the Holy Spirit will enable us to do what we cannot do in ourselves when we humble ourselves and ask.  

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Filed under A redeeming God, God can be trusted, Knowing God, Knowing ourselves, Love, Why Jesus came to save us

Some simple thoughts about salvation and sanctification

I’m not a theologian, but I’ve been thinking recently that in a nutshell, our prayer in salvation is “Lord, please save me from my sins and from death and hell!! Our predominant attitude is an attitude of “respect” toward God. “I NEED You!”

In sanctification (aka perfect love, the abundant life, the deeper life, etc) our prayer is “Lord, please save me from myself!” Our attitude is one of not only respect, but of starting to love and trust God in a deeper relationship…even enough to let him change us!! “I WANT You!”

God is completely healthy and “functional”! He wants to help us change any broken or damaged areas of our hearts and minds into being healthy and functional! Knowing God in relationship is our model for human relationship!! What works in our relationship with God works in our relationships with people. What we learn that is true about relationships with people, will be true in our relationship with God too. However, sometimes we have a damaged or dysfunctional experience and/or training in our human relationships and we transfer that over to how we relate to God. That is where the challenge comes in! Will we determine to trust God and change in spite of our feelings…or only trust our own emotions and understanding?! Lord, help us to remember that You only have good planned for us!! You want us to grow and mature!

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Filed under Knowing God, Knowing ourselves, Living emotionally only, Relationship principles, Respect, Trust, Uncategorized, Why Jesus came to save us

When do you use “John and I” or “John and me”?

This post is totally different from my normal topics! Actually, it’s pretty risky for an Indiana girl to share a grammar hint. Many of us Southern Indiana people are not known for our good grammar! We were probably influenced too much by that “Hoosier accent” in our growing up years!

However, one of my elementary school teachers gave us students a hint in English class that I’ve never forgotten–although I’m not saying I’ve always practiced it! (Are you noticing all my disclaimers! :) )

One area most of us have difficulty in is knowing when to use I or me and us or we in a sentence when it’s in combination with a noun or proper name.

Here’s the hint. In your mind, quickly drop out the name or noun and you will instinctively know which form is correct.

Very simple examples: “Would you give that book to the boys and I?” “The speaker spoke to Cindy and I.” “I know us women can drive you crazy!” “Leave Susie and I alone!” “Me and my sister took the kids to the zoo.”

Now drop the names or nouns. You will immediately know which word is correct. “Would you give that book to me?” “The speaker spoke to me.” “I know we can drive you crazy!” “Leave me alone!” “I took the kids to the zoo.”

Quick and easy!

Well, I don’t know that anyone is interested,and maybe everyone else already knows this, but I like people passing along things that help make my life easier or better so I decided to pass this hint along, just in case. Now please don’t think I’m the “grammar police” because I’m not. I know I need all the help I can get, grammar-wise! I am trying! :)

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The Seven Deadly Sins– thoughts from William Backus

This post about the seven deadly sins may give us some puzzle pieces to help us know ourselves! It seems to me that there may be some connection between our natural temperaments and deadly sins. All of us have the sin of pride, but the choleric temperament tends to struggle more with it. The phlegmatic temperament may be drawn to the sin of sloth; a melancholy may yield more easily to greed. This is not set in stone…childhood training and experiences and who we identify with also shapes us. It is something to think about!

This is taken from What Your Counselor Never Told You by Dr. William Backus

The History of the Seven Deadly Sins.
The sin list reaches back at least sixteen hundred years, and probably beyond. It was created as a moral/spiritual diagnostic aid to persons who were totally serious about their Christian lives. The seven deadly sins are: Pride, Envy, Anger, Greed, Sloth, Lust, and Gluttony.

Author’s definition of sin.
Biblical writers understood sin as something larger than an action or thought; they recognized an actual power inside us, a driving motivation. This drive influences our actions, but it is not identical with actions. We have an inclination to disobey God and exalt self, a disposition that is part of every human being.

Some sins are single behavior episodes; habits are grooves. The Seven Deadly Sins are all habits. Not one of the Seven Deadly Sins is a single, separate sinful behavior–not one is an individual action. Instead, all of them are what psychologists refer to as traits. Traits are characteristics, enduring habits, under the skin inclinations to behave in certain ways. Traits are enduring behavioral motivations, leanings toward acting in a given way.

The Seven Deadly Sins are character traits that seem to be pervasive throughout humanity.

Descriptions of the Seven Deadly Sins
(and how they can be revealed in our lives)

Pride:
Being desirous of occupying first place; seeking to have authority over others; detesting being under authority or external restraints; overestimating self or one’s own abilities and gifts; exhibiting blindness to good qualities in others; showing contempt for others; being anxious to get credit; having presumptuous ambition; taking on tasks without the ability to perform them; thriving on praise and recognition; boasting or faking self-deprecation; being shocked with the misdeeds and faults of others; being self-satisfied; being thrilled or enamored with one’s own spiritual and moral achievements; being strongly opinionated, inflexible, or argumentative; chafing under the rule and sovereignty of God.

Envy:
Habitually being in competition with others; feeling unhappy when another gets a break; being glad when others (especially those perceived as “equals”) have setbacks or troubles; losing “self-esteem” when another is perceived as having more (spirituality, attractiveness, popularity, intelligence, material rewards—anything) than oneself; desiring to expose defects in others; frequently interpreting other’s words and deeds as bad; persistently tuning in to compare self with others—their qualities, possessions, achievements, etc.

Anger:
Having a strong desire for revenge; cultivating and harboring resentment; thinking about getting even; arguing, quarreling, fighting; being primarily silent and sullen; being sarcastic, cynical, insulting, critical; frequently being indignant, desiring harm for others; considering it right to “settle the score.”

Greed:
Wanting to accumulate material things just for the sake of possessing them; cheating, lying, or stealing to gain or hang on to things; being tightfisted and retentive; being excessively thrifty; being overcautious about spending; hating to give; being stingy; being callous toward the needy; hating to pay debts, avoiding repayment whenever possible; feeling excessive distress at small losses; finding it hard to trust God to provide for needs.

Sloth:
Being sorrowful in spirit and mind; finding it difficult to have hope; believing effort and work are too difficult; procrastinating, putting off attending to important matters; deciding prayer or worship is too hard; being sluggish and heavy; having a will that is weak; feeling it is useless to try to break bad habits; often investing self in trivial activities; constantly seeking bodily ease and comfort; preferring idleness to activity; being sad and spiritually worn out; drifting along in mediocrity; being dissatisfied and angry with God for not giving feelings of peace, consolation, and happiness.

Lust:
Being regularly preoccupied with sexual pleasure, thoughts, and fantasies; thinking about sexual pleasure to the exclusion of other things; looking at, touching, embracing, or engaging in intercourse with illicit or forbidden sexual objects or activities; persisting in excessive interest, conversations, or jokes about sex.

Gluttony:
Overindulging in pursuit of worldly pleasure; eating too much; eating too fast; being preoccupied with food; drinking alcohol too often or too much; being finicky or choosy about food or drink; overly investing in the enjoyment of gourmet foods, wines, literature, music, the arts; embracing pursuits that do not meet fulfillment in God.
End quote.

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