amen, america, anger, appreciation, beauty, blessings, blogging, care taking, challenge, Christianity, church, commitments, conflict, corporate, counseling, disasterous, encouragement, faith, family, family bonds, friendship, giving, God, gratitude, health, help, home

Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Imagine you’ve got an opportunity to try something new, but are nervous about it.  Imagine you’ve got someone, a co-worker, who said they’ve accompany you or help mentor you, to bring you along.  And you’re counting on this person (lets call her Jane) to help you so you don’t have to do it alone.

Now imagine you’ve set a time/date to meet with Jane to go over the particulars, so you could get the lay of the land to help yourself visualize what it is you’ve got to get done — only to realize Jane has forgotten about you and will not be making your meeting.  Now you have to move forward with no direction and have no idea how to do it alone.

What’s your first reaction?  Anger? Disbelief at their lack of reliability?  Or … do you stop and remind yourself that the world is not all about YOU … and this person may have had unusual circumstances that gave them cause to forget or no show?

Now imagine that you’re out grocery shopping, and you see Jane shuffling down the aisle with a sick and aging person next to her side. She’s walking as slow as she can to help what looks to be a loved one down the aisle in one of those motorized carts.  Although you’re still upset with her for leaving you holding the weight of this ‘new project’ and leaving you feeling like you’ve been stranded with it, you know you can’t ignore her.  After all she’s seen you and smiled from across the freezer section.  You lift your arm in greeting, and make your way there.  After all … it’s where you were heading anyway – as you promised you’d pick up a pound of shrimp for your family.

“Hi,”  you offer and say nothing more.  You’re still judging her in your mind for not giving you the support you needed.

“Hi.  How’s the project going?” She sadly smiles.

Here’s where hopefully it dawns on you that she has a lot on her plate, and you can see the bigger picture with Jane and not judge her for the small window or piece of your experience about her that you’ve only seen from work.

“I could use some help.”  You say wondering if you have the right.

“I’m sorry.  I’d fully intended to help you along, but my mother’s health took a turn for the worse.  My father died last year, and she took a fall last week … about the same time you and I were supposed to meet.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, I’ve been distracted to say the least.  And I’ve got a lot on my plate … I didn’t want anyone at work to think anything less of my or jump to the conclusion that I couldn’t get it all done .. which is why I delegated that project to you.  I knew I couldn’t take care of her and work that project at the same time.”

________

I’m sure you can imagine the rest of the conversation … Jane is balancing trying to be everything to everyone and something just  had to give.  Unfortunately for you, her exit was bad timing for you and your new responsibilities.  So what’s the bottom line here?

Too many times in life, we put people in categories or stereotype them as flaky or unreliable, when maybe they’re just coping the best they can with the circumstances they’ve been given.  Instead of judging someone or being angry with how they respond (especially if its in a manner which you would ‘never’ respond) – try to look at life through their perspective.  Try give the credit for the unknowns in life.  Maybe their life is full of complications – and your one project or task isn’t the big picture.

This post is about letting our assumptions go of other people.  This post is about thinking better of people.  Instead of jumping to anger – try jumping to empathy.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes today.  Going forward when someone upsets you – think of what’s going on in their life instead of jumping to anger and judgment. This is something we all could benefit from, myself included. I think the world would be a lot better place if we all changed our filter and took the focus off of ‘our ego’ and centered it on ‘what Christ wants us to see’.

Try it … and let me know what happens.

care taking, challenge, conflict, cosmetics, counseling, curb appeal, disasterous, do it yourself, etiquette, exercise, fashion, health, life, manners, motivation, pictures, pride, random, runway, self improvement, sisterhood, thoughts, wieght, women

Random Questions

Do you think people are aware, that wear things like this, that it’s not flattering?
p_6002210309206_985

Something tells me she’s seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and thinks every pair looks good on every woman.

I know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that fits every size. This woman is not overweight!! Infact her curves would look quite nice in the right pair, but don’t you think when you put a pair on and skin falls over the edge of the waist … you’d know it’s not the right pair?

Ladies tell me — what guide system do you use when shopping for a pair of jeans? How do you know it’s the right fit? How do you know when to put the tight low riders down and walk away?

budget, Christianity, commitments, conflict, counseling, curb appeal, disasterous, dreams, economics, encouragement, faith, falling, family, family bonds, favorites, financial, food, giving, goals, God, government, help, home, home improvement, life, love, motivation, Oklahoma, prayer, pride, relationships, safety, sales, sleep, sleeplessness, smoking, society, surviving, thoughts

A Foreclosure Hitting Close to Home

Today I have a heavy heart. My neighbors have had one bad thing happen to them and then another. They’ve fought through their finances to be able to afford their home for over a year. My neighbor’s wife now has to wear an oxygen tank, and she’s only in her 50’s. Even though they’ve been heavy smokers, who are aware of what cigarettes do to your body, I hate to see them deal with those repercussions.

Today my neighbor walked over to my car, as I pulled up in my driveway. I could tell he his spirit was not one of joy, like the usual guy I visit with when being neighborly.

He broke the news to me and told me of their situation. I know financial companies in today’s market are scrambling and will not give anyone a break. I know bail out or not, my neighbors will not get the help they need.

They’re going to be homeless in days, and I feel like crying. They’re so good to us and I just want them to have a roof over their head. Keeping up with the Jones’s has never been important to my husband and I, but something like this certainly puts that all into perspective.

Each night I pray a prayer of thanks for simply having a roof over our head, and food on our table. I never knew something like this would happen to someone I knew, and it’s heartbreaking.

I’m doing what I can to help them find a place to live, and in the meantime offering a couch and a guest room if they need it. Please pray for my wonderful neighbors that God provides them a way out and a place to live.

care taking, challenge, children, conflict, counseling, death, encouragement, family, family bonds, health, life, love, pets, relationships, thoughts

How to explain…

I recently posted at my wornoutwoman blog about my son’s favorite hermit crab, Larry Lee Lenson, passing on. This post has sparked some interesting comments on how different people handling explaining death to children.

This is something none of us ever want to experience, but the circle of life does go on. We will eventually have to explain to our little ones why his favorite pet is gone spiritually and not physically. We will have to eventually comfort them when a loved one dies.

It prompted me to write here to ask you all:
When and how did you have to deal with a passing and explain it to a child?

Feel free to read the post to see how my son took the news of his pet hermit crab, when he died.

abuse, america, angels, babies, Baby Kaleb, baby shaken syndrome, blessings, blogging, care taking, challenge, child birth, children, Christianity, conflict, counseling, death, disasterous, encouragement, faith, family, family bonds

Baby Kaleb

Little baby Kaleb is a child that has surpassed everyone’s expectations. You’ll remember last spring the case of the baby shaken by his sitter in Tampa. He was in ICU for months, with no hope of recovery as far as the doctors were concerned. His mom, a woman of strong faith, has shared her belief that God would heal her son from day one. Kaleb’s amazing recovery has proved every doctor wrong from his original prognosis. He’s improving leaps and bounds, and I’m so thankful that God has used this amazing families journey, although sad, to show the world that He still provides miracles.

See Kaleb’s mommy’s blogs here that walk you through his progress. As your read through please remember to keep Kaleb and his family in your prayers. His parents are amazing individuals, who have looked to the Lord through their trial to bring them through. Their faith is a wonderful testimony for all of us to look to.

abuse, amen, america, appreciation, blessings, budget, care taking, charity, children, Christianity, commitments, counseling, economics, encouragement, faith, falling, food, foster care, friendship, giving, goals, gratitude, health, help, home, leadership, life, love, medical, motivation, Oklahoma, pepper's ranch, prayer, relationships, safety, smiles, society, son, sons, surviving, thoughts

A Mission Worthwhile

A friend of mine runs a very worthy cause to help young boys in the state of Oklahoma. Pepper’s Ranch is an amazing place, where they strive every day to break the cycle of abuse in Oklahoma, and provide young boys with the basic needs of love, support, and overall care.

I know most of you give to where you feel is right for you, but if you would just take a second to click on the below link I would appreciate it. If you feel led to donate $5.00….great. If not, at least you’ve been made aware of how wonderful Pepper’s Ranch is. Any donation given goes straight to helping the needs of the children at the organization.

Here is what he sent me via email and I just wanted to pass it on:

 

There are three very simple reasons I am contacting you…

 

  1. You care…and will invest a small amount of time to view the link below
  2. You care…and will commit to make a difference in the life of a child
  3. You care…and have at least 5 more friends who care

Acting together, we are all just one click away from making an unbelievable difference!

 

http://www.peppersranch.com/videodonate.asp

anger, appreciation, care taking, challenge, children, Christianity, church, commitments, conflict, counseling, encouragement, faith, family, fathers, friendship, gratitude, harassment, help, leadership, life, management, manners, positive reinforcement, prayer, random, relationships, son, sons, spirituality, supervisors, thoughts

Time out—Penalty!!

So it was my rotation this Sunday again to teach the little ones at Children’s Church. I’m now teaching 5 and 6 year olds, who are lot more aggressive and active. Undoubtably there is one child who is the instigator and the aggressor…Cameron. Every time I see him I groan internally.

When I was just a teacher’s aide, Cameron is the child I would sit next to in order to make sure he knew he couldn’t get away with bad behavior. He even threatened to bite a teacher one morning when I was helping. It was then that I picked a spot by him each morning.

Now that I teach, there aren’t many helpers to aide in class…and I have Cameron to deal with and the other kids he riles up. So far in the last few months, he’s either been tame or not attended. BUT Sunday was another story. There were 3 trouble makers at one table making the most irritating noises, which left it unable to get a teaching environment going.

I separated the problem children, but Cameron enlisted the boy next to him into his aggressive behavior. Most of the class, I got him involved so it wasn’t an issue…but after 35 minutes he got really anxious. He started jumping on his chair and flying off onto the ground. I put him in a ‘time-out’ in the corner. This is something I’ve never had to do in the year I’ve been volunteering, and I felt bad doing so…but his behavior wasn’t going to fly with me.

Cameron quietly read for a good 5 minutes. It seemed to be the only thing he did respond too, so I’m thinking I’ll put him there from now on! The only bad part is when I let him go back to his seat, he ended up hurting another child. The little boy that was sitting next to him tripped over Cameron, who stuck out his chair to jam into his friend. It hurt him bad enough that he cried. I was consoling this little boy, Tyler, when all the parents started lining up to come claim their children.

I told Tyler the only thing I could without crossing any lines. First I told him how sorry I was that he was hurt and upset. I put my arm around him to give him a small hug. The lesson this Sunday was over ‘peace’, so I asked him if he remembered how to keep peace in his life. He tearfully nodded…and I went on to tell him that another way to have peace in his life is to make wise choices about who our friends are in life. Some friends will bring us peace, and some will bring us stress. I told him next time to sit next to someone who wouldn’t hurt him.

Cameron was out in the hall. Tyler proceeded to march out side in the hall, leaving me and his dad in the class room. He stood there and stared angrily at Cameron. I did the only thing I could do without offending Cameron’s dad. I quietly walked outside in the hall, squatted in front of Cameron, and asked him if he thought he should apologize to Tyler. Cameron looked at his feet and nodded his head yes. He then walked across the hall and apologized. I was very proud of Cameron and Tyler for confronting how they felt.

I think all in all they both ended up okay, but Cameron’s dad was clueless to this whole situation which makes me wonder what kind of discipline he receives at home.  I just pray that I’m able to come up with a positive way to handle this child in the future.  Any teachers or counselors out there that have any pointers???

abuse, america, anger, care taking, challenge, counseling, daughter, disasterous, encouragement, family, family bonds, fatherhood, fathers, harassment, help, leadership, life, love, marriage, medical, motherhood, motivation, positive reinforcement, prayer, relationships, secrets, sex, sin, society, surviving, television, women

Our children’s survival

Each day, as a parent, one wonders how safe is it out there for our children. With the television/film industry glorifying crime on the screen, and pushing it’s limits of what’s allowed as general viewing…you have to wonder what effect it has on the American public. How can we as parent’s educate our children without scaring them to death? It’s a fine balance in giving your children the facts, and handing your children the means to live in fear.

As a rape survivor, I know too well how scary it can be for those of us out there that were ill informed. My mom always answered any question I had growing up. She gave me the stranger danger talk growing up, but I don’t ever remember a pro-active conversation about sexual predators and how that could effect me or anyone I knew.

I don’t blame my parent’s for not bridging that conversation…they didn’t know it would be needed. How do we as parent’s know what’s needed to protect our child, if we haven’t lived it personally or through someone else’s story? My parent’s never experienced this type of trauma, or knew anyone else that did. I’ve never sat and wondered what my life would be like if they had.

I am, who I am, because of my life’s circumstances, and am blessed to be exactly where I am. I have survived my past and forgiven my transgressor. It took a while, but I learned to have a healthy relationship. I thank God that He brought me through exactly to where and when He did, so that I’d meet my wonderful husband.

The reason I’m writing this??

To make sure you all are aware of HOW IMPORTANT it is to educate your children in the ways of the world. According to RAINN, every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. And that’s cases that are reported! I didn’t report my case…it makes me wonder how many women, men, or children do not report their cases.

To give you some hope, I have included a blog from a friend, who did educate her daughter. She taught her daughter the facts, which ended saving her life! Please read my friend, Sarvin’s, story. Please pass my blog on to others, so that they’re made aware on how taking 2 minutes to talk to your child can make such a huge impact on their lives! Her and her daughter’s story is below:

———-

While her father slept on the couch, his friend “Ben” lured my daughter into his bedroom under the guise of talking there, so that they didn’t disturb anyone. Of course, she went. My daughter had known Ben since she was a little girl and she trusted him.

In the bedroom he talked about common interests. Interests, that for the last couple of months he’d used to get closer to her, to advance her trust in him. I later discovered that this was a process called “grooming the victim”. The conversation moved on to questions about school, friends and then boyfriends. At 13, she didn’t have a boyfriend. He moved in closer. He hugged her. It was when he told her how pretty she was and then touched her face; the alarm bells began to ring inside her. She was looking for a way out. Perhaps he smelled her fear. Perhaps it even excited him. But it was then that he told her the things he wanted to do to her.

“If you don’t like it, we don’t have to tell anyone.”

But she said it was my voice she heard the loudest, “Get away! Tell someone!”

She told Ben to stop. She left the room, woke her sleeping father, and said she needed to leave. He took her away. She wouldn’t give details to her father, but when my ex-husband brought her home to me, details came pouring out amidst the tears and the vomiting that lasted two days. The crime was reported, as she knew there was no choice, because she said, “I don’t want to see this happen to Ben’s little daughter, or any other girls.”

That was a year ago and yet the trial just finished up last week. Twelve men and women believed her and Ben is guilty of a felony.

Ben is a man I had never met until the trial, but he was supposedly the best friend of the man I’d divorced ten years ago. Ben was trusted; he was not a stranger.

Ironically or perhaps by the grace of God, about two weeks before the incident, inspired by a TV show on sexual predators that we’d watched, my teenagers and I sat down and discussed the subject. I told my children these things:

1. A sexual predator is likely someone you trust; a family friend, a neighbor, or even a relative, like an uncle, a grandpa or even in some cases, a parent.
2. If there is someone you don’t feel comfortable with, for ANY reason, let me know. I will trust your instincts; maybe you just have a “feeling” about someone. I will NEVER ignore that. I will get you away from them. I will always believe you.
3. Your body is yours and NO ONE has the right to touch you. They might even try to make you feel good, but because you have the information and know about good and bad touching, you know what to do —
4. Get away and get help! The very words my daughter heard me saying in her head that night.

My daughter has lived and then survived the day-to-day fear that Ben would come and get her, then later the endless questions, the badgering of a defense attorney, and the worst thing— facing Ben in court. She is one of the lucky ones. So many children are violated horribly. That night she was able to stop what was going to happen to her.

She has urged me to get the word out saying, “Tell all the mommies to talk to their kids like you talked to me, so that they know what to do.”

She’s 14 now and I’m incredibly proud of this brave, young woman God has blessed me with. The results of that night are best described in her own words. The following is a document, requested by the courts, shown to the judge before sentencing, asking how the crime has affected her life. She addresses the letter to her perpetrator.

One night, changed my life. One night, I became a victim. But that was only for one night. I became a victor when I went to the police. I am not the girl I once was. In the video (taped police statement shown in court) you saw a little child who was scared and hurt. What you have seen in front of you on the witness stand is a powerful and strong young woman who has found hope and God again. I have gained a lot in the last year, more than what you took away, even though the loss was still great. Yet I am so much more thankful for my parents and friends. I can do anything now. I’m no longer afraid.

I even forgave you for changing my life. I forgave you for ending what little of normality I had. But I will never forget and my family will never forget either. So look at me, and remember the girl you tried to invade. For now, she is a woman who is much stronger than you’ll ever be.

At my daughter’s request, I urge you: TALK to your children. Today. Don’t wait.

—-

Sarvin and her daughter will be checking my blog to see your comments. Please leave them your thoughts and responses, to let her know how empowering her story is. She just got through with the trial, and needs to know you’ll not only pass this on…but want’s to know your thoughts.

A few minutes on a tough subject can mean our children’s survival!

Spiritlifter just told me of her blog that talked of this same issue…it’s important to get this out people. Please spread the word.

appreciation, blessings, blogging, Christianity, counseling, faith, faithful fridays, meme, positive reinforcement, spirituality

Faithful Fridays 7-27-07 part 2

Part 2?  Okay so last week’s edition had this week’s date on it.  Was I a week ahead or what?  As my boss would say….Always moving forward.  That’s his favorite motivational phrase.

As I take a deeper look into that, something hits me.  Are you one of those who are always looking to the future?  Looking to see what comes next instead of what’s happening now?  Yes, my boss’ phrase is a great sales tool to add to his emails to motivate his team to keep pluggin at it, but it also reminds me of how I used to live.

I used to always reflect on the past, wondering what if.  Then I’d strive to see what the future may hold, thinking it had to be better than what life had given me.  I didn’t look at where I was right now in the present, in my daily life.  It took a good family friend, also my counselor at the time, to point this out.  She told me I would never truly be at peace if I didn’t let go of who I ‘was’ or who I thought I wanted to be ‘someday’.  Walking a daily life became very important to me at that point in life, and when I started mastering this…I realized that God had me exactly where he wanted me….today!

Do I still stress about things…yes!  But the difference is I’m learning daily to let them go, and focus on the steps the Lord wants me to take today.  For example, I know today holds great things for me and my family and that’s so exciting to me.  I also know I don’t need to keep looking to my future because He already holds that for me.  He has it waiting and it makes my daily life so much sweeter.

***Lord please bless whoever reads this, that they may let go of what was and have peace for what YOU have for them today.  Amen.

abuse, anger, blessings, blogging, care taking, challenge, Christianity, conflict, counseling, death, encouragement, faith, family, harassment, health, help, life, miracles, motivation, positive reinforcement, prayer, random, relationships, secrets, sex, sin, sleep, sleeplessness, society, surviving, thoughts, women, writing

A long road…A new dawning


Being on here awhile now, I get the fun task of listing certain things that are in response to being tagged. Most are quite fun! However this last one is a little brain boggling. My task is to list what obsessive thoughts plague me. I don’t normally focus on these sorts of things…I push any tiny nagging negative to the back of my brain because I like to always think about the upside of life.

However, I never back down from a challenge…at least a reasonable one. So Carolsplaceforpeace…this one’s for you. You gave me this task and I will follow through.

When I was younger, before having a good life, I faced a lot of trauma. Too much trauma for someone that had only lived 20 or so years on the earth. I suffered a lot of pain and mental stress. Through a lot of prayer and hard work on my part, I overcame and survived! I moved on to a healthier me, who didn’t want to focus on the past but move forward. However the past is what made me who I am today.

So I can say, I used to suffer obsessive thoughts on a daily basis. In my teens I obsessed on when I would die. I didn’t think I’d make it past 18. Then once my 18th birthday came and went, God tapped me on the heart and whispered, “See I told you…you’re going to make it. Keep going!”

Once in college, I obsessed over how I was going to make it day to day. The person that caused me a lot of trauma attended the same university I did. He harassed me daily, so I turned to alcohol to get past the pain. I obsessed over how dirty I felt, from the person’s behavior toward me. Again God stayed with me and whispered, “You’re my creation. You’re strong and healthy. You’re perfect and chaste. Keep going…I’m with you…..YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE IT!”

Long story short, I found a great family therapist that helped me peel back the layers of my experiences in life to help me find my core. She helped me remember who I was. God used her in such a way that I knew I was exactly all those things God kept telling me I was. I am a survivor, who doesn’t like to focus on anything but making it happen for me and my family. I will not cow to negative thoughts or anything that wouldn’t give praise to my Lord.

However, at 2 a.m. when I’m groggy or not fully alert….a few of those old thoughts may be triggered from a dream. I have to wake myself up and pray THANKS TO GOD for making me who I am, was, and will be. Thanks to HIM for who He is, was, and will always be.

I probably won’t tag anyone with this, because I would never encourage anyone to focus on anything that wouldn’t be positive. Hey we all know negative or bad things happen…let’s do what we can to overcome them!

I posted this on my other site, but felt it important enought to post here too. Pardon the redundancy for those of you who read both.