Friday, August 31, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Marriage Monday

When couples come into my office for marriage counseling my first job is to determine why they are really there. Many times one spouse has dragged the other one in kicking and screaming…they really don’t want to be there, but have conceded because they want their marriage to work. Others come into counseling saying that they want to work on their marriage, but in reality, they just want me to help them convince their spouse that they are right about whatever disagreement they are having. Sometimes couples come in stating very clearly that they are only there because they want to be able to say they tried everything to save their marriage so that they don’t feel guilt when they divorce.

No matter what their initial reason for entering counseling I ask a series of questions that help all of us determine where the marriage is and if the marriage can be saved. It would help if all couples asked themselves these questions from time to time. I have found that if both people are willing to work there is no marriage that is beyond help, but it takes dedication and hard work.

If you are having difficulty in your marriage, or even if you are not, sit down with your spouse and talk about these four questions:

1. On a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being “the worst marriage you have ever seen,” and 10 being “marital bliss,” how would you rate your current relationship?
2. On the same scale, where would you like your marriage to be?
3. What would need to change in your relationship to move it from where it is to where you would like it to be?
4. On another 1-10 scale, with 1 being “I am ready to get out,” and 10 being “I’ll do whatever it takes” …how willing are you to invest what it takes to change your marriage?

We often buy into the fairy tale that “they got married and lived happily ever after.” Don’t fall for it!! They call it a fairy tale for a reason. Marriage is work and an investment. We only get out of it what we are willing to invest!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Shadow Puppetry

Check out this great video!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Face Behind This Blog

Hey...I've been first ever! Mousey tagged me in this meme...

So, here are the rules:

1. Post a short blog article that includes a photograph (or a series of photos) showing the face behind your blog. If you already show a photo somewhere on your site (such as in your about page), then make your post more interesting and choose a photo that’s not currently online.

Here is a picture of me with my hubby and three grandchildren. You probably recognize them from the majority of my Wordless Wednesday posts! Being a grandparent is the best!!!

2. Include links to other people that have displayed a photo, or include their photos in your post, adding a reference.

Check out my daughter's blog here.

3. Tag as many others as you like to spread the meme.

I tag Bridget at And Miles to Go Before We Sleep and To Know Him

4. If you link back to David here and drop a comment; he’ll be sure to include links back to you. Each person tagged should create their own post and repeat the process.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


"The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. To be useful, the clay has to be moldable, and once made into a vessel, it has to remain in the hand of the potter to be used...When you come to God as His servant He first wants you to allow Him to mold and shape you into the instrument of His choosing. Then He can take your life and put it where He wills and work through it to accomplish His purposes." Blackaby - Experiencing God.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NIV

I want to be the kind of person that God can use because I am fully consecrated to Him. I don't always act like I am that kind of person. My pride and my doubts often get in the way. I am learning, though, that staying connected to Him is the only way that God can truly use me. How often I take myself out of His hand and try to do it on my own. There are days I struggle with my own competence. I have to remember that every gift I have, every talent, came from God in the first place. And everything I feel that I am lacking He will supply.

God help me to get out of the way so you can work through me. Help me to focus on you as the source of my strength, and my all the glory go to you.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Summer Vacation

Trista at The Pumpkin Patch is holding an End of Summer Party!

I thought I would join in and share some of my summer vacation pictures!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"I certainly don't regret my experiences because without them, I couldn't imagine who or where I would be today. Life is an amazing gift to those who have overcome great obstacles, and attitude is everything!" Sasha Azevedo

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Stressless Saturday

A Fence or an Ambulance

'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;But over its terrible edge there had slipped A duke and full many a peasant.So the people said something would have to be done,But their projects did not at all tally;Some said, "Put a fence around the edge of the cliff,"Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day, For it spread through the neighboring city;A fence may be useful or not, it is true,But each heart became brimful of pity For those who slipped over that dangerous cliff;And the dwellers in highway and alley Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,But an ambulance down in the valley.

"For the cliff is all right, if you're careful," they said,"And, if folks even slip and are dropping,It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much, As the shock down below when they're stopping."So day after day, as these mishaps occurred,Quick forth would those rescuers sally To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old sage remarked: "It's a marvel to me That people give far more attention To repairing results than to stopping the cause,When they'd much better aim at prevention.Let us stop at its source all this mischief,' cried he,"Come, neighbors and friends, let us rally;If the cliff we will fence we might almost dispense With the ambulance down in the valley."…

Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old,For the voice of true wisdom is calling,"To rescue the fallen is good, but 'tis best]To prevent other people from falling."Better close up the source of temptation and crime Than deliver from dungeon or galley;Better put a strong fence round the top of the cliff Than an ambulance down in the valley.

Joseph Malins - 19th Century English poet

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Grandparenting Tips

According to
• About 70 million grandparents live in the United States, according to estimates, and that number will continue to grow as baby boomers age.
• About 67 percent of Americans aged 45 and older are grandparents.
• The average age of first-time grandparents is about 48.

As a grandparent I have (hopefully) learned some tips for maintaining a successful relationship with the parents of my grandchildren.

1. Don't confuse your role. You are NOT the parent. You may need to say that to yourself over and over again if your adult children are not parenting the way you would!

2. Don't criticize your children's parenting. They will learn soon enough (the hard way...just like you learned) what works and what doesn't.

3. Don't contradict the parent's rules. You may not think it is a big deal to let the kids jump on your beds, but if your kids say they don't allow your grandchildren to jump on the beds...go back to rule are NOT the parent!

4. Don't interfere with your grandchildren's discipline...even if it breaks your heart.

5. When your adult children ask you not to do something (like giving candy before dinner), don't get upset. You already knew they wouldn't like it!

6. Don't give advice unless you are asked. Unsolicited advice is usually unwanted advice.

7. Don't assume that the way you used to parent is the best way. Times have don't say, "Well, in my day..."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." --Franklin D. Roosevelt

Spiritual Growth

God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He's continually working out His ultimate perfection for you. My Utmost for His Highest - Oswald Chambers.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me...For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthian 12:9-10

I guess my prayer to be free is being answered. Like most prayers I'm glad I didn't know the process I would have to go through to be healthy - to be free. Even now it would be easy to give up - to go back, but I know that God has called me to something where I can't afford to go bound by all the things that keep me from His "ultimate perfection for me."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Marriage Roles

Working women in my counseling practice often complain that their spouses don't help much around the house. It has long been assumed that housework is "women's" work, even when the woman is holding down a full time job outside of the house. The interesting thing is, that it is not just the men that think housework is "women's" work. Many times the women themselves feel a lot of guilt when they can't do it all. Sometimes I jokingly ask these women, "Wouldn't you love to have a wife like you?" They usually smile and nod their heads imagining having a wife who would take care of them the way that they take care of their husbands and families. Then I ask..."Would you treat your imaginary wife the way your family treats you?" They all say "of course not, I would appreciate them and all that they do!" I gently continue..."why would you have more respect for your imaginary wife than you do for yourself?" The light bulb comes on...they need to be assertive, ask for help, and stop feeling guilty that they can't do it all.

Shira Boss of the International Herald Tribune had an interesting article today entitled Women wedded to work - and needing a wife at home.

Wouldn't you love to have a wife?!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Time Management


"If you had a bank that credited your account each morning with $86,400.00 that carried over no balance from day-to-day and allowed you to keep no cash in your account...and every evening cancelled whatever part of the amount you had failed to use during the day...what would you do? Draw out every cent, of course. have such a bank, and its name is "Time". Every night it rules off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good carries over no balance. It allows no overdrafts. Each day it opens a new account with you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is not drawing against tomorrow. You must live in the present - on today's deposits. Invest as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success." Author Unknown

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Parenting Tips: Bullies

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer wrote a great post today about her son Adam and a bully at camp. Her husband did a great job in helping Adam handle a bad situation! Check it out here.

As a counselor I often talk to parents who don't know how to help their children deal with the inevitable bullies at school or summer camp. It is so hard as a parent to know when to step in and when to let a child fend for themselves. Moms especially have a hard time because we get very protective when anyone threatens our "babies."

According to Wikipedia, Bullying is the intentional tormenting of others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. There is currently no legal definition of bullying.
In colloquial speech, bullying often describes a form of harassment perpetrated by an abuser who possesses more physical and/or social power and dominance than the victim. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a target. The harassment can be verbal, physical and/or emotional.

How do you know when your child is being bullied?

They might:

  • Not want to go to school
  • Suddenly become “sick” when it is time to leave for school
  • Begin to bully siblings
  • Start having nightmares
  • Become moody, irritable, withdrawn, anxious
  • Begin to take a different route to school
  • Come home hungry after school because their lunch money is “lost”
  • Have torn or missing clothing
  • Have physical injuries inconsistent with explanation.

What do you do when your child admits to being bullied?

  • Listen
  • Believe them
  • Remind them that it is not their fault
  • Encourage your child to talk about his/her feelings
  • Tell your child that they did the right thing by telling
  • Talk to the adults in charge (teacher, principle, counselor)
  • Teach your child to stay with a group or a friend
  • Encourage your child to “act brave” and look directly into the bully’s eyes and to hold their head high
  • Teach them to ignore the bully when possible. Bullies feed on reactions
  • Teach them to use their heads, not their fists
  • Encourage your child to avoid the bully if possible
  • Tell your child that they shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help
Check out some books on Bullies:
How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies: A Book That Takes the Nuisance Out of Name Calling and Other Nonsense

How to Deal With Bullies

Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet: How to Deal With Bullies

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007


"Whatever happens that breaks us open to a deeper invasion of the Lord's Spirit is a blessing in disguise. Our brokenness becomes the threshold of growth in a Spirit-filled life. At conversion to Christ, His Spirit enters us. But His abiding presence cannot grow until the shell of our preconceptions, values, and personality structure is broken open." Longing to Be Free - Lloyd John Ogilvie

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20

The only way to be free is to have nothing to lose. In giving myself totally to Christ it is no longer important what anyone else thinks. My fear, my self-esteem, my desires, become His.

The past few months have been a time of God breaking me open. While the struggle was great, God wouldn't let me go. The surrender - the dying to myself - has led to a hunger to be free. For the first time in years it is more important to me to grow spiritually than to do anything else.

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. Philippians 3:7-8.

I want to know me to continue on the journey until I am free, totally surrendered, no longer bound by the past - crucified, with nothing to lose.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Marriage Monday

In a national survey of married couples, researchers found that, on average, we spend less than three minutes of meaningful conversation together in a typical day. In the midst of jobs, kid’s activities, hobbies and television we lose touch with each other. We may be talking, but we aren’t really conversing when most of our conversations are just monosyllables during dinner or coordinating our children’s events. We may say our marriage is a priority, but we often devote our time to everything but our marriage.

So, how do we reconnect with our spouses? Meaningful conversation is telling your spouse where you are—intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Set aside a night each week to tune into out the world, tune into each other and focus on the reality of your own lives. Here are some questions to get you talking!

  • What was your most embarrassing moment?
  • What is your favorite song? food? color?
  • How would you rate our marriage on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
  • Who is your favorite relative?
  • Do you think I do a good job of listening to you? What could I do better?
  • What is your favorite way to spend an evening? A weekend?
  • If we inherited a lot of money, how do you think we should spend it?
  • What do I do that makes you laugh?
  • What personal improvements do you want to make in your life?
  • If you could go back and relive one day of your life, what would it be?

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Stressless Saturday

Handling Stress With Humor

Having a good sense of humor is necessary for health, happiness, and stress reduction. Norman Cousins, author of Anatomy of an Illness compared laughter to inner jogging. He said: “Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors”. Laughter is healing for the body, mind, and spirit. After a good laugh, we are able to think more clearly which helps us manage stress better.

How Laughter Fights Stress And Its Effects:

  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Provides a good cardiac workout.
  • Reduces stress hormones.
  • Boosts your immune system.
  • Releases endorphins— the body's natural painkillers.
  • Gives you a general sense of well-being.
  • Wards off depression.
  • Stimulates creativity.
  • Improves memory.
  • Helps you feel more in control.

PR 17:22 A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Memorable Milestones

What is a milestone? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a milestone is:

  1. A stone marker set up on a roadside to indicate the distance in miles from a given point.

  2. An important event, as in a person's career, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.
Our children’s milestones are not measured in miles, but they are like stones set in our minds and hearts to mark points along the paths of their lives. In the Old Testament days they set memorial stones to remember significant events. The ways we celebrate these milestones, however big or small, are the stones which help us to remember the faithfulness and kindness of God to us and our children.

First day of kindergarten: Take a picture of your child getting on the school bus. Plan a trip to their favorite fast food restaurant when they get home. Get balloons to welcome them home.

Losing a tooth: Get the book Throw Your Tooth on the Roof to show your child how other cultures celebrate losing a tooth.

Learning to swim: Get a child’s t-shirt and iron on a decal picture of a fish with the words “Look at me, I can swim!”

Riding a bike without training wheels: Take the family out for a bike ride and if possible ride to an ice cream shop for a cone to celebrate! Buy a new helmet or bike horn or mirror.

First goal/home run/touchdown: Get a plastic tablecloth with a sports theme. Pick up some frosted cupcakes at the grocery store and decorate them with some plastic footballs/baseballs/soccer balls. Make a sign awarding your child the MVP of the day.

Making the honor roll: Have a family award ceremony at home or at a restaurant. Reward your child with a new CD, or video game.

Getting a driver’s license: If your child doesn’t already have a cell phone, this may be the time to get them one…for keeping in touch (remind them not to talk and drive!). Get them their own emergency kit filled with Safety Matches, Band aids, Antiseptic Wipes, Instructions to Change a Flat Tire, Instructions to Jump Start a Dead Battery, Emergency Contact List, Accident Record and a copy of their signed Parent Child Driving Agreement.

Getting a first job: Trade your child’s first paycheck for some cash and frame the paycheck (I’m sure it won’t amount to much!) Your child will be proud, and s/he will get a kick out of it as an adult! Help your child set up their first budget. Set up their own account on Quicken. Let them track their own spending and saving.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and check out the Insignia® 37″ Flat-Panel LCD HDTV giveaway. Best Buy is being very generous...follow the directions to enter!

Wordless Wednesday

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