Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all bloggy giveaway

I'm joining Shannon from Rocks in My Dryer in the Fall Y'all! bloggy giveaway. My giveaway is a book that I have been recommending to many of my clients and has been life changing for me personally: Your Best Year Yet. If you would like to win this book just comment on this post and you will automatically be entered in the contest. On Friday, November 2nd, I will randomly choose one winner to receive the book! Once you have commented here, go to Rocks in My Dryer to link to others bloggers who are giving away some great prizes! Good luck! And check back on Friday to see if you are the lucky winner!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

Many people keep saying, ''I want Peace, I want Peace'', How many words are there in the sentence? 'I want Peace'...3 words, I, Want and Peace. ''I'' is the ego; ''want'' is desire... If you remove ego & desire~ Then you will be left with Peace.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Testing Your Stress Level

Our lives are filled with both happy and sad events. Many of us do not realize, however, that all of life’s changes can result in stress on both our physical and emotional health.

Changes occur in everyone’s life. Some are everyday experiences. Others are not so common. All can cause stress and anxiety.

The list that follows is a stress test that was developed by Drs. Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe to help people understand what causes stress in their lives.

Place a check beside each event that you have experienced in the last year and then add the attached point values.

Rank Event Value Your Score
1. Death of spouse 100 ____
2. Divorce 73 ____
3. Marital separation 65 ____
4. Jail term 63 ____
5. Death of close family member 63 ____
6. Personal injury or illness 53 ____
7. Marriage 50 ____
8. Fired from work 47 ____
9. Marital reconciliation 45 ____
10. Retirement 45 ____
11. Change in family member’s health 44 ____
12. Pregnancy 40 ____
13. Sex difficulties 39 ____
14. Addition to family 39 ____
15. Business readjustment 39 ____
16. Change in financial status 38 ____
17. Death of close friend 37 ____
18. Change in number of marital arguments 35 ____
19. Mortgage or loan over $10,000 31 ____
20. Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30 ____
21. Change in work responsibilities 29 ____
22. Son or daughter leaving home 29 ____
23. Trouble with in-laws 29 ____
24. Outstanding personal achievement 28 ____
25. Spouse begins or stops work 26 ____
26. Starting or finishing school 26 ____
27. Change in living conditions 25 ____
28. Revision of personal habits 24 ____
29. Trouble with boss 23 ____
30. Change in work hours, conditions 20 ____
31. Change in residence 20 ____
32. Change in schools 20 ____
33. Change recreational habits 19 ____
34. Change in church activities 19 ____
35. Change in social activities 18 ____
36. Mortgage or loan under $10,000 18 ____
37. Change in sleeping habits 16 ____
38. Change in number of family gatherings 15 ____
39. Change in eating habits 14 ____
40. Vacation 13 ____
41. Christmas season 12 ____
42. Minor violation of the law 11 ____
Total _______

SCORING: Add up the point values of all the items checked. If your score is 300 or more, you stand an almost 80% chance of getting sick in the near future as a result of the events. If your score is 150 to 299, the chances are about 50%. If less than 150, the chances are about 30%.

This scale suggests that life changes require an effort to adapt and then to regain stability. This process probably saps energy the body would ordinarily use to maintain itself, so susceptibility to illness increases.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Parenting Tips: Children's Bill of Rights

Sometimes couple counseling doesn't work...for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is because one partner doesn't want it to work, sometimes it is because one partner refuses to stop abusive behavior. The reasons for divorce or separation are unique to each couple. Usually one partner wants the divorce and one doesn't. When there are children involved it can get really ugly. Every parent wants what is best for their children, but when they get angry they sometimes forget that their anger can be devastating to their kids. Check out this bill of rights that every parent who is divorcing should agree to:
Children's Bill of Rights
Divorce Headquarters

We the children of the divorcing parents, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish these Bill Of Rights for all children.
  • The right not to be asked to "choose sides" or be put in a situation where I would have to take sides between my parents.
  • The right to be treated as a person and not as a pawn, possession or a negotiating chip.
  • The right to freely and privately communicate with both parents.
  • The right not to be asked questions by one parent about the other.
  • The right not to be a messenger.
  • The right to express my feelings.
  • The right to adequate visitation with the non-custodial parent which will best serve my needs and wishes.
  • The right to love and have a relationship with both parents without being made to feel guilty.
  • The right not to hear either parent say anything bad about the other.
  • The right to the same educational opportunities and economic support that I would have had if my parents did not divorce.
  • The right to have what is in my best interest protected at all times.
  • The right to maintain my status as a child and not to take on adult responsibilities for the sake of the parent's well being.
  • The right to request my parents seek appropriate emotional and social support when needed.
  • The right to expect consistent parenting at a time when little in my life seems constant or secure.
  • The right to expect healthy relationship modeling, despite the recent events.
  • The right to expect the utmost support when taking the time and steps needed to secure a healthy adjustment to the current situation.

Check out Divorce HQ for more information.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Check out other pictures here and here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Marriage Monday

Community Marriage Policies Help Lower Divorce Rates

ABC News and Charles Gibson had a report on last night about Marriage Savers. You can check out the story at ABC News: Anti-Divorce Effort Saves Marriages. You can check out Marriage Savers here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.-- Carol Bishop Hipps

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stressless Saturday

Every one of us has a favorite way of coping with stress. Some of them are healthy and some not so healthy. Some individuals seem to take everything in stride while others get upset at the smallest of problems. Most of us are somewhere in the middle. When we feel confident we are able to handle even some major stressors, but when we are already stressed even small irritants produce anxiety.

Here are some common negative ways that we cope with stress:
  • Eating for comfort
  • Smoking
  • Anger
  • Impatience
  • Crying
  • Self medicating with alcohol or drugs
  • Dwelling on negative thoughts
  • Shopping
So, what can we do to replace our negative coping behaviors with positive coping skills?
  • Look for humor in your situation
  • Reframe the situation (from crisis to opportunity)
  • Take charge
  • Learn to relax
  • Take a warm bath
  • Exercise
  • Pray
To find out how stressed you are go to the Mayo Clinic web site and take the Mayo Clinic Stress Assessment.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

What to wear when the wife has chores for you:

Check out more Wordless Wednesday pictures here and here!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Marriage Monday: Divorce Busting

Successful marriages don’t just happen...we should think of marriage like a garden. Successful marriages require regular attention: fertilizing, watering, and weeding. Divorce doesn't just happen either. Marriages, like gardens, don’t die suddenly. Unfortunately they fade away from a gradual lack of attentiveness, taking each other for granted, not spending enough time together.

How can you keep your marriage growing? There are hundreds of web sites devoted to marriage. Here is one that I often refer marriage counseling clients to...

Check out the stages of marriage here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday's Quote of the Day

"Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile."
William Cullen Bryant

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fun Friday


Two doctors opened an office in a small town and put up a sign reading:

"Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, "Hysterias and Posteriors."

The town council was not happy with the sign, so the doctors changed it to read, "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids."

This was not acceptable either, so in an effort to satisfy the council, they changed the sign to "Catatonics and High Colonics."

No go.

Next, they tried "Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives."

Thumbs down again.

Then came "Minds and Behinds."

Still no good.

So they tried "Analysis and Anal Cysts."

No way.

"Nuts and Butts?"

No way.

"Freaks and Cheeks?"

Still no go.

"Loons and Moons?"

Forget it.

Almost at their wit's end, the doctors finally came up with:

"Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones, Odds and Ends."

Everyone loved this one and the practice made a mint.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another Bloggy Giveaway

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer is hosting another blogosphere extravaganza! I will be joining in by giving away a great prize. Come back on Monday October 29th to find out what it is and to join in! You won't want to miss this!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: Almost Wordless

A woman who died had a great sense of humor. She always said that when she died she wanted a parking meter on her grave that said "Expired." So her nephew got her one on ebay! Her grave is right by the road where it is easily seen...and many people have stopped to get a chuckle.
Go to Wordless Wednesday HQ or 5 Minutes for Mom see more pictures!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Marriage Monday: Expectations

"Love is what enables us to bridge the gap of disappointment when others don't live up to the expectations we have of them."
Abigail Van Buren

I went to a friends house last week and noticed that she did something wrong. Her toilet paper roll was facing the wrong direction. You're supposed to put the toilet paper on the roll so the paper comes from the top, not the bottom. Aren't you?! Okay, so I realize that just because she did it different it is not necessarily wrong, but it is not how I do it. It is funny that we expect that people are going to do things the same way that we do them...and if they don't...we wonder what is wrong with them! Our expectation that others think the way we do and do things the same way as us are often unrealistic.
The most significant arena where our expectations bump up against reality is in marriage. Unrealistic expectations can destroy relationships. When we have the attitude that the other person is "wrong" or "stupid" for doing things differently we imply that they are not good enough, or smart enough to know better.
Unfortunately we all walk into marriage with a set of expectations about how to operate in the world, and in marriage. Most of our expectations come from our families of origin, or "the way we've always done it." Many times we don't realize when we get married that we have expectations...until we face the disappointment of our expectations not being met. Our expectations may be big or small, but how we handle our disappointments and differences can make a world of difference in the state of our marriage.

Here are a few areas in which couples struggle with differences and expectations...this list is not exhaustive...I'm sure you can think of more from your own marriage!

Spending vs. Saving * Holidays * Family Time * Vacations * Fitness * Free Time * Communication Styles * Food Preferences * Hobbies * Shopping * Clothes * Sleep Habits * Children (how many, discipline, etc.) * Decorating * Roles * Cold/Warm Bedroom * Crunchy peanut butter/Creamy peanut butter * Windows open/Air conditioning

Although some of these differences seem silly, they can cause problems when one spouse maintains an attitude of superiority that says "My way is the right way!" So how do we deal with our differences and the inevitable disappointments from unmet expectations?
1. Talk about your expectations. Preferably before the wedding!
2. Compromise. If you can't agree on the perfect vacation take turns planning your yearly getaway.
3. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Whether we have idealized a past relationship or just read too many romance novels, we need to let go of the myth of the perfect spouse.
4. Recognize the difference between hoping for something and demanding something. Conflict arises when we feel that our spouse "owes" us. Our spouses are usually more willing to meet our needs when they feel like they are not being forced to!
5. Exercise patience with your partner’s faults and annoying habits. I often tell my husband that we deserve each other. When he complains about my faults I respond, "If I didn't have these faults, I would be married to a much nicer guy than you!!" He knows that I am kidding, and that it is the truth...for both of us!
6. Don't compare your spouse to other people's spouses -- or your marriage to other marriages. I often have people tell me in counseling sessions that they are "jealous" of the couples they see sitting in church or walking through the grocery store together. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors in those marriages. It is not a fair comparison to compare your inside with their outside!
7. Let Philippians 2:3-4 govern your attitude about your marriage and expectations:

Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stressless Saturday: Effective Delegation

If you have ever worked for a micromanager, you know that they have a hard time delegating. According to Wikipedia, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. In contrast to giving general instructions on smaller tasks while supervising larger concerns, the micromanager monitors and assesses every step. Micromanagement is instantly recognized by employees, but typically micromanagers never think of themselves as micromanagers.

Most of the time the micromanagers believe the adage that "If you want something done well, you've got to do it yourself." However, they forget that there is a limit to how much any one person can accomplish. They stress themselves out trying to do it all, and therefore, all of their work suffers.

Even if you aren't a business manager you can be a micromanager! Have you ever followed your kids around to remake their bed or fix their homework? Or have you over functioned in your family or marriage because you wanted things done right (your way)? If so, learning to delegate will help reduce your stress. Here are some keys to effective delegation:

  • Delegate the project if someone else wants to do it, needs to do it, can do it, or likes to do it. If you can only give it 50% of your energy...someone else can probably do it better!
  • Make sure you delegate the authority to use the resources ($ and people) to get it done.
  • Delegate the resultsof the project, not how it should be done.
  • Let go!
  • Communicate clear instructions, expectations and guidelines.
  • Once you are sure they understand…leave them alone to do their work. LET GO!!
  • Schedule regular written or verbal reports (to keep you from micromanaging).
  • Give feedback when necessary, but make sure it is necessary!!
  • Realize that it won’t be done the way you would do it. (And that is okay!!)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Tip Thursday: Praying for Your Children

As parents we worry about our kids. We wonder if they are eating enough…or too much. We worry if they are measuring up to the growth charts at the doctor’s office. We worry if they are on schedule developmentally. We talk to our friends, our parents, anyone who might reassure us that our kids are “normal.” However, we often neglect to really pray for our kids until they are in trouble.

How often we hear people whose kids are in trouble say “the only thing we can do is pray.” In reality, the BEST thing we can do is pray…and it should be the first thing we do! We forget that God loves our kids even more than we do!

Check out this quote by Dennis and Barbara Rainey in The Power Of Praying for Your Children: "The sobering news about raising children is that we really have no ultimate control over whether our child will choose the narrow gate that leads to life (Matthew 7:14) or the wide gate that leads to destruction. If other experiences in life have not humbled us and shown us how dependent we are on God, then parenting a preadolescent or teenager will.

Understanding our desperate need to depend on God is the good news. Once we give up the naive idea that we parents can dictate the choices our children will make and the spiritual gate they will walk through—narrow or broad—then we are ready to slip on the knee pads and get serious about prayer."

Here are some resources to help you pray for your children:

40 Ways to Pray for Your Children

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Lindsay over at Splat Designs is having a contest. She is offering a custom (new/beta) template with colors, textures, sidebar categories added to your blog.
Please visit Lindsay and join! But hurry! Contest ends October 4th!!!

Wordless Wednesday

How to tell you are not mom's favorite
Check out other Wordless Wednesday pictures here and here!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tuesdays In "other" Words

O soul, are you weary and troubled?

No light in the darkness you see?

There’s light for a look at the Savior,

And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in HIS wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, by the light of His glory and grace."~ Helen Lemmel ~

Sunday morning we went to the cemetery where my father was buried 8 1/2 years ago. I don't go to the cemetery often because I know that my father is not there. I believe that he is sitting at the feet of Jesus...with no sorrow...and a healthy body and eyesight.

But we didn't go to visit my father's grave...we went to bury my granddaughter's ashes. We never got to hold Charlotte. Our daughter went for her 19 week ultrasound on May 31st only to find that Charlotte's life ended before it began. As my son-in-law prayed at the grave site over his little girl that was taken too soon, I thought about the words to Helen Lemmel's hymn...O soul are you weary and troubled...

It is hard to understand a loss like this. When my father died, at the age of 81, he had lived a long and full life. And he was suffering...from diabetes, congestive heart failure, blindness, and finally a stroke. Although it was sad to lose him, we rejoiced in the fact that he was in heaven and not suffering any more. But Charlotte...we grieved over the fact that her death was so senseless and that we never got to know her. I can imagine what she would have been like when I look at her big sister Noelle...but we'll never know...or will we?

My faith tells me that she is in heaven with the great grandfather that she is buried with. So when my heart is troubled I think about them sitting at the feet of Jesus. And the things of this earth will go strangely dim...grief, loss, pain...all momentary troubles in light of eternity!

2 Corinthians 4:17 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Go to I Will Take it Lord, All You Have To Give to read other Tuesdays In “other” Words.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Marriage Monday

Sometimes when we are angry with our spouses we become like attorneys in the discovery process. We set about looking for evidence to prove our case that our spouse is a "jerk," or is selfish, or whatever conclusion we have come to in our anger. Then, when the offending spouse does something that vaguely fits our belief we think, "Ah ha! I knew s/he was a jerk!" So, we file that bit of evidence in the file for the case we are building and before long we have enough "evidence" to convict them!

When we first fall in love we often look at our spouse through rose colored glasses. We filter out any negatives and focus on the positive. However, when we are mad we may see our spouse through what I would call "mud colored glasses." We filter out any positive and only see the negative. How easy it is to build a case against our spouse when we can't see the good.

We have all heard, and probably said, "I'll believe it when I see it," at some point in our lives. And that philosophy plays into our marriages when we wait to see if our spouse proves our case. The problem with that belief is that it puts things in the wrong order. The truth is that we see it because we believe it, not the other way around. What would happen in our marriages if we began to believe the best of our spouse and treat them according to our belief? Check out this story about how a husband's belief in his wife transformed her.

There was a small tribe somewhere in Africa. The custom in that tribe was that the man had to pay a dowry for his wife, before he could marry her. The dowry was negotiated between the man, and the girls father. Normally, a girl would bring a price of two, or three cows for her dowry. If she was a real knockout, the dowry might be as much as five cows, but that was the most anyone in the village could remember.

One of the men of the village had a rather plain looking daughter. She was reaching marrying age, and he thought to himself, "I'll be very fortunate indeed if my daughter brings as much as two cows. She's just not all that special."

One day, a young man came to talk to this father about his daughter. The father was surprised that this young man was interested in his daughter, since he came from a rich family. He could literally have the pick of all the girls in the village. But, since he came seeking this man's daughter, the father hoped that by bargaining hard, he might get the price up to three cows.

The young man started off the bargaining by offering ten cows for that man's daughter! Obviously, the man was caught totally off guard by such an offer. Never in his wildest dreams did he think that someone would offer ten cows for his daughter! Why, the most beautiful girls were going for a dowry of five, and his daughter was anything but beautiful. Still, since the young man had offered it, he would be a fool not to accept, and he did.

Shortly thereafter, the young couple had their wedding, and left town to go on their honeymoon. They were gone for quite a while, and everyone thought they were having a great time, visiting all sorts of exotic places.

Finally, after more than a month, the young couple came back to the village. Or, at least he did. But, it appeared that he had another woman with him. The father of the girl was outraged with this, and went to ask the young man what he had done with his daughter. He responded by saying, "Here she is. This beautiful woman beside me is your daughter." The father was astonished, because he had never seen his daughter looking so good.

That young man had seen the potential to be a princess in that rather plain looking young girl. By paying ten cows for her, he had demonstrated to her that he thought she was valuable. By his constant love towards her, he brought out the best in her, transforming her into the beautiful princess that he had seen within. The price he had paid was cheap; he ended up with the most beautiful girl in the village.