Monday, May 30, 2011

Judgement Day by Wanda L. Dyson

I've not had a lot of time to read lately.  When I received this book for review I was sooooo excited, but it took weeks to get to it.  Eventually, I found time to read while waiting at Lee's track practices :)

Judgement Day follows Suzanne Kidwell as she is accused of murder.  Several intricate schemes make this book one that is very difficult to put down.  The characters are well fleshed out and you are thrilled to watch Suzanne grow into a different person by the end. 

This is the first book that I have read by Wanda L. Dyson and I will definately be looking for more by her.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breaking the Pattern of Verbal Abuse

My heart broke the day I heard my oldest son saying something snide and sarcastic to his brother.  What have I done, I thought.  Then I felt God prompting me to do something about it.

When God tells you do something it really is best to listen.  I am here to tell you that the road is not easy and you are going to learn some very nasty things about yourself.  You will be confessing sins you didn't previously know that you had and you will be dealing with the sins of others in a way that you aren't accustomed to.

My first reaction, when hearing Lee's comment, was to be snide and snippy back.  That's how this works, right?  No.  So I am (STILL) trying to retrain my brain/mouth combination to work in a different way.  I have to think - and sometimes pray - before I open my mouth ALWAYS.  Because sarcasm had become so ingrained in my psyche, I was frequently saying things without realizing it.  Pray before speaking.  Always. 

Let me tell you, this is NOT easy.  Years of wrong behaviour are very hard to break and there aren't any 12 step programs for this one.  Asking for forgiveness is an ongoing thing......every single time I mess up, I have to go before my children/husband and confess that I was wrong.  Ask forgiveness.  They have been generous in giving it to me. 

I started praying about this last fall.  I wish I could say that I am cured, but alas, there are some days that I think I haven't made any progress at all.  But God is working on me.  The days that are good, I know I have been filled with the Holy Spirit.  The days that went badly,I know I needed to be closer to God.

It's a journey.  Now that I have decided to share, I hope that others will join me and we will support each other.  Tomorrow I hope to be able to share scriptures that have helped me break the cycle of hateful, unloving speech.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lasting Effects of Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Fear is a great motivator.  The fear of failure makes some work harder.  The fear of not living up to expectations causes some to do things that they don't necessarily want to do.  The fear of disappointing the ones we love can sometimes make us do crazy things.

Sometimes I feel surrounded by fear.  I fear failing as a mother or wife.  I fear change.  I fear confrontation. 

Fear can be caused by episodes of physical, verbal or emotional abuse.  A raised voice still strikes fear into my heart even though they are almost never directed at me and even then aren't in anger......a childhood of screaming has left a lasting impression. 

I fear the future and the things that I can't control.  I can't control if/when the neighbors call the police because my husband passes their house on his way to work.  I can't control if the officer comes here to see whats going on and I can't control my husband's reaction to it.  The worst thing is that frequently, I feel like I can't control my reaction to fear.  An unknown vehicle in my driveway has me hiding in the bathroom before I have time to analyze why I am running.  The phone ringing has my heart jumping before I ever see who it is.  Even the peaceful times are fearful as I wait for the next shoe to drop, the next thing to happen and wonder how I will ever face another day, another problem, another confrontation. 

Most of my adult life I have felt that I was conquering fear.  Opening up, trying new situations, exploring the wide world around me.  It is funny how 48 hours last fall (and subsequent events) can change that so quickly. 

Some days I wonder if I am crazy.  Who, in their right mind, is afraid to go home? 

People understand and feel sympathy for those who have went through physical abuse.  They can understand the fear the victims face.  The unseen abuse, the verbal and emotional barrage that others endure, isn't understood.  Often unrecognized, friends and neighbors place the blame on the victim.  She's too soft hearted, she obviously didn't understand, the offender didn't mean it that way.  Then there is the blame that is placed on the victim......"you are making trouble when there isn't any", "you were probably to blame for the screaming anyway", "it wasn't just you and nobody else is making a fuss".  I think that sometimes that is the worst part.  The inability of the offender to see the wrong is one thing, but the inability for outsiders to believe that such behavior is unacceptable is amazing.  Would you think it proper to yell at your dog that way?  Your neighbor?  Then you shouldn't be doing it to your child. 

I get that lots of people grew up with parents that we screamers.  For me, the screaming was the easy part.  The sarcasm was worse.  Two words can cut to the self esteem so quickly.  In two words a whole word can be destroyed.  "Why can't you ever do anything right" should NEVER be said to a child. 

Having lived with this behavior for 18 years growing up I was very eager to leave as soon as possible.  Like a good little victim though, I came back.  No matter how badly you want them to, things don't change just because you have grown up.  Control is not easily relinquished by those who have it, they just learn new manipulation techniques. 

I have really struggled as a parent to not repeat the sins of my parents.  When you always complied when faced with sarcasm and manipulation, it is hard to understand if that technique doesn't work on your children.  It was a blessing that my children are immune to such things so I had to take a cold hard look at the way I was behaving.  God has been teaching me so much!  In teaching me, I have realized that what was done to me as a child was unacceptable and the treatment of me in that way as an adult should have been unacceptable as well.  Coming to terms with that has been difficult. 

Why should I think I am better than that?  Who says I should be treated with love and kindness?  What have I done to deserve it?  Nothing.  Love should make those who love me treat me in a loving way.  I treat my children with love and kindness not because of anything that they have or haven't done, but because I love them.  They deserve to be treated with love.  I deserve to be treated with love.

I hope to continue tomorrow with what God has to say about fear.  No matter the causes, we can be free from it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

To Have and To Hold

I remember my wedding day perfectly.  So full of expectation and promise.

Our marriage got off to a rocky start.  I knew that my husband-to-be was the one, even though we had only dated 3 months before he proposed.  My parents hated him.  Therefore, they refused to support or help with our wedding.  I laugh when I see the wedding statistics on TV......we spent less than $500 total on our wedding.  I had a beautiful dress ($100 on clearance at the bridal boutique), my soon to be sister in law was my maid of honor and her dress cost $25 (also on clearance at the bridal boutique).  A flower girl dress that matched perfectly was found at a resale shop and 3 tuxedos were rented ($50 a piece).  $50 for a simple cake, a few dollars for serving silverware and toasting glasses. Norman's aunt did my flowers.  I had wrote every single wedding invitation and we didn't have a dinner or dance.  We were married on a beautiful 60 degree January day 3 months after Norman proposed. 

Once our wedding was over, I breathed a sigh of relief.  There.  It was over.  No more dealing with my angry parents, trying to iron out the details of a wedding at 18 alone.  No more hoping, wishing, planning and praying.  We were married and could start our lives together.

I wish it had been that easy.  My husband had ongoing medical problems that ended up with a visit to a heart specialist and heart cath in Springfield.  He lost his job due to missing work while hospitalized.  We lived with his mother (now that I am older and wiser I can say she was a saint for tolerating me!).  We argued, we fought and there were some days I wondered if we would ever make it.

The next few years were much of the same, except we added a beautiful baby boy to the mix.  We would go for months without any problems at all and then BAM, we would seem to have way more than our fair share of problems.  I am ashamed to say that our marriage was on the brink of destruction and most of it was probably due to my poor attitude.

I began studying biblical womanhood, and God's design for marriage.  I prayed, a lot.  God changed me.  I am by no means perfect, but it always warms my heart when I hear my wonderful husband say, "We don't every really fight."  We do disagree occassionally but are wise enough now to work it out.  Patience is a virtue in marriage :) 

Anyway, I say all this to introduce you to Lorrie Flem's marriage bundle, To Have and To Hold.
This bundle contains:

  • Audios
    • 5R's Session 2 - Rekindle
    • One Life to Live, One Man to Love

    • E-Books
      • Loving Your Knight in Shining Armor Even When He Doesn't Shine
      • Roadmap to a Marvelous Marriage
      • Marriage Tidbits to Treasure
      • Quotes Not Quibbles
      • Marriage Report
    • E-Booklet
      • 31 Daily Biblical Prayers for Wives to Pray for Their Husbands
      • Encouragement Report
      • Don't Settle 
      • SHIMLY
      • What God Says about Marriage
      • 75 Inexpensive Romantic Rut
      • It Happened One Afternoon
    • Magazine Back Issues
      • 2001 Summer Issue TEACH Magazine "Loving Your Husband"
      • 2009 Spring Issue TEACH Magazine "Marriages Made Marvelous"

    This is a $100 value and can be purchased from Eternal Encouragement starting at $39.95.

    I wish that I had this 16 years ago!  I suppose this is the information that was passed from mother to daughter 100 years ago, but since that is very rarely the case now, I am so glad that Lorrie was willing to come alongside so many of us and show us the way marriage really should (and CAN) be!

    And if you STILL haven't ordered your subscription to Eternal Encouragement Magazine, you will notice that there are 2 back issues of TEACH included in your bundle price.  Even being married so many years (LOL) I learned so many things about my attitude and they way I could be handling things that I hadn't thought of before. 

    Remember the only person you can change in your marriage is YOU!  Sometimes that is all it takes.  Stop by for more information.  If you want to hear more, head on over to Gabby Moms to see what other wives have to say as well.

    ***I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review from Gabby Moms and Eternal Encouragement Magazine.***

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Happy Birthday Sweet Abigail!

    Little Abigail turned 1 yesterday.  It is bittersweet for me.....I love watching her grow, but I know she will be my last baby, so I would love her to stay that way for a while, kwim?  Anyway, I hope to get some pictures up here soon of her birthday.  Not going to happen right now as I have a busy day.

    Our washing machine died.  Norman, Greg and I spent most of yesterday morning working on it but it still doesn't work.  Washing machine repair-people we are not.  Looking for a used one, as a new one isn't in the budget.  I will be going to the laundry mat today.  At least all the laundry will get washed at one time....efficient I suppose.....but it will take me forever to get it dried here at home.  Some on the line, the rest through the drier. 

    Lee qualified for State Sectionals in hurdles this year.  I am very proud of him!  That is Saturday. 

    Lee's 8th grade graduation is next Thursday.  Next week is going to be super busy.  LOL  But then summer break will begin. 

    Please keep praying that we get a buyer for the house.  I really want to be moved before school starts next fall.

    I'll try to do a better posting tomorrow.  Have a great day!!!!!!