Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘pride’

“We write to taste life twice . . .” ~ Anais Nin

I write so I will not forget. But some days, I just don’t want to remember. Sometimes I just don’t want to “taste life twice”. This is one of those times. So for anyone who follows my blog, I hope you forgive me, but today I am posting only a song. Like most of the songs I post, this one speaks for me.

Where I am today.

Right now.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

To say the last week has been difficult would be a great understatement.

He had been caught. He just didn’t know to what extent when I confronted him. And so he lied. Had he told the truth, would the outcome have been different? No point in wondering that now. Once I began reading out loud to him, the e-mails they had exchanged that were in my possession, my husband realized he could lie no longer and the ugly details were revealed.

He met her 18 months ago . . . It became “inappropriate” early on. I told him he needed to leave. Move out. And he needed to tell the kids why or else I would. I gave him 1 week. He refused. By mid-week he even began to deny everything he had admitted just a few days before. Why wouldn’t he? I’m sure he was thinking that we would fall back into our usual pattern by telling me,

~ “You are blowing things out of proportion”
~ “You are being over sensitive”
~ “It wasn’t what you think”

It didn’t matter. Nothing he could say at this point was going to weaken my resolve.

Despite my husband’s juvenile and desperate protests, (“I’m not going to tell the kids and you can’t make me!) we had a “family meeting” exactly 1 week after the thing that changed everything happened. My younger ones cried. My older ones were angry and demanded him to explain. He couldn’t. And then the dam burst. Every crazy, dysfunctional, hurtful, narcissistic behavior of my husband was confronted . . . By the kids. There was no blatant disrespect, but they held nothing back.

His response? He took off his wedding ring, set it on the table, packed a bag, and left the house. He was gone and I could finally breathe. We all could finally breathe. The toxic energy was gone and now our healing could begin.

Read Full Post »

I read about the goal of a Christian is to be more “Christ-like”, but what does that look like in real life? When are we to “turn the other cheek”? . . . When is “righteous anger” appropriate? – “Do we continue in sin because grace abounds? – Certainly not!”

My husband may never change. Am I willing to continue living the way things are?

No.

But how do I stay married and find a way to live with his behavior? And how do I know the difference between God’s will and my own?

***

With my husband and 3 youngest sons gone on a vacation that was planned without me, I have been struggling with these and many other questions. I have had several e-mail conversations with my husband since they left – which is better than face to face conversations, since my anger is in a full blown rage right now.

***

Me: “I can’t believe that even after our last conversation about communication, I was still getting information about your trip from the kids, instead of from you. I can’t help but think that nothing I said got through to you.”

Him: “It seems everything I do or say makes you upset and I find it very sad. In light of that, as well as the fact that you weren’t going on the trip, I saw no reason to communicate the details to you.”

“I would have been more than happy to have you accompany us to Arizona, but I knew you were scheduled to work.”

Me: “You SAY you wanted me to come on this trip, but your actions said something completely different. I am so discouraged over the lack of change during the course of our marriage, and the bleak future ahead if the path we are on doesn’t change.”

Him: “It is just so unfortunate that this entire incident could have been prevented if you would just communicate with me in a more loving and understanding way. I am trying to not let it affect my health, but it is. I understand that you feel I don’t communicate well, but my behavior is usually a response to your behavior towards me.”

Me: I have reached a crossroad in our marriage where I no longer take responsibility for your behavior. I have done nothing to provoke or deserve your disregard for my feelings.”

Him: “It is MY feelings that are constantly being disregarded. You do not understand the daily struggles I face from financial difficulties and dealing with your children, not to mention the years I have been forced to interact with their father over his (lack of) financial responsibility. I am glad to say, that even with all of my imperfections, at least  I am not like the men from your past.”

Me: “You are out of line.”

Him: “I feel blessed and at peace to have a clear conscience in knowing that I am not ‘out of line.’ “

***
So that’s the state of things. I ended the conversation by telling my husband that I was going away for a few days to think about the future of our marriage. I need some serious quiet time to listen to what God wants from me right now.

Psalms 55:1-2, 6-8, 16, 20-22

Listen to my prayer, O God.
Do not ignore my cry for help!
Please listen and answer me,
for I am overwhelmed by my troubles . . .

Oh that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.
How quickly I would escape – far from this wild storm of hatred . . .

But I will call on God and the Lord will rescue me . . .

And as for my companion, he betrayed his friends;
he broke his promises.
His words are as smooth as butter,
But in his heart is war.
His words are as soothing as lotion,
but underneath are daggers!

Give your burdens to the Lord,
and He will take care of you.

Read Full Post »

My heart has been broken. It happened a long time ago. And I’ve never healed. Or maybe I have, since the wound no longer bleeds. But instead of the scars making me stronger in those broken places, my heart has become harder.

Cautious.

Calloused.

Self protective.

I’ve been told love is dangerous. I think I’ve subconsciously believed it to be true. That would explain why I keep those I love at a distance. After all, what we believe determines how we live . . .

Was it the loss of my mother at such a young age that taught me to not hold on too tightly? Or was it the rejection I felt from my father and the family that raised me (after my mother’s death) that has allowed me to easily detach? Maybe it was the trampling my self-worth endured from the betrayal of my first love that has kept me suspicious in the existence of life enduring, whole-hearted love . . .

Its only been recently that I’ve become conscious of the long-lasting effects the broken heart of a life time ago has had.

As much as I’d like to ignore it – I can’t.

I see the repercussions in all my closest relationships.

How could I be living this way for so long and not realize it till now?

But it’s not enough just to know . . . to be aware.

I have to fix

Change.

Amend.

My future and the well-being of my self, my children, my marriage, my life depends on it.

I once wrote, “there is healing and humility in authenticity”

(wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-real-thing-is-always-better-than-a-good-knock-off/)

At the time, I was referring to my fear of letting others see what dysfunction was going on in our home as the result of my husband’s behavior. Now I am seeing those words and realize they apply to so much more.

To love authentically can bring healing.
To love vulnerably can bring humility.

Asking God to help me do both as I continue to identify and tear down all the walls surrounding my heart.

Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like You have loved me.”

Read Full Post »

My therapist warned me there’d be days like this. “As you grow stronger,” she cautioned, “the enemy will attack harder. He will use your husband, your children, your circumstances . . . Be ready.”

Another busy day. I had worked an evening shift and after the 45 minute commute, I was ready to crawl into bed once I got home.

My husband was still up, which should have been an indication that something was different. He usually never waited up for me when I worked late.

I had barely shut the bedroom door when he said, “I can not live under the same roof with your daughter another day. Either she moves out or I will. You choose.”

I listened to his version of how the evening unfolded without saying much. The next day, I then asked my children, who had witnessed the blow out, for their perspective.

The kids: Sissy went to the supermarket that afternoon to buy all the ingredients she needed to bake apple pies for us and 2 friends she had invited over to watch the season finale of her favorite show.

My husband: S. made a complete mess of the kitchen using our food to make a complete dinner for her friends, without even asking if it was OK with me.

The kids: When her friends arrived, Dad answered the door and told them that they couldn’t come in.

My husband: I told S. that I was not expecting company and suggested she make a different plan with her friends for the evening.

The kids: Dad told S. that he couldn’t afford to feed her friends and he couldn’t wait for her to move out.

My husband: I want her to be happy, and I told her that maybe she would be happier if she got her own place, where she wouldn’t have to follow my rules. She then starting screaming at me, saying that I’m wrong if I think my marriage and relationship with my sons will improve if she moves out. What was she talking about? What have you told her about our marriage?

She also seemed to know a lot about our finances, saying that you are the one who pays the bills around here. Basically telling me that I have no authority in my own home since I don’t contribute financially as much as she thinks I should. Is this what you are telling the kids? With you influencing them like this, no wonder they show no respect towards me.

(I felt from the beginning of this conversation that my husband had been trying to involve me in the drama of the evening, which is why I chose to just listen. But when he tried to insinuate that I was somehow responsible for it, I had to speak.)

Me: I don’t have to say a word about our marital difficulties for her to be aware that we have issues. Everyone who lives in this house KNOWS what dysfunction goes on here. As for who pays the bills, that’s no secret, either. We have all heard your endless tales of woe as to how broke you always are and can never seem to make ends meet without “help”.

The kids: The situation got out of control, and both dad & S. were yelling at each other.

Me: How did that make you feel?

Kid #5: I made myself as small as I could, so I could be invisible . . .

Kid #3: It made me feel like I want to be NOTHING like my dad when I grow up . . .

“Being a child of a “broken” home is not a label just for kids whose parents are divorced. It’s about not having two parents around that you can look up to and model your life after. It’s about not having someone see the potential in you and speak to it.”

“It’s not just about just having two parents that are still married to each other. We need more than the acknowledgement that we are the children of our parents. We need endorsement, love, and support. And most important, we need to be taught how to use the gifts we have been given.”

“Making a son tough is not a parent’s responsibility. Never telling your daughter that she’s beautiful is not protecting her. Being a parent is about being someone to show your child their place in this world then releasing them into it.”

“A father’s job is to teach his daughter what to expect from a man, and to his son, to exemplify what it takes to be a man. Otherwise, not only will our homes be broken . . . So will we.(Max – Making it MAD)

Read Full Post »

Isolation.

Sometimes where I choose to be, sometimes where I find myself without intention.

“I’ve been brought to a place in my journey where I couldn’t go any further without help from others. I’d taken all the steps I could take on my own.” (Thin Places – a deeper story)

. . . Sunday school was about to begin, and as much as I didn’t want to say the words, I knew I had to.

“B, when you have a few minutes, can I talk to you?” I asked.

“Of course, let’s meet up after Sunday school,” was her reply.

My heart was in my stomach and I had no idea how I would begin my story, but I knew it was time to end the isolation that I was living in . . .

“O the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the ungodly or stand around with sinners or join in with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about His law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither and in all they do, they prosper.”

Psalms 1 had been repeating in my head for several weeks and my heart was finally convinced that God wanted me to take off the mask I wore like a second skin and be authentic. He was not asking me to reveal to the world all the issues of my heart, but to find a group of women (three women, to be exact) to be my “Godly counsel”. To keep me accountable for my behavior, pray with me, for me, for my marriage, and my family.

Three women who were not necessarily my best friends, but women who were prayer warriors, women who had spiritual maturity, women who had the emotional availability I needed, and women who were discrete.

Even though I knew what characteristics these women should have, I was clueless as to who they would be.

So I prayed.

And God was faithful.

I approached each woman separately, one in person and two via e-mail. This is what I said:

” . . . You have been in my thoughts and I want to ask you a favor – something to think about . . .”

“I have been going through  difficulties for some time now, and I feel it is time to ask for help.”

“I have felt led to ask 3 Christian women to be my ‘Godly counsel’. Women with whom I can be completely transparent. I’m not looking for women who have all the answers, but who can listen, pray with me, encourage me, and hold me accountable to God honoring responses to the challenges I am facing.”

“I would like to ask if you would consider being a part of this group. I know you are a woman of spiritual maturity, common sense and discretion, but I also realize that you might not be available during this season of life. So I will completely understand if this is not something you feel you can commit to.”

“Please do not feel rushed to make a decision . . . “

It took so much humility for me to approach these women, but it was God’s faithfulness and their responses which truly left me humbled. With love and without any hesitation or judgment, each woman agreed.

“The spirit of Christ will rise up in others when we need it the most. He never intended us to deal with our sorrows alone.” (author unknown)

(to be continued)

Read Full Post »

Sitting in the pew during another Sunday morning service. The sun is shining through the glass windows, the music ushering in an environment of worship, the pastor beginning his sermon in a voice that commands attention . . . but I am distracted. Looking around and wondering, “What would they think if they KNEW?”

Looking at myself and my family all in our “Sunday best”, and feeling shame as I admit, “I am so fake.”

Lost in my own thoughts, God begins whispering to my heart. Thoughts that I know are not my own, gently challenge me.

Telling me its OK to be authentic and to let go of my exhausting fascade.

Pointing out it is not only “on the other side of my trial” that I can be a testimony. .

And in my usual ME manner . . . I question Him.

Asking, “How do I be authentic to what I am feeling, but not be controlled by those feelings?”

I am scared . . . of so many things.

He answers my question with His own question and in that “still, small voice” asks me, “How can you be a testimony if you are not authentic?

“How can your life and experiences ‘count’ if you can’t be honest with what is going on?”

There is healing and humility in authenticity.”

Trust Me.”

“I will bring you through.”

“Let. Me. Be. Your. God.”

Antonym of Authenticity ~ Hypocrite. One who bases their actions on external pressures – the pressure to be a certain kind of person, the pressure to adopt a certain mode of living, the pressure to ignore one’s true self. One who ignores crucial facts about their own life in order to avoid uncomfortable truths. (Wikipedia)

Lord, help me
Live without pretending
Love without depending
Listen without defending
Speak without offending

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »