Introducing my Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day …

Today on this special day I thought I would make it official to the whole wide world that I have been blessed with the most gorgeous man inside and out. He is continually surprising me on every level.

A true man with the most genuine and caring heart.

I never thought it could be possible to find someone who suits me perfectly.

Never Give Up!!!

Never settle for less than you deserve. Be patient and hold onto your true value and the right person will come into your life at the right time.

Sending my love out to the world on this Valentines Day!!!

 

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Reflecting back on 2016 <—

Thinking too much about the past isn’t always so helpful in terms of the future especially when you’re hoping to move beyond certain issues that have held you back for far too long. We can get so caught up like a fish stuck in a net and make life harder for ourselves. Imagine being a fish for a moment………. fish never know when or where a large net is going to silently pick them up against their will and take them from their environment. Ironically that is what happened to me this year!  I was suddenly put into a position in which I had no choice but to leave my marriage of 27 years and move states all within a matter of hours. Had I been compliant perhaps I could have stayed however being in a marriage only to be compliant was no longer appealing.

It’s natural at this time of the year to start reflecting back!

With good intention we set goals for the New Year however we cannot guarantee what the future holds as much as we cannot change what has taken place in the past year of which we are on the verge of leaving behind us.

Goodbye 2016!!!

It’s useful to reflect back and consider what we do or do not want in our future. We may decide to do things a little differently to how we would have done them previously.

Albert Einstein in his simple yet powerful quote says:

Insanity  =  doing the same thing

over and over again

and expecting different results!

In reflecting back on this past year with breath in my lungs and hope in my heart,  I consider what I do OR do not want for myself in the New Year. I can use this past year as a guidebook to keep me from losing myself and ending up in situations that I don’t belong in.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in this past year is that my self-worth and value does not need to be compromised. I don’t need to lower my standards and accept any sort of treatment. The fact is that not everyone on planet earth is going to treat you right. As I reflect back it concerns me that I allowed myself to be treated so badly for so long.

What was I thinking?

The trouble was when I was younger I had little value in myself. This meant that I didn’t need a net to come out of nowhere and take me away. I was the fish that swam into the net having no resistance thereby reflecting my low self-worth. As much as I dreamed of being treated with respect, love and honesty I continued gravitating towards harsh treatment.

The less you value yourself the more opportunity there is to be in relationships with people that do not value you either. It feels comfortable, you feel like a fish in your own man made environment.

The circumstances that took place of the night that saw me walk out of my marriage were not ideal in any marriage breakup story. It was rushed and painful not only for myself but for all of my children. There are certain parts of that night that my 9 year old will always remember along with my adult children. While I wish that the night of the breakup were a lot less intense my hope is that in time the kid’s hearts will heal along with mine and we will all be able to move forward into the future. Even with all the scars my hope is that everyone will find their place in this world and have clarity about what they do or do not want in their relationships.

No one deserves to be in a relationship that is damaging. In my previous blog I introduced the topic of ‘emotional abuse’. Emotional abuse is quite silent. It generally happens in such a way that you are not even aware of what is exactly going on. The relationship keeps you full of questions only to provide the same answer each time which tells you, you’re the fault! This results in continually having to attempt fixing the problem as you are led to believe you are the problem. When you are trapped in this type of relationship the other party leaves you with no rights to question their behaviour. No matter how many times I had tried to get to the bottom of the real issue my words, feelings and thoughts were always twisted around to be turned into knots that couldn’t be untangled.

Emotional abuse creates a controlling relationship. The person doing the abusing has power over your emotions. They create situations or conversations that set your emotions into a spiral. When your emotions are all over the place you are easily manipulated into whatever it is that the abuser has in mind for their own purposes. It is always about them! They are not in the relationship because they love you; they are in the relationship as they have power to abuse you.

To others the abuser can seem like the most Christian citizen that walked planet earth. The person being abused knows what they are really like. The abused watches on and lives a life filled with contradiction and heartache. Nothing about their life makes sense. Constantly questioning why life feels abnormal and insecure. The worst part about the whole scenario is that no matter how hard you may try to be the best wife that walked planet earth it will not change your relationship with an emotional abuser.

For Christian women in particular this can be extremely difficult. The amount of times over the years that I had tried to get counsel or advice from other women in church left me more confused. Unless someone has ever been in an emotional abusive marriage they will not understand the way it works.

You need to talk to someone that does understand and a professional counselor in this case is very important.

In a normal healthy marriage advice on how to be the good Christian wife can be helpful. However in an emotionally abusive marriage the advice can leave you stuck in that damaging marriage for years.

In the New Year my hope is to continue healing from all of the damage caused while being in the unhealthy relationship. This means to continue going to counseling and allowing myself all the time necessary for recovery.

Life can hurt so I’m keeping it real.

Happy New Year…. ♥

When words are not enough…

Over the years I have heard it said that our words have power. That we should be careful with the words we speak. It’s been said that negative words can produce negative circumstances as much as positive words create positive results. Motivational books are filled with this topic! Often in church you will hear preachers speaking about the power of our words. In the bible it says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

Words do carry influence. If you hang around someone who speaks negatively for long enough you may find yourself speaking negatively and vice versa with positivity. Words can fall from our lips loosely until we catch ourselves and become aware of the words we speak. Words have the power to hurt someone deeply. Words also have the power to bring a smile to a person’s face. Words can be calming, encouraging and inspiring. Each human being is in charge of their words and how they choose to use them.

Words are powerful…

Then there are times when words are not enough. In those times the words only have power when action follows. There is nothing more frustrating than listening to someone say all the right words and yet contradict every sentence by choosing to act the opposite. Someone may tell you for years that they will change yet eventually you realise that nothing much has changed at all. Perhaps it is easier to use words as filler with an attempt to patch the gaps. Just like those areas in the bathroom that eventually erode and the only way to repair it is to either replace it or fill in the gaps. The right words can stall time yet eventually if the actions don’t change then the true meaning of those words become very noticeable.

Relationships can only survive for so long with temporary fixes. Eventually the time will come when a drastic renovation is needed in order to save what might be left. Renovations can cost a lot of time and money. Sometimes renovations can’t even fix the problem. It may need bulldozing as the damage has gone down deep to the foundations.

Have you heard the saying?

They can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

Words of forgiveness lose their power when there is no change in behaviour. A person that chooses to change their hurtful behaviour will find better results as opposed to using only the words ‘will you forgive me’. While it is nice to hear ‘will you forgive me’, those words only really mean something when the person saying them decides to follow them through with what they do. Forgiveness and action go hand in hand.

When someone breaks your trust no amount of words are going to fix it. Only the right type of action over a period of time is going to have a chance of healing any damage.

When someone says ‘I love you’, the truth of those words is seen in what they do. People are only fooled for so long with mere words. I’m reminded of the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover. The true heart of a person is always seen in their actions.

While words have the power to heal or destroy, actions carry the same responsibility. Action often requires more from us than words. Perhaps we are not always willing to follow through. Whatever our actions are, you can be sure they always send a message or tell a story.

Words combined with contradictory actions create all sorts of problems in relationships. Whether it be in business, marriage, family or friendship. Most people appreciate when the right action follows words. This allows trust to grow strengthening relationships.

Following through with words can put you in a favourable position at work. Employers will always seek you out when they know you can be counted on.   Reliable and trustworthy people always rise above those that rely solely on their many words.

Relationships strengthen and grow closer when each partner knows that they can count on each other to follow through. In the same way relationships fall apart when one partner loses trust. Words with the wrong actions send mixed messages. It destroys the foundations that are necessary for maintaining a healthy relationship.

As parents it’s always good to remember that kids watch what we do not what we say. Kids learn how to do life by watching their parents. Your actions are their teacher from a very young age.

So much of life rests on what we do not on what we say. Just as the bible verse at the beginning of this blog describes our words as producing fruit, actions are the same.

I suppose it comes down to how much do we really mean what we say?

Are we just saying words in the spur of the moment, or buying time. Perhaps we forget that others remember what we say.

What do we want our relationships to look like?  Do we want relationships that are solid?

It’s impossible to have a true relationship with someone who may find the right words to say yet behave in such a way that shows you the emptiness of their words.

Sometimes words are not enough we need to put action to them. How great is it when someone keeps their word! The best types of relationships are the ones  you don’t need to keep second guessing. Don’t get lost in someone’s words ignoring their actions. If the actions are hurtful and unhealthy it might be time to rethink the situation. There comes a time when you need to consider hurtful and unhealthy actions. You can only ignore it for so long as eventually it will affect the quality of your life.

Don’t enable people to keep hurting you, set boundaries. You are of no use to anyone if you keep getting injured. You have every right to take care of yourself.

Words + no action = empty

Words + hurtful action = damage

Words + the right action = VALUE + RESPECT + TRUST = HEALTHY

Our Heart Treasures

The photo featured with this blog is of special significance and value to our family. A few years ago both of our family pets died within 3 months of each other. The youngest dog called Mickey died first and the eldest dog called Missy had to be put down due to her old age. Missy was the mother of Mickey. We were never really sure of Missy’s age as she had a previous owner who was no longer able to keep her as they were moving interstate.  My husband decided to help them out and as most men do he forgot to ask about the details such as Missy’s age?  Missy came to be a part of our lives at a time in which I had just three of our young children. Missy had been with us for approximately 20 years and the vet which put her down said that she must have been about 24yrs old after he had examined her teeth. Missy had travelled with us as we moved from Canberra to Sydney and to our surprise several years later became pregnant! Not all of the puppies survived however we kept one of them which we named Mickey. Both dogs then travelled with us as we moved from Sydney to the Central Coast NSW and then eventually to Queensland.

MickeyMissy2

After both dogs had died I decided to buy the plant as a way of remembering them.  So we dug around the area where both dogs had been buried and made a home for the special plant.  It was comforting to know that I could go to the backyard and visit the plant almost sensing the dog’s presence despite their physical absence. After we found out that we had to move house I decided to buy a pot to put the plant in so that it could go with us wherever we went. When I look at the plant I think of Mickey and Missy and still miss them. I call it the Mickey and Missy tree. Sometimes I find myself talking to the plant!

While the plant is something tangible that we can look at in memory  of our dogs we also have all of the wonderful memories and feelings stored up in our hearts along with photos and videos.

It is truly amazing that as humans we experience life and have special stores of memories that are there for the rest of our lives.  

As kids we have so many memories and special moments that will always be with us till the end of time. Occasionally we are reminded of them such as for example when I smell freshly mowed lawn.  That particular smell reminds of childhood and the freedom I had to just be a kid without all of the responsibilities it takes to be an adult.

Then I have a few special memories of being with my grandad who was on my dad’s side of the family. He passed away when I was quite young yet I can remember a few specific moments which I will always cherish. On my mums side of the family I have memories that were created when I was about 25 yrs old. I had to visit Finland to see my grandmother on my mum’s side and she was the most beautiful lady. She smiled and cried when she spoke about her life. She was adorable! I hadn’t seen my grandmother since I had been 3 yrs old so it was a very significant time for me. On the same visit I also got to stay with my grandfather on my mum’s side for a week. He was a quiet man but I enjoyed sitting and talking with him so much. I will never forget the moment when he drove me to the city to go shopping. I was pregnant with my fourth child and so it took me a little longer to get out of the car. I sat in the back and was slowly making my way out of the car when he forgetting that I was there started driving away. His wife yelled out and the brakes came on! All was fine however that memory will always remain with me and give me a laugh.

Memories touch our emotions! Even as I am writing this blog and remembering it is setting me off in tears. People are so valuable. We occasionally take them for granted. However when they are gone it is too late to decide to spend time with them. The true treasures of a person’s heart are our families and friends and even our pets.

All of these treasures are valuable and worth holding onto.

What are some of the treasures we may store in our hearts that are not so good?

We may fall into the trap of seeking out earthly treasures such as money and material possessions.  While there is nothing wrong with having wealth and possessions if it takes first place in our heart then it has the potential to rob us of our time and desire to spend with family. It can turn into a chase for wealth or even social status. Equally we may even treasure the desire to be someone who is noticed so much so that we spend too much time chasing that ‘something’ which could put us on top of the social status list. We may even jeopardise the success of others just so that we don’t lose out.

Have you heard of this saying: That when someone is on their death bed they are not thinking about all of their possessions nor their achievements, they are thinking about the people that are in their lives. They may regret those that they failed to spend time with or had trouble forgiving and in that moment would wish to go back in time and live differently.

There is another saying that comes to mind which talks about two areas that will most certainly happen for everyone which is taxes and death. We will all eventually one day pass from this life into eternity. No earthly treasures will be able to come with us however our memory of those we love and who love us will continue and live on.

Let’s not be swallowed up into the often shallow and empty promises that the world offers.

Learn to recognise what is truly valuable and worth treasuring in your life. We can never go back in time so let’s not waste it and let’s make memories with family and friends that will live on forever.

♥♥♥♥♥