10 Principles for Strong Relationships Found in the 10 Commandments (even if you are not religious)

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Have you ever experienced the pain of a failed relationship? Walking through each day numb, until a tidal wave of hope or rage or fear hits and sends you to bed, shivering, crying, and staring into space in terror. It feels like your heart has been ripped from your chest and put through a meat grinder.

If you have experienced a failed or failing relationship of any kind (marriage, dating, parent/child, friendship, job loss, neighbours at war, church splits or issues in a community), I have great news for you today. There is a framework for successful relationships. Although relationships can be difficult, they do not need to be doomed to failure. We can do the work of love that makes them enriching and abundant sources of joy and delight.

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Not like a Disney movie where everything ends in happily-ever-after. We dream of fairy tale endings but they aren’t real. Real life relationships and a life worth living requires work and decisions and heart changes. It produces joy and real joy has nothing to do with the butterfly feelings we call love. Joy is the settled assurance, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice of gratitude in every situation.

I have made a mucky mess of most of my relationships: love found and lost; friends who disappeared for no apparent reason; family holidays that ended in disastrous feuding; jobs that ended long before reaching a successful tenure, and an ugly divorce. All leaving me with the burning question, “What is it about me that they could not like or love?”

In still, quiet moments truths emerged that were hard to face. Yet, changes were necessary if I were to gain any hope of finding lasting relationships. Changes that needed to be made from the inside out.

I want to share 10 elements I found within the 10 Commandments that can change, heal or mend struggling relationships even if you are not a religious person.

Have you heard the story of the 10 Commandments? I remember watching Charlton Heston as Moses in the movie produced in the 50’s? (You can actually watch it on YouTube if you are interested. Just click on the link.). 

This may seem like a strange place to look for relationship advice. Instead of looking at the 10 commandments as a list of rules, I’ll ask you to give me a few minutes where you consider the principles behind the list.

My hope is that you will find some practical ways to enhance your quality of life starting immediately.

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Let’s have a look, shall we?

The 10 commandments state:

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
The first element of long lasting relationships is the decision and commitment. Commitment is the glue that binds long term relationships together. Therefore, before committing to a relationship careful consideration should be given. Commitment is not contractual. Contracts provide escape when things do not go as planned, do not go our way or when they become uncomfortable. Commitment actively works to find solutions, makes necessary changes to one’s behaviours and does not quit when things become difficult. Contracts encourage an attitude that “nothing lasts forever”. Commitment demands an attitude that never gives up. You will have to burn some bridges: your will might have to die, you can’t have your way all of the time, you will have to forgive, and you have to let past things go. You must be committed to your commitment more than you are to selfish behaviours. And sometimes that can feel like you’re dying. 😜

2. Do not make for yourselves any graven images.
The second element of long lasting relationships is to not do relationships by substitution. There can be a tendency to substitute giving things instead giving ourselves especially when things are hard or difficult. You can not work long hours and provide a house, car, or vacation as a substitute for coming home and working through the big issues of life. Strong relationships require that you show up and be present. Do life face to face and in person.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Did you know that when you love someone, the way you say their name is different? Just saying. The third element of long lasting relationships is communication. You can build a strong relationship with the words that come out of your mouth. You can also destroy a relationship with the words that come out of your mouth. Counsellors will tell you that one of the top reasons that relationships fail is due to poor communication. All of us are vulnerable. We want to be loved, accepted and valued. There is a dangerous pathway that you can travel when it comes to communication. The first step is criticism. You can read more about the criticism pathway by clicking the link. It is so important to speak kind words that allow hearts to grow close together.

4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
The fourth element in long lasting relationships is time. In a busy world we often refer to quantity and quality time. In order for quality time to emerge, there must be an adequate amount of time provided. You can’t just make memorable moments happen. In the process of time spent together, the special moments appear. Invest time in your relationship and watch it flourish. Schedule time that is non-negotiable. Commit to show up and be fully present without distractions.

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5. Honor your father and mother that your days may be long in the land.
The fifth element of lasting relationships is honour. There is an element of humility and respect involved in honour. When I think of honouring my country, I realise that I did not gain the freedoms I enjoy by my efforts alone. The same is true in relationship. Honour in relationship is a statement that you can not do this alone and respects the other person’s contribution as well as your own. The best way to cultivate honour is with gratitude and forgiving. Acknowledge the good and forgive what didn’t work out so well -striving to improve along the way.

6. You shall not murder.
Murder definitely would have a detrimental effect on your relationship. The sixth element of lasting relationships has to do with how you handle anger. You have to create an environment of peace. Yelling and throwing fits do not accomplish closeness. Learn to speak like a human-being with kindness and grace. And…learn to listen to the response. Do not hold on to your anger…in fact, before the day is finished work to deal with angry emotions so that they do not fester into infectious behaviours. Create a peaceful atmosphere and you will build a lasting relationship.

7. You shall not commit adultery.
Adultery is another relationship killer. Seriously. However, the seventh element of lasting relationships is self-control. The issue here is lust. Oddly enough, lust does not only relate to sex. Excessive indulgences feed lust and often are displayed in addictive behaviours. Lust drives you for more and more and more -it is insatiable. Lust will cause you to become discontent and dissatisfied with what you have. Self-control is an essential element to behaving appropriately in relationships.

8. You shall not steal.
The eighth element of lasting relationships is trust. You can not build a strong relationship with someone that you can not trust. Period. Trust lost is very difficult to restore. It is imperative to be trustworthy.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour (lying)
The ninth element of lasting relationships is honesty. Respect people’s reputation especially those that you desire to build a permanent relationship with. Guard their reputation as your own. Always be honest and truthful.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s “stuff” (paraphrasing there a little.)
The final element of lasting relationships is contentment. You know the old saying that “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence?” the truth is “the grass is greener where you water it”. I’m not sure where that originated but it is wisdom. There will always be something or someone sunnier, shinier, prettier, or offering more benefits on the surface. Finding contentment requires that you take good care of what you have been given and cherish it with all of your heart. Work through the difficult times and build together something what can unfold into something great.

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These 10 elements can be applied to any level of relationship that you desire to remain permanent; marriage, family, friendship, business, career/job, community, church and yes, even a relationship with God. Make a careful decision and commit to it with every fibre of your being. Show up and deal with the big issues of life face to face. Communicate gently and effectively. Invest time so that special moments emerge. Cultivate an attitude of honour with gratitude and forgiving often. Deal with you anger in a healthy way and don’t hold onto things. Exercise self-control over the drive for more and more. Be trustworthy. Be honest. And finally take good care of what you have been given so that you have the opportunity to enjoy your relationship for a lifetime.

I would like to add one caution: we all know that no one person can make a relationship work on his/her own. Not even God could do that in His desire for a relationship with us. You can hear the pain in His voice through Jeremiah in Jeremiah chapter 2. It takes two committed people or a group of committed people (in families, business, churches, and communities) working through the big issues with honest effort to see great relationships as a result. In cases where abusive behaviours have emerged, always, always seek safety and help from a trained professional.

Many times (excluding abusive relationships) making changes to your behaviours, as I have mentioned in this article, can provide the first steps to getting your relationship back on track, keep it healthy or restore broken relationship. It can also help remove the charged atmosphere that ignites tension and stress.

Do you think these would work in your relationships?

Happy journeying!

D

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3 things to help children learn to process emotions

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recently, my in-laws came into town and we planned a trip to the park with my nephew and my two grand children. we started out with three happy-go-lucky children who were excited to participate in a fun filled afternoon. things were going quite well, if i do say so myself…

deeclarknz.comthere was hanging…and smiles…

deeclarknz.com there was climbing…and smiles…

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and squirting water…and smiles…

                                 even the adults were finding there inner child…deeclarknz.comdeeclarknz.comdeeclarknz.com

and before we blinked twice…there were tears in abundance…tears brought on by the adults in the group who played on an adult playing field and left the children heart broken.

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pawpaw played too rough for the grand children resulting in injuries (minor to the body but huge to their hearts)…and daddy played in a way that frightened my nephew…

there we were with three children with broken hearts.

what i witnessed was that at their tender ages, they did not know what to do with what they were feeling…

no matter how many apologies were given…the tears continued to pour.

i hugged each child and explained that although what the adults did was pretty yukky to a little kid, the offending adult did not mean to cause them pain or to hurt them…even though that is what happened.

i asked the adult to come over and say to the child, “i’m sorry that i hurt you.”

i then asked the child to offer forgiveness and say, “pawpaw, i forgive you.” or “daddy, i forgive you.”

my goodness…the tears poured out even more. my grandson said to me, “i can’t forgive him” and he walked to another part of the playground by himself.

i watched as he sat alone for a few minutes and, when he could he rejoined the group, as someone suggested we go to another part of the park and visit the animals.

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as we walked, i noticed my grandson and his pawpaw walking together ahead of the group. pawpaw later explained to me that, my grandson had run ahead of the rest of us to catch up with him and as they walked, Jake said, “pawpaw, i forgive you for hurting me.” my husband then explained that he realised his actions were silly but that he had not wanted to hurt Jake…he just wanted to play and it turned out badly. he also promised not to play rough like that again.

as my husband told me about their conversation, i smiled because i realised that my grandson had taken himself out of the situation to be alone for a few minutes and when he had processed his feelings and was able, he extended forgiveness and moved on.

that was a proud moment for me…i saw maturity developing in my six year old grand child.

it can be frustrating working with children because they have not reached a place of understanding concerning their emotions or how to work through what they are feeling.

we teach children to walk, dress themselves, colour inside of the lines, and these skills help them make advances in life.

i think it is as important to help our young children begin to understand what and why they are feeling what they are feeling and give them tools for coping and managing their emotions.

they may not get the whole concept, but children are bright (my grand children can operate technology better than i can) and they are capable of building life skills that will benefit them on their life journey when they are dealing with emotions in friendships, family, work and other social arenas.

here are a few things that are important for children to learn concerning emotions:

1.  how to identify what they are feeling. am i angry or frustrated? do you realise that a child’s reaction to anger is the same or nearly the same as when they are frustrated? learning to recognise the difference and communicate it, will actually help the adults in their lives help them come to grips with how to handle the emotion effectively. children need permission to express emotions in a healthy way.

2. what to do with that emotion? suggesting the child take some time on their own to allow angry or frustrated emotions to settle is a valuable solution. however, it is more than a “go to your room until you calm down” response on the adult’s part. i have found with both of my grandchildren that even when an angry emotion is raw, when i remain calm and ask them if they are feeling angry, the emotion often diffuses quite a bit at that point. as we adults know, when someone shows understanding concerning what we are feeling, some of the pain is removed. adults should be good role models. show children how they can express their emotions. use show and tell, art and writing as outlets for emotional expression.

3. discuss and practice appropriate behaviour. children do not learn and perfect skills on the first attempt. we stand them up, we encourage them to take a step and they fall down. we then try again. it is the same with training any skill and it can be applied to teaching and training them how to maintain healthy emotional well-being. give children phrases and options that they can use when they are attempting to express themselves. help them practice the skills so that processing their feelings becomes as natural as brushing their teeth will one day.

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by the way, we ended our park adventure with many more smiles than tears…and had a lovely afternoon.

i would love to hear how you help you children process their emotions. please stop by the comments section before you go and share your experiences with me.

here’s to smiling children and enjoyable afternoons,

D

 

Tyler Perry’s Thoughts For The Day


(Photo credit: Wishbox)

I am a big Tyler Perry fan. Today on Tyler’s Facebook page he posted the following. I found it very inspiring and thought that my readers would to. I hope you enjoy and are encouraged to not “stay too long”!

DON’T STAY TOO LONG

I haven’t written in a while so this is a little long, but it’s so worth your time to read.

I was in Wyoming recently and I was taking in the beauty of the place. I mean, I love it. As I was looking up at the mountains I saw an eagle flying above me. I had to stop and take in its majestic beauty. I had never seen a real life eagle. All I had heard about an eagle was in church when the pastor said that the eagle pushes its young out of the nest to teach it to fly. It really did move me watching this bird that had no doubt been pushed out of the nest and had learned to do what I was watching it do.

I got back to the cabin that evening and I started doing some research on eagles. I was so excited to read the story of how it learned to fly. Well, to my surprise, eagles pushing their young out of the nest is a myth. I was shocked. I know that I heard a preacher say that in church… now I ain’t gonna say that that pastor lied but I will say he didn’t do the research… LOL. So I did it on my own. I did find some interesting facts that got me thinking about life… mine and yours. It’s funny how God can speak through everything. Here’s what I found.

Eagles build the biggest nest of all birds. It’s huge, comfortable and deep. One of the most interesting things that I found was the way that the eagle gets its young chicks to fly out of the nest. For many weeks it brings food to the nest. The little eagles have no worries, they have all they need to survive. But when the adult eagle deems that it’s time for the young eagles to fly, things get uncomfortable.

Now the young eagle doesn’t know that it’s time to fly, but the wisdom and the bird’s eye view of the mother knows that it’s time for the chicks to leave the nest. So you know what she does? She doesn’t bring food to the babies anymore, and this is what I found fascinating. Many times she will fly around the nest with the food in her beak so that the young eagles will be tempted or so hungry that they are forced to fly out of the nest and take it out of her beak. Stay with me I’m going somewhere here.

As I thought about this, I thought about my life and how many times I was in a very comfortable space. I had all I needed. There was no need for me to go any further because I was comortable. I wanted to stay there forever. You have to be careful when you get comfortable and stay too long. It’s easy to stop dreaming when your belly is full. You won’t feel the need to fly at all.

The truth is, as long as I was there in that really comfortable space, I wasn’t fulfilling my own destiny or my purpose. I wasn’t flying, I was content. Remember this, your greatest prayers are not usually answered in comfort. Think about it. I can really get deep into this with stories from my past but you’re probably tired of reading already… LOL… so I’ll try and wrap it up.

It took an uncomfortable situation or being hungry to make me get out and fly. Many times in life things are going well, but then everything that was so great changes and we wonder why. We wonder what happened. We are caught off guard. I am of the opinion that in those times God, who knows when it’s time for us to leave the nest, is allowing it to become uncomfortable so that we can move on to our next mission in life. Our next hope, our next dream, our next level.

After not realizing this for many years and resisting changes and going through hell, I’m glad to say that I have become so sensitive to when it’s time to move that I will move without having to have the turmoil. I’m telling you I was so stubborn that the house had to burn down for me to move. Now I know better. I’m aware of when it starts to happen, like things happen that don’t make any sense. People you have been friends with or in business with or otherwise for years just seem to go crazy and you don’t know why. What I’ve learned in those moments is that it is a time to fly. Business changes, jobs go away, friends break your heart, marriages end, relationships end, and most times all these things are signs that it’s time to take flight to your next level.

Nobody likes change, I get it, but don’t be angry or bitter when things change. Don’t be mad with people, especially when you know you did right by them and you did all you could do for the friendship or relationship. I’m sorry to tell you this my friend, but this moment was not about them it was all about you. I’m telling you if God has allowed you to become so uncomfortable in your situation, whatever it is, then its time for you to move! Don’t be afraid, just fly!

Last thing and then I’m done . there is one part of the eagle story that I haven’t told you yet, and this is my favorite part. If those baby eagles get out of the nest and they are trying to fly and it’s not going well, then that same mother bird that provided for them while they were in the nest, that same eagle will fly under the baby eagle to keep it from falling, to keep it on course, and give it a sense of security. God’s got you, don’t be afraid! He won’t let you fall!

Now here’s the question: what situation in your life has become so uncomfortable that you feel like you’re being starved for what you need? Maybe its God’s way of telling you it’s time to fly! It’s time to fly for your own dreams and your own hopes and goals. Fly for true love and real hope. This is your moment to fly, in 2014. Make this the year that you leave the nest without fear.

10 facts about your primary gift

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the holidays are finished and we are already full steam ahead into the new year. mine has already been busy and productive.

all of my Christmas decorations are down and packed away until next Christmas -which i am sure will arrive before i blink twice.

i have de-cluttered every room in my house so that everything has a place and everything is in it’s place or at least can easily be returned there.

at work, we are busy little bees as our juvenile stock grow like little weeds. i truly enjoy watching living things develop and grow.

on a personal note, i am attending to the few extra pounds by doing a refresher course on the Dukan Diet.

little by little, i am making progress and keeping up my momentum on my journey.

the next step for me is to get back to sharing my heart with my readers.

since we have not long ago had a season of giving and receiving gifts and many people are looking at what they would like to accomplish in the new year, i decided today that we should look at recognising your primary gift.

Mike Murdock shares how we can discover the gifts, opportunities and relationships that are already in our life in his Laws of Life series.

i would like to share these 10 facts to help you better recognise what your primary gift is.

  1. everyone has gifts and there will be one that is dominant in your life.
  2.  not everyone recognises their primary gift; therefore, the opportunity to feel unrewarded or dissatisfied with life can present itself.
  3. although you  may see similarities to another person’s gift, your primary gift will be unique to you. there is no one like you in all the world and your gift is significant and important.
  4. your gift will help solve problems for those closest to you. The proverbs tell us, “Don’t withhold good when it is needed, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.”
  5. obsessing about your weakness will prevent you from seeing and appreciating your gift. China has the greatest ping-pong players in the world. once when the master mentors were asked how they handled the weaknesses of their proteges, they explained that they ignored them. they explained that if the dominate strength of the player received total focus, it would compensate for any weakness elsewhere in their form. it is not wise to rehearse and focus on the qualities in life that discourage us most.
  6. your gift will operate greater in challenging circumstances. fighters and boxers will often find more energy arise in them the greater the challenge they face.
  7. you must guard against letting what other people focus on concerning you deter you. sadly, relatives can sometimes focus on your weakness and we can adapt to it. we can begin to put too much focus on what others despise.
  8. admiring other people can create a desire to emulate their primary gift. you are unique…no one can be you and you are not meant to be someone else.
  9. what you would love to do everyday of your life is a good clue to recognising your primary gift. try this: if everyone in the world was only allowed to earn $10 per hour, what would you choose to do?
  10. your point of difference is what is significant about you and your gift. it is important to learn from those around us (remember, your gift will help solve problems for those closest to you…well, so will theirs help you). however, it is important to remember that your gift, your significance and difference are for a different purpose than anyone else’s. celebrate your difference!

David recognised that he was more than a psalmist or a shepherd. he was a warrior and he knew it! Israel once sang out that Saul had slain his thousand but David, his ten thousands.

Joseph was more than an interpreter of dreams. he had uncommon compassion. recognising the unhappiness of his cell mates was the catalyst to his ascent to ruling in Eygpt.

Paul was more than a thinker or talker…he was a revelator.

finding your most dominate gift will give greater significance, satisfaction and focus to your journey. focus all of your energy on it, not your weakness. if you give your full focus to developing your gift, it will compensate for your weakness.

i certainly hope that you have had a great start to the new year and i look forward to seeing you back here soon…for more insight from a woman’s heart.

D

5 reasons silence is effective

20131024-075908.jpgsometimes, there is just no better solution than silence.

i have found silence to be a very effective tool in my little life toolbox. life skills are valuable and i would categorize this under healthy boundaries.

this one was hard for me to learn since early on in my life i determined in my heart that i would have my say. i thought it was a safety net. instead, often, it was a hole in my bucket. it often caused things to get worse.

of all the subjects to be discussed, proverbs gives many keys of wisdom on the mouth, the words we speak, and how we speak them. it is strange to my mind that not saying anything all can be more effective than saying everything i think at the time.

i have learned that it truly is an effective boundary and more times than not…it works.

reasons why silence is so effective:
1. i am not always right. shock horror! yet true. what works for me will not always work for someone else’s life. each person has their own journey. allowing them to make that journey the best way they can is important.

2. sometimes, people just need someone to listen. i’m a fixer. not everything has to be fixed. there are times when only a listening ear is necessary.

3. the timing is all wrong for what someone needs to hear. maybe someone who trusts me needs
accountability. however, a heart must feel safe, be open and ready to hear. if the timing is wrong i could make matters worse.

4. the person already knows. they may be looking for agreement for a wrong position. i don’t have to give my agreement but i don’t have to spell it out for them either. they already know what to do. giving them time to work it out can be more effective than pushing them.

5. the situation may be too volatile or ridiculous. i used to wonder why grandmothers would shake their head and walk away…there is a good reason. you just can’t put a workable solution into words. my husband is the king of off the wall comments…silliness. i have found myself shaking my head and walking away! he then comes out with, “that’s a pretty silly thing to say, eh?” then I can give it a, “um, yeah!” done. it works for anger as well. although listening to a rant is not easy, my boundary is “if you communicate in a responsible way, i will participate in the conversation. if not, i will be silent until you can.” conflicts are many times fewer than ever. it works with children, too. i tell my grandchildren that when they are ready to calm down we can talk…until then I won’t be talking to them.

there is something about our human nature that does not like to feel like we are being ignored.

i have a sister who is 13 years younger than i am. when she was a toddler and annoying (at least to a teenager), i would tell my other teenage sister to “i-g-n-o-r-e her” and my baby sister would yell, “don’t ik-nore me!”

although, what i am talking about is different than ignoring someone, silence is more effective and gets someone’s attention much better than lectures, nagging, or being pushy. i am talking about using wisdom verses manipulation. you will know the difference! it is often very clear where silence is best served and effective.

there are times when i do not stand in silence: bullying, abuse, and matters of safety. still, wisdom can be applied…maybe fewer words or the proper authority can do the speaking. at any rate, the key is to use wisdom and not go to extremes at one end or the other…you don’t want to say too much but you don’t want to be totally silent either.

have you ever asked yourself, “why did i say?” Or have you said, ” i’m always putting my foot in my mouth”?

if so, you might want to develop a healthy boundary that allows you the ability to sometimes, say nothing at all.

give it a try. practice. see if it works for you like it has for me.

for help, check out the wisdom found in proverbs.

when learning this life skill, i would do word fasts. i would fast (or cut out) all unnecessary words as a way to develop the discipline.

there are many effective ways to practice.

silence truly is powerful!

D

inquisitive minds…have to know

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as i venture along this journey of mine, i find it helpful to learn what other women have done that relate to what i might be going through at any given moment.

this is not unusual, really. many of us reach out to others during trying times for advice, grab someone to share what we have accomplished and learn from the successes and failures of others.

today, i was taking a look at Eve. you know, the first woman mentioned in the Bible. some of you may not believe she existed. you may think of her as a mythical character. even with that train of thought, many people look at fairy tales, myths, novels, etc. to find expressions and similarities of their own personalities, hopes dreams and creativity.

i tend to believe she was real. i believe in creation.

therefore, i like to think that i can discover important truths about myself and the way i was created by looking at her life.

she was first named ishah meaning woman. Adam named her. it was the job he was given…name the creatures within the garden. he chose this name because she was formed from a part of his being.

as i looked at her activity within the garden, these words stood out in my mind: explores, interrogates, decisive, independent, curious, tricked, victimized, felt victimized, trusting, tests boundaries, willingness to try something new, willingness to disobey, minimize consequences, desires the forbidden, and ability to effect major/impacting change.

i had to chuckle.

although, along my journey, my goal has been to discipline some of these attributes…i could relate!

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let me just say… to any gentleman who might be cheering at this moment and pointing even a jesting finger to say that he can relate because some female in his life shows many of these attributes and that Eve was the beginning of all of mankind’s problems…”settle down”! lol. i am well aware that we women can be troublesome at times but i’m not debating, confirming or addressing the “it’s all the woman’s fault” mind set here.

i am encouraging women to take an objective look at themselves…and you’re not helping. lol

Eden means to be fruitful or plentiful. A delightful place; a paradise. A state of innocence, bliss, or ultimate happiness.

i don’t know about you but i don’t live in Eden. however, there i something deep down in my heart that searches for Eden in my life.

therefore, i find myself on an exploration. do you?

i want to know the “keys” to plenty. i look for delight for my senses, my environment and experiences. i love the idea of paradise even  if it’s on a holiday or vacation. i want to be happy. i want to disconnect from the things that prevent happiness and pursue the ones that will provide it. i want bliss in my relationships.

so, i explore all of the possibilities. will more education help me attain plenty? will better work ethic help? how can i manage stress, conflict, difficulties and barriers? i read, i search the internet, i have deep and meaningfuls with my girlfriends.  i am exploring.

when i come across something that seems reasonable, i am not afraid to try something new. when i say reasonable, do you know how many things sound reasonable? i am pretty trusting (ok, if you insist on naïve, fine) and i really do not expect to be taken for a fool, tricked or victimized. so, when i get information that sounds reasonable…why not give it a try?

in fact, i can get an idea in my head and the process starts. i am curious. i wonder, i think it over, i dream about it. i look at it (from a few angles-don’t want to get too quirky about it because after all…i’m planning to give this idea a go and i don’t really want to be talked out of it).

i find that at that point desire tends to take over. kind of weird when i think about it. but it does. i’m not really talking about passionate desire here. just desire… the “i want” place in my mind. once i’m at this place…it may not happen right away, but seriously, i’m going to give it my best effort to make it happen.

that is when i interrogate. shhh! don’t tell my husband i am saying this because he tells me all the time that i ask so many question about things that it can begin to feel like an interrogation. lol…funny but maybe NOT.

i want to know, “well, what if we…” and the reply comes. no, not good enough…”how about…” the reply…ummm, “you are not getting it, i think that if….” and when i have really got something stuck in my brain, if i don’t get co-operation, i have been known to decide to just go ahead and do it myself! (remember the words that i said came to mind earlier? decisive, independent, willingness to test the boundaries?)

whew! sometimes i get lucky and it works out. other times, well, let’s just say i have learned that i don’t exactly like the taste of crow.

some of those decisions have brought a myriad of change to my life. again, some good…some not so much.

while these attributes can at times get us women into trouble, they are strengths as well.

it is because we are creative, curious and desire that we can produce lovely homes, nurturing atmospheres and organized, well functioning lives.

we just have to be able to apply the appropriate wisdom.

there are things that my family have to trust me on. when they are staring at food they have never eaten before or that is more healthy than other choices. i have researched and put in the time to prepare a lovely meal. when i insist that they put things away in their proper place (which i have prepared) so that when they need them next they are where they can be found. when i am cautioning them about safety/wisdom/common sense because i do not want them to experience pain.

the attributes that can get me into trouble, when used properly can make life easier, more balanced or effect a change that is vital.

that’s a good thing.

the results are then a more harmonious life. i think that was Eve’s purpose. to bring a harmony that didn’t exist.

for me, in my quest for Eden, that would be my greatest desire…to use the gifts that i have been created for to bring harmony to my life.

i have to tell you though, even when i am doing my best to apply wisdom…it sneaks up on me…

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this week, i got into my head that i needed a place for my dryer. in my new house, the washer attachments are in the bathroom and there is no place in there for my dryer. the garage has no electricity set up in it so that was out. there is a small room off the kitchen but i have it designated for an office where i can blog, do my admin duties for our business and well,…it’s my space. there was no other suitable place in the house for my dryer…but i eyed this little cupboard that housed the hot water heater. it was deep enough (well, i measured it in a woman-kind of way and it seemed to be a reasonable size and solution). i was just going to put it in there myself because it looked like a reasonable solution to my dilemma. excect, i had one problem. i’m short. the hot water heater sits in the bottom of that cupboard and where i needed the dryer to go was up high. ugh! i had to present this to my beloved. and well, let’s just say, he is not always easy to convince. i had explored my possibilities. i had made a decision. i had developed a strong (and i mean strong) desire for the dryer to be in that cupboard (i did not want it in the middle of the floor or in any of my well-put-together rooms…because it did not fit the décor). so, i started the interrogation, “dear, i have had an idea…”, “do you think, that possibly we could…”. to my amazement…he didn’t disagree. in fact, he said he would look at it. i have learned that that is a good thing…so, i dropped it until he got around to looking at it…after all, i could do that because not everything was finished with my unpacking, etc and i had a little time up my sleeve that i could slot patience into. lol when he did get around to it. he measured it first. like, really measured it…the way a man measures. you know what’s coming, right? in his estimation, it was not going to fit. excuse me? that did not work for me. not at all. nothing would do except that i see it up there! he had questions like: “how are you going to vent it? the door won’t close on the cupboard and do you really want that? if i get it up there, are you going to bug me to take it back down? couldn’t you put it on the front porch?” none of it mattered. i politely reminded him that it was just a simple, little, heart’s desire to see my dryer up in the cupboard. and much to my surprise, he did it…he lifted the dryer up into the cupboard.

and it didn’t fit!

what?

and of course, nothing then would do until he took the hideous thing down!

i’m typing this and i’m laughing at myself.

i’m also thinking that i am really glad that it wasn’t like taking an apple off of a forbidden tree or anything that would change the course of life!

it helps me to see my “woman-ness”…that there is a part of me that needs to be tamed, disciplined and guarded. that there is wisdom, real wisdom for other areas of my life and i can’t allow these attributes to cloud my decision making ability, my purpose, or ability to stand on truth.

what? the dryer? oh yeah, well, it is sitting in the kitchen…but, i came to terms with the fact that, hey, at least i am in a proper house and not the old smoko room anymore…that one little inconvenience was not going to turn my world upside down and….

i would explore with my readers…got any reasonable ideas i could use? any creative storage ideas for a large appliance that i want to make disappear but still keep handy enough to use it when i need it? can you help a girl out here? 😉

have a great weekend!

D

 

how success is connected to stewardship

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“the one who is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much…if you haven’t been faithful with someone else’s property, who will give you your own?”

Jesus told a story about a manager who was wasting a rich man’s estate. he was about to get fired. he didn’t want to do a labouring job and was too proud to beg for a living. he decided to be clever. he brought the people who owed the rich man money and made a deal with them so that they would take pity on him (and owe him a favor) when he got fired. he was hoping they would take him in. he asked them to rewrite their contracts for less than what was owed. kind of sounds like some dealings that go on in the world today. there really is nothing new under the sun.

at the end of the story…we are told this fact…anyone who is faithful with a little- will be faithful with a lot. anyone who is dishonest with even a little, will be dishonest in larger dealings as well.

it is very easy to become disgruntled in the work place. be very careful…because as we know, where our thoughts go…actions follow. actions like discontentment, gossip, bad attitudes and if left unchecked…clever thinking…taking advantage in ways that cause us to be dishonest.

a person begins to feel untitled to waste time, make adjustments here and there…and some have been led to fraud of varying degrees. it’s dangerous to become so familiar and allow an attitude of entitlement to take hold.

the life key here is: if you can’t be trusted with what belongs to someone else…your success, goals and desire for your own property is at risk.

kind of a what goes around comes around kind of thing again…a reaping what you sow…another of those laws like natural laws that are at work bringing results good or not so good.

i am thinking about this today because i have been working all week on the house we are renting. this home is not my own. however, the person who bought it with their hard earned money, have honored me with the opportunity to use it. it is not mine…yet, the life skill i have just mentioned requires me to honor this property as if it were my own. my parents also taught me that if i use, rent or borrow something, to leave it better than when i found it. that way, there will be no conflict, when i have a need in the future or make a future request, i can be trusted again..

i want to build another home in the future…but for now, i must be faithful and show good stewardship over something that belongs to someone else. i show respect for what i have been given to manage. my success depends on it.

if you are entrusted with another person’s property…be faithful with it. practice good stewardship and you will see benefits in other areas of your life. you really will. it will cost you but the person who owns the property whether a car, tool, business, home, etc. paid a price, as well, and their willingness to share is a great privilege. as you practice good stewardship, you learn to care for what you desire to own in the future…which is good economics.

what better way to say thank you. what a great way to turn things around for yourself so that you might just become the lender in your future.

life really is about relationships and there is a wealth of wisdom that can improve them and your life over all.

your success truly is connected to your stewardship.

D

Keeping Peace in Relationships

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peace: freedom from disturbance.

as much as is in your control…and ability…be at peace with those around you.

like to be in control?

grab control of this truth…it is one area where being controlling is a good thing…

don’t give up your peace…keep control!

D

The Law of Love

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i would like to thank my readers for their kind responses to my blogs on love.

i wanted to share this comment from Will at Diffuse The Muse

Hi Dee. Congratulations on this original and inspiring blog. I admire the objectivity of this series of posts. Dealing with intrinsically abstract concepts is very hard to do objectively and in a way that everyone can relate to on some level. I think you’ve done a splendid job! The pivotal issue, in my opinion, is your point No. 6: Selfishness, or as I see it, egocentricity. It is pivotal because it is at the very core of our instinctive nature—so much so that most of the other points could be said to derive from this one. If we are honest about it, and were to eliminate the “I”, the “me” and the “my” out of our contextual frame of reference for love, it becomes distorted, when it should become more symmetrical. Elevating one’s ego above oneself, and to the exclusion of itself, is an awesome goal for any thinking person. Then again, I look into the eyes of child in need and it seem almost right there for the taking.

20130925-091307.jpgThank you for your kind comments, Will.

I agree that selfishness is “at the very core of our instinctive nature”. The reality is that in creation, animals have basic instincts they use as protective measures for survival. I think that humans have survival instincts as well. We do have to look out for ourselves in order to maintain healthy emotional well-being. The skill needed to do this is a healthy boundary system. This life skill is often not learned until after crisis. Therefore, we compensate the lack of skill for selfishness -believing that selfishness is what will protect us.

Quite the opposite is true.

Healthy boundaries are different than defensive walls like selfishness. Boundaries give us the opportunity to communicate our need for safe interaction. They should be based on your life values, wisdom, Truth, justice, and mine include the law. These boundaries are your safety zone, clearly defined so that another person is (or can become) aware of what lines not to cross.

When I was young and dating, one of my boundaries was that I wanted to be respected as a woman. Therefore, whistles, cat-calls and crudeness were not acceptable to me. I would not date a young man who crossed that line.

A few other boundaries that I have developed include:
1. I am a giving person but don’t expect to order me around or take advantage of my generosity.
2. Rudeness is just never appropriate. I understand firm authority but there is no need to be condescending or rude.
3. Love covers a multitude of sins…true…but don’t ask me to lie to cover up for your wrong. If you choose the action, I won’t expose you publicly but I won’t lie for you either. I won’t participate in anything illegal or against my life values.
4. We might disagree, feel angry and have conflict but that will not cause me to discard the friendship even if a little space is required for a time.

You don’t need to list the boundaries out, a gentle reminder is often enough to get things back on track, if explained lovingly.

Recently, I found myself in conflict with a friend over a business policy. My friend stated that they did not want the friendship to suffer as a result. I was able to simply reassure the person that disagreeing did not mean that we could not be friends and that I believed we could find an appropriate solution for both parties.

Boundaries are a way to protect the relationship so that the issues can be worked out. But first, you must understand yourself, what you believe and what you want.

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That is why I have been sharing the wisdom given in Corinthians concerning what real love looks like. Because I believe that love has the attributes I have shared and I use this information as a boundary for my own actions.

20130925-092305.jpgLove is a law…like the Law of Gravity. The Law of Love works every time -without fail -in the same way that the Law of Gravity works everytime, without fail.

Working within it’s boundaries provides the best results…outside of those boundaries is pain.

I can say, “I don’t believe in the law of gravity” and continue to work against it, my end result will be catastrophic if I make the wrong choice.

Sometimes, in the above mentioned confusion (concerning instinct), we think there is an option or loop hole that frees us from right behavior. Unfortunately, if we really want success, there isn’t…love is the way to make things work appropriately.

I can learn to get my point across without being unkind. I can be firm, diplomatic, and kind and acheive a better result than starting a conflict. If the other person is uncoperative, there are appropriate-wise-lawful (depending on what is required) ways to handle the situation without being ruthless, mean, and hateful.

One of my favorite examples is that of my friend in Chattanooga who lost her son to a drunken driver. The driver was wrong. My friend was in terrible emotional pain. The loss was more than anyone deserves. She followed through with the legal accountability and the driver was sent to jail. The driver was a mother and jail was a difficult consequence. Yet, throughout the process, my friend was not mean to this person. She actually, told her she forgave her, helped her through the trial and once she has finished her sentence, will work with her to get her life back on track. This approach did not save my friend’s son from death…but it has helped her heart to begin the healing process, will help salvage the driver’s life and she started a non-profit organization to help bring awareness to the consequences of drinking and driving. The impact for good will be so much more beneficial than revenge.

“Love never fails” is not just a nice quote…it is truth. It is not whimpy. It is a life skill. It is a law of the spirit and it works so much better than the alternative!

You can count on it!

I do hope you have found these posts helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your time with me!

D

How to Show Mature Love

20130923-213002.jpghow mature are you when it comes to love?

the last characteristic in my little series of posts on love is…

love never a fails…never stops, never fades, doesn’t become obsolete…it does not end.

in the midst of an argument? you are thinking, “I don’t know what to do.” love…never fails! ego will build defences, anger will inflame the situation, sarcasm will invite a bloody nose 😉, standing your rightful ground will end communication…love never fails.

actually, when i look closely at this wisdom found in the letter to the Corinthians, it is pretty clear to me that love would probably put a lot of relationship issues to rest.

let’s do a quick test. read the list below. choose which of the two words evoke a positive response in you:

1. Patience vs impatience
2. Kindness vs unkindness
3. Trust vs jealousy
4. Humble vs prideful
5. Mannerly vs rude
6. Selfless vs selfish
7. Irritable vs easy going
8. Forgiving vs holds a grudge
9. Supportive vs throwing you under the bus
10. Justice vs injustice
11. Believes the best in you vs accusatory
12. Never gives up vs quits easily

how many of the second of the two words do you wish more people would use more when dealing with you?

none? me, too!

in fact, i have spent a lot of time in my life asking people NOT to deal with me according to the second words of the list. i feel quite passionate about not being dealt with in those ways.

ah-ha moment…then i shouldn’t deal with people that way, right? because i know how it feels…and i DON’T like it. then why act that way myself. should be common sense, eh?

nothing we do, think, or believe is of any importance if used as an excuse for not loving or behaving in a loving way. not what you believe. not what you hope for…although both are awesome…they should not be used in place of love.

that doesn’t include accountability. love IS NoT blind!!!! love acts justly…so if accountability is necessary…love holds us accountable.

i have been posting about what love looks like, how love behaves and the wisest ways to apply love. love requires maturity. at the end of the letter in Corinthians, Paul makes the statement that when he was a child he acted liked a child and when he was old he put away childish things…Paul has not stopped giving wisdom about love.

the second word in my little test are childish behaviors.

watch any 2 year old…you will see them.

have you ever said to someone acting out those second words, “don’t be so juvenile!”? or “grow up,”?

we recognize them as juvenile, behaviors in others… we should be objective enough to call it as we see it in ourselves…if we do…we are applying maturity.

i truly believe that our day to day relationships and our own peace of mind would be so much more successful if we would stop being childish; throwing tantrums, calling names, quitting when we don’t get our own way, being vengeful, irritable or irritating…

and love with a real, mature level of love.

mature, real love is….

Patient
Kind
Trusting
Selfless
Humble
Easy going
Mannerly
Forgiving
Supportive
Just
Believes the best
Keeps going!!!

mature, real love never fails…

the move is going well…although a big job, i love that i get a chance to do a major “spring clean”…I’ll be sorted for summer fun this way, eh?

thank you for your patience while i have not had internet and was not able to post…feels good to get back into the swing of things.

D