Overcoming Me-Pride vs Purpose

I apologize I’ve been gone for so long! Summer brings a lot more to do outside. Also, I adopt a leisurely countenance and a tendency to languish more than usual. At my age I’ve deemed it “deserving”.ūüėČ

My speaking on Boundaries has led me into a subsection that I title,¬†“Overcoming Me-Pride vs Purpose”. I have two parts of me that I need to monitor, inventory, and take care of. This blog writing is just a snippet of the message.

stubbornAm I going to deny my sinfulness in my relationships, in my words and actions? Am I going to cling to pride as if my way is the only way? There are seasons to feel pride in personal accomplishments, that isn’t the pride I am addressing here. To be brutally honest with oneself is a challenge. Self-examination¬†is a much tougher road to walk than you think. We want to be right. I want to be right with God and true to myself.

I want to stand up for righteousness, to be a model of Christ, of truth, honesty, integrity, and responsibility. That may not be popular with everyone. Today there are so many opinions. Does “Little Miss Stubborn” exist in me? As I sit here laughing…she does; however, I have learned to reel her in when my firmness is no longer a purpose to stand up for who and what I am. My purpose is more important to¬†me than my pride.

walking with God

 

These are turbulent times. God Bless America….”I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Note….I truly wonder how many “Americans” young and old can recite this from memory.

This is How God Works!

heaven-1544942¬† Believers often experience what I call “God Winks”. Tonight was a beautiful example and I just have to write about it.

Last week three people reached out to me regarding the need for divorce support. They all were told their marriages were over. Two women and one man. They wanted to meet with me to talk. I did. With my schedule I knew I couldn’t keep up the individualized pace, so I prayed. I felt God tell me I needed to do a summer Divorce Care program at church (I usually do January – April). I called four other women from my previous class as I knew they were still wanting additional support.Tonight was the first night. Seven people were depending on me.

The DVD equipment in my usual meeting room would not work. The room is large and has the perfect big pull-down screen. The sound wouldn’t come. Now what? So I went down the hall looking for tech help.¬†The other meeting room had the drapes drawn for privacy but I was desperate, so I knocked. I knocked again. The drapes moved and one of my Stephen Minister partners looked at me through the window and opened the door. I apologized but said I needed the VCR and TV in that room for my Divorce Care class.

She got this weird expression on her face and looked at her care receiver and looked at me and said, “Well this is meant to be, Dori. Jane (not her name) just found out this week that her husband wants a divorce. Can she join your class?” I gathered up the other people and we all sat in the small meeting room with Jane.

Ah, the wink!! Jane needed us and God made it happen. Amen and Amen!! Thank you Father God, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit. We all felt Your Holy Presence as we shared, cried, laughed, and prayed.

Summer’s On!

It’s amazing how flexible time is….yet it never changes. It can feel anywhere from superspeed to snails-pace. Yet we know…tick, tick, tick…it’s always the same. God started the pace in creation with the sun and moon and man developed hours for measurement. Being a servant of the Lord lends me out to various needs and once the weather turned nice and people ventured out, the needs multiplied. The sensation of superspeed surrounds me.

I find myself immersed in many issues: People divorcing, fighting cancer, enduring difficult marriages, teen suicides…and the simple need to be heard. Compassion and an empathetic listening ear is soothing to many. They just want someone to care. I won’t even begin to mention what is going on in our country! Satan is truly on a rampage.

My speaking on Boundaries and the Power of Silence has been well-received and appreciated. Every day all day long, we make choices and if we do not have healthy boundaries, we set ourselves up for exhaustion, depression, anxiety, frustration, and anger.

We cannot control anyone else. We cannot expect others to like/want what we do. If we work hard at something and expect to be appreciated, we again have set ourselves up for disappointment and hurt.

“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Oh blessed quiet with God!! Take the time God has blessed you with and spend some of it with Him. Ask him to prune off those behaviors in you that cause angst and discord. Stop gossiping. Build up, encourage. Invest time in being fruitful!

Blessings to you, dori:)

 

 

Stepfamily Rx Conference update

My brain in finally settling back down after the consuming details of wanting to present a successful day for the other speakers and attendees.

The biggest feedback was parenting issues and co-parenting issues. For stepdads…some questioned whether they might be falling in love with their stepchildren and focusing on them more than their own because of the split and occasional visitation days. This is a real concern for some!

For stepmoms, the same issues exist with having a clear understanding AND support of their role in the family. Biological parents set the boundaries and rules for their children and decide on discipline consequences, but many times, the stepmom is left with caring out the actions because she may be with the children and stepchildren more hours during the day. Children need to understand what roles the adults have and what roles they have. Being in control and “the boss of the house” is not in the rulebook for children.

For other couples, they’ve allowed the older children, aged about 10-13 years of age where they want to live with a residence change each year. What? One poor father said the month before the annual “decision”, he walks on broken glass wondering if his kids will feel he is “good or fun enough” to live with for the next year.

Adults need to set the parameters and rules for the best interests of the children. Yes, age appropriate children can determine which parent they want to reside with; but then there is a stipulated agreement wherein the other parent will get sufficient time for visitation. The stressed dad of the “annual decision” said he made a terrible mistake to agree to that arrangement.

Parenting today is much different than it was just a couple of decades ago. Spouses always come first under God in the marriage. Children always come first under the parents. Such a relatively simple concept, yet many adults/spouses want to tangle up the two definitions. Kids do not need pals….they need PARENTS. And parents should care about raising respectable, responsible, reverent children that know and love God. If you think “spoiling” them is benefiting them…you will need to keep them in your household the rest of your life, or follow them to every employer and explain to them why they need to continue the spoiling. NOT!

Take care, God bless you, and stay strong and consistent!

Stepfamily Rx Conference THIS Saturday!

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2016 Stepfamily Rx Conf Flyer_April

I was in Arizona last week and met Jennifer Garcia of AMFM (Association of Marriage and Family Ministry). Jennifer and her husband Eric are passionate about families. She gave me some awesome words of wisdom on how to go about “spreading the word” about my conference here in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest! Stay tuned….next April 2017 might just blow the doors off!:)

I have been opening up emails and catching up from a very consuming week and a half. Tears filled my eyes as I read an email from the church office saying someone called in AGAIN to sponsor a couple for the conference! Please share, registration ends Wednesday…a truly remarkable day filled with support, understanding, information! DON’T MISS THIS! God is blessing it all.¬†https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBiwA8Nw8qY

Co-parenting open mic panel is going to be incredible!

I appreciate all prayers to help the conference and us speakers deliver what the attendees need!

Blessings, dori:)

WWIB interview this morning!

2016 Stepfamily Rx Conf Flyer_April

TODAY….with Mark Halvorsen on WWIB 103.7 at 10:00 after his LIVE interview with Governor Walker, Kristopher Karl Mahoney Maloney andAngela Maloney will be joining me as we discuss the UPCOMING Stepfamily Rx conference on Saturday, April 16th. Kris and Angela will be part of the co-parenting panel! Opportunity to call in and get FREE tickets!

Co-parenting Panel at Stepfamily Rx Conference!

Co-parenting can be a tough challenge after any divorce and really difficult after a nasty divorce. However, it is the most important thing you can do for your children! They didn’t ask for the divorce (1) and (2) they love both of you, even if they say they don’t! Here are some quick tips: Children need the freedom and permission to love both of you. They should never be spies or messengers. Do not argue about the children in front of the children. Avoid harsh gossip or cruel words in front of the kids about your ex…which is their parent. Be civil with each other and share schedules often, update as needed. No secrets to control or manipulate.

The 3rd annual Stepfamily Rx Conference is coming to Peace Church in Eau Claire again! Call now to register and take advantage of EARLY BIRD pricing…715-834-2486.

In the afternoon, there will be a panel of six individuals who SUCCESSFULLY co-parent and you will have a chance to ask them your personal questions! Don’t miss this!

Here is the announcement video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBiwA8Nw8qY

 

Blessings….

Today’s WOW: Silence can be powerful.

Quiet image¬† ¬† ¬†¬†Isn’t it great to have the last word? With your spouse, your kids, a friend, or on Facebook? I know I used to believe I had the¬†best last word and I used that privilege often.

Not so much anymore. I have learned that in some situations, leaving someone else’s words “hang” in the air is more powerful than my adding to it. I’ve learned that silence can enhance my integrity and¬†honor because in some instances, my response can lower me to the other person’s level. I’ve learned that I can learn something if I’m not always preparing a response.

Being a step-parent provides many opportunities to want to have that last word or to jump in with an opinion or chastisement. Today, practice taking the higher road. Ask God to help keep your lips closed, to help give you strength, endurance, and wisdom. Avoid gossip, avoid bashing the other parent or their household. Words can build someone up, but so can meaningful silence.

If you need to protect or defend yourself and it’s the right thing to do, then say what is necessary. However, I challenge you to seek the power of silence as often as you can and see what a difference it can make in your day.

“Do the right thing in the right way for the right reason.” God bless you~

Today’s WOW: Self or Servant

Heart n cross¬† ¬†I’ve been involved in reading a book “Soul Keeping” by Pastor John Ortberg, as well as attending a DVD class. It has given me¬†a heightened¬†awareness of self versus servant attitude. I realize that taking care of my self, my soul, my heart, my spirit….is very important. We are no good to anyone else if we are bitter, angry, or negative Nelly all day long. The challenge is to¬†avoid¬†taking care of my self from becoming¬†selfish.

We are born with a God-sized hole because He created us for relationship with Him and with others. We need to seek Him first, then seek to align ourselves in a way that is right and healthy. Boundaries help us stay aligned. I am not perfect, but since I began to focus¬†on developing, maintaining, and using my boundaries, my daily life has become more peaceful and successful. “I get to choose the condition of my soul.” -Pastor Ortberg. One of my prior

My next challenge is to then use my “self” in a less selfish way and attend to others in a more servant way. I love helping others but because I am flesh, I have to work at being good at it every day (Yes, some days I may not feel like it). Loving and helping others is¬†fulfilling, and gives me a sense of purpose and dignity. In stepliving, boundaries are essential and so is taking care of self and soul so that one can offer a servant heart to a spouse and children. God first, then self, then others.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

Gracious Gratitude

This week’s¬†WOW (Wild on Wonder) Wednesday point:

What do you see below?

Black Dot

During my Divorce Care meeting, personal meetings, and stepliving coaching this week, there was a lot of pain, frustration, and disappointment shared. When we are mired down in toxicity, negativity, and just plain agony, it is not easy to think of things to be thankful for.

Gratitude gets buried under a litany of issues such as events, plans, emotions, and busyness. Begin¬†each day waking with a gratitude thought….no matter how difficult our lives are…we do possess beautiful things: Jesus, breath, children, sight, friends…..start the¬†day thanking God. Do not allow Satan to have any priority.

 

(If you only see the black dot, you are focusing on a “dark” thing instead of all the “bright” around it). Until next time…………..
“Do (and say) the right things in the right way for the right reason.”