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!
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 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
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~
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
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.”
I have a new goal to do a WOW (Wild on Wonder) Wednesday each week. The dictionary defines wonder as including, “marvel, awe, admiration, ponder, meditate, and to be thunderstruck”!
My WOW word for today is honesty. It’s one of the “top ten” from Exodus 20:16 NIV: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” I interpret that as no false testimony to anyone. Honesty is part of our soul (Mark 8:36), our character and integrity.
I would rather tell the truth, it’s easier to remember! And I would also rather be hurt by the truth than “murdered” by a lie.
Stepfamilies need honesty within family members and co-parenting becomes more civil and trustworthy when parents and stepparents make a commitment to be honest and open. Children need to be coached and disciplined why honesty will enhance their adult lives and relationships.
“Do (and say) the right things in the right way for the right reason.”
I’ve been doing speaking gigs lately and have chosen “Boundaries” as a topic that works for all audiences. It is not something we habitually think about, but having good healthy boundaries in place is absolutely necessary. I have been seeing a real need lately as I facilitate Divorce Care at our church, and as I coach stepmoms. Most of these individuals have poor or non-existent boundaries.
Boundaries help define who we are and help keep us accountable for our behaviors. They help us remember we are only in control of ourselves. They are not walls, since God created us for relationship; boundaries need to open and close to protect us as well as allow good things in and good things out. Think of yourself surrounded by a fence with a gate.
Stepfamilies need to focus on additional boundaries because of previous histories, loyalties, and relationships. New and previous family members will require “boundary review and changes”. As my book title begins, “Everything Changes….”, indeed it does with a remarriage.
Stay tuned for additional boundary posts based on Drs. Cloud and Townsend’s books.
How easily time slips away. Quietly, quickly. The Christmas season is full of preparation including activities such as baking, planning, figuring out family gifts, shopping, and the stress that always seems to come. I’ve become more seasoned at how to handle all of it, learning that if I focus on anything or anyone else other than Jesus Christ, I fall into a consuming pit. I’m not perfect, I still have to face many issues that range from pure joy to retching aches. It’s a true test of trusting God when we all want to shout, “You’re hurting me!!” at various times to various people….but we choose to remain silent.
I met with several people during this season that have relational and emotional issues going on in their lives. People saying hurtful words without thinking. Parents wanting more love and acceptance from their adult children…that four letter word “busy” hampering quality time. Separation and divorce wounds open and bleeding. Children of divorce favoring the parent that caused great heartache to their other parent…the bruised spouse/parent wondering why.
Listening to someone pour out their hearts is one of the most therapeutic things we can do for each other. I greatly value the trust gift that many individuals give me. Praying that Jesus heal hearts and soothe aching spirits is the only answer and my gift back. We cannot fix, we cannot expect, we cannot change others.
My prayer for all of you is that this year of 2016 with the world’s issues and our country’s unrest constantly reminding us of our sinful condition…that Jesus remain FIRST in your life, that you know the joy and peace that only He can give…..because:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
I scan lots of images and words on the Internet and Social Media. Accolades, opinions, and condemnations. What does it all mean and why do we want out words so “out there”? Although it is essential to communicate, my focus is on less words, more sincerity.
Words can hurt and harm as well as encourage and build up. This beautiful Christmas season, may the love of the Christ Child be with you. May appropriate silence be your friend and non-judgmental kindness be your purpose.