A Mess Worth Making by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp

RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships: A Mess Worth Making
By Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp

CBN.com – Your best friend is suddenly cool and distant. Your spouse can’t stop complaining about your bad habits. Your son refuses to talk to you. What are you supposed to do?

Plans A, B, and C might be to shut down, lash out, or get out. But consider Plan D: Recognize that God has the last word on those messy, conflict-ridden relationships. He can use them to make you into someone who can give and receive love—with God and others.

In their book, Relationships: A Mess Worth Making, authors Tim Lane and Paul Tripp explore the stubborn problems that plague many close relationships. They offer these eight observations to help readers understand relationships and how God uses them in our lives.

You were made for relationships.

This fact takes us back to the beginning. It asks the basic questions, “Who are we, and how important are our relationships?” In Genesis 2:18, God says that it is not good for man to be “alone.” God created us to be relational beings because he is a social God. God lives in community within the Trinity as Father, Son, and Spirit, and he made humanity in his image. Genesis 2 is not speaking primarily to Adam’s experience of being lonely as much as it is revealing his nature as the person God created him to be. Because God created a communal being – someone designed for relationships – creation is incomplete without a suitable companion. While Genesis 2 does address how male and female complement each other, the implications are broader to include all human relationships. In addition, the word “helper,” used here for Eve, speaks throughout scripture of the complementary nature of all human relationships. “Helper” is used primarily to describe a companion, not a fellow laborer.

The reason we know this is true is that the word “helper” is often used to describe God’s relationship with his people. When used this way, it does not refer to God as our coworker or employee, but God as our ultimate companion, who brings things to the relationship that we could not bring ourselves (Ps. 27:9; 33:20-22). So God is not addressing Adam’s workload but rather the fact that he is a social being who lacks a suitable companion. Just as human beings were created with a vertical need for God’s companionship, they are also created for the horizontal companionship of other people.

In some way, all relationships are difficult.

While the first fact is exciting, we still have to deal with reality. All of our relationships are less than perfect. They require work if they are going to thrive. Quickly on the euphoric heels of Genesis 2 comes Genesis 3, where the entrance of sin brings frustration and confusion into relationships. In Genesis 3, man and woman engage in accusation and slander. Genesis 4 gets even worse, with a man murdering his own brother.

While many of us have not committed murder, we still live on the continuum between murder, accusation, and blame. No wonder our relationships are so messy! Our struggle with sin is constantly revealed in them. If you want to enjoy any progress or blessing in your relationships, it will require you to admit your sin humbly and commit yourself to the work they require.

Each of us is tempted to make relationships the end rather than the means.

When we reflect on Genesis 1-3, it becomes clear that the primary relationship Adam and Eve were intended to enjoy was their relationship with God. This vertical communion with God would provide the foundation for the horizontal community they were to have with each other. Everything God made pointed Adam and Eve to the primacy of their relationship with him. All of creation was to function as an arrow pointing to God. But in our sin we tend to treat people and creation as more important. The very things God created to reveal his glory become instead the glory we desire. We settle for the satisfaction of human relationships when they were meant to point us to the perfect relational satisfaction found only with God. The irony is that when we reverse the order like this and elevate creation above Creator, we destroy the relationships God intended – and would have enabled – us to enjoy.

There are no secrets that guarantee problem-free relationships.

We all look for strategies or techniques that will free us from the pain of relationships and the hard work good relationships demand. We hope that better planning, more effective communication, clear role definitions, conflict resolution strategies, gender studies, and personality typing – to name just a few – will make the difference. There may be value in these things, but if they were all we needed, Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection would be unnecessary or, at best, redundant.

Skills and techniques appeal to us because they promise that relational problems can be fixed by tweaking our behavior without altering the bent of our hearts. But the Bible says something very different. It says that Christ is the only real hope for relationships because only he can dig deep enough to address the core motivations and desires of our hearts.

At some point you will wonder whether relationships are worth it.

At some point, each of us will become discouraged and disappointed with a relationship. The health and maturity of a relationship are not measured by an absence of problems, but by the way the inevitable problems are handled. Because human conflict is the result of the spiritual battles in our hearts, wise relationships always seek to be aware of that deeper struggle. Even in times of peace, you must be vigilant regarding the way your relationships can be hijacked by the underlying desires of your hearts, which are subtly and constantly shifting.

How do you deal with relational disappointments? Do you blame, deny, run away, avoid, threaten, and manipulate? Or do you speak the truth, exhibit patience, approach people gently, ask for and grant forgiveness, overlook minor offenses, encourage and honor others? Let’s admit that these questions touch us where we live from day to day. True Christian maturity does not get any more practical and concrete!

God keeps us in messy relationships for his redemptive purpose.

This sixth fact reminds us that the very thing we would naturally seek to avoid is what God has chosen to use to make us more like him! Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t just make your relationships better overnight? We often think that if God really cared for us, he would make our relationships easier. In reality, a difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care. We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too. This is how God created relationships to function.

What happens in the messiness of relationships is that our hearts are revealed, our weaknesses are exposed, and we start coming to the end of ourselves. Only when this happens do we reach out for the help God alone can provide.

While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community, God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy is found.

The fact that our relationships work as well as they do is a sure sign of grace.

One of the biggest impediments we face in relationships is our spiritual blindness. We frequently do not see our sin, nor do we see the many ways in which God protects us and others from it. God constantly protects us from ourselves by restraining our sin. We are a lot like Elisha’s servant in 2 Kings 6:15-22. He was overwhelmed by the enemy army that surrounded him until God opened his eyes to see the far more formidable army of angels God had sent to protect him. Why was it that the servant could see only the enemies surrounding Israel but not “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire” from the Lord? It was the spiritual blindness of unbelief.

How do you measure your potential in relationships? Do you measure the size of the problems or the magnitude of God’s presence in your midst? Considering our sin, it is amazing that people get along at all! Each night, the evening news begins with a litany of murders, rapes, and robberies that suggest that your community is a very dangerous place. Yet it fails to cite the thousands of good things people do to make that same community livable. Our view of our relationships can be just as slanted. We tend to see sins, weaknesses, and failures rather than the good things God is accomplishing. If you look for God in your relationships, you will always find things to be thankful for.

Scripture offers a clear and attractive hope for our relationships.

Does the challenge and mess of relationships leave you discouraged? Does the biblical honesty about human community shock you? Are you feeling overwhelmed by the hard work relationships require? If so, you are ready for this last fact: The shattered relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the cross provides the basis for our reconciliation. No other relationship ever suffered more than what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit endured when Jesus hung on the cross and cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was willing to be the rejected Son so that our families would know reconciliation. Jesus was willing to become the forsaken friend so that we could have loving friendships. Jesus was willing to be the rejected Lord so that we could live in loving submission to one another. Jesus was willing to be the forsaken brother so that we could have godly relationships. Jesus was willing to be the crucified King so that our communities would experience peace. In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus brought reconciliation in two fundamental ways. Jesus reconciled us to God, which then becomes the foundation for the way he reconciles us to one another. When God reigns in our hearts, peace reigns in our relationships.

This work will only be complete in heaven, but there is much we can enjoy now. The New Testament offers hope that our relationships can be characterized by things like humility, gentleness, patience, edifying honesty, peace, forgiveness, compassion, and love. Isn’t it wonderful that God’s grace can make this possible even for sinners in a fallen world! This hope challenges whatever complacency and discouragement we might have about our relationships because there is always more growth, peace, and blessing that God’s grace can bring, even here on earth.

Purchase your copy of Relationships: A Mess Worth Making

Adapted from Relationships: A Mess Worth Making by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. Used by permission of New Growth Press, Greensboro, North Carolina, http://www.newgrowthpress.com. Article provided courtesy of The B&B Media Group.

GOD SAYS

Get Dressed
Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. (Romans 13:13-14)

HOPE FOR THE HEART June Hunt’s archive on EMOTIONAL ABUSE listen online here!

http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/hope-for-the-heart/listen/#. <TRY THIS LINK!

July 2014 start at the bottom & click (hopefully) if not go to Hope for the Heart online and look at July 2014 online archives.

Play Now #9
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 4 (Week 2 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 2 of 2)07/31/2014
Play Now #8
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 3 (Week 2 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 2 of 2)07/30/2014
Play Now #7
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 2 (Week 2 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 2 of 2)07/29/2014
Play Now #6
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 1 (Week 2 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 2 of 2)07/28/2014
Play Now #5
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 5 (Week 1 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 1 of 2)07/25/2014
Play Now #4
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 4 (Week 1 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 1 of 2)07/24/2014
Play Now #3
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 3 (Week 1 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 1 of 2)07/23/2014
Play Now #2
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 2 (Week 1 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 1 of 2)07/22/2014
Play Now #1
Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse, Part 1 (Week 1 of 2)Verbal & Emotional Abuse: Victory Over Verbal & Emotional Abuse (week 1 of 2)07/21/2014

Chapter 10: Single Sexuality

Chapter 10: Single Sexuality

If you find yourself tempted, ask God to speak to your heart. Ultimately, He’s who you’ll have to answer to. And if you place your trust in Him, I know that you will find Him faithful; faithful to you and faithful to His plan for you life. Don’t miss Him and miss His best for you.

If you become involved in a sexual relationship with someone you are not married to, or even if you decide to begin dating before you are divorced, you’ll likely start realizing that you are hiding from just about everyone. We talked about Adam and Eve in the garden, after they had given in to their temptation, tried to “hide” from God. If you truly believe that God is in this, why are you hiding? Why are you hiding from family, hiding from friends who care about you- you’re probably even trying to hide from God.

We talked a little before about rebounding, even in the Finance video discussion. Rebounding from the pain and trying to make ourselves feel better by buying stuff; clothing, jewelry, a new car. It’s often the same situation with our newly single sexuality. We’ve been rejected by the one person who promised that they wouldn’t– the one person that we counted on to be by our side. Wasn’t I (fill in the blank) enough? And it cuts us to the core. But what we really need, despite the recommendations of others, is to focus on ourselves and get comfortable in our singleness, be open to what God is teaching us, heal up from this hurt, and leave all that baggage behind, rather than bringing that into a new relationship.

Here’s my point- indulgence in a sexual relationship outside of marriage results in, most important to this discussion, a screwed-up relationship with God. Sure, you reject the friends and family that disagree with you, and have counseled against this, and eventually you’ll find other “friends” who won’t challenge you in your walk– friends who “just accept you”- yes, it’s easy to find replacements like that; the path of least resistance and all. “I’ll surround myself with people who make me feel good about my sin.” Nobody would admit to that, but thats what we do. These sorts of “friends” are all around us. But, you won’t be able to silence God’s voice. How long can you ignore that?

I don’t know how long I could hold out, either, so please know that we have a real heart of compassion for you. But please also know that I’m praying for you all that God’s grace would abound to you and that YOU would abound in grace, too.

What are You Feeding Your Soul?… Which Wolf is winning?…

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DATING and the Single Parent

Dating and the Single Parent – Save $14

Dating and the Single ParentDating and the Single Parent by Ron L. Deal

Single parents who are dating or want to begin a dating relationship wonder, How will dating affect my children and my parenting? They probably have figured out that “dating in a crowd” is complicated. Now they’re looking for help.

Ron Deal, who has counseled single parents and remarried couples for many years, helps single parents – as well as those who date them – navigate the potential pitfalls involved. He gives perspective on when a relationship may be harmful to the children as well as how it can be a blessing to all. Always at the forefront is the goal of strengthening families. Includes questions for individual or group study.

Are you Feeding the right Wolf?

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The Two Wolves Within

An old Cherokee told his grandson
‘Two wolves rage within us,

One is Evil, it has many names:
Anger, envy, jealousy,
Sorrow, regret, greed,
Arrogance, self-pity, guilt,
Resentment, inferiority, lies,
False-pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good, it has many hues:
Joy, peace, love, hope,
Serenity, humility, kindness,
Benevolence, empathy, generosity,
Truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought for a minute
And asked: ‘Which Wolf wins?’
The Cherokee simply replied:
‘The one you feed!’
Author: Zoya Zaidi
Aligarh (UP), India
Copyright©: Zoya Zaidi

 

Why are relationship struggles so disappointing?


Why are relationship struggles so disappointing? Why do the problems we have with other people affect us so powerfully? Why is relational disappointment one of the hardest disappointments for all of us to face? Let me suggest some reasons.

1. You were created to be a social being:

You and I were never designed to live in isolation. We weren’t wired to be distant from and unaffected by the people around us. In fact, since we were created in God’s likeness, desire for and participation in community is a fundamental part of our humanity. The God who made us in his likeness not only does community, he is a community!

To deny this aspect of your daily life would literally be to deny your humanity. There would be something dramatically wrong with you if you removed yourself completely from other people. What this means is that the hurts of relationships cut deep. In a real way they touch the essence of who God made you to be, and because of this they’re not to be taken lightly.

2. We all enter our relationships with unrealistic expectations:

Somehow, someway, we’re able to deceive ourselves into thinking that we’ll be able to avoid the difficulties that attend any relationship in this broken world. In the early days of a relationship we work to convince ourselves that we’re more righteous, and the other person more perfect, than they and we actually are.

This causes us to be shocked when an unexpected but inevitable difficulty gets in the way of the bliss that we had convinced ourselves we had finally found. Here’s where the Bible is so helpful. It’s very honest about the messiness and disappointment that everyone deals with in every relationship they have.

3. We all seek identity in our relationships:

What does this mean? It means that we tend to look for fundamental personal meaning, purpose and sense of well-being from other people. In doing this, we turn people into our own personal messiahs, seeking to get from them what no other human being is ever able to deliver. That other person is not supposed to be the thing that gets you up in the morning. They’re not to be what makes life worth living for you.

When they’re in this place, you’ve given them too much power and you’re asking of them something that no flawed human being can ever pull off. On the other hand, when you’re getting your foundational sense of well-being from the Lord, you’re then able to step into the inevitable messiness of relationships this side of heaven, and be neither anxious nor self-protective.

4. Our relationships are more about our little kingdoms than the kingdom of God:

Without being aware of it, our relationships are often about what we want out of our lives rather than what God wants for our lives. So we have an “I love you and have a wonderful plan for your life” approach to relationships with other people. Often we’re disappointed with a relationship at the very moment when God is producing through this relationship exactly what he wanted to produce. Our problem is that our agenda doesn’t agree with God’s!

So, there are reasons for our disappointments but there’s grace for them as well. The God who will take us where we didn’t plan to go in order to produce in us what we couldn’t achieve on our own will also give us the grace to hang in there as he uses the messy disappointment of relationships to change and grow us and others.

God bless

Paul David Tripp

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Reflection Questions

Reflect on two or three significant relationships in your life. Evaluate the spiritual health of these relationships by asking yourself the following three questions:

  1. How might you be asking these relationships to fuel your personal identity? Why is this dangerous?
  2. How self-serving are you in these relationships? Where you can be more self-sacrificing?
  3. How can you make these relationships more about the Kingdom of God?

Niceness Isn’t Always Nice

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The price of always being nice …

1.     The “nice” person tends to create an atmosphere that keeps others from giving honest feedback.  This limits growth.

2.     The “nice” behavior leaves uncertainty in others in that they can not be sure of support in crisis situation that demand candor or in confrontation with others.

3.     “Nice” behavior stifles growth by depriving others level feedback and a “real” person to relate to.   This tends to force others to turn their aggression inward against themselves.  Guilt and depression can follow.

4.     The chronic “niceness” leaves others uncertain whether the relationship could withstand a conflict or sustain angry, spontaneous, confrontation.  Intimacy is limited by a felt need to be constantly on guard.

      5.      “Nice” guys are more subject to periodic rage explosions, which erupt                            unexpectedly when others are unprepared for it.

       6.     Physical ills can abound!

       Therefore, it’s not really nice to play nice!

 

A Search for Purple Cows: A True Story of Hope …… a must read for you who suffered similar and struggle with God’s view of you.

A wife and mother’s amazing journey from darkness into a life fully restored in God’s light.

A whimsical comment from a kind stranger, ‘Be sure to search for purple cows,’ brings hope to a woman and her children fleeing from a life filled with trouble. In A Search for Purple Cows, Susan Call reveals to the world how painful a relationship can be when love deteriorates into a cycle of abuse and betrayal. Her moving memoir chronicles how she first met her husband, a handsome, stylish, generous man with whom she worked. Eventually they fell in love, married, and had two children. Their life seemed idyllic — they had a beautiful home and everything a family could desire. But soon, inside those walls, Call was tormented by her husband’s alcoholism, domestic abuse, and infidelity that cast her family into a world fraught with fear and despair. God found her in the midst of her pain, and showed her, through the unlikely source of a Christian radio station, that a journey toward Him was possible even in the most unthinkable circumstances. Call eventually found the strength to move on and start anew. Written with candor and grace, A Search for Purple Cows will leave you laughing, crying, and believing that God is present and able, ready to bring hope and healing.

Facing My Loneliness Chapter 5

Why is “Loneliness” so painful? What kinds of words come to your mind to describe “loneliness”? Do any of these words fit for you? Cold-empty-aloness, ugly, ‘cast aside’, abandoned, unloved, unimportant, not needed, outcast, rejected, worthless, or insignificant? Let me remind you, these are feelings that will not last, it is just a response to abandonment and isolation and exiting a relationship bringing about BIG dissappointment! It will not stay with you for ever, it is just a Feeling… Feelings come and they go! This WILL go!

In the meantime, how will you deal with it? Be wise in your choices of dealing with your pain. Whose voice will you going to listen to in your head? This is not the time to dull the pain in alcohol, food or drugs. (antidepression medicine is not a “drug”, it does not dull the pain.)Neither is it healthy to get into opposite sex friendships. It is not the time to hang out with people all the time so that you can’t think or feel. It is not the time to always keep busy.

This is a time to become ‘introspective’. It is an opportunity to look into who you really are and how you got here. Furthermore, what do you want to do with this opportuniy to do ANYTHING different in life! It is a learning long moment in time. What you are feeling, many others feel. In the future you will be able to bridge more gaps to others who are hurting through various life scenarios you learn about. God allows things that will enable us to serve Him in the furture, to be His heart to others. In the meantime, humble yourself, allow others to ‘love’ on you! Don’t hide away too long, and don’t hurt yourself by or in doing so. Make new friends, look for new adventures…take an interest in things, places, and people, that you never have before! New doors WILL open up to you! Life is an adventure with a multifaceted emotional ride! Jesus said He will stick closer then your very sister mother or brother. (That includes a spouse in marriage too) Get to KNOW Him… You have the time now. Talk to Him all through out the day. Present your questions and hurts and listen in your spirit for His in put. This is who brought you into this world..and now is the time to determine if He will be by your side as you walk through the rest of life into the exit even. I suggest Make God your Center…. How do you do that? Go to the Link and look for Go Tandem. Sign up and answer the questions… Hey, a New adventure! Serve others, being less self focused will help in your healing. I have another link for many ideas on ways to Volunteer… You cannot be bored or lonely if you take some of this advice! Jesus…. Be My Center….do you know that song? It is sweet.

Facing My Depression Chapter 4

What is depression? It is a normal natural response to loss. When you lose a personal relationship, this is as major a loss as you can have in life. Depression is the result! You can lose your home to fire and experience the very same depth of loss. The pain is the same! I know because I have experienced it. People and things we invest in, gone or taken from us are a loss. Our very Soul recoils in pain. Do not get down on yourself for this! Take care of your soul as you would your child…. Be gentle, it is on track towards healing.

Proverbs 13:12 says Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick.
Don’t believe those worthless “feelings”. In fact, Feelings lie at times! Some will tell you otherwise, but there is a difference between instinct or intuition, and “feelings”. You may feel that this will never end. But if you follow wisdom, you will heal and this too shall pass. One day you will look back and it will just be a ‘memory’. The feelings will have faded.

So, in seeking wisdom, read your book, do the homework, Center on Jesus, His plan, His love for us each as an individual. Take one day at a time, feel the pain, learn from it, if you are depressed more than four weeks and it is making you worse off, a bit of medication may be needed. It will not take away your pain or the feelings, but will buffer it so that you can manage your responsibilities a little better and “think” better.

Chart your feeling on a calendar or in your book. Watch The Lord act and orchestrate, in your life.

Jesus, be my Center. Amen

Quote

Proverbs 4:23
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
23 Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.Proverbs 4:23
Living Bible (TLB)
23 Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life.

Proverbs 4:23E…

Delightful

Those of you who took the Safe People class will probably recall that we “need relationship”, God made us for Relationship, not with only each other in a marriage! God made us part of “the spiritual Body” and it was noted that when we have lots of path-crossing Relationship exchange on the weekend, our Monday mornings are not BLUE BLAH MONDAYS! And this one tomorrow will not be.

We had some good relating this weekend. Friday night we just spur of the moment decided to go to the Douglassville Diner for salad bar.
Shortly after arrival we found Jay…eating by himself. We invited him to come to our table and visited until we were done desert! It was wonderful We had time to get to visit with him more.

Saturday morning we headed to the Vet, picked up meds, went for Star Bucks coffee, and headed out to That Pet Place in Centerville, with the dog. She wow-ed folks there with her “Prayer” stance! She can do what “Jango” on you tube does, (just search for the praying dog.) She is such a good dog. Then we got back on the road again and went to find Kelly. (She came Thursday nights all summer) She lives in a really neat old farm house in the farm hinterlands, among the Amish near Quarryville. It was an absolute delight to see her, make sure she was OK, well as OK as you can be in these circumstances… She was cleaning house in prep for company, so we helped. I did the sink of dishes, and Rick stuck wood matches in some holes and added bigger screws to put one of her doors hinges back in operation. It was a lovely visit of about two to three hours and we were back on the road again!

When we got home… Rick said, “That felt like a “date” we had today, I liked it!” I felt the same, and agreed with him! I decided to tell you-all about it because you all keep this distance like you don’t want to intrude on our “marriage”! Huh?! We love it! People… We might have each other, but that isn’t “all there is to life”. All relationships need a healthy mix of “other people” in their lives. We have met people who had no outside the marriage friends..let me tell, that’s NOT HEALTHY! We, Rick and I, get to talk everyday, and its very boring if we can’t say who we saw and what they had to say. We talk when we walk the dog, we talk when we meet up when I get home from work and while we eat…that is just about aplenty! After that, we do our own individual thing, work, internet, listen to radio sermons, speakers, programs, music, …sewing projects, stringing beads, all those things that need to be done, pet the cats, clean the house,… think about what God is teaching, showing and wanting us to do…and read those books too. Sometimes, that “other things” include “God’s little Interruptions, perhaps Relationship with You! It could be hearing you, encouraging you, sharing with you. We are well educated in how to take care of “our relationship” and still have time to include you. So please, don’t EVER again think that you are taking us away from “our time” together. We will manage that, you don’t need to! We aren’t that “in demand”! And if we were, we would go where we could not be found! We don’t have children, never did, so you can maybe see how that frees us up for the Need even, of other loving relationships.

Thank you Jay and Kelly for relationship this weekend!

Rick and DeEtta and in Kelly’s case, Heidi too!!!

Group Picture …………………..Help for those hurting from Separation and Divorce…… here, on the “The SunPorch”, is a peaceful place where the local DivorceCare Support Group meets, where the pain can be shared and maybe even a bit relieved. There is lots of caring, sharing, information, encouragement & fellowship, just to help you to take care of Yourself. For more information go to luvcuddlecats Meeting Address is: 320 E. Howard St. Stowe, PA. 19464. Phone:610-326-6726 See you soon, OK? (back of house)

Safe People! What,… Who, … When, … How? ……..Where are they?

I have to tell you how I love to see people grow! It just blesses my heart and gives me so much pleasure. Facilitating a group wayyyy out does the one-on-one counseling thing, because one could spend a years worth of time, seventeen years worth of time (some of you know what I am talking about), with one person and never see them grow,… or “get it”. But, in a group, the chances are far better that one or more people will break out of ‘bondage’ and take off in growth! That saying “No Pain No Gain” has a great deal of meaning and truth… and In a “group”, I see it and I am blessed  every time!  Thanks to all of you who have come in regular attendance, loyal to yourselves, in giving yourself what you needed, (the oxygen mask!) first in this matter of the heart and soul, so that you could be a better person in the future, making better choices from what you have learned!

Stars go on the mental pictured papers of Holly, Bill, Denise, Paula, Latoya, Donna, Lavon, Kelly, Lee ann…… you-all echo the lessons to one another now, teach each other,… sharpen and thus love one another… it is such a Beautiful thing! This is truly something worth calling “awesome”!  I think Jesus smiles down at you-all in your struggles and thanks the Father for drawling you to Him, through your pain. We hate the pain, but look what it has opened up for you & is teaching you! I see freedom in your footsteps, I hear His love speaking out… Love for yourself and others in the group!

Feel free to use this slate to remind each other what you learned and to call the others to this place when the events unfold that remind you what you learned. Use this even as a spot to post your favorite lessons learned so that when the memory fades you can return to freshen it, and others who didn’t catch the class of teachings, can learn from your words here below;