Your Relationships help Define You

Our lives are made up of different types of relationships. We depend on our relationships for many reasons. For companionship,  comfort,  laughter, routine. No matter the reason for the importance of the relationship, there is one that will always stand out clearly in my mind. My relationship with my mother is one that stands out, it was special. She passed away when I was only 22 of a brain tumor.

Other relationships have come and gone even with other loved ones. I’m not saying that they weren’t or won’t be painful, but I just remind myself that if I survived the loss of the closest relationships I’ve had, i will also survive the loss of any that may come My relationship with her has had the most impact of who I am, more so than any other relationship since. Not only did I lose a mother, a confidant, and a mentor, I lost my best friend.

She brightened my life with her laughter, generous hugs, and endless loving in any situation. She provided me with everything I needed and wanted in life. To me, she was the most beautiful person, both inside and outside. Whenever I cried, I relied on her shoulder for comfort and relief. I fled for her shelter when I was feeling ashamed or hurt. I relished in her excitement and happiness when I achieved something. Of course, there were times where she was upset or angry with me. When my lip would tremble and my head bowed down low in shame. Her eyes would soften, unable to hold back laughter and she held her arms out to me. I never knew how deeply she cared for me, how dear she was to me until she was gone. She passed away on January 11, 1988. This was, and still is, the most important relationship in my life. It has help molded me into the person I am and who I will be. I’ve stumbled along the way, as have most, but I know my mom is still smiling down on me with her arms still open.

I have compared every other relationship, unfairly, to the one I had with her, sometimes consciously and unfortunately even subconsciously. My relationship with my mother has impacted every other relationship I have ever had. Trying to have other relationships measure up to how I saw and related to her, I know this is an impossible and unfair task to ask of anyone, but still unconsciously I’ve caught myself doing this very thing. For the majority of us, no one will ever hold the place in our heart our parents do. That not to say they aren’t just as special, but our parents hold a different part of our heart.

Every relationship we form whether it be between our parents, friends, lovers, co workers or employers affects who we become as people. Our relationships are determined ultimately by the relationships that we have made with our parents and our loved ones and it may seem a little abnormal to say your parents are at the fulcrum of you relations with others but we incorporate our parents subconsciously into our lives. If not careful it can be the ultimate downfall for relationship building, its like trying to build a strong, firm & long lasting relationship without a crane to lift the vital pieces into place.

Our relationships with others reflect who are through the way we choose to interact with them. Relationships have a way of defining us as people. People look at us and let the relationships tell them what they need to know.

They say something about who we are. Along the way we may develop bonds that change us for life. These life changing connections instill values and lessons for a lifetime. It is as if they remain with us forever.

At the core of all relationships is the most important relationship of all: the relationship to self. The more we know ourselves, give to ourselves and love ourselves, the more we can truly know and connect to others. If we cannot give love, attention and caring to ourselves, how can we truly share these with others? In order to heal our relationships with others, with God, or anything else we deem important, we need to nurture our relationship with our self. When we are filled with an abundance of self-affinity and self-esteem we see the world and others in it in a new light; one that supports us to create rewarding and fulfilling relationships

The relationships we choose to invest in demonstrate what we value as important and non important. For example, if a person has a friend, and he seems to be into all the wrong things, this will let that person know that something inside them is going on that they desire to be associated with someone of this nature. Every person we spend time with lets us into who we are. In may be gradually, but it happens little by little over time.

The relationships we have with our parents define the rest of our lives. In most cases, a person will look back to those moments as a guide to other relationships. This is the only connection that has that kind of power. A person might say ” My father use to tell me to keep going no matter.” My mother would be there for me.” Since the first of all things are special, that type of relationship is no exception. It carves a space into the heart and mind of every individual. If the relationship between the mother and father was strained, this will have an impact on the person. They could expect conflict elsewhere.

When a person moves to other relationships, they may project what they learned on the person they are with. In friendship connections, this could happen as well. When a person has past issues that are not dealt with, other relationships may be affected in many ways.

Be careful of the relationships you choose because relationships act as mirrors to who we are. I suppose that is what they are there for. Some of them help to remind us of who we are in the first place because it is easy to get away from everything. Some encourage and support our growth, some remind us of the good within us, at the times we need it most, and those are usually the relationships that blossom into something special. These are the relationships that support a lifetime of growth and companionship. Every now and then, we all need a reminder. Sometimes we need the support, encouragement, and honesty to keep us grounded, that is the job of relationships. We may, at times, need a friend to help keep us standing on both feet. We are strongest when have two feet placed on solid ground

 

Excerpt from :

Hope in the Shadows by Michael Clark

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The Top 20 Ways to be Thankful, and Find happiness

Don’t Despair—Mighty Mouse Will Save the Day

 

I used to love the cartoon “Mighty Mouse.” The song always got me pumped: “Mighty Mouse is on the way. Mighty Mouse will save the day!”

Some of the bumper stickers I used in this section are depressing in themselves. Why did I use them? Because these were the stickers (issues) I had to face during my depression. I also had questions about death. Depression can be a life-crippling experience. We can spend most of our time trying to cope with each day instead of enjoying life.

I have some mighty answers for you. It is the Doug Bolton “Top 20 Countdown” that will help you save the day and love God. With apologies to David Letterman.

20. Do you have trouble getting to know someone? Is it hard for you to make friends? Remember: Strangers are family once you get to know them.

19. The world is divided into two categories: the ones who will accomplish a great deal, and those who won’t accomplish anything. You will be the one who will accomplish much, if you allow God to help you.

18. No one is going to love you more if you are fat or skinny. They will love you because of the person you are.

17. When you hate someone and want them to hurt, you hurt yourself. Spend more time trying to help others feel good about themselves, and you will feel good about yourself too.

16. You do not need to let stress control you. You do not need to be a workaholic. It is OK to rest. Jesus takes over when you can’t cope.

15. When you feel depressed because of losing a loved one, remember God knows your pain. He saw His only Son buried.

14. When someone is trying to degrade you, it is time for selective hearing. 

13. You just took another breath while you read this. Thank God for it.

12. When you marry, you need to stay together even when the skin starts to wrinkle and the excitement fades.

11. God’s goal is not to make us happy; it is to make us His. It is not to give us what we want; it is to give us what we need.

10. If God doesn’t come to your rescue right away, maybe He is waiting until you give away your pride.

9. Don’t apply labels to people until you have examined the contents.

8. Everyone is unique even down to the fingerprints and DNA. God has a plan just for you and wants you to use the talent He gave you. Yes, you!

7. The greater the future you have, the greater the attack will be from the prince of darkness. Pray for God’s protection, and Satan will be fish bait. 

6. While you can’t control someone else’s heart, you can control yours.

5. Don’t say, “Thanks, God, I can take it from here,” and then not check in with God until the next crisis. Pray without ceasing.

4. All the great hitters in baseball fail two out of three times.

3. The most common command in the Bible? “Fear not.”

2. Practice makes perfect. Study God’s Word each day and learn more of His love for you. 

AND the number one reason you will conquer depression is … (Drum roll please)

1. God made you in His own image. Shouldn’t that make you think He wants everything to go well for you? Trust Him to provide all your needs—emotionally, physically and spiritually.

 

The teacher blood left in me now has an assignment. Start your own positive list of thoughts to help you fight off depression. Read it every day and add to it.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

 

You made it through a life that was a swamp full of alligators and horrible storms! Now we move on to more sunny days. We move on to where there is hope. We move on to the light at the end of the tunnel. We move away from those alligators that will be made into shoes if they don’t leave you alone.

Depression and the many other mental afflictions do not go away in a flash. I still have bouts with them from time to time, but I quickly concentrate on the positive. I concentrate on God and all His love He has to share with me. I concentrate on my family, my children, my grandchildren. I concentrate on the good things that have happened in my life.

Because I do all that, I see that the pluses far outweigh the negatives every time. It is like the song says: “Count your blessings; name them one by one. Count your many blessings; see what God has done.”

If you can’t think of enough blessings, know that I love you with all my heart, and so do millions of other people who suffer with the many afflictions in their lives. We know your pain, and we are praying for you daily.

We are many, and Satan is only one stupid misguided angel. We can defeat him if we all work together. We are an unbeatable team when we have one goal. That goal is to live productive Christian lives in which we stand on solid ground, not on the shifting sands of our emotions.

(Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.)

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You Can be Thankful and NOT Show It – Not

Can you be thankful and not show it –

I don’t believe so- 

I believe if you are truly thankful a sense of gratitude will be so overwhelming that it can’t contain itself and will pour itself onto others as they cross your path

 Last night an old friend of mine, made me think, by posting a simple comment on my page. It reminded me how much my life has changed and is changing every day. It reminded me of all the people and friends that never gave up on me, that always held out hope, even when I had none that someday, things would change. It is because of their support, and encouragement, not only then but even today, that has allowed me to grow and mature. I still make mistakes and they are still supportive. I am truly blessed to have friends like that in my life. So today I say Thank you, to each of you. It also made me ask the question of myself – Why don’t we take the time to say it more often?

 Well an easy thing to forget in the midst of our frenzied lives is the simple act of saying “thank you.” Who has the time to slow down for such things?

 As children we may have grumbled when we were forced to write thank-you notes. But through this discipline, our parents taught us that thank-yours can be one of the most powerful ways you can use words. A thank-you speaks volumes about your character, humbleness, and values. It points out that you realize that those who reach out to others mean a great deal to you. Your thank-you will inspire them to continue to reach out. Your actions will also put into focus the value of all those who have touched and who will continue to touch your life. Your thank-you’s will also remind them of the value of their actions. 

Not only thanking someone that provided a service to you, but also, thank your significant other for doing whatever. Taking one for granted does not strengthen any relationship. Saying thank you and acknowledging an act, a kindness, or even some small daily task makes a person realize that you value him or her. Along with a thank you, comes a sense of appreciation. 

Who knows what kind of power your sincere words will have. They might well renew an old bond, inspire someone who is down, change the direction of a life, or remind a person that their life has really mattered. 

Thank You Power is the extraordinary force that comes simply from acknowledging the ‘good things’ in life. Begin the regular practice of counting one’s blessings and feeling thankful for them. 

It is a lesson I know I need to remember and try to practice every day. Surprisingly, it makes more of a difference than one might think, because it happens far too rarely in life today. Just remember to say “Thank you.” 

This simple expression of gratitude says tons about a person. We, as a whole, need to accept a thank you with appreciation and respect.

This year as we give thanks, just don’t let the words flow over your lips  that you are thankful – but let the person know by your sincere words and actions. Let them know how they encouraged you or helped you in your time of need. How thankful you are for their presence in your life and in you world. Make a little effort as you say Thank you.

Before the week is over, take a moment to think of someone you know who could use a good word or two. Spread some joy around and brighten someone’s day. You’ll feel good and so will they!

 A thank you is universal in any language 

Ps. Iwould like to take this time to say a sincere THANK YOU to the supporters and followers of this blog. You have been such and encouragement to Douglas and Myself on a daily basis. Thank you for reposting, sharing with friends, reading yourself and sharing on your blogs. The comments received have really touched the deep recesses of our hearts and we find ourselves being overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of you. I dare not try to mention each one of you my name, for fear I would leave someone out. And all of you are instrumental and important to the success of this site…

Thank You from the deep confines of my heart

May you have a most wonderous Thanksgiving with your friends and family. May you take time to notice the blessing in your life both seen and unseen.

 

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People Who only go to Church During Special Holidays Lack Judgment

What follows is an excerpt from the book,  Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, chapter 28.

 

It seems as the holidays are now upon us that people come to church in huge amounts upon the big special holidays. Then you do not see them again until the next series of holidays.

 

Without Jesus, You Don’t Have a Prayer

 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him

shall not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

 

When I went to church yesterday, it was exciting to see so many people. We had 2,565 people there. It was Easter Sunday. We normally have about 1,000 on an average Sunday. My question is: Where are the people the rest of the year? They are only there at Easter because they have accepted the ways of this world and have become churchgoers and not church members. That is what they do: Go to church at Easter.

They have Easter egg hunts at home. They have big family gatherings, but they do not know the meaning behind Easter. They want the Easter bunny to fill their baskets to bring joy to their faces, caring nothing about having Jesus in their hearts.

            As we go through life, some think they can survive on their own without Jesus. They conform to the world around them and think that life is going to be kind to them, because they are “good” people, and surely (I know—don’t call me Shirley!) they will be blessed in their “afterlife.” But when they have finished the race, and face the judgment, God will say, “I do not know you because you rejected My Son.”

We must learn that without Jesus, we do not have a prayer of being with Him in heaven. We have to go the extra mile and let Him into our lives. Then the time of judgment will be different. When we finish the race, God will say, “Come in, My good and faithful servant.”

When it was time for Jesus to be crucified for our sins, He went through many hardships. Others before Him (like Joseph) and after Him (like Paul) also faced hardships. The similarities show that whenever we go through trials, some good can come of it, if we stay close to God and keep the faith.

Joseph went to find his brothers because his father asked him to go to Shechem to look for them. They were out tending the sheep. He didn’t find them there, and asked where his brothers had gone. He was told his brothers had gone on to Dothan. He could have stopped when he got to Shechem. He had gone as far as his father had told him to, but he went the “extra mile” (actually about twenty) to find his brothers in Dothan. When he found them, what did they do? They threw him into a deep hole called a cistern, tore off his robe and then sold him into slavery. The robe was a richly ornamented one that his father had given Joseph. His brothers hated Joseph, so they betrayed their own brother.

Paul spent many years being persecuted, facing torture and spending time in prison, but he never wavered. He continued to preach all over the world of his time, telling people about salvation. He was a loyal servant of God. He kept on serving the Lord. Even though he had many hardships, he finished the race.

Jesus could have saved Himself when He was put on the cross. But He allowed the soldiers to pound the nails into his hands and feet, crushing the bones and letting the crimson blood flow to the ground. He could have sent for a thousand angels when He was hanging on the cross and have them destroy the people. Instead He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.” He said He was thirsty, when He could have opened up the skies and let rainwater fall into His mouth. Instead the soldiers gave him bitter-tasting vinegar wine. He could have set Himself free at anytime, but instead He said, “It is finished!”

The soldiers took Jesus’ robe off just like the brothers did to Joseph. It also was a specially made robe with no seams in it. It was woven in one piece from the top. The soldiers threw dice to see who would win the robe. It must have been Jesus’ finest possession. It was a great “collector’s” item for the soldiers.

Jesus walked all over the country teaching about salvation. In the end He was persecuted, beaten, marched through a mock trial and put to death. He went through many of the things Paul went through.

Yes, Jesus could have saved Himself that day. He could have done many things to stop what was happening to Him, but He went on to walk the extra mile. He went on to finish the race. He went on to the cross to pay the supreme sacrifice for our sins.

Have you walked the extra mile? Is Jesus your Lord? Will you finish the race with Him and live an eternal life of joy? He paid the price for the ticket to get you in. He wanted to die for you because He wants you to be in heaven with Him.

 

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart

that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:9

 

Further adventures

Study the book of Romans. Read it to see how wonderful life can be when we follow God. Also find some books that tell about the life of Jesus. Here are two I recommend, both by Philip Yancey: The Jesus I Never Knew and What’s So Amazing About Grace? Yancey digs deeply into the life of Jesus and shows us much more about Jesus than we could ever understand on our own.

 

Something to ponder

Isn’t it funny how someone can say, “I believe in God,” on Sunday, but on Monday follow Satan (who, by the way, also “believes” in God)?

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