Month: May 2019

Is Divorce in Your Future?

What is your feeling about divorce? It is a touchy subject to be sure. Those who have been divorced can be quite defensive about it. Those that wish they were divorced may not truly understand the pain and sting this event can bring. Those that will never divorce or do not believe in it can come across as self righteous or maybe you will judge them as being a doormat who will put up with anything.

Why is it so prevalent? Why I am glad you asked! Prior to the 1930’s, less than 7% divorced. Part of that may have been that the laws of divorce were very strict. It was often hard to prove abuse, adultery or abandonment, which were the only reasons a divorce would be granted.  In 1967 the laws changed to include “no-fault” divorces. By the 1970’s the divorce rate jumped up to 33% and culminated with 53% by 1980. Currently, it has gone down slightly and leveled off at about 50%.

Here is where I grapple with that 50% mark. Are things more difficult today than they were in the past? Did people 100 years ago or 50 years ago or 30 years ago have money problems? Did they argue? Did they have poor communication skills? Did they cheat on each other? Did they grow tired of one another? You and I both know that indeed many couples did. So why have we become a society where we just throw away a marriage like last years cell phone?

This question will not necessarily be answered here. However, I want you to think about possible causes that we may be too quick to throw away a relationship that can be saved.

I have seen so many couples that were on the verge of splitting and now years later are thrilled to be together. For the sake of brevity, I will share only one story.

When our children were younger, my husband and I spent many hours at swim meets, speedskating meets and ballet recitals. Moms talk. Moms talk a lot! One friend and I had very similar situations in where we did not feel supported by our husbands. Finances were very tight and we were shocked to find out that both of our husband’s made almost the very same amount each year on their yearly tax returns. They were both great fathers, but seemed to lack drive in a few critical areas needed for a functional marriage.

It felt wonderful to be able to “bitch-and-moan” to my friend instead of finding solutions and looking for blessings. I sincerely hope that I have grown since then. But, at this time in our marriages, this friend often made the comment that she already had her plan in place to stay with him until their youngest had graduated high school. Then she was “out.”

Fast forward to today. Our children are grown and off in the world. Every time I want to hang out with this lovely lady, she is busy doing things with…wait for it…her husband! Somewhere between our complaints about unmotivated men who had lost their ability to dream, or set goals, between the checkbooks with less than $9.00 in them and the money fights, between disappointments and trials of marriage came hope.

Hope, understanding, agreements, new dreams, financial peace, perseverance, joy, love, creativity and newfound enthusiasm.

So often we see a bleak situation in our lives and see no way out or around it. We forget that each calendar year has seasons, and marriages often have seasons too. Unless there is violence or abuse, (in which case you need to get out) will you try to look at your significant other in a new light? Will you try to imagine the marriage you had at the altar and work towards new growth?

If you are willing to do that, then we need to talk. If you are not willing to do that, then we really need to talk. Please contact me for a free consultation and I will do my best to shed light on a bleak situation and give you hope and inspiration. It is my passion to see relationships bloom like a flower and give off the fragrance of unbridled adoration and passion.

Dandelion People

Dandelions. Weeds or friends? When I was a child, my father handed me a dandelion weeder and paid me 10 cents for every dandelion I would pull from the roots. Thankfully for him, and unfortunate for me, our front yard was not very big.

Fast forward to today. My husband and I have a big yard and tons and tons of dandelions. I let them be. I let the butterflies and the bees enjoy the dandelions.

Seeing them the other day made me laugh thinking that we all have some “dandelion people” in our lives. You know, people that we wish we could uproot from our lives? These are people who do not bring us joy. These are people who create stress in our lives and people who just plain annoy us.

Here are my thoughts on dandelion people.

Here is the thing: These very same people who annoy us, are the very treasured children of God. They are cherished and loved dearly by others.

Personalities don’t always have to mesh. Perhaps we see in “dandelion people” what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Maybe you have a “dandelion person” who has opposing political views, or different value system.

The take away today is that since God loves them and other people love them, we should too.

Now, go and love on a dandelion. They are not weeds.

It Felt Like Family

I just came off of a high like no other. My husband and I decided that we would travel for Mother’s Day to visit the children who no longer live in our area.

Love is spelled T.I.M.E.

To have all of us together again even for a day or two was amazing. We visited the art museum, enjoyed a local brewery for dinner and drinks, brought a cheesecake from the grocery store, enjoyed some Netflix, and the kids gave me a card that brought me to tears of gratitude. The following morning we had breakfast at a cute restaurant before heading back home.

Nothing was too expensive. Nothing was too forced. Nothing was too scheduled. It felt like old times. It felt like family.

It is difficult to watch our children go off into the big, bad world and become adults. It can make us feel old. It can make us crave the days when Mother’s Day included watching the kids play in the back yard after a big Sunday meal.

But I, the one who tends to look at things as rosy and upbeat spent very little time lamenting my age and the fact that the kids are starting to scatter farther and farther from the homestead. I looked at this day as a testimony to something my husband and I did right.

Oh! The times we fought. Oh! The times we were broke as a joke. Oh! The times that the kids made us crazy. The times that our parenting skills were less than stellar. The times that we pushed our own agendas on the kids. The times that we questioned our sanity. Was it all worth it?

Absolutely. Our children are not just an extension of ourselves, but their own wonderful, insightful, and creative souls who will design their own destiny and move our big, bad world forward.

Embrace your children no matter what age. Love your spouse and always look for the best. Make each day feel like family.

Still Learning

Back in the ’80s, I was teaching a little girl ice skating lessons. As we were perfecting her balance on one foot she began philosophizing on something way beyond her years. I asked her how she knew about that subject and she simply answered: “I love to learn.”

I brushed it off as a cute but nerdy girl. You see, it was taking me way longer than 4 years to complete my first degree and I was sick of learning. Little did I know that years later, long after that B.S. was proudly displayed on my wall that my brain would soon go stagnant. I would crave to know more about subjects from nutrition to leadership, human anatomy to marketing my books.

What fuel does the brain run on? How can I make that cute craft I saw on Pinterest? Is there a way to make money from home? What muscles do I need to develop to kayak better in this year’s race? There is always a YouTube video, a webinar, a book, a seminar or a class to glean knowledge from.

As a Christian woman, I am also willing to grow deeper in my faith. Going to church on Sunday is great, but I realize that there is so much more to spending time in fellowship with our creator. Recently I had the opportunity to be a speaker in a virtual summit with several talented authors and speakers.

One, in particular, reached right out from the computer screen and grabbed my heart! I could not wait to sign up for her online class called The Non-Negotiables. So today I gladly share her information in case you too are ready to learn what God has in store for your life.

Joan Turley and her partner Terri Capshaw have the best stories from their own life experiences and so many nuggets of Biblical wisdom.

One of my favorite modules was about how God never wastes our pain. Now let me be clear on one thing. I have non-believing friends. They don’t believe in God because they say “Why would a loving God ————?” They can fill in the blanks with anything from cancer, accidental death, a spouses affair, war, famine, financial ruin and more.

Well, my response is always “God does not create infidelity, cancer, famine etc…” We have and always will have free choice. That being said, many of us have made poor decisions and have been thrown a few curve balls in life.

It is when we seek Him to help us through these trials that He shows us His love, mercy, and compassion. I used the Superchick song Beauty from Pain, to get through some incredibly difficult times. Enjoy it.

Know that when we call on Him and show Him our heart, He will use the drawbacks in our life to bring us to a stronger place and often into a better position to be of help and influence to others struggling. Keep the faith and remember that we are all still learning!