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Posts Tagged ‘Advice’

I have to say, I fully understand the feeling of speechlessness when speaking to a parent who has a child with a disability. I also have to admit that in my lack of ability to know what to say, I have fallen back into the use of trite, thoughtless responses.

When I read this post, by a lady I do not know, and whose blog I had never read, I heard the heart cry of many parents I have known, over the years, who have been forced to be captive audience to the things we have said to them. The things that, although not intended to be hurtful, they echo in the hearts of those mere human parents for days, weeks, and even years to come.

Adrienne Jones and hubby Brian, live with their family of three sons and one daughter, in Albuquerque, NM. Their youngest child, Carter, lives with special needs that keep their family on their toes.

It is the raising of Carter that, I feel, gives her the right to speak to us today, in her post Dear People Who Do Not Have a Child With Disabilities. Please click on the link, and read her story at her blog site.

 

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Women who have had the misfortune of pregnancy loss are part of a club that no one wants to be part of. It doesn’t matter how the loss has occurred, or how far along the pregnancy had gotten, you are in the club.

As I spoke with a friend who had recently re-joined (aka. she had just had ANOTHER pregnancy loss) this unfortunate club, the losses of my hubby and I came clearly to my mind. And that is what happens, as the sorrows and sadness are shared with you, your own memories come to the forefront of your mind, as fresh as they were when they first were formed. What is happening is that the trauma of your own loss has imprinted itself so firmly into your memory that, if recalled, it can be relived once again.

I do not like that resurfacing … it haunts me, and it hurts.

While talking with this lovely lady, whose heart is full of grief (again) I was struck by the uneducated responses that women (and men) sometimes hear at times like this.

-“You are still young, it will happen”
-“I understand how you feel”
-“It’s probably for the best, who knows what might have been wrong with it
-“At least you were not that far along”
-“Just try again”
-“You can always adopt”
-“Is there something wrong with your reproductive system?”

Oh yes, those are actual quotes of what people have said to myself, or to others in the club. They are said by people who have had the blessing of not being in this club. That is why, for those who have had more than one loss, when it happens again, we club members contact someone else who is in the club, and keep multiple losses silent to the rest of you.

To talk with someone else, in the club, means to speak to someone who will not give advice, but who will give an ear, a hug, a well understood sigh, and will share in the common experience.

My purpose in writing this post is to give those of you who are not in this club some advice:

-Do not give advice!
-Do not say ‘hopeful’ and trite things.
-Do not avoid the couple … make eye contact; smile; send a note or email that just says ‘thinking of you’ or ‘you are in my prayers’ or ‘my heart aches for you’

And, if you are part of this club, let them know … because it is only those who are part of this club who have the closest understanding of what they might be going through … and they need you.

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Advice must be the most free-flowing thing out there! There’s advice on our tellies, there’s advice at work, there’s advice from our computers, there’s advice from friends, hubby’s, and (of course) our mother’s, and, once one reaches the archaic age that I have reached, one receives (unsolicited) advice from our kids!

Sometimes advice is good, sometimes bad, and, mostly, ignored! (why is is that I always seem to ignore the good advice, and follow the bad? Will someone out there please give me advice … just realize I will probably not follow if it is good).

I live my life determined to NOT REGRET the choices that I make in life. That does not mean I do not make errors in my choice-making. It just means that when I make a decision, I believe that, in the end there will be good from it, even if the only good is character-shaping (and man, have I provided character-shaping from my life’s decisions). And, if I did make a rotten decision, with adverse affects on my, well, my mantra to myself is always, ‘suck it up buttercup’, or ‘you made your bed, you lie in it’!

There is one time, though, that still haunts me. It wasn’t just the advice that was the problem, but the source of that advice. And, every time I am reminded of it, I wish I could kick myself squarely in the behind!

It happened a number of years ago.

My hubby was in the midst of a period of professional decision-making, and, as any wifey knows, job-related decision-making by hubby will have a ripple-down affect on said wifey. And I was not in a ripple-down frame of mind!

It was becoming more and more obvious that he was ready to make his decisions, but that he was awaiting my frame of mind to swing to his side of the brain (a near impossible feat for any female brain cells to do). I always hate it when hubby is certain of a decision, because he becomes a not-so-subtle salesman, and I HATE salesmen! (just so you know, he is not usually in this ‘salesman’ frame of mind … only when I am on the ‘other’ side of an issue)

So, I sought advice from someone that we both knew, had enjoyed learning from, and he even had professional counseling experience. I told him my quandary, and awaited his words of wisdom …

“The Bible says for wives to submit to your husband, maybe this is an area where you need to do this.”

Okay, ladies … do … NOT … load … your … guns!

I do need to admit that I chose to say ‘obey’ in my vows. I am not against the concept of submission! As a matter of fact, in my idealistic, fully female brain (heart and soul), I do believe that marriage works better if submission is involved. But, what I have come to know and understand more fully, about submission,  since taking the ‘bad’ advice, is that it goes both ways! It is mutual submission that is required of us, and that my requirement of submission to my husband, is as serious a Biblical and  mariatial commitment as his requirement to love me … as Christ loves the Church!

Ladies, this is where we’ve got the easier part! And ladies, who are not married, if the love in your life (now, or in the future) is not willing to love you as much as Christ loves the Church (remember Good Friday? Christ loves the Church THAT much), dump him like yesterdays news!

Now, I’m gonna go off on a little ‘momma advice tangent’ here …

If he loves you that much …

-he will honor your body ’til he’s committed to you at the alter (HIS sacrifice … well, maybe yours too, but, if he’s really loving you like he’s supposed to … hands off!)

-he will not hurt you … period! Okay, hurts will inadvertently happen, but his decision-making will be focused on honoring you! And that, baby girls, does not hurt!

-he will desire to know you. Now don’t go, goin’ all biblical on me with the sexual connotations of ‘knowing’ you … he will strive to know you, better than he knows his favorite sport team, better than the latest political polls, better than the names of every vehicle that drives by … because Christ knows His church like the back of his nail-pierced hand! And your sweetie is required to know you like that!

-he will love you to the point of death. Sounds a little over the top, I know, but Christ is the example here, and that’s the distance He is willing to go for you.

But, I digress …

So the advice I took, and the advice-giver …

He was (probably still is) a very profession-focused, successful, well celebrated Christian man. Who, in the years following, after profession-seeking thousands of miles from his family (wife and children), was divorced. His children, I am sure, profoundly, affected.

In his drive to achieve his PERSONAL professional goals, which he did, he lost sight of the second part of the biblical reference he had quoted to me. And, in the meantime, lost the most intimate relationship, the most grand opportunity to follow Christ’s model. The one earthly relationship that Christ so values, that He uses most often as a metaphor His love for us.

So, I am still kicking myself in the behind, but …

So, my character is still being shaped, and I have no regrets, and I learned a lesson or two, and the bed I’ve made, well I lie in it … but it’s not so bad …

 Wives,

understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ.

The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church,

not by domineering but by cherishing.

So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership,

wives should likewise submit to their husbands.

 Husbands,

go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church

—a love marked by giving, not getting.

Christ’s love makes the church whole.

His words evoke her beauty.

Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her,

dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness.

And that is how husbands ought to love their wives.

They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.”

Ephesians 5:22-28


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