Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Entitlement

I hear the word entitlement quite a lot these days. It puzzles me because I don't feel the world owes me anything. I simply don't understand those who feel for whatever reason (age, job title, income, etc.) they are owed money or status or even respect.

I will not enter into a parenting debate, but I also see this in the parent/child relationship. When you hear of a parent who can't get their small child to wear a pair of gloves or a hat, or you cannot get a child to sit still either in class, at the library reading time or in a church service, I am really confused by this. It brings up a conversation I have had with many people lately involving the case of who is the parent and who is the child and where do you draw the line.

Once they are adults, you cannot expect to control anything they do and you should not be in their business either.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with giving someone your opinion, be very careful, because they might not want to hear it. Advice only goes so far and then it becomes nagging.

I have been taught since I was very young that we must work hard for what we have and sometimes work even harder to hold on to it once obtained. Life is not easy and no one is guaranteed anything at all. 

We also should not enter in to relationships expecting the other person to keep us happy and content and provided for. That is way too much to put on another person. Yes, a partner should work with you toward common goals but to put all your happiness on another person's shoulders is very wrong as well. You have to find your own happiness and be strong in who you are before you are even remotely healthy enough to be in a great relationship that doesn't dissolve into co-dependency.

I hope everyone has a peaceful Wednesday and spends part of their day having a bit of quiet time. The overwhelming noise of life tends to get on my nerves at times and I crave the quiet to re-focus and get my mind/soul where it needs to be.

If you are in danger, please seek assistance and remember the Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. Save it and give it to a friend!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tears

Tears fall when we are sad, happy and all types of emotions in between.

When someone gets ill
When someone dies
When someone has a baby
When someone gets married
When someone has a breakup
When someone is just having a really bad day
When someone graduates
When someone is mistreated
When you remember someone who has been gone for a long time

The tears are not bad and they don't mean you are weak or silly or an emotional wreck.

I have learned to let them fall and try to cope and get through the day. I have shed lots of tears, over relationships, my children, finances and people that I have loved and people that I have lost.

There was a time in my life, that I actually prayed God would take me from this earth so I wouldn't hurt anymore. So far, he has not done that and I suppose many would say there is a purpose for me left or that He is not finished with me yet.

Sometimes I wake up and feel so sad and depressed and cannot put a finger on the situation or cause that has me upset or out of sorts. I have to work really hard those days to participate in my workday and not bring anyone else down.

Go sit and have your cry, but don't allow it to consume you. Call a friend (or these days text a friend) and let them know you are having a rough day. If you are blessed, you have a few that will help you through your fog and one day you can return the favor and help them as well.

Wipe your face off and get on with the day knowing that you don't have to be perfect every day, sometimes it is completely OK to just get through the day and then go home and sleep it off. This is what I plan to do today.

Be kind and help others you see in danger. Keep the hotline number handy for those that may need it. 1-800-799-7233.

Monday, February 22, 2016

People Change

Human Beings are funny.

Think back to who you were best buddies with in the 8th grade. Do you still talk to those friends, do you even have their phone number or current address?

I don't care how many years it has been, the people who are in your daily life now may not be around you or even in contact with you in 6 months or a year from now.  It takes a lot of work to keep some relationships going.

But I have to say that there is also a time where you get into a disagreement and all of a sudden, you wonder why you deal with that person or this person. It is refreshing to not be around a person who constantly drags you down (mentally, verbally and emotionally).

There are many reasons for all different types of relationships. Some people categorize their friendships by how they know the person (work, kids, church, scouts, sports, school, etc) and some people are friendly with everyone. All of us naturally gravitate toward certain people and that is completely okay. 

After my last separation/divorce, I thought I had pruned that friendship tree back so much that it would never grow. But I have to say that even now, there are people that I felt close to 3 years ago, that I haven't texted or called in weeks and even months.  I am not angry with these folks, we just traveled different paths.

Keep everything and everyone in perspective. Some people are going through constant change and issues themselves and just don't have the capability of being there for you anymore. That is when you ask God to step in and show you what to do. And he will take them out of your life or possibly bring them back around to you in the future.

I do know this for sure, God will bring you exactly who you need at exactly the right time in your life. Be open and flexible with changes and do your best to be kind because we know first hand, everyone is fighting a battle they may never share with you.

If you are in a domestic situation at home, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance. There is a friendly person on the line to answer your call now. 1-800-799-7233.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Unconditional Love

Until recently, I had never believed Unconditional Love truly existed on this planet.

Many, many people in my past claimed they loved me, but their actions always proved otherwise.

Some examples are:

A control freak
A cheating spouse
An abusive spouse
An abusive parent
An abusive roommate
An abusive friend
A person that puts you down or makes fun of you
A non-supportive person
A person that you are always there for, but when you need a shoulder, they couldn't care less about you and plainly tell you they don't care what you are going through.
A person that wants to know your every move but doesn't give you that same information
A person hung up on give and take (you do this for me or I refuse to do what I agreed to do for you)
A judgmental person who believes they are your judge and jury and that they are always right about you and your life
A person who is embarrassed by your medical condition(s).

There are people in my past (and I am SO thankful to God they are in my past) who made my life a hell on earth by doing these things and many more.

Many people did not grow up in a loving home environment and they did not have a person at home that supported them, no matter what they did.

Human beings who are not loved/supported at home often seek those things in other places. Possibly in drugs, drinking, gangs and even more unhealthy relationships. It took years of soul searching and Bible Study for me realize what was going on at home was not healthy and that I had to wake up, stand up for myself and draw that line in the sand.

In this month that usually highlights love, seek out those who have poured love into you and thank them for their support, listening ears, never-ending hugs and true compassion.

I pray none of you are in present danger, but if you need assistance, please call the Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Deliverance of a Crystal Meth Addict

Guest Blogger - Teresa Forshay

I was living in California in the 80's with a crystal meth addiction. I had a steady job with a contracting company that provided services on a navy base.
Everyone who passed by my desk knew I was using, the addiction is so self evident. Being the diligent addict I was, I was almost always carrying my drugs with me.
The first time they brought the drug dogs in I had placed my purse on a five foot tall filing cabinet, the second time I had left my purse in the car.

I remember looking at the white powder on the mirror and felt just absolutely hopeless, not knowing how I was ever going to get back to normal. Drug rehabs were not so prevelant as they are today and I had no clue where to turn for help.
You may think that God does not watch over people with addictions, but He had me all the time.
I do not know how I was even functioning at this point.
I was having hallucinations due to sleep deprivation and barely eating anything at all.

My neighbor and I had been up all night, exhausting our supply.
We went to her dealer's house. I do not know what exactly happened when she went in the house. I do not know if God gave me a vision of what was going on in that house or if He gave me a vision of what was coming next in my life.
I pretty much had an idea that just snorting that garbage just wasn't going to be enough.
What I do know that all of a sudden I felt my blood run cold and like God Himself snatched me up by the shirt collar.
She did not come out with drugs to share.

A guy I worked with had shared about narcotics anonymous, it just so happened that there was a narcotics anonymous meeting--and they were meeting right across the street from where I was living.
That night was my first night without drugs in almost 5 years.
As I lay on my bed trying to read my bible, all I could hear was traffic and the people across the fence trying to fight dogs. I bowed my head and prayed. My exact words were "God I really need to get this".
I went back to reading and after a few paragraphs I realized there was not a sound.
It was like God had sound-proofed my little trailer. There are no words to describe how I felt at that moment.

My friends tried to offer me drugs after that but I had absolutely no desire to go back there. My deliverance was complete and sealed and I just never looked back.
The wounds of the physical abusive relationship with a boyfriend were slow to heal, they are still healing today in some form or another. God truly does hear the cries of the hopeless.
If you are reading this and feel hopeless, like there is just no way out, I encourage you to pray to the One who made you. He does hear the cries of sinners. And He loves you. Really, He does.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Waves of Feelings - Don't Drown!

There was a time in my life when I was ruled by the emotion(s) I woke up with. Fear, Loneliness, Depression, Not being good enough...there are way to many to name here.

Last week, many of us were looking forward to the weekend and hoping the forecast for more snow/ice here in Middle TN was not true. My friends to the north of TN got enough to make things messy and dangerous.

Many were also looking forward to a Valentine's celebration with their sweethearts (and /or family).

My family got word on Friday that my grandmother's heart was slowing down and the doctors generously said she had 24-48 hours to live. She passed from this life around 3:30 on Friday afternoon. The funeral was held on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the town she lived in most of her life.

She was truly an example of the virtuous woman spoke of in the Bible. She will be missed by all of us in different ways.

I found myself sad for not being able to tell her goodbye and that I loved her one more time. I also found myself concerned for my dad and thankful that he was between chemo treatments enough that he was able to be at the visitation and funeral services this weekend.

Today I am at work (the state was off on Monday for President's Day) and purely going through the motions because I am still sad, the loss is still sinking in and I am doing my best to focus on work and not burden my true friends who keep checking on me.

In my lifetime, I have battled and sometimes gave in to the depression that loves to hover over me. I don't want to live my life that way. I do my best to put on my smiley face and face the world and be positive as possible.

So, I cannot guarantee that I will be super positive or happy go lucky for a while. As my dear friend Denise just reminded me, this is a season and all seasons do pass by eventually.

What I do intend to do this week is focus on what I can do with my hands, get some work done, and choose wisely who I allow in my life in the future.

I have found that when I focus on caring for someone else, I often forget my own battles for a time. Who can you care for and lift up in your troubled time this week?
All of us are fighting a battle, so continue to be kind and not find fault.
If you need assistance, call 1-800-799-7233

Friday, February 5, 2016

Work Anniversary

February 1st of this year, my employer chose to gift me with a certificate for 20 years of service and I was able to choose from a brochure a gift for recognition. I chose a black backpack that would be suitable for camping, or any kind of travel that may be in my future.

After a few days, I realized what a monumental event that was. Most people I know don't stay at a job or company for more than 5-7 years at a time.

Both of my ex-husbands like to job hop much like the military families they grew up in. They moved every 2-3 years depending on where the Navy or Air Force sent them.

I am proud to have 20 years in with state government and I enjoy what I do and truly have a teamwork environment at my current position.

But this recognition made me stop and think about what I have done with my life as well.

I do believe I learned a few life lessons at each job even though I didn't realize it at the time. There is a lot to be said for stability and security. I have been laid off, fired and suffered through re-organizations that drove me nuts at the time.  I remained standing (or got back up after having the rug pulled out from under me) through it all.

So, much like the sturdy backpack I chose for my gift, I choose those things that last the longest or can take the most abuse. I surely hope at this point in my life that all the abuse is behind me and I can love more every day I have left on this earth.

Be a blessing, a lasting blessing to those around you.

Seek those things that are long-lasting and give every situation your all.

Don't ever let it be said you didn't give a task 100% of your energy and thought.

Take care of you and be a good listener.. Someone needs to talk things over with you, just wait and see. :)

The hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. Keep it in your phone for someone you know may need it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Relationships

Do you ever sit back and evaluate all the relationships in your life?

Have you ever really pondered why you are in certain relationships?

Why are you friends with this person and not that person?

You should never be in or stay in a relationship if you are only there because they do things for you, buy things for you or stroke your ego. That is really unhealthy when you really dig deep and think about it. You are using them or they are using you and in all reality, it may look good on the surface and all, but you are hurting yourself and that is never good either.

You should never be in or stay in a relationship in fear. But as a domestic violence survivor, I know first hand how full of fear that person can make you. You are afraid to even think about being alone because they have beat you down mentally where you don't believe you can survive without them.

I can honestly say that I am now glad that things happened where I was forced to make a huge change in my life twice because after the dust settled and I opened my very clouded eyes, I realized that YES, I could make it on my own and I would be better off in the long run away from that person and their influence over me and my thoughts/actions every day of my life.

Then there are the friendships that spring from seemingly out of nowhere.

The consultant you met at an expo years ago and stayed in contact who asks you out for coffee and you aren't exactly sure why.. and nowadays you are coffee buddies, prayer buddies and women who listen and lift each other up no matter what the two of you may be facing.

The co-worker that you got to know and you tell her everything. She still talks to you and doesn't think you have lost your mind.. no matter what idea you come up with.

The sister that you don't see enough but she always listens to you even though when you were younger, the two of you didn't get along or see eye to eye. That person is a treasure you had all along.

Evaluate those relationships, friendships and make sure yours are healthy and lift you up instead of bringing you down.

Be a friend to those who need it and if you are in danger, please call for help.
1-800-799-7233 is the hotline number.