I can’t believe that this week I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage with my wonderful husband. It seems like it was only yesterday we were married and yet we have been through so incredibly much! I remember in a previous marriage I was married for 7 years and yet it felt more like 20 years. I’ve written about that experience in a few previous blogs but you can read this one to get an idea https://blendermom3.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/abuse-is-abuse/. Obviously it was a very dark time for me. I learned so much about myself as a Christian woman, mother, and wife after I got away from that situation and started to heal. I felt like I had fallen into a deep dark hole. I felt like I was made wrong. I felt inadequate. I felt broken in my soul. I could say that it was all in God’s plan but I honestly do not think it was His Will for me to marry that man. However, guess what? God takes our mistakes and what little we give him and uses them for His purpose anyway! I heard this in a sermon by Bishop T. D. Jakes. In Mark 6:41 NLT “Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share.” Rev. Jakes revealed in that scripture that God broke it. Then, God blessed what was less than enough. Lastly, God multiplied what was broken. Wow!! Take a minute to let the Reverend’s words sink in! God broke it. God blessed it. God multiplied it. Through all the pain and brokenness God took what little I gave him and blessed me and gave me a heart to share these experiences in hopes it might touch others. He gave me three beautiful children to teach them about God’s amazing love and he gave me a sweet loving husband that I can serve right along side and together to try and be an example of that amazing love is to our children. Read that scripture and think on those words. Try and think on even in those darkest times when it’s hard to see it that there is a blessing waiting. When you feel like you are broken in your soul like I did, God will still bless what is not enough and make it more than enough.
Have you ever noticed how the smallest words seem to have the biggest meaning? Words such as “love”, “care”, “hate”, “hurt”, and “kind”. God has shown me in the last 5 years just how much those words can impact your life! As a pastor’s kid, growing up, we would go from church to church helping rebuild them and a lot of the churches were filled with “hurt” and “hate” from the division they had already gone through. At one point, we had moved to Florida when I was in the 5th grade. The church members were very loving but it was still difficult being away from our home state. I don’t remember a lot about school during that time, but I would come to remember a girl named April very well. April sat next to me and she was different from the rest of the students. She dressed a little differently and wore her hair in braids which some thought was not really in style at the time. She had very thick glasses that made her eyes look very large and later I learned that she was legally blind. I didn’t talk to her very much but I would some times chat with her while waiting for class to start. We would exchange paper or a pencil if needed and that was about the extent of it. After living there for six months we left Florida and went back to my home state. In 2008 I received an email on a social website from April. “Hi we were together for a while in 5th grade. I am the one with the deformed eyes but you were nice to me anyway.” “Nice”. I was so humbled in that moment by that word! I had to wonder that in the small interactions I had with her for her to say that I was nice, just how very hard it must have been for her growing up! Kids can be so cruel. (In blended families teaching your children to be “nice” and “kind” is especially important. When you are not all related by blood and with all the difficult issues that come with it, being kind to one another can make an enormous impact.) April and I exchanged a few more emails. I shared with her my desire to tell women about my past, the abuse, and what God had done for me. She replied : “Many women have been beaten down by society’s unrealistic expectations reguarding sexual beauty and the ability to do it all: work full time, raise kids, look sexy everynight for the hubby. Also too many women have been in domestic violence situations and too many women have been sexually abused. It’s my hope that God opens up an opportunity to witness to those who have been abused. I just prayed for you.” Now there is a small word with big meaning: “Pray”. When we pray, things happen. In any situation that you feel there is not a thing you can do, you can pray. “Positive praying is much more powerful than positive thinking. People may resist our help, spurn our appeals, and reject our suggestions, but they are powerless against our prayers.” ~Rick Warren, Daily Hope. When you have been told by someone you love that you’re a failure, pray! When you are worried about how the bills are going to get paid, pray! When your marriage is in trouble, pray! When you are caught in the middle between stepchildren, children, your spouse and the other parent, pray! When you don’t know what to do, always pray! “I just prayed for you.” It was as if right in the middle of everything she stopped to pray for me. That was the last email I ever got from her. I sent a few more with no response so I made some inquiries and received a msg from her best friend Betty telling me that April had been battling cancer and on Sept 23, 2009 she had gone to be with the Lord. “Thank” is another word, isn’t it? I never got to really thank her for what her prayers and encouragement meant to me. Don’t forget to thank those who mean so much to you and most importantly don’t forget to thank God for the work he is doing in your life. And last, another small word is “do”. Get up and “do”. You only get one chance in this one life to do all you can do! Don’t wait to thank someone, pray for them, or show kindness to others, especially your blended family. God hand picked them from other families and situations, no matter the circumstances, and blended them into your family for a reason. It is not by accident but Divine purpose that you are in that family so don’t underestimate that. Thank you so much April for showing me that even the smallest things can have the biggest impact!
I want to talk about verbal/emotional abuse. I didn’t know what it was at first. I thought that I was just becoming too sensitive and could not handle my self the way I should or maybe I wasn’t smart enough to say and do the right things as his wife. I thought that I was going crazy because I would scream and cry when I was alone because if I did it in front of him or tried to defend myself his anger would become so much worse. Let me state this clearly that he never ever hit me or laid a hand on me. It was always implied however. That was what tortured me the most was always this unspoken threat of what might would happen if he became even more angry and it terrified me. When he would get angry he would (what I call) rage at me for hours. Going on and on about what I had done wrong, twisting and turning it making me wish I was smarter or could have known how to say or do whatever it was I had not done right. I remember one night he was angry at something I don’t recall what it was. He had been raging and angry for a couple hours and I was exhausted. I was exhausted from defending myself and the long day and needed to go to work the next morning. I turned the light off and told him lets just try to calm down and go to bed. I got into bed and he flipped the light on in my face and said he was not finished. He then said he would finish after he took a shower. While he was in the shower I went and made a bed on the floor of the baby’s room thinking he would leave me alone and let me sleep if I was in there. I drifted off and then I felt eyes on me and breathing. When I opened my eyes he was inches from my face. It scared me to death. He coldly whispered that he was not finished with me and if I wouldn’t come back into our room he would drag me back in there. I started whispering/begging to let me sleep and finish it the next day but he grabbed the corners of the blanket and proceeded to drag me. He got about half way and I heard the baby stir. I did not want the little one to wake up! So I got up, head hanging and followed him back into the room. I don’t remember what happened after that. I just remember the deep broken bruised spirit as I walked out of that room. I didn’t know it was abuse becaue I didn’t have physical proof but I later realized it for what it truly was. Victims of abuse have a very deep need to be validated! They want people to see that they are not this horrible person the abuser wants you to think you are and terrified that just that is the way the world will view them and even more terrified that the world will see the abuser as the victim! You have to realize, though, that abuse is abuse no matter what form. It is about one controlling the other. I posted the video of a clip from the end of the movie “Labyrinth”. I actually love the movie but this is a very good example of what emotional and verbal abuse looks like. If you watch the clip you notice that the king originally plays the victim makes her feel like she is ungrateful for all he’s done even though the things he’s done have actually been against her. But next is the big part of the contradiction of abuse. He says to let him rule her. He says to do as he says and he will be her slave. That can not happen it is the opposite. You can not have both because one will always be in control and dominate the other. Also and this is the really important part especially when comparing it to spousal abuse is how he says to fear him and love him! Please please think about this verse! 1 John 4:18 NIV “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” You can’t have fear of that person and recieve love! It is not what real love is. Real love is what I talked about in previous post. It is real caring and real respect. God wants you to feel His love! He does not want you to be treated this way. If you have any questions or need advice please email me and I, with God’s help, will do my best! email@example.com
I think priorities in life are very important. They help keep you in your lane in this race of life. They help keep you focused and running in the right direction. I feel that priorities are that much more important in the blender because of the different dynamics already going on in the mix. I think family priorities should be:
4. Work/friends/anything else you want to fill in the blank
Today, lets focus on priority #1. I strongly feel that as a Christian, God should be your first priority. It can be very hard to do this, I know. You have the husband, the kids, the job that demand every thing from you, so how can we possibly put God first? Well, actually, I think it is more simple than you think. Psalm 119:15 “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” As a christian I believe you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. (1 Cor 3:16 NLT says the Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you.) That tells me to really listen to that voice inside of me that’s telling me whether this feels right or not. You have heard the expression “go with your gut”. Well I feel that God through the Holy Spirit is my gut. Yep, sounds a little weird but think about it…it makes sense! Another very easy way besides listening to the Spirit in your heart is to memorize scripture and repeat it to yourself during those difficult times. I struggle with anxiety and have since I was in high school. Some times I feel I have victory over it and some times it rears its very nasty horrible ugly head! During these times I have found that if I repeat some verses that mean a lot to me, it helps me to get through that anxious moment. (this for me is meditating on His word) One of my favorite verses is Joshua 1:9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (If you really want to have a good time, read Joshua 1:7-9!) Another thing that will help put God first is PRAYER! When I first wake up in the morning before my feet hit the floor, I say a prayer. It isn’t a long drawn out thing, just a quick prayer for me to get my day started, to pray for mine, my husband’s, and my children’s day. If you read in Luke 18 about the Pharisees you will find that although they were very well respected in society, they were also very self righteous and viewed themselves better and more “spiritual” than every one else. To put God first in your life does not mean for you to be a Pharisee (just practicing religion). It is not about showing up every time the church doors are open, praying the loudest, or knowing the most scripture. It is about meeting God right where you are in your little corner of the world. Keeping Him in the forefront of your mind and letting him quietly lead you in your heart. It’s living up to the potential he created you to be. (for more of that refer to my previous post “Great Expectations”) Everything else will follow according to His path if you just start where you are…. Next post is about Priority 2 (marriage) Yikes!