Monday, June 25, 2012

Feel The Hurt

So many of you commented on my band-aid blog and many bought up feeling the hurt or feeling the pain and it's importance. I agree! This is important and so what a great topic for another blog. When talking about not needing a band-aid for everything I was talking more about the fact that we bring this into every situation we come along in life and often over look when someone actually needs a band-aid. Also I think it's important to remember that even if you have a band-aid on doesn't mean you don't feel the pain of that wound.

I think about the time when my brothers and I were playing on our swing set outside. We had an old metal swing set that had huge metal hooks that help up the swings. Well it was normal for us to take the swings down and attempt to shimmy our way from one side of the swing set to the other. Well one of my brothers feel right at the point where one of the metal hooks was sticking out and he cut his chest pretty bad. Because of my love for band-aids there were only the very tiny band-aids and they barely covered his wound. I think he had about 20 or so of the tiny band-aids in a row going down his chest. I felt horrible, I knew that it was because of me that he was feeling more pain than he needed too. Well truth is, he would have felt that pain anyway...small or large band-aids wouldn't have mattered.

I think about the pain that we feel when we hurt ourselves. It's a reminder of what happened. The pain my thumb felt when I cut my finger on a knife while drying it was a reminder not to do that again. Sometimes it's the same with emotional pain. Our emotional pain reminds us not to keep doing the same thing over and over again. The result will always be the same...more pain.

I also think sometimes we try to ignore pain. We make it seem like nothing is wrong and we give this look as if we are happy all the time. We act as if things don't bother us. Our attempts to ignore pain is in hope that it will just go away. The problem with this is it just stays there, and as it stays there it builds and builds. Until the pain is almost unbearable.

So how do we help our daughters to deal with hurts now? How do we help keep the pain at a minimum and not let it fester? Talking. Communication is key. I know you have heard me say it before and I will most likely say it again. Making sure our daughters know it's ok to talk to us about anything is important. I think it's also important to not make them feel like their hurts are unimportant. Let them know it's ok to feel. It's ok to be upset...but also let them know that this is something we learn from. Lets help our daughter's generation understand true genuine joy from a young age and encourage them to keep going for joy!


Friday, June 22, 2012

A Father's Role

So I had a wonderful conversation with a girl last night. She came to the youth/young adults conference that we are putting on at our church right now. I noticed she was really quiet and didn't seem to be talking to many people. I started to wonder if she wasn't feeling welcomed. After talking with my husband I felt encouraged to go over and say hi. Sometimes I have a hard time doing this with people I don't know well. Once I know you I am extremely outgoing and if I think I will NEVER see you again then I am usually pretty outgoing also. It's these people I meet here who live near by me that I might see again someday...for some reason that scares me.

Well I am glad I overcame my fear and went up and talked to her. She has been struggling with anorexia for over 8 years. She has had her ups and downs and at the moment she was more on a down. She had broken her foot and because of her illness it would take long for her foot to heal. It's one of the sad truths of an eating disorder...your body takes longer to do anything.

But these things didn't strike me as odd or out of place. Her moments of weakness that she would talk about were no surprise. The fact that she felt like she didn't have much support...well that's not unusual. I guess what really struck me was that her dad wasn't there for her and that effected her the most. I wanted to share my dad with her for a day.

I know how important it is to have your dad support you in life. Especially when you are going through a hard time. Your dad if the first full time male figure in your life. Your first love. He is the one you look up to. He is the one who would pick you up and carry you into the house when you scrapped your knee. How your dad is in your life is how you will view God.

My dad is a strong man. He's confident, loving, humorous, patient and kind. These are only a few of the words that I could list to describe my dad. He taught me what love was and he taught me that I was valuable. I remember times when he thought he was losing his little girl he would often only be able to communicate with teary eyes. I knew he loved me and I knew he cared about me.

So when I hear of a girl who doesn't have the support of her heart breaks. Because I know sometimes that this means their view of God is not right. Dads step up into that role. Be your little girl's support and be her first love. Moms encourage dads to give it all they have. One of our secrets is that my husband takes our girls out on daddy daughter dates...he even takes out our 1 year old...that's how young you should start.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Can't Have A Band-aid for Everything!

"MOM! I have an OWIE!" I hear my 3rd daughter say as he hobbles her way too me. I look over and all I see is an old scrape. I doubt that it hurts her right now, it's just the fact that she discovered it and now it "hurts". She probably hurt it last week sometime.

"I'm sorry! Do you need me to kiss it?" I say this with the knowledge that a mommy kiss makes everything feel better.

"NO! I need a band-aid!!!!"
And my answer to her...
"Well you can't have a band-aid for everything."

I know what you are thinking. I am such a mean and harsh mommy. Put yourself in my shoes for a second. You live in a house with 5 girls who all take after their mom. I was the biggest band-aid waster in all of history! My mom will probably read this and think "I don't know why she won't give them a band-aid...she always got the band-aids!" This is also why the band-aids are well out of my girls' reach!

I started to think about it though. I wonder if I treat their emotions like this. I'm sorry that boy hurt your feelings, but we can't have a band-aid for everything. I'm sorry that your feeling sad or upset, but we can't have a band-aid for everything. Treating their emotional problems as if they are only an old scrape.

So then do I treat other people in my life this way? People who come to me with their I just tend to tell them to brush it off? I have held this motto in my life for sometime "Pick yourself up and just brush it off!" For awhile that motto was a way to survive, but now it just seems harsh and not something that others should be encouraged to use. When I think about those I talk to who have eating disorders often times they feel like people over look the real problem. When I think about when I dealt with it I felt the same way. For those who are helping people recover it's all about getting the person to eat, but for those recovering it's about healing a deeper wound. Something that brushing off won't help.

So lets start while these girls are young. Let's not just over look their emotions. Make sure they are validated and seen as important to talk about. It's true, we can't have a band-aid for everything, but sometimes they just make us feel better.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do I Come With Humility?

WOW! My day has hardly begun and I have already had a great day. It was one of those mornings that I woke up before any of my girls and had sometime to myself. What to do? What to do? I turned on some music, washed some dishes. Then I just sat and read the Bible. I was wrapped in comfort as I sat, read and had a cup of fresh HOT coffee! (All you moms know how hard it is to get a hot cup of coffee)

My mind began to go crazy as I read what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians. He is free and belongs to no one, yet he makes himself a slave to all men to win as many as he could? He becomes all things to all people so that by all possible ways some might be save? How do you become all things to all people? Just the thought of it makes my mind crazy. I wonder how is it possible for me to change like that? I would for sure look like a schizophrenic.

By the time my husband got home my mind was going crazy. What does he mean by this? How would it look if I were to do it in my own life? How do I teach something like this to my girls? And how do I apply it to the work I am doing now? My husband is great with these kind of conversations. He won't answer it for me, but he challenges me to find the answer myself. He will ask great questions to get me to the eventual answer I was  initially looking for....Humility.

Paul was speaking to his culture at the time. The Jews saw themselves as the best and better than everyone else. Those following the law looked down on those who saw themselves as free from the law. Those who did not have the law saw everyone else in bondage and not set free. There was conflict and that conflict drove people to prideful hearts. Humility was something they all thought they had, but most had failed at it.

How do we interact with people? I wonder sometimes in trying to help someone do I come across as I see myself as better than them? Am I coming with humility that we are all the same? Today is a great day because I look at how I interact with people much differently, and making sure I don't view myself as better than them because I am not where they are. All this to save people and to help people. How do you see humility in your life?


Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Admire Her

There are so many women in this world that I admire. I could probably write everyday about one and after a year I would still have women to talk about. I wanted to share about Hannah. I am pretty sure you know her story, but I want to talk about a different aspect of her life.

I remember the first time my mother-in-law told me she was writing historical biblical fiction. I just wasn't sure about it. I love the stories from the Bible, but there are so many people who try to write fictional stories and they end up getting it all wrong. So I had to let her know I wasn't so sure if I would like her books. Her first book came out and I enjoyed it. But her second book came out and I was so surprised that I LOVED it. I connected with the main character so much. I felt like she understood my struggles. Her name was Hannah.

Most of you probably know the story of Hannah so you are probably wondering how I connected with her so much. She was barren and I am not. Her husband had another wife and mine does not. But she struggled with life. She had her share of disappointments and she dealt with them in different ways.

She struggled, but didn't hide it. When they would go up to the house of the Lord the other wife would provoke Hannah and because she had many children and Hannah had none she would use it to taunt her. Hannah would weep and not eat. As I read how my mother-in-law wrote it in her book I thought...She's just like me!

"No one criticized me directly. Maybe that would have been better, better than the false sorrow, the syrupy pity, the irritating encouragement to keep having hope." Hannah's Promise, Arlene Ussery

I thought to myself, "How many times have I felt like that?" How many times have you felt like that? It seems as if no one really understands. They want to give you encouragement, but they don't always know how. They want to show that they are caring, but do you ever wonder if anyone really does? I guess I found so much encouragement in Hannah. As I read her story and seemed to be seeing more into who she was as a person and less who she was written as, I became to admire her strength and courage.

I read the section of where she was so depressed and so downhearted that she couldn't make herself eat. I too comfort in seeing her struggle with the very thing that had taken place in my life. Perhaps our situations were different. Mine had nothing to do with not being able to have a child. But we were both at some point in the same place. There are so many people who deal with eating disorders, but we always have to remember that it's not just about that. There is something that triggers the beginning of the problem. But we always want the end result to be the same.

I love what Hannah does. She cries out to God. But she doesn't just cry, she weeps. She mourns. So much so that Eli, the priest, believes that she is drunk. Hannah knew the only one who could help her was God. What does crying out to God look like to you? Do you write it on paper? Do you do it with words? Do you express it in a song? How does your daughter cry out to God? Keep in mind that it's not always the same for her as it is for you.