How to Cope During a Pandemic

What’s around us doesn’t have to get in us. -Joyce Meyer

I know that is hard, if not seemingly impossible, to achieve with everything that is going on in our world today. Fear and anxiety is the common thread of every news program, social media post and article that we are unrelentingly exposed to every day.  I freely admit, it is all WAY too much for me to handle on my own. Don’t you agree?

When I find myself becoming anxious, afraid and overwhelmed, this is what I’ve been doing. I pray these words, just like David did in Psalm 61:2.   When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  That “Rock” is Jesus.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  He gives a peace that doesn’t make sense when you consider what is happening in the world right now.  The peace that passes all understanding.

Throughout the day, I meditate on these words, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Dwelling in the secret place of God simply means that you spend time with Him daily through worship (thankfulness), prayer (talking to Him), and reading His Word (the Bible is the blueprint for our lives, it’s the way God speaks to us most easily). Being in the secret place is a time of intimacy between you and your Creator. A time to talk to Him and for Him to talk to you. When you enjoy this kind of relationship with God, you can count on His protection, His covering, His rest, His peace and His security. Psalm 91 says that He will even command His angels to protect you, defend you and guard you!

And why would God do these things? Why would He even care what we’re feeling or going through? Because He loves us. When we call on Him for help, He WILL answer. He gives us His Word. God promises to be with you, to walk with you and talk with you, even during a global pandemic. Don’t worry, He’s not too busy…You’re at the top of His priority list!

So, I encourage you today to do as the apostle Peter instructed us to do:  Humble yourself before God, admitting that you can’t deal with this crisis on your own. Then, cast all your cares (all your anxieties, all your worries and all your concerns, once and for all) because He cares about you (with deep affection and watches over you very carefully).

Reciting the above verses from the Bible every day will help you stay grounded and peaceful. As you spend time with God, share with me what He is speaking to you, if you’d like. I would love to hear all about it!

In the meantime, hang in there, friends, we’re going to make it! Here’s an awesome song to encourage you!

Of Kids, Birthdays and Moms

My oldest child’s birthday was this past Thursday. My Bubbies turned 17 years old! I honestly cannot believe how fast time goes. I’m always telling younger mothers how time flies and to cherish the time when their babes are little and sweet. Even when I’m saying the words, I can see the look of pure exhaustion in their faces and know they are thinking, “Please God, let time move a little, teeny bit faster!” Yes, the days may seem super duper long when you are slinging dirty diapers and baby food, but the years fly by oh so fast.  Hang in there, young mamas, freedom is coming!

I am showing my age…we’ll talk about that in a later post…anyways…

As usual during birthday “season” in our home, I posted the obligatory, gushing, sappy social media post on my son’s birthday and I suddenly had a revelation. Not only did he turn 17 years old, September 20th being the day of his birth, but it was also the anniversary of the day that I became a mother. I got to thinking…we celebrate our children’s birthday with such joy and exuberance on the day WE GAVE BIRTH TO THEM. They get a party, cake and presents. I have spent an awful lot energy, time and money on my kids’ birthdays. But really, what did they have to do to warrant such a celebration? Come down the birth canal or pop out of a c-section incision? I mean, I’m the one who decided to try and get pregnant, endured 38 weeks of pure misery, weeks of bed rest, pre-eclampisa and a horribly long induction process that ended in an emergency c-section where I almost died. Like seriously, though. I mean, I get celebrating the child born on that day, but someone should say congratulations to the mom for growing, birthing and keeping the child alive for however many years or SOMETHING! I know that there is Mothers’ Day, but that is just one day. I had THREE kids! In THREE years! Those kids should be celebrating me and thanking me for giving them life. (Settle down, I know God is the giver of all life, but He chose me as the vessel to carry and give birth to those kids.)  More like, “Happy Giving-Birth-to-Life Day, Mother!” Just sayin’.

Side note:  Motherhood is truly a thankless job, yet one in which I am happy to be a participant. Raising human beings is quite the task and not for the weak..especially during the teenage years and beyond. I thank God for my little-ish (all taller than me now) blessings and they truly make me over-the-moon proud of them every day. Sometimes, my heart feels like it will literally burst out of my chest! My kids are the best!

My friend commented on my son’s birthday post, “Happy Momiversary!’ Perfectly said. And from now on, when I see someone post a “Happy Birthday” on social media, I will wish their child a “Happy Birthday” and the mom a “Happy Momiversary” and congratulate them for being such an awesome, life-giving human being. Rock on, Moms! You’re amazing!

By the way, I have scripture to back up my point of view.  Look up Proverbs 31: 28-29.  “Her children rise up and call her blessed;  Her husband also, and he praises her. ‘Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.'” Word, ladies. That’s the Word.

 

 

 

If You Give A Mom Three Toddlers

This is a guest post by one of my dearest friends. It’s just in time for Mother’ Day! Hope you enjoy, “If You Give A Mom Three Toddlers” in the style of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.”

If you give a mom three toddlers, she’ll probably need a shower.

While she’s showering her two year old will probably pull the shower curtain back and tell her “Hi, I like your boobies.” After she showers, she’ll want to put clean clothes on.

While she’s dressing a Jehovah’s Witness will ring her doorbell and her four-year-old son will answer the door for her.

She will run to the door only half dressed and tell them that this is obviously not a good time, and the Jehovah’s Witness will laugh at her.

After she is dressed, her kids will want to color with markers, she thinks, “Two out of three are occupied, this is a good time to unload the dishwasher!” While the kids are coloring, her two daughters, 2 and 3, will decide they are a better canvas than the coloring book and they will need to wash their hands.

While they are washing their hands, they’ll think it is fun to fill the sink with dirty, soapy water. The sink full of soapy water will make them think, we should throw bubbles all over the bathroom! Her son will hear the commotion in the bathroom, and he will not want to miss out on the fun. Now, he will join in the chaos, also throwing bubbles and water all over the bathroom. Now the bathroom sink, floor, and walls need wiped, and all three kids’ clothes need changed. This makes her think she should get dressed and change out of her pajamas, too.As she is undressing the girls, being naked makes the girls think that they should play dress up. The girls dump their bin of dress up clothes and pick out princess dresses for themselves. Seeing the girls play dress up, reminds her son that he has a foam sword he can use for dress up, too. Playing with his foam sword, reminds her son that its fun to scare and chase the cat with his sword. As her son is chasing the cat, and the girls are dancing and singing to “Let It Go,” she runs into the kitchen to rescue the cat, trips over the dress-up bin, and runs into and hits her shin on the forgotten, open, unloaded dishwasher.

While in the kitchen, she remembers that it is lunchtime and decides to fix lunch, and throws some chicken nuggets in the microwave and pours the kids milk. The chicken nuggets are cooking and this makes her think, “I forgot to eat today, ” and she hears her stomach growling. All three kids are eating their lunch, and the straws in their cups make them want to blow bubbles in their milk. While they are blowing bubbles in their milk, one cup tips over and spills milk on the kitchen floor, and all over the kitchen island. She begins cleaning the island and kitchen floor and finds the three marker lids she lost this morning and a chicken nugget from yesterday. She thinks “I should just clean the entire kitchen floor while I’m down here.” As she cleans the kitchen floor, her kids finish eating their lunch, and her stomach continues to growl.

She finishes cleaning the kitchen floor, and now all the kids are wiped clean, dressed and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Now, she can finish cleaning the bathroom sink, floor and wall; unloading the dishwasher; picking up markers; and washing the dirty, wet clothes and towels. She feels good about her accomplishments and sits down to eat the leftover scraps of chicken nuggets from her kids plates.

As she is sitting down for her two-minute lunch, her two year old, who wears big girl undies, runs by and hollers, “Mom, I poopied!” She tackles her two year old to change her, which makes her four year old think its time to wrestle. After she is done wrestling, and wiping the two year old, she somehow ends up with poop on her pants, on her arm and under her fingernail, maybe even in her hair. She can’t get the smell of poop out of her nose. She thinks, “Its only one o’clock, I already showered today,” but if you give a mom three toddlers . . . she’ll probably need a shower.

Written by: Larissa Hoffman

Too Good to Be True?

Are you in a relationship in which you feel like you’re on a roller coaster or a merry-go-round that you can’t figure how to get off of? Is your boyfriend, fiancé, husband super sweet one moment and then moody and accusatory the next? Is there passionate lovemaking one night and explosive arguments the next day? Are there little red flags going off here and there that you’ve been choosing to ignore? Does he call his ex-girlfriends or wives crazy, manipulative lunatics? Does he play the victim in past relationships? Maybe he says he just hasn’t found the right one until he found you. Fate has brought you together. Maybe. But still, something’s off, something’s not quite right. Perhaps he’s an addict…drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex…you’re not sure if he is. Is that the problem? The underlying problem to many, if not all, addictions is a personality disorder. Maybe that’s it. There are different kinds of personality disorders and many different things to become addicted to. So, there are many combinations that can potentially become a destructive force to your relationship, your marriage, and ultimately to you, the victim. In an effort to help my fellow womankind, to warn you, to open your eyes, to validate what you might be experiencing and feeling, to let you know that YOU’RE not the one who is crazy…I write this blog…at 2:00 in the morning. This weighs heavily on my heart for you. If you’ll just consider the words that I present to you. I came across this article earlier that explains what narcissism is and what it looks like to be in a relationship with a narcissist. There were some inappropriate words in the original, so I did change a few words to make it PG. I’ve posted the link to the original if you’d like my reference to the article. If my words have rung a bell in your heart, please read this…

A relationship with a Narcissist has been compared to being on a roller coaster, with immense highs and immense lows. They have been described as the proverbial Jekyll and Hyde, one way one minute, another the next.

People usually get into relationships for love and the need to connect and bond with another. Narcissists get into relationships for entirely different reasons. They do not feel love and they lack the ability to connect and form normal attachment bonds with others.
Narcissists need people more than anyone. Because their entire sense of self-esteem and self-worth is dependent on the admiration of others, their emotions are a precarious balance of needing others and needing to be left alone.
Narcissists feel an enormous void inside of them. This void is ever present and the only thing that fills it, is the love and esteem of another. The fix is always temporary though. A Narcissist describes it this way, “It’s like my brain is constantly seeking something. It’s like I’m always chasing a carrot at the end of a stick. Nothing I do satisfies me, at least not for long. I feel like I only do things because I’m supposed to, because society does it. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere or with anyone.”
Narcissists are completely self-absorbed and are oblivious to the wants and needs of others. They enter into relationships in an attempt to fill this void and to make sure that they have someone who is always available for sex, an ego stroke or whatever need they may have. A relationship with a Narcissist always follows three phases, the over-evaluations phase, the devaluation phase and the discard phase.
The Over-evaluation Phase
A Narcissist is very careful when choosing a target. Typically, they will choose a victim based on their status. They must be attractive, popular, rich or extremely gifted in some area. The greater the status, the higher the value the Narcissist places on the Supply derived.
Once a target has been chosen, it’s almost like the Narcissist gets tunnel vision. They are hyper-vigilant in their pursuit and will project the perfect image that their victim wants them to be. They are excessively caring, loving and attentive at this stage. They shower their targets with attention, compliments and literally sweep them off their feet.
They place their target on a pedestal, idolize and worship them. Their target is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Here the Narcissist is ecstatic, full of hopes and dreams. They will talk and think about them constantly, they are euphoric. This is as close as a Narcissist will ever get to feeling love. This kind of idolization is what others would call infatuation.
The victim is likely so caught up in all the attention and is usually thinking at this point, that they have found their soul-mate. Their pursuer is exactly what they want in a partner (because the Narcissist is mirroring what they have learned appeals to their target) and they can’t believe how lucky they are and that this catch is still single.
What they don’t know, or could ever be prepared for, is what comes next.
The Devaluation Stage
The Over-Evaluation phase, if you’re dealing with a Somatic Narcissist, usually lasts anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, just long enough for the Narcissist to be confident that they have secured their target’s love and devotion. Unbeknownst to the target, what they were witnessing in the early phase was the Narcissist’s false self. In this second phase, the mask comes off and the Narcissist starts to reveal their true colours.
The shift could be gradual or almost seemingly overnight. Suddenly the attention they so lavishly gave you is gone and replace by indifference and silence. Days or weeks could go by and you won’t hear from them. They don’t return your phone calls, they don’t keep a single promise and you’re starting to suspect that they might be involved with someone else. The target is left baffled and confused and wondering what they did wrong to cause such an abrupt turnaround.
Narcissists become bored easily and what usually starts happening in their heads at this stage, is that the void begins to emerge again. The high they were feeding off of is waning and they begin to question your worthiness, that perhaps you weren’t so special after all, because if you were then the void wouldn’t still be there.
They become moody and agitated easily, blaming you for even the slightest transgression. They start to disappear more frequently and they give you the silent treatment in an attempt to create distance. As the Narcissist withdraws, the target starts to cling and your demands for his attention and your need to understand what’s happening, grate on his nerves. The harder you cling the more the Narcissist pulls away. They start to blame and criticize the target for everything, treating them like an emotional punching bag.
At this point the target is an emotional wreck. The Narcissist has left without any explanation and they can’t figure out how one minute they were put on a pedestal and now it’s like they don’t even exist. The Narcissist is a projector and they are projecting their emotional turmoil onto you. They feed off of other people’s misery (as long as it’s caused by them) just as much as they feed off of your admiration, either way it makes no difference to them.
It is this person, this cruel, indifferent, unfeeling, sadist that is the behind the mask. Most targets desperately try to find the one they fell in love with. What they don’t realize is that that person never existed. They were a facade an act put on by the Narcissist to secure their Supply.
The Narcissist will take no responsibility for their actions, because they simply don’t care how they’ve treated you or how you are feeling.

Narcissists are not capable of forming normal healthy attachments to people. Those that aren’t familiar with the disorder are completely at a loss to understand how unnecessarily cruel their behavior can be. The target was never more than an object to the Narcissist, whose usefulness is on the decline.
The Narcissist isn’t one to throw away a potential piece of supply though. He will keep up this I love you, I love you not charade going for as long as it suits them or as long as you allow it. He will breeze in and out of your life as if nothing ever happened, completely oblivious and indifferent to your suffering.
This mind trick is deliberate and he will keep feeding you crumbs of attention, just enough to keep you emotionally invested and available to cater to his every need.
At some point one of two things will happen: either he will find a new target and begin phase one with them, thus ignoring you completely, or you will have had enough of his psychotic abuse and you will take control and put an end to it, thus ushering In phase three.
The Discard Phase
It is almost baffling to watch the ease at which a Narcissist can pull away from his partners. Many targets are left asking themselves, “Did he ever love me? Did I mean anything to him?” The simple answer is no. No one means anything to him. Women are only a means to an end – to obtain the much needed Narcissistic Supply. Once your usefulness has run its course, you will be discarded abruptly and cruelly, without warning.
Trying to get over a relationship with a Narcissist is extremely difficult. Once it is over the target is usually an emotional wreck, whose self-esteem has been annihilated by the persistent demeaning behavior, insults and cruelty of the Narcissist. Depending on when they were able to break free, the target maybe a shadow of their former self, with a lot of work ahead of them to rebuild their shattered self-image.
As a victim tries to pick up the pieces, What must be remembered is that you were deliberately targeted, lied to and manipulated by a skilled con-artist, for their own gain. There was nothing you could have done differently and none of this was your fault. The Narcissist will repeat this pattern with every person, every time, bar none.
All former targets must be vigilantly on guard, because a Narcissist always reserves the right to revisit a former source of supply, no matter how much time has passed or how badly they’ve behaved.
Once you have broken free you must close the door on any and all contact, because if you don’t you’re headed back to a watered down version of Phase One – over and over and over again.

Remember, friend, you were created for more than this. You are the apple of God’s eye. You are worth more to your Creator than all the gold and riches in the world. You cannot fix a man or make him better. Only God can. Look to Him for help and guidance and never forget who YOU are and what YOU were made for. He has great plans for your life.
If you are dating or engaged to someone like this…run! Run as fast as you can! Get off the crazy train while you can! If you’re married, get help, now. Find a professional counselor to help you. If you need assistance finding someone, I can point you in the right direction.

I pray blessing, strength, boldness and emotional healing over every woman who reads these words. May God’s love fill your heart and help you to see yourself as He sees you.

Jeremiah 29:11
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

http://esteemology.com/the-three-phases-of-a-narcissistic-relationship-cycle-over-evaluation-devaluation-discard/

 

Friendship 101

I have been truly blessed with an abundance of people who call me “Friend.” There was a time in my life a few years ago when I had almost zero friends and (in my pathetic mind) no hope of ever having any again.

I had gone through a divorce and moved to a new city, a new job, and a new church. I picked up and left everything familiar to me, including my friends, to start anew. Sometimes you just have to do that. I’ve discovered in my life that change IS good! Hard, but good.

I prayed and asked God to help me to make friends and He answered those prayers. He sent me women who accepted me as I am, with all my wounds and imperfections, with all my baggage and all my issues. What angels!!! Did they just drop into my life from the heavens? Of course…

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