All posts by Robyn Besemann

The Divorce Battle-No Winners

kids and divorce

I don’t know about you, but this pictures hurts my heart on many levels.  The mom and dad are yelling at each other with great anger in their eyes and gestures, while the boy is devastated sitting in this battle that could shatter his life.

How did this couple get to this place after making a covenant to stay with each other, “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, for as long as we both shall live.”  How did that day of joy and peace turn into hatred and war?  It takes two to build a marriage and two to destroy it.

This child is being shown just how much vows really mean, what love really means and what marriage looks like as he sits in the middle once again.  How devastating for him!

There are millions of children who live the very same thing day after day and chances are pretty good their parents lived the same thing in their childhood as well.  Heck, there are even “comedy” shows on tv. that almost glorify divorce.  Are you kidding?!  It is not  funny, comical, or something to kid about, and it devastates and scars lives beyond words.  STOP!!!

What are we doing to our society and how did God’s creation and His design of marriage get so distorted?  What was meant for glorious fulfillment and joy has turned into destruction, violence and hatred.  My heart hurts for families, but there are answers and practical tools to help marriage thrive, grow and be fulfilling, even though there  have been some “dips” in the marriage.

The first step is that BOTH husband and wife need to admit there are issues that are damaging their marriage and children and  make a new commitment to do what it takes to work through the issues one at a time.  If there needs to be professional counseling to help, both would need to agree, be willing to “do the work to make it work”,  go consistently, stop the battle and work together, for the sake of their kids and themselves.  If faith is a part of their marriage,  both need to humble themselves before God, follow Him with every step, and letting Him heal their marriage and famly.

Our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio this week is Helen Wheeler, LPC, and her topic will be “The Divorce Battle: Family Issues.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Family Court Mediator and Parent Coordinator, working with high conflict couples.  She will be discussing the many family issues that arise during a divorce battle and beyond.  Don’t miss it if you are living through a divorce, have lived through it, or know those who are.  We will all learn a lot.

“Be Imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Eph. 5:1,2

Are you and your spouse being imitators of Christ?  Be honest.  What needs to change, for the sake of your hurting children and your marriage?    It is amazing how our relationships change when WE change.  “Do the work to make it work.”  Look into your kids’ eyes and ask yourself “how can we protect these children and make our home one that helps them thrive, grow and live joyfully?”

Having Babies: Joys and Challenges

Baby and mom

Those of us who have given birth to a baby each have our own story of how long labor was, how long we had to “push”, who was in the room, what it felt like to deliver the child we had waited for, and the pure joy of holding that newborn to our chest and feel it’s warmth.  We counted each toe and finger, studied their little pink face and let our own tears fall as we realized, “I am a mom!”  Remember?

Some of us struggled because our ultrasound may have showed there was a problem, or we were unable to have a natural birth, so we had a C-section.  Maybe there were complications such as the cord wrapped around its neck or our baby had swallowed meconium.  Maybe the doctor told us there was a deformity of some kind and our hearts sank.  It is easy to take a healthy baby or a “perfect” natural birth for granted, but for those of us who have had a challenging or heart-breaking experience,  we look to God and ask “Why my baby?”  Is that you?

The love of a mom for her baby is like no other love.  It is deep and all encompassing, no matter what they look like or act like.  “Mama loves you, Baby.  I will always be here for you and protect you.”

There are some new mothers, however, who can’t figure out why they don’t really want to be with their new baby.  They don’t want to nurse, sometimes they don’t even want to touch it.  They get horridly angry when the baby cries, but on the other hand, they can feel guilty.  Their baby’s dad and other family members get mad at the mom and try to talk her into holding her own child and can make her feel more shameful than she already does.  There have even been thousands of new moms who have thought about or attempted to kill their own children and her family is horrified and confused.  Why?!!!

This is called post-partum depression and is a chemical thing that can overtake the mom.  The father and other family members need to step in to care for the baby while the mom needs to get to a doctor and treat this condition that is breaking everyone’s heart.

This Tuesday, my guest on Chained No More Talk Radio will be Judy Dippel, the author of “Breaking the Grip of Postpartum Depression.”  She will share her own devastating story of this condition and how she got out of it.  She will give clinical answers and encourage women who may have suffered or are suffering from postpartum depression today.  Please tune in to www.toginet.com at 2-3pm ET on Tuesday, whether you or someone you love are suffering from this, or if you just want to learn about it.

 

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me.”  Micah 7:7

Letting Go with Confidence

trapeze artist

Have you ever been to a circus and had jaw-dropping moments when you watched the trapeze artists high in the air swinging from one trapeze to the next?  Most of them had a large net underneath them, but sometimes they didn’t.  There was always an element of fear that one of these daring people would fall to their death, or at least be seriously injured as their body slammed into the ground beneath them.

Well, that’s what was on my mind as a spectator, whether I was a little girl or an adult.  How do they gather up the bravery to do such a thing to entertain their audiences.  Wow!  The most daring thing I have ever done was when we were kids.  We would swing out on a huge rope, attached to a big tree branch, with a knot at the end of it high over the sound in Alaska.  We never imagined that we could certainly fall to OUR death.  It was fun!  That’s all we knew.   Yikes!  I kept my guardian angel busy, that’s for sure!!!

This scenario makes me think of our lives, which are always changing.  There are times we need to adjust, let go of the past, adjust and heal, and then reach for the future ahead.  Just like a trapeze artist, they have to let go of the first trapeze before reaching for the next one.  Make sense?  What would happen if they never let go of the first one, but also tried to grab onto the next one at the same time?  They would kind of just be caught in mid-air without going in either direction, except to fall to the ground below.

Sometimes, we are afraid to let go of a past full of trauma, or a marriage, or a job we were comfortable in.  We can sit in discontent and fear, and even depression year after year, and never move forward.  To let go can be scary and uncertain, but the Lord is clear in His Word about never leaving us or forsaking us.  “Behold I am with you ALWAYS, even unto the end of the age.” Period.  Matthew 28:19

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future  to a known God.” – Unknown

This week on Chained No More Talk Radio, our guest will be Dr. Michelle Bengston, the author of “Hope Prevails.”  Her life has been full of trauma, disappointment, fear and unthinkable crisis.  Year after year, she has persevered, trusted in the Almighty God to lead her through them, and has now worked to bring others to find hope .  She is an experienced neuropsychologist, with a compassionate heart for those who are struggling.  Tune in on Tuesday, June 13 at 2pm ET at www.toginet.com

Could this be the day that  you let go of the “first trapeze”, fly through the “neutral zone” and then grab onto the next trapeze with hope and confidence in where God might be leading you?  Get ready for anything, because God said He goes before you and He has plans for the rest of your life.  Ready…Set Go!!  Time to fly!

Starting Over

starting over

Track and field events are  increasing in popularity.  Everything from junior marathons, to Special Olympics, to Senior events are popping up around our country.  Marathoners from around the world travel to America to run our marathons. Then there are the Olympic athletes who train for years for that one victory at the finish line, so they can hold their country’s flag high above all others.

It takes dedication, endless hours away from family, beating their body and joints into the ground and other sacrifices untold to reach goals.  How do I know this?  Because our son, Scott, is a marathoner, triathalon coach and two time Ironman, that’s why!  He is very disciplined, purposeful, and dedicated to his sport as he spends hours on his bike, running the pavement and swimming in cold water.  That’s our boy and we are very proud of him.

This makes me think about those of us who may not be a track and field star, but are running the race of life.  Just like our son, sometimes there is an injury and we have to stop, get treatment and heal from the damage.  It may be the loss of a loved one or a job, a devastating divorce, separation from a church family, or any number of other experiences of loss.

How do we start over again?  How do we take a chance that we won’t go through the same thing and suffer more damage?  What steps do we have to take and how do we find the strength to begin again?  Sometimes, these questions can lead us to become frozen in time, just trying to survive day by day.

The first step in change is awareness.  The second step is acceptance.  The third step is action. This is part of nurturing yourself.  You see something that needs to change that could improve your life and you find a way to do it….Chained No More

On Tuesday, June 6 at 2pm ET (www.toginet.com), we will have a guest on Chained No More Talk Radio that will help you with this very thing.  Her name is Anne Denmark and she is an incredible life coach who has a passion for helping her clients find a way to be the best they can be.  You will learn concepts and strategies of how to begin again and find freedom from the things that hold you back.  Don’t miss it!  If you can’t listen to this podcast LIVE, be sure and go to www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore to download the podcast at your convenience.

Have you become frozen and really want to start over again?  You can do it because God’s Word says so.  “I CAN do ALL things through GOD who strengthens me.”Phil. 4:13

When we read the stories of those in crisis in the Bible and how the Lord God led them out, we can certainly trust Him to do the same for us.  Listen to the Chained No More podcast coming up, and then make your way to the starting line, get ready, set, and GO! …in the name of Jesus!

 

Kid’s In Grief

kid crying

I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear a child crying, I need to turn my head to see if they are okay and if I can help.  When I led Divorce Care for Kids and The Big D…Divorce Thru the Eyes of a Teen, there was a lot of crying in every single class, because these kids were devastated that their family had been shattered.  It  broke the heart of our leaders because there was nothing we could do to sew their families back up.  We couldn’t bring joy or smiles into their homes.

What we could do was hold them while they cried, pray with them, listen to them a lot, and try to bring them toward the healing arms of Jesus.  Teens were more angry and were very vocal about how mad they were at their parents for “ruining my life.”  As I always say, “kids pay the highest price.”  That is certainly true in a divorce.  These kids were grieving and needed our help to process through that grief.

Another type of grief is when a child loses someone they like, such as a grandparent, parent, sibling or other family member they are close to.  The grief of losing a pet is also overwhelming, many times.  the depth of loss is unimaginable.

Adults in these kids’ lives don’t always know what to do and what to say to ease the devastation these kids feel, so they just “let them work it out,”  especially if the adult is grieving at the same time. “What do I say?  What do I do?  I don’t have the answers, so  maybe I should take them to a counselor.”

Many times, we see the behavior of a child change and they act  angrier; lashing out at adults or siblings.  They can also just withdraw into their own little world and sort of “check out.”  Grief takes on many faces and there are specific ways to walk someone through it.

Next Tuesday, May 9, our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio will be Wayne Stocks, the Founder and Executive Director of a ministry called “Hope 4 Hurting Kids.”  His topic will be “Kids in Grief – How Can We Help?”  He will discuss the different steps of grief, the different levels of grief, what to say and what not to say and so much more.  If you work with kids or have kids in your life, this interview will be extremely informative for you, so don’t miss it.

Here is the info:  Tues., May 9 at 2pm ET at www.toginet.com

 

“You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.  You have recorded each one in Your book.”  Psalm 56:8

I am Single, But I Want to Be Married

bride and groom

Oh, the thought of being in love, the excitement of the proposal, and the preparation and  experience of the wedding, followed by a honeymoon!  It just makes you smile, doesn’t it?  Or does it?

Maybe this was not your experience at all.  Maybe you got married in a chapel in Vegas or at the Justice of the Peace, or in your parents’ back yard.  Maybe you eloped.  We all have a story.  Many of our marriages have brought great joy over the years and some of our marriages didn’t last.

You may have gotten a divorce and now, a few years later, you are really longing to be married and spending the rest of your life with someone. You want the companionship, the day to day conversations, the closeness and intimacy and building memories with someone you deeply love.  Loneliness is no fun and can bring us to isolation and depression.  How do we get started in finding and having a love relationship that could result in saying “I do?”

First of all, take some time to pray and ask the Lord to guide you toward your own healing from past experiences and get the necessary help to find that healing.  If you step into another relationship still dealing with past issues, you will bring those issues into it, and chances are you will probably not be successful.  Work on  yourself first.

On Tuesday, April 25, at 2-3pm, at www.toginet.com, Kris Swiatocho, Director of The Singles Network, will be our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio.  Her topic will be “I Am Single, But I Want to Be Married.”  She will talk about the concerns and fears singles have when it comes to “looking for someone.”  She will talk about singles of all ages and both genders and the different issues with all.  She will also share about her new area of ministry called, “Pray for a Mate”, and how it works.  Don’t miss it!

Take some time today and evaluate yourself and what you would like to have your future look like.  Do you have trust issues, fear, anger, insecurities, abandonment or betrayal issues that haven’t been healed yet.  Don’t run down the aisle before seeking healing, so you don’t “make your new love pay for your old love.”  Don’t forget to pray!

Modern Day Babysitters

teen on cellphonekids onm computers

It used to be that, as kids, we spent most of our time outside playing.  We built tree houses, ran spontaneous races with our friends, and played hide and seek.  We searched for worms, looked for little daisies to link together in a chain and sometimes, we just laid on the grass and looked up at the clouds.  Simple days and simple times.

When we  had kids, the television became more of a babysitter while parents were busy doing things around the house, paying bills or working in the yard.  If we were an attentive parent, we would involve our kids in the chores, and become more involved in their activities at school or in the community.  Family time was still important and valuable.

Today, things have changed from family time to disconnected family time.  Each member has a screen on, whether it is the phone, the t.v., tablets, video games or just looking at Youtube or Facebook.  There is a lot more silence in the house than there used to be because each family member is in their own little tech world by the hour.  Conversations are done without lifting their eyes from the screen they are absorbed with.  Sentences are short and with very little engagement or emotions.

There is quite a price to pay for this tech overload taking over our American families.  Marriages are disconnected, kids are emotionally detaching from the rest of the family.  Kids don’t have to ask their parents to explain anything anymore because they can just Google it or ask Siri.  Kids and parents alike are becoming addicted to screens; so much so, that there are actual counselors trained to help kids with tech addiction.  Seriously?!

So, the question, Gary Chapman asks in his book, “Growing Up Social”, is “Is technology bringing your family closer together or driving you farther apart?”  Like television, one generation ago, parents are sitting their toddlers in front of a screen to “keep them occupied” for just a few minutes, at least.  I saw a couple of parents with a child under 2 come into a restaurant, sit their little girl in the high chair, put an I-pad in front of her and barely talked to her during the entire meal!!!!  Are you kidding me?!

I would much rather have an eye-to-eye conversation with our kids than have to compete with a screen and only look at the top of their head!  Same with my husband.  I am guilty of staring at a screen too, readers, but have set up some boundaries for the sake of my relationships.  I had to.

This week on Chained No More Talk Radio, our guest Rob Reinow, Founder of Visionary Family Ministries, will be talking on this very subject.  His topic will be “Parenting in the World of Tech.”  Tune in for some real talk about this  important part of family life in America.  2pm ET  www.toginet.com    You can download the podcast later that day at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

Take a bit of time and evaluate the amount of time your family members are on screens of any kind.  Now evaluate the time you spend talking with your kids and spouse eye-to-eye.  Does there need to be an adjustment for the health of your family?  Could you replace hours of screen time with table games, playing outside, putting a good puzzle together, serving together, enjoying community activities or events, riding bikes, going to a movie or a pool together…or just having a meaningful conversation?  Make your time count with your kids today because before you know it,  they will be gone.

Kids and Rainbows

rainbow and children

Today was the day I was going to write about different types of childhoods; the good bad, and the ugly.  How the many colors of our lives are like a rainbow; some dark and some vibrant and fun.

I turned the t.v. on and the news was about the shootings in a San Bernadino elementary school today.  It was a domestic  violence thing where a guy came in, shot his girlfriend, shot two children, and then turned the gun on himself.  Tragic!

I can’t imagine the trauma this caused in these children who witnessed such a crisis.  Once again, “the kids pay the highest price.”  They will live with this memory all of their lives.  My hearts hurt for them.  When I turned the t.v. off, I immediately prayed for those children, their parents, the clergy who would be involved, and the teachers who have lost one of their own.

If we were honest, we can all think of things from our childhood that have left an ugly mark on our lives.  Maybe it was parents who divorced, abuse, injuries or disease, homelessness, etc.  Most of us lived through them, but still remember.  Many times childhood damage sticks with us for all of our lives, if we don’t find healing.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and are burdened, and I will give You rest.”    Matthew 11:25

Tomorrow, April 11 at 2pm ET, our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio will be Tam Hodge, author of “And Now I Choose”, which tells her childhood story and the many unfortunate choices she made as a young adult.  It will be a compelling and inspiring show for our listeners.  You can hear Tam Hodge LIVE at www.toginet.com or download the podcast later at wwwtoginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

Tonight is a good time to connect with your children/grandchildren, hug them if you can, and let them know how much you love and treasure them.  This world is full of hurt and anger.  Please take some time to pray for the families in San Bernadino tonight.  Today, they lived the dark colors of their rainbow.

One,Two, Buckle My Shoe

buckling shoes

Remember those cute Mary Jane black patent leather shoes we used to wear with ruffled ankle socks or pretty white tights?  To tell you the truth, I dressed our little girl, Tami, in  the same thing.  I also added more ruffles on her dress and in her hair.  She was a girl, after all!  People at church looked forward to what she was wearing each week.  To be honest, we didn’t have a lot of money to spend, so I would look for the sweetest clothes at the lowest price at all the discount stores.  She was  my living doll to dress up and play with.  If our daughter would have had a daughter, she would have done the same thing,  because she is a girl through and through.

I have ministered to single parents for a very long time and it is always fun to see what their kids are wearing too.  Even though they don’t have much money either, they work hard at making their kids look nice for a day at church.  I remember single dads coming up to me with a couple of rubber bands at church and asking me to do their daughter’s hair.  They just had no clue, and their daughter was crying because her hair was a mess.  The little girl and I would find a chair and I would French braid their hair and send her off to Sunday School. So much fun for this mother’s heart!

I have always looked to see if a child’s shoes were tied or buckled so they didn’t trip and many a time, I would bend down and fix their shoes. “One, two, buckle my show.” I have always respected single parents and the job they need to do for what should have been the job of both mother and father. When a family splits, life gets so much  more difficult as single parents take the sole responsibility of the kids and household, the finances, and raising their children well, as they try to heal from divorce damage themselves.

If you know some single parents, keep an eye out for how you can assist them.  That might look like taking the kids to a movie or out to eat while the parent relaxes and gets things done.  Maybe you can go and enjoy one of the kids’ games.  Maybe take the family to the beach,  out for pizza or mini-golf, to a lake to swim, a museum or anywhere else to help them build positive memories.  Maybe surprise them with a gift card to the grocery store or a gas station.  There are endless ways to encourage single parents and their kids, so why not become a hero and a cheerleader for a single parent family this year?

This week on Chained No More Talk Radio, our guest will be Matt Haviland, the co-author of “The Daddy Gap.”  He has a huge passion to help single dads become the dad their kids need and to help single moms allow that to happen with healthy boundaries and guidelines.  He was a single dad for 9 years and now heads up a ministry called “A Father’s Walk.”  Tune in on Tuesday at www.toginet.com at 2-3pm ET to listen LIVE.  You may also download the podcast later that day at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  Eph. 5:1,2

“One, two, buckle my shoe.  Three, four, open the door….”  How can you be an imitator of Christ to a single parent family today?  Keep your eyes, your heart and your arms open.  You can be a big blessing today!

Writing Your Story…Chapter by Chapter

writing a book

Have you ever thought of writing your story, beginning with your childhood, your teen years, college days, young adulthood, and ending where you are now?

What would you include?  Maybe you lived in a “bubble”, like I did, and you don’t think you have much to write about.  Maybe your childhood was filled with trauma and drama and you have a hard time looking back.

We all have a unique story and through the years, we may have found healing, learned lessons, found things we want to change, or maybe we are proud of our accomplishments.  What would your story look like?

In our Chained No More classes, we have our participants tell us their story and through that, we can see what some of their issues are that have kept them from flourishing in their lives.  Some of our participants have very little memory of their young childhood because it included too much trauma.  Some remember exact details such as the color of dress they wore for Easter when they were 6 years old,or the time they stole candy from the market, or the day their daddy walked away.  We all have many memories; some we wish to forget and some we can’t help but recollect.

The important thing, as we become adults, is to look damaging experiences in the face, see the power they have had on our decisions, relationships, etc., and then find healing from them, forgive them and live life freer than ever before.  It is worth the look back.

This week, on Chained No More Talk Radio, our guest is Katariina Rosenblatt, the author of “Stolen.”  The topic is:  “Kat’s Story: From Trafficking to Escape to PhD.”  She will tell her story of being recruited, groomed and forced into sex trafficking, beginning at the age of 13.  The next chapter of her life is about stepping into forced prostitution, drugs, and an abusive marriage.  Kat will give her testimony of how she found God and is now involved in preventing human trafficking in America at the federal level. 

You will be drawn in, inspired and blessed as you hear how God lifted her up and how He is using her today.  Don’t miss it!  To listen to it LIVE, www.toginet.com at 1-3pm ET.  To download the podcast later that day, go to www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

Like Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Your story may not be as dramatic as Katariina’s, but you can use your pain and experiences for good to encourage and give hope to others.  Maybe begin writing your story of inputting it into the computer and who knows what He will do with it?!