Walking on Eggshells

eggshells

We have all gone through times when we felt we needed to “walk on eggshells” around someone or in a situation.  Maybe it was at work, when employees were not secure in their position. Maybe it was a romantic relationship when there was great tension.  It can just seem like you can never say the right thing and there is always tension.  Sometimes it is just better not to talk at all than take the risk of having another argument.

Children feel that way a lot with their parents when they feel like they can do nothing right.  It seems like the more tense the parents get, the more the kids pay the price and the more eggshells they have to walk on.

Another layer of this is when a parent suffers from alcoholism; no, when the entire family suffers from a parent being an alcoholic.  A child never knows what it will be like when they come in the door after school, or the parent comes home after a night “out”, or after their parents has been drinking at home all weekend.

I know children who have poured their parent’s booze down the sink because they didn’t want them to get drunk again.  Kids will also purposely stay away from home as much as they can and they would never bring a friend home because they didn’t know  what condition their parent might be in.

More times than not, when a parent is an alcoholic, they get abusive with their family members in various ways, and the children suffer all of their lives to heal from that damage. Alcoholism is so destructive and hurtful to families, but there are resources to help get someone off of this destructive cycle.

This Tuesday, March 21,  Lacey Anne Black, the author of “Dandelions to Daffodils: Chronicles of a Child with an Alcoholic Parent”,  will be our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio at 2pm ET at www.toginet.com  Her topic is titled:  “Lacey’s Story:  Adult Child of an Alcoholic to Therapist.”  She will tell her compelling story of having an alcoholic parent, but also discuss how children are affected by an alcoholic parent, future addictions in the children, how to help an alcoholic, etc.  If you have or are living in this difficult situation, tune in and be blessed.  If you want to be informed about something that affects millions of families, we hope you will listen to learn.

Mom and Dad, maybe it is a good time to evaluate how open your conversation is with your children; especially teenagers.  It is a harsh world out there and you can promote an atmosphere of peace, happiness, and open communication in your home so you kids can thrive. Do they avoid talking to you?  Do they avoid you altogether?  Are they afraid of you?  Are they always in trouble with you?  Evaluate for the sake of your kids and your family.  Take a look at your use of alcohol in the home to see if it is affecting your relationship with your family members.  Don’t be the reason your family has to “walk on eggshells.”

 

 

Looking In the Rearview Mirror

rearview mirror

We can all look back at our past and see why we are where we are today. Living poorly may have either have caused us to work hard to live well or just made us give up and think that is all we were meant to be…poor.

Maybe we lived in an abusive, alcoholic home and we have worked really hard not to have our own kids live in that environment.  Maybe our father was a vet and taught us to be proud of America, so we too stand with our  hand on our heart when the national anthem is played.

Go ahead and look back; we may understand more about ourselves with each glance.  Now, we should spend more time looking out of the windshield to see where we are headed.

“It is, in essence, “looking out of the windshield instead of the rearview mirror.  Think about that for a moment.  If you were driving a car and and all you did was look out of the rearview mirror, you could bump into things, run off the road, or could be fatally injured.  If you just looked out of the windshield and never checked your rearview mirror, you might be hit from behind and not see a potential danger approaching.

The same thing goes for our lives.  If we just look at our past and live in its issues, we cannot move forward in safety and strength.  If we only look forward, but not remember what was before, we could fall back into the same traps and patterns we were in.  The past needs to be dealt with, but not completely forgotten.  It is part of who we are, but it doesn’t have to have power over us or define us as we drive away from it.”  Does that make sense?”  (from Chained No More…A Journey of Healing for Adult Children of Divorce/Childhood Brokenness)

This month on Chained No More Talk Radio, our guests are telling their compelling stories of where they came from and where they are headed today.  Our guest on March 14, is Tam Hodge, a young woman who lived through abuse, an eating disorder, abortions, suicide of her husband, drug addiction, etc.  She will tell her story of looking through the “rearview mirror” and then share where the Lord has called her as she moves forward and looks out of the” windshield.”  She is the author of the book, “And Now I  Choose” (amazon.com).  Please join us on Tuesday, March 14 at 2-3pm ET on www.toginet.com.

You can also download the podcast at www.toginet.come/shows/chainednomore anytime following the LIVE broadcast.

 

“Forget the former things; do not DWELL on the past.”  Isaiah 43:18

Friend, you may never be able to completely forget the past, but you do have the choice to dwell on it or not.  Think about it.  Set your negative past issues free and look out of the windshield with new hope and purpose.

Out of the Tunnel; Into the Light

tunnel

Do you remember a time when you felt like you were caught in a tunnel  and you could see no way out?  You tried and tried to find solutions and answers, but you kept running into a brick wall, it seemed?  Finally, sometimes, we just give up and try to accept that this is the way our life will always be.

One of the most beautiful things that increases my faith in the Lord God is seeing Him change lives and heal hearts.  He can take a life shattered from childhood and broken from crisis after crisis, use His Holy Spirit to capture their attention and soothe them with Himself and the promises in His Word.  The next thing you know, this wounded person’s eyes begin to rise, they begin to feel a flicker of hope and they see the little light at the end of the tunnel of their despair.

We see this time after time in our Chained No More classes (www.robynbministries.com/chainednomore) and I will never tire of watching the Lord God transform a life before our very eyes!  Praise His Name!!!

Our participants come from all walks of life, their childhoods severely damaged them, and they began to define themselves by what was said to them and what they experienced.  The enemy defined them and covered them with issues such as fear, anger, abandonment mistrust, betrayal and abuse of every kind.  What a horrid “tunnel” they have lived in for so long.   Now, what a joy to share with them who GOD says they are and who He created them to be.  The light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and brighter and closer and closer as they realize they are nothing like they thought they were!  What a thrill to watch!!

This week on Chained No More Talk Radio, we begin a month of interviewing guests who have lived in great trauma and just when they thought there was no hope, God lifted them up and is using them for His glory and purposes.  These stories may not be easy to hear, but their testimony of what God did will make us want to shout “hallelujah!”  We also hope that hundreds of thousands around the world will hear these guests and find hope that they too can find that light at the end of their “tunnel.”

For those of us who have not lived a lot of trauma and don’t really connect with people in crisis much, these stories will help us to have more compassion, less judgment. and teach us ways to minister to those still in their “tunnels” and guide them out to His Light.

Please join us each Tuesday at 2-3pm ET at www.toginet.com or you can also download each podcast at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore to hear each incredibly riveting story.

This week’s guest will be Brian Cole and the title of his show will be “From Darkness and Addiction to Preacher.”  His story will blow you away!  Join us and hear what God has done.

 

“You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”  Ps. 18:28

Help! We Don’t Want A Divorce!

making up

Life gets busier and busier and tougher to manage.  Many times, our marriages get left in the dust between work, the kids, sports activities and extended family.  Add health issues, financial struggles and past issues rearing their ugly heads. and we can see why the divorce rate in America is still over 50%.  It used to be that the divorce rate was less within the church, but that is no longer the case.

I headed up a large single parent family ministry in our area, and the devastation I saw in the kids as well as the adults was heart-breaking, to say the least!  Many times a couple will have so much animosity, bitterness and anger at each other that they don’t see what they are doing to their kids.  Parents may even know how they are hurting the children, but because they don’t know how to resolve conflict effectively, or they hold onto past offenses or even keep hurting each other, they sadly separate and divorce.

The damage on the children is immense and will last a lifetime from the effects.  Feelings of insecurity, abandonment, betrayal, fear and great anger will follow them most of their life, if they don’t find healing.  They did nothing to deserve any of it!  The stats are high that children of divorced parents will also divorce…another result of parents unable to resolve their conflicts and be true to each other and the vows they made.

Well, help is one the way!  Dr. Rick Marks will be our guest on Chained No More Talk Radio on Tuesday, February 21 at 2-3pm ET at www.toginet.com.  His topic will be “Help!  We Don’t Want To Divorce!”.  Dr. Rick specializes in bringing critical marriages back to wholeness and holds groups around the country as well as private sessions with a couple to help them stay married and find joy in the reconciliation.  An incredible expert and resource for our listeners!  You can also download the podcast anytime at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

So, if you find yourself at a crossroads of staying married or leaving, please get to Dr. Ricks’ interview.  It could save your marriage and spare your children great damage in the process.  Aren’t they worth it?  You and your spouse are the examples of what marriage looks like, after all.

“Love is PATIENT, love is KIND, It does NOT ENVY, IT does not boast, it is NOT PROUD.  It is NOT RUDE, it is NOT SELF=SEEKING, it is NOT EASILY ANGERED, it KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS.  Love does NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL, but REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.  It ALWAYS protects, ALWAYS trusts, ALWAYS hopes, ALWAYS perseveres.  LOVE NEVER FAILS.”  I Corinthians 13

Look at your marriage.  What elements are missing?  What can you personally improve on.  How will you pray for your marriage or do you?  If you are saying, “Help!  I Don’t Want A Divorce,” then beginning today, “do the work to make it work.”

Hearts and Flowers

valentines

Notice anything red or pink around the stores lately?  Notice the hundreds of heart-shaped cardboard boxes of chocolates?  Notice the many jewelry ads in the paper lately?  Yup!  It’s Valentines Day tomorrow.

For some of us, it is a wonderful day to celebrate love with our spouse or significant other. For children, it comes with cute little valentines given out to schoolmates with frosted sugar cookies in the shape of hearts and little conversation heart candies.

For my husband, Ivan, and me, it is our 43rd wedding anniversary.  Forty-three years of wonderful; of highs and lows, of moves, of the joys and challenges of having children, and the many joys of ministry.  Forty-three years of “better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, as long as we both shall live.”  Period.  It wasn’t too long ago that I asked my Ivan what he thought about renewing our wedding vows.  He looked intently at me, took my hands and said, “Babe, I meant those vows the first time.”  sniff sniff

Now, let’s look a different point of view.  There are many who dread this holiday because either they are alone because of divorce, death, or just haven’t found the right Valentine in their life.  For these people, they may try to keep out of the stores, not listen to love songs , and just try to ignore all the “love” they see.  If that is you, and you are unhappy this week, I want to wish you a day that you feel loved by your family, by friends, and especially the Lord God.

“I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart;  I will glorify Your name forever.  For great is Your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”           Ps. 86:12,13

There are also married couples who are barely living in the same house together and this holiday just doesn’t line up with how their relationship looks.  It may have been a long time since the words, “I love you” have been said, a hug was given or kind words were uttered.  Marriage takes a huge amount of commitment, compromise, patience and adherence to the vows that were said at the wedding.  It takes a lot to nurture a lifelong relationship; sensitivity, a desire to have a close bond, and all the things that are spoken about in I Corinthians 13; God’s ideal of love.

This Tuesday, our expert guest on Chained No More Talk Radio is Dr. Rick Marks, a man who is passionate about helping marriages to become all they were meant to be.  He will talk about what it takes to nurture a marriage and keep it vibrant and as sweet at those conversational heart candies.  Please tune in on Feb. 14 at 2-3 pm ET at www.toginet.com to hear all of Dr. Rick’s practical tools and let him encourage you on that very special day of love.

I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you are celebrating it with a husband, wife, friend, child, or a neighbor or alone.  Give love away and that love will come back to you.  Most of all, remember that God loves you, values you, cherishes you, and wants His best for you on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

 

 

Snowball Fights

snowball fight

I have  many memories of living in Alaska where my dad pastored a church.  Some of the most fun memories I have are the endless hours of playing in the snow.  A LOT of snow!!

We would get together with the neighbor kids and build igloos, snowmen (and women), ice skate on the little frozen pond a couple of blocks from our home, and make snow angels until our fingers were frozen and our noses felt they were going to fall off!  It was cold, but it was fun.  Really fun!

Every once in awhile, we would all get into a big time snowball fight.  These fights all began in good fun, but it wasn’t long before someone was hit in the face, snow was thrown down someone’s back and then tempers flared.  There was almost no way to end a snowball fight without someone walking away getting mad or yelling over their shoulder, “I’m going to go tell mom on you!”  The next day or two, it would begin all over again….Ahhhhh! childhood memories.

We can compare snowball fights with the arguments and fights we find ourselves in sometimes with other adults  now.  Oh, our conversations may begin with a difference of opinions, but can quickly move into voices rising, anger flaring and before we know it, it can turn into a full out fight.  If we had the tools to experience conflict resolution, we could save our relationship and sometimes  just  “agree to disagree.”

Many of us were raised in a home where fights and arguments were part of our everyday life.  We  saw our parents yelling at each other, and in some cases, including  physical abuse.  We didn’t see them “talk it out”, forgive one another, or experience peace in the home unless everyone was sleeping at night.  We were not taught about conflict resolution or restoration in our relationships, so we experience the same battles in our own homes.  Is that your story?

I am happy to tell you about the next Chained No More Talk Radio show coming this week, Feb. 7.  The title is “Conflict Resolution at its Best” and our expert guest is Dr. Marlin Schultz, a marriage and family therapist for over 30 years.  This is an ENCORE show, so you can download the podcast anytime by going to www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore, go to “view all podcasts” and find the original podcast on  02-10-16. 

This podcast will air again on Feb. 7 and you can go to www.toginet.com at 2-3pm ET.  The hour with Dr. Schultz is chock full of practical tools and education of how two people can resolve a conflict in a civil and respectful way.  It could save your marriage or any other relationship you may be in.  Don’t miss it!

“Take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s (or women’s) does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1: 19,20

Is it time to change the atmosphere  in your home and stop merely throwing “snowballs” at each other?  Hmmmmm????

 

Living Free!

freedom-ufc

Wow!  What a world we live in right now, huh?  Countries at war, American citizens at war, opposite perspectives on almost every subject, miscommunication, lies, hatred, bitterness.  We are the Divided States of America indeed. Wait a minute!  Didn’t Jesus say all of this would happen?  Didn’t He?

“Watch that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, claiming, “I am the Christ, and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains…Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  Matt. 24:4-8

Sometimes it is hard to be surrounded with negative people, press, actions and hurt. Sometimes it can overtake us and we engage; not as how the Lord would have us live, but as the enemy has dictated.  Stand firm, readers.  Look up and know the Lord God is bigger than anything happening on this earth.  His love encompasses us all, no matter what opinions we hold.  He died for all.  He rose for all.  We have many freedoms in our country, but His freedom is the ultimate;  to live and be as He created us to be, without the chains of fear, flaws, and failures.

Many live in fear and have no hope, but we can be the light in this dark world by how we speak, act, encourage others, come alongside those who are in need, and live our walk with God the best we can.  We can show them what true freedom can look like when we put our complete trust in Him and let Him work His plan out.  That’s right; HIS plan.

My hope for each of you is that you find God’s freedom to live life without the confines of fears, flaws, and failures.  These are not of God, but effective tools of the enemy to make us less than God created us to be.  There are wars in our world, but there is also a war for your soul and your freedom in Christ.  Now is the day to begin taking captive of every negative thought, word and deed.   “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Cor. 10:5

Our guest on Tuesday, Janurary 31,  on Chained No More Talk Radio, will talk about “Living Free From Fears, Flaws, and Failures.”  Her name is Nicole Unice and she is the author of “Brave Enough:  Getting Over Our Fears, Flaws, and Failures to Live Bold and Free.”  She lived with a lot of fear and anxiety and will tell her story of how she was able to become free from those chains. Tune in at 2pm ET on www.toginet.com.  You can also download her podcast at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore, beginning later that day.

Here’s an idea for today.  Turn the media off, look away from the FB screens, go to the concordance in your Bible and look up the words FREE, FREED,FREEDOM, AND FREELY.  A new beginning of living free.  You deserve it!

Building Bridges and Mending Fences

mending fences

We have just been through a huge ice and snow storm here in the Northwest; the first in many years.  We were not prepared for it, so our cities just shut down.  In Portland, the sides of the roads were covered with abandoned vehicles.  There were hundreds of accidents and our emergency services and utility companies were kept running hard for a couple of weeks.

One of the things that makes the Northwest so beautiful are the acres and acres of trees, but when there is this type of storm, there is a big problem.  Huge trees fall on houses, cars on roadways and demolish many fences.  These fences are flattened in seconds and it can be devastating to property owners.

People work hard to rebuild the fences as quickly as they can so their yards are secure and their pets and kids are safe.  What a mess!

This reminded me of when families are in turmoil and fences can get tall and solid.  Communication is lost, hurt hardens hearts, grudges built on, and the next generation suffers too because of adult conflict.  Just another way families are being shattered today.

Sometimes conflicting adult siblings can’t even remember where the hurtful issues began, but they just choose not to work to solve them.  Family gatherings can become awkward at best and other family members take sides or have to adjust to keep these siblings apart.  How hurtful and unnecessary!  Aren’t we adults, after all?!

Think about your relationships with your siblings.  Are those relationships as close as they could be or are there unresolved issues that need to be worked on for the sake of unity in your family?  Who is going to take the high road?  Who is going to take the first step?  Who cares enough?  Who is willing to ask for or offer forgiveness?  How about you?

Our expert guest on Chained No More Talk Radio on Tuesday, January 17 is Sarah Hamaker and her topic is…”Adult Sibling Rivalry:  Building Bridges and Mending Fences.” This author will discuss conflict between adult siblings, the cost of rivalry to the family, how to resolve issues and what it takes to have healthy sibling relationships.  Tune in at 2-3pm ET at www.toginet.com.  You can download the podcast later at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

“Do not pay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the everybody.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Romans 12:17-19; 21

Is it time to “take the high road” and try to restore relationships with your sibling(s)?  Take time to pray about it first and ask God to guide you with every step.  Be led by humility, grace, forgiveness and a pure heart.  You can’t help what your sibling does, but you sure can help what  YOU do!  Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!”  It’s the right thing to do.

 

“I’m Telling Mom!” Sibling Rivalry

sibling-rivalry

Do you remember when you were a kid and your brothers/sisters used to bug you until you just lost it and then YOU got in trouble?  Maybe you were the tattle tale and wanted to make sure Mom/Dad knew you weren’t the one who spilled the milk, broke a vase, or made the baby cry .

Maybe you always felt kind of invisible because the “baby in the family” got most of the attention and Mom would just say to you, “Go outside and play.”  It could be that your brother/sister did so much better in sports, music or academics and you felt you were less than them.  Now those feelings have carried on into your adulthood.  Hmmmmm.

“Siblings are the people we practice on; the people who teach us about fairness,  cooperation, kindness, and caring – quite often the hard way.”  Parents have a wonderful opportunity to  guide their children to help them practice these things by the way they interact with their kids.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to see which child is at fault, who is telling a lie, who is just having a bad day or which child just likes to tell on their sibling. It takes wisdom, discernment, time to focus, and a strong purpose of teaching their children how to get along with others.  In addition, it is important to teach children to be kind to one another and encourage one another, like the Bible teaches us to do.

Many times, children will act out by fighting with each other just to get their busy parents’ attention. Parents who are workaholics, spend most of their time on their phones or laptops,  or pursuing their own interests,  can encourage kids to do most anything to get much needed attention.  Something to think about, Parents.

This Tuesday, on Chained No More Talk Radio, we are addressing this very topic, “Sibling Rivalry: How to End the War at Home.”  Our expert guest is author Sarah Hamaker, the author of  “Ending Sibling Rivalry: Moving Your Kids from War to Peace.”  She will talk about the difference between sibling rivalry and conflict, how it affects the family, how parents can  actually encourage rivalry, and many tips to help parents who live this every day.  To listen LIVE, go to www.toginet.com at 2-3pm ET on Jan. 10.  To listen to the podcast later, go to www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

Take a deep breath, parents, and let’s get to work so your home can be one of more peace!

 

Reaching For the Stars

reachforthestars

Are you a dreamer?  One who thinks and imagines great and mighty things you will experience and actually do?  Maybe you will be a famous writer or singer.  Maybe you will travel to a faraway land to explore.  Maybe you will win the Nobel Peace Prize or become president of the United States (Yikes!).

Maybe you dreams are smaller like, organizing your garage, or landscaping your yard into a showpiece.  Maybe you see yourself 5 sizes smaller or with straightened teeth.  What is your dream?  What are your goals and resolutions for 2017?

If you look at the picture above, you will notice that this child is holding onto a ladder, but still reaching for the stars. He may have taken some actual steps up the ladder and is still staying grounded on that ladder.  If he lets go of the ladder, he could fall, be injured, and have to begin the climb again.  Just like when we fail, we have to dust ourselves off and begin again.  Those stars (goals, resolutions) are still up there, so we may keep trying.

I have found that sometimes those stars are not what the Lord has for me.  I can keep trying and trying, insisting I know what God’s plan for me is, however,  that star may  not be mine to reach.  God created me, gifted me, has a perfect plan for me and will guide me, if I will let Him.  Now, I could just stay at the bottom of the ladder and wait for someone to lift me to the star or I can take steps  to reach them and “put feet to my prayers.”

“One thing I do;  forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 3:13,14

This week’s expert guest on Chained No More Talk Radio will be Stephen Scoggins, the developer of “The Journey Principles.”  His topic will be “How to Successfully Reach for Goals in 2017”.  He will tell his story of going from a suicide attempt to developing a multi-million dollar corporation.  He will give many practical tools and will encourage and inspire our listeners.  Tune in at 2-3pm ET on Tuesday, on Jan. 3 at www.toginet.com.  You can also download the podcast later at www.toginet.com/shows/chainednomore.

So, what’s your dream?  What are you doing to reach your star?  Don’t forget to listen to the One who made the stars.  Happy New Year!