4 Ways to Escape the Trap of Emotional Divorce

4 Ways to Escape the Trap of Emotional Divorce

Have you ever found yourself feeling:

“I’m just so mad, so hurt—again. I’m not going to share my heart with him anymore. He doesn’t understand. It is too painful. We’ll live in the same house but he can do his thing and I’ll do mine.” 

Most of us, if we are really honest, have felt this way about our husband from time to time.

I call it falling into the trap of emotional divorce.

Imagine a solid glass patio door.

Emotional divorce is a bit like slamming that patio door shut on our hearts.

We still see the person on the other side, but there’s a strong, sealed panel between us.

We begin to close up our heart to him.

This trap can occur during stressful transitions in our lives-a move, a job loss, financial pressures, a new baby, caring for elderly parents, a child in crisis, etc. We are stressed and if each of us responds differently to the issue, we get irritated.

We are too exhausted to communicate.

We are afraid, and we unintentionally take it out on one another.

What do we do when we find ourselves falling into this trap?

1. Recognize what is happening and refuse to let that “patio door” separate you.

2. Make the decision to take a sledgehammer and begin to chip away at that glass wall. Thick patio doors don’t usually splinter into pieces all at once. It takes a steady chipping away at a tiny crack until the door dissolves.

3. Talk to a godly older couple and ask for their help. Most churches have older couples who would be happy to mentor you, pray for you, and encourage you. Get counseling as needed.

4. Remember God is for your marriage. He is the strong “super glue” holding you together. You can rely on Him. He will bring you through this time and your marriage will be deeper and stronger as a result.

“For nothing is impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)

Blessings,

Susan

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6 Things to Encourage You in Times of Disappointment

6 Things to Encourage You In Times of Disappointment

I was an exhausted young mother with five small children.

For several months we had been praying for a small house to purchase. We’d never owned anything and felt it was time to begin to build a little equity.

We made a list of things we wanted-a fireplace, view, creek, and we wanted God to provide it by a certain date! We didn’t really want to be “picky” but instead simply honest with God who knows our desires anyway.

The “perfect” house came up–we thought!

We made a bid but it was rejected as way too low and a counter-offer was out of our range.

I was devastated.

Our adopted grandfather Alf Stanway and his wife Marjory were visiting us at the time we received the “no.” A godly Bishop and one of our heroes in the faith Alf turned to me and gently said,

“Susan, when God answers a prayer  “no” consider it a ‘love-no.’  He always answers out of His personal love for us.”

Over the years with lots of “no’s”—I’ve always remember Alf’s words.

6 things have encouraged me in these times of disappointment….

  1. Release those tears. It’s OK. Being sad is not “un-spiritual.” Jesus himself wept when he received word that Lazarus had died. (And he knew he was going to raise him up!). Feelings are a gift of God.
  2. Recognize that Jesus understands. Hebrews 2:17-18 and 4:14-16 remind us that he has experienced everything that we have and we will, yet without sin. He gets us. This comforts!
  3. Regain perspective. We see only in part. Jesus alone has the big picture and He’s about something so much bigger than our one disappointment.
  4. Realize that delay is not denial. An obvious “no” may one day, at the perfect time become a “yes.” God does what is best, not necessarily what is fast.
  5. Rest in the fact that God might be protecting us from something that we don’t know about. (The house we wanted was a complete fixer upper and my husband is not a fixer-upper. With 5 little people we would have been making a huge mistake.)
  6. Remember that God is good. He is sovereign. We want “thy will to be done.” He is working while we are waiting.

“For it is God who is at work within you both to will and to work for his good pleasure” Philippians 2:13

Blessings,

Susan 

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The Best Way to Parent That Very Unique Child of Yours

The Best Way to Parent That Very Unique Child of Yours

Peanut butter and jelly.

Peanut butter and honey.

Jelly. No peanut butter.

Tuna fish.

This summarizes the lunch hour in my home.

Gym shorts.

A dress with a bottom that can spin.

Purple sweatpants, orange ruffle tank top and a pair of watermelon colored flip flops.

Any variation of leggings and a too small t-shirt.

This is the morning wardrobe.

Bubbly.

Blunt.

Observant.

Fearless.

A brief description of their everyday personalities.

Get the picture? These are my four girls. The differences between them are endless and make our days together a priceless mystery.

As a young mom, I watched my girls play. I examined how they learned and related to each other and I was continually amazed that it was possible to be born to the exact same parents, raised in the exact same family structure and somehow exude so many differences.

And then I remembered who their Creator is and wondered why I should expect anything less.

Our God is creative.

He does not skip generations and He does not stop with height and hair color. His creativity is unconstrained and limitless. There are over 7 billion people in our world, all created by the One True God, and not one person is the same as another. Not even the ones sharing a bedroom, whispering secrets and calling you “Mom” or “Dad.”

Understanding this attribute of God gives me the desire to know my children and it drives me to direct my parenting according to the way their Heavenly Father has created them.

Now, please know that I do not adhere to every preference or want of my children, however trying to understanding their God-given uniqueness gives me the opportunity to lead them in a way that they can relate and easily grasp.

With each new season I find myself learning how I can best parent them according to their innate differences.

4 Things to Remember About Your Unique Child

So, when everything else about them seems to be shifting and developing, here are a few things I know to be true and I try to keep these things in the forefront of my mind and theirs!

  1. My children are intentionally crafted by the Creator of the Universe.

 Psalm 139:13

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

  1. My children are different from my neighbor’s children as they are different from each other. God did this on purpose, for His purpose.

   Romans 12:6 

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

  1. My children are God’s gift and they are to be treasured and treated accordingly.

   Psalm 127:3 

  Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.

  1. As their parent, it is my responsibility to know them, love them and train them in the way that they should go.

   Proverbs 22:6

  Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

And just for a little encouragement, here are a few helpful ways you can get to know your children individually!

  1. Date your children and have a desire to know them intimately. Spend quality time with each child individually in order to get to know them not just as children, but as God’s special creation. (30 Ways to Date Your Daughter!)
  1. Be flexible and willing to adjust. Core values and principles are the foundation; however how they are taught and applied sometimes requires custom lessons and methods.
  1. Be the ultimate living example of God’s Truth. Continue to evaluate your values, standards and desires according to His Word.

Blessings on you and your unique child!

~ Wynter Pitts, ForGirlsLikeYou

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Planning a Spa Day for Your Soul

Planning a Spa Day For Your Soul

Have you felt this lately?

I feel like my days are filled with responding to kids, demands, obligations and I don’t have any creative space just for me.”

It is mid summer, and I imagine we’ve all felt like this at some point.

In fact, you may have wanted to run away for a day or be sent to “time out” for several hours!

It’s normal.

We too need space in our life without an agenda.

Time simply to dream, to be alone, and to listen to the Lord.

I often think of Jesus slipping away at dusk to spend a quiet overnight with the Lord. If He, the Son of God, needed some quite time how much more do you and I?

Time alone refreshes us and makes us better Moms and wives.

We may have to be creative to get time alone so here’s a suggestion:

Plan a half-day away by yourself during the next few weeks or an overnight if you can swing it. Exchange days with another Mom, hire a babysitter, trade days off with your husband.

This is not a day to run errands or scratch things off your “list.”

Instead it is a spa day for your soul.

Go somewhere beautiful and simply be quiet.

Take something that is life-giving—your Bible, a journal, sketch pad, etc.

Eat delicious food.

Especially chocolate.

Put this day on your calendar now and make arrangements.

Simply knowing that you have this oasis of time scheduled for the second half of the summer will be an encouragement.

Planning for a Spa Day for Your Soul

Packing List for Your Soul Spa-Day

  • Bible
  • Journal
  • Sketch-book
  • Song book or hymnal
  • Devotional
  • Special snacks
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee, tea, or favorite beverage
  • Sweet-smelling candle or fresh flowers
  • Comfy pillow and/or blanket

And, above all, bring your listening ears and open heart.

Your heavenly Father loves you and He desires time with you simply to love on you.

Be still and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10

Blessings,

Susan 

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The Prayer of A Mom Whose Nest Will Soon Be Empty

The Prayer of a Mom Whose Nest Will Soon Be Empty

An adaption from Psalm 139

O Lord, you have searched me and You know me.

You know when I sit in the crawlspace looking through my son’s Rubbermaid full of childhood.

You know when I rise and start the washer, so that he has clean clothes to wear to graduation.

You perceive my thoughts about the day we’ll load his car and drive him from the top of Montana to the center of Texas for college.

You hem me in –standing behind me when I saw the positive pregnancy test 18 years ago and standing before me when I wonder how we’ll fund four years of college.

You have laid Your hand upon me,

the way I laid my hand upon his forehead while he was sleeping.

the way I laid my hand upon his backside when he was naughty.

the way I rested my hand on his arm during Saturday night church.

Your hand upon me

–such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

If I hold a newborn in the crook of my arm and admire the dimples in his hand, You are there.

If I see that child in my rearview mirror come August, You are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn and find his bedroom uncomfortably empty,

if I settle on the far north of the continental U.S. while he is in tornado country,

even there Your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness of missing my children will hide me and the empty nest years become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.

You know me.

Your hand is on me.

You are there.

Amen,

Christy Fitzwater

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When Your Heart Is Troubled: 3 Scriptures to Settle Your Soul

When Your Heart Is Troubled - 3 Scriptures to Settle Your Soul

My heart is troubled.

Aching, really.

And I wish it wasn’t so.

Because I want to walk in faith and not worry so much.

To be unshaken by my present circumstances and undaunted by today’s challenges.

And yet here I am troubled in spirit and unsettled in my soul.

When Your Heart Is Troubled

Longing for Home

You probably know that we care for my mother-in-law and that she and Dad have lived with us for the past 17 years.

And how I love her.

And how much she means to me.

And how she suffers from Alzheimer’s and hardly recognizes who we are anymore.

It has become increasingly difficult to care for her – not because we don’t want to –  but because her condition continues to deteriorate.

Among other things, she has this strong impulse to slip out the door and start walking out into the hundreds of empty acres that surround our property. Packing her fuzzy, pink slippers with her as she’s heading off to heaven.

God has called her and so she’s heading Home with her heavenly slippers tucked neatly under her arm. 

And she gets fairly irate when we try and stop her.

Even downright feisty.

I suppose I’d get irate too, if you stood in the way between me and heaven.

Yeah, I think I’d get good and mad and put up a fight.

So, you see, we just don’t know how much longer we can handle her.

Yet I gave her my word.

Several years ago I took her sweet hands into my own and looked into her eyes.

And I promised that we would always take care of her.

Always.

But what do you do when you can’t keep your promise? And what will we do when can no longer keep her here . . . when all she longs for is Home?

What then? 

When Your Heart Is Troubled

A Troubled Heart

And you, my friend.

Maybe you don’t have your Mom taking long walks toward Heaven nearly every chance that she gets.

Maybe you’re worried about your marriage.

Or anxious for your children.

Or wondering how it’s possibly going to work out with your finances.

Maybe it’s poor health or difficult relationships or your stressful job.

And it deeply troubles your soul.

So what then? 

Call on the Lord. 

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From His temple He heard my voice,
    and my cry to Him reached His ears. ~ Psalm 18:6

Sometimes we forget that we can call on the Lord Almighty, Creator of the Universe, and we try to solve our problems all on our own. Crazy, to think we could forget such a thing.

And yet we do.

We look to ourselves for the answers, as if we could figure it out. Without Him.

But His Word says that our cries reach His ears. He is listening! He hears us and we can call on Him.

Anytime. Day or night.

So cry out to Him.

Trust in the Lord.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
 O my God, in you I trust;
     ~ Psalm 25:1-2a

We can have confidence that our God is watching over us. None of this catches Him by surprise. Not our sorrows and not our circumstances.

He is good and kind and powerful.

Put your trust in God and He will not fail you. 

Wait on the Lord.

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord! ~ Psalm 27:14

Right now. That’s when I want my problem solved. I want to know the solution today.

But Scripture tells us to “wait for the Lord.” Not rush ahead and try solve the issue this very minute. We can quiet our souls, knowing that we are safe and well in His hands.

Wait on the Lord. He is able to deliver you. 

It Is Well With My Soul

Last night, before turning in, I checked on Dad and Mom to see if they were doing alright. I found them sitting there at the kitchen table holding hands and singing their hearts out to old gospel tunes. One right after the other.

Could see Dad with big tears in his eyes. Big sweet tears.

It was one of those rare moments when Mom knew who he was and that he was her faithful, loving husband.

And she knew that their time on earth was growing short.

And they talked about tying a rope to each other, so that when one went . . . the other could follow.

And I wished it was like that.

But it’s not. So here they are, waiting on the Lord.

And if they can do it? So can I.

And so can you.

Call. Trust. Wait. 

Be strong and let your heart take courage. 

In His grace,

Signature small

 

*I’d be grateful if you prayed for dear Patricia, if you think about it. And I’d be glad to pray for you too, if you want to leave your request in the comments below. 

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