Take A Walk

My daughter relieves me most days when I sit with Brooky (my CHD warrior who resides at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh). We have been here long enough that we have developed shifts so no one is overly burdened or burnt out.

 

Some days I’m good; I’m happy and relaxed. But others I feel as if the walls are closing in on me. When I explained this to my daughter she told me when she feels like that she just takes a walk.

 

I’m pouring my heart out and this child is talking about taking walks. Needless to say my original thought was, “foolishness”. However the next time the walls began to close in on me and I felt myself thinking, “I have  to get out of here”, I waited until Brooky fell into the deepest of sleep, and I took a walk.

 

When I tell you that walk to no where, was refreshing, rejuvenating and it made me feel like a new person, I mean that.

 

Why do I share this story you ask? I often stress the importance of self-care. Well this is just another example of why self care is so vital to not just surviving but actually thriving. This very simple almost silly idea has revolutionized my time here at the hospital and given me new energy I didn’t think I had.

 

What areas of your life are driving you insane? What is happening when you visualize yourself jumping over a table and throat punching a coworker or worse, your boss? What is being said when you begin to wonder if you married the wrong person, or “do I know him/her at all?” At that very moment (or the closest moment possible), before doing or saying something you will regret, take a walk. Even if it’s just a mental walk where you close your eyes and visualize yourself leaving that space and basking in the fresh air and sunshine of the day. Praying, meditating and even talking to yourself (as crazy as it may seem) in a positive way are all great additions to this exercise.

 

Don’t allow circumstances and situations to take you to a level of dysfunction, but instead take a walk, gather your composure, rejuvenate your spirit, allow your mind to unload, debrief and deescalate and come back fresh; ready to conquer the world (maybe that’s a stretch but you get the idea).

 

So the self care tip for today thanks to Ms. Sheltaya is #TakeAWalk

 

It can save a marriage, help you keep your job, but most importantly sustain your sanity in this fast paced, high pressure world we live in.

 

 

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed

(Luke 5:16, NIV)

 

Why Self Care: Because Even Jesus Did It

Unplug From The Matrix

neo matrix

My husband and I vacation A Lot! I’m sure people judge the fact that we schedule a good 5-6 getaways per year with one intentional vacation of at least one week in length. We, much like you, have a lot going on. Allow me to give you a quick snapshot:

My husband and I work full time jobs, we are working toward licensing as Marriage and Family therapists, we are in the process of opening a new business coupled with the real estate business which is already draining, not to mention the new book we are writing coupled with the “Get a Grip on Your Marriage” retreat we are scheduled to hold August 25th-26th (shameless plug). We do all of this while trying to make Ms. Brooklyn a priority by visiting her every day.

I don’t say all of that to brag about being super busy because all of us could list out our responsibilities in the same fashion. I share that because it is the reason we feel the need to unplug from the matrix as often as we possibly can. It’s the reason we take joy in the last-minute weekend jaunt to the beach or the invite to a retreat or quick getaway. We need that time to “relax, relate and release” in the words of the great Whitley Gilbert.

Vacations have helped us slow the ride down so we could get off, if only for a minute. They have allowed us to get back in touch with one another, and they have even saved our marriage when we were all but headed to divorce court. I know people don’t believe that, but trust me when I say a good vacation can remind you ‘Why you got married” when the reasons seem to escape you.

So now I ask the question: How often do you and your spouse vacation? How often do you get away to no distractions and no interruptions (translation: NO KIDS)? How often do you take time for just the two of you to re-engage with one another? If you have to think about it, then it’s time to get to planning. If money is at issue, start small. Take a trip an hour away, stay at an inexpensive bed n breakfast with a wonderful veranda or a cheap hotel with a nice pool. Have your romantic Bic-Mac and fries on a blanket in the park instead of in the car, and make the best of what you have. If money is not the issue, it’s time to schedule uninterrupted quality time away. Unplug, I promise since Rome was not built in a day, it will not fall apart while you are away. And if it does you built it once, just go back and build it again.

Why do I stress the getaway so adamantly? When we get bogged down with the cares of life, the relationship is the first thing to go. Everyone gets our quality time and we pass out once we get together.  Let’s fight for our marriages, for our homes and for our families by making our relationship a priority and unplugging from the matrix.

Unplugging Tips:

  1. Remember to leave the cares of life at home. If you spend the time away on your cell phones working on home issues, you may as well have stayed home. We purposely cruise annually and refuse to buy the cellular package, first because we’re cheap, but also because it forces us to talk, and truly unplug when we get into those international waters. You’d be surprised at the level of deep conversation you can get into when there’s no one else to talk to but your spouse
  2. NO ARGUMENTS. Table all arguments until you return. By then the two of you will hopefully be so blissful there will be no reason for it.
  3. Love , Love , Love on one another. Take this time to act like silly giddy teenagers again. Whatever it takes, make it great!
  4. Pray for your relationship in this time away. Pray that God sustain and keep it and that He shows both of you how to effectively love one another

 

Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest

(Matthew 11:28, ESV)

The true shameless plug:

Join us for a the “Get a Grip on Your MArriage Retreat”  There is still space available:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/get-a-grip-on-your-marriage-tickets-34111145354?aff=es2

You will never regret investing in your marriage!

 

Noone cheats on the Proverbs 31 Woman, or do they?

Noone cheats on the Proverbs 31 woman. If someome can cheat on the Proverbs 31 woman then there’s definitely no hope for me.

Sadly these are the selfish words that went through my head when I heard the horrible news that the Terkeursts were getting a divorce.

 

If you have read my book or followed my blog you know I have been a huge fan of Lysa Terkeurst’s ministry (is it right to call yourself a fan of ministy, or should I be super deep and say I’m a follower or believer in), anyhoo I love the ministry and the things she does and shares for the kingdom.

Well recently she revealed that her husband was unfaithful. Alhough she tried hanging on by even turning to fasting and prayer, he couldn’t seem to let this other person go. I hate to admit this was a painful blow. I dropped a few tears and I’m sure many others have as well. I went through various emotions from wanting to embrace her, to wanting to punch him in the face, then the compassion of just wanting to love both of them (and their family) through the pain.

No, I’ve never met Lysa (yet I call her Lysa as if we’re the best of friends), I don’t talk with her on the phone, and we don’t chat online, or anywhere else for that matter. She is just the representative for all that I thought a great marriage should be. I honestly never even knew much about her husband I just assumed they were picture perfect.  I apologize in advance for giving her an office she never asked for, but her great advice, her scriptural quips and  amazing perspective flips on all that goes on in the lives of a real  woman (a real married woman) made it seem like all I had to do was change my perspective and my marriage would be OK.

Then I think of my marriage. My marriage that is fraught with stress, strain, anger and strife at times. My marriage that looks anything but holy and would definitely not be considered acceptable. My marriage that reminds me that marriage is never easy but it’s always worth it.

 

I realize God is in control but I have to be honest and wonder how the kingdom can benefit from this pain.

Then I remember the fact that Lysa’s ministry has reached hundreds, thousands if not millions of women. She has sprinkled her Christian fairy dust through books, radio, and even TV. Why wouldn’t the enemy go after her, her family and her ministry full force. She is a threat to all he (the enemy) holds near and dear.

I pray for her broken heart and spirit, I pray for her family, and I pray that the ministry doesn’t take a negative hit because of this. But in all of that pain, turmoil and craziness I’d like to give a shout out to Lysa and all she’s done for kingdom of God. If she wasn’t a threat he wouldn’t go after her so hard. I would never desire for her to lose her marriage and her family in this but she has been a good servant and I believe God is well pleased.

When even the Proverbs 31 woman can’t keep her man from cheating what do all of us common folk do?

Well we keep the main thing the main thing. My pastor often says “marriage is not for happiness, it’s for holiness”. That being the case, strive to make your marriage a holy place. A place where God can comfortably rest His name knowing that you are doing all you can to show His love through your relationship. Pray for your relationship and your spouse everyday. Be that loving representative for Christ and recognize you can’t control what your spouse does but you can control how you respond. Live, love and laugh together as if it’s your last day because the sanctity and security of your marriage is a witness for Christ you never have to work for.

I am sad a marriage had to die to take this stance, but I am able to stand and say fight for your marriage at all costs and allow God to work on the two of you.

I should add that I only share this story because Lysa was transparent enough to share it in various interviews. I am grateful for her transparency and again pray that God bless her for her faithfulness to the work of the kingdom.

 

 

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.

 

Ephesians 6:13-14, KJV