NAME Conference: Men and Women Relieve Stress Differently

What kind of lover are you

“The right amount of stress allows you to be everything God created you to be. We need to keep stress at a level to be productive.” Bill & Pam Farrel

The following information was shared by Bill & Pam Farrel at the 2014 NAME Marriage Conference.

Women de-stress by talking things out (Stress = like having a meatball land on her pile of spaghetti; she needs to get all the noodles back in place and figure out how to fit the meatball in as well.)

Men create a new box (an easy box), figure it out, put a lid on it and don’t go back there.

Women need to find some REALLY good girlfriends 🙂

  1. Give some type of warning that our stress level is rising to dangerous levels (Pasta Princess)
  2. When one thing is wrong in a woman’s life, everything is wrong. Take your thoughts captive. (Stop. What’s the truth? Something I love about my husband is something that’s irritating me.)
  3. When we look at our husbands and it seems like they’re doing nothing, we have to remember they are recharging by going to their “easy” box.

Galatians 5:13 Serve one another in love. When you bring down the stress in your partner, your needs aren’t necessarily met. Take turns helping each other de-stress.

Bill plays basketball while Pam prays and journals through her feelings.

One way to lower stress is to raise the energy level – motivate one another. Everyone is motivated differently. We need to figure out how each person is motivated:

Extrovert: Act and then wonder if they should have done it based on what happens. Tip: Carry an iPad or smartphone around and write it down so you can read it before you say it. Ask – are we doing what we agreed to do?

Introvert: Constantly holding onto thoughts, get their feelings hurt. Introverts need to remember: Sometimes conversation is just conversation. When we spend time together, do we connect?

Task oriented people: would rather spend time with people AFTER the work is done

People oriented people: Get things done, but are constantly sidetracked by people.

Finding your uniqueness:

  1. Lover #1 Knight in shining armor; queen of hearts
  2. Lover #2 The hopeless romantic
  3. Lover #3 Wind beneath my wings
  4. Lover #4 True Blue Lover

Lover #1 – Knight in Shining Armor/Queen of Hearts

  • -Power
  • -Dominant
  • -Task oriented
  • -Love control
  • -Love cooperative environment they create
  • -Get on with a decision

Romance: love adventure, no guided tours, hiking, anything they decide, make a list and check it off.

Motivated by control of decisions

Give kids like this options and give them responsibility

 

Lover #2 – The Hopeless Romantic

  • -People
  • -Party
  • -Popuplar
  • -extroverted
  • -new adventures
  • -center of attention
  • -like lots of people
  • -fun, not boring
  • -Like new experiences

e.g. Peter

Preferences in Romance: anything new, entertainment that is personal and touches the heart, human drama, adventurous outings, exotic getaways

Motivated by public attention

 

Lover #3 – Wind Beneath My Wings

  • -introverted
  • -Like to help others succeed
  • -Take it as it comes
  • -Stress free
  • -Time to talk
  • -No problem solving
  • -Not over-scheduled
  • -No high expectations
  • -People time

Preferences in Romance: Light schedule, simple activities, time to relax, best event is good company, atmosphere of acceptance, entertainment where there is plenty of time to enjoy it

Motivated by acceptance/respect

 

Lover #4 – True Blue Lover

  • -Routines
  • -Task-oriented
  • -Predictable
  • -Significant
  • -Learning
  • -Talented artists and musicians, but also have a dark side

Preferences in Romance: Do what you said you’d do, events that are discussed ahead of time, guided tours, meaningful entertainment, education outings, museums, historical tours, constant encouragement with flowers, notes, and sincere feedback, honest and complete discussions, long conversations, exploration of the emotional complexity of life, remember significant dates and details.

Motivated by structure/order

Hint: Turn the energy from negative to positive with an exercise routine or friend you call

Suggested resource: Wired That Way

“I’m proud of you.” – need to say this to men.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – For everything there is a season. God planned them in so that we can grow.

Every 7 years we have a change in our lives. These changes can be opportunities to grow. Marriages are made and broken in the transitions of life.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
“He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”
from the Collected Works of W.B. Yeats

 

This is my third post of sharing information from the NAME Marriage Conference. You may want to check out the first and second posts as well.


A Blue Day

Foggy winter day

This picture was taken last year, but this morning the view out my window is similar. I need to leave for work in 30 minutes and have many things I could be doing right now, but God has impressed on my heart that I need to write this post. Maybe it’s for you.

As a general rule, I try to keep my posts positive and uplifting. I acknowledge my feelings, but I don’t let them rule me. Today’s post will be a bit different.

Not only is the weather outside dull and (in my mind) depressing, but in my heart and soul I identify with the blue day today:

  • One of my acquaintances phoned me the other day and let me know that a very close friend was killed in a vehicle accident. She’s grieving, but I’m not sure how to help her. She doesn’t share my belief system. I carefully picked a sympathy card and wrote that I am thinking of her and praying for her. I hope she’s not offended, but takes comfort in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Two of my friends are working through some differences. I love both of them dearly and understand both of their perspectives. I pray that they will both allow God to work through their differences to make the body of Christ stronger. I pray that they will not see each other as enemies, but will band together to do battle with the true enemy of our souls – Satan.
  • The stack of papers on my desk is growing, not shrinking. I wanted to have the stack sorted by now. I hope I’m not missing something important.
  • I think we have some kind of invisible shoe monster living in our house. I put my son’s running shoes in his backpack after breakfast. It took him 10 minutes to get socks on his feet. Then he dawdled making his lunch. While he was getting his jacket on, I checked his backpack to make sure everything was there. No shoes. I looked in his bed room. I searched the shoe rack. I made sure there were no shoes lurking in our coat closet. No shoes. Poof, they’re gone! I put another pair of shoes in his backpack and put it on his back. Just when I think everything is good, his boots are missing. Sometimes they fall down the stairs, so I run down to check. No boots. I search the boot rack upstairs. I peek under his bed. No boots. I tell you, that shoe monster has been busy this morning! Thankfully his older sister is willing to let him wear a pair of boots she rarely wears.
  • Getting my kids ready for school is often a challenge. This morning I barely had time to say goodbye after we walked down the driveway before the bus came to take them away to school. Two of my children have coughs and sniffles. They probably would be happy to spend the day at home, but I’m not going to be home. I send them off, reminding them that this is the last day of school for this week and they will be able to rest and relax this weekend.
  • My sister’s update from Facebook this morning: Our pregnant cat just came in (after only an hour or so outside) with a severely broken leg (bone protruding at the shoulder). No vet here…. Sigh. And then an additional comment: The vet in Kumba (nearest large town) doesn’t deal with this type of thing, so the next closest might be at least a 3 hr. drive. The cat has cleaned herself up well, there is no ongoing bleeding, and she is hiding herself. BUT… the man who helps us in our house (cooking/cleaning) just said he knows about a man (who knows what training, but still knowledgeable) who has come to the village to help people with their dogs (including stitching wounds), so that is probably the best way to go right now – even just to get his opinion. Oh, and did I mention we’re in the middle of a busy translation week (with 8 men working in our house)?!! BTW, the cat damage might have been done by a machete – sigh…
  • Lately my schedule has been very full. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather. I long to be still for half an hour with no expectations. No schedule to keep. Maybe tomorrow, but not today.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but God knows. The God who created us and knows us intimately. The God who sees everything. The God who knows when you lose even one hair off your head. The God who created the universe.

Yes, I feel “blue” today, but I enter my day confidently because God goes before me. He’s the one who arranges and rearranges my schedule. I fall back on a verse that has been special to me since the early 1970’s:

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

 

 


New Release: Uplifting Devotionals for Parents

Uplifting Devotionals for Parents Cover

I’m happy to announce that Uplifting Devotionals for Parents is now available as an e-book. Have you ever wanted to resign from parenting? The responsibility is overwhelming some days. Thankfully, we don’t have to parent in our own strength. God walks with us each day, strengthening us, guiding us, and giving us wisdom – if we ask. As you’ll see in these readings, I’m still learning. My prayer is that God will use these devotionals to provide encouragement, help, and joy in your parenting journey.

Here are a few snippets:

  • Some of life’s greatest lessons are taught not by what happens but by how I respond in messy situations.Nurturing walk with God
  • People who parent children with special needs perform a delicate dance each day, taking into account the individual needs of each child while also making sure necessary tasks are accomplished.
  • I need to nurture my own walk with God in order to effectively teach my children to do the same.
  • When we accept God’s free gift of salvation, He provides His presence every day, an eternal home in heaven, perfect love, incredible hope, an advocate, an inheritance out of this world, and an amazing family.
  • When life is tough and parenting is a struggle, we need to choose to love anyway.
  • My top priority as a parent is teaching my children about God and preparing the soil of their hearts to have a personal relationship with Him.
  • Christmas is not about chocolate, or presents, or trees, or anything else. It’s about the King, Jesus Christ.

If you would like free graphics of the above quotes to enjoy personally or share on social media, please send me an email with “Devotional graphics” in the subject line.

Purchase in Canada: Amazon.ca

Purchase in the U.S.A.: Amazon.com

Uplifting Devotional Cover

If you prefer paperback, these devotionals will be included in a devotional bundle written by fellow Canadian authors: Murray Pura, Tracy Krauss, Marcia Lee Laycock, Janice L. Dick, and me. This book is scheduled to be released in the near future.

5 Minute Friday Post – Dare

“Dare to be a Daniel”

“Dare to be different”

“Dare to stand up for what you believe”

“I dare you.”

“How dare you?”

Dare involves some sort of challenge. Risk. Change. Uncertainty.

But with the possibility of fame, big or small. A chance to stand out. To be a leader.

Some dares are public. Like walking across Niagara Falls on a tightrope, pushing a wheelbarrow. Or taking a dare from people who call themselves friends, but really just want to get you in trouble. Or taking a stand for what you believe, even if you know it’s not popular. Like Daniel, who decided he was going to follow God and not eat the fancy food the king was serving. Daniel, who was basically a slave, a captive in a foreign land. Dared. Will I?

5 Minute Friday is a weekly challenge for bloggers to write for (you guessed it) 5 minutes on a given word. No editing. No deleting (it’s HARD!). If you would like to join me and other amazing 5 minute free writing friends, please visit Kate’s blog and linkup!


Psalm 32:8

Watching for guidance and direction

Psalm 32:8

As some of you know, my parents were missionaries during my early years. This meant that we often spent time in other people’s homes with different rules and expectations. My siblings and I knew we were expected to be on our best behaviour at all times. We learned to keep our focus on our Dad. When we were asked a question, or wanted to do something, we would check his eyes. My Dad had an uncanny ability to communicate clearly without saying a word.

I think of those experiences when I read Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

I’m now much older and away from the direct guidance of my earthly father. Instead, I look to my Heavenly Father for guidance and direction. I have to spend time with Him and pay attention to what He’s showing me to do.

In my work with InScribe, I often feel unqualified to lead. God continues to remind me that He has called me and He will equip me and guide me. This is His organization. He is the one who works in and through the executive and members to proclaim His Word. As we continue to keep our eyes on Him He will continue to counsel us with His loving eyes.

NOTE: I shared this devotional at the beginning of the recent InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Annual General Meeting.


Canadian Thanksgiving 2014: The blessings of family and Nature

One choice I’ve been consciously making this past year is to find things to thank God for. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not because of the food, but because it gives me an opportunity to really focus on the many blessings in my life.

This past weekend my husband and I decided to take our children to Three Hills to spend time with my parents and two of my nieces. The week before Thanksgiving was hectic for both of us. In fact, we planned to leave at 1 p.m. and finally made it out of our yard at 4 p.m. However, making the trip was well worth it. Here are some of the blessings enjoyed this weekend.

Rainbow
A rainbow – the first of many wonderful surprises I encountered over the weekend.
Cockatoo
A cockatoo at the Three Hills Guzoo delighted us with its clever sayings
Dandelion gone to seed
Another unexpected delight
Skunk
Holding a skunk? Don’t worry, this one was de-scented 🙂
Sunrise
This beautiful sunrise greeted me when I stepped out of our camper on Sunday morning.
Fall scenery
My dad and I enjoyed the fall scenery by taking a walk
Ruth's parents
We enjoyed conversations, food, singing, and laughter with my parents
Ruth's nieces
Although my sister is in Africa, her two oldest daughters are in Canada. It was good to spend time with them this weekend. We especially enjoyed singing together.
camp fire
What’s camping without a campfire. Yet another delight we were able to enjoy on Thanksgiving weekend.

Finding the part God designed for me

A Best Yes

A few weeks ago we brought home a puppy – Husky and Malamut cross. Olaf has brought joy and laughter to our family. He greets us at the door each morning with boundless enthusiasm and will chase sticks until we’re tired of throwing. He also likes to chase his tail. He spins round and round, but his tail always stays just out of his reach. Then he’ll flop down and relax. Here he is during one of his calmer times 🙂

Our dog, Olaf

Do you ever feel like you’re spinning round and round, chasing something that is just out of your reach? I do. People often comment about how busy I am. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be busy, but if it’s busyness without focus it gets frustrating after a while.

In the next few months I’m participating in two things to help hone my focus.

1. An online Bible Study using Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, The Best Yes

2. An online course called Audience Business Masterclass from Firepole Marketing

As I make my way through, I’ll share updates about what I’m learning.

What have you been learning lately? I’d love to hear from you.


Uplifting Devotionals – One of my current projects

Charles Reade quote

One of my current projects is collaborating with some other Canadian authors to produce a devotional book. The Uplifting Devotional series is being published by Helping Hands Press. Each month a new devotional is being released. My part in the project is to submit 10 devotionals, each 500 words in length. I’ve decided my theme for these devotionals will be what God has and is teaching me through parenting. Here’s the “seed” thought for one of the devotionals I’m planning to submit:

Just Like Mom

Our eighteen-month-old daughter has a new habit. She plants her chubby little feet, gazes directly at her object of wrath, and wags her finger up and down as she stridently scolds, “No, no, no, no, no!” Hmmm . . . I wonder where she learned that from? As parents we need to be very careful what we model for our children. They are watching and learning, whether we realize it or not.

“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:21 NIV

If I want to lead my daughter in the right way, I need to follow in Jesus’ steps. Then I will be able to rejoice when my child does something, just like Mom.

What about you? Are your children following in your footsteps? Do you have any stories to share? I’d love to hear from you.


Back to school for our kids equals back to ? for parents

Caregivers

For the past 8 years I’ve had the privilege of editing a newsletter for foster, adoptive, and kinship families in north central Alberta. Often I write short pieces for the newsletter as well. (If you’d like to see current or past issues, go to the north central CFSA website. This is what I wrote for the September 2014 issue:

BACK TO . . .

September. For many of us this means back to school, back to a busier schedule, back to music lessons and sports. I’ve been reminded lately that caregivers usually think of themselves last. While you are helping your children prepare for all the activities that September brings, make sure you reserve some time to think about ways to “recharge” personally or with your significant other. Here are some ideas I’m implementing or going back to:

Older Man Holding Bible

  • Starting the day with something relaxing. For me this means getting up early for some quiet time to read my Bible, pray, and do some writing.

Three young girl friends playing soccer

  • Choosing healthy habits. I’m continuing on with my health and fitness journey. During the summer, some of my habits slipped. Going back to a regular schedule makes it easier for me to be more consistent in sleeping, physical activity and healthy eating.

Woman Holding Road Traffic Sign

  • Setting boundaries. I’ve been thinking about what is truly important to me and have started to say “No” to some things.

Businessman in office with computer and fan cooling off

  • Taking a break from technology. I’m choosing not to use any technology after supper.

Family walking through countryside

  • Nourishing your creativity. I’m being more intentional about taking walks, making up stories, reading about new things, and trying new things.

What are you going back to?