Category: Boundaries

7 Ways to Keep Your Peace

Choosing your battles is not always an easy task. Some people just want to argue. Some are addicted to drama. Some are jealous. Some people enjoy creating chaos.  Remember Pigpen and the little cloud of dust that followed him? Leaving a dust trail wherever he went. A little here, a little there – you knew where he had been. You could see the trail!

peace 9I am writing this to remind myself today. I am feeling drained. Too many obligations, not enough time, waiting on this, waiting on that, and the first week of kids home from school.  Life just feels so disorganized today.  Do you ever have days like that? Does this mean I am talking to myself, lol?

How do you deal with people who try to rob your peace?  Here are a few of my ideas – learned the hard way of course!

7 ways to Keep Your Peace

1. Refuse to attend every argument you are invited to.  Just because someone thinks differently than you doesn’t mean it’s a contest to see who is right.  Let us let go of our desire to prove ourselves with every person who comes along.  As God’s kids we are already accepted in Him. Our identity comes from who He says we are, not about who others say. It’s ok if we don’t agree with everybody all the time.

2.  Let’s give ourselves permission to not always have the last word. Conversation is a two way street. Half of the time is listening.  Let us be better listeners.

3.  How about we let go of being The Savior? Jesus is the Savior, not us. Let us give ourselves permission NOT to rescue everyone.  We are NOT responsible for their choices, only our own.  Love them enough to let them be fully responsible for their own actions.

4. Let us let go of criticizing and condemning other people’s behaviors. Nobody likes condemnation. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people.  There is no condemning of anyone.  We don’t choose who goes to Heaven or Hell – Jesus does.  Our job is to preach the Word – in season and out. We are not the Holy Spirit.  Others might welcome it, or not.  What they do with it really is up to them.

5.  Let’s give ourselves permission to be wrong. None of us is perfect in our own strength. It’s ok, we are still human.  Let’s be willing to admit when we make a mistake. Let’s forgive, as we have been forgiven as well.  Let it go already!

6. Let us Guard our hearts and protect our peace.  It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to give yourself some distance from a person.  It is ok not to answer every text, every email, every phone call.  Let’s use our boundaries. Not everything or everyone gets to come into our yard, or our house, or our minds whenever they want. That is healthy.  Let us give ourselves the same respect and honor we give to others.

7.  Know how to refill your body, mind, and spirit with Living Water – Jesus. Whether we read the Word, listen to the Word, listen to a Message, listen to music, just unplug, or whatever.  Garbage in – garbage out, as they say. Let us learn to honor our bodies and minds with good things. Let’s take walks, enjoy nature, take baths, and go smell the flowers!  Let us give ourselves time and space to rest in Him.  It’s ok, He really does have this all worked out!

 

Source: pinterest
Source: pinterest

Peace of Mind at Last

You are always free to make a new choice. Just because you are in a bad situation does not mean it will not change. It will get better – but somethings just have to change.  I have been in bad relationships.  I have been lied to, hurt, cheated on – again and again.  Can I tell you something? IT’S NOT YOU – IT’S HIM.  I was faithful, he was not.  So once I found out – I had to decide. What do I do with this information?

I lied to myself for years.  Pretended it didn’t happen. Until it kept happening again and again.  They call it denial.  As long as I was denying things – nothing changed.  And my silence did not motivate my ex to change.  He just kept doing it.

So I tried the ‘fight’ thing.  But just be ready – especially if you are living in Domestic Violence.  Confronting the Abuser with anything is like lighting the wick on a bomb.  It gets worse.  And it did.

I finally got the courage to leave – and say NO – YOU ARE NOT DOING THIS TO ME ANYMORE! I don’t care what you do with your life – but I am not going to be part of your sick cheating self anymore!   No, I couldn’t change him. But I could change me.  And an unfaithful husband is no husband at all.  I thought I had a marriage – but he didn’t.  I though he was faithful – but he wasn’t.  I thought he wanted a great family life – but he didn’t.  I though he wanted to grow old together – but he didn’t.

My silence was like saying I was ‘ok’ with it – and I was not.

I had to quit lying to myself and make a new choice.

Even if it meant leaving everything.

I wrote a blog post a while back about how a woman finally has enough and leaves the abuser. Enough is enough sometimes. And even though when I and the kids left we lost everything – our house – our stuff – the kids toys – our clothes – our books – our music – etc., it was worth it. That was over 10 years ago. And I can say, God has restored us – in more ways than one!

My friend tmv took my original poem, HYPNOTIZED and made it into a song.  (I also spoke about the insanity of living in abuse with my poem A HANDFUL OF SAND).  I wrote about t here – she has an amazing story of God’s redemption as well. TMV is a 911 survivor who uses her gift to give God praise!  You can read more about here here – WHEN GOD IS EVERYTHING. This is her latest song.

 

 

Peace of Mind

©2014 Words and Music by tmv and Diana Rasmussen
Engineered/Mixed/Mastered by Scott Smith of SAS Recording and Marc Frigo of Frigo Recording

How she’d look up to him
With stars in her eyes
She was so mesmerized
His blue eyes just hypnotized her
She chose to ignore the signs
preferring to adore him

Each time when they’d go out
She’d dress up to look just right
Always dressing to appease
Her job was to keep the peace
But it all began to feel wrong
As he strung her along

She lives with Insanity
Prisoner of depravity
But to end her abuse
Only she can choose

Willpower looks so bright
Away from all of his fright
She could be free and have
Her peace of mind at last
He always criticized her
Found ways to minimize her
No matter what her move
Hed find ways to disapprove
No matter how hard she tried
He always justified it

She lives with Insanity
Prisoner of depravity
But to end her abuse
Only she can choose

Willpower looks so bright
Away from all of his fright
She could be free and have
Her peace of mind at last
Friends kept trying to help her to escape from his hell
That last blackend eye, Became her rebel yell

She Stopped his insanity
No more depravity
Only she could choose
To end her abuse

Her future looks so bright
Away from all of his fright
Now she’ll be free…
She can finally breathe…
She has…
Her peace of mind, at last
Her peace of mind at last

 

 

Peace is a Guard

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 AMP

Peace is a guard. 

Picture the movie 300. Yeah, I know, kind of gory. There were scenes I couldn’t watch. But still lots of good lines. Remember that scene where all the soldiers are standing side by side with their shields up?  The enemy fired arrows at them and they bounced off the shields.

When I read the verse of the Day today from biblegateway.com this is the picture God gave me.  Funny how He can even use a war movie to teach me about peace.

His peace is our Shield.

Hold onto it.

Hold it up.

It covers our hearts and our minds.

It will extinguish the firey darts from the enemy.

His Peace is our Shield – use it.

when life is crazy – hold up His peace.

when bills aren’t paid – hold up His peace.

when you don’t feel well – hold up His peace.

when your mind starts spinning downward – hold up His peace.

when trials, temptations, or suffering comes – hold up His peace.

I did this all day today – with every thought, every feeling, every worry, every care.. Thank you Lord for revelation. What a difference, wow!

From www.themurkyfringe.com
From http://www.themurkyfringe.com

More quotes from 300

Stelios: It’s an honor to die at your side.
King Leonidas: It’s an honor to have lived at yours.

Persian: A thousand nations of the Persian empire will descend upon you. Our arrows will blot out the sun!
Stelios: Then we will fight in the shade.

Queen Gorgo: Freedom isn’t free at all, that it comes with the highest of costs. The cost of blood.

Queen Gorgo: I am not here to represent Leonidas; his actions speak louder than my words ever could. I am here for all those voices which cannot be heard: mothers, daughters, fathers, sons – three hundred families that bleed for our rights, and for the very principles this room was built upon. We are at war, gentlemen. We must send the entire Spartan army to aid our king in the preservation of not just ourselves, but of our children. Send the army for the preservation of liberty. Send it for justice. Send it for law and order. Send it for reason. But most importantly, send our army for hope – hope that a king and his men have not been wasted to the pages of history – that their courage bonds us together, that we are made stronger by their actions, and that your choices today reflect their bravery.

[while wrestling with his son]
King Leonidas: In the end, a Spartan’s true strength is the warrior next to him. So give respect and honor to him, and it will be returned to you. First, you fight with your head…
Queen Gorgo: Then you fight with your heart.
King Leonidas: [sees the Captain] What is it?
Queen Gorgo: A Persian messenger awaits you.
King Leonidas: Do not forget today’s lesson.
Pleistarchos: Respect and honor.
King Leonidas: Respect and honor.

(Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416449/quotes)

Don’t Believe Everything – NaPoWriMo Day 28

ok, kind of a rant today.  This is not true of all the Shepherds/Sheep I know – some are surrounded by the love of God and share with others. Some would give you the shirt off their back if they knew you needed one.  Maybe I just have a bad attitude today, idk. Might just be me – so if so, forgive my rant.

But then there are those who like the power and control.  And maybe it’s me – I know I am overly sensitive to that spirit.  Yeah – paid the price for welcoming that thing into my life. But then again, that’s why it makes me so mad.  It is such a destroying spirit. Tears down everything good to be on the throne.  Wants everyone to worship it.

ugggh!

 

I have found that just like in the world, there are those in the church that thrive on power and control.  And there are those who abuse it. Who take advantage of people when they are at their lowest.  Those who kick you when you are down. And use religion to justify their ‘holier-than-thou attitude’.  Maybe you have run into a few?

So, here’s my rant:

Sometimes the ‘religiosity’ of people in church drives me nuts.  There, I said it.  I have been beaten down by people, the world, my flesh, Satan, his demons, men, bosses, etc…and I am sure you have had your share too.  And yet it infuriates me when other “Christians” insist that what Jesus did is not good enough.  Like I could add something to that perfect sacrifice. Yeah, right.

You hear it..

You need to read your Bible more (How much is enough?)

You need to pray more (I do pray, I didn’t know we were in a contest)

You need to repent, again and again cuz you are such a screw up (I thought Jesus took care of that – yesterday, today, and even my mistakes I do tomorrow.)

You know, not everyone is getting into Heaven – implying they are, but none of us ‘sheep’ are. (Oh, I guess I better pay for the upgrade…)

You need to tithe more (Wow, guess I’ll stop paying my mortgage and electricity – yeah cardboard box, that will work.)

You need to go knock on some doors and bring those people here (I think they know they live next to a church)

You need to … blah, blah, blah

Newsflash –

  • I know I have sinned, do you need to beat me over the head with it?
  • How can I repent and come to the alter when you continually kick me when I am down?
  • I came to church to be forgiven – by Jesus, not by you.  You are not my God, God is God all by himself. He really did do it without you.
  • While you are busy fighting with the other Shepherds about whose doctrine is right/wrong – your sheep are being eaten by the wolves.  Yeah, that would be me. And other sheep I know.
  • If you don’t stop beating the sheep up, they are not going to keep coming back.  Starving sheep don’t do well.
  • If you don’t guard and protect the sheep they will continue to get hurt buy the wolves. If you don’t lead, we won’t follow.
  • It really isn’t about you, or me. I am ok with that.  It’s about HIM.
  • This is not your church. This isn’t your kingdom. That is not your money – It belongs to JESUS.

 

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING

©2014 Diana Rasmussen

Learned my lesson long ago

Don’t believe everything

someone says but to

test and see if their

words and actions match

I’ve been led astray

too many times to

believe everything I hear

What is the fruit

of their words?

Do they bring confusion

or seek peace?

Do they name it, claim it

or trust God in things?

Is there  personal gain

attached to their words?

Or are there selfless acts

with no microphones

applause or accolades?

Is it always about flesh and sin?

And the shortcomings

of everyone?

Or do they build you up

restore and  rebuild

the things the world

has torn down again?

Do they fan the flame

He died to give?

or quench the Spirit

with words of doubt?

Tearing apart

your faith

and hope?

Is Jesus Lord

Above all things?

His sacrifice enough

to pay for your sins?

Or is there more you

need to add?

More you should do

to be accepted

into His family?

Is there peace or confusion?

Is there rest or business?

Is there strife or joy?

Is there hate or love?

Is there arrogance

self-righteous

condemnation

fault-finding

gossiping

distractions

causing disharmony

and division?

Or is the fruit of their words

peace, harmony, and unity?

Dear Jesus,

Please help us to

test the spirits and

discern the hidden

things behind the

curtain as the

price is paid

The veil is torn by

Your blood alone Lord

and we come boldly

to Your Throne

to receive

grace and mercy

and Your help

in our time of need

 

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!

My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception. (1 John 4:1-6 The Message (MSG))

 (P.S. Yes, I have been kicked out of places – me and my big mouth.  I know, I need more healing here. What do you think?)

What is Self Sabotage?

They say misery loves company. Right? The more you talk negative about yourself, the worse you feel. Right? Came accross this list and wow, so true! Self sabotage is deadly. It hurts everyone who is trying to help you. It hurts yourself. You become so addicted to people treating you badly that if nobody does it, you do it to yourself. Self-sabotage. Get help today for this self destructive behavior. Learn how to receive good things and get help today.

When Misery is Company

Source: When Misery is Company, page 117

How many of these statements can you answer in the affirmative?

  1. I often self-sabotage relationships, school, work and other positive opportunities and events.
  2. I avoid feeling or experiencing life fully.
  3. I often get side-tracked or distracted from the most important things.
  4. It is not uncommon for me to find or inject the negative into positive situations.
  5. I often derail positive momentum in my life or circumstances.
  6. I fear feeling too good, too happy or being too successful.
  7. I often procrastinate or delay rather than take required action.
  8. I am often indecisive.
  9. I am rarely sure how I feel about people, places, or things.
  10. I have goals and ambitions but don’t do the work required to attain them.
  11. I feel like I don’t get any breaks.
  12. I often feel incompetent and unworthy.
  13. I have difficulty changing my behaviors even in the face of repeated negative consequences.
  14. I don’t avoid situations that I know will cause me problems.
  15. I too often act on assumptions rather than facts.
  16. I resist change of any type.
  17. I get tied up in the details rather than looking at the big picture (I can’t see the forest for the trees.)
  18. I refuse (or “forget”) to take medications that are helpful.
  19. I often isolate.
  20. I find it difficult to ask for help or accept help if offered.
  21. I tend to push away or reject the people who care the most for me.
  22. I sacrifice my own desires and well-being for those of others.
  23. I am attracted to unavailable people.
  24. I rarely feel like I fit in or belong.
  25. I desire closer relationship but avoid the intimacy that ‘closeness’ requires.
  26. I am easily addicted to substances or behaviors.

How to recover? The first step is recognizing you have a problem and you are listening to the wrong voices. That critical voice in your head is not of God. It is the enemy and he is trying to kill, steal, and destroy. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, and power, and a sound mind.

Replace those old tapes with the Word of God. Jesus has come to give you life, and life more abundantly.

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Crazy for Thinking I Could Change Him

Crazy. For thinking I was the Savior – that I could change someone’s behavior. Crazy for thinking it was all about me. Crazy for thinking things would get better when you live with an Abuser – when actually things were getting worse day by day. Denial is powerful. Especially when you have given away your power. Crazy for thinking he would be faithful – when he is gone night after night.

Living in an abusive relationship is toxic – to me. It’s all about power and control. And a small man pretending he is God. Crazy, I tell you.

If you need help, reach out today. Call the hotline for Domestic Abuse, or the YWCA, or tell a friend. Life doesn’t have to stay CRAZY! God will make a way where there is no way. He will put people in your path to lead you out of the darkness and into the light.

Daily Prompt: Let’s Go Crazy

Sometimes, we act on impulse: it could be something as small as ordering that special dessert on the menu, maybe asking out that cute boy or girl, or as large quitting your job and selling everything you own to become a shepherd in New Zealand. What’s the most crazy, outrageously impulsive thing you’ve ever done? If you’ve never succumbed to temptation, dream a little. If you gave yourself permission to go a little crazy, what would you do?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMPULSE.

CRAZY by Patsy Cline

Crazy
I’m crazy for feeling so lonely
I’m crazy
Crazy for feeling so blue
I knew you’d love me as long as you wanted
And then some day
You’d leave me for somebody new

Worry
Why do I let myself worry?
Wondering
What in the world did I do?

Oh, crazy
For thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving you

Crazy for thinking that my love could hold you
I’m crazy for trying
And crazy for crying
And I’m crazy for loving
You

Image Source: Pinterest

Who Should I Trust?

To trust, or not to trust. That is the question. I get weary of people laughing at me. People I used to trust. People I turned to in my time of trial. You really do find out who your friends are when you are going through a trial. Some have no time to listen. Some listen and then privately (or with others) laugh at you. And others surprise you, and stand beside you. I am the first to admit that I don’t know it all. And I’m ok with that. I am grateful for the true friends that have stood beside me in my trials. We all have trials. We all have stuff.

In those blank spaces I choose to trust God and His Word. God is the best. He is faithful. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t mislead. And He wants the best for me. He doesn’t laugh at me.

As for people, I am still learning ‘who’ to trust with ‘what’. I used to trust everyone – with everything. That didn’t work out so well. Then I trusted people in authority. Until they abused it and thought I was just someone to laugh at and make fun of so they could feel superior. Yeah, that was ‘fun’.
So, from the School of Hard Knocks, here is my list:

HOW TO FIND OUT WHO YOU CAN TRUST

  1. Do their words match their actions?
  2. Do they admit that they don’t know it all?
  3. Do they always have to be right?
  4. Are they willing to admit their mistakes?
  5. Do they apologize when they are wrong?
  6. Do they listen to you when you share what is on your heart?
  7. Are they willing to help you? Or are they too busy?
  8. Do they want you to succeed or do they want to find fault?
  9. Do they follow through?
  10. Are they concerned for you or do they have their own agenda?
  11. What happens when you tell them ‘NO’? This one is a biggie. If they won’t respect your ‘NO’, they won’t respect you. And they are NOT to be trusted. Seriously. Pick a thing, anything. It can even be something insignificant, it doesn’t matter. Whether it is where to go for dinner, or what veggie, or what to do next Thursday night. And say “NO”. Watch their response. Do they hear it? Do they acknowledge it? Do they respect it? Or do they argue, whine, or complain? Do they make it a BIG thing? Then they do not respect you, they just want control.
  12. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom. Ask. Seek. Knock. And trust God more than anyone. He promised to show us as we test the spirits. Trust Him, and He will show you who you can trust, and who you can’t.

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Every Woman Should Know – Inspiration from Maya Angelou

I got this an email from my sister-in-law Kris today. It really blessed me, so I would like to share it with you.

Maya Angelou is an inspiration, an Author, a Poet, and a Civil Rights Leader. You may have read her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE

enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to…
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a youth she’s content to leave behind….
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to
retelling it in her old age….
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored…

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …

a feeling of control over her destiny….
how to fall in love without losing herself..

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship….

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

when to try harder…
and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but it’s over…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…..
how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

whom she can trust,
whom she can’t,
and why she shouldn’t take it personally…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

where to go…
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table..
or a charming Inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing…

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…

What she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year…

(All Images below from Pinterest)

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Fences, Boundaries, and Relationships

When I say todays Daily Prompt I remembered this wonderful series on boundaries.  I had to learn what a healthy relationship looked like as I was always the one  getting walked on. I seemed to say yes to everyone and everything.

“Yes, I would love to get that for you…

Yes, of course I want to do that…

Yes, I would love to take you to the store…

Yes, I would love to make that….

Yes, I would love to head that project…”

Meanwhile, in my head I wanted to shoot them!

Not today.  I have no problem saying “no” today.  This series helped me do that.Not a doormat for anyone today!

Daily Prompt: Good Fences?

Who are your neighbors? Are you friends with them, barely say hi, or avoid them altogether? Tell us a story — real or invented — about the people on the other side of your wall (or street, or farm, or… you get the point). Photographers, artists, poets: show us NEXT DOOR.

Boundaries – When to Say Yes and When to Say No (part 1) (via Prayers and Promises)

So, you wonder, if you used to live in abuse and domestic violence, how did you get out Ms. D?  Funny you should ask.  I recently came across a book/teaching/bible study that was planted in me about 10 years ago.  This particular way of looking at…

10 Things to Do When an Abuser Ignores Your NO

I have recently been reminded of the fear that returns when you are being stalked.  This is part of my story that I haven’t shared yet.  After separating from an Abuser it is the most dangerous time for a woman who has been in an abusive relationship.  And once we leave, the stalking begins.

What is stalking you ask?  

Being hunted down with the intent to harm or kill – just like an animal.  

That’s what it feels like.  Your phone starts ringing – 15 times in an hour, you get home from work and there are flowers on your front step with no note, you drive to the store and see his car in the rear view mirror, you wake up in the middle of the night to someone outside your patio door – that’s what it is like.

According to WomensHealth.gov:

Stalking is contact (usually two or more times) from someone that makes you feel afraid or harassed.

Examples of stalking include:

  • Following or spying on you
  • Sending you unwanted emails or letters
  • Calling you often
  • Showing up at your house, school, or work
  • Leaving you unwanted gifts
From: archive.constantcontact.com
From: archive.constantcontact.com

So what do we do?  How do we make it stop?  I wish there were an easy answer to this.

10 THINGS TO DO WHEN THE ABUSER IGNORES YOUR ‘NO’

1.  Journal Everything

That means texts, phone calls, times and places where he has been following you.  Get a notebook and carry it everywhere. Make sure your time and date stamp is ‘on’ for your phone.  One of the best pieces of advice I got from a Police Officer is that in court the Judge will be looking for a pattern.  Be sure to note the date, the time, and the place each incident occurs.

2.  Get Your First Restraining Order

There are different types of Restraining Orders depending if you have lived together or not.  And it may vary from State to State.  I can’t tell you how frustrated I was when I went to court, presented my whole case, and the Judge told me that he would love to grant the restraining order – however he couldn’t because I filled it out the wrong form. He said I would have to fill out the right form, and schedule another court appearance, and THEN he could grant the restraining order.  Yeah – really.

And be sure to know the terms of your Restraining Order – how far away does the Abuser need to be, can he call, text, whatever.  And know how long it is in force.  Be smart, use this order to your advantage.

3. Utilize the Resources at your Local Women’s Shelter

Most Shelters have free counselors, free meetings, and access to legal aides.  They are on your side.  They will help you.  I got help with forms, finding local agencies to find a new home, food stamps, bus tokens, etc.  They have been through this before.  And many Shelters offer free living accommodations for yourself and your children for 30 days.  No, it’s not the Ritz Carlton – but it is safe. And they have gates to keep him out!

4. After You Get the Restraining Order – Prepare Yourself – He WILL Break It

Have an action plan of what to do when the Abuser violates the Restraining Order.  Be ready to call the Police anytime and anywhere.  Carry your phone with you everywhere you go – even the bathroom, and be ready to call for help.  Be sure it is always charged.  Remember, the Abuser is in stalker mode now, he feels you are his ‘property’ and nobody is going to tell him what to do.

5. Travel with a friend

Having a witness goes a long way in court.  Be sure to tell your neighbors, friends, family exactly what is happening.  This is not the time to keep quiet.  The more eyes you have on you the better.  And be sure that your ‘friend’ is not forwarding the Abuser information.  I have had that happen too.

6.  Change Your Routine

Many times the Abuser knows where you will be and when. Change your routine.  Go to work a different way.  Park in a different place.  Go to a different grocery store.  I have had to quit jobs, leave cities, change my phone, etc. No, it was not fair. But it was worth it.

7.  Change Your Phone Number 

Yes, really.  It is one way to stop the calls.  And do not give this new number out to everyone.  I made that mistake once and the Abuser got my new number from a ‘friend’.  I got another phone, and another ‘friend’.

8. Change your Locks and install Motion Sensors and/or Cameras.

Definitely change your locks both for your house and car.  Seriously.  If the Abuser still has a key, he WILL use it. Use technology in your favor. These days motion sensors and IP Cameras are very inexpensive and easy to use. Yes, he may break it, but then call the Police – report it. I had left my bicycle outside my apartment.  When I went to go to work, I noticed that ‘someone’ had jumped on the back tire and bent it.  I called the Police and reported it.  They will know who did it, and will most likely catch him doing it again!

9.  Print out a Hard Copy of Any Online Harassment

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and everything else this WILL be an area where the Abuser will ‘talk trash’. They seem to have to prove to everyone their side of the story.  And DO NOT RESPOND to them.  You have to abide by the rules of the Restraining Order as well.  If you talk or respond to the Abuser you may inadvertently hurt yourself.  The Police will have a hard time enforcing the order if YOU are the one who broke it.  And yes, the Abuser will use it against you. Don’t believe his words – believe his actions!

10. Call the Police

More than likely the Abuser will break the terms of the Court Order. Be prepared to call the Police every single time it happens.  You got your restraining order for a reason.  And if you don’t have one – get it now!

I thought once I had that piece of paper the Abuser would leave me alone.  I was wrong.  His attempts to contact me or see me INCREASED!  I don’t know why this surprised me.  But the Abuser is after control –  of you.  And in their mind they ‘own’ you.  Hearing ‘NO’ from a Judge or Police Officer will often motivate the Abuser to break that rule!  They don’t hear the word ‘NO’, they think ‘Yeah right, who are you to tell me what to do?”  Use this to your advantage.  Be ready.  Be safe.  And Be well.

Here is the post that reminded me what this was like.

THE FEAR: my stalking abuser is back.

WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION:

(Featured Image Source: www.metrodenvercriminaldefense.com

Photo above from: archive.constantcontact.com)

Guard Your Heart (Boundaries – Part 5)

More from “Boundaries”.  This lesson was the one that did it for me.  After reading/hearing this lesson, I finally understood what I was doing  that attracted the “thieves, robbers, and abusers”.  But, there is hope, thank you God, I can be taught!  Today I can say NO, today I can enforce consequences and protect myself! Today I know what to look for, and what to avoid, thank you Jesus!

Proverbs 4:23boundariescover

Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life. NKJV

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life. NLT

Keep your heart pure for out of it are the important things of life. (NLV)

Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)

4 TYPES OF BOUNDARY PROBLEMS 

1. COMPLIANTS – SAYING YES TO THE BAD

The inability to say NO to the BAD is pervasive.  Not only does it keep us from refusing evil in our lives, it often keeps us from recognizing evil.  Many complaint people realize too late that they’re in a dangerous or abusive relationship.  Their spiritual and emotional “radar” is broken; they have no ability to guard their hearts. (Proverbs 4:23)

This type of boundary problem paralyzes people’s “NO” muscles. Whenever they need to protect themselves by saying NO, the word catches in their throats.  This happens for a number of different reasons:

  • Fear of hurting the other person’s feelings
  • Fear of abandonment and separateness
  • A wish to be totally dependent on another
  • Fear of someone else’s anger
  • Fear of being shamed
  • Fear of being seen as bad or selfish
  • Fear of being unspiritual
  • Fear ones one’s overstrict, critical conscience (God will never forgive me…)

This las fear is actually experienced as GUILT.  People who have overstrict, critical consciences will condemn themselves for things God himself doesn’t condemn them for.  When we give in to guilt feelings, we are complying with a harsh conscience.  This fear of disobeying the harsh conscience translates into an inability to confront others – a saying YES TO THE BAD because it would cause more guilt.

2. AVOIDANTS – SAYING NO TO THE GOOD

This boundary problem is called avoidance – saying no to the good.  It’s the inability to ask for help, to recognize one’s own needs, to let others in.  Avoidants withdraw when they are in need; they do not ask for the support of others.

Why is avoidance a boundary problem? At the heart of the struggle is a confusion of boundaries as walls.  Boundaries are supposed to be able to “breathe”, to be like fences with a gate that can let the good in and the bad out.  Individuals with walls for boundaries can let in neither bad nor good.  No one touches them.

God designed our personal boundaries to have gates.  We should have the freedom to enjoy safe relationships and to avoid destructive ones.  God even allows us the freedom to let him in or to close him off.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come inand eat with that person, and they with me. (Revealtion 3:20 NIV)

God has no interest in violating our boundaries so that he can relate to us.  He understands that this would cause injuries of trust.  It is our responsibility to open up to him in need and repentance.  Yet, for avoidants, opening up to both God and people is almost impossible.

The impermeable boundaries of avoidants cause rigidity toward their God-given needs.  They experience their problems and legitimate wants as something bad, destructive, or shameful.

Complain avoidants suffer from what is called ‘REVERSED BOUNDARIES”.  They have no boundaries where they need them, and they have boundaries where they shouldn’t have them.

3. CONTROLLERS – NOT RESPECTING OTHER’S BOUNDARIES

Controllers believe the old jokes about training top sales people: no means maybe, and maybe means yes. While this may be productive in learning to sell a product, it can wreak havoc in a relationship.  Controllers are perceived as bullies, manipulative and aggressive.

The primary problem of individuals who can’t hear NO – which is different from being not able to say NO – is that they tend to project responsibility for their lives onto others.  They use various means of control to motivate others to carry the load intended by God to be theirs alone.

Controllers come in two types:

  1. AGGRESSIVE CONTROLLERS – These people clearly don’t listen to other’s boundaries.  They run over other people’s fences like a tank.  They are sometimes verbally abusive, sometimes physically abusive. Most of the time they aren’t aware that others even have boundaries. It’s as if they live in a world of YES.  There’s no place for someone else’s NO.  They attempt to get others to change, to make the world fit for their idea of the way life should be.  They neglect their own responsibility to accept others as they are.
  2. MANIPULATIVE CONTROLLERS – Less honest than the aggressive controllers, manipulators try to persuade people out of their boundaries.  They talk others into YES. They indirectly manipulate circumstances to get their way. They seduce others into carrying their burdens.  They use guilt messages.

4. NONRESPONSIVES – NOT HEARING THE NEEDS OF OTHERS

Termed ‘nonresponsives’ because of their lack of attention to the responsibilities of love, these individuals exhibit the opposite of the pattern exhorted in  Proverbs 3:27 NIV: Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Nonresponsives fall into one of two groups:

  1. Those with a critical spirit towards others’ needs – a projection of our own hatred of our needs onto others.  They hate being incomplete in themselves. As a result they ignore the needs of others.
  2. Those who are so absorbed in their own desires and needs they exclude others – a form of narcissism.

CONTROLLERS AND NONREPONSIVES have a hard time looking past themselves.  They see others as responsible for their struggles and are on the lookout for someone to take care of them.  They gravitate toward someone with blurry boundaries, who will naturally take on too many responsibilities in the relationship and who won’t complain about it.  It’s like the old joke about relationships:

“What happens when a rescuing, enabling person meets a controlling, insensitive person?

Answer – they get married!

(ouch – this was me!)

guard_your_heart_by_rockangel93-d49aao6

What’s Within My Boundaries (part 4)

boundariescoverToday we will look at what is within our boundaries.  What do we have responsibility for?  Seriously, I had to learn this.  I was so busy taking care of others in my life that I did not “own” my own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.  I am grateful that I got this through my thick head!  Life is much easier and more peaceful for me now. Another lesson from Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend’s Book: BOUNDARIES.

WHAT’S WITHIN MY BOUNDARIES?

FEELINGS

Feelings have gotten a bad rap in the Christian world.   They have been called everything from unimportant to fleshly.  At the same time, example after example, shows how our feelings play an enormous role in our motivation and behavior.

Feelings should neither be ignored nor placed in charge.  The Bible says to “own” your feelings and be aware of them. They can often motivate you to do much good.  The Good Samaritan’s pity moved him to go to the injured Israelite.

But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33 NIV)

The Father was filled with compassion for his lost son and threw his arms around him.

So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20 NIV)

ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS

Attitudes have to do with your orientation toward something, the stance you take toward others, God, life, work, and relationships.  Beliefs are anything that you accept as true.  Often we do not see an attitude or belief as the source of discomfort in our life.  We blame other people as did our first parents, Adam and Eve.  We need to “own” our attitudes and convictions because they fall within our property line.  We are the ones who feel their effect and the only ones who can change them.

The tough thing about our attitudes is that we learn them very early in life.  They play a big part in the map of who we are and how we operate.  People who have never  questioned their attitudes and beliefs can fall prey to the dynamic that Jesus referred to when he described people holding on to the traditions of men instead of the commands of God.

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human tradition. (Mark 7:8 NIV)

 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3 NIV)

BEHAVIORS

Behaviors have consequences.  As Paul says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV).  If we study, we will reap good grades.  If we go to work, we will get a paycheck.  If we exercise, we will be in better health.  If we act lovingly toward others, we will have closer relationships.

On the negative side, if we sow idleness, irresponsibility, or out-of-control behavior, we can expect to reap poverty, failure, and the effects of loose living. These are natural consequences of our behavior.

The problem comes when someone interrupts the law of sowing and reaping in another’s life.  A person’s drinking or abuse should have consequences for the drinker or abuser.  “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path.” (Proverbs 15:10 NIV)

To rescue people from the natural consequences of their behavior is to render them powerless.

CHOICES

We need to take responsibility for our choices.  This leads to the fruit of “self-control”

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

A common boundary problem is disowning our choices and trying to lay the responsibility for them on someone else.  Think for a moment how often we use the phrases, “I had to” or “She/he made me” when explaining why we did or did not do something.  These phrases betray our basic illusion that we are not active agents in many of our dealings.  We think someone else is in control, thus relieving us of our basic responsibility.

Setting boundaries inevitable involves taking responsibility for your choices.  You are the one who makes them.  You are the one who must live with their consequences.  And you are the one who may be keeping yourself from making the choices you could be happy with. (ouch!)

VALUES

What we value is what we love and assign importance to.  Often we do not take responsibility for what we value.  We are caught up in valuing the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

“Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God. (John 12:42-43 NIV)

Because of this misplaced value, we miss out on life  We think that power, riches, and pleasure will satisfy our deepest longing, which is really for love.

LIMITS

Two aspects of limits stand out when it comes to creating better boundaries.  The first is setting limits on others.  This is the component that we most often hear about when we talk about boundaries.  In reality, setting limits on others is a misnomer.  We can’t do that.  What we can do is set limits on our own exposure to people who are behaving poorly; we can’t change them or make them behave right. (another ouch!)

TALENTS

Our talents are clearly within our boundaries and are our responsibility.  Yet taking ownership of them is often frightening and always risky. The parable of the talents says that we are accountable when we are exercising our gifts and being productive. It takes work, practice, learning, prayer, resources, and grace to overcome the fear of failure that the “wicked and lazy” servant gave in to.  He was not chastised for being afraid; we are all afraid when trying something new and difficult.  He was chastised for not confronting his fear and trying the best he could.  Not confronting our fear denies the grace of God and insults both his giving of the gift, and his grace to sustain us as we are learning.

THOUGHTS

Our minds and thought are important reflections of the image of God.  No other creature on earth has our thinking ability.  We are the only creatures who are called to love God with all our mind.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV). 

Paul wrote that he was taking “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:5) Establishing boundaries in thinking involves three things:

  1. We must own our own thoughts.  Many people have not taken ownership of their own thinking process.  They are mechanically thinking the thoughts of others without ever examining them.  They swallow others’ opinions and reasoning’s never questioning and “thinking about their thinking”.
  2. We must grow in knowledge and expand our minds.  One are in which we need to grow is in knowledge of God and His Word.
  3. We must clarify distorted thinking.  We all have a tendency to not see things clearly, to think and perceive in distorted ways.  We rarely see people as they really are; our perceptions are distorted by past relationships and our preconceptions of who we think they are.  We do not see clearly because of the “log” in our own eyes.
DESIRES

Our desire lie within our boundaries.  Each of us has different desires and wants, dreams, and wishes, goals and plans, hungers and thirsts.  We all want to satisfy “me”. Part of the problem lies in the lack of structured boundaries within our personality.  We can’t define who the “real me” is and what we truly desire.  many desires masquerade as the real thing.  They are lusts that come out of now owning our real desires.  For example, many sex addicts are looking for sexual experiences, but what they really desire is love and affection.

We often do not actively seek our desires from God, and those desires are mixed up with things that we do not really need.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) 

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear him” (Psalm 145:19)

LOVE

Our ability to give and respond to love is our greatest gift.  The heart that God has fashioned in his image is the center of our being; its abilities to open up to love and to allow love to flow outward are crucial to life. Many people have difficulty giving and receiving love because of hurt and fear.  having closed their heart to others, they feel empty and meaningless.  The Bible is clear about both functions of the heart: the receiving of grace and love inward and the flow outward.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37,39)

And how we should receive love: “we have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.  We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:11-!3)

Many people do not take ownership for how they RESIST LOVE. They have a lot of love around them, but do not realize that their loneliness is a result of their own lack of responsiveness.  Often the will say, “Others’ love can not ‘get in”.” This statement negates their responsibility to respond.  We manuever subtly to avoid responsibility in love. We need to claim our hearts as our property and work on our weaknesses in that area.  It will open up life to us.

We need to take responsibility for all the above areas of our souls.  These lie within our boundaries.  By taking care of what lies within our boundaries isn’t easy; neither is allowing other people to take care of what lies within their boundaries.  Setting boundaries and maintaining them is hard work, but worth it

(REVELATION IS FOR ME FIRST! I am still learning here too, Diana)