Psalm 127:3-5 – Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Time passes quickly. First you have these beautiful babies on loan to you for a season. Then the babies become toddlers, and toddlers become children, and children become teenagers, then children become grownups and walk out the door to find their own dreams for life.
We’re so proud of our kids when they graduate from high school and then from college if they choose to go there.
We’re so glad that our grownup children choose to be part of our lives, but they live their own lives miles away or just up the road and hardly have the time to stop by.
The house your kids grew up in becomes quiet. Oh, so very quiet.
It happens that way and then all you have is the memories to cherish. You become a TV watching mom. Where the characters in your show become a kind of family. Sort of silly, but you try to walk around an empty house and then tell me how it is to let go of the reins of your children’s lives.
Sometimes they come to you wanting advice and sometimes they come to you just to be in your company.
Warms my heart those baby steps.
It’s a season when you get to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. Some choose to travel, if they have the money; some choose to open a business or try their hand at writing about all those baby steps.
It’s a beautiful life having been so blessed to hear the laughter and the tears. You hug your grown-up children and must step on your tiptoes just to look up at them.
How do we keep those wonderful memories and move into our dreams? Yes, we finally have time to do so instead of washing dishes and mopping floors to clean up from all the mess those blessed children made while they were taking baby steps.
AArp.org in their article, “How to Cope With an Empty Nest,” give us some ideas on this new season thrust upon us. Their moto is: Stay strong, talk to each other and (maybe) get a dog. I like this last choice about a dog. My dog helped fill up where my children left empty. Baby steps became the sounds of clicking nails as my dog came bounding into the kitchen. They helped me get out of my apartment and meet neighbors and create new friends who instantly fell in love with my dog.
It creates a new family dynamic these baby steps. The article above suggests to not lose touch with old friends. It’s especially helpful if your friends are also going through “empty nest.” Go to the movies or join a bowling league together. You’ll find something to talk about and certainly laugh about what with your gutter balls and flying balls into the lane next to yours.
Whatever your choice is, don’t get down in the dumps and cry all day long because your kids have left home and are building their own lives.
Besides, sometimes with time, there will be baby steps running into your arms. Those wonderful grandbabies that you can love on and spoil and then send back home to their parents.
Yes, baby steps and children turning into grown ups is a good thing. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Psalm 29:11 – The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.
There are days when it feels likes the sun won’t rise. We know that it will, but from all of the turmoil we’ve been faced with recently, we experience emotional exhaustion and it’s difficult to get past it.
They say things come in threes but sometimes we’re bombarded day-after-day. So, the dreary days of the heart press us toward a place we don’t want to be.
Some winding roads of the soul keep us circling the drain. We try to reach out for the faucet to pull ourselves out, buy our hands are slippery and we keep falling.
This is what emotional exhaustion looks like:
But there is hope:
So how do we get from the negative exhaustion and into the light once more? Let’s look at a few more ways to end emotional exhaustion. Healthline.com, in their article, “Emotional Exhaustion: What it is and how to Treat It,” makes some valid points. The article first gives a description of what emotional exhaustion looks like such as accumulated stress or feeling trapped. The article also gives us symptoms of it such as lack of motivation and feelings of hopelessness, what causes emotional exhaustion such as financial stress and poverty, and how to treat emotional exhaustion such as eliminating the stressor, eating healthy, exercise, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness where you focus on what’s happening in the moment such as deep breathing and paying attention to your surroundings.
Emotional exhaustion can be treated, and the gloom lifted off our horizon. There’s other strength we can find in the Bible verse above. God is the one who can give us the strength we need. He will bless us with his peace.
So the next time you find emotional exhaustion playing havoc with your life and stealing much needed peace, read the suggestions above and try a new one until you find your, “to go to,” step to find rest and peace once more.
Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Is there someone in your life who constantly puts you down?
Is there someone in your life who constantly lifts you up and encourages you?
Is there someone in your life who makes you cry and another who makes you laugh?
Is there someone in your life who constantly hurts you?
Is there someone in your life who you need to stand clear of because they’re always stirring up the pot?
Is there someone in your life who helps you become more than who you are right now?
It’s a mixed bag when you have people in your life who don’t accept you as you are and at other times encourage you to move forward. Advice must be said in such a way that you don’t feel put down.
Communication can be positive and negative. Yet, when we begin to judge someone in our life who makes life difficult, what we must remember is that we might make life difficult for someone else.
Think through before you speak to someone:
Remember to treat them how you want them to treat you.
You will sow what you reap, my friend.
What goes around does come around.
Always think before you speak and act.
Maybe it will feel good for a moment to cut someone down, but inevitably the high will wear off as you realize that you’ve become the person who you hate.
Lifewithconfidence.com give us some suggestions in their article, “How to Deal With People who put you Down,” here are a few ideas: people who put you down are hurt themselves also, a self-confident person does not put down others. It’s no use sinking to that person’s level. That’s what they want. Here’s one to throw off the one putting you down: Tell them, “Thank you for your opinion.” This really sets them off their game. Another one is telling them, “Thank you, you might be right.” I know you may be saying right now that you want to attack them back, but that’s exactly what they want. Don’t give in to them.
It can be tiring trying not to get back at the person who hurts you, but it will never help. As the Bible verse above talks about, treat that mean person how you want to be treated, even if it means you must bite your tongue and don’t return a put down. Your peace will increase, and you also have the choice to ignore that person if possible.
Psalm 33:20, 21 - He is our help and our shield for our heart rejoices in Him because we trust in His holy name. Let Thy loving kindness be upon us as we have hoped in thee.
For those of who have experienced abuse, trust is difficult.
It’s hard to trust others.
It’s hard to trust we will make the right decisions when it comes to friends.
It’s hard to make friends.
It’s hard to believe we won’t be hurt this time, with this new friend.
But if you can’t trust yourself, life can be lonely. Lack of trust keeps the door to our heart locked. It’s easier to be alone then it is to be hurt. So, we stay behind our doors and we don’t go outside. It’s safer to avoid other people and attending events, because we don’t trust that things can be different.
Abuse leaves us exposed. We think that anyone who crosses our path is out to hurt us.
Life wasn’t meant to be lived alone. It was made for abundance. But there can’t be a fruit tree in the garden of our lives if we don’t plant the seedling.
Yet, the one who is the abuser also lives a life alone, and a life of shame. Maybe at first, they started out believing things can be different. That they won’t set out to cause others pain. Yes, they inflicted pain on others because that’s the only way they know to live.
It’s a circle for the one who is abused. At first, our new friend is fun to be around and likes us. But then, you say something, and it starts the cycle again. Anger begins to boil. The next person they meet causes their anger to become physical. Then after the abuse has stopped the abuser says that it will never happen again. They apologize and apologize, but it doesn’t take away the pain in their victim.
Part of avoiding abuse and learning to trust again is learning about abuse and what starts the abuse and how it becomes a wheel of violence. Theduluthmodel.org explains the cycle of abuse and posts a video describing the circle.
It is possible to learn to trust again no matter how difficult it is. But most importantly we must learn the early warning signs that the cycle is starting so that we can seek help. If you are afraid of your partner or of someone is beginning to show that he will hurt you, it’s time to seek help. Leave the situation and call 911 for help.
Our ultimate help comes from God. He is our help and shield and we can trust in him. He’s not out to hurt us but to provide a covering over us. His loving kindness does not come at the cost of abuse. God is worth putting our trust and hope in.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.