Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Archive for July, 2012

5 Minutes from the Heart: Beyond

I am just returning from an anniversary trip with my husband for three days and two nights. I had every intention of blogging on the road. However, I ran off without my laptop cord, not to mention my wallet!! So, I tried to blog from my phone Friday morning at breakfast, but my phone kept ringing; one daughter after another checking in and asking for information that only I could provide. I gave up!! So it’s time to try again while the boys are in the bath and the girls are all out getting their nails done or visiting friends.

Start 8:35 PM

Today’s topic is Beyond. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Mercy Me song Word of God Speak which goes like this:

“I’m finding myself at a loss for words
And the funny thing is it’s okay
The last thing I need is to be heard
But to hear what You would say

Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
Your majesty
To be still and know
That You’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak

I’m finding myself in the midst of You
Beyond the music, beyond the noise
All that I need is to be with You
And in the quiet hear Your voice”

For me, it’s time to move beyond the music and the noise; beyond the laundry and the dishes; beyond the e-mail and the blog; beyond the dogs and the kids; beyond the job and the bills… and just HEAR HIS VOICE!

8:40 PM Stop!

Check out more thoughts on the word “beyond” with the Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo, at the link below.

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5 Minutes from the Heart: Enough

Linking in with the Gypsy Mama, Lisa-Jo this morning at www.thegypsymama.com for just five minutes straight from my heart.

Running a little late this morning. Fighting a nasty head cold all week, but thankful that God has supplied all of my needs according to His riches!!

11:03 Start

Funny that this would be the topic today because I have been really struck this week by articles pertaining to how God’s GRACE is ENOUGH for us.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Christ tells us ” my GRACE is ENOUGH for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

I was really struck by the thought that we know we are weak and accept the GRACE of God to cover our sins, yet we do not provide the same courtesy to our friends, acquaintances, and family members. We expect them to be ENOUGH without giving them the benefit of the doubt, or an ounce of GRACE.

Christ models GRACE and sufficiency for us. He shows us how we should treat others, and yet we fail time and time again to model that same grace for others.

I ask today that you take a moment to think about your own inefficiencies and how Christ has cover them with His GRACE.

Can you extend the same to someone in your life who you have been holding to a higher standard than you hold yourself?

11:08 Stop

For more on Grace check out my inspriation for this post at http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2012/07/gift-of-right-expectation.html or http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/2012/07/enough.html

A Widowers Heart: Her Family

We recently went to dinner with a friend and her new spouse, who lost his wife to cancer over two years ago. The friend asked my husband and I how we deal with the in-laws from the previous marriage. From what I gathered from the conversation, she felt like they were nolonger part of the family, and something with which she should not be required to deal. Based on my experience with my husbands family, my response to her, in expanded form, is written here.

Whether you lost your spouse suddenly or to a long drawn out illness, you remain a part of their family. They are grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins to your children. They are your in-laws. You did not divorce your spouse and therefore did not separate yourself from their family at their death.

Starting over again can be difficult, but in time you may choose to date or  remarry. It is important that your (soon to be) new spouse understand a few things about your life and your extended family:

1. They are still your in-laws! They are not outlaws!

2. They are just as much a part of your life as your future in-laws.

3. They may need some time to get to know and accept your new family. This may take patience on both parts. Give everyone time to adjust.

4. Your deceased spouse will always be part of who you are and where you came from.

5. Your deceased spouse will always be your children’s parent/ your grand children’s grandparent.

6. Your deceased spouse will always be a memory that keeps you going when nothing else can.

7. Your new spouse is not a replacement for your deceased spouse to you or to anyone else in the family. They are an addition to and an extension of the family.

And Here are a few things for you to consider…

1. Whenever possible, guard your new spouse from slings and arrows of the in-laws. Again, they will need to time to adjust and there are times when they will not be accepting of your new spouse. Limit  these encounters until everyone has had time to grieve and adjust to the new situation in your life.

2. Realize that this is your life, and no one elses. Take comfort and advice from family members, but never take abuse from them. If they choose to no longer be part of your life, let them go. If they choose to be part of your new life, embrace them with both arms.

3. Love your new spouse with everything you have. If they are worth marrying, they are worth giving your all to. If you are not ready to give your all to someone other than your deceased spouse, you should not be getting re-married!

(These same rules for your family can be said for friends. There may be some who cannot or will not accept a new spouse or even a dating relationship in your life after the death of your better half. Allow them the same courtesy you allow the family, but also allow your new spouse or significant other the benefit of the doubt if your old friends try to pull you apart. It’s their decision, don’t let them make you choose.)

Confessions From My Teenaged Heart: He loves me!

When I was 16 I worked at a theme park in one of the live performance theatres and became friends with some of the performers with whom I worked. We often had to deal with girls who thought they were in love with the performers and the performers were in love with them. We called them “groupie’s”

They would spend entire days, even weeks, watching every show then waiting after the show for the performers to sneak out the back for a break. They thought they were so important and special because they knew these important people.

The year before I worked at this Theatre, I was a minor player in the groupie game myself. I was so jealous of these girls who knew these “famous” people so well. I felt like they were so much better than me because these important people loved them.

No one important loved me.

My mother was sick all the time and when she wasn’t in bed she was very angry and difficult to be around. Nothing I did was good enough for her. My sister was always more important. She was the baby of the family and needed more attention.

My Dad traveled nearly every week, and he had a new life with my step mother that only involved me every other weekend and one week a month. My brother lived with them and must have taken up the time my Dad would have had to spend with me.

My Aunts went to my cousins basketball games, but no one ever came to mine. I wasn’t a starter like my cousin. I was just a first alternate and didn’t have the stats she had. I guess I wasn’t athletic enough for them to come all that way to see my games.

My brother and sister had their own lives to live. My brother was a sports star, in just about every sport, and had more friends than I could imagine. Every girl in school wanted to be his girlfriend. My sister was very outgoing and confident. They didn’t have time for a shy, quiet middle sister who would just slow them down.

No one important loved me.

Looking back now I see how wrong I was, and how wrong those girls were to think, first, that those performers cared much for them at all, and secondly that no one important loved them.

So many girls are ready to give up their most precious gift to a guy who has done little more than speak to them because it was the first time someone treated them like they were important. He may have only said “Hello,” but it made her feel so wanted and no longer alone that she was willing to give up everything just to keep that feeling alive.

Joyce Meyer writes, “He is our Refuge, our High Tower, our Strength, our Stronghold in times of trouble and our Hiding Place (see Psalm 9:9; 31:4; 32:7; 37:39; 46:11). Our worth, value, acceptance and approval come from Him. As long as we have those, we have the most valuable things in the world.”

We as parents have to train our children that God is the giver of that which they so long for. Only He can give them the peace within their heart and that unconditional love. He must be their refuge and their strength. He must be the one they call out for in the middle of the night when they wake up from a bad dream or when they are living in one. He must be their comfort and source of identity.

We have to teach them how to truly have a personal relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Knowing that He exists and cares for them is not having a personal relationship with Him. They have to talk to Him! They have to long for His comfort and strength. They have to believe that all things come from Him; He is their comfort and the lifter of their head.

We as parents must model that for them. We must daily confess for our children to hear that God alone is our comfort. We must show them that even if we are struggling with divorce or loss of a spouse, we are not unloved and lonely. God is our source of identity. We must be the love of Christ to them and through them. We may be the only God they ever see and know until they realize they need to know Him too.

I knew that Jesus loved me. I had sung that song since I was old enough to talk, but it was not until after I was out of high school that I began to cultivate a true relationship with Him. I waited until I was married with three children in my early 20’s to seek that close relationship with my Father God. It was born from, of all things, a need to be loved, and finding my one true love in Jesus.

Someone important loves me!!

5 Minutes from the Heart: Identity

Today’s 5 minute topic is identity. No severe corrections. Nothing more than 5 minutes of writing straight from the heart.

12:36 PM Start!

Who am I? What am I? Where is my identity found?

I am a child of God, a daughter of my 4 parents, a sister to my 8 siblings, an aunt to my many neices and nephews, parent to 5 wonderful children; Nauna to two great nephews, a granddaughter and a grandson; a friend to the friendless and also to the awesome people who share their time with me. I am inspired by the lives we each choose to live.

I am a teacher. I am a thinker. I am a lover of all things organized (though you could never prove it by the current state of my house!) I am inspired by people who seem to have it all together and share with others how they got there.

I am moody. I am irrational, at times. I am a keeper of many secrets and teller of few. I am inspired by the wisdom of others.

I am tired. I am busy. I am always very early…. or once in a while very late; never right on time. I am a night owl and an early riser. I love to take naps. I am inspired by people who never seem to get run down.

I am a writer, though that is the last thing I think of calling myself. I write to get it off my chest. To see it on paper. To run it through my head again. To see if anyone else understands. I am inspired by people who can write an entire book, no matter the cost, and no mater the pain.

I am complex and also simple. I am a child of the living God. I am who I want to be and who He will allow me to be, by His grace. I am inspired by people who know who they are are where they are going; they know their identity.

Stop! 12:46…I had an interruption from a kid trying to use the steam cleaner on her bedroom carpet. Oh my!  🙂

For others impressions on the topic of identity check out http://lisajobaker.com/2012/05/five-minute-friday-identity/

Bloggers Inspiring Heart Award

We very humbly accept this Very Inspiring Blogger Award received from OW Prince Ministries at www.owprince.wordpress.com  in response to my post this week called “A Widowers Heart: Dealing with the Loss.” God is good at giving us inspiration, even from a stranger, when we least expect it.

In response to this award I am to list seven things about myself.

My God is an awesome God!

My favorite colors are black and green

My second wedding anniversary is coming up on July 29th

I have two great nephews, 3 and 5, who now live with me, and they are completely amazing!

My youngest daughter just moved into her own apartment and I’m ok with that.

I am really starting to enjoy blogging as a larger part of my ministry and working to build on that.

I have an amazingly diverse family and am very proud of the various nationalities that my cousins, nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren represent, which include: African-American, French Indian, Thia, Mexican, Costa Rican, German, Irish, and Cherokee among others.

My other task is to pass this award on to 7 bloggers who have inspired me. They are as follows:

www.thegypsymama.com

www.stevenwwatkins.wordpress.com

www.mistygatlin.com

www.overcomingloneliness.wordpress.com

www.singleparentingredeemed.wordpress.com

www.teachwithme.com

www.classroomfreebies.com

There are a few guidelines for accepting this award. They are as follows:

1. Acknowledge the giver of the award, and link back to their site.

2. Copy and paste the award to your blog.

3. List seven things about yourself.

 4. Pass the award to 7 bloggers.

A Widowers Heart: Dealing with the Loss

My husband was married for 18+ years before his first wife passed away almost three years ago, leaving him to raise their two teenaged children alone.

There were so many decisions to be made and so many people pulling him in different directions with regard to which steps to take next. Whether it was how, when, and where to hold her memorial or how to raise their children, everyone had an opinion.

This overload of opinions and information has him still questioning every move he makes, every thought he has, every emotion that he feels.

He questioned whether to follow her wishes and cremate her body or listen to her family and have a burial in a cemetery.

He questions whether he could have saved her from the epileptic seizure that took her; if only he had been home from work at that moment.

He questions if he should still be actively mourning her loss or if he was disgracing her memory by remarrying a high school friend just 9 months after burying her.

He questions how he should incorporate her memory into holidays and family events. Will remembering her cause the family pain? Will not remembering her mean that he no longer loves her or that he never did?

He questions every thought or lack of thought with regard to their relationship and her passing; he is fearful of making a mistake in regard to how he is handling, or not handling, things.

  • Should he still think of her constantly?
  • Should he still celebrate her birthday, their anniversary?
  • Should he still hurt deeply from the loss?

Ecclesiastes 3 says, ” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…”

Everyone deals with loss differently. No one can tell you how you should handle a loss, but there is a time to mourn and a time to put your life back together so that you may be effective for the kingdom of God. My husband felt that he had to move on to be effective for his family. He did not have the option to continue to mourn so deeply that he could not work and support his children. He had to put it behind him, but he still has fond memories of how she helped make him the husband and father he is today. He still remembers her at times when she would have been a comfort or a help to him that noone else can replace.

Some people move on with their life as a way of dealing with their grief. This does not mean that they loved their lost loved one any less. It may in fact mean that they loved them so much that the only way they can  deal with it is to look beyond it, and not dwell on it.

There are several steps in the grieving process and each person takes on each step at a different time and at their own rate of speed. The steps include:

1. In the beginning, you may be in denial that this event have even happened. It may seem surreal and not something that is actually happening. It may be as if you are dreaming and trying to wake yourself up.

2. Once you have accepted the fact that it did in fact occur, you may become angry. You may be angry at God or even angry at yourself for not being there to stop the incident that resulted in the death of your loved one.

3. You may find yourself bargaining with God or running back over the steps that could have changed to keep this from happening.

4. Depression is sure to set in at some point. This is a point where you cannot allow yourself to dwell. If you stay depressed for an extended period it may become necessary for you to seek professional help. It is not healthy for you or your family to stay in this step. You have to learn how to accept your loss and move on. Your loved one would not want you to give up the rest of your life for their memory. If they were saved, they are living the life you can only imagine at this point. Yes, they are gone from your world, but they are with our heavenly Father and they are waiting for you to join them in your proper time. They want you to learn from this process and this loss and move on with your life. They want you to take this event and use it to help others in the future.

5. Acceptance is the place where you understand this event was not meant to stop you in your tracks. It was not meant to derail you. It was meant to help you grow and to give you a place from where you can draw strength for yourself and for others. Believe it or not, there is a point in time where your grief will end. John 16 says, “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” Do not doubt that this time will come. It just takes everyone their own process and their own time frame. The important thing is to be ready to move on when it is time.

If you are dealing with grief that you cannot seem to work through, please ask for help. Your family, your church, your friends, your coworkers…they want to help you be the best you can be and move forward. You would be surprised just how many of them have been where you are. They have learned and grown from the experience and are prepared, by the grace of God, to help you through it too! Matthew 5 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

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