A Breakdown of Relationships

Relationships can be complicated but the breakdown of their success is really quite simple.

Relationships built on mutual values and goals, work. Both parties feel a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. When there is no sense of shared values and goals, the individuals begin to feel disconnected and confused about their purpose which often leads to the relationship falling apart.

So how do you establish mutual values and goals?

Through clear communication that allows for give and take, enabling you to build the trust that every relationship needs.

Clear communication rules include:

Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it.

Praise in public, criticize in private.

Don’t bully people into agreeing with you.

Respect the other’s opinion.

When we focus on the goals of the relationship as a whole, and they align with the goals of each individual that’s a party to the relationship, success inevitably follows.

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Chris Rock Brilliant Humor

Recently, I was watching Chris Rock’s new stand up show on Netflix. It was highly entertaining and I’d definitely recommend it, if you haven’t seen it yet. What makes Chris Rock so good is not necessarily his humor, but his brilliance. He has a way of making the most fascinating points all while clothing them in the name of comedy, thus reaching more people.

One thing that Chris Rock said on his new show which really stuck out to me is, “Why are we lying to our kids? We shouldn’t be telling them, “You can be anything you want to be.” That’s not true! We should tell them the truth! You can be anything you’re good at………if they’re hiring. And even then, it helps to know someone.”

A hilariously true point and definitely worth sharing.

Control vs. Letting Go

There are really two ways of going about our day to day lives.

Either we’re striving and trying to maintain control (a fruitless effort, by the way, which leaves us exhausted). Or we’re relinquishing control to God, and trusting that He will bring us what we need each day.

There’s a distinct and noticeable difference between how good our days are, depending on which mode of being in which we’re acting.

When we’re striving, the people around us can tell. It says to them that there is something more important which we need to accomplish. Something more important than being present with them and letting God work. When we’re trusting God with all of our needs and desires, we’re at rest. And people around us can see this, too. They wonder how we’ve found such peace within the whirlwind of our daily lives. We’re a living testament of what it’s like to know God.

What it really boils down to, is that all of our striving and trying to gain control, makes the statement: “I don’t trust God.” And that hurts Him.

He’s already proven to us His goodness, grace, and love. Why would we not trust Him to take care of us on a daily basis?

Life becomes so much easier when we learn to let go, and let God. With every single aspect of our lives.

I adopted another dog

You may or may not have noticed that since my beloved dog Ziggy passed away last August, I’ve barely been writing on this blog. I’m not sure if the two correlate but their timing matches up.

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we really ought to be forming new year habits rather than new year resolutions. Well, one of my new year habits is to write more.

Back in November, I adopted another dog. His name is Capone. He resembles Ziggy in his stature and coloring, but his personality is quiet different.

Capone is fearless. He spent the first few months of his life transferring hands from adopters to shelter employees to foster families, before finally arriving to me. He loves all people. At the adoption events, he became used to many different sounds and smells, all sorts of other animals, and humans both young and old. He’s a joy to take out in public because he makes everyone he meets feel like the most important person in the world, smothering them with hugs and kisses.

He doesn’t require much exercise at all or even training. For one, he’s a low energy dog and much prefers snuggling to running. For two, he’s extremely sensitive to commands and thus picks up quickly whenever I’m teaching him new ones.

In short, Capone is everything I could have ever hoped for in a dog. He’s perfect for me. And when I look at him, I can’t help but be reminded of God’s grace and goodness. That no matter how devastating a loss, God turns all things for good. And often, for better than we could have even imagined.

The Great Thing Is…

“The great thing is, once we let go of being everything, we have the opportunity to be gloriously ourselves.”

If you want to write, read.

The number one advice I have for other people interested in become better writers, is to read.

I find it fascinating that whenever I’m going through a dry spell in my writing, I’m going through a drought in my reading.

The opposite is also true. As soon as I begin reading a new book, the creative inspiration and ideas begin to consume me in such a way that I have no other choice but to write.

The two activities are directly and positively correlated.

Reading serves as mental stimulation. It provides us with renewed inspiration.

As a general rule, we are readers first. And writers second.

So if you want to write, read.

A Woman being pursued is most beautiful

Have you ever noticed how a woman is most beautiful when she’s being pursued? When she’s falling in love…

This is because that’s when a woman’s most important questions are being answered. At the core of every woman are the questions of, “Am I beautiful? Am I captivating? Am I worth fighting for?”

When a woman is being pursued, she lights up from inside because her questions are being answered. Yes, you are beautiful, captivating, and worth fighting for!

Think of Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When Ian finds her and begins to romance her, she comes alive. There’s a new shimmer in her eyes and her beauty begins to radiates from within.

Contrastingly, when a woman feels unloved and not worth pursuing, her inner light dims. She goes about her days hiding her innate beauty, believing that she’s not beautiful or worth it.

What if we could have this glow that comes from our most important questions being answered, regardless of our circumstances?

We can.

In fact, as women, we’re supposed to.

We were designed to be beautiful, radiating, captivating, and worth pursuing.

And guess what? The God of angel’s armies is totally and completely in love with us. He’s pursuing us everyday. He thinks we’re captivating, beautiful and worth fighting for.

The Creator of the universe has already answered all of our most important questions!

If we can truly understand and internalize this truth, then we become free to share our beauty with the world and our inner radiance will never go dull again.

Women of the world, we’re beautiful.

 

A Woman’s Prayer

I’ve just finished reading Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. Highly recommend it. One of the parts that stuck out most to me is a prayer that’s quoted from one of her peers. I’ve written my own version of it below.

(“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Eph. 6:10-13)

I put on with gratitude the armor which you’ve provided me as woman. My need to be pursued and fought for in all of my vulnerability. Thank you for pursing me and fighting for me every day. I wrap in truth my desire to be irreplaceable in a grand scheme of Yours. Help me to be present each day so that I might see what you’re doing in my life and that I may live in the big-ness of your story. Help me to offer life through my beauty and gifts, which you’ve given to me. Continue to reveal and confirm in me what you desire for me to do with these gifts. May today be an offering of love poured out before you on the altar of my life. 

Amen. 

 

To Love At All is to be Vulnerable

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

New Year Resolutions

New year resolutions are a funny thing. They’re usually abstract goals with no real objectives attached to them and thus, they rarely stick.

I think we should call them new year habits instead. Because this is what we’re really after, right? To rid ourselves of old habits that no longer serve us and form new, better and healthier habits in their place.

We’re creatures of habit. Whether we want to go to the gym more, eat healthier, or spend more time with friends, if we want the change to be long lasting, it needs to become a habit.

Research says it only takes two weeks to form a habit. So if we do something every day for two weeks, it’ll likely become a routine part of our life.

This is my hope for you, for everyone, and for myself. That we form new habits. Habits that will serve to further our goals for the year ahead.

Happy New Year!