How Do You Deal With A Rebellious Child?

File:Prodigal Son CHS cathedral.jpg

But when he came to himself he said, “How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'”

He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran towards him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

— Luke 15:17–20, World English Bible

The odds for someone having a Rebellious child are very high, if you have any children at all. I believe that most parents don’t set out to hurt or harm their children. I know without a doubt that my mother loved me, she showed it in many ways in my fifty eight years, and she never gave up on me. 

My experience, strength, and hope has taught me what does NOT work. I was the Rebellious child. I did not want anyone telling me what to do, or running my life. My mother did the best that she knew how to do at the time. I hope that my experience can help someone, if only one. 

In the sixties, parents were taught that if you “spare the rod” then you will “spoil” the child. So, my mother went overboard and God bless her, she tried to teach me right, and make me mind. She did not realize that the more she shamed me and beat me, the more she hurt me not just physically but mentally too. I grew more angry, depressed, and stubborn and I escaped my pain through my addictions. It was inevitable that I would grow up with some kind of addiction. I spent twenty years in my addictions, and miserable and depressed. 

My mother and I had a wonderful relationship the last six years of her life. She never gave up on me, she just learned to not “enable” me, but she was always there when I needed her. She lived with us and we traveled together and became very good friends. We each benefited from my twelve step program. She learned to not try to control me, and I learned the same. I learned to “let go” of the past, and love her unconditionally, because that is what I needed from her. I had to learn to accept that she was in her eighties and that she was not going to change, but she was my mother and I did not care and wanted to be with her anyway. I really ache for those that missed out on time with their loved ones because of hanging onto “resentments”. Enough about me for now. Now, for the solution. 

My advice on the other side of the fence, is that I was the Rebellious child like is written about in the Bible. It is written about the “prodigal son” but it also applies to the prodigal daughters too! I was the “prodigal daughter”. I know that praying continually and unceasingly is the number one answer. But…next and just as important is to take the right actions. NOT enabling our children is very important. Mother never gave up on me, but she did not enable me. I am so happy that she did not. I am the wonderful woman that I am today because of God, the twelve steps, and her.

Many parents “enable” their children out of love…but it is NOT good for them or you. If mother had continued to “enable” me…then I would have had no reason to ever grow up or become responsible for myself.

I know that are some parents that are so needy, and so desperate for love, that they allow their children to “use” and “abuse” them.

Thank God, my mother was NOT like that. She was a strong, and independent woman. She wanted me to be independent and to be happy. Today, by God’s grace and my wonderful mother, I AM grown up, responsible, and I am happy. 

I know some people that have mothers that are so needy and have suffered abuse and addictions from their own parents, that they allow their children to “use” and “abuse” them. They think that they are helping them, they are NOT. If you do NOT want your children to grow up or be “healthy” and become responsible for themselves, then just keep doing what you have been doing. If you want something different, then you must do something different. Parenthood is NOT for sissies! 

Let Go And Let GOD Be God

“O our God, will You not exercise judgement upon them? For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” ~~2 Chronicles 20:12

Here Jehoshaphat admits to God openly his total inability to deal with the problem. For years I tried very hard to change myself without success. I tried so hard and so long to break bad habits only to fail time and time again. I tried to alter different things in my life, to get prosperity, to make my ministry grow, and to be healed. I remember wanting to give up because I was so exhausted from trying to fight my own battles. I went through all that on a regular basis until I was being really kind of melodramatic about it, trying to impress God with how miserable I was. I said something like, “God, I’ve had it. This is it. I’m through. Nothing I’m doing is working. I give up. I’m not going to do this anymore. Just then, deep inside me, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Really?” There was real excitement in His voice. That happens because the only time He gets to work in us is when we become so exhausted that we finally decide,  “Instead of trying to do this myself, I’m going to let go and let God be God.” Trying to be God will wear you out fast. Why not give up your own effort and do what Jehoshaphat did in verse 12? Admit to God that you have no might to stand against your enemies and that you don’t know what to do, but you’re looking to Him for direction and deliverance. source: New Day, NEW YOU, Joyce Meyers, 2007

I always have had problems with setting, and keeping boundaries. As a child, I had only two choices: comply or get a beating. In school we had NO choices, it was their way or the highway.  I was NOT allowed to define my own boundaries or to be myself. I was NOT expected to defend myself, because in those days, the teachers and doctors were god and were never wrong. And…whatever they said was the law.

I believe my addictions began about the age of twelve. I used to escape a critical, confining, and controlling environment through my addictions. I did not believe there was a god, or else I was such a horrible child that I deserved to treated the way that I was, so I wanted no part of him or established religion.

In my recovery, I found God, because I had tried living my life my way, and I had hit bottom in order to be desperate enough to give into something that I thought was make-believe and not real. I was allowed choices. I could go on to the bitter end, or try this god-thing.

I was allowed to choose the “higher power” that I needed for me. I chose one that was not a hateful, abusive, critical, condemning, controlling God, but a loving and forgiving one. I had to stop “playing god”.  I am NOT God, so it is NOT my job but God’s job.

Through the years, I have learned to let go a lot sooner, and stop playing God. I asked for help, instead of suffering alone. I was taught that all I have to do is to do the best that I can, and leave the results up to God. We have to do the “footwork” or the next “right thing”.

I make a lot better decisions today and I have a lot more peace and serenity as a by product of “right living”.  No, I am not perfect because I am human. I am a Human Being, not a Human Doing. I almost died trying to be perfect, and still today I have “defects of character” that I am working with God on. 

God As We Understood Him…

I thank God everyday, that in my recovery program, I was told that I had a choice, and that I could choose the type “higher power” that I wanted or needed for me. Some just switched addictions to a person or substituted another kind of drug besides alcohol. Some used a door knob for their “higher power”. Sorry, that would not work for me. I used my group and sponsor for my “higher power” at first. They did not push God or religion on me. They knew that would just serve to piss me off, and maybe run me off and kill me.

If they had pushed God or Jesus on me, I would have cursed them out. I came from the street, and I was angry at God! I tried several different religions. I did not want someone else’s opinion of what God wanted for me. My God had to love no matter what, “with warts and all”. I chose a loving and kind God that love me no matter what. Like the gentleman that He is, He never tried to push Himself on me. He gave me “free will”. I did not want a “controlling” or “critical” God.

I blamed God for my messed up life and all my pain and misery. I had tried organized religion but for me it was not enough. Some of us are sicker than others.

Some people might get sober through the church, but for me I did not dress like they wanted me to, or talk like they wanted me to, and I believed that I had to be perfect to be accepted. I could not take a chance of being rejected or judged, because I hated myself enough already, and believed that I had to be perfect to be loved or accepted. 

And…that is one of the reasons that I want people to be made to pay their consequences for their bad behaviors and to not enable them. If people had continued to enable me and cover up for my bad decisions, then I may not ever have gotten sober or motivated to change my life.

How It Works
From Chapter 5 of the Big Book

RARELY HAVE WE seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it — then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We though we could find and easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have held on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember we deal with alcohol — cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power — that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives.
b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
c) That God could and would if He were sought.

Copyright© Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Father Martin, a recovering alcoholic himself and his recovery helped me so much. I figured if he could do it so could I. He told me that, “For an alcoholic, if they use the Bible and the Big Book, and adhere to the Ten Commandments, then they are doing God’s will”. 

Today, my “higher power” is God and Jesus. I have twenty eight years sober, and at about three years sober I chose to go back to church. I do sometimes go to church, but the program is where I got my sanity and serenity, through my sponsor and working the steps. I even chaired a twelve step Bible Study class for a few years, but I did not push my “conception” of God or my religion onto others. I gave them the same freedom that I was “freely given” by others that came before me.

Father Martin Remembered

“We all need a hero, and Father Martin is mine.”  –Bill W.  

 http://www.higherpowerstudios.com/father_martin.html

Be Spirit Led

God is not an author of “fear” or “confusion”. If we are afraid or confused, then it probably is not God’s will.

Yves Johnson Ministries

Have you ever read Matt 4:1-2?  We don’t know if Jesus was immediately led to the wilderness or if this was some time after His baptism.  Luke 4:1 says, “Jesus returned from the Jordan River.” What we do know is that He was “led by the Spirit.”  This is an object lesson for us.  Likewise, we must be “led by the Spirit.”  The Spirit will never lead us to a place where we shouldn’t be.  If we lead ourselves, we’re doomed to get lost.

How can you be led by the Spirit?  Seek God’s direction through prayer.  How can you tell if the Spirit is leading you? Is what you’re being “led” to do in line with a Christ-like behavior?  If so, then you’re on the right path.

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Am I Acting Or Reacting? Just Because They Are Angry Must I Be?

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Am I Acting Or Reacting?  “Just Because They Are Angry Must I Be?”

This is taken from the Al-Anon book, Courage to Change;
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“Many of us come to Al-Anon confused. We are so focused on our alcoholic loved ones that may not be able to see where they leave off and we begin. We’ve lost our sense of what is appropriate. How can we distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior when we don’t even know what we want or need?

[It talks about Step 4 here, about an inventory, and what our values are or need to be and my new values of what I will accept and not accept]

Where in the past I have allowed unacceptable behavior, I now can choose a different response. I must consistently do what I say I am going to do. Today I have the courage and faith to be true to myself. whether or not others like or agree with me. I must remember that announcing my new ways to others is not nearly as important as knowing what my own limits are and act accordingly.

Today’s Reminder
I will remember that knowing my boundaries does not mean forcing others to change; it means that I know my own limits and take care of myself by respecting them. The focus, today, is on me.”

Before recovery, the answer would be yes, but today I have the freedom to choose whether I want to allow others to suck me into their shit or not, so the answer is no.

Remember we DO have a choice! Sometimes I have to physically remove myself to not react. The other person usually gets pissed off if I don’t react and get angry with them. If I want serenity, I must accept the fact that I have no power over others and cannot change them, but I do not have to react to them or get angry too. I pray for them and turn them over to God. 

Today, I choose serenity over chaos. I do NOT have to accept unacceptable behavior. I am God’s child, and I do have a choice. 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” ~~Proverbs 15:1-2

You Are Exactly Where You Are Meant To Be

Today we believe God wants you to know that … you are exactly where you are meant to be.

Trust in God that everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be.

Just as a child has to pass through a tiny channel on its way from the womb into life, so are you on your way to God.

All my life I never thought that I was where God wanted me to be, or what He wanted me to be. I lived in fear and doubt. I never thought that I was good “enough”. I never felt like I “fit in” or was “as good as” others. I became a “people pleaser”. I lived my life for others and tried be what they wanted me to be. I never had my own identity outside others. I was never happy. I reached the brink of suicide before I reached out for help and began my “recovery”. 

I began my “New Life” or Recovery on January 1, 1987, and now that I am in recovery I now have faith in God, and I know without a doubt that I am exactly where God wants me to be, doing exactly what I am doing. I am no longer living in fear and depression. I am “happy, joyous, and free”.

Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh
Still life with Bible, by Vincent Van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake”. ~~source: AA, p. 417

God’s Purpose For My Life…Writer and Genealogist

YOUR LIFE STORY

For the first time in my life I know what God‘s purpose is for my life. I know that I am living exactly where I am supposed to be, and doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. All my life, I never felt like I “fit” anywhere. I always thought that if only I had a “different” body, or a “different” life. I was never happy with myself. I was jealous of the “confident” and “self-assured” girls and women. And…I always wished that I had bigger boobs, more friends, and was popular. 

Looking back at my childhood it makes me sad, because I realize that I “wasted” a lot of time “wishing” my life away. I lived in my fantasy world through my romance novels and books, and my Barbie doll world. I was never “happy”. I always compared myself to others, and I never measured up in my eyes. I was a beautiful little girl. I have seen photos and I was…beautiful, but I never felt it!

Today, because of my relationship with God/Jesus I have been “healed”, and I know what my purpose in life is.

Jesus wants me to sponsor and “carry the message” to the other girls and women who are still suffering and need to hear His message of Faith, Hope, and Love. Jesus does save!!

He saved me, and He will save you too, if you ask Him, and you work for it…

To Do: 1. Go to meetings, 2. Get a sponsor, 3. Read Big Book and Twelve Steps, 4. Work the steps with a sponsor. 

One Day At A Time~~We Have Choices And Consequences

BETTER CHOICES

We still have to reap our consequences for our Choices = bad decisions. I got tired of paying, so today I make better Choices. God never gives up on us. I have less negative consequences because of my better Choices. 

WE ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE! NO MORE EXCUSES!

BE YOURSELF~BE WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE!

Just as I am, Lord

BE YOURSELF

“Being satisfied and happy with yourself is a very important key to enjoying your life. Because of my background, I had many weaknesses in the area of accepting myself and being me. I was always comparing myself with others, jealous of them and their possessions and abilities. I wasn’t being myself: I was trying to keep up with everyone else.

I often felt pressured and frustrated because I was operating outside my gifts and calling. When I finally realized I could not do anything unless God had ordained it and anointed me to do it, I started relaxing and saying, “I am what I am“. I cannot be anything unless God helps me.I am just going to concentrate on being the best me I can be.”

God has made every one of us unique. He personally made you and gave you gifts, talents, and abilities. Just think about it: Nobody else in the world is exactly like you. That means what is best for someone else may not be what is best for you.

So, when you are tempted to say to God, “I wish I looked like somebody else,” or “I wish I could do this or that like them,” don’t say it. Be satisfied with whom God made you to be. Remember that He made you exactly the way He wants you to be. If you try to be like someone else, you will miss the beautiful life God has planned for you.”

~~~source: New Day, New You, Joyce Meyers, 2007

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

In my recovery program we have a saying, “To thine own self be true”. 

St. Paul's statue on the Holy Cross Chapel, Pr...

PATIENCE: When God Answers “Slow”.

When the time is not right, God says, “Slow”.  Nowhere in the entire Bible can you find a Bible verse that says that God will anything you ask Him to do when you snap your fingers. God does not offer an instamatic prayeranswering service

God maintains control in the area of the why and when. If God answers no to your very sincere prayer, and you ask Him why, god will not answer or explain. God doesn’t answer your why questions because raising the question means you are not satisfied with the no.

You want to argue and God refuses to be drawn into an argument. He knows that any explanation He might give would not satisfy you. 
If God answered every prayer at the snap of your fingers He would become your servant~~not your master.  God would be working for you instead of you working for God.

God’s delays are not God’s denials. God’s timing is perfect. Patience is needed in prayer. Some people don’t suffer from doubt as much as from impatience. 

A man said to me, “I have lost faith in prayer.” After listening to him I said, “You have not really lost faith in prayer because you are still praying. You simply lost Patience.” 

Longtime members of our church know that we spell the word “faith”..P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E.

“O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him and He shall give thee thy heart’s desire. O rest in the Lord, wait patiently, wait patiently for Him.” 

source: Hours of Power, Robert H. Schuller, 2004

Those of you who know me, know that I have never had much patience. God has been working on me for years. In 1987, I learned how to accept God’s will through “pain, agony, and torture”, of my own making. I blamed God for all my problems, even though I had made the “bad” choices.

I graduated in September 2011 with my Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Security. I had high hopes, and planned to get a good paying job so that I could take care of my husband and Mother. God said, “No”.

By God’s grace,  I was able to be home with my husband and mother. My husband has heart problems and diabetes and was in the hospital with the shingles. They almost killed him with the cure! Instead of one day in the hospital, it turned into five days, I was there every moment until he came home. If I had not been there they could have killed him with the cure. God knew that I could not have handled two deaths in one year. Mother was 84, and in the last stages of her kidney failure. She entered the hospital on my birthday, January 9, 2012. Me not working, I was able to give her constant care and companionship up until her death on March 9, 2012. By God’s grace, Mother left me and my husband her home and truck. God has been good to us, even through it all. Mother died peacefully in her sleep. I will be forever grateful for the six years that we had together, we became best friends.

Now, seven months since Mother’s passing, and we are really struggling financially. Sometimes I feel guilty because I do not have a paying job. But...I have to have “faith” that God is in “control”…and when it is time…the job will come.  For now, I am able to spend time taking care of my husband and enjoying our home, that my Mother and Dad had built. God has blessed us with a loving family and a comfortable home and reliable truck. But…even more than that He has given me a “legacy of love”.  I have begun working on my genealogy more, and finishing my books. I am blessed. Praise God.

“The Bible Grows More BEAUTIFUL As We Grow In Our Understanding Of It.”

“The Bible Grows More BEAUTIFUL As We Grow In Our Understanding Of It.”~~~Johann Goethe
The Bible has the answer to any problem that you could ever have. It is timeless.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] ( listen), 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer, artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, and over 10,000 letters written by him are extant, as are nearly 3,000 drawings.

My favorite quote of his is one I used when counseling others:

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain as he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought and could be.”~~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I VOW TO PRAISE YOU THROUGH THE GOOD AND THE BAD TIMES

English: The Apostle Paul
English: The Apostle Paul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Their are thousands of artworks creat...
English: Their are thousands of artworks created in the art world depicting St Paul. This painting was created by the famous artist called Rembrandt. It hangs on the walls of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I VOW TO PRAISE YOU THROUGHT THE GOOD AND THE BAD TIMES

God can take something that is meant to harm us from the devil and bless us with it. Sometimes the thing that we think is not good, is the best thing for us, and God’s will. I have learned through the years to put it into God’s hands because only He knows what is best for me.  He has always known what is better for me than myself.

Paul the Apostle, Russian icon from first quar...
Paul the Apostle, Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God will never leave me nor forsake me. He has promised me. I am truly blessed.

One of my favorite quotes out of the Bible is: “I have learned in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content.”~~Apostle Paul