I recently spoke to a wonderful group of women at at Community Fellowship Church in West Chicago. During my presentation on getting organized, I shared this rhyme to remember: Put every system to the test until the good is better and the better is best. A No Limits Life Coaching Facebook page is my way to improve upon how I share my favorite quotes with others. For years, I have used twitter to accomplish this objective, but there have been times when the sayings that I am most inspired by exceed the 140-character maximum length. Going forward, I will continue to post larger messages to my blog but all tweets will originate here and be passed along to my Twitter profile. If you enjoy the updates, don’t forget to like me on facebook and twitter and invite your friends to do the same.
Whoever said that a mother’s job is never done wasn’t kidding: It’s never done. Long after my daughters are tucked into bed, I’m wiping off counters, folding laundry, and making sure that the doors are locked and the lights get turned off. And contrary to what my youngest told a fellow first grader years ago when she had her over for a playdate, I do not sit around and do nothing all day. There are errands to run, calls to make, rooms to pick up, spaces to organize, trips to plan, and countless other projects.
Although the amount of work rarely changes, the type of tasks do. If you had asked me even one month ago, for example, what my focus would be this week, I never would have guessed that it would be shopping to give my eighth grader an edgier look or rearranging her schedule to find time to practice with a professional all-girl rock band.
Thinking of how much both of my children have matured over the past year reminds me of something a six-year-old told me after I commented on how tall she had gotten since I had last seen her. “I know,” she said nonchalantly. “Times change and people grow.”
All of us were created to grow. We know this from Romans 12:2 where we are told: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” When I test for God’s will, I ask myself the following four questions:
- What does the wise counsel of my husband or a Godly friend have to say about what I want to do?
- Do circumstances allow it?
- Does it go against Scripture?
- Am I at peace with my decision?
Three months ago, I was not at peace with Hollie’s continued requests to dye her hair; but now circumstances have changed and even Bill is encouraging me to schedule the appointment. Hollie has morphed into a disciplined bass guitar player and I have mellowed enough to see that my job as a parent is to support her—even if it means looking for dark-colored clothes that won’t look too “happy” on stage and going to church with a child who is rocking a crazy hairstyle.
We can grow with our kids, or apart from them. Achieving the former and avoiding the latter is the difference between following where God is leading and steering children elsewhere.
Lately, I have been learning a lot about drama and what to do when it is unavoidably forced upon you. One of the more recent resources that I have stumbled across is Ray Kane’s Drama Proofing Your Life series that has been airing monthly on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection program. To give you a taste of how helpful this series is when it comes to understanding and dealing with difficult people, I copied the notes that I took while listening to Part 5 of Drama Proofing Your Life (which aired on February 19th) and pasted them into the space below.
In a drama, there’s a victim, a persecutor and a rescuer. The victim says: “I’m blameless, I’m helpless.” The persecutor says: “I’m right. I’m powerful.” The rescuer or caretaker says: “I can help. I’m special.”
The five factors that make up a drama pattern are:
- Unresolved Fear
Drama’s occur when an individual chooses:
- not to deal with his intensity (i.e., pain of the past)
- to be defensive
- not to deal with their fear anger and sadness
- death (someone else is going to die, or I’m going to die an emotional death)
- How do I deal with my intensity and pain?
- How do I deal with my defensiveness that is my ego?
- How do I deal with my fear?
- Whenever there is emotionally intensity, it signifies that historical feelings and/or experiences are being triggered by current events.
- Intensity communicates to others that our needs, concerns, or disappointments are not being validated.
- When we are discounted, our natural reaction is to fight for our rights rather than enter into reasonable and rational conversations that balance our ability to think about our feelings as well as feel about our thinking.
- Un-resolved trauma (i.e., we weren’t loved well) expressed through our pain in feeling shame, insecurity, guilt, or believing that everything is wrong with me.
- Fear (i.e., failure to meet expectations, rejection of thoughts and feelings, abandonment by someone leaving physically or emotionally, fear unto death where someone else is going to die or I’m going to die or I feel emotional despair) marked by thinking catastrophically, becoming anxious, or becoming controlling and angry.
- Self-Absorbtion is marked by being egocentric or prideful, believing nothing is wrong with me, being selfish and self-centered which ultimately causes one to walk by others who are in pain. The more self-absorbed a person is, the more ego-centric they are, the more unresolved pain they have, the more trauma they have in their life that they haven’t addressed, and the more afraid they are (but they’re not willing to deal with it).
- Are you committed to growth and change?
- Do you really want to be healthy?
- wisdom and discernment
- a heart of love and respect (Love is a feeling, Respect is how you show it.)
- something happens
- skills are applied
- solutions are sought
- the outcome is evaluated
- the next action step is taken.
- something happens
- the skills needed to solve the problem are missing
- there is no search for solutions
- feelings of anxiousness and insecurity lead to emotional flooding
- aggressive tactics like the ones below are applied in an attempt to restore emotional equilibrium and get someone else to deal with the problem
- using shaming, blaming, critical and judgmental language
- justifying a position
- playing the victim
- the drama becomes the new issue to be handled and the original problem takes a backseat to the drama that’s been created
We all haven’t been loved well. Because our parents weren’t loved well, we weren’t loved well, and we don’t love well. That’s a given. In our life, the unresolved pain where love didn’t exist (and where love needed to be) becomes an anchor that keeps us from being able to get up to full speed.
Either we’re moving towards Christ or away from Christ. The significant process of the Christian life is learning how to deal with pain because if we don’t transform our pain, we transmit it. And so we have to be willing to engage in a process of growth and change in order to want to be a healthy person, centered in Christ. When I become that person, I then can change my environment.
Skills vs Capacity:
- Capacity is how much energy I have in my tank to be able to use problem-solving skills to resolve an issue. Capacity will either come from my ego or from my faith. If there is a true heart’s desire to want to connect with Christ in an intimate way, Christ can help to heal the traumas of the past and, as Christ is present in the midst of those traumas, Jesus connects and attaches with the person who is hurting to increase their capacity. That is what it means to be connected with Christ in an intimate way and to experience the fullness of healing when we experience pain.
- Healthy faith is able to take truth, communicate it with wisdom, discernment, and a heart of love and respect because I’m not preoccupied with trying to look good. Jesus’ power came with his humility, purity and ability to speak the truth.
- having a more intimate relationship emotionally
- learning how to communicate our needs, feelings and pain
- to learn how to listen, hear and understand
- What is it that I can learn about myself?
- What insecurities is it raising inside of me that I need to bring to Christ?
- What skills might I need to acquire to be able to set appropriate boundaries?
- How might I need to learn how to communicate my needs, feelings and pain in more efficient ways?
- How might this experience enable me to develop a much deeper intimacy with Christ?
When I am willing to deal with my trauma, to deal with my fear, to not be driven by my ego but learn to become more humble, then I can be reflective and take ownership of my thoughts and feelings by expressing a desire to humbly confess my wrongdoings and turn from my bad habits to pave the way for negative patterns to be buried dead.If we’re triggered, it’s about our pain. There’s a point at which God hardens someone’s heart, but as long as we’re working on our pain, then we become a safer person to tell someone else that we would like them to work on theirs.
To listen to or download this or other episodes that Ray Kane has presented on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection program, click on one or more of the links below:
Filed under: Dealing with Drama, Living With Integrity, Relationships | Tagged: Anger, Crazy Makers, Dealing with Difficult People, Defensiveness, Drama Proofing Your Life, Healthy Problem Solving, Humility, Intensity, Midday Connection, Ray Kane, Sadness | 1 Comment »
My mother grew up eating Danish crepes. Slathered in butter and sprinkled with sugar, they served as the perfect snack to welcome her and her brothers home after a long day at school. As an adult, she carried on the crepe-making tradition by mixing up a batch every Wednesday night before my brothers and I left for our weekly catechism class. Served with a bowl of scrambled eggs mixed with fried potatoes, it was one of my favorite meals of the week. I had no plans to follow in my grandmother’s and mother’s footsteps until my oldest brother (who is big on tradition) bought me my first cast iron griddle. Almost twenty years later, I am still using it to make a weekly batch of pancakes so that my youngest can heat one up every morning before heading off to school.
To start your own crepe-making tradition, follow the recipe below.
1. Place the following ingredients in a blender:
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups of all purpose flour
2. Blend the ingredients, adding more milk as necessary until the crepe mix is easy to pour.
3. Heat a lightly oiled cast iron griddle over medium high heat.
Note: To minimize the amount of cooking oil that is needed, I purchased the Misto Gourmet Oil Sprayer (which can be used with any vegetable oil). Another option for spreading a small amount of oil onto a griddle is to use a silicone basting brush that is heat resistant to 500F/260C.
4. Pour a soup ladle of crepe mix onto the center of the skillet and tilt the pan in a circular motion so the batter coats the surface evenly.
5. When the bottom of the crepe is lightly brown, loosen with a metal spatula and flip the crepe over to cook the other side.
6. Remove from heat when the second side is lightly browned.
7. Serve hot and refrigerate leftovers.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to change up the way you do things, especially when it comes to organizing your digital photos. It’s a time to keep doing what works and ditch what doesn’t. What works for me is organizing pictures by event and adding the year, month and day they were taken to the title of each folder. If I have two events in one day (like a program at school during the day and a birthday party that night), I place them in separate folders and include “01″ after the date of the first and “02″ after the date of the second activity to make sure that the folders show up in the proper order (see example below).
What also works is periodically backing up these folders to DVDs that I give to Bill to take to work. This ensures that, in the event of a fire, our pictures are not lost forever.
What hasn’t been working is having to search through every folder at the end of the year to find the pictures that I would like to include in our annual Christmas Card and end of year slideshow. In search of a solution that would make the most of software I already have, I read up on how to use iPhoto Smart Albums and created one called 2013 Best Photos. I then added parameters so the album only contains pictures from 2013 events that I gave a 5-star rating (see article titled How To Create Essential Smart Albums for Your iPhoto Library at www.makeuseof.com).
To test my new process, I imported a photo from our camera and gave it a five-star rating. The picture appeared in the new smart album and my photo-taking year is off to a great start, proving that Continuous Process Improvement is not just for companies: It’s for anyone who is up for the challenge of putting every system to the test until the good is better and the better is best!