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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

To quote words of wisdom by Bernard P. Fife, “Nip it!”

“To start a conflict is to release a flood;
stop the dispute before it breaks out (Proverbs 17:14 HCSB).”

Yup; nip it. Stop the disagreement before it ‘blossoms’ into a raging battle of trying to prove who is right.

Imagine a caution light. It can serve as a warning.

Next, put your brakes on as the light turns red.

In anger, you may be seeing red but stop.

Wait until the light turns green. Regain control behind the wheel of words before leaving the scene.

You have nipped conflict in the bud.

Congratulations!

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{My Mom_ Betty Ferris Ford/ 1940’s picture}

The following article is creative non-fiction…

 

Wish I may, wish I might… gazing at the twinkling star I closed my eyes. I wish I could go to Hollywood

“Beth, turn out that light! Get in bed; you’ve got school tomorrow!”

“Yes, Mother,” The springs squeaked as I climbed up onto the bed, and wedged myself under heavy hand-stitched quilts.

Will winter ever end?

Gentle ticking of the wind-up clock soothed me to sleep. The following morning I slipped into my favorite frock; Deanna Durbin wore the fashion design in her last movie. I styled my wavy long hair like hers too, and relished the compliments when people said I resembled her.

My kid sister, Debby said, “Beth, get away from that mirror! Mother and Daddy are waiting at the breakfast table!”

“Just a minute! I want to put a matching bow in my hair.”

“Why bother? You’ll have to wear a kerchief in this snow storm.”

“I’ll fix it again after I get to school. There, that’s better.”

I kissed Mother and Daddy before sitting down. The aroma of Daddy’s fresh ground coffee gave me needed courage.

“There’s a school dance Friday night; all my friends will be there. Can I go?”

Daddy just continued stirring his steaming oatmeal. I hoped Mother would be agreeable.

She took a long contemplating sip of green tea, looked me straight in the eye and said, “You can go… if you promise to get up bright and early Saturday morning and do the floors. “

“I promise!”

I detested the cleaning of the varnish veneer oak floors in many rooms, but I would do anything to get out of the house!

Friday night I met my dreamboat. “Well, hello gorgeous!” Joe held me close and my heart pounded in rhythm with the jitterbug. We dated steady and planned the perfect life together. I quit school in my junior year of high school and became his wife.

The honeymoon ended and my nightmare began. How could I have been so naive? He wanted to see a pretty face when he sobered up from a binge. After a few years, I no longer could believe his promises to quit drinking. There was now a child involved.

“Divorce! Give me a divorce!”

There, I said it. I will swallow my pride and go home to Mother and Daddy.

I needed money to support my little girl, boarded the bus into the big city in search for work. It was not easy without a diploma, and I had no skills to list on applications. Help wanted ads included an opening for clerk in a prestigious photographer’s studio; I acquired the coveted position.

Moving to the city, Mother convinced me it would be best for Patty to stay with her. We both knew I could not afford childcare. Weekend visits flew by; it seemed like my pending divorce not only ended my marriage, but nearly severed my relationship with my daughter too.

The photographer noticed my interest in the business, and trained me in the art of coloring portraits with oils. He also noticed me… I posed for him on several occasions, and took great pride in his comments on how photogenic I was.

One weekend, back at home, my life took a dramatic turn. My Brother Bill’s friend, Freddy dropped by.

“Beth, glad you’re here. I’ve been thinking about you.”

I smiled. “Is that good or bad?”

Laughing, he said, “I want you to meet someone.”

“No blind dates for me!”

“This is different. You’ll like Paul.”

“What’s he like?”

“He’s got a head on his shoulders, Army man, close to 35, and never been married. My sister’s had her eye on him, but he’s not interested….kind of’ tall, dark hair. You’ll make the perfect couple, both look like movie stars!”

Movie stars… Has he been reading my diary? Maybe I should meet this guy….

He introduced us and we were inseparable; we pledged our love in a church ceremony immediately after my divorce became final. He adopted Patty and our family grew with one, two, three other daughters. We were developing our own chorus line! Paul finally got his boy; I needed to see it to believe it!

Tarnishing dreams of stardom hid dormant. Time passed, and I experienced the thrill of seeing Hollywood when visiting our son in California. Inwardly, I perceive I am young and beautiful, dressed in silks, luxurious furs, and attending movie premieres. I take a final glance at Paul before turning off the light. He is still my leading man.

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Do you haggle over prices or financial debt? Look for compromise in relationship conflicts? 

Let’s make a deal!  

“Now He was also saying to the disciples, ‘There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.  And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’  The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light (Luke 16:1-8 NASB).” 

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We are wrong to think that peer pressure is something new. People emulate those they most admire. In turn, they want them to gain their approval. This is most noticeable in the adolescence and teenage years. Words wound; personal stories of the ‘fear of ridicule and rejection’ give credence to peer pressure scenarios. Adults can also be easily swayed.

Consider the case of Apostle Peter.

 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.  And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, ‘If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Galatians 2:11-16 NKJV).”  

I am free in Christ. His love reigns.

 

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Ever involved in name dropping?

Some believe it is not what you know but who you know.

Do you know the LORD God?

“It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, ‘A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar’ (which is En Gedi). And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.

Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, and said: ‘O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save (2 Chronicles 20:1-9 NKJV).”

Abraham knew the LORD. They were friends.

Knowing God, it is of utmost importance.  

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Remember the popular ‘Que Sera, Sera’ (Whatever will be, will be) by Doris Day?

The classic is a favorite by one of my favorite female singers.

Que Sera, Sera…

Is that the attitude of a fatalist?

Is destiny set in stone?

A strained relationship between King Saul and David unfolds in a dramatic scene. 

The jealous and paranoid King was relentless in his attempts to kill David.

Given the perfect opportunity, to take the life of the mortal enemy, David declines. He would not be victor by vengeance.

Though in a crisis, David was not a fatalist; he was a man of deep faith.

Yet, some things are written in stone. King Saul, in a lucid moment, foretold the reign of David.

Que Sera, Sera.

“So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, ‘Is this your voice, my son David?’ And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. Then he said to David: ‘You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.  For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Therefore swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house.’

So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold (1 Samuel 24:16-22 NKJV).”

 

 

 

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girls-914823_640Gossip.

The mere word grabs the average listener’s attention.

If you think it is only a female fault, think again. Some men not only have the gift of gab; they have the vice of gossip. Children spread gossip too. Before I let myself off the hook, I know that at times I’ve been guilty as charged.

God calls for concealment.

“He who conceals a transgression seeks love,
But he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends (Proverbs 17:9 NAS).”

We have all made mistakes and we sure don’t want them broadcast. When confessed, the LORD forgives. The matter is closed.

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