Saturday, September 30, 2006

THOUGHTS

Today I feel great! Probably because I have not had but 3 soft drinks since last Wednesday at noon. If you know me well, I'm sure that you are sitting there with your mouth wide open in shock. It wasn't intentional. I did not get really motivated to quit drinking them. I just ran out and then had a million things happen to prevent me from getting more. So, yesterday while buying groceries (yes, they were out of diet dr. thunder) I decided to buy tea. I'll let you know if I can handle the change permanently.

Inspiration

Today my inspiration comes from my mother-in-law. I received the most flattering email from her and she has inspired me to create an new category for my blog. I want to call it THINGS THAT I ADMIRE ABOUT.... I am not really great about letting people know just how much they mean to me. It is very difficult for me to tell people the things that I think. I know that it is easier for me to write, so from today on I will use my blog for just that.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Things that I Admire About...

Rocky

his immense self discipline, complete faith, what a wonderful father that he is, his passion for his job, his commitment to the things that are important to him, his love for God, the fact that he rarely complains (even when he is sick), his ability to be true to what he believes in, his prayer life, his competitive nature, his belief that things will always work out, the way that he defends what he loves, the way he takes care of himself physically, his ability to charm, they way that he only opens up to those he trusts. I love you, Rocky!

The proper way to fight

I'm sure that you can assume from the previous that I am not mad at my husband, but I found this article and thought that it was good advice. On the focus on the family site today you can listen to a two part marriage broadcast....Marriage Survival Skills 101 (Part 1 of 2)Gary Smalley and Scott StanleyGary Smalley and Scott Stanley discuss basic marriage skills, focusing on the right and wrong ways of handling conflict. (Part 1 of 2)

http://www.family.org/fmedia/broadcast/a0041074.cfm


Fighting Fair
by Laurie Kehler

"I am soooo sick of picking up after you!" I said through clenched teeth at my husband, Tom. "You just leave your stuff everywhere like I'm your maid or something!" I had just picked up from the floor his umpteenth pair of dirty, balled-up socks where he left them — next to, but not in, the hamper.
He looked at me in wide-eyed disbelief. "Laurie, there are many mornings where I come out to the kitchen and do the dishes from the night before that you decided weren't as important as watching a movie! And how about your endless projects on the dining room table?"
Every couple does it. Ruth and Billy Graham, Shirley and James Dobson, you and your husband and me and mine. While we may not be proud of it, our differing points of view can lead to arguments. But arguments can be constructive if you stick to some rules for fighting fair.
In one of my first fights with Tom — I don't remember what it was about — I broke most of the rules for fighting fair. I manipulated the subject away from myself and my responsibility and piled it all onto him. I called him a name. I left the house and stomped down the street. I used the "nuke him before he gets me" approach. It left him with a tight knot in his gut and me red-faced with shame. Looking at our different upbringings, it's easy to see why our approaches differed so much.
My father was a lawyer. Differences of opinion were welcomed in my family, and an opportunity to prove your point was seen as sport. If you couldn't give a passionate argument about your point of view, it meant that you really didn't care or it wasn't that important.
Tom came from a quiet home. His father pastored a small church in a rural community. Tom never heard a discouraging word. His parents were always positive and rarely raised their voices. Differences of opinion were settled by low-key discussions.
Upbringing may determine initial approaches to arguments, but it doesn't have to enslave us. We can learn how to come to a mutually satisfying conclusion. While arguments are a normal part of life, continual feelings of animosity and alienation are not.

Let's F.I.G.H.T.

Tom and I still argue at times, but we try to stick to F.I.G.H.T.S. — our rules for fighting fair. The results have been shorter fights and happier endings. They might just work for you.

Face each other. Look each other in the eye as you discuss problems. This is particularly difficult for those of us who have learned guerrilla warfare — shouting some nasty comment, slamming down the phone or slamming a door — which leaves no room for discussion because the other person is absent. Two people can be in the same room, however, and still be absent. If one person has his nose stuck in a newspaper or glued to the TV, he might as well not be there. Set it down or turn it off and come out of hiding.

Ignore distractions. Stay on the subject. When the facts start pointing to my being at fault, I resort to "rabbit trails," those side issues I bring up to throw the pursuer off the subject. While rabbit trails may save me from facing the facts, they guarantee that the same argument will resurface at a later date. I'm just causing myself more pain by avoidance. It's a temporary solution, yet it is easy to be lured down a rabbit trail. Leave those distractions alone and resolve the one at hand. The benefit is this may be the last time in this territory!

Guard your tongue. Avoid name calling. James knew what he was talking about when he described the tongue as a fire in James 3:5-6.
Once I called my husband "jerkface." This, to me, was a nice alternative to what I was thinking. I silently congratulated myself on having such self-control. He didn't see it that way. It hurt his feelings. I thought it was kind of a silly, funny thing. He asked me how funny I would think it if he called me "thunder thighs." I stopped smirking immediately.
Name-calling is like swearing; it shows you don't have anything intelligent to say. More important, it attacks the other person's character. Once name-calling enters the ring, the other person won't hear anything you say, no matter how right you might be. He becomes too busy thinking about how to defend himself instead of listening to you.

Halt the history. Although my siblings and parents joke about it now, "You always . . ." "Why can't you ever . . ." and "You never . . ." were often preambles to the reasons why things weren't going well in our family. This is called history, and history doesn't belong in arguments. Bringing up history communicates to the other person that nothing will ever change and that the past has not been forgiven. This should not be true. Remember, God brings up history to remind us of His unfailing provision and love toward us — not to trip us up and condemn us.

Touch. Hold hands. I don't know why, but this position softens the heart. It makes us vulnerable to each other instead of making us feel like kung fu fighters. We are more willing to be reasonable and caring than win at all costs when we hold hands. We've stuck with the holding hands approach because we like what it leads to: praying together.

Stay in there. Finish the fight. I'm sure during long operations, surgeons would like to quit, go home and sleep for eight hours. But they can't. The open wound needs to be cleaned out and sewn up to heal. So do arguments. Leaving them open is inviting gangrene into the relationship. You can take a 10-minute breather, but get back to business and sew it up. When I'm in the red-hot zone I ask myself, "How important will this be to me three months from now? Or if I found out I had an incurable disease?" Chances are that the argument is not that important. Don't go to bed angry (see Ephesians 4:26). Besides, if you go to bed with unresolved anger, you'll be tossing and turning all night. Get up and get over it.


Blessings

Today I feel blessed to be married. I have friends that are not and I know that God put Rocky and I together in his perfect time. I know that not everyone can say that at 31 they are about to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. I feel blessed that God has given us the oppurtunity to "grow up" togther. I believe that God puts the perfect mate in your life when the time is right. As I have gotten older, I have realized how much panic that our parents must have felt when at 20 and 21 we decided to get married. I love them for having faith that God had a plan (even if we really didn't). I also pray that my single friends will trust that God is working on them, too. In his perfect time!

So that's all from this day in the life of mommysmart!

1 comment:

*** said...

You, both, are very blessed! - Stacy H.