“Farewell (cheerio, sayonara, adieu, adios, au revoir, auf wiedersehen,ciao) 2014- ”
The older I get, the faster each year goes – or is that just my perception? 2014 is almost ending and we are looking to a new year. In thinking of closing out this year I am challenged to ask what areas of my life do I want to say farewell to also? I am further compelled to ask myself if there are spots in my marriage that need to be forgiven, forgotten or released. Maybe it’s time to give those things a bon voyage send off. It’s easy to stay stuck, I know it is for me. Being a counselor I like to explore ideas, strategies, techniques and research that help with “problem” areas; but as we all know implementation of those things is a whole other story.
It does seem like a long standing issue for many couples that are married for a long period of time is believing the best about our spouse. I believe this disappointment is a slow ache that builds over time. We try to communicate an area of change we desire, or challenge our spouse with a behavior or attitude they have that is hurtful to us. Then we see change-be it ever so slightly- and then a week later that old behavior or habit resurfaces. This can grate on a marriage. Like Solomon says “It’s the little foxes that spoil the vine.” What if this was the year we took an inventory of the “little things” that influence or affect our spouse, or loved one, negatively. What if this was the year we made a change to say goodbye to long held beliefs about our spouse or loved ones? I think it would be wise to adopt a stance that we will communicate our heart to those we love, whether they change or not. And then, in faith, believe the best about them and ourselves.
I know it is easier to just get silent and suffer inside. I have done that a lot. The thing is its like swallowing poison and hoping the other person feels the affects of that poison. It doesn’t work. The poison slowly works on us- the person swallowing it. There is a dull feeling, a feeling of disconnectedness with our loved one, then anger- ugly, insidious,over powering anger. This can slowly turn to that daily feeling of resentment towards our loved ones. An unmet expectation, that if spoken tastes bitter in our mouth and stings like acid in the ears of the hearer. I have gone in and out of this cycle multiple times this year with both Kevin and those that have hurt me with ongoing little things. There are two ways I have found to get myself unstuck.
The first is confession. I confess my anger or stuck point to God. I tell Him my most selfish and angry thoughts, I cry and beg Him to hear me. Then I talk to a friend about the things that I am struggling with asking them to tell me honestly where I may be judging my spouse or the other person. Then lastly, I confess my anger to the person I am mad at. I usually use statements like “ I am struggling with feeling anger towards you over this… it would help me if … “ then I state a solution I think might help the situation. This is not an end all that takes the problem away, it is simply a way to take an inventory of my heart that is real and searching, and continue to act in a way that is hopeful to the situation.
The second way to get unstuck is to seek real help. All of us need to talk through difficult times with another person. It is hard to be honest about feeling stuck, it can feel like you have exhausted all the possible solutions to deal with the way you feel. I have found that often just speaking the words that are inside are a way to release their power. There are no quick answers to relational problems. Often the only way to freedom is having to go through the pain. Having another person offer you perspective, support and a listening ear is can be helpful in learning to see your spouse or loved one with different eyes. The pain of ongoing let downs from someone we love can be exhausting, but God can help us not hold on to every little hurt and allow us to explore other ways to communicate our needs and our pain to our spouse or loved one.
So another year is almost gone, It’s time to say goodbye to 2014. Now is also a good time to think of what habits or long standing patterns we should say goodbye to. Start small, ask your spouse what would be good to let go of and confess, seek advice and put a new habit into practice. Get ready to live it out in 2015.
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $3,800.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $3,677.00 Remaining Need: $123.00
Something Interesting or Unique that happened last month: 1.) Kevin spoke with a manufacturer of wood boilers and the gentleman was kind enough to give us the plans and specs so that Kevin can build the wood boiler for us! 2.) Kevin built a snow plow for our skid skeer to make snow clean up even easier on the ranch.
Top Praise of the Month: We’ve been seeing lives changed for the kingdom and marriages restored through the ministry we are doing at Mountain Haven.
Top Prayer Requests: 1.) We are still in need of more monthly support. If only 20 people could give $50.00 a month we could support Mountain Haven and start to be more consistent on the income we give ourselves from service to Mountain Haven. Please pray about partnering with us. 2.) Please pray that the couples and individuals we are seeing would continue to persevere through the trials they are going through.
Looking Ahead: 1.) We are excited about what God has in store for us for the 2015 year!
Thank you to all of our faithful supporters for the year 2014. If you are looking for a ministry to support as we came to the end of 2014, or for the 2015 year please consider Mountain Haven.
It has been an unbelievable year. We have been blessed to minister to couples, families, children and individuals. We have almost completed the ministry home, completed 5 groups, and are looking forward to an even busier year next year. God has been good.
Pray about how to support this effort. Give at DONATE or mail a tax-deductible donation to 1160 Diamond Back Trail Canon City, CO 81212. Stay in touch with praise or prayer requests as well. Thank you and we love you!