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Nov 5

Stormy Night

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

treebranchessky-74600_640Gender bashing
Culture clashing

Voices
Cascading
Even louder
Like crashing symbols

Yelling
Screaming
Stammering
Clawing for attention

No!
You’re wrong!
That’s $%^&&*&* up!

Listen!
Point made
Counterpoint

Last night I had the hardest support group I’ve led in more than ten years. Teens yelling, screaming, not listening to one another nearly enough.

At TreeHouse teens learn that they are not alone in dealing with any issue. There is always someone who can relate to what is going on in another group member’s life. Teens learn how to support someone else in need. They are reminded that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile. TreeHouse support groups become a place where youth know that they will always be listened to and that what they say matters to others.

May 11

Mothers Day Apologies You Might Need

Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2014 in Emotional, Relational, Spiritual, Values

mother-sonI don’t know what to say.

I don’t want to say it wrong.”

I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard those two phrases. I even color-coded them, because most often I’ve heard girls and women say the second, and boys and men say the first.

Why? Hurt people hurt people.

Regardless what your mother has said or done, intentionally or not, with genuine love, misguided “love” or with hate in her heart, her choices are her choices, her attitudes are her attitudes. And, yours are yours.

Do not try to change the other person, the change starts with ourselves.

Jun 18

Peacemaker

Posted on Tuesday, June 18, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

0imagesDonald Miller’s post yesterday entitled, “Learning to Turn the Other Cheek (Even Though I HATE Critics)” got me thinking, “How would I respond to attacks?” I assumed I would respond defensively and with self-pity.

Jesus

Blessed are the peacemakers…Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.“1

Last night as I read Philip Yancey’s book The Jesus I Never Knew about those verses this account challenged my thinking.

May 1

You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual

343653_a_helping_handI love Josh Groban’s song You Raise Me Up
Give it a listen:

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.

Dec 17

The Anger Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Reviews, Social, Spiritual, Values

Twenty years ago as I was working through some of my unresolved anger I saw The Anger Workbook by Les Carter and Frank Minirth on a book shelf. 

This book’s insights, probing questions and the subsequent dialogues that followed certainly contributed to my healing.  In turn, I have shared insights from this book with several people.

Fortunately, for all of us this book has been re-released.  

Carter and Minirth explain their Thirteen Steps Toward Anger Management:

Step 1. Learn to recognize the many faces of anger.

Step 2. Admit that all angry expressions, good or bad, are the result of choices.

Aug 8

Four Promises Of Forgiveness

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Yesterday in Pumpkin-Seed & Peeps I mentioned that embattled people can still be gracious.

It’s true.

We can choose to respect people we don’t like.
– We can choose to tolerate your differences.
– We can choose to talk things out rather than stuff your annoyances.

We can choose to bring happiness.
– If we hug people, let’s offer everyone hugs.
– We can all choose to forget the drama.
– We can all choose to forgive the guilty.

That final point, “choose to forgive the guilty” is a sticking point for many.

May 17

Hope For Lonely Lovers

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

When we feel alone we look for relationships.
When we build relationships we look for connection.
When we recognize connection we hope for intimacy.
When we embrace intimacy…

… sometimes our hopes are dashed.

Our girlfriend is too manic.
Our boyfriend is too needy.
Our wife is too wounded.
Our husband is too self-centered.

And, it all comes crumbling down.

You can’t make her happy!
You can’t make him happy!
You feel so alone.

Left unchecked angry and loneliness are the ingredients for rage.

I hate this! Nothing makes sense.
I know I’m not good enough! And…
I know I will never be!

May 16

Ever Feel Alone?

Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

You tried, and tried, and tried, and failed.
You tried to make him happy and didn’t.
You tried to make her happy and didn’t.

You tried, and tried, and tried, and failed.

And Now…

You feel frustrated because life sucks, and your daydream begins to feel like a nightmare.  “My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken.” 1 

And people find out what happened.  They start talking about what they think happened.  They start guessing what you did, or what you could have or should have done.  Then they start gossiping, “Their insults have broken my heart…If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me.” 2

May 15

You Can’t Make Her Happy!

Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social

Too often we feel responsible for someone else’s happiness.

The Lie

We believe the lie that “I can make someone happy,” and “I can make someone unhappy.”

Because we embrace those lies when relationships fall apart so do we.

She believes, “I wasn’t a good enough girlfriend, so he left me.”
He believes, “I was not there for her when she needed me most, so she left me.”
She believes, “I’m a failure, so he left me.”
He believes, “I unconsciously drove her away, so she left me.”
They believe, “I wasn’t good enough to stop this from happening, so … my heart breaks.”

May 14

You Can’t Make Him Happy!

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Sports, Values

In major league baseball the unwritten rules are known as “the code.”  Yesterday I reviewed the book The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America’s Pastime by Jason Turbow and Michael Duca.

In baseball, as in life, there are the written rules and the unwritten rules, but baseball is a piece of cake compared to “the code” we try to decode when we’re in relationships.

Code – “It’s not working out…”

She seemed so sweet.  We’d text one another all day, every day.  Now nothing.  I guess I didn’t make her happy.