~I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut.--Revelation 3:8~

This Month's Thoughts for:

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

Psalm 43:3 NIV

Body-Now that all of the holiday celebrations are nearly over, it's time to look at taking care of ourselves. If you haven't already been, you need to find the right balance in life so that you can have time for exercise and to strengthen yourself.

Mind-Whether you're a student or a graduate, it's never too late to learn something new. Keep your eyes and ears open so that you may find guidance through God's word.

Spirit-Take time each day to pray and talk to God. He hears you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Featured Short Story: A Glutton for Punishment by Rebecca Benston (Chapter Three)

Jane’s attorney, Angela Nelson, had assured her that she had nothing to worry about. He wouldn’t be able to take her car or the money she had in her savings account. She had also said that he might not be able to get visitation if he continued to threaten her as he had that day in the parking lot. When they sat down in the courtroom, Pete was already there with his attorney. He smiled at Jane as though nothing was wrong and then started whispering to his attorney. Jane looked at Angela and said, “Please tell me they won’t give him custody.”
Angela patted her hand and smiled at her, “I’m sure everything will be fine, just relax.”
The hearing went on for about an hour as the two attorneys spoke with witnesses and then with both Jane and Pete. By the time it was all over, Jane was exhausted. She couldn’t take anymore. She went home and threw herself down on the couch, staring up at the ceiling as though she were in prayer. She might have been, but for the feelings of resentment towards Pete that kept her from thinking “good” thoughts. Emma was staying at her mother’s for the night so she was on her own.
The night passed slowly and Jane found herself watching old rerun sit-coms at three in the morning. Somewhere between Barney Miller and Alice, she drifted off to sleep. She awoke to the sound of someone knocking on her door. She shook her head to regain her consciousness and then headed over to the door.
“Jane Anderson, you need to open up, Sheriff’s office,” a voice said from outside.
“Just a minute, I was asleep,” she said, nervously, “hang on.”
She was wearing sweats and other than having a serious issue with her hair, she looked normal. She opened the door to a Deputy Sheriff and her husband, Pete.
“We’re here to collect the car,” the officer said, holding up a copy of an official looking document. Jane noticed that there was a document taped to her door as well. She pulled it off of the door and opened it quickly. It was from the court and it stated that Pete was entitled to the car and to standard visitation with their daughter, Emma. She read on quickly until she came to the part that said Pete would be able to take Emma every other week and then for an entire month in the summer.
“What the hell?” she said, “How did this happen?”
“I’m not here to speculate, ma’am, I’m just here to make sure that he gets his car,” the officer said. Pete just stood there smirking at Jane. He was taking her vehicle and he intended to leave her with nothing, no way to get around. This meant there would be no way for her to get a job, even if there was something out there that she could get. With no transportation, she had no way to get Emma to appointments and no way to make sure that they had what they needed in the house. She would be crippled by this and Pete knew it. He was planning to use it against her so that he could get custody of Emma. This couldn’t happen.
“What am I supposed to do for transportation?” she said to the officer. “He’s not supposed to be able to do this, I want to speak with my lawyer before you do anything.”
“I’m sorry, Miss, the car needs to go today,” the officer said, “I’ll need the keys.”
“This is bullshit,” Jane said, on the verge of tears. She reached to grab her purse from the hook by the door. Angrily, she reached inside and grabbed the keys. Without thinking, she flung the keys at Pete hitting him in the jaw. The officer put a hand up and said, “Miss, that’s not necessary.”
“Just get out of here,” she said and turned to slam the door in their faces. She waited until the officer and Pete had pulled away from the building’s parking lot. Once they were gone, she picked up her phone and punched in a number. There was only one person she wanted to call right now. The person who could make all of this go away.

Come back soon for the rest of the story!

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Tips on healthy living, healthy loving and healthy habits!

Healthy Relationships: Where do you fit in?

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 New International Version

In relationships, we are all put to the test in one way or another. Whether we are being taught a lesson in trusting others or in learning to love selflessly, we must always be on the lookout for signs that the enemy is lurking nearby. Sometimes what we think might be one of God's tests for us is actually our own ego struggling to overpower His influence in our lives.

If you are fighting constantly over the same issues with your significant other, take a step back and ask yourself, "What would God want me to do here?" It could be that He wants you to take enough pride in yourself to stand up for your right to be respected in the relationship. Maybe you need to step up and express your dissatisfaction with the way you are being treated in order to make your loved one understand what you need. Or maybe you are with someone who is treating you unfairly and God wants you to guard your heart.

If your usual tendency is to run away from a relationship when you aren't 100% satisfied with the other person's behavior, this could be an indicator that you aren't being realistic in your expectations. No one is perfect and learning to love one another's flaws as well as one's gifts is part of a healthy relationship.

A great resource for you to check out if you are having difficulty sustaining relationships is "Safe People" by Townsend and Cloud. I am currently going through a Bible Study with some ladies and we are using this book as our guide. There is alot of great information about boundaries and how to identify traits in others who may be unsafe for us. If you get a chance, check this one out.

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