Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

5 Tips to Fight the Holiday Blues

posted by Linda Mintle

The holidays can bring overwhelming demands, over commitment, worries about finances, and unrealistic expectations. Sometimes, as a reaction to all the busyness, we find ourselves feeling down or little blue.

So how can you fight those down feelings?

1) Think balance and moderation. Excessive demands, extra commitments, overeating, little sleep and no exercise can all bring you out of balance and lead to feeling tired and irritable . Bring balance to a busy time by pacing yourself and slowing down enough to exercise self-care.

2) Don’t isolate. Make sure you don’t isolate yourself. A trigger for depression this time of year is isolating and avoiding people. Stay in touch with friends, people in your church and loved ones.

3) Participate in uplifting holiday activities. Go to a sing along, a caroling night, a church performance of the Messiah, a play. Churches have a lot going on this time of year. Attending the festivities will uplift your spirit.

4) Give to others. One of the best ways to feel better is to give. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Take toys to the underprivileged, help with decorations at a school or church, offer to collect money for a charity, etc.

5) Monitor your thoughts. You can feel down if your thoughts begin to go negative. Don’t grumble and complain. If you focus on what is wrong versus what is positive, you will feel down. Take your thoughts captive. Think of things that are good, count your blessings and stay positive.

 

 

Healthy Strategies to Handle Marital Differences

posted by Linda Mintle

Joe and Rachel were fighting over a common parenting issue. Of course, both were convinced they were right because of the way they were raised. Differences noted, but they had to come to some agreement as to how to actually discipline their teen.

Conflict is a normal part of any relationship. But the way conflict is handled is important. Here are 6 ways to cultivate a healthy relationship when it comes to handling differences:

1) Identify your way and your spouse’s way of handling differences. For example, do you tend to rationally go at a problem and he tends to avoid? Joe wanted to listen to his teen daughter’s reason for disobedience before he decided her punishment. Rachel felt the reason was unimportant and was ready to levy the consequence. Both realized that their different styles had to be acknowledged. Then it was up to the couple to decide what to do.

2) Develop a compatible style of handling differences. An avoider and a fighter don’t do well together. If both of you avoid, you may do well because the styles are compatible.The same is true of two fighters, but when a fighter and avoider get together, accommodations in style differences will need to be made.

3) Choose a biblical model for handling differences. For example, look at Matthew 18: Go to the person, address the problem, bring in another person if you get stuck, etc.

4) Practice anger management. Review the guidelines in my Breaking Free from Anger and Unforgiveness book. Anger is not wrong, but you can sin in the way you handle anger. For example, no shouting, name-calling, holding on to unresolved anger, etc.

5) Choose to forgive and move towards reconciliation.

6) Agree to disagree over the nonessential differences. Sometimes the best thing to do is to simply allow the differences. For example, rolling toilet paper up or down is not a life sustaining difference. if your partner does it differently, is it really that big of a deal?

Remember, differences are normal. How they are handled is what is important.

12-12-12: Wedding Date and Global Day of Worship

posted by Linda Mintle

The final popular consecutive date sequence in our lifetime, 12-12-12 is today! Some people want to make it a day to remember.

According to Danielle Lerner, a survey by David’s Bridal estimates 43% of brides have considered planning their wedding dates on this date. Pretty amazing considering how many of you married on a Wednesday? One thing for sure, your husband will probably remember the date of your anniversary!

But there is another bride who will be noticed this 12-12-12. It is the bride of Christ, the church.

Last year on 11-11-11 was the first Global Day of Worship. This year, on 12-12-12, Global Day of Worship is happening again. Only this time, it originates from Jerusalem.

You can participate in this global event by clicking on this link. Watch and listen from your computer as people all over the world dedicate one day to a global experience of worship. What a powerful day this is going to be.

From the website…

On December 12, 2012 – from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. in each time zone -a wave of worship and adoration will span the globe and unite all believers as one body. Utilizing 24 time zones, we will agree with and join the 24 elders, spoken of in Revelation 4, who are already worshiping Jesus around the throne. It is when the worship of heaven meets the worship of earth that spiritual climates of nations will shift as we serve faithfully here and now in preparation for His return.

On this day, we will not to focus on asking, or petitioning the Lord. We will simply gaze upon His beauty, thank Him for His love, and declare His attributes and goodness in our lives, families, communities and nations.

Click on the link and remember this date for the adoration you gave as the bride of Christ.

 

 

Negotiating Holidays With Divorced Parents

posted by Linda Mintle

Jennifer wonders if it possible to satisfy everyone’s expectations for the holidays? She and her husband Sam both have divorced parents. This means four sets of parents want to see their grandkids for Christmas. And to complicate things, they all don’t get along or live near each other.

Last year, Jennifer tried splitting Christmas Day between one set of divorced parents. Christmas Eve went to the other set of parents. Jennifer’s family spent hours in the car with cranky toddlers and were fed multiple times during all the celebrations.  Everyone wanted more time and Jennifer felt like she pleased no one.  It all felt a bit overwhelming. So what can Jennifer do differently this holiday season to make everyone happy and keep her sanity?

In truth, Jennifer may not be able to please everyone. She and Sam must decide what is truly doable and then set boundaries. The couple is also considering new options this year. One is to host the holiday festivities in their home and invite everyone to attend. If people can’t be civil to one another for a few days, then the problem is theirs, not Jennifer’s.

Another option is to vacation somewhere during the holiday. Last year, Jennifer’s friend decided to spend Christmas vacationing in Florida because the relatives couldn’t agree on a game plan that included everyone. The friend said it took pressure off all the feuding. And because Jennifer regularly sees all the relatives, this may be a viable option.  A getaway could be relaxing!

One other idea is to see if the exes will agree to be together for Christmas dinner or Christmas Eve. More and more divorced families are trying this out as a way to be with their kids. Again, the success of this plan would hinge on the exes’ decision to give it a try and exercise a little “peace on Earth”!

After much discussion, Jennifer and Sam decided to host both Christmas Eve and dinner. One parent has already opted out of Christmas Eve, but the rest agreed to come and focus on their kids and the holiday rather than past wounds or hurts that by choice remain unresolved.

How have you successfully negotiated holiday time when divorce is in play?

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