Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Closing the Book on Complaining

posted by Linda Mintle

I admit, it is easy to complain when things don’t go right. Our nature is to jump on the negative. The children of Israel knew this well. No matter what the provision, they continued to grumble and complain. And God was not pleased with that behavior.

What happens when we complain? Do we feel better?

Maybe for the moment but the negative contributes to a downward spiral. It darkens our perspective. Then, more complaints slip out of our mouth and we feel even more negative.

So how do we put on the brakes when our natural tendency is to complain?

We can train ourselves to stop the negative and comment on the positive side. As long as we don’t live in denial and avoid dealing with real problems facing us, it is good to find the upside in any situation. But to really conquer complaining, we have to cry out to God for help in this area. The absence of complaining requires a complete trust in God. It means facing all circumstances with the faith that God is in them and working them for our good. At times, this perspective feels unnatural, even irrational. Why would I give thanks in the middle of a crisis? Because my thanks isn’t about the crisis. It is about God’s continuous presence, His watchful eye, His moving on my behalf and my trust that what He allows will be used for my good and His glory. This is a perspective I need to remind myself of regularly. I’m not saying this is easy.

But trusting and thanking God even when things go wrong is part of what brings His peace. So today, I am practicing putting on the brakes, taking the high road, and trusting in God’s unfailing love.

Another Birthday? Embrace Aging!

posted by Linda Mintle

Today is my birthday and another reminder of the aging process. Our bodies change as we age. We may not like all the changes; I mean, who looks forward to an extra two to ten pounds with menopause? Who enjoys the thickening of her waist? But it happens! It’s not the end of life as we know it unless we overvalue youth and undervalue maturity.

Aging is a natural process in which the body does breaks down. It brings aches and pains and a change in beauty, but it doesn’t mean there is no beauty.

We can be vital and attractive at any age. So the next time you see an older woman, take time to look at her body. Study her and notice the changes that naturally occur. Then notice other things—her grace of movement, the brightness in her eyes, the spring in her step, the passion of her work.

There is far more to our value than just our bodies, our shape, our skin, and our hair color. A quieted mind, the capacity to love deeply, spiritual maturity, passion, and wisdom are just a few benefits of aging. In fact, an old proverb tells us to seek wisdom above all else. Wisdom will make your life glorious, garland your life with grace, and festoon your days with beauty.

Begin each day with a healthy respect for what your body has been through and accomplished. Thank God for what works and still functions. And remember that there is great purpose in your life as long as you live and breathe.

For one day, focus on things of value rather than looking younger and see if you don’t feel better. Maybe that day of refocused priorities and a happier you will turn into a week, and then a month, and then a year. If it does, you will have successfully conquered the Mount Everest of the woman’s world- anti-aging. And if you do reach the summit, write me so we can celebrate together!

Get Ready to Be Stunned: Child Abuse By Biting

posted by Linda Mintle

This is an incredible story. I read it and thought, ‘Really. What goes through the mind of a 24-year-old to do such a harmful thing? ” Honestly, I don’t know because I can’t imagine sitting with a 6-year- old and deciding to play a biting game with that child. Yes, that is what a Florida woman allegedly did, according to NBC Miami! She was arrested and charged with child abuse.

Try to picture it. Rachael Bohbot is with her boyfriend and his six-year-old son over the course of a weekend.She decides it would be fun to play a biting game. Let’s see who can bite the hardest. Apparently Rachael won the game and left fresh bite marks on the child’s thigh and shoulder. According to the report, the child cried uncontrollably. When the child returned to his mother, he reported the biting, was limping and hurt.

Frankly, I am stunned. How could the dad watch this and think it was OK? What does this say about the dad dating this woman? And what is wrong with this woman that she didn’t react to harming a child?

Scary, sad, upsetting and wrong. I feel for this child.

Rachael  is a deeply disturbed woman who needs more than legal action, she needs therapy to understand how her actions were abusive. I hope she gets helps. She desperately needs it. And the father also needs to rethink his relationships and protection of his child. He is equally culpable as he was responsible for the safety of that child. And the child…let’s pray the biological mother fights for his welfare. He is the real victim.

 

One Change That Could Change Your Family

posted by Linda Mintle

What if I told you there was one family change you could make that would bring a host of positive benefits? Would you do it? Well get ready. Here it is:

Next time you click through the television channels, find the cable channel that shows old shows like Leave it To Beaver, Andy Griffith and My Three Sons. You will notice something that doesn’t look familiar in today’s culture. All of these shows feature families at the dinner table sharing a meal, laughing and having conversations about their day. The modern American family has lost this important tradition. However, it is time to revisit this timed tradition.

According to several studies, families who eat meals together experience benefits that will hopefully motivate you to consider reinstituting this lost tradition. Families who eat meals together:

1)    Decrease a child’s likelihood to drink, smoke or use illegal drugs[1]

2)    Decrease a teen’s likelihood to have sex at a young age, get in fights, be suspended from school or become suicidal [2]

3)    Improve nutrition and eat healthier [3]

4)    Improve family relationships and intimate connections

5)    Improve a child’s academic success [4]

These are five incredible benefits to simply adding the family meal to your schedule. I know it is hard given our busy schedules. In the future, I will have tips on how to make this happen. For now, commit to it and give your kids five great benefits.


 

 

 


[1] Columbia News, CASA 2000 Teen Survey. Teens With “Hands-Off” Parents at Four Times Greater Risk of Smoking, Drinking, and Using Illegal Drugs as Teens With “Hands-On” Parents, last referenced 10/1/2002.

[2] Sandra L. Hofferth, “Changes in American Children’s Time,”1981-1997.” University of

Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, Center Survey, January, 1999. National probability samples of American families with children ages 3-12, using time diary data from 1981 and 1997. Findings on how time use is associated with children’s well-being are reported in Hofferth, S. L., “How American Children Spend Their Time,” Journal of Marriage and the Family, (2001).63, 295-308. Retrieved online October 4, 2004,  from http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:H5jg_Q0-v74J:edprojects.che.umn.edu/takeback/downloads/research.pdf+overscheduled+kids+and+underconnected+families&hl=en

[3] Gillman, M.W., Rifas-Shiman, S.L., Frazier, A.L., Rockette, H.R.H., Camargo, C.A., Field, A.E., Berkey, C.S., & Colditz, G.A. “Family Dinners and Diet Quality Among Older Children and Adolescents,” Archives of Family Medicine, (2000). 9,235-240. A questionnaire using 24- hour recall that was mailed to children of participants in the ongoing Nurses Health Study II. Retrieved online October 6, 2004, from http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:H5jg_Q0v74J:edprojects.che.umn.edu/takeback/downloads/research.pdf+overscheduled+kids+and+underconnected+families&hl=en

[4] 2CASA. Why Family Day?, last referenced 9/1/2003.

 

 

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