Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

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?

Does Your Doctor Pay Attention to You? 10 Ways to Know

posted by Linda Mintle

You wait for the doctor to come in to the exam room. The wait seems like an eternity. The table is cold and so are you because the gown is so thin. You wish he would just show up. He does. He barely makes eye contact, writes notes on his computer, hands you a prescription and sends you away with very little conversation. The whole thing feels a bit unsettling.

This experience happens far too often with doctors who are rushed, overworked and pressured to see more patients than they care to see. What can result is prescriptions errors, missed diagnoses and a feeling of distrust. And doctors are feeling the eroding bond between themselves and patients. In a Consumer Reports survey, 70% of doctors felt that since they began practicing medicine, their bond with patients has steadily decreased.

The patient-doctor relationships seems to be eroding. We no longer trust that our doctors have the time to really listen to us and dig deep regarding symptoms. But policy makers and physicians have noticed the decline and have research to support the need for doctor -patient care to be based in a caring trusting connection.

Next time you have a doctor visit, note the following. These are ways doctors can open communication and show care.

Does my doctor…

  • greet me by name
  • sit down
  • attend to my comfort
  • establish eye contact
  • listen without interrupting
  • show attention with nonverbal cues, such as nodding
  • allow silences while I search for words
  • acknowledge and legitimize my feelings
  • explain and reassure me during examinations
  • ask explicitly if there are other areas of concern

 

If you feel hurried, you may want to address the issue. Doctors don’t like overly busy schedules either.

Guest Blogger Wendy Griffith Asks, Are You Worth the Price of Dinner?

posted by Linda Mintle

Anchor woman,Wendy Griffith’ feels strongly about men and dinner dates. Read her guest blog and let us know.

Do you agree? 

In today’s world, it can sometimes be confusing about who pays on a date.  Stop right there!  Ladies, there should be no confusion. The man pays. Yes, there are exceptions but in general, especially when you are first going out, the man pays.

A few years ago, I was asked out by a college professor who I assumed had a good paying job, although the jalopy he drove said otherwise. But, it had been a long time since my last date and I was determined to give this guy a chance. On our first date, we went to a nice steak house. On our second date, we had pizza and on our third date, we were at this cute little fish house and he brought up the bill. “I think we should split the check,” he said. “Excuse me?” I said.  He went on to tell me about a platonic girlfriend that he went out with occasionally and how they always split the check.

“Well, are you dating her?,” I asked.  “No,” he said.  “Have you ever kissed her goodnight?,”  I asked” “No,” I’m not sure where these words came from but this is what I heard myself saying to him as I got up from my seat to go to the ladies room.  ”I am worth the price of dinner and dessert!”  The look on his face was priceless!

Not surprisingly, that was our last date.  He told me I was “extravagant” and not a good “steward” of money.

I was upset at being called extravagant just because I expected him to pay so I asked one of my male colleagues what he thought.  He told me, that when he was pursuing his wife, no expense was too great.  He always paid and was happy to do so.  He also pointed out that God’s love toward us is extravagant.  He gave us everything – His only begotten son – so we could have everlasting life.

Scripture uses an extravagant verb to describe the enormity of His love for us when it says, “How great is the love that the Father has lavished on us” (1 John 3:1).  So the pursuing man has the great opportunity here to imitate God!

When my sister was dating her now husband, not only did he always pay for dinner, he bought her a car! and paid off her student loan debt even before they got married. Now, that’s what I call extravagant. A dinner and a movie is nice. But expecting the man to pay for dinner is not extravagant. However, whether he does so or not could give you an important glimpse into his heart and his beliefs.

Fortunately with God, there is no confusion when it comes to His extravagant love for us.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph 3:17 (NKJ)

From Casting Crowns…

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel like moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place
Your love is extravagant

Spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
No greater love have I ever known You considered me a friend
Capture my heart again…

Maybe it’s not like this for all women, but I know for me, if a man pays, it makes me feel more like a woman, I feel valued, safe, taken care of. It makes a statement. I recall after our first date at the nice steak house, he mentioned how expensive it was. Ouch. That’s like saying, I really didn’t want to buy you that nice dinner.  And ladies, let’s be real.  If he can’t afford to pay for your dinner, can he afford to buy you a ring?  Can he afford a house for you both to live in? I’m not saying you should never pay for anything. When I am in a relationship, I like to occasionally buy breakfast or lunch or even cook, something my two sisters, who are now happily married, say they never would do. But, I feel like “date night’s” are his responsibility.

God wants you to know that you are worth the price of dinner and dessert and so much more!  You are worth someone being “extravagant” over.  After all, you are a daughter of the most high King,  A royal treasure, A beautiful masterpiece, a pearl of great price. You are a lady and a true gentleman will recognize your value and act accordingly.

To read more of Wendy’s blog, click on this link.

Stressed? Do You Have the Resources?

posted by Linda Mintle

Today’s blog is a a video blog on how to reduce stress using your resources. Of course, your greatest resource is your relationship with God. He is always with you, empowers you through His Holy Spirit and will walk you through the most difficult days. There are also other resources to use as well. Take a look and check off how many you have at your disposal.

 

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