Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

In this era of data overload, giving away the coveted email address is something most do with trepidation.

After all, it’s already difficult enough to navigate the ever overflowing virtual inbox.

pexels-photo-320007The trick is finding the right content, thus making it worth the read.

The following five sites are chock full of health, wellness, beauty, decor, spirituality and more.

They are getting it right bringing the images and words together seamlessly making us want to read more. They offer inspiration and insight in a manner which is easily consumable.

 

5 Life-Changing Lifestyle Websites Worth Signing Up For:

 

1. Glitter Guide:

http://theglitterguide.com

10 Best No-Carve Pumpkin DIYs –

http://theglitterguide.com/2017/10/05/10-best-no-carve-pumpkin-diys/

 

2. Well+Good:

http://wellandgood.com

High Fiber Smoothie Recipes –

http://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/high-fiber-smoothie-recipes/

 

3. Goop:

10 Ways to Make Houseguests More Comfortable –

http://goop.com/style/decorating-design/10-ways-to-make-houseguests-more-comfortable/

Double Duty Skin Miracle Cream –

https://tinyurl.com/ydatvqjf

 

4. Leaf TV:

https://www.leaf.tv/

These DIY Projects Will Inspire You to Throw a Halloween Party –

https://www.leaf.tv/13589687/these-diy-projects-will-inspire-you-to-throw-a-halloween-party/

The Juice Recipe that Will Actually Clean Your Blood –

https://www.leaf.tv/13582891/the-juice-recipe-that-will-actually-clean-your-blood/

 

5. Beliefnet:

http://Beliefnet.com

6 Signs of the Presence of Angels –

http://www.beliefnet.com/inspiration/angels/6-signs-of-the-presence-of-angels.aspx

8 Celebrities that Passionately Love Jesus Christ –

http://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/celebrities/galleries/8-celebrities-that-passionately-love-jesus-christ.aspx

 

 

 

(Picture courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I know many people who have suffered the excruciating pain and indignity of an extramarital affair. 

Their loss is often intensified because they feel as if they never truly knew the individual they dedicated their hearts to.

pexels-photo-568027

Affairs are far too complex to simplify. 

After all, the average two-person relationship can reak enough heartache and havoc – add another individual to the equation and the pain seems to exponentially multiply.

On top of that, the cheater appears to find infidelity sexy. Until they are caught that is.  And then they begin the trademark task of turning the adultery table and shifting the blame to the one who was cheated on.

The inference? The unknowing spouse caused the affair because they weren’t good enough or they drove them to it or they traveled too much or….you get the idea. 

This insinuation can attack the self-esteem of even the most confident individual. 

The cowardly adulterer has a million excuses to deflect their own bad behavior.

All the more reason to seek counseling and advice to heal from this type of ordeal.

The following is a brilliantly insightful article from Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop.com, Why People Cheat is an incredible read for anyone who has experienced the brutal betrayal of a spouse. It includes a Q&A with Esther Perel a sexuality expert and psychotherapist. She is the author of the book The State of Affairs.

The good news? Perel sheds positive perspective genuinely seeing affairs from both sides of the coin.

One of my favorite quotes in the piece?

“Through the worst, we try to understand the best, and through broken people, we try to understand whole people. ” – Esther Perel

https://tinyurl.com/y9y89c7y

 

Above link from goop.com –

(Picture courtesy of Pexels)

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

Some divorces are simple.

They involve two mature adults who have the ability to be rational despite the demise of their relationship.

Other divorces are brutal.

pexels-photo-442576They involve one or more adults who have zero ability to be rational despite the demise of their relationship.

Why?

It boils down to one ridiculously simple word…

CONTROL

Of course, mature, egoless and confident adults do not seek control but their counterparts do.

So if it’s just seven simple letters why do many divorces escalate and get so extremely out of control?

I think it’s because we tend to focus on the controlling individual and controlling behaviors rather than ways we can regain some semblance of balance where our lives do not feel so out of control due to this person.

What does this mean? 

Control is essentially a bullying technique. 

It is another human being mandating one must conform to their ideas, views, practices, opinions and more. 

 

There is, of course, an irony, that many people still believe they have the right to control their spouse in divorce as much as they once did while married.

Neutralizing control is a difficult thing to do especially since it is often an extension of the pattern which previously existed between two individuals. The controlling spouse typically won’t recognize their behavior and their former significant other has been responding to it for so long the response is ingrained in them.

Bottom line – you can’t get through to a controlling individual. They see the world through only their own lens. To reiterate the bullying reference, you can’t change a bully but you can change yourself.

Therefore, regain both ways and responses which re-establish a sense of empowerment in your own life during and after the process of divorce.

For instance:

A spouse threatens a custody war – Don’t engage them. Bullies love engagement. Either ignore them or foster a flat response which a good counselor and you agree upon. It could be ‘I can’t control what you do’ or ‘I know we both want what is best for our children’ and leave it at that.

Don’t engage them. Bullies love engagement. Either ignore them or foster a flat response which a good counselor and you agree upon. It could be ‘I can’t control what you do’ or ‘I know we both want what is best for our children’ and leave it at that.

They are going to do what they want to do anyway, communicating with them will just make it worse. 

Get a good counselor for yourself and your children.

 

A spouse threatens to leave you penniless – 

Again, the controlling bully is going to do what they want regardless of your response. Therefore it’s best to once again ignore these types of comments. Or shut them down with a flat comment ‘I’m sure you will.’

Individuals who engage in financial bullyings such as stopping health insurance, cutting off electricity, freezing debit cards and more are determined. Your comments, anger, yelling, and tears will not impede them.

On the contrary, it will reward them. 

They will be extremely satisfied knowing they have the ability to control and punish you.

If you have maintained employment take actions to establish your own independence and distance from joint accounts and bills. If you have stayed home with children for years and made yourself financially vulnerable it may take a job and some assistance from a loved one in terms of housing or a short-term loan to get back on your feet and away.

Do whatever needs to be done to distance yourself from the need for financial dependence albeit difficult for many who became stay at home mothers or fathers.

 

 A spouse uses and confuses your children – 

It is incredibly painful to see your children manipulated by a parent who should protect them.

The instinct is to fight but sadly the more you fight the spouse who is confusing the children it has the ability to backfire and hurt them even more. Children are very smart and know the truth because they lived it. However, parents are people who are in a position of trust and kids are so loving their first instincts are not that one of their own parents would use them to get what they want in the divorce.

In this scenario, there is the one parent fighting to protect their child and the other using them for their own gain.

The more the scared parent yells and voices their concern, the wider the door opens for more manipulation. It allows the manipulator to play the good guy or girl.

As difficult as it is less is more in this situation.

Instead of fighting the manipulator and stressing it may work better to let go and have faith your child will find their way back. Albeit easier said than done. However, it will take the child out of the position of conflict and perhaps provide enough clarity for them to identify what’s truly going on.

 

These are just a few examples of control.

Divorce is chock full of them.

Think of it this way…

A bully walks up to a kid and says he hates him and he’s awful at math. There is the possibility of two responses.

  1. The child fights back and insists he’s not stupid and wants to be left alone and it escalates. The bully walks away with a smile having confidently accomplished his mission. He got his goat. He made this person squirm. He made him feel bad. He made him doubt himself enough to fight back.
  2. The child calmly replies I am sure you hate me and I am awful at math. This response stuns the bully. There is nothing left to say. There is no opportunity for a back and forth. The child has made it clear words do not hurt him. He has agreed with the bully in an effort to render him powerless and take his own power back. The child walks away empowered. He feels good about himself. He understands no one can tell him who and what he is. He realizes he possesses the ability to use equally as powerful words for his own good.

Number 1? All in all a win for the bully.

Number 2? All in all a win for the one who has been bullied.

Bullying scenarios are diverse but they all revolve around one person trying to control and punish and make another human being feel bad. We can’t alter bullies. It’s an uphill battle. We need to empower ourselves to recognize tools to not give our power away so they can control us.

No one should be put in that situation. And by flipping this picture around the very nature minimizes the helplessness of being bullied as a child or an adult. We aren’t victims of the bullies the schools and courts can’t shut down. We ourselves can through the help of great counselors be educated in the small changes we can take to have control of our own lives and shut them down.

There’s no magic cure-all for the pain of loss and change in divorce, but the secret to minimizing the stress, duration, and agony of divorce is found in one simple word.

A small seven letter word which those who have been through it might say feels much like a four-letter one.

Control.

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I ran into a friend who recently divorced.

The smile on her face – well, it was the stuff dental commercials are made of – bright and blinding.

She was happy.

breeze-summer-girl-model-160751In fact, happier than I had seen her in years.

Divorce is harsh. It is filled with heartache, worry, stress and unbearable loss.

Anyone who has trolled this overhaul of a life change would agree there was a day, joy seemed evasive even improbable.

They will also attest to the fierce resistance we all have to be one of ‘them.’

You know the divorced people marrieds whisper about…

Well you know she/he is divorced.

I wonder why?

What happened was it him or her?

The poor kids.

Well, you know their parents are divorced.

And just like that, we are on opposite sides of those we once craved to remain with. The group we never wanted to leave behind – all the marrieds we built our lives around. The ones who had it all. Who had somehow mastered life and figured out how to do it all right.

Who witnessed our fall from grace.

And a long fall it was. Painful excursions through school halls, the grocery store, cocktail parties and more. Steps which felt more like an outsider than the new kid at school. 

I speak with divorcing individuals all the time.

Ones who have experienced cheating, drinking, lying and more yet they stayed. They stayed for years believing it was better to remain on the side of the marrieds. Their children would do better if they did and the family would remain intact.

After all, our family is everything in this life.

Divorce is no doubt what couples fear most. The ultimate demise to the fairy tale. Even if Cinderella and Prince Charming are verbally throwing glass slippers at one another. They hold on. No one wants to walk away from what once seemed idyllic and charmed.

Worse, youth is where we are most likely to find another Cinderella and Prince Charming. 

How will we fare? Out there in the new kingdom alone?

But we do.

And eventually, it does get better. It seems we can be happy again. There is a day we don’t miss that old life we invested years in building.

We excitedly look to new doors opening rather than slamming the old one again and again – as we did while we fought to salvage what had evaporated years before.

And the marrieds we once envied?

Sure, there are still some we do.

Those who got it right not because they are perfect but because they love one another perfectly.

We no longer feel like the outsider or the new kid at school.

Instead, we realize we were subject to redistricting.

Transferred unwillingly but necessarily. 

And eventually, we find embrace our new environment and fit back into life again.

Even happier than before.

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

When I had my first baby I received all types of advice.

There were a plethora of well-intentioned individuals who wanted to warn me of how to best transition into this major life change.

lemur-eyes-child-kid-349751A rule follower as always I tried to practice as they continually preached.

I could never have guessed these pearls of wisdom would come in handy not only when changing diapers but when changing bank accounts.

If only I had known…

I may have transitioned a bit better…

 

5 Things Divorce and Motherhood Have in Common

1. Personal Grooming:

Everyone cautioned despite the chaos and exhaustion get up and do your hair and makeup.

It will make you feel better.

You will be tempted to pull that hair up in a ponytail and go all Rodan + Fields makeup free but don’t do it.

It seems the same holds true for divorce. 

There’s so much going on you would rather slap snooze and sleep thirty more minutes than dedicating extra effort into yourself. Who needs eyeliner and a perfect blow dry anyway?!

Sadly, we do! And far more than we did when we were sporting that age-defying twenty-something baby face which actually looked pretty decent sans makeup.

Heed this advice: In divorce despite how big or how hot your mess is – make it look pretty!

 

2. Sleep Deprivation:

You won’t sleep again for years.

So take a nap and go to bed early when you can and get yourself and your children into a routine.

Who knew? The same would be true in divorce. The pounding of the pillow as you reposition it once again at 2:00 a.m. because you still haven’t fallen asleep – or you have woken up yet again in the middle of the night.

It was all a shock to the system back then yet somehow the joy kept you moving.

The good news?

Surprisingly, either the body or divorce adrenaline somehow allows you to continue to function despite the lack of z’s.

The bad news?

They were right! You won’t sleep again for years!

Heed this advice: In divorce treat yourself like a toddler at bedtime. Get the music, the book, the blanky – the whole kit and caboodle whatever it takes to make sleepy time chase the monsters away.

 

3. Weight Gain:

It might be a little difficult to lose the baby weight so give it time and exercise and eat well.

Well, turns out it’s even harder to lose the divorce lbs.

Of course, there are the lucky few who lose weight like those young mom’s we envied once upon a time who made it look so easy.

Of course, there was no time to drink while caring for an infant and too much time for wine in divorce. That might be a teensy part of the dilemma.

And of course, no cherubic bundle of joy accompanies this poundage. All the more reason to lose it quickly.

Heed this advice: In divorce don’t gain thirty pounds of ‘Ralph’ or ‘Rita.’ You’re leaving them remember? So lose it and lose them eat healthily and get moving.

 

4. Bad Habits:

Babies bring better habits – you will mature and grow up.

Less wine and coffee – more early mornings and schedules.

True, but that tiny infant lifeguard was watching us the whole time. We had no choice. We had to conform.

There’s no one making sure we toss the bad habits in divorce. In fact, while the marital pool is left unattended we dive in and pick up a few more.

We want more wine and coffee. Less early morning and schedules.

After all, we are feeling sorry for ourselves.

Heed this advice: In divorce make a list of safety rules you have to follow while you are minus a lifeguard. Print out that good habit list and stick to it.

5. Household Horrors:

Babies bring lots of new stuff, it’s going to be difficult to keep the house clean so get organized.

Well, it wasn’t quite as hard as they all cautioned.  

After all, there were so many people helping us get our act together and giving us all those fun new baby items to jam our house with.

And the occasional grammy, aunt or friend stopping by to tinker and tidy.

But, yes eventually it did become difficult to see between the trains and trucks and teddy’s. It took real work. The kinda energy a new mommy has.

Divorce a bit harder.

We are old mommies. Old mommies don’t have energy. Well, not for stuff that isn’t fun. Or we have energy for one thing and not the other. No can do all anymore!

Heed this advice: In divorce, enough of the stuff – get rid of it. Think the opposite of new motherhood – what we once lumped into the house now gets dumped. Less to clean.

 

Turns out it was sage advice I was receiving.

Words of wise women who had walked before me.

That I could recycle all these years later.

Just when I needed them.

 

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

A friend of mine posted a link on Facebook asking everyone to type the one word which best describes them.

Or should I say, the single word we hope best describes us?

It’s hard to narrow it down to a few characters, after all, I think most of us aspire to be the best human beings we can possibly be.

sunset-hands-love-womanIt does put things in perspective. Just how do we intend to live our lives and what tugs at us the most emphatically? I read these one-word responses with curiosity. A type of self-reflection distinctly tied to our purpose.

For some, these were quick pings of the keyboard. In better times it certainly would have been for me.

However, the past years have not only made me more aware of my own value system, it has led to the heightened awareness of others. In other words, there was a day this question would have been strictly based on my own world. Those were the days I never needed anything from anyone. Now my response is in part based on the acute awareness of how some have touched me during this difficult time.

The one word which best describes them and why they were ultimately the people who reached out, lifted me up and got me through.

So how would you answer this simple question?

Would your word be…

honest, loyal, caring, determined, trustworthy, loving, respectful, sincere, joyful, confident, generous, or????????

My word?

I chose kind.

It is by far the most important value to me besides respect.

In fact, I have always told my children popularity is not a goal. It is a by-product of treating every human being the same – with kindness and respect.

The writer in me also feels kindness is an encapsulating word. A person who is kind is often generous, caring, loving and confident enough to treat people well.

On the flip side, I have been incredibly humbled by the kindness of many throughout these past four years.

That is the single word which made the difference in those who reached out, lifted me up and got me through. 

A reminder of one of my favorite quotes…

“It is easy to repay a loan. But we are forever in debt to those who are kind to us.”

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

I’ve been a little inconsistent as of late – with my column that is.

I had no idea how consuming it would be to go to court. The stress of standing before someone who was once your very best friend in the whole world.

Despite my reality, I still find myself asking how it came to this?

pexels-photo-121848Why couldn’t two adults just settle amicably and move on after all was lost?

Of course, I know the answer and it is very complicated. It is also different for each individual who finds themselves at this crossroads.

For me personally, I believe despite other contributing factors if people received counseling it would at least help a portion move on without using the money, their children, the legal system and more to play out their anger.

Tomorrow morning I will face a stranger who I used to love.

I will enter that room with a different type of butterflies in my stomach than the ones he induced at nineteen.

I will be sad, scared, stressed and more.

Borrowing money from a family member to go to court was a last-ditch effort on my part.

I saw no other way to free myself any longer.

Believe it or not, only an extremely small percentage of divorces end up in court. I would have to refer to the statistics again but it is less than 5% or so I once read in a Psychology Today article. The most difficult cases end up there. The divorces where either one or both parties simply can’t come to any type of agreement.

Coincidentally, that would be one of the largest reasons my marriage ended.

There was never any compromise. Simply one way to live.

The difference?

We never had a third party to mediate.

For myself and my kids and even my soon to be ex-husband, I ask for prayers.

Because we all need to move on in a variety of different ways.

And because I am ready to write more columns about rebuilding life and reclaiming who we are and who we are meant to be.

And searching for new butterflies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

 

I just met with my divorce attorney.

It’s our four-year anniversary.

Who knew I would be ending one relationship and beginning another?

After all, I never imagined my divorce would last the duration of the Presidency.

pexels-photo-534204I believed it to be one and done. A year that is. A few handshakes, phone calls, and meetings. And then I would go back to my life and him to his. My attorney and I that is.

Not that I would be chatting with the receptionist and his assistant by name and like old girlfriends.

Now here’s the thing…

I’m fairly certain if you asked my attorney he would describe this four-year anniversary as ‘dog years.’ And I’m also positive I can make his head spin – in a good way of course.

The only positive news?

My attorney has now known me long enough to witness my ‘re-emergence.’ Self-proclaimed re-emergence that is.

Cue my initial entrance:

Wobbly, whimpering stay at home long enough to give her power away woman walks through the office door. Extremely empathetic yet powerful attorney has no true idea what he’s in for. And in her defense, neither does she. She snatches some tissues, assures him this is not the ‘real’ her and makes her less than dignified exit after a fair amount of what could be considered ‘verbal vomiting.’

Cue my current entrance:

Confident, hopeful, rebuilding her life and nearly back to her old self (she swears) and definitely taking her power back woman walks through the office door. Attorney seems somewhat weary. Nah, she must be imagining things. It couldn’t be her four years of over-talking, panic, absolute fear, and big hot mess ‘ness’ has worn on him! Of course not! She grabs her paperwork, assures him he’s about to know the ‘real’ her (for sure this time) and makes a very dignified exit determined to prove he will actually one day welcome her walking through the door.

I realize both ‘cues’ sound a bit jumbled albeit intentional as this woman doesn’t completely have her act back together yet.

But I am mere moments away.

The cause? Casting aside intimidation and fear and reclaiming my power.

I remember years back, an attorney friend who had also experienced a difficult divorce gave me some words of advice.

“Choosing the right attorney is akin to choosing the right physician. You will know when you sit in their office. You get a feeling that accompanies their qualifications. An instinct this feels like the right one.”

After our recent ‘anniversary’ meeting, I sit in the reception area perusing the documents in front of me. As they spill from my lap, the couch, and the coffee table, a gentleman walks past me. He kindly inquires if I might be more comfortable in their conference room. I assure him in my still ‘not so convincing still partially a big hot mess’ way I am fine.

Despite the Pick Up Stix paperwork game before me – which appears to be beating me.

I finally complete the task at hand and press the elevator button.

The doors open to a friendly face asking who I am there seeing? I answer to which he replies, “He’s one of my partners.”

Later that evening, curiosity drives me to jump on their website to identify my paperwork savior.

It appears he is another of the firm’s partners. I recall the words of my friend. I am in the right place.

The perfect place for an initially falling apart Gumby, Divorce Barbie (because I am doing it all so perfectly) to put all of her Humpty Dumpty pieces back together again.

Once you select several qualified divorce lawyers, heed the advice I was given.

It can definitely help you choose the right attorney.

You might even be lucky enough to celebrate your own four-year anniversary.

Whether they wish you chose them?

Well, that’s another story.

 

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com
www.colleensheehyorme.com

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

In church last week the priest spoke of suffering.

He cautioned us – Do not become armchair Catholics – suffering is intuitive to this thing we call living.

jesus-cross-summit-cross-37737 (1)There is no question my faith has gotten me through this difficult divorce and every other hard time before it.

I am a proud Catholic and hold fast to my Christianity.

Without it, I would have become embittered.

I speak not just of the divorce but the narrative of my childhood. My mother put her spiritual spin on our lives. We were not abandoned by a father who could never overcome his drinking but rather special and called upon by God to experience such things to expose our greater gifts. We would become stronger and better human beings.

Fortunately, we believed her.

And to this day, my siblings and I continue to walk the talk of this spiritual giant we called mom.

I listened to Father speak of riding out the great times in that proverbial armchair. It isn’t the proper seat for a devout Catholic. We need to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. If not, we never truly turn to God to help rinse us off.

Life is simply going too well to need heavy duty spiritual assistance. 

The deep degree of suffering which will continue to shape us, make us better humans, call us to our purpose and closer to Him.

My faith and my Christian mother and now this particular priest remind me soul suffering strengthens.

And…

There are 3 Great Gits of My Catholic Faith:

 

1. Gratitude:

Despite any challenges on our individual paths, we are blessed.

We remind ourselves of all the good God has given us.

Sure, we stumble through the pitfalls but we rise above them by concentrating on what we are grateful for.

 

2. Grace:

We are enabled to live a life of grace because we realize God has created all things in our lives for a reason.

Just as He makes us uniquely individual so He makes our paths.

Absolutely everything is intended and happening for a reason.

 

3. Generosity:

We are taught to touch the lives of others.

It is a part of our purpose to use our God given gifts and resources for the greater good.

To those much is given much is expected and we must help one another as we are all children of God.

There is no ability to be a victim, at least not for long.

 

4. Joy:

Spirituality reinforces joy.

It rejects victimization which frees us from any lingering self-pity.

And allows us to be happy while accepting challenges and suffering – the lows – along with the highs – of this life.

 

Personally, I’m not gonna lie. 

I will shamefully admit I enjoyed my ‘armchair’ years.

My sweet beautiful family seemingly with no true challenges and of course, life on the Jersey Shore where summer seemed to shine brighter.

This Catholic girl feels like she was tossed out of the chair a few too many years ago.

And I’ve been swimming my way back towards it ever since.

How I would like to crawl up into its plump cushions and plop down.

But, frankly even I realize I needed to roll up my sleeves and get dirty in the muck and suffering.

I was far too comfortable.

To experience…

The deep degree of suffering which will continue to shape us, make us better humans, call us to our purpose and closer to Him.

Follow me on Facebook @Colleen Orme National Columnist

on Twitter @colleenorme
on Pinterest @colleensheehyorme
E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

(Photo courtesy of Pexels)

There is a contradiction to Hurricane Harvey’s torment.

The images which blend the horrific and the inspiring.

The portraits of both professional and ordinary heroes:

pexels-photo-261184Linking arms to rescue motorists

Hugging tear soaked victims

Risking life  for even four legged loves

Carrying the elderly to safety

Tirelessly loading and delivering supplies

And more.

In some small way, it eases the suffering of not only those rescued but of those who can barely stand to witness their pain and heartache.

I rely on my faith to lift me up not take others down.

And every single human being who waged the waters of Harvey is a testimony to these words.

Much has been said about Joel Osteen this past week.

Sadly, there are times when stories do not get reported in their entirety and later appear as simply footnoted corrections.

Regardless, the quick judgments remind of the moments which preceded the loss of my mother.

 

I sat with a dear family friend and bemoaned my regrets.

I devotedly adored my mother but I lived farther away which led my siblings to do much more for her. Admittedly, I had let her down. This very humble and holy woman would have none of it. Instead, she took my hand and assured me that we all serve at the time we are called and my time would come.

In the moments and days after losing our beloved mother, my exhausted siblings could finally give in to their fatigue and the youngest child took a place of leadership I had never known. I planned everything as their wounds could finally be tended and I found a strength I had never known existed.

One of the greatest blessings of crisis would be the allowance of a variety of people to step forward at different times with alternate offerings and gifts.

Here are 3 Reasons Not to Judge Joel Osteen:

 

PROSPERITY:

Money does not define a person.

Quite the contrary, there are good and bad people on both sides of the dollar.

What money may do is exaggerate who an individual originally is. A generous person may be far more giving and a selfish one less accommodating.

Character attacks based solely on money are somewhat hypocritical as there will always be one person doing better and another doing worse. Therefore, count on the fact another will need more than you or less than you. Does this make you a bad person? The answer – no.

Prosperity preaching is hopeful and positive and the fact remains that just as all people learn differently, so do people receive differently in times of distress.

One may do well with fire and brimstone while another who can’t forgive themselves may need a message of inspiration.

One form of preaching is not bad while the other is good, but rather they are different ways to spread God’s word.

 

SPIRITUAL SERVICE:

In the wake of overwhelming loss and sadness, the intent should be to continue to lift one another up.

This would be the contrast of religion versus spirituality.

Religion tends to have a lot to say while spirituality spills out of us and onto others. 

It puts us either literally or metaphorically in the wading waters of Harvey which means time is spent donating dollars, food items, praying or physically being present.

There are no races or religions, quite miraculously those temporarily shed to cast a light on our primary commonality of the human condition.

Tragedy brings all communities together because a crisis demands concentration rather than criticism.

 

JUDGEMENT:

Marathon news coverage is extensive and exhaustive and breaking news is just that – moment to moment.

Anyone in the media today can attest to the challenges associated with a rapidly paced digital world. Reporters work hard. Their jobs may appear glamorous but they equally as demanding. They often have to write their own stories, operate the camera, and much more.

These reporters are working round the clock to report and raise awareness to help those in need.

In crisis and fast-breaking stories, they are often the first to tell you that this is the information they now have on hand and it may change or more information may follow.

There is always the ‘aftermath.’ 

And they diligently report that as well.

Reserve judgment the truth always prevails in the end.

 

I rely on my faith to lift me up not take others down.

I continue to be inspired by the survivors and rescuers of Harvey.

And their example of leaning on the good despite the bad.

Joel Osteen preaches a similar message of hope.

Our faith should bond us not break us.

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