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Thanksgiving Family Traditions Ideas for the Hard Times

Thanksgiving Family Traditions Ideas for the Hard Times

I love thanksgiving! It’s my favorite holiday. I look forward to our Thanksgiving family traditions more than any of the habits and rituals surrounding the other special family celebrations. But sometimes the holidays are hard, and when families are fractured by sin and addiction we don’t always feel like spending a day giving thanks. The thing is, these are often the most important times for us to make the choice to adjust our attitudes and cultivate a spirit of gratitude, not just in ourselves, but in our families!
So we’ve put together some fun ideas for thanksgiving family traditions that can be special anytime, but become even more important in the hard times.

Letting go of Control and Fear with Good Boundaries

Letting Go of Control and Fear with Good Boundaries

When we come to a place in which we realize letting go of control and fear has become a necessity, I doubt there are many of us who naturally think of good boundaries as the way to do it! Quite the opposite. Most people have such a distorted view of them that they can’t see the signs of unhealthy boundaries, and therefore throw all boundaries out thinking of them as an ineffective way to grasp at control in a relationship.
Fortunately, God has given us a wonderful picture of what good boundaries look like through His Word. As we learn how to use these parameters to protect ourselves rather than to make attempts at manipulating situations that are simply not in our control, we’ll find freedom and peace.

Addiction, Lies, & Relationships Feature Image

Addiction, Lies, and Relationships

There is a very important reality about addiction, lies, and relationships we need to address. When we’re active in our addiction, or even at the beginning stages of recovery, it can be difficult to understand why confession is SO important. The enemy tells us we’re protecting the people we love by not telling them what we’ve done, and that WE certainly are better off if we keep those secrets. As liars ourselves, we believe these lies pretty easily. But keeping secrets in a relationship shatters the foundation of trust needed for success. And as far as our own recovery is concerned, the consequences of telling lies are absolutely detrimental, dragging us back into the addiction again and again.

Taming the Tongue Cover Image

Communicating God’s Way: Taming the Tongue

Is there anything more central to communicating God’s way than taming the tongue? I mean, if we could all somehow learn just to control what comes out of our mouths, being sure that every word was pleasing to God, and nothing more, I feel certain we’d see dramatic improvement in our communication both within our marriages and everywhere else! But alas, as our focus passage in James points out, the tongue is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We shoot its arrows with little regard for the damage that will be done. So how can we stop it? How can you learn to be careful with your words and surrender them to God? Or even to just keep your mouth shut? That’s what we’re going to try to figure out today.

separation in marriage bible

I Think We Need a Separation in our Marriage. What Does the Bible say?

A period of separation can be a really helpful option in marriages attempting to recover from intimate betrayal and sexual addictions. But there are a lot of different types of separation, (some healthy, and some not) and different situations call for different solutions. Let’s cover several of the healthy options available to us and discuss when each is likely the best choice.

Healing is not linear cover image

Healing is Not Linear: Navigating Stages of Betrayal Recovery

People far wiser than myself have named three stages to the process of healing from Betrayal Trauma, and as a survivor, I can definitely find pieces of my own story in each of those stages. But I’m here to tell you, the journey to healing is not linear. We won’t move through them in one direction or in a straight line. Instead, we’ll circle in and out and in between the three in no predictable manner, and with no assurance that we won’t go back again later. There have been days when I really believed myself much further down the path to healing than I have found myself on the next. If you’re healing from Betrayal Trauma, you’ll likely experience the same, and I want you to know, it’s okay! Not only is it okay, it’s expected, normal, and really even healthy!

Manipulation Tactics Part Two

Common Manipulation (Gaslighting) Tactics and How to Respond- Part Two

We’re talking about what it means to communicate God’s way, and last week we talked about some of the most common ways we use manipulation (gaslighting) to mess this up. We all sometimes choose to play games rather than speak plainly and honestly, but as we discussed last time, there are some whose hearts are black with evil intentions bent on control rather than mutual respect and understanding. While the manipulation tactics we talked about last week are often employed even by those who wouldn’t fall into this category, this week’s tactics are far more indicative of a very serious problem.

Manipulation Tactics Part One

Common Manipulation Tactics and How to Respond to them – Part One

We can’t adequately cover the topic of communication in this series without addressing the ways in which we choose to manipulate and play games rather than speak plainly and honestly, or the times when we’re more interested in “winning” or controlling than in hearing and being heard. The reality is, I doubt there is a single one among us who has never been guilty of employing at least one of the manipulation tactics we’re going to discuss today, so we each need to carefully evaluate our own selves and bring our hearts into submission to God.
However, while we all fail to shoot straight some of the time, there are those who are so bent on control that communication has become nothing more than a way of exploiting the weaknesses of another in order to gain the upper hand in every conversation. Such people have no interest in hearing anything other than themselves, and don’t care to take the time to gently help others understand their perspective. They simply want to dominate. While we must be careful that we’re not guilty of manipulation in communication, if we’re married to a person like this, we also need to learn how to recognize these manipulation tactics and how to set up strong healthy boundaries around communication to avoid falling victim to these abusers.

Our asinine tendency to presume and assume

Communicating God’s Way – Our Asinine Tendency to Presume and Assume

We’ve been spending some time learning to communicate within our marriages according to the principles set forth in Scripture, and last time we learned all about the importance of listening. This week we’re expanding on that idea by talking about two practices we all tend to do that are major hindrances to good listening. We presume and assume. Like, a LOT! And you know what they say happens when we assume, don’t you? Well, let’s just say it’s asinine.

Communicating God's Way: Learn to Listen

Communicating God’s Way: Learn to Listen!

We’re learning to communicate God’s way as we work our way through a series intent on finding the areas in which we ruin marital communication, and re-aligning them with God’s desires. Today we’re going to discuss the importance of listening. Really listening. Not just to each other, but to God as well. Honestly, if we could all master just this one area of communication, what a difference it would make! But alas, we are a society that has forgotten how to listen. So, we must re-learn this lost virtue, and who better to learn from than our Creator?

Communicating God's Way: How to get rid of that pesky log in your eye

Humility: How to Get Rid of that Log in Your Eye

Before we get into the specifics of communication, let’s prepare our hearts. It’s essential that our intentions as we proceed be in line with those of our Heavenly Father. This begins from a place of humility. It is only from there we can approach our spouse with any hope of improving our communication.
It’s human nature to read the kind of stuff we’re going to be addressing “for” someone else. Instead of taking the opportunity to honestly evaluate ourselves, we look for ammunition to load into the arsenal of judgement we’re building against our partners.
Friends, our goal is healing. The only person we have any power to heal is ourselves. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our passage for this week.