Single parents have my admiration and respect.

Today, my son is sick. I am working night shift and so my husband is at home caring for him. He is doing that as well as being the taxi driver for our 14 year old, Emily, and the cook and whatever else comes up that needs to be taken care of. This definitely isn’t the first time my husband has been there by himself with our children when they were sick and I was at work. We have been married 21 years with 3 children that are 19, 14, and 10 years old. He will take off work tomorrow and take Andrew to the doctor so I can sleep. I have never had to worry about whether he would be there to help. He’s always been there helping with our children. I am more than blessed.

I remember a conversation I had 19 years ago with our now retired pediatrician, Dr. Fred Barnett. He told me something his mother had told him when he and his wife were expecting their first child. He said, “Being a parent is one of the greatest joys in our life and if done right, is one of the hardest.” His mother was a very wise woman and today I couldn’t agree with her more. Being a parent is hard. I can’t imagine what it would be like doing it on my own.

So this week’s blog post is a salute to all of the single parents out there who are doing it on their own and doing it well. I admire and respect each and every one of you.

This week’s action points are for all of us parents, but most importantly single parents. Find some time for yourself. Take care of yourself, love yourself, and be proud of what you are accomplishing with your children. You are AWESOME!!!

 

One word that is increasing my awareness exponentially.

www.jenniferhester.com

www.jenniferhester.com

There is one word that I have been using lately to increase my self-awareness. It has been the best tool that I have found to take me to that next level. That word is “why”. I have begun to use this word every day. When I become emotional or troubled by something, I take a minute and ask myself why I feel this way. This one word has helped me to see that I have been tying my happiness to my husband’s actions. I have also discovered that I allow fear to control some of my actions as well. It makes me more accountable to my own actions. Instead of just blaming someone else for the situation, I take an honest look at why I am acting the way I am.

I’ve also noticed that I want others around me to make everything okay. I believe this is that inner child still wanting to be nurtured. I want this to help me reach a better maturity level and understanding that I am perfectly competent to take care of myself. It has actually been fun to get a peek into my inner workings on such a deep level and it explains so much.

For the next week I would love it if you tried this same tool. Ask yourself “why” when you feel angry, anxious, aggravated, lonely, or scared. I would love to hear what you discover about yourself. Please share your new awareness with me at jenny@jenniferhester.com. Remember, we are beautifully and wonderfully made. Have an AWESOME week.

Don’t remarry your ex!

themindunleashed.org

themindunleashed.org

This post is not about bashing the exes that will be for a different post. Just kidding. I am not going to bash any exes.

We are told that 50% of all marriages fail. The reasons for failed marriages are endless. One of the reasons that stick out in my mind is that one of the spouses is not happy. They are not being fulfilled in some way. They’re not sure why they’re not happy, they just know that they’re not happy. We then start to look for answers outside of us. It’s the job, the kids, the house, the lack of money, or our spouse that no longer makes us happy. We look everywhere, but where we should look and that is within.

We  rush into making drastic, life altering changes. I have spoken with many divorcees  who told me that they wished they hadn’t rushed into a divorce. I’m not saying that all divorces end that way, but many do. My point here is this, if you are unhappy don’t start blaming outside circumstances for your situation. We must start with looking inside first. Fix yourself first, then see if your circumstances look the same. Once we start to change for the better, typically our circumstances will follow.

If you  decide to get divorced before you make changes in your life, be sure that you don’t rush back into a relationship until you fix you. Chances are extremely high that you will end up back in the same situation that you were just in. You will wake up one morning and discover that you married someone just like your ex. Ugh!! We cannot rely on others to make us happy. That must come from within.

I do realize that there are situations where divorce is for the person’s own sanity and protection. I’m not talking about those situations. I encourage anyone who is in an abusive relationship of any kind to get help.

If you are not happy, take this week to spend some time alone and get really honest with yourself. See why you’re not happy. Could it be resolved with changing some things in you? Is your marriage worth it to try and make changes with you first? Contact a licensed counselor if you need help getting started. Start to work on you today. Even if you can’t save your marriage, you will have tried a different approach than most.  Be sure to sign up for our weekly blog post to keep you informed on how to Invite Excellence into your Life. Go out and share your AWESOME today!

They were going to jump, but I talked them off the ledge.

There they were standing there, ready to jump at a moments’ notice. They weren’t afraid and did not give any thought to how it would make others feel. They were going to jump unless some drastic measures were taken. At first, I almost gave in and let them jump. I was on board with their cause, I understood where they were coming from. I had been in this position before and had seen many jump to their demise. Suddenly, my subconscious kicked in with the thoughts that I had recently planted in it. These were not the thoughts from the past, these were new and strong. I kicked into action. I started allowing the new thoughts to take over, I was on automatic, just letting the new thoughts roll.

wikimedia.org

wikimedia.org

What I was talking off the ledge were my actions. I had just had a conversation with my husband and I had made assumptions about a certain situation. I was about 30 minutes from home and on my way home, I had to talk myself off that ledge. I was going to go home and accuse him of such and such. The old selfishness and insecurities were gaining strength. I had to stop them. If not, I would get home and the fight would be on.

I started questioning my accusations that were swirling in my head. Are these thoughts reality? Does his past actions coincide with today’s accusations toward him? As I started to honestly answer these questions and remind myself of how I am supposed to treat my husband, I started to calm down. I started to back away from the ledge. I reminded myself of the new ideas that I had learned from the book, “Love Life for Every Married Couple” by Ed Wheat and Gloria Okes Perkins. These ideas were a new way to love my spouse that I had not used before and they are great. I have noticed a lot of change in myself and how my husband responds to me when I follow this new way of loving him. I continued to replay the words from the book in my mind. When I arrived at home, I did not start in on my husband, but met him with a smile and open arms. He returned the gesture. At least one unnecessary blow up had been avoided simply because I took the time to think about my actions and what they were going to do. The fight really would have been unnecessary because in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter anyway.

Inviting Excellence into our Life is about becoming our best at everything we do. Part of that is filling our minds with the correct tools to counter destructive thought patterns. I would love to hear what tools you are using. I am always looking for new ideas and suggestions to be a better me. Remember to go out and share your AWESOME this week.

New unique service offered.

I love new and unique ideas. When someone comes out with helpful services I feel drawn to share that with others. A new service was just created by a friend of mine for blended families.  This is a highly needed service today due to all of the divorce and people trying to start over in second marriages. Sherry L. Carver offers sound advice on combining families in second marriages.

Sherry Carver

Sherry Carver

Sherry has worked as a Family Law Paralegal for 15 years. She says she was drawn to that aspect of law because she was a child of divorced parents, is a divorced parent, is in a second marriage and a step-parent. Sherry’s first-hand experience with divorce and experience in working with those getting divorced has given her great insight into blended families.

I have not heard of anyone else offering this service and it’s a great opportunity for others. She brings many issues to light that I think are not even considered when contemplating divorce. Her guiding is for first, second and subsequent marriage couples. She addresses blended family issues, finances and communication to build strong couples preparing to achieve their goals.

Sherry realizes the issues that come with remarriage.  Most couples think that once divorced, the hard work is over, but divorce creates many new issues such as: two residences (and the bills that go along with it); children going back and forth and trying to make a home; becoming a one parent home and watching your ex-spouse take on a new life without you.

She has great insight in working through these issues and guides blended families through these difficult times. If you are in a blended family or are thinking about divorce, my hope is that you would contact Sherry for some valuable input into your decision. Sherry’s hope is to build strong couples who are well-prepared for the discord that lives in every blended family and who will work together for their family goals.

We are told to seek wise counsel when making decisions and Sherry offers extremely wise counsel. How great would it be to have someone in your corner to guide you through the new challenges that you are facing? Why not give your new marriage every chance possible to get started in the right direction? If you are starting over, have found yourself divorced or preparing to remarry then check out her website at www.sherrylcarver.com and let Sherry help you Invite Excellence into your Life.

 

Marital crisis!!

My husband and I recently went through a marital crisis. It was long coming due to the neglect of our marriage. We have been busy with raising our children, work, and hobbies. We never stopped to work on our marital relationship. After years of neglect it all came tumbling down. Although the collapse was extremely painful, we both decided that we wanted to give our marriage a second chance. I consider this a blessing. I now get an opportunity to focus on my marriage and make it the absolute best marriage possible. During this time we chose to seek wise counsel. We are seeing a counselor to help us with communication and working through issues that are hard to discuss on our own without arguing.

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9

I also picked up several biblical based marriage books that are helpful. One thing that these books are doing for me, is exactly what I share on my blog, they are filling my mind with the correct thoughts toward my husband and marriage. They help me to stay focused on the positive side. They remind me to always show love and respect to my husband. When my thoughts start to stray on some old hurt, I am reminded of things that I have recently read about forgetting past hurts and to only focus on today. One of the books that I am reading is “Love Life for Every Married Couple”, by Dr. Ed Wheat and Gloria Okes Perkins. Our counselor recommended, “His Needs, Her Needs”, by Willard F. Harley Jr. Both of these books have wonderful information to fill your mind with. I reflect back often on information from these books to help me stay focused on the positive aspects of my marriage.

I realized during this time, that while I spent my quiet time with God that I read a devotional for me and I prayed over my children, but I never prayed over my marriage or husband. Now included in my quiet time, I use the book by Stormie Omartian, “The Power of a Praying Wife”. I get my mind focused on right thinking toward all of my family, not just part of them. My marriage, just like me, will continue to be a work in progress. I am thankful that I was given this chance to realize it before it was too late.

Do something kind and unexpected for your spouse this week just because. If you are not including your spouse and your marriage in your prayers then please start including them today. Make it a goal for next year to work on your marriage to make it the best possible and seek wise counsel if you’re not sure where to start.