Monday, August 22, 2016

The Truth is I am Guilty of Body Shaming

The truth is I am guilty of body shaming.
The body I verbally attack is not my enemies. It's not a person in the public eye. It's the one I see in the mirror.

I say things like:

"I am soooooo fat."
"I need to ______(eat less, exercise more, go on a diet)."
"I look like a box."

Ohhh...I don't stop there.
I don't just body shame, I me shame.

"I am soooo dumb."
"Why do I say such stupid things?"
"I am such an idiot."

I would never talk to another human the way in which I speak to myself.

I don't keep my self talk to myself. Yep, I verbalize it. I'm selective though. I only speak like this at home.

And my kids are all ears.

Shaming is contagious.

YIKES.

Do you do this too?

Shame can manifest itself in substance abuse, broken relationships, cutting, anxiety, and eating disorders.

We know we need to stop.

I don't want to create an environment in my home that breeds shame. 

Our kids are bombarded with impossible to achieve body images all the time.

It's time I set a guard over my mouth. (I was going to say big fat mouth but thought better of it.) 

In London, Sadiq Khan, a new mayor is planning on putting a ban on body shaming images in ads on public transportation.

In an interview Mr. Khan said: “As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. It is high time it came to an end. Nobody should feel pressurized, while they travel on the Tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this.” (New York Times 2016) 

Olympic gymnast, Alexa Moreno, was recently a victim of cruel body shaming on Twitter. Thankfully people came to her defense and overwhelmingly tweeted positive and inspirational messages.

But what is the deal?

What has happened to kindness?
Does kindness have to be legislated? 
Why are we so obsessed with the external things? 

God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14a).
In  1 Samuel 16:7b the Lord says he "does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

So...what is my self talk focused on? What am I teaching my kids?

When I focus on my outward appearance, the message I send is that a person's physical appearance is more important than character.

So do I look at the heart or am I concerned about other things?

Do my shaming comments spill over into the 4 P's of power, prestige, position, and popularity? 

Do I speak in a way that stirs shame or envy in another? Do I care more about the "whats" than the "who" ?

I may not be a twitter troll but perhaps I have hurt people with my own shaming ways.  

Character qualities I value are kindness, generosity, humility, integrity, a strong work ethic, patience, gentleness, a sense of humor, a strong faith.

 Do I emphasize these characteristics in my interactions with my kids and others? 

I'm throwing down the gauntlet. I am going to challenge to myself  (and you if you dare) to  halt the shame game.

I am going to cease my negative self talk and instead speak God's truth, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

I am going to stop looking at the exterior (the 4 p's) and start looking at the heart.

Instead I will compliment, encourage, and comment on the qualities I cherish rather than  how someone looks or other superficial things.

I want to see myself how God sees me.
I want to see my kids how the Lord sees them.
I want to see others with God's eyes.

Are you with me? Let's kick shame to the curb. 


Lori Wildenberg
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, co-author of 3 parenting books. Click here to schedule Lori  for your next event. She is available for special engagements, retreats, and workshops. Stop by the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting store for gift items, books, and faith wear. 
















Monday, August 15, 2016

Interview with Julie and Greg Gorman



Friends, Today I have a treat for you. I am interviewing my friends and authors, Greg 
and Julie Gorman. If you want a great marriage you will want to read their new book,
 Two are Better than One
Blessings,
Lori 

1.      Greg and Julie, tell us a bit about yourselves. What inspired you to write this book?

First, thank you for sharing this message and allowing us to be part of your community. For nearly two decades we’ve helped thousands of couples develop healthier marriages. And, honestly, were perplexed as to why some couples thrived while others barely survived in their relationship. After years of observation, what we knew subconsciously but struggled to articulate, presented itself. Since our discovery, we tested our newly found truth and analyzed decades of experience and observation. The more we reflected on our findings, the more God convinced us of His irrefutable insight—an insight that when fully embraced, by both husband and wife, will heal, restore, and deepen intimacy in every marriage. Yes, in every marriage, no matter the condition of the relationship. So what is that truth? Couples who live Purpose-focused, NOT Problem-focused, in their relationship, thrive!

2.      What is the style of your book?

We love how Stephen Arterburn, host of the #1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show New Life Live describes it; “In Two Are Better than One, Greg and Julie present fun, fresh and frank truths to lead you on a journey of significant discovery that will elevate your expectations and provide direction for your most precious earthly relationship—your marriage.” Our passion is to provide pathways to sustainable growth and life transformation … so when we write… we commit to capture real truths, with real stories, to provide real hope. As a matter of fact, we’ve remained extremely zealous to only present truths we know make a difference in life and marriage. We don’t try to convince anyone of anything; we simply deliver the evidence compiled from working with hundreds of couples for over nearly two decades as well as scriptures and timeless wisdom from thought leaders to back it up. So, be ready to grow and be stretched and yet entertained. We think you’ll laugh at the twist we put on some of our favorite Bible heroes—you may never look at them the same. This book is fun!

3.      How did you master the craft of blending your voices and writing together?

When we first married we felt the need to compare and compete; today, we celebrate our unique differences. We had a BLAST writing together and spent so much time talking about what we really wanted to accomplish that by the time we completed the book, we couldn’t discern who shared what. We peppered our writing process with questions like: “how can we say this better, more concise, with more humor and, or, with more punch”. We each wrote to our strengths and then challenged one another’s thought, blended our voices, and continued the process again, and again, and again … so much so that we think we could recite the entire book by heart!

4.      One of the things I love that you share in Two Are Better Than One is that “There is no such thing as a Christian without a calling, likewise there is no such thing as a marriage without a ministry.” Do you really believe every couple has a specific marriage purpose?

Absolutely! God designed each one of us with the desire to be part of something greater than ourselves. He commissioned us to be a light in our homes, to share the good news, and to bear lasting fruit. We are all made perfectly unique. When we marry, God intends for us to combine our unique strengths, our likenesses and our differences to accomplish a greater purpose. The great thing is, when we do this, we automatically find common ground and share a common goal/purpose to work toward together. We become focused, together, on being all He created us to be!  Our calling as a couple is as unique as God is creative.

5.      If there is one piece of advice you can share with a couple who is on the verge of giving up on their marriage, what would it be?

Over 17 years ago, we nearly gave up on our relationship … but GOD healed and restored our marriage by teaching us how to live PURPOSE-focused NOT PROBLEM-focused. We are so grateful that in our surrender, He didn’t let us give up or give in. Delve into the process of this book, commit to each exercise, and invite the limitless power of God to heal your relationship. It usually takes time, but changing your habit of thought to being more Christ-like, more purposed focused, renders the marriage God intended for you.  

6.      Where can people purchase the book or learn more info? 

For an autographed copy, go to: Also, login to our site to gain special access to other FREE resources.
http://www.gormanleadership.com/two-are-better-than-one

GREG AND JULIE GORMAN, authors of Two Are Better Than One…God Has A Purpose For Your Marriagehave been teaching biblical truths for marriage for nearly two decades. They are the Founders of Gorman Leadership, a faith-based organization committed to providing life-transforming content and pathways to sustainable growth. Together, they write, produce, and host weekly broadcasts, and are certified by Dr. John C. Maxwell as executive coaches and trainers. As LifePlan Facilitators with the Patterson Center, Greg and Julie passionately empower believers to discover God’s fingerprint design for their life and assist married couples to discover the purpose God has for their marriage. Greg and Julie, along with their three children, make their home in southern Florida. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

15 Characteristics of a Person of Grace

Meet my friend, Kathy Howard. She will be guest blogging today. I love her 15 qualities of a person of grace. It challenges me and reminds me how to be grace-ful and grace-filled. Kathy has just released a new 9 week Bible Study (her 7th book!) titled Lavish Grace published by New Hope Publishers. Kathy has agreed to do a give-away.  To be eligible to receive a free copy of Lavish Grace, please leave a comment on the blog. One name will be selected on Friday.
With faith, hope, and love,
Lori



15 Characteristics of a Person of Grace

Would you describe yourself as a channel or a pool of grace? A “channel” shares the grace with others that God has lavished on them. A “pool” hoards all God’s grace for herself, failing to pass along His undeserved loving kindness.

Anytime we find ourselves more “pool” than “channel,” it’s time to reflect again on God’s undeserved grace in our own lives. In his book Putting a Face on Grace, Dr. Richard Blackaby writes that when we truly grasp its depth we would not dare withhold it from others.

“We are not called to just bathe in grace; we are called to shower it upon others. Grace has not been fully experienced until it is fully expressed to others. The deeper our understanding of grace, the more we see the necessity of making it the fabric of our Christian life.”

Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we will be depends solely on God’s lavish grace working in our lives. When that truth sinks into our hearts and minds, we will live our life as a grateful response to the grace God so generously pours out on us.
Yet sometimes I forget. Often, I am that stagnant pool, hoarding God’s grace like a selfish child. But God calls me to be channel of His grace, not a pool. As someone who receives His constant supply of glorious grace, I should willingly share it with everyone around me.
What about you? Are you a channel or a pool? Use the following characteristics to evaluate whether your words and actions reflect God’s grace to others:
  1. Doesn’t insist on being right, but seeks to make things right
  2. Willing to be inconvenienced
  3. Seeks the welfare of the other person
  4. Speaks words that build up, not tear down
  5. Doesn’t demand to be heard, but strives to listen
  6. Focuses on others needs instead of our own
  7. Acts with humility, not pride
  8. Doesn’t keep score
  9. Looks for ways to help and encourage others
  10. Freely forgives
  11. Seeks to understand
  12. Doesn’t expect a return
  13. Focuses on the important over the urgent
  14. Doesn’t pick and choose whom to show grace
  15. Doesn’t overlook sin, but encourages holiness
Seem overwhelming? Remember, God has given us everything we need to live a life that pleases Him (2 Peter 1:3). In those moments when it’s hard to show grace to someone else, ask God to help. And remember we did not deserve His grace either.

When do you find it most hard to show grace? What are some things that help you show grace to others?

About Kathy Howard: 
Kathy has been teaching the Bible since she fell in love with God’s Word almost 30 years ago. She speaks regularly at women’s retreats and events across the United States and internationally. The author of seven  books, including four Bible studies, Kathy writes to have something to do while she eats chocolate and drinks coffee. She has a Masters in Christian Education and a certificate in women’s ministry from the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary.

In recent years, God has been teaching Kathy more about His abundant grace. Through her own relationships and life experiences, she is learning to extend the grace God has so lavishly poured out on her own life.
On a personal level, Kathy calls herself a “confused southerner.” Raised in Louisiana, she has moved with her engineer husband around the U.S. and Canada. She says “pop” instead of “Coke” and “you guys” as often as “ya’ll.” But she’s still a southern girl at heart!
Kathy and her husband now live in the Houston area and have three children, two sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law and four  precious grandsons. When the family gets together there are also five dogs in the mix.

About Lavish Grace:
This post is adapted from Kathy Howard’s new Bible study Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing. Lavish Grace is a 9-week journey with the apostle Paul that helps readers discover God’s abundant grace for their daily lives and relationships. You can find out more about Kathy, her speaking and writing, and find free resources at www.KathyHoward.org.


Find Lavish Grace over a Amazon. 


Monday, August 1, 2016

How to Interview a Nanny

          
 Friends,
Many of you are in in the transition phase of going back to work and need a babysitter or nanny. Some of you use a sitter occasionally. My guest blogger, Lisa Leshaw,  has developed a solid interview process to screen and hire her babysitters and nannies. She isn't just looking for a warm body. She wants someone who will keep her kiddo safe, engage with him, and nurture him. 
Blessings,
Lori
           


There are regulations in place (or pending) for basically everything on the planet.

 Except for Nannies.

I know that many local schools and libraries, churches, fire departments, and Y's offer classes in Babysitting 101.

But...are they adequate enough?

Because I was not one of the fortunate ones who could rely upon a trusted family member for babysitting I designed an interview process that includes my version of the Babysitter Quiz.

Here are my basic expectations.

            
The candidate should come to my home prepared. For example:

  •             Dressed appropriately (casual but neat is necessary)
  •             On time
  •             With a notepad
  •             Make eye contact
  •             Have questions
  •             Show a general interest for/and comfort with my child once they are introduced.
  •             Bring an updated copy of their Infant/Child CPR training

 I only interview a prospective nanny when my child can participate. While the two of them are interacting I casually pose questions like:

  1.   If you need to use the bathroom what will you do with the baby? 
  2.   How many times would you be willing to re-build a tower of blocks once they tumble?  
  3.   Can you imitate the sound of a choo-choo train falling off the tracks? 
  4.   May I see you perform CPR and the Heimlich maneuver on this doll? 
  5.   If you smell smoke what would you do first? second? 
  6.  What might happen that would cause you to call me at work? 
  7.   Can you stay for another 10 minutes or so? 
Then... I leave the room, listen, walk around, keep busy, and pop my head in every now and then. I don't watch the Nanny Cam because all sitters assume they're being watched anyway. 

Next, I offer the candidate a beverage and a cookie and ask them to join me at the kitchen table.

I remain quiet. The next few moments are quite telling. I have never hired someone who waits for me to lead them in conversation. I have hired a number of fabulous young women and even some young men who have chatted away with me or my child or both. I also love it when someone is comfortable enough to ask for a second beverage (but I know that sounds silly).

Many of the sitters who impressed me most posed specific questions regarding work hours, days off, salary, and access to car seats and strollers, or having visitors.

The best-qualified candidates always asked insightful questions about my little one; wanting to know his likes and dislikes, eating habits, nap times, etc.
           
In the end though I ultimately rely upon my instincts to guide my decision.

Since the day will probably never arise when babysitters are subjected to rigorous regulations it is incumbent upon each of us to impose our own.

What type of interview questions do you pose? 

       
About Lisa: 
Lisa Leshaw is a mental health professional specializing in blended families, women's issues and addictions. She conducts parenting skills workshops and empowerment circles for women throughout New York.

Monday, July 25, 2016

7 Ways to Help Your Child Through Today's Stressful Times


Friends,
Meet Barb Dittrich, founder of SNAPPIN' Ministries (Special Needs Parents Network). She is writing today about how to help support and stabilize your kiddos during tragedy or uncertain times (like what we are experiencing now as a country). 
Be blessed by her wisdom!
~Lori

7 STEPS TO PUT A FLOOR UNDER OUR KIDS IN UNCERTAIN TIMES

“This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:9b-11, ESV)

You would never know she is in her mid-teens as she nestles next to her mother on the overstuffed couch, arms linked, hands intertwined, nuzzling her face into her mother’s shoulder.  It seems like strange behavior as the evening news blares from the television.  Isn’t she a little old for this?

In tumultuous, uncertain times like we are currently experiencing in our world, children from very young to nearly adult age find themselves feeling like the ground is moving under their inexperienced feet.  The threats to their well-being seem to assault them at a rate much faster than they are able to process.  Whether it be terrorist attacks, the rise in teen heroine deaths, new epidemics like the Zika virus, or racial unrest, the size and scope of these occurrences can completely overwhelm a still-developing brain.

Being the mother of 3 children, all of whom struggle with anxiety, I have put myself out in front of this issue, and I would urge you to do the same.  Having the adult capacity to filter the almost daily news trauma, I know that my tender kids can be deeply affected by it.  While I can discern enough to realize what I should be concerned about and what I should not, my children, even at teen age, do not yet fully possess that skill.  This requires a wise, proactive approach on my part.

Here is how I put a floor under my kids in uncertain times:

  •       Make myself approachable – It may sound obvious, but this is something we parents need to be aware of BEFORE crises occur.  With how busy we all are these days, I have to be deliberate about allowing my kids to interrupt me when I am engaged in something non-essential.  This means that I ask how they are doing, make direct eye contact, and allow them to speak to me when I am working at my desk, making a meal, or relaxing for the night.  I even invite them to accompany me if I am doing a mundane task.  I want to be the person they come to FIRST when life gets hard.

  •   Listen to their concerns – Don’t half-listen, fully listen.  Notice their demeanor, their facial expressions, their tone.  Follow their logic (or lack thereof) to its conclusion.  This not only helps you to get a reading on where your child is at, it validates them. 

  •  Don’t dismiss or belittle their concerns – While children’s worries can seem irrational, they are not necessarily irrational to them.  They are kids.  Confirm that you can see how they might believe what they are believing.  This increases the chance that your child will feel more comfortable coming to you the next time they are worried.

  • Talk through their worries with reassurance – It is important to stay at an age appropriate level when discussing world events or big concerns with our children.  You are the visible presence of a Sovereign God to your kids.  Offering them the comfort that you and other important adults are doing everything possible to keep them safe is something they need to know.
  • Offer physical reassurance – Hugs, holding, and sometimes just the proximity of being together in the same room can help your child to gain a sense of groundedness in uncertain times.  Touch is an essential human need.  Your touch is, again, God’s presence to your child.
  • Usher them into God’s matchless Sovereignty with Scripture – One of my children has a medical diagnosis that requires me to talk him through repeated pain.  From even his toddler years, I spoke Scripture into him for reassurance.  “Be anxious for nothing,” (Phil 4:6, NKJV); “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” (Phil 4:13, NKJV); “This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56: 9b-11, ESV) are all easy passages for kids to memorize and internalize.  Remember, God PROMISES those words will accomplish His purposes when we speak them to our children.
  • Know when to bring in reinforcements – If your child is losing sleep, constantly jittery, suddenly bed-wetting when they weren’t before, complaining of stomach pain or headaches, or generally stuck in worry, do not be afraid to talk to your pediatrician for a referral to a mental health professional.  Our family has successfully used Cognitive Behavior Therapy to get unstuck from difficult, persistent anxiety.  It is time and money well spent for the child you love.


These are worrisome times in history.  Thank God that He is bigger than our greatest worries!  Letting our children see us remain calm as we trust in Him, lovingly guiding them back to our only Solid Ground will equip them to face any uncertainty, now and in the years ahead.

How are you helping your child through these stressful times?

FOR FURTHER READING:


Responding to Stressful Events: Helping Children Cope http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/oes-bsu-02/child-eng.php



About Barb Dittrich
The mother of three children, all of whom have a variety of chronic illnesses or special needs, Barbara Dittrich founded SNAPPIN' MINISTRIES (Special Needs Parents Network) in 2002 and currently serves as its Executive Director.  The organization she leads was one of three finalists for WORLD MAGAZINE’S HopeAward for Effective Compassion in October of 2009, in conjunction with the American Bible Society.  With a unique vision for serving parents of children with chronic illness, disability, or special needs, she has led the SNAPPIN’ MINISTRIES team in developing an innovative parent mentor curriculum.  She lives with her husband of 20+ years in Wisconsin, writes and speaks nationwide, and is the creator of the blog http://www.comfortinthemidstofchaos.com/.  She also opines on her personal blog http://www.barbdittrich.com/.