Thursday, July 07, 2016

Do's and Don'ts to help a hurting loved one

Your dear friend or family member is hurting deeply, battered, bruised, life turned upside down.
What can you say or do? It feels awkward and uncomfortable.
You want to help but you're at a loss.

I asked a few people who have been through some tough times.

Here are a few collective thoughts.

- Tell your loved one to get over it. Don't tell them something like "it's for the best." Now is not the time for tough love.

- Say something like "God works in mysterious ways" along with a sing-songy voice. Yes, He does. But at this moment in their life, that's not helpful.

- Offer advice, unless they specifically ask you for it.

- Let judgment creep in. You may have opinions about them, their behavior, their choices, but now is the time to keep those things quiet. Your loved one needs LOVE, not woulda shoulda coulda's.

- Act awkward. They already feel it. You do too. Don't enhance the awkwardness. Also, don't go silent or avoid them.

- Minimize their situation. Their pain is very real and should be treated that way.

- Say "Let me know if you need anything." This is a tough one because that's our true thought. But the friend who's hurting is not likely to take you up on that offer.

- Send them random notes, text, or FB messages letting them know you're thinking of them.

- Offer food. Everyone has to eat. Rather than saying "let me know if you need anything" say, "I'd like to have food delivered to you one night this week. Which night would work best?" That is more helpful than leaving the ball in their court. Be specific without being forceful.

- Listen if they want to talk. Be strong if they want to cry. Laugh if they want to laugh. They may want to talk about their situation or they may want a mental break from it. Be alert and aware of what they need.

- Treat them as normal! If you're usually chatty with your loved one, be chatty with them! If you're usually sappy with them, be sappy with them. If your thing is to send each other inappropriate memes, send inappropriate memes! If you usually go on walks together, keep going for walks together.

The hard time in their life doesn't make them an alien. The hard time in their life isn't contagious to you.
What they need is a solid foundation. Someone stable and secure who will make them feel as normal as possible in this volatile time in their life.
They need a soft place to land.

And it can be you.

Do you have other thoughts or ideas? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, March 11, 2016

7 ways to Spice up your salad.

The weather is warming up and I'm in salad mode again lately. I actually love salad, but really dislike boring or bland salads.
I try to keep a big bowl of chopped greens in the fridge and have a small salad before meals, or sometimes a big salad as my meal.

Naturally they can get boring. But I'm cautious about adding too much junk that makes them full of calories.

Here are a few things to put on top to change things up and add big flavor.

1) rotisserie chicken. Buy one and pick off chunks to make your salad an entree. It'll last for several days.

2) salsa. It's practically no calories and adds a huge punch! (I do a little bit of light ranch with it.)

3) Doritos. Wait, what?! Yeah. Really. 4 or 5 crushed Doritos won't kill you and they add really great crunch and flavor to a salad. (Using the three mentioned so far: chicken, salsa, doritos, and a little ranch = you've got yourself a decent taco salad!)

4) Ken's lite Caesar. This salad dressing has super intense bold flavor so a little goes a long way. I love it.

5) bacon bits. Homemade would be better, but I usually keep just a bag of store bought ones in the fridge. Again, a little goes a long way to change up the flavor of your salad.

6) Parmesan cheese. Fresh grated would be best, but sometimes the canned stuff will do too. It adds a salty-ness and perks up a salad.

7) blue cheese. I'm kind of obsessed with blue cheese. It's funky, bold, and delicious.

A few other options would be hot sauce, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

What are your favorite salad toppings? 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hesston is our home.

The last 24 hours have been a complete shock for us. We're reeling with shock and sorrow from a mass shooting that happened in our little town, a town of just over 3,000 people.

We are a community of farmers, dirt roads, factory workers, teachers, plumbers, cops, artists, restaurant workers, students, nurses, and families.

We are a town of "those things don't happen here", and yet it did.

In our family, The Boy (14) was particularly moved. His heart is as big as the ocean is deep. "Mom, what can we do?"

My answer, "We do what we can with what we have." What we have is an entrepreneurial spirit. What we have is a small business and a willingness to help with what we have.
So together we designed jewelry.

"There's No Place Like Home" - so true for many of us, even Dorothy when she was speaking about Kansas in The Wizard of Oz.
We're offering a necklace, bracelet or key chain and 100% of the proceeds go to Salvation Army in Central Kansas.

Our sadness runs deep, but our strength runs deeper.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Who do you try to please?

A friend and I were discussing this recently. It's far too easy to fall into a trap of trying to please others.
When we're able to make others happy, we feel whole, fulfilled, complete. But when we let others down, we feel empty and worthless ourselves.
Sometimes it's self-inflicted, sometimes others reinforce that, unfortunately.

But you are worth something. You're worth everything. You're priceless.
You are perfectly pleasing in the sight of God. No matter what you do, no matter what you've done.
In spite of our failures, we are still loved. He designed us uniquely and exactly how He wanted us to be.
He knew this day would come. He knew your flaws would leak out. Yet He still chooses to love you and me.
We have value and worth, simply because He decided we do. To Him, we are perfect. And that's all that matters.

We are pleasing to God, in spite of our failures. Repeat: we are pleasing to God, in spite of our failures.
Even when we fail, He loves us unconditionally. He picks us up, dusts us off, and repairs us.
We are pleasing to God, in spite of our failures.
Repeat as often as needed until it sinks in.

Sure, it's fun to please others. It's fun to get a pat on the back, to hear an attaboy or attagirl. It's fun to make people happy.
But making others happy doesn't dictate our worth. Making other people happy doesn't determine who we are.
We are who we are, because God said we are. That's enough. And He approves of who we are.

(image courtesy of Bob Goff)

This is an easy lesson for some people to learn. It can take a lifetime for others to learn.
But I hope it's something that can soak into your soul.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Time to Shine!

We are all so broken. Cracked. Weak. Imperfect.

When we pretend not to be, we're lying to ourselves and to others. Some may believe the lie, but others can see the truth. We're frauds.
It is in our brokenness that God shines brightest through the cracks, if we let Him.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Our weakness, woundedness, and flaws are the openings through which He shines.

Don't try so hard to hide the cracks. Just breathe, realize that we're all flawed, and the cracks are there for a reason.
Let Him do the work and shine.