|The Secret Garden Letters -
|In This Issue (Click on a link to go
|Welcome To Another Adventure In Spirit
|Hello and God
Thank you for welcoming me into your inbox today! How
is your summer going? I hope you are well.
My July so far has been a smorgasbord of various events both good and bad, or at least bad for some of the people involved. I always feel blessed, and I can't help but notice that if the "people" involved in these events had stopped a moment to take a deep breath and use their higher faculties, the resolution would have come quickly and with much less pain.
Have you ever noticed that pleasure is often accompanied by some measure of pain? They seem to go hand in hand, and "pain" as we know it, is often quite bearable when accompanied by pleasure.
I know that growing inside, emotionally and responsibly, sometimes leaves scars as we move through experiences (most of which happened because of a choice we made). Even a scar, when viewed through love, is a beautiful testament to the victory of the soul.
So if life has pain, and pleasure eases pain, wouldn't it be good to adopt an attitude (by choice) of joy? I don't mean you should plaster a smile on your face and never remove it, but to get in the habit of trusting that God has this too in His hands and will make the outcome right for all concerned.
When I entrust my day to a higher power, and look for the pleasant way through it, I'm never disappointed. There are good experiences scattered all over whatever bad is happening. Like candy sprinkles on a slippery cake frosting, taking the time to look around and benefit from the situation is sweeter than cursing and fighting against the flow.
There is education and wisdom in every experience, no matter how unpleasant or unwanted.
Taking these events apart that I've witnessed, it seems that the skills that would have made the passage through like sliding on the proverbial piece of cake, are communication and boundaries.
Considering myself and everyone I know, these two skills are the least developed for some reason, but are the foundation to having a good life.
If they're so important, why have we missed perfecting them? Perhaps because they're not viewed as money makers, or something fun you do at the beach?
Maybe because the typical home no longer gathers around the dinner table and talks? Could it be because we don't include our young children in conversations with adult guests, or allow them to say no when they feel something is wrong for them?
I don't blame our parents because they didn't know to raise us any better than they did. Neither did we know, up until this moment. But now that we're thinking about them, let's figure out how to include these skills in our families and teach the children.
We need clear communication with polite and appropriate social interaction. We also need to know ourselves, our likes and dislikes, and to feel free to choose what is good for us and to say no to what is not going to benefit us. This is crucial in self esteem building, and preventing abuse.
If we set firm boundaries of what we will allow in our lives both from others and in disciplining ourselves, then we will be able to communicate and interact with others in ways that assure our success.
I hope you enjoy this issue of The Secret Garden Letters. Feel free to write and visit with me. I'll answer as quickly as I can.
|The Two Stooges of
Each of the people that I interact with, communicate in a different way and require a different approach.
Their minds are geared to listen this way or that, or not listen at all. Some need to be comforted before I speak, some consider my explanations too long. Some probably don't value my words at all.
So it helps to know the style people communicate in, and it really helps if they take the time to listen!
When my first husband was alive, we lived in a long ranch house on 12 acres of land, in the literal middle of nowhere. It was beautiful and secluded, the closest neighbor was a quarter of a mile away. Behind us was a thousand acres of planted farm land, the other three sides were pine forests.
Needless to say, there were wild animals there. Coyotes, cougars, bob cats, feral hogs, deer, an occasional escaped cow on the run, etc. And owls that sounded like monkeys, big cats that sounded like women screaming in the night and now and then the clear and strong exhaled breath from a cow just off the carport in the dark of night.
Our carport was in the middle of the house, separating the house from the garage area. The doors to both house and garage opened onto the carport at opposite ends of it. So you couldn't walk out of the house and directly into the garage, you had to walk down the length of the open carport first.
The garage door was metal and would sometimes lock, so if you had to go outside in the night, you might have to stand at the edge of the carport and knock, waiting for the door to be opened.
Late one night I went outside to tell Mark something, and had taken a few steps down the carport towards that garage door, when some animal just a few feet off the carport made a sound that I had never heard before. It was a scream or yell, and was almost speech, sounding the letters "Neeeee...." before it became just a yell.
I was so terrified, I didn't know if I should back up carefully and get into the house, or rush forward towards the animal and get Mark's help. What if the door was locked, though? I could bounce right off of it and into the jaws of whatever was lurking in the shadows out there, completely at it's mercy!
If I went back into the house, we had no intercom system yet, so I had no way to warn Mark that it was out there. (Add to that I was dying with excitement to tell him what I heard and find out what kind of animal it was!)
So I went forward. I threw myself at the door and thankfully it opened, but made such a horrible metal bang, as it flew open beside him. I think he would have had a heart attack at that moment if he'd had the luxury of the time, but seeing my face and probably thinking the house was afire, he had to move into action - of some kind.
I quickly pointed behind me and told him there was an animal out there, and in one fluid motion he grabbed his rifle with one hand, while pushing me safely behind him with the other. Together we inched our way towards the door (which I had banged shut again, after coming in.)
I was chattering away, trying to get the message out, that this was an animal I didn't know, but he didn't have time to listen. He wanted to find it before it was gone.
So he opened the door and moved the rifle barrel out first, with me pressed up against his back, saying, "It made this sound...'Neeeeee......!"
Like I said, he wasn't listening to me, he was focusing on the dark expanse of woods ahead, so when I made that sound, he thought I was reacting to something in the dark that he couldn't see, and that the sight of it was so horrifying to me, all I could manage was that sound.
I can't describe this scene to you well enough, but it was so funny, you'd have thought we were the three stooges minus one.
He fell backwards, pushing me into the garage again and slamming the door shut, more terrified than I had been earlier.
When he finally understood that that was the sound the animal had made, and I hadn't seen anything, we laughed so hard our sides hurt. I don't think we'd ever laughed that hard before or since. We never did find out what kind of animal makes that sound.
Yes, communication can make all the difference in the world.
|Mending The Fences Of
Boundaries. They're everywhere. Picket fences around pretty yards, chain link fences with no trespassing signs, police tape, bank vaults, locked doors, and social classes.
Why is it then that we have such a hard time defining our personal perimeters and our limits? Why do we allow some people to walk all over us, and why do we put up with behavior from others that we know is wrong and harmful?
(We won't even mention here the kind of boundaries we create that convince us we can't move up to a better job or better house.)
I do believe boundaries are set as children, and that in our desire to raise well behaved and quiet children, we've stopped some of the growth and testing of their boundaries. When they would have said no, we taught them that to tell us no is wrong. Then later they can't tell other authority figures no, such as abusive spouses.
When they would have known what color or flavor they liked, we had to convince all our children to like one flavor, because there were many to feed.
When they would have learned to think for themselves, or do for themselves, we automatically did it all for them, because it was easier and faster than training them to do it on their own.
This may not be your experience but it's the best explanation I can think of for why we have not taken a stand for what we want and demanded nothing less.
I heard a story of a newly married couple. The man went to take a bath, and after he had come out, his wife went into the bathroom. She immediately came right back out and made him go in there and clean up after himself. After that, the story goes, they had no more marital problems. (grin)
Well, it may not be so easy, but you get the drift. She knew what she would put up with and what she wouldn't. If the man had refused to clean up, I assume a divorce or annulment would have been in order.
Actually it may have been a solution that prevented a lot of trouble in their marriage. At least he didn't have to wonder what his wife was silently fuming about. She taught him what she expected, and I hope he did the same with her.
But if you don't have any boundaries in place, or don't know where to start to get some, what do you do?
My sister Eileen told me to try this and I think it will work. She said start by uncluttering your house (my house). Take one item at a time in your life, examine it and see if it fits. Do you want it or need it?
If not, if it won't serve you or benefit you, get rid of it. Do that for every item in your home, and every item in your schedule, and finally you'll get to the point where you know exactly what it is you want, by the process of elimination. (It would also give you lots of practice saying no!) :)
Remember that you have as much right to happiness as everyone else. You were not put on this earth to make someone else's life good at your expense. In fact, there is only one you will have to answer to when it's over and the one question you'll probably be asked is: "What did you do with the life I gave you?"
If you answer, "Well, I swept and cleaned and worked to pay for so and so's life," you're not going to impress anyone.
Every one of us has an equal opportunity to make life what we want it to be. If we don't take it, or if we waste our time, or mis-spend it trying to please others, we have no one to blame really but ourselves.
Wouldn't this be like the parable of the man who was given a "talent" who buried it in the ground and never used it?
Boundaries are necessary to be sure we get to use the life we're given.
|Would you like to have a
wonderful Christmas this year?
Speaking of setting boundaries, one of the places we need some the most is at Christmas, with our spending and with trying to please everyone.
It's now half way through the year. If you were to begin making craft gifts, or to buy little things to get a head start on Christmas, it's quite possible to make this the best Christmas you've ever had.
Start with boundaries. How much will you spend, and what will this holiday mean to you? Do you want to celebrate it at all, or just take a break from the frenzy for a change?
What do the gifts mean to you? Those you receive and those you give. Is it truly the sentiment that counts to you, or do you believe every gift must be perfect? Something that the recipient has not already got, or something that they will certainly use?
You can't really control those things, it's an unrealistic expectation and will lead you down the path to disappointment again this year.
If you can grasp the idea that Christmas gifts and decoration is separate from religious observation, and that God won't be "mad at you" if you don't observe it, you're doing good.
If you choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, do so, but know that it's not Biblically expected of you. His birth was not celebrated by early Christians that we know of, and in fact, was not in December. It doesn't matter one bit what the original meaning or purpose of the holiday was.
It doesn't matter at all who celebrated it first, or which church instituted it. If YOU choose to celebrate it, do it for yourself, because it pleases you. Or don't do it at all. Doing it half way, or because you feel obligated to, takes away all the glory and meaning of anything you do.
Choices. You can choose to draw names amongst your family and each person buy one gift.
You can choose to give only funny gifts, or inexpensive gifts, or food gifts, or home made gifts.
You can take out a second mortgage and buy everyone fine jewelry or 4 wheelers if you want to, but will it serve you? Will it make YOUR life better? That's really what it's all about.
In everything you do, give Glory to God and express your joy, your unique personality and use the talents and gifts God gave you, to bless others.
Whatever you have, give of yourself. Give your time, your companionship, things you make, a small portion of your earnings to a charity or for those in your family who need it, help them with a bill or buying food. Make your gifts meaningful and they will be kept and enjoyed.
I have several gift craft ideas on my websites. Find one here. You can do a search online for crafts, or gifts and you can get the family together now to help you decide.
The best Christmas we had as children was when my parents didn't have money to buy us anything. Mom gave us each some squares of cloth to sew into bean bags and we filled them and had our own fun. We made our own gifts, and shared the holiday together in love.
Nobody can make you have a holiday if you don't want to. And nobody can ruin your holiday as long as you don't set unrealistic expectations. The only person you're in control of is you, and the only person you have to please is you!
Do only what you know you can handle and enjoy, even if nobody else in your family goes along with it or offers any help. That way, you'll be singing all the way through to the new year.
|Daniel's Game Blog and
My youngest son Daniel has a website and has begun blogging about games and computer software. He is writing reviews on the games, giving tips and making videos for Youtube and other sites.
His blog is entertaining and for anyone who is interested in PC games like Alone in the Dark, Bioshock, etc., there is a lot of technical stuff there that should please you.
I hope you'll check it out. Go to http://www.dragonruins.com
Setting Aside Time For You
If you're stressed out, it is a good indicator that something is out of balance in your life, or someone is trying to step all over your boundaries.
Maybe you're expecting too much from yourself or others.
Perhaps you've never heard that a day should be split into 3 time sections. 8 hours for work. 8 hours for sleep. 8 hours for play.
If you haven't set aside 8 hours for each of these, you will be out of balance.
There is no end to the work you can do, and probably if given the chance you'd be willing to sleep 8 hours!
It's the third category that always gets cut. That's where most of the excuses lie. There isn't enough time, or somebody in the family needed more help than usual, so you couldn't go for a walk, or out with your friends.
Be sure to set aside some time for yourself today, even if it's only taking a long bath or reading a book while waiting for the laundry to get done.
Invest in yourself and know that you're well worth every moment you invest.
The benefits you reap are real, and will be longer life, more joy, and that pleasure that helps ease the pain of life. God bless you!
|One More Thing|
The very best way to fix whatever problems you're having in your marriage or relationships, is to praise the good in the people you deal with. Not brown nosing, not syrupy sweetness, but honest appreciation.
Everyone needs to know when they're getting it right. Every man needs to know his wife honors him. Every wife needs to know that the work she's done for her husband was noticed and appreciated.
Every child needs their self esteem built, block by block, event by event. Task by task.
Every employee needs direction and praise for their work. Every employer needs a little feedback from their employees on what works, and what he's doing that could be built upon.
If you're really having a problem with someone, don't complain about it! Don't focus at all on the problem. Focus on the part that isn't bad, and praise it.
If it's with your husband, then find something you genuinely like about him, or something he does and let him know you admire that. Every now and then, mention it in front of his friends or in public, that you consider him to be really great at such and such.
Don't ever compare him to another man, or point out some other guy can do this or that better. Be the faithful wife who agrees with her husband on something. Even if it means swallowing your pride, and putting your arguments in the past, totally behind you. Forgotten and forgiven.
If there is something that you do, that you'd like me to feature in this newsletter, please write to me and let me know. Send me a picture of your work, or some sample. If it's your husband or a friend you'd like to brag a little on, send me the info and I'll see if I can find a way to tastefully highlight that for you.
Everyone deserves to be seen, and heard and loved. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. ***
Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbor; I am the Lord. ***
A talebearer revealeth secrets; but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. ***
The words of a talebearer are as wounds and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. ***
Proverbs 18:8 and Proverbs 26:20-22
We all fall short of the glory of God, and He forgives us. I forgive you too. Don't focus on what you haven't done, just keep trying to do good and bless everyone in your life, out loud and often, in the name of Jesus!
- Use them to pray along with me, or get ideas on new words to exalt and
Bible verses of hope, comfort and healing
Faith confessions, scripture turned into affirmations, with power and assurance
|Links To My Websites
|Other Sites That May Help You
Gary Craig's EFT Site - Free newsletter, instructions on how to do EFT on yourself and others. EFT is a quick, painless way to stop headaches, deal with emotional pain, and heal your body. Check out the archives! See what it has done for others, and imagine what it could do for you! (I use it!)
Dr. Jay Snell - Excellent Bible Study, healing scriptures, methods and recipes for healing and fighting spiritual warfare.
The Names of God - Great site with a lot of beautiful information.
Children's Bible Stories Online - Another really good place to let your kids experience.
Heal Yourself Talk Radio - You have to see this to appreciate it. Tune in with your computer and watch shows that inspire, inform and educate you. Something else great about the Internet, and a place to find quality, safe things to see.
National Geophysical Data Center - Cool information about the earth, it's magnetic qualities and lots of science education!
(Your own church and family should come first)
Dr. Jay Snell - evangelizing the world online. Pay with Paypal or email Dr. Snell from his site.
Missionaries such as David Crist and his family living in Thailand. Story to come, contact info at that time.
Blessing Meadows Ministries - (my church). To provide for the needs of our small church and website, and to help those whom God sends to us for food and other comforts. Pay with Paypal or email me for more options.
The Salvation Army, Red Cross, Peace Corps, Habitat For Humanity, Your Local Churches, Your Local Rescue Missions
|Thank you for reading my newsletter, please
write to me and tell me what you think, give me your prayer requests and
enjoy this day!
Feel free to pass this newsletter to your friends if you think they'd enjoy it.
God bless you!
chastityrose @ yahoo.com
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