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Be Sensitive First, Then Honest

A recent failure on my part reminded me to monitor my initial reactions to an unpleasant experience. Thankfully, my insensitivity didn't bother my husband Tom as much as I feared it had, but I'm always striving to improve. My husband wasn't feeling well, so he opted out of a family gathering. I...

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The Subtleties of Usurping Initiative

I need to be aware of the subtle ways I unintentionally usurp another person's initiative. Regardless of whether or not I intend to be helpful, when I do for another person what they could do for themselves, I'm not being helpful. In fact, I'm actually hindering their growth. I will share a few...

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Wait For Unity

I have been guilty of two opposite mistakes in my marriage. I didn't share my feelings honestly with my husband and just let him have his way even when I disagreed, or I tried to persuade him to my point of view.   Both are wrong. As a couple, what we should do is honestly share our feelings...

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Encouragement Vs. Persuasion

Through a dietary experience, I learned an important lesson on the difference between encouragement and persuasion. One of our daughters had referred us to a nutritionist that had helped her dramatically when no medical doctor could find the cause of her severe pain. I decided to take Shon to that...

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Sharing Dreams

In our early years of marriage, Tom and I had many dreams that we were excited to discuss, and some of them turned into big adventures, such as our decision to move from Long Beach, CA to a small town of about 250 people in up-state N.Y. just to experience something very different. We lived there...

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Be Careful of Your Words!

A friend of mine once told me that I had typed the word "sex" instead of "six" in one of my blog posts. I had a good laugh over his comment about keeping my posts G rated, but it got me thinking.   Both my husband and I had proof read the blog post, but we failed to catch that mistake. I've...

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Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak

The Bible tells us to be "...quick to listen and slow to speak..." (James 1:19).   In an excellent sermon I once heard, the pastor said we can know what's in our heart by what comes out of our mouth. Jesus also said that, of course, but it really struck a chord with me at that moment. Ever...

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Don’t Compare!

I once received a good reminder through my son: don't compare one person to another.   Shon was frustrated as he was working on the skill of being able to get from his bed into his wheelchair, and from his wheelchair to his bed independently. In an attempt to encourage him, I made the mistake...

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Reflective Listening Beats Advice

By nature, I'm a problem solver. This can be good, but it can also be a hindrance, at times. I'm learning that its best to guide a person toward discovering their own solutions to their problems instead of offering my solutions.   In the past, when someone complained to me about their...

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Wait Until They Ask!

The Lord has been teaching me not to give unsolicited advice or help, but I recently gained a deeper insight into this from something I read in The Feeling Good Handbook by David D. Burns, M.D. He gave three questions for us to ask ourselves when we want to help someone. One of those is: Is the...

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