8 Things I’ve Learned From Doctor Who

I know, I am strange.. Very strange some may say.. But to be quite honest I am proud of my mild obsession with Doctor Who. Anyway, I was flipping through Facebook and came across a post asking what Doctor Who has taught you and how it has impacted your life and it got me to thinking…

  1. It aided in teaching me what kind of person I wanted to marry.. Someone who was strong both emotionally and physically, someone who would protect me always and care for me deeply. Someone who was silly but also serious, someone with more compassion than they know what to do with, but at the same time someone you didn’t cross twice. Someone who could stand up for himself and for me. Someone who was adventurous and willing to live life to its fullest.
  2. It taught me that everyone deserves forgiveness.. I may still not be the best at forgiving, but I was pretty dead set against forgiving much of anyone till I watched the Tenth Doctor lose his mind when… well, for those of you who haven’t watched it.. There was an incident with The Master..
  3. It also helped encourage me to stress a little less… To just go with the flow of life and handle the problems as they occur. Though, (oh, I’m probably opening a can of worms so don’t shoot me) I am on the edge over who “my” Doctor is.. whether it is David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston.. I was never fond of Matt Smith, but it was during his seasons that I started learning how to not allow situations to control me.
  4. It helped me to grow a backbone and not be so concerned about what people thought of me.
  5. Because I am me, it taught me a lot about my own relationship with God. Simply because the 9th and 10th Doctor’s are very very similar in comparison to my knowledge of God. Now, yes, it is not 100% accurate, but the protective, loving, passionate, forgiving, merciful, graceful, compassionate, side of him definitely, being able to see all of the universe and his heart just aching because of all the pain in the universe.. Sounds familiar to a God who weeps because He hurts for His people…
  6. It also helped me understand that getting close to someone though can be painful if they leave.. It’s always important to have at least one good person by your side..
  7. It taught me that, multiple shadows are bad… broken clocks are bad, statues are bad, forgetting is bad, snowmen are bad.. basically anything that was good is bad..
  8. And lastly, Never get too closely attached to one of Steven Moffat’s characters.. because about the time you really fall in love with them Moffat crushes all your hopes and dreams and kills them…

Anyway, though there have been a few other things that have played in since I finished my last season of Doctor Who. I think Doctor Who planted those seeds, allowing me to open my mind and heart for the changes that were coming.. Somewhere between Doctor Who helping me see all this and see where the problems were and after that my Ted Dekker binge reading that helped me see who I was and just how much my God cared about me, and the wonderful people I have had to support me, and some who are still supporting me, I’m a fairly confident force to be reckoned with. I have my moments as do most people I think.. But overall… I’m pretty content and proud of who I am. One of these days I’ll have to do a post on what Ted Dekker has taught me..

Now, I have to ask… Is there anyone who caught the revised quote from “The Croods”? Because seriously, I’m kind of proud about that one….

And I’m just saying, but, I really feel like there should be a very large red flag over my house that is begging the Doctor to come.. Because there’s a crack in our ceiling, a broken clock on the mantle, I go outside and I had two shadows, and to be quite frank, I’m glad the snowmen melted off..

Ok.. I’m done being weird now… It’s time to remove the Doctor Who brain and go be a functional human being…

God Bless,

Jessica

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Courageous

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

… Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous…..

Joshua 10:25

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you, nor forsake you.

Duet. 31:6

… “Be strong and courageous”….

Duet. 31:7

…. Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent…

Acts 18:9

So, Joshua 1:9 stood out to me last night, that Be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, do NOT be DISCOURAGED! It seems in the last week or so it seems like I’ve been dealing with a lot of fear paralysis, not so much in myself but in others.. I have a little still in myself, but I think I have mine mostly figured out. I think the one thing that still nags at me a little is being concerned to stepping out and doing what I am called to do because it either hasn’t worked before and I’m feeling called to pursue it again, or I feel like I am called to adopt teenager. Though, looking at the bio’s on some of these precious pre-teens melted my heart and I know that is what I am meant to do. That is where my heart lies..

Anyway, I’ve always believed that everything in the Bible is put there for a reason, and if it’s in there more than once it is EXTREMELY important, and if it’s in there more than two or three times you’d better dang listen. The Bible says “Be strong and courageous” and “Do not be afraid” over a hundred times, I really need to sit down and count them out.. As followers of Christ we have been commanded to be strong and courageous and we do that by knowing that through Christ we have been given the strength to do what needs to be done (Phil. 4:13: I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength), we simply need to know that He is always with us…

When we follow in Christ’s footsteps we are enabled to accomplish anything, we are confident, we are strong, persevering, we are able to keep going even in the worst of times. Which allows us to step out when we are called to. We aren’t afraid to pop that comfort bubble that keeps us safe. It can be as simple as finding a job or leaving home, or it can be as complicated as going to Africa or traveling a path you dread in order to get to the desired destination. But here’s the thing, if we are operating under God’s will, listening to Him and allowing Him to guide us and help us, nothing can stop us, nothing can harm us, and no one can convince us otherwise.

We were at Acquire the Fire this last weekend and Ron was saying “EVEN IF” Trust in God.. EVEN IF God does not “save” you, you will be taken care of. It’s having that kind of confidence that will grab God’s attention and have Him going “I can use this one” And that, that is the kind of confidence I aim to achieve.. EVEN IF it’s not working, God will bring something else. EVEN IF something doesn’t happen, I will be taken care of. Simply because, I am Jessica Bot Yahweh.. I am, Jessica. Daughter of. the Almightly Yahweh… And my dear friends, no matter how far you think you are from God, He loves you enough to say you are His son, you are His daughter, so EVEN IF things are spiraling out of control, Be strong and courageous because the Yahweh is with you.. Yeshua is with you and ALL things, not some things, but ALL things are possible.. I honestly think that his is where I draw a vast majority of my confidence from… Especially after reading Ted Dekker’s Outlaw series (which I personally think EVERYONE needs to read because they will learn all sorts of things if they are open to it..). And you see, when we can learn to be strong and courageous, we become Resilient…

Ron says the definition of Resilient means “bounce back, baby!” We have been quite amused with that. But it’s true, to be resilient is to be like a rubber band, you can stretch it and it just snaps back effortlessly. Or it’s like the shocks on a car, you hit one of these canyon sized potholes that are out here, the car will bounce and settle itself again. If we become Resilient in Christ we can be stretched and never broken, we can say “YES! EVEN IF the world is falling apart around me, I will remain strong and courageous because MY GOD IS BIGGER! MY GOD IS STRONGER! MY GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF ME FOR HE IS MY PROVIDER! He provides my strength, my joy, my peace, and hope, my comforter. He is, the great I AM.” And this, is why we can be resilient in the darkest times..

Now, I will leave you with a song from Casting Crowns..

Courageous

God Bless,

Jessica

Healthy Families vs. Unhealthy Families (Part 2)

Hey guys, I’m back.. I’m going to start this article with a portion from an article I came across.

Most Common Fights are about the ‘Flight Plan’

How do you take a child that you have loved, cared for, taken care of and protected for their entire lifetime the right amount of space to ‘fly’ forward on their own wings? Let me warn you ahead of time, it’s often hard to find the right level of balance on this subject. Kids and parents often experience their greatest conflict during the teen years trying to figure out just the right level of responsibility and independence for each stage of life. Yet as hard as it may be for parents to even consider letting go of their kids, it is essential for the child’s healthy development and inner strength. One day they will have to move out and move on as a young adult to tackle issues on their own, without the security of knowing that mom and dad’s watchful care is always going to be near. The goal is for them to know what they believe, and when tested, to pass the test and live out those beliefs despite of the pressures around them.

Dangerous Truth: Over-Protective Parents Create Weaker Kids

Here’s why this is such a problem for some loving parents. If you never let a child test their wings by moving a little further away from mom or dad’s care, then sometimes they end up developing the symptoms of fear, extreme shyness or a social phobia and end up being afraid of moving forward in life. Not all kids will develop psychological or emotional fears because of overprotective parents, but it can be one of several factors that slow down their personal development and inner strength to move forward toward the next stage of life. Yes, we love our kids, but remember, part of that love is to equip them and prepare them to one day leave the nest to literally launch forward, just like a space shuttle launch sequence at Kennedy Space Center.

Think about all of the years of planning and thousands of challenges that have to be overcome to create a successful launch into space. Literally everything that takes place for the years leading up to a rocket or orbiter launch date is done to safely and strategically accomplish the goal of getting that rocket into space and to another place. That’s the driving force of those NASA engineers – to get that bird off the ground at Cape Canaveral and into orbit toward the stars.

By Dwight Bain

Now, I wanted to start with that because I want you to keep that in mind as I go into healthy family traits.. Which I will break down as I go

1. The members of the household are committed to one another.

This doesn’t mean they are fully dependent on one another. It simply means that as a family unit the family should be supportive and willing to do what it takes for the family and work together as a family unit. An unhealthy family will fudge this line and that commitment will turn into dependence.

Websters Definition of commitment is :

: A promise to do or give something

: A promise to be loyal to someone or something

: The attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something

Those bottom two being the ones that fit into a healthy commitment…

Websters Definition for dependence:

: A state of needing someone or something else for support, help, etc.

: The state of being addicted to alcohol or drugs

Now, if you ask me neither of those sound very good. Especially when we look at Websters multiple definitions for need:

: a situation in which someone or something must do or have something

: something that a person must have : something that is needed in order to live or succeed or be happy

: a strong feeling that you must have or do something

: a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism

I know I’m getting in depth here.. maybe a little more than necessary, but bear with me if you will.

I would find the definition for must and requirement but I think we’ve got the point. So all in all need is a forced thing, there’s no choice, and it has the potential to be life or death. You NEED air, water, and food to live.. Those are NEEDS..

A healthy family will recognize the difference and they will build on a healthy commitment.

2. A healthy family spends time together.

Spends time together. This doesn’t mean keeping everyone on a leash so they can’t do anything because we have to be together. It means we have healthy, enjoyable, time together. The strongest families have a healthy balance of time together and time away. In fact, studies show that parents who get away from their children and continue dating through marriage are much happier and have healthy bonds with both their spouse and children. Even so, it is important for spouses to get away from each other once in a while, even if it is just for a few hours while one is at work. It allows everyone to learn to function on their own. As well as making that time together more enjoyable and cherished.

3. A healthy family enjoys open, frequent communication.

It’s ok to listen to what your child/teen/young adult has to say. It helps builds bonds, creates a deeper sense of trust between both parent and child, simply because the parents will know what is going on in their childs life. No ones opinion should be disrespected, no question should be off limits or inappropriate. It’s simple enough for the parent to say “No, you don’t need to know that” do to it being for their own good. However, if they know they can ask or tell you anything your child will be eternally grateful.

4. The healthy family turns to each other during times of crisis.

Yes, in times of crisis a family should hold together and be there for each other. However, this goes back to that commitment vs. dependency. You should be able to trust that your family will be there, but it shouldn’t shift to having to be solely dependent on them being there.

5. Members of a healthy family can express affirmation and encouragement often.

Each individual should be able to be able to show/express a belief, dedication, or idea, with complete confidence. Unafraid of being negatively shot down for it. Guided, yes. Shot down, no. They should be encouraged to follow their dreams. Be it the spouse supporting the other, or the parents supporting the children. Each family member is a unique individual and were created that way because they have a purpose and when you shoot down the various ways of expression and don’t encourage them to be who they want to be it limits who they can be. It creates a dependence because they wont know what to do with their life.

6. The members of a healthy family share a spiritual commitment.

This is important. With God as the head of the household, the family will get much further.

7. Each person in a healthy household trusts the others and values the trust he/she has earned.

Trust, trust, trust, by being open with healthy communication and having that healthy commitment each person will earn an amount of trust that should not be toyed with or taken advantage of.

8. Each member of a healthy family can enjoy freedom and grace.

As the children get older and transition from kids to teens and teens to young adults, there is a new freedom that comes with each stage. No child should be expected to stay home. That is a dependence, because they never learn to operate on their own. They are dependent upon their parents and then they are lost in a world of hurt when the parents pass away. They are left confused, possibly scared. Unknowing of whether or not they are fully capable of caring for themselves, likely past the age of starting a family and left on their own for the most part. It isn’t even biblical for the children to stay home:

Matthew 19:4-5 (NIV)

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?

No individual in the family or in any relationship should have to fear making a mistake. They should be able to know that they will find grace, they will find forgiveness if and when they slip up or fall short of an expectation. I’ll be the first to admit I do have a problem with offering Grace and forgiveness after a certain point. But it is something I aim to change. As a young adult myself, I enjoy being around people that I have a freedom to say or think what I like knowing that it wont be taken offensively and if it is, I know that person will come back to me and allow me to try to fix it.

If you recall in my last post I said that Enmeshed and Codependent families look very similar on the surface to a healthy family… Do you see why?

Both require some form of dependency, but for a healthy family dependency doesn’t quite fit. More, so commitment. Along with that, care and control can look similar as well. But when you breech the surface you can see what looks like someone trying to take care of you, can also be them trying to keep you under their thumb.

Once more this goes for any relationship, be it friendship, partnership, or marriage. If you can find a person that holds the healthy qualities, you are already set up for a healthy relationship, family or friendship.

Alright y’all, I’m done now. I am pretty sure I have stepped on my own toes as well finding things that I’m guilty of doing in my own family… But this is why I write..

God Bless,

Jessica

Enmeshed and Codependent Relationships (Part 1)

So, there’s been lots of thinking about relationships the past few days.. Healthy relationships, codependent relationships, enmeshed relationships, interdependent.. even a little bit of talking on narcissistic behavior.. I’m probably going to have several references in here so stick with me.. But it is good information.

Having a close family is great! Important by all means. It’s good to have a close relationship with everyone in the family, wanting to please the parents and/or siblings, it’s even important to make sacrifices for the family members. But..

Ideally, the children of the family should be being prepped to be handle themselves in this world. Being prepped so that they can leave home and build their own families and chase their dreams. These children are confident in their ability to take on such responsibility..

However this isn’t always the case..

People in enmeshed families generally grow up confused about how they feel or unsure of what they want to do with their lives because they are encouraged to feel whatever the rest of the family feels and strongly discouraged from having their own feelings and preferences. Sometimes this may draw out intimidation tactics by the parents, sometimes it’s using an emotion to guilt (or shame) them into abiding by the unspoken family rules. I think it may even go as far as having the children withheld from knowledge so that they literally cannot depart from their parents/home.

Due to fear, or feeling threatened, families will sometimes unknowingly single out their scapegoat, the child that has a desire to become an individual and might one day like to part from their home. This would create a sense of shame in the child keeping them from branching out, keeping the child rooted at home. Sometimes leading to depression, or some type of addictive behavior.

It’s great when families are close knit, but when you start realizing the fact that enmeshment is taking place, and they are close knit due to trying to discourage family members from outside relationships, expressing themselves, and expressing their life outside of the family unit. There’s a problem and it needs to be dealt with… It isn’t ok for parents or siblings or even spouses to NEED to be needed, not to the extent of trying to keep the child/spouse roped in.

I’ve collected a list of “symptoms” of an enmeshed family”

Enmeshed family traits according to “http://www.counseling4less.com/blog/what-is-enmeshment

“Controlling behavior, distrust, perfectionism, avoidance of feelings, intimacy problems, care-taking behavior, hyper vigilance, denial, physical illness related to stress. It is believed that we become codependent through living in systems (families) with rules that hinder development, flexibility and spontaneity.”

  • It’s not okay to talk about problems
  • Don’t trust your instincts or other people
  • Unpleasant feelings should not be openly expressed (i.e. anger, differing opinions)
  • Keep your feelings to yourself
  • Communication is best when it is indirect
  • Use another family member as a messenger between two others
  • Always be good, strong, right and perfect – or at least act it
  • Make us proud beyond realistic expectations
  • Don’t be selfish
  • Do as I say, not as I do
  • It’s not okay to be playful
  • It’s not okay to shine or excel too much
  • Do not rock the boat
  • Disaster is always lurking just around the corner, so tread lightly
  • Guard the family secrets
  • You should feel guilty or scared to say “no”
  • Pretend there are no problems
  • Nice people are boring (healthy people)
  • If we disagree with each other, we are attacking or abandoning each other
  • Control others by manipulating with threats, fear, guilt or pity
  • If you need attention, be overly dramatic to get it
  • Set off others’ emotional temperatures to see how it is you feel (or should feel)
  • If you control things and people you will be safe
  • Don’t talk to outsiders about what goes on in our family. That is our business and our business
  • only.

Enmeshed family traits according to http://www.mariadroste.org/2013/07/the-enmeshed-family-what-it-is-and-how-to-unmesh/

  • What Mom and Dad say/believe/think/feel about you is what is right, never mind that you are 45 years old and have been on your own for 27 years.
  • It’s okay for you to be a little bit different from us in some ways, but there is a line that you can’t cross in this family and still be accepted.
  • The cost of being different is to be cut off. We cannot accept differences that challenge our rigid sense of who this family is.
  • Even as adults, you will conform to the wishes of “the family” instead of make your own mind up about how, where, and with whom you wish to live your life.

This is where enmeshed starts to clash with codependency and narcissism. Codependency begins with people within the family being manipulated or controlled. People who are codependent are easy targets for narcissists… They can be easily controlled, easily manipulated, they are generally very selfless people. They want to please and are concerned with others feelings, almost to a fault. They forget that they need to take care of their self. When they do (try), it makes them feel selfish even though it is well deserved care that they need. Even when they have a problem they are too careful not to disturb anyone, most of their emotions get bottled up inside them and they wont let anyone take care of them. But when someone is codependent they are searching desperately for acceptance, willing to do whatever it takes to find it. Now, I want to add in here that this is referring to an unhealthy sense of caring behavior…

Codependence is a hard thing to overcome.. I’ve fought with it, secretly…? Maybe? I don’t really remember how long I fussed with it.. but it was off and on for a few years. I don’t know if it ever showed through, but I know there was a certain amount of codependency that came along with some of my relationships with mentors. No matter how hard I tried to get away from my dad who was extremely narcissistic, all I wanted was his acceptance, and I allowed it to damage me very deeply. All he had to do was tell me “I’d love you if…” And I’d jump and do it. Now, I’m an independent person, so I will say, I had my rebellious streaks in which I got sarcastic and decided that I didn’t have to do anything he said because I had no respect for him. I’d flip flop like that where all I wanted was him to care about me, to hoping he (if I can remember how I said it) “Went to hell in a hand basket and died in a hole when he got there”.. If not, that is close enough… Anyway, once I figured that out and realized he was using emotions against me, is when I began learning to shut down.. Simply because I refused to allow him to control me that way. Anyway, all that to say even someone who is fairly independent and strong willed gets sucked into that whole codependency thing, being controlled and manipulated. It takes a strong personality to come out of it. But it is doable..

Now this goes in all relationship. A codependent/enmeshed relationship can happen between friends, between siblings, parents, boyfriend/girlfriend, and spouses. No one person should be controlled in that manner. Each person should be allowed to be their own person. It really is something that has to be watched for, due to the fact that enmeshed relationships have potential to look very similar to healthy relationships from the surface. Even codependent relationships can look healthy till it is made apparent that it is an unhealthy relationship.

This coming week, I’ll address healthy families, interdependence, and how they compare with codependent and enmeshed relationships..

God Bless,

Jessica