The Still, Small Voice

still small voiceSometimes we start out thinking something bad is going to happen because the situation looks hopeless. Then one thing – one seemingly insignificant thing – can change everything, and make it go our way. Today was one of those days.

I don’t want to go into all the details right now, and may not ever, but the fact is, what I was expecting to happen, didn’t and the reverse – a very good thing – happened instead. Why? Because I listened to the Lord when He told me to do something, instead of fighting it and doing things my own way.

See, being human is a complicated thing. We get stubborn and think we know what’s best for ourselves and our lives, but that isn’t always the case. In my experience and with others I’ve encountered, that has rarely been the case. We get stuck on doing things our own way, and screw ups happen.

Here’s the problem: We are three-dimensional people living in what we believe is a three-dimensional world, but we fail to recognize or acknowledge that there is in fact, a fourth dimension; God’s realm in this world, which is also known as the spirit realm. It’s the area in our world in which God can do His work. It’s the area in which our angels live and work to help us.

Think of life as a tall building with four sides. This building is so big around, it is the size of a city block. We get through life by walking on the sidewalk – our personal path – around the block that building is on. As we go along our sidewalk, we can only see to the corner, and until we get around that corner, we don’t know what’s on the other side, whether it’s good or bad, happy or sad, or even what we will have to do about it. BUT we keep trying to plan for what we THINK is around that corner, without ever having any way of knowing. Are you with me? Okay.

Let me first say that planning and taking precautions is a good thing, but let’s remember the most important thing here; that fourth dimension – the unknown side of your building, or the future, if you will – is something we can never see no matter how hard we try. But… God can see it. He can see the building, the block, the top of the building and all four sides at once. He knows what’s going to happen next at all times and He knows what you need, and what to do about whatever comes into your path. That’s why we need faith.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) In other words, by having faith in God to know what is best for us, we are going to have to trust Him to do what’s best for us. Sometimes that means doing something you’re not normally comfortable with, by following that small still voice of the Lord when he tells you to do or not do something.

Now, if you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, let me explain. The “small still voice of the Lord” (1 Kings 19:12) is that – knowing – in your spirit that keeps you on track. Have you ever been in a situation where you knew in your heart that something was the right or wrong thing to do and you ignored it and everything went wrong? That. That right there. That knowing in your spirit was the voice of God saying “Hey. Listen to me because I’m trying to help you.” I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve ignored that voice only to find out later on that if I’d done what the Lord was trying to tell me to do, things would have turned out just fine. It took me a long time and a lot of heartache to learn these things that I’m sharing with you, so pay attention!

So back to the beginning – today was one of those days. Something was happening and I didn’t want to deal with it because I knew it was hopeless and nothing I could say or do would help. Then the voice of the Lord said, “Go talk to them.” I got a little stubborn and thought, “No, it’s not going to do any good so why should I waste my energy trying?” I turned around and went back to doing what I’d been doing before, and tried to ignore it. But the problem didn’t go away. Then I heard it again. “Get up, go out and talk to them.” So I did. And ya know what? Everything turned out great! The people I talked to told me that had I not gone to speak with them, things would have gone exactly the way I’d expected it to, and that would have been a bad thing for a lot of people I care very much about.

So what happened? I listened to the Lord, and because God knows what to do in every situation, and how it will turn out, my obedience to Him caused a blessing to occur. I’m so glad I listened. You will be too 😊

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Abuse

There’s a phrase I absolutely detest; “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best!” You’ve probably seen it on Facebook or Instagram in the form of a meme, usually intended as a show of personal strength. But what does it really say?

For many people it simply is a way to take a stand against being treated badly, or as a desire to be appreciated, and I get that. Unfortunately, it’s usually said by the people who behave badly, and expect everyone to just put up with their nasty attitudes, and audacious behavior.

The interesting side to this is the fact that those same proclaimers of independence, are very often the same ones who will not put up with even the slightest mistakes from others. This is both self-serving and unfair. How can one expect perfection from another, if one is unwilling to meet the bar they set so high? This kind of behavior goes hand in hand with the inability or unwillingness to take responsibility for ones own actions.

You know that expression, “There’s two sides to every story” right? Well there are a lot of people in this world who go around acting like total butt-heads, and blaming others for it. They don’t take responsibility for their hurtful words or actions, and blame arguments or physical altercations on those around them, while simultaneously playing the role of the victim, or feigning ignorance to the entire situation. It can be anything from mildly passive-aggressive, to pathological, sociopathic, or even psychopathic.

Naturally, not all situations can be chalked up to actual social or behavioral disorders. Let’s face it, some people are just jerks, or so self-absorbed they don’t see what they are doing, and honestly believe they didn’t do anything wrong. Interestingly I have either been acquainted with or worked with all of these personalities at some point in my life, and they will all cause you a great deal of pain no matter the reason for it. So what do you do about it? Well that depends on the level at which these personalities are functioning, or not functioning, as the case may be.

Being in a toxic relationship, no matter who it’s with, is unhealthy, and something should be done. The way I see it is, you have a couple choices;

• You can live with it – not advisable, due to potential danger.

• Get counseling – preferable if the parties involved are not in danger.

• Chose to leave for your own safety or the safety of others – especially when children are involved.

•Talk to someone who can point you in the right direction to get help for your personal situation.

My point is… everyone should feel safe, be treated well, and NOT be abused by anyone for any reason. If you are being abused, seek help.

If you are an abuser, seek help. Find out why you do what you do, and learn how to stop it, because when you love someone, the last thing you really want to do is harm them. It is possible to change, and it is possible to heal your broken relationships, but you have to want to, and you have to work at it. It isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

Whether you are an abuser or being abused, you CAN and SHOULD get help. One resource for both is here at the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 | 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) En Espanol. Online chat at http://www.thehotline.org

Everyone deserves you at your best, and no one should be expected to handle you at your worst. Fortunately help is available, but you have to take the first step.

Many Blessings,

C.A. Bennett – Writer

*No affiliation to any organization named or unnamed*

Personal Space

*Not my actual house*C. A. Bennett

Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017
2013 AlphaSmart Neo2

Being part of a family or other group can have its difficulties, especially when the quarters are cramped. We live in a tiny house that is seven-hundred square feet of living area. We shift, turn, and shuffle our way around each other in such a way that would nearly be worthy of a finely choreographed dance on Broadway, except now and again, we trip, stumble and collide with Keystone Cop-like coordination. Sometimes it’s comical, sometimes it isn’t. Always, it’s annoying.

What happens when something in the normal routine changes? It can be as simple as a teenager who used to spend most of his time in his bedroom, but has decided to come out and join the family in the living room. Nothing wrong with that, and in fact it’s a really good thing! I’ve been trying to get him out of there for years. It does have it’s effects though.

Since the space is small and cramped already, it can seem even more so with the addition of one more body on a more regular basis. Especially when that body is six-foot-five and all skinny legs and arms. Come to think of it, that’s how he got the nickname, “Daddy Long-Legs”. It can make a parent who loves his child a bit edgy to have most of the living room floor taken up by sprawled out legs and size 14 shoes, even if the kid is quiet by nature. It’s not noise… it’s space.

So how does the dad-in-question handle it? By going to bed at 8:20 PM, which completely disrupts my routine. My response was something along the line of, “WHAT?! Wait!” because I was in the bedroom working on a paper, and making every attempt to concentrate while working in solitude. “What do you mean, you’re going to bed NOW?? UGH! Fine.” So I relocated to a different room to work uncomfortably. Solitude. Personal Space. And it’s all because of one little change. One person made one small decision about where he wanted to spend his time, and the rest of the people in the house lost their minds.

See, here’s the thing, and I want to be clear on this; We are a typical family. We interact regularly, usually eat dinner together and talk, yadda, yadda… we are always doing something together. The thing is… in this particular case, the timing is what really changed, and that’s what actually threw everything out of the delicate balance it was for years. Dad’s TV time was disrupted, and that caused a minor cascade of events.

Adaptation takes time. Becoming reacquainted with an area once something has changed is a process just like any other. For my husband, the shift of our son spending more time in the living room was the equivalent of having someone move in, because it was an extra body that wasn’t usually present at that tone of the day.

The boy had always had a habit of staying in a certian area of the house, and no amount of cajoling from his mother had ever chanced that. Autistic people are creatures of habit, and up till recently, getting the boy to spend time with family was more like pulling teeth than actual socializing. It was out of his comfort zone, and sometimes you have to let a person have their comfort.

Here’s the thing… my son is high-function, and isn’t anti-social. On the contrary, he interacts with people on a regular basis, and does very well. He has a lot of friends, and has held a job without problems typical to autistic people. He’s socially okay for the most part, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy his solitude, and his room was his preferred place for that.

So what changed? Hard to say, really. One day, he just decided to bring his computer to the living room, set up shop. It’s now become his preferred area to do whatever computer-related things he does. Why? We don’t know. My curiosity got the best of me, because I am an observer by nature, so he and I had a conversation about it. The boy was unsure as to why he suddenly liked the living room better, but says it has more space. Interesting that it took him four years to come to this decision, but personally, I’m happy about the change. I like that he’s spending more time with dear old mom & dad. I’m happy to see him out of his room and interacting more when his brothers and their girlfriends come for a visit. It’s a good thing.

The (former) Behavior Specialist in me is jumping for joy at yet another social victory in the life of her autistic son. The mom in me is just happy the boy isn’t cooped up in his room constantly. As for dad? He’ll adjust eventually… most people tend to adapt to changes pretty well in the long run, it just may take a little longer for some than other. At this rate, he will be well-rested at the very least.

One thing I think we will all agree with, is the need for a bigger house. Let’s face it… Tiny House living is tough at best, but when the dynamics suddenly change, it’s rough. Seven-hundred square feet of living space isn’t much for three adults and a dog, but we’ll manage. We always do.

Many Blessings,

Crystal

Pre-writing Exercise

P.S. Please forgive the unstructured error-prone nature of this, as structure and accuracy are not the point. The idea is to allow the brain and fingers to get reacquainted with one another before the work day begins. It’s like caffeine for the creative process, and what I write during these exercises is different every day. As it should be 😊