Meadows and Reeds

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Real Talk: {Toxic Relationships}

 


 

This year or maybe even a little longer has been the year of self reflection for a lot. We are stuck inside with our thoughts, our feelings. The worst parts or the best parts of ourselves are showing. I've been wanting to address this topic for awhile now. I feel like it's a common topic that people don't really talk about. I've been gathering my thoughts on it. I've been reevaluating past relationships/friendships and current ones.  I'm no stranger to toxic people. I'm sure you aren't either. Sometimes it's so abundantly clear that its toxic and you don't want to, or don't know how to get away from it. Or sometimes it's a sneaky little devil. Something doesn't sit well with you but you ignore it, or you can't put your finger on it. 

It's something that I feel like I have dealt with it a lot in my past. I don't think we are equipped as a young person to develop healthy boundaries. To speak up when we our feelings are hurt, when we are offended etc. Then we just grow into those bad habits. We allow people to cross the boundaries and it ends up being a vicious cycle. I can admit that in some of my own cases I initiated relationships or friendships for some other reasons maybe to put a band-aid on some old hurt. I also can admit I allowed others to overstay their welcome in my life. Because I was glutton for punishment. Or maybe I was trying to prove something to that one person or to myself. I'm not sure. 

I dove into research. Self help books, The bible, Church sermons. I wanted to know what the bible said not necessarily what the world said about distancing yourself from toxic relationships. I thought there had to be a marriage between the two. It can't be so black and white. "Love all people, forgive all people" doesn't mean allowing them to be in your life. It doesn't mean allow them to continue the pain, abuse, control, the manipulation. No matter who they are.  I'm not a big fan on confrontation. But I do believe in addressing things with a person and allowing them the chance to change. If they don't its on them its no longer on your shoulders.

 I've had several relationships that are toxic, or unhealthy. You don't see it in the beginning or even your own true intentions of starting that relationship. If it was started base on the wrong thing it will eventually grow into a toxic relationship. I had to walk away from several. Maybe it wasn't a healthy situation for both sides and someone needed to be the one to pull the plug. It brought out bad feelings on both sides. Friendships/relationships shouldn't leave you feeling like that at the end of the day. They should lift you up, support you, encourage you, be your own cheerleader. They shouldn't criticize you or tear you down under the guise of love or something else. It shouldn't be an unspoken competition to see who is better. It shouldn't be not telling true feelings or confronting an issue for fear of an argument or backlash or some other consequences.

With all that said I've accumulated a lot of different information on toxic relationships/friendships. How to spot them, how to work through them etc.  It's never that easy to just walk away. But your life will be the better for it and maybe even their life.

 

 Harbor Church "Toxic Series"

 

"When Toxic relationships go unchecked it can imprison our future" 

1: Relationships where only one person is in control. {Is my opinion valued? Do I feel like I can never do anything right?}

2: Relationships based on manipulation. {Is this person taking advantage of me?}

3: Relationships based on lies. {Can I trust this person? Or do they have a pattern of deceitfulness?}

4: Relationships where one person always puts their needs first. {They are selfish}


 

"Red Flags" from Top Buzz Blog  

5: "Conditional friendship. We’re friends until I question you in the slightest way, and if I do, the relationship is tanked."

6:"Inability or unwillingness to apologize when they do something wrong. It’s symptomatic of an ego issue that will eventually infect every aspect of your friendship."

7:"Continually feeling like you want to say something but should hold your tongue."

 



What does the bible say ? - Beliefnet.com

When faced with toxic people.

"Ending these types of relationships can be very scary, and the person is likely to erupt in anger. Trust God to help you recognize when a relationship is becoming detrimental to your business, your spirituality, or the health of your family life. Further trust Him to give you the courage to end the relationship, and to give you thick enough skin to take the criticism that you may face for ending the relationship.

God actually warns us of the many different types of toxic people we might encounter in our daily lives.

Some people we are to avoid friendship with include: the violent man (Proverbs 16:29, Proverbs 1:10-12), the wicked man (Proverbs 12:26, Proverbs 4:14-17), the gossip (Proverbs 16:28), the perverse (Proverbs 16:30), those who engage in deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11, Proverbs 2:12), the thief (Proverbs 1:10-19), and the adulterous woman (Proverbs 2:16-19). Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 tells us we should not be friends with lovers of self, lovers of money, the proud, the abusive, those disobedient to parents, the ungrateful, the heartless, lovers of pleasure, etc.


"We are likely to be faced with a toxic relationship sometime in our lives. This might be someone very close to us, like our own parent, or someone in leadership such as a boss. Whatever you face, understand that these relationships are not a blessing from the Lord. When the devil wants to tear you down, he will send people to do so. Learn that these types of behaviors are not healthy, and do what is necessary to remove yourself from the situation."

 

Psalm 147:3 tells us that God "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Only God's healing power can truly restore peace to a broken or traumatized heart. As much as we wish that the toxic person would apologize, there are many times where that simply won't happen. Only God will be able to truly heal us where we are broken.  

 

______________________________________________________

 

Quotes from "Unglued" by Lysa Terkeurst

 


“Forgiveness is mandatory; reconciliation is optional.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

 

"My job isn't to fix this person or make them see my side of things. My job is to obey God by offering an extension of the forgiveness I've been given. But I can also stay healthy in this situation by remembering forgiveness doesn't mean giving this person access in my life that sets me up for destructive patterns." Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions

 

“Saying “I’m fine” to keep the peace, when we’re really not fine, isn’t honest. It may seem godly in the moment, but it’s false godliness. Truth and godliness always walk hand in hand. The minute we divorce one from the other, we stray from soul integrity and give a foothold to the instability that inevitably leads to coming unglued.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions  

 

“When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When an emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions 

 

“But it is a rare and beautiful thing when we choose to offer love in situations when most people would choose to scorn or ignore.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions 

 

“Friendships are like plowed open fields ready for growth. What we plant is what will grow. If we plant seeds of reassurance, blessing, and love, we reap a great harvest of security. Of course, if we plant seeds of backbiting, questioning, and doubt, we reap a great harvest of insecurity.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions  
 
 

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Friday, September 18, 2020

Old Soul

 Fall is in the air. It's starting to cool down here. The snow isn't too far behind. I see some leaves start to accumulate on the ground. I'm starting to miss a New England Fall a little bit. Nothing beats New England in the Fall. The rich colors within the trees. The apple picking, and all the apple and pumpkin recipes. I got my favorite Fall/Winter Drink mix in the mail. I'm seriously contemplating bringing all my Fall decorations out and going to town! 

I must restrain myself. I have one more week until the kids go back to school in person. Then I think I shall take my sweet time and enjoy the creativity, the alone time. I'm finding joy in the slowdown. The blissful contentment in taking time to create something. UNINTERRUPTED.

I'm a firm believer in having Mommy breaks. A few hours, a couple days to yourself to make sure you are rested, filled up again. I thrive on it. I'm looking forward to some of that soon. 

Also excited to see what I come up with during that time. 



In the meantime. Let's get into Fall! 

What's your favorite Fall tradition?











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Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Falling or Flying {Remote Learning Update}

 

 

I had a moment. Literally just a moment to sneak in here and tell you how insane remote learning is. I'm basically going back to Kindergarten. I'm so thankful for the teachers and the schools for being so flexible, patient and understanding of how our kids are doing during this. We only are set to do it for the first month. I'm hoping and praying they do not extend it ..because... honestly. I'm dying! I'm not ashamed to say that this is the absolute worst. My kid is not the sit down and listen type. At least not in this setting. I literally have to sit next to him all day long to make sure he learns something from his teacher. 

Every day I'm just so thankful to survive the day. I know all the schools are doing things differently. How are you doing things? Are you in person learning? Strictly remote learning? How are you surviving?

On a side note when you are stuck at home doing remote learning you might as well be comfy and cute. These pants are by far my favorite. I have collected 3 different colors new and they are all perfect for fall. They are so versatile. Clearly, because you guys have seen them multiple times. Whats your favorite color to wear for fall?








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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Back to {HOME} School

 We are in full swing of back to school stuff here. I really hate the unknown! Which I'm sure you can understand fully how terrible 2020 has been on my brain. I like to have all the information so I can make informed decisions. But It's really no different than being a military wife. Over a decade of being an army wife has prepared me for this pandemic!... Kinda...

 All the schools are doing things so differently. Even here all the counties are doing things differently. We were told later then everyone else that we will be doing remote learning for the first month then they will reevaluate. That answer doesn't help. Another month of the unknown. We literally have been mastering this "one day at a time" mentality. 

I haven't bought any back to school clothes. I attempted to buy "supplies" after a list was posted. Then this morning got a new list and didn't need a good chunk of the supplies. I know its frustrating for everyone across the country. It just feels so aggravating. So I think I'm just going to not do anything until the last minute. The perfect time to showcase my procrastination skills. Another thing I am really good at!


In the mean time while I get my end of summer and fall/winter act together enjoy the last few summer looks in the next few days/weeks! 










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Thursday, August 6, 2020

The End.

 I've been thinking about new things to write about. I've been drawing a blank. My thoughts are so jumbled together at the moment that the only way to think clearly is to write out lists. Do one thing at a time. One thought at a time. Then you do the next thing. Which reminds of me that song in Frozen 2. Do the next right thing. 

School is starting soon and I can't deal with the conversations anymore. It's all exhausting. 2020 has been so exhausting. There's so much negativity and toxic words just in the air. I even feel like a broken record just blogging about it now.
I keep thinking of the movie "Tomorrowland" at the end of the movie the reason there was no hope for humanity was because all they ever did was completely consume themselves with the negative in the world. "Wars, famine, global warming, Save the dolphins, save the bees, save the children!"

With all the negativity you snuff out the light, the hope. It's not all fire and brimstone folks. There's love, compassion, truth, grace, mercy etc. 

I'm taking myself out of that narrative. I'm pulling a Taylor Swift. 

"Look what you made me do" 

I don't watch the news. 

I don't believe its the END of the world. However, every day we come closer to it. 

I won't go down the rabbit holes of conspiracy theories. 

I won't live in fear. But I will wear a mask.

 

The End. 

 









 



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Friday, July 10, 2020

Real Talk

 I'm ready for some normalcy. I feel like I've been stuck in this house for years. I know I have done some traveling. I'm getting ready for my 4th trip out of the home in a couple of weeks. But it still feels like I have cabin fever. Maybe it's the uncertainty of things still. "I want to go to this place but are they open?" and "What are the new hours of this place?" or "Why are the store still out of stock of so many things?" I can't even get my kids some shorts because I can't find them. You can't try anything on so you have to make multiple trips back to the store to return things. Only to find they are now out of stock of all those items. I know, I know real world problems here. There are people dying all over the country. There are people out of jobs and yes Black lives do matter! 
There's a call for some normalcy and a call for some change. This is the most chaotic, abnormal, strange, anxious, depressing year ever. 
We leave in this new uncertainty. This is our new normal. All those feelings I just mentioned. That's how I felt this whole week. I swung my mood around so crazy my own head was spinning. 
Now that I'm coming back down to my own reality. I am realizing some things. 
You have to fight for the good not just for other people. For yourself, in yourself. It's literally a constant battle. We are taking a hard look at ourselves and we have to fight to change it. Change all the negative in your life. Even the negative you tell yourself when you're alone. You whisper it to yourself. You hear the words in your head. 

Stop comparing.
Stop criticizing.
You are not a failure.
Block and shut down the things that trigger you. Trigger those bad feelings. 
Confront the bad feelings in a relationship. 
Take everything one step at a time.
Be productive in the smallest things.
Be optimistic instead of pessimistic.
Feel the joy in everything around you.

Walk, run, sleep, watch a sunset/sunsrise
Plan a trip
Make something/ Be creative
Dance
Laugh.


Matthew 11:28 
Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Hebrews 4:11
Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest so that no one will fall. 



...and well all else fails turn your dress into a duster/vest/jacket.

Have a great weekend all!





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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

We did a thing... {Dave Ramsey Update}


 As many of you may already know we are big Dave Ramsey people. In a post from last year {almost 1 year exactly} we paid off all our debt. It was probably the millionth time we had paid off our credit card. We paid off a personal loan. We then moved on to putting money away for an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey calls for $1,000 for emergencies right off the bat. Then move onto saving up 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies. If you don't have job stability it's best to save up the 6 months expenses. That's all the money you NEED to survive if you were to lose your job. Thankfully with the army the hubby's job is secure enough that we did the 3 months plus the $1,000 emergency fund. 
Once that was all done we started work on our new goal. A new car for yours truly. There wasn't anything majorly wrong with my old one. It was in fact old and things were slowly falling apart and not working well anymore. We needed an upgrade, badly. After listening to many Dave Ramsey podcasts and binging Financial peace University we were confident that we were going to save up the money and buy a new {used} car in cash. 
We had told a lot of our family and friends that we were doing this. Not to brag or anything. Just so they could go along on this journey with us. Rooting us on from the sidelines and celebrating with us when it came down to get the car. 
We picked up doordashing on the side. Thankfully it was very lucrative during the quarantine and we were able to move our timeline up.. A LOT! Our plan originally was save as much as we could and by next February tax refund time we could get a new car. We decided on a budget and went hardcore. We were out almost every single day delivering food to hungry people. Some of them not so nice. But we did it! We even brought the kids along a lot of the time and they absolutely hated it. But they saw their parents hustling for a goal. It was a teachable moment for sure. Between the stimulus money, money from our move, saving from our paycheck and supplementing our income with delivering food we moved our timeline up 8 whole months!!
I still can't believe we did it. I still can't believe this shiny new car is sitting in my garage. 

Dave Ramsey also had some helpful tips on buying used cars and negotiating with dealerships. Our first test run didn't go so well. We ended up walking away. We got what they call "sticker shock". Not realizing the crazy taxes and dealer fees that get added on to the price. We felt defeated and almost didn't want to look again. We put it off for another week. We kept doordashing in the mean time just in case we needed to up our original budget. We went back to the drawing board and researched the car we wanted in our vicinity. There was this particular car from the beginning that had been hanging around the AUDI dealership. It wasn't my first choice because it's a 2016 and I wanted something a little newer. Did you know the value of a new vehicle can drop by more than 20 percent after the first 12 months of ownership. Then, for the next four years, you can expect your car to lose roughly 10 percent of its value annually.
NEVER BUY NEW! Unless you are rich and can do what you want I guess. 
But for us small town folk. It's a pretty ridiculous notion. 
We walked in and asked for this car specifically. They brought it around we test drove it and we practiced our negotiation skills in the car on the way over. We knew what he would say and we knew what we were going to say. They gave us their first offer and we declined. We told them another number and he went in the back {wherever they go} to work on the numbers. 
He came back right at our budget "out the door" all taxes included. It even has a 2 year warranty on it and we treated way better at the dealership then the other one. 
Then I pulled out my checkbook and wrote the biggest check of my life. 
It can be done folks! You can work hard, save and be patient and buy a car in cash. You don't have to have car payments. As much as anyone will try and tell you to finance. 
You don't HAVE to be in debt!



The kids can't wait to ride in it. We haven't let them yet. I'm afraid to get it dirty.




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