When I’m Overwhelmed

I recently journaled twenty-five things that are wrong in my life right now, that are weighing heavily on my heart and mind and making me feel overwhelmed.

I’m almost 45 years old and I still scramble, not really knowing what to do when life sends these things, one right after another, one on top of another.

So I looked at this list of mine and I read each burden again, but this time through the lens of the Serenity Prayer, one of the many gifts I gained from being a part of AlAnon for almost two years several years back.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

And I asked myself this question for each problem I had jotted down: which of these things can I pray about, and which of these can I pray about AND take some kind of action to improve?

Only seven of the items on my list can I do anything about. So I will. I will take a look at those seven things after a good night’s rest, with a fresh mind, and try to figure out a step or two I can take. I know myself enough to know that when I take even small actions on a problem, it begins to lose its overwhelming-ness over me.

But the rest are not in my power to change in any way. The other eighteen things on my list are out of my hands.

So for those, those I have to give up to God and ask for his help, his wisdom, his intervention, and his mercy in the waiting, for his tenderness towards me and my tenderness […]

By |September 3rd, 2015|faith, heart, pain|0 Comments

I’m Back

After a month of thinking and praying, and after the sweet support of my husband* and encouragement from close friends, I have decided to continue writing, with fresh material starting up again on Mondays and Thursdays beginning tomorrow.

I will not go into the details behind my break other than to say that my heart has always been and continues to be this: to keep helping as many hurting women as I possibly can because I remember the pain as clearly as if it were yesterday and I don’t want another woman to feel alone as she walks through her difficult marriage or as she walks through her divorce or as she walks through single parenting.

A few thoughts though before we jump back in that I feel are important for you, my sweet readers, to know.

When I write, I do my best to relate to as many of you as possible. That is why I write in generalities, and that is why I do not share specific details and names and locations and dates.  In fact, there are three measures I have put into place as safeguards when I write:

One, I sometimes change details. If I am retelling a story from my personal life, I will occasionally change something like the number of children of the person I’m referring to, or the gender, or when it happened, as long as the principle still applies. (By the way, I’m not the only writer who does this.)

Two, I write six to twelve weeks out. Meaning, I may say something in the blog like, “The other day, I…” when in reality, it was more than likely two or three months ago.  This is another protective layer from reality […]

Blog Returns Tomorrow!

And that makes me happy.

By |September 1st, 2015|businessy stuff|1 Comment

MarriageMentor & DivorceMentor

Sweet ones, before I bring the blog back next week – which I’m excited to do – I’ve got another fun announcement for you.

Those of you who are on my email list already got the scoop but I wanted to cast a wider net in case there are some of you who might benefit from this special offer as well.

I often receive emails from you, my readers, asking for specific advice to your very personal life situations, and with over twenty-two hundred women on my email list and over fifteen hundred women in my private Facebook groups, I’m just not able to answer each email the way I wish I could.

So I am super excited to share something new that I’m going to be offering this fall as a way to help some of you ladies in a deeper, more personal way. I’m launching what I’m calling MarriageMentor and DivorceMentor.

MarriageMentor will be for those of you living in difficult marriages and trying to stay with integrity and dignity. We will tackle topics like how to remain respectful, how to know when to get a different kind of help, and how to determine when enough is enough, questions that I’m asked all the time by those of you in hard marriages.

DivorceMentor will be for those of you who have been through your divorce and are longing to move forward in your healing. We will touch on issues that I know you struggle with (because I’ve asked and you’ve told me!) such as how to avoid the cycle of abuse post-divorce, how do you begin to live and thrive and even dream after a marriage dies, and how do you learn to trust again.

It will involve […]

ANNOUNCEMENT: Taking a Blog Break

Sweet readers,

Though I just took a break in July from posting new material, due to personal reasons I feel compelled to let the blog sit quietly for a time while I think through some things.

This hurts me to do this because I know that some of you have been blog readers of mine for over four years and you come here twice a week hoping for fresh encouragement, and to each of you in a hard marriage and going through a divorce and trying to parent on your own, I am sorry for walking away in a season of need.

In the meantime, you can click on www.elisabethklein.com/blog (if you aren’t there right now) and take a look to your right. You can choose a topic that you’re looking for and click on individual categories, or you can read one of my most popular posts under each category:

Hard Marriage:
Do Not Try to Win Your Husband Back (originally posted March 2014)

Abuse:
Abuse is Not Just a Man’s Game (originally posted February 2014)

Separation/Divorce:
Jesus is Not My Boyfriend (originally posted December 2013)

Single Parenting:
Can I Share Stuff with My Kids? (originally posted February 2014)

Dating:
My e-Harmony Profile (originally posted September 2013)

Sadness:
Sweet Girl, Arise (originally posted January 2014)

Also, here is a list of resources that I have created that may help you during this time as well:

A Place for Us: I moderate several private groups on Facebook for additional support. Simply email me at elisabeth@elisabethklein.com, let me know which group you’re interested in, and I’ll let you know what to do from there.

A Place for Us – Married: for women whose marriages are beyond the typical difficult.
A Place for Us – Separated/Divorced: for women who […]

On Mothering & Letting Go

My blog hiatus continues, but I wanted to post today as I have a feeling I’m not the only one processing a child going off to school, whether it be kindergarten or college (like mine). So, from one mom to another, some thoughts to hold onto…

You know how when you buy a new car, you see your exact car all over the place all of the sudden? Well, one of the biggest things on my mind the past few months has been getting ready for my daughter to leave for college. And during this time, I have heard bits and pieces of advice and little one-liners, from all manner of sources, that are helping me process this transition that we’re both going through.

So here’s what I’ve been working through as I prepare to let my sweet baby girl go off into the world…TOMORROW.

First, it’s our job to love our kids; it’s not our kids’ job to love us. Ouch-and-a-half. But think about this, as much as it may initially sting.  They didn’t ask to be born. They didn’t ask to have us as their parents.  We did this to them.  And they come into our lives in whatever form – birth or adoption or fostering or stepchildren  – and we love them and pour our hearts into them and our time and energy and prayer into them.  And they are the recipients.  Yes, they’re cute. Yes, they cuddle and give kisses.  Yes, they say adorable things and draw us pictures that say they love us, and they do…in their precious, little child ways.  And yes, when they get older, hopefully, we have some kind of relationship with them and they love us in […]

Relational Triangles

Relationships of all kinds can be tricky.  But a relationship is between two people. Any kind of relationship is between just two people.  Yes, you can have a group of friends. And yes, you can live in a family with more than two people. But each relationship is one person plus one person, sharing their hearts, giving and taking, when working well, in equal parts.

My job is to take care of my relationships with the people in my life.

It is not my job to help scootch along anyone else’s relationship with someone other than me.

If someone wants a relationship with my children, I will not be the setter-upper. I will not be the driver, if that person can’t drive. I will not be the middle man.

I get questions all the time from readers wanting to know things like, “How can I get my ex-husband and adult son to communicate?”

Umm, you can’t. They’re both grown-ups. You can’t get them to do anything they don’t want to do.

And secondly, you shouldn’t. For the same reason: they’re both grown-ups. And if they want a relationship, they should both be initiating and trying to build or rebuild their relationship. (But in my opinion, one person can only do so much; if the other never responds to the initiating, that is not the fault of the initiator.)

Relationship triangles are a bit like being too attached.  When we detach from someone – with love, which is key – we allow them to experience their own victories and live with their own defeats and consequences.  Just like when we allow two people to have the relationship they’re going to have – without interfering – they can […]

I’m Divorced. Now What??

The first few minutes, hours, and days will envelop you like a fog, whether you’re the leaver or the left.  Trust me.  I stood there before the bench and heard the judge ask my spouse, “Is your marriage over?” and I heard this response: “Yes.” And in my head (after eighteen hard years of marriage and prayers for both healing and release and fifteen months of reconciliation attempts and a legal separation filing on my part), and I screamed, “It is?!?  Since when?!?”  This is called shock.  And it’s completely normal.
So here are a few things I would suggest you do during your first year of being divorced.
For the day of:
Make a plan. Will you go to the courthouse alone or do you want a friend there for support?  Will you go straight home and into bed? Or will you go shopping?  Or get a massage?  Or meet a friend or two for tea or prayer?  Do not just go get divorced.  You will walk out of that courtroom having no earthly idea what to do with yourself if you don’t have a plan for your day.
Within the first couple weeks:
Don’t do anything drastic.   Don’t cut all your hair off.  Don’t get a tattoo of something big and scary and I-am-woman-hear-me-roar on your neck. Don’t buy a sports car. And don’t marry that guy you’ve been inappropriately texting throughout your separation.  You’re a mess right now, even though you don’t think you are…big decisions can and should wait.
Within the first six months:
Take DivorceCare.  I don’t care if you think it’ll be hokey, or not for you, or you’re an introvert, or you’re not “one of those people”, or you don’t think you’re messed up.  Just […]

The Aftereffects of Emotional Abuse

The aftereffects of living under abuse are long and complicated. It’s a bit like a brain tumor that has wrapped itself around the brainstem and all throughout your skull. There’s not just one easy way to undo all that’s been done. There’s no off switch. One of my bosses several years ago told me this in my annual job review: “You rush to make decisions, and then you second-guess yourself to the point of sometimes undoing the entire thing. You might want to look into that.” I spent well over fifteen years second-guessing myself.

I believe this happened for two reasons. First of all, what I thought was my reality was not my reality, for most of my adulthood. So, that totally threw me off base as you might imagine. And secondly, I was told things that made me question myself, like that I was out of my mind or my behavior would be understandable if I were mentally ill. Frankly, and I seriously mean this, I have no idea how I got myself dressed every day, let alone how I raised two children, wrote some books, kept my home looking somewhat decent, traveled to some third-world countries or held down a job. Because I was ninety-five percent emotional mess/five percent functioning adult. It was exhausting and I didn’t know if I were coming or going most of the time.

So now I’m on the other side of it, other than a few tiny blips on the screen that still come up.  (And I sit there stunned and thrown back a few years and forget that I’m a grown-up who can think and talk.) But on this other side – the healing side – I have taken two steps in working through all of the leftover emotional […]

There are No Good Men Out There

Recently on my Facebook writer page, I posted the following:

Relational PSA: Sweet girls, there are good, kind, tender, thoughtful, generous, God-loving men out there, who, hypothetically, may cause you to tear up in gratitude, often, and won’t get tired of you after, also hypothetically, seventy-five or so dates.

And then the responses rolled in:

Really? Sounds like a total pipe dream. I’m glad you have found one, though.

Where???

I sure hope so!

I’ve all but given up completely.

Woman…don’t play with me like that! You have a sighting?

Not really seeing them in my area or online for sure. A single man who catches my eye and who is honorable and honest is a rarity. Sadly, even those who claim to be God-honoring are just as disrespectful and dishonest. And many of my single Christian friends are finding the same in their dating.

Sigh.

I get it. I really do. I recognize the cynicism that is born out of deep betrayal and marriage & divorce pain.  Before I tried online dating, I didn’t think there were any forty-something, Jesus-loving, single men in my area. I just never ran into any.

So, I’m here to officially say a couple things:

Yes, there are immature men out in the world who have no business dating who end up hurting my sweet girls. (And I want to ring their necks.)

But (ugh) men don’t have a corner on the market on jerkiness. There are just as many immature women out in the world who have no business dating who end up hurting some sweet men.  (And I kinda want to, more gently, ring their necks too. Or at least tell them to stop dating and heal up, for their own sakes.)

Both genders are equally sinful, equally capable of hurting […]

By |July 23rd, 2015|dating|7 Comments
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