|Partners in Change|
What is your perception about relationship? What are your expectations? These are important questions. When you and your partner understand relationship provides the opportunity to learn, grow and mature, you will see relationship in a new way. You will no longer believe that if your partner would change, you could have the relationship you have always dreamed of having. You will be looking for ways YOU can change and grow. You will look for a partner who is willing to learn and grow as well.
Relationship is difficult for everyone! Everyone has disagreements, misunderstandings, periods of feeling unloved. We are all unique and different from each other. A realistic approach to relationship
includes looking for a partner interested in learning, growing and changing with you as you both mature. You will share what you are learning. You will encourage each other and focus on each other’s strengths. You will share growth, appreciation and wonder. That is what makes love grow.
YOU WILL BE PARTNERS IN CHANGE instead of TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR PARTNER!
The ocean 100 feet outside our bedroom window
If you love the ocean like we do, you can find your perfect getaway place along the Oregon coast. We rediscovered ours this week. Three years ago we drove down the Oregon coast returning from visiting friends who live at Lake Bay, Washington near Gig Harbor. We stayed at Seaside the first night, Yachats the second night and Brookings the third night, all without reservations. I wrote blogs about all three which you can look up by checking “older blogs” at the end of the most recent blogs.
All of those places were wonderful , but our stay at Yachats made me vow to come back when we could stay longer. We selected a week at the end of July, rearranged obligations and appointments and planned our trip. We decided to make reservations, because we were traveling on a weekend. That turned out to be a good decision, because a big country music festival was scheduled on the coast south of Bandon that weekend. Ten thousand people expected to attend.
We decided to spend two nights at Yachats. We had a room on the third floor just one hundred feet from the ocean. The ocean’s rthymic beating against the waves growing louder at high tide and getting softer and dimmer at low tide soothed us into deep healing sleep. That first night the Adobe Resort miraculously became our favorite getaway place surpassing our decades long favorite, the Sea Ranch. A big bonus is an affordable restaurant not more than fifty feet from the water with windows all around and gourmet food. After the first night we made arrangements to add another night to our stay. We had to change rooms the third night, but the new room was just as lovely as the first one had been.
A beautiful mile long trail beside the ocean ends at a gorgeous large white sand beach. Several vacation apartments and motels access the trail, The Fireside Motel, Overleaf Lodge and Spa, as well as the Adobe Resort. I can’t guarantee good weather, but we have had beautiful weather this year and when we were on the Oregon coast three years ago. We feel like we have hit the jackpot. I wish you the same kind of luck.
Do you ever wonder if the electronic age has helped or hurt families? When I see families in restaurants and the mother, father, and each youngster has an electronic device in his/her hand, I wonder if they miss opportunities to talk to each other. I am often asked if I think children are losing communication skills. A loving caring family can be the foundation for developing healthy self-love, confidence, and courage in a frightening, immoral, and Godless world.
One morning at Wally’s timeshare in Carson Valley, Nevada, Everett and I met an eighty-one year old man in a hot pool. His eyes sparkled as he told us a story about his immigrant parents who came to the United States early in the twentieth century. They bought a piece of land on an isolated hilltop in Colorado and built a cabin there. They worked hard to support themselves and their four children. He finished his story by saying, “I think of my mother and father every day. They give me the courage to hang on in spite of injuries I have suffered while working as a truck driver. My mother gave me a strong faith in God. I learned to be financially responsible and to save a little for retirement while supporting a wife and four children.
The blessings go both ways. If you prioritize your family and your faith, they will probably continue to admire and respect you when you are old. This truck driver bought a large comfortable car and took his Mother and one of her friends back to the hill in Colorado where the old homestead had been built. He said she was excited as she shared memories of those early days. His own face lit up as he remembered how perfect his gift to his mother had been. I wonder if he would have created this dream trip if he and his parents had been lost in their electronic devices instead of interacting with each other when the children were growing up.
Was This the Best One Yet at Sea Ranch?
We left the Sacramento area when the weather man was predicting the first hot week of late spring. We have a timeshare at Wally’s Hot Springs near Genoa, Nevada. We never tire of going to this wonderfully rural place where we can watch deer, geese, cows, and other animals birth and grow their young. This week the mild weather dominated conversations.
Time has passed and our ageing has accelerated. In the past we enjoyed fishing at nearby lakes and streams, hiking on numerous mountain trails and playing tennis. Now sitting in the hot mineral water pools every morning is high on our to do list. We bring books to read and writing projects. The
Flamingo Casino in nearby Carson City has wonderful champagne brunches on Saturdays and Sundays. People who can get in and out of a casino without wasting money on tight machines can enjoy the brunch.
A walking path from Wally’s leads to Genoa, the first stage coach stop in Nevada. A beautiful little park, located in the center of town features concerts in the summer. The last weekend in September every year, rows of craft vendors line every street, the park, and even fields. This craft fair called, “The Candy Dance Festival” grew from a small money raising project by townspeople to an event that brings thousands of people to Genoa in September. Ladies of the community spend weeks making fudge and divinity to sell. There is still a dance held on Saturday night.
The tiny community church is one of the delightful places we discovered from local people sharing a hot tub with us one Sunday. The service starts at 10 o’clock Sunday mornings, so we had time to get
ready and go after leaving the spa. We have gone back every Sunday we have visited the area. Each time loving members and visitors fill the pews of the church. Getaways like this become a home away from home and do wonders for relationships.
My father believed in authoritarian parenting. Respect and obedience topped his list of values. My husband believes in democratic parenting with parents having ten votes! I believe in teaching children to manage their own behavior in age appropriate ways. That means children need to be heard and emotions recognized. I have always believed my father tried to micro-manage my behavior, thoughts, and emotions. “Get that look off your face” was a part of my training. I am coming to realize I owe a lot to my father even though I don’t approve of his style of parenting. His constant reminder, “Stand up straight. Pull those shoulders back” became a permanent recording in my head. He corrected my grammar even when I prayed aloud. He taught me to love God, manage money, love books, do my best, be kind, memorize scripture, always tell the truth. I never questioned my father’s love. He never withheld hugs and kisses. Papa didn’t say one thing and do another. He stood up straight, put his shoulders back, treated people kindly, gave generously to anyone in need, practiced speaking with good grammar, never swore, loved his parents and siblings, played games with us. He did what he expected us to do. It can be hard to successfully complete the developmental task of becoming independent from strong controlling good parents. It takes time to find the confidence in your own ability to run your life well. After you accomplish that task, you can begin to understand the many things your parents taught you. I thank my father every day for good posture and the many important things I learned from him. I wish I could tell him.
|Joy at a daughter’s wedding|
Joy comes in many forms: feeling free of addiction after months of failed attempts to break the chains, welcoming a dearly loved family member back after a long absence, skin touching skin with a loving spouse, having a purpose, seeing a new grandchild for the first time. In marriage, joy comes off and on, deepening with passing years as each partner learns to let go of fear and a need to change the other.
Greet each day in wonder. Expectations blind us from seeing the beauty of each other. What can I learn today about the amazing complexity of who I am and who my lover is? This is a lifetime challenge.
I have recently finished reading C.S. Lewis’s book Surprised by Joy for the second time. I read it the first time many years ago. Interestingly, what I got out of it this time was different. Joy does not come from seeking it. It comes as a surprise when we are able to finally discover the dimension of the spiritual part of ourselves. Letting go of expectations and opening up to beautiful differences between my self and those around me. Soul mates cannot find joy if they lose their own identity. It comes when we recognize and affirm the beauty in each other without comparison, expectations, and fear.
For more: get Elva’s book: “Becoming Soul Mates”. Order it from Amazon or at http://family1stbooks.com
Do you really know that person who sits across the dinner table day after day? Expectations make us blind to the gift of the person with whom we have chosen to spend our lives. There is no way life is supposed to be. There is only life.
As years go by, I realize some of my husband’s wonderful strengths become lost because I am so focused on what he should do or be. I am reinforcing his own focus on his weaknesses. We all have weaknesses and strengths. If we focus on the strengths we have twice as many as we have alone. Often each of us has the strengths that are our partner’s weaknesses. Wow! If we focus on each other’s strengths we have twice as many as we had alone.
Focus on the gift your partner is rather than the one you thought you wanted. Recognize the unimaginable challenge and opportunity to become more and more mature in faith, in love, and in joy. Embrace that opportunity to grow by accepting and learning from each other. Understand that relationship is the therapeutic process that can lead to satisfying maturity.
For more help order “BECOMING SOUL MATES” by Elva Anson at Amazon or http://www.family1stbooks.com .
Christmas 1977 was like no other Christmas for the Anson family, because instead of numbering our usual five, that year we were six. Nozomu Ishimaru, a 16- year-old from Japan, had joined our family for a year. Everyone had been enthusiastic about his coming , except Carla, our nine-year-old. She had voted against it.
Nombo (Nozomu’s nickname) participated in all our activities with wide-eyed interest. We made our Advent wreath with nuts, pine cones and pine sprigs. The first Sunday in December Nonbo got caught up in the excitement of lighting the first candle in the beautiful wreath that now occupied the center of our kitchen table.
The six of us drove to the mountains where we tramped through the forest trying to choose the most appealing tree out of the hundreds growing there. We spent family nights making ornaments for our gorgeous tree. We transformed clothespins into soldiers, sailors, cooks, skiers, dancing girls and angels. We strung cranberries and popcorn. Tiny lights sparkled from the tree limbs symbolizing the coming Light of the World. The children set up our Christmas barn, manger and hand-carved wooden figures of Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and the animals.
After Grandpa arrived on Christmas Eve, we all went to church to sing carols and to hear the Christmas story. Then we gathered around the tree to put an end to the mystery of closed doors and whispered conspiracies as each colorful Christmas package was opened. Nonbo’s eyes sparkled like the tree lights as each of his thoughtful gifts was opened. He had made a desk organizer for me, a tool chest for Everett, a doll-house for Carla and a magician’s top hat for Eric. He and Carla had gone together to get Janee’ a hamster. Nonbo had built a cage for it.
In our family, after a gift is opened, the receiver runs to the giver and gives him a big hug and thank you. For Nonbo this was a very new experience. Carla’s hug was genuine. Christmas had melted whatever resistance she had felt toward Nonbo. He had truly become her brother.
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