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November 29, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Dogwood: Bill, You are absolutely right, I had several discussions with him, but he does not see things the same way as me. I see that he is not taking the right path to total trust in God. I can't make him to see or understand, whereas, I feel very hurt in the meantime.

Bill: Dogwood: I am sure you have been quite hurt through all this. I admire you for keeping your commitment despite the pain and for staying productive in the midst of all the chaos.

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November 29, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Little Magpie: Bill - Good Evening

Bill: Hi Little Magpie. How are you tonight? And how is your brother?

Little Magpie: Bill - He said he was okay when he sent me the text and he sprained his wrist... He has a lot of bumps and bruises. I haven't spoken to him verbally

Bill: Little Magpie: All said and done, that seems pretty minor.

Bill: Little Magpie: How was Thanksgiving?

Bill: Hi Swan

Swan: Hello all

Little Magpie: Bill - it was more than it sounds like.

Little Magpie: Swan - Hello

Little Magpie: Bill - Thanksgiving was quiet. Just 6 of us adults and neither of my d's

Little Magpie: Dogwood - Hello

Dogwood: Hi Bill, how are you doing? Have not come to the Wednesday chart for a long time. Have you moved?

Dogwood: Hi Little Magpie how are you?

Dogwood: Bill-- do you have Lisa's email address? And how is Jim Conway doing?

Bill: Hi Dogwood. Great to hear from you. I am doing well. We have moved and we are loving it. In fact, I am sitting on the fly bridge of the boat at this moment overlooking the harbor on a remarkably calm evening.

Dogwood: Swan-- Hi, hope you had a nice thanksgiving

Little Magpie: Bill - That sounds wonderful

Dogwood: Bill, yes, that sounds really nice. I love waters!

Little Magpie: Swan - How was Thanksgiving? I had planned on coming that night but forgot

Bill: Dogwood and all: Jim Conway is doing pretty well. He and Jan have a great relationship. It is inspiring watching them take care of each other. They both understand pain from the past and the hope that is Jesus. They also share a common passion to help others find their way. Unfortunately, Jim is experiencing memory issues as well as some dizziness. It is hard for me to remember he is in his eighties because he will always be a force of nature in my heart.

Swan: Dogwood, I did have a nice day, I was off work, my son, daughter in law and grandson went to her parents, my daughter and son in law were with his family. I enjoyed the quiet time. My daughter in law brought me a plate, so I had Thanksgiving dinner. I had chat open for a couple hours, Bluesky came in and we chatted, but she was the only one. How was your Thanksgiving?

Bill: All: I feel very privileged to have the view I do and on nights like this it is pretty amazing. Lights are shining off the water, the sunset is beautiful and both water and wind are calm. Pretty cool.

Swan: Bill - I don't think Jim admits he is in his eighties, the last time we had a MLD retreat, he was jumping around and acting like a young sprout, he is so much fun to be around. I am glad to hear he is doing well and sad he is having memory issues, he has so much valued knowledge and experience to share to help others. He and Jan are cute!

Dogwood: Bill, Recently, I realized that H, although he has returned to our bedroom but not really back home yet. Because he still goes out every evening to OW's place to watch ball games with a "group" of friends. He said that is the only activity he can socialize and relax, not to "think about" any of his frustrating business matter. He seems to tell me to not to bothering him, and he said that he knows what he is doing is necessary for his health (he had a couple TIAs); he claims that he is not engaging in any inappropriate behavior. This drives me crazy. I told him that I don't know how long I can handle this behavior.

Bill: All: The other thing we are enjoying is time with our loved ones. One reason we moved onto a boat was so it would be easier to be gone. As a result, we added days to our last two trips to see our kids and grandkids. Got to spend Thanksgiving with oldest son and his family, spent way too much time playing "corn hole" with my youngest grandson and created memories with granddaughters over dancing, gymnastics, homemade wristbands and legos.

Little Magpie: Bill - Those memories are to be cherished. How are your folks?

Bill: Dogwood: First, let me say how proud I am of you hanging in with your H. Your story is a vivid example of how complicated MLC can be. Just about the time you think you have one area figured out, perplexing behaviors and discussions interrupt your mind, emotions and well-being. Some of what your H is saying may be true but you can only justify all of it through the lens of a MLC. It does sound like there has been some movement - am I hearing that correctly?

Dogwood: Swan, I had a nice time, I did most the cooking, and my daughter and son-in-law came to the house and she brought some dishes as well. My turkey turned out really well this time. Was a little nervous because I just completed the kitchen remodel and had new oven and microwave built in on Monday before Thanksgiving, had to learn how to use the new appliances, cook-tops as well. Interesting enough that H thought it was too stress for him, where he did not do any work, but just watched me. I cleaned up the entire kitchen cabinets, drawers up to the day of Thanksgiving, also was working everyday as well.

Bill: Little Magpie: My folks are about the same. Fortunately, we had no crises during our last trip. Dad is stable and mom is steady. They are showing signs of aging with each year but their health is holding up for the time being.

Little Magpie: Bill - that is good to hear.

Bill: Dogwood: I am glad Thanksgiving went well. Your description of your H's stress reminds me of how much energy gets stolen by emotional turmoil in life. MLC is one of the most intense emotional rollercoaster’s on earth and it is amazing how much less MLCers can accomplish than those who are focused.

Swan: Dogwood - Actually many going through MLC find gatherings stressful, it isn't the responsibilities they might or might not have, but the business that is going on around them. They seem to get mentally wound up in the go of others and cannot relax, it seems the movement of others causes their brains to go into hyper mode and they lose track of thought and no matter how they try not to see or be a part of the movement, and it becomes chaos for them.

Little Magpie: Dogwood - Wow, what a blessing to have your new updated kitchen!!! Glad things (Thanksgiving Dinner) turned out wonderfully

Dogwood: Bill, I believe that H should make a clean-up and decisively return home, but he does not want to make drastic change, also, he says that he no longer has any other social groups anymore. His basic problem is that he is still "searching for happiness" in his life, after failed business pursue. He still tries to find out the meaning of life and is totally disappointed about his life. Although he had the highest academic degree, but he was not content, wanted to do something more but unfortunately, things do not happen as the way he expected.

Dogwood: Little Magpie, I was okay with my old kitchen, but H kept on complaining the tile countertop and sink. So, I went alone with his wish, and had it all done. Felt good to get every drawers and dishes totally cleaned.

Little Magpie: Dogwood - It still sounds wonderful!

Dogwood: Bill, It is also the symptom of depression. H told me that little things bother him and give him stress.

Bill: Dogwood: Your logic is flawless. There are numerous, strong reasons for your H making a clean break with his current lifestyle, returning to the marriage without reservation and pursuing a focused future with you. It would be easier on him, easier on you and influential on your entire family. Unfortunately, people are not logical creatures during much of their lives. The Bible makes it clear that the real issue of men and women is the heart. The heart is deceptive and self-destructive. When Jesus gets a hold of our hearts, we begin to desire better for ourselves, our loved ones and even our enemies. Apart from a vibrant relationship with Christ, the heart will take us to places we would never recommend to others.

Little Magpie: Dogwood - I have gone thru that and am still fighting the anxiety. I skipped a Christmas Decorating party at church last night that I wanted to be part of because I was too stressed/anxious to go.

Dogwood: Swan, I guess your understanding is correct. It is hard for them to handle surroundings when they are depressed with one thing and single focus which does not meet their expectations

Dogwood: Little Magpie, Understand. Some people want to be with people all the time, whereas others can't stand the crowd.

Little Magpie: Dogwood - I understand.

Bill: All: One of the trends of humanity we all need to fight is self-absorption. We are all so concerned for ourselves (and we should be) that a consistent temptation exists to focus too much on ourselves. We begin to think that everyone is watching, everyone has an opinion about us, everyone can see through us, everyone is dangerous, etc. Jesus hit this head on when he said that greatness comes from serving others and Paul challenges us to consider others as more important than ourselves (Phil 2). It isn't that God wants us to ignore our needs, it is just that we all tend to over focus on us.

Swan: Dogwood - Curious, does your husband actually use the kitchen appliances? Could it be that he made the upgrades for you, but rather than admit it was to make things easier and better for you, he complained about surface things like countertops and sinks? Often men show they appreciation, love and concern for others by buying, building, etc. Also, that he goes to watch sports, here is a thought, sports even though they are busy, they are also brain numbing, the watcher doesn't really have to be "on" mentally, they can get lost in the action of the players. Also, is there drinking involved at these gatherings? People often do not like to drink alone, even those deeply addicted, so company is often required.

Dogwood: Bill, You are absolutely right, I had several discussions with him, but he does not see things the same way as me. I see that he is not taking the right path to total trust in God. I can't make him to see or understand, whereas, I feel very hurt in the meantime.

Bill: Dogwood: I am sure you have been quite hurt through all this. I admire you for keeping your commitment despite the pain and for staying productive in the midst of all the chaos.

Dogwood: Swan, there is no heavy drinking involved. He told me that he enjoy watching games with others who knows a lot about all sports, involving in the conversation and hearing their comments that would take his thoughts away from his own hurts and frustration where he has no control over.

Little Magpie: All - I haven't been sleeping and have spent a lot of time awakening/awake during the night. I am heading out, please shoot up an arrow prayer if you remember. Thank you

Dogwood: Bill, so, is your suggestion for me to lift my eyes up from the circumstances and his behavior and get involves in other things?

Little Magpie: Dogwood - I know he may not be too open to it but how about hosting?

Swan: Dogwood - makes sense, the sports are just a way for him to not have to focus and having others there doing the same ensures the thoughts and worries of life don't sneak in and steal his mindless entertainment. I agree with Bill and also admire your for keeping your commitment even in the face of the hurt you are feeling.

Bill: All: Since I am the male representative in this conversation, let me give my two cents on sports. There is much about athletic competition that appeals to us men. We love the intensity of it, the focused strategy, the feats of physical prowess and the competitive nature of the event. We have a strong sense in our hearts that life is competitive but it is hard to find an outlet that is appropriate. We don't want to "defeat" our wives, our kids or our friends so we join in the athletic journey as a way of expressing the competitive side of our nature. For most men, it is just more fun to follow the game with friends than try to experience the competition alone. Of course, many men get this out of focus or out of control.

Bill: Dogwood: I think the principle that applies is asking the question, "Who is the most important person in the room

Bill: MLCers like to think they are the most important person and make all decisions for their benefit. In this case, you are the important person in the room because you are adding stability and integrity into your family. You should, therefore, do what keeps you strong and helps you focus on the good things in your life while you pray and wait.

Little Magpie: All - Thank you and have a blessed rest of the week. It was nice "seeing" all of you. Night

Dogwood: Bill, Thank you for sharing the perspective on watching sports. H did say that he loves to watch sports competition, but sometimes, he laments that it is a thrill to see the athletics succeed, but gets depressed to see himself unsuccessful in his pursuits...

Bill: Dogwood: There is always a "danger" of us ordinary humans watching supremely gifted people performing. It is easy to compare ourselves and judge ourselves negatively. In my experience, this is not usually a primary response. I believe your H is already running the failure script over and over in his head long before the game begins. He then uses the event to strengthen his conclusion. This is a good example of a conclusion of the heart. He knows in his mind that he is smart, talented and decisive (evidenced by his call to redo the kitchen). His heart is lagging behind what he knows.

Dogwood: Bill, thanks for listening to me complaining. It helps me to know others understand

Bill: Dogwood: Let's call it venting rather than complaining. Your pain is real and I know it helps to say it to others. Bless you!

Dogwood: Bill, Yes, I always need to check with you or Christian counselor about my thoughts and how I should be thinking. I really need the wisdom from above to go through every day. Thanks

Swan: Dogwood - I agree it is more venting and searching for answers in the chaos spinning around you, that is what we are here for, come and vent with us anytime, we will listen, offer our views and lift you up in prayer.

Dogwood: Swan and Bill, I know it is time to leave. I appreciate you both to take time to help me out. Good night.

Swan: Dogwood - I will keep you in prayer, you have a lot on your plate, try not to allow it to drag you down

Bill: Good night. May God lead with his grace and strength. See you next week.

Swan: Night all

Dogwood: Bill, thanks, yes, the grace and strength to carry us all the time

Dogwood: Bill, You are absolutely right, I had several discussions with him, but he does not see things the same way as me. I see that he is not taking the right path to total trust in God. I can't make him to see or understand, whereas, I feel very hurt in the meantime.

Bill: Dogwood: I am sure you have been quite hurt through all this. I admire you for keeping your commitment despite the pain and for staying productive in the midst of all the chaos.

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