5 Reasons That I Appreciate Guest Bloggers

IMG_0861When I first started my blog, I would often look for opportunities to guest blog or have some selected guests post articles on my blog. I frequented Blogger Linkup to find them. It was a great resource, and the start to something positive. I am so grateful to my guest bloggers. Some of them have posted multiple articles. Others have read my blog on their own and wanted to contribute. I am appreciative of them for these reasons:

  1. I have contributors as well as readers. I always say that if at least one person reads my blog and learns some helpful information, that makes me happy. I actually have more visitors and readers from outside of the United States! That means I’m reaching readers globally.
  2. Being too busy or too distracted to write. Being a mom, wife, and full-time employee, there are times that I have to put writing on hold. Guest posts “fill in the gaps” and keep readers interested.
  3. Establishing relationships. I have met some awesome bloggers that I have learned a great deal from by reading their posts. As I mentioned, some of them have contributed multiple articles.
  4. Variety.  My blog mainly discusses parenting, health, and relationships, but there are also posts that discuss fashion, the occult, and religion.
  5. A different prospective.   Sometimes, it’s refreshing to get different outlooks on life from young and upcoming writers as well as those that are seasoned.

I look forward to bringing more personal posts in addition to more guest posts to Have Faith and Live Well. Happy reading!

Caring for Kids During a Divorce

Check out this post by Georgina Evans.

Going through a divorce is a tough time for the two individuals deciding to walk in separate directions. However, when there are kids involved, this puts extra strain on the situation. There are ways of dealing with this big event in a sensible and restrained manner. The divorce will affect every kid differently; they may be shocked, frustrated, upset and angry. This is why it is so important to make sure that the kids get every inch of support that they need. It is essential that both parents put their differences aside when dealing with the children. Make sure they know that they are loved and things will get easier. This guide is here to offer a template to how to deal with this situation in the benefit of your children.

Breaking the news

There is never an easy way to break such news, but it is best if possible for both parents to be present in the discussion. This enables the children to ask questions to both parties and offers a clear understanding of the situation. The conversation will be different for whatever age the kids are and their level of maturity, etc. In whatever case, it is vital for the parent to persist that what has happened is between them and is not the children’s fault in any way.

Restrain from conflict in front of the kids

For the sake of the children’s well being, it is best to keep heated discussions away from them. It will just escalate their worries and will upset them further. Legal talk should be kept well away from the kids also. It is not fair to discuss such matters in front of them. To make it easier for the kids, it is important to converse such matters in privacy.

Avoid disruption to routines

If parents stir up the usual daily routines due to the divorce, this disruption will add to the child’s confusion of the situation. Home life will be unsettled at this time, so keeping the usual routine going offers the children stability and structure. Children yearn stability so it is key to continue this. Undoubtedly there will be some occasions that you may have to disrupt the child’s daily routine, but it is vital to keep this to a minimum to avoid further upset.

Both parents must stay involved

An imperative point about caring for the children during a divorce is that it must be an equal and shared responsibility of both parents. They must both stay engaged in the kid’s lives to reinforce their parental figures. This will assure the kids that just because the parents will not be together anymore, this does not mean the child will not see them.

No negativity to one and other

It is important to confine blame about each other to discussions with friends or family away from the home, or therapy sessions if the parents so wish to do so. Conversing about personal issues with one another in front of sensitive ears can impact on the children’s views and feelings towards both parents. Hearing the parents being bitter towards each other will distress the kids and add more confusion to a situation they will find hard to grasp an understanding of.

Do not seek advice from the kids

Adults will need thorough support from friends, family and professionals during this upsetting time of separation. It is unfair to seek out support from your kids, as this will be offering them a biased view on the divorce. The kids may appear like they want to give you support, but for their sakes it is best to restrain from this. Perhaps discuss it with them when they are older and more mature to deal with the topic of discussion.

Dealing with kids reactions

Depending on their age and personalities, all kids will act differently. However in most circumstances, the parents must be prepared for lots of questions. The children may feel guilty and scared. It is imperative to keep the child reassured and be clear about what is going to happen. Some kids may not react straight away, so in this situation it is important to let the child be aware that they can talk to you whenever they feel ready to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Dating After 35

My single and divorced friends will often call me for dating advice. It’s comforting when they actually listen to it. Some will ask for my advice and then do the opposite thing. Then they come back sad and disappointed. Dating doesn’t get any easier when you’re 35 and older, but you can still be successful. Here are some tips:

  1. There are still good men out there. Some women say that they are by themselves because men today don’t have anything to offer. That may be true to a certain extent, but it works both ways. What do you have to offer? How picky can you be when you’re unemployed, living with your parents, and don’t own your own car? Think about it. You may be hurt by what I’ve said, but you have to consider those things. You may be looking for a lawyer, but that “good man” may be a bus driver taking college courses in political science. You never know.
  2. Pray about it. God knows all of our wants and our needs. Talk to Him about it. There are many biblical references for this (i.e. I Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 37:4; Philippines 4:6).
  3. Stop obsessing about your ex. You may feel that you invested a lot of time in that relationship, but he did as well. Your ex had moved on with someone new, so you should do the same. That is the reason that they are called “exes”. You forgive them and move on. Don’t keep allowing them to hurt you over and over again. That obsession will take control of your life, and you will not be able to move forward.
  4. Don’t just focus on one guy. If you’re divorced and ready to start dating again, don’t just focus on one guy. You may find him attractive, but you don’t know anything about him. In 2014, a man can be gay, straight, bisexual, or transsexual. Unless he’s up front about it, it’s not good to assume until you get to know him. Get to know one another and see what things that you have in common. If it doesn’t lead to a relationship, you’ll at least have a friendship. This isn’t about sex; the more men that you meet, the better your chances of finding one that you’re compatible with.
  5. Continue to live life to the fullest. Don’t put all of your focus on dating. Typically, if you’re involved in outside activities and causes that you are passionate about, chances are that you’re meeting people with similar interests.
  6. Stop thinking that nobody is “good enough”. It so easy for you to believe that now that you have a successful career, a fantastic house, the car, and the beauty that no man can meet your standards. Whether or not you want to admit it, you need that companionship. You get tired of coming home to an empty house. I’ve heard so many stories of women that always talk about how many men are pursuing them; yet they are not interested in any of them.   Stop faking. Just like you, every man is going to have his flaws in addition to his outstanding characteristics. It’s all about what you can live with.

 

I hope that these tips are helpful. Some of you may not like what I had to say, but these are the things that I’ve noticed and believe should be said. Remember to stay positive. Marriage can work if two people are compatible.

10 Ways for Stay-at-home Moms to Relax and De-stress

It has its rewards; however, things can be overwhelming sometimes for a stay-at-home mom. Are you always doing things for others with little or no time left for yourself? Here are some ways to relax and de-stress:

  1. Tell others when you feel overwhelmed. They may not like what you have to say, but it is better to express how you feel. You don’t want to hold your feelings in and lash out at a later time. Calmly express your feelings. It’s always nice to HEAR that you’re appreciated for all that you do.
  2. Pamper yourself. Go get a massage, manicure, or pedicure. Go to the beauty salon. If you don’t want to go to the spa, there are things you can do at home. For instance, you can take a long bubble bath, light some scented candles, or give yourself a facial. When you look good, you feel good.
  3. Exercise.  Physical activity relieves stress and burns calories.
  4. Take time to see friends. I typically get together with friends at least once a month for dinner or other activity. It gives us a chance to talk and catch up.
  5. Accept those invites. If you get invited to a party or event, go if you don’t have other plans.  It’s a privilege to be included.
  6. Go shopping. This is always fun for those that enjoy it. Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, and DSW Shoes always send me coupons.
  7. Have daily quiet time. I either do it first thing in the morning or in the evening. Sometimes I do it twice daily. This is the time that I use to brainstorm, pray, write in my journal, and do meditation.
  8. Have date nights. When you can get a babysitter, plan a night out for two. Dinner and a movie always work well. If you both enjoy sports, plan to go to a game.
  9. Plan a getaway. Sometimes you just need a change in scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to a vacation each year, do it. There are so many beautiful places to see, within the U.S. as well as internationally. Life is shorter than you think.
  10. Get a hobby. Find an activity that you’re passionate about. Your hobby could later become a source of income.

When your kids are in school, that gives you time to run errands and relax for a while. If your kids take naps, use that time to catch up on sleep. I rarely have the opportunity to sleep past 6:30am. I’m usually the first to get up most days. Even though I only have one child, he keeps me busy. I treasure our time together. He’s growing up.

Is A Smile Key To A Lasting Relationship? By Richard Buckley

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Surveys on dating websites consistently show that most people value a nice smile as the most attractive physical feature in a partner, but is a smile really the key to a lasting relationship? What can you do to improve the look of your smile?

The importance of your smile

When you see somebody that you know, hear good news, or if you are feeling happy, the first thing you do is to smile. Your smile is the single most important means of communicating with other people. It can help to build relationships, create positive first impressions, and encourage others to feel happy or reassured. If you have a nice smile and you’re not afraid to use it, this enables you to show your personality. You can make others feel at ease in your company and convey your confidence. Past research suggests six out of ten people in long-term relationships consider oral health maintenance more important than other hygiene misdemeanors.

Smiling is important in a relationship because it shows that you are happy in somebody else’s company, and you are open to showing your emotions. Your smile can also show confidence and warmth.

Smiling on the dating scene

Dating is a subject of great intrigue in modern society, as websites, agencies and dating apps have made dating much more commonplace than it used to be. When you go on a date, it’s normal to feel nervous and a little anxious. If you are greeted with a warm smile, this instantly makes you feel better. It’s also important to portray the right impression, as research shows that you make up your mind about somebody in just a few seconds after meeting them.

Smiling is often a barometer of confidence, one of the most attractive characteristics in a partner. If you smile, this creates a positive ambience; however, if you are reticent to smile because you don’t like your teeth or you feel very shy or nervous, this can make dating awkward. You may find it hard to show your true personality. Smiling is synonymous with being friendly, warm and compassionate. If you shy away from smiling, this can make you seem distant and uninterested, even if you are not like that at all.

What can I do to improve my smile?

Many people are not blessed with perfect teeth, but the good news is that there are many treatments out there that can help to improve the look of your smile. You don’t need to spend a fortune or lie for hours in the dental chair to enjoy a great smile. There are simple and quick treatments available, and even making small changes to your diet and oral hygiene regime can make a big difference.

There is a host of exciting and innovative cosmetic dental treatments available today, including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening and cosmetic bonding. The latter is a treatment used to repair chipped and worn teeth, which takes less than an hour and is completely painless.

Seeing a dental hygienist can make a huge difference to the look of your smile; intensive cleaning treatments remove surface stains and give your teeth a lovely, healthy glow.

Many people suffer from orthodontic issues, and this is a common cause of problems associated with lacking confidence when you smile. If your teeth are crooked or crowded, it’s never too late to have treatment. There are so many options available now, from removable appliances, which work in less than 5 months ; there’s invisible aligners, to clear braces, and braces that are attached to the back of your teeth. For further information visit http://www.simplybetterdentistry.com.au/

How to Avoid Getting a Divorce

The best way to avoid getting a divorce is not waiting to seek help when things are not going well.  In my profession a lot of couples decide to come in for counseling as a last resort.  It should be the first.  It is difficult to help a marriage if there is so much anger that neither spouse is willing to listen to the other.  There needs to be positive interaction before each can feel safe to share how they are feeling.  If blaming is predominant it is impossible to share because neither spouse is listening.  They are shut down.

Learning to communicate, listen and validate the other person is essential in building safety.  Doing those things are tough if you have not been taught the skills to do them.  I always tell couples you can leave the relationship, but you still take you with you.  You will just take your baggage with you to the next relationship.  Better to stay and try and work it out.

The DNA of Relationships, by Gary Smalley, is a great book that identifies ways to build a strong marriage. We all have core fears and we react to those fears when we are triggered by events or people.  If we grew up in an unsafe environment then we will view our relationship with others as unsafe.  It is a subconscious belief that we usually are not even aware that we have. It is destructive and it effects the way we see our world.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman identify the 4 predictors of divorce and calls them “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”.  They are criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling.  These are all signs of dysfunctional interaction in relationships. If you are experiencing any of these then it is a sign that your marriage is in trouble.  Get some professional help.

If you want to avoid divorce, treat your spouse with love and respect.  Don’t have unrealistic expectations and don’t expect them to make you happy.  They make mistakes and we can’t fall apart every time they let us down.

Good relationships don’t just happen. It takes work to build solid, lasting, secure, and loving marriages. Use the resources available to empower you and your spouse and do the things you need to do to heal your relationship.  It will be worth it.

Vickie Parker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

To read more of my blogs or make an online counseling appointment visit my web site @ vickiemft.com

Finding A Mate

A lot of single women ask me my opinion about finding a mate.  There are a lot of single women, whether divorced, separated, or never been married, that would like to have a great guy in their life.  The first thing that I tell them is to know what you want.  I made a list as a matter of fact when I was single.  I remember a godly man with intelligence and a sense of humor topped the list.  I must say that he exceeded my expectations.  Sure, no man is perfect, but neither are we. If you’re divorced, don’t blame yourself.  Learn and grow from the experience.

We can sometimes overlook a good man because we are so wrapped up in the physical.  No, I’m not saying that you should date a troll, but  give a guy a chance if he’s a little chubby or a little shorter than you.  Especially if you have a lot in common.  I’ve met many men that are sexy, but they are very flawed in other areas.  Sexy doesn’t pay the bills.  Sexy won’t matter if he’s cheating on you or taking his frustrations out on your face.  I tell women as long as you find him attractive, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks.

It’s wonderful to have a man that is also your friend.  You can talk for hours when you’re together, no matter how deep the conversation.  You should have similar religious views, values, and the same attitude about family. If you want to have kids, you don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t want them.  Also, if your man wants you to be a stay-at-home mother, but you want to have a career, those are vast differences.  If you’re having major issues before you get married, they’re only going to get worse.  Also, you want a man to be supportive.  He shouldn’t bad-mouth you behind your back or embarrass you in public. You should be respectful of him as well.  Marriage is a team effort.

Lastly, when you finally meet that special man, make the marriage work.  Remember that you take vows before God.  When problems arise, communication is very important.  Don’t be selfish and beware of the many temptations that are out there.  (That’s another discussion).