From Crushed to Soaring

Last week’s post entitled Crushed Confidence, received feedback that revealed the existence of many people who have been wounded and are in need of appreciation, affirmation and encouragement.  Some of these people, are within our sphere of influence.  We shouldn’t underestimate the power that we have to bring relief, hope and joy into their life.   We shouldn’t allow ourselves to think that someone else will come along and do what we should have done.  Is God placing us in the right place at the right time?

 

Your comments on my previous post are very appreciated and they really caused me to consider a few questions.  How is it that hurting souls are all around us and we sometimes don’t notice them?  Why do we hold ourselves back from engaging with others?  How do we let these opportunities to help someone pass by?  This happens for many reasons.  Maybe we are too busy, in a hurry or didn’t even notice the need.  We might be fearful of saying the wrong thing.  We might doubt that a simple gesture will be enough.  Maybe we are too self-absorbed and rarely reach out to another person.  Maybe we genuinely believe that we have nothing to offer.  Sometimes, these situations are complicated and messy and we would rather not invite complication or mess into our lives.  My hope is that all of us will be motivated and encouraged, that we will be willing to slow down and notice the needs of others, that we will organize our lives in a way that it will free up extra time or resources and that we will go into action.  For the individual who has been a bit self-absorbed, it’s time to get off of the me-me-me-go-‘round.  Blessing someone else is gratifying and there is definitely no shortage of opportunities.

 

Who would I reach out to?  Think about those who are in your circle.  Each one of them is good at something and has special gifts.  Now, tell them all about the positive things that you notice in them.  Think of the many people that in some way, serve you.  Is there someone who remembers you in their prayers or follows up with you on something that you previously told them?  Is there someone who is thoughtful or someone who shows concern and checks on you?  Is there someone that is constantly caring for others?  Have you noticed a person who often seems alone?  What about the elderly person at the grocery store or in your neighborhood?  How about the person that you walk past that looks sad or bitter?  If you attend church, how about the ministry workers that work behind the scenes cleaning, praying and protecting or that teacher that is faithfully there to receive your child, week after week?  Don’t forget those that serve right in front of you, but put in hours of preparation each week behind the scene, such as the teachers, music team and media team.  There will be a wounded person who will push you away.  In this case, you might try being a little sneaky and doing some secret kindness.  They won’t be able to push you away but they will be blessed immensely by knowing that someone truly cares about them.  It might be the very thing to penetrate through that thick wall that they have built up around themselves.

 

Some might ask, “What do I have to give?” There are no skills required to say hello and offer a smile, a kind word or a sincere thank you.  Try breaking away from your normal group and go say hello to someone new.  Buy a package of beautiful blank note-cards and start writing notes of sincere encouragement, affirmations and appreciation.  Ask an elderly person or person in a wheelchair or motorized cart, if you can help them by reaching for an item placed out of their grasp.  Help a mom with young children, by offering to return her shopping cart, so that she doesn’t have to leave her children unattended.  If you notice how well someone is parenting, let them know.  Take a plate of your dinner over to a lonely neighbor or invite them over and get to know them.  Take some valuable garden produce (not just your abundance of zucchini) over to a neighbor that doesn’t garden and let them know that you were thinking of them.  Offer to help an elderly person to learn how to use their smart phone, tablet or computer.  Take the time to listen to someone who just needs to talk.  Do you have a gift for noticing great qualities in other people?  Tell them what you see.  If you have a friend or loved one, who lives in a critical eye environment, be sure to encourage them by acknowledging their good qualities.  The purpose of all of this isn’t to solve the problems of other people, it is to demonstrate that you value them as a human being.  Remember, the value of a person is so much more than the tasks that they complete – the value of each person is their essence.  It’s their intrinsic nature and indispensable qualities, as a created human being.

 

We live in an era where personal interaction is becoming rare and there are too many people that rarely receive warmth from another human being, so there is no shortage of opportunities to bless, and even a small simple gesture will impact a wounded weary heart.  Every human being needs to feel appreciated and valued.  Be the person that brings hope back into someone’s life today.

 

Thank you for reading.  If you have enjoyed this post, please follow me on WordPress or Facebook.  I love to read your feedback too.

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Crushed Confidence

Not being too sure of ourselves can be a positive trait but what happens when it goes too far?  What happens when you don’t trust your decision making, your memory or recall of facts and your interactions with others?  Where does this lack of confidence come from?  This post is not about blaming others, however we will explore how others can damage our self-image, but the real goal of this post is to help us take responsibility.  By taking responsibility, we learn that we do have control over what we choose to believe about ourselves.

 

Someone who usually doesn’t feel positive about their abilities or accomplishments, or has a low opinion of their value as a human being, might have a crushed spirit.  How does a spirit get crushed?  Usually it is a result of regularly being controlled, manipulated or criticized.  Sometimes humans are unintentionally cruel.  They may even believe that they are helping you with their words and actions, by pointing out how you are doing it or saying it incorrectly.  It is only the unusually manipulative person, who actually seeks to tear down another human being with their critical spirit.   Either way, a lot of damage can be done. We must be warriors and fight to retrain ourselves.  We must learn to use God’s word, not the words or actions of other humans, as our guide when we question or examine ourselves.

 

You may find this hard to believe, but I struggle with a low self-image.  Where does this come from?  For me, I was created with a sensitive temperament and ironically have been exposed to critical eyed humans at every stage of my life.  Critical eyed people come in many forms.   It can be a parent, spouse, teacher, instructor, boss, friend or even an older child.  They are people who are skilled at finding and exploiting the chink in your armor.  They can be picky, demanding, critical, know-it-all and controlling.  Do you recognize them?  They seek to run you.  Notice that I carefully chose the word seek.  That cannot run you unless you allow them to.  I’m not saying that this is easy, just that it is simple.  They seek to control how you spend your time and who you spend your time with.  They seek to control how you accomplish tasks.  They correct you when you’re telling a story, even though the exact facts are unimportant to the hearer.  They are full of the “you should have” or “that’s why I wouldn’t have done it that way” or “why did you do that?”.  They might pay you a compliment, but then add how they think that you could do it better next time.

 

Being exposed to these behaviors, can over time erode self-confidence.  We question our judgement.  Do I understand that situation?  Am I reading that person correctly?  Is that the right action to take?  Did I say the wrong thing?  Am I the problem in every relationship that has difficulties?  Did I offend that person who is treating me differently? Some even develop obsessive compulsive disorder – returning home to check if they unplugged the iron or locked the door, for example.   If someone is communicating to you that you are wrong on a regular basis, it is natural for certain personalities to begin to believe it.

 

I would like to take a paragraph to specifically discuss these dynamics within marriage.  Husband, are you crushing your wife’s spirit with your critical eye?  This is a misuse of your leadership role in the home.  God says “husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the Church”.  Wife, are you causing your husband to be weak in his ability to trust himself to lead and make decisions, by regularly communicating to him that he is wrong?  While, we are on the subject of marriage, I have extreme disdain for the “yes dear” lie, where men believe that they are to agree with whatever the wife says for fear that her wrath will be unleashed.  This is a form of control and manipulation.  Men, I’m all for treating your wife like a queen but technically, that makes you the king.  Neither spouse should ever be allowed to “run over” the other and there should never be fear of punishment from your spouse.

 

So, what do we do with all of this?  For me, I came to realize that I had power and that each time it occurred I was completely capable of making a decision by asking myself one simple question.  Does God’s word say that I was wrong or was that just another person’s opinion or desire to wrongly control me?  Like I said earlier, not easy but very simple.  God defines me and also, there is the fact, that I wouldn’t have made it this far, if I was a complete idiot.   Picky, critical eyed, controlling behavior is their stuff, not yours.  You put a great meal on the table and didn’t even burn it.  You completed that task in your own way, and the result was just fine.  You told that story wonderfully and you were darn charming too, so what if some of the details are a little inaccurate – you remembered the important stuff.  Put your deflecting armor on and start asking “what does God think about this”?

The Butterfly and the Chameleon

If you’re married, you have definitely noticed that God brings opposites together.  A spender with a saver, an organizer with well, an un…organizer, the minimalist with the pack-rat and the extrovert with the introvert.   As it has been said, “if you were both the same, one of you would be unnecessary”.  For today, let’s talk about the butterfly and the chameleon.

 

One spouse may be the social charismatic, enjoying and even flourishing in the social arena but the other spouse who is uncomfortable in social settings, may be nervous or even terrified by these experiences.  The extrovert anticipates the chance to be with others with excitement but the introvert might dread it for weeks and if they are brave enough to attend social events with you, then they are showing you a great amount of support, but they need something from you.  Help them to not feel abandoned and alone in this room full of people.  To the social butterfly, this room full of faces both new and familiar, is an interesting and exciting adventure, but the chameleon spouse would rather blend in and disappear, but usually their perception is that they stick out like a sore thumb and they fear failure.  When the experience is over, the butterfly is elated by what the experience offered and sometimes disappointed that it had to end but to the introverted person, who is probably self-critical, they are drained and relieved that it is over, but will possibly torture themselves for days over their perceived social failures.

 

From now on, walk into that room with your spouse, enjoy yourself but don’t leave them on their own, until you are sure that they are feeling comfortable within their surroundings.  Check on them often.  Chances are, they may have reached a conversation lull and you need to rescue them.  I suggest that you make a plan together on how long you will stay.  It will be easier for them if they know that there is a set time that you will leave.  Respect their feelings on this issue and stick to the plan unless of course, they are having such a wonderful time that they want to stay.

 

Being introverted is not a personality or character flaw.  Introverts can be amazingly observant, thoughtful and sensitive people who are capable of deep impactful conversation.  So, assure your spouse that they are wonderful and that they have gifts to offer.   If they feel that they can trust you, they will probably grow to appreciate these social outings.  Be with other people as often as you can, and soon your chameleon might want to have some beautiful wings.

A Box Becomes an Hourglass

20 years ago, I was climbing the corporate ladder in my well-tailored business suit and killer high heeled pumps. I left the workplace to go home and raise my children, one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Being home full-time, my once strong conviction for always looking my best began to be overtaken by my logic of “why bother getting out of these pajamas”. This ultra-comfort and ease attitude began to creep into my fashion sense, even when I left the house.

 

The years went by. I hated seeing pictures of myself.  The photos were rude and unkind.  I was in denial but the photos told the truth.  Finally, I began to wake up.  I walked across the room and caught an image of a woman in the full-length mirror. Who is that? I looked at my clothes hanging nearby. I had accumulated a collection of over-sized sweaters, men’s t shirts, baggy shapeless jeans and a few pairs of unattractive sensible shoes.  Thankfully, my husband had been placed under a blissful spell and hadn’t even noticed that his once sexy wife had gone away. Maybe he thought that she was on a business trip or had gone to visit her Mother. Maybe he thought that tent woman was my temporary replacement. You know, like the show where the wives trade places.  I realized that I needed to make some changes.

 

Now, I may want to look my best but I don’t love spending tons of time to get there.  I have come to realize that it takes exactly, and by exactly, I mean exactly the same time and effort to get dressed, even if I choose well-fitting garments.  My closet doesn’t contain a lot of clothes but the clothes I now have, I absolutely adore and if I don’t adore it, I don’t buy it.  I now buy t shirts that are made for women and they are sized for my body.  I find blouses and sweaters that come in at the smallest part of my waist. I try on jeans until I find one that actually hugs my female curves.  I have dresses to wear for those special occasions that arise and I have always loved high heels, so I began wearing them again.  Presto – with these minor changes, I instantly looked like I came to play the game of life, not just watch from the sidelines and even more important – I felt like I could play and win.

 

The real confirmation came one evening when I was attending a weekly meeting where I volunteered for a community service organization. One of the volunteers asked “why are you so dressed up?” Are you imagining that I had pulled out one of my business suits and a pair of pumps? No, I was wearing a well-fitting sweater and jeans with boots. That’s it! Oh yes, I had showered, dried my hair and put mascara and lip gloss on too.

 

I want to encourage you – if you are looking as though you have given up and are just sitting on the sidelines, invest in you and put a little effort in and give yourself the gift of confidence. Your smiling self will feel fantastic.  Confidence allows you to reach out to other human beings.  Reach out and be a blessing to someone – there is no better feeling.

She’s Back!

I’ve been writing creatively for one year.  Happy Birthday to Madeline!  If you’ve been reading, you have probably noticed that I have been in a grieving mode for many months.  The last 9 months have been full of disappointments, challenges and pain, which has flooded into my life from several sources and circumstances, but through this, there has been great growth.  God is faithful and although sometimes I struggled with doubt that He was with me, He never left me – never.

 

I’m happy to announce that I can see the sun shining through now.   I fully expect that you will again see the ornery, sarcastic and humorous side of my writing.  You might even see an appearance from Madeline – the crystal ball reading gypsy.  She was fun.

 

I want to express a heart-felt thank you to those of you that have been reading and liking and special gratitude to those that have shared their thoughts with me.  Your words have encouraged me and lifted me up.  Thank you to all of you, for helping to make this past year, a very memorable one.

Comedy Over Adversity – Interview with Bob Smiley

He’s the picture of a successful man.  As a working comedian, he has a hilarious, clever, self-deprecating style and a never-ending supply of gigs and opportunities to work alone and with some of the comedic greats.  His family is beautiful, he has no mortgage and writes a five-digit check when he buys a new car.  From the outsider’s point of view, his life looked perfect but what happened when the man returned home from a weekend of shows to discover that his wife had left him?  Stunned, grieved and angry, Bob Smiley began the journey of healing his heart and raising his sons.  He is now using this experience of flying solo to help others.  Now, let’s meet this inspiring man – Bob Smiley.

Madeline:  Welcome Bob, thank you for joining us.

Bob: Thanks for using the word ‘working’ in my introduction.  I’m going to show this to my Dad, to remind him that I do actually work.

Madeline:  Once you learned that your wife had left and was pursuing a divorce, did you immediately begin seeking support or did you hide?  What did you learn from this and what advice would you give to others?

Bob:  It was such a shock.  I mean…look at me.  Who would throw that away?  I’m totally kidding obviously.  In fact, that was my first response.  When she told me the news, she also told me that she didn’t want to discuss it.  So I started trying to fix anything that I thought may have been the problem.  I started working out for 2 to 3 hours a day and not eating.  I dropped 36 pounds in just a few months.  I got to where I could use ChapStick as deodorant.  I kept asking what I could change to fix this, which I now realize made me look desperate and unattractive.  I also didn’t tell anyone.  She didn’t want to tell the church elders and I didn’t want to tell our friends.  I was embarrassed and felt like a failure.  I also didn’t want our kids to know that there was a problem.  We’d always been a close, fun family and I didn’t want our kids to think that we were entering a rough patch in our lives.  I had no idea what lay ahead for us all.  So I sort of hid, which leads to my advice.  Seek counsel from your church the second you think there’s a problem.  Satan loves to use isolation to wreck our lives.  This goes for any problem.  God made us for community and we need to lean on and help each other.  So don’t hide.  Don’t give Satan a foothold by hiding your shame.  Bring your problems into the light and let God do His thing.  And don’t spend two hours on the treadmill a day.  No one needs to be so skinny that they look like they went to a blood bank and forgot to say “when”.

Madeline:  I’m certain that you must have received good advice and bad advice.  What were some of the wisest things said to you?

Bob:  The best advice came from my friend, comedian Tim Hawkins, (You should check him out.  I promise he is the second best comedian out there.)  I waited about three months before reaching out to my friends.  Once I knew my wife had flipped a switch, and there was no hope or desire to let God fix our marriage, I knew I had to start telling people to prepare for the new life that I was being forced into.  I called Tim and told him what had been going on.  He’d known my wife and me for many years, so he was shocked as well, but quickly said, “Don’t go through this on your own.  Depression can generate some crazy and dangerous ideas.  So be in constant contact with your friends and be as open as you can.  Now, lose this number.  Good luck.”

I’m kidding about the last part, but the first part of what he said was absolutely true and was what got me through the darkest part of all of this.  Talking about everything with my closest friends helped me to process everything, and get a game plan together of how to move on after the floor fell out from under me.

So I cannot stress enough, that God created us for community and good friends will help you through the hard times.  I seriously hope Tim reads this, or that someone will text me what his new number is, so I can tell him myself.

Madeline:  What have been some of the hardest aspects of grief for you and how did you get through them?

Bob:  When someone leaves you, you instantly think that you’re a failure.  You think you’re a loser with no redeeming qualities.  And again, that’s Satan trying to get you to give up on trying to be the person God created you to be.  And I have to admit, Satan was winning that game against me for a long time.  I was angry and depressed and hurt.  However, the more I relied on my friends and the more I dove into the Bible, I was reminded that God can use the most messed up people in life.  The Bible is full of losers that God used to do great things, therefore making them winners.  I knew that I had to get up every day and face the shattered life that I had worked so hard to create, and start allowing God to shape and build a new life for me, with new adventures and opportunities.  And He has.  You know, God saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego IN the fire.  He didn’t save them FROM the fire.  That story really hit home.  I was in the fire … but God was right there with me.

Madeline:  How has humor helped you and your sons to grieve and get to where you are today?

Bob:  I’ve always heard that laughter is the best medicine but after the year I’ve had, I can honestly say that it’s Vicodin.  I’m kidding!  Laughter has so much healing power and I went months without that power.  I remember being on stage two weeks after my wife had moved out.  I was telling a joke and watching a room full of people laughing uncontrollably while I was thinking in my mind, “why are you laughing – don’t you know how much pain there is in the world?”  Then I thought, “maybe that’s why they’re laughing.”

So I started looking for humor and laughter more in my personal life.  I remember one of the first things that I laughed at.  I was in the shower and I thought how nice it was that now, I don’t have to read 18 different bottles of stuff so that I don’t accidentally wash my hair with Shea Butter Foot Scrub … which is something that I’ve done in the past.  In fact, I’ve washed my hair with so much foot scrub, I’m surprised I don’t have a toe growing out of my head.  But now I have one bottle in the shower.  It says Holiday Inn on it.

My kids and I then started playing more silly games together like Tele-strations or charades and watching funny videos together.  We tried to make each other laugh more and more and really started seeing some healing happening.  It got to a point where we realized that we were going to be ok.  It wasn’t the life we chose, but it was going to be ok.  You see, God can use joy to remind us that no matter what tragedy you’re facing at the time, there is still good times ahead of you, if you will continue to rely on Him.

Madeline:  How can church leadership and people in the Church be an effective help to someone going through an unwanted divorce?

Bob: Reach out to them.  Especially in the beginning, a daily or weekly phone call from the leaders in the church can make a huge difference.  An unwanted divorce is a terrible thing.  You are suddenly forced to sit back and watch everything that you’ve worked so hard to build just crumble away and you can’t do anything about it.  It usually involves lies and justification from the other side, which angers you even more.  So a simple phone call, just to let you know that you have friends on your side can make all the difference in the world.  And prayer is obviously a huge tool to get through any pain.  Going back to what Hawkins said about not going through this alone, I would tell the church not to let their wounded go through anything alone.

Madeline:  Will you use your comedy act as a platform to talk about divorce?  If so, how?

Bob:  I’m so surprised by this answer, but yes.  One of my biggest fears was that the divorce was going to also end my career.  I didn’t know if churches would even allow a divorced Christian onto their stages.  I wasn’t going to hide my divorce if people asked me directly but I definitely wasn’t planning on talking about it.  However, I was going back to Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas for a second time to do their marriage date night event.  It had been a huge success the year before and I had, as always, talked a lot on stage about how amazing my wife was and how great marriage could be.  I was now returning a year later, a broken wounded warrior.  So I called them and explained my situation expecting them to find another comic.  I’ll never forget what the guy said.  He said, “Do you have Tim Hawkins’ cell number?”

Ok.  That’s not true but this is the longest I’ve gone without making a joke.  What he said was, “There’s an attack on marriages so, if you feel comfortable, you should talk about it on stage.  I think it could really help people.”  So I started thinking about what to say on stage that would be positive and uplifting, and I realized that God had given me an amazing platform to remind people of two things.  If your marriage isn’t good, don’t just walk away.  Satan would love nothing more than to rip apart your marriage.  Satan has so much to gain by ending your marriage.  It causes so much pain.  It will damage your kids and most likely lay the ground work for them to have failed marriages.  It will make you feel like giving up and not feeling worthy enough for God to use you.  It’s no wonder Satan is attacking marriages.

So stay and fight.  Let God create a new marriage for the two of you.  That’s the first message that I gave that night.  The second one is: if someone that has pledged to be committed to you for the rest of your life, just up and walks out of your life … you have to know that God will never do that.  Back to the Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego story.  God will walk you through the fire.  He will get you through the hurt, the pain, the anger and He will continue to use you, if you will let Him.

I walked off the stage that night not really knowing what to expect.  The crowd had laughed at several of my stories about how my kids and I had adapted to our new lives.  However, I had no idea how the serious part of my show had been received … until I got to my merchandise table.

There was a huge line of people waiting, not for my autograph and unfortunately not to buy anything (I have a lot of debt now so merch sales are all of a sudden very important) … people were lining up to tell me what they were going through.  I was surprised at the brutal honesty of couples coming up saying that their marriage wasn’t good, but that they just weren’t doing anything about it.  They didn’t see it as an attack from Satan, they just thought they’d grown tired of each other.

So after that night, I decided to start talking about it on stage.  I was starting to realize that God was continuing to use me…just in a different way now.

The fourth time I talked about it on stage was in Michigan.  As I walked off the stage, I was met by a guy who told me that his wife had left him yesterday.  He said that he didn’t want to come to the show but his buddy had dragged him to it (again, community and friendship is key to getting through tragedy!).  He and I talked for a while and he was reminded that God wasn’t through with him.  He just had to get through the fire.  So, I know you asked a simple question and I’m giving you a lot but the answer is yes.  I’m using comedy to remind the broken that God is the ultimate healer.

Madeline:  Incredible.  How else has God brought good out of your experience?

Bob:  I have a lot more room in my closet now.

Madeline:  What is the most significant thing that God has taught you so far?

Bob:  He is faithful and He is freeing.  I now know that anyone is capable of disappointing you.  I’m capable of disappointing you.  We are flawed.  We are sinful.  We can be persuaded by Satan into thinking that the grass is greener somewhere else.  However, God’s love is never ending.  He will never walk away.  His vow is unbreakable.  So as I continue to see His love, it sets me free to forgive easier, to love easier, to seek opportunities to spread God’s love.  It gives me purpose and the armor to fight any battle.

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Madeline:  Grieving can take a toll on your physical health.  How did all of this affect your strength and vitality?

Bob:  At first, it crippled me.  I wasn’t eating and if I did, it wasn’t healthy.  And after she moved out, I just didn’t care about myself.  I was very destructive.  I didn’t care what happened to me because I felt like no one cared what happened to me.  Again, Satan loves to use divorce to wreck people’s lives … and it does.  It wrecked mine for a while.  What pulled me out of that, was the realization that I had 3 amazing kids that needed me.  I knew that I had to pull myself out of the pity party that I had created, and just go on with life.  My kids’ worlds were crashing in as well and they needed me more than ever.

Now I’m eating healthy and working out properly.  In fact, this month I’m training for a 1K!

Madeline:  What advice would you give about dating when children are still in the home?

Bob:  That’s a tough question that I think needs to be answered on an individual basis.  I didn’t want to be lonely but I also didn’t want to expose my kids to anything that might be confusing or frustrating to them.  They were already being taught through example that divorce is completely ok.  I didn’t want to do anything else that would damage them even more.  However, each of them brought the subject up to me over our Thanksgiving holiday.  They all had different questions for me but all 3 of them were of the opinion that I should start dating again.  So I did and it has gone well and by that I mean, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

I say this as nicely as possible but there are some crazy people out there.  So my advice on dating, especially when kids are involved, is proceed with caution.  I wouldn’t let your kids meet anyone until you’ve dated them for a year.  I have gone out with a few women that have seemed amazing at first, but after a few months I have been so grateful that I hadn’t allowed them to meet my kids.  I won’t name names on here, because I don’t know if the restraining order includes getting 50 feet from any of my online interviews, but proceed with caution.  Take the time to truly get to know who you are inviting into your life and more importantly into your kid’s lives.  Keep your kids first in your life which includes your dating life.  That being said…Ladies, I’m single and can be reached at 555…..  🙂

Madeline:  What would you like to say to the person who is struggling in their marriage or even considering divorce?

Bob: First, tell your spouse how you’re feeling.  Make sure your spouse knows that there is a problem at the beginning and keep a constant line of communication open.  Don’t wait until you’ve decided that it’s over before you say anything.  Again, Satan loves using isolation to wreck lives.  Communication is key.  If that doesn’t fix things, go to the church right away.  Seek counsel.  Each of you should find an older person and submit to them for mentoring.  Seeking wise advice and mentoring can sometimes help break bad habits or cycles and start the renewing process.   And lastly, be willing to fight for the vow you made to God.  Divorce sometimes looks like an easy out but it’s a horrible tough road full of pain and suffering.  Creating a Godly marriage is worth the fight.

Madeline:  Bob, I have no doubts that there is someone who is reading this interview and is going through a very similar event in their own life.  If you could sit with them, is there anything else that you would you say to them?

Bob:  Would you please buy my DVD?  I have a lot of stuff to replace.  🙂

Actually, I would say everything that they’ve just read.  God won’t leave you, so don’t give up on Him.

Let’s lighten up with lightening round.

Madeline:  Kombucha or sweet tea?

Bob: Sweet Tea mostly because kombucha sounds like a foot disease.

Madeline:  Exercise or napping?

Bob: Napping on the treadmill.

Madeline:  Hunting or playing sports?

Bob: Hunting.  Kids got to eat!

Madeline:  Flying or road-trip?

Bob: Road trip…because then I’m in control.  American Airlines won’t sit me in my truck next to a stranger that smells like if a foot could fart, all while delaying me pulling out of the driveway for no reason at all.  Not that I’m bitter about flying.

Madeline:  Sleek sports car or crew cab pick-up?

Bob:  I’m a huge hunter from Texas…so…..

Madeline:  Please tell the readers where they can follow you.

Bob:       http://www.bobsmiley.com

Twitter: @bobsmileycomic

Facebook: bobsmileycomedy

Instagram: bobsmileycomic

Snapchat: bobsnapperchat

email: bob@bobsmiley.com

Madeline:  Bob, thank you for joining us and sharing your story.  I’m very sure that you will reach someone out there that needs to hear your message of hope.  My best wishes to you and your sons.

Bob:  Thanks Madeline!  Hey … you aren’t single are you?  🙂  Actually, I’ll throw in one last thing about dating after divorce.  I understand why a divorced person would think that any relationship is better than nothing at all.  What I don’t understand, is that person thinking that they have nothing at all.  You’re God’s child and really, that’s all that matters.

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