Thursday
Jun122014

The Pool Is Open

 It’s SummerTime, and the Pool is Open . . . 

Memorial Day brought pool openings, linen tops, wearing white, flags raised . . . dreams
Summer fun -- a break from school and schedules
For some, SummerTime brings a dive into the deep end of the pool . . .
The pool of pain

One couple cheered their daughter’s hopeful opportunities as they drove their
Fresh-faced FreshmanGirl to college . . .  to learn, grow, mature, and to have fun
She was having fun
Until he raped her

Now, SummerTime . . . a time to heal from the sophomore attack at the hands of
The “Southern Gentleman on campus” with the right suit, pocket square, breeding, legacy
Shattered trust
First formal, First gown
Now, Legitimate Fear, Lasting Shame . . . even though she said, “No!”
Seven times, at least, she said, “No!” --“No!” means “No.”
But, God
SummerTime brings healing, insight, wisdom, courage, and a BeautifulHeadHeldHigh
A head held high again, triumphant over one traumatic night
Several, hard fought-for victories trump one costly night . . . Priceless

SummerTime . . . a time to recover from an office affair
One woman’s neglect of the marriage, her own admission
One husband’s attention straying to the listening ear of an attentive girl
Two culpable parties, confessing and scheduling their marital counseling appointments
Afraid and courageous, Nervous and hopeful
Honestly Healing
We need you, Lord

The Deep End of the Pool is crowded at Grace Ministries, AL/TN/AZ, now, in 3 cities
The Shallow End of the Pool entertains the usual --
GardenVarietyCodependents, are still running for “Class Favorite,” unable to say, “No.”
People-pleasers who enter the Sanctuary of Grace, exhausted . . . it can’t be done
We cannot please everyone, God will not allow it
“I will have no other gods before me”
Not your spouse. Not your boss. Not your pastor. Not your children. Not yourself.
No means, “No.”

Thank you, Lord, for SummerTime which brings deep healing to the entire pool
Healing help in the deep end, the place of deep pain
Deliverance in the shallow end, the place of chronic idolatry . . .
Less traumatic than the deep end, but just as tragic . . . maybe more deadly
SummerTime

by dr. jane n geiger -- June 2014 – grace4ALTNAZ&Beyond

Monday
May192014

How to Hail a Cab of...

How to Hail a Cab of . . .

You see it.  Here it comes.  Moving quickly. 

Yellow. Swerving through traffic.

Traffic is heavy.

It’s noisy.

Loud.

 

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

 

Ooooooh no . . . there it goes . . . again!

 

Another cab gone.

One more cab gone.

“New York sucks,” you say.  Does it?  Does it, really?

 

You spotted it.

You stood there, waiting.

Did it go by, or did you fully hail that cab of joy?

 

Get ready.  This endeavor is not for sissies.

Ironically, finding joy, discovering delight, and living your bliss takes some serious effort. Grabbing joy is serious business.  We need stronger verbs.  In this case, we really DO need more cowbell.  It’s time for some serious substitutions, vital verbs . . .

Seek

Engage

Fight for

Go after it

CHASE it DOWN!

Then, HOLD ON TIGHTLY to it like a mad woman, crazed with tenacity . . .

 

We don’t sit on the curb and wait for the cab to stop for us.  Well, we could, but that would make for a frustrating day, at a minimum.  What do we do?

 

We HAIL that thing! 

Then, we get in it for a RIDE!

Life is like this.  We have to hail that cab of joy.  Being intentional about grasping for a speeding cab of joy is not for the faint of heart.  You gotta dig in, get it done, and hold on. And, watch the heck out for the armies of people who will try to rob you of it!

We all have good days and bad days, great moments and sour times.  What separates the girls from the generals is the tenacity of the pursuit of happiness. Again, another powerful verb -- the PURSUIT of happiness.  Even happiness won’t land on us like a bug. 

 

 

Some things to ponder . . .

** Are you Results-Driven or Process-Driven? Both?

** Do you operate with an Internal or External Locus of Control?

** Meditate on the Good or Dwell on the Negative?

** Hold on to JOY, or is there a Break in the Cup?  (David Wilcox)

** Catalyst for Change and Growth or Pouting Passive Player?

** Great Gratitude or Bad Attitude?

 

Let’s take these one at a time . . .

Results v. Process

We are most happy when we take joy in the journey AND feel satisfied with good results.  Life is much sweeter when we maximize both, paying attention to the process in the moment while also becoming satisfied with the final outcome.  This falls under “Along the way, take time to smell the roses.”

Internal Locus of Control v. External Locus of Control

This is easier than it sounds.  If you can go to the family reunion and savor the heck out of laughs with Uncle Jerry, make memories with cousins WHILE minimizing the impact of the obnoxious date your sister brought, then you have an internal locus of control.  Way to go. Yes, it’s this simple. We really can make our own fun and savor the sweetness of life, but not without laser-focused intention and a flexible spirit.  If everyone else’s behavior determines your joy, then your external locus of control is driving your cab of joy in the opposite direction.  Take over. Lift your arm, and hail that cab. No one is going to do it for you, nor should they.

Holding on to JOY, or is there a Break in the Cup?

See David Wilcox’s lyrics to A Break in the Cup. A quick Google search, and you’re there.  Take action right now. GOOGLE it!

 

Catalyst for Change and Growth or Pouting Passive Player?

Again, ACTION VERBS win out here . . . REACH for, GRAB it, SEE the possibilities, and, Lord, there must be something stronger in this verb than we truly appreciate  . . . DAYDREAM!  #DreamBig&GoAfterYourDreamsUntilYouSoar!

 

Great Gratitude or Bad Attitude?

After you have hailed your cab, you get in it.  Right?  Do you savor the sights, soak up the experience?  Or, does the demon of dread get in your head?  More action verbs . . . KICK that negative attitude OUT of your head!  Kick it out!  Sure, you can be aware that the cab driver smells like a RestaurantGymComboGross, but you can savor the sights.  LordJesusOprahZen&ChaiTea, could we all learn to SAVOR the GOOD?  Let’s do it!

Yep, more action verb encouragement from Nike . . . JUST DO IT!

Dr. Jane N. Geiger and her staff hope to hail the cab with you.  Take action any time of day or night to schedule ActionVerbs at www.chattanoogacounselingandmediation.com  We’re doing all we can to hold tightly to joy, too. We’ll hail the cab, and ride alongside.

Thursday
Jan232014

CUP OF SORROW, CUP OF JOY

Cup of Sorrow,
Cup of Joy


I'm a mess
A mixed cocktail
I want to be straight up, one form, served in a solid, heavy Baccarat high ball
The bottom-heavy, no-spill, feels-good-in-your-hand kind of glass

I'm overwhelmed with financial stress

AND

I am thankful for ramen noodles, frozen peas, my son's baseball game, Jay Leno & TV

My cup runneth over
Some days that's good, some days not
It depends on the contents of the cup

I can downsize
I can reduce my expenses
I can get a 2nd and 3rd job
I can divorce my mortgage and marry the notion of being a renter
Just how much humility do I possess?

As I lose my possessions, or what I thought I possessed on paper
I am finding out how much humility I truly possess

I'm a mess
I feel good about myself
I feel terrible about myself
AND
I'm sick and tired of thinking about myself and money

Lord, Abba, Jesus, Yahweh, Great Spirit, Higher Power, the Universe...
Will you please deliver me from myself?

Please teach me, wise Source of my Worship
To balance carrying a cup of sorrow and a cup of joy
I think if I can master that balance of emotion, those two tipping cups
I can be FREE from this mess I feel that I am

Surely, when carrying a cup of sorrow and a cup of joy
A trickle of liquid spills out
The contents of the cups are good, honest, and valuable

God, please help me carry this shaking tray with a more steady hand


p. 64-65 from Moving Past Money Pain: The Gracious Path to Overcoming Financial Distress and Loss by Dr. Jane N. Geiger

Saturday
Nov092013

THANKSGIVING LIVING - from Blush Managazine-November

ENJOY this GREAT article by Dr. Jane Geiger featured in the November GRATITUDE ISSUE:

THANKSGIVING LIVING

Thanksgiving Living . . . Living Thanksgiving:

Expressing Appreciation 365 Days a Year

During the holiday season, the invitation to express thanks and give gifts is clearly on the calendar.  Birthdays and anniversaries keep the mind on granting gratitude.  It’s not a bad plan, but we can do better; A daily dose?

Words and gifts expressed from the heart can make someone’s day.  Or, it could be a monumental misfire.  Giving TO the heart of your special person could make all the difference.  Giving thanks with some awareness may put you on target.  Learn love languages, including your own.  Become fluent. Keep talking.

While researching and conducting interviews for this concept, Thanksgiving Living, I listened to dozens of languages of love and hundreds of shades and tones to match. It’s a long list.  To shorten our trek to becoming gracious and grateful all year long, let’s begin with an inventory of past mishaps and misfires followed by a Top Ten List of winning ways:

Mishaps and Misfires

  1.  Have you ever given a gift that you actually wanted for yourself?   While this can be hilarious (my practical dad gave my hospitable mother a chainsaw for Christmas one year), it can also hurt or just fall flat.  She gave him a silver chafing dish set.  Thankfully, both parties were in on the gig.  To the four children watching, it was tense at first, then hilarious.
  2. Have you ever attempted to express gratitude for something that didn’t quite hit the mark with your friend, co-worker, beloved or family member?   You thought you nailed it.  They didn’t feel the love.  Misfire.
  3. Did you ever clean the house, clean out the car, perform an act of service and kindness for someone only to annoy or irritate them?  Did they even notice?

 Moving from Missing the Mark to Hitting the Target

  1.  What is your friend or colleague’s favorite way to receive thanks?
  2. Does your mom love gifts while your dad appreciates words?
  3. What is your favorite way to be thanked?
  4. What really makes you feel appreciated?
  5. What has worked before?
  6. What has failed?
  7. If you don’t know, or it’s unclear, ASK. :-)  (One of the most powerful things I learned when conducting the interviews for this concept is that people often avoid asking personal or intimate questions, needing courage to overcome fear).

Top 10 List of Living Thanksgiving:

  1.  Simply say, “Thank you” while expressing gratitude not only for the action but also the person.  This can be done on a Monday . . . possibly, preventing “A Monday.”
  2. Clearly communicate gratitude for the person by tapping into their love language.  If Tuesday is open, you may tap in on a Tuesday.
  3. Express “Atta girls” and “Atta boys” in front of others, encouraging the recipient of your praise by elevating them in front of their peers – noticing, then promoting. This could be “Thankful Thursday” on your calendar.
  4. Give meaningful touches to the ones closest to you, and those who don’t mind a pat on the back or a hug once in a while.  If this expression is permissible, you may want to celebrate National Hug Day on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.
  5. Commit to noticing and expressing in a timely manner.  Everyone appreciates this. Swift thanks rocks.
  6. If gifts are meaningful to those around you, consider the “fit” – great pens and sticky notes for a writer; kitchen and gourmet items for the chef or cook; a gift certificate for a dinner out for moms and dads who need a break.
  7. When quality time means the most, schedule some.  She or he will thank you for it.  Everyone’s time is valuable, and giving time is a great gift.  Be concrete – calendars, day, time, venue, menu.
  8. If the written word means the most to the object of your appreciation, take the time to write a note, a card, a novella, or draw a cartoon series.  Good luck with that.
  9. When help is what they need or want, offer to help out, pitch in, and share the load.  Single people, especially, appreciate this.
  10. If dining with others hits the mark, you may want to express thanks to your special person/people by inviting him/her/them out to dinner . . . or, in for dinner, simply setting extra plates around your table.

HAVE FUN cultivating your Thanksgiving Living efforts!  Get creative!  Think. Notice. Observe. Give thanks daily, year-round. You can get to the win/win by paying attention instead of paying for stuff.  Appreciate your mate. Give thanks – it’s free. And, remember, to ASK rather than assume . . . or, you could be the one giving the red polar ski jacket to your non-athletic anemic special person who hates snow skiing and never wears red -- never, not ever.

Dr. Jane N. Geiger, a counselor to those who may misfire, is available to help you take one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind . . . drink Tang, get your astronaut on, and rocket yourself from misfiring to hitting the mark, one step at a time.  Dr. Geiger and her staff may be reached at writerscupofgrace.com.  They would appreciate that.

Friday
Oct252013

Blessed Are the Pure In Sugar

 

Blessed Are the Pure in Sugar


Mom and Dad, I appreciate your care,
your watching over me
Your concern for my spiritual state
But, to me, it's candy

Grandma, no need to worry
It's a book and a lightning bolt
Adventure, kids trumping the grown-ups
Good story, a boy like me

All this talk of demons and dark states
is starting to startle me
I don't understand what you're talking about
I'm nine, not Einstein

I love, love, love my costume!
I'm taking my powers to the street tonight
My cape and gear with matching forehead jag
Will alert all the other boys of my unique strength -
I will know where the best candy is

An, no, I don't want to be Harry Potter any more than
I wanted to be a bunny, a turtle, or a Wookie
You didn't mind that when I was little

You taught me,
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."

On this day of pretend, dress-up, and quest for candy
Will you please find God and the good in my search?
Join me in this delightful holiday...holy to me
and the rest of third grade
This one night, blessed are the pure in sugar!




Gracious Thoughts About
"Blessed Are the Pure in Sugar"


  1. This is a true story. These are my clients. The names have been omitted to protect the zealous and the sweet.
  2. Little kids just want candy - sugar, in any form, period.
  3. Innocent kids think Harry Potter's look is just perfect for Halloween.
  4. Well-meaning parents with strong religious passions, seeking to protect their child, may introduce their young children to concepts that are too mature for a sugar-seeking kid.
  5. That's it. Halloween for young ones - it's about the quest for the best candy, big chocolate bars, the coolest costume, being with other buddies in the neighborhood, and just ONE HOLIDAY when kids get some attention and sugar in mass quantities.
  6. Until Kids' Day holds calendar space alongside Mother's Day and Father's Day, let's leave Halloween alone.
  7. I guarantee you, Jesus is not afraid of Harry Potter or J.K. Rowling.

p. 128-129 in Handling Difficult Holidays, the Gracious Path to Overcoming Painful Times by Dr. Jane N. Geiger