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Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Several months ago, I wrote the post, “Forgive and forget? Not Really.” In that post, I said I agreed with the “forgive” part of that age-old saying. (If you haven’t read it yet, hop on over to that post and chime in on our discussion.)
 
 
I ended that post saying I would address the “and forget” part in the next post. Summer came and went. So did the holidays, and still no follow-up on the post.
 
 
I haven’t wanted to talk about the “and forget” part–much less, blog about it. Several things happened after the first post that have challenged me in the forgiveness department. It’s as if God was saying:
 
 

“Do you really believe what you say you believe, Daphne?”

 
 
With God’s help, lots of tears, and the help of my family, friends, and my recovery group, I’m working through the forgiveness part–and doing well, at least, for today. 😉
 
 
Lately, the “and forget” part has come to mind, which, if you ask me, shows progress. Does that mean I should just go ahead and forget about what happened? Should I erase the bad things that have consumed me for the past year? Do I pretend the harmful things that have dominated every waking–and “sleeping”–moment of my life since early summer no longer matter? No.
 
 

Pain matters.

 
 
Forgetting the pain my family and I have gone through would also erase the good that has come from it.
 

  • More conversations about feelings and long-standing issues with low self-worth.
  • Healthy boundaries.
  • New directions for our family.
  • A simple life that treasures even the little things.
  • Courage to protect myself and my loved ones.
  • Restored relationships with estranged family members.
  • Right priorities.
  • Tighter family relationships.
  • Renewed importance of the fragility of life.
  • Better listening skills.
  • Learning about each others’ lives–things we didn’t know about each other that we will carry with us for years to come.
  • Giving and receiving advice across generations.

 
 
Who knew that negative situations could produce such positive change? And this is just a short list of good coming from bad! There were plenty of good things in our lives last year. That’s an entirely different list of God’s blessings. Should I forget it all–2014?
 
 
When we “forgive and forget,” we essentially tell God our pain is better left in the past. Nothing good has come from it. I am where I am today by my own merit, not anything God has done.
 
 
“Forgive and forget” is an affront to the sovereignty of God who turns evil into good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).
 
 

Pain is important to forgive. It’s also important to remember.

 
 
forgiveremember2“Forgive and remember” until you can do so without an inkling of anger, bitterness, or revenge. That, my friend, is healing. “Forgive and remember” speaks hope: Look what God did for me in this situation. He can do the same for you. That’s the power of remembering. That’s the hope you can share with others. “Forgive and forget” lacks hope. It has nothing to offer anyone. Your pain is in vain.
 
 
My pain is not in vain. God has brought much good from it–and I know He will continue to do so. This is the hope I offer you: God can bring good from whatever wrong was committed against you or whatever hurtful thing was said about you.
 
 
Forgive and remember.
 
 

 
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
 
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
 

 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you agree that you shouldn’t forget the wrongs committed against you? Why or why not? What have you been trying to forget that you need to remember? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


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Resources to Help You Cope with Holiday Blues

 
Hi, friends!
 
I haven’t written for several months, and I’ve missed you, but family members have been going through unexpected health issues since this summer. Although we’re still dealing with these things, we hope for a better tomorrow, trusting God knows all and takes care of us all–even when we can’t see Him.
 
 
resourceschopeholidaysrevisedSo… as you know from some of my previous holiday-related posts, I have a hard time during this otherwise joyous season. But I’m not the only one. Thousands–actually, millions–of people are depressed and hurting during the holidays for a number of reasons.
 
 
This year, I’ve compiled some of my favorite posts and resources from around the Internet about how to deal with anxiety, depression, seasonal affective disorder, difficult memories, or other mental and emotional concerns during the holidays. You’ll want to bookmark this page for future reference. 🙂
 
 

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has an entire section devoted to the holiday blues, as well as a video and fact sheet on the “Holiday Blues,” including a section on children and holiday anxiety.
  •  
     

  • The Huffington Post has two great articles (Part 1) and (Part 2) on how art therapy can help people de-stress during the holidays. I’m definitely trying some of these!
  •  
     

  • On LinkedIn, one of my connections posted an article about how Jesus dealt with depression. It’s brief, but he makes great points.
  •  
     

  • PsychCentral gives some suggestions for how to help those who are struggling during the holidays, as well as the impact of not getting enough sunlight during this stressful time.
  •  
     

  • My friend and fellow author Rachel Wojnarowski wrote this ebook, 12 Days of Christmas for the Hurting. It’s available on Amazon.
  •  
     

  • Also, Dr. Wayne Dyer writes about how to recapture the spirit of the holidays, particularly Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s in his book, No More Holiday Blues. It’s an older book (2010), but the information still applies. Dr. Dyer’s book is available on Amazon.
  •  
     

  • Finally, The Skit Guys have a humorous take on all the busy-ness during the holidays, which can lead to increased anxiety from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

 
 
I know there are more resources out there. Do you have any you would like to add to this list? Share them with us in the box below where it says, “Leave a Reply.” Also, if you know someone who struggles with depression during the holidays, please share this post with them.
 
 
I hope you remember during this season–and always–that Jesus is close to you when you’re brokenhearted, depressed, and feel like giving up.
 
 

 
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there. (Psalm 34:18)
 

 
 
 
 


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Groove: Stories to Refresh the Way We Think and Feel About Our Mental Illnesses
 

Dec 2014

Dec 2014


 

(click on book cover to find out more about Groove.)

 
 
 
 

Forgive and forget? Not really. (Part 1)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Do you “forgive and forget?”
 
 
Lately, I keep seeing and hearing people tell each other to “forgive and forget” wrongs others have committed against them. Although I’ve heard that saying since I was a wee one, the more I hear it, the more I don’t agree with it. Well, part of it, anyway.
 
 

Should I forgive? Absolutely!

Choosing to forgive doesn’t mean the other person did nothing wrong. On the contrary! It means yes, he–or she–wronged you in one way or another. When you forgive, you acknowledge that someone did hurt you.

  • They lied about you.
  • They abused you.
  • They took you for granted.
  • They ignored you.

 
Forgiveness says…
 
 

“You hurt me!”

 
 
But forgiveness goes further. It also says…
 
 

“I’m not going to hurt you back.”

 
 
When you forgive someone, you tell yourself, “I won’t let what so-and-so did fester. I won’t let myself get bitter. I won’t let myself take revenge. (Yes, revenge includes giving them the silent treatment.)”
 

Don’t pay back evil with evil. (Romans 12:17)
 

 
Forgiveness says you have suffered from someone’s words or actions. It doesn’t mean you deny or diminish what you’re feeling:
 

  • “Oh, it’s okay.”
  • “It’s no big deal.”
  • “I’ll get over it.”
  • “Whatever.”

 
Forgiveness says, “Oh, I feel it… Every. Single. Day. But today–for this moment, I will not get them back. I will feel all of this pain. I will cry, I will kick, I will scream. And when I’m done, I’ll be a little more free.” Yes, free!
 
Our hurts are alive. We can’t bury them. They need to come out one way or another; that’s why God tells us not to ignore them.
 

My people are broken – shattered! – and they put on band-aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’! (Jeremiah 6:14)
 

 
When you let out your hurts, when you thrust them up to God, you move one step closer to being released from the burden of that pain. Forgiveness makes that happen. Forgiveness helps you to process those feelings for however long it takes. And yes, sometimes, forgiveness takes a long time; it doesn’t all happen at once. But when it does–when forgiveness is complete, after umpteen times of crying, kicking, screaming, praying to God, you’ll suddenly realize…
 
 

“Hey, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it did before.”

 
 
That’s what forgiveness does. That’s what God wants for us all. That’s what He wants for you.
 
 
 
 
So… yes, I agree with the “Forgive” part of “Forgive and forget.” But do I agree with the “and forget” part? I’ll address that in my next post. In the meantime…
 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have someone to forgive? Will you? Why or why not? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


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No. Final answer.

NoFinalREV
 
Hi, friends!
 
 
I tend to overextend myself–do more than what I should do or have time to do. (Haven’t we talked about this before?) 😉
 
 
 
This week, I’m reminding myself–and you–that God has specific plans for each of us. Let’s remember to focus on what God has given each of us to do. Let’s remember to set boundaries–to say “No.” Let’s remember Jesus.
 
 

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5)
 

 
 
Jesus said no to his mother?!?! 😮 He sure did.
 
 
Others might try to pressure us to do what they want us to do. Or to get involved in things God doesn’t want us to do at that time. Jesus knew his purpose. He stayed true to God’s plan for Him. He didn’t rush God’s timing, and He didn’t let others sway Him from it.
 
 
Jesus had the authority to say, “No.” He was, after all, God in the flesh. We too have the authority to say, “No.” Here are some tips:
 
 

Start small.

It’s easier to say no to a glass of water than to say no to yet another request to volunteer at your child’s soccer games. So practice with the little things first. It might seem quirky, but it will get you practicing. And it will help you see that “no” isn’t such a bad word.
 

Don’t ramble.

Sometimes I feel I have to explain my “No.” I think I have to tell the other person why I don’t have time to participate in another project, work on weekends, or even join the choir. (Yes, I’m a people-pleaser.) Remember: No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain your choice to anyone else. If you know your boundaries, then your “No” should be enough for you–and for anyone else. 🙂
 

Remember your purpose.

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? If you’re not, then “No” might not be the best response–especially to Him. But if you are walking in your purpose, doing what He has called you to do, then don’t let other things–or people–distract you. There are plenty of good activities out there to participate in, but you don’t have to take part in all of them. Who are you? Be you!
 

Let go of the guilt.

This goes along with knowing your boundaries and your purpose. You know how much you can–or can’t–add to your plate. If you are being honest with yourself and God, then guilt has no place or power over you. If you do feel guilt, it is false guilt–from others, the enemy, or even your critical self. (That’s the person inside you that keeps telling you, “You should be doing…”) If you feel like someone is beating you up over your decision, that’s not God. Remember: When God convicts you–or places a weight on your chest to let you know you’ve done something wrong, that’s when you should reconsider your decision.
 

Be nice.

Sometimes, “No” brings up images of conflict and aggression. Change that image in your mind by changing your approach. You might be nervous or even upset the person is trying to monopolize your time, money, or attention. Being kind shows you’re comfortable with who you are, where you want to focus your attention, and that you care about the other person and his/her feelings. Again, practice is key. Start small. 🙂
 

Rock on.

When you say “No” to one thing, you say “Yes” to something else. That something else can be your purpose, the things you know you’re called to do, the people you’re called to invest in, the passion you’re meant to pursue. Isn’t that freeing? To know you get to take part in the things that God designed specifically for you? It is to me! That is reason enough to rock on!
 
 
 
These are just a few tips to get you started on the path to slowing down and focusing on the things God has for you. I pray you have the freedom to say “No” and to live your life to the fullest. Blessings to you today as you walk within the boundaries God has set for you.
 
 
Big hugs,
Daphne
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have any other tips to saying, “No?” How has saying “No” helped you? Are you still struggling to say, “No?” What can you do to start setting those boundaries? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can post anonymously.
 


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Thankful for Abundant Life, Clear Skies, and Stable Booths

 
Happy Monday, friends!
 
I hope you had a joyous Easter. We had such powerful worship at our morning church service. It moves me to tears to know my God is alive. And because He lives, we can too. And not just live, but live abundantly.
 

 
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)
 

 
This past Saturday, I had the privilege of showcasing my books at “Meet the Author on the Park” in Winter Haven, Florida. This event was sponsored by my friends Sandy Knowles at Three Rivers Press and April Whitt at Grapefruit Press.
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I met many people and was able to learn about their lives, their interests, and their troubles. Sandy and April, the organizers of the event, offered authors the opportunity to speak to the audience via a loudspeaker system. (Yikes!) I was up for the challenge and spoke to festival-goers about some tips for writing about difficult topics. I also shared about my latest book, Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls: 31 Days of Journaling God’s Blessings.
 
 
I haven’t officially shared with you about this book, which was such an inspiration to me as I wrote it. Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls is a unique thankfulness journal where you literally “jot down” your thanks to God throughout your day.
 
 
Here is a snapshot of one of the chapters.
 
 
Book Snapshot
 
 
As you can see, I open each of the 31 days with praise to God and then provide you some space to give thanks to God throughout your day. No journaling for 10, 15, 30 minutes or an hour-not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉 The approach is to jot down your thanks as you go through your day or when you lie down for the night.
 
 
I asked people who stopped by my booth what they were thankful for that very morning and these were some of their answers:
 

  • Shoes on my feet
  • That I didn’t have to cook Easter dinner
  • That it wasn’t raining (The weather called for rain.)

 
 
By the end of the festival, I gave thanks to God that my booth didn’t tumble away with the wind. 🙂
 
 
During my 10-minute talk, I was honored to talk about the inspiration for my book, which came about during my husband’s job loss last year. Writing Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls was my way of keeping a thankful spirit during our financial troubles, our roller coaster feelings of hope and frustration, and all of the emotional, physical, relational, and even spiritual side-effects of such a loss. God truly can help us through difficult times when we are intentional about giving thanks in all circumstances. It’s not easy; it still isn’t, but we have renewed hope and know God has been our provider during this time.
 
 
Remember, friends: God might not change your circumstances, but He can change you when you choose to thank Him.
 
CircumstanceREV
 
I was also excited to showcase the Spanish version of the book, hot off the press. 🙂
 
 
To order the English or Spanish version of Dragonflies, Ketchup, and Late-Night Phone Calls, visit Amazon, CreateSpace, or your preferred online book retailer. You may also purchase a copy here on my Web site, and I will mail you a copy with a message just for you. 🙂
 
 
Big hugs. So… What are you thankful for today?
 

 
They stood every morning to thank and praise the Lord. They did the same thing every evening. (1 Chronicles 23:30)
 

 

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Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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