Thursday, October 29, 2015

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part Two: Caring for Your Loved One Through the Darkness of PTSD

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

Click here if you missed last week’s article: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part One: Caring for Yourself Through the Darkness of PTSD

You came to me with shame in your eyes, and I wanted to hide. Don’t let my shame cause him shame too, I cried out silently. “I’m sorry for hurting you,” you said, your eyes flashing with confusion and courage.  I searched for words to explain. “You did not hurt me. You just reminded me that someone else did.”

It may take many years for the one with PTSD to find such words to explain to a loving caregiver why he or she withdraws unexpectedly or lashes out in anger and fear. In the meantime relationships can strain to the breaking point, causing confusion, misunderstanding, and more pain. 

What about the needs of that caregiver? How can he or she walk alongside a loved one who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part One: Caring for Yourself Through the Darkness of PTSD

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

The old green Scout was my rescue car that day, the only reliable source of transportation available to make the long trek from our African village across the rutted dirt road, through the river, and finally to the hospital two hours away. I was sick, and I needed to see a doctor. 

Our team leader came to our aid in his old truck, arriving outside our little house as my husband helped me gather my things and climb in the truck.

The smooth vinyl seats were cracked and worn, with two narrow stitches harboring a wide one, right down the middle of each. The smell of old dust and sweat assailed my senses and I began to panic. My breathing increased, my heart beat erratically and forcefully, and I began to look for a way of escape. 

Examining the door handle, I restrained myself from lunging over my husband’s lap and jerking the door open for a desperate leap to freedom. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Battle for the Heart of Your Teen

by Danetta Kellar @DanettaKellar

We had stepped around his dirty socks, wet towels, and discarded candy wrappers long enough. 

One day as I pulled out of the dirty laundry basket a stack of his clothing clean and still folded from the past week’s washing, I decided that the gentle, be-friends-with-my-teen approach was no longer effective. The whole family was increasingly bearing the responsibility that belonged to my teenage son, while his attitude toward us grew harder.

Around that time someone mentioned to me a woman who had trained her 8, 6, and 5 year-olds to do their own laundry. That’s harsh, I thought to myself. But on this day, suddenly, up to my elbows in clean clothes thrown carelessly in the dirty laundry bin for me to wash, that idea began to shine with sheer, brilliant wisdom.

Quietly and without lecturing I changed our system. I created a laundry bin for each child, labeled with his or her name. Knowing this was primarily for my teen, I also realized the pay-it-forward benefits this would have for my younger two children. I could imagine, as I daydreamed over the washing machine, the next two teenagers doing their own laundry without complaining, without mixing the darks and lights. A beautiful arrangement.

Morning one came and I gently explained to my teen his new chore. He glared at me as if I had ordered him to prison. Defiantly he refused to get up from his school work and pick up his dirty clothes which were strewn across three rooms of the house, announcing that he would do what he wanted to do. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reclaiming Your Life Through Eyes of Contentment

by Danetta Kellar

Clutter makes me stress out. If I open a cabinet and things fall out, it is time to simplify. If I cannot walk through the garage without tripping on someone’s shoes, maybe we have too many pairs. 

If I react defensively when someone asks sweetly to get together for coffee, maybe I need to get rid of something less necessary than friendship in my calendar. 

Too much, right now, don’t wait, just get a new one, get it done. These are all phrases that drive our culture and our lives to madness. And health problems. And hurting marriages. And cold friendships. And doors closed to hospitality instead of open wide with room for people. 

We are a cluttered society with more possessions, commitments, and obligations on our hands than we know how to manage.

There has got to be a way out of this.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Role Confusion: Who is the Rescuer, Me, or Christ?

No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough.
Psalm 49:7-8

It is not our job, Christians, to convert anyone. We are in fact not capable of doing so.

Think for a moment of the person you love and cherish most dearly in the world. That person, that one who you would die for, that one you sacrifice for. Do you have him or her clearly in your mind?

The worth of even that person, the one you know so well and love so deeply, is tremendously greater to God than even you can comprehend. His life, her life, is immeasurably precious to the Creator.

Think now of the person you are offended by today. The Troubler in your life. The one who angers you and hurts you. It is easy to devalue that one.

But that one also, the one bearing bad fruit, the one making you lose sleep, is equally precious to God. And his soul is equally costly, unable to be redeemed by you or by me.