Overcome and Thrive

3 Choices for a Happy Christmas

“Deck the hall with bells and holly, fa, la, la, la, la. . . ., “ plays on the radio as you begin to decorate for the happy Christmas Season. Your spirit is lifted, and the warm feeling you get inside is ignited at the thought of the decorations, music, and spending time with friends.

Challenging Past Painful Memories

However, for some of you, Christmas is the hardest season. It is encased in painful memories of the past. Your memories get triggered by the sounds and smells of the season. These triggers remind you of when your heart was hurt. You still feel the sting in your heart from the mean words that were spoken. You still feel the disappointment and the heaviness that overshadowed the joy of Christmas.

You want to share in the jubilant joy of the season that comes every year, but you are not sure how to begin. I know these feelings of uncertainty and confusion that collide with your desire to be joyful. I know them because of the twenty years I spent in abusive...

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Pollyanna’s Glad Game

My second mom often calls me Pippanna which is the combination of two fictional girls, Pippi Long Stocking and Pollyanna. I think her pet name for me suits me well. My determination to live my life to the fullest as I have daily adventures is also captured in my tenacity to look for the silver lining in every situation.

The sunny outlook I possess and my intentional choice to have an adventure with Jesus every day is a daily choice. I have learned how to let Jesus help me thrive in my life despite all the tragedy and abuse I have faced.

How Are You Letting Life Affect Your Attitude?

Sometimes to get to where you want to be you need to know exactly where you are. This truth is the same for what kind of attitude you use in your life every day. First, you need to understand that you alone choose your attitude.

  • What attitude do you normally wake up with every morning?
  • How does your attitude change when other people are in a bad mood?
  • What excuse do you give for having a bad attitude?
  • ...
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Pendulum of Thanksgiving

Can’t you smell the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day just thinking about it!

The next thought you have is of sharing time with your family. Depending on the health of your relationships within your family, this thought can make you smile or cringe.

In healthy relationships you look forward to laughter, playing games, or watching a movie or a football game together. You find joy, peace, and comfort with your family. However, for women in abusive relationships, they have a different picture and reality they must face at Thanksgiving.

Although victims of abuse may experience some good or even wonderful moments or hours at Thanksgiving with their abusers, there will always be a dark side. The dark side can even become explosive when your abusive spouse has an alcohol or drug addiction.

Take the Good

I know first-hand the pendulum swing of the holidays is very real after living in several abusive marriages...

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Difficult Mother-in-Law: What to do at Thanksgiving?

Button down the hatches, our difficult mother-in-law Margret, is coming. These words may be your thoughts or instructions to your family as you prepare to have dinner with your challenging mother-in-law during Thanksgiving. You prepare yourself, and then you prepare your children to be kind and show them Christ’s love. However, in the back of your mind, you wonder if this will turn out to be another hurtful Thanksgiving dinner.

What Makes a Dinner Difficult

Who doesn’t want to have everyone together and have a postcard Thanksgiving? You can visualize everyone happy and laughing and getting along. However, as we all know, these picturesque times can be few or rare even within our immediate families. This reality is sad, but we can do things to make it better.

To help you know how to keep the dinner peaceful, you need to know what makes it difficult to be around your challenging mother-in-law.

  • What is her attitude toward you and your family? Is she judgmental, pushy, or...
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Fall Season: Comforting or a Whirl Wind?

Getting into the swing of the fall season can be comforting and a whirlwind at the same time. Preparing our children for school and getting them on their schedules can be a whirlwind. However, our work schedules become more constant, and our mindset is preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, which is comforting.

Whirlwind and Comfort

All of the changes taking place in our mind, emotions, and environment may feel in a swirl. However, when the winds settle, life can have a new constant rhythm and a sense of comfort. The season of fall is the most dramatic change. The theatrical change of colors gradually fades into the white blanket of winter and a slower pace.

Many people love the season of fall and embrace the change. Other people become more stressed and uptight when there are any changes in their life. In their struggle to go with the flow, they have a hard time seeing the gifts of joy. They seem to focus on what is not the same instead of what they have no control over instead of...

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3 Ways Churches can Support Victims of Domestic Abuse in Their Congregation

30% of women and 17% of men in any group or congregation are currently victims of abuse, or they have been a victim. (NCADV National Statistics) These statistics are true for church congregations too.

As Christian’s or Christ-followers, we cannot ignore this destructive epidemic problem anymore. The people in our congregations, Christ’s people, are hurting and confused. They don’t know where to find help to understand how Christ’s design of love is different than theirs. They are also looking for acceptance and support as they untangle their lies from the truth.

We are called to be the good Samaritan and to help the victims of abuse. There are three ways to begin supporting the victims in your congregation and community.

  1. Acknowledge the Problem

The first step to stopping bad behavior is to acknowledge it is happening. Abuse is not a condition or an illness. Domestic abuse is a learned behavior. On April 11, 2017, CBS news reported that nearly three women...

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Ultimate Plea of an Abused Christian Wife

God Help Me!

I tried so hard to make everything right,

but tonight, ended in another scary fight.

I don’t know what to say, and I don’t know what to do,

as I lay here curled up in fear of you.

I wonder what happened to our love.

How could your kind words become so cruel,

killing any lingering love, I have for you.

Pain cannot be God’s plan for my life and marriage?

Lord, help me see your will, I need to know,

Should I stay, or should I go?

~Darla Colinet, Speaker and Author


How Does a Marriage Get to This Point?

This was my plea for thirteen-years and my abusive Christian marriage. I struggled to understand how it could be God's will for me to stay with my husband who was hurting my children and me. I went to church, only to be faced with being told to submit to whatever my husband wanted.

After fleeing my abusive ex-husband and partnering with Jesus to heal, I am now an advocate for women who are still lost in abuse. As I have taught and listened to many...

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13 Red Flags Your Christian Boyfriend or Spouse is Abusive

Most of us want to find the love of our life, get married, and live happily-ever-after. You would think that if you found a Christian man, you would be safe, but abuse has no boundaries. The truth is, abuse is a learned behavior and a choice. It is your responsibility to make sure you choose wisely.

Wolf or Lamb?

So how do you know if you are being fooled by an abuser? How can you tell if a Christian man is really who he says or seems to be? What does abuse look like? The following list of thirteen items are red flags that you need to stop any beginning relationship safely or find help at your nearest woman’s shelter for domestic abuse. If your boyfriend or husband displays any of these behaviors, get help.

13 Red Flags of Abuse

  1. He is charming and gives you gifts with hidden strings
  2. Has to know where you are and who you are talking to, he says to protect you
  3. Manipulation
  4. Isolation from friends and family, usually starts slow
  5. Jealousy with the rationalization he is protecting...
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#1 Scripture Used by Abusive Christian Husband’s

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22 NIV

There are not many women who do not instantly cringe when this scripture is read by itself. The first time I heard this scripture read out loud in church during the first year of my abusive marriage, I felt like I had just heard my life sentence of torture. The pastor stayed focused on how women were to remain under the leadership of the man and submit to him. He concluded his sermon with the scripture, “God hates divorce.”

Not Hearing the Whole Truth

At the age of eighteen, and newly married, I was trying to understand how God would want me to submit to my husband hurting me. It didn't matter what I tried to fix or change according to what my ex-husband told me; nothing made him stop abusing me. The problem with abusers is that they always change the rules to blame others.

Whenever I would question him, he would tell me I had to submit, or I would make God mad at me. The...

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3 Abusive Phrases That Destroy Your Relationship

What phrases is your boyfriend, fiancé, or spouse saying to you that should make you pause and reevaluate your relationship? Reevaluating your relationship now can save you years of torture, heartbreak, and even death in the future. Take time to see the truth and be honest with yourself.

What is Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a learned behavior. It is not a sickness or a condition. Therefore, it is vital, to be honest with yourself about the behaviors of the person you are giving your heart to and sharing your life with. When someone says they love you, you need to know what their definition and design of love looks like. Likewise, you also need to know yours.

Each person comes to your relationship with your definition and design of love which was formed from your beliefs and life experiences. Unfortunately, our design of love will always be imperfect and flawed, unless you are using Christ’s sign of love.  If your significant other or your spouse is using these...

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