Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

Tag: wife

Learning to love you = Managing your time

We all live very busy lives that makes time management a real challenge. However time management is needed so we can keep our life in some sort of order.

Our time is precious and we often give it away too freely to others who do not appreciate it. Those moments are valuable as we can never get them back. When you value your time you value who you are and it is important that we keep an eye on who we give it to.

Let me share some tips with you on managing your time and loving you.

  1. Don’t over extend your self ~ this is so important to remember as it  can lead to burn out. If something does not fit into your schedule then learn how to refuse it graciously and move on it. An over extended calendar does not do you any favours.
  2. Schedule sessions where you can have some down time and relax. you could take a walk, work out, go see movie etc. Down time is important as it gives your mind and body a chance to rejuvenate itself and rest.
  3. Learn how to say no without feeling guilty.

If you have not started then start today by loving you and mange your time.

 

Click the link below read some of my other posts:

Failures flaws & weakness have  purpose

Are you sabotaging your gifts?

 

October DV awareness month ~ Testimony from a Christian Domestic Abuse Survivor

 

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. so this week I will be sharing two stories from Christian women who have lived through this awful experience.

Today’s  blog post is from a Christian woman  I reached out to  and she agreed to write for my blog anonymously. To this special woman, thank you so much and you are truly one God’s best kept secrets!

There Go I…But For the Grace 

“Why don’t you just leave and come with me?” ”You don’t need him, he needs you!” “I don’t understand Cory (renamed), you’re smarter than this.” “You’re a social worker helping women get out the exact type of unhealthy environment that you yourself are in. These are the questions subtly hidden in the form of judgments that I offered a friend Cory during our senior year in college. She had been married for only a year, but I learned later that she had endured such horrible emotional and physical abuse even before she agreed to marry him. I was so disgusted by her choice to remain that I ended our friendship, citing that I could no longer sit idly by and watch her show up to school or lunch pretending not to notice a new puss-filled bruise on her face, neck, ear, eye, or forehead. To me, I was being a hypocrite to the profession of social work as well as to the definition of being a friend.

Fast forward 22 years, I found myself married and in a similar situation. However, unlike Cory, I had no friend standing on the other side of my apartment door, admonishing me to leave. Instead, I had the accusing voice of the enemy, telling me that I am “not smart” and if I shared what was happening to me- not only would I be an embarrassment to the social work profession but an embarrassing blemish to the body of Christ!

‘Your witness about the great and mighty God you serve would be a lie. Who’s going to believe how awesome God is if you are supposed to be the example? Just make it easy for yourself and everyone you care about and keep it to yourself. No one has to know that your husband is abusing alcohol and emotionally and physically abusing you. No need to share that during the first week of your “live together portion” of your marriage he held you down in a violently painful and air-restrictive chokehold. You don’t have to suffer through revealing that you became so desperate to survive that you anchored your teeth into the lower palm of his right hand taking out a small gulf of his flesh.”

The truth is, I felt cornered and trapped inside between the inescapable tight walls of my mind and living quarters that felt like an oversized jail cell. I was 900 miles away from the closest immediate family and I was no place near home. I initially shared my matter with an older, respected motherly-type member of a church I began attending nearby-but I was quickly shunned from discussing the details of my situation. I was given a subtle response that (paraphrased) “It was to be expected early in marriage and that after many years, it would eventually improve.” Truth?… I only knew to pray. When the abuse continued and escalated for 5 more months, I eventually called the former pastor (who married us) to disclose my heartache along with a contemplated plan to leave. Preparing myself to be advised to continue with prayer for strength to endure the worse portion of my marriage vows, I was pleased when my plan to separate and leave was being supported with advisement to take caution with my planning. I was also led in prayer for God’s intervening, guidance, protection and successful completion to my reaching physical safety.

With continued fasting and prayer, my heartache and pain has been replaced with gratitude as well as compassion for my abusive husband (now, thankfully “was-band”). My regret has now been replaced with the Word of Romans 8:28.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order My New Ebook called “Cut The Apron Strings”

Hi Everyone,

I am so excited to share with you that my first Ebook is now available for pre order. It has been a vision that I have had for over twenty years and I am so greatful to God for honouring this vision

Click the book cover  below to find out more information and links for you to order the book. The cost is  $5.99 (USA)     £4.58      5.29 euros.

 

God’s Best Kept Secret – Angela Smith

image1

Courtesy of Angela Smith

Right about now, my heart is saying “Look where God has brought you!” It’s hard to comprehend that I am living a total and completely different lifestyle to that of even just a year ago.  After being married for 31 years, working full time and raising 4 beautiful children, I can say like the old chorus “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to depend upon his word”.  God has been faithful even when I didn’t feel as though we could make it together as a couple, God held us together, by his chords of love.  There were times when those chords were so stretched that it felt that with the slightest tug, we would have fallen apart – but his favour on our lives said ‘Not so’.  There were times when I would sit in church beside my husband, the tears streaming down my face; people thought I was being touched by the worship.  How wrong they were – I was sitting beside my husband (a wonderful married couple people would say), but I was in pain.  Deep pain, gut wrenching pain, unbearable pain.   We had an argument at home, can’t quite remember what on earth it was about, but we left for church angry bitter and very hurt.  Did I find peace, solace and upliftment there – unfortunately not.   You see you can be in church with the spirit moving and still not feel a thing.  We would do the niceties after service and greet people with a smile, but still be in our hurt & pain.  The journey home would be in silence only to continue where we left off, raised voices, high volume discussions, and me in tears with frustration.  We were getting nowhere, I couldn’t understand him and he as far as I was concerned he didn’t even try to understand me.

We needed help, major help – not just “I’ve got you in my prayers” help, but practical help. God met that need through a devout woman of God who mentored me and in turn ‘us’.  Our lives are so much more fulfilled now, yes there are challenges, but God has made our journey together a more happier and joyous one.

 

Courtesy of Angela Smith

 

Angela’s Biography

I was born in the early 60s, one of seven children and have known God for the majority of my life. My early days of church were of accompanying my mother to services, crusades etc.  I loved being by my mothers’ side and sitting with her in church, taking in the blessings of the word of God.  My closest sister and I heard about the inception of a community gospel choir and thought it would be a great thing to be involved with.  The choir days were so rewarding, we ministered to diverse congregations and sang at various concerts.  We travelled widely and saw many sights.  It was at one choir rehearsal that a handsome young man approached my sister and I and said “don’t just stand there staring, come and say hello”.  This gorgeous man was God’s blessing to me and later become my husband and soulmate.  It wasn’t love at first sight, but we soon realised that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.  Obviously in the early days we had no clue as to what that would mean but we felt that we couldn’t face a future without each other.  He was the man of my dreams – loved God, serious about his faith, strong, determined, hard worker with great potential to be my Boaz.  We sought God earnestly to get our own answers as whether it was his will for us to be married.  God did answer and it is this sanction from God that has kept us focussed all these years.  Learning to love, when he was unloveable, learning to trust and believe even when the energy wasn’t there to draw on.  People were saying we wouldn’t last and unfortunately there were times when I started to believe them.  But the scripture says ‘who’s report do you believe?’  I chose to believe the report of the Lord; and now some 31 years down the line, we are still in love, still in God and have been blessed with four beautiful children.

© Angela Smith.  Jenny Allen & Heart of Refuge  2011 – 2016. Unauthorised use and /or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

God’s Best Kept Secret ~ Being a Military Wife by Maxine Reyes


The difference between a non-military wife and a military wife is the challenges that we face when it comes to separation from our husbands, knowing that separation is inevitable. Being a dual military wife is even more challenging because we get to experience deployments multiplied by two.  Deployments take a toll on most marriages of military couples.  Deployment separation has been a key contributor or the cause of many divorces.  Ken and I have experienced hardships that challenged our relationship, but we never consider allowing those challenges to overpower our love for each other.  We have been huge supporters of each other’s careers and personal goals and we refused to let the forces of the world stop us from having the best marriage that we know we can have with God leading us.

Placing trust in God and knowing that we must keep Him at the forefront of our marriage at all times, has allowed us to face our challenges with the utmost boldness. Ken and I are definitely each other’s soul mates.  We feel one another’s pain and happiness and always find ways to make each other feel special and uplifted during unhappy times.  Our Happily Joint movement blog has allowed us to display our determination to love and care for each other for the rest of our lives while living a joyful and sacred Christian life.  Couples who know us usually compliment us and ask us our recipe to happiness.  We have written a book to share experience with others.  There is no trick to a happy marriage, but we will definitely share what works for us.  We teach resiliency in relationships to couples in order for them to have the ability to withstand the challenges of marriage and find ways to recover from difficult times.

After 19 years, we are at a beautiful point of our marriage where we know more about what makes us happy and sad. We know our priorities and are absolutely supportive of our careers and personal goals.  Ken is the most wonderful person I know and I am so grateful for his love and his adoration.  I am most grateful for the father that he is to our adorable daughter.  He is such a gentleman and I can speak all day about him in a positive way.

Success for me is persevering through my lifelong goals. We have always kept God at the forefront of our life.  Being an empowered career woman while being a wife can be challenging.  Women get treated sometimes tougher than our male counter parts so we have to work twice as hard.  I am blessed to have a husband like mine who encourages me to be a strong woman.  He empowers me to pursue my dreams and he makes me feel confident in being his wife.  My husband makes it so much easier for me to pursue my passion.  I am grateful for our relationship with Jesus, which has allowed me to be a successful mother and wife.   Our faith has taken us a long way and we look forward to growing old together.

 

 

img_2725-1

courtesy of Maxine Reyes

MAXINE REYES – Bio

Maxine Reyes is a burgeoning singer/songwriter/speaker whose vocal talent have embellished countless of people around the world.

Born in Kingston and raised in Manchester, Jamaica, her family sang in the community church where she was encouraged to share her special talent. With her rich and earthly Jamaican accent seasoned with grounded grace, you can see right away when she shares her infectious smile that you have just met a new friend.

These endearing qualities also helped Maxine, when she moved to Pembroke Pines, Florida as a teenager – where she began participating in local talent vocal competitions and winning on numerous occasions. It was at that point that she gained the confidence as a vocalist that allowed both her inner and outer beauty to transcend.

Voted Most Talented” of her graduating class at Miramar High School, FL. Maxine desired to pursue singing, but also having a strong sense of reality and being very mindful that is was also more important to be a positive representation of her native Jamaica, Maxine decided at that point of her life that it was much more important to secure her advance educational goals. She also felt like she had a higher calling to serve in the United States Military.

After graduating from High School, Maxine joined the United States Air Force which afforded her advanced education. However, this vibrant and energetic artist still kept her passion to share her gift of song by volunteering to sing at numerous nationally supported Military related events.

Maxine continued to not only sing whenever she can, but she also elevated her service to the Country by proudly becoming a Commissioned Officer in the United States Army and earned her Master of Arts in Management and Leadership. She is currently the Company Commander of the United States Army Recruiting Company in Orlando, FL. It is this same presentation of excellence that makes her performances a breath of fresh air to all. Maxine founded Happily Joint, Inc along with her husband. Happily Joint is an organization that helps couples deal with challenges in their relationships while living their best life with each other. Maxine and Ken know too well the challenges of keeping a relationship together as they met when they were teenagers and have been married for 18 years, both being under the age of 40. With multiple military separations some up to 15 months, the couple kept their marriage in tack and uphold an image that is admired by many. They have vowed to help others who deal with similar challenges as they have by hosting seminars and speaking to audiences interested in Maxine and Ken’s story. They are in the process of writing their first book together “The Happily Joint Guide.”

 

Additional Activities and Musical Performances:

  • Performed at sports games and ceremonies filed with dignitaries on multiple occasions when she sang the National Anthem at Orlando City Soccer, Independence Day Celebration, NBA game San Antonio Spurs vs Charlotte Bobcats at the Time Warner Arena, Ambassador of Qatar and government officials of Qatar, Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show, Toyota Indy 300, Miami Grand Prix and Marlins Opening ceremony.
  • She has performed for the President of the United States of America at the Miami Arena.
  • Maxine is loved by many and her broad appeal has won ardent supporters wherever she has performed. She returned home in April of 2014 after a year of serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Qatar and Afghanistan where she entertained Coalition forces in the area where she was based.
  • Her versatility and diverse background makes her the perfect ambassador for her nation. Maxine’s style can be described as “Reggae Soul” blending sultry inspiring Inspirational love R&B/Jazz grooves with Reggae.
  • Her Patriotic song “I’ve Got You/Military Wife” which she penned after her husband’s First Sergeant was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012 tugs at the heart and displays her writing skills and soulful vocal style. The song is perfect for any function honouring veterans, their spouses and the memories of the lives lost in the fight against terror.
  • Besides work, she is active in her community volunteering for different causes at every moment that she can. She is currently working on creating a non-profit organization, which offers mentoring and educational opportunities for the young girls. She actively supports her primary school back in Jamaica with her very own Maxine Reyes/Doctor Bird Award Program since 2000. It is a program that encourages students to work hard in school and reach for the stars in everything that they do. It fosters education, positive attitudes and selflessness. Her passion for people and her family is commendable and is noticed by the way she cares for her Soldiers and their families.

 

Social Media and contact Information

Happily Joint
Www.HappilyJoint.com
IG,FB,Twitter,Pinterest @HappilyJ

From The Heart of a Man ~ Kenneth Reyes

 

Courtesy Kenneth Reyes

Nothing in life carries more gravity than being a good father and husband. Serving in the military adds a level of complexity that most families do not have to deal with. Most civilians are unaware of the lawful demand that the profession of arms asks of its members. This demand is simply stated as, the mission comes first. If you are unfamiliar with the term, the mission comes first, allow me to get you up-to-speed. The “mission” is any military requirement that is asked of me. This can stem from as mundane as administrative paper work to the extreme of a combat deployment. The mission comes first regardless of my family situation. Child being born < Army; Wedding Anniversary < Army; Death in the Family < Army. True, with special permission these conflicts of interest can be resolved but you need the Army’s permission first.

This requires me to be on top of my husband and fatherly duties at all times. I need to build emotional resiliency in my wife and daughter so they can mentally manage the disappointment of my absence and all the little things that are on the daily battlefield of emotional happiness. School plays, playtime, tucking my daughter into bed, being there to hold my wife after a rough day. These are just some of the constant challenges I face as a father and husband in the military.

The question for those that know me is, how did I stay married for 19 years and be under 40? The answer is simple but the execution is much harder. I loved my wife as I wanted her to love me. I tried to be as understanding to her needs as I want her to be understanding to mine. Lastly, forgiveness proved to be the most important element to our success. I strived to forgive her for all perceived wrongs against me as I hoped she would try to forgive me for all my perceived wrongs against her. It didn’t hurt that the Lord scripted onto my heart that I would take care of her till my dying breath either.

Our relationship enjoys the unfair advantage of the Lord’s favor. We have faced challenges that have crushed other couples, but our love has the spiritual backing of one that is greater than the world. Therefore our love is able to resist the world’s challenges. This doesn’t mean we don’t fall victim to the snares of being rude, impatient, or hurting-one-another. We just seem to have an unending well of forgiveness for each other. This allows us to enjoy an unbreakable bond. After reading this you may be disappointed if you came looking for answers that could easily be replicated in your own relationship, but in the end we give God all the glory.

 

 

Captain Kenneth Reyes  ~ United States Army Paratrooper

Kenneth Reyes was born in Hoboken, NJ in 1978 and grew up as a military dependent.  Ken travelled the world with his mother and older brother; Hawaii, California, Puerto Rico, Germany, and Texas.  He graduated from High School at Killeen, TX and promptly enlisted in the United States Air Force at the age of 17 in 1996.  He attended Basic Military Training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.  After Basic Military Training, his first permanent duty station was McClellan Air Force Base, Sacramento, California.  He soon deployed to Bosnia to support the NATO led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 3 months. His mission was to assist in halting Serbian forces from completing their campaign of ethnic cleansing the Kosovo Albanians.

In 2000 while serving as a Senior Airman, Ken completed his first Associates in Applied Science in Information Technology Systems form the Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).  The CCAF is a federally-chartered degree-granting institution that serves the United States Air Force’s enlisted force.  In 2005 while serving as a Technical Sergeant, Ken completed his second Associates in Applied Science from the CCAF in Education & Training Management. He also completed a Bachelors of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix.  In 2006 Ken competed and was awarded an opportunity to attended Officer Candidate School.  After successfully completing Officer Candidate School, Ken received a commission from the President of the United States as an Army Second Lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corps.

In 2007 while serving as a Second Lieutenant, Ken volunteered to serve his country as a United States Army Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.  Ken was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (4th Brigade Combat Team).  Ken served as their Adjutant General Officer for 46 months.  While in the 82nd Airborne Division he served 27 months in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In 2011 while serving as a Captain, Ken took command of Charlie Company, 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), Fort Jackson, Columbia, SC for 22 months.  During this time Ken received, equipped, motivated, and shipped over 36,000 Soldiers to Basic Combat Training.  In 2013 Ken completed his Masters of Arts in Human Resource Management from Webster University.

Since 2013 Ken has been serving as an Assistant Professor of Military Science for Army ROTC at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Stetson University, Bethune-Cookman, and Daytona State College. Some of his awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, theArmy Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement

Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal (with two campaign stars), the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the NATO ISAF Medal, the Polish Army Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, and the Parachutist Badge.

 

 

Dad’s United – A Tribute to Fathers

image: m.inmagine.com

I want to salute fathers who love and look after their children. I know of a few men who have not seen their children for years, who pay child support but the mothers are using the children as a weapon by not letting the children see them.

It is a painful thing to watch and see men suffer like this. The presence of a father is vital in the lives of children. What ever happened between the parents, should not block  a father  from seeing his children. It is a grave mistake and will have repercussions on  the mother in years to come.

Yes there are “dead beat” dads out there and this post is not for them, but not every father is dead beat, not every father chooses not to take his responsibilities seriously. There are fathers who  work two or three jobs to make sure they provide. Lets take the time to salute them.

If your father was someone who did not fulfil his responsibilities and you find it difficult to celebrate him then find someone else who provided that father figure for you and celebrate them, appreciate them, love them.

Many many people have been wounded by their father and it has affected their self perception, self image and their progress in life and even their relationships with their own children. But there is help today. If you are a father reading this, drop your pride and look for help and healing in your own relationship with your own father so you can be a better father to your own children because they need you. Your own wounding is wounding them. Please do what you need to do to heal and then love on your children or at least start to build a bridge. Remember no one is perfect but at least make a start.

Then there is a father of all fathers, one who understands every beat of your heart, who can read the messages in each tear that you shed. My heavenly Father…….ahh what can I say. “Father God thank you, Thank you. Thank you for giving me your love letter, the bible, thank you for using it to show me how you feel and think about me. Thank you for picking me up and dusting me off. Thank you for being there and providing for me evn though I ignored you when you were trying to get my attention. Thank you for warming my heart with your love and care.”

My dad was not perfect but he has matured like a good wine and he makes me laugh. I call him “Prince Freddie”.

If you can take a moment and call your dad or the father figure in your life and tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Fathers, take a moment now and call you children, tell them how much you love and care for them. Keep this love cycle going.  You are to be celebrated!

Please like, comment or subscribe to my blog or subscribe via email. Check the side bar. Thank you!

A Young Mother’s Question.

image from sheknows.com

I was asked a question from my other blog site ( www.jennyallensecretplace.wordpress.com) by a young wife and mother who asked “I would like to hear and find out more about finding me and still find a way to be a great mother, daughter, and the love of my man’s life….” I would like to try and answer her question.

I can totally understand where she is coming from because being a mother, daughter, wife/girlfriend is a tall order and you try to be all things to all men and that is something you cannot do or be. I do not know how old this reader is, if she is married, working, studying or any other circumstance about her but I will answer in general terms based on what worked for me.

From my own experience, before I could look after my family in an affective and meaningful way I took time out to do what I was passionate about and did the things that ministered to me as an individual. For example I loved to read so I got books and found times throughout the day to read. I also loved working out and going to Spa’s and I also loved going for walks in the park. This helped me to focus and think about things that I was worried or concerned about. It was me time. After I took those me times I was better able to take care of my family and be the best that I could be towards them because I had ministered to who I was and am.

Another suggestion is to go out with some your friends, have a girls night out. It’s important not to lose contact with other relationships that you have.  Pursue any personal projects that you may have started and not finished. Volunteer in an organisation that you believe in. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community.

It is very very easy to keep giving as a mother and that’s not bad but it is important to also do the the things that you like to do and enjoy. Create a time slot say once a week or whatever time frame is convenient for you and do something special for yourself. Do you have someone who can babysit for you or can your husband look after your baby whilst you take some time out?

Being in a relationship with someone can be very challenging at times so you want to create special moments to build your relationship. You could arrange for someone to look after your baby whilst the both of you go on a date night. See a movie, restaurant , weekend away, do something that you both enjoy. This could be done once a month for example. It very important that the both of you also talk about what you need from each other in the relationship and take steps towards those goals.

In conclusion St John 16:7 (amp) says that The Holy Spirit is a comforter, helper and counsellor. Pray about your daily routine, ask God to give you wisdom to run your home. Pray as you do the washing, pray as you iron, pray in your children’s room and pray over your home as you tidy and clean it. It does not have to be long prayers but just pray from your heart. Solicite divine help and God will surely honour your prayers.

I trust these few suggestions are helpful to you. Be Blessed!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén