Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Abandonment”

How To Know if You’re A Bully

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

Bullying is a pervasive problem which I believe stems from abandonment issues. It’s defined in multiple ways and some countries have no legal definition of bullying while the US has state laws against it. Bullying is a form of abuse which covers a gamut of emotional, verbal and physical scenarios. It is abuse, harassment, mobbing,threats and assault. Bullying by any other name, stinks just as bad.

While the definition and recognition of what exactly bullying is, is growing rapidly, our culture houses bullies of all ages and stages, who do not not know that they are abusive. Even people who are viewed as good and upright are bullying their peers and family members. Instead of jumping to judge others, we would do well to look inward and make sure that we are not contributing to the bully culture.

The following may be extremely difficult to consider.

Eight ways you might be a bully:

1. When you don’t get your way, you intentionally make others feel uncomfortable.

2. You put people’s dreams on a leash and then parade them about and mock them in front of others.

3. You hold people’s past against them and threaten to expose your knowledge.

4. You threaten harm verbally and in your actions, even though you believe you will never act on your threats.

5. You subtly and constantly try to coerce others to do anything and everything you want.

6. You try to isolate others from social circles at church, work, school or any gathering place.

7. You indirectly bully your loved ones and others by refusing to speak to them.

8. You verbally abuse people in front of others even though you  follow with “I’m kidding,” or “I’m just sayin”.

Bullying includes name calling, verbal or written abuse (Cyber bullying), exclusion, physical abuse and coercion to name a few. We all fall down. But if after reading this you realize that you have a pattern of harming people by repeatedly doing one, some, or all of these, I encourage you to seek help. Learning about your behavior can lead to positive change and a healed soul who isn’t looking to others to fill a God-shaped hole.

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No Masks

As a child I wanted to be something awesome for Halloween. I knew if I had the right costume, people would like me. I thought I wanted to be Sleeping Beauty, but a girl at school was. She finally got her kiss and so much more nine months later. So I dressed up as Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. The precise opposite of a princess, which didn’t win any popularity contests, as dressing up like a boy is never a good look for me. I quit costumes the next time October 31 rolled around. It probably didn’t help that I got the Mumps that year; there was no trick-or-treating for me anyway.

That didn’t stop me however from constructing a mask, which I wore 24/7. I didn’t want the world to know that underneath my cool exterior, I was an abandoned daughter looking for daddy in every man I knew, and even in some I didn’t.

Many moons and Halloweens later, I hit rock bottom face first and shattered my mask. I floundered for awhile trying to figure out who I was and battling the desire to stay hidden.

God won the war and I gave up masks and costumes for good.

I don’t begrudge anyone, good, clean October 31 fun. And I love seeing the brilliant use of imagination in every costume.

But when you come to my door, you’ll get the real deal; scary or not.

Even WowWow is A Boy

Candi Card Williams

My sweet friend Candi had a wonderful response to my posts last week and her thoughts are too good to keep to myself. She’s an amazing mother to a beautiful 5-year-old boy and wife to a hard working and godly man, Tim. Hailing from Tampa, Florida, I’m so glad she got out of the humidity and now calls Scottsdale home. I also love how she calls me Ms. and always offers one of her southern hugs. I’m just better whenever I’m around her. 

Ok, Ms Audra!!

I am loving your new series!!!!

I have had to wipe back the tears at some points and then at others jump up and say “Preach it Sista!!”

You and I have a lot in common. I was raised by a single mother with 3 older sisters – no boys in my house.

Now, I am the only girl – even my cat WowWow is a boy – well he used to be . . .

I read your last article and thought how gracious God was to give you a great husband and THREE sons!! And how thankful I am for my Tim and Wesley (ok and WowWow).

I think it’s really cool that what the Enemy intended for evil, God will turn out for good. Follow me on this . . .

I can’t speak for you, but for me, the Enemy broke apart my home of origin, yet God in HIS wisdom gave me a son. My prayer is that the generational sin stops with me and Tim, and that we are now ushering in a new generation of blessing with our LITTLE MAN.

I see your family and read your posts – what the Enemy intended for evil, God is turning to good. You and your husband are ending generational sin and ushering in a new generation of THREE YOUNG MEN that love our Heavenly Father.

Praise be to Jesus!!!

Hugs and keep the posts coming!!!

Candi

Doesn’t she just crack you up? I love the line that “WowWow used to be a boy”….hysterical. And Candi, you can speak for me anytime sister. You are right on. I was deeply inspired by your words, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about being intentional about ending generational sin. That God would give us a chance to help raise boys who will be a blessing, who will help not harm, who will love not hate.

And just so you know, we’ve got your little girl in mind. We want to raise boys who are tough but tender when need be, real men who know how to love and respect a lady. We’re praying for a generation of blessed young women to rise up. Women who want to be co-creators the way God intended, women who want to walk worthy and walk beside a good man.

So what’s your story? Is God showing you a new way?

On Choosing Well

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

One thing I’m very passionate about is men. When I started walking with God about 13 years ago, I wanted to be a minister to men. They aren’t catty, they don’t talk a lot and often just want a buddy to work or play alongside them. They don’t want to analyze everything and certainly have little use for the drama we women employ.

I see the inappropriate, ridiculousness of that desire; and now know that men become men in the presence of other men. They are designed to be ministered to, mentored and raised by men. As women, we have two choices. We either emasculate our men or can affirm them as great.

I’ve been married to an amazing man for 19.8 years and we have three teenage sons. I know a lot about men. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always understand them, but I know a lot about them. As an abandoned, fatherless daughter, I survived brutal years of trying to let every man know that they were useless and women were better at everything. It was a horrible way to live and I lost good people whom I loved.

And then God, in His grace, ended my anti-men campaign. Today I strive to affirm our men; all of them. So, I’m starting a written series on the topic of men and how we can stop marginalizing them. How us women, “ain’t what we used to be”. I’ll talk about how not all of us mind, if men want to hold the door open or pay when you take us out. How we aren’t weak and don’t desire to walk behind our men, but long to walk alongside, as a co-creator, the way God intended.

I don’t take a public stand on politics. I do however, take a public stand on what I know to be true.

See, we’ve got a defining problem in our culture. We’re a fatherless nation. We are told to look to and follow our leader, yet the government encourages a female dominated society and wonders why we don’t view our fathers in Washington with respect. We experience legislation that allows men to turn away from their children and wonder why they don’t turn toward their fathers. We are a culture brought up by women and everything they believe their rights to be and then blame our men for not knowing how to be fathers.

I’m so grateful for everything my mom has done to raise my brother, sister and I. But the truth is, I know what it’s like to grow up without a father and everything in my pre-teen body knew it wasn’t right. I’ve experienced the devastating effects of a single parent, fatherless home. The tragedy continues to play out even today, over 25 years later.

It’s never too early to be smart about voting in November. Children are our future. Vote for the candidate who values human life and agrees that all men and women are created equal. A leader who isn’t trying to find new ways to elevate women above our good men. I’m voting for leaders who know the value of children being raised by a mother and father.

November 4 isn’t about standing around shaking your head with a pitying look on your face.

That day is your chance to choose.

Breakfast Club on Jazz

We attended closing night of the Phoenix Film Festival and saw Blue Like Jazz. The film opens nationwide on April 13.

Let me first say that I loved the book. God used it to change my life. Donald Miller gets abandonment. It was one of the first times I felt understood in my struggle with parental abandonment. Miller helped me to see that even though I didn’t feel worthy of people sticking around, I have a Father who has never left me.

In my ongoing heartbreak with subsequent familial abandonment, I return time and again to the truths I finally understood through Miller’s writing. God’s love lasts much longer than the stabs of current rejection. His love is the only thing that is eternal.

Now on to the movie. It’s not advertised for, nor is it appropriate for children or young teens. We took our 13 and 16 year old sons. I was embarrassed, and as mom to three teen boys, it takes some doing to make me blush. I also was uncomfortable with the mocking of Christianity. I get that for free every day out in the world, through all social media and especially on TV. My son lives it everyday at the University he attends, the other boys at their middle and high schools.

Some reviewers say the movie is a great conversation starter for Christian families and helps them transition their young adults to the next stage of life. I wonder where they think we live? Do they really believe all Christians live out in the country where the most violent act we witness is a calf being born? Where our biggest problem is what dress to wear to church on Sunday? No, Christians face the exact things the world does, on the same moment- by -moment basis. When I attend a film, I want to be taken away from the world, not forced to relive my college days in all their lewd glory.

Reviewers said the movie was going to have a hard time and comments like the one below tend to polarize viewers:

A challenging book to turn into a film due to its stream of consciousness narration, director Steve Taylor and crew have for the most part succeeded in turning out a generally entertaining film, but one that will probably be too centered on Christianity for those averse to religion and too “edgy” for those of the Christian faith who like their films Kirk Cameronesque. -Linc Leifeste, Smells Like Screen Spirit 

I agree, it was too difficult to turn Blue Like Jazz into a film. As a person of faith, an avid movie goer and someone who respects Kirk Cameron, I don’t prefer my films to be Kirk Cameronesque. I further don’t consider mocking Christianity for 95% of the film to be edgy in any way. It’s an effort to reach the masses with an attempt to entertain. Mocking anything is usually good for a sure laugh.

The central message of Blue Like Jazz the movie, is that every flawed creature is worthy of respect, which we know is the gospel truth. The film had the chance to go deep with that and ended up a glorified, modern day version of the Breakfast Club with a jazz soundtrack. Basically an “accept all sin now, just be certain to ask forgiveness later.”

I highly recommend the book, it’s a completely different experience.

Blue Like Jazz the Book

Inbound Marriage

This morning I was invited to the launch of the book Married But Looking. I have no idea what it’s about, but from a marketing and personal standpoint, it’s a message I don’t care about. I’m not intrigued.

Marriages everywhere would do well to think in terms of inbound marketing. We need to stop pushing our messages out and start pulling our spouse in. Many people spend time making themselves marketable to an unnecessary audience. As a committed partner, we shouldn’t even be looking for an audience; we have all we need at home. We spend thousands of dollars making ourselves presentable to the world, when the nurturing of our private life is neglected, choked and tangled.

All any of us want is to be known and loved for who we are. Often the persona we present to the world, isn’t at all who we are. Again, lots of money wasted on a mask that will crack and break. We don these masks and wake up one day lost in the culture, touting messages we never intended and dying, literally dying to be found.

I too, used to be caught in the sticky web of trying to please the world. When I woke up face down in a proverbial gutter, something whispered above the worldly noise. God’s voice reminding me I hadn’t been abandoned and never would be. He further reminded me of my purpose; to love my man. Getting back up wasn’t easy, but the less I looked at the world and the more attention I paid to my marriage, the quicker I healed.

A couple of weeks ago, I played percussion with the orchestra at church. We did one of my favorites, an amazing gospel version of I’ll Fly Away and Soon And Very Soon. I was to lay out during the intro and come in on the verse. I was just having myself a time; counting, swaying and tapping my foot.

Then I saw him.

My handsome husband’s face stood out  in a sea of 2000. It took my breath away and I was lost in him, thinking over and over, “I love him. I love him so much.”

My entrance came and went.

Come on Audra!” I snapped out of my dreamy reverie as the conga player commanded me to do my part. I spazzed on the tambourine and played on 1 and 3 instead of 2 and 4. All the while trying not to laugh out loud, because he still gets to me. (My husband, not the conga player.)

After knowing him for 26.5 years and being married for 19, Steve still deeply gets to me.

And so I’m grateful for the gift of God cracking my mask. I see much better now. The world is a cold, dark place which will never be satisfied with my efforts. But at home,in the safety of our marriage, the warmth and acceptance is everything I’ve ever wanted.

To connect intimately with your spouse, quit investing in outbound, pointless messages and take a hard look at what’s right in front of you. Use your powerful energy to build, grow and nurture a healthy, inbound marriage.

You don’t want your spouse to be married, but looking.

New: Why behind the Artist

Most of my writing and speaking has been on the topic of abandonment.

As a teenager, my father left us on Father’s Day weekend. Overnight our world was shattered. I’ve experienced much abandonment since then. Grandparents and friends dying, broken relationships, extended family walking away and even abandoning myself at different times.

I creatively write to remind people of the truth.

Truth is, we all have an engaging, worthy story.

We would all do well, to remember that our story began long before we were abandoned.

Are you ever mired so deep that you can’t remember what life was like before you experienced abandonment?  It’s easy to do.

What would your life look like if it wasn’t defined by abandonment?

New: Why I Create

Photo Courtesy @iStockphoto

I just returned from three weeks by the sea. Three weeks of relaxing like I haven’t since I was a child. Three weeks of minimal technology. It wasn’t announced or predicted. It just happened.

Sometimes in the path of social media, my thoughts are contained in a straight and narrow box. I have to busy my mind with trending topics, garnering invites to Google, forcing this square peg into new “circles” and keeping my thoughts to 140 characters. Unless I want others to share my thoughts, then I have to somehow keep them to 125 characters.

But a funny thing happens when your face isn’t updated every half hour in an electronic book and when you listen for live birds tweeting as they freely fly by.

Other thoughts have their way, and they simply come.

I’ve thought a lot about why I create, namely why I write. So I’m doing a series on the why behind the artist.

I write so people will abandon cultural beliefs, which carves out an honest space for simple truth and good living.

Why do you do what you do?

 

Write Reasons

IStock_000010326584XSmall

photo courtesy of iStockphoto

In writing, as in anything worth doing, it's important that we know why we're doing it. 

I write, so no one feels abandoned. Going a little deeper, I write about the struggles of living, never wanting to minimize, but to give a powerful voice to it.

Deciding and naming why you write, gives you a roadmap, direction and purpose.

Writing reasons:

To be relevant

To be excellent

To address temptation

To encourage

To teach

To remind

To share wisdom

To bless 

To answer a calling

Why do you write?

Know Groundwire

What I wouldn't have done to have a group like this when I was a teenager. Groundwire uses technology to connect young people with the gospel of Jesus. 

I'm passionate about our millennials and young people. Sadly, they are considered the lost generation. I love promoting the work the good folks of Groundwire do, because it lines up with my personal mission. I write so that no one feels abandoned. 

Groundwire exists to bring our young people home. If you are struggling with cutting, eating disorders, depression or other problems, log onto Groundwire for Spiritual coaching and a safe place where you won't be judged or shunned.

Day or night, someone is waiting to talk, pray, encourage and listen. www.Groundwire.net

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