What is Enabling and What is Helpful?

Let’s say you have an adult son or daughter who is harmfully involved with drugs or alcohol. You want to help so you have paid the rent or other bills, given him money, bailed him out problems or let him move back home.
Sure, he’s promised to make things right, but things don’t get better. Every time your child denies using, provides reasons for the situation or tells you he is going to quit, you believe him and give him another chance.
The stress on everyone is taking its toll. Your thoughts continue to focus on the state of your family, everyone seems on edge and you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep. Your energies all go on trying to “fix” the situation.
In an effort to help, friends, family neighbors, keep offering advice. They tell you to stop taking care of him, stop giving him money and to take care of yourself. From your point of view everything would fall apart if you did that. He would end up on the street, in jail or worse. “He just needs to get a break or get past this rough patch” you think. Besides he said he is going to quit using, and he really means it this time.
This is an incredibly difficult situation, but you are not alone. We know “enabling” is when we do something for someone else that they should and could do for themselves. But, are we not supposed to help out those we love? That’s what families do, right? What if you are the only glue holding what little there is together?
These are hard questions and the answers can be difficult to determine. It can take the guidance and support of others to help sort this out. Al-anon, Families Anonymous and Lost and Found Ministry are all here for YOU. The important things to remember are: don’t do this alone, things can get better, and there are people out there who can help. Call us today at 218-287-2089 to talk to someone who understands or email us at info@lostandfoundministry.org.

The No-Judgment Zone and the Golden Rule

The No-Judgment Zone & the Golden Rule
by Beth Brantner, LPCC, Lost and Found Ministry and reGROUP

Addiction, it’s all around us. We’re bombarded with tragedies associated with addiction such as car accidents where people are under the influence, violence, fights, theft, broken families, poverty, homelessness, damaged relationships, absentee parents, and so on. It is no wonder recovering people often keep their story anonymous, not wanting others to associate them with the heartbreaks and drama.

I believe this stigma is why we don’t hear about the 23 million people in our country who are in long- term recovery. These folks are working, raising families, paying taxes and quietly doing things to make the world a better place. They know what it’s like to struggle, tend to be generous to others, and are inclined to be nonjudgmental. They are your neighbors, your co-workers and sit next to you in church.

At Lost and Found Ministry and reGroup, we work hard to let people know that addiction is a no-fault disease, solutions are out there, recovery is possible, and we’re living proof. If there was greater understanding and support by the general public, I believe more people would seek out recovery.

On Giving Hearts Day, a lovely young lady stopped in to look at our library. She said she enjoys coming here as “it is one place I can go where I’m not judged”; she has been clean and sober for 8 months. Wouldn’t it be a much better world if there were more places she and others could go where they would feel welcome? Remember the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12 “Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets”

Love is a Many Faceted Thing                 

by Beth Brantner, LPCC, Counselor at Lost and Found Ministry “Help for Those Lost in Another’s Addiction” www. lostandfoundministry.org, 218-287-2089
111 7th St. So., Moorhead, MN 56560
Open for addiction counseling, referrals, and resources, 5th Steps, CD Evaluations, educational events, support groups, and a life recovery library.

February is that time of year where we are surrounded by hearts, cupid’s arrows, flowers, and Valentine’s Day. It is the Month of Love.

There are many kinds of love: between parent and child, between friends, between romantic partners or significant others, and that for our fellow humans.  In the Upper Midwest we are known as the strong silent types, and it seems we either have difficulty telling someone we love them, or we wear it out with “I love those socks, that song, that team.”

Love can be expressed in other ways. Consider the recently-married middle-aged couple. Hubby woke up early Saturday morning and took his wife’s car in to get the oil changed. “What!’’ she said, “Doesn’t he know that I can take care of my car myself?!” He, on the other hand, was trying to be nice and express his love by an act of service.  This is an example of how things can go wrong when people do not understand each other’s language of love.

Think of the little boy who gives his mother a handful of dandelions,  the boyfriend who fixes his girlfriend’s flat tire, the daughter who spends time with her elderly mother, the wife who tells her husband she is proud of him, or husband who holds his pregnant wife’s hand while they walk around the block.

These are all examples of the five different love languages:  gifts, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation and touch. When you know the spirit in which the gifts or acts are done, it will help you “hear” the love behind them.   When you are aware of the love language of the other person, expressing your love for him in that manner will be deeply felt rather than misunderstood. It also fills up the “love bank”, says Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages.” (This book is available at the Lost and Found Ministry Library.)

So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, take time to tell people that you love them; use their love language to show them as well.  The old adage, “actions speak louder than words” takes on new meaning when both actions and words give the same message. Your Valentine will really know—and feel–how much you care.

 

Buy One, Get One That You Don’t Need

When I hear the word “addiction”, my mind jumps to images of drug abuse, and alcoholism. Sometimes however, we may forget that addiction can take many forms, whether it be eating, drinking, smoking, or even shopping.  One third of Americans say they know someone who is addicted to shopping. It’s likely that a shopping addict is your neighbor, your spouse, coworker, or even you.

Can you identify with some of these warning signs of a shopping addiction, or do you know someone who does?

·       I often buy things I can’t afford

·       I feel guilty when I shop

·       My closet is full of unused things

·       I tend to hide purchases from my loved ones

·       I buy things to make myself feel better

·       I’m in deep debt

·       I feel out of control

If any of these describe you or someone you know, consider checking out a book about the subject, like “Consuming Passions” by Ellen Mohr Catalano and Nina Sonenberg, or “Emotional Spending” by L. Marie Dubuque. You can find these by visiting Lost and Found Ministry at:

111 7th St. So., Moorhead, MN 56560
218-287-2089
www.lostandfoundministry.org

Tough Times?

Dr. Seuss once said, “I learned there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead, others come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see. Now my troubles are going to have trouble with me.”

What Dr. Seuss is talking about is adversity. Unfortunately, it is something that often can’t be overcome with a children’s book and clever rhymes. This message really resonates with me, as I have stressed over this week as my obligations continue to pile up around me. Perhaps for you, adversity is a terminal family member, an addiction that you’re struggling with, or the addiction of a family member. Perhaps it is a strained relationship or a broken home.

Whatever your problems today, James writes this to you.  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” – James 1:2-4

James trusts in the lord and remembers to stay positive when things get tough. Some other great resources on this subject can be found at Lost and Found Ministry, including “Help For the Hard Times” by Hipp Earl, and dozens of other books, videos, and audio on the subject. Come check out a book today. Dr. Seuss would be proud of you.

111 7th St. So., Moorhead, MN 56560
218-287-2089
www.lostandfoundministry.org

I’m just cranky today!

Perhaps it’s an inconsiderate driver, or an endless stream of emails that puts you on edge. However crankiness isn’t really about the guy who cut you off or an overstuffed inbox; usually it’s the product of something bigger.

God lays out a clear path for avoiding this crankiness in 2 Peter 1:2, saying “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 

Through the knowledge of God. Firstly, that means the bible is offering grace and peace by reminding us to read its words. Secondly that means abiding by what it says. The bible talks about getting enough rest. Psalm 127:2 Reminds us that “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”

While it can be easy to treat crankiness as no big deal, it can have serious effects on our relationships with our friends, fellow employees, and family, and can deter from our ability to minister to those around us. So take a deep breath, smell a few roses, and dive into God’s word. It might just give you better perspective the next time patience wears thin.

Leslie Charles’ book “why is everyone so cranky?” shines light on the things that contribute to crankiness. To check out her book and others like it, visit Lost and Found Ministry at:

111 7th St. So., Moorhead, MN 56560
218-287-2089
9-5 M-F

What does a child feel when she loses a loved one?

I looked through a box of old knickknacks. Everything was worn and mysterious and represented the long life of my great grandmother. Her passing caused me much grief, a feeling most of us have experienced through losing someone. What happens when that pain, still as real and cutting, happens to a child?

The Lost and Found Ministry library offers many resources for this situation. First, there are resources designed to help adults understand what a child is going through, including “Helping Children Grieve”, a DVD by Ford, Khris & D’Arcy, and Paula. In addition, there are books that help children sort through their own feelings, like “The Empty Place – A Child’s Guide Through Grief” by Temes and Roberts.

There are books about specific relationships, like a father dying, or ones that are broader.  Can you think of a child that could benefit from one of the books at Lost and Found? If so, take a look at what we have online at www.lostandfoundministry.org/library.html, or visit our office at 111 7th St. South Moorhead, MN 56560. We would love to meet with you and help you in whatever way that we can. 

What is Prayer?

“What is prayer?” I asked my mother curiously as a young boy. I knew how to pray and what to pray about, but I didn’t really know what it was all about.

Even as an adult, I find myself often struggling with the question: “what is prayer?” The Bible talks about prayer often, but trying to decipher what it all means can be very daunting. Luckily, many have explored the Bible and can explain in clear modern language, what God says about prayer. The Lost and Found Ministry library has a multitude of sources on prayer including:

  • ·       The Essential Guide To Quiet Time And Prayer                           
  • ·       Beginning Prayer                                                                
  • ·       Beyond Words: 15 Ways To Do Prayer                                     
  • ·       Book of Uncommon Prayer                                                            
  • ·       Contemplative Prayer & Women’s Developmental                       
  • ·       Daily Prayer: From The New International Version
  • ·       Prayer Bear – Time to Pray                 

What is prayer? Clearly it is a big question, and one that we can never fully answer, but can always continue to learn about. So, weather you’re a grandmother with 60 years of bible reading experience, or just a curious kid with a question, there is something for you to learn about prayer. 

To pick up one of these books, visit us online at lostandfoundministy.org/library.html, call us at 218-287-2089 Or visit us in person at 111 7th St S Moorhead, MN 56560

Eating Disorders Hurt by Jordan Rasmussen

                Pressures in life can present themselves in a number of ways. Sometimes we feel stress because media images and our own bodies just don’t match up. This affects our view of ourselves—our self esteem.

                Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder affects up to 24 million people in the United States every year (National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), n.d.).   If you have suffered from an eating disorder, you are far from alone.  If you are at risk or think somebody is experiencing problems with an eating disorder, you should seek professional help. 

vWebmd.com lists symptoms of anorexia and bulimia:

Ø  Skipping meals or obsessive dieting

Ø  Feelings of guilt in association with exercising or eating

Ø  Insomnia

Ø  Loss in hair and nail quality

Ø  Damaged teeth quality

(Jaret, n.d.)

vDr. William Kernan of Columbia University Medical Center provides a 10-step plan for helping friends and family who suffer from eating disorders.

Ø  1.) Keep an open mind:  If you think somebody may be suffering from an eating disorder, approach them privately and allow for you both to talk without being rushed.

Ø  2.) Clarify your role as somebody who cares and wants to help.

Ø  3.) Speak privately

Ø  4.) Avoid making the other person feel judged by reflecting concern for specific behaviors

Ø  5.) Avoid “You” statements and try to reflect your observations by telling them, “I noticed” instead of, “you have.”

Ø  6.) Remain supportive and a good outlet

Ø  7.) Stress your concern for your friend/family

Ø  8.) Avoid conflict when discussing these topics as conflict can result in resistance to open dialogue

Ø  9.) Emphasize physical and mental health rather than weight, image, or morality.

Ø  10.) Do your homework and be careful not to jump to conclusions.

(Kernan, W., Dr., n.d.)

Spring Always Comes by the Rev. Tim Bauer, Lost and Found Ministry Moorhead

“I just want this winter to be over!” If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times this winter. Amazingly, the weather does change, but not because of our loud voices. But because spring always comes. Seasons always change. Regardless of human desires or complaints.

“Don’t push the river, it flows by itself,” states a Chinese proverb. We have grown accustomed to having whatever we want, whenever we want it. Our contentment is fleeting. Instead of insisting on change, we can choose to embrace what is occurring. Did you see the sun dogs the other day, surrounding the sun? Did you hear the crunch of the snow as you walked down the path?

As the Serenity Prayer reads, “Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…” May the changes occurring around you and within you produce serenity for this day—including serenity in another day of being clean and sober.

Visit Lost and Found Ministry at 111 7th St. So., in Moorhead, MN 56560 or call 218-287-2089, www.lostandfoundministry.org.