Genevieve C. West

Genevieve C. West

writer; consultant; wife; mom; wine; coffee; grace.

Broken Trust

As perfect as I like to pretend I am, I’m a really crappy friend!
… Just ask any of my friends.

Photo by Ron Dodge

Photo by Ron Dodge

Relationships are messy! Not just romantic relationships, either.

Family, children, friendships, co-workers. Any time there’s another person involved, things will get messy.
People don’t always act the way they’re “supposed to”.
Or you don’t.

Your parents will step on boundaries or judge your life choices, but no matter how much they drive you  nuts, you still love them and will still visit at Christmas.

Your kids will be jerks, whether they’re 5, 25, or 55, but you’re not going to love them any less.

Your sister will “borrow” your favorite sweater without asking and “forget” to return it, but she doesn’t stop being your sister. You won’t give up on the relationship when you see her wearing it at Grandma’s birthday party.

Your best friend since kindergarten will snap at you, or forget that you had a lunch date, but you’ll make up over drinks.

Trust WILL be broken in relationships. It’s just part of being among people.

And sometimes, YOU will be the one making a mistake that will break trust in a relationship.

I’ve found, when a relationship is important enough, or constant enough, that most offenses can be moved past over time when one party makes the first move, and when both parties are willing to make amends.

But that’s often not the case in romantic relationships. If it were, divorce rates wouldn’t be so high, right?

 

Why do we set higher expectations for our spouses than we do for everyone else in our lives? (click to tweet this)

 

Money, sex, infidelity, lack of commitment, arguing, marrying “too young”, lack of equality in the marriage.

With the exception of abuse, when reasons for divorce are broken down,  the majority can fall under two categories: Poor communication, and unmet expectations (realistic or otherwise).

But even those two categories can be under the “broken trust” umbrella.

 

Trust is broken any time a person doesn’t act in the best interest of the relationship. (click to tweet this)

 

During a conversation with my husband, the idea of “trust” came up, and how we trust each other more now than we did a decade ago. We discussed some circumstances in our marriage that might have caused our relationship to unravel, but instead we used those situations to better see each other as people, rather than how a wife/husband is “supposed to be.” (yes, these are  how our casual conversations over coffee sometimes go)

 

Me: “I think, in marriage, trust is always going to be broken, and then have to be rebuilt.” (click to tweet this)
Eric: “Interesting. You should blog about that.”
So here I am.

 

Trust has to go both ways. When one breaks trust in the marriage, it’s up to the other to still be trustworthy in their response.
And vice versa.
Because there WILL be a time when the situation is reversed.
Maybe not the same thing, because you’ll both struggle with different things, but trust will be broken, nonetheless.

 

When my choices betrayed my husband’s trust, his supportive, loving, and grace-filled response showed me that I could still trust in him.

And when my husband was going through his own difficult time, I did my best to show him that he could still trust me to be there for him, even when he wasn’t himself, even when he wasn’t acting in the best interest of our marriage.

 

While I’m sure he has hopes for how a wife of his would be, Eric doesn’t only see me through the lens of “Eric’s wife.” He sees me for who I am, even with all my flaws. And I believe it’s because of this that he’s able to forgive me so quickly when I break his trust, so that we can move on to rebuilding.
And vice versa.

We both understand that neither one of us will ever be able to be perfect.
That’s exactly why Christ had to come.
We understand that both of us have our own struggles, and that through Christ we’re already forgiven for those struggles.
So to fail to forgive each other is like saying that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t good enough.

 

Some new friends sat in our living room the other  day and asked us how we can still be friends after being together for so long and having so many kids. I think that having the expectation of trust being broken, and already knowing that it will have to be rebuilt, has something to do with how happy we are.

Will we still have hard times in our future?
Yep.
“Those who marry will face many troubles in this life,” 1 Corinthians 7:28

But I hope that we approach those troubles with even more love, grace, and trust than we have up until now.

“Love never gives up, always trusts, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7

 

7 Ways to Love Yourself on Valentine’s Day

Article published at MeetMindful.com

meetmindful_yogadates1

Valentine’s Day seems to bring up a range of emotions in singles and couples alike—whether it’s anger over the commercialized nature of the holiday, fear of a shrinking wallet in an attempt to live up to a date’s expectations, sadness over a lost relationship, or dread over spending the day alone, being pitied by your married friends.

Instead of hiding under your covers in terrified anticipation of this made-up holiday, execute your own memorable day of love.

Read more at MeetMindful.com

10 Ways To Redeem Valentine’s Day

Article published at UrbanFetishMag.com

urbanfetishmaglogo

Valentine’s Day can really suck if you’re single. You can try to pretend that it’s just another day, but you’re bombarded with red heart paraphernalia at every checkout counter, in every jewelry commercial, and at every restaurant.

But being single doesn’t have to ruin your Valentine’s Day!
Decide now to reclaim and redeem this made up holiday!

The first step to enjoying Valentine’s Day instead of dreading it is to plan ahead.

Read more at UrbanFetishMag.com

Church, Can We Talk About The Border Children? {Guest Post By Kristin Byrd}

Photo by Holly Brennan  http://lifeinthai.wordpress.com/

Photo by Holly Brennan http://lifeinthai.wordpress.com/

 

Church, Can we talk about the border children?

No really, can we please talk about them?

By in large, on a national scale, the church has been pretty quiet.
Crickets.
Deafening silence.

Is this a Christ like response to a humanitarian crisis involving children?

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Matthew 19:13-15 13

10s of thousands, soon to be hundreds of thousands of children are being sent to our border.
They are marching with FAITH to a border of a country who holds wealth unimaginable to their weary souls.
They are marching to a border where 73% of her citizens profess Christianity.
In their innocent faith, they are expecting a Christ like response and welcoming.

They are receiving anything but.

While there is a lot of talk about what to do with these children, who are these children in regard to security risks, how do we prevent them from coming and how do we return them….
We are missing the MESSAGE.
God is sending these children.
And church, we are failing.

When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17 14

Church, we have to make a choice.
Will we be like the disciples who rebuke the parents and who have little faith that these children add value to our earthly “Kingdom” and therefore disregard that his kingdom belongs to THEM?
Brought in droves out of impossible and unspeakable tragedy and circumstances, they are “the least of these”.
Or will we be Christ like and pour out our blessings upon them?

Love them.
What does that even look like?
It looks uncomfortable. It looks counter cultural.
It’s looks self sacrificing.

Because here is the simple truth: As comfortable American Christians, we are more than happy to open our wallets.
But we are quite unwilling to open our doors.
This isn’t an issue we can pass off on the government.
This culture is seeping from our hearts and impacting societal norms, not the other way around.

The evidence surrounds us.
102,000 orphans reside in our country, legally free and waiting to be adopted.
Yes, we call them wards of the state.
They are orphans.
20,000 will age out of the system every year having never found one person to step up and say “you matter”.

In a land of over 229 million Christians, they will not find ONE.
Why?
Because we fear the baggage which was unjustly placed on the heads of children in the foster care system.
And We fear the demons which may accompany these child refugees.

“You unbelieving and perverse generation”
Church, this mirror is hard to look at.
I get it.
It’s ugly truth.
It’s a lack of faith my husband and I wrestle with.
This message is as much for us as it is for you.

I humbly ask for your prayers, for our family, that we may go where Christ leads.
And I beg you, don’t hide from this mirror.
Christ sees even what we refuse.

 

Kristin Byrd is a wife and mom who loves her family and loves Jesus. She lives in Bozeman, Montana with her wonderful husband and their two kiddos that keep them learning, laughing, and unbelievably sleep deprived. “Life is a beautiful mess and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Telling fibs to children has long tradition among parents

Apparently, this must be a thing, because I was asked by The Columbus Dispatch what food secrets I keep from my kiddos:

twinkies.thecolumbusdispatch

Read the whole article HERE!

8 Weird Startups Getting Traction

mixnmatch.ajclogo

Mix ‘N’ Match Creamery has the honor of being listed as one of 8 Weird Startups Getting Traction at The Atlanta Journal Constitution!

mixnmatch.ajc

Read the article HERE!

Check out Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery for yourself!
Food Cart – Catering – Cafe – Events

We love our customers who love us on Yelp!

mixnmatch.gigsalad

Twinkies on the sly and other ways parents deceive

heraldtribunelogo

The Herald Tribune asked me if there were any deceptions in my parenting style. Read my confession:

twinkie.heraldtribune

Click HERE to read the entire article!

My Thoughts on Hobby Lobby

I have 3 kids peeling my brain as I try to write this, so bear with me.

photo (18)pictureperfect

I’ve remained relatively silent on the whole Hobby Lobby thing.
But since I’ve been invited into conversation about it, I’d like to organize and fully articulate my thoughts here instead of a half-assed social media “conversation” where no one actually listens to each other.

 

First, I need you to understand a couple things about me:

1. I am not in blind lock step with a political party or religious denomination.

As far as my faith goes… I guess you can call me a Christian?… but I’m not even sure what that means any more.
I love Jesus as much as I can, and I really suck at following the dude’s teachings.

I am not a republican.
And, although I come from a family of staunch Democrats, I am not a Democrat.
I am an American.
And I try to vote for what I believe would be best for the longevity, safety, and prosperity of our country and her people, with the information that I have at that time.

 

2. I have done a 180 in my beliefs over the past decade, so I really try to give others room for their differing opinions and changing beliefs. I expect the same respect from others, sometimes naively, as this rarely happens over social media.

 

Okay, now we can move on to the Hobby Lobby thing.

 

1. If birth control was over the counter, like condoms, then this whole conversation wouldn’t be happening.
So it sounds to me like the government is trying to control women’s reproductive organs way more than Hobby Lobby. I say we rally against THAT. Who’s with me?

 

2. From what I understand, employers are not required to provide health coverage for their employees at all. So it doesn’t make sense to me that the government would try to force them to provide certain things, even though they don’t force them to provide coverage in the first place. I’m so confused.

I’m so confused! It’s like choosing to give my business to Fred Meyer, but the grocery store telling me, “Thanks for shopping with us! Now that we’ve got you inside the store, you will be forced to purchase every GMO product we have in stock.”

 

3. I’ve read that Hobby Lobby used to cover ALL contraceptives, until they were going to be forced to.

Haven’t you ever been going along, doing your thang, and then you’re suddenly faced with an “Aha” moment?
Shiny new information that causes you to change your course?

  • Maybe you stopped using deodorant with aluminum because you read it causes breast cancer.
  • Maybe you stopped buying frozen chicken, and now only buy free range from a local farm where each chicken has a name, like on Portlandia.

So, that’s what probably happened here. An “Aha” moment. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. Maybe Hobby Lobby owners have them, too.

 

4. I appreciate other people respecting my beliefs, no matter how much of an idiot they think I am because of them. So I don’t like infringing upon other people’s beliefs, however erroneous I believe them to be.

  • If my Buddhist vegan friend has a moral obligation to not cause harm to any critter, and she believes that the soul of that grasshopper is just as important as yours or mine, then I would be a really crappy friend to ask her to squash that bug.
  • If you believe that there’s a real live little human soul in that egg, no matter how right or wrong I think you are, I am not going to ask you to change your belief, tell you you’re wrong, or ask you to squash that egg.

 

5. If that building is about to be demolished, and you’re screaming and hollering that there’s a kid inside of it, I’m not going to take the chance that maybe you’re wrong. I’m going to help you stop that wrecking ball and I’m going to help you search that building to make sure that no one is inside.

See, I believe that there’s a person inside that building.

Science is always changing, always learning, always discovering.
No matter how many top scientists tell me that I’m wrong, I’m just not willing to take that risk when the life of a child – of thousands of children – hang in the balance.

How dare you ask me to take it on faith that these scientists aren’t wrong?

 

6. It sounds like Hobby Lobby’s health care plan still includes access, copay-free, to the following categories of FDA-approved birth-control:

  • Male condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Diaphragms with spermicide
  • Sponges with spermicide
  • Cervical caps with spermicide
  • Spermicide alone
  • Birth-control pills with estrogen and progestin (“Combined Pill)
  • Birth-control pills with progestin alone (“The Mini Pill)
  • Birth control pills (extended/continuous use)
  • Contraceptive patches
  • Contraceptive rings
  • Progestin injections
  • Implantable rods
  • Vasectomies
  • Female sterilization surgeries
  • Female sterilization implants

What Hobby Lobby will NOT cover are four contraceptive methods that its owners fear are abortifacients:

  • Plan B (“The Morning After Pill”)
  • Ella (a similar type of “emergency contraception”)
  • Copper Intra-Uterine Device
  • IUD with progestin

Hobby Lobby does not prevent its female employees from using any of these four types of contraceptives. However, since they believe these innovations kill babies, they simply require that any employees who want to use them buy them with their own money.

 

Related articles:

Adventures In Boundaries

Photo by Michelle Miller http://instagram.com/mmleeann

Photo by Michelle Miller
http://instagram.com/mmleeann

Someone tried to run over my boundaries.
What makes me even more angry is that it almost worked.

I’m still unclear whether it was on purpose or not, since I gave them a similar scenario and they expressed that they would have been outraged… which I am.

And then Ellie (21 months) tried to wrestle away from me when I changed her diaper.

And then Evie (13) wanted to stay at the cafe longer, even though I’d already told her when I’d  be picking her up.

And then Kaylie (4.5) saw a box of special chocolates given to be by a client and asked if she could  have one.
No.
Five minutes later, “When can I have one of your chocolates?”

I. Lost. It.

“No! You cannot have my chocolates! Those are MY chocolates! Someone gave them to ME because they appreciate what I did for them, even if nobody else does!”

 

My wonderful, supportive, appreciative, loving, slightly scared of me husband, Eric suggests that maybe I’m moving into a season of needing to reinforce my boundaries better.

I thought my teenager should have a warning of how it’s gon’ be:

 

Picture a beautiful, green lawn.
I have a cute little white picket fence to protect my perfect lawn.

BUT… someone starts leaning on my little fence, bending it inward.
Their toes edge their way into the grass, causing the blades to crumple and bend.
If enough toes tromp on the edge of that grass, it will start to become brown, bent, and ugly.

My lawn now needs some TLC.

Then someone tags my fence.
Someone else decides it’d look better blue and starts to paint it.
Someone else kicks in one of the pieces of wood, breaking it in two and making it lean even more inward.

Now my lawn needs some TLC… and so does my fence.

So in order to get my lawn back to a healthy state, I need to first make sure I have a good fence to protect it.

And in order to mend my poor ugly fence to make it strong enough  to protect my lawn, I’m going to have to protect that little fence from harm until it’s whole.

 

So on the other side of my beaten up little picket fence, I’m now going to build a super tall prison fence.
With a padlock on the gate.
And barbed wire at the top.
Possibly even a big “Beware of Dog” sign
And poky stakes sticking out from the bottoms to keep folks back, like it’s designed to catch zombies.

Once my new perimeter is established and everyone who tries to get to my fence is stopped short by my big prison fence, then I can make the necessary repairs to the picket fence.

I have a feeling my cute little white picket fence will be a little stronger this time.
Maybe reinforced on the other side so it won’t bend so easily the next time it’s leaned on.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
By Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Experience in Pictures

Vanbrosia was awesome enough to capture her Mix ‘N’ Match Creamery experience in pictures!

mixnmatch.vanbrosia

See the rest of her photos HERE!

Check out Mix ‘n’ Match Creamery for yourself!
Food Cart – Catering – Cafe – Events

We love our customers who love us on Yelp!

mixnmatch.gigsalad

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