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Why Women Stay

Why do women stay in less than satisfactory relationships?

It’s an age old question, why?  Why on earth would a woman stay in a relationship with someone who is mean, controlling, manipulative or straight out abusive?   There might be as many reasons as there are women (and yes, men can be in bad relationships too).


  • She has low self-esteem. 
  • She doesn’t value herself or see that she can do better. 
  • She has an unhealthy attraction to the wrong kind of guy.
  • She is desensitized to the poor treatment from being in it so long. 

by Gretchen Flores

Purging Judgmental Attitudes

“You then, why do you judge your brother? Why do you look down on your brother?”
Romans 14: 10a

As I cleaned out the refrigerator the other day, I realized I hadn’t done it in a while. I pulled out several Tupperware tubs full of stuff. The recent tubs weren’t so bad. It was effortless to toss the leftover food down the disposal. I held my breath as I opened some of the other tubs to protect my nose from the smell. I quickly dumped them out. Hairy mold developments existed in the corners. I thought, “Certainly it hasn’t been that long since I cleaned out the fridge.” Clearly it had, because there was a lot of gunk in there from old veggies to leftover stew.


When we judge others who are loved by God it is as smelly as old stew in the fridge. God asks us to love one another and to not judge. Yet, so many of us still are full of judgmental attitudes. Many of us “tend to judge from a self centered perspective rather than from God’s perspective. If we don’t like high heels, we may judge someone who does, if we don’t wear saggy pants, then we may think negatively about someone who does. If we do wear saggy pants we may judge someone who doesn’t dress this way and think they are old fashioned and obsolete. If we read the Bible everyday, we may judge someone who doesn’t. There are as many examples as there are people. The point is that we mustn’t judge from our own eyes, tastes, or preferences. Those are not essential. What matters to God is the heart, and we are not to judge that either” (P. 85 The Journey Out).

What God asks us to do is to love one an-other. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4: 8). We must love people regardless of ethnicity, background, socio-economic status, or skin color. When we love others we are passing along God’s grace.If we are quick to judge others, we undermine the central component of God's grace and His compassion toward those to whom He longs to reveal His love” (P. 77 The Journey Out).

I have been disgusted by some of the judgmental attitudes I have observed recently on news, radio, and on bumper stickers. Why are some so free to share negative thoughts? How can we do a better job of showing God’s love? Even something as simple as good eye contact and a smile can go a long way.

Have you cleaned out your judgmental attitudes lately? They are as smelly and retched as rotting food in the fridge. Are you aware that they exist in your soul? Maybe they are hidden behind the yogurt you just bought. Maybe you haven’t checked lately. Have you become accustomed to their presence? Are you used to the smell? They may still be in there. Ask God to show you what they are. Repent, and say you are sorry for holding negative attitudes toward people that God loves. You may find that you feel more freedom in your own spirit.

by Gretchen Flores

Overflowing Blessings (excerpt from The Journey Out)

In light of the earthquake in Haiti I thought I would blog on the topic of giving. So many of you have already given and will continue to give. Prayer support is also essential to pray for those on the ground helping the wounded and homeless there. Here is an excerpt from my book The Journey Out:

"When we have our hearts on heaven, we yearn to give to others. We feel blessed and full and taken care of, and it overflows into taking care of others in need. We don't feel competitive or afraid. In our security we are able to give to the poor as God commands us, knowing that we don't need to be afraid that we won't have what we need."But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be done in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matt. 6:3-4). The Lord rewards us when we give privately, not openly for others to see. (page 162, The Journey Out)

I am pretty certain that most of you have given out of the goodness of your hearts. The truth is that even though the economy is tight, we are all better off than those suffering in Haiti right now. Giving small amounts can go a long way, and can bless a lot of people with medical care and supplies. Please continue to give and to pray for those who are suffering. We know that God will reward us for giving privately. You may not see that reward until you are in heaven. However, I have heard stories of God's miraculous provision for us when we choose to give to those in need. I have even experienced it. If you are holding back out of fear of your own finances, take a chance and give privately. I assure you God will make sure your needs are also taken care of.

Two trusted ways to give to Haiti or other places in need:


by Gretchen Flores

Today is a New Day!

Today is a New Day!

I love the fresh start of a new day. Each morning signals a new beginning. It means that yesterday is completed and today is new. Yet, often as we face the morning we feel bogged down by yesterdays' troubles and tomorrows' worries. In doing so we forget to enjoy the present moment of our lives. Wearily we reach for the cup of strong hot coffee, hoping it will revive our bleary eyes and jump start us with fresh motivation. Still, desire can evade us as we press forward through the day.

Some of us are bogged down by financial stress, relational stress, and others of us face challenges at work with a difficult boss, or in looking for a job. Many women are juggling career and kids. The list of stressor's can be long. How do we get a new perspective for a new day? How do we get past that dreaded feeling that we will never break out of the rut we are in?

Prioritize: Take time to write a list of what is important to you. Not just what you need to do. I have a policy; "People before tasks." Time with friends or family can revive you and make life fulfilling. Forget the dishes and schedule coffee, forget less important "To Do" items and spend time with the people you love. I have a long current "To Do" list and I added one item; "-don't freak out" is on there to remind me to stay calm and keep perspective.

Simplify: If you are overloaded with too much to do, it may be time to eliminate some things. I know it can be difficult to say "no" but it is an important skill to learn. Us overly responsible types will say yes to just about anything and then wonder why we are so stressed out. Practice saying no and stop feeling so guilty about it. It really is okay to simplify your life so your mental and emotional well-being is intact. Your friends and family will thank you for it.

Slow down: Slow down and enjoy the beautiful moments of life. Savor them. Cherish them. Sometimes stress is so prominent that we fail to enjoy the good things in our life. Breathe deeply and look around you. Listen to the sounds. Stretch your arms and legs and even sit down for 5 minutes to pray or think or just be. It will help you.

Gratefulness: Take a moment to thank God for what you are blessed with. It can be as simple as; "Thank you God that I can walk," or "Thank you that I have a car that gets me places." It calms me when I think of the basic things I appreciate. The problems are still there but I am reminded of the problems I don't have and am glad. It may spur me to pray for others and get me out of my own self absorption.

Bite sized pieces: I know when I look at the whole problem or many problems at once I tend to freeze. I don't know where to start. Sometimes it helps to stay in the present moment and ask yourself; "What can I do right now?" A favorite verse of mine helps me to remember not to worry too far ahead; "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it's own." (Matthew 6: 34)

Finally, We also have a bigger perspective when we remember that our struggles are temporary and that one day we will be free from our troubles; "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33) We all will have our fair share of struggles to face in this life but one day we can rejoice that it has been completely overcome and we are free. Hang in there and enjoy the parts of life that make it truly meaningful.

Blessings to you! Gretchen



by Gretchen Flores