Everything listed under: Beverly Elliott

  • When Relationships Hurt

    Today Daniel Peeks and Bev Elliott join us for a conversation about relational traumas. In an intimate relationship, there are certain critical events which – although not necessarily recognized as damaging or traumatic at the time – a failure to heal that compromises trust and intimacy eventually exposes them to be relationally traumatic. An affair would be an obvious form of relational trauma. However, harsh or threatening words are spoken in the heat of anger, a failure to be physically or emotionally present for your spouse at a time of medical or emotional jeopardy or a sexual interaction occurring early in the relationship which one spouse experiences as coercive or forced could all be traumatic. And what one person or one couple experiences as traumatic may be very different from those experienced by another. On some level, both spouses may minimize the significance of these events, but they continue to come to the surface years and decades later. The wounding has gone deep and basic trust is broken. If you find yourself “stuck” on one of these events years after it happened or if you recognize some obstacle or wall blocking the level of trust and intimacy between you and your spouse, then I think you’re going to find today’s show to be very helpful.

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  • Honesty in the Face of Suffering

    Today Bev Elliott and Thomas Buchanan join me for a conversation on the heartbreak of being a Georgia Bulldog fan. And, then, on a more serious note, we discuss the challenge of maintaining an honest relationship with God in the face of suffering and loss. I think that you’ll find Bev and Thomas’ insights on how to pray with courage and humility, particularly helpful.

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  • Communication in Marriage

    Today Daniel Peeks hosts a conversation with Bev Elliott about communication in marriage. They’re going to probe into those issues that precede communication breakdown and then provide some practical thoughts on how to improve the communication in your marriage.

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  • The Fog

     

    Last night, my phone lit up with a weather alert for this morning.  Dense fog alert - visibility limited to 1 mile or less.

    How often we come into a similar season in our life where the future is hidden and we feel swamped and stuck in a fog.  We can barely see more than the next step, if that.  Our future is fogged by the heaviness of what-ifs.  What if the diagnosis is or isn’t true?  What if reconciliation or counseling don’t repair the relationship?  What if the prodigal never makes a turn toward home?  What if the never-ending-ness of the daily slogging ahead never lifts to joy in the journey?

    God has an app for that.

    “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).  We may not have a runway clearly-lit for take-offs and landings but trusting His word and Him as our instrumental guide, we can do both with peace and joy.


  • Rest

    So after running the Thanksgiving Half and experiencing a few lingering reminders of the day, I think I am hanging up my half-marathon hat.

    Today on a run I met up with a lovely couple who have a ministry for retiring greyhounds who have also run their last race.  The grace and mercy and warm welcome this couple gives to these brave doggie souls reminds me of the welcome we have available every day and then ultimately at the end of this earth’s race.

    “Well done, good and faithful servant,” God says to us then; not on the basis of our runs but on the basis of Jesus’ gift of his sacrificial life and death and resurrection.

    So from one retiring greyhound to another, let me say to you: “Go sit at the table where grace is not only said but served . . .”

    Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.

    -Beverly Elliott


  • Hi, my name is...

    Sometimes I think we walk around with invisible signs hanging around our necks like, "Hi, my name is bad parent, or bad child, or bad husband or wife..." People walk into Tapestry so discouraged at times. The struggles that brought them here seem so never ending that the conflict, pain, and feeling of failure becomes their identity.

    The constancy of the battle of wills with your child can wear you down over time. Not only do you as a parent become discouraged but it becomes increasingly difficult to delight in this child who is defying you or disrupting your family life at every turn. Some children as well as adults take on that cognitive distortion of grabbing hold of every negative criticism like Velcro while affirmations slide off like Teflon. A good friend of mine says we all are well-rehearsed in what's wrong with us but rarely can name the good things. The constant push-back, soaring anxiety,  all absorbing OCD, and battle for control distorts your view of your child as well as yourself. What happens in that tug-of-war is that it becomes harder and harder to see the real heart of your child.

    Even the delightful things - the childish chatter, constant whistle and wiggling become irritants as they are bouncing off the wall and off the conflict with every other sibling or member of the family. For a while, for your child and for yourself - the outward smile remains as this negative identity takes hold. In time, both the inward and outward smile begins to fade.

    "Don't grow weary in well-doing." Ask God to show you what delights him about your child, your spouse, and yourself. Then choose your battles, bite your tongue, pray for wisdom, humor, timing, and patience. Lean into God for your own re-filling. What everybody needs is hope and a new perspective! God offers new mercies every morning. We don't have to drag around a lifetime of hurt, regret, and failure into each new day. Equipping ourselves with new strategies, re-connecting, encouraging, and leaning into each other brings fresh hope.

    As we offer ourselves and our loved ones the grace that God so freely offers us, we can begin to see ourselves and our difficult situation with fresh eyes. Hebrews 12:3 is so rich on so many levels. One of the many benefits of fixing our eyes on Jesus is that we can view ourselves more accurately in the reflection of his eyes on us. There is love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, and tenderness. There is delight in His gaze on you. The waterfall effect of such amazing sacrificial love is energy to meet our challenges knowing we don't have to drag around our own inadequacies but can meet the issues head on with His life-giving strength.

    "Hi, my name is loved, redeemed, saved, and set aside, what's yours....."

    - Beverly Elliott

  • Trimming the Tree & Other Traditions

    Trimming the Tree and other Traditions, Atlanta-Style

    Growing up in Atlanta, I have so many Christmas memories and traditions that our family enjoyed, and later my husband and I tweaked as our own. One of the first I remember is The Pink Pig, which coincided with the Lighting of the Rich’s Department Store tree on Thanksgiving night. The Pigs, first Priscilla, then later Percival as well, seemed roomy enough at the time, were, in fact, very diminutive trains which rode along the ceiling of the toy department of Rich’s. In later years they ventured out onto the top of the Rich’s skybridge over Forsyth Street to its furniture store on the other side. There on the “Crystal Bridge” was the giant tree, and Santa-Land complete with live reindeer, elves and of course Santa. There would be numbers of choirs on hand to sing Christmas carols at the lighting of the tree to the large crowds of families on the street below on Thanksgiving night

    Every year my cousins would come to town and we would throw sleeping bags in the back of my uncle’s “woody” station wagon, and we would go see the best lights in the city, the annual mid-town neighborhood competition of Sherwood Forest. We cousins always liked the more garishly decorated yards while our parents leaned toward the more conservative, Southern Living styles of decorations… Christmas Eve found me singing in Adele Dieckmann’s children’s choir at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Afterwards we would rush over to the thirteen cousin party- in- progress at my grandparent’s house. I can still remember the smell of my grandmother’s roast beef and watching my grandfather wrap a block of ice in a dish towel then crush with a mallet for our water and iced tea. The cousins would all stand and watch in fascination and beg for slivers…

    As my husband and I began our own traditions, one of our favorites was to allow each child to invite a friend or two, (the numbers grew as the children did) and pile them into the hay filled back of a pick-up truck with blankets, and later to rent a stake bed truck for a hayride to see live nativity scenes and the word-of- mouth most outlandish decorations of that year. As we drove, we sang Christmas Carols at the top of our lungs, sometimes stopping at various church “shut-ins” as we called those recuperating from surgeries or otherwise unable to get out, to sing to them. We came back home to hot chocolate and cookies. Such fun nights and memories…

    My husband and I always carved out time for The Christmas Carol with Tom Key at the Alliance and the unforgettable Robert Shaw and his Chorale together with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. My youngest and I were privileged and blessed to go to what would prove to be Mr. Shaw’s last Christmas performance in 1998, at the age of 82.

    As Atlanta has grown, so have the offerings and opportunities for fun and family celebrations of the season. Below is a partial listing of the multitude of choices. Choose prayerfully and carefully. Let the phrase, “trimming the tree” be a reminder that there needs to be a pruning principle involved. (John 15: 1-2) There may be an activity or two that may need to be pruned from this year’s activities to produce that better fruit of Joy, Peace, and reflection of God’s Great Gift to us in the form of a Christ Child who became the Savior of the World.

    -Bev

    Events out and about town

    Stone Mountain Christmas: November 9-January 1

    Santa Express: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway: November 29- December 24

    Magical Nights of Lights of Lanier Islands: (includes Blackshear Place Baptist live nativity scene)

    Lights of Life 2013: Life University, November 29-December 31

    The Marietta Pilgrimage Home Tour: December 7-8, (while in the neighborhood, drive down nearby Maple Avenue to see the neighborhood-wide decorations of giant balls of Christmas lights on the stately oaks and maples)

    Santa in the Square, located in the Marietta Square, December 7-8, 14-15, 19-23

    Atlantic Station: Santa, ice skating, and snow, check for show times at www.atlanticstation.com

    The Avenues, East and West Cobb: Santa and complimentary carriage rides, check for times online

    Johnson Ferry Baptist: “Christmas Packages”, December 8: Live reindeer, carriage rides, music, crafts, games, food, trains and more… www.jfbc.org

    Global Winter Wonderland, Turner Field, www.globalwonderland.com

    Jingle Jog 5K: December 7, www.jinglejog.com: bring toys for Salvation Army, and dress yourself, children and dogs with bells, Christmas gear, etc. for a family friendly, dog and stroller friendly fun run

    Pink Pig: at Lenox Square Mall, www.macys.com/pinkpig: more for the pre-school set these days, as it is just two turns around a parking lot tent… Our experience has been that our participants were as excited about the hot chocolate and escalator riding which followed in the mall itself, as with their parent’s nostalgia for the Pink Pig…

    Ideas for service:

    Sign up your family to ring the Salvation Army bells for a shift www.salvationarmyatlanta.org

     Let your children do chores around the house and earn money to go out and pick out gifts for various toy drives around town, Salvation Army, Empty Stocking Fund, www.emptystockingfund.org

    Angel Tree:  www.prisonfellowship.org/angeltree: gifts to children of inmates

    World Vision: www.worldvision.org: sponsor a child, or give a goat, sheep, chicken or cow to a family or village in need, click onto “ways to give”

    Heifer International, www.heifer.org/gift has a similar program of gifting chicks, goats, sheep, pigs, or heifers

    Get together with friends and make sandwiches then give out during lunch at a homeless shelter

    Stuff men’s socks with toiletries or fleece blankets, then take to ARC, Atlanta Recovery Center homeless shelter

    Ideas for family time at home:

    Celebrate with various advent ideas:

    The Jesse Tree, a scripture based series of daily devotionals building up to Christmas Day, www.aholyexperience.com or Jesse tree family devotionals

    Advent wreath or log, a weekly series of candle-lighting and scripture based build-up of anticipation, (many listings under advent family devotionals)

    breezymama.com website: 2013 listing of holiday programming and Christmas ideas

    Have a blessed and fun-filled celebration and Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

     

  • Of Sheep and Wolfs

        Katherine Wolf, a sheep at heart, trusts her Shepherd. At 31, she recently shared on her website, www.hopeheals.com, that she is facing her 11th surgery since her AVM rupture in April of 2008. She says this second aneurism hiding in the recesses of her brain, feels like a ticking time bomb. We all walk around with a ticking time bomb when you think about it. It’s called mortality. We can’t escape it, like death and taxes, we will all experience it. However, for some of us, like Katherine, that ticking sounds nearer and more imminently threatening than for others. It can have names like Depression, Cancer, and Divorce, among others, that threaten to terminate our lives or relationships and quench our hope for the future.

        In my husband’s battle with melanoma, we were told, at one juncture, that we had exhausted all of our options, and basically, he had about three more months to live. A death sentence. Larry’s life song became a Dallas Holmes version of Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, I will trust Him”. Thus began what I would call his birthing process; six months of becoming more and more conformed to Christ’s image. It was 2Corinthinians 1:8-11 and 4:16-17… lived out courageously. Though heart-stoppingly frightening at times, we found joy in those days. Gone were the little irritations of life as we became thankful for the gift of each new day. We appreciated the little minute, mundane miracles embedded in each day; a sunrise, a sunset, a country sky full of stars, a picnic in a sundrenched meadow, and the sound of laughter ringing through our home as we had found humor in the otherwise ridiculous rituals of each day just managing the disease. At the end, resting in his Shepherd’s arms, and literally with his dying breath, he told me “This is the time to trust Him …”And in the twinkling of an eye, he was wonderfully, completely and gloriously healed… on the other side of Heaven’s gates… He trusted his shepherd and found him to be trustworthy.

        It is said that the first time a sheep is sheared, it fights, struggles and resists its shepherd. When shearing time comes again, the sheep is not afraid, and willingly allows itself to be held by its shepherd. Katherine, having gone under the knife before, trusts her Shepherd because she has experienced his faithfulness. And when those most frightening moments come again, she goes running into his arms, where she finds safety. 

        Not so with a certain little New Zealand sheep who had an entirely different mode of operation. When shearing time came he ran and hid out in caves… For six years, he managed to avoid discovery. Meanwhile the consequences of his avoidance grew. The burden of that refusal to face the shearing became heavier and heavier till his wool obscured his vision and the weight of the wool alone grew to an unwieldy sixty pounds. It was fear that drove him from the comfort of the flock and the comfort of the shepherd. Alone in the caves, he remained isolated and detached. Once he was found, the shearing and removal of all of that wool, took a mere twenty minutes. Can you even imagine how free, light and brand new that poor sheep felt!

        So it is with us. When we allow our fears, shame, and despair to drive us into isolation from the very relationships that would be the healing and love that we so desire, our cognitive distortions and shameful burdens grow to obscure our vision and cloud our insight as well. The weight of our shame seems too much to bear. The love of God and the love of others await our return. In fact Jesus, as our ultimate Shepherd, while we were yet sinners, died for us on our behalf. He likens himself to the shepherd that left the ninety nine to go in search of the lost one. Remember our God is the God of the comeback, as my pastor says. If at first you ran away, remember it’s never too late to make the turn and run back to his waiting arms…There you will find the lasting safety, love and acceptance you so desire…

    - Bev Elliott

  • Razorback

    Photos of Schynige Platte, Bernese Oberland

    This photo of Schynige Platte is courtesy of TripAdvisor

    We were hiking a ridge with 1000 ft drop off on one side. Staggering, heart stopping views of Jungfrau, the highest mountain in Switzerland, with just one valley between us far below.

    Rewind this hike to a couple hours before when we had come to a crossroads. The signs said both trails led the same village, our destination. As we puzzled over this, a non-English-speaking couple came near. As we pointed to our map and this sign they indicated that yes, both ways led to the village – one was more direct and the other was the more scenic route. Well, here we were on vacation in the Alps –the scenic route won the day. However, what we didn’t know was that the well worn trail evaporated into a vague mountain track lost in a sea of wild flowers. Only an occasional painted rock indicated that we were (maybe) still going the right way.

    Now we were two hours into this choice and beautiful as it was, it seemed to be narrowing while the grade increased. Would this trail end on a cliff or would it, as we had though, at some point ease out into pastureland and eventually the village and bus we were trying to catch for the last leg to the valley.

    It looked like we were approaching a summit ahead. We could hear bells. If those were cow bells we were in good shape. No self-respecting cow would find itself stuck on a cliff. But no, we soon discovered we were hearing bells on mountain goats. Not a good sign.

    I sent my daughter scrambling up a shale summit to see if she could see if the grade of our trail was going to ease out anytime soon or if we should turn around and go back. Literally out of nowhere a man appeared. He was, of all things, a topographer mapping out this mountain. Talk about grace. He said that yes, the trail did eventually cross the mountain and ease into alpine meadows which would in a few more miles lead us to the village we sought.

    We all have cross road experiences: in relationships, in our careers, in our faith walk. The short cut may be the safer choice but God seems to delight at times in leading us to the scenic route. That’s where we find ourselves challenged mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As a result we build faith muscle, relationship strength, and mental and physical stamina. Sometimes these detours are a personal choice, sometimes they are not of our own making. In God’s economy, he will not waste one moment of either. Breathe in that clear air and drink in the views of his presence whether on the mountain top or in the valley, he will never leave you nor forsake you.

    -Beverly Elliott

  • Storm Stories

         

    Storm Stories. We all have them. The intensity and duration with resulting devastation and destruction or only mild disruption to our lives and days is a variable, more dependent on the circumstances of our birth, geography, race, gender, identity, history and personal resources, including financial, spiritual, relational emotional and/or psychological. Our resiliency to heal and begin again is a combination of all of those factors. Last weekend I saw a report on a benefits concert on behalf of the Moore Oklahoma EF-5 tornado that ripped across that suburb on May 20th. A young woman came to the podium to express her gratitude for all of those attending and donating their performances for the rebuilding effort. She had lost her mother in the storm. “It’s still hard,” she said, “but the 1st responders, friends and neighbors that have come alongside me and my family have made all of the difference.” Philippians 4: 5-8 says, ”The Lord is near. (therefore) Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” It’s the nearness of God which gives us the courage, and conviction and hope to move forward after tragedy strikes. If we can but keep our focus on him, we can hear these events roll out sifted through the sound of his heartbeat and seen through his eternal perspective.

                    In the Moore coverage meteorologists described that EF-5 tornado as a “monster storm that slowed, then sat still and ground out its destruction at a devastating level.” We at Tapestry often see clients with monster emotional and relational storms, circumstances and trauma that, in some cases threaten to pull them into their terrible vortexes and destroy them, physically, emotionally and relationally. We see our calling to be a safe room where clients can both come to seek shelter as well as to begin the process of healing.  Psalm 46 says “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God.” We are here to be a refreshing respite from the storms, and the starting path of rebuilding new relationships, habits, strategies and hope for the future. Come join us in this journey…

    - Beverly