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“you’d only understand if you were in it, it is impossible to explain”

This interview with Alex Skeel sheds light into female to male domestic abuse which is often overlooked and seriously misunderstood (this landmark case is the UK’s first conviction for coercive control involving a female offender). An abuser seeks to control all aspects of another person’s life by taking over finances, making threats, keeping their victims isolated, injuring them physically and emotionally. It is a constant chipping away of a person’s sense of self that leaves the victim feeling vulnerable, helpless, and hopeless.

Such cruelty is difficult to fathom and a female abuser knows this works to their advantage. After all, who would believe it?

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our if:table

© Tina Vega Photography

We have meeting monthly for nearly FOUR YEARS now!

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Most of the women were strangers even to me when we first began.

© Tina Vega Photography

There are 11 of us now, rotating in and out of seats. Discussing four questions over two hours.

© Tina Vega Photography

With much laughter and sometimes tears. Our stories, ages, and places in life vary. As do perspectives.

© Tina Vega Photography

I have learned so much by being part of this amazing group of women. This is IF:Table.

our if:table

This is OUR IF:Table.

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some were on the naughty list

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Since snow is still flying I think it is totally appropriate to share Christmas party pics. I am not really sure how I ended up being so far behind on personal edits, but better late than never!

© Tina Vega Photography

We were told to bring along our favorite LPs (Shaun Cassidy, Donny & Marie, and The Suburbs were a few of mine). It ended up being a great mix of music and a fun way to spend the evening. Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped by as well!

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Turns out some of us were on Santa’s naughty list.

© Tina Vega Photography

Ahem.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

At least he told us in plenty of time to straighten things out before Christmas.:D

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living with intention – winter season wisdom

© Tina Vega Photography

A couple of years ago I wrote about life being measured in physical and spiritual seasons. [Click HERE for details.] While technically living in FALL, I have always been a WINTER gal at heart. (Keep in mind I loathe our current weather situation, I am speaking in terms related to the earlier blog post referred to in the link above.) Living with intention is winter-focused in many ways as we reflect on the lives we have lived, set out to create meaningful moments, and pour into relationships around us.

© Tina Vega Photography

It’s about things we pass on – creating a legacy of love, insight, and wisdom to share with others. I try to live this in the here and now of every season. That being said, I have some things on my mind… some “Winter Season Wisdom” to share with all of you:

1) Loving others well requires healthy boundaries. Be wary of perpetual victims and of individuals you barely know asking for money or a place to stay.

2) Actions and words should ALWAYS line up. If you notice inconsistencies between what a person says and how they live, check into things further. A pattern of lying (no matter how small) screams RED FLAG.

3) If someone you have recently met appears to have few (if any) family ties, check into things further and proceed with caution.

4) Trust your gut.

© Tina Vega Photography

The good news? It is possible to love others well (even strangers) without putting yourself at risk. Healthy boundaries are key. You will find a wonderfully thorough post on biblical boundary-setting HERE.

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