Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Just Money

I’ve been in two lands. The land of having enough and the land of barely getting by. I was happy in both of them, but of course, the land of having enough was more fun.

I’ve decided though, that God needs to put us in the land of barely getting by from time to time so that we keep things in perspective. That we remember what to be thankful for, where are priorities lie, and what truly makes us happy.

Moving to San Antonio in September of 2013, we discovered very quickly that things were more expensive than our “research” had told us they would be. Groceries, hairdressers, insurance, stores, just about everything but gas. And my husband, being unemployed for awhile; this put the “squeeze” on us.

We couldn’t always buy ice cream like we were used to. We had to deny ourselves going out to eat many times. And we had to watch what we spent – carefully.

Yet, I was happy. Sure, I craved things. I wished I could spend on certain things. But I was so thankful and happy to be where I was, that it helped my attitude and it kept my priorities in check.

I’ve always tried to remember that money doesn’t buy you happiness. I’ve seen wealthy people who are very unhappy and so I’ve carried that knowledge within me. I've also been on food stamps. Yet, still, I’ve been blessed.  I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum.

God has always taken care of me. I’ve always had what I truly needed. And although I love having extra money so that I can buy my girls fun things to wear, or go out to the movies, or eat out whenever I want – it’s a good reminder to me that money comes and goes. You may have it for a while, but it can go as quickly and easily as it came. So enjoy it. Be wise with it. But don’t value it.

It’s just money. Use it for what it was created for. Buy what you need, sometimes what you want, and enjoy what you’ve been given.  Don’t be foolish, but be generous and wise with what God has given you. And when it’s gone, you won’t miss it as much because it may come again.

It’s only money. It’s a thing of life to enjoy – just like other things. But it’s never a thing to prioritize and esteem. For it will never hold its value.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

What Does Grumbling Accomplish?

There is so much that we aren’t pleased with in life. Sometimes the issues that bother us are big ones and other times, not so much.  It takes some time and focus to sort out which issues need to be prioritized in our lives and how we should handle them.

I have looked back on my own life and seen many times where maybe I could have handled a situation a little bit differently. Maybe something resolved itself on its own in time or maybe the way something went down was in my best interest in the long run even if it wasn’t fun or comfortable during the duration of it.  I do know, however, that I hate looking back on the times when I felt like I was simply a “whiner” or a “complainer.”

Those are two words that I don’t like associated with my character.

I’ve learned through some trial and error in my life that grumbling usually doesn’t accomplish much. If I am proactive and set a course of action to remedy something or be part of a solution – that is much better use of my time and my discontent. But if I simply sit at home, or with others, and utter my grievances about something; that doesn’t do anyone any good. It only creates an atmosphere of division.

I am not going to like everything. I am going to disagree (probably quite often) with how things are handled. I may be frustrated and confused. But there is a difference in how I choose to handle those issues that will either help me rise above it, find a purpose in it, or come to peace with it. If I feel something is really wrong or I see injustice being done; I certainly would hope that I didn’t sit back and bite my tongue. But this is where positive action comes into play and can change a situation for the good of a lot of people instead of ranting about it from the sidelines.

I won’t lie to you. It’s hard not to grumble and complain. It’s hard to not vent when something really gets under your skin to ruffle your feathers. But the times that I have chosen to handle it in what I feel is the “right” way – by going to God in prayer or simply discussing the matter with my husband so that I can get it out of my system – then I can pull myself together better.  Oftentimes, God will even show me very quickly how my attitude can reveal His greater plan through the issue.

Everyone has choices in life. When it comes to those grievances that we deal with; we can either grumble or choose to find purpose in them. I know that for me, I long to get better at laying aside my complaining heart and tongue and seek out what it is that God wants from me in the middle of these times and situations. It makes the suffering easier and the trial seem less burdensome when I do.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Love Is Not Conditional

Sometimes I am prompted to do a "heart check-up" on myself. I just observe certain things in myself that need some attention. Have you been there? 

Those are important times for me to evaluate where I've placed certain priorities and values and what different allegiances my heart has put a lot of stock into. It's amazing how easy matters can grow and bloom into unhealthy life patterns!

On one of these "heart tune-ups," God brought to my attention some attitudes and thoughts that had taken up residency in my heart. These little visitors had long out-stayed their welcome. In fact, they had taken up too much room causing some extra grumps and frumps in my life. With ease and flair, they'd managed to turn a lot of positives into negatives. It was time for them to go!

I realize that it's easy for me to love and praise my God when things are going well in my life. I can sing of His blessings and His glory. But when things don't measure up to my expectations, it's not so easy. It was during one of these times that I'd allowed those unhealthy attitudes and thought visitors to stay too long in my heart. They were starting to affect me and I didn't like what I saw.

For me, I want to love my God unconditionally. I don't want to love Him just when I get my way.

One of my favorite movie lines is from "Facing the Giants." The main character's wife was told she wasn't pregnant for the "umpteenth" time and she was devastated and faced with the fact that she might never have children. She went out to her car, looked up into the heavens and with tears in her eyes and heart she told God, "I WILL still love you!" 

It was a choice.

A powerful one for we can so easily blame God, rebel, or accuse Him when life doesn't meet our demands. When the hardships come and the trials we face grow to be unbearable. We can get resentful and pull away from God when we are hurt deeply and we don't understand the "why's."

Our thoughts and our attitudes are prideful, wounded, and self-centered.

And for me, after my little heart "check-up," all I can say is, "Lord, forgive me. I want my love for you to be unconditional. You don't have to give me all of my heart's desires (even though I would love those blessings, if you did! For I will still love you. I will love you even when I'm hurting. I will love you when I'm frustrated and when I'm disappointed. I will love you through the trials in my life and I will love you even when I'm wondering why. You are my God. You are worthy of my praise. Even through the storms."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Hidden Pressure We Put On Our Kids

Perfection.  Without meaning to, sometimes I think I can expect perfection out of my kids – especially as a Christian parent. 

Recently I was talking with a friend and she was sharing with me about some choices/decisions she was thinking about in her life.  She shared with me that she felt like her mom wanted her to fail because then she could point out to her that she shouldn’t have made the choices she did. She shouldn’t have headed the direction she headed in.  And that made me so sad!  That a child would feel that their parent wanted them to fail!

I realize that I have high standards for my kids. I have high standards for myself too. But I think sometimes I have put this subliminal pressure on them, (without meaning to) that they have to be perfect. That they are not allowed to make mistakes. That they can’t mess up. For if they do, they will get a huge lecture about why they shouldn’t have done that, or how it was the wrong thing to do. And that gives me huge concern!

I want my children to be able to be free to make their own mistakes. Of course as their mom, it is hard to stand by and watch, but I need to realize that mistakes are part of life. They are a part of learning.  If my children don’t make mistakes and aren’t free to test themselves out a little bit in the safety of our home environment, at some point, they will push against those boundaries they felt on their lives – whether it be in college, a marriage relationship or later on in life.

I may have put a hidden pressure on my kids that I never intended on placing on their shoulders. 

I want to be close to my kids. I want them to be able to share with me when they mess up and know that they have a loving, listening ear and shoulder. I want them to understand that no one is perfect and they certainly don’t have to be either! Yet I want them to strive to be better and stronger despite their mess-ups and flaws. I want them to propel themselves to live a life of integrity, meaning, morality, and character.

I am so thankful that the Lord spoke to my heart about these expectations my children might feel at times. I think my children are pretty spectacular and I’d hate to think that they ever felt like they were awful, or failures simply because they did something they regretted.  Instead, I want them to realize that those are the very moments where our lifelong choices are made about who we want to be.  It’s only through the tough stuff that we often get there!

Thank heavens that God doesn’t expect ME to be perfect. Thank goodness He molds and shapes me as I constantly deviate, take wrong turns, huge steps backwards, and make wrong decisions, at times. I am so blessed that HE simply and lovingly listens, loves, and guides me back in the right direction instead of condemning me.  And that’s what I long to do for my own children.

Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone messes up. It’s what we do with those times and lessons that matters the most. I hope I can help my children learn this lesson along the way.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Maybe I'm Meant To Be Uncool

It seems there are trends in what is “cool.” The trend right now seems to be getting tattoos, running marathons, and stepping aside from blogging, facebook, and the internet for awhile.

None of which I have felt called to do.

There are so many moments in my life where I have felt “uncool.” I’ve either felt awkward and clumsy in my own skin, or left out of a certain group or niche. And yet as I look back to “there,” from where I sit now in my “here,” I realize that what the world terms as “uncool” is instead simply “unique.” 

There is something that should be applauded, in the people who rebel against conforming to society. They are the “divergents” (as in the movie.) The people who think for themselves, know their boundaries, and refuse to be defined by a certain image or stereotype.  Ironically, these same people often don’t see the beauty in their ability to be one-of-a-kind and different.

I think the world is afraid of those who are different. They don’t always know what to do with someone who doesn’t drink, swear, or endorse the latest “politically correct” thing. It scares them because it makes them take a look at what they themselves are doing. It may be wrong, it may be right – but often looking deep inside is painful. And people don’t like doing that. They want to stay on the surface. Live on the surface.

So, yes. Maybe I’m meant to be uncool. I don’t see the need to do something simply just to join in, unless I simply and truly desire it for myself, or feel that God has called me to that specific thing.  And maybe there is a certain freedom that can be found in being “uncool.” A certain bit of rebellion that in today’s world….leans toward the good and narrow road instead of the risky and edgy one.

The tables have flipped.

So I’m okay with being uncool. I’m okay with being different. I want to stand out. I want to be noticed. I want to be fully me, and feel alive inside knowing that I’m living in a way and manner that I can be proud of. That doesn’t mean that just because someone else chooses something that they are wrong. Maybe they are indeed called to step off the internet for awhile to get their priorities and boundaries in focus. Maybe they really do enjoy running marathons (kudos to them!) But for me – I pray I will never simply join in on something just so that I can be a “part.”

I don’t want to conform. I don’t want to be a sheep. I want to be a lion. And I want to know my own voice when it roars.

Friday, April 18, 2014

A Night Out At Urban Taco

Thanks to the "San Antonio Bloggers," I had the opportunity to try a new place to eat last night. URBAN TACO.

Urban Taco is located over in the Quarry and has a unique niche in the mexican food industry. Their meals aren't your normal "enchilada, refried beans, and rice!" They have many different combos of foods that mix both sweet and spicy together with a flair for gourmet.

Our table got started with some chips and their "salsa trio." They have a list of salsas you can choose from to use in your trio. We chose a guacamole and lime one, some black beans and corn salsa, and a spicier rojo salsa.  The black beans and guacamole were my favorite and I loved the chips! These chips are cut into thick strips and have some kind of seasoning on them that makes you keep grabbing for more. They were yummy.

For our entree, I ordered the pollo (chicken) quesadilla. These quesadillas have 3 kinds of cheeses on them and as you can see from the photo on the left - are very lovely to look at, as well! Again, great seasoning on the chicken. I really liked it and the quesadilla was very filling. I had to box up the rest to take home!

Urban Taco is in a great spot in the Quarry. It's lively inside the restaurant and feels very festive.  When I went, it was packed full inside. I've always said, a packed restaurant means good food!  Parking can be a bit tricky though, since the other shops and restaurant customers fill up the spaces as well; but it's a pretty safe area, even if you need to walk a bit to get to the restaurant.

The menu is mostly in spanish, so be prepared to have someone translate what some of the items are if you aren't familiar with the wording.  Also, I found most of the items to be a bit on the spendier side. It would be a pricey dinner for a family of four, but the atmosphere and quality of food would be a great option for a dinner out for a husband and wife, or a night out with just the girls or guys.

If you're looking for fresh ingredients, good quality of food, a fun atmosphere, and some slightly different alterations to your normal mexican dishes - you'd probably really love Urban Taco. Give it a try and enjoy the experience!

*Disclaimer: I was given a free entree and drink by Urban Taco... but all opinions and thoughts are purely my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living Out GREAT Faith

Some people think I have great faith. I’ve always had faith. Ever since I was a little girl, it has accompanied me in life. It is my best friend. But just because I’ve always had faith, doesn’t mean I have GREAT faith. I’d like to have great faith. But I fear, many times, I don’t.

My faith isn’t exercised as much as it should be. You see; I like to live life in safety. I want my children to be safe, I want to be safe. I’m not a risk-taker. I’m a planner. And I’m all about making sure I’m prepared in case of “what if’s.” You don’t leave a lot of room for faith in those kinds of pre-planned scenarios.

My husband, on the other hand, he is a risk taker. He is an adrenaline junkie. He loves to travel and try things he’s never tried… just for the experience of it. I know I wouldn’t have gone to many of the places I’ve been, or had the courage to try some of the things I’ve tried – without his enthusiasm tugging me along.

I sometimes think that he has a greater faith than me. For he allows himself the opportunity to truly live. Live without boundaries and boxes placed on him. Live without pre-planning the end result of everything. He lives with joy. Great joy.

It probably isn’t the wisest thing to compare my faith to someone else’s. After all, we were all created to be different and unique on purpose. I wasn’t created to be a risk-taker. I’ve learned a lot about how much I like controlled situations. And I’ve learned that I don’t give God the freedom to work in those controlled parameters.

My faith may seem great to someone else, because I haven’t always allowed it to be tested. It’s stayed in “safe zone” a lot. Only in those moments where life has seemed scary and out-of-control, have I truly gone to my knees and had to put my faith to the test. Do I really believe God? Do I believe He will do what He has told me He will do for me? Do I believe He will come through and be faithful?

I am so humbled to say that God has ALWAYS been faithful to me. And He knows how my heart has sought after Him even in my trembling “safe” zones. For God knows what stretches each one of us. And what stretches me is not the same as what stretches my adrenaline-loving husband.  So even if my faith may not always seem large and great to me? It may be just as great as someone who seems to put it all out there on the line in life. For to them, that kind of living isn’t a stretch at all. It’s who they are. And it doesn’t take much faith for them to do that.

Faith is personal. It’s unique to each of us and for ALL of us. But there isn’t one prescription that fits everyone. What works for one, may not work for another as far as exercising and relying on it goes. We each grow our faith in very personal-to-us ways.

You have a God who wants to use YOUR faith. Grow YOUR faith. He never compares your faith to someone else’s. He is focused on you. Just as He is focused on me.  And it doesn’t even always matter if our faith is GREAT, for there are times where it’s enough that our faith is simply there at all.

Let it be. Let it grow. And listen for God’s promptings on when and how He wants to use it in your life. For if you let Him, then your faith will become a GREAT faith – no matter what anyone else says.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sometimes We Just Need To Feel Understood

Have you ever felt like you must have been born on a different planet? I mean, everyone seems to treat you like you are strange and weird for feeling what you feel, liking what you like, and thinking what you think.

I’ve had those days.

I completely feel rational inside about what I’m thinking or feeling and yet I can’t shake the fact that it feels like I’m standing all alone….for no one else agrees with me. Not only do they not agree with me, they look at me as if I’m a “whack job” for just expressing those views or thoughts!

C’mon. I know it’s not just me. We’ve all been there. We’ve all longed for one word, one touch, or one suggestion from someone to help us feel like we are not alone.

We long to feel understood.

Even on the days I don’t feel weird or like I’m from planet Mars; I may be having a trial, challenge, or problem. I don’t always need someone to solve it for me. I just need someone to listen and to understand.

To understand.

We all have this innate desire to be understood. To be validated in our thoughts and feelings.  And do you know what? It’s okay to want that. It’s okay to need that. And in fact, God can supply that for us if we ask Him to.

Yes, God can give us understanding. And He DOES understand. But He can also supply someone here in our personal life to understand. He knows we need it. He created us to be there for each other!

Pray for it. Ask God to send you someone to simply understand your heart. To validate YOU. For you ARE valuable. I believe there is someone out there, who knows just what it is you’re feeling. They’ve been there. They’ve walked in those shoes. They’ve looked through that vision.

You are never alone. I promise.  God understands. And He can send you someone to help you feel understood, as well. Ask Him for it. Believe Him for it.

And wait for it.

You are not weird. You are not from another planet.

You simply need to be heard.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

I'm Ready For This

Have you ever felt like you were truly ready? Ready for that job to come along, that amazing ministry opportunity, that baby, that romance, that (fill-in-the-blank?)

You. Were. Ready.

I know the feeling well. The feeling of the thrill that might reveal itself just around the corner. The feeling of anticipation, which is usually accompanied by impatience. The feeling of “this is right for me.”

It’s a good feeling. That feeling of knowing you have put in the legwork, and you are ready. Only problem is; sometimes God doesn’t agree with us.

I then look back and wonder, just what it was that was incomplete in me. Lacking. Ill-equipped. Flawed. Why wasn’t I picked? Why wasn’t I right? Why is it so hard to get what I want, when I want it so that I can simply feel blessed, and joyful in celebration?

When I experience those feelings, the frustration and depression that comes along with them…. I realize the reason God didn’t agree with my point of view, lies in the questions I ask.

I focused on ME. 

It’s okay to have wishes and desires. It’s human. It’s natural. It’s expected.  But those wishes and dreams can grow to become too important. They become our everything. Our “all.”

I believe God is excited when my dreams come true. I believe He smiles when I’m happy and celebrating. But I also believe that He knows best. If the timing is not right for me, as frustrated and sad as I may be – the truth remains; the timing is not right for me.  If I’m not right for the position or opportunity; then I’m not right. I can’t “wish” myself into being right.  But not being right for something doesn’t mean I’m not valuable.  Oftentimes, I’ve looked back and seen just why things didn’t work out. And I’ve understood.

So, I may feel ready. And in all reality, I may BE ready.  But others may not be ready for me. God may not be ready for me to put in the time, or work that is needed, for His plan to be fulfilled.  And I have to be okay with that if I truly believe in Him and believe in what He says He wants for me.

I know there will come a day when I will be fully ready for something I’ve been waiting for, and it will all pull together flawlessly. When this happens, all the other days of incomplete dreams will come into clarity and I will feel fulfilled. I will be up to the task.

I will one day be picked; chosen; loved. For ME. And it will be worth every moment of expectation and delay.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The 2014 Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

I may be arriving to the party late, but I'm here! I'm joining the 2014 Ultimate Blog party. It's a fun way for bloggers to hop on around the internet and meet other bloggers.

For those of you visiting me from 5 Minutes For Mom, thank you so much for stopping by!

This Is A Peek At Me:

Two daughters, husband, and me

Stepson, daughter-in-law, and three grandkiddos

I am a proud mom of two precious, joyful, delightful, and beautiful teen daughters. I'm also a proud stepmom. My stepson and daughter-in-law have given me three precious grandchildren. I'm so blessed.  I've been married to my hard-working, handsome warrior for almost 20 years.  We just moved to Texas in September from Idaho and I just love it so far!

My Blog:

This blog is a labor of love for me. I mainly write on faith and family - but it can all be boiled down to "life." I try to be honest about the lessons I'm learning, the joys I'm blessed with, and the hurts I struggle to overcome. I've always wanted this blog to be relateable - a place where someone can come and say, "you too?" Maybe, in the process, someone gets some encouragement and hope along the way.

I had my own website/newsletter for 16 years (Emphasis On Moms). But now I focus on just enjoying being a blogger, and have stretched my wings into freelance writing a bit (something I'm really enjoying and hope to do more of).You can find me at,, and I do some writing for the San Antonio Marriage Initiative.

Get To Know Me Better:

I thoroughly enjoy meeting and getting to know my readers.  I am at several places where you can connect with me more personally than just this blog.

Please let me know you stopped by! I look forward to getting to know your heart and you personally. 

Do come back and visit me again. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Giving Up Control

I think one of the hardest things I have to deal with in life, is giving up control.  I don’t consider myself a “control freak,” but every time a circumstance comes up that I struggle with….I realize one of the common factors is that I’m struggling to give up my control over that situation.

We all set out with preconceived expectations for our lives. Maybe not intentionally, but they are there.  Marry the prince, get a good career, have perfect kids, reliable friends…and those are only the basics. Yet even with the basics, life likes to mess with us.  There is no such thing as a perfect kid, a friend that never lets us down, etc.

I have expectations. We all do. We have dreams. Wishes. Desires. And when life throws us a curveball that we never expected, it shatters all our perfectly laid-out plans.

We lose control.

The older I get, the more I’m learning that I don’t really have control over much of anything in my life. Sometimes, out of luck, or God’s grace and mercy, things DO go perfectly as I set out in my mind that they would go. But more often than naught, they go on a different course.  And there’s the internal struggle. Every. Time.

An internal tug-of-war happens when I realize that what I want is not going to happen. Sometimes, not anytime soon – other times, not any time at all. 

I grieve over the loss of what I wanted to happen. The hopes, the joys I felt I would experience if things had ended up differently. And yet, through the struggle, God often works in my heart. He molds my never-budging stubborn pride to see things from a new perspective and in a different way.

What IS normal? What IS perfect? Chances are, things wouldn’t have been normal or perfect had I gotten my way. Those too, would have had their own twists and turns in them.

That’s life.  Ups, downs, corners and hills. Valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. It’s all a part of the process and I have control over none of it. But I do know One who does have control. He keeps me in His loving hands despite how many times I fight Him on His direction. He sees the big picture whereas I cannot.  That’s the one thing I always DO have control of. My faith.

So no matter what happens, through thick or thin, I know that even though I may go through the age-old battle and internal struggle that I so desperately want to learn how to overcome, God is with me and He is FOR me.  And that’s one thing I pray I never forget.

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Monday, April 7, 2014


I feel the rush of life often. I feel it when I’m running out the door to get my girls to school on time.  I feel it when I’m squishing in unexpected “to do’s” into an already-packed day.  I feel the rush of life when I look at my children and realize that they are almost grown…the time of my parenting them in my home is quickly coming to an end.

The rush of life is felt in long car lines, busy grocery stores, people running in late for meetings, and the constant buzzing of our phones. It’s almost as if life wouldn’t run without a rush to it.

The rush is common to us. It’s familiar and it’s often. But I wonder how often we feel the rush of life in a different way.

How often do we feel the rush of life that comes so often when God answers prayer? How often do we feel the rush of life that blows through our hearts and minds when we relish in being in love, feeling the love from another, or holding a new life? Do we recognize the rush of life that comes in the form of celebration, exhilaration, and expectation? Or do we let it steamroll right through us, like everything else?

A “rush” doesn’t have to be bad. It doesn’t have to push, pull, drain, and demand of us. It can, instead, recharge, refuel, energize, and enlighten us…if we let it. Because life is full of “rush.” The rush of good. The rush of great. The rush of deep thankfulness and unleashed joy. It runs rampantly, freely, and randomly.

If we allow ourselves to hold our arms open to the blessings that life can give; I think we will find our lives overflowing with the bubbling joy and goodness that God gives to us.  And I want that kind of rush. Don’t you?

Life doesn’t have to be hurry and scurry all the time. It can, instead, be hit with the unseen….the “felt” things that can rush into your veins and make you feel alive.  That kind of rush I never want to miss.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Just. Try

Ever since I was a little girl, I was told (as most children were), that I could be anything I wanted to be. The sky was the limit.

As I grew up, I got disillusioned because I realized this was not the case. I could not just become what I wanted to be without hard work, luck, or connections. Life so often gets in the way of our plans.

But I remained a dreamer. The world never stole that from me. Ever the “positive” person; I dedicated my heart to believing in the impossible and hoping for the unattainable.

I call it faith.

Faith is what makes me tick. It’s what makes me believe in what can’t be seen. It’s what carries me through heartache and wraps it’s arms around me when it seems no one else will.  And faith is what fuels me to always try.

Just. Try.

So many people don’t see their dreams come true because they don’t try. They tell themselves they have failed before they’ve even tried.

I hear so often from people, that “it probably won’t happen.” And I want to tell them – “why not? Just try!” Maybe it won’t. But at least you will have tried. Why not give yourself the benefit of the doubt? Why not believe in yourself enough to give yourself a shot?

Just try.

Try to become friends with someone who you don’t think will want to be your friend back. Try for that opportunity that you think will go to someone “better” or “bigger.” TRY!

There is so much to be said for trying. So many rewards to be found in the pursuit. Joy in the journey. So by the time you get to the end result, you usually gain something in the process; whether or not you got what you set out for in the beginning.

Just try. You owe it to yourself. You are worth it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Empathy Comes From Experience

There is a saying that says, “Hurt people, hurt people.” It is very true. But I also believe that ignorant people hurt people.

Not everyone has gone through tough things in life. Some people have had a fairly easy go of it. That’s not to say they haven’t had trials and challenges. But some of those trials and challenges just haven’t been…….deep.

It’s hard to offer grace and mercy to someone when you haven’t had to experience that for yourself. You can tend to think that people need to “shape up”, “get it together”, or “buck up”.  For we don’t understand. We don’t FEEL. And why would we? We haven’t experienced.

Experience in heartache, pain, hurt, grief, loss, desperation, frustration, betrayal, anger, abuse, and depression – those things are not forgotten. They are not lost on us. When we understand, it is then that we can really feel and embrace what someone else may be going through.

Empathy for someone else comes from experience.  It comes from a place that has seen, felt, heard, and understood the hard places in life. The places that we all would love to avoid.

Compassion cannot be bought. It can be learned but it can also be grown. Grown from the lessons that only life’s challenges and trials teach us. Either way you receive the gift of compassion is okay. For others will need us. They will need our strength, love, support, and understanding when they have to cross the waters that we’ve already swum through. They will need to know they will make it and that they won’t drown.

Everyone needs someone. Someone with empathy. Someone with experience. Be that someone – for someone else.