Wednesday, December 28, 2016

We Don't Have to Disguise the Hurt

We’ve all heard it. The words of that well-meaning family member, or friend. They don’t know how to make things better for us, so they offer words that they feel, will lift us out of our frustration.

“It will all work out.”

“It will be ok. You’ll see.”

“Someday, (insert name) will understand all you did for them.”

“You’ll be fine.”

And the words go on and on and on.

They aren’t bad words. But they also, aren’t always TRUE words.

Everything ISN’T always fine.

Everything DOESN’T always work out.

So, here’s what I want to tell you. Grieve about it. Be angry about it. God is big enough to handle it.

Acknowledge that something unfair happened to you and in your life. Don’t try to bury it. Don’t try to ignore it. Don’t try to pretend you are stronger than the unfairness of what happened, or the moments and dreams that you may have lost.

Grieve about it. It’s OK. In fact, it might be necessary.

If you ever want to be healthy, whole, and able to move on with your life… you need to be able to dwell in your frustration, sorrow, anger, and hurt for a bit.

For a “bit.”  Please, don’t live there forever. There are so many more GOOD moments in your life that are waiting to unfold and happen!  But do allow yourself the freedom to feel what you are feeling. There’s nothing in the world wrong with that.

Not everyone gets a fair shake in life. I wish we all did. So many things take left turns and plummets in our lives. But we don’t have to let them defeat us forever. We can turn them around into our testimonies.

Some of those spots in our hearts will always remain a little soft. Tears will always cling to our eyes when we speak of them. Let them. That time HURT. It’s ok to say it, and let people know it.

We don’t have to be tough all of the time. We don’t have to disguise the hurt.

If the bottom drops out of your dreams, you can still climb back up from that pit. Maybe a little wiser because of what you’ve endured. But climb up, you can.

Just take it rung by rung, step by step.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

It Doesn't Matter If You Are Different Than Everyone Else Around You

I’m not a big scarf girl. They look so cute on women, but they kind of strangle me a bit.

I don’t like coffee. I know the whole world pretty much, wants to meet at the local coffee shop for conversation and “catch-up” chats. But I don’t drink coffee. It’s ok. I can have a smoothie, or something else. It’s just the fact that people ASSUME.

I love cats. I always have. I love how you don’t have to worry about where you step in your grass, lest you might step in the wrong spot. I love how they purr when they are happy. I love how they love to be loved and snuggled. And I LOVE how they love laying in the sunshine. Just. Like. Me.  But, this is a “dog” world.

And so, I’m often in the minority.

I don’t have a tattoo.

I don’t drink alcohol.

I don’t like Chinese food.

I HATE to camp and I detest running.

These are things that just astonish people at times. Because people often expect other people to be just like them. To like what they like. To enjoy what they enjoy.  It’s easy to think others are weird if they don’t do what the majority of the world is perceived to be doing.

But that’s ok with me.

I like what I like. I don’t like what I don’t like. That’s how God made me.

We so often want others to mirror ourselves. We feel more accepted, more normal, if others are a reflection of who we are and what we think. But it’s ok to have friends who DON’T mirror you. To enjoy people who are different. In fact, it can be very enjoyable. They can expose you to a lot of new and interesting things in life.

It doesn’t matter if you are different than everyone else around you. Standing out can be a great honor. It can immediately put you in a place of leadership and influence. Even if you are an introvert, people will watch and listen to you – intrigued by your differences. And, an individual is always more memorable than a “pack.”

So, be YOU. Be you in all of your intricate, unique glory. Soak in the thrill of enjoying something that may not be common. Enjoy being different and not having to partake in the trend or fad that everyone else is throwing themselves into.  Trust me…. If you didn’t want to wear a “beehive” hairdo in the 70’s and got made fun of for it? No one would know now. For everything has a time and a season.

You were created to be just as you are. Different than those around you.

Never try to reflect someone else. You are just as you should be.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

It Says So Much

“Honor God in all you do.”

One of my very first cell phones allowed me to put a phrase in the opening window. Those were the ones I chose. “Honor God in all you do.” I put them there, after hearing that phrase somewhere. I don’t recall where, but it was a phrase I wanted to ingrain into my heart.

It was a reminder of the kind of person I want to be. And what better place than your cell phone, than to have those words staring back at you all day long?

When I deal with things in life, I want my priorities to be straight. I want to honor God in every part of my day. Every part of my being. Every part of my choices.

When I’m mad about something… I want to honor God in the middle of that anger.

When my feelings have been hurt… I want to honor God as I deal with that hurt.

When God gives me responsibility, or power… I want to honor God in that elevated position of authority.

Raising my children, being a grandmother, and as a wife… I want to honor God as I carry out those roles.

Whatever it is that I run across in life – I want to be honorable, act honorable, and live honorably.

It says so much.

I have a long way to go. I have a lot of habits to break. A lot of pride to swallow. But little by little, year by year – I pray that I can take baby steps towards this goal, for I want God to find favor with me. I want Him to be pleased.

To be an honorable person. I can’t think of a better phrase that could be said about someone.

I pray, someday, it may be said of me.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Experience Makes You Who You Are

My kids went to karate when they were younger. One night, one of the instructors was talking to the parents, and explaining why they taught the kids, the way they taught. He explained that if you talk to the child, and tell them the right way to break a board with their foot, just telling them wouldn’t have the same effect as the child actually trying to break the board with their foot the wrong way.  Why? Because the wrong way hurts!!

Once you do it, and you feel how it hurts, you learn by experience. You learn the reasons why, and how come. 

I think it’s the same way with life.  So often we don’t want to go through something. We try to forget something that has happened to us in the past, or we even try to simply live life on auto-pilot, without realizing that it’s that very DAILY experience of living that life, that makes us who we are. 

We may not have fond memories of a past event, but it still shapes how we see the world, why we react the way we do, and where we are headed.

I think only trying to embrace the good things in our life can potentially be limiting.  The bad and painful stuff in our lives are what sometimes teach us the most!  We would not be who we are without it.  Our choices based on those events and experiences, mold and shape us – whether we like it or not. 

That’s why it’s never fair to say how we’d act or react in a certain situation. Because until you are in that spot, feeling those feelings, and going through those things – you just – don’t – know.

I want to learn, grow, and better myself because of challenges that I go through. And I want to be able to look back and see why I had to go through those things and how come God allowed me to be sifted in a certain way. I want to see that I learned from each experience and was stronger because of them.

We can go through life trying to pave our own way without acknowledging why we are meant to do something – OR - we can listen to what the whispering of experience in our life is trying to tell us and change our direction accordingly.

We can let it fuel us and make us wiser and stronger.

That’s the way I hope I choose. How about you?