Monday, April 22, 2019

"When and If Only's"



“When I lose 20 lbs., then I’ll volunteer more.”

“When the kids leave home, then I’ll take up singing again.”

“When I retire, then I’ll travel.”

“If only I had a different job, I’d be appreciated.”

“If only I had a group of friends to do things with, then I’d go to that event.”

When…then…if….

How often do we make statements like these?  

Statements that don’t motivate us in any way, shape, or form?

The “if only’s” creep into our thought life and permeate into our soul.  They even push away our ability to truly be happy where we are and with whom we are. We “wait” for a day that might never come. We wait for ourselves to BE something that maybe, we were never meant to be.

We wait. We wish. We want. 

The hesitation to embark on personal ambitions or journeys comes from an internal desire to have everything perfect and to “be” perfect first.

Think about that. Ouch, right?

Why can’t we love ourselves right where we are AMIDST the waiting? Why can’t we enjoy the surroundings we are in, UNTIL we get to different ones?

We are so good at disappointing ourselves. We wait until we think all of our ‘ducks are in are a row’….and often, they never are.

If you wait for your children to leave home before you do certain things, your health may be gone by then. If you wait to do something fun before you lose weight, you may miss it altogether.

We need to engage in life as we are – NOW.  

Be imperfect – but be happy knowing that you aren’t hesitating because of standards that you may not ever meet.  

We can still dream. We can still want. But we need to know that the status of things may not ever change, and we will be OKAY if they don’t.

Don’t hesitate to be who you want to be anymore.  Don’t waste any more of your days on “if only’s’ or “when’s.”

Enjoy your life. All of it.  Enjoy the people in it. Enjoy the possibilities. Enjoy yourself.

Looking for “better” might be a great growing experience and something positive that can happen for you and I. But let’s just make sure we’re not missing out on the here and now in the process.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

It's Okay




It’s okay not to know all the answers.

Of course, most of us know that in our heads, but admitting it verbally, is at times, a little tougher.

I don’t know why it is that we seem to think we need to know it all.  Why we feel it is so “foreign” to open up our vulnerable side to others.

It’s okay to admit that we messed up.  To admit we were not aware of something, or that we overlooked something.

We all do, you know!  

I put my foot in my mouth more than I’d care to admit. Sometimes I can just laugh at myself - other times, it shows me that I’m in a season where more wisdom and discernment are needed in my life for growth.

But, just think. … if our children see that we can mess up, make mistakes, admit them, and pick ourselves up and dust off venturing forward; how much better they will be able to do that themselves when they fail?  And they WILL fail.  

It’s healthy and it’s necessary for our children to fail, and to make mistakes.  That’s how they learn and grow!! It’s how they grow deep roots and become strong people.

As important as it is, to admit we don’t have all of the answers or that we’ve made mistakes, sometimes in admitting those mistakes, we need to swallow our pride and apologize to those we’ve offended or hurt in the process.  This is the only way walls between people will break and fall away, leaving no barriers left in between.  

I see so many relationships today that are broken, simply because of pride or bitterness. Simply because no one would admit that they were sorry.

Don’t let these fundamentals get lost in your home, your relationships, or in your life.  The basics of saying, “I don’t know,” “I messed up” and “I’m sorry.”  These are character traits of integrity and love, and they are such vital ingredients to having a flourishing family or marriage, that can bless each other, as well as the world.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Maybe It's Time





A lot of times, I don’t think we give it much thought how our actions might make someone else feel.

I’d hate to think that something I consistently do, bothers someone else that I love. And it can be so easy to get defensive about our actions, but in reality, maybe we just didn’t ‘think’ enough about what we were doing.

For example, maybe we kept up a friendship with someone who really, really hurt someone else in our family.  Maybe we talk a lot about a certain child, or grandchild.  Maybe we give things to a certain someone in our family, without consulting someone else who may need or want a cherished heirloom?

Maybe… just maybe…. We alienate individuals that we work with. 

All of these scenarios are common. And all of them, can easily include hurt feelings.

Every example, can have a pro and a con argument to it. And every example, can have ‘loopholes’ or reasons why something is played out the way it is played out. Maybe you HAVE invited someone over for years, and they refused or were difficult in the planning. Maybe you HAVE tried to give someone things you thought were special and they disappeared.

I get it. I do.

And for those ‘loophole’ reasons? I probably would agree.  Sometimes, people don’t see the chances that were given them. They only see the ones that weren’t - long after, the cord was broken.

And sometimes, you have to love people from afar. You have to put in place boundaries to protect your own heart.

So do that. Please do that.  Don’t keep wearing yourself out for someone who doesn’t care about your emotional investment into them. Yes - even if it’s family. (Tweet this)

But other times? Other times, we just forgot to realize or think about how someone might feel. And maybe it’s time we do.

Maybe it’s time that we think about what the other ‘cousins’ think when grandma and grandpa spend all their time with just one set. Maybe it’s time that we consider prioritizing someone who never speaks up for themselves, about never being invited, or included.

Maybe it’s time to start thinking about that broken relationship, and how we have conducted ourselves with people involved.

We can’t please everyone with our actions. And I’m not saying we should. But I am saying that maybe there are people who are precious to us, that we are consistently hurting - without meaning to.

And maybe we need to repair a little bit of damage done to those.