Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wonder Woman

I may be projecting here because I feel this way, but I suspect that we all, at one point or another, have felt this way.  Do you ever feel inadequate because you can't do it all yourself?  Sometimes we have to lean on someone else, sometimes things fall through the cracks, sometimes we drop one of the things that we're clinging on to so tightly, all the while fearing that if we let one little thing go, our lives and reputation will all come crashing down.

We beat ourselves up for not being "Wonder Woman."  We see those people in our lives who seemingly have it all together, who can handle anything that life throws at them and think: "Why can't I be like that?"

The truth is that most Wonder Women have probably all been where we are, and the reason they are the way they are, the reason they have it all together, the reason they can handle anything thrown at them with aplomb, is because they've once been where we are, they once had their lives slipping through their tenuous grasp.

The thing that made them Wonder Woman is exactly what you're dealing with now.  Their strength comes from experience, the hardest of all teachers.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Remembering

One of the reasons that I've been inspired to write again is just that I've become so focused on me, that I need to start branching out little by little.

Shutting down is one of the easiest things to do when you feel threatened by life, not specifically by people or things, but just by life.  Life can be overwhelming at points if you don't focus on the next step in front of you, rather, you focus on the next 5000.  The reality is that usually the next 5000 steps will work themselves out, if you make the right decision for your next step.  I am realizing this slooooowwwwly, and working to focus on the here and now, instead of frantically gazing at the wild blue yonder.

Sometime last year, I found out that one of my high school teachers had cancer, and was given a short time to live.  If I had to choose one person that did not belong to my family, and was not my pastor, that had made the largest impact on my life, it would be this teacher.

He left an indelible mark on my life that can never be erased, nor would I ever want it to be erased.  He taught me all four years of high school, and I worked for him for an additional four years after graduation.

I remember walking up to the stage to get my 'diploma' (really just the shell to put the diploma in) with my crutches (long story...), and I handed off my crutches to an administrator so I could walk up, grab the 'diploma,' shake hands with the board member, and walk back down to grab my crutches.  I happened to look up into the crowd, and looking up, I saw this teacher cheering me on.  He later told me that his wife was worried that I was going to fall without my crutches that she could only hold her breath until I got them back.

He passed away at the end of January.  I didn't have much contact with him in the last few years, and I really regret that.  Once I found out that he was dying, I kept thinking I should go see him, or call him...but I didn't.

Last Saturday, after his funeral, I went out with a high school friend that did go see him before he passed.  As we talked, I realized that the one reason I kept putting it off was because I didn't want to rekindle this friendship with this awesome man, just to lose him; I knew it would hurt.

I will regret that decision for the rest of my life.  The few moments that I could have spent with him, telling him the great impact he had on my life, would have been well worth the tears.

I'm learning that shutting down and shutting life out isn't worth the beauty that life can offer.  Unfortunately, I learned this too late to benefit me in this situation.  Don't be like me; if you need to tell someone the impact they had on your life, do it now.  Be sure everyone knows what they mean to you, because tomorrow they may be gone.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

I'm back...for now!

So, I'm back; hopefully to post regularly, but we will see how that goes!

I decided to start writing again a while ago, and just haven't gotten back to it because of the busy-ness of life.  Church, school, and work take up the majority of my time these days and they don't leave much room for frivolities.

I was browsing through a store a few months ago and came across a book titled "642 Things To Write About," written by the San Francisco Writers' Grotto.  I plan to use some of those prompts for blog entries.  So far, they all look pretty entertaining and should provide plenty of fodder for writing!

Last year was a pretty good year for me; I went back to school and trained and completed a half marathon.  Thirteen. point. one. miles.  Yeah.  I was kicking myself about half way through, but I finished in the allotted time, and that's really all that I cared about.  I lost a toenail from the race, and I also strained my hip flexor, so I was out of heels (and off running) for 7-8 weeks.  That wasn't so fun.

Life sure does change as you grow older doesn't it?  Your body wears out faster, you're more mature and think a little more rationally...It's funny how age affects us.

What is also funny is that last year, for the first time, I actually felt like an 'adult.'  I was chatting with a friend and she mentioned that her daughter just "LOVED" me.  During the course of the conversation, I realized this girl, a teen girl, looked up to me.  It hit me hard and fast that I am now, to this girl, what those ladies were in my church when I was looking for a role model.  That's a little frightening!

I'm almost 30, and I am just starting to feel like maybe I'm becoming an adult. I'm pretty sure I'll never have a handle on it completely!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Small Ways...

I just wanted to share something I found on the internets recently:

"There are 137,324,678,345,932,289 things in the universe you cannot control, and only one that you can. Which, of course, is yourself.

People do change, slowly, when they want to. But for the most part, they wash up on our shores just as God or fate or the Spaghetti Monster made them. If we love someone, and know that in their heart they are good, the more we can find the grace to forgive and accept the less-than-ideal things, the better.

But at the same time, we all have to do work to make ourselves more acceptable. I know what the mean and small and ugly parts of myself look like. I wish I could wave a wand and change them through no effort, but I can’t. What I can do is to work, in small ways, to do better."  (from www.adultingblog.com)

Monday, April 08, 2013

Untitled

Do life experiences cause growth, or does a desire to grow through something cause growth? 

You hear it all the time:  Everything happens for your good. 

Is that Biblical though? 
Let's look at the scripture people use to back that statement up:  Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
 
Ok, so we see that the Bible says: "We know that all things work together for good."
 
Does this mean that everything happens for good? 
 
I'm not sure, but personally, I don't think so. 
 
I think that sometimes things just happen because it's life.  Does someone die for your good?  Other than Christ: I have to say no.  Death is not for 'our good.'  It is just life. 
 
Ecclesiastes 3 says this: "All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." 
 
We all will pass the way of the flesh, through the dark valley of death, and hopefully into the loving arms of our Savior. 
 
Life is to be born, and to die.  Sure, we live in between, but only one thing is certain in life:  death. 
 
I believe that God will work everything for good in the end, but I do not believe that all things are done for our good.  Life is life, and it isn't pretty all of the time.
 
Now on to a somewhat related topic:
 
Do I believe that one can 'grow' through a difficult time?  Absolutely.  Do all of us?  No. 
 
This weekend, I was around a group of people, and as I looked around, I saw those who had grown through adversity, and those who had stagnated.  Those who maybe hadn't experienced as much adversity as others, and honestly, those who hadn't suffered as much were...immature. 
 
I look around so many times and wonder how people can be so petty, how they can be so irreverent of life. 
 
I can't comprehend how those my own age can still be so caught up in teenaged angst, immaturity, and petty pursuits. 
 
Cliques abound, disdainful looks fly, and people continue in their immaturity.
 
I have heard it said:  "Be kind to everyone you meet, because everyone is fighting their own battle." 
 
I wonder at the lack of maturity in our young adults today, and I pray that something changes.  We can't really win the lost until we break out of our selfish immaturity.  We can't reach the hurting if we're too concerned with our friends and being part of the 'in group.' 
 
Wisdom and grace don't only have to come when our bodies have grown old.  We can be seeking those two honorable things now...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pictures from London, Scotland, and Paris Vacation 2013

Albert and I at the Tour Eiffel


Tower of London Castle
Albert and I at the Louvre
I had to get a picture in a phone booth!
The Crown Jewels of England, they were absolutely amazing.
Me at Stonehenge
This is the Tower Bridge in London, otherwise referred to as the London Bridge.
Albert and I at Stonehenge
The Eye of London and Big Ben
Me in front of St. Paul's Cathedral
This is Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, where Mary, Queen of Scots was born.
Edinburgh Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle (Don't pronounce it Eden-burg or they'll definitely correct you! haha)
On the Champs-Élysées in Paris
Albert and I in line to go into Versailles
Notre Dame: we got to see some of the Palm Sunday services there, and it was really cool.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


“Quit your worship charades.  I can’t stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—  meetings, meetings, meetings—I can’t stand one more!  Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!  You’ve worn me out!
I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.  Clean up your act.  Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer.  Say no to wrong.  Learn to do good.  Work for justice.  Help the down-and-out.  Stand up for the homeless.  Go to bat for the defenseless.”  --Isaiah 1:  13-17  The Message

Clear the Stage - Jimmy Needham
Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze if that’s the measures you must take to crush the idols, jerk the pews and all the decorations too until the congregations fuel and have revival.  Tell your friends that this is where the party ends, until you’re broken for your sins you can’t be social.  And seek the Lord and wait for what he has in store and know that great is your reward so just be hopeful
‘Cause you can sing all you want to, yes you can, sing all you want to, you can sing all you want to and still get it wrong.  Worship is more than a song.
Take a break from all the plans that you have made and sit at home alone and wait for God to whisper.  Beg him please to open up his mouth and speak and pray for real upon your knees until they blister.  Shine the light on every corner of your life until the pride and lust and lies are in the open and read the word and put to test the things you heard until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken.
‘Cause you can sing all you want to, yes you can, sing all you want to, you can sing all you want to and still get it wrong.  Worship is more than a song.
We must not worship something that’s not even worth it. 
 
Clear the stage and make some space for the one who deserves it. 
 
Everything I put before my God is an idol. 
Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. 
Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol. 
Anything that I give all my love is an idol.
‘Cause I can sing all you want to, yes I can, sing all we want to, we can sing all we want to and still get it wrong.  Worship is more than a song.
Clear the stage and set the sound and lights ablaze if that’s the measures we must take to crush the idols.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is Your Goal?

There is power in language.

The old adage goes: Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Even as a young girl I knew that was false.  Some of the most hurtful things I remember about my childhood were from words.

The girls in my neighborhood making fun of me.

Being told that I used too big of words, and I needed to just be normal.

We all have our insecurities, and unfortunately some people live to prey on them.

There are words in our society that should never be used in certain contexts, and some should never be used period.

You all know the ones.  Racial slurs.  Bigoted words.

When I attended a local university, I took an ethnic studies class.  I walked in, and I was the only Caucasian person in the room.  I drew quite a bit of attention just by being there, and it made me really uncomfortable.  I took my seat, and hoped for the best.  Not even ten minutes into the class, someone made a derogatory comment towards me, and I decided I was going to drop the class.  I didn't want to deal with that for an entire quarter, and while it may have made me a wimp: I didn't (and still don't) care.

Now, did that one person's view of me guarantee that the rest of the class felt the same?  No.  It didn't even mean that the person who said it didn't like me.  Maybe they were trying to impress their friends.  Maybe they had a bad day.  The point is that I left that class and never went back.

Last week, I sat in a church service and a minister was exhorting the congregation.  To be honest, I do not even remember the point of his exhortation, because I was so shocked at the word that came out of his mouth.  Something about his point had to do with homosexuals, because he was raging against the 'queers.'

Huh.  Now, don't misunderstand me, I'm clear on what the Bible says about homosexuality, but I'm also clear on the Bible's stance of bigots and hatred of sinners.

We are to hate the SIN not the SINNER.  In this case, it sure sounded like he hated the 'queers' and not the homosexuality.

When I looked up the definition for queer I found this:
Adjective
Strange; odd:  "She had a queer feeling that they were being watched."
Noun
offensive. A homosexual man.
Verb
Spoil or ruin (an agreement, event or situation):  "Reg didn't want someone meddling and queering the deal at the last minute."  

How do you think a homosexual would feel coming into a service similar to that?

Would they feel like Jesus and his so called followers loved him?  Or do you think he would leave and never return, thinking that Jesus' followers were, if not just completely ignorant, bigoted.

Think about the goal of your words before you say them...do you want to show Jesus, or do you want to show bigotry?

I'd rather show His love...and represent him well. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Graceful Dance

I was not born graceful.

Attempting to be graceful is a constant battle for me.  I've always been clumsy, a klutz, so to speak. 

I watch those who move with graceful fluidity and wonder how I can train myself to be like that. 

I listen to those who speak with such graceful confidence and wonder why I trip over my words so often.

I don't think I will ever achieve perfection with grace. 

Last night, I attended a ballet fitness class.  Oh and watching myself in the mirror was hilarious.  I could NOT for the life of me coordinate my arm with my legs for the plies. 

It reminded me of my clumsy speech and my seeming inability to be a graceful person in general. 

Graceful movement isn't as important to me, as being graceful in my speech and actions. 

For about two years, I removed myself from people.  Hidden away.  I've gone to work, church, and a few conferences.  There was mending that needed to be done and it needed to be done in private. 

As I've emerged from my dark room of mending, I'm finding that any grace that I'd achieved previously has flown.  Like a tremulous dove, frightened away by the darkness. 

Starting over is challenging, but strength I have, and so I will begin again.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Modesty

A few definitions of modesty before I start:
  • The quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.
  • The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level.
  • Free from conceit or vanity
  • Propriety in dress, speech, or conduct
Synonyms - humility, moderation, decency, demureness
 
Modesty is a buzz word in the church today, and has been for years.  Quite often, it's used as a synonym for holiness
 
How many times does the word modesty appear in the Bible?  I'll let you answer that for yourself. 
 
Hebrews 12:14 says "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
 
In this scripture above, peace and holiness are mentioned together.  What IS holiness?  Is it a heart issue?  Or is it a clothing issue?  Or is it both? 
 
The saying "Modest is hottest" has been all over the Internet, and bouncing around our circles for a few years now.  Chandra over at Momomod addressed it in her blog post here, and I agree with a lot of her view points.  I think she did a wonderful job at dispelling the myth of "Modest is hottest," so I'm not even going to go there. 
 
I have some of my own thoughts regarding modesty though, that I'm going to endeavor to share here. 
 
I have heard it said so many times that we need to dress holy to protect the men.  Protect the men!  They can't control their thoughts!  If they see you dressed immodestly, you're causing them to sin!
 
Wait, what? 
 
I'm responsible for someone else's thoughts?  I'm causing them to sin by my skirt/shirt/shoe choice?  Huh? 
 
Actually, no, I don't think I'm responsible for your sin
 
That is nowhere in the Bible sir or ma'am. 
 
 That is you trying to justify sin.  That is you blaming the woman, like Adam did in Genesis.  Adam was responsible for his sin, just as Eve was responsible for her own sin.
 
When we tell girls that they need to dress modestly to protect men's minds and their eyes, we are telling them that they are responsible for men's thoughts. 
 
Do you want your little girl going through life thinking that she is responsible for someone else's actions? 
 
Not only is she going to feel condemnation for her own sin, because we all sin, she's going to feel it for someone else's sin. 
 
It's that attitude that comes out when a woman gets sexually assaulted and people say, "She was asking for it because of the way she was dressed!" 
 
No.  No, she wasn't asking for it.  She was wearing clothing, and someone else made a decision to violate her. 
 
This mentality of women being responsible for men's actions and men's thoughts is reprehensible.
 
If you want your wives, sisters, and daughters to dress modestly, teach them holiness.
 
And while you're at it, teach it to your husbands, brothers, and sons too.  Because only they are responsible for their actions and thoughts. 
 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Unplanned Hiatus...

So anyone who still visits my little corner of the world, knows that I took a rather long hiatus from blogging.  There are, of course, many reasons for that hiatus, but I'm hoping to start posting more often!

  2012 was a great year in many ways, a challenging year in many ways, and it is now OVER! (Yeah, yeah, I know it's been gone for about three weeks now.)

Now that a new year is here, I'm finding that many of the changes I tried to make last year are being brought to fruition. It is always wonderful when hard work pays off, isn't it? I can only hope (and pray) that I continue to better myself through the changes and new habits I'm working to form.

Isn't that what life is all about anyway? Bettering yourself?

I look at myself, my behaviors, my tendencies, my thoughts and realize that I really am so far from where I need to be.

So many changes, so many improvements to be made, so many scars...

With that in mind, I look forward to what 2013 will bring!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blessed Are They...

How many questions have you had for God? The 'why' questions that stem from pain, the 'what' questions that determine your future, the 'how' questions when you have something that needs to be done, but you can't see a way to do it. How many times has God given you a direct answer for your questions? What's that? Rarely ever? Same here. I have many, many questions for God, but he doesn't seem inclined to give me the answers I seek. I recently read a book that addressed this subject, but in terms of John the Baptist. John the Baptist was an awesome man of God, dedicated to the Kingdom in every way. Do you think he had questions at the end when Jesus didn't give him a straight answer to his one question that he'd ever asked? "Are you the Messiah, or do we look for another?" Do you think he may have wondered why his God was allowing his head to be delivered on a platter to Herod's banquet hall? I think he may have. There are few men or women that have ever lived that were deserving of God giving them answers to their questions, and yet we don't know that John ever received the answers he looked for. The bottom line of the book was: "Will you serve a God that you do not understand?" The statement from Jesus throughout the book was: "Blessed are they that are not offended in me." I know I have wanted answers to questions in my life. I've anguished over some of them. I still do to this day for certain questions. But the only question that matters is: will I serve a God that I do not understand? A God who heals some, but not all. A God that saves some, but not all. A God that answers some, but not all.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Forgive, Forget...Trust?

So we have all heard the saying: "Forgive and forget!"

We've been taught, rightfully so, that we must forgive to be forgiven. If we don't forgive those who trespass against us, how can God forgive us? It just won't happen. We can't harbor bitterness towards someone for something they've done to us.

But what about that "forget" part? If I forgive someone, I very rarely forget. Part of that is because I have a memory that is slightly disturbing to those that know me, but part of it, to me, is intelligence. If I've been wronged by someone, there is a higher chance that it will occur again. It doesn't mean that I don't forgive them, it just means that I remember what their character is like.

I'm interested to know how others see this issue, so please comment if you have something to say.

Most of us decide to do things for "New Year's Resolutions," and I'm no different. I generally don't keep them, but it is a time for me to look back at my year, see what worked, and see what needs to change. I'm the type of person though, that if I don't immediately begin that 'resolution,' I will continue to put it off and it will never be done. If I want to lose weight, I change my eating habits immediately. No "Diet starts tomorrow!" or "I'll start eating right next week." If I have the determination to do it then, I do it then, to make sure that I don't procrastinate.

Anyways, one of the things I wanted to do this year was read the Bible through, I'm failing miserably, but something I read gave me pause, and yes, it is related to the subject I'm writing about.

In Genesis 3:22-24, the Bible says this: "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken, So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life."

What that says to me is this: God forgave Adam and Eve for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He even gave them furs instead of leaves to cover their nakedness...continued to care for them. But what He DIDN'T do, is trust them. He knew that if they were to eat from the tree of life, and it was a possibility since they'd already disobeyed and eaten from the tree of knowledge, they would live forever. So He kicked them out of Eden, and even went as far as to put an angel guard and a flaming sword to keep them out.

I haven't found anything in the Bible that says I have to trust someone after I've forgiven them, and this actually shows me what God has done in the past.

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hello there...

I've been absent for a while, I know. Life has a way of taking over and pulling you in directions that you don't want to go, but you don't have a choice.

Since I've blogged last, we've gone through the holidays, a new year and are almost into February! That's craziness!

Anyways, I have a few thoughts, and I'm going to try to update more often since writing is my therapy, and I definitely need some therapy right now.

I hope everyone who still bothers to read this blog had an enjoyable last part of 2011, and I hope 2012 has found you well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Origniality

Do you think Adam and Eve thought about trying to be 'different' from everyone else?

Probably not. They WERE the originals. The first people to ever step foot on planet Earth. God's newest creation.

Now there were several things that were enviable about Adam and Eve, the first being that they walked and talked directly with God daily, the second being that they lived in perfect (if not perfect, near perfect) bodies with perfect living conditions.

One thing that I don't really envy about them though was their originality. Why?

I don't need to be original to be loved, I don't need to be different. I just need to be me.

I have this friend who hates cheese (cough, cough, Jen), but she hates it because she truly does not like cheese.

I have other friends who hate In-n-Out and Starbucks because they're 'popular' and everyone else likes it.

Which friend is being most truthful and being the original? Jen: because she truly does not like the thing she claims to hate. The other friend(s) are avoiding something because everyone else likes it.

If you want to stand out as different and original, why not be yourself? If you like something that someone else does...doesn't that just give you something else in common to build a friendship on?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Vacation!!

As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel in Rome, Italy. Or, as they call it here, Roma.

We flew in Thursday morning, and landed in Venice. We stayed there until Friday evening, when we flew to Rome, and tomorrow, we leave on our cruise. We'll see one other place in Italy, 2 places in Greece and 1 place in Turkey.

So far we have toured Venice, and visited San Marcos Basilica, seen the Grand Canal, shopped in the Rialto and have eaten tons pizza, we have also toured a bit of Rome, we've been to Vatican City to see St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museum and more sculptures than I have seen in my life time. After we did that, we went to the Spanish Steps, and ate more pizza. Here are a few pictures, but I won't bore you with too many!!


The Grand Canal in Venice

St. Peter's Basilica

Me in front of the Grand Canal in Venice

The Spanish Steps

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In Light of All Eternity...It's Only Temporary...

October 12, 2010 will always and forever be burned into my memory.

I didn't even have a chance to enjoy the day before my life was changed irrevocably, and my heart was broken. Sounds dramatic, but it's the truth.

Around 6:30 AM, I received a phone call from my little sister. It went to voicemail before Albert woke me up to call her back. I called her back, and the words on the other end of the phone were those that I never, ever would have wanted to hear: "You might want to start heading up the hill, Dad's been in an accident, and it's bad. There is a lady here who won't talk to me until Mom gets here, but she said it's bad."

I rushed around trying to get ready to leave, but before I knew for sure that he was gone, I started mourning. I called my Mom to find out what hospital we should go to and during that conversation she told me that my Dad hadn't made it, and was gone: we should go to the house.

We didn't get a chance to say goodbye. So many regrets, so many lost memories, so much pain.

We lost a great, great man. He taught me what a man should be: God fearing, respectful, funny, a provider for his family despite the pain he might be enduring, a pursuer of knowledge, book intelligent and street smart, not afraid to tell it like it is and not afraid to love and say "I love you." He was all that and so much more.

I can't tell you that I understand the plan of God in our lives. This past year has been hell on earth with losing him and everything else that my family has experienced.

I will miss my Dad until God calls me home and I get to throw my arms around him and hear him say "I love you Miss B."

But I do have this one hope: in light of all eternity, it's only temporary. He might be gone from this life, but I will see my Dad again.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Interaction

We interact with people on a daily basis. Talking, text messaging, writing, hand motions...they're all used to communicate with those around us.

Communication can be difficult sometimes, and it can be even more difficult and awkward when you're in a negative situation, correction is being doled out, or a 'helpful' friend is trying to tell you something you should do.

As most of you know, my family suffered a major tragedy last year, and we lost my Dad. In fact, in 5 days, it will have been exactly 1 year that we were forced to say goodbye to an amazing man.

Tragedy either brings out the best in people, or the worst in people, and it will never, ever leave you the same once you come through it. There will always be lasting effects from the situation, be it good or bad.

We've had several people 'take it upon themselves' to tell us how to grieve, how to mourn and how we should move on and get over it.

I would caution any of you to tell someone who has suffered a tragedy to 'Get over it' or 'It's been long enough, you need to move on.' No one knows what that person is going through internally, even if they share their heart with you, you'll never know the full extent of the pain.

But that brings me to my point: interaction can be tricky at times.

I read a blog post about "Assuming Good Intent," which talked about interaction, and how people can offend without realizing it.

How many times have we been offered a so called 'helpful' suggestion that is hurtful?

"You would look great if you lost 10 lbs!"
"You really should try "such n such" on your acne. It would clear up just like that!"

Sure, they're trying to help, but mostly their suggestion is pointing out a major flaw that you *hope* they overlook, and sometimes, those things ARE meant to tear you down or hurt you.

How do you discern between someone who means well, and someone who doesn't?

Unfortunately, I don't have the answer for you. The only thing I can tell you, is that I have started to "Assume Good Intent." I'm starting to assume that if someone said something hurtful, or flat out stupid, that they really didn't mean it in the way that it came out. Especially if that person is someone I love, and they love me. The ones that truly love you, will not intentionally and cruelly tear you down or hurt you. We can all benefit from constructive criticism, so that's not what I'm talking about here.

So the next time that you receive a 'helpful' comment, brush it off and assume that they meant well. Even if they didn't, you're none the worse for assuming that their intention was good. You're actually better off, because you don't focus on it, you don't let it bring you down, and you don't get bitter. I encourage you to assume good intent in all of your interaction...it might do you some good mentally and physically!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bend With Grace

I read this quote today:




"Welcome the unexpected changes in life. Learn to bend with grace and humility. Grow through it all and never, ever forget to take notice of the beauty changes can bring."




Unfortunately, I don't know who the author was, but I would love to read more by the individual who stated that. It's very insightful, and you can learn a lot by that simple quote.




So many times we are very averse to change. It's different, it's new.




Unfamiliar territory.




The unknown is a scary place sometimes. It's not really a place many people want to explore.




Sure, there are a few who relish the thrill, but most of us like our quiet, comfortable, known life, usually, with an occasional chosen thrill thrown in for good measure.




The caveat is that most of us can't choose our changes. We don't have the control over the universe that we sometimes wish we had.




The changes are unexpected, unwelcome and always unsettling.




I spoke with a woman the other day, who is exactly one day younger than me.




She has had cervical cancer, and while she was going through chemo, she got pregnant with her daughter. She had to be hospitalized during the entirety of her pregnancy because of the risk the chemo posed to the baby. When her baby girl was born, her legs were backwards. They had to break every single joint of that newborn babies legs and cast them, every week, during the first six months of her life, while in her mother's arms. Since then, the baby has grown to be three and was told she would never walk. She walked at age one.




That wasn't the end of this woman's story though. She has since had breast cancer three times, in addition to the time she had breast cancer at age eighteen. They can't do a mastectomy because if they did, the cancer would move to other vital parts of her body, and eventually kill her.




This lady is strong. While sharing her story, I heard not one trace of bitterness. In fact, she told me she felt selfish because she doesn't worry, and can cast all of her cares on God.




That my friends, is amazing strength, and the ability to bend with grace and humility.




Through it all, she is thankful for her baby girl, because she was told she would never conceive because of the chemo.




That story stopped me in my tracks. How many times am I un-thankful for what God has done in my life?




How many times am I so busy stressing out and worrying, when God has it under control?




I know so many people who hold on to things for years and years that need to let it go.




Let the pain and disappointment go.


Let the anger dissipate.


Forgive.




It's so important and vital in learning to bend with grace and humility through the changes.




Don't become so rigid that every change that comes along breaks you.




Bending is much easier to heal from than breaking...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Little Bit Stronger...

I was listening to a song today, and though the theme of the song didn't resonate with me, this quote did:


"Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger..."


I had to think about how true that is.


Some days, I just don't like me.


I don't like how I look, I don't like how I talk.


I don't like my methods of communication, I don't like my lack of discipline in certain areas.


Sometimes, it's very difficult to like ourselves, since we know, intimately, all of our faults and failures.


I will go further and say that this probably impacts women more than it does men, though I know there are exceptions to that.


But even on those days where I critique myself far more than anyone else would even consider, even on those days that I wish I could just erase parts of me and paste something else there, even on the days when I can't stop crying because I just can't be who and what I want to be...

I get a little bit stronger.


Why, you ask?


Because you realize you can't quit life, and you have to go on.


The world doesn't stop spinning because of an event or feeling in your life.


You realize that feelings are just that: feelings.


Sure, they're important to life: if you don't feel, you don't laugh, you don't cry with joy, you don't feel the burst of joy so much that you can't contain it when someone you love, loves you back.


But the negative feelings are just as fleeting as any other.


Each day you live and survive, you get a little bit stronger.


And I for one, am thankful for that.