Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Imagine you’ve got an opportunity to try something new, but are nervous about it.  Imagine you’ve got someone, a co-worker, who said they’ve accompany you or help mentor you, to bring you along.  And you’re counting on this person (lets call her Jane) to help you so you don’t have to do it alone.

Now imagine you’ve set a time/date to meet with Jane to go over the particulars, so you could get the lay of the land to help yourself visualize what it is you’ve got to get done — only to realize Jane has forgotten about you and will not be making your meeting.  Now you have to move forward with no direction and have no idea how to do it alone.

What’s your first reaction?  Anger? Disbelief at their lack of reliability?  Or … do you stop and remind yourself that the world is not all about YOU … and this person may have had unusual circumstances that gave them cause to forget or no show?

Now imagine that you’re out grocery shopping, and you see Jane shuffling down the aisle with a sick and aging person next to her side. She’s walking as slow as she can to help what looks to be a loved one down the aisle in one of those motorized carts.  Although you’re still upset with her for leaving you holding the weight of this ‘new project’ and leaving you feeling like you’ve been stranded with it, you know you can’t ignore her.  After all she’s seen you and smiled from across the freezer section.  You lift your arm in greeting, and make your way there.  After all … it’s where you were heading anyway – as you promised you’d pick up a pound of shrimp for your family.

“Hi,”  you offer and say nothing more.  You’re still judging her in your mind for not giving you the support you needed.

“Hi.  How’s the project going?” She sadly smiles.

Here’s where hopefully it dawns on you that she has a lot on her plate, and you can see the bigger picture with Jane and not judge her for the small window or piece of your experience about her that you’ve only seen from work.

“I could use some help.”  You say wondering if you have the right.

“I’m sorry.  I’d fully intended to help you along, but my mother’s health took a turn for the worse.  My father died last year, and she took a fall last week … about the same time you and I were supposed to meet.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well, I’ve been distracted to say the least.  And I’ve got a lot on my plate … I didn’t want anyone at work to think anything less of my or jump to the conclusion that I couldn’t get it all done .. which is why I delegated that project to you.  I knew I couldn’t take care of her and work that project at the same time.”

________

I’m sure you can imagine the rest of the conversation … Jane is balancing trying to be everything to everyone and something just  had to give.  Unfortunately for you, her exit was bad timing for you and your new responsibilities.  So what’s the bottom line here?

Too many times in life, we put people in categories or stereotype them as flaky or unreliable, when maybe they’re just coping the best they can with the circumstances they’ve been given.  Instead of judging someone or being angry with how they respond (especially if its in a manner which you would ‘never’ respond) – try to look at life through their perspective.  Try give the credit for the unknowns in life.  Maybe their life is full of complications – and your one project or task isn’t the big picture.

This post is about letting our assumptions go of other people.  This post is about thinking better of people.  Instead of jumping to anger – try jumping to empathy.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes today.  Going forward when someone upsets you – think of what’s going on in their life instead of jumping to anger and judgment. This is something we all could benefit from, myself included. I think the world would be a lot better place if we all changed our filter and took the focus off of ‘our ego’ and centered it on ‘what Christ wants us to see’.

Try it … and let me know what happens.

Friday Blessings

This week has been amazing.  God is always good and even through struggles it is easy to count the many blessings in life, however this week has been stellar.

 

Eight months ago, I was laid off from a great job when a new manager was brought in and she essentially became a hatch ‘wo’ man.  She picked us off one by one and broke down my whole team.  It wasn’t a scenario I would have put anyone in, as this lady (and I use that term loosely) used very underhanded tactics to fire away, including lying about her staff to get them fired.Each month, in the last 8 months, we’ve not known how we were going to make each month, but God miraculously provided in ways that left little doubt that He was in full control of our present and future.

Three weeks ago I got a call to come interview for an outstanding company, which is within the same industry I left.  After 8 months of closed doors, and basically being told through prayer to wait … and focus on my gifts … I felt a tap on my heart as this is what I was waiting on.

This backdrop leads into today’s post of my weekly blessings …

 

Blessing 1 — I got hired on Monday and start today.  And the position they offered me has amazing potential.  I expected one thing and God surpassed that by leaps and bounds.  

Blessing 2 — My son got an email this morning saying he made the debate team.  He’s not been very excited about school in the last few years, because he doesn’t get challenged – and to see him so over the top excited about being on the team made my heart burst with joy.  I’m so happy that God answered this prayer.

 

Blessing 3 — I am back in touch with a teacher from my school in Okinawa, who made a big impact on my life.  

 

Blessing — 4  This sunrise this morning letting me know how much God loves us:

 

sunrise

 

 

Hopefully you can recall a few of your own blessings from this week.  I’d love to hear them.

 

After the Launch

This last weekend was the launch for COMING HOME, my third book.  I was amazed at how many people came in from from Kansas, Texas, and states across the nation.  Of course most were supporting from my home state of Oklahoma.  I’m so blessed to have the support I do.

It takes a lot of work to promote yourself, get your books out there, and get the momentum in sales.  There are so many other wonderful Indie authors out there, that your support means a lot to me.

Thank you to all of you who came out in support.  Thank you in advance to those that will go to amazon and read about my books … and take it one step further … purchase them in either kindle or paperback.  Here is my amazon page, which will list all my books to date.  Look for Saving Grace to come out next year.

 

Here are a few pictures from this weekend …

 

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I hope you’re able to take the time to pick up a copy and dive in yourself.  Enjoy…

Fridays Full of Blessings

This week has been full of ups and downs.  It’s just been one of those weeks that you end up feeling so drained that you feel you’re long overdue for a vacation.  So when Friday finally rolled around, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck.

However, as worn as I am – it’s still easy to count my blessings:

1 – Although my cousin passed away, I’m blessed to know he lived a long life, surrounded by his loved ones.

2 – I received all my books in for the book launch. Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.29.54 PM

3 – My son started school, and although wouldn’t smile for a first day pic (he gave me the most grouchy look he could muster) … he asked if he could retake it when I picked him up.  He said he felt bad all day for not giving me a smile on his first day of school.  I’ve got the sweetest kid.

4 – Since re-releasing my first book – I’ve seen some great reviews coming in.  This is my favorite so far:

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I love the words … ‘Anticipation at its sweetest.’   That is just great.

5 – I got called on to do the ice bucket challenge by a friend, and bravely stood as my hubs doused me with ice water.  It was frigid and about chilled me to the bone – but it was for a great cause so it was worth it.

6 – It’s Friday!!! I’m so happy to have the weekend with my family.

I hope you’re able to make your list.  No matter how tough your week has been – be sure to count your blessings.

Fridays Blessings Roll Call

My family has been going through some trying times, and although I won’t name what those are, it’s been a challenge to keep stress from creeping up and clutching my spirit.  The blessing in this is that it’s been a great learning lesson for my kid, as we’ve talked about letting our burdens go and letting God take control.

Last night he came to me saying he was stressed about this certain situation, and we talked about how big God is and how He’s always been faithful … so they’re is no reason to doubt that now.  We prayed together, which lifted both our spirits.  It was such a good bonding moment, and it allowed my child to see that we practice what we preach.  

That was the most amazing blessing this week.  Here are a few more:

 * a friend called me to apply for a job, which could be the answer to our prayers.

 * my son alerted me to some suspicious online behavior, which allowed me to call a parent to let them know their child was chatting with a stranger.  This stranger was a predator.  We were able to nip that in the bud to avoid any detrimental issues.

 * I packed up my son’s backpack for school, and found most of the school supplies needed I already had at home, which means I didn’t have to go buy hardly any.

 * I went through all the comments on Amazon about Facing Redemption, and left comments in reply to everyone who took time to leave a review.  I left a response to most everyone, even the people who left a not so savory review. (I understand that not every book is for everyone – so I’m never offended)  The blessing is that I read over 35 reviews from people who loved loved loved it and left such heartfelt kind words, which touched my heart.  The 5-7 who left not so nice comments were still a blessing as they were still inspired to leave a review, and I still appreciated their time.

*I’m blessed to wake up each day breathing and well, to a family which is doing the same.  

 

What are your blessings?

Friday’s Reflections

I pulled up to my house after dropping my son to school today, and noticed how gargantuan my flower bed is becoming.  In the last two years I’ve planted a few favorites here and there in small portions.  Some are ground cover that spread, and some are simple flowers that flourish.  I did not know that my soil was so rich as the only thing in this front bed, when I moved in, was big burly bushes that were horrendous.  They were prickly and bushy, and weren’t welcoming at all.  

I never dreamed that my simple ground cover and flowers would dig their roots in and take over, growing like mad!  Even my mother, who is technically a ‘master gardener’, is overwhelmed at the size of my little babies who’ve become montrousities in my garden.

It made me think about the human spirit and how planting such a little seed in such fertile soil can do amazing things.  Just like my flower garden, where I have to divide the plants out and replant in the back yard now, are the many people that started their faith with the littlest of seed and a lot of sun.  God uses that seed and His son, to grow their faith and use their talents.

God uses that fertile field to grow his people and their faith, to the point where they’re growing and reaching so far out that they touch so many other lives.  I know God is continuing to work on my faith.  

My biggest downfall is my laziness.  I know I get lazy sometimes and need to just simply listen and obey.  I visit the same issues with my son.  He has issues with simply listening and doing what is asked of him, instead of doing things his own way.  

I know how frustrated I get with my son, who fights my authority from time to time.  It’s normal for a 5 – 6 year old to find that balance and test his boundaries.  It makes me wonder how frustrated God must get with me sometimes when I get lazy.  

I pray today that He continues to work on me.  I pray He helps me get over myself and just do what is asked of me.  My biggest want is that he gives me the ability to plant the seed for his purposes in other’s lives through this blog and through my books.  

I pray that we all listen, and OBEY  to his call for our lives – because those are two different actions and are equally important.