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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.

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My little sponge

I swear I never know what will come out of my son’s mouth these days.  It continues to amaze me just HOW much he soaks up and retains.  

For example, when the election took place, I was amazed at his emphatic passion for what was going on around him.  I try to never talk politics, as many out there do enough of it already for the majority of us.  I may put a little blurb on a blog here or there, but I’m not one of those people, who are loud with their policies/political beliefs.  

I especially did not tell my son who I felt would make a better President in this last election, as how could anyone know that or see the future?  I did tell him who I was voting for, because  he asked me, but would never run down the other candidate, as that’s not how I’m made.  PLUS why impose that on a five year old.  What I did give him was knowledge on the electoral process, and what the voting process looked like.  This was back in August of 2008 when he was asking about the whole concept of voting and how/why it worked.  If he’s old enough to ask, he’s old enough for the truth.

As the election came closer, he heard from his classmates their input on each candidate.  They even had a mock election, giving them choices to vote for Red or Blue.  Red, which stood for McCain, won that day in school.  He was excited that he chose the color that won.  I congratulated him on voting and left it at that, because it’s about his power to choose!  I was proud of him.

When Obama won the office of President, my son was sad.  The parents ideals and their philosophies had filtered down to their children and gave my son the impression that Obama equalled bad.  And he knew his parents had voted for McCain too.  I had to express to him that we respected the office of the President, no matter WHO held the office.  I had to share with him, that even though mommy didn’t vote for Obama, I was excited for the new era whether it was my choice candidate or not.  I told him that the exciting part about it is was the power of the American people, and their votes.

I wanted to give him hope that President Obama would make good choices on our behalf.  That’s my job as a parent to instill hope in my child … to lighten the big stuff … to keep him from being overwhelmed with things that he can not control.

His response?  (Keep in mind, he tells people he’s 4 and 3 quarters old when they ask his age – he’s a very specific kid)

“Mom, it doesn’t matter…because when I’m 9 and 3 quarters, we’ll vote again and have another President.”

I couldn’t believe that my ‘every four years we have an election‘ talk, FROM AUGUST was still retained in that little sponge of a brain in November.  

With my son, I tried to stay in the middle on this whole topic, because I don’t want to encourage discrimination for either party – Rep or Dem – because my husband and I aren’t straight party Repubs.  We look at each candidate as a potential selection based on their own policies and performance in office. BUT I let his comment stand on it’s own, because it was his opinion and I respected that.  I respect him for trying to formulate his own ideas and sticking to his guns.  For 5 almost 6 (5.75), he thinks so many big things through!! 

Today when my husband called to check on him, as we’re both home sick.  He ended his conversation with my DH….”Okay dad, work smart!”

I could tell my husband wasn’t sure of what he said, b/c he had to repeat himself….”you know…work smart while you’re there to make your money”  He’s a funny little kid with a big man’s mind.

I can’t believe in 9 short days, I’m going to have a 6 year old on my hands.  A wonderfully created, ingenius and funny, creative and highly social child, who loves with all his heart.  I only worry that he loves too much, BUT there’s no such thing as loving too much.

Have a great day all and thank God for all your blessings….especially your children!

 

Kim

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Ok I admit it…

I’m an entertainment junkie. One of the last commenters, from my last post, got me thinking. What exactly are my vices?

When I was young and a lot wilder, it was having a good time. Now it’s watching other people doing it on TV. Well…not doing ‘it’. LOL! But watching those, who have a blast whether it’s in reality TV or having a blast perfecting their craft.

From the Bachelor to Grey’s Anatomy I have to DVR it to get my fill.

About a year ago, God started tapping my heart…asking me why I was spending so much time with something that wasn’t glorifying Him. It got me thinking – is it some form of Idol worship when you’re spending time in activity that is not promoting your faith? Just how much time should I be dedicating to sucking my brain dry in front of the boob tube? How can I honestly say to my son, “you can only have so much ‘media’ time”, and limit his video games/computer/movie time…when I don’t put limits on me?

Well about a year ago I started trimming the fat so to speak. I stopped recording some shows on the DVR. Instead of all the ABC soaps, I chose to eliminate one of the three. Now I’m up to one and a half. I say that b/c I really enjoy watching ‘General Hospital’, but ‘One Life to Life’ is getting so old and boring that I fast forward through the whole thing. I still see what happens, but don’t have to hear the same character repeating the same old crap. So, now guess what? I’m not going to record it either and move it to the non watching show category along with ‘All My Children’.

There are a few shows I stopped watching in the evening as well. So I’m doing much better in this category, but I’m sure if I let myself admit it, I could really let go of more. The few I can’t let go of at this point? American Idol (even though the name is gets to me – and not in a good way), Bachelor with Jason/Ty, Greys – because of it’s amazing acting and McSteamy, Burn Notice, and LOST.

What are your vices? Has God talked to you about them and have you started to let go of them?

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Celebrate and Respect the Veterans of America

08posterVeteran’s Day holds so much meaning for me. Having a family member serve is an honor, like no other. To see my father serve and protect, I truly know the hell he’s gone through to provide for not just his family … but his country.

John McCain said it best — Country first.

Most Americans forget the blood, sweat, and tears shed to protect their rights to bad mouth other Americans, to bad mouth the wars and policies, to bad mouth different races.

Today I ask you to put that all aside, if you’re one of those Americans. Put aside your anger for whatever has gone wrong in your idea of a perfect America.

America isn’t perfect … but the soldier’s willing to die to protect it DESERVE your respect. Today call someone you know, who’s served, to thank them.

And Dad…thank you for always putting your country and family first. I appreciate your hard work and life threatening duties you served in. Semper Fi!

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Palin’s Perfect Delivery

I try to stay away from politics here as it’s so overused and underwhelming in blog land. I get bored by the arguments for this side or this issue. However I must say that Palin delivered a very cadid and amazing speech last night.

The issues were oil, prosperity, taxes, and less reliance on the government. A smaller government and a larger people! The Democrats say the Republicans didn’t mention the middle class or health care. BUT if they’d listened they would have heard the message of prosperity to the small business owners and workers…are those not the middle class? They would have heard a message to parents with the hope of taking care of their families in every manner…insurance, health, and financial. Even though the words insurance or health care weren’t tossed around like potato’s…the message was clear.

Palin’s efforts to use the words ‘community’ and ‘coordinator’ cracked me up, as we all know, Democrats and Republicans alike, that her experience and record is more impressive than Obama’s on her own. She’s got more experience than Biden and Obama put together, and her track record for ‘actually’ cutting taxes and working ‘for the people’ is an amazing one. And this is just the VP nominee…

You all know I’m a military brat and hold vets, who’ve served, in high regard. So when I look at the candidates for President I can’t help but sway toward McCain. Not just because of his leadership skills, decisions in tough times, and heart for his country…but because of his resolve. I’m sorry…but any man who was a P.O.W. for five years and brutally tortured earns my respect as a leader for our nation.

He was beaten daily. Had both arms broken, which is why he can’t lift them well today. He was taunted with the option to go home, if he only broke…caved in….and gave his captors what they wanted.

They’d give him his freedom for mere words against his country and countrymen. McCain SAID NO!

I don’t know how many men would be that strong. And when I think of Obama in the same scenario fighting for his life to protect his country…I don’t think we’d be his first priority. I think he would be his own first priority.

I think Obama is an impressive man, raising from no where to be where he’s at but the simple truth is that HE HAS NO EXPERIENCE TO RUN OUR COUNTRY. And he flip flops so much I wonder if our country would be well served in his hands.

I did not mean to leave this on my blog, and I’m sure most will love to argue with me. So I apologize in advance for going where I never do…politics. I just think that Palin’s speech was extremely inspiring and exciting. I feel this team is the one that will bring change.

There were many good lines from last night one of them going a little like this:
‘There are those that will use change to strengthen their careers…then there are those that will use their career to strengthen change!’

Party ties aside….because I’m not straight party. If there were a Democrat in office I could be proud of…I would. I’m wanting to know your view on this saying above, and which of the two do you think falls into either category?

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Tearing up for Kristin—GOLD for Kristin Armstrong

Happiness doesn’t begin to cover the emotions I have for my friend, Kristin. She won the GOLD!!!

She was always the girl who could do any sport. She always went Varsity in any thing she tried out for…even if it was her first time to play that particular sport. She blossomed into this amazing athlete before my eyes over my junior and senior year in school.

In basketball I made junior, as a Senior, and she made Varsity, as a Junior underclassmen.

At Kubasaki High….underclassmen got tied up to the flag pole for attempting to enter Senior Hall. Where only Seniors were allowed…because as Seniors we had our own special place by right, I made room in my locker for her because she hung out with most of us Seniors anyway…

We made an exception for Kristin as she was special…as special as they come.

Congrats my friend…I couldn’t be prouder of you. I knew you’d have this moment! I knew you’d get your gold….

You’re GOLDEN girl!
Me, Meredith, and Kristin our during my junior year, and her sophomore year.


Kristin and me on graduation night from Kubasaki High School, on Okinawa, Japan.

Kristin came to see me, and another friend, graduate and leave. It was emotional not just for the obvious reasons as life was changing. People were growing up and moving on. BUT we lived on an island across the globe and were flying thousands of miles away, where a weekend trip home to see your high school buddies wasn’t the norm, like most college kids.

We knew we wouldn’t be home to see our friends unless it was during Christmas or Summer breaks. And my first Christmas I didn’t even go home. I stayed here and didn’t get to see my family and friends…. Yes that night was an overwhelming night for many reasons.

I’m overwhelmed in a good way now! True happiness is when your dear friend go on to do things you knew they had in them. Tears of happiness are the only way I can express it.

Thank you Lord for answering my prayers and giving Kristin the gold. Go here to see her win on video…but be prepared..it’s long but worth it.

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So far it’s been a blast…


Today is my birthday. 36 wonderful years I celebrate today, but the parties started on July 4th. My mother went into labor on July 4th, so I think it’s appropriate that we start celebrating then with fireworks as she probably felt them then too!

My parents had us over for a great night of home-made Japanese cuisine, and a truck load of fireworks to shoot off afterwards. It was my son’s first time to take an active role in lighting the small fountains or sparklers, as in years past…he’d been too afraid. I think the big ones that my dad would light, that lit the entire night’s sky, still scared him though. This is not him in the pic (up above) by the way…for fireworks like these, he’d either be wrapped around me on our blanket…or running off screaming, “run for your lives!” I think after a while he got the hang of it.

My sister and husband go every July to a huge fireworks stand, where my sister happens to know the owner. They get a professional set up for a friends and family discount. My birthdays are always quite impressive when we have a 4th that overlaps a weekend. My son has always thought that we shoot fireworks for mommy’s birthday. This is the first year he gets that our country’s independence has something to do with it. 🙂


My mom is so pretty. Thought I’d just throw that in there.

Last night we had a party at my house and had about 15 people over to play our new Wii. We partied like it was 2099 pot luck style. My husband and I cleaned house from 9 am to 6 pm non stop to make sure every little detail was taken care of. With the exception of my kitchen being half painted,half stripped of wall paper…I think it was beautiful. I had to point out the before and ‘almost’ after in my kitchen, so people wouldn’t wonder why it was half way done. I can’t wait to have it completely finished so I can start on my next project!  See the 4 layers of wallpaper  that I’m in agony stripping chunk by chunk.  The purple paint on the wall below is the paint that I’m re-doing in it’s place.  It will have a whole new feel to it .

Today my son sang me the sweetest version of Happy Birthday, that brought tears to my eyes. Just to have him in my life, and get a huge hug while being told I’m the prettiest birthday girl…is such a gift. Afterwards we left to teach children’s church. I saw many parents I’ve not been around in a while. It was good to catch up with people I enjoy being around. That in itself is a huge blessing. And of course my son was handing my business card out to some of them, which I always appreciate. Tonight I have dinner with my in-laws and can’t wait to have the rest of my birthday weekend extravaganza!

I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday weekend!