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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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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.

 

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Fridays Bless Me Every Week

Today is the day I post my blessings, and how I look forward to this. Some weeks are harder than others, since it’s a choice to have the peace of God’s love and thankfulness in His blessings, and some weeks just blow me away.

Those that read me know I’ve just come back from a huge blessing in my vacation. I hadn’t been home in 12 long years to Oahu, and hadn’t visited Maui since I was 5. The fact that my son is now five and I took him and my husband to my home was HUGE for me. The obvious blessing was being in a tropical low key, laid back, beautiful environment. Who couldn’t see the blessing in that and thank God for His creation? The not so obvious blessing and the main one for me was to experience it all again as a 5 year old through my son, which really took me home ten-fold. The fact that my auntis, uncles, and cousins got to meet my family is a huge blessing.

Today as I look toward this past week my heart is somewhat heavy as I know I’ve not treated my husband as well as I should have this week. The phrase, submit to your husband keeps going through my mind. This is often a inflammatory biblical instruction for a lot of female liberals. What does it mean…submit? To me, it’s not letting a man walk all over me, as some people like to twist it. To me, it’s having compassion for the man God has chosen for me…letting go of some of my own control and giving my husband his way more than I choose my own.

I’ve been very controlling this week and I don’t feel good about it. What is the blessing in this? That I have a wonderful husband!! He puts up with me and loves me…frustrated or not. I know I need to make it up to him and I’m blessed that he sticks around so I can.

I’ve had no job this whole month…I’m unemployed! HA! How cool is it that this is NOT stressing me out. <—-(blessings right there) This whole month is the only month, before my son starts Kindergarten that I’ll have had all this time with him. I had no one calling me for work…well not for most of the month….so my time was truly “MY” time with my family with no interruptions. I’ve never experienced that freedom before, so this has been a huge blessing.

Now that it’s back to reality and the bills need two incomes…what am I going to do?? I’ve been wondering how I’m going to supplement our household income since I quit my sales career. I have my photography business that I started last October, but that’s not going to take off overnight.

This week my son’s school hired me as a substitute teacher. I turned my new hire packet in this week. I was told that it my be pretty infrequent for the first couple of months, but after that get ready for it to get crazy. I’m not sure how it’s going to pay, but I know God will provide. I’ve also run across a couple of jobs to pay the bills for the next couple of months until teaching kicks in. I’m not sure if they’d be something I’d be interested in, but it’s what they provide that counts. This is the first time in my life that I didn’t have to have something ‘professional’ working that went along with my degree. I finally realize….MY JOB DOESN’T DEFINE ME! I do…being a Christian mom, wife, daughter, sister, niece, grand-daughter, and friend defines me. This has been a blessing to get this.

Today would have been my Grandfather’s 100th birthday. If you’ve not read about him, you should…because he was and is still, to me, an amazing human being. He died in my arms, and I saw him see the Lord first hand. Seeing his pupils dialate, his breathe quicken, and his head pop up after being in a coma scared me at first. Hearing the monitors scream at me that his heart rate was bottoming out freaked me out. BUT seeing the look on his face when he saw angels come for him…there’s no way I could doubt that he saw the face of Jesus. And even though terrifying for me at the age of 19 or 20, I know this is a blessing now. For one because they say, those that have come back from the dead, that they see their surroundings when they leave their bodies…so this means my papa knew I was with him too.

You see I got there too late to see him before he went into his coma. He went into his comatose state asking for Kimmy and wanted me. I was selfishly on Spring Break in Texas…but took the first flight out as soon as I heard he went into the hospital. I was just too late in saying my goodbye. I have the peace and blessing of today, his 100th birthday, of that lovely man and his love for me. He was my role model growing up, in what to look for in a man. He was truly one of a kind. Please honor his memory today and go read this post about him and my wonderful grandmother, as she too, was truly one amazing lady. For those that don’t know, he was a photographer and the reason the love of photography is in my blood and heart. I hope he’d be proud that I’m trying to make a living at it.

Lastly the fact that we all came home from a long strenuous trip unharmed and well is a huge blessing. Other than my husband’s small fall, which we think he cracked something…we’re all fared well. My son is an amazing traveler! And no one got sick. Praise God for that!

Thank you for tuning in to my little corner of the web world. Next week is the last week of this contest. You can view the video at the post below to see who’s almost winning. If it stays this close in the running, I may have to extend this by another week to get a clear defined winner. I pray you’ll consider counting your blessings…it truly IS life changing. Just ask Terri…you can read why it’s changed her outlook, here.

I think I’ll leave you with a pic I took of my husband and son, on Maui. Have a great weekend all!

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In a few days…

I will be home…in a few days.
I will feel the island breeze…in a few days.
I will taste my favorite foods…in a few days.
I will see my favorite people from my past…in a few days.

My Aunti and Uncle, although not by blood, by heart are letting my stay with them for the weekend in Kaneohe. They’re throwing me a potluck dinner party for all of my family to come celebrate.

When first moving to Oahu, we were in awe of it’s beauty. We were in awe of it’s weather. We were in awe that we really lived there! I was 5 and life at that age is wonderous any where you live, let alone on a tropical island with mountains at every corner and beaches at every turn.

Living near the ocean is home to me, on so many different levels. Every fiber in my being is pulled to the lull of the waves. To walk the beach, looking for sea shells and chasing hermit crabs, was my ideal day as a child. To find Japanese glass balls floating to the shore, and learn of their origin, was a blessed gift. Digging my toes in the sand, feeling it’s damp heaviness surround my foot right before the sea would rush in and drain the sand away is a sweet memory. Doing cartwheels and leaving hand and footprints down the shore was my signature, leaving my stamp of love for the island I lived on.

I dream of those days most nights. To know I’ve chosen a life away from them is not ideal, but I know I always have a home to come home to in my family away from family, on the island of Oahu. We were the first Hoale family to don the door of the Nazarene Church in Kaneohe, and our O’hana opened their eyes wide and soon their hearts to us.

We learned their dialect, and their culture as if it were our own. I spoke pidgin before I learned proper English. In fact when I moved back stateside, the education board made me take a test before starting school, because they thought I wasn’t smart enough to be in the 4th grade. They assumed my broken dialect was a sign of my intelligence.

I still have that test. It showed my intellectual age being 23, when I was only 10. I blew their tests out of the water. Then they wanted to put me in accelerated classes….I said no thanks. I would do fine in the normal classes with normal kids.

Back on point…I grew to love, breathe, and sleep my island life. Knowing that I will be home in a few days means more to me than anyone could ever know. It will be a short 3 day trip to Oahu, before leaving for Maui for a family wedding. But those short 3 days will be amazing! I will visit the place I went to school, and some of my other favorite spots like here, here, and here.

Sunday, we’ll attend church where I did as a kid. I hope my son and husband can appreciate how unique and special this place is. Not only because of the love for Christ they have in their heart, but also because of where it sits. It’s at the base of a mountain with slat windows, which allow the island breeze to stream through from side to side. You get to see God’s great creation in all it’s beauty, smell the wonderful flowers on the breeze, and worship in His goodness.

Afterwards we’ll go to Pearl Harbor so that my family can visit the Arizona, where I can point out my other house we lived in at the east lock of Pearl Harbor. We lived 20 feet from the Naval Intelligence Building, and it was a house that was pre-WWII, with vegetation that should be in a jungle. I had a closet that overlooked the harbor, with an amazing view.

Needless to say it’s going to be hard to tear myself away from my family and home, but I’ll be going to other family (in-laws) waiting for us on Maui. We’re staying at a beach house a block from the ocean, with the rest of the family to see my brother in law and future sister in law get married. This will be near and dear to my heart as well, knowing we’re making new memories to last a life time not only for me–but my five year old, who will taking it all in with wonder…just as I did 30 years ago.

I wish I could scan some of the old pics of me at 5 to post here, but my scanner is broken. I’ll post some new ones I get from this weeks adventures. Stay tuned!!!

PS….here’s the house in Maui we’ll all stay at:

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Good Day

Does anyone else feel Spring in the air? YAAAAAY it’s the first day of Spring and I’m soooo happy. I feel that today is the first day of a lot of rebirth and growth in my life.

It’s funny how a little breeze with a warm sun can make you feel so full of life. These are the days that I am so thankful to God for. Even though I know each day, whether warm or dreary, are days to be thankful for….secretly these nice days are the ones I revel in.

My spirit is at peace today with the wind howling through the buildings and trees. I’m serene when I hear birds chirping in the sky, as long as none of them poop on me! Seeing kids out with their families in play is such a sign of good times ahead. It’s so depressing to see no activity outside, because everyone’s stuck indoors…..but NOT today! Can I say YAY again?

Now I get to plan my garden! Anyone else want to leave an AMEN??

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My favorites

From time to time I list a few of my favorites on here. It’s been a while, and so I think it’s long overdue. Although on my budget, there are a few things I still find a way to fork the cash over for….or beg my family to remember on holidays or birthdays. These are a few of my favorite things. If you’ve not tried them…you should.

Photobucket

Victoria’s Secret Lip Gloss is always a must. I prefer the chocolate flavor, but couldn’t find a picture of it. Any flavor will do as they all really taste soooo yummy. They are long lasting and smooth. They don’t get tacky as a lot of lip glosses do. And they’re light and I think a little sexy….hence it being from Victoria’s Secret.

Photobucket  Merle Norman Concealer is the ultimate in covering or camouflaging uneven skin and dark skin.  I’ve lived my whole life trying different concealers, and feeling extremely unhappy with the results.  My dark circles were never what some would look at and say they were really noticeable.  BUT I noticed them!  I’m a young woman of 35 (36 soon) and didn’t want to deal with my under eye area anymore.  I went bare for a few years, until I stopped in my mom’s local Merle Norman shop on a whim.  I asked her if she could help and did she ever.  This stuff is an amazing tool.   You’ll need to apply it with their concealer brush.  She also recommended covering up the sides of my nose, at the bridge area.  This is amazing stuff!PhotobucketTheir slogan is true…this is my best friend as far as make-up goes.  This is the one I use, and it’s got so many shades that shimmer and slide on evenly.  They can be as translucent or as heavy as you want them to be.  I’m more on the tame side of things, as I’m not a teenager anymore…but I love a little sass when it comes to glam.   This is a must when it comes to drawing attention either subtly or dramatically to one of our best features…our eyes!  The eyes definitely have it with this product.

For those of you who know me, you know I’m the furthest thing from high maintenance when it comes to out ward appearances.  It doesn’t take me but 30-45 minutes to get ready.  I’m what you would call a natural girl, but one who knows how to fix up.  These are my essentials for the day, so I thought I’d share them with  you.  They’re worth every penny!

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I want Spring

Yahoo reports that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow…aaaaaaaaaaaaah! I am so chilled this winter and it’s not like we’ve had a horrible winter either. It’s been unusually warm with highs of 59 degrees or as low as in the 30’s. Still 30’s aren’t bad considering other parts of the country or world are 30 below zero, like Canada, where Coach Sauter is from.

Blazer’s Hockey Coach Sauter, interviewed in the Oklahoman Newspaper today, said this about the weather he’s experienced:

JC: So, what’s the coldest you’ve ever been?

DS: I remember one year around Christmastime, it was 40-below or more for 10 days in a row. Unfortunately one of our young cows … got stuck inside the bale feeder, and she froze perfectly solid.The only way we could get her out of there after the cold snap was my brother chainsawed her in two.

My husband who read this at the kitchen table this morning, busted out laughing. I knew in few seconds I’d get play by play commentary on what he was reading. And sure enough he told me about Coach Sauter’s childhood experience, watching his brother saw a cow in half due to freezing temperatures. He couldn’t stop laughing and blurted out, “That’s awesome!” Then he saw our son and remembered a four year old may not think it was so funny, so he quickly added in a voice that tried sounding caring…but couldn’t quit accomplish it through his laughter, “Poor cow!” He continued to giggle to himself.

My husband’s humor always amazes me. His story definitely put the weather in perspective though. Okay so 6 more weeks of winter….aaaargh! I’m ready for beaches, warm breezes, sunlight streaming through my windows, and color exploding through my gardens and world. Spring is obviously my favorite time, even with the threat of tornado season, but I’m going to have to find things I like about winter to last me the duration of this season.

Things I like:

–I love to wear my winter white soft fuzzy scarf, hat, and gloves

–The sunrise over the snow first thing in the morning

–snuggling

–hot chocolate

AAaaand, that’s about it. Anyone out there have any more pluses for winter so I can cure my winter blues?