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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 finds me allll gooood!

Thought I’d pop in here to post for once. I’ve not been able to just sit for a while and have a single thought to myself let alone have the time to do anything about them.

In the last 3 months, my life has turned upside down … but in a good way. You all know I’ve had to work a part time job to help contribute to our family’s finances. Smart girl that I was decided to up and quit a full time career in July of last year – right before the big recession hits. So my family, that was used to doing a little of whatever they wanted, while still feeling like we had no money … didn’t know what was going to hit.

We had enough to get by then – we just didn’t know it!

No we’re on a skimmed budget and running a tight ship. We refinanced our home, which saved us $150 a month.

I still have my own photography company, which is picking up by the way, and I still further my writing pursuits – but I’m working part time as a manager at a women’s boutique. This is why I’ve not had time to sit as I’m gone all the time, between photography shoots or my part time job. I’m never home to just have a second to myself. I haven’t even watched TV in almost a month (except ‘The Bachelorette’, which I DVR and watch late at night).

The good news? We’re making it – barely but surely.
The bad news? I’m not running on my own schedule and I have nothing left over to write – which means my sequel is taking a loooot longer than I’d hoped.

BUT – counting my blessings is still a must.

For example – Yesterday my brand new tire blew out on the highway. Not even seconds before I heard it pop, I was praying for God’s protection on the roads. It was as if the Holy Spirit was guiding me or prompting me to pray that particular prayer. Within seconds, the wall of my new tire was blown off and I was trying to get off the side of the highway.

The blessings are obvious to me. I’m thankful my car didn’t flip or slam into traffic. Two police officers showed up before my husband did to protect my car from the traffic from the highway. Because of these brave men, my husband had the protection he needed to change my tire. Otherwise traffic wouldn’t have allowed him to get down and change it without risking his life.

2 service men showed up from my dealership too. I’m blessed that we know the owner and he’s a gracious man, who takes care of us.

PLUS – I was late to work to close my store. WHICH was a HUGE blessing, as my district manager was in town and my tire escapade caused me to miss her visit. Hmmm? I don’t see a downside to this one.

Just wanted to pop in real quick to let you know that life is good! Even if I have to pay for a new tire – I’m healthy and in one piece. Can’t ask for more than that and I’m thankful to God for answering prayer!

Have a great weekend you all!
Kim

Here’s an example from one of my latest shoots this month. Westmoreland Ministries asked me to work with them for their upcoming tour. KP is a great guy, who has a true heart for God. Pray for him as he targets college campuses with the reality of his testimony.
Westmoreland Ministries

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Saving it for Saturday

I didn’t get my blessings posted yesterday. Does anyone else thing that time just flies even more fast this time of year?

The traffic is heavier.
The crowds are thicker.
The mood is quickened.
The faces are tighter.
The money goes faster.

Does anyone else see any room for blessings here? The answer is a resounding yes! These are the times when we especially should be counting them.

Instead of being depressed because we don’t have the money to buy our loved ones what we ‘think’ they need or want…we should be joyous that we have them with us during this time. The only thing they really ‘need’ is to know that we love them. And throwing money at them doesn’t accomplish that. Our presence — not presents — does that.

Instead of being grouchy because everyone is in a foul mood, we should be excited to be that one person who can make a difference. Show your light from the inside and give it to everyone you meet…scrooges and all.

I had a table this week at the restaurant, who obviously was out to run up a large tab and then complain about the whole meal. They worked my manager for the entire tab and were determined to make me an unhappy camper. I would not submit! I gave them extremely pleasant service with a warm smile that reached all the way to my eyes and heart. I would not give them the control to change my demeanor. I knew God was blessing me that night with these people…I just didn’t know how.

Not until later…until after they left. I felt extreme pity for them and their attitudes to begin with, but them was humbled by all the other guests I had.

First and foremost, I blessed by my sweet husband and son coming in to sit in my section…with my son yelling ‘Mommmmeeeee I love you’ every time I walked by (and these grouchy guests got to see this as well). I bet it gave these guests a taste of what I was working hard for…to feed my child. So after they got their 90 dollar meal for free…they gave me 10 dollars as a tip. Woo Hoo big spenders…but they may have stiffed me if my precious son wasn’t there to give them a sense of humanity.

Secondly, after being triple sat three times in the night … every other table was so gracious and warm. They all knew how busy it was for the whole restaurant, let alone me having to care for up to 20 people all at once by myself. I got so many kind words of encouragement and sweet praises. These people truly were my blessings.

It’s as if God showed me — even though there are unfortunate people in this world, they’re still my children. Treat them all with love, as I would and I will bless you with the rest, who are kind and loving.

My husband, seeing how horrible this other table was, asked me, “Don’t you just hate having people like that sit in your station?”
My answer, “No, I’m so blessed with the rest that it doesn’t even phase me.”

God’s love is everywhere.

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Random Questions

Do you think people are aware, that wear things like this, that it’s not flattering?
p_6002210309206_985

Something tells me she’s seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and thinks every pair looks good on every woman.

I know how hard it is to find a pair of jeans that fits every size. This woman is not overweight!! Infact her curves would look quite nice in the right pair, but don’t you think when you put a pair on and skin falls over the edge of the waist … you’d know it’s not the right pair?

Ladies tell me — what guide system do you use when shopping for a pair of jeans? How do you know it’s the right fit? How do you know when to put the tight low riders down and walk away?

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Drinking Haze

When I was 16-18, I lived in Japan, where the legal age to drink was 18. Of course so was driving, so we could do two for the age of one. However, girls, as long they were American, could drink pretty much at any age. I remember a lot of 13 year olds having access to liquor. As long as they looked old enough, they could gain access.

Binge drinking in today’s society is worse than it’s ever been. I’m not saying I’m a saint, because I’ve had my day where I sowed my seeds. I think that’s why this subject is one close to my heart….b/c I had a serious under aged drinking problem, and point blank— the underage drinking on and off campuses is very much out of control today.

Tara, at If Mom says It’s Okay, posts on this very issue today at her blog. She raises some very good points, and I’d like to have your input. The Amethyst Initiative is trying to get the legal age of 21 lowered to 18 in efforts to curb underage drinking. I guess some may say this is a great idea, or a great effort to help solve a very dangerous problem….but won’t it just open the door for more under age drinking? Won’t it crack the door and widen the gap to those who are 14+ that can pass for 18?

Now I know most will say…’You have to have an ID to get liquor’….but come on people. You know girls and guys alike can get alcohol without ID in many many places. So is lowering the age limit a good idea?

Or should we put more educational programs out there?
…..enforce more laws?….
and crack down a little harder on schools, who don’t monitor this problem and punish their students….but instead offer to lower the age to 18?

I’d like to see what we can do to stop the problem or curb it at least without letting the door open to more underage legal drinking. That means more underage driving on the roads for those 16+ drivers…That means more friends influencing their peers to drink…because it’s ‘legal’ for them at 18 now….that means in essence more alcohol related deaths.

Haven’t we had enough of that already?

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Sadness for Today

I came home today, after dropping my son off at school, to a saturated carpet. My 14 year old puppy lost control of his abilities. I’ve been putting off taking him to put him down, knowing that he’s getting more feeble. He’s still like my puppy in so many ways. He still gets excited and can play with toys in joy. He still wants to love and show affection.

So I’ve been telling myself he was fine. He lasted 14 days at the vet, while being boarded when we were on vacation last month. The vet said he didn’t think he was going to make it at first because he’s stressed himself out so much, with us leaving him there, that his bowels were loose and uncontrollable. However, he gave Hershey meds to help him, and my sweet doggie turned a corner for the better, and continued to do well.

But ever since we brought him home, he’s just not been the same. He doesn’t sleep through the night, because he can’t hold it anymore. And then today I came home, and it was just strung through my entire house.

I only left him for 20 minutes, but it was long enough apparently. Every walking path had a string of zig zag pea which tells me that he just couldn’t hold it in. He wasn’t stopping to pea in a corner because he had to go….he was walking around the house in distress as he couldn’t hold it.

Everything in me tells me it’s time to put him down. His hind legs now shake barely able to hold him up. He’s blind in both eyes, due to massive cataracts. And now he’s incontinent. I’m sad for my puppy, as he’s lived a long loyal life.

In the last 14 years with Hershey, he always knew what I was feeling. He was that in tune with me. When I was sad, he always knew and would lay his head in my lap. When I was stressed, he would break out in hives and stress out for me. When I was uncomfortable with anyone my room-mates would bring over, he’d growl or bark at them, which in effect gave them enough motivation to leave and not come back. He was potty trained after one try when I brought him home, at 10 weeks. I have been a very blessed to have such an extra-ordinary dog. This pure bred puppy changed my life.

I was the first human to actually have contact with him. His breeders let Hershey’s parents have interaction with him, but never held him so that he would bond with the first person to own him….me. I was his momma. For people that don’t have pets…they don’t understand the bond between animal and human. They don’t understand the love for one another. He was my baby, until I had my own. Then Hershey patiently and graciously stepped aside to be the step child, as my son was born into my life. He held no resentment, only love for my new baby.

I’ve not given Hershey as much as he needed in the last 5 years, as my son was my primary focus. But I know Hershey has not been neglected. He’s had a loving family, food, and shelter. He’s been taken care of very well. He just didn’t have the emotional ties to me, like he had before my son was around.

BUT I can give him something now…a chance to let go. I don’t want to see him suffer. Whew…so there’s more than a little sadness in my world today, but I know he’ll be going home to see his creator. And in heaven he’ll get to run and jump again with no pain in his hips.
I took this right before loading him up to go to be in doggy heaven. Goodbye friend…I love you.

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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!