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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’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.

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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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Too funny not to watch

Okay, one of my buddies from college made a really big blunder on stage. Randomly enough I didn’t even know about this until I saw this vid posted on another blog. I called my husband in to watch it as I was crying because I was laughing so hard.

My husband, being the big bad dude he is, says, “Oh yeah, you haven’t seen that? It’s been on the internet for while.” Obviously he’s thinking, man where have you been?

I said, “Oh Yah? Well I went to college with this guy.”
(shaking his head and walking away) “Man you know EVERYBODY!”

To give you guys a little history….seriously we can’t go any where (even another state) without me running into someone I know. Maybe it’s because I’ve moved around so much….but it never fails and my husband says…”I can’t take you anywhere b/c you know everybody!”

Here’s the vid that you have gotta watch. And Blake, I love ya man…you handled yourself much better than I would have. I’d have started crying!

Here’s his blog if you ever want to pop in and say hi! Tell them Kim from his college sent ya!

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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!

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Child Prostitution Ring Brought Down

I have to say a big PRAISE GOD for this weeks big story in the news. You can go to Yahoo for their updated story on an entire ring of Child Traffickers that were caught and prosecuted.

Nothing makes me more ill than the thought of someone being so vile, as to turn an innocent child into a sex pawn for their own gain. What kind of person wants not just to hurt another person, but to ruin the moral fiber down to their core? What kind of monster would break a child? It makes my skin crawl to know that there are those out their profiting off of this type of activity.

The Justice Department’s sting focused on the following cities: Atlanta; Boston; Dallas; Detroit; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Md.; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix; Reno, Nev.; Sacramento, Calif.; Tampa; Toledo, Ohio and Washington. Now I hope they broaden their scope and continue on with their persecution of these vile human beings and rescue more children, who’ve either run away or been thrown out by their families. No child, no matter what problems they’ve caused or dealt with, deserves this.

I read in People Magazine today at the salon about Elizabeth Smart and was so happy to read she has a happy ending. Most kids don’t have a moderately semi happy ending, and she’s in the minority. She’s now trying to help those in her shoes, those abductees that are brought back home trying to find some normalcy in life. Thank the Lord for her miraculous survival skills and will to press forward.

In reading this I ask you for two things: Pray for the runaways and throw away children and teens in America and abroad…because some are shipped to other countries. And pray for the F.B.I and any government organization in their efforts to infiltrate these types of cells.

One of my good friends here in OKC, is traveling to Cambodia in July on a rescue mission for children sold and trapped into sex slavery. Please pray for her traveling mercies, and the children she comes in contact with. Pray for her safety even though she assures me she’s only dealing with the children, who are already rescued and need to be cared for.

She’s involved in the operation that will care take these children to help them learn what true Christian unconditional love is – an innocent, clean, releasing love that isn’t anyway dirty…sexual….or evil. She’s basically going to be deprogramming these children, who are forced into the sex trade as early as infants, to show them a motherly love vs. sexual abuse.

—What a mission she’s going on. I’m going to ask her to be a guest blogger when she gets back from her mission trip on Reality Chicks.

—My heart breaks for all of today’s lost children!

I also have to give kudos to Our Crooked Tree for giving me a link to a non profit org that works to save these children. Please go check them out.

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Fridays are full of Blessings 6-6-08

Well anyone who read my latest post knows how well my week has gone. God is so good!

*My grandmother has been praying for 3 years that my book would get published. She faithfully and tirelessly would get on her knees every night, and pray for multiple things…my book being one of them. How wonderful was it for me to get to call her this week with the good news? She started crying and rushed off to church Wednesday night to tell everyone about her grand-daughter, the author. She lives in a small town, and I’m sure reveled in the moment. To me that was a huge blessing.

*My son got to be on stage with my husband, in introducing KC and the Sunshine band. My son got to turn to the crowd of about 1,000 and shake his booty to warm up the crowd in hopes of KC coming out to start the show. My little guy was a hit! The crowd roared in laughter as my husband then introduced the band, before joining the rest of us in the crowd for the show. IT was a blast. It was my son’s first concert and he had so much fun.

*My son asked me why it was special to get published. I gave him an analogy that he could understand a little better:
“You know when I teach your Sunday school class and I ask questions, that all your classmates raise their hands to answer?”
“Yes.”
“Well everyone wants me to pick them, right?” (head nod)
“I can’t pick everyone. I can only pick one person at a time to answer, and when I do pick that person it makes them feel pretty special…right?”
“Yah.”
“Well a publishing house is like me, the teacher, picking one person, like the student, to feel pretty special. LOTS of people want their books published, and they can only pick one.”
“WOW! Mom, that makes you special! I’m so happy for you!”
—This was a special moment for me because he got the big picture. He even answered the phone within minutes of our conversation and told my sister excitedly how his mommy was getting published!

*I put my notice in at work, in plans to focus on my photography/writing. Two days later I got another photography job, for July.

*Today is one month till my birthday! Yay! I told my son I’d be 36 years young. He responded with, “Yah, you are young…but I’m younger! AND your skin is getting thinner every year!” Okay now I’m imagining my veins showing through my skin when I’m 70, and wrinkles everywhere, but I’m still blessed.

*This week we bought our tickets to Oahu/Maui for my brother in law’s wedding, in July. We couldn’t afford to buy them until now, so we were blessed that our finances finally fell into place PLUS we found some tickets at a rate we were happy with considering how late we were buying them.

*My future sister in law, whom I adore, asked my son to be their ring bearer. So not only do we get to stand on a beach and watch them take their vows, but I get to watch my baby be a part of it. I’m so happy.

*I confirmed that I can stay with my aunti and uncle on Oahu, on our 3 day trip, before heading to Maui. That will save us a lot of money with room and meals. They’ve not met my husband yet so not only do I get to introduce my son to them, but my sweet husband. It’s going to be a huge blessing to show them where I went to school, lived in which houses, and attend church on Sunday at my church home. This church sits down in the valley, where the breeze flows through the slatted windows from the mountains above. I’m blessed to think of how peaceful that will be.

*My husband used his academy sports gift certificate and came home with a big 40″ X 12 ft pool for our back yard. It will give our son the practice he needs swimming for our trip next month. The mere fact that he’s home at 5:20 at night, from his new job, is a huge blessing….but that now he’s home to take care of the back yard and now put in a pool is bonus!

*Lastly I took my first Zumba class with my sister at the gym, we recently joined. I loved it and lasted the whole class. I got to shake my booty and have fun with my sis!

I hope you all have had a great week!