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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 Fun

Every Friday I get to look at what God has blessed me with during the week.
Today I get to jump for joy! Here’s a list of what God has given me this week:

***Blessings Abound****
My husband surprised me with a date night, and arranged for a sitter. He took me to see ‘Fireproof the Movie’, which was awesome!!!

Sitting in a theater with a bunch of Christians was a really cool experience. No one had to search for a seat. People were offering to arrange the seating on rows, so we could all squeeze in to offer new seats, for those standing. It was cool seeing God’s love in the simplest ways in just offering a seat theater wide.

The movie itself was an amazing lesson, that every married couple needs. If you’ve not seen this movie — GO SEE IT! Kirk Cameron is just amazing and so cute. I thought he was adorable back in his teenaged TV days, but he’s so mature now and even more cute. I admire him for standing up for his faith, in mainstream Hollywood, to stand firm. He deserves our support. Seriously, you should go see this movie. They also have a blog.
Here’s the trailer:

****
I had a friend text me late last night to announce her copy of my book came in the mail that day. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell me how beautiful her copy was. I haven’t even had my copies mailed to me yet, but was and am so blessed to hear how excited she was once we talked on the phone. I’m blessed to have such wonderful friends, who celebrate in my joy and support me. God is good!

****
I made some really great tips this week at work, and I finally feel like I don’t have to double check every thing I do. I seem to have a groove and a rhythm to my job now, and am so blessed to leave at 3 p.m. to pick up my son. Even though we’re financially short, I’m able to invest in my son.

****
I got two photo-shoots booked this week. One for the 27th of October and the other for Nov 15th. Just a little business coming in right now. I’m not where I thought I’d be right now, but some is better than none and I’m blessed all the same. Thank you Lord for being faithful.

****
I’ve prayed for God to bring us a couple friendship. My husband and I have our own separate friends, but have never in the 8 years of marriage had a ‘couple’ friend outside of family. My sis and her husband are our couple friends and I adore them. My brother in law and his wonderful wife are also our couple friend, and we adore them but they live 40 minutes away.

Each member of our family are so wonderful and we love spending time with them, but they also have their own lives. So lately I’ve prayed lately that God would also bless us with a friendship, separate from family, that Todd and I would click with.
God has answered my prayers with a wonderful couple that we go to church with.

Strangely enough … I went to college with my friend, J. We don’t remember each other from back then. And, her boyfriend, C, and my husband grew up in the same area in California, and have some similar childhood memories. All four of us have crossed paths throughout many years, and have just now started a friendship. Funny how God’s timing works … but it’s a blessing to us. J & C are quirky and fun and make us laugh…our kind of people.

****
The last blessing is an obvious … just the fact that my family is alive, healthy, and close to home. I’m blessed each day to live the life I have and be surrounded by my family and friends.

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Friday’s post and poll

So this week has gone fast. I’ve only worked a couple of days which has been so nice, but it’s still flown by just the same.

Obvious blessings:

*Some time to sleep in, with three days off.

*I ordered 100 of my books, from my publisher, for future events.

*Being a little repepative from the last post, but you can pre-order my book.  It’s now officially on Amazon and listed on my publisher’s bookstore.

*I got another photo-shoot booked for this month, yesterday.  Let’s just keep those coming!

*I’m growing closer to a really good friend, and am blessed to have her friendship.

I didn’t get too wordy this time, as I’m really tired.  I’m not in the best mood yet, as I’ve not been awake but a few minutes.  Yes, I’m NOT a morning person.  The blessing in that?  I’m heading to my refridge to get my Starbucks Frapp.  I’ve been saving this ‘one’ bottle, for a week and a half for ‘the’ morning that I’d really need it.  I’m blessed this morning to have it and be able to sit and savor for a few minutes, before my son wakes up.

I hope you’ve had some obvious and ‘not’ so obvious blessings in your week.  Be sure the thank God for all the gifts in your life…even if some weeks you don’t feel so thankful.  There are blessings all around you, even if some days you just don’t see them.

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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!

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Just another Manic Day

Saturday was one of the busiest days I think I’ve had since I was in college, when I was rushing from a full day of classes to my part time job. Saturday’s schedule wasn’t just busy, but quite active. Lots of running with no sitting—practically all day.

Starting bright and early I drove out with my son and sister to a race track about an hour away to shoot a couple of kids at their motor cross races.
This was taken while it was raining, so it was a little overcast. For 5 hours I ran from place to place getting the right angles to shoot, for three different kids. Who needs the gym right? It was a mix of showers, with hot sun and humidity that felt about 110 degrees. By the time I was finished, I was muddy, sweaty and in desperate need of a shower.

My son was in awe of all these kids, and their bikes. It was so cute to watch him take it all in.

Afterwards we drove the hour back home, stopped briefly to get a present, and kept on moving 45 minutes in another direction for a birthday party. It was a full day of driving to say the least. The party was held at one of those outdoor race tracks, with indoor arcade games. I think we had our share of racing for the day too!

Since we got to the party a little late…like an hours worth, we missed the cake and presents, but still had time to jump in a race car on their little track.

My anxious five year old strapped in tight next to me, because he knew I’d take the turns tight. I drove like a bat out of ‘you know where’ for the second time that day. I love racing and it was fun to go as fast as I could, while still maintaining a safe drive. After all my son was with me. He was screaming, “Whoo Hoooo Mommy!” the whole time. I think I actually beat my husband’s record.

We spent an hour there… mostly indoors, playing the arcade games, to beat the heat. My son is an amazingly lucky little dude who always gets tickets streaming out of every game he plays. In one hour he racked up 170 tickets, which was enough to bring home 5 toys.

Then we drove home so that I could get ready for my future sister in law’s bachelorette party, which I was already behind the curve ball on. I’d been planning it for weeks and was not going to let myself stop even for a minute to rest. All I had time for was a quick shower, and makeup and hair. Was I ready to sit, eat, and have a relaxing evening or what?

We started out at The Mantle, on the patio, for appetizers. The only down side was the very very loud speakers, which was blaring folk music. From there we went to two other places for a night full of fun and dancing.

I invited my token platonic guy, Walter, who’s been a friend for close to 15 years, to keep an eye on all us ladies. I always have a standby guy at bachelorette parties, just incase it’s needed.

Plus that way we all have a platonic, never gonna think of anything more than friends, dance partner for the night. Walter was like a bouncer, baby-sitter, dancing dude all rolled into one. Who wouldn’t love that?

PLUS he’s about 7 foot tall, so no one would mess with him. Did I mention he’s usually the life of any party too? It was a great bonus. Not too long into the evening, my Cousin, Ross, also stopped by. So we had two male body guards…it was great!

I think Mindy, my future sis, had a great time and I am so happy to be welcoming her into the family! It was a huge blessing to have my own sister, my future sister in law, my mother in law, and some of our friends and extended family join us out. We had the best time. Some of us had too much fun! 🙂

My sister and I designed T-shirts for the night, which were a hit. I will post a picture of them later. They were very cute and we all got comments on them all night. Now that’s it’s Monday, I’m ready for the weekend. I leave for their wedding, in Maui, in 4 days!

Ahhhh! Now I have to get crazy busy packing and preparing for a fun filled trip! I’ll keep you updated while I’m there!

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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!