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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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Fridays Full of Blessings

This week has been full of ups and downs.  It’s just been one of those weeks that you end up feeling so drained that you feel you’re long overdue for a vacation.  So when Friday finally rolled around, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck.

However, as worn as I am – it’s still easy to count my blessings:

1 – Although my cousin passed away, I’m blessed to know he lived a long life, surrounded by his loved ones.

2 – I received all my books in for the book launch. Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.29.54 PM

3 – My son started school, and although wouldn’t smile for a first day pic (he gave me the most grouchy look he could muster) … he asked if he could retake it when I picked him up.  He said he felt bad all day for not giving me a smile on his first day of school.  I’ve got the sweetest kid.

4 – Since re-releasing my first book – I’ve seen some great reviews coming in.  This is my favorite so far:

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.27.26 PM

I love the words … ‘Anticipation at its sweetest.’   That is just great.

5 – I got called on to do the ice bucket challenge by a friend, and bravely stood as my hubs doused me with ice water.  It was frigid and about chilled me to the bone – but it was for a great cause so it was worth it.

6 – It’s Friday!!! I’m so happy to have the weekend with my family.

I hope you’re able to make your list.  No matter how tough your week has been – be sure to count your blessings.

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Amen it’s Friday

Wooooo Hoooooo! I’m so happy today that it’s finally Friday.

This week has been a very full long tiring one. I worked all the extra shifts I could get, including a double yesterday.
I was blessed with the extra cash to put toward Christmas. My aunt and her friend came in last night and left me more tip than what the total of their tab was. They are so sweet and wanted to leave me a little something…okay a lot something extra. It’s a good thing too, considering everyone else last night were realllllly realllllly stingy. The economy hits hard times and the first thing to go are good tips.

Today at the restaurant someone stopped me, while I was heading back to the kitchen, and asked, “Are you the writer?”
It threw me for a minute, but I answered, “Yes.” and she started to tell me how much she loved my book and how she couldn’t wait to read the sequel.

It’s been a huge blessing in the last few weeks to get the feedback I’ve been receiving. People really like it! Not that I doubted that, but you never really know (when you bare a part of yourself) how people are going to respond. The biggest surprise have been the men, who have jumped on board. I even had an email today from young man, whom I met for the first time at my book launch party, that wants to order 5 more of my books for Christmas gifts. I’m thanking the Lord for the path He’s created for this book. He’s giving it the somewhat success it deserves.

My little boy this week has been such a doll which has been a huge blessing. I just love that fact that he’s so endearing and funny. I’m so grateful that God has given me such an amazing child. We’ve played StarWars all week…in fact I’m quite light sabered out, but I’m fortunate that I’ve got such a creative child, who’s energy never ends.

OKAY YOU ALL — IF YOU’VE READ THIS FAR I’M STARTING SOMETHING NEW FOR CHRISTMAS!
VIRTUAL RE-GIFTING
You know we all re-gift, whether we admit it or not. So I’m starting a trend here. I’m going to take a picture of something I don’t need or want and I’m passing it on to one of my blogging buddies. They then have to take a picture of their re-gift items and pass it on to their buddies.

HERE IS MY PIC:
images
I get too many candles and always end up passing them on in real life, so now in blog land I’m passing some on to these friends, who then have to choose 5 of their friends to re-gift and ask to do some re-gifting of their own.

Congratulations to the following:

Terri my amazing friend and cohort, you get to post these lovely candles on your blog and then pass on your own re-gift item to more of your friends!

Tara, my sweet friend the same applies to you!

Tam Tam, bo Bam…banana nana fo fam! Love you chica – have fun with this!

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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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A Foreclosure Hitting Close to Home

Today I have a heavy heart. My neighbors have had one bad thing happen to them and then another. They’ve fought through their finances to be able to afford their home for over a year. My neighbor’s wife now has to wear an oxygen tank, and she’s only in her 50’s. Even though they’ve been heavy smokers, who are aware of what cigarettes do to your body, I hate to see them deal with those repercussions.

Today my neighbor walked over to my car, as I pulled up in my driveway. I could tell he his spirit was not one of joy, like the usual guy I visit with when being neighborly.

He broke the news to me and told me of their situation. I know financial companies in today’s market are scrambling and will not give anyone a break. I know bail out or not, my neighbors will not get the help they need.

They’re going to be homeless in days, and I feel like crying. They’re so good to us and I just want them to have a roof over their head. Keeping up with the Jones’s has never been important to my husband and I, but something like this certainly puts that all into perspective.

Each night I pray a prayer of thanks for simply having a roof over our head, and food on our table. I never knew something like this would happen to someone I knew, and it’s heartbreaking.

I’m doing what I can to help them find a place to live, and in the meantime offering a couch and a guest room if they need it. Please pray for my wonderful neighbors that God provides them a way out and a place to live.

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Tuesday Tid Bits

So far this week I’ve had a lot of little funnies from my son. Every child at this age is candidly refreshing whether they know it or not, but he’s so profound that it really cracks me up.

To name a few for your reading pleasure:
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It was sprinkling last night as we left the restaurant. He opened his mouth to get a drop but they got in his eyes instead.

He yelled to the sky and everyone with in miles of being earshot, “Thank you my Lord for the eye drops!”
——-
He peered in at my face as I laughed at something funny he said, and squinted. In surprise, he said,
“Oh mommy I do believe you’re getting your first wrinkle!”

(gee thanks son) grimace before laughter
——-
I got a big spider bite back on my hip/butt zone area last night, which needed some Cortizone cream. I went to do my business first and was sitting on my throne in the privacy of my bathroom, when my son came running in to bring me Desitin, as thats what we use for his bug bites.

He leaned in behind the toilet to try to take care of my bite, with a lump of Desitin on his fingers.

Me–“Son, I appreciate you, but please don’t do that right now. I need a little privacy.”
little T—“Okay mommy, I won’t touch your private butt.”
Me—-“Thank you for trying to help me though. I just need a few minutes.”
little T—“Well then, just let me see those beautiful big brown eyes of yours.”

I couldn’t help but oblige as he was being so sweet. He just is such a love, even if I was in the bathroom needing privacy.
—–
Every night we say our prayers, and we rotate turns. Me, my son, and then my husband.
My husband gets wordy sometimes in trying to pray about things my son should learn about, which is great. It’s just wonderful that his daddy is involved in prayer time no matter what he’s saying or praying. I’m probably a little to wordy too, but I pray more about things of the heart. I want to give thanks for all our family members, their health, and protection.

However, my son has told me next time to shorten it up like he does…
“Thank you Jesus for all of our family and our people. Thank you for helping me sleep through the night. Amen.”
He’s not one to waste words.

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Fridays Are My Favorites because….

On Fridays I get to reflect on how much God has done for me in the week and give thanks. This week has been one of healing and thankfulness all across the board.

*Today at 3 p.m. I was able to see my son win a “Kindness” award. This award is given out once a month and he and one other Kindergartener won it for their age group. What a huge blessing to see my son be singled out for the first month of school for his kind spirit and giving heart. He was so excited and happy. He told me that he tried his hardest these last two weeks of school to be as kind as he could. I love that about him. He truly cares about others and how they feel.

*I started my new job and have had the most fun that I can remember in years. I don’t have clients calling my cell complaining. I don’t have sales managers calling me into meetings that are about other meetings and how the other meetings will be scheduled….to go over what the last meeting held. I only have to serve tables with a smile and hope they’ll tip in kind. It’s so refreshing to work with the group I do, as no one is uptight. I’m blessed!

*I’ve been aiding my sister in coordinating her wedding. She got engaged a couple weeks ago and she gets married on Sept 12. She had a very unpleasant caterer scheduled that did nothing to accommodate her. So I found her a new one, scheduled a tasting, and they were less expensive. She canceled her uncooperative one and hired the second I found her. I’m blessed that I’ve been able to find her less expensive, better solutions. Anything I can do to make her day easy will be a huge blessing to our whole family.

*I had an old man pull me aside at the restaurant day before yesterday and compliment me. He said, “Honey, you sure are a good waitress….how long have you been doing this?” When I told him -2 days- he was amazed. He told me, “Well your smile means a lot, and you can tell you care. You’re doing a great job.” That made my day.

*My son had show in tell this week. He was supposed to bring in something that made you feel happy, sad, warm…something old and something more precious than gold. He filled it full until the last one… he turned to me and said, “Mommy….you’re more precious than gold to me, but I can’t box you up.” That made me melt in happiness. What a blessing my son is to me.

*I got asked to be a part of my University’s Homecoming Celebration at their big book signing event, along with 14 other alumni authors. I think I’m the youngest one attending. It is a HUGE honor to be invited, and I’m so blessed and thankful.

*Because I’ve been on my feet all week and working my hiney off…I’ve slept realllly good, which is rare as I have 3 sleep disorders. BIG BLESSING!

Fridays are great. Not only because I have the weekend to look forward to, but because I can look back and count so many obvious blessings. Thank you Lord for all you do.