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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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Where You’ll Find Me …


For those that stop by from time to time … thank you. For those that are new … welcome.

I’ve not blogged here very often lately, as life has been very busy over the last couple years.  However, I’ve been more consistently writing here at my other blog.

Or if you are a twitter user, you can find me here.

I would still encourage you to stop by here, from time to time.  As I’m contemplating starting it back up, but for now the above links are where you’ll find me.

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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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Friday’s Blessings

So I got my shipment of books, from my publisher today, on my porch today…ahhh….I’m jumping up and down. My son already gave it his stamp of approval here, or at the sound clip below. I actually ordered one for myself, through Amazon, to see what their quality was like, and because my publisher said they picked up a copy through the print system that wasn’t proofed yet. Yikes!

The book has a few typo’s but what book doesn’t have a couple things that someone didn’t catch? Overall I’m happy, and very pleased to have worked with Vanilla Heart Publishing. They worked hard for me and the release of this book.

My son has carried one of the copies around all afternoon, and won’t put it down. He’s so proud of his mommy, and my heart is melting.

Today we also had a parent/teacher conference, which went exactly as I thought. My boy is sailing through with flying colors, ahead of the curve, and very well adjusted. He’s learning things that I would have in 3rd grade. It’s amazing how young they start kids out these days in their educational curve.

My mom and dad left for Hawaii, with my sister and her new husband to follow this weekend. They’re going to have a family trip together, and I couldn’t be happier for the four of them. I’m blessed they have this opportunity to share.

My husband & I had another date night this week to the OKC Thunder’s opening game NBA game. Our city is blessed with the opportunity to host such a major venue, and we’re blessed to have season tickets to such a fun event.

I was blessed to have Monday and Friday off this week. It was a short work week, but a tough one with little tips. This economy is hurting the ability to leave a little extra for those of us working for tips, but I know I’m blessed to be in a fun environment all the same.

My neighbors found a rental property to move into. Remember the post about how they lost their home to foreclosure? They were packing up their Uhaul today. I’m so sad to see them go, but am glad they’re not homeless and have been approved for a new place to live. Who knows? We may all lose our mortgages if the economy doesn’t start picking up. For now, I know we’re blessed to pay our mortgage each month, and pray that neighbors find the blessings in their situation.

Find your BLISS … Find your BLESSINGS … and Thank God daily for each one!

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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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A few reasons why…

Marriage is a tough road. Most couples focus so much on the wedding, that they forget to prepare for life with their spouse. They don’t think to remember that there will be horrifically tough times when you see your partner in a light, you never expected. In 8 short years of marriage, and 10 years total with my husband…we’ve seen each other through a lot.

The life of our child.

The flat line of my husband’s heart, and the miracle that he lived through a horrible experience.

The death of loved ones.

Financial strain.

Financial surplus (still waiting to have that one back).

Proud moments, when the other shines in the spotlight.

Sad moments, when the other almost breaks in defeat.

Tough times, when the other fights through something.

Life throws us all curve balls, and I just don’t know how couples make it without Christ as their center. I know some do…so I know it happens. BUT do they have the peace that only Christ can give?

I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell my adoring husband how much I love him today. And here’s a few silly reasons why…

*Because he leaves me a dry towel hanging in the bathroom every morning for my shower.

*Because he lets me do whatever home improvement project my heart desires, trusting my instincts.

*Because his chest puffs up when he tells people about my book.

*Because he spends so much quality time with our son, who in turn adores his daddy.

*Because he tells me I’m sexy even when I feel I look my worst.

*Because he trys to make me laugh when I’m mad. Try’s being the operative word! Sometimes he succeeds 🙂

*Because he remembers the smallest details and surprises me down the road with little things.

*Because he teaches my son about the most amazing things…from sports to life in general.

*Because he’s himself and that never changes, no matter who he’s talking too…even if resonates a little too loud…I still love him.

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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!