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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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COMING HOME Has Released

Okay – the wait is over. Today, COMING HOME officially released. I would be honored if you’d swing by amazon for your own copy – in print or kindle.

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The synopsis is:    

Anne LaSal was ready for a change. Estranged from her family and disheartened after her best friend’s wedding, she felt like she was coasting through life without a plan of her own. So, when a friend nominates her for a reality dating show, she concedes. Although a skeptic, Anne is ready for her adventure, and what could be better than an all expenses paid trip into the lap of luxury? What Anne doesn’t expect is that the bachelor on set is none other than her television crush – actor, Chad Chambers.

Chad Chambers, a Texas native, doesn‘t easily fit the Hollywood mold, but that’s what makes him so sought after – as his rugged good looks and southern charm have made most of America fall in love. He’s agreed to being the new love interest on ‘Broadcast Affair’ as his agent said it would open more doors for his career, however he secretly wishes to connect with a nice girl … someone normal … someone like Anne LaSal.

When their two worlds collide, it is instant chemistry for both however will Anne’s family drama ruin the beginning of something beautiful?

You can read the first review here.

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14 years and counting

Fourteen years ago, against all odds my husband and I got married.  When I say against all odds … it’s not said lightly.  By chance — if you’ve ever read Facing Redemption – you’ll remember Chastity and Timothy’s wedding, and what a catastrophe it was. I modeled that fictional wedding off my own. (However, any people in the story have no similarities to my life — just throwing out a disclaimer.)

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Fourteen years ago, on July 22nd, we went up against a double handful of things including but not limited to … power outages, crazy flash floods, two deaths during and before our wedding, a missing limo, a missing wedding cake, a missing groom’s ring, a last minute cancellation of  reception hall on the night of the rehearsal dinner, and a whole lot more craziness.

You’d think that would be enough to turn me into Bridezilla or convince me to run for the hills, but if anything it made me more determined.  Since I don’t believe in bad luck, I knew it was just life’s way of throwing a curveball at me… and I’ve got a pretty good swing.  And, in my mind … the bottom line was – I knew that it wasn’t about the day, it was about the marriage — and this guy was a keeper.  In fact, once I was standing at the church doors, getting ready to walk down the aisle, I had so much peace in my heart. 

Heck, I figured everything had already been thrown our way … so by the time I was standing at the aisle … I knew I was ready to marry my man.  After all, our life was about to start … and it’s about the marriage – not the wedding day.

In our fourteen years, I have to say we’ve gone through a lot!  And, God has blessed our path every step of it.

Within the first year of our marriage, my husband almost died.  He flatlined in my car, seconds before I was pulling into the emergency room drive, horn honking and headlights flashing.  God spared his life, and our marriage took on a whole new meaning of ‘through sickness and health’.  He took months to recover.  Needless to say, we started appreciating the little things  and loving each other more every day – grateful to wake up each morning.

Within the first three years of our marriage, we were told we would never have children without help, through fertility treatments … and even then … chances were slim.  With in a couple of months, everyone and their dog was turning up pregnant, and it killed me.  Finally, I opened the Bible to a random page … and the story of Sarah sat in front of me.  I prayed over this verse, and told the Lord … I know you can get a healthy thirty year old woman pregnant knowing you did it for Sarah, who was far beyond child bearing years.  One month later (on our wedding anniversary – I don’t believe in coincidences) I wasn’t quite feeling right, so I took a pregnancy test, which proved positive.  We went back to our fertility specialist, who’s jaw dropped.  He could not believe it.  I told him – he was not the last authority on our lives … and God had other plans.10361034_10152593648357905_6932382751527102093_n

So here we are years later … on year number fourteen.  We went to dinner and took a romantic walk around the lake last night.  As we sat there, I reviewed our marriage with amazement at how fast its flown, truly understanding what ‘in the blink of an eye’ means.  Last night, my heart was full of gratefulness … not just to my husband for giving me the best years of my life, as that man knows how to make me laugh, but to also and especially to God for blessing us for all our time that has come and is to come.  I often feel like we run up against the most unusual challenges, but maybe because God knows we can handle it.  After all, our wedding was one for the record books – and our marriage is too.

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A few things I love about my guy:

He is the biggest goofball of them all, as every moment in life can be related to a sports analogy – and every instance in life deserves its own song lyric.

His quippy quick sense of humor, has most rolling in minutes as he’s sharp witted.  I swear he could do stand up.

And … every day he is willing to not only put up with me … but be there for me.  He’s sensitive and firm – so he is willing to take care of me while pushing me when needed.  It’s a great balance.

Every day, I’m reminded that bad things happen.  You just have to turn on the news to see the epidemic that is spread nation and world wide.  We live in a fallen and dark world, but there is so much joy to be found through it all.  We can plan all we want, and things can still spin out of control (take my wedding for example).  So it’s very important to step forward in faith, as I stepped down the aisle with peace.  Through life’s chaos, you will find serenity.

There is light at the end of the dark tunnel.  Trust me, I’m living proof of it.  I’ll leave you with one more photo from last night.  I love lighthouses, as it reminds me to be the beacon in a dark world.  God’s love is always there to anchor you in the storm …

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