Overprotective

Is it possible to be overprotective? Of course. But let’s think of this in broader terms than just raising children, border & immigrant concerns, your reputation, financial investments, etc.
Heres a really important place to think about being overprotective: your heart.
This is what happens to all of us, we get hurt, disappointed, discouraged or disillusioned so we decide to avoid that pain & shield / protect our hearts. In some ways this strategy is functional, but there’s a downside. When we shield / protect our hearts, we begin to compromise our ability to have close relationships & the worst place we can do this is with Jesus.
We must believe with unwavering confidence that Jesus loves us, has a good future for us & is both wise & strong enough to bail us out of any & all misfortunes.
Let’s never protect our hearts from an increasingly intimate relationship with Jesus ­čÖé

Outrage!!!

In our modern world, outage is common & I think even expected sometimes. It seems like we can get massively incensed at almost anything: driving infractions, mistakes on paychecks or bills, government shortfalls, moral failures in Christian leaders, etc
But here’s something to consider: if sin is the common human experience, why do we allow ourselves to be outraged when people sin or make mistakes? Wouldn’t we be more constructive to celebrate the moments when humans don’t behave sinfully? What about when a driver makes space for you instead of cutting you off? That’s noteworthy! What about when a government does something positive that exceeds your expectations? This might not be often, but that’s exactly why we should celebrate it! And when a Christian leader has a moral failure, let’s not be so much outraged as we should pray for them & have sincere compassion because we identify with our own shortfalls.
Let’s aim for less outrage & more celebration ­čÖé
Selah

Being Offended

There’s enough content to talk about offenses for endless years and I’m sure I couldeasily describe various situations & people who have offended us. Seems to me that being offended isn’t as much an issue as getting over an offense. Here are some ideas that might help:

  • Quit thinking about ways to get even or pay them back – the revenge thing lays squarely in God’s portfolio
  • Stop talking about it – prayer groups, venting & rehearsing merely fester the wound rather closing it to infection & poison
  • Pray for the person who offended you – private prayers that God would help you to forgive & that God would bless the offending person seem to be healing balm
  • Decide to be a proficient forgiver more than a bitter hater

Like Elsa says in Frozen, “Let it go!”  

The Highwire Forgiveness Journey

Forgiveness seems to get lots of approval, affirmation & acknowledgement. It’s generally held that we need to forgive & that’s a good thing. The tricky part of forgiveness isn’t the theory or “ought to” part but the actual implementing & “practice”. Let’s keep in mind that we should be forgiving & then consider a few thoughts:

*being proficient with forgiveness requires practice
*theres no lasting close relationship that doesn’t have some forgiveness worked through the fiber of the intimacy
*forgiveness can be a journey – consider Joseph’s behavior with his brothers who sold him into slavery
*constructive communication can be a helpful ingredient in the forgiveness process
*sometimes forgiveness happens one decision & even one thought at a time
*forgiveness is far better than poison, bitterness & isolation that come from unforgiveness. 

conflict resolution

A few of my kids went to school this morning after a heated conversation. ┬áBoth had tears in their eyes & it rips me up as their mom to see this tension and strife. ┬áWhich makes me wonder how God “feels” when we are yucky with each other. ┬áThe truth is that any relationship worth it’s weight will have to work through conflict. ┬áSo here are a few pointers to help with this challenge:

  • benefit of the doubt: ┬áassume the best rather than blame the worst
  • double standard: ┬ábe mindful that you don’t just the other person by actions but ourselves by intentions
  • breathing space: ┬ásometimes a “cool down” can bring some clarity and options that aren’t available when we are in the heat of a conflict
  • be generous: ┬áseek to understand before being understood
  • forgive well: ┬ápractice makes perfect
  • conclusion: ┬ásometimes the best outcome is to agree to disagree without being disagreeable ­čÖé
  • pray

Happy Monday to you!

 

help with rejection

“Eveybody likes you, Sarah!” ┬áThat’s what my dad would always say when I’d come home from school, complaining that no one liked me. ┬áNow that I think about it, the truth is somewhere between the 2 extremes: ┬áeveryone & no one. ┬áRejection is tricky, but all of us have to manage it at various times & in varying degrees. ┬áHere are some thoughts that I hope you’ll find helpful:

reject-2

  • rejection is universal: ┬áeveryone gets rejected at some point (some of those points are linear, connecting the dots & some are hops & skips)
  • being rejected isn’t as important as what you do with it
  • is there a reason for you being rejected? ┬áDo you need to make some adjustments?
  • forgiveness redeems rejection & transforms it to something of great value (consider Joseph & his brothers who sold him into slavery in Genesis)
  • God never rejects you – you are accepted among the beloved – Eph 1:6
  • In Jesus’ life, His crucifixion (the ultimate rejection) came immediately on the heels of Palm Sunday

Making things easy

I was recently backing out of a parking space & didn’t see a mom walking w her kids. Thankfully, I didn’t hit anyone but I felt really bad! I quickly rolled down my window & apologized, explaining that I didn’t see them & that I was super sorry. The mom was very understanding & gracious, whew!!
So here’s my point:
*I want to make it easy for people to forgive me – admitting fault quickly & honestly helps w this
*I want to make it easy for people to be polite to me – being respectful is a great platform for this
*I want to make it easy for people to help me – being less independent is my challenge on this one
*I want to make it easy for people to thank me – being quick to help is a good starting point
I want to make the lives of others better & not more difficult. Let’s all aim for this goal ­čśÇ

friendships

┬á When I was growing up, I used to complain to my parents about not having any friends – it was partly true, because I wasn’t a very friendly person. ┬áNevertheless, my parents would always encourage me that I had lots of friends & they were always very affirming on this topic. ┬áHere are some other pearls of wisdom they taught ┬áme in relation to friendships:

  • diversity is good – its good to have lots of different kinds of friends: ┬ásmart, funny, healthy, beautiful, chubby, witty, deep, seasonal, insightful, superficial, . . . . . ┬á Diversity is the spice of life!
  • in order to have friends, we must be friendly: ┬ásmile, be forgiving, generous, seeking to understand
  • be more concerned about being interested rather than interesting: ┬álistening can be a timeless gift
  • a friendship isn’t merely about what you can get out of the relationship, but also what you can give
  • don’t be disappointed because someone is unable to give something you want in a friendship – maybe they don’t have that skill set or ability, just like you also have some shortcomings
  • give the benefit of the doubt: ┬ádon’t assign malicious intent
  • no one person can be your everything in life – this expectation is unhealthy & ultimately idolatrous
  • be the friend you would like to have ­čÖé
  • forgive, forgive, forgive & be prepared to continue forgiving